“Hajime-san! I’m home desuu!”
The gate that connected the space to the hideout of Oscar Orcus opened, from there Shia jumped in *pyon* like a rabbit.
She went to meet with the master of Raisen Great Labyrinth that they had once conquered, Miledi Raisen, as the messenger of Hajime, but now she had accomplished her mission safely and came back.
Shia saw the artificial arm that had been properly returned to the left sleeve of Hajime who welcomed her, her expression then became even happier.
“Welcome back, Shia. I got your report. Looks like you were able to meet with Miledi again smoothly, huh?”
“Yes desu. Unfortunately, it seems that Miledi-san cannot easily leave that territory. She will be saving strength until the day of the decisive battle and I couldn’t directly bring her back but… in exchange I received several things that seemed useful from her.”
“I see. You did well. Thanks for your hard work. So, you could enter using the proof of conquer?”
Toward Shia who was clapping on the luggage bag that she was carrying on her back with a smile that seemed to say “I have good things here!”, Hajime returned a smile while asking.
Once they received treatment like filth that was ejected by toilet, Hajime recalled the time when they were made to take the shortcut to outside the labyrinth. He tilted his head in contemplation thinking ‘don’t tell me she is going through that water channel in reverse?’. If Shia actually did that, then it was like she was going out from the inside of a toilet while saying “Good afternoon!”. So thinking about her maiden heart, he would have to reward her with his all.
It seemed that Shia too guessed what Hajime was imagining from his question. She smiled wryly while shaking her head saying that she was fine.
“The spring at the outskirts of Brook didn’t react just as half-expected. And so, I attempted to breakthrough from the regular entrance, but at that time the proof of conquer reacted… the usual transfer method at the first room sent me to the deepest room. It did it politely, while roughly rotating the room. Well, it didn’t affect the current me, so there was no problem but… as always she was an irritating person. Yes, truly.”
“I, I see… no, really thanks for your hard work. Anyway, get inside. Inside, the time is also stretched out so I’ll listen to the detail in the workshop.”
“Ah, yes desu.”
Shia recollected with her gaze turning into the direction of the beyond while a somewhat black thing covered her, to that Hajime somehow could imagine what kind of exchange she had with Miledi, Hajime whose wry smile deepened invited Shia into the workshop.
At that time, the moment Shia entered the building from outside where the gate was installed into the building, *gashon! gashon!* mechanical footsteps were resounding nearby. At the same time, a happy voice of a child reverberated.
“Ah, Shia-oneechan! Welcome home nano!”
“Myuu-chan! I’m home… desu?”
While Shia’s cheeks were loosening from Myuu’s welcoming words, she also tilted her head wondering “What’s this voice I wonder?” and her face peeked out from behind Hajime. And then, the figure of Myuu being surrounded by golems in the shapes that she had never seen and Myuu herself sitting on one of the golems shoulder entered her eye so that Shia’s words reflexively halted.
The number of golems were six. Their figures had multiple legs and multiple arms holding countless armaments with metallic shine from their bodies, every one of the golem had grim intensity. If for example, Shia encountered them inside labyrinth or somewhere else, then she would surely say things like “Enemy discovered certain death attack desuu!” or “Victory goes to the one who makes the first moves desuu!” and attacked them.
Actually, until Shia came back several days had passed inside the workshop, during that time Hajime saw various points where he could improve ‘Belfegor’ and ‘Asmodeusu’ that he presented to Remia and Myuu, so Hajime applied sequential improvement on them. As a result, he accomplished the conclusion where in the end the golems could even endure combat, so Hajime undertook the production of the living golem itself in order to invest them into the battle force as weapons.
About that time he was also producing the large size weapons so they were becoming short of hands with just ‘Belfegor’ and ‘Asmodeusu’, and so while producing the combat golems Hajime also increased the number of Myuu’s pets while he was at it.
But, it wasn’t like there wasn’t any problem at all…
“Err, Myuu-chan, those things that look like golem are…”
“Myuu got them from papa nano! This child is ‘Bel-chan’, this one is ‘Sa-chan’. After that there are ‘Lu-chan’ and ‘Ma-chan’ and ‘Levi-chan’ and ‘Bal-chan’ nano!”
“Ha, haa, is that so. Uh huh, anyway, they are Hajime-san’s work so it’s ok desu. Isn’t it great, Myuu-chan.”
By the way, the golems’ formal names in order were ‘Satan’, ‘Lusifer’, ‘Mamon’, ‘Leviatan’, and ‘Baalsebuf’ it seemed. All of those names were given by Myuu promptly without any pondering. It went without saying how Hajime’s cheeks were cramping from that. Later there would be a need to seriously investigate whether Myuu had attracted the eyes of strange things.
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At the same time with Myuu’s introduction of their names, the living golems each took cool poses. Hajime didn’t give them that function, also Myuu didn’t seem to give them the instruction but… just why in the world they took that pose…
Their figures felt just like they were saying “Deadly☆Sins☆Battle☆Squad☆Demon Rangeeeer!!!” The red ranger was surely the ‘Satan’ of fury as expected.
Anyway, there was no malfunction that came out, and they were also really obedient toward Myuu that made anyone watching imagine the golems waving their dog tail left and right happily so Hajime chose to ignore it. Without stopping any longer, he led Shia into the workshop.
Entering the workshop, the hour crystal was activated and the flow of time there was a tenth of normal. Looking at the slightly dull colored space and weapons that were automatically produced due to the ‘Automatic Transmutation’, Shia leaked out a voice of admiration.
Hajime made such a Shia sit on the chair at the corner of the room and listened to her report. Shia fixed her sitting posture and took out several things that seemed to be artifacts from her luggage bag.
“Hajime-san, these are things that Miledi-san handed to me.”
“… From what I see they look like artifacts.”
“Yes. It seems that they aren’t perfect, but they are countermeasures against Divine Statement. If Hajime-san revise it, perhaps it can also be completed.”
“Hee… this thing is appreciated.”
Hajime took the gray ball with the size around a marble and stared at it.
According to his magic eye stone and mineral appraisal, it seemed that the ball was filled with soul magic. Inside the ball it seemed it was enchanted with a magic of ‘heart guidance’ that possessed the effect to convey one’s will directly to the state of the soul, or possibly to the soul itself.
“I had a prediction on the trick of Divine Statement, and it seemed I was right on the spot.”
“And, that means?”
“That magic is a magic that is connected with soul magic. It reverberates the words directly in your soul and binds your consciousness at a subconscious level. It’s something like an absurdly powerful suggestion, I guess. The magic needs the caster to murmur their name because of the common sense that a command needs a person to hand it down.”
“I see. After all, there is no person that will obey a command with an unknown creator, is there? The statement becomes even more powerful when they say their complete nam. Also, because the listener’s recognition of the speaker become even stronger, is it something like that?”
“You think so too, right? This marble ball… does it have a name?”
“Aa, no, I didn’t ask. Isn’t it fine to name it whatever?”
“Is that so. Then, I’ll name it temporarily as ‘Soul Wall’, this thing seems to have the power to block the Divine Statement from reaching the soul. It applies ‘heart guidance’ to disturb the conveyed will and turn the statement into just noise. It isn’t perfect. I guess because Ehito’s Divine Statement is so powerful that it cannot be turned into noise.”
Shia nodded “I see” toward Hajime’s explanation.
“Then… if it’s Hajime-san then you will be able to improve it so it can block perfectly?”
“Let’s see… I think it’s possible if I combine my magic power with sublimation magic. Though in the end, if it gets stolen like before and crushed then that’s game over.”
“Aa, now that you mentioned it… then, what to do? At this rate, it won’t be usable except for a surprise attack, will it…”
“No, actually right now I have a bit of an idea. I don’t have the attitude so there is hardship, but it looks like with a little bit more it will take shape. If I applied that then this won’t get stolen. Moreover, I can surely create a ‘Soul Wall’ with high effect. In any case, it’s a big help that I don’t need to think about the countermeasure for Divine Statement from zero. This is your achievement, Shia.”
Hajime joyful smile made Shia also flap her rabbit ears happily. The achievement actually belonged to Miledi who handed over the ‘Soul Wall’, but it was somewhat annoying to feel grateful to that person so Hajime praised Shia instead. Shia also had the same feeling somewhat so she honestly felt happy to be useful.
“Also, this too desu.”
“Short sword huh? … Even so I feel very much power from it. Just what in the world… hee”
What was taken out from the luggage next was a short sword wrapped in cloth with its blade length reaching about twenty centimeter. It was a simple two bladed sword without a handle guard, it resembled the type of short sword that was called a dirk.
Hajime who received it took off the cloth, that moment he gazed in wonderment at the power that he felt, next he investigated it the same like with the ‘Soul Wall’. His voice unintentionally leaked out at the ability that was enchanted in the sword. Looking at that state of Hajime, Shia also nodded in sympathy.
“According to Miledi-san, it’s called ‘Short Sword of Divine Crossing’. The concept filled into it is――’God killing’, it seems.”
“So, this is one of the three concept magic that Haltina said the liberators created, huh. So that Miledi had this. Chih, she should have given this thing right away.”
“… When I said that, ‘Didn’t you say that killing god or anything is troublesome, ehhh? There is no way I can give this to that kind of person, right? Is your head okay? Heey? Is your head okay? Heey heey’ she said that to me…”
“Yes. But it’s fine desu. Because in retaliation, I smashed the place where Hajime-san’s explosive destroyed that she grumbled saying it was hard work repairing it. I blew it into pieces. She was half-crying while saying sorry to me you know, ku-ku-ku”
“I, I see…”
Shia was black. It was the descent of black Shia. When Hajime was plainly sweating coldly, Shia stopped making crooked face and smiled widely while continuing her story. It was a splendid change.
“By the way, it seemed that there was also an artifact named ‘World Crossing Arrow’ to open the path to the Holy Precincts, but it was completely lost at the previous lost battle of the liberators. Besides, they were cornered by the masses before confronting Ehito, so it’s unclear how much effect the ‘god killing’ will have. It’s just, that short sword won’t injure Yue-san’s soul, so it can be used well desu.”
“That’s a nice one. For the moment, there is also the trump card that I prepared, but there is nothing better than having a lot of cards. And if this won’t affect Yue then I got no complain at all.”
“Isn’t that right. I was told, that the ‘god killing’ concept, it seemed the liberators lost their temper because they couldn’t really create the trump card, so all of them drunk a lot in desperation. In the end when they were all stone drunk they opened a tournament to swear at Ehito with foul language and that concept got created. Things like official stance or reasoning or mission, those kind of idle thoughtsweren’t included at all in the concept, only the feeling of ‘die Ehito you sheetty bastard’ makes up the concept, so it won’t affect anything else other than Ehito desu.”
“I, I see… yeah, well, I understand their feelings. Miledi is an endlessly annoying woman, but when we take back Yue guess we need to at least say thanks huh.”
While feeling sympathy and exasperation at the good relation? of the liberators, Hajime made a smile at how they had obtained two kind of useful artifacts.
When he listened further to Shia’s report, it seemed that Miledi would mobilize the golems inside the labyrinth. So Shia installed a gate hole there. It appeared those golems were also constructed from metamorphosis magic, so it wasn’t like Miledi was moving them all by herself, the golems were living things that moved independently obeying commands to a certain degree.
Thinking about it now, indeed it was hard to imagine that Miledi alone controlled fifty golem knights at the same time.
However, regarding the Holy Precincts or whether there were any more retainer gods other than Aruvheit, the weak point of the apostle or effective methods to fight them, etc., it seemed that Miledi didn’t know about those more than what Hajime and the rest knew. Rather, thinking about how they had already directly faced Ehito and tasted his strength right with their body, in a sense Hajime and the rest were the ones who knew more about that.
Although, even without obtaining any new information but after receiving these things, Hajime had no complaints at all. Though, if he actually met Miledi directly face to face, surely he would want to smash her face.
When Shia finished her report in general, Hajime took out from his ‘Treasure Warehouse II’ another ‘Treasure Warehouse II’ exclusive for Shia and the improved Doryukken――the ‘Vire Doryukken’m and other various equipments he prepared which he handed to her.
“Hauuuu, this is it desuu, as expected, it’s no good without this hard-cold texture desuu”
The moment she received her partner the war hammer from Hajime, Shia rubbed her cheek on the mechanical part with bright smile. She was whispering scary things like “Splattering the enemy with this is unbearable desuu”.
While somewhat drawing away, Hajime explained about the new functionality of all the new artifacts, but then suddenly the door of the workshop opened. The one who entered was, Kaori… and then, Suzu and Ryuutaro.
Actually, a little bit before Shia got in touch, the two of them finished contacting Fair Bergen and Haulia and allocated the gate key in those places and then they went to Orcus. And then, while Kaori was gathering material she also became their guard on the side. The two subdued the monsters in the abyss and endeavored to pile up battle experience and mastering the metamorphosis magic.
“Ah, Shia! Welcome back. Fufu, looking at you, it seems there are various results from you, right?”
“Kaori-san. I’m back desu! Also the two of you came earlier, wasn’t it? How is Tou-sama――the people of Haulia clan and Fair Bergen?”
“Yep, Shiashia. There is no problem. The people of Fair Bergen don’t have faith from the beginning. When they understood that it concerned the fate of the world, they acted quickly.”
“Yep. Though they looked uneasy about the fighting, when we said that Nagumo’s artifacts would be shared in full, they got motivated, yeah. As for Haulia-clan… aa, hm, well, ain’t no problem, yeah?”
“… Why, it sounds like question?”
Shia directed a suspicious gaze at Ryuutaro. Ryuutaro showed a faltering state “Uu” at that gaze and his gaze wandered, then looking like he didn’t really want to remember it he opened his mouth.
“No, there is really no problem at all. Just… that… they suddenly began to cry loudly it made me spooked…”
“Come again? Crying loudly? Tou-sama, was crying?”
“Yep, Shiashia. Karm-san was also included, the whole Haulia-clan were crying you know. After that it was a storm where they all talked simultaneously. They kept screaming things like “Boss banzai!” or “Finally, we can fight at his side!” or “Kill! Kill! Kill!”. The mist in the forest got blown away a little bit just from their voices. It was plain scary.”
“I think Sergeant Ha-tman style of training is just bad news yeah. Somehow, all of them had bloodshot eyes. Their killing intent was just amazing. An animal that looked like monkey in the trees dropped down plop… when I looked at its eyes, they were all white and it was dead already. Guess its heart stopped just from the killing intent.”
“… Somehow I’m sorry.”
Suzu and Ryuutaro explained while their faces were pale and they began to shiver. It must be a really abnormally terrifying scene. To put it bluntly, it was inevitable for the two to see the Haulia clan’s respect and affection to Hajime as something the same like the fanatic’s faith to Ehito. Inside their heart, they secretly thought “As expected, Nagumo-kun is demon king… no, maybe he is a demon god?”
On top of being able to participate at Hajime’s battlefield, that request to join came from their respected boss. For them who wished to fight together with Hajime, the words “Lend me your strength” from that boss was unmistakably something really joyous. The scene where all of them went ‘hya-ha’ floated in Shia’s eyes, her rabbit ears folded down with a plop and she also murmured words of apology.
Hajime who was smiling wryly at that exchange between Shia and the others moved the talk to Suzu and Ryuutaro in his wish to somehow avert from that topic.
“And then? What about your training result? Were you able to subdue good monster?”
“Nope, not at all!”
Suzu who averted her gaze with awkward expressions and Ryuutaro who denied with lively laugh. For the time being, Hajime pulled the trigger of the new Donner and a rubber bullet shot Ryuutaro’s temple. “NUOoOOO!” Ryuutaro yelled while writhing on the floor, to him Hajime’s cold gaze was stabbing.
There Kaori put a stop to it in panic.
“Wa, wait, wait! It doesn’t mean that there is no result!”
“Hoo. Then? What is this result you speak?”
Suzu whose expression was trembling from fear due to Hajime’s lack of hesitation was twitching while answering.
“Ye, yep. As far as it goes, there was also Kaori’s help and I managed to subdue quite many but…”
“What, so you actually manage to do it properly. Then what’s the problem?”
“Err. First of all, I got a monster that can spit powerful acid, a large――centipede.”
“Aah, that one. At the upper stratum, there is also monster that is similar with that, but this one at the lower stratum can separate its segment to leap, it’s ability to scatter acid while separating its segment is unusual huh. I remember that one made me get a little cold feet you know.”
“After that, a monster that can fire exploding needles rapidly like bullet, a large――bee.”
“That one huh. Rather than calling it needle, it’s more a small missile isn’t it. I remember when I intercepted the needle I got swallowed in explosion, that was shocking.”
“A monster that swim underground like a mole――ant.”
“Well, it has surprise attacks going for it.”
“Having six arms that fires off wind sickles――praying mantis.”
“… Anything else?”
“… Things like spider or butterfly.”
“… Why are all of them only bugs?”
Toward that splendid lineup Hajime sent a gaze at Suzu as though he was looking at something bizarre. Right away Suzu burst out in tears.
“I don’t know-. Just why the monster that my metamorphosis magic can affect is only the bug type! Even though at the sea of trees I can properly tame the fluffy ones-. Orcus is just strange!”
It seemed that it wasn’t actually Suzu’s own intention. It appeared that she subjugated the bugs as a last resort. The figure of Suzu who was crying in anguish crumbled on the floor invited quite a pity.
Indeed, her monsters were a shuddering sight just from imagining the lineup. However, this place was the abyss, furthermore they were monsters of the lower stratum, compared to the monster in the surface they were far stronger. Putting aside the apostles, they would surely become a reliable enough battle force against the puppet soldiers of Eri and the monsters that Freed had put time to evolve.
“Well, come on, the other side might also show openings from the revulsion, right?”
“Are you telling me to fight while making the enemy disgusted? Suzu’s opponent is Eri you know? Even though Suzu wants to talk with her, yet from the beginning I already make her disgusted? Hics, surely Suzu will be thought as bug girl or something… uwah, disgusting, Eri will surely say that…”
“Bu, but but, Suzu-chan! See, you have that child don’t you! That one is fluffy, you know!”
“Wai-, Kaorin! Suzu told you that’s a secret!”
Perhaps because the figure of Suzu feeling down while drawing circle on the floor was too pitiful, Kaori at her side was desperately cheering her up. However, the cheered up Suzu for some reason tried to stop her from talking in a fluster while giving glances at Hajime. Kaori too also returned to her senses and pressed her mouth.
The two who were obviously hiding something made Hajime narrow his eyes. His suspicious eyes were conveying “Don’t make a fuss trembling like that, quickly spit it out, ora.”
Suzu was making “uu” voice with her gaze wandering while Kaori was making troubled expression wondering what to do.
But, at that time, Myuu who rode ‘Belfegor’ entered inside the workshop. It appeared that she had something to communicate and she looked straight at Hajime, then she naturally stepped on Ryuutaro whose temple was shot and crouched at the golem’s feet. “Gue!?” Felt like such a voice resounded, but no one paid attention.
“Papa! There is rabbit-san nano!”
“Hm? Indeed if it’s rabbit then there is one here though.”
While tilting his head at Myuu who hopped up and down with both her hands above her head like rabbit ears, Hajime moved his gaze to Shia. Shia too flapped her own rabbit ears up and down.
“That’s not it nano. It’s a rabbit-san that’s not Shia-oneechan nano. It’s really strong and cool nano! Even when Lu-chan and Sa-chan and Ma-chan fight it together it doesn’t lose nano.”
“What? It’s attacking here?”
“That’s not it nano. See, when the hand of rabbit-san went ‘kui-, kui-‘, seeing that Lu-chan and others said You bastard, in front of princess you dare to challenge us. Very well, we will teach you this thing called one’s standing! and then they began a bout? nano!” (Note: The ‘kui’ is an inviting hand gesture in challenge, like saying ‘come at me if you dare’. Also the question mark in front of the word bout is not a mistake. The raw put it there, it means it’s doubtful whether the bout is really a bout.)
“… Lusifer and others, they can talk? Furthermore they moved by themselves?”
“? Lu-chan and others always talk, they moved by themselves nano. That’s ob-vious nano. Papa, what’s wrong?”
“… By the way, right now, what is Belfegor that Myuu is riding right now is saying?”
“Nmyu? … Just wait -su. It’s seriously just impossible for me to suddenly begin to fight you know -su. Love & Peace is the best Please teach that to them, master is what he said nano.”
“… … … …I see.”
Hajime activated his well trained ignoring skill in full power and endured the barrage of questions that he wanted to ask. There was a lot that he wanted to tsukkomi, but for Hajime this was already over his capacity.
And so, for the time being, he only comprehended the part where it seemed the demon rangers called Myuu fondly as princess. This was something extremely weird, but for some reason he didn’t feel that it was something dangerous for even a bit, Myuu who was sensitive to ill will since she was kidnapped was emotionally attached to them, so he judged to not worry.
Although now he couldn’t grasp the situation, so he asked Myuu to stop the fighting of Lusifer and the others and brought the rabbit here. “Yes nano!” Myuu replied energetically and she exited the workshop together with Belfegor.
“So? The monster that you should have subdued was giving provocation and fought, what is the meaning of this? Furthermore, you don’t look like you are doubting that the monster is running wild huh? … What are you hiding? Spit it out.”
In order to solve his other doubt, Hajime’s gaze moved at Kaori and Suzu who were obviously acting suspiciously.
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Thereupon, perhaps they finally resigned themselves, the two opened their mouth.
“Yo, you see, Hajime-kun. That child, he, he is not a bad child, or rather he is special. That child is admiring Hajime-kun, I mean…”
“Ha? Admiring me?”
“Yes! That’s how it is! In a sense, Nagumo-kun is also the cause, that’s why the moment you see him, at least don’t shot him dead okay! Absolutely don’t! After all, he is the only fluffy one that agreed to accept Suzu’s metamorphosis magic! Really please Suzu beg you!”
“Just what in the world…”
Hajime could only be perplexed at the incomprehensible words of the two.
Right after that, with good timing that ‘rabbit-san’ or something was led by Myuu and her golems and entered the workshop.
Its figure was certainly a rabbit. Long rabbit ears and reddish black――no, nearly crimson eyes. In its white fur there were several faint streaks of red running. The streaks didn’t pulse like other monster, instead they were like a pattern that shined attractively on the white fur. And then, what made the rabbit most peculiar was its hind legs that were developed to impossible degree for normal rabbit.
Even though it was somewhat different, for Hajime its appearance was something too familiar.
In addition its cry that sounded cute further stimulated Hajime’s memory.
Yes, what appeared in front of Hajime was the monster that once pulverized his left arm and made a sport of him until he was cornered, it was that ‘Kick Rabbit’. Of course, it was only the same species and this one was a different specimen.
What was difficult for Kaori and Suzu to say was because they thought Hajime was going to blast the rabbit with no question asked. As expected, in this period where they couldn’t pointlessly waste time, they couldn’t commit a folly where a monster that had been subdued with great pain got instantly shot to death because of uncontrolled emotion.
“No, it’s nothing big, I’m not going to pull the trigger just from seeing this after this long. Rather, this one is a monster that appears at the first level you know? Don’t tell me, even though you understand it’s weak but because you want a rabbit you went until the upper level… wait, guess you didn’t do that. There was just no time that you could do that.”
Hajime noticed something strange from what he said and closed his mouth. Come to think of it, the two said baffling things like it was admiring him, that it was special, that he was the cause, that it agreed to accept metamorphosis magic, he recalled all those and his gaze asked for explanation.
However, before the two could explain, the kick rabbit acted first. After it entered the workshop, it immediately stared fixedly at Hajime while strangely trembling in spot, then with *gabacho!* it leaped at Hajime.
To that, Hajime thrust out his hand and easily grabbed the rabbit ears, stopping the kick rabbit in the air while it was crying pleadingly “Kyu! Mokyu! Ukyu”. It seemed that it wasn’t jumping to attack him.
‘What’s with this guy’, to Hajime who was sending her suspicious eyes, Suzu stepped out to volunteer to translate. It was possible for monster that was subdued by metamorphosis magic to have mutual understanding with its master to a certain degree. Suzu and the others had also attempted the mutual understanding with this kick rabbit, that was how they got the explanation about various things.
“Err, he said, Ou-sama, Ou-sama, I’m extremely happy that I am able to meet you. In this occasion, I heard that I can become stronger and agreed to be made into the servant of your colleague. My best regards. Ah, also if possible, I want to be named by Ou-sama though… is it no good?… what’s with those eyes! It’s true you know! He is really saying all that!” (Note: Ou-sama=King. Also the rabbit is speaking in Kansai dialect.)
“… Even if, he is talking with that kind of meaning, there is no need to use Kansai dialect, right?”
“Because, Suzu is hearing it in Kansai dialect so it cannot be helped, isn’t it!”
Suzu’s face turned bright red from being gazed coldly by Hajime and she made excuse.
Looking at Suzu’s desperate state, Hajime glanced at the kick rabbit that was still dangling in his hand, and indeed, the rabbit was directing a gaze that actually felt like saying something like that at Hajime. The round and cute eyes were getting moist entreating at him.
Anyway, Hajime further mustered his greatly flourishing ignoring skill and asked about the story at Suzu.
According to Suzu, it went like this.
At first, Suzu wished for a monster as strong as possible and with Kaori’s cooperation they chased after the monsters on the ninetieth floor above, but as expected perhaps because the monsters were powerful, even with Hajime’s special new artifact that raised Suzu’s ability her metamorphosis wasn’t really able to subdue them.
Having no other way, Suzu lowered the standard to around eightieth floor and searched the monster with the compass, but as expected it seemed the beast type monster felt that they were above Suzu’s patronage with her fresh metamorphosis magic, after that even while thinking ‘I don’t wanna’ but just in case she tried her magic at the bug type monster she encountered, as the result she was able to subjugate them with easiness that caused her wanted to tsukkomi ‘what the hell’ at all the trouble she met before this.
Even after that, Suzu who was able to subdue monsters limited only to bug type had her tension kept lowering drastically, for the moment she healed her heart gradually by catching a lot of butterfly monsters with beautiful appearance that could manipulate scale powder with various effects, while she was at it she was also subduing giant misshapen bugs in succession without trouble, and then she was about to start going back.
It was at that time. Suzu discovered a ‘rabbit’ that moved strangely quite human, it came from the stair of upper level full of vigilance, moving from shadow to shadow agilely and silently.
That rabbit also noticed Suzu and the rest, and its movement stopped still. It was a monster that they had never seen even once until now on the eightieth or ninetieth floors. Furthermore, fundamentally a monster wouldn’t get out from the floor where they were born, so the act of the rabbit that normally descended the floor until here was obviously abnormal. And so, Kaori came forward with Suzu and Ryuutaro also in maximum alert.
However, as for the rabbit itself… it expressed with its whole body a joy that anyone looking would obviously understand. The severe killing intent and pressure that was characteristic for monsters of abyss were nonexistence. *pyon pyon* The rabbit hopped up and down as though dancing with its rabbit ears moving *myon myon*. The rabbit was like a lost child that finally discovered a human settlement after continuously wandering inside a deep forest for many days.
Kaori and others felt perplexed and hesitated whether they should launch preemptive attacks or not, to them who were like that the rabbit approached near slowly. It was as though the rabbit was taking consideration so that the other party wouldn’t get agitated.
While glancing repeatedly at Suzu and co, each time the rabbit advanced a bit it would stop and confirm “Is it okay?” “Is it fine, to approach a bit more?”. Looking at such a rabbit, Suzu was knocked out.
To her heart that was stormy from the possibility of her being called as bug queen, the fluffy white rabbit――whose behavior was really cute and instead of hostility it looked friendly――was too powerful. Suzu ignored the warning of Kaori who was still wary and leaped out in front of the rabbit.
“Suzu had decided right from my first impression! Please become Suzu’s rabbit!”
Suzu bowed her head and her hand was presented forward, that proposal looked like a confession. By the way, the first impression of Suzu toward the rabbit was that it was a really suspicious rabbit.
That proposal of Suzu made the rabbit got taken aback. And then it tilted its head in bewilderment. This monster looked more and more human.
On the other hand, Suzu who was at her wits’ end went ‘No way I will let go of this once in a lifetime chance!’ like a fan(stalker) that chased after an idol passionately until her residence, her eyes turned bloodshot and her breathing roughened, she began a sales pitch.
Full guarantee of all necessities of life. Three meals a day. No, four meals with afternoon nap included, five days work a week with two days off. Paid vacation provided! In addition, free time also could be negotiated! Furthermore! If the offer was taken right now, oh my, a special magic stone of Suzu would come along free of charge! With this you could say good bye to yourself of yesterday! Now, in this chance, wouldn’t you take this status up surrounded by happy comrades in a lovely workplace!?
Kaori and Ryuutaro thought. Surely, no one would take that kind of offer right…
However, unexpectedly the bewildered rabbit, when it heard Suzu’s last words――when ‘status up’ was mentioned, its eyes shined with fierce glared. As though saying “That one, more detaol!” the rabbit pinched forward eagerly and cried “Kyuu! Kyuu!”
Naturally Suzu’s lips smirked broadly thinking “He snapped the bait!”, even forgetting completely that the other party was a monster, she explained about the mechanism of metamorphosis magic cheerfully.
As the result, the rabbit who understood that he could evolve quietly presented its rabbit ears, accepting to become pretty much Suzu’s subordinate monster.
Like this the rabbit became a comrade with that contract of employment?, and with Suzu’s metamorphosis magic they attempted mind understanding. Or more precisely, from the start this rabbit was obviously possessing ego with intelligence that was impossible for a monster, with this rabbit as the partner it was possible to have mind understanding even using the ‘heart guidance’ of soul magic.
Accordingly, Kaori and Suzu heard about the circumstance of the rabbit with really different fur color, it seemed that this rabbit was formerly a same race with the ‘Kick Rabbit’ that Hajime once killed, and it was also from the same floor, but it descended down the floors in training trip and of all thing it became powerful to the degree that it was able to reach floor eighty with its own strength.
But, that was a behavioral principle and thinking ability that was impossible for a monster. The cause for that was Hajime. More accurately the ‘God Water’ that Hajime spilled behind.
It seemed that this kick rabbit actually witnessed when Hajime defeated the claw bear. For monster of labyrinth, the floor they were at was the whole of their world, and the master of that floor was the king. To defeat that king meant the birth of new king. They instinctually couldn’t help but being careful of that king. At that time, the rabbit which was no different with normal monster was holding the greatest wariness and terror toward Hajime.
For a while, the rabbit was hiding from a distant spot while observing the tendency of the new king, before long, it discovered Hajime’s nest――the cave where the god crystal was located. When the rabbit was able to confirm that it was a place he must not approach by his instinctual understanding, the aforementioned Hajime easily went away from the floor.
The rabbit knowing that the master of the nest had gone entered what he thought as a really pleasant and safe nest. And what he discovered inside, piling up on a dent of rock, was a small quantity of water that made vitality to well up staggeringly――the god water.
The rabbit drunk it all up in a trance until it was all gone, and then he felt a power he never felt until that time overflowing in his body. Magic power was naturally surging up, his mind became clear, and he became able to sense the surrounding presence several times more sensitively.
It appeared in the case when a monster drank god water, that kind of effect would happen. There was no way anyone would make a monster to drink a miracle water, so this was something that had never been known.
After that the rabbit went out to search whether there was any more god water, and while kicking around the monsters he encountered――he got too carried away and encountered the claw bear. Any kind of monster would appear again in the labyrinth after some time, but the rabbit who didn’t even know of such thing was completely letting his guard down.
After that it was a death match. There was no place to escape based on the place. If the rabbit showed his back then he would be killed. Normally a monster would instinctually felt the difference in status and shrunk back in fear or showed its back and escape, giving an opening from that slip to be instantly killed, but the effect of god water made the rabbit to more or less have thinking capability, he challenged the claw bear half in desperation.
As the result――he survived. Ahead of the verge of death that he surmounted, he awoke to the derivative of his characteristic magic and splendidly pulverized the head of the claw bear with his tough leg. It was a fierce battle that it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that the rabbit would die ten times over without the continuing recovery effect of the god water.
The rabbit looked at the previous king that he defeated and trembled. And then, he understood. That a living thing could grow stronger by training.
From there the journey of the rabbit to become strong began. His objective was to go to the new king who gave him the impetus. After catching up, he would show the king how strong he had became and he would say his thanks. And then, he wanted to try looking at a wider world… there he would fight many strong people and reach greater height!
Like that the rabbit who grasped the adverse fate like a certain protagonist somewhere, at that time he didn’t have any convenient tool like ‘Treasure Warehouse’ or anything, when he found by some chance god water that collected even slightly at the dent of the ground from what Hajime spilled, other than a portion that he could save as much as possible he would drink the rest without any other way, and then while attempting to recover and strengthen his own body, the rabbit polished his technique and finally he acquired the strength to descend to floor eighty with his own strength and a thinking ability equal to that of an adult.
“… What’s with that development that sounded like something in light novel.”
The first thing said by Hajime who finished listened to all the particulars was that. With an absurdly complicated look he moved his gaze at the rabbit who unnoticed was now sitting on his lap while directing round and cute eyes at him.
“Ahaha, isn’t that amazing. While going back we tried making him fight, but just with a little metamorphosis magic he got strengthened to a level where he could fight monster at floor ninety one on one without losing you know. This is only a guess but, his movement resembled Shizuku-chan, so perhaps he can also use ‘Ground Shrinker’ and ‘No Beat’ I wonder? Also, just from kicking there was shockwave flying out.”
“… I see.”
Somehow, Hajime felt that just in these few hours he had said those words so many times already.
“Err, and because of that, if Nagumo-kun doesn’t mind, this child wanted Nagumo-kun to give him name… because he said that he wanted name from Nagumo-kun, not Suzu.”
“Haa. Well, if you are able to make a powerful monster as comrade then let’s just consider this great. It feels like there are a lot of tiring developments right now even more than the fight with Ehito and others though… even so a name huh…”
Hajime dropped his gaze at the kick rabbit on his lap. The kick rabbit was looking up at Hajime fixedly. The two stared at each other. And then, Hajime whispered quietly.
“… Mi—y” (Note: A character rabbit named Miffy)
Kaori rejected it instantly. Her eyes were telling Hajime to apologize at the world famous mascot character.
Hajime pulled himself back together and moved his gaze at the kick rabbit once more. The kick rabbit was also looking at Hajime. And then, Hajime whispered quietly.
“… Peter Rabbi――”
“… Udo—ge.” (Note: Udonge is a character from Touhou game.)
“I don’t know that but I feel like it’s no good. Rather, be serious!”
Kaori’s scolding flew. Hajime was thinking really seriously so he clicked his tongue at how awful Kaori was, his expression changed feeling how bothersome this was and then he spoke with careless feeling.
“Aah, geez, then you can just use Inaba. Its appearance is rabbit after all.” (Note: Seems the name Inaba is often used for rabbit in Japan.)
“Ee, isn’t that too simple? Something, a little bit cuter is…”
“Suzu too, Suzu’s other monsters are all like that, so a cute name for rabbit-san is…”
It seemed the name was unpopular with Suzu and Kaori. But, right after Hajime said Inaba, the kick rabbit cried “Kyuu!” while jumping up and down *pyon pyon*, perhaps it was feeling something from the name. It seemed that it was pleased.
And like that the reddish black――or rather the nearly crimson eyes that was even more red then the kick rabbits Hajime killed before, the same color like the lines running on his body were gazing at Hajime glitteringly.
“Looks like he is pleased with that name, see?”
“Ee, … well, if the one concerned is pleased then it can’t be helped though…”
“Uu, Inaba-chan… after saying it once more, it’s unexpectedly cute?”
Both of the girls were reluctant but it seemed for the moment they were consenting.
And, at that time Shia who was watching quietly all the time until now judged that for the present the talk was finished and she approached Inaba. As fellow rabbit ears, Shia’s interest was forming toward Inaba. While smiling friendlily she was going to pat Inaba.
“Inaba-chan, I’m glad you got the name. As a fellow rabbit ears, let’s get along――”
The hand that reached out to pat was casually slapped down. Shia stiffened instantly in place. Inaba sent a glance at the rabbit ears of such Shia and then, “fuh” he snorted.
With blood vein pulsing on her forehead, Shia’s gaze turned at Suzu, asking what did this mean. A smile was still pasted on that face.
“Hih, Shi, Shiashia, calm down!”
“I am calm. And? What is this impertinent child is saying?”
“E, err, that…”
“Hii! Yo, you see, Rabbit ears like you are serving at Ou-sama’s sideee, I’m dying from laughter hereee? Polish your rabbit ears before coming back againnn! he said… uhii! No, Suzu wasn’t the one saying that!”
It appeared that Inaba felt something toward Shia who was a possessor of the same rabbit ears like him. He entangled his rabbit ears on Hajime arm with his eyes narrowing provocatively. To that Shia whose prided rabbit ears were made fun of also didn’t stay quiet.
“… To insult my rabbit ears that Hajime-san loved, that’s really a big talk, isn’t it. What nerve desu. Which one is worthy to become Hajime-san’s rabbit, I’ll engrave it into your body desuu!”
Shia’s reinforced fist grazed the nose tip of Hajime. A burnt smell stab the nasal cavity strongly.
On the other hand, Inaba who was attacked beautifully jumped and evaded, invoking his characteristic magic ‘Air Force’ he rolled and launched a powerful axe kick at Shia. To that, Shia blocked by raising her hand.
And then Shia’s beautiful legs were opened in front of Hajime’s eyes, it was swung to shoot down Inaba in midair. Above Hajime’s head Inaba’s kick and Shia’s kick clashed, producing fierce shockwave. Hajime’s hair was disarrayed.
Without rest. Shia and Inaba moved to inside the workshop while unfolding a fierce exchange.
“Hajime-san’s rabbit is enough with one desuu!”
After that it went without saying that the two were shot by Hajime whose eyes were half-closed with messed up hair and burnt nose tip. It also went without saying that the surrealism of the shot down smoking two rabbits who were getting along at the corner of the workshop made the cheeks of Kaori and others twitching.
After that, the subdued monsters of Suzu――especially the amount of the butterfly type monsters and their ability were added with further improvement due to Hajime thinking that they had good affinity with Suzu, he also handed over the exclusive artifact for Suzu the ‘Twin Iron Fan’ and the artifact for transporting the monsters the ‘Magic Orb’ (Po—ball).
By the way, Ryuutaro who were neglected all that time was also given his artifact properly, he also grasped the way to use metamorphosis magic in his own special way also with Hajme’s help, so for the moment there was no problem.
Although the fact that Ryuutaro’s way of using the metamorphosis magic by using Tio as reference and how that way was the most compatible for him made Hajime and others got exasperated all together thinking, as expected from a muscle brain.
“At last, it’s tomorrow…”
“Yeah. Though it’s unknown what’s the exact time tomorrow.”
The time was just on the brink of late at night period. It was only one more hour until the day that Ehito informed as the day of the great invasion. Depending on the situation, it was also possible that it would start at the same time with the changing of day, so currently Hajime along with Shia were doing the last check regarding the departing preparation.
“ ‘Even if for example something happened to me, Hajime and Shia will surely do something somehow. There is nothing at all that I need to be worried about’… she said that.”
“… Yue huh.”
“Yes desu. And I answered, ‘Obviously desu’.”
Inside the stretched out time inside the workshop, Shia was doing the final check to the new ability that she obtained half-forcibly using the new disposable type artifact of Hajime while talking with calm voice.
“Three days… that is the time in order for us to take back Yue-san but… at the same time, it is also the time until Yue-san’s resistance come to an end.”
Yes, the time for Ehito to completely grasp Yue’s body was also the time limit until Yue was cornered to a state where she was unable to resist. No one said it, but at that time what kind of state Yue would be like… at the very least it was certain that it would be a state where no one could be optimistic about.
“Even so, I believe. That Yue-san is safe. That we will surely take her back. That even if she is unable to resist, Yue-san is believing and waiting for us.”
“Obviously. It’s Yue we are talking about. No way she is going to lose to that seriously ill chuunibyou that is painful to look at. Much less after she got beaten into shape by Shia just recently.”
“Fufu, isn’t that right. … But, it doesn’t change that the enemy is powerful. He is incomparable with everything until now. A resolve to cross the line of death is necessary for that.”
“… What do you want to say?”
Shia twirled toward Hajime and looked straight at him. Blazing flame of rage that her best friend was stolen and killing intent toward enemy, and then the resolve to take her back without fail was residing in those eyes so clearly.
Shia who displayed a spirit to the degree that made Hajime gulped unintentionally, resounded her words of determination.
“I, will be reckless. I will push through rashly. I’m resolving to die without surrender if Yue-san cannot be rescued. I will take even one more enemies to the grave together with me. I want it so my life and death are together with Yue-san.”
“… I see. And?”
“Please don’t stop me. And then, Hajime-san too please be together with me in this.”
Those words were telling him to die together with her depending on the situation. It was an ego that hated to survive only by themselves when only Yue died. And now she was telling Hajime to go along with her egoism, what unbelievable words. If Shia was a heroine in a tale, then those words would be a great disqualification for her.
But, Hajime who was told those words that sounded outrageous was common sense thinking,
“What are you saying after this late? That’s obvious, isn’t it. Whether we live together, or die together. Those two things are one and the same. After all, Shia, I don’t have any intention to let you get away. Don’t get cold feet just before the main event, okay?”
Toward Hajime who was showing a fearless smile while saying something even more egoist, however, Shia leaked out a chuckle “kufufu” as though agreeing to that answer.
“Yes desu. I want to form this feeling into words for once. After all, if at the last moment, I get told idiotic things like “Shia! At the very least you have to survive!” Then, I’ll lose strength.”
“Well, after all according to those guys in class, I am more a demon king than the demon king himself yeah. A demon king won’t let go of anything by his own initiative. I won’t spit out that kind of sheetty cold line okay. Well, there is not going to be any death without surrender or anything. I will get into my hand everything that I want, I’ll crush all those that are in the way.”
“Ahaha, as expected from Hajime-san desuu. Your line is completely like a demon king――full speed ahead as the villain desuu!”
Shia who laughed humorously for a while shouldering the Vire Doryukken exultantly, showing that she was fully prepared. And then she spoke with a gaze that filled with determination.
“Let’s take back Yue-san quickly… and then do the earnestly desired threesome okay!”
“… You spoiled various things, this horny rabbit.”
Shia exited the workshop while whispering ‘looking forward to it desuu’. Hajime who gave a tsukkomi and exasperated gaze to that back figure, a beat later, saying ‘what a hopeless fellow’ he floated a smile where affection and trust could be felt.
And then, accomplishing the quota of the mass-produced weapons, Hajime and the others who were fully prepared finally departed from the depth of Orcus Great Labyrinth in order to link up with the surface group.
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