Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 142 — One More Self

Chapter 142: One More Self

“Fuu, thank you, Kaori. I’m fine already now.”

“I’m glad… You have a lot of injuries, it made me recall that time that I got flustered.”

They had reached the final destination of the great labyrinth. After she finished healing Shizuku who was sitting down and leaning her back on the wall in front of that huge door, Kaori breathed out in relieve.

‘That time’ that Kaori mentioned was about the time when they were reunited with Hajime at [Orcus Great Labyrinth]. Shizuku tried to cut through the enemy line alone and became worn-out. They clung to each other with the determination to die when she recalled that unconsciously it drove her with uneasiness.

“Compared to that time this is far better right? At the very least I didn’t get one of my arms broken. Just this much injury is just a minor thing, minor.”

Shizuku tapped ‘pon pon’ on her arm that was previously broken while saying a manly thing to the teary-eyed Kaori. Something like ‘call it a heavy wound when you get your arm done in!’ wasn’t something a normal high school girl could say.

“Sheesh, Shizuku-chan you really…”

Kaori floated a troubled smile to Shizuku who was being like that. Since the olden days, even when she was injured in kendo or sword practice, she was a girl that wouldn’t even complain that it hurt. She would pretend to show endurance even while being teary-eyed. Rather than calling that obstinate, Kaori knew that a large part of that was so that Shizuku wouldn’t make other people worry.

For that reason, she got worried for Shizuku who wouldn’t whine or act spoiled. But at the same time, she also knew that if she continued to worry for her, Shizuku would only grin brightly while saying “It’s fine!” So Kaori couldn’t say anything.

And so, Kaori stayed quiet and only devoted herself to healing while snuggling up to Shizuku. Her body was healed, but the whispering voice that had tormented her mind didn’t change. The balance of the mind could be more or less stabilized by soul magic, so Kaori embraced Shizuku’s body while wrapping it up with light.

From a slightly distanced place, Hajime was standing still while staring at that scene. He looked admiring, or perhaps with an amused look. This was the kind of expression he was making.

“… What?”

“No, nothing? I’m just thinking, you two really have a good relationship, huh? That’s all.”

Shizuku acted threateningly to the grinning Hajime, but Hajime easily replied with a shoulder shrug.

“Hmm. Truly a beautiful friendship.”

“Isn’t that righttt-”

“… Just like lovers.”

Tio and Shia directed warm gaze at the two. But, only Yue floated a teasing smile at the corner of her mouth like Hajime and said something like that. Naturally, Kaori objected vehemently.

“Yueee! You are saying mean thing again!”

“… I don’t have a prejudice against relationships between fellow girls. May everlasting happiness be with you.”

“I told you! Don’t say anything weird!”

Because Kaori got irritated and talked back, the ‘S’ part inside Yue got agitated, but Kaori still hadn’t noticed that. Looking at an appearance that suggested Kaori wouldn’t separate from Shizuku even while complaining, it seemed like you could see an illusion of lilies blooming on their backs, yet the person herself was unaware.

Yue and Kaori began to quarrel like that. Shizuku, who was between the two of them, knitted her eyebrows in awkwardness and tried to mediate, but there was no significant result.

“Hey, Nagumo-kun. Don’t just smile, stop them.”

“Hm? It’s fine, isn’t it? It’s free time until Amenogawa and others return, anyway. Rather than that, how about saying ‘Stop! Don’t get into a fight because of me!’ Give that a try!”

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“… What kind of indecisive woman do you think I am.”

Hajime chuckled ‘ku ku’ toward Shizuku who was glaring at him testily. Hajime stopped chuckling then and opened his mouth toward Shizuku, who was frowning even more in displeasure after seeing him enjoy this.

“Yaegashi, you, it’s better if you act a little more relaxed.”


“I’m saying that you are too serious. Even now your mind got burdened by the whispering, right? Then, at this kind of time, it’s better if you make racket together with them and refresh yourself. After all, there is nobody here that you need to look after.”


Hajime’s words made Shizuku opened her eyes wide. For some reason that even Shizuku didn’t understand, she felt like her heartstring was stirred by that. It was though she heard words that were the opposite of the whispering voice…

Without really being concerned about Shizuku falling quiet, Hajime’s mouth distorted into a mean grin.

“If you like, how about I lend you Shia’s rabbit ears so that you can relax? Oh, Shizuku-chan who loves cute thing?”

“-, shut up! No thanks-! Rather stop your grinning!”

Shizuku objected with a voice that expressed her full displeasure while her cheeks reddened like an apple. But in the end, were her cheeks reddened because she was made fun of, or was it because she was suddenly called by her first name…

Shizuku’s reaction made Hajime float a mean grin that was exactly the same with Yue when she was making fun of Kaori at the side. Perhaps realizing that it was pointless no matter what she said, Shizuku looked aside angrily with a huff.

And then from both sides, two gazes were stabbing at Shizuku who was displaying such a reaction that was cute in this certain situation. It was Yue and Kaori who stopped quarreling before anyone realized. Those two were ‘jiiー, staring unmovingly at Shizuku.

“Wha, what?”

“… Shizuku-chan got red. You are cuter more than usual.”

“… Nn. You are delighted being bullied by Hajime.”

“Wai-, I’m not delighted, and I’m not being cute at all! You two don’t make fun of me!”

Shizuku herself complained while thinking that the two of them were ridiculing her, but as for Yue and Kaori, they were directing gazes filled with staggeringly deep suspicion at Shizuku. They had felt this since before but, it felt like it was gradually becoming stronger since they started traveling together from the royal capital.

“… It increased again?”

“Uu, thinking about the current situation, it feels like it’s too late to object even if it increases by one more person after this far… besides if it’s Shizuku-chan then rather…”

For an instant, Kaori and Yue’s faces met each other, and it felt like they were expressing their respective thoughts and discussing something that was hard to ignore in regard to themselves. Shizuku was about to open her mouth unconsciously, at that time…


An intense torrent of magic power heaved up a spray of snow and thrust into the sky. Right after that, the bombardment of light that contained tremendous strength was blown away and the snow pushed forward straight at Hajime.

Hajime didn’t really show any surprise and took out a metallic piece, the gate key, from his breast pocket before thrusting and twisting it at the space in front of him. Right after, a teleport gate opened in front of his eyes.

There, the torrent of light surged in while gouging away the ground. And then it flew out from the exit gate that was opened with the keyhole model artifact ‘Gate Hole’ put beside Hajime as the reference point. Like that the light flew beyond the horizon.


“That Amenogawa, he used ‘Limit Break’… quite impatient is he.”

Shizuku who guessed that just now was the chant-omitted version of ‘Divine Might’ stood up reflexively. Hajime too, it was already not visible due to snow blocking the way, but he was directing his gaze at the spot where the blow came from and murmured.

It was a self-evident truth that Kouki and Ryuutaro were having their consciousness incited so their attacks were aimed at Hajime. And so he made preparation to evade them using the reliable gate rather than defending. It seemed that, as expected, it was the correct decision.

There was no other attack coming at them even once while they were talking until now. Most likely that was because Kouki and others feared friendly fire and didn’t use anything except close range skills. But it seemed just now Kouki got cornered into a desperate situation and attempted to break the deadlock. Right about this time, his face was surely going pale because his attack flew in the wrong direction.

“Now then, as expected, Amenogawa who used ‘Limit Break’ will clear this after a few minutes. The problem is the other two, though…”

“Eh? I… is Kouki okay I wonder?”

Looking at Hajime easily averting his gaze, Shizuku called out with a worried expression. Her gaze kept taking a glance at the direction where Kouki seemed to be. She looked like she was going to rush there for support, even now.

Toward such a Shizuku who in a certain meaning could be said to be overprotective, Hajime sent her an exasperated face while adding his words.

“That guy still has the derivative skill of ‘Limit Break’ right? Then, there is still leeway until he is forced to use that. Besides, the clear condition of this great labyrinth is perhaps for one person to defeat one golem you know? Even if you help him right now, for him, it’s not something desirable.”

“That’s… perhaps that’s true.”

“Haa, that’s why Yaegashi is too meddlesome. Because of that, you are also called something like ‘mom’.”

“Just who is this mom? The one saying that is just Nagumo-kun! Really, that’s rude!”

For now, Shizuku went angry with her continuing words while consenting to what Hajime said. Hajime easily ignored her and this time he took out a compass from his breast pocket. What he wished for was ‘the whereabouts of Taniguchi Suzu’.

“… That way.”

“Hajime-kun. Ryuutaro-kun and Suzu-chan are…”

“Wait, I’m checking right now. Rather than the attacker Sakagami, I think the defensive Taniguchi is more in a deadlock…”

Saying that, Hajime let fly a crossbit following the guide of the compass. Crossbit’s ‘distant penetration stone’ vanished inside the snow and as expected, only projected the color of snow. But after a while, a faint radiance began to be visible on the other side of that veil.

The crossbit that reached Suzu’s location climbed up and probed the situation from an overlooking view. Thereupon, it seemed that both sides of Suzu and the frost golem were surrounded by ‘Holy Severance’.

The lasers mowing down from all directions were blocked by normal ‘Holy Severance’ while it seemed the frost golem was being melted by an inside barrier that was turned into high-temperature space using ‘Holy Severance-Blaze’ that was a combination of flame element magic and Holy Severance.

The frost golem’s body had shrunk into a third of its original size. Even now, it was dripping with trickles of water. It charged ahead and struck with its halberd several times in the attempt to break the barrier that was sealing itself inside.

With several attacks, cracks entered ‘Holy Severance—Blaze’ and it was about to collapse, but each time Suzu repaired it so it appeared that it was unable to completely escape right after it attacked.

But it also could be said that there was no problem with Suzu’s side who was continuously preserving the barrier.

“Uh, haa haa, just a little more… just a little more…”

Sweat trickled like a waterfall from her forehead. Her breathing was rough. Her eyes were turning blank. She was considerably exhausted by preserving and repairing the advanced barrier continuously. Her two opened iron fans were also trembling, even now it felt like they were going to fall from her hands.

Most likely the firepower was lacking with ‘Holy Severance—Blaze’. The idea of melting the golem if she couldn’t blow it away in one go, ignoring the bad environment of [Ice and Snow Cavern] that remarkably worsened magic power efficiency of fire element magic by surrounding it with a barrier, was something splendid for a barrier master who really understood her own skill.

What was left was the problem of Suzu’s magic power and concentration power against the frost golem’s endurance, which one could hold out longer…

“I won’t lose. Haa haa, I absolutely won’t lose! No matter what I’m told, Suzu will absolutely talk once more with Eriii!”

Right now she was surely hearing the whispering voice. She was rousing up her breaking heart with her war cry. Her blank eyes recovered their shine showing strong will once again. While roughly wiping her sweat with her sleeve, she fired herself up once more.

Looking at such spectacle, Hajime was convinced that if it was Suzu, she would be fine. Surely the experience at Haltina’s Great Labyrinth made Suzu a level stronger.

Next, Hajime searched for Ryuutaro’s location using the compass. And then he launched the crossbit at the direction it showed. After advancing for a while ahead, it discovered a spot where snow was fiercely blowing in all directions.

In the eyes of Hajime who was watching from the overhead viewpoint in the sky once again, a fiercely mind blowing spectacle flew into his eyes.



They were punching each other earnestly from close range without stopping for even a single step back while raising war cries. For some reason, the frost golem didn’t carry its halberd and tower shield, if its left cheek got punched, then it would punch the left cheek back. If its right cheek got punched, then it would punch the right cheek back. That kept being repeated back and forth.

It was like two delinquents hitting each other at the riverside. ‘Surely a friendship would bud between the frost golem and the muscle head after this, wouldn’t it?’ That was what Hajime thought with his eyes half-closed. If not for the wounds all over Ryuutaro’s body due to the laser and the frost golem’s attacks, perhaps he would seriously consider such a possibility to happen.

Rather, think a little about dodging! That was what Hajime couldn’t help to retort. Most likely Ryuutaro was thinking, ‘Evading the laser while defeating the frost golem is impossible!’ right from the start and gave up. ‘If that’s the case, I just need to defeat it before I get defeated!’ must be what he thought then.

“An idiot, an idiot is right here…”

While controlling the crossbit, Hajime couldn’t hold back and murmured so.

Hajime explained the situation to Kaori and the others while they looked at him dubiously. Although they looked admiring toward Suzu’s current state, the two childhood friends as well as everyone else made an exasperated face towards Ryuutaro’s state. Especially Shizuku, who got a headache. She was massaging her forehead due to that.

“Looks like the frost golem is near its limit, so I guess with Sakagami’s momentum he will make it somehow… well, Kaori, that’s your childhood friend. Do your best.”

“… Yes. Ryuutaro-kun too needs to be lectured.”

Kaori’s eyes weren’t smiling at all, which was really terrifying. Hajime didn’t think that a muscle head could be cured, but he had to be scolded strictly by all means.

A few minutes later, it seemed that Kouki defeated the frost golem first. He passed through the tunnel of snow veil while using his holy sword as a cane replacement due to the miserable weariness that was the side effect of ‘Limit Break’. Next, Suzu cleared her trial and a snow tunnel was opened. Same like Kouki, Suzu was walking with staggering steps where Shizuku rushed to her in a hurry.

And then, Ryuutaro who defeated the frost golem last… alone, he passed out and sunk into his puddle of blood with a satisfied face. He didn’t enter the snow tunnel, so the laser was approaching at him mercilessly.

“Wawa-, Ryuutaro-kun!”

Kaori rushed out in a great panic. Hajime heaved a deep sigh while covering the crossbit lying in wait with ‘Vajra’, blocking that laser. Looking at Ryuutaro’s carefree fainted face, a light killing intent welled up from him. Just when he was aiming his gun muzzle while half seriously thinking whether he should just blow his face with a shotgun like this, Kaori reached Ryuutaro first and Hajime barely gave up his thinking.

Kaori grabbed Ryuutaro’s leg and dragged him while dashing through the tunnel. It seemed she was applying healing simultaneously while advancing, but the back of Ryuutaro’s head bumped *gon gon* with the ground and kept tumbling. Honestly, that treatment was just terrible.

Perhaps because all the members had passed through the snow veil and gathered in front of the gate, the sun shining over their head suddenly vanished. At the same time the laser stopped and the snow veil once more rose in to the sky and the field of vision cleared up. And then the gigantic gate that should become the entrance shined brilliantly as though informing them of clearing the trial. It didn’t open, but began to form a membrane of light.

“Looks like, this membrane of light is turning into the entrance.”

“… It resembled a gate. A teleport entrance?”

“I don’t really feel a good feeling.”

“Shia. There is no way a trial in a great labyrinth will give a good feeling, right?”

“Ahaha. Certainly. The mind attack is not really a problem, but there is nothing more irritating than this. Ao I want to be spared from anything more than this, though… surely, my wish won’t get granted isn’t it… haah.”

Shia’s rabbit ears dropped down gloomily. If it was a physical attack, it wouldn’t be a threat for Shia who had been remarkably turned into a bugged character, but a mental attack that bit by bit interfered with the subconscious territory felt irritating like a small bone that got stuck in the throat even though it wouldn’t kill you. It was steadily getting under her skin.

By the way as for Tio… it was fine to not pay her any mind.

“Kouki-kun and Suzu-chan too, gather over here! I will heal you two all at once.”

Kaori called at Kouki and Suzu who reached in front of the entrance with staggered steps just sat down heavily as though expressing their extreme fatigue. The figure of Kouki that was crawling to her wordlessly was quite eerie. As for Suzu, for some reason, Shizuku carried her in a princess carry that made her shy.

“… Nagumo… my attack was… my bad.”

Kouki murmured intermittently with a dark atmosphere while being wrapped in light of healing.

“I told you already you don’t need to feel reserved. Even though it would be better if you just go all out from the start if that was too much trouble for you.”

“… I guess. Even though my ‘Divine Might’ should have come at you, there is not a single speck of dust on you. No matter what I do, I cannot even give you a scratch. That’s why I…”

“Kouki, are you okay? You feel strange for some reason. Is the side effect of the ‘Limit Break’ that hard on you? Want to lie down a little?”


With a dark look, Kouki spilled out self-derisive words toward Hajime who was not only unharmed but even looked spotless without any trace of fatigue. Shizuku addressed such a Kouki with a worried tone. She would even lend him her lap if he wanted to lie down. She was tapping her lap to show that.

However, Kouki himself only glanced at such a Shizuku with a scared look for an instant before he averted his gaze immediately. He shook his head conveying his anxiety. After that, he closed his eyes. But just before his eyes closed, the gaze that he sent at Hajime… it was only Hajime who noticed the hatred which dyed that gaze, but that was just his feeling…

“What a troublesome concept…”

Hajime unconsciously floated a wry smile.

A while after that, the healing of every member was finished to a certain degree, so they headed toward the entrance of light. They couldn’t wait for full recovery, but even so compared to having their mind continuously eroded by the whispering voice inside this labyrinth, they decided it was better to progress.

“Now then, let’s go.”

Along with Hajime’s words, all members leaped into the gate of light.

When the brightness that dyed their field of vision settled, Hajime slowly opened his eyes.

“… So we got divided. Well, it’s within expectation.”

Hajime whispered while scowling with an air as though he was going to click his tongue at any moment. None of his companions were around him. He was alone.

When his gaze wandered around, it looked like Hajime was in a narrow passage. Inside that two-meter passage were more mirrors in four directions like a mirror house. His figure was reflected at his left and right up and down. Even when he turned to look back there was only a wall. There was not a single thing that seemed to be an entrance. It was a place where he could only advance forward.

Most likely, Yue and others were also sent to a similar passage like this by themselves alone. Hajime advanced ahead with that assumption.

The sound of his footsteps walking on the mirror-like ice reverberated.

It was perhaps after around ten minutes of walking. He walked without stopping on a straight path without any branching. Before long, Hajime arrived at a large room with a huge pillar that connected the ceiling and the floor in the center. Similar to the mirror-like ice wall, the round ice pillar also reflected Hajime nicely.

“There is no other passage… that means, that ice pillar is…”

While talking to himself like that, Hajime walked closer toward the ice pillar. Its diameter was large, so Hajime’s reflection on it wasn’t distorted even when he was right in front of it, it was like one more Hajime had come from the world inside the mirror. The more Hajime approached, the larger the figure got.

Finally, Hajime approached to the distance where he could touch the ice pillar. He looked fixedly at his image reflected in the ice pillar. White hair and eye patch, wearing a black coat with one artificial hand… as always, it was a splendid chuunibyou style. Hajime fell on his knees.

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“… Damn it. Recently I have never looked at mirror clearly so… what a shock…”

Hajime was on all fours with his head hanging down. Actually, he didn’t really look at the mirror on a routine basis, so he received quite some damage from looking at his own appearance thoroughly after so long. The black history sealed at the bottom of his heart “You calling?” peeked out its face. By the way, things like his bed hair or the like were handled by Yue every time. It seemed that she liked to tamper with Hajime.

“Indeed, this is just like what the whispering voice was saying, perhaps there is no place to belong for me in Japan…”

Surely what the whispering voice wanted to say wasn’t something like that. This was a terrible misunderstanding. (EN: The voice was saying he could never return to Japan because his strength and magic made him barely human, while he personally is bothered more by the fact he looks chuunibyou.)

As though to express that, suddenly, a voice that he was already familiar with resounded.

{That’s not what it means you know?}

“… As expected it comes out, huh.”

Hajime’s eyes quietly squinted, and he raised his head from his ‘orz’ posture. Thereupon, he caught the figure of himself in front of him glaring down.

Correct, regardless of Hajime’s ‘orz’ posture, the Hajime that was reflected in the ice pillar was standing.

{Hou, as expected, you are not agitated, eh? I am just as expected?}

“Yeah, of course, isn’t it? I have mostly guessed the concept of this great labyrinth. On top of that, if I take Amanogawa’s testimony into account, I thought that sooner or later this kind of situation will come up.”

Looking at Hajime, whose agitation was nonexistence even though the one inside the mirror was talking to him, the Hajime inside the mirror made a wide smirk.

{By the way, what’s this concept?}

“You are me, right? Then, you should understand even without asking.”

{No no, certainly I am you, but not entirely. You have also predicted that, right?}

Hajime nodded “Indeed”. In his assumption, the Hajime inside the mirror was something similar like to the fake created in Haltina’s Great Labyrinth, so he thought that this was something prepared by reading the information of the real thing to make this look-alike, and it seemed that this assumption was correct.

What the fake was saying by ‘not entirely’ was that until the end, the Hajime inside the ice pillar was a trial of the great labyrinth. Then it was understandable that it was trying to verify his answer.

“… The concept of this labyrinth is ‘to win against yourself’ right? The negative part of oneself, the dirty part that you averted your eyes from, the inconvenient part, contradiction… can you overcome that kind of thing or not? Most likely, this is a trial so we won’t be taken advantage of by god, I guess.”

{As expected of me. That’s right, it’s exactly as you said.}

The Hajime inside the mirror clapped his hands in a fake gesture. In regard to that, Hajime got irritated thinking ‘What an irritating face’. It was a complete boomerang for him.

But that irritating face changed at the same time the clapping stopped. Those eyes began to emit reddish black light, the fake’s whole body began to be dyed with black that was blacker than even black. The white hair returned to his original black color, the skin that was tanned under the sun became even darker. Even the colors of the clothes were all changing into a jet black tone. Its whole body was really pitch black.

Hajime was about to take a step back full of vigilance to create some distance, and it was at that moment…



Without showing the hand movement, there wasn’t even killing intent. With an extremely natural motion, shots were fired.

At the same time when the black haired Hajime pulled the trigger of a completely black Donner, a bullet really flew out from inside the mirror. The railgun emitted a muddy black spark. What intercepted it was a vivid red flash.

Hajime was taking a ‘drawing back’ action with a single step back while he was commencing a merciless attack. The bullet fired with an extremely natural motion clashed with the fast approaching black flash like some kind of joke, both crushed each other and fell on the ground.

It was something terrifying for an actual attack to come out from inside the mirror, but even more than that, what was the most terrifying was how both of them naturally fired lethal attacks without killing intent.

{Haha, as expected you get it. What’s the timing, how do I think, what kind of technique would you use to slaughter the enemy…”

The black Hajime stepped out from the mirror world while smirking widely. He materialized into the real world smoothly from the rippling ice pillar. And then he drew out Schlag with left artificial arm similar to Hajime’s and took a stance along with Donner at the right hand. That was exactly the stance of Hajime’s self-taught gun-kata.

Hajime silently took the same stance. The white-haired Hajime and the black-haired Hajime began to emit absurd killing intent in the same stance like mirror reflections. That immense pressure was really equal. It seemed that Hajime’s ability and the weapons in his possession, everything was reproduced.

If it was normal people, just by being at the side of the two of them might make someone go mad, inside such pressure the black Hajime grinned while announcing the signal of the trial’s start.

{Now, Nagumo Hajime. Can you, win against me?}

Right after that, there was a sublime tremendous roar as though space itself was creaking.

That was simply the sound of the two stepping in as well as the sound of a simultaneous bombardment from the crossbits they took out at the same time, and the explosive sound of the spinning kick they each launched while pretending to shoot.

Hajime’s body, which was almost blown away immediately, forcefully stopped in place using the spike transmuted on the sole of his shoe and he aimed Donner. That gun muzzle made a blunt sound of metal striking metal… when he looked, the black Hajime also aimed Donner with exactly the same motion. Both of the gun muzzles locked each other without even a millimeter of disorder.



Without hesitation, both of them pulled the trigger of Donner while ordering the other to die. Violent sound roared, each Donner repelled each other with fierce momentum. But, in the next instant both Schlags that had been prepared through their armpit spouted fire.

The red flash that was launched from super close range clashed from the front right at the middle of the two. Both bullets were squashed against each other and generated shockwave. Before the two crushed bullets fell on the ground, the two Hajime used that shockwave and rotated their body to launch an upper kick along with strong wind.

*GAN-!* A shockwave sound that was like a joke that couldn’t be thought of coming from the clash of flesh bodies. Immediately after, the kick changed the angle and deftly changed into a middle kick.

Once again, the shockwave of clashing metal resounded. At that moment, Hajime’s Donner aimed at the head of the black Hajime and the trigger was pulled. The black Hajime warded off Hajime’s Donner the instant the trigger was pulled and at the same time the black Schlag aimed at Hajime’s head and fired.

And as expected, Hajime averted the line of fire using the barrel of Schlag to ward off the opponent’s hand. Without paying any mind to the black flash that grazed his head, Hajime pulled back Donner that fired first and then fired consecutively at the black Hajime to arrest his movement, but that too was averted by the black Hajime’s elbow strike.

While dodging the firing line of the opponent with the paper thin difference in close range, they tried to take the instant opening. Black and red flashes couldn’t catch the opponent and passed through empty air. Even the attack from blind spots through the crossbit was neutralized by the black crossbit and resulted in nothing.

{How strong. Really strong. It’s really not a strength that a human can have. Right, me?}


From two Donner that were swung in pretension of shooting, ‘Wind Claw’ stretched out and shallowly cut the cheek of each other. From the gap of the fresh blood scattering once more, the grinning face of the black Hajime peeked out.

{Monstrous power, hands dirtied in blood, heart that doesn’t hesitate in killing… what are my parents going to think to look at the current you?}

“… What do you want to say?”

Reloading while performing a gun spin, Hajime tried to break the foothold with ‘Transmutation’ until the time to fire the next shot. At the same time the red spark traveled the ground, black spark ran and blocked the ‘Transmutation’ as though it was understood from the beginning.

{I want to go back home. That is the wish in my core of being but… are you thinking that there is a place for you to belong there?}


{In that world, especially in the country called Japan, killing people is not tolerated yeah? To say nothing of monster, just who can accept someone like that? Tou-san and Kaa-san? Just when they think that their son who was missing is finally coming home, that son has turned into a man-killing monster. Ku-ku-ku-, surely they will be shocked. ‘Is this really our son?’ They are going to think like that.}

Hajime who kept silent and expressionless took out a large amount of grenades from his ‘Treasure Warehouse’, he ignited them using the spark of ‘Lightning Clad’ and scattered it on the ground. Against the suicide attack, the black Hajime grinned and invoked the same ‘Vajra’ like Hajime.

Right after that, a tremendous explosion occurred between the two from super close range. From inside the explosion flame *BOBA-!* Hajime and black Hajime flew out with such a sound. At the same time, both of them took out Orkan and fired all twelve bullets. Although the trajectory of the bullet was straight, the rocket bullet that had no relation with precise aiming, unlike the gun bullet, trailed sparks behind them attacking the target even while half their numbers were neutralizing each other.

Those surviving rockets were sniped by the railgun from both sides.

{Actually you are scared, right? The place for you to go home has been gone since a long time ago! That you will be absolutely rejected, in your original world, in your own family! You are scared right!?}

“Just keep talking.”

Like a stage actor, the black Hajime talked vehemently with both his arms spread widely while still carrying Donner and Orkan. The real Hajime scowled and threw out a chakram.

{That’s why you couldn’t ignore the words of Hatayama Aiko. She pointed out your way of living after going home and put discord in your heart. You look up at Hatayama Aiko as your ‘teacher’ because she gave you an answer, even if it’s a trivial one for the doubt smoldering deep in your heart. Isn’t that right!?}


The black Hajime similarly took out a chakram, and both artifacts clashed in midair, they neutralized each other really simply. Furthermore, just like Hajime, the black Hajime also shoot into the chakrams at hand and exchanged shot against the space-leap bullet from the opposite chakram flying in the air.

Continuing after that with a composed attitude, he continued his words that were making fun of Hajime.

“But, even if you are not living in ‘a lonely way’, it doesn’t change the fact that you are a blood-soaked monster. Both that world and your family won’t accept you! That time when your first killed a human, it wasn’t that you didn’t feel anything. Even if you didn’t feel guilt, you felt fear. You just didn’t realize that your feeling was paralyzed, from the depth of your heart, you fear being disconnected from the ‘Nagumo Hajime your parents know’!”

Hajime frowned and his reaction was slightly late. The black flash flying out from chakram shallowly gouged Hajime’s right shoulder. It was a small wound. It wasn’t anything big. But since the battle started, this was the first time it was just Hajime who got wounded.

Looking at that, the black Hajime grinned widely. Without stopping, he continued to pull the trigger of words for follow up.

{It’s great that there is Yue ehhh, me. As long as I just have Yue… saying that even if you rejected anything else you can just cling at her huh?}

The wound on Hajime’s shoulder shined while it was healing little by little. That was the effect of the artifact Hajime made with regeneration magic set in it. It intermittently regenerated himself like auto-regen. It didn’t have that much effect because in the end, the regeneration was attached into ore. The object that could be made to regenerate was also mainly ore in the end. Regeneration of the flesh was nothing more than a secondary effect.

But the black Hajime didn’t have the intention to allow even that slight regeneration. With fierce momentum, black Hajime stepped in close at Hajime and persistently aimed at the small earring that had regeneration magic concentrated so much on it that it had the effect to regenerate the flesh.

Once a more violent offense and the defense were unfolding in super close range.

{But, that is merely dependence. The majority of what you mistakenly think as love is just a sense of security. That’s only insurance when you get rejected. Recently, your insurance is increasing eh!?}

The wish to return home, the love to Yue――the black Hajime mercilessly hacked the feeling that built the core of Hajime with a knife, while grinning triumphantly, the black Hajime was trying to expose every feeling of Hajime and throw it into a sea of malice.

But, those words became forcefully shut up by the red flash that grazed the cheek. Yes, that wound was inflicted only to the black Hajime. The black Hajime reflexively gazed in wonder, during that time Hajime slip through the distance and the elbow of the artificial arm of Hajime struck.


Immediately after, bursting slug bullet was fired from the elbow, the black Hajime has grandly blown away with scattered shockwave.

It was just like an elbow strike of Chinese kenpo, Hajime who was in continued alertness in that pose returned his stance and tapped Donner on his shoulder with a vein throbbing on his head.

“Although it can’t be helped because this is a trial, but you talk too much in the middle of mortal combat. If you got the time to have a tedious talk, you better use it to think of a killing method even for just one more moment. You really are unlike me.”

Implicitly Hajime was saying that ‘after all you are just a fake’, he was looking with a cold gaze.

Ahead of his gaze, was the figure of the black Hajime who was pressing on his stomach with a bewildered expression even while he was already standing up. He could block it to a certain degree with ‘Vajra’, but even so, he was hit with bursting slug bullet from zero distance. As expected he couldn’t escape from it unharmed.

{I thought you got shaken but… My words are your heart. You should understand that I’m not talking randomly here.}

“I guess. Really those were words that made my ears hurt. Having the feeling deep inside myself exposed like that, is painful just like having a note where I wrote out my black history get read loudly.”

Hajime’s reaction that seemed like joking around made black Hajime frowned seeing that his words only gave that much damage mentally.

{Then, why… }

“That’s obvious. I am aware of something like that myself even without anyone telling me.”

{You are aware?}

“Yeah, that’s right. Indeed, even while I’m wishing from the bottom of my heart to return home, I’m also scared to the same degree. That sensei’s words became one of my salvation is correct, yet about those words aren’t something that softened my fear is also true. And then, even when in the end it doesn’t go like I want it, I have Yue… true, it’s correct that I’m also thinking like that.”

{Then, why aren’t you shaken? Human is an organism that cannot look directly at one’s own ugliness and dirty part. If those parts are exposed mercilessly, they will close their eyes so hard, plugged their ears, crouched down and stay unmoving there, even so, if they are made to face it forcefully they will break, that’s the kind of organism they are.}

Hajime listened to the words of the black Hajime and leaked out a chuckle. He then settled his laugh seeing the black Hajime making a dubious face at him and shrugged his shoulder.

“The part where you’re ‘not entirely’ me is coming out a lot, huh? That way of talking is too serious as me you know?”

{… }

“Well, listen up. Why am I not shaken, you ask? That’s because thinking of that kind of thing is meaningless, isn’t that obvious?”


“Certainly, there is the possibility I’ll get rejected, that is something terrifying, but that’s only something in the future, right? There won’t be any answer even if I think about it right now. It’s pointless just thinking about it. Then, I can only keep holding that fear and try to clash against it. You see, I already decided to go home. No matter what kind of circumstance anyone has, even if I myself am scared, I won’t mind those trivial things and go home. I decided so, now I’ll force my way through. That’s all.”

Calm eyes like a peaceful water surface. Hajime understood everything, yet he still declared that he would persist in his own will. Even though he was not using ‘Coercion’ or ‘Magic Power Emission’, for some reason it felt like he was emitting a pressure that was far more severe, the black Hajime unconsciously took a step back.

{… Isn’t that just being defiant?}

“Haha, certainly you can say it like that. Yeah, but, I’ll have you correct one thing.”

While making a wry smile after being overpowered, the black Hajime talked back as though in revenge. Hajime too returned a wry smile. However, right after that, Hajime made a sullen face and demanded a correction of black Hajime’s remark. Toward the black Hajime who was tilting his head, Hajime made a posture and strongly complained.

“It’s not the majority. At best it’s only 0.1 percent.”


“My feeling toward Yue that she is my insurance is just 0.1 percent from the whole. The rest 99.9 percent is love.”

It was also correct that deep in Hajime’s mind there was also a part of him that was thinking of Yue like that. But, Hajime confirmed that feeling of his. He wouldn’t avert his eyes from Yue because of guilty feelings. Rather, he had the confidence that he could say to Yue right from the front something that was relatively pathetic like, ‘I’m scared of being rejected in my homeland, so comfort me with Yue’s presence’.

That was because he understood that his existence wasn’t perfect, therefore he would rely on his beloved partner for the part he was lacking at or his ugly part. In certain meaning, it was something that brought about an immense trust. If it was Yue, he could even say something spoiled like that from his mouth, it could even be looked at as speaking fondly of a loved one.

The black Hajime that was hit with such sweet emotions of love emitted together with Hajime words was…

{… At the very least say that it’s ten percent.}

Even though the black Hajime should be Hajime itself, he was making an exasperated face. Surely that was the reaction of the part that was not Hajime which was planted in it to function as a test of the great labyrinth. Truly what an impolite fellow, to mistakenly read the love of Hajime toward Yue like this.

Hajime ignored that black Hajime and stepped in all of a sudden. Their respective Donner and Schlag rushed about in super close range at all directions.

As always it was an offense and defense that rivaled each other like a mirror. But, that equilibrium was gradually beginning to crumble. The red flash Hajime fired, his kick, crossbit, chakram, the built-in weapon of the artificial arm, all of those began to catch the black Hajime.

{Guh, what’s going on… even though there is no sign I’m getting weakened-}

“Hm? Weakened?”

{-, this is a trial to surpass oneself. The more you overcome the negative emotion you harbor, I who am the negative image will be weakening. Conversely, the more you avert your eyes, the stronger I become.}

“Hah, so there is that kind of rule.”

Finally, Hajime’s Donner blasted away the black Schlag. It fell on the ground and rolled far away while rotating all over. Giving it a glance, Hajime’s Schlag thrust at an opening and gouged the flank of the black Hajime.

Unable to endure that, the black Hajime stumbled while withdrawing back.

{But, you are not conquering your negative emotion. You are just merely putting off the problem and getting defiant. The proof of that is how I’m not weakening… yet, why are you surpassing me-! Even though I am you-!}

“More accurately, you are just me when we first faced each other, right?”

{What are you-, -, talking about-!}

Even more, the black Donner was pulverized together with the right arm of the black Hajime. He fired the shotgun in the artificial arm, but Hajime easily dodged and fired his railgun into the elbow joint while they passed each other, destroying it.

The two Hajime took distance and faced each other once more. However, the black one was already full of wound all over his body. His gaze was filled with doubt.

“You don’t get it? A false image of you is made from the information that was read from me. That is likely the information from when I entered the labyrinth until I arrived in front of the ice pillar in this room. In other words, you are nothing more than me of dozens of minutes before. Then, right now, in this battle, I just need to be stronger than me of dozens of minutes ago. That’s all.”

{Impossible… something like that}

“If you are me, then don’t deny me. Discovering means of survival in the middle of mortal combat. Even if it’s just a fraction stronger, just a fraction of a second faster, just a single more drop of magic power, just predicting half a step further, if I can surpass the opponent just by that much I can survive. All this time, I have come this far by getting the better of mortal combat in that way. Isn’t that right?”

The black Hajime that got taken aback for a while relaxed his shoulders after a second. And then he made a wry smile while gathering the crossbits at his surrounding and took the stance of bare-handed fighting.

{Certainly, that’s true… good grief, so there is a guy that’ll breakthrough this trial not by ‘overcoming’ but by being ‘defiant’. Even though if you just get agitated, then there will be a chance of victory for me still.}

“Don’t say something stupid. Since the beginning, you haven’t got any chance of victory. A false image is after all just a false image. I’m going to smash up that irritating face.”

{That’s masochism you know?}

Immediately after that, just like at the beginning of the battle, a thunderous roar rang out. But, the result was strikingly apparent.

The lower body of the black Hajime has blown away, he collapsed while flickering like heat haze, vanishing away. There was no more word, however, that expression looked satisfied somehow.

Hajime who breathed out deeply dispelled his continued alertness… for now he gave the final blow off three bullets at the head of the vanishing black Hajime. The twitching black Hajime became a pale light for sure this time and vanished. At the end, ‘Read the mood, you damn bastard.’ It felt like he heard something like that, but that was surely just his imagination, no doubt of that.

Hajime stored Donner in his holster, at the same time a part of the room’s wall suddenly melted, there a passage appeared.

“Yue and others are… well, they must be fine.”

Along with that murmur, Hajime advanced into the passage.

By the way, whether Kouki and company were included in that ‘they must be fine’… it could be easily guessed.

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