「Please buy me time! I’ll locate the integration core!」
G10’s words echoed through the battlefield that was shaking with thunderous roar and loud laughter.
Integration core――they were words that they never heard before. But Hajime, Kouki, and the lord instantly guessed the meaning without needing to ask.
Because using the magic eye for Hajime and sunglasses for Kouki and the lord, they had confirmed the abnormality of the giant liquid metal machine soldier, the “combined heaven soldier”.
Yes, the only weakness of the heaven soldier, its core――there were countless amount of it inside its body that it could be likened like the stars in the sky.
Hajime’s bullet shot through one of them, but it only caused the enemy to be destroyed slightly in the proportion of a single heaven soldier. Even that damage was immediately regenerated. The overwhelming mass and the countless cores granted the heaven soldier absolute superiority in the battlefield.
But, it wasn’t invincible. Most likely there was a single core that acted as the controller to operate this many heaven soldiers as a single being, no doubt about it. That would be the integrated core that G10 mentioned.
「I can’t possible refuse a lady’s request! Very well! With the bottomless darkness of this abyss lord――」
「G10, how long do you need?」
It felt like there was someone saying something, but right now there wasn’t any time for that so it got ignored.
A tentacle so thick like a wooden log swept horizontally toward Hajime, but he fired at one of the cores there. *Bang* A part of the tentacle crumbled and an arched shaped space for dodging was created. Hajime bent backward as though he was performing limbo dance to pass through the attack while asking a question that was straight to the point.
「600 seconds until the calculation is finished.」
「Fuhahah, just ten minutes!? Then you don’t need to ask us to buy you time, this Abyssgate shall defeat――」
「Do it in 300.」
「That’s unreasonable. However, I’ll do as you ask!」
There were strange noises that often butt in between their conversation, but Hajime and G10 paid it no attention.
「It’s coming! Brace yourself!」
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Kouki gave a sharp warning.
The bluish white light that the combined heaven soldier emitted was converging into a point in its head. Right after that, that spot changed shape to look like a tube. The gathered energy was fired like the cannon of a space battleship that appeared in SF movie.
The energy cannon filled their field of vision like a wall. The lord who was the first one targeted leaped to the side to dodge it.
「Fuh, in front of my abyss the like of light is meaning――」
It seemed there was someone smoothly making a turn on the spot right after evading at the corner of his eye, but Kouki just barely suppressed his desire to make a tsukkomi and severed the tentacle turret from its base with a quick-draw of his extending katana.
Hajime was chased by the energy cannon that was sweeping sideways, but as soon as he saw the cannon was losing its directional force and pointlessly hit the ceiling, he simultaneously destroyed six cores at the enemy’s head with precise shooting.
Explosion was inevitable after the spot where the energy was gathered was completely destroyed. The head of the combined heaven soldier was also blown away to shave even more of its body.
Of course there was no way it would stop with just that much, the splattered liquid metal immediately crawled along the wall and returned to the combined heaven soldier through the ceiling and floor. Its head was regenerating right away.
And then its tentacle spears attack was continuing even during its regeneration. At the same time,
「Tsk, annoying. Etemp, Netemp, seal the entrance!」
The army of the upperworld flooded in and attacked them with great coordination.
Two sword soldiers approached with smooth motion and attacked Hajime from left and right. Their lithe and fluid movement far surpassed the assault soldier.
The two shining heat blades were blocked by the muzzles of Donner and Schlag. Hajime then pulled the triggers.
Even for the blade of an SF world, there was no way it could instantly severed the revolver that was made from another world’s toughest metal. The spat out bullets threw the blades in the air.
The two sword soldiers swung sideways without a moment delay with the heat blades at their other hand. But at that time Hajime’s body was already rotating while bending so low as though he was crawling on the ground. He dodged while firing bullets that pierced their heads at the same time from below.
The enemies fell on their knees. Without even sending a glance at them, he shot the railgun bullet from the flying cannon soldier to divert its trajectory.
It was like he was competing with Kouki’s parrying technique. The diverted bullet splendidly blew up the sword soldier squad that was circling around him.
But then a rain of tentacle spears showered Hajime. Although he dodged them in a hair’s breadth like a swaying leaf, it seemed that the attack was nothing more than a diversion from the start. The tentacle spears that stabbed into the ground weren’t pulling back and hardened instead. They became a metal cage that locked in Hajime.
With a superb timing a shield soldier was charging in high speed at that time to run over Hajime along with the tentacles.
「Fuh. Are you in trouble, demon king-dono?」
「Who is in trouble huh. No, I’m troubled. Especially by your action.」
The shield soldier stopped. Due to the lord who descended from above. Two heat blades stabbed into its head.
It seemed the blades of the sword soldiers that Hajime sent flying just now were caught by the lord while they were spinning pointlessly in the air. Then he immediately stabbed them into the shield soldier.
The lord sneered 「Fuh」 while pulling out the heat blades. He performed a beautiful turn while severing the hardened tentacles that surrounded Hajime. Right after that, he stylishly threw the heat blades that had lost their radiance and spoke with a posed look.
「Fumu, as I thought only the chosen can wield them……it seems I can only use the heat blade that I picked up for five seconds. Kuku, that means that it’s more than enough time-!!」
「You’re too high tensioned. Also don’t name them as you please. That’s Hauria’s bad habit, next patriarch-san.」
The lord tilted his body slightly diagonally, spread open the five fingers of his right hand and placed them in front of his face, with his left hand placed on the hilt of the short sword on his back to show off his coolness. Hajime’s mental strength was being whittled down in great speed.
Right after that, a storm of bullets and tentacles assaulted them. Hajime and the lord split to left and right to dodge it, then he gave a command in order to protect his heart.
「My sword friend! Call me abyss lord! Otherwise call me Abyssgate!」
「It must be hard for you to reach the core with your short sword or kunai. Focus on clearing up the upper world soldiers.」
「The abyss will swallow everything without care of the enemy’s ability. But, if it’s the imperial order of his majesty the demon king, then I swear on the name of the deep darkness――」
「Thanks. Then I’ll leave it to you.」
「Fuh. Carefully witness the special technique of mine everlasting darkness――」
「Etemp! Netemp! Support Endou!」
「Very well! O small subordinates of the demon king. With me――」
Don’t listen till the end! Because, the damage would pile up the more you listen! Just like poison damage! Just like poison damage!
No one would listen to the lord until the finish, however, it was like he wasn’t affected at all. Far from that, he showed gleefulness in carrying out the demon king’s imperial command.
At the start his magic power should be almost at the limit that he even had to temporarily obey the enemy but……now it was like he wasn’t tired at all. Rather it felt like his tension kept increasing.
Facing the emotionless machine army, the lord never stopped to painfully――I meant bombastically talking of something, prattling out signature phrase for every single thing, making meaningless dramatic pose, yelling out technique name loudly but magic couldn’t be use in this world so in the end it didn’t result in anything, saying something like「Eat this-, my supreme slash that surpass even the hero!」 while normally doing a jumping kick……
「NAGUMOOOO! Just what have you done to Endou!? He has worsened to the extreme compared to before I started my journey!」
「D-don’t say misleading thing like that. He, you know, he has been like that from the start.」
「You’re claiming he was already so bad from the start to the degree it caused chaos even to the elite machine soldiers!?」
Certainly, all the upperworld machine soldiers were gradually falling into chaos.
Because of their higher grade, they were also excelling in analyzing the enemy. The more they fought, the more they would analyze the enemy’s attack method and movement pattern, making them becoming able to fight even more efficiently.
Or, that should be the case.
But, that didn’t work with the abyss lord as their opponent! Because, his speech and action were all nonsensical!
「My secret sword! Try blocking it!」 If you’re yelling that then use your short sword! Why are you kicking even though you’ve unsheathed it!? Or rather, even though just speaking it out is already incomprehensible, even the technique name is even more incomprehensible, what’s more even though the technique name is the same then why are the technique is different every time!? Why are you making a pose there!? Just why are you turning on the spot, what kind of reason you might have for that!? This is totally incomprehensible!
It felt like the machine soldiers, and perhaps even Mother that was watching this battle as spectator from afar was yelling that inside their completely chaotic heart.
In that respect then certainly the transcendental finesse of the demon king and the hero felt like they were still better compared to this spreading abyss.
「You must have ordered him to do a lot of absurd things anyway, right?」
The combined heaven soldier created countless thorny cones on its body surface and fired them with a force that rivaled tank cannon. Kouki cut, blocked, and deflected them while throwing his suspicion at Hajime.
「That’s, well, it’s true I had made a lot of request to him but still……yep, it’s not my fault.」
Liquid metal flooded out like a high wave from the combined heaven soldier to attack G10 that was desperately performing its analysis at the corner of the room.
Hajime got between them and instantly detected the twenty cores in the wave with his magic eye. He shot through ten of them with peerless accuracy.
A big hole opened in the wave. Hajime slipped through the hole with a jump while rolling over. He came out to the back of the wave while rolling the cylinder of Donner & Schlag on the bullet storage area of his gunbelt.
By doing that, the bullets in the gunbelt were slotted into the cylinders like a joke with the left and right thumb flicks simultaneously. The reload was completed like that.
Hajime shot through the remaining cores inside the wave, and he also destroyed the cores of another tentacle that tried to attack him while he was in the air.
Amidst the scattered liquid metal, Hajime continued making excuse as though nothing had happened.
「How should I say it, yes, the one at fault is the earth.」
「This is the first time I see someone blaming the planet!?」
As expected from the demon king-sama. The scale when he was shifting the responsibility was huge.
Thorny cones had formed like a sword mountain from the liquid metal spreading on the floor without them noticing. Kouki dodged them in a hair’s breadth while making tsukkomi, but Hajime made a sullen expression because his shooting was deflected by hardened tentacle while arguing vehemently.
「Earth is unexpectedly fantastical you see, what you see there is the result of Endou getting cornered.」
「After all right now that guy has three more fiancés other than Rana. A genius blonde haired beautiful girl professor and a skilled beautiful otaku agent and a clumsy strongest exorcist.」
「You’re lying right!?」
「While you were gone, there were things like people turning into monster, or demon from hell trying to rule over the world.」
「Tell me that you’re lying!」
I don’t want that kind of earth! Kouki thought at his wits’ end. Tentacle spears passed through above his head. The transformation of his birthplace into fantasy world and his friend’s romance circumstance gave Kouki an indescribable psychological impact and gloomy feeling that he put into his sword to slice up the enemies.
「Even though Endou……was really, really earnestly in love with Rana-san like that, that he even challenged you――」
「By the way, Rana said that she want Endou to have three more wives.」
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「So it’s Hauria’s fault again-」
「Mu? You called me just now didn’t you, my friend!」
「I didn’t call!」
It seemed that the abyss lord was deeply aware that he was the next patriarch of Hauria clan. Seeing him scoffing ‘fuh’ made him felt strangely irritated.
The demon king who was also making an expression that seemed like saying「You see, human is a creature that always change」 was also strangely irritating somehow.
It was then the space was illuminated with dazzling bluish white light.
It seemed the combined heaven soldier had run out of patience because it couldn’t damage Hajime and others at all even after making saturation attack that could take on a hundred machine soldiers and killed all one hundred of them. It made its whole body shined and lines of bluish white light were starting to run on its body with incomparable speed from before.
Then right at the next instant.
「Nuuh, now you’ve done it-」
Three different voices slipped out. There was a flash. The flash of sparks. It was an electric attack that had no specific direction, affecting everyone whether enemy or ally and leaving no place to escape.
The three of them didn’t forget the most important thing in this place. Each of them immediately reacted, Hajime with his transformable shield, the lord with his kunai, and Kouki with his lengthened holy sword to act as lightning rod so that this attack didn’t reach G10.
However, because of that they couldn’t avoid direct hit. Although they weren’t seriously wounded, they couldn’t avoid getting paralyzed.
The combined heaven soldier obtained this perfect opportunity in exchange of losing the upperworld machine soldiers that should be its ally.
*Gou* Wind billowed. The combined heaven soldier’s giant body rushed toward G10 on the whole. It was just like a flooding large river. The metal colored raging stream approached to swallow G10 with overwhelming mass and abnormal speed.
「Over, my dead body-」
Hajime was the first one to move just as expected. Due to owning “Lightning Clad”, his lightning resistance was the highest one here from the start, therefore he succeeded to barely nab G10 before the raging stream arrived.
G10 didn’t react. He was trusting Hajime and others and focused all of his processing power into the analysis.
Thirty seconds remaining until the promised time.
But, that thirty seconds were――long.
(The hell with that movement-!!)
The combined heaven soldier’s movement was so absurd that Hajime spontaneously cursed inside his heart. It was truly like a living stream.
Even though it failed to capture its prey, it spouted up like a geyser as soon as it crashed on the ground. It moved in an arc in pursuit of Hajime.
(Why didn’t it move like this from the start?)
Hajime put his foot on the wall while holding G10 on his side. He jumped fully relying on his leg’s strength. He dodged with just a paper thin difference. The raging stream pulverized the wall.
Hajime twirled in the air while his discerning eye saw through the answer. A part of the combined heaven soldier was left behind as though it was abandoned. The leftover part didn’t show any movement, it was only trickling like a melting ice.
(I see. It can’t balance its energy request and supply when doing this.)
To say it in another word, this movement should be called its Limit Break state. In exchange of the excessive energy consumption, its specs rose up by several times over.
Then it would destructed itself before long, but it seemed it wouldn’t be that easy.
The raging stream split into three. Then three more heaven soldiers dripped down from the ceiling. Most likely it would be able to lengthen its operation time to a certain degree with that.
Hajime shot the cores of the heaven soldiers and also destroyed one of the raging streams to a certain degree but――he didn’t make it in time.
「Count on me!」
Hajime tossed G10. The lord who had recovered from his numbness to a certain degree leaped to the air and splendidly caught it.
Right after that, for consecutive quick-draw with sword that lengthened in godspeed scattered the second stream. But, that was the best it could do.
The remaining stream hit. Hajime was thrown to the ceiling. At the moment of the impact, the stream hardened. The impact Hajime felt was like receiving Drucken that Shia swung in full power. A round crater was formed on the ceiling. Air was expelled out from Hajime’s mouth 「Kahah」.
It had been a long time since he received proper damage like this. Even with his tough body, his ribs might be fractured from that.
He didn’t believe that he had become dull from the life in Japan, even so, as expected it was a peaceful life. He couldn’t help but smile wryly when the stinging sensation from that time he was desperately struggling to return home from Tortus was returning inside him.
「Don’t mind me, protect G10 with your life!」
He replied to Kouki’s voice with a yell even while falling from the ceiling. Ahead of his gaze, the raging stream surrounded the lord to crush him.
He flicked his hand and a bullet flew out from his sleeve. He spun his gun and the bullet was reloaded into the cylinder. He aimed at the raging metal stream that was surrounding the lord and fired while his body was upside down.
Even in such state, no, exactly because he was in that state the precision of his shooting increased. One of the cores was destroyed right on the mark, instantly opening a hole in the stream.
「Hero! Receive my trust!」
「You’re still that composed huh!?」
It was as though the lord had predicted it would become like this from the beginning. The lord made a pass with a perfect timing through that wall. Kouki caught G10 that flew out at him.
At the same time the lord was hit by the raging stream and was sent flying. He crashed on more than ten paralyzed machine soldiers on his way before crashing on the wall.
Naturally the raging stream instantly flowed to Kouki next but……
「Yeah, somehow now I can understand what are you saying……I think!」
Kouki leaped back while throwing G10 with under throw. Ahead of that throw was Etemp-san who was hanging from the ceiling with its string.
It splendidly caught the target flying at it with a string net. And then just like it previously did with Jasper, 「Netemp-chan paa~~sss!」 and 「Netemp-chan, nice pass!」, G10 was thrown to Netemp.
G10 that was treated like a ball was in a really sad state but……
「Analysis complete. I’m projecting the location of the integrated core!」
They had bought time perfectly. The analysis was finished just right at 300 seconds. G10’s work was also perfect.
The combined heaven soldier stopped its stream mode and became a sphere. It had sensed that it was already meaningless to hide its core among the countless cores, so it compressed it giant body to increase its density so that its defense was heightened.
A hologram red crosshair overlapped with the combined heaven soldier that had turned spherical. The location that was marked with a cross was that monster’s heart――the integrated core.
「Amanogawa! Whittle it down!」
A storm of slashes that looked like they could bisect even the space was whittling down the body of the combined heaven soldier. Even with its defense of highly dense metal, it couldn’t possibly defend against the hero who was called a sword saint in another world and the holy sword’s slashes.
And so, the front part of the combined heaven soldier was sliced into many layers of metal sheet. Then right after its defensive power was reduced, a crimson spark surged.
「Mother, you’re listening aren’t you? ――We’re going there right now.」
Hajime who was holding Donner with both hands made a fearless and brutal grin.
And then a crimson spear was fired.
Even though it hardened itself, against the electromagnetically accelerated other word armor piercing bullet, its toughness was――insufficient.
The sparking crimson flash shot through the center of the crosshair without even a millimeter of error. The hardened body of the combined heaven soldier was penetrated and the bullet gouged the wall behind it.
The room became dead silent.
A beat later.
The combined heaven soldier crumbled down looking like it was melting.
There was one concern――that after the combination was taken down, all the heaven soldiers that formed the combination would start moving again and started the second round. But it seemed that wouldn’t happen. Countless cores were rolling on the ground while blinking but that was all. Most likely their energy had been used up to make the combined heaven soldier functioned.
After confirming that, Hajime placed Donner back into its holster. He gave words of praise to G10 who was floating unsteadily toward him.
「G10, good job finding the core so quickly.」
Its answer was short with horrible noises mixed in its voice. Its floating was also getting unstable. It had overworked itself to this degree. Added with the cracks that were created when it was getting highly emotional, it looked like it would stop functioning anytime now.
「Let’s go, Hajime-sama.」
However, its voice sounded even stronger than before instead.
Hajime narrowed his eyes slightly, but he immediately nodded.
「There’s no time. G10, Amanogawa, Endou. We’re going.」
There was just one person who didn’t reply.
In exchange, there was a sobbing sound echoing inside the room.
「Don’t tell me, abyss lord was it? Are you perhaps injured!?」
G10 raised its voice in worry, but Hajime and Kouki looked at each other’s face, then right after that they let out a long sigh.
They immediately walked toward deeper into the room. There, a person was sitting among the wreckages of machine soldiers while hugging his knees……
「Yes yes, I know that your heart hurt, so stand up already.」
「Endou, right now isn’t the time for that. I wish you will read the atmosphere.」
「Be kinder to me!」
Kousuke was feeling pain of the heart that had gone wild just now, and the exhaustion due to running out of magic power, and the physical pain throughout his body (mainly in the stomach).
However, the demon king and the hero didn’t even deign to care about that yell of Kousuke’s heart. They physically dragged him while vanishing into the passage ahead that connected to the peak of the mountain.
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