Name and titles that exist in real life will come out, but they are unrelated with the actual thing. And so there is one thing that I wish to ask. Shirakome’s plot is shaky and even more transient than a firefly so regarding the length of the arc, even I myself don’t know how long it will be, but I hope that everyone can enjoy it.
In the depth of a forest that was located at the northern part of Britain.
This place was previously dreary with malicious air stickily pervading deeply all over the place, but now it was filled with clear refreshing air.
「So there was a witch who lived here for a thousand years huh……」
Kouki muttered that sentence with an expression of disbelief deep inside that forest.
He was looking around restlessly at the center of an empty plot of land where it looked like the ground had been gouged out in a perfect circle.
「Well, it was a self-proclaimed witch, but yeah.」
「But, she gave off a repulsive pressure that could convince you that she was the real deal, so I think her claim wasn’t really a lie.」
It was Hajime and Shia who replied to him from nearby.
Several artifacts were lying on the ground near Hajime’s feet while he was doing some kind of work. Shia had seven colored slimes coiling around her……to be more accurate she was juggling them around playfully.
「Hey, Kouki. Is it really something that strange?」
The one who asked that was Moana who was also looking around curiously. And then,
「Fuh, this queen (lol) is really ignorant.」
The one who scoffed was the former goddess Aularodde who resided in the Heaven Tree of the fairy world.
She was crawling on all four on the ground with faint light enveloping her body. It seemed the light was pervading into the ground. Apparently she was also doing some kind of work.
In other words, she couldn’t really move from there.
Moana’s axe kick sliced through the air audibly. It grazed Aularodde’s head and right hand before making a depression into the ground.
As expected from the former warrior queen of a warrior country. That attack was truly sharp. If it hit, the power in it would splat the head of ordinary human like tomato.
Of course, that kick only barely missed as a threat……wasn’t actually the case at all. That attack was fully intended to finish off the target without fail. It was just that Aularodde desperately dodged it. Sweat was trickling like waterfall from her forehead right now.
「J-just now, you planned to kill me didn’t you!?」
「No wayyy. There is no way a goddess will die from the kick of the like of me isn’t it? I only expected for you to writhe in agony from heavy injury.」
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「Kouki-san! Did you hear that!? This woman is a total savage see!」
「Wait! It’s cowardly that you tattle to Kouki like that! You see that Kouki! This woman is totally a malicious woman!」
Kouki-kun’s gaze was directed to Hajime. The corners of his eyes were lowered. He was clearly asking for help.
Of course, he was ignored.
Kouki also turned toward Shia. She didn’t notice because she was grooming her rabbit ears, or that was how it looked like.
「Errr~, Moana, you see. Perhaps it’s because we are earth born that it hasn’t really sink in, or rather, I think it’s also because we are coming to a place where there is undeniable proof that there is also fantasy in earth but……」
Even so, the existence of witch was just a fairytale existence for earthling. Whether it was magic, legend, or myth, they were all simply a product of imagination. At the very least, that was what Kouki thought until a little while ago.
That was why, he still found it hard to believe.
He had also been shown the past replay of this place though.
He never even dreamed that in this place where Hajime and Shia once visited in their adventure travel, there could be a witch who claimed that she had lived for a thousand years, and that she had taken countless sacrifice to form a cursed forest.
It didn’t stop there. He couldn’t believe that this round empty land that had diameter around fifty until sixty meter was where the earth’s great tree――the “King Tree” existed in the past.
「Hmm. The world where Kouki and the demon king-sama originated from is actually a world that doesn’t recognize magic. That sounds like a joke story isn’t it?」
「There is almost no magical phenomenon here, so that’s only natural.」
They were conversing normally even though they were perpetrator and victim of an attempted murder just several seconds ago. From there it could be seen how natural murder attempt was for the two of them.
Kouki’s gaze was faraway. He didn’t even try to stop or scold them in panic anymore. Among the numerous artifacts that he received for the journey to revive the “branches of world tree”, there was also a resurrection artifact included, so in case the worst happened, he would only need to resurrect them in case either one of them slipped and killed the other……that was what he thought.
He still didn’t obtain the self-awareness that his way of thinking was leaning toward the demon king. The hero would surely despair the moment he realized that.
「Even so, the conception here is vast. It’s truly a pile of treasure. The Heaven Tree will recover greatly just from reviving earth’s great tree. Many of the apparition children who originated from earth’s myth will also recover their sanity without a doubt.」
Aularodde smiled happily. Although she had retired as goddess, the affection in her expression was like a mother who thought of her own child.
Yes, today Hajime and others came here was to revive earth’s great tree.
Because of that, all the other members naturally also came.
「……Hajime, I’m finished over here.」
「Hajime-kun, you burned too much! Setting a forest to fie is not a sane act!」
「This place art not Great Labyrinth Haltina. The fire spread a bit too much, perhaps because Goshujin-sama was sent to hell in the middle.」
「Aa, my bad. As expected it was an unexpected situation……」
It was at that timing Yue, Kair, and Tio returned from inside the forest. They were reviving the forest that he burned together with the witch.
In addition, Shizuku and Aiko also came from different direction.
「Hajime, I finished placing the artifacts at the spots you instructed.」
「The treant imitations have also been placed as guardians.」
When the King Tree was revived, this place would become earth’s holy land. And most of all, a gigantic tree that should be impossible to exist on earth would suddenly appear.
Naturally, the revived King Tree would be hidden with perception obstruction and also invisibility like with the great tree Ua Alto so that even satellite wouldn’t be able to discover it, but it was also necessary to make it impossible to reach it easily on land.
The artifacts and familiars were positioned here for that. Ordinary person wouldn’t be able to approach within one kilometer of this area.
「Thanks Shizuku, Aiko. Oh, Myuu and others also came back.」
He could see Remia and Myuu when he turned his gaze. He also saw Sharon Magdanese, the head of Britain security bureau carrying Myuu in her arms.
Remia had a distant gaze. Sharon-obaachan was completely spoiling Myuu.
This land was located on Britain. It would be better to have the security bureau head’s recognition for creating an inviolable area here, so when they talked to her about it,
――In other words, I’ll be able to meet with Myuu right?
She came rushing together with an answer that mistook her objective like that.
The bureau director-sama who was called a cold and iron blooded woman who was married to the country seemed to be transformed into a good-for-nothing only when Myuu was involved as usual.
But it seemed that Remia’s reaction wasn’t just solely taken by her daughter.
「Remia? Was there some kind of problem?」
「No dear. We had set up the artifacts. Or rather, Belphegoor-san and others did it for us but……」
「……I’m sorry, it was the usual thing. It seemed that Myuu had created another “friend” when I took off my eyes from her for a bit.」
「I don’t know because I didn’t see it but……according to Sharon-san who was nearby, perhaps it was a legendary aquatic horse that is called kelpi.」
Myuu was making merry kyaa kyaa in high spirits while being carried by Sharon-obaachan, Obaa-chan was nodding yep yep with a fawning face. As expected from the iron woman. She wasn’t perturbed at all even after witnessing a mystery that was considered as myth in Britain.
「Come to think of it there is something that I wanted to ask.」
While Kouki and Yue and others were all making a conflicted face from Myuu’s peculiarity and the director’s guts, Hajime’s gaze caught Aularodde.
Aularodde was searching underground for any remain of the King Tree no matter how slight while tilting her head 「Hm?」.
「Our Myuu is apparently attracting existences that are mysterious even in this earth.」
「You mean, legendary existences?」
「Yes. Thinking carefully, isn’t it strange? Even though this place is a treasury of conception, earth has no thought element that is necessary for their materialization.」
Hajime’s question was reasonable. Aularodde nodded in comprehension.
「There are two possibilities that come to mind.」
The first possibility was that the existences that were talked in legend weren’t just fantasy existence, but creatures that really existed in reality.
In other words they were similar existences like the devils. Those devils were mythological existences that were talked in bible and the likes, but they were actually otherworlders who really existed in another world called hell. Similar with that, if they were just a strange creature then they had no need for thought element.
And then the other possibility was “the existences crossed from the fairy world before the king tree perished and they were surviving until now”.
「There is no thought element so if they die then that’s it for them. They can’t revive like in fairy world, but the conception of them itself exist. Without external factor affecting them, it’s possible for them to continue existing without going mad.」
「Now that you mention it, an onmyouji boom arrived just a little while ago.」
Kouki recalled something from that and said.
「Like in Heian period, you know, it’s said that it was an era where apparitions ran rampant right? Unexpectedly, it might not just be incomprehensible phenomenon being attributed to apparitions……」
「But apparitions might actually really ran rampant at that time? ……Come to think of it, time wise that era was around a thousand years ago……」
That era was around the time when the King Tree perished.
Kaori and Aiko’s eyes sparkled slightly.
「Ee? Then, onmyouji might actually exist for real?」
「Exorcist exist for real, so in that light it might not be strange that Japan also has onmyouji!」
「……Hmm~, I wonder about that. There is never any contact from them until now, and even the government, you know, they never alluded to anything like Abe-san or the like, isn’t that strange?」(Note: She mean Abe no Seimei here)
Shizuku pointed out. Certainly, it was just as she said. Kaori and Aiko calmed down from their slight excitement.
「That’s not guaranteed.」
「Because, there are real ninjas existing, and at the surface they are doing security business or the like.」
Shizuku went 「Certainly!」 when Hajime poked at that blind spot. Ninja was the intelligence operative of the past, they weren’t an occultic existence but……even so, they couldn’t just declare that was the same case like onmyouji.
「Well, even the exorcist investigated about us, and yet there is no contact at all from any group like that in the same country with the returnees, so even if they really existed in the past, there is a high possibility that they had gone extinct.」
「There was also no reaction when demonic possession entered Japan……」
Hajime and Kouki conversed like that. That exorcist in question joined the talk then.
「Indeed. Us Omnibus is also not aware of any organization like that in Japan.」
It seemed that the last group had returned. The one who gave that reply was the saintess Claudia who belonged to the exorcist organization Omnibus.
And then, the one who got his arm buried into her voluptuous breasts was Kousuke. His other arm couldn’t be buried like that so the one hugging that arm, Emily was hugging so tightly as though to make that arm caved into her chest.
In addition, behind them was an agent of the security bureau Vanessa and Omnibus’s director Patrick (he was sending Kousuke a demonic gaze that seemed to say 『I’ll drop you into hell you bastard!』) following htem……
「U-umm, you two. How about you let go of my arms soon?」
Kousuke was awkwardly sending glances to a girl. In respond, that girl,
「Geez, really Kou-kun. I told you that you shouldn’t mind it.」
「Rather I want you to mind it though!」
「You won’t be able to be a harem master like boss if you’re like that you know?」
「I’m not aiming to be like that though!?」
「Boss! We have returned! Mission complete!」
「Are you listening!?」
Rabbit ears were flapping up and down. It was a beautiful girl who smiled sweetly with the dignity of the first wife, and yet she saluted with the sharp atmosphere of a seasoned warrior in Hajime’s presence――Rana Hauria was the one walking at the forefront of the group.
「Boss, this forest is really good! The title of the King Tree’s guardian clan also has a wonderful ring to it! I want to make this spot as the prime prospective base of Hauria at earth!」
The exorcist group was here so that they could ask them to cooperate with the security bureau to deal with the underworld organization in regard to the King Tree’s revival. Of course, they also had personal reason of wanting to be present at the moment when the legendary world tree (though just a branch of it) was revived and materialized.
And then, if asked why Rana was also here, she was asked here for preliminary inspection, because if this place was going to be turned into an inviolable forest anyway, then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go further and turned it into a base for Hauria clan that was currently searching for a base so they could also double as security here.
「I see, that’s good.」
「Yes. But it’s also difficult to abandon the choice of Fuji’s sea of trees and the subway, so I’m planning to carefully consider these three as our final candidates.」
「Just pick this place.」
Having the head reaping rabbits infesting the sea of trees or nesting in the subway were just nightmarish scenarios. Everyone’s expression turned serious in unanimous agreement.
「Getting back to the topic.」
Hajime’s gaze returned to Aularodde.
「This one skipped my mind but, after the King Tree is revived and connected to the fairy world, won’t mythological existences suddenly flood this modern era?」
「That won’t happen.」
Aularodde seemed to have grasped some kind of result from his world and stood up with a sigh.
「The process of the children of my world crossing over to other world, putting it another way it’s like that fuh person――」
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「I told you my name is Kousuke.」
「Releasing out his clone. They are ephemeral and has no real body, so a lot of people cannot see them and feel their existence.」
「In other words, their main body won’t move from the fairy world huh.」
「Yes. The children with powerful strength can cross over world by themselves using the source of their conception as guidepost, and even the children who can’t travel with their own strength might get into an exception circumstance……let’s see, for example they will be able to travel if they are summoned with a ritual like the hero summoning. But, their main body won’t move outside of those situations.」
Furthermore, the fairy world was declining on the whole right now. Therefore,
「It’s impossible for those children to surge here in droves, so don’t worry.」
「I see. That’s good then.」
「Yes. Besides no matter what happen, Blau Niebel will――」
「「「Don’t ever mention htat manly goddess-」」」
「Hiih!? Even Kouki-sama!?」
About the new goddess who emitted divine halo half naked, with an expression of love in her thick face, while undulating her self-proclaimed chubby muscles, even just recalling her in their mind required mental preparation for the three boys.
In a sense, she might be the strongest goddess who possessed kamikaze skill that was effective against the arrogant and audacious demon king.
「Demon king-dono, the preparation should be finished soon shouldn’t it?」
He must be unable to stay patient for the revival of the legend. As the representative of Omnibus that would receive assistance in dealing with the underworld just like the security bureau, Patrick asked with restlnessness.
The glint in his eyes was something brutal that seemed to say 『I swear I’ll destroy you till not even your ash remain-!!』, but it seemed that he was excited like a child inside.
This director was greatly reputed to be blasphemous toward the faith, but as expected he was still a clergyman. He looked delighted to be able to be present in a historical moment where a legendary existence would be revived.
「Yeah, I guess. Aularodde, how is it?」
「Yes, it’s faint but, I’m feeling a fragment of the King Tree. That witch existence could be said to preserve this place in a sense.」
In the first place, it wouldn’t be easy at all to do something like reviving the King Tree that had been lost since more than a thousand years ago.
Regeneration magic required vast amount of magic power in proportion to the length of years that would be traced back. Then rather than reviving it from zero, regenerating it from a fragment or dreg of the tree as the starting point would naturally lower the difficulty. Aularodde’s power would also be able to reach it easier.
It took around two months since they returned back from the case of “Kouki-kun got summoned too many timeeee” and took care of the commotion in the society after the returnees vanished once more.
Hajime had obtained infinite magic power in his possession, but naturally he still couldn’t miniaturize the “element arrangement and mutual conversion system” of the machine factory world yet.
He somehow scraped up together the required magic power, returned to G10’s location, produced the calculated necessary amount of magic power on site, stocked it in artifact, and arrived at the current time.
In other words, the work this time was mainly for stabilizing the fairy world for the time being because of the necessity, and it was also for an experiment before Kouki departed to his “travel to revive the world tree’s branches”.
「Shia, are things also alright over there?」
「Yes, it’s fine――ah, oi! Soare-san! Don’t try to kill Laila-san amidst the commotion!」
After reviving the King Tree, it was decided that Laila, the divine spirit ruling over night and darkness would be the one taking the role as its avatar. It seemed that the decision was made after a fierce quarrel among the divine spirits, so the yandere divine spirit of fire circle Soare was still unable to accept it.
This place might become Hauria’s base. In other words, the avatar would become the goddess of the holy ground where the family of their beloved friend Shia would live……that means there is nobody else other than me who is suitable for that role! That seemed to be what they were thinking.
But, when the Hauria clan in question was asked for their opinion,
――Ruling over night and darkness!? Then the only choice is Laila-sama!!
They unanimously declared that, so in the end, Laila ended up becoming the earth’s goddess (temp).
By the way, a treasure warehouse was set here. It was planned in the future that the worlds inside the treasure warehouses would be connected to each other, so it would be possible to move here instantly through that connection if they were summoned. There was no demerit in such arrangement, so the other divine spirits could still target the avatar seat.
The red colored slime was radiating an aura of deep-seated grudge toward the black colored slime that seemed to be looking smug. Shia grasped the red slime in her fist and stuffed it back into the treasure warehouse.
「Yue and others are also ready right?」
「……Nn! Leave it to us.」
Yue and others also nodded strongly. Myuu, Sharon, Patrick, and others evacuated to outside the empty lot.
And then, the reviving ritual began.
That day, although it was unseen and unreachable, the proof of fantasy existence――a giant tree that towered high to the sky was definitely revived on earth.
A few months after that.
At midnight of a certain day when the school trip would be held at the next morning.
――……-kun. I love……still……haven’t called for me?
In a bedroom of Endou house, 「Uu~nn uu~nn」 a groaning voice was resounding.
It was Kousuke.
He was making noise on his bed. Perhaps he was getting nightmare.
He seemed to be suffering, and yet he also looked a bit happy. His emotion seemed to be in a very complicated state.
Suddenly, the room’s door opened quietly.
A silhouette entered inside. Toward the side of the bed stealthily. The shadow peered at the groaning Kousuke.
Then, at that moment,
Kousuke sprang up. He was breathing roughly as though he had just suffocated while unconsciously hugging the silhouette in front of him.
「S-stop, no moreee~. I have Ranaaa~」
「Wai-waittt! Let goo-」
Kousuke seemed to be half asleep. He was rubbing his face on the chest of the person he clung on. It was unclear whether he wanted to get away or wanted to have his fill……the sad nature of man could be glimpsed from there.
But, he immediately noticed the strangeness.
「Nnn~, nn? Hard? It’s not breast?」
Blood vein pulsed on the forehead of the person who got hugged.
「Sorry that I’m as flat as board, Kou-nii.」
「Eh? Ee? Eeee?」
Slowly, slowly, he lifted up his face that was still pressed on the chest. There he saw the face of his little sister Manami. Her smile looked really nice.
「You were groaning in your sleep again, so I got worried and came here to check on you, and yet what you said was really something. You pervert big brother. Just what kind of dream you were having I wonder?」
His little sister’s smile was terrifying. It was even more so because even though the lamp wasn’t turned on, her eyes couldn’t be seen because of the glint of her glasses.
Kousuke was drenched in cold sweat while his gaze wandered around.
「E, err~, like usual, I don’t remember at all, yup.」
Actually, Kousuke had been getting this kind of dream since a little while ago. He had also tried consulting with Hajime and others, but they couldn’t find any abnormality from him and for the time being they decided to wait and see but……
Kousuke would completely forget the content of the dream he saw the moment he woke up. It was really difficult to make a judgment for his situation right now.
There, the glasses eldest son rushed in.
「What about breast!?」
Even though normally he would plainly forget about his little brother’s existence, Sousuke-oniisan would display a superhuman reaction only when his little brother spoke about female relationship with a changed expression.
He must be thinking that his little brother was definitely bringing a woman home and doing things to her breasts. That was unforgivable! He would definitely get in his way-!! Sousuke was radiating such bloodcurling atmosphere.
But, reality wasn’t showing him such envious scene. Instead it was a scene of his little brother clinging on his little sister while burying his face on her chest……
「Thiss damned Abyssgate-sannnnn!!」
A fist drilled into Kousuke’s cheek. He fell down from his bed.
「Y’knowwww, I never felt as ashamed to be your big bro as today yeahhh」
「B-big bro, it’s a misunderstanding……also, your speaking style, is strange.」
「Sou-nii! Kou-nii, he did something horrible to me-. Uuuu」
「Wait a sec Manami-saan!?」
Kousuke protested while pressing his hand on his cheek, but Manami-chan only stuck out her tongue bee~h while pretending to be ignorant.
Sousuke-oniisan’s glasses shined. He pushed it up stylishly.
「You know, I’m the eldest son. I can endure it because I’m the eldest son. I never beat you up even though you are a sh*tty harem bastard. Surely I wouldn’t be able to endure like this if I’m the second son.」
「No, I feel like you usually kept hitting me over and over quite often though……even just now, you socked my face.」
「That’s because you are a sh*tty bastard who’s trying to add even your blood related little sister into your harem!」
「I told you that’s a misunderstanding thoughh!?」
「You can only turn your lust toward “little sis character” or “acquaintance’s little sis”!」
Oh? Manami-chan’s gaze was……looking at the eldest son as though he was a filth?
「Wait, Sou-nii. I can’t pretend to not hear that. Come to think of it, when Mitsuki-chan came playing here last time, you were looking at her strangely……」
「!? Ha, haa? What do you mean, I don’t get it. Can you stop with that kind of strange accusation? Something like that can create a false charge……」
「Big bro, seriously……you are totally shaken up.」
「Filthy-! Both Sou-nii and Kou-nii are filthy!」
「Don’t call me filthy! That’s a bad word that gouge a man’s heart!」
The children of Endou family made a ruckus annoyingly.
It went without saying that the thunder of their father and mother who got waken up from that fell on them.
The next day after such noisy night.
「Onii-chan, take care. Don’t forget the souvenir. Also don’t go around picking up girl again okay?」
「Ou, Kousuke. Have a nice trip~. Bring back souvenir. If there is a woman who want to be your sister-in-law then you can bring her back.」
「It’s just a school trip. Nothing will happen, geez……」
Kousuke left his house looking really tired even before going to the trip.
After that, the bus departed while he went to the toilet in the rendezvous spot.
During his chase of the bus, he stepped on Kouhai-chan who was lying face down on the street for some reason. It caused her to make 「Gugeeh!?」 sound that was unbefitting for a girl.
He felt the wind on the bus’s roof.
He then entered inside, but he fell asleep after sitting down because of lack of sleep, then he woke up while yelling 「Breast!」 again and got laughed at.
In any case, Kousuke was gloomy because of the succession of problems that occurred since the start, but even that was blown away when he passed through the thousand torii corridor of Fushimi Inari that was their class’s first sight-seeing destination.
The sight was truly sublime. Its beauty couldn’t be described with words. His heart was moved and healed by it.
He was walking in fascination while simply watching the sight in a daze like an idiot.
He felt a heat that felt close to pain near his neck. He spontaneously stopped walking. He looked down while his hand moved to touch the spot where he felt the heat.
His fingers touched around wondering if he was bitten by insect, but there wasn’t any trace like that. The heat and pain had also gone already as though it was just his imagination.
「What was that?」
It was like he got interrupted during his enjoyment of the sight. He let out a slightly displeased voice.
Although, it was pointless to feel bothered about that. Thinking that he lifted up his face――
「…………Eh? Where is everyone?」
His classmates, weren’t around.
Not only that, there was nobody else. He was alone in this tourist attraction that was that crowded before.
Silence. Cold air caressed his skin.
He couldn’t see ahead of the torii corridor clearly. There was thin mist at the surrounding when he realized.
This situation clearly wasn’t normal.
One of the profoundly mysterious legends that could also be found in Fushimi Inari crossed the back of his mind.
The so called “spirited away”.
「……Even though, I only came here for school trip.」
*Trickle*. A drip of sadness fell down from the corner of Kousuke’s eye.
Kousuke-kun immediately went missing right from the first sightseeing destination.
His fade out that was even more natural than nature was truly godly.
Naturally, there wasn’t a single person who realized that……
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