Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 148 — Child’s Retribution

Chapter 148: Child’s Retribution

Pure white radiance became a large waterfall that poured down from overhead.

That was the scene that Hajime witnessed upon passing the ice wall while carrying the pleasantly sleeping Shizuku on his back.

Hajime understood the true meaning of what happened. Because if this was just a misunderstanding made because he was confused for a monster or something using a ‘Yaegashi Barrier’, then the attack would surely be stopped desperately.

But no matter how he looked at it, there was no sanity in the eyes of the opponent, so he reluctantly performed an evasion from the spot using ‘Ground Shrink’.

Immediately after, the spot where Hajime was just at was struc by a brutal slash, a deep crack being created on the ice ground and wall followed by a thunderous roar.

Although the crack was repaired instantly, looking at the destruction mark, it was easy to see that the attack was not a joke - but was created with the intent to kill. And above all, the killing intent just before and the amount of magic power put into the attack showed the true seriousness of it.

Hajime sent a glance at the false image that was grinning widely in a slightly distanced spot, then he fixed the position of Shizuku on his back while narrowing his eyes at the culprit of the act of violence.

Shizuku didn’t succumb even to the thunderous roar of the attack and only twitched for a moment before continuing her sleep. Was she really that tired? Or perhaps she was so in peace that she wouldn’t react to a danger of this level? There was also the possibility that she was just merely being shameless, though…

“… So? What are you doing, Amanogawa?”

Yes, exactly as Hajime said, the culprit of the attack was Kouki. It wasn’t the false image, but the real one without any doubt.

That Kouki tightly gripped his holy sword that was still half-buried into the half-crushed ground while grumbling something. His bangs hung low, hiding his eyes so his expression couldn’t be seen clearly, but he was obviously not in a normal state.

“… ga…da. … de, u… ra” (Note: I don’t know if Kouki here is totally broken already or it’s me that cannot catch what the author means.)

“Haa? I cannot hear that. Anyway, your opponent is not us, it’s over…”

“… Us?”

Hajime frowned because he couldn’t really catch Kouki’s murmur while directing his gaze at the false image. He did that while implicitly telling Kouki to attack the enemy without mistake next time.

However, Kouki showed an excessive reaction to a part of Hajime’s words. Piercing eyes peeked out from between his bangs, then his stabbed holy sword was forcefully pulled out.

“The way you say that is like you and Shizuku are one set, isn’t it? Eh? What, the way you are talking is like she belongs to you? Are you screwing around?”

“… Just what are you saying? Don’t say such a stupid thing, finish this quickly.”

Kouki directed the attack at Hajime’s bloodshot look while dragging the holy sword. The unclear meaning of Kouki’s words made Hajime feel an unpleasant premonition while he urged Kouki to clear the trial.

However, as expected, Hajime’s words couldn’t get through to the current Kouki.

“… Ah, I’ll end it now. Even without you telling me every little thing, I’ll end everything!”

The moment he yelled that Kouki faced Hajime with a gaze that emitted madness from his opened pupils while charging forward. His figure hazed using ‘Implosion Ground’ while he pressed hard in one go and then unleashed a slash of light filled with enormous magic power.

“Tch, so you fell. You stupid bastard.”

“Shut up! Everything will return to before if you die-! DIE RIGHT NOWWWW!”

Hajime guessed the cause of Kouki’s eccentricity. Surely this was the result of his false image cornering him so much. Then, Hajime looked over his shoulder at Shizuku who was entrusting her body on his back, “So I’m the finishing blow…” he murmured in a small voice while frowning about his bad timing.

Kouki completely ignored that murmur of Hajime and he only recklessly held his holy sword at full power with a seething killing intent and hatred. He was obviously trying to kill Hajime. Regardless of Shizuku who was on Hajime’s back, Kouki attacked without holding back and Hajime concluded that he wasn’t sane.

“Nn, nmuu, what? Let me sleep a little mo…”

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“You idiot! How can you sleep talk in this situation! If you don’t wake up right now, then I’ll make you into a human cannonball, just so you know!”

Looking at the half-asleep face of Shizuku who was peevish like a spoiled child, Hajime made a violently irritated look and yelled angrily. If she didn’t wake up in one second, then he was seriously planning on punching Kouki.

Hajime’s angry yell, the thunderous roar, and a flash of the cannon of light that was released right after that finally made Shizuku open and widen her eyes in shock. Hajime deployed the barrier using cross bits so the attack didn’t reach them, but the scenery in front of her eyes finally made her notice that they were in the middle of battle, and she dejectedly got down from Hajime’s back.

“You slept too much, like a log just now. What a shameless fellow.”

“I’m not shameless or anything. It’s just that Nagumo-kun’s back felt so…”

“Well, it doesn’t matter about you, Yaegashi. Putting that aside, do something about it.”

“Doesn’t matter what you say… or rather this situation, what happened… eh?”

Shizuku got teary eyed from quite the shock that she received by Hajime’s exasperated expression and words. However, after the flash settled down she saw the figure of the opponent that seemed to be the one who unleashed that attack. This caused her to leak out a dumbfounded voice while her body turned rigid.

That surely couldn’t be helped, because the opponent who unleashed the attack with an obviously high chance of casualties was a childhood friend she was familiar with.

“It seems that he fell, see? It feels like he’s thinking that I am exactly the root of all evil.”


Ahead of her gaze was the false image of Kouki. He was sending them an amused look.

Shizuku who guessed the general situation filled her gaze with strength and then raised her voice at Kouki who was looking at them with clouded eyes.

“Kouki! Don’t do this! You mustn’t lose to your other self! Come back to your senses, overcome yourself!”

The gaze of Shizuku who was looking at Kouki was colored only with worry. Even though there were various troubles with him, he was still a good childhood friend of hers who was overflowing with good intention. He was an acquaintance of hers, including his family, from when they were children to now. He was like her important family. And now his expression was warped with killing intent and hatred that she had never seen before.

She really couldn’t look at him like this. Both her hands clasped as though she was praying, trying desperately to rouse up Kouki’s heart.

However, toward such a Shizuku, Kouki smiled and said something outrageous.

“… It’s fine. I swear that I will save Shizuku without fail.”

“Kouki? What are you saying…?”

“You are brainwashed by Nagumo, right? It’s okay. You will be freed if Nagumo is defeated… Nagumo, even though you are my former classmate, don’t think that you can get off scot free after hurting my important childhood friend. I’ll defeat you, and release all your brainwashing of Kaori and the other girls too! And then, I’ll save the world together with them!”

Shizuku was dumbstruck at Kouki’s outrageous declaration.

The current Kouki, so to speak, could be considered like the Kouki had Shizuku not spoken with him the night when Kaori departed with Hajime’s group previously. At that night, the weight filled inside Shizuku’s words stopped Kouki from running wild.

He couldn’t immediately change the way he thought since there was also a lot of aspects in Hajime he was bothered with. That was why he bumped against Hajime over and over again, but even so, because he had the words of Shizuku, he wouldn’t say anything about Kaori too, as long as there was no complete separation between her and Hajime.

However, to put it in other words, it could also be said that Kouki could do that only because Shizuku was at his side.

Kouki’s sense of value and thought were perhaps included with ‘childishness’. He kept carrying the ‘ideal righteousness’ that was planted in his infancy without any wall of reality standing in his way, and he kept it like that until his current age, so perhaps this was only the logical development.

For such a childish Kouki, if the last female childhood friend where he directed his desire to monopolize was taken, then it would also seem natural that his ‘temper’ would explode.

Although, the temper of Kouki who was holding the power of a hero wasn’t a laughing matter at all…

Furthermore, Kouki who held a ‘childishness’ that wasn’t eager to recognize one’s own fault was thoroughly cornered by the reality that was shoved on his face by his false image. The emotion that wasn’t fitting for a hero like him was overflowing from inside his heart, carving into him like a slashing blade.

He desperately denied it. He averted his eyes. And when he just barely held his ground, his last fortress that was Shizuku was entrusting her body with a happy expression that obviously wouldn’t be shown to a man that was nothing to her. Even the thickheaded Kouki could guess just what the meaning of that was. And then exactly because he could guess that. his fortress crumbled. Kouki’s bad habit coupled with his cornered heart manifested in the worst way.

That was to say, Nagumo Hajime was the root of all evil who brainwashed his childhood friends and multiple other girls, who then became a hindrance for him who was trying to save the world. That was the impression his heart was set on. A really convenient interpretation without holding back.

“Kouki! Get a hold of yourself! I don’t know what was told to you, but don’t go astray!”


“Listen, Kouki. Facing your own disgusting part is really painful. I understand that well because I also almost died from that. But if you don’t accept and overcome it, then you won’t be able to move forward. If you want to become strong and save a lot of people, then you must not cling to convenient thinking here. Your enemy is yourself. It’s the other smirking Kouki there! Open your eyes!”

Shizuku’s desperate persuasion echoed inside the space. It seemed that the false image intended to observe the current situation silently in amusement.

And then Kouki who was being told by Shizuku using words from her heart smiled widely at Shizuku. That was a smile that was done a lot when they were in Japan, a smile that charmed a lot of girls. However, right now it felt distorted somewhere in it.

“Thank you, Shizuku. Shizuku, you always become serious like that for my sake, don’t you?”


Shizuku’s expression was dyed in joy thinking that he had opened his eyes.


“I’m really happy. Even though you are brainwashed, even so, you still think of me.”

“… Kouki?”

“It’s fine. I’ll defeat that man and that monster with the same face like me, and I’ll save you from Nagumo too. You don’t need to snuggle close to a man that you don’t even like anymore. I swear I’ll let Shizuku return back to the place where you should be at.”


Shizuku’s expression fell hearing out Kouki’s words. Shizuku silently asked back…

“… The place I should be at? Can you tell me where this place is that you mean?”

“I see. … So now you cannot even understand that. How pitiful. What Nagumo is doing is really unforgivable.”

“Kouki. Answer me.”

“Aah, that is of course, at my side. Just like all this time until now, and from here on out too.”

Shizuku breathed out a long sigh.

“… Kouki. I wonder if you remember about that night? That day Kaori departed when we talked on the bridge.”

“Yeah, of course, I remember. That thing about doubting my righteousness, right? It’s fine. I thought that Nagumo was dangerous guy since the beginning, but because of Shizuku’s words, I was looking thoroughly at Nagumo until now. But, as expected, he is nothing more than the worst betrayer.”

“Kouki, stop…”

“There is no use arguing. You don’t understand because you are brainwashed Shizuku, but this is something ‘righteous’.”

Kouki cut down the words of Shizuku that was going to keep arguing vehemently without hesitation. He was putting everything under the convenient interpretation of ‘being brainwashed’, in order to obtain the most desirable future for himself.

At the same time, Kouki directed those eyes which were cloudy like slime and dropped his stance. The radiance of ‘Limit Break’ that he intentionally weakened while he was talking with Shizuku recovered its brilliant radiance as though regaining a second breath.

“Kouki. Stop it!”

Shizuku raised her voice to stop him with impatience coloring her tone but… naturally Kouki didn’t stop.

He charged with a fierce momentum while leaving a track of light behind. His eyes already didn’t reflect Shizuku at all, he was only seeing the figure of his hateful enemy Hajime.

Having a fierce killing intent directed at him, Hajime who was until now looking aside as though what happened wasn’t a concern of his now returned his gaze at Kouki. His eyes were quickly narrowing. The face of Shizuku’s face went pale because she believed that it wouldn’t end well for the opponent when they directed a serious killing intent at Hajime. At this rate, her childhood friend would be killed!

“-, if I don’t stop him-“

In front of the charging momentum of Kouki who was in the ‘Limit Break’ state, the likes of Shizuku was just like a leaf. But even so, there was no way she could just leave this alone, and Shizuku immediately cut in between Kouki and Hajime to try to stop him.


“Yaegashi, to your right.”

“Eh? -!?”

Almost at the same time as Hajime’s warning, she suddenly heard the false image of Kouki clad in reddish-black magic power attacking Shizuku. It was literally like the phrase of thrusting a spear from the side, and the false image commenced a tackle right from the side with terrific momentum. (Note: The phrase had the meaning of interruption in Japan.)

Shizuku immediately held up her black katana and braced herself for impact. At the same time the fast-approaching Kouki that could be mistaken as a reddish-black cannon was noticeably grinning disgustingly.

But just before the fake Kouki touched Shizuku, a shadow suddenly erupted between the two…

That was, a cross clad in wrong magic power similar to the false Kouki. It was a crossbit that contained a really vivid red radiance. It activated ‘Vajra’ and became an improvised shield.

Immediately after, Shizuku and the false image with the crossbit shield between them vanished from between Hajime and Kouki. It was as though the false image had kidnapped Shizuku.

The dregs of the reddish black magic power drifted like a lingering cloud between the two people glaring.

{I’ll be Shizuku’s opponent. You, you can fight your hateful enemy to your heart’s content.}

“Guh, you-. Let go of me! This is not the time for something like…”

{Now now, this is not related to me and Shizuku, is it? Let’s enjoy a sideshow while those two are dancing. Rather than self-destruction, getting possessed with his own desire is more fitting for that guy’s trial.}

“Doing as you please-“

It appeared that the false image made the trial for Kouki similar to Ryuutaro’s, where it incorporated the factor where he needed to win against his own desire. Whether Kouki could accept reality and return to his sense while fighting Hajime or not… that was the trial. It was a real nuisance for Hajime to be treated like an examiner as the labyrinth pleased.

“Is it fine? Your important childhood friend is being attacked there.”

“… That thing is also me. He won’t kill her. Some wound will surely be a lesson for her to get so easily brainwashed by a man like you.”

“… Just now, didn’t you say that thing was a monster?”

“It is a mimicking monster that copies my emotion, right? Then, even though it’s a monster then it won’t kill Shizuku.”

“That’s just absurd.”

That was too much of a convenient interpretation. While he concluded that it was a monster unrelated to himself, he said that it wouldn’t put Shizuku into danger because it was something that copied himself. It was really absurd.

Most likely inside his heart, Kouki understood that the false image was made up from his negative emotion already. That was why he subconsciously understood that Shizuku was safe because the negative emotions wouldn’t aim at her.

But, if he recognized that then it would mean that he recognized what the false image said as the truth. That was why, in order to throw away everything else other than Shizuku as bullsheet, he concluded that it wasn’t his false image but a monster. It was a crooked logic that was too forceful, but it seemed that it had become a truth inside Kouki.

Kouki gave a glance at the false image as it unfolded a fierce swordplay with Shizuku while his killing intent was bloating up.

“Prepare yourself. I won’t let you do as you please any more than this. Shizuku and Kaori, then Yue and the others too, I’ll release everyone from you!”

At the same time as that proclamation, Kouki released the energy he gathered and explosively charged forward. He let out a wood chopping strike from the front without any hesitation.

*GOU!* Along with a terrific sound of cut wind, the holy sword that looked as though it was made from light itself attacked Hajime violently. However, in front of such a lethal attack, Hajime didn’t take even a step back and he only raised his arm.

That hand was holding Donner, *GOKIN-!* the sound of metals clashing and sparks scattered, Kouki’s full strength attack was easily blocked. Even more, it was blocked by the gun point of Donner.


Kouki was shocked and leaked out a voice reflexively, Hajime directed a cold gaze at Kouki and opened his mouth.

“There is nothing more meaningless than insulting a true idiot as an idiot… But, I’ll just say this much… Asshole, who permitted a bastard like you to name my woman so casually? Huh?” (EN: Kouki used their first names, which is being a little too familiar in Japan)


Immediately after, a torrent of killing intent was overflowing. The pressure was like the pressing of a great waterfall. It was too vast to be called human, a presence of overwhelming ‘strength’ that was too terrifying. Kouki’s body that was struck with the serious monster’s coercion from close range was unintentionally stiffening.


The trigger of Donner was pulled and an electromagnetically accelerated bullet flicked off the holy sword, plugging the muzzle as though it was insulted that it was in the way.

Unable to endure the fierce impact, the holy sword slipped from his hand and danced in the air in circles.

And then, toward Kouki that was making a banzai posture with only one hand, a black shadow from lower region―Hajime’s sure-kill yakuza kick lunged.


The yakuza kick that struck Kouki’s stomach with a dreadful sound of impact made Kouki’s body double into a sideways ‘V’ shape while floating him in the air like that.

Without a moment’s delay, Hajime rotated on the spot and added a back-spinning kick filled with a lot of centrifugal force.

A sound of impact resonated once more. Kouki’s body was blown far away as though a large truck was running over him. Kouki that flew horizontally like a cannon had his back struck by an ice wall like that. One could only wonder just how great of an impact that was. The ice wall on his back was largely pulverized into a radial shape.

Kouki fell on the ground after that, he was on all four while coughing. Blood splattered out from his vomiting mouth.

With just a kick without a weapon or ‘Limit Break’, the internal organs of Kouki who was wearing an armor artifact of national treasure class was damaged. That fact made Kouki grit his teeth while groaning painfully.

But, there was no way Hajime would give him time to be frustrated or anything.


Consecutive sounds of gun discharge roared, and red flashes assaulted the crouching Kouki. Perhaps he noticed Hajime’s killing intent. Kouki leaped aside almost at the same time Hajime pulled the trigger, but it was as though even his dodging direction was read, that the moment Kouki jumped, the third bullet shot through his shoulder.

Furthermore, one of the bullets that Kouki evaded earlier seemed to be a normal bullet that was only clad in red magic power without being accelerated electromagnetically, when it impacted the broken ice wall behind Kouki it ricocheted, and red light attacked

Kouki was shot behind through the knee which passed through his armor’s gap.

“Gua… co, come, holy sword-“

While rolling all over the ground with blood flowing from his shoulder and leg, the collapsed Kouki reached out his hand at the falling holy sword at a slightly distant spot. The holy sword responded to Kouki’s calling voice and flew at him.

However, it didn’t settle into Kouki’s hand. Just before it reached, Hajime stepped on the sword. The holy sword struggled to return to its master, but such resistance was meaningless as the stepping foot didn’t even twitch.

“How unsightly. If you can skillfully use this new ability then surely you will be able to fight better.”

Hajime murmured with a cold tone. He was just speaking to himself without intention for Kouki to hear it, but it seemed Kouki heard it completely. He glared at Hajime with an expression warped in hatred as though he was trying to kill him with his gaze.

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Donner was pointed at the temple of Kouki. Hajime’s killing intent wasn’t settled yet. He was maintaining the gruesome thickness of his intent that might stop the heart of a normal person. No matter who saw it, it appeared that Hajime intended to deal the finishing blow.

But, a desperate voice resonated at that timing.

“Nagumo-kun! Please, stop! I’ll persuade Kouki, so-“

It was Shizuku. While locked in a sword fight with the false Kouki, she begged for him to spare Kouki’s life with a look colored by fretfulness. But it became a fatal opening, and the development that Shizuku wished wasn’t something that the false image wished for.


{How about Shizuku leave the stage for a little bit?}


The shockwave from the false image launched and assaulted Shizuku. Shizuku was struck like that on her whole body, and she was blown away altogether with her consciousness until she hit the wall and collapsed powerlessly while sliding onto the ground.

Because a crossbit interfered between the two just before the attack hit and became a shield, it seemed that Shizuku was rescued from a direct hit, but for Shizuku who had a low defensive power even in the best of times, furthermore the might of a hero’s pure output, added by Kouki’s thorough rejection of his own negative emotion that strengthened the false image into something far stronger than the real one, just a glancing blow turned into a sufficient enough telling blow. Different from a pure slashing attack, it was a shockwave that induced cerebral concussion, so without taking a recovery measure she wouldn’t open her eyes for a while.

The false image of Kouki floated a satisfied smile from his success of skillfully making Shizuku faint, he then turned on his heel and faced Hajime. And then, with a really natural motion, he thrust out his black holy sword and launched a strong bombing of light.

The approaching flash that was drawing in a spiral was on a course that would swallow Kouki with certainty too. Was the false image trying to bury the both of them altogether?… Anyway, Hajime withdrew from that spot. He left Kouki behind.


Kouki reflexively screamed and took a defensive stance, but just before the light bombing hit, it curved and began to chase after Hajime.

Hajime discovered the cover of the bombing with his magic eye stone and easily succeeded in pinpoint sniping that dispersed the attack. However, the false image successfully managed to distance Hajime from Kouki just as planned.

The false image walked toward Kouki’s side and he whispered something into the ear of the laid-down Kouki. While his mouth split apart into a grin that looked like a crescent moon, his figure that was likely whispering sweet words looked like a demon. There was no way that Kouki could admit that figure was his other self anymore like that.

Before long, Kouki’s bloodshot gaze was looking alternately at Hajime and the false image, and he then nodded reluctantly.

Right after that, the figure of the false image thinned down like mist and in exchange reddish-black particles of light began to whirl.

{Now you. It’s hero time. Let’s rescue the heroines from the scoundrel!}

“Shut up-. I’m not doing your instruction. I’m only using you for now! After defeating Nagumo, it will be your turn, don’t forget that-“

At the same time as those words, reddish black particles were entering into Kouki’s body and Kouki’s body began to pulse. *dokun dokun* A pulsating sound began to echo inside the room and pure white light that Kouki was clad in began to be mixed with a reddish-black color that looked like a blood vessel.

Kouki slowly stood up. Looking carefully, the wounds in his shoulder and leg were also healing. It appeared that the derivative ability Kouki had, ‘Healing Strength Improvement’ was explosively increased.


There, a shooting without questions asked. Something like a kindness for reading the mood by a villain facing a hero, waiting for the transformation scene, was something that Hajime didn’t have. And while he was at it, he also threw several grenades.

Red flashes gouged Kouki’s shoulder and leg, making him unsteady on his feet.

Furthermore, the rolling grenades exploded in flame and he was swallowed in it.

“That’s pointless.”

But what came out from the flame wasn’t what turned Kouki into tatters, but those words.

That voice sounded like it was including joy in it somewhere as if it was trembling in happiness. It seemed that not much damage was inflicted, the magic power that had changed colors from pure white into reddish-black burst up and blew away the flame.

There, the figure of Kouki who became odd-eyed with one of his eyes dyed reddish-black appeared. Even the scar from the shot just now had been mostly healed. The change in his appearance wasn’t just his eye, his originally brown hair was mixed with white mesh, his holy armor was attached with several blood vessel thingies. Furthermore, at his hands, black and white, two holy swords were grasped.

“You combined?”

“It’s not my intention, but yeah. If it’s for defeating you, then I’ll resign myself to accept it. Although later, I’ll defeat this guy too.”

“What are you acting like a good kid for? You are just losing to the temptation.”

“You can insult me however you like. No matter what you say, you cannot win against me anymore. If there is this welling up strength then I can take back everything!”

“Why you are unable to notice that you got hit by loss because of that, I wonder.”

“No more talk. Prepare yourself Nagumo-! ‘Supreme Break’!”

Magic power burst up from Kouki in an even further scale of several times more. The last derivative of ‘Limit Break’ that raised up all his status by five times, ‘Supreme Break’―the strength of Kouki who had taken in his false image had already reached the total of ten thousand. It was literally a rate of increase in monster level.

Kouki made a stance with his twin holy swords. In an instant his figure hazed.


A yell of spirit could be heard behind Hajime. Kouki had circled at Hajime’s back instantly. Two holy swords trailed behind white and reddish black magic power behind while carving a cross at Hajime’s back.

Hajime didn’t even look back.

(Got him!)

The moment Kouki was convinced of that, a familiar bursting sound resonated. At the same time, the two holy swords were snapped up together with a fierce impact, a red

flash pierced his torso that became defenseless. The defensive power of the armor that had been drastically increased and the ‘Physical Resistance’ skill as well as its derivative ‘Impact Mitigation’ made the attack not fatal, but an impact like a normal person receiving the serious body blow of a heavyweight boxer attacked Kouki and blew him away grandly backward.

‘How? He should not be able to react.’, even while his breath was blocked up, Kouki rearranged his stance in the air and landed. Ahead of his gaze, there was the appearance of Donner’s muzzle facing behind with only Hajime’s wrist turning back.

Looking at that, Kouki realized that it wasn’t because Hajime couldn’t react, it was that he didn’t even need to turn back. Kouki’s expression distorted in humiliation. He put strength on his feet, then he swung down his twin holy swords while screaming, ignoring the pain in his stomach.

“‘Heaven Soaring Sword - Storm’!”

Like that, what he launched was hundreds of slashes scattered in a wide range. Just the visible blades of light had been already in a hundred, and nearly three hundred blades of wind were following, lurking at the shadow. The attack was already at a level of obliteration magic.

But such a storm of hundreds of slashes was evaded by Hajime with a swaying motion like a leaf fluttering in the wind, what couldn’t be evaded was swept aside or averted.

Furthermore, while avoiding Hajime suddenly aimed Donner at Kouki with a natural motion and launched a counterattack that weaved through the gap of the storm.

The bullet that went through the gap like a joke stabbed under Kouki’s feet and scattered grand shockwave, overturning Kouki from under his feet.

And then Hajime himself also slipped through the storm of blades and approached Kouki with speed equal, no, it was faster than Kouki, and he kicked Kouki as though he was a soccer ball.


Kouki who raised a groan while thrown to the air was aimed at with Donner & Schlag.

Kouki immediately kicked the air using ‘Sky Force’ to try to escape from the line of fire, but the two revolvers’ muzzles didn’t shift from Kouki even for a bit and aimed at his future spot. Kouki’s expression unintentionally cramped.

The scene became slow as though Kouki and Hajime’s senses were stretched out. Inside the world of dull color, just before Hajime pulled the trigger, he caught the figure of Shizuku at the corner of his sight. Her figure that desperately tried to persuade Kouki and her entreaty to spare his life flashed at the back of Hajime’s mind. At the same time, he also recalled the figure of Kaori who was also this guy’s childhood friend.

Hajime clicked his tongue ‘tch’ a bit, averted his gun muzzles a bit, and he pulled the triggers consecutively with blurring speed.


The sound of a single gunshot that was slightly stretched was the proof of the simultaneous shots. Like a reversely-restored meteors, red flashes cut through the air, showering Kouki in the air with blows. Like a marionette that was unsightly manipulated by children, *gakun gakun* Kouki’s body shook while drawing a parabolic arc.

Kouki was scattering blood spray while he fell on the slightly distanced spot with a raw sound *dosha!* that resonated. Looking from the side perhaps it looked like a corpse that had been gouged by many bullets. But, that guess was denied immediately by the movement that came from Kouki. He wasted no time to stand up using the twin holy swords as support.

Blood was spurting out from his shoulders, both arms, and both legs, but those were healed in a moment. His bloodshot eyes were colored with madness, turning his look even more gruesomely. There was not even a trace of the hero who was stuffed with the dream and hope of the people anymore.

“You are holding back? Are you making fun of me?”

All of the places he was shot at weren’t vital spots. It was an attack that was transparently tried to make the opponent powerless. Therefore, Kouki felt like he wasn’t even seen as an opponent even though here he was fighting to kill. Inside his chest, a muddy black part was further welling up.

Hajime tapped Donner on his shoulder *ton ton* while answering easily as though it was nothing.

“Well, you who fall that far is just troublesome and it’s better to kill you but… if I do that Yaegashi and Kaori will cry. I’ll beat you up appropriately and I’ll leave the rest to your childhood friends.”

“-, don’t screw with me-! I’ll make you lose that composure right now!”

Once more Kouki brandished his twin holy swords while approaching closer. Hatred and jealousy were attached on his face.

It seemed that Hajime was thinking about the two girls more than himself, it made severe displeasure fill his chest.

Fierce swordplay assaulted Hajime, but everything was handled by him with a cold expression without any hurry, seeing that the black emotion was more and more seething in Kouki and he shouted, unable to bear it.

“You-, someone like you-, don’t speak as though you understand! The one who really understand Shizuku and Kaori is me-. The one who treasured the two of them more than anyone is me-. I am the one that should be together with the two of them-. It’s not the likes of you! It’s absolutely not a guy like you!”

“… You are like a brat throwing tantrum.”

Slipping through the twin holy swords Kouki brandished, Hajime’s Donner & Schlag pierced his body from range zero. However, the current Kouki was unstoppable by something like that. Even though holes were opened in his body, it was healed with power that literally surpassed any limit. Kouki ignored the damage and recklessly charged.

That figure was exactly like Hajime said, a figure of a kid that was throwing a tantrum because the situation wasn’t going as he wished it.

As though hailing Kouki’s negative emotion, the spec of his flesh that had passed its limit a long time ago was forcefully raising even more. Most likely the possessing false image was strengthened and Kouki himself was also strengthened following that.

Looking at the spec, Kouki was already at the level that neared Hajime without ‘Limit Break’ activated. The storm of swordplay that was unleashed possessed speed and might that resembled the apostle of god ‘Nointo’, even so, his power was still increasing as though to say that it still wasn’t enough.



The shrieking of fighting spirit surged from Kouki’s mouth. On the other hand, Hajime was… silent. Even with Kouki’s spec raising to a level that wasn’t inferior to Nointo even though it wasn’t superior too, but Hajime didn’t let loose the roar of fighting spirit like what he exchanged with Nointo once. And then as expected, he also didn’t take a plunge into ‘Limit Break’.

It didn’t reach Kouki’s attack. No matter how fast it became, no matter how strong it got, it didn’t even graze Hajime.

The reason was simple. The user’s mental area was inexperienced, on top of that it was dull. The attack was frenzied and lacked calmness, the attack was merely wanting to crush the opponent and soaked in joy. Something like that, against anyone, in any kind of place, would surely not reach.

And, at that time, a part of the ice wall behind Kouki melted and an entrance of a passage opened. Hajime sent his gaze there while warding off Kouki’s war cry and vilification, there Yue and others, all the members came out.

Seeing Hajime and Kouki’s fight, their eyes opened wide and they stood still with a dumbfounded look. However, Kouki didn’t even notice them at all, he was merely scattering his hatred and killing intent earnestly in order to kill Hajime.

“If only, if only you weren’t here, everything will go well! Kaori and also Shizuku would belong to me forever! I would have saved this world as a hero! You, you are the one that messed up everything!”


“Even though you are a killer-. Even though you easily abandoned others-. There is no way someone who is the worst can be liked by people!”

“… And so, I brainwashed them?”

“That’s right! There is no other explanation except that! Kaori and Shizuku, and Yue and Shia and Tio too, everyone was brainwashed and played around by you. Sooner or later you are going to brainwash Ryuutaro and Suzu too, aren’t you!? I won’t let you. I am a hero. I’ll save everyone from your hand, I’ll take back everything, everything! You are not needed anymore-!”

That scream was also audible to Yue and others too. The eyes of Yue and Shia narrowed dangerously, and Tio frowned in displeasure. In contrast, Kaori covered his mouth with both hands from the shock she received. She didn’t even have any word toward the absurd grievance of his childhood friend that was too egoist. Ryuutaro and Suzu were also the same, they were staring in a daze at Kouki while being completely stiff.

Hajime made a long sigh inside his heart thinking that this was really one troublesome guy while transmitting ‘Telepathy’ to Yue and others.

{Looks like you all are safe too.}

{… Nn. All good. Rather than that, what’s with that idiot?}

{That’s right. He is saying a really reprehensible thing.}

Yue and Shia returned back to a tone that felt angry. Their beloved person was cursed unfavorably and in the end was declared as unneeded. In addition, they inadvertently also couldn’t stomach Kouki calling them without an honorific.

Hajime leaked out a small smile at the two.

{To explain it simply, he lost to his false image and now he is in the middle of venting his anger with his convenient interpretation in full throttle. He took in his false image and his strength was raised. Looks like he can clear the trial if he regains himself, but… that looks impossible. Even Yaegashi, she tried to persuade him but in the end, she ended up like that.}

Hajime threw a kick at Kouki’s knee to make him flinch while sending his gaze at Shizuku’s direction. Yue and others whose attention were lured by Hajime also sent their gazes there and discovered the fainted Shizuku.


{She wasn’t hit directly. She shouldn’t be seriously wounded, but for the moment, look at her Kaori.}

{Oh, of course! Leave it to me!}

Kaori who was petrified recovered her senses when she saw Shizuku’s figure and she rushed at her in panic.

That motion finally made Kouki notice the existence of Yue and the others too. He took distance from Hajime while turning his gaze at them with wide eyes, next he smiled widely at them.

“Everyone, you all came. Wait a little for me. I swear that I’ll beat this guy and release everyone right now.”

Kouki’s words made Yue, Shia, and Tio go past displeasure and now they directed a pitying gaze at him. In exchange, Ryuutaro and Suzu came back to their senses and they yelled desperately.

“Just what are you saying, Kouki? What the hell! Come back to your senses!”

“Kouki-kun, pull yourself together! The one that you must defeat isn’t Nagumo-kun, it’s yourself!”

Hearing those heartfelt yells of the two, instead of being happy, Kouki’s expression turned into rage. As expected, the target of that rage was Hajime.

“… Nagumo. Don’t tell me, you have even brainwashed Ryuutaro and Shizuku? Just how rotten are you? How much you are going to steal from me until you are satisfied?!

Ah, I see. I understand right now. Even Eri… that was your work, huh? I thought that it was strange that she changed like that. But, if that was because of your brainwashing, then everything makes sense.”

“It doesn’t make sense you know, idiot.”

“Making excuses this late is just unsightly. I’ll make you atone for your sin for sure.”

“I think that idiocy to your level is already a big enough sin, though…”

Kouki screamed and raised his twin holy swords. A torrent of magic power fiercely whirled. The surrounding ground was blown away just from the waves and the ceiling was obliterated. It seemed that he planned to unleash ‘Heaven Might’ using the tremendous magic power.

“There is no way I’m going to wait for you, you know.”

With an exasperated expression, Hajime took out a Bola from ‘Treasure Warehouse’ and threw it to Kouki. Because he was in the middle of charging, Kouki was late in dodging and he got splendidly entangled, he was fixed in place with both his hands bounded immobile in the air.

“Ugh, you coward. But, just this much-“

It seemed that a villain that couldn’t read the mood was a coward. Kouki insulted Hajime while raising his magic power even more in an attempt to escape from Bola. But as long as it wasn’t Nointo then it shouldn’t be possible to escape from it in several seconds, in that time Hajime had finished charging.

Yes, in Hajime’s hand a rifle with a shape that resembled Schlagen was grasped before anyone was aware. What was different from Schlagen was its caliber. Its firing mouth that could be filled with a basket ball smoothly was wide open.

A lump of red magic power shining brilliantly was converged in that large firing mouth.

Magic power cannon ‘Grenzen’――a pure magic power bombardment artifact. From his experience in Merujiine Undersea Ruins, there was also some situation where a pure magic power attack would be useful, so Hajime learned and created this. Although until now, there was no chance to use it, so it was something that was shelved.

The derivative of ‘Magic Power Manipulation’ that was ‘Magic Power Emission’,‘Magic Power Compression’, ‘Remote Control’, also ‘High-Speed Magic Power Recovery’ and its derivative ‘Magic Source Absorption’, all those skills were used as a base and included into the magic power cannon. It focused not just Hajime’s magic power but also the magic power of the outside world, combined with gravity magic so it could compress that magic power. The more the compressed magic power was then the more the amount of magic power of the target would be blown away.

And then right now the amount of the focused magic power was in the amount that would easily surpass ten thousand if it was converted into a status number. No matter how much Kouki had been strengthened outside of the proper track, Kouki was continuously consuming magic power thoroughly with all his might. The result was something that could be easily understood.

“Even if you deny your own words, at the very least you should accept Yaegashi’s words.”

Hajime said that and aimed the focused magic power at Kouki who was opening his eyes wide in panic, and then the trigger was pulled.

“You-, if only you were not here-. I――”

The scream that was filled with Kouki’s hatred resonated. The next moment, a red flash that resembled Schlagen traced a spiral, turning into a bombardment that rushed at Kouki, and his figure was completely swallowed without any spot spared.

Shizuku who was healed by Kaori had opened her eyes, and then Ryuutaro and Suzu gulped audibly. The silent bombardment that didn’t make any roar or destruction dyed the spacious room with a vivid red, and the ice wall was sparkling like a garnet. In a certain meaning, it was a spectacle that could be called fantastical.

Before long the thick flash thinned down, it melted into the air and dispersed. After that, it was as expected there was no trace of destruction at all, and Kouki appeared without any wound. The binding due to the Bola had been released.

*karan-! karan-!*

The stiff sound resonated. It was the sound of Kouki dropping his two holy swords. At the same time, the black holy sword flickered while disappearing. Looking at it, Kouki’s eye that was reddish-black also returned to normal, his hair also recovered its original color. Reddish-black veins also disappeared from the holy armor. It appeared that he had completely returned to normal.

“My, my strength is vanishing… uu, again, still again… I will take back, everything…”

Hajime’s magic power cannon had blown away the factor of the false image nesting inside Kouki. Matching with his return to his original appearance, the magic power had also stopped welling up from inside. Right now, Kouki could only feel the slight magic power just before it dried up.

Kouki was desperately tying down his consciousness that even now was going to sink into darkness while repeating talk in delirium. And then he was trying to pick up his holy sword even while staggering.

There Hajime who had stored back Grenzen into ‘Treasure Warehouse’ approached, he grasped Kouki’s collar and lifted him up. “Release me!” Kouki yelled angrily, but the clamping hand was too strong that he could only groan.

Seeing Hajime’s dangerous look, Ryuutaro thought that Kouki was going to get killed and he was about to jump, but he was stopped by Tio. Tio smiled as though to say that it would be okay.

Hajime lifted up Kouki while he sent his gaze at Kaori and Shizuku who were cuddling close to each other. Kaori and also Shizuku were directing Hajime painful and pleading gazes. Hajime sighed deeply looking at those two and he shrugged his shoulders with an air of ‘really it can’t be helped’. The expression of the two softened gently.

Hajime who turned at Kouki again threw words with calm but clearly resounding tone while everyone was watching.

“Start over your life from the beginning once more, you stupid, foolish idiot.”

Right after, Hajime’s right hand, his bare fist, captured Kouki’s face. It was merely a clenched straight fist.

*GOGA-!* Such sound resonated, and like that Kouki was struck into the ground and his consciousness was easily cut off, but the whites of his eyes were barely open.

Kaori and Shizuku rushed close, and the other members too.

Hajime looked at the fainted Kouki while wondering if his “Let’s Increase the Meat Shield in Preparation of the Worst Case That There is a lot of Nointo Strategy” was actually cursed. He scratched at his cheek while sighing deeply at how troublesome this was.

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