『A mere human. Know your place.』
The voice of the “shadow” gushed out haughtily, without any doubt that it was the superior existence.
At the same time, it swung its arm while the whip of hell fire that branched and increased into more than ten rushed toward the lord from all direction. Every single one moved in a speed that was impossible to avoid by ordinary human if they reacted after seeing it.
*Zuban-*, the sound of the lord’s body getting mercilessly torn apart into little pieces resounded.
Claudia almost raised her voice unconsciously. She was about to let out a mere scream or perhaps a grieving voice. But, ether way there was no need for her to do that.
Along with an anticlimax sound *bofun*, the figure of the lord that should have been melted and slashed into fragments vanished when they noticed. In his place a black short sword――a kunai appeared midair.
Then, where was the lord?
「Not really, isn’t that right?」
Instantly, the lord appeared behind the “shadow”. Using substitute techniquekawarimi no jutsu, he switched location with one of the kunai that was deflected at the opening of the battle.
But, the “shadow” instantly pinpointed the lord’s position and in less than a moment it attacked. Its sharp tail lengthened and pierced without it even turning around.
The lord got his stomach pierced, however, he grinned widely.
The next moment, a kunia came flying in the way that pierced that lord from his back.
As expected, it seemed the “shadow” didn’t expect at all that an attack that would pierce the attacker himself would come. The kunai pierced the “shadow” without giving it any leeway to strike down the kunai.
The agitation of the “shadow” could be felt. Rather than getting surprised because it got hit, the cause of its surprise was more that the damage of the attack was unexpectedly big.
A part of the “shadow” was vanishing like mist at the center where the kunai stabbed deeply. The kunai was naturally in the state of scorching red.
The clone body that got hit by the tail vanished from the damage. At the same time, the “shadow” unleashed an attack that swept through the area behind it.
It was unknown just how many branches of whip the “shadow” could produce. Whip of hell fire that easily numbered more than a hundred gouged out the road of rubbles completely, the buildings at the surrounding were pulverized. Buildings that got its bottom pillar broken were collapsing altogether. Thunderous sound shook the world, and dusts were rising up.
And then, a voice could be heard from nowhere.
――Abyss-style Doton JutsuEarth Ninja Art Naraku no KairouCome into my world of abyss (Note: Naraku no Kairou = Corridor of Naraka)
A cute scream that didn’t suit the hellish battlefield resounded.
The “shadow” looked at its left arm that was holding Claudia and raised an angry voice, but it was already too late.
The lord that slipperily appeared from inside the ground held Claudia with a posture of holding her from below. And then, with a wide grin he displayed Abyss-style Kuuton JutsuAir Ninja Art“Bankage no KagerouThe abyss is always unevenly distributed”.
The lord accomplished forced substitution to the coordinate of another slightly away place along with Claudia and the air around him. Naturally, the arm of the “shadow” that was dragged into the space teleportation was severed. The attack that was immediately unleashed toward the lord also cut empty air in vain.
The lord tossed away the arm of the “shadow” that was clinging on Claudia while holding her in princess carry.
『The body that will give birth to me-. You lowly human dare!』
「You are just a “lowly shadow” right?」
The moment the “shadow” turned its focus at the recovered Claudia, the lord’s kick that was falling horizontally with freefalling speed hit the side of it.
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――Abyss-style TaijutsuMartial Art Kicking Style Juutsui Engeki KyakuFall Into The Deep Darkness (Note: Heavy crash flame kick)
Added with the momentum from horizontal freefalling using gravity magic “Black Vortex”, the moment the kick impacted, the lord increased his body weight by several times over to raise the destructive power. Furhtermore using enchanting type magic, he wrapped his leg with flame element magic.
It was a technique he only thought just now! Of course the naming too!
「Hm. It’s not a bad technique for something that I used for the first time. But……the technique’s name needs further consideration.」
The “shadow” was sent flying to crash into the building right beside it.
The lord landed down *step* on the spot where the “shadow” was standing on until just a moment ago and muttered such thing. It seemed that the naming wasn’t really fitting. It seemed that another Hauria clan meeting would be necessary.
Founder Baltofelt! It would be his turn there!
「E, eh? Ah? Tw, two people? Different person? Bu, but the same……or rather, the power just now-」
Claudia-sama was in the middle of great shock! Her jade eyes were swirling on and on.
It wasn’t strange for her to be like that. Even though the two people were wearing mask, but their appearance until their atmosphere were as alike as two peas in a pot.
In addition from the her view point who knew better than anyone about the mightiness of the “shadow”, her natural enemy, this person easily recovered her back from that “shadow”, and in the end, he even blew away the “shadow” that should be completely unaffected against physical attack using a single kick. Furthermore, the kick had the strength to send the “shadow” crashing into a building.
In the end, the conclusion she formed within her confusion was,
「As I thought, aah, the Lord’s messenger is――」
「Hello, I’m the demon king’s right-hand man.」
An abnormal situation where the God’s messenger introduced himself as an underling of evil. Claudia-sama’s eyes were swirling once more.
But, at that timing, from the other side of the building where the “shadow” crashed into, a roar that would shook anyone’s sanity thundered. At the same time, countless flashes surged from the building. It was a sight that looked like countless lasers sweeping through everything.
*Zuzuzu-*, the building was starting to slip down due to its own weight.
「You must be confused but there is not time. I’ll save the explanation for later. Right now stay quiet and let me save you!」
「Eh? A, ye, yes!」
Claudia’s head nodded up and down honestly and quickly. The lord fixed his hold on her and began to turn back through the path he came from with great speed.
「Hold it back!」
A clone leaped forward in front of the lord and became a vanguard, then the remaining two clones appeared with *pon-* sound and charged toward the “lump of shadow and hell fire” that was visible at the other side of the destroyed building.
Claudia opened her eyes wide saying 「Clo, clones!? It’s the mystery of the eastern!?」. It seemed that she was unexpectedly knowledgeable about subculture. Or perhaps, because of her position she knew a lot about the mystique side.
He wanted to be spared from a second Danessa. Inside the lord was wishing strongly that it was the latter.
But, there, seeing the “shadow” that was increasing its pressure and repulsiveness, Claudia was taken aback and raised her voice.
「Please wait! That thing-, the “key of holy cross”! We have to take it back!」
It seemed it was something really important.
But, taking it back was an impossible request. The proof was how Claudia was coughing hard and the little amount of blood that she coughed at the same time.
The cause was one. It was the bloody wind of this foreign world. Its toxic substance was gnawing at Claudia. The lord didn’t understand the how, but it seemed that Claudia wasn’t affected like this while she was restrained by that “shadow”, but damage was accumulating within her now with certainty right after he took her back.
It was clear that it was necessary to escape from this foreign world even for a second faster.
And then, it wasn’t just Claudia. Rather, different from Claudia who was under a kind of protection, the lord was already under the effect of the bloody wind for quite some time.
Claudia was looking up at the lord’s face pleadingly inside his embrace and noticed that. It was hard to notice because of the black mask, but the mouth area was changing color. In addition, right now, a trickle of blood was flowing down slowly from the sunglasses.
Blood vomit, nosebleed, tears of blood. Even he who showed up like a savior was also being gnawed by this environment that was harmful to human.
But, even so, that key was the only thing that mustn’t be stolen no matter what. Rather, even if Claudia had to throw away her life, that was the only thing……
「No need to worry.」
Different from the composed act until just now, the lord’s voice gave the impression of slight fatigue. But, mysteriously a voice that was calming was directed toward Claudia.
The lord slightly pulled closer his arm that was circled around Claudia’s shoulder so she wouldn’t fall and he turned his palm to face above.
Claudia was pulled closer with a jerk and her face became pushed onto the lord’s neck. Because of her special position, she had no experience of getting embraced by a male who was near her age. Even while understanding that this wasn’t the time, she held her breath while her heart was skipping a beat.
But, what happened right after that caused her to gulp even more.
「It’s a bit of bad habit of mine to have sticky fingers. An accessory this beautiful doesn’t match that kind of chap that look like shoddy picture, that was why my hand moved by itself.」
「Tha, that is-」
The ring in the lord’s finger emitted light. Light flashed on his palm. From there, what appeared was exactly what Claudia asked to take back, a cross necklace that was endowed with artistic beauty despite its antique feel――”the key of holy cross”.
It seemed Aby-san somehow also snatched “the key of holy cross” when he dealt the kick. The “shadow” was enraged when Claudia was taken from it, creating an opening. But despite that, what a quickness. Certainly, the lord’s sticky fingers was bad just as he personally stated.
「I don’t know what is this “thing” but……if it’s that important, don’t let it get stolen again next time okay?」
「Ye, yes-. Thank you, very much.」
Claudia slowly reached out and took the “key of holy cross”. She put it around her neck and then grasped it tightly as though embracing it into her chest. She then said her words of gratitude.
And then, she looked up once more at the lord wonderingly, thinking 「Just who in the world this person is?」.
But, even that conversation was forced to come to an end due to the pressing matter.
「Chih. One got destroyed. One more time, I’ll leave it to you okay, me!」
「It’s more troublesome than expected but, just leave it to me, me.」
The lord cursed, at the same time he summoned a clone. Yes, one of the two clones that were left behind to hold back the “shadow” was annihilated.
Because he had already consumed a considerable amount of magic power, he only put a little magic power into the clone bodies to save energy, and he also in a state where he sealed the techniques that consumed large amount of magic power. But for a clone to be annihilated in this short time, he couldn’t stop from getting a shudder.
There, the lord rushed into the storm of bloody wind once more. The ghoul-like things rejoiced as though to say 「The prey returned!」 and rushed the lord.
The ghoul-like things approached like a muddy stream. The clone body who acted as vanguard resolved to accept some damage and charged forward. The clone slashed with shining short swords in both hands, discarded them, then mowed down the enemies with flame element magic.
「I have question, do you have a way to seal that mirror entrance?」
The lord’s main body, even with his hands occupied, he used magic and threw all his kunais that were manipulated using telepathy stone to the surrounding to prevent the enemies from approaching, while asking Claudia that.
It was a sudden question, but Claudia nodded firmly.
「This “key of holy cross” is for that.」
「I see. Even my sticky fingers can be useful sometimes.」
Winged ghoul-like things attacked from the sky. Kunais flew and shot them down, but the full use of clone bodies, diverse use of gravity magic, the numerous consecutive magic, and above all else, the long stay in this environment, and the body strengthening and revitalization that were continuously activated all along.
His magic power had become lower than twenty percent.
Unfortunately, both his hands were full. The unceasing attack of the ghoul-like things, and the control of the clone bodies to hold back the “shadow” made him unable to spare the time to drink recovery medicine.
But, if he could just return to the original world, Claudia would seal the gate. He could recover himself after that. Right now speed was of the most importance. It would be the lord’s victory if he just arrived at the destination!
「Hahah, a carnage like this has been so long. Not bad!」
The vanguard clone was crushed by number.
He used the skill “Shadow Dance” to make the ghoul-like things rushing him as his footsteps.
He leaped across them while summoning a clone at the same time. He burned away the enemy at his landing point using fire ninja art and secured the escape route while turning the surrounding into quicksand using earth ninja art and made the enemies stumbled.
For himself he used “Wood Chip Dance” to rush away using grains of sand as foothold. Against the countless arms reaching toward him, he used the combination technique of illusion and gravity magic “Shadow of Slanted Death” and broke through everything by a paper’s breadth.
The enemies surely want to get a bite of him no matter what.
Against the lord whose momentum couldn’t be stopped, the ghoul-like things tried to stop him physically by forming thick and dense wall of flesh at the front.
The kunais floating midair formed circle formation in front of the lord. The kunais that were forming circle formation like a barrel of gatling gun started to rotate clockwise in high speed. They were even turning red hot. They looked just like a ring of fire in circus.
But, naturally, it wasn’t something for a fierce beast to hop through.
It was for digging.
――Abyss-style Katon Futon Combined Formation Houou DaishouhaThere is no hope in stopping deep darkness (Note: Firebird’s Great Flight)
The ring of flame that flew forward in rotation like a cannon ball mercilessly gouged the flesh wall of the ghoul-like things with the blades of flame and wind that whirled like a tornado combined with the high speed rotation of the kunais themselves.
Something that should be called a tunnel of ghoul-like things was created, the lord sprinted through it instnatly before the tunnel was plugged.
「……Amazing. What power……」
Claudia was unconsciously forgetting herself while watching in fascination. Words of admiration reflexively slipped out.
But, right after that, Claudia noticed. *Gofuh*, a small coughing sound could be heard from the mouth of the young man carrying her while running.
Looking closer, the stain on the mask was getting bigger than before. It was clear that he was vomiting blood once more.
Claudia was ashamed.
She should be a “person standing in the side that protect”. And yet, she was simply getting carried like a princess while quietly watching the person who saved her getting hurt!
「――The Lord consecrate those who saved. O wicked people, know this. What protects me is the love of God. What break thy is the anger of God.」
「! This is……」
The lord, no, Claudia’s surrounding was shined with jade colored light. The jade light that was shining like a spherical barrier repelled or even exterminated the ghoul-like thing that touched the edge of the light.
「……I see, so this is the out-of-place feeling that I’ve been sensing all this time. As I thought, you know about Tortus aren’t you?」
The lord asked with surety, but the reply he got was a confused expression.
But, that power was……the lord was going to ask further, but in an instant, his words stopped due to the vanishing of the clones that were tasked to hold back the “shadow”.
Because his remaining magic power had decreased until less than ten percent, he almost didn’t circulate magic power and his attack method was also limited to only wrapping his short swords with magic power, so it could be said that it couldn’t be helped.
But, the presence of the “shadow” that came chasing with outrageous speed was giving him no leeway as expected.
Right now wasn’t the time to satisfy his curiosity. The priority was to definitely return to their original world!
The lord swallowed his question and in exchange he theatrically sighed 「fuh」 like usual.
「Fuh, you’ve guts. That helps.」
「I will protect you. I won’t let even one of the like of low level demon come near.」
Even though her whole body was burned and the influence of the bloody wind was clearly weakening her, the light residing in Claudia’s eyes was getting stronger instead.
Seeing her determined expression, the lord let out 「fuh」 that was longer than usual.
And then, he summoned two clones around him. This time he didn’t send them to hold back the “shadow”, but charged in delta formation to penetrate the avalanche of the ghoul-like things in one go.
A severe and repulsive pressure approached from behind. The ghoul-like things that kept advancing endlessly no matter how many were turned into ash.
It was a game of tag where their lives were at stake, however, the end finally came to view.
「There it is!」
At the gap of the swarming ghoul-like things, the form of the “mirror gate” could be seen. The ghoul-like things were advancing in desperate frenzy, but they were turned into ashes one after another and got pushed back just barely.
What came into their sight was a flickering light that was like an aurora with the color of dead grass. In a glance the swaying curtain of light looked unreliable, but that light that was deployed to cover the whole surface of the mirror wasn’t approached by the ghoul-like things at all.
Furthermore, arrows, bullets, throwing daggers, and the likes were flying out from inside the aurora of dead grass color, piercing and exterminating the ghoul-like things one after another.
「It seems your comrades are waiting for your return huh?」
「Yes, it appears so.」
The lord glanced at the teary Claudia and smiled wryly inside his heart.
Just in case, the lord also stabbed kunais in the minimum range and deployed a barrier (the type that could be penetrated from inside while isolating things from outside) to protect just the mirror surface, but like this perhaps it was meaningless for him to do that.
「I’ll ask just in case, but that aurora-like light, it’s a type that will be okay even if we touch it right?」
「Yes, of course. That’s the “light of sacred destruction” that the chief used. It’s the light of protection that will destroy only the wicked. It doesn’t have any effect on human.」
「Magnificent. Then, we will charge right into it like this!」
A terrific roar thundered from behind. The voice sounded as though it was shaking with frustration from being sure that its prey would definitely escape.
Claudia looked behind from across the lord’s shoulder. The girl was also similarly frustrated. She wondered just for what all the training she had accumulated until now. Wasn’t it for the sake of this day?
Although she was suppressed right from the beginning because of betrayal, but for her to be forced to retreat helplessly like this……
She suppressed the negative feeling that was about to bloat up and shook her head. Right now she had to survive. And then, she had to give her all to not let the residences of this world to cross to the human world.
However, someday, she would without fail……
A whip of hell fire rushed like a laser, piercing through all the ghoul-like things in between.
It was the last struggle of the “shadow”. Even still, it was a strong threat.
The clones at the lord’s left and right immediately leaped to the back. They lined up after each other in the whip’s line of fire toward their main body.
――Abyss-style Doton Futon Combined Formation Tenshou no HouryuuCome, the dragon of dark abyss (Note: Dragon of the summit colliding on heaven)
One clone stabbed his short sword into the ground and the ground instantly protruded. It struck the ghoul-like things around as though the ground was piercing the sky, at the same time it formed a thick earth wall.
――Fifty meters remaining until the “mirror gate”.
The earth wall stopped the whip of hell fire on its track even if only for a few seconds.
The wall was pulverized, and whip of hell fire that stretched like a spear pierced the clone, exterminating it.
――Abyss-style Juuton JutsuGravity Ninja Art Naraku no MashuBy my evil hand, sink, into the deep darkness (Note: Evil influence of Naraka)
A super gravity field was formed around the second clone. The rushing whip of hell fire was falling toward the ground, as though it was being grasped by the hand of the devil that was crawling out from hell.
With the lord’s remaining magic power, the gravity magic could only be activated for around two seconds, but it was worth it to maintain the magic until the very end.
The second clone was torn to pieces by the whip’s overwhelming momentum, but,
――Thirty meters remaining until the “mirror gate”
At the other side of the “mirror gate”, they could see people wearing habit or cassock opening their eyes wide in surprise.
「Kuh, coming! My barrier won’t be able to endure that attack without a sacred vessel!」
「It’s enough if you just repel the rabble.」
The last clone cut open the path forward.
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The whip of hell fire rushed. Kousuke rotated with a twirl and performed back step run while deploying his kunais. He deployed the barrier of space isolation.
――Twenty meter remaining until the “mirror gate”
It was enough. He bought enough distance!
「This is just a second-hand opinion, but according to the demon king――」
Turning around, then a dash with full power. At the same time, the clone who acted as the vanguard also turned around. When they passed each other, the main body and the clone body were both grinning widely.
――Ten meters remaining until the “mirror gate”
The “shadow” was approaching rapidly. The last clone who leaped in front of it traced what the lord’s lips were saying.
「Self-explosion, is romance.」
Light flashed. A terrific explosion blast mowed down the surrounding without sparing anything. The charging “shadow” also wasn’t an exception.
After all, the last explosion was added with the release of a flame element magic that was activated with all the lord’s remaining magic power which he poured into the clone.
The “shadow” wasn’t blown into nothing like the ghoul-like things around, but it was forced to back away without being able to sprint forward or anything.
A roar resounded once more. The last attack was unleashed along with a shriek that polluted the human mind. The whip of hell fire stretched for Claudia, but……
「My bad, stalker. This is my win.」
――The remaining distance until the “mirror gate”……zero
The lord leaped into the “mirror gate: with Claudia in hand. He embraced her as though to protect her and rolled on the ground inside the previous underground room. And then, at the end he entered a kneeling pose on one knee and looked at Claudia.
Claudia returned the gaze with eyes that were filled with strong light and she nodded firmly.
「Under the name of the Lord, o the fortress of the oppressed. Let the solid gate repel the wicked.」
She prayed so while lifting the “key of holy cross”. The “key of holy cross” emitted an intense light and the “mirror gate” also shined in resonance.
And then, liquid that looked like mercury overflowed from the relief, covering the mirror surface in the blink of eye――
『The day of the end is near! The path is already connected! Just wait! The body that will give birth to me――』
The terrifying scream was interrupted, and the mirror returned into a normal mirror that reflected only the underground room and the people in it.
Silence filled the underground room. Inside the underground room, several people clad in habit or cassock were all still staring still at the “mirror gate” while holding their breath.
They had just witnessed before their eyes a critical situation that was beyond description. It seemed they were unable to immediately comprehend that it had happened for real.
That silence that came from such terrifying experience, was broken by a pained voice.
Those people went ‘hah’ in surprise and turned their gaze toward the voice, there they saw an unknown young man――Kousuke, getting on all four with red smoke smoldering from his whole body.
It seemed after returning to the human world, thanks to the closing of the “mirror gate”, the red mist gnawing into Kousuke was dispersing.
And then, Kousuke himself was in a state of a step before running out of magic power completely, he was suffering from the damage gnawing into his body――
「Ho, honored messenger, are you――」
「Uu, just what the hell with that『unreasonableness will be performed』, it’s just painful, the skill name is also really painful. Painful history was produced by a loot」
The figure of the young man who was writhing from the wound of the heart rather than external injury could be seen there.
It appeared, self-explosion was romance. However, it seemed that depending on the type of the self-explosion, there was one that brought nothing but pain.
Claudia who was gently laid down before Kousuke got on all four was also writhing like Kousuke with red smoke rising from her body. Even so she still called out to Kousuke worriedly. But seeing his pain that seemed somewhat different from what she thought, her quirky tone changed into a doubt, asking「……alright?」.
While she herself was in a state where it was the best she could do to maintain her consciousness, she was still worrying about Kousuke. Seeing such Claudia, Kousuke felt like the wound of his heart was healed slightly.
She was surely a healing kind of Onee-san…… While thinking such idiotic thing, she felt the girl’s virtuous nature and let out a relieved sigh, feeling glad that he saved her.
And then, while holding back the pain of his tired heart, Kousuke pulled down his mask and grinned widely.
「It’s fine already. Your little brother too.」
Hearing those words, Claudia guessed why this young man came to save her. At the same time, she recalled the hopeless situation of his little brother before she fainted and color left from her face.
But, her heart immediately calmed down.
Because Kousuke was on all four, and also because Claudia was lying down, Kousuke’s face right now could only be seen by her.
Due to Kousuke’s soft expression, and the ambience of his eyes that could be faintly seen even through the sunglasses due to this very close distance, Claudia felt reassured even without any basis.
That Kousuke’s words, were stating the truth.
Because of that large relieve, her stretched nervous tension snapped, her extreme fatigue and great injury rapidly taking away her consciousness.
The current Claudia couldn’t go against that. Because the savior in front of her who she didn’t even know his name was giving off so much gentle atmosphere.
An overwhelming sense of relieve enveloped her.
In the end, she wondered how long it had been since she felt this much relieve.
Even though her whole body was pained, even though she couldn’t sleep……
While understanding that, Claudia let go of her consciousness with a greatly relieved expression.
Kousuke smiled slightly at Claudia who relaxed herself limply while taking out a recovery medicine from the Treasure Warehouse and drank it.
But, at that time,
「Originally, we should say our thanks.」
It was a heavy voice that was filled with dignity. 「Aa~, come to think of it, I’m surrounded by THE - suspicious people of Vatican huh」, thinking that, Kousuke turned his gaze toward the voice while sweating coldly a bit. Just in case, he put on his mask again before lifting up his face.
There, he saw an old man at the middle of his seventy wearing a priest cassock.
Although, despite the many layers of wrinkle that were carved on his face which gave the impression of such age, his straight back and dignified posture, his sharp gray pupils, his swept back hair that was growing in ample despite the all white color, all of those made him looked younger. While the old man was wearing the outfit of a clergyman, his aura felt like a veteran soldier.
One of his hands was holding an opened book. Curiously, that book seemed to be made from metal plate. It wasn’t just the binding of the book, the whole book was made from around five thin sheets of metal piled up on each other.
It looked quite heavy, but he continued to hold it with one hand without difficulty.
*Zari-* The sound of feet moving resounded.
Kousuke’s Presence Detection told him that several people in this place were moving to surround him. The only path to exit was already blocked.
「But, who are you, and why are you here. Depending on your reason, I believe that we might need to judge you rather than thanking you. ……Now then, you. Will you quietly put down your weapon and agree to be restrained?」
Now then, what should he do.
Honestly speaking, it was Kousuke who want to know things. His original mission was also to investigate that. He had the thinking that he might be fine with following what the other side said if they would offer him information without hiding anything.
Because based from what he saw through Claudia and Aziz, these people didn’t seem that bad.
Although, this situation right now.
Putting aside the old man in front of him who Claudia called as chief, the people surrounding him were releasing killing intent, seeming like they were going to attack anytime.
Even if it was Kousuke who had taken back Claudia from the foreign world, it didn’t change that he was an intruder. And then, these people just got a lot of their comrades killed by many intruders.
In addition, it seemed that young man Aziz was carried away in order to get treated, so he wasn’t here. In that case, these people should have been told about Aumale’s betrayal. Inside them there should be a jumbled feeling of paranoia.
On top of that, although he had brought back Claudia, she was in a tattered state……
In the end, how much they would listen to him?
How much they would answer if he asked them?
From the word “restrained”, they didn’t intend to have a “dialogue” but an “investigation”. The prospect was slim, and even in case the event progressed smoothly, a considerable time would be spent.
And then, the greatest problem was the demand to put down his weapon……
Unknown identity, unknown objective, and then enormous threat level.
Their demand for him to put down his weapon was extremely natural, and Kousuke could understand that. But, having his artifacts investigated wouldn’t be good at all.
“Mirror gate” “Key of holy cross”. And then Claudia’s power, and the words “sacred vessel” that she said while they were escaping.
These people……most likely possessed the knowledge and skill to investigate artifact to a certain degree.
(Gi, giving the artifacts to the Vatican without Nagumo’s permission……impossible! I cannot imagine what kind of punishment will wait!)
The demerit of agreeing to their demand was too great.
Perhaps these people felt uneasy toward Kousuke who was pondering without answering. Or perhaps, they were wordlessly insisting to each other to quickly subdue him and finished up, because the killing intent of the people around became exceptionally stronger. Everyone readied their weapon and prepared to fight.
Blood was rising into their head……that must be a factor that caused them to be like that, in any case a precariousness of a situation that was just a step away from explosion could be felt.
Kousuke smiled frivolously (it couldn’t be seen because of the mask) while asking.
「Not surrendering my weapon, no restrain. A peaceful dialogue while drinking tea. How does that sound for you?」
The answer that came was the doubling of the killing intent! The voices of heart「Don’t screw around bastaaard!」 came rushing at Kousuke!
Kousuke tried insisting「I can understand the feeling of you all! But see, I had at least risked my life to save your comrades you know!?」.
Their tension wasn’t swayed. Though there were several people who showed confusion in their eyes.
Even the “chief” seemed to understand that Kousuke wouldn’t obey. He looked extremely calm, but the flame of rage was flickering inside his eyes.
His self-restraint was really something, but from his point of view, he just got a lot of his subordinates murdered with no question asked, what’s more their holy ground Vatican was ransacked as the enemy pleased. It seemed that welcoming an unknown intruder politely was an impossible talk for him.
「It’s unfortunate. Your strength is a threat, but it seems right now you are really exhausted. We will use this chance. I’ll pray that you will understand our situation and listen obediently.」
The “chief” waved his hand slowly.
Right after that, a blonde haired youth――someone who emitted conspicuous killing intent even among these people, a youth who was called Wynn in Kousuke’s memory rapidly drew near with a thin sword in one hand.
(Aah, geez. Even though I’m tired! Although, there is no way I can obediently give up my weapon! Because I don’t want to get punished!)
Kousuke couldn’t possible put on air whimsically to think for long in front of these people who were brimming with killing intent. He had bought time to let the recovery medicine displayed its effect to a certain degree.
The damage on his body was deep, and his recovery rate was still thirty percent but……
「Well, it’s enough.」
The thin sword was swung to hit the target with the flat of its blade. Seeing Kousuke used it as a foothold, Wynn let out a shocked voice that was unable to believe it.
「You won’t get away!」
A girl with braided chestnut hair――Anna leaped forward with tonfas in both hands.
She surely thought that midair Kousuke wouldn’t be able to do anything. Of course, Kousuke casually dodged. He somersaulted forward using the dust midair as foothold.
Anna-chan passed through empty air where there was no one with a stupid voice. She looked at Kousuke with an expression that wanted to say「That’s foul isn’t it!?」.
「My bad, if we are going to talk, let’s do it after both our sides has cooled down a bit yeah?」
While saying that, two men were attacking in the timing when Kousuke was about to land. They were blown away by midair spinning kick from a body agility that could only be thought as inhuman. Kousuke dashed toward the exit passage in full speed.
Two men blocked the passage ahead. Both men had shaved head with no eyebrows. Their faces were also similar, were they skinhead brothers?
In any case, invisibility full throttle.
The skinhead brothers splendidly split their questioning tone with each other. Below them, Kousuke easily passed through with a slide.
Kousuke’s invisibility that wouldn’t be noticed by a normal person even if he was right in front of them. Even people who had received combat training would fall into a state of “unable to react immediately even if they could see him” depending on the situation.
Just like how people wouldn’t be aware even if they noticed grass swaying in front of their eyes, the brain didn’t realize that there was something that they needed to react to.
「What are you doing! Bacchus, Bruce!」
「What’s that just now!?」
Even after they returned to their senses from Wynn’s angry yell, the skinhead brothers were shaken from the strange phenomenon. Further angry yell from the chief 「Don’t let him get away!」 made them to turn around in panic and chased after Kousuke.
「Somehow……that person, is strange!」
Wynn also agreed with what Anna said with half-screaming voice.
Kousuke was running ahead with his back turned toward them, but even when they tried to aim at his back with projectile weapon, for some reason they couldn’t fix their aim. Far from that, if they didn’t concentrate strongly, even though they were chasing right behind him now, it felt like they were going to forget who they were chasing.
Before long, Kousuke easily reached the former wide space. His figure vanished behind a pillar for a moment, but his pursuers immediately caught the sight of him rushing up the stair.
「I’ll restrain him! ――Flow and seize. Like the seven times transparent silver, refined in the hearth of high palace.」
Right after that, one of the tonfa that Anna had was enveloped in faint light. Chain of light flew out from its tip.
Kousuke threw a glance toward the disturbing presence approaching him from the back.
「No matter how I see it, that’s Shirasaki’s favorite, “Binding Shining Chain”, thank you very much, god damn it all!」
As expected, other than “mirror gate” and “key of holy cross”, they seemed to have other special weapon.
Kousuke who was in the middle of rushing up the stair was bound by the chain of light rushing at him.
「I got him! The Mr. oddball!」
「Who is the oddball! Braided tonfa-chan!」
Kousuke-san vanished with a pop. Only the reverberation of his tsukkomi remained. Then only a small stone, the one-time use artifact for the use of the substitution technique was left behind. It was disposable, so it was just a rock after use.
「Wha-!? He vanished!? What’s going on!?」
「-, as I thought, that guy is also someone chosen by a sacred vessel……」
Wynn and others stopped moving from the confusion. One of his comrades, a youth with pointy hair and Oriental face carrying an antique-looking rapid-fire bowgun went ‘Ah’ and raised his voice while pointing his finger.
「Not the stair! The elevator!」
When everyone went ‘hah’ in surprise and looked there, they saw the figure of Kousuke climbing up by kicking on the wall.
「Lee! Do it! Don’t kill him!」
「Got it! but, don’t blame me for some injury okay!」
Saying that, the bowgun user youth who was called Lee fired a metal arrow toward Kousuke.
In respond to the arrow that was flying through the air, Kousuke stabbed one short sword on the wall to stay in position, then he struck down the arrow with another short sword.
The amazing feat caused Lee to raise a surprised yell, but he immediately fired consecutively, not wanting the target to get away. Seeing Lee’s skill that fired all the arrows aiming at spots that weren’t lethal, it made Kousuke understood that the youth was indeed first class.
But, the six arrows flying at him were all struck down or cut apart with a short sword in hand. After that Kousuke naturally continued to go up.
「As expected, it’s impossible for him to do the same with bullet right?」
One of the skinhead brothers just now, the one called Bruce was readying an old looking rifle.
By the way, because of the gunshot sound the rifle made, it couldn’t really be used inside the city. And due to their work, bowgun and rifle――which one was better was something that Bruce and Lee often clashed about.
Although, right now there was no need to hold back. The rifle that could fire five shots consecutively was fired by Bruce without reservation.
Of course, everything was cut apart.
Including the “chief” who came later from behind, everyone were staring speechlessly in wonderment.
It was more or less a “sham bullet slashing” with trick of using gravity magic to pull the bullets toward the short sword, but for them who had no way of knowing that, it was certainly a scene that made them doubted their eyes.
「In my personal opinion, I’m quite able in escaping. Well then, let’s meet again if the destiny will it.」
*Clink*, Kousuke sheathed the short sword on his back, and then he dashed up the wall in one go after saying only that. Like that he vanished toward the surface.
After that, there were only them who were still standing dumbfounded.
Kousuke who got out at the surface for the time being climbed up the dome of San Pietro Cathedral and took the panoramic view from there.
And then, he grimaced seeing the disastrous situation inside the city of Vatican that still had black smokes rising silently.
It seemed it wasn’t just Vatican’s library, the art museum and the church, and even the administration building were also exploded.
It appeared the fake tourists who assaulted here had already retreated. Within his sight, he could only see the tourists who were all shaken up while evacuating, and the staffs who were leading the evacuation and putting out the fire while yelling angrily.
Of course, that didn’t mean that the attackers didn’t slip within those scared tourists again but……
「What a terrible thing to do……」
Kousuke muttered unconsciously. There, his instinct suddenly whispered to him.
Using his sunglasses’ distance viewing function, he turned his gaze outside Vatican that were being left behind by the tourists.
And then, he found it.
Outside Vatican, on the rooftop of a building where it was just right to look at the library, he found the figure of a familiar man. The man was also using a binocular sometime to observe the situation inside the Vatican.
「Why doesn’t he come? What is he doing there?」
When Kousuke voiced that question, the man sudenly――dropped his shoulders in disappointment. And then, he checked his watch and turned his gaze once more at the seriously chaotic Vatican. He laughed faintly and turned around.
「……Let’s try following him.」
Kousuke took off his sunglasses and mask, his tattered coat, then he took out a new coat from Treasure Warehouse and wore it.
And then, he leaped down from the dome and ran to chase the man.
The man who the young man Aziz called “Leda-san” at the base outside Vatican, who should be his comrade.
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