There was a group climbing a steep stair within a dark shaft like they were climbing a precipitous cliff. It was Hajime and co.
「Couldn’t you make the slope a bit more gentler?」 Hajime said with a slightly troubled expression.
「I’m sorry. This shaft was excavated using manufacturing machine that was moved with my limited electricity.」
G10’s single eye flickered while lightly floating up, unknowing of the hardship of climbing the shaft.
Hajime and Kouki were naturally unbothered by an obstacle of this level. They would still be unbothered even if they were carrying super heavy travelling bag that was stuffed with the firearms and the like from inside the hideout.
Rather thanks to the steps that were orderly placed throughout the shaft, even with how small and cramped the place was, they could sprint up to the top in full speed if they felt like it.
But, Jasper and others――especially the children were having difficulty.
In the end Jasper and others couldn’t stay in that hideout. It was because G10 said that there was another hideout ahead of this secret shaft passage that would connect until just slightly before the heaven. It was clear that it would be better for them to be as close as possible to the heaven to save time when the time for Hajime to return home arrived.
Even so, although all of them had taken an easeful rest for the whole day and restored their energy by drinking fresh water and eating nutritious food, they were inside a mountain that was five kilometer high. To climb this almost completely vertical shaft was like a hellish march for the children who had no expereince or the stamina for that.
Listy let out a cute groan. She wanted to do her best, but her legs wouldn’t move……she would do her bessttt, she was seriously doing her best.
「You are really gutsy huh.」
Hajime smiled wryly and lightly lifted up Listy with one hand. He then placed her on his back where Etemp-san immediately fixed her there with its string.
「……I can still, go on!」
Listy-chan’s eyes were burning. She was like an athlete that was challenging her limit. She didn’t want to bother Hajime when it wasn’t even an emergency situation where they didn’t need to hurry……it was clear that she had such feeling.
「But, you’re slow.」
Hajime-san mercilessly cut down the earnest proclamation of the little girl. Listy-chan’s face had the expression of someone who received a great shock.
「……I want, strength-」
「You speak like a protagonist. Even if you hear a strange voice don’t so easily get tempted okay?」
G10 and Jasper averted their gaze. They were the strange voice and the adult who fell to temptation.
「Ahaha……we have climbed up really far. You’ve already done well.」
「It’s just as Kouki-sama said. We will arrive at the upperworld soon. I created a place to rest there, so let’s take a break temporarily after this.」
They were currently at the altitude of 2 kilometer. During their climb the children weren’t making any complaint at all. It wasn’t just Listy, everyone of them was gutsy even with the fact that they received help with the climbing.
They too understood the situation even though they were still children. At this rate they wouldn’t have any future with the truth of the world as it was. What they could do right now was to do their best here. This was something that they had to do to survive.
The heart of these children who was born and raised in this dystopia that toyed with their life might burn really brightly and strongly once fire was lit in it.
Even so children were children. Even the oldest of the nine of them was still 12 years old.
「That’s unfair even though you’re the tiniest.」
The boy who was slightly older than Listy said such thing and glared at his younger sister. In his eyes wasn’t a simple reproach because Listy was having it easy. If pushed to say it was……
「Sheesh, you’re hopeless.」
Hajime kept Listy on his back while lifting up the boy to sit on his arm. Instantly the boy’s eyes sparkled brightly. He looked like a fan who got addressed by a celebrity he idolized.
It seemed what he meant by 「Unfair」 just now was that he was jealous Hajime was paying attention to Listy.
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As the proof of that, right after that the other children simultaneously raised their voice 「Ral you cheater!」「Me too!」「Hajime-san, me too!」. The children pushed and shoved each other in the narrow shaft while crowding Hajime.
「Nagumo, you’re real famous huh?」
When Kouki realized, there were children at his feet……everyone was staring fixedly at Kouki. Their eyes were shining in anticipation.
「Well, it’s because you two showed them an outrageous fight.」
「Yeah, it was really amazing I have no words to describe it.」
Jasper and Mindy smiled wryly. They understood how the children felt.
Furthermore after hearing G10’s story, Hajime and Kouki became like heroes for the children who protected them from the army of villain.
Even so the number of the children was nine. Their limit was three children each. Two on their back and one in their arm. They had to leave their other arm free in case of emergency.
Thinking normally, it was impossible for Kouki and Hajime to carry all the children――
「My time to walk, has come.」
「It’s too early for you.」
LIsty-chan huffed excitedly. She was really a gutsy child. However it would only worry him if she climbed with those trembling legs.
And so Hajime activated a gimmick in his artificial arm. The arm extended with *kashun-kashun* sound, changed shape, its five fingers were also expanding, and the attachable shield also changed. With that he held four children simultaneously with one arm.
It made the children’s eyes sparkled and they raised their voices 「Kyaa~~h」 joyfully. For some reason Etemp & Netemp were also dangling down in high spirits like they were going to say 「Kyaa~~h」 too.
With this Hajime carried six children even with his one arm still freed. Kouki carried three children. The children who were carried by Kouki were looking at their siblings who were invited on the artificial arm’s chair enviously.
Seeing that G10 started to ponder something.
「,,,,,,Hmm. Can Etemp-sama and Netemp-sama attached strings on me to make a gondola?」
Piece of cake! Etemp and Netemp immediately spewed their string as though to say that. A mesh-shaped gondola was immediately created. G10 went in front of Mindy with that attached on it.
「You also look really tired, so perhaps you can ride this to increase our marching speed. If it’s just one person then there won’t be any problem with my output.」
「Err……thank you very much?」
Mindy slowly placed her bottom on the gondola. Her voice spontaneously slipped out 「Kyah」 due to the feeling of weightlessness, but she looked a bit delighted with her first time experiencing floating like this.
「Yosh. We’re going faster.」
Kouki and G10 followed Hajime’s order. They climbed swiftly.
There was one slightly sad voice that was watching that.
「No, well, I’m an adult after all? It doesn’t really matter though?」
Jasper’s legs were shaking even while saying that. The thing muscles of the man with malnutrition were already screaming.
In the end he was dangled in air with Netemp’s string and got slammed on the wall a bit in the middle of the transportation. Hajime and others only sent Jasper a glance while entering the upper world.
When they crossed the altitude of 3500 meter and reached seven-tenth of the way from the base of the summit.
Hajime and others arrived at a cave that was the hideout located at the highest altitude. They took a bit of rest before watching the situation outside from there.
Of course they weren’t looking outside by opening a curtain slightly and peeking through the gap like detective in drama.
They were watching the 3D hologram from G10’s single eye.
G10 possessed information of the upperworld from the beginning, but taking the commotion at the underworld into consideration, Etemp & Netemp went out for scouting and projected that latest image of the situation. Apparently for G10 it was easy to ignore the standard and the like to receive the data from earth’s storage medium.
「The security is tight just as expected.」
「The citizens are bewildered. Well, it’s convenient that there are few people at the street.」
The citizens seemed to sense the heavy atmosphere and immediately entered inside the buildings.
「……This is, the upperworld. They have……this kind of living……」
The spherical hologram floated in the air with noise sometimes running through it. Jasper watched it and muttered with yearning in his voice.
Inside the hologram uniform buildings that were colored white without any dirtiness on them were lining up. The streets were paved neatly without even a single trash that could be seen. The people who were walking there were all wearing white clothing like their surrounding. They were looking very clean and obviously healthy.
If there wasn’t the heavy security of the machine soldiers, they would surely showing cheerful smile. In fact even under this heavy atmosphere, the children were still making carefree smile. The machine soldier’s activity was rousing their curiosity instead.
It was a wide difference from the children of the underworld. From them there wasn’t the slightest wariness toward their neighbor, or fatigue from daily labor, or the roughness from going through a hard life.
They possessed the purity and innocence of someone who believed that it was only natural for them to be loved and for the peace to continue.
Listy and others were also watching transfixed as though they were looking at heaven.
Jasper’s hand was unconsciously reaching out toward the hologram. It was as though he was pleading that he wished for that life, that this was the world that he wished for.
But, Mindy quietly caught that hand before it touched the hologram. Jasper returned to himself from that and he smiled in embarrassment.
「It’s also the same, for these guys huh.」
「That’s right, Jasper. They also have their life span limited. Their fate will also arrive at the same end as nothing more than Mother’s pawn.」
Upperworld and underworld. Why was there such separation? The reason was simple.
It was only natural to separate the producing area for mass producible small fries for taking care the miscellaneous works and the producing area to raise higher quality material.
The residences of the upperworld were also under the “mankind prohibition”. But their living was incomparable from the underworld within the limit that Mother permitted.
The prohibition stole any chance for mankind to touch metal and prevented them from secretly polishing their technology, but one day they would become machine soldier.
Then, for the machine soldiers that made use of mankind’s brain, a brain that received education would naturally become a material with higher quality.
Therefore the citizens of upperworld received good quality food and environment while receiving compulsory education like basic science and math and also other subjects like battle tactic and strategy.
Naturally in order to remove any room for rebellion, ideological education was given to every single one of them. Depending on the situation they would even have their memory adjusted.
「Perhaps in a sense their freedom is even more nonexistent compared to the people of the underworld.」
「I see……that’s sh*tty.」
G10’s voice was filled with emotion that couldn’t bear watching this sight. Hasper replied as though to spit out.
Kouki opened his mouth looking slightly pained.
「G10. Other than cannon soldier and shield soldier, I can see several other types that I’m not familiar with. Are they also upgraded version? In other words……」
「Yes, they are machine soldiers that used upperworld’s citizens.」
The cannon soldier that Kouki mentioned was the air soldier that was equipped with railgun rifle. The cannon soldier was the heavy soldier with shields to generate force field and tank cannons on both shoulders.
It seemed that the uppwerworld’s machine soldiers were all the upgraded version of the underworld’s machine soldiers――the security soldier, air soldier, heavy soldier, air soldier, they were all upgraded.
And two more things――attack soldier was the upgraded version of security soldier. Its framework was wider and tougher. It was equipped with futuristic looking rifle and also a handgun as sidearm.
Their movement was more refined and could take advanced group tactic. From their naming it could be understood that they specialized in offense rather than defense.
The upgraded version of the assault soldier was the sword soldier. They had skeleton body, or rather they looked like the Middle Age knight wearing super slim armor.
They reflected the hand-to-hand fighting that the upperworld residences were trained in. Their strength was really in a different level that they made what the assault soldier did looking like they really could only rush forward.
Next Hajime asked while glancing briefly at Kouki’s pained expression.
「And, that huge gate with its upper half plunged into the cloud. Is that the entrance to heaven?」
「Aka “heaven gate”. The naming is really just like Mother. It sounds as though it’s a heavenly existence.」
G10 spat out its reply. Hajime shrugged.
「That’s how those pretending to be a god mostly ended up into. Hope you yourself won’t become like that eh, new leader of the world?」
「Impossible. Just as I explained, I will kill myself after ascertaining that the world is stable.」
If Mother was defeated, mankind would certainly take back their freedom. There wouldn’t be any external enemy too.
However, would peace really arrive after that and everything became smooth sailing? The answer was no. It would be inevitable for chaos to reign if residences of a controlled world suddenly got thrown into a world of freedom. The possibility of conflict occurring there was extremely high. To say nothing of how the upperworld and the underworld were intentionally placed in a discriminatory environment.
Therefore after Mother was defeated, G10 would prioritize stabilizing the supply of clothing, food, and shelter. They were the absolutely essential things for human to live like human.
Then it would destroy all mechanical data of the past before it self-destructed at the stage where mankind would voluntarily advance to the future. In preparation of the worst case it even handed its own self-destruction switch to Hajime, Kouki, and Jasper.
「The world of human should be entrusted to the hand of human. Things like will or emotion shouldn’t be given to machine. We shouldn’t have been born-」
G10 words contained hate toward even itself. No one could say anything against that intense wish to clean the world from AI with its own death.
Kouki squeezed out his voice and asked for a bit.
「……G10. Are you really, alright with that?」
「This is the best choice for mankind. I believe so.」
Too sad…… Kouki wanted to say that. G10 hesitated slightly before saying.
「Kouki-sama. Perhaps this isn’t something that I should say when I was the one who asked for help.」
「I think you place too much burden on yourself. Defeating Mother, liberating mankind, your decision to help me with that is already beyond my expectation. It’s pointless for you to be bothered about me. You also don’t need to concern yourself about the future of this world too. They are not your burden to bear.」
Those words were blunt with no hesitation. And yet those words were filled with concern toward Kouki from G10’s understanding of Kouki’s way of living despite the short time they were acquainted/.
That made Kouki’s expression twisted furhter.
「A guy who has just met you for a day has seen through your troublesome part and even warn you. You’re really hopeless.」
「You’re worried not just about G10, but also about this world’s future right?」
Bull’s eye. The worrywart hero couldn’t find any words. Hajime continued with an exasperated face.
「Certainly, even I think that this match fixing world is too sh*tty. It even made me think that after learning all this, if I pretend to be completely ignorant of all this and only save a few of this world’s residence, I won’t be able to hold my head high toward my family.」
Of course he still prioritized going back, even so he wanted to come back after that and crush everything here.
「This world has been damaged to this point. It’s gonna take a lot of time until mankind recover their civilization. It’s just a fantasy if you think that the residences of this world will be able to continue getting along well and holding each other’s hand during that time. ――They’re human after all.」
They couldn’t take up the burden for the aftermath too. They would have to throw away their own life to be the leader who gave guidance to the people for that. Such thing was just impossible.
「Even so, you are the one who decide. You aren’t a kid after all. It’s wrong for outsider like me to meddle with your decision.」
Kouki’s expression turned troubled. You aren’t a kid……those words――could also be interpreted as “I recognize you as your own human”.
「That’s why, this is all that I want to say.」
「Let me hear it.」
The demon king met the hero’s gaze and told him.
「Do whatever you like about the aftermath. But don’t worry about anything right now. Give it your all for the now.」
Don’t hesitate. Don’t waver. Even if the future is dark, even if a life that had continued fighting alone for 200 years decided to discard its own life, even if the machine soldiers were human――keep moving for the what you should do right now.
Kouki took a deep breath and closed his eyes after Hajime said that. And then,
「Yeah. The opponent is powerful after all, I’m uneasy with just the demon king alone against it.」
He stuffed his worry at the bottom of his heart and replied like that with a mischievous smile.
Of course, the demon king hesitated a bit wondering if he should just end this guy right at this instant.
Hajime took a deep breath. He pulled himself together and returned to the topic.
「And, there is no other route to the heaven other than that “heaven gate”?」
「Yes Hajime-sama. There is no alternative path. If you forcefully go around and climb the rock cliff, you will be exposed to the barrage of interception missiles and the fierce attack of the assault soldiers. A lot of sensors and explosive are also buried in the ground. Even my secret path can only reach until here.」
「So it’s also impossible through the sky.」
「There will be electricity dome that leave no place to escape and violent barrage from the rock cliff to welcome your arrival there.」
「I’m so happy to hear that I’m gonna cry.」
Hajime carefully observed the heaven gate in the 3D hologram before he turned his gaze to his traveling bag.
「Looks like there is really no other way than breaking through from the front.」
「Yes. We have prepared for that.」
G10 had a trump card to breakthrough. Therefore the heaven gate wouldn’t be that problematic. It wasn’t worth considering any further.
「The heaven is Mother’s territory. I have no information about it. The biggest threat will be after we breakthrough the heaven gate.」
「Well, there is an opening that we can take advantage of.」
「Hajime-sama mean your “gate”? I still find it hard to believe that it’s possible to teleport between worlds by your own effort……」
G10 groaned but the premise of their strategy was completely based on that.
Yes, Mother didn’t know. That Hajime was able to cross to another world by himself. That what he needed for that was electricity.
If G10 who should have been destroyed appeared with two warriors of another world in tow heading toward the top of the mountain, then naturally it would think their objective was to destroy it.
Then they could just do as she expected. They fought to defeat Mother. However in reality they would just buy time. During that time Hajime would steal electricity before they disengaged from the battle. Hajime then would return home along with Jasper’s family. Kouki would hide together with G10 and focused in doing guerilla war while waiting for Hajime to return.
Of course if they could defeat Mother than that would be best, but they weren’t so optimistic.
「You also don’t know the detail of route at the other side of the gate right?」
「Yes. But, we should aim to the top of the mountain. No, to the “highest spot”.」
「That’s just like this Mother’s personality huh.」
「There was just one time, around a hundred years ago when the cloud cleared up. I saw it from afar at that time, the maintained ground and a facility that looked like a shrine there.」
「So we can only aim to the top.」
Hajime was convinced and took a deep breath.
Hajime tucked up the old and tattered bag once more. He also finished inspecting and maintaining his equipments and equipped as many firearms as possible.
Kouki also started preparing when he saw that.
The preparation for the decisive battle.
Listy ran toward Hajime with small footsteps. She grasped Hajime’s hand tightly with her small hand. She looked up at him. Inside those eyes was anxiety, or perhaps trust……
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「Wait here like a good girl. I’ll come back for sure. Got it?」
「When everything is taken care of, I’ll bring you to meet my daughter. Myuu is a bit older than you but, I think you two will be good friends. So look forward to it.」
「……Nuu. Won’t lose.」
「Not losing in what huh?」
Listy-chan took a fighting pose for some reason in high spirit.
The tension was slightly dispelled thanks to her. The other children also swarmed them to cheer for them.
「Aa, about this. Again, thank you. After that……don’t die out there.」
「Hajime-san, Kouki-san. Please stay safe.」
Jasper and Mindy also held out their hands with various feelings mixed in their gaze.
「Well, just wait here without worrying.」
「It’ll be fine, we are going to succeed without fail.」
They exchanged a firm handshake.
And then a beat later.
Hajime, Kouki, and G10. The three of them left the hideout with Jasper’s family gazing on their back.
A whole day after the emergency alert reached the upperworld’s machine soldiers.
Each squad of machine soldiers was made up mainly from underworld machine soldiers with the upperworld machine soldiers acting as their officers. They were still unable to capture the enemies.
The battle record from the underworld against the enemies had been shared. Even the word astounding wasn’t enough to describe these abnormal enemies.
They had no fear. Such emotion had been removed from them. They also had no nervousness. They would only obey Mother’s command.
However, even then, because they were former human, perhaps they still had their sixth sense.
That sword soldier had made four underworld machine soldiers to use their sensor in the full capacity, even so it was still moving around restlessly. It was as though it was distracted by uneasiness.
The mist that was starting to cover the surrounding area was terribly annoying.
『Bad visibility. Focus with heat detection.』
It sent transmission to its subordinates. It also sent situation report to the other squads.
『Bad visibility……unable to confirm. Squad four, report in detail.』
After such communication came from other squad……
The sword soldier that was the commander of squad four instantly fell into confusion.
Because it was this clear even through the mist――
『! Enemy attack――』
Before it could finish speaking, gunshots resounded consecutively inside the mist. There was also a loud explosion sound following it.
Its heat sensor didn’t detect anything. Its other sensors were also the same. It connected its communication channel with the squad that was deployed ahead and asked for confirmation.
But only noises came back. The communication from other squads had also been cut off when it came back to its senses. Its communication link to its subordinates was also not working.
It finally noticed then. This mist wasn’t just a mist. It was the jamming from the enemies. Most likely they used smoke grenade that was filled with metal fragments to reflect the radio wave irregularly.
But it noticed that too late.
It tried to give instruction to its subordinates directly using voice, but right after that the security soldiers at both its sides got sent flying to right above. No, they were pulled up by strings.
When it raised its gaze as though to send them off, the sight of complicated binding――yes, his subordinates who were tied in tortoise shell bondage while struggling with electronic sound *gigigi* entered its eye.
It seemed they were turned into marionette with strings. The security soldiers’ arms moved against their own will and aimed their rifle’s muzzle toward their own head.
There was no time to help them. The strings that were wrapped around their fingers were pulled and the rifles fired. Their own head was shot and their body lost strength. Its subordinates were transformed into a disgusting artwork.
Further above that tragic appearance of its subordinates, something that stood upside down on the street light slipped into the mist while emitting crimson light.
It was spiders. Two spiders were sticking on the street lamp while looking down at it with their eerie crimson eyes.
If it was a human, it might screamed like the victim character in horror movie. Or perhaps it would quickly lose against its fear and let go of its consciousness.
Of course the machine soldier wouldn’t commit such blunder.
『Target confirmed! Begin atta――』
It gave instruction to its two remaining subordinates――two heavy soldiers. At the same time it pushed the switch on the handle of the heat blade it was holding with both its hands. The sword’s blade extended with a sound like a baton and the radiance of scorching heat enveloped it instantly.
But, from the beginning it had already failed due to sending its focus over there.
Explosion. Shockwave. They camne from the left and right and caused the sight sensor of the sword soldier to be filled with a lot of noises. It mercilessly put great burden on its balance system.
Although it was blown away, it was an upperworld machine soldier that boasted high specs. It rolled on the ground to lessen the impact and stood on one leg while quickly restoring its system.
「Thanks for all your hard work. You can retire from the black company starting today.」
Take this severance payment with you. Along with those words, the same weapon that exploded and pulverized the heavy soldiers at both its sides just now――a gatling gun was fired at it.
That weapon should be impossible to carry with just a single person. But this person carried one at each hand. He lightly wielded them and aimed accurately as well as cunningly to not give any place to escape.
Naturally a guard from crossing the heat blades was pointless. The commander of squad four became small pieces and its system fell silent for eternity.
「Aa……my stress is vanishing……」
The one who said that with a raptured expression while running out from within the thick mist was of course Hajime.
Etemp & Netemp jumped down to his shoulders while their front legs were moving around as though to say 「We did great work!」「We’re truly professional killers! Master! Praise us!」.
「Nagumo, your expression is a bit creepy.」
Kouki ran slightly behind Hajime. His shoulder was carrying a six slots missile launcher. G10 was also floating behind him.
「Gatling is nice just as expected. It’s the height of civilization that mankind created. It’s a bit unsatisfying that it has no electromagnetic acceleration though.」
「Stop calling weapon as civilization. Also, stay in moderation with your trigger happy fingers.」
Their surprise attack using the jamming could only work until here. When they came out of the mist, the machine soldiers were rushing at them. Hajime used the firearms that G10 gathered without holding back.
Kouki was also pulling the trigger of a firearm that he wasn’t used to in order to preserve his stamina and magic power.
They threw away all their weapons after they were spent. They intended to use up all of them to break through. They were cutting open a path by throwing the firepower they carried toward the enemy.
They were also accompanied by a powerful support even though it didn’t look like they needed it.
「Updating the data of enemy force distribution. Drawing another route.」
G10 who was following closely behind them said that. Right after that, the hologram map that floated at the corner of Hajime and Kouki’s sight showed subtle change in the route that was represented by a line of light.
In addition G10 was also detecting the enemy’s position even when they were inside a building or at the other side of the building. It accurately detected the sniping and bombardment from long distance, the type of weapon whether it was rocket missile or area suppression weapon type, and even calculated the time of arrival of the attack.
It didn’t stop there, using hacking, even if it was impossible to take over the enemy, it would shift the enemy’s aim, delayed their movement by one or two seconds, jammed their communication, and even slipped false information into their network.
「You really lived up to your reputation as tactical support AI.」
「Yeah, you really make it easy for us to fight.」
Heavy weapons and AI support. With these Hajime didn’t need to use up his own weapon while Kouki didn’t need to consume his magic power. They succeeded in breaking through until the heaven gate without stopping.
The pure white giant gate was towering over them.
Hajime yelled when he arrived in front of the white stair at its bottom.
Kouki put down his traveling bag in front of the gate and took out the content. It was something that looked like a 12 inch tablet that was slightly thick.
G10 extended its cable into it and started manipulating it. During that time Hajime and Kouki laid out a barrage of bullet with the intention of using up all their ammos and held back the advancing machine soldiers.
「Booting complete! Please get back!」
As soon as they heard G10’s warning, Hajime and Kouki fired all their remaining rockets.
At the same time they leaped to several steps below the stair. Hajime raised his attachable shield while Kouki used his holy sword in great sword mode as protection. G10 also literally rolled to behind them.
Right after that.
A sound that was hard to describe, like glass being stretched made the air shook. Then the space before the gate distorted like jelly. The gate’s surface that was within the range of that twisting which was around two meters in diameter also got dragged into the center of the twisting――
The next moment, a sound of destruction that tore at the eardrum accompanied a tremendous shockwave that trampled the surrounding area.
「Uoh, as expected from the relic of SF world. The range was narrow but that’s as powerful as Yue’s “Sky Quake”.」
「Mother will surely use something like this too. Be careful. You won’t be able to escape if you are caught within the effective range.」
The weapon just now was one of the old era’s relic. It was a precious weapon that G10 had only a few――a space distortion bomb. It forcefully distorted the space to twist and tear the target, then when the space snapped back to normal the target would be blasted.
Originally G10 wanted to use it to destroy Mother. It wanted to save at least one if possible, but it had a flaw that it needed a bit of time until it activated so it was difficult to use it in battle. And so they came to a clean decision to use this weapon to remove physical obstacle like the heaven gate.
It couldn’t be helped because if they didn’t travel swiftly, they would be grinded with the quantity of the enemy.
Although it was worth it to use one of their trump cards. The tough heaven gate was splendidly blasted that it had two meter hole opened in it.
Hajime and Kouki nodded to each other and ran into the gate while dodging the gunshots from behind.
Just before they passed through,
「Etemp, Netemp! Block it!」
Hajime destroyed the stair under his feet with his artificial arm’s vibration destruction while giving the order. Kouki was blocking the attack on Hajime with his holy sword.
During that time Etemp & Netemp stuck their strings on the rubbles of the stair. Hajime and Kouki leaped into the gate with G10 following behind them.
As soon as they confirmed that, Etemp & Netemp also pulled the rubbles while leaping inside. And then they blocked the hole from inside using their web. The wall from the tough rubbles and spider strings would stop their pursuers for a bit.
The other side of the heaven gate was a place that looked like a giant hangar.
However strangely there was nobody here. Even though they expected a heavy counterattack, there wasn’t any machine soldiers lying in wait for them.
「I’m searching, but there’s no reaction……this might be a trap.」
Hajime grinned fearlessly hearing that. Kouki shrugged. Bring it on, we’re just going to overcome it.
They broke into a run at full speed. They arrived until deep into the hangar in the blink of eye. G10 extended a cable to the console beside a steel door and tried unlocking it.
It easily opened. Behind the door was a pure white corridor with line of light on the surface. As expected there was no machine soldier there.
「Nagumo, I’ll take the front.」
「Then G10, you’re at the middle.」
They took a formation to be able to deal with the front and behind before running through the corridor once more.
Then after a little running, there was some kind of sound. The trap might have finally activated. Or perhaps it was the sound of the machine soldiers rushing their way. So they heightened their vigilance……
「……Isn’t this sound of explosion?」
Hajime affirmed with a tone of suspicion at Kouki’s guess.
Why wasn’t there anyone that came to intercept the intruders? Why was there several explosions resounding from other place?
The deeper they advanced, and then they higher they climbed, the explosion sounds were getting louder.
G10 muttered half in disbelief.
「……Someone, is fighting?」
There was no way that was the case. There was no other existence in this world who rose in revolt against Mother other than them.
However, there was no clear basis to deny G10’s guess in this situation.
Before long, when they climbed until around the nine-tenth of the way from the base of the mountain, the sound suddenly stopped.
「Is the battle over?」
In the end they didn’t encounter any trap or machine soldiers until here. There was a tough door that couldn’t be opened even with G10’s hacking, but they pushed through that with the space distortion bomb too. Even so there was no machine soldiers coming for them.
It was just too unexpected and too eerie. They didn’t get what was going on.
However they had to keep advancing.
In front of a conspicuously large door, Hajime and Kouki looked at each other and nodded. Their instinct whispered to them. There was something behind this door.
Hajime pulled out Donner & Schlag, while Kouki put his hand on the handle of the holy sword that was in its katana mode.
「Both of you, are you ready?」
It seemed G10 managed to hack the door to open. Hajime and Kouki wordlessly nodded.
And then they stepped inside at the same time with the opening of the door.
It was another spacious room. It wasn’t as big as the first hangar, but it was as big as a gymnasium. As expected there was no machine soldier and there was also no sign of trap activating.
A lot of machines with unknown function were placed messily and there was a round pedestal deeper inside.
They warily advanced forward.
And then, when they arrived until the center of the room, they heard it.
『Good grief, he finally stayed quiet.』
A female voice resounded from the speaker that seemed to be installed in this room.
G10 reacted fiercely. From its reaction, it was clear that the owner of this voice was Mother.
『Just what is the principle behind it? Even with the detection system working in full strength he still almost get away from detection……in the first place the machine soldiers doesn’t even react when he passed right in front of them……it’s incomprehensible.』
Hajime and Kouki took their fighting stance but……the two of them couldn’t help but make a dubious expression.
It didn’t seem like it was talking to them, but it also didn’t look like it was talking to itself.
Then as though to answer their doubt,
「Kuku, in the first place it’s impossible to comprehend my abyss.」
They heard such thing.
Hajime’s expression convulsed. Kouki’s reaction was delayed for an instant before his eyes opened wide as though to say No way in hell.
「Because, abyss came from a world of everlasting darkness that is beyond human intellect. In addition, I’m nobody else but the abyss itself!」
『I don’t understand what you are saying.』
But of course.
Hajime and Kouki agreed inside their heart. Right after that, a round pedestal descended from the ceiling with a loud sound *gounn gounn*. It seemed it was an elevator.
「You better remember this, formless lady. When you peek into the abyss, the abyss will also peek back at thee! Do you think that I won’t realize they malice!? Fuhahahah, na?ve, too na?ve! You want me to save the world? You want me to defeat the invaders? Hah! Don’t think that those words filled with ostentation will work on this avatar of deep everlasting darkness!」
『Shut up already』
Certainly they couldn’t bear to listen to this anymore. The pedestal elevator was gradually descending. They wanted to close their ears and ran away immediately. By Hajime & Kouki.
『You have no choice but to cooperate with me if you want to return back to your world. Understand that. Now, defeat the enemies before your eyes.』
「Fuh. Don’t be in such a rush, young lady.」
『Stop calling me young lady.』
「As you wish, I shall defeat these so called invaders for thee. But, never forget. Thou will look upon the true abyss at that time you touch my true fury.」
『I get it already, so stop with that nonsense turn and strange posing!』
Yeah, please stop. Tell him more! By Hajime & Kouki’s heart.
G10 was in confusion by the incomprehensible situation even though it was currently in front of its sworn enemy.
The pedestal elevator finally descended completely amidst such chaotic situation.
In the middle of that, a young man was standing with their back turned toward them with a cool pose, although his appearance looked battered. His back was turned toward them was probable to be dramatic.
That man in black-san who looked overly familiar for them suddenly spread open his hands.
「I have no grudge toward all of you. But, even this me has things that I cannot yield. Don’t worry, I’ll at least spare your lives.」
The man said such thing while pulling his right foot and turned sharply. His right hand moved toward his chest while his right hand moved to his back. And then he gave an elegant bow.
「Now, let’s fight fai――」
He raised his head with a fearless smile……and froze.
The blank stare of the demon king that resembled a certain first wife, and the hero looking to the ceiling with one hand covering his eyes entered the man’s view.
Silence filled the room.
Quietly, the men in black-san’s hand shifted down his sunglasses. His exposed eyes blinked repeatedly. It seemed he was in the middle of checking the reality.
Then he slowly took off his sunglasses with trembling hand and stored it into his pocket. He also took a normal pose and took a deep breath.
『What are you doing!? Now, kill those invaders with that foreign world’s ability that deceived even machine’s eye――』
「AIN’T NO WAY I CAN DO THATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!」
He couldn’t do that in two meanings. He――the abyss lord aka Kousuke E Abyssgate screamed from the bottom of his heart.
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