The space shifted. At the same time her own body was also split apart.
When Shia got goosebumps from such vision of death while twisting her body, a vision of death from getting swallowed by meteor shower of white light attacked her.
She stepped and stepped midair. The downpour of meteor passed through whiel grazing her clothes and skin sizzlingly.
――You won’t get away
The instant it felt like she heard such voice, she felt a jerking sensation of her getting pulled backward.
When she looked back across her shoulder, a vortex of black shadow――a gravity field was deployed to swallow Shia. She wrung out her strength and escaped from the gravity field using physical strength.
Shia leaped toward the sky, then even more vision of death came to her.
Without any ripple in the air or even any sound, a tranquil impact would burst at the deepest part of her body――it would shake her soul and made her fell into stupefaction. A spear of white light would pierce her at that time. Such sight surfaced before her.
She immediately entered Level IX. At the same time, she also strengthened her soul using soul magic.
Right after that, an impact that shook her soul caused Shia to catch her breath. Even so, her vast experience made her leaped aside in the subconscious level, allowing her to dodge the spear of white light.
『Doing something like that this late……』
The strained words of the star tree Lutria. Those words weren’t directed to Shia. Her gaze was taken off from Shia, and moved toward Eric and others who were performing the ceremony of offering and repentance at the root of the star tree’s main body.
One hand of star tree Lutria was waved. Just with that, an extremely thick lighting was generated and attacked Eric and others.
「I won’t let you!!」
Using “Revelation Sight” that was a derivation of characteristic magic “Future Sight”, Shia saw a few seconds ago the sight of star tree Lutria throwing lightning. She cut into the firing line with super speed.
Her body received the lightning strike as lightning rod substitution. She let out a pained voice 「Uguu」, but she activated “Fighting Spirit DefenseSteel Clothes” so the wound was trivial.
But, the star tree Lutria wasn’t particularly bothered that her lightning strike was blocked and she produced a blazing light at the tip of her hand.
「Tha, that’s Soare-san’s――」
‘Sunlight beam attack’, without even any time to mutter that, the beam fell. For Shia who specialized in close quarter combat, protecting her ally from wide range attack was an area she wasn’t good at.
And so, attack was the greatest defense! She practiced that tenet. *Gashon* With that sound Vire Drucken was readied into the bombarding mode. The bursting slug bullets that were fired rapidly attacked the star tree Lutria accurately.
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Star tree Lutria immediately created a barrier using white light that she made to circle around her like satellite. But the quality ordnance that was made by demon king of another world blew away that barrier and forced back the star tree Lutria herself.
The sunlight beam attack was barely avoided. But, right after that a tornado of ice and snow along with several thousand black spears were fired toward the ground. In addition, even a tsunami appeared from empty air as though to make doubly sure.
「A, as expected from the mom of everything……」
Without a doubt, the star tree Lutria could use the power of all divine spirit.
Perhaps that was only natural. But, it was a reality that she hoped wouldn’t be the case.
Anxiety surfaced on the expression of Shia who came to a stop midair.
What she had to do wasn’t simply to defeat the opponent before her eyes. To “protect” was something extremely difficult. It would be easy to say that this was simply not the role for her, but in this situation she really appreciated once more how difficult it was the thing that Hajime and others did while looking so nonchalantly, especially Tio with her vocation of “Protector”.
Although, she couldn’t complain here.
「If I have to do it, then I can only do it!!」
It didn’t matter what kind of hand she was dealt with. She was only deciding what she could do and what she couldn’t do by her own convenience here. She was simply being imprisoned by common sense that was limiting herself.
While the enormous and destructive attack of Lutria was rushing closer, Shia who desperately thought of a countermeasure within her consciousness that was accelerated with her concentration――
Stretched her limbs to be spread-eagled midair!
Perhaps she had resolved herself and intended to receive the attack with her whole body? She couldn’t protect the people on the ground by doing such thing, the star tree Lutria thought. But at the next moment,
「GET LOSTTTTTTTTTTTT-, DESUU!!!」
Something came out. From Shia’s whole body, an intense light flashed blindingly.
And then, of all things to happen, the advancing tornado of ice and snow along with the thousands of black spears and tsunami were blown away altogether.
The star tree Lutria’s 『Eh?』 that might be her first time saying that since she was born echoed.
That was just how incomprehensible what happened was.
「Haa, haa, I, I can do it if I try!」
What had she done? The answer to that was,
――Shia-style magic power emission Eternal Shia Fever
It was the imitation of an attack of a certain lump of muscles bugged character that was really incomprehensible but still really amazing.
More accurately speaking, it was an attack that dealt physical destructive power through emitting magic power and vibrating that emitted magic power……surely it was still really incomprehensible even with that explanation. Anyway it was a really amazing bugged technique.
If blood and hair could be controlled, than even magic power should be controllable too because it was also a part of herself! Then, I should be able to copy even Hajime-san’s “Magic Shockwave”! That musclebrained thought of Shia gave birth to the technique just now.
The star tree Lutria was making an expression that wanted to say 『That’s impossible』 really loudly, but even then she immediately changed her face to a grim one and prepared to attack again.
But, she witnessed it before that. For some reason Shia didn’t use her war hammer, instead she drew back her right fist to the limit. The instant star tree Lutria was astonished seemed to give the opening for counterattack to the bugged rabbit.
While she still hadn’t forgotten the sensation of success just now! As though to say that the bugged rabbit’s second bugged technique came. And as expected, it was the imitation of the technique of a certain bugged muscled warrior-sama.
The faint bluish white light that flew out from the thrust out fist rapidly approached the star tree Lutria. Perhaps she wasn’t used to battle, because she didn’t dodge as expected but deployed a barrier of space isolation, but that was a bad move.
There was a crunching sound as though a glass was broken, at the same time the shockwave directly hit Lutria’s solar plexus with a nice force. Her expression twisted and her body bent forward while she was blown away.
「Muh, my kneading of the power is still shoddy. It need to be trained.」
Shia said such unbelievable thing while swinging her Vire Drucken.
Perhaps because this was her first time getting “punched” since she was born in this world, the star tree Lutria stopped moving in an expression of her wariness.
But, at the same time, her expression became vexed seeing that the spirit beasts were still unable to remove Eric and others.
Shia said to Lutria who was like that.
「I won’t let you pass. I’ll be your opponent until their words reach you.」
The will that was solid, unwavering, and straightforward to the end stabbed Lutria even sharper than the attack just now.
That unwavering state was like a huge tree.
Perhaps it was because of that. Lutria’s refusal to listen crumbled for the first time, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
『After this late, mere words won’t do anything.』
Cold words that cut down the opposition. However, as expected, inside star tree Lutria’s eyes was a color as though she was enduring pain……
There, a faint voice resounded, as though to slip into the particles of light that were released by the star tree’s main body.
――We’re sorry-. We human has betrayed your love-. We’re sorry-
Those were really pure words. There was not a single embellishment, not a shred of ulterior motive mixed into it, those were words dyed with genuine guilt. We’re sorry, we’re sorry, it was echoing over and over.
On the ground, while being protected by Arogan and others who were gradually getting tired with ever increasing wounds on their body, Eric was wholeheartedly offering his prayer. The spirit element that was gathered from the people throughout the country was fluttering up like souls climbing up to heaven.
Even without turning her gaze there, because Lutria’s true body was that huge tree over there, she should be able to see the figure of the young king kneeling before her.
As the proof of that, star tree Lutria became expressionless. As though she was forcefully holding down the anguish oozing out from within with her willpower.
「Aren’t those the words that you wanted to hear?」
Shia quietly asked. Star tree Lutria didn’t answer. In exchange, she unleashed her attack severely once more. Space rupture, gravity bullet, raging lightning……visions of death filled Shia’s mind to the brim.
She dodged, repelled, or swept them away while forming even more words.
「Haven’t you been waiting for that all this time!? Your face is looking that pained! Actually you don’t want to harm human! Haven’t you been looking forward for the time when they finally repent!?」
The space around star tree Lutria distorted. Using “Revelation Sight”, Shia foresighted what would happen at the next moment and descended toward the ground like cannon bullet.
Instantly, star tree Lutria appeared right before Eric’s eyes. At the same time, Shia impacted on the back of Lutria. Before star tree Lutria could swing down the hand of judgment, she was blown away to the sky once more with Vire Drucken.
Shia grinned at Eric whose eyes opened wide from almost getting killed just now and she jumped up once more.
Once more Shia faced Lutria who was grimacing and she opened her mouth.
「I told you. I’ll be your opponent until their words reach you.」
Indeed, she surely wouldn’t be able to do anything to the ground as long as she didn’t defeat the girl before her.
She couldn’t help but be convinced of that. In front of Shia who was overflowing with resolve and confidence, the star tree Lutria finally replied with words.
『The children of human is going forward to a future of destruction. As though it’s their destiny to do that.』
Not only the words of god, even the scream that the world raised didn’t reach them anymore.
『I realized. That in this world, there is also seed that cannot be left to exist in order to form the future.』
Just how much she had exhausted her words?
How many times she had remonstrated them?
Even so human didn’t stop.
Because they didn’t stop, the world reached the limit. At this rate, it would reach a point where the spirits were destroyed.
And then surely, human would keep going forward like that. They would brush aside nature, devour the animals, and arrive at destruction.
The future of human, or the future of all other lives?
『Do you think, I discarded them so easily?』
The eyes of star tree Lutria that glared at Shia. Just from looking at them made Shia felt like she would also sink into a sea of sadness.
『Look. Even at this point, the hearts of the children of man cannot become one.』
Her gaze was directed at Arogan and others of the demon race, and toward Gruelle and others of the beastman race. Lutria had seen through the inside of their heart. Although there was a feeling of repentance in their heart, it wasn’t an expression of pure feeling, there was the calculation of wanting to be saved mixed inside.
『There can be no more forgiveness. A future where everything is destroyed just for the sake of the children of man has to be avoided.』
That was her persuasion to Shia. Don’t get involved with this world more than this. A child of foreign world that suddenly appeared shouldn’t meddle with the decision that was made after much anguish. I’m begging you so……
Those were Lutria’s words of persuasion.
In respond to that, Shia,
「I’m not telling you to forgive them or anything.」
Said that while making a troubled smile.
「I only want you to listen to the feeling of Eric-san and others.」
『……What meaning is there in――』
「Is it no good if it doesn’t have meaning?」
Star tree Lutria closed her mouth at Shia’s question.
Shia let out the tension left her shoulders for a bit and added more words still with a troubled expression on her face.
「It’s just as Lutria-san said, they, we, are human. We are unable to unite our feeling into one without a single exception like god.」
Yes, that was human. It was a race with a great diversity that couldn’t be helped no matter what. That was the true nature of the race that couldn’t be changed no matter what.
「It’s so foolish it’s astonishing. It’s so stupid that it makes you laugh. They are so full of fault that they are beyond saving, really.」
「Lutria-san, did you feel your heart beating fast at what those foolish, idiot, and full of fault human built in the past?」
Exactly because they were so diverse, that they were building a future that couldn’t be imagined.
Was all of that made up from nothing but tragedy?
There was no way that was true. Plowing the farm, raising a culture, forming a society, progressing in what they couldn’t do one by one until they could do it, surely it made even god felt their heart danced in excitement. It should be that persistent effort and ambition that made her and other divine spirits loved the children of man.
「I won’t tell you to forgive them. I can’t tell you that. After all, I’m just an outsider. But, even so, Lutria-san. Isn’t it sad?」
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Shia’s words might be latching to something within Lutria’s thought. She replied with a question. Just what was it that the girl of another world who was only an outsider at the end found sad?
「It’s sad. To not have your feeling conveyed until the very end.」
That was why,
「That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m standing in your way. To let the mother and her children properly express their feeling to each other, no matter what is the result.」
That was all. Because Shia Hauria couldn’t allow something like people struggling for the future to sink into the mud of grief and sorrow at the end.
And then, the people that were struggling for the sake of the future wasn’t just humans, even the god was the same……
「Lutria-san, please listen carefully, just one more time. Don’t lump them all into a bundle of “children of man”, please listen to the hearts among them that are thinking of you.」
She didn’t need to be told that. The star tree Lutria thought. The reason was, because she was already hearing that voice all this time since the battle started.
She did her best to ignore it, she desperately covered her ears, because if she didn’t do that then her existence would collapse, but, she could hear it all this time. No, there was also image conveyed to her along with the spirit element that was stored within the precious orb.
――Lutria-sama-, I’m sorry-. Human’s greed hurt you!
It seemed to be the words of a merchant somewhere. A man past middle aged was kneeling and rubbing his forehead on the ground. Around him were a lot of people that were most likely his family and employees, kneeling like him.
――For divine punishment to come down like this, what have we humans done……
There were villagers who although their faces went pale, they didn’t try to stop offering their spirit element. Their faces that were colored with strong remorse looked like they wished to just vanish right away.
――Please, let this repentance reach you. Even if you won’t forgive us, please……
People from all over the city were bowing their head in front of a church somewhere. No, the way they bowed looked like it was nothing but despair toward themselves human that caused them to hang down their head in despair.
――I pray, that I will be given the chance to atone to the spirits
People with nice outfit were standing in front of an altar. They seemed to be noble. The sight showed them mustering their spirit element surpassing their limit. The amount they produced far surpassed the common people.
――Will you be unharmed if humans are gone?
There were nuns shedding tears of atonement while worrying about the mother Lutria.
A great number or children were behind those nuns. They were also praying wholeheartedly like the nuns.
Surely it was difficult to explain to them about the sin of humanity with their young age. It was impossible for them to comprehend and compensate for the sins of their predecessors of long time ago.
However, even those children, no, exactly because they were children there was something that they understood.
――God……we’re sorry for making you sad
Surely the god was crying ‘it hurts, it hurts’. When they thought that it was human who caused that, it made their face contorted wanting to cry while they devoted their feeling through prayer.
Perhaps because Shia’s words shook her, Lutria became unable to ignore the feeling of the people who recovered the good heart of the ancient days that was desperately chasing after her.
『It’s too late-, it’s too late-. Do you know just how many children the divine punishment has reached-』
It was a scream.
『If you can recover such feeling-, then why-, why won’t you do it faster-』
Tear didn’t fall because it was an avatar body. However, if she was able to cry, surely the star tree Lutria would shed tears that knew no end.
What was the meaning of those tears?
Was she thinking of the children of man whose life were scattered by the divine punishment? Or perhaps it was sadness toward the matter that reached to this point itself? Or perhaps, was it because of happiness that at the very end, they recovered the heart that was thinking of the world even if all humans would be gone from it?
The heart of the star tree Lutria was shaken. She swung her hand as though to drive away everything.
An invisible shockwave assaulted Eric and others. Shia cut in the path of that shockwave and similarly returned a shockwave with a swing of her war hammer.
While the air was shaking from the shockwaves neutralizing each other, Shia suddenly noticed some kind of image flowing in.
「-, this is……the feeling of Lutria-san and others?」
Her heart. Lutria’s shaken heart made the feeling she suppressed to flow out.
The white light transformed into meteor shower, the space burst, and super gravity space attacked. It was a storm of cold killing intent. And yet, the thing that was flowing in was shockingly warm.
At the ancient time, far far away from now, the time when the distance between human and god, the spirits was close, the star tree Lutria surprisingly would visit human settlement in her avatar body often.
She would enjoy the harvest festival together with humans, and when a new life would be born she would be swinging back and forth between joy and worry.
There was no race that loved the nature more than the beastmen. They would set forth seeking for nature that they hadn’t seen yet. She would watch over them in suspenseful feeling.
The race that the spirit liked and frolicked with was always the demon race. They who possessed the power to communicate with spirit better than anyone would live together with spirit like family. The star tree Lutria always made a gentle and melting expression seeing that.
However, human’s time was moving far faster than god’s imagination.
War broke out.
Lutria felt a pain as though her own body was torn apart seeing people killing their fellow man.
She showed her figure in front of people, telling them that they shouldn’t quarrel, but the people turned their blade and hostility to her saying 「There is no way the god we believe in will say such thing!」.
Her heart chilled. Sharp pain tormented the star tree Lutria.
Period of war and peace kept repeating. The territory of human rapidly spread through the world. The fait to god and spirit died out in proportion of that progress. Or perhaps that faith would be interpreted to their own convenience. Sometimes they would even scorn the god and spirit as evil god.
The equilibrium of the world crumbled.
The wish for coexistence was vanishing.
Because the star tree was the world itself, Lutria continuously got torn to pieces by human’s greed.
「Kuh, this pain……this sadness, they’re really……」
Shia raised a pained voice in front of the fierce attack of the frenzied star tree Lutria.
But, that pained voice wasn’t caused by the fierce attack. It was because Shia was also feeling what the star tree Lutria was feeling from the image that was flowing into her.
It seemed that Eric and others were also experiencing the same thing. Their gazes were directed toward the star tree Lutria. Eric and others went without saying, but even that Arogan and Gruelle were making distorted expression from the pain and lamentation that were transmitted into them.
Even so, even within such pain and lamentation, there was one other feeling that was transmitted clearly.
――I love them, from the bottom of my heart
――I believe, that surely they will regain the heart to live together with the world
Those were emotions that she had conveyed many times through the spirits and divine spirits, and sometimes even by herself personally. She continued to remonstrate and explain the future to them. Her earnest feeling that tried to save the people from destruction was transmitted wholly to Eric and others.
That was certainly, a mother’s love.
But, however, her heart that believed in them, it was torn and smashed apart already.
The pain and lamentation as though they were torn apart into thousand pieces were transmitted. Arogan unconsciously looked down. He looked like a child that was unable to lift his face because he felt ashamed of himself.
Gruelle averted his face from the star tree Lutria. His face was colored with guilt that he showed for the first time.
Just how exhausted the star tree Lutria was at present? And who was the cause of that? And then, even when it had become such situation, she still loved human. Because she loved them, she felt her heart almost broke because of her own conclusion to give them the divine punishment. Their change in expression was because now they understood those feelings completely it made them sick.
「Stop, stop it already-, Lutria-san! Hurting and getting hurt, and yet in the one no one will be saved, that’s just too much!」
『Everything will be saved-, everything except the children of man-』
「There is still time! Your feelings are transmitted, the feelings of the people are also transmitted to you! Both sides should be able to understand each other one more time!」
The star tree Lutria didn’t answer.
White light burst up from the star tree Lutria. The cloudy sky above the hand that she lifted undulated.
At the same time, the outline of the star tree Lutria was starting to rapidly crumble. It was the proof of her exhaustion to the degree she couldn’t maintain her avatar’s appearance.
『There is, already no other choice. The future cannot be protected except by destroying the seed of destruction.』
Surely the heart of the star tree Lutria would die after mankind was destroyed. It could be seen from her face. She was at her limit no matter how anyone looked at it. But, she existed only to maintain the equilibrium of the world……
There was no doubt that since she made the decision to hand down the divine punishment, she was also became unable to stop anymore.
Shia closed her eyes and sighed. She swung her war hammer.
She slowly opened her eyes and took a deep breath, and yelled her will one more time.
「I won’t recognize that kind of future where there’s only sadness!!」
――Limit Break activation using Last Zell
――Sublimation magic activated
――Body strengthening Level X activated
Faint bluish white light pierced the sky to oppose the white pillar of light that the star tree Lutria generated.
At the center of the whirling cloudy sky right above the star tree Lutria, a vast white light converged. A pressure that rivaled the Meteor Impact shook the world.
Shia looked up to that while taking a stance with Vire Drucken in a low position.
――100 Ton Hammer deployed
――Gravity magic activated. Pseudo mass increase, increase, increase, increase
――Using metamorphosis magic for physical strength increase, increase, increase, increase
『O child of another world, I’ll defeat you, destroy the children of man, and save the world!』
「God of another world. I’ll stop you, protect them, and show you the future!」
The star of white light fell.
Toward that light that covered the sky, Shia was――
Rushing to smash it from the front!
At the moment of impact, a violent shockwave shook the world. Explosion blast blew ragingly. Eric and others on the ground screamed. The spirit beasts were blown away like pebble, the trees at the surrounding forest were falling in radiating shape.
She couldn’t push back. The flat surface of the 100 Ton Hammer held back the star of white light on its track, however, it couldn’t go forward any further!
*zuzu-zuzu-*, her feet that was stepping firmly on midair was getting pushed toward the ground. Anxiety formed on Shia’s expression at her disadvantage.
She felt like she heard voices. Voices of Eric, Dahlia, and others that were worried for Shia, and praying at the same time.
――Don’t make me destroy this world okay?
The voice of her beloved person that passed by her rabbit ears. Shia’s lips drew a wide grin.
「No, way, I’ll, LOSEEEEEEEEEEEE!!」
――Space impact strike activated
――Pseudo magic shockwaveShia Impact using magic power manipulation activated
――Soul magic activated surpassing the limit, and further beyond that……body strengthening Level XI activated!!
――And last, guts-!!!
*DON* An impact surged out. At the same time, the star of white light was hit back toward the sky.
『……What in the world』
Her greatest trump card was literally knocked back right from the front.
The star of white light was sent back toward the sky. It opened a great hole in the cloudy sky while dispersing. Lutria muttered in small voice seeing that.
『So I’m powerless to resist……』
In the first place, she was already resigned by the time a man who dropped down something like star appeared.
But, she simply couldn’t stop now after she had made the decision to destroy her beloved children.
That must be why, Lutria who arrived at her limit was unable to maintain her human shape and turned into faint white light that looked like disembodied soul, her expression gave a glimpse of relieve somewhere in it……
And then, she slowly closed her eyes, as though resigning herself to be destroyed by the hero of another world.
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