To be honest, Hajime was extremely bewildered.
What the hell……
Just what should I do here huh……he thought.
Why? The answer lay at the bunch before his eyes.
「Uh, guh……a failure, huh. Damn ittt」
「Even the device is broken-, this is the end for us!」
「In the end it’s just a pipe dream-」
Nearly thirty men and women were lying flat on the floor like heaps of corpses, but it seemed that around half of them were unconscious. On top of that, several people who were barely unconscious didn’t even notice Hajime and Kouki there. Their expressions were in despair and they seemed to be extremely busy with lamenting.
When he looked beside him, the damn hero bastard who dragged him here was also watching with his mouth wide open.
「Oi, Amanogawa. Why is the atmosphere like this even though you are summoned here? You aren’t welcomed at all no matter how you look at it.
「The, there is no way I can know…right?」
After they were sucked by that “space hole” that was like a black hole, Hajime and Kouki felt like they were sucked in by a muddy stream. Or perhaps it felt like laundry that was tossed into washing machine.
And then, they were spat out into this place but……
They couldn’t find which of these people was the stupid bastard who summoned them here. Even though Hajime was already imagining lines like 「Please defeat blah blah in our place!」 or 「Save the world!」 coming out and planning to shoot first, when the lid was opened, the situation was like this.
These people were like someone who used the last of their money to buy lottery tickets that would decide their life and instead of succeeding they went bankrupt. Which was just as they expected. The buzzer that signaled that it was game over for their life had rang out. This situation was like that.
Eh? You guys didn’t summon us? Can you see us? Look, your summoning is more or less a success you know? Hajime thought in bewilderment which couldn’t be helped.
Hajime became slightly calmer and pulled out Donner following the irritation that was boiling up inside him.
「These guys, after summoning us they are grieving & ignoring us instead. They’re seriously looking down at us. I’m gonna kill them, yosh, let’s kill them.」
「Wait-, you decided too fast! These guys look injured so for now let’s treat them before asking information-」
Carrying it out when he said that he would do it was Hajime quality. After all this man was a savage demon who would ask 「Is it okay to kill them?」 after turning a force of Dark Being into small pieces with rocket even though he didn’t really know anything about the situation in detail.
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Kouki’s face turned white and he immediately dashed to nurse the wounded people.
Hajime ignored Kouki for the moment and observed the surrounding.
「……This place too is a bit unexpected in its own way.」
He unconsciously muttered that because he couldn’t see any kind of temple, or ruin, or magic circle which was common for a summoning place.
Or rather, he couldn’t find any fantasy element at all, not even a bit. The dark place was only illuminated by the torches or lamps lying on the floor here and there. The inside of the room was surrounded by metal walls and ceiling. There were passages extending to four directions with many pipes running on the walls and ceiling.
His first impression was that they were inside a factory facility or perhaps an old subway.
As though to support that impression,
There were heavy metal objects inside the room――they were machines no matter how he looked at them, scattered all over the place. Most of the objects didn’t retain their original shape, but they looked like computer to him.
The pedestal where Hajime and Kouki were spat out to was also awfully distorted like an eerie tree growing in a witch’s forest. It was surrounded by what might be a dome of steel frame though now it had been torn to pieces.
It looked like there was an explosion that was centered on this pedestal spreading outside.
He tried looking at the people Kouki was nursing. They looked really dirty. It was like they were wearing layers of ragged clothes overlapping each other. Their face and hands were also dirty with what might be mud, dirt, and oil. Their hairs were oily as though they hadn’t been washed for several days.
「……This is like a science fiction with a ruined world as the stage.」
Just what was going on, he wondered. Hajime let out a long sigh.
「Well, it doesn’t matter.」
In any case, it made this quick if they didn’t summon them. No, even if they summoned them his conclusion wouldn’t change. Rather it was fortunate if there was no hindrance, they could just use the compass and Crystal Key to return immediately.
Thinking that, Hajime moved his hand toward his pocket. It was then,
「Yo, you two……who are you?」
A man’s voice reached him. Different from the people before this who were only lamenting, this voice was firm even with the agitation mixed in it.
When he looked toward that voice, a middle aged man with disheveled hair seemed to return to his consciousness. He borrowed Kouki’s help to stand up even while sending them a wary gaze.
Didn’t they summon them knowing who they were? Rather, it was this side who wanted to know who these people were……such bewilderment was clearly conveyed from Kouki. He looked back across his shoulder toward Hajime with a gaze that was asking him 「How should we explain it to him?」.
「Co, consulting before taking action? What’s more to me? ……You, now then, you are an Amanogawa impostor aren’t you?」
「There is no way that’s the case right!?」
Hajime-san took a wary stance. Kouki’s lips greatly twitched. A vein snapped on his forehead. Although, it could be said that Hajime’s reaction was only natural if he looked back at his past self.
And so, he firmly endured here and asked 「Enough with that, how should we answer!?」 with a stronger tone.
But, while they were making such talk, the people who fainted all woke up, and then they began to converse about something in whispers.
「O, oi. Those quality clothes……don’t tell me, are they people of the upper world……」
「Wha-, why is people of upper world here!?」
「Had they, gotten wind of us from the start?」
「That’s right! There is no way we won’t get found out when we tried our hand on this kind of “taboo”!」
「Wait! We can’t decide if that’s the case yet! Perhaps they are the “paradise”――」
「Jasper-san! What’s going on!? Everyone is here because they bet on you!」
Their whispering was gradually getting louder from the tension. It became angry yells at the end. Their gazes turned toward a single man――toward the man with disheveled hair just now.
「The “voice of heaven” told me. A black vortex opened in the air. It said that’s the path that connect to “paradise”――」
「We heard that many times already! But in reality there was absurd light right after the activation and then an explosion right after-. We almost died-」
The man called Jasper was at a loss for words. It seemed he was the leader of this people. And then, it seemed he was a leader without that much popularity. The eyes of the other people that were looking at him were overflowing with distrust and discontent.
Jasper averted his gaze from their eyes and returned his gaze toward Kouki.
「You two are……are you perhaps, someone from the “paradise”?」
He asked with a gaze that was pleading somewhere in it.
Kouki and Hajime were in a desert battlefield until just now. It couldn’t be called as a “paradise” at all. Although, if the “paradise” that they mentioned referred to “another world”, then the answer was yes.
And so, Kouki was going to answer like that……
Right before he could, *gan gan gan gan-* a sound like metals colliding on each other――countless footsteps were echoing faintly from one of the passages. Jasper and others immediately went pale. One of the people here glared at Hajime and Kouki with hatred, anger, and then terror in his expression.
「It’s just as I thought-. These guys are people from the upper world! They knew about our plan and had investigated all this time! The failure too must be because these guys got in the way!」
「This isn’t the time for that! They’re coming-, we’re running away-」
Jasper and others stood up even while enduring the pain in their body. They began to take distance away from Hajime and Kouki. Kouki raised his voice in panic to stop them.
「Wai-, wait a second! We don’t know what is going on at all! Explain the situation to us a little![
「Shut up-, you damn dog of the machines-. I’m not going to get myself “disposed”」
When one of them broke into a run, the rest followed like an avalanche. Every single one of them was desperately vanishing into one of the passages. It seemed that Jasper more or less had some self-awareness as the leader, because he was glaring at Hajime and Kouki in order to put them in check.
Like that, Jasper was going to run away when he was the last one remaining,
「Don’t be noisy you stupid bastard.」
Right after Jasper turned around, the bullet that was fired from Donner struck the back of his head. Jasper-san’s face was beautifully sliding on the floor. He slid smoothly with a wonderful posture like a soldier standing in attention before crashing on the wall and came into a stop.
Even though he only woke just now, he lost his consciousness again now. His quietness was inviting great pity. Kouki looked at Jasper who wasn’t even twitching and protested.
「O, oi!? Nagumo!?」
「Calm down, I used rubber bullet.」
「Even rubber bullet is dangerous if it hit the back of the head right!? The way he slid was amazing just now! He even flew horizontally for a bit!」
「……It was non-lethal so no problem.」
「Just now, you paused! You yourself is a bit unsure right!?」
「Shaddup, this damn hero.」
「Don’t tell me to shut up! This demon king-」
Even while the hero and the demon king were making such pleasant chat, the countless footsteps were approaching heavily with excessive loudness.
And so, Hajime took out the compass and Crystal Key.
「We aren’t summoned. Let’s go home quickly. You aren’t going to say you’ll stay behind aren’t you?」
「……There is no way I’ll say that. We aren’t desired here. That’s why, stop pointing your gun at me every time! Or rather, why did you shoot that person if we’re just going to go back right away huh」
From how they were running away from the approaching people, it wasn’t hard to imagine that Jasper would go through a life that wasn’t really fun in case he was captured.
「I don’t know whether the magic power is going to be enough. Perhaps I won’t be able to open a gate right away. In that case it’ll be better if we have at least one person familiar with the land.」
「……I think this person is going to get captured if we leave him alone though.」
「Bring him along if you’re concerned. After we teleported got away, we can just send him back alone after the situation calmed down.」
「I, I got it……」
Kouki had a lot of things he wanted to say, but in the first place it was him who dragged Hajime here so he shut his mouth. He ran toward Jasper and carried him on his shoulder.
Then, in that moment Hajime’s uneasy voice that was rarely heard echoed.
「Eh? Wait a second, no way!?」
「What’s the matter? For you to be that panicked……」
「Amanogawa. Try using some kind of magic. Quick!」
「What’s with you――”Light Sphere”……eh? “Light Sphere”! What-, it doesn’t activate!?」
Hajime clicked his tongue. Kouki ran to him in panic.
「Nagumo, what’s going on!?」
「This is……the same like Raisen. No, it’s a version that is several times……dozens of times greater.」
Hajime nodded gravely.
A similar phenomenon like in Raisen……which was the “magic power dispersion effect”. Even when Yue used magic power with the amount for the highest class magic, it could only be used to activate mid level magic. That demonic area was a magician killer that would cause them to run out of magic power in the blink of eye.
When Hajime poured magic power into the compass, even though he was directly touching it, his magic power was dispersing as though he was pouring water into a bucket with hole. He couldn’t even activate it. Even Kouki’s magic to create light dispersed like mist instantly without even making the slightest flickering.
「It’s good that we secured this man. I can’t open the “gate” at all. We need time to think of some method.」
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Seeing Hajime’s serious face made Kouki switch his mood too. His face quietly turned into the face of a warrior with steely resolve and he asked calmly.
「What now? Are we going to follow those people and run away?」
「We don’t know which side will be advantageous for us. Perhaps the people approaching here is the cause……there is the possibility of some kind of jamming. ――Don’t get in the way okay, Amanogawa.」
Hajime’s last words were filled with coldness like ice. If someone got in the way of their return, he wouldn’t give any mercy to anyone. He also meant that he wouldn’t allow any hindrance like giving consideration to the enemy.
The glance from Hajime was filled with sharpness, coldness, and wariness. It was wariness toward Kouki.
Kouki looked back straight into that gaze of Hajime.
「Sorry. I can’t promise that.」
His words were unwavering, clear, and filled with a will of steel. If he could make it so that no one would be hurt, then he would choose that path.
The sharp eyes of the demon king that was like a spear that pierced all creation, and the tranquil eyes of the hero that was like a forest spring intersected.
「Your troublesomeness is still the same.」
「I’m aware. I’m really sorry to drag you into this.」
Hajime snorted 「Hmph」.
「I can’t concede, just like there are things that you can’t concede. If you’re going to stop me then you better do it with your life on the line.」
「Yeah. I’m resolved. I’ll accept no matter what kind of result that comes from it. In the worst case I’ll do something by myself, so Nagumo, you can return home without paying me any mind.」
Kouki quietly put Jasper down among the scattered machine wreckages. He placed other scraps above Jasper as camouflage while smiling wryly at Hajime’s decisive words. This man will surely return without any hesitation when the time comes, he thought.
If it was the irresolute and unstable Kouki from before, then Hajime would drag him back with no question asked even if he had to ignore Kouki’s will and broke his limbs. He would prioritize not making Shizuku and others sad.
And yet, right now he would really leave him behind. That might be because he was recognizing Kouki as a human with his own will.
Kouki didn’t know what Hajime was actually thinking. However, he called him “unlikeable guy”……surely that was the case. Kouki thought, his wry smile deepened.
Kouki sensed that the presences would arrive soon and he stood beside Hajime. Words spilled out from his mouth in a small voice.
「Sorry, for a lot of things.」
「I’ll kill you the next time you apologize.」
「Then, thank you for getting dragged into this.」
「I’ll kill you the next time you thank me.」
「I have no hope of returning alive like that!」
「You are a masochist hero who leaps into despair on your own aren’t you?」
「That misunderstanding is too great!」
The two of them made such frivolous talk while standing side by side. They glared at the passage from above the pedestal for several seconds.
“They” finally showed up.
「Oh my. No wonder their footsteps are heavy.」
「……Troublesome. There is really not a shred of fantasy here.」
The two’s faces twitched. It couldn’t be helped. After all,
『Live human reaction, three. Wreckage of “taboo” confirmed.』
What came out was an inorganic voice without a shred of emotion.
『Beginning scan――complete specimen of “taboo” confirmed. Revolver type handgun as well as sword.』
That body was formed with only boorish skeletal structure and gray colored metal that emitted hardy glitter. Its hand was holding a futuristic rifle.
『Searching the targets. No record. Violation of the third article of mankind prohibition confirmed.』
It was a humanoid machine――an android.
Instantly thirty androids pulled the triggers all at once.
「No question asked huh.」
The attack that came didn’t betray the futuristic design. It was bluish white laser, thirty streaks of them. They attacked like a line of spears. Hajime and Kouki leaped to left and right to dodge.
Hajime leaped while drawing out Donner and aimed. He thought to repay the laser with railgun that was like pseudo laser but,
(Tsk, so I also can’t activate Lightning Clad properly as expected.)
He would need a magic power for highest class magic for a single shot of railgun. There was a limit even in being inefficient.
Reluctantly, he fired toward the head of an android. A bursting sound roared pleasantly to the ear. The bullet shot through the target with unerring accuracy.
The enemy android had the external appearance of thick and simple skeletal structure with large head like a deformed human skeleton.
Therefore, he tried aiming at the head that looked like an important part. It seemed that it was just as he expected. Donner’s bullet splendidly punched through the metallic android’s forehead. With one shot, the bluish white light from that machine eyes vanished.
(It’s fortunate that I can shot through even with just normal bullet. But, even activating the treasure warehouse is difficult……my remaining bullets are……)
24 shots. No, it was 23 shots with the deduction from his shot just now. It was already including the spare bullets that he usually put inside his pocket just in case. Of course, he also had the slug bullets and needle bullets and some other things loaded inside his artificial hand, but he couldn’t waste them in case there was enemy reinforcement.
「Well, it’ll depend on my method though.」
Hajime grinned fearlessly like usual and rushed toward the laser guns that were retargeted toward him. He slipped through the countless flashes firing at him by sliding and fired at the head of the nearest android from below.
And then, she leaped up using only the strength of his back muscles while launching a spinning kick to use the android he crushed just now as replacement for cannonball.
The android was blown away as though a truck running on highway had just collided with it. It crashed on several of its comrades and fragments were scattered from all of them.
At the same time, two more androids had their head shot through and fell.
There, one android judged that attacking using laser rifle in close range would be disadvantageous a large knife extended from its arm with hiss. It thrust out the knife. Hajime’s hand blocked it.
「Too bad. It seems my left arm is better.」
Yes, it was blocked by the beautiful artificial arm artifact that had ominous crimson lines running on the black surface.
The android wordlessly tried to push but……
『Impossible to analyze. Impossible to analyze. Abnormal strength that surpassed human limit is confirmed. Cause unknow――』
「Well of course」
The android intentionally spoke words might be because of its unrest. No matter how tough the artificial arm was, it should be able to push the human down with its machine power, and yet the human didn’t even twitch as though it was taking on a huge mountain……
But, the android wasn’t given any chance to confirm it. The artificial arm’s “Vibration Destruction” activated. The large knife was smashed into pieces. At the same time a right hook that was swung with overwhelming speed pulverized the android’s head.
The head’s surface was smashed up, at the same time a lethal vibration was transmitted to its inside and sealed its fate. The android convulsed for an instant before crumbling down.
And then as expected, even during that time Hajime’s right hand moved like another living thing and fired the two remaining bullets. But, those bullets didn’t bore into the enemy right away.
They were bouncing on the machine wreckages that were lying around in countless number. Each bullet pierced a different android violently from the side. The two androids were forcefully turned to another direction. The lasers that they fired claimed two of their comrades as victim.
The two that got hit by laser convulsed before losing their balance and falling together with the earlier two androids that were shot from the side.
In addition, as the result of four androids at the front line getting taken care of with two shots, their formation was disturbed and the lasers from the androids behind them also got blocked or grazing those four so that the trajectories veered off.
Because of that, several streaks of bluish white flash streamed around Hajime in vain. It was like the flashes themselves avoided Hajime.
His left hand entered his pocket. He grabbed six bullets. At the same time he flipped up Donner’s cylinder and ejected the cartridges. He flicked the cylinder with his thumb and rotated it in high speed. There he flicked the bullets with his finger into the cylinder and finished reloading like doing a magic trick.
It was far slower compared to the godspeed midair gun spin reload using treasure warehouse, even so it was a high speed reload with transcendental finesse that would make the eyes of any gunman on earth flew out from their sockets.
Donner who filled its stomach in less than a second matched the arm’s movement that swept horizontally and instantly pulverized six androids.
The four androids that were hit by their allies’ lasers before this were also convulsing for a while before stopped moving.
Hajime crushed more than half their number in very little time. He dodged the lasers by sight while reloading with finger flicks once more.
(As I thought it’s the same like Raisen. Magic like “Physical Reinforcement” or “Light Speed” that only used magic power inside the body won’t disperse……but, it’s troublesome that I can’t even properly use “Transmutation” even though that’s the one magic I can use with extraordinary efficiency.)
Hajime analyzed and observed both the enemies and himself inside his accelerated thought while shifting his gaze slightly. He had been keeping a focus on the presence all this time but……
*Rin-*, an elegant sound that was the exact opposite of bursting sound that Hajime loved caressed his eardrum. It was like the sound of bell that adorned a peaceful night. The sound was so serene that it wasn’t fitting for a battlefield.
But, the result that it brought about was brutal and immense.
*Swish, swish* It was like a leaf fluttering in the wind.
It was a natural movement that any passerby wouldn’t pay any mind to. So natural that it felt like the person would easily slip out the awareness of anyone watching if they let their guard down.
Just with a single step forward that person slid smoothly into the blind spot of the lasers that were flying past, and the next moment he was already sneaking to the back of the enemies.
And then, the enemies he passed through slid diagonally as though remembering the reality that they had forgotten. Their iron bodies were bisected extremely easily along with the serene sound *rin-* accompanying such act.
The slash that was unleashed was like the extreme culmination of that concept. It was truly a one hit kill.
What was terrifying was how there was nothing except serenity that could be found there. There was no killing intent, hostility, and not even any fighting spirit. When the enemies only felt wind caressing their skin, they were already cut. Such peak of sword slash could be found there.
If Hajime’s technique was the height of rationality, that technique of Kouki ought to be considered to be at the summit of martial arts.
It seemed that at first he tried everything he could to talk with the androids seeing that they could converse with words, but because the enemies wouldn’t even reply to him and continued attacking with no question asked, Kouki too finally resolved himself.
He was slow to start as usual. That side of him made Hajime wanted to punch him but……
Even while Kouki was attempting to talk with the androids, he also attracted the attention of nearly half of them so they wouldn’t target Hajime. At present Kouki had already defeated half of them, so Hajime decided to pardon him with the justification of “if it was just once then it’s an accident”. He also didn’t want to waste bullet.
『Targets are judged to be “threat”. Executing “disposal”.』
It seemed the androids’ recognition of them changed. But, that judgment was too late.
Although, that too was something that couldn’t be helped. Because there was no way they had the data of “hero” and “demon king” inside them.
Five seconds after that all the androids ended up as scraps.
AN: Thank you very much for reading this every time.
Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.
Finger flick reload
I used the revolver user who came out in the movie Dark Tower as the reference. There are many gun actions there that tickled my chuuni heart. Shirakome’s heart was jumping around at the point when the setting of a holy sword getting reforged as revolver came out.
If you google “Dark Tower Reload” then you will be able to watch transcendence skill that overflowed with romance!
※Notification regarding the next update
I’m very sorry even though I have only just started a new arc but, my schedule for November is packed and it will be difficult to update every week. I intend to write if there is opening but, I have no confidence to promise update……
And so, please allow me to post the next update at the first Saturday of December.
Many apologies but, best regards!
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