With a cute and brave voice, Shia jumped out.
Body strengthening Level IV ― More precisely, this skill was one level above the magically operated derivation Conversion Efficiency Up III. This skill which could turn magical power into physical strength with a ratio of 1:3 had been evolved into Conversion Efficiency Up IV with sublimation magic, raising the ratio to 1:4.
At the same time,
Tio issued her command.
Surrounding Shia and Tio were the swarm of monsters. Surrounding the swarm of monsters were the armed black dragons summoned by Tio’s artifact, which simultaneously fired breath.
It was a perfect surprise attack for the monsters who were struck from the rear by a series of breaths.
The poor monsters resembling prisoners locked in iron maidens were mercilessly penetrated and killed by black flashes resembling Tio’s breath attack.
The power was more than enough. It was around the same level as the aurora of the white dragon back in their first encounter. In other words, it was above the power of the reinforced ash dragons.
In fact, the breaths fired from the black dragons who numbered roughly one hundred instantly pulverized over two hundred monsters. That is to say, each breath was able to break through at least two monsters which boasted an unusually high level of defense.
Just where did these ridiculously powerful dragons come from? Freed grumbled as he directed the silver bombardment towards Tio. Even though he personally improved the level of the ash dragons to the level of the former white dragon, even though if received the assistance of god… Just how much effort and training would be required to go against that?
Even if Tio had a high aptitude with metamorphosis magic, if you were to compare her current skill with her skill back in the devil king castle, it was indeed an impossible development. No matter how you put it, her current level could not be reached in only a few days.
(In that case, as expected, the cause for this is the equipment attached to the black dragons. Such a thing as equipping monsters with artifacts… how absurd. That must once again be that guy’s doing. How annoying!)
Freed came to that conclusion and cursed at the white-haired boy who wasn’t here. Seeing his bombardment was repelled by Tio, he issued instructions to the monsters while preparing his next attack. That is, to eliminate the surrounding black dragons.
Following the main order, the large number of faithful subordinate monsters turned around and their new targets shifted from Tio to the black dragons.
Just as Tio planned. It was already bad enough that they had to face the platinum apostles, freed, and the divine white dragon, but if they also had to watch out for the attacks of the crowd of the monsters while fighting the other opponents, it would become unbearable.
‘Numbers against numbers’. She was glad she had anticipated such a situation and had been preparing for it.
These armed dragons were from a species of dragon that inhabited a hidden village, Tio’s hometown ― located on an island that could be reached by heading north on the continent until reaching a mountainous area, making one’s way through the mountains until the seaside, and then navigating through the sea for several hundred kilometers. Originally, their power level was not less than that of monsters on the upper level of the abyss.
With the strengthening obtained using metamorphos is magic, their power became on par with the middle-level monsters. Add to that the artifacts bestowed upon them by Hajime’s sublimation magic, however dirty that was, and their power rivaled that of lower level monsters. Finally, taking cheatmate into account (Note: The food Hajime made for them before the fight), their power could even be said to rival that of monsters in the lowest parts of the abyss.
Incidentally, even though the dragons used to be a different color, the fact that there were only black dragons was because Tio had used metamorphosis magic. The reason being something as stupid as: [The wife of the devil king (Note: refers to Hajime here) should be accompanied by evil dragons. Who says evil means black, right?]. The person herself showed a self-satisfied look.
Freed’s monsters simultaneously attacked the armed black dragons. Their number was still more than ten times more. Specs-wise they were roughly equal. Therefore, it should be expected that the black dragons would be overwhelmed by the enemy’s numbers.
However, that expectation would soon be betrayed in the truest sense.
First, as if to say the skies belong to them, the ash dragons simultaneously unleashed a series of breaths expressing their anger. Countless traces of light shone through the air. Totaling more than three times the numbers of black dragons, the series of breaths looked like a wall to them.
However, against the multitude of attacks which were expected to become direct hits, the black dragons performed evasive maneuvers that looked like barrel-rolls and successfully dodged the series of attacks, a little like someone finding gaps and weaving his way through a crowd.
These moves seemed like the movements of Shia, who knew the safety zones, made just before.
The origin was the helmet the black dragons were wearing.
This helmet covered the entirety of the head, until the tip of the nose, and had a Foresight ability. Unlike Shia’s foresight, this ability could not show a distinct picture of the danger beforehand, but once an attack had been fired, it did have the ability to sense the trajectory of the attack. They took precise evasive action according to this ability.
The black dragons counterattacked with breaths and mowed down the alarmed monsters. A monster with the head of horse which managed to slip through the black light dove towards a black dragon’s chest and swung its strong arm. The fist that was thrown into the part of the armor that covered the black dragon from its lower parts up until its stomach made contact and a dark red wave spread as the monster’s magical power was turned into a shockwave.
However, at that moment, a similar wave was caused by the armor, and the one getting blown away was the monster with the horse head. That was obviously the effect of Impact Conversion. The moment the armor the black dragon wore perceived a shock, it returned it. It was a reactive armor, so to speak.
In addition, a three-headed wolf and a black panther chimera launched an attack on the black dragon, only to be counter-attacked by its claws and tail. The two monsters scrutinized the counter-attack, as if they were mocking its dullness, and quickly dodged it. Or so they thought, but in the next moment, they fell on the ground with their blood splashing out.
Even though they should have certainly dodged it, their bodies had been split into two. The cause for this was the activation of Wind Nail which had been installed on the dragon’s claws and at the edge of its tail.
Though equal specs-wise, comparing the strength only based on numbers was presumptuous. The artifacts equipped could overturn the difference in fighting strength of both sides!
“Fufu, this is the result of my group work with goshujin-sama. Not bad, don’t you think?”
“Uranus! Mow them down!”
Ignoring Tio’s prideful moment, Freed twitched his eyebrows and gave the order to the divine dragon. An enormous torrent of aurora was fired in the direction of Tio.
‘How many times do I have to deal with that?’ Tio thought as she quickly went out the way of the incarnation of death which mowed down everything in its path. At the same time, she made a telepathic communication with the black dragons that stood in the path of the attack to urge them to evade.
The black dragons made a tailspin and performed an emergency escape, but as expected, it was impossible to perfectly evade the maxed-out death beam which made Tio feel her scales were being shredded just from the aftershock, and several black dragons sustained wounds.
Then, without a moment’s delay,
“― Boon of the Dragon King.”
Tio sang to herself.
Then, a black wave spread through Tio. The black dragons having lost their wings and limbs who were tumbling to the ground recovered in the blink of an eye, allowing them to keep flying.
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Spirit magic and regeneration magic combined, Boon Of The Dragon King. This magic is a combination of regeneration magic and spirit magic, used to select only the black dragons as the scope of effect.
Just as the name of the magic suggests, the black dragons received healing from their own king. They raised a cry of great joy as they resumed the fight. The dragon king had protected them. No matter how wounded they had been, they showed no fear. Even if they were in a situation where they should instinctively prioritize evasion, they moved forward and swung their claws and bore their fangs at the enemy. As a result, this made the black dragons in superior position again.
And, Tio swung the black whip she was holding in her hand. Even though its length appeared to be five or six meters at most, once it was swung, it expanded to an impossible degree and took an irregular trajectory as it soared through the air. The speed of the tip of the whip was slightly above the speed of sound.
It was a horizontal slash aimed at Freed.
Freed clicked his tongue, and tried to used the silver wings as a defense. However, the trajectory of the black whip suddenly changed and its tip struck the white divine dragon’s eyeball.
Normally, even if the divine dragon’s eyeball were to receive a direct hit, its aberrantly huge stamina would not allow there to be even a single trace of a wound. But, the moment the tip of the black whip made contact, it followed the surface of the eyeball, creating a gap in space, easily tearing through the eyeball.
That black whip was naturally an artifact made by Hajime, and its name was Black Whip of Slavery. On one part of its design was attached a small Treasure Warehouse. Stored inside was the biggest black whip in existence, three kilometers in length. By pouring magical power, one could freely take more length out or in, effectively changing the size of the whip. At a glance, it was a whip that could stretch infinitely.
Furthermore, countless small pieces of metal were attached along the whip, so if one were to concentrate one’s eyes on the whip, one would see something similar to a cat’s tongue, or possibly the skin of a shark, that would shave off its target.
And, a space magic, Decapitation Silk, was embedded in those metal pieces. By the will of the user, it could cut off the surrounding space.
Although the divine dragon narrowly avoided another strike coming for its other eye, its pride had been damaged. It showed fury at the fact that it had received a wound. In its anger, it started mowing down the battlefield with its aurora.
Countless of its own allies were swallowed in the attack, but it didn’t hit Tio, which only made the divine dragon angrier.
“Overcometh by emotions on the battlefield? How inexperienced.”
Even if it had changed and its power increased, it had a long way to go as far as combat experience is concerned. It seemed the white divine dragon had lost its composure.
In a sense, against the white divine dragon leaving lots of openings in its attacks, Tio, showing the dignity of a senior, swung her black whip of slavery.
However, this time it was aimed at the three-headed wolf that was still staggering from the after effects of the previous aurora.
The three-headed wolf let out a surprised voice at the sudden black whip of slavery that twined around its neck and tightened.
“Cometh to life, together with the first cry of birth, ―― Authority of the Dragon King!!”
The voice which carried Tio’s dignity resounded.
At the same time, the three-headed wolf screamed.
It was a strange scream you would totally never expect from this three-headed wolf.
The cause would be obvious for anyone.
“Wh, what, what are you doing!?”
Freed said in an unintentionally shaken voice.
That couldn’t be helped. After all, the three-headed wolf whose neck had been entangled by the black whip of slavery, underwent a sudden transformation while it was screaming.
In terms of seconds, it took approximately three seconds.
In this short timespan, the three-headed wolf turned into a monster that was covered in black scales. It grew thick, strong limbs and a tail, as well as sharp claws, and hard wings showing radiance ―― It had turned into a dragon.
Authority of the Dragon King, a combined magic made of spirit magic and metamorphosis magic. A spirit magic that took the information of dragon transformation from her own dragon race soul and copied it, Dragon Soul Reproduction, and a metamorphosis magic, Sixth Heaven’s Demon Transformation. This combined magic forced the monster to undergo a transformation into a black dragon.
Normally, no matter how high Tio’s aptitudes were in metamorphosis magic, it should be impossible to turn a monster, controlled by someone else at that, into her own underling in mere seconds.
What made such a thing possible was Black Whip of the Slavery. Its real worth didn’t lie in controlling its elasticity at will, nor in its ability to cut through the surrounding space, but in its ability to act as a device that assisted a compulsory change into a dragon. Using this black whip of slavery as an intermediary, Tio was able to force the usual monsters to turn into black dragons.
She could make the monsters she whipped obey her.
Maybe it could be said It wasn’t something fitting for an extremely masochist pervert, or maybe it could be said it was something too fitting for a pervert’s wildest ends. It couldn’t be helped that Shia and the others looked at Hajime in disbelief in lots of ways when he handed the black whip to Tio.
While Freed was shocked at the fact that one of his underlings had been snatched away, two more of his monsters were again changed into black dragons.
“As if I’m going to let you do anymore than that.”
A magical attack like surging wave was fired by Freed. The magic that contained all attributes rushed towards Tio to engulf her. At the same time, silver feathers were fired to cover the remaining gaps. And, to seal any means of escape, the white divine dragon unleashed its aurora.
Tio, without a moment’s hesitation, jumped inside the storm of the attack unleashed by Freed without fearing damage.
If she wouldn’t be able to avoid it, she might as well leap into Freed’s attack, was the conclusion she reached. This evasion action, which could be said to be reckless, was actually a success taking into account the power of the aurora and its after effects.
However, although most of Freed’s attack was repelled by her black scales, his magic, and most of all the decomposition ability, were pouring constantly and she sustained by no means only light damage.
As the pulverized black dragon scales reflected light, blood began slowly falling to the ground, and before long, it turned into a spray of blood.
“How unsightly. Now that you can’t rely on restoration from the stubbornness of your dragons and your magic, you’re showing such a disgraceful way of fighting.”
“I wouldn’t put it like that. Those are also legitimate tactics.”
“Foolishness. You just don’t understand the concept of abilities. I was surprised at your ability to snatch away my monsters, but it seems the person herself is going to meet her end soon after all.”
Freed made fun of Tio’s fighting style, who was ignoring the damage she received. And, once more, she was faced with a barrage of magic and decomposition magic, while the divine white dragon breathed its aurora breath.
Tio once more weighed the aurora breath and Freed’s attack, chose the latter, and exposed herself to the storm of the attack.
At that time, she expanded the length of her black whip of slavery to turn more monsters into black dragons. Seeing such behavior, Freed thought she was acting like a desperate chicken trying to invert the tide of the battle by increasing her war potential because her own power must be reaching its limits. His mocking face grew even more mocking as he saw this.
‘If you like being bombed so much, I’ll let you have as much as you want’ thought Freed as he turned a sadistic look to Tio. The density of the barrage of attacks increased yet again.
On the other side, Shia jumped out. A fierce battle was going on with the platinum apostles on this side too. Though, by no means could it be said to be a fair battle.
Just barely, yes, really just barely, did Shia manage to endure.
If she didn’t have body strengthening Level IV and her native magic Divine Revelation Sight, she would have probably been instant-killed by the platinum apostles. With a quick estimation, the specs of the platinum apostles could be said to be several times that of Shia. She had expected these apostles to be stronger than the average apostle, however she hadn’t expected them to be this strong.
“How about giving up? Shia Hauria.”
Erst, who held a large sword and was engaged in a sword lock with Shia, stared at her and said so from point-blank range.
There, for a moment, an improbable thought like ‘Maybe it’s better to do that… ’ popped in her head. When she realized she had been taken aback by the earlier suggestion, a long sword came sweeping sideways from the back.
At once, using her weapon which was engaged in a sword lock as support, Shia used Air Force to perform a handstand and kick into the air. The trajectory of the sword missed her by a hair’s breadth.
“Don’t underestimate me desu!”
While performing her handstand with her twisted body, she also pulled the trigger of Vire Doryuken, firing a slug bullet from point blank range. It was a special bullet that had been improved and whose power had been increased, and it caused a violent shock. Shia aimed for the moment the two apostles were recovering from the shock, and made use of it to jump back.
Immediately after, a silver flash passed through the place Shia was standing before. Without taking a moment to be relieved, Shia used Air Force once more and jumped. As expected, another silver flash came from another angle and grazed Shia’s feet.
Rolling over in the sky, she hardened herself in midair and immediately descended towards the ground. That’s right, at the very least, if she was on the ground, she wouldn’t have to face attacks coming from below in addition to all other directions.
Then, once she had successfully taken distance from the enemy, she made a sour expression and started a monolog, while staying alert and keeping Vire Doryuken ready.
“To feel uneasiness caused by Charm this late in the game…that’s such a failure on my part.”
“Or rather, did I just feel surprised when I broke out of the spell? Even though I have strengthening against charm type effects.”
The apostles who had also descended onto the ground surrounded Shia from all five sides.
Facing the perseverant Shia, Esrt sent her a somehow amazed look. Even so, the fact that Erst was not showing any sign of impatience was not only due to her being inhuman, but mostly to the fact that she was convinced they would overwhelm Shia.
Erst and the other apostles knew that the reason Shia was able to keep up was because of her native ability. And also that it would consume a non-negligible amount of magic power each time. Even if she was in possession of an artifact supplying magic power, it was bound to run dry after some time.
“Originally, you shouldn’t have lasted even a few moments. Good grief, even I am amazed at your degree of strengthening … This is Yue-san’s magic, right?”
Shia narrowed her eyes dangerously.
The original color of the light of the apostles’ magic, silver ― There was now orange mixed in it, making it a platinum. And, Shia had come to see and feel that gold magic countless times during their travel, so she couldn’t be mistaken. It was a precious part of the elder sister she had befriended … It was Yue’s magic.
Of course, she knew that it was the doing of Ehito Rujue, who occupied Yue’s body.
But, to think that the power of her special person was being used arbitrarily, and pointed at them as a weapon … the anger rising up from her chest was not average.
Feeling she might lose herself to her anger boiling like magma, Shia frantically held her anger back.
Then, intending to turn all the heat she had generated from her anger into power and leave her thoughts for later, she tried to do as Yue, her battle master, taught her, that is, to remain calm like the cold of ice.
In return, Esrt replied with a voice seemingly devoid of emotion.
“More precisely, it should be called the magic of our master, Ehito Rujue-sama. That body, as well as its magic. Everything already belongs to master.”
“ … … ”
Shia’s anger skyrocketed as Esrt calmly gave an answer she seemingly considered really natural.
Shia took out a vial from Treasure Warehouse II. She put it directly before her open mouth and drank the contents in one gulp, just like instant foods. To make her even more unreasonable. To break through her limits.
Then, she exhaled like Tio did, and rashly threw the container away. She swung Vire Doryuken once.
Then she spoke in an extremely cold tone and used words she would absolutely never let her family, or Hajime and her friends, hear.
“Fuck you! I’ve heard enough. Yue-san’s body and magic, and her everything else, it’s obvious who owns all that. That’s right, everything is Hajime-san’s. The one you guys call irregular. I, the one with the title of Divination Expert who can glance into the future, certify that. To the likes of you, as well as your master, I can make the following prediction ― ‘There is no future’.”
“ … Nonsense. What do you think a diminutive existence whose hands or feet can’t reach master do? Accept reality, Shia Hauria. Tio Claus doesn’t even compare with Freed-sama. And because you are being once more overwhelmed by us, the best you can do is try to endure. Can’t you understand? Or is it that you’re trying to escape from reality? The ones who don’t have a future are you people.”
Esrt had suddenly been overcome by a strange chill, and her voice had faltered. She objectively analyzed the situation, and precisely refuted Shia.
Certainly, although Tio was aiming to turn the tide by increasing the number of black dragons, the wounds she had sustained weren’t minor, and she was probably planning to use up all her strength to thwart their plan before it succeeded. And, on this side, Shia had also been overwhelmed to this extent.
There was nothing that could prove Erst wrong.
Up until now …
Shia who had daringly refuted her started laughing with an atrocious face resembling that of a beast.
“‘That’s the limit of my power’. When did you hear me say such a thing?”
“? What are you ―”
Puzzled, Erst tried to make sense of that with a questioning voice ―
However, her mouth suddenly stopped ―
Shia’s power swelled up. Along with an angry war cry.
“―― Level V ! ! ”
The atmosphere shook with a thud. Light blue magic sprang out depicting a screw-like trajectory and rose up.
Originally, with sublimation magic, she could enhance her magic one level above. Which is why, using sublimation magic, the limit of Shia’s body strengthening should have been Level IV. However, what allowed her to surpass that limit was Hajime’s special magic potion Cheatmate Dr.
What Shia drank some time ago was not restorative medicine, but a drinkable Cheatmate. A specialized version containing an excess of ingredients with the use of sublimation magic at that. If it weren’t Shia who was specialized in body strengthening, it wouldn’t be strange for the user’s body to be disintegrated within seconds. It was the kind of body strengthening this was about.
Shia, who had broken through her limit, immediately jumped out, breaking the ground beneath her.
“Huh, again, more power … However, even with this, you’re still no match for us!”
Erst stopped Vire Doryuken which was swung at her from the front using her large sword. With a thunderous roar, the surrounding ground cracked, but the large sword didn’t make a sound.
Then, using mere physical strength, Erst repelled Shia, as if proving her earlier words.
In truth, if one were to compare the status of Shia and the status of the platinum apostles, the difference would be clear.
How much of a gap there was between the two.
For argument’s sake, if the platinum apostles had a status plate, the stats indicated on it would be something like this:
Physical strength:22.000 [Strengthened 66000]
Stamina:22.000 [Strengthened: 66000]
Resistance:22.000 [Strengthened: 66000]
Agility:22.000 [Strengthened: 66000]
Magical power:22.000 [Strengthened: 66000]
Magical resistance:22.000 ? [Strengthened: 66000]
For normal apostles, their stats would all be at 12.000, and at 36.000 after being strengthened. Meaning those white-platinum apostles almost had twice their stats.
And, Shia’s body strengthening Level V was (Note: CM stands for Cheatmate, SM for sublimation magic, BS for body strengthening):
Physical strength:100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS Ⅴ 38400]
Stamina: 120 ?[CM 240] ?[SM 480] ?[BS V 38480]
Resistance: 100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS V 38400]
Agility: 130 ?[CM 260] ?[SM 520] ?[BS V 38520]
Magical power: 3800 ?[CM 7600]
Magical resistance: 4000 ?[CM 8000]
This is how it was. Those were specs that would enable her to surpass normal apostles, but they fell far short of the platinum apostles she was up against.
Shia, who had been blown away by Erst, flew horizontally along the ground. However, there was not a single sign of her losing her composure, and the ferocious daring smile was still there.
Beams of light of the white-platinum apostles were approaching her from left and right. Using Vire Doryuken, she propelled her body and evaded. Then, she turned towards Zweit who was awaiting her from behind, rolled around, and used her propelling force to make a full swing of Vire Doryuken.
The white-platinum apostle unintentionally gazed at her in wonderment after her next words, which were accompanied by a war cry.
“―― Level VI ! ! ”
The following impact. If one depicted this scene with a painting, the physical impact would be the same as the facial impact between Erst’s face moments before and now.
However, just before the blow with the strength of Shia’s propelling, she operated Vire Doryuken’s gravity magic and its weight increased. The white-platinum apostle couldn’t turn a blind eye to the destructive power that was created.
With a terrific roar, a shockwave was created from between the two who clashed. Dust shot up, and inside, a pair of large swords had caught Vire Doryuken’s blow and were crossing against it.
The blow couldn’t be stopped with only one hand anymore. Zweit’s feet which had been slightly pushed back testified of that.
Shia’s body strengthening Level VI. Its values were:
Physical strength:100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS ⅤI 46000]
Stamina: 120 ?[CM 240] ?[SM 480] ?[BS VI 46080]
Resistance: 100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS VI 46000]
Agility: 130 ?[CM 260] ?[SM 520] ?[BS VI 46120]
Magical power: 3800 ?[CM 7600]
Magical resistance: 4000 ?[CM 8000]
But, she was still far from being a match for them.
However, the artifact made by Hajime and her age of gods magic made up for that gap.
Shia poured magic into Vire Doryuken which was engaged in a sword lock with the twin large swords in the center, thus activating a gimmick.
KASHUN! One part of the center of the damaged surface on the ground slipped, and inside, the jet black stake that had been charged started emitting light blue sparks, and immediately rotated at high speed.
Following Shia’s pattern, her finger pulled the trigger.
A thunderous roar reverberated.
Came Zweit’s surprised voice.
Vire Doryuken’s IAP pile banker mercilessly pulverized the pair of large swords into thousand pieces and drew near Zweit’s head.
Zweit, surprised, barely managed to move her head out of the way, but the jet black stake which grazed her cheek inflicted a significant wound on the face of the beauty that resembled a piece of art, and tore through most of her beautiful platinum hair.
From the sky, Dritte shot silver feathers. So did Vierte and Funfte from the left and right.
Furthermore, Zweit who was at point-blank range moved to avoid the silver flash, and Erst swung her silver twin swords.
There was no way out.
They had reassessed the increase of specs in Shia’s body strengthening, and maybe they were aiming to bring her down quickly. Maybe she was actually strong enough to take down Zweit if they weren’t careful.
Any means of escape was virtually nonexistent for Shia.
All of a sudden Shia closed her eyes.
“Have you given up!”
Came Erst’s voice.
She couldn’t think of any other reason why Shia would close her eyes under these circumstances. Anyone else would naturally think along the same lines as Erst.
But, there was no way the monster rabbit would stand there and accept defeat.
And in the next moment, all attacks missed their target.
Their inhuman expressions lost their perfectness.
Instead, their faces were painted with confusion and surprise.
That couldn’t be helped. Because, after all, Shia was still there. She was there, and even so, all the attacks slipped through.
It was not that the person herself had been cut into two so skillfully that she hadn’t realized anything, neither that she had been obliterated by the feathers and flash.
The cause was the strange sight displayed before their eyes. That strange sight was a Shia that had become semi-transparent.
The space magic Half Transition ―― a magic that shifted one’s body halfway to a different space. All interference from the origin space wouldn’t reach the body. In other words, it was a magic of absolute defense.
This was, so to speak, a failed transition magic that connected two spaces. If someone other than Shia were to do it, it wouldn’t be unlikely that their body would get scattered in pieces, so it was an emergency defective magic that was quite dangerous. Because in no way were her magic aptitudes poor in spite of being specialized in body strengthening, and because she was in a state where she had broken through her limits thanks to the Cheatmate she used, Shia could immediately use space magic as a physical ability.
Of course, it was a magic even Shia could not use at her own convenience. It consumed a huge amount of magical power. And on top of Shia not being able to interfere with the origin space either when half-transitioning, she couldn’t even move. Therefore, it was a trump card she could only use once in a battle.
Which is why, Shia wouldn’t miss this chance.
As soon as the attack passed through, she undid the half-transitioning and returned to the origin space, and dove forward while firing explosive slug bullets around her.
She closed in upon Zweit’s bust, who had lost her pair of large swords and had only been firing silver bombardment. Then, she moved past Zweit’s drawn out icefish-like hands in a move resembling a snake, and Shia’s hands grabbed Zweit’s head.
Placing her palm so it covered Zweit’s eyes, Shia used her nails on Zweit’s forehead to lock her grip.
“ ―― Level VII ! ! ”
Additional body strengthening.
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Physical strength:100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS ⅤII 53600]
Stamina: 120 ?[CM 240] ?[SM 480] ?[BS VII 53680]
Resistance: 100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS VII 53600]
Agility: 130 ?[CM 260] ?[SM 520] ?[BS VII 53720]
Magical power: 3800 ?[CM 7600]
Magical resistance: 4000 ?[CM 8000]
Possessing stats far exceeding that of strengthened normal apostles, she rushed forward while still holding Zweit’s head, escaping the siege she had been in.
In moments, she exceeded the speed of sound, broke through the wall of the atmosphere, and slammed the back of Zweit’s head with this insane force against a boulder protruding from the ground.
Taking into account the stamina of the white-platinum apostles, there was no way their heads could be crushed like a tomato. On the other hand, the boulder would be pulverized. However, Shia didn’t stop there and kept pressing Zweit’s head farther into the ground, before firing off an explosive slug bullet from point-blank range.
Furthermore, while jumping from that spot, she kept pulling the trigger over and over again. Against the explosive slug bullet creating brutal shockwaves, even if Zweit wouldn’t sustain major wounds, there was no sign of her being able to move, and she was being crucified deep into the ground like a doll being toyed with.
Sensing that Erst and the other had come in pursuit, Shia unmindfully took out a big lump of metal from Treasure Warehouse II. It was a rectangle shape, 20 meters in length, 10 meters in width.
On one face was a small hole. Shia changed the design of Vire Doryuken and thrust it into the hole.
Then it would become obvious. The huge rectangle object was an external equipment attached to Vire Doryuken to deal damage.
Even if one was using gravity magic, there was a limit to the reduction of weight. A human wouldn’t be able to hold 100 tons even with gravity magic.
Yes, this hammer really weighed 100 tons.
“Let the earth be scarred desu!”
Shia let out a loud yell.
Using her physical strength which had been strengthened beyond the realm of humans at full throttle, she swung down the hammer, preparing to cause an impact nothing short of comparable to that of an asteroid on a star.
When Zwei was finally able to raise his body from the storm of the explosive slug bullets, her whole vision was already covered with a wall cold metal.
At once, she entered defense mode using her white-silver feathers to cover her body in a knit. But, on the surface of the strike, there was obviously a sealing stone, and the moment of impact, it unknitted the feather, which then completely vanished under the weight that defied common sense.
Then, a severe earthquake occurred.
The artificial island that had caused the unnatural earthquake rumbled. The ground collapsed where the head of the hammer had crashed like a grave-marker. And, as if to make doubly sure of the deed, the hammer started rotating.
At that time, on the surface of the hammer that was touching Zweit, countless sharp edges grew out, and grinding sounds resounded as holes were being made into her. As a matter of fact, a drill gimmick was attached to the head of this hammer. In order to pulverize into million pieces the enemy that had been crushed by it.
Moreover, sealing stones had also been put on the sharp edges to deny enemy resistance. Even if Zweit used her white-silver feathers to protect her body, it would be useless. Truly, men were fond of drills.
Glancing at the 100t hammer that kept digging into the ground little by little, Erst and the other apostles, with a disciplined attitude that seemed indifferent to their fellow apostle’s situation, rushed towards Shia.
Shia had just brought down the true 100 tons. She began the process to detach Vire Doryuken from the head of the hammer by shrinking it. She would definitely not make it in time, and she couldn’t use [Half Transition] once more. If she did, the consumption of magical power supply from demon crystal stone would become unbalanced, and her body strengthening would be undone.
If that happened, if she was hit only once, there would be no second time.
There, Shia would have to use another of her trump cards.
Erst’s sentence penetrated her ears.
At the same time,
A hard sound resounded.
From Shia who had received and stopped the pair of large swords.
It was not that she used an equipment relying on an artifact to block the swords, nor that she used the pommel of Vire Doryuken.
It was just that she only had her body at her disposal, and she stopped the blow from the pair of large swords.
“Steel Clothes ―― It”s going to take more than normal attacks to bring me down you know?”
Shia’s fearless voice echoed.
It was literally as if she wore steel clothes: it was a metamorphosis magic that strengthened her body.
Her neck, shoulders, arms, feet. The sword that obviously aimed to chop off Shia into several pieces, although it managed to bite into Shia a little because of the disintegration ability, was stopped from inflicting a major wound.
The apostles stiffened unintentionally. They started searching their data at high speed for an explanation, but no matter how much they searched, there was obviously no data recording of Shia having an advanced defense system skill as Hajime did. The fact that she immediately became impenetrable using metamorphosis magic indicated that her way of using it had to be very unique.
Sixth Heaven’s Demon Transformation was unique in its use of the demon stone, which was similar to Ryutaro’s. It immediately made one’s own body undergo a metamorphosis. It wasn’t much different Tio’s Dragon Transformation. It was Steel Transformation, so to speak. Though its consumption of magical power was not at the level of Half Transition, it was still significant, so its use had to be carefully thought about.
The apostles started trembling slightly. But this mere action would leave a fatal gap in this battle that was anything but usual.
Gashun! Vire Doryuken’s shrinking process completed. Shia’s face showed a faint smile at the return of her partner in her hands.
Then she let out that war cry once more.
“―― Level VIII ! ! ”
A light blue magical power surged. Shia’s specs went up once again!
Physical strength:100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS ⅤIII 61200]
Stamina: 120 ?[CM 240] ?[SM 480] ?[BS VIII 61280]
Resistance: 100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS VIII 61200]
Agility: 130 ?[CM 260] ?[SM 520] ?[BS VIII 61320]
Magical power: 3800 ?[CM 7600]
Magical resistance: 4000 ?[CM 8000]
Her physical ability was nearing that of the platinum apostles.
Erst’s face twitched.
Immediately following, the pair of silver swords that were trying cut Shia’s Steel Clothes were repelled. Then, with both of Erst’s arms raised due to the repelling, her stomach was left exposed, and a rotating Vire Doryuken was thrust into her at full power.
Esrt’s body was bent back and forth. A short exhalation, along with bloody vomit, came out from her mouth, and one of her swords involuntarily fell from her arm that became loose after the shock. And, she was sent flying with terrific force, like the ball in a pinball game.
Dritte, who had been stunned by the absurd defense before her eyes, suddenly came back to herself and swung her twin swords. Shia evaded by simply letting herself free-fall towards the ground. Vierte and Funfte gave pursuit using their platinum bombardment and feathers.
Using Divine Revelation Sight and Air Force, Shia barely evaded. She landed near the empty large hole made by the floating island of the extra-large drill. Glancing inside, she confirmed her feeling that Zweit had been subjugated. Also, she confirmed the stern faces of the apostles after Erst, the first apostle, had obviously received some serious damage when she was blown away.
Even though they had the conviction that they were overwhelming the enemy, when they noticed there were only three of them left.
Closing in on Shia, suddenly her previous declaration passed through their minds.
――To the likes of you, and also your sheetty master, I can make the following prediction ‘There is no future’.
Dritte who was in the lead gritted her teeth.
She was thinking about something insignificant, that was all nonsense.
Then, she shook off the ominous feeling that was sticking to her and swung down her pair of large swords with all her strength.
That sword swing, to which was added the power of her drop, could only be described with one word: powerful.
In response, Shia readied Vire Doryuken’s lower part and took a stance of interception.
‘What a fool’, Dritte thought. Her body strengthening surprisingly deserved credit. Certainly, it was an outstanding boost that allowed her to approach them, the white-platinum apostles.
But, even with this, she couldn’t reach them. This attack, which also used the speed of her fall, was simply something that exceeded the power of Shia’s stats. Therefore, there was no way she would be able to defend against it. Let alone intercept it!
( … … Why is your mouth moving!? What the hell are you intending to say!?)
Actually, she knew. In this slow motion scene, the movement on Shia’s lips was something familiar, something she had come to see many times in this battle. Each time those powerful words were unleashed into this world, little by little, she was growing closer to it. To their height, that is. It was like an evil spirit lurking in the abyss, whose hands was growing longer in order to drag them in.
Dritte’s muscles froze.
Therefore, without even realizing herself, she made a wish.
But, naturally, there was no way this wish would come true ――
“Level IX ! ! ”
Physical strength:100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS IX 68800]
Stamina: 120 ?[CM 240] ?[SM 480] ?[BS IX 68880]
Resistance: 100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS IX 68800]
Agility: 130 ?[CM 260] ?[SM 520] ?[BS IX 68920]
Magical power: 3800 ?[CM 7600]
Magical resistance: 4000 ?[CM 8000]
Shia Hauria was now exceeding the white-platinum apostles. The pair of large swords Dritte had swung down and Vire Doryuken, which Shia had swung up, collided.
The explosion-like shock spread in the surroundings, and the ground around Shia was blown off, leaving a crater.
Even with the speed of the fall added to it, the two competing powers were equal.
Sparks were splendidly scattering around the pair of large swords and Vire Doryuken that were locked against one another.
“To stand against the apostles of god, what arrogance! Go down! Shia Hauria!”
The apostles had no such things as emotions. That was a lie all right.
Dritte, who had gotten aggressive and betrayed the usual calm of the apostles, fluttered the wings on her back in an attempt to smash up Shia.
After all, as she stated, it was unforgivable to stand against a being like herself who deserved the title of apostle of god. But, what was even more unforgivable was the fact that she would harbor the feeling of ‘fear’ caused by Shia, someone who had entered their own territory.
In order to deny this, she desperately poured more power into her pair of large swords.
Shia caught sight of Vierte and Funfte sneaking up from behind to attempt a pincer attack from left and right, spoke.
“Ha, I had no idea! So much for your rules.”
Shia wrapped it around Dritte’s neck.
Her hair that is.
“This is ――”
“You’re in the way!”
Her hair, like it was a living being, tightened around Dritte’s neck, and threw her with terrific force at Vierte who was approaching from the left. Neither Dritte, nor Vierte, could ever have expected Shia’s hair to move like a living being. They were completely taken by surprise, and were thrown onto the ground.
And then, the expression on the face of Funfte who was approaching from the right … froze.
Yes, at the sight of that face.
“Impossible, that can’t be! Such a thing as surpassing us!”
“Now then, this is the last one, ―― Level X ! ! ! ”
Funfte screamed in denial as Shia, whose sky blue magic was reflected on the walls, stepped forward.
Physical strength:100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS X 76400]
Stamina: 120 ?[CM 240] ?[SM 480] ?[BS X 76480]
Resistance: 100 ?[CM 200] ?[SM 400] ?[BS X 76400]
Agility: 130 ?[CM 260] ?[SM 520] ?[BS X 76520]
Magical power: 3800 ?[CM 7600]
Magical resistance: 4000 ?[CM 8000]
It was an overwhelming physical ability that surpassed the stats of the white-platinum apostles by more than 10000.
From Funfte’s point of view, all she could see was Shia suddenly vanishing from her field of vision. Shia’s movement speed had finally exceeded the perception ability of the apostles.
Funfte opened her eyes wide in terror at the impossible situation where she, an apostle of god, had lost sight of the enemy she was fighting, when she felt a figure from behind.
Barely having the time to direct her line of sight over her shoulders, all that was reflected in her eyes was a war hammer spreading over her entire field of vision.
“Ku, such a thing … ”
Came the extremely shaky voice of Dritte as she retook her stance after having been previously thrown onto the ground along with Vierte. At the end of her sight was the surreal scene of Funfte’s head pulverized, with only a stain left on the ground.
“Dritte … At this rate … ”
On Dritte’s side, Vierte, who readied her pair of large swords, addressed her fellow apostles as she kept her trembling eyes on Shia. However, there were no follow-up words. It was obvious she frankly didn’t want to say what came next.
Dritte couldn’t respond. Nevertheless, at that time, she caught sight of an unusual phenomenon surrounding Shia. No, more precisely, it was an unusual phenomenon surrounding what deserved the title of Shia’s partner, the war hammer.
“This is … ”
If they focused their eyes, they could see countless cracks on Vire Doryuken.
That was not a coincidence.
After all, it stopped countless attacks from the front, each of which had decomposition ability and unusually high impact, and what’s more, it now has to cope with Shia’s insane physical strength which surpassed reason. Rather, what was more of a wonder was how it had withstood all that so far.
“Vierte, target the weapon.”
“ … I see.”
She understood the intention behind these words.
Immediately after, Shia’s shape disappeared.
The moment Dritte realized this, Shia had already appeared behind her. A truly overwhelming speed. If it was only physical ability, she would be surpassing even a Hajime who was on Supreme Break.
However, the apostles would now be aiming to avoid physical contact at all costs, even if barely, after seeing what happened to Funfte.
The moment she saw Shia disappear, she immediately covered her body with her wings and pointed her of large swords overhead.
Her feathers were pulverized in an instant, but they managed to reduce the strength of Shia’s blow to some extent, allowing the pair of large swords to stop the blow completely next.
Even so, Dritte unintentionally leaked an anguished cry at the tremendous shock that resulted. Both of her arms made an unpleasant sound which seemed to reveal they had reached their limit. Then, Vierte used her decomposition ability at its maximum.
The target was not Shia, but the cracks spreading on Vire Doryuken. She estimated that if Shia were to lose her weapon, they would only be up against living flesh, and thus have a chance of winning.
“I predicted that you know?”
The derivation of her native magic Future Sight, Hypothesis Sight. Shia had become suspicious of Dritte and Vierte’s discussion. What if I attack Dritte? She glanced into the future at this eventuality with her ability.
Therefore, she was aware of where Vierte would probably be aiming to strike.
Shia’s beautiful legs disappeared. Her fine, toned, long legs precisely fixed on Vierte’s neck.
Resounded the lively sound of smashing.
Vierte’s neck was bent towards the direction of the day after tomorrow. Immediately following, fluently fired in a flash, came the explosion of an elegant, tremendously powerful roundhouse kick, that sent Vierte’s body flying with terrific force.
“Ku, that damn monster”
“Please don’t go around suddenly praising me.”
Dritte fired white-silver bombardment. In terms of distance, it was from point-blank range.
However, as if naturally, it didn’t land on Shia. Her shape disappeared instantly, and the next moment, she had snuck upon Dritte’s bosom.
Without even having time to take a breath, Dritte received an elbow strike in the pit of the stomach. Gohaa! To this Dritte who was reduced in a sorry state where she was spewing out bloody vomit, a kick that seemed to pierce the sky was raised up. Before the beautiful form that bent 180 degrees top and bottom, Dritte, whose jaws had been pulverized, was sent floating into the air in a hopeless state.
A scream, then an explosion.
While returning her feet, bent overhead, to their original position, Vire Doryuken had already picked up a speed too fast to be visible.
In that moment, it broke the speed of sound, causing an explosion in the air, and the next moment its full swing appeared.
And, Dritte, who received that full swing …
Her shape was no longer anywhere to be seen.
All that were left were red stains on the ground.
There, a war cry resounded.
“HaaaAAA ! ! ”
It was Vierte. It seemed she didn’t die even with her neck bone pulverized. She created a tidal wave of flames around a magic square using her white-silver wings, went inside, and started approaching Shia.
“Such a thing won’t work against the current me!”
Swinging her rabbit ears, she sensed the presence of Vierte inside the large fire, and swung Vire Doryuken with a splendid timing at the place where Vierte was covering herself with fire.
There came jumping in … two shadows.
“ ! ”
Shia was surprised. She opened her eyes wide at the fact that she, who was excellent at the perception of presences, had been deceived.
By Vierte’s presence, the large fire, as well as their whole resulting strategy.
The large sword that was swung against Vire Doryuken, the moment it hit Vierte, was Erst’s.
As if trading Vierte’s life for more power, Vierte’s limbs were pulverized simultaneously with Vire Doryuken. Inside the flames starting to disperse because of the death of their caster, Erst ran past Shia to face her back. Then, she immediately turned around, and swung her large sword to pierce Shia who had just lost her partner.
Performing a rotation that seemed like a dance, she had taken a striking stance and her large sword was approaching Shia to take her life.
On the opposing side, Shia, who had her back turned to Erst, turned around like a mirror.
Then, for a moment, their gazes met. In this slow-motion space, both of their feelings were conveyed to one another.
(The apostles cannot lose!)
(I will be the one to win!)
The brightness of the large swords swelled up. It was a radiance that showed that even against Steel Clothes, it would be ready to chop off Shia’s neck. That was the radiance of a will strong enough to question its emanating from a puppet.
Or maybe it was that at this moment she was betting her pride as an apostle, that she didn’t want to lose, and she would carry out the mission of god and them apostles.
But, ‘I don’t want to lose’ and ‘I want to win’. There was a gap of strength between those two wills. When they clashed, the one with more pressure was undoubtedly … the latter.
As if to prove this fact, inside the slow-motion space, something started to form in the hand of Shia which should have been empty. Red liquid, as if it were alive, started to converge.
Erst opened her eyes wide in surprise.
That was because … Shia was holding a war hammer made of blood that had gathered from the cut she inflicted on her own arm.
Crimson War Hammer ―― it was a magic that used metamorphosis magic on one’s own body, just like Steel Clothes. Something allowing her to freely manipulate her blood.
Leaving the slow-motion space and returning to the original world, the next moment, they both clashed ――
Once more, their backs were turned on each other.
The blood war hammer was falling and scattering blood like cherry blossom.
Pushu! Blood gushed out from the neck of the alert Shia.
Then a voice spoke.
“ … I wonder what this thing rising up within me is. This tightening thing that makes me want to scream. Shia Hauria. Do you know what it is?”
“ … Isn’t it frustration?”
Hearing Shia’s answer, Erst nodded ‘I see’.
Immediately after, something came falling from the sky and stuck to the ground separating the two of them.
It was the large sword that had been broken halfway.
On closer look at Erst’s stance, it wasn’t that only Erst’s sword had been broken. On her chest, there was a big hole. It was obvious whatever was inside had been pulverized.
Erst finally relaxed her alertness and threw away her broken sword. Then, she looked over her shoulders at Shia who had likewise relaxed, and muttered her last words with an expressionless face.
“I hate you.”
Just as Shia said, that was the result of the considerable level of frustration she had been holding in …
Erst only said this, then fell down like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
At this sound, Shia fluttered her rabbit ears and hair, and turned around. Then, she muttered something in turn. Really as if to say that this was the cause of her victory. With a broad grin and fearless smile.
“I hate you ‘very’ much.”
Then, she collapsed.
“Ahh, as expected, Level X takes a heavy tollll. And because I also used Crimson War Hammer, I am getting anemiaa”
While taking out a restorative medicine from Treasure Warehouse II, Shia muttered a monolog and held onto her consciousness that seemed ready to fade at any moment in some way or another.
“Now then, I’ve dealt with the apostles but … what is happening on Tio-san’s side ―― ”
Shia redirected her consciousness towards Tio whom she had been separated from while she fought with the platinum apostles. Searching her memory, when they got separated, the armed black dragons were surrounded by countless more monsters, and seemed to be rampaging without losing.
The black and white flashes flying about in the sky were worthy of a space battle between two fleets in a sci-fi movie.
Because the black dragons didn’t seem to be losing ground, and that their master, Tio, seemed to be fine, Shia breathed a sigh of relief.
But, the next moment,
OoOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ! ! ! !
Came the violent yells of countless numbers, that gave the sense that the sky was going to fall. And, simultaneously, a large army of monsters made its appearance, making completely light of the previous ratio.
Shia thought this was bad, and that she had to try and stand up, but the adverse effect of Level X was overwhelming, and it didn’t look as if she would be able to stand up immediately.
Meanwhile, something else occurred. She wondered if it was the terrific flashes in the sky,
ZuDooOOOON ! !
An earth tremor spread, and something came crashing with terrific force right next to Shia, who was lying on the ground. She was swung back and forth by the oscillations.
Wondering what it was, Shia turned her sight ahead as she revitalized her upper body. There, there was …
“Eh, Tio, san?”
Lying down on the completely smashed-up ground, having wounds all over her body, was the figure of Tio.
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