Kousuke crossed the great earth wall and caught Hinata who was tossed to the air. He then broke into a run toward the mansion.
「Good grief, that Rana……」
According to the information that he learned through the clone who picked up the call, it seemed that the sharp instinct of the rabbit eared girl was sensing a presence of new wife for Kousuke.
「? Endou-sama? Did you mention something?」
Hinata looked up worriedly from his chest.
Don’t tell me……he thought for an instant before he shook his head. No matter what, Hinata was just out of the question. She didn’t count as romantic interest at all, and the moment he counted her as one, Japan’s police officers that were more terrifying than even apparition in a sense would come running again with a demonic look.
He already had enough with the experience of “being asked with a smile that didn’t reach the eye to come along voluntarily for questioning without any right to refuse-.
「Endou-sama’s complexion is……the curse must be really painful.」
「No, that’s not――」
「I hate myself who can’t do anything at all-」
「You really don’t need to mind it! Come on, don’t bite your lip-. I was just listening to my friend’s nonsense a little!」
Hinata’s expression wouldn’t clear up. You must be acting tough in order to stop me from worrying aren’t you……she was looking upward at him with moist eyes that were asking him that.
Somehow, for some reason……her gaze felt like it contained a passion that was unsuited for her age. Kousuke reflexively averted his gaze from it.
Instantly countless earth spears flew out from the ground. He considered it a stroke of good luck.
He returned to be abyss lord! (It’s inevitable. By no means I’m transforming into the lord because I like it. By Kousuke)
He twisted his body, somersaulted, kicked and kicked the earth spears that flew at them one after another and broke through like an acrobat master.
「Fuh. Do you think that I can be stopped with just this?」
「Aa, Endou-sama is acting strange again-」
「It’s Abyssgate. Princess, you can even call me Aby-san with affection if you wish it?」
「How can this be-. For your heart to be this tormented from stress-」
「That’s misunderstanding though!?」
A great leap and then landing. In that instant, a pentagram surfaced under his feet.
「Setting a trap against this me? Fuh, ridiculous! ――Abyss Style Earth Tonjutsu-, Shin’en Houdou Bakusa (Come O Tyrant of Mine Hell)!!」(Note: Abyss’s Crumbling Earth Exploding Sand)
The ground where the pentagram was drawn bulged and exploded. Naturally the jutsu put inside the pentagram collapsed. The lord himself rode on the blast and earth fragment to leap even further forward.
Also, there was no deep meaning to the incantation as usual, so the technique had activated from when he changed “Style” from the Abyss Style~.
「Endou-sama! The jutsu’s name is different even though it’s completely the same with the jutsu that you displayed at Fushimi!」
「U-umu! There is a subtle difference between the two! It’s true you know? Also, I ask thee to call me Abyssgate right now!」
「M-my apologies. I don’t have any sense for humor……please forgive me!」
「What do you mean by that!?」
It seemed that Hinata-chan was thinking that the Abyssgateification was a type of humor if it wasn’t caused by stress. She was hanging her head down in embarrassment because she was unable to give back a tasteful retort. Please, stay like that without changing.
Even while they were having such exchange, it seemed countless pre-installed jutsu had been prepared along the forest mountain path. They were activating together with the earth spear attacks.
「Eeei, what a pain! But, realize that it’s impossible to capture me!」
With a pointlessly refined turn, he dodged the earth fist that shot toward his back like a matador while producing two clones at both his sides.
And then, with a superb timing, against the elongating earth spears they,
「Now, howl. “Tentei Raizan Ichimonji(Sky Emperor’s Straight Lightni)”-」
「Now, sing. O “Jigami Kikokugan(Eart God’s Wailing Bullet)”!」
Each of the clones used their short sword to melt or smash the spears.
Also, the attacks’ names were “Shining Lightning Flame Blade of Heaven’s Destruction” and “Demon Sword of Earth Crawling Demolition Vortex” previously. The reason of the name change was of course, because of his mood! This time for some reason naming that sounded like mystic katana sounded more fascinating to his heart!
It kinda felt like Hinata-chan was making a very conflicted expression, as though she wanted to ask whether that kind of names wasc really alright.
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But, he ignored that because there was no leeway to mind about it right now. Kousuke made one more clone and ordered it to run ahead. When it got caught on a trap and dispersed, he made another one to repeat the same trick. Like that he repeatedly removed the trap with such brute force.
「Ku-ku-ku-. I’ll be troubled if they are looking down on this me who had been said as 『It’s alright no matter how many times they die because they are just clones huh! Hahaa, the next clan head is really convenient!』 while being made to charge through Hauria’s trap zone until I almost died-. Do you know how many times I got my neck chopped!」
「Are you being hated that much by them!?」
Hinata-chan was lacking life experience to understand Hauria’s enthusiasm.
And then, the lord’s number of moves was also getting insufficient.
The clones wouldn’t increase like he wished for. The curse was getting stronger the deeper he got into the land. His focus was getting obstructed.
Although he left the majority of his clones to hold back the enemies, at present six clones for here were his limit. It wasn’t like he couldn’t produce more, but their movement would worsen and he would only waste his magic power pointlessly.
However, the attacks of the earth were getting even more intense. Their movement was also getting even more polished.
The earth spears were like a sword mountain now. There were even earth lumps that flew at him like cannonball and pitfalls that suddenly appeared. In addition, the number of traps was also increasing to an astonishing degree.
In that case, the lord grinned.
「Kukuh, I accept the challenge. Taste mine mystique to your heart’s content!!」
A pentagram trap activated and with some kind of effect it made the clone that got caught in it to vanish with his eyes rolling back. Kousuke used it as a jumping platform before it vanished completely and leaped.
An earth lump shot at him while he was midair which got blocked by a clone. Kouske kicked on that clone and rushed toward the ground.
At midair he stylishly and pointlessly mixed in the gesture of swiping away with his short sword, switched his grip to backhand grip, and stabbed the sword to the ground at the same timing with his landing.
「Don’t take off your gaze from this! Abyss Style Suiton - Hyouton Composite Forma――」
「Amazing-, the ground is freezing!?」
「Please listen to the incantation until the end! This is the shared rule of the whole world! Cough――”Tokoyou no Eikyuu Toudo (Sleep in Mine Freezing Embrace)”-!!」 (Note: Eternal Frost of Perpetual Night)
*Dopa-* Water torrent was released along the route like a flash flood before it froze in the blink of eye, creating a path of ice. Also, he would have to teach Hinata-chan about what romance was. He had to do it properly while she was still a child. The lord resolved himself.
「A wonderful instinct!」
When Hinata’s concise warning came, the lord too leaped forward again.
A beat later a giant earth arm stretched out from right underneath them. With the arm behind them, the lord dashed toward the ice path and jumped on it before sliding like a skater.
Just as planned, the traps along the path were all unable to activate from under the ice.
Iron baskets for torches could be seen ahead, including the boundary line between the mountain forest and the mansion.
The earth became a high wave that obstructed their way ahead. It spread like a giant jaw and descended on them.
「Scatter it apart, me!」
『Leave it to me, me!』
A clone was projected. The clone leaped by himself into the earth jaw and exploded in that instant. The magic power explosion that was accompanied with impact opened a hole in the jaw.
Kousuke leaped into there and passed through. He also took the time to meaninglessly rotate four times nimbly like a figure skating athlete before beautifully landing & skating.
「Nnaaaa~, E-Endou-samaa~! Forgive my rudeness but-, are the turns that you have been doing since some time ago really necessary!? The world is turning――」
「Rather, why do you think that they are unnecessary!」
「If you wish to become a wonderful lady, then you should polish your sense of romance and semicircular canals, my princess!」
「……Aa, I’ll have to cure Endou-sama when all these are over.」
「What can you mean by that!?」
「Surely, I’ll surely find a doctor with good heart for you!」
「Mine heart isn’t ill or anything though!?」
No, certainly he had the illness of the heart called chuunibyou, but the lord who was in the lord transformation didn’t have the self-awareness of it. Because he was able to be aware of it only after the transformation was dispelled. At that time Hinata-chan, please give the healing to Endou-sama who would be writhing from mental agony by all means.
「More importantly, we will get out of the forest soon, princess!」
「Yes! A-also if possible please call me by my name normally――」
「In that case, I shall call you my hime!」
Perhaps this was a type of frivolous talk that was made possible by the relationship of trust between them. In any case, the lord who had overcome the mountain of traps and wave attacks of the earth finally got out of the mountain forest and stepped into the mansion’s ground.
Hinata’s eyes opened wide. The lord also reflexively stopped moving and narrowed his eyes.
Thick trees and vast garden with bonfire iron baskets scattered all over it. There was a splendid one-story mansion deeper inside.
A narrow stone paving stretched until the entrance. At the middle point between the mountain forest and the mansion, there were conspicuously two large trees growing at both sides of the stone paving like a torii.
The place had a vaguely divine atmosphere like the ground inside the main shrine.
But, what stole their attention weren’t those.
It was the giant earth dome soaring tall at the back of the mansion.
Although the mansion only had one story, its roof was still quite tall. This dome’s height far surpassed that. It almost reached the canopy of tree leaves and branches. The earth hemisphere was whirling like tornado.
「So they surround the heavenly altar itself huh.」
It seemed that the whole ritual spot at the back was physically surrounded. Certainly, this barrier was far more troublesome than a magical barrier made from jutsu. Tsubaki deserved praise for being able to manipulate earth at this scale from that range.
(No, the earth’s movement was getting even more refined the closer we got……considering that, is this the same like the time with Taisei-dono?)
That was to say, the people lying in wait were given the authority to manipulate a part of that earth apparition. That was the lord’s hypothesis. There, Hinata’s anxious voice rang out.
「Endou-sama, what about Otou-sama and the others!?」
「Please calm down princess. Your father and everyone are still safe.」
The lord’s sunglass wasn’t just a normal sunglass.
Other than the functions of foresight, perception amplification, far sight, and so on, it was also equipped with thermograph function to detect living thing’s sign through obstruction.
That function pierced through even the mansion and the earth barrier. Sure enough, he detected the heats of people sitting in two layers of circles on the altar, and at the center of them there were people sitting in the four cardinal directions. In other words, Taisei and others were still alive.
At the same time, he could also see the heat sources of ten people standing on their way between that altar and the earth barrier.
Eight people were sitting cross legged in one line, while two people were standing and waiting for them.
Most likely those two people standing were the elderly nobleman and the next head Takehiko.
Right after he confirmed that, heat and pain that pierced his whole body generated from his neck. His mind got slightly shaken and it felt like something heavy was suddenly placed on his body.
He was assaulted by a concentrated curse that was incomparable from before. There was no doubt, this must be their jutsu.
As expected from the last layer of fortress.
But, that was exactly why, the lord grinned fearlessly.
「The result won’t change! If this is the best that you all can doo-」
He sprinted at full speed in one breath as though to leave behind everything in the dust. Hinata also suppressed her anxiety and clung on the lord.
And then, the moment he was going to pass between the two trees that were like sacred trees,
Hinata’s figure was at midair. The lord had thrown her roughly.
The sudden happening caused Hinata to scream reflexively, but a clone immediately caught her midair after that.
Meanwhile, when it came to the lord who threw Hinata,
「Tsk, not bad. It was like your presence was nonexistent.」
He was in the verge of getting crushed by a giant jaw. His legs were holding back the lower jaw while his hands were pushing up the upper jaw by crossing two short swords. With that he somehow defended from getting bitten to death.
The true identity of the attacker was a giant snake, no, from the scales covering its long and thick body, and the fangs lined up orderly in its mouth and the two horns growing from its head, perhaps he should call it a “dragon” instead. The trees themselves were transformed into this shape and launched a perfect surprise attack on him.
To be even more thorough, there were even roots breaking through the stone paving and entwined around the lord’s legs. Because he couldn’t immediately dodged because of that, he swiftly threw Hinata away.
(A new apparition huh.)
He thought that for an instant, but no matter how he saw it, the thing’s nature felt different.
He couldn’t feel the ominous and mystical atmosphere that was unique to apparition from it. It was clad in blue light particles and he even felt sublimity vaguely from it.
「There is no need for worry, princess!」
He intentionally replied to the screaming Hinata with a light tone.
At the same time, the clone used the short sword like a certain light ○aber to melt the dragon’s neck. The lord kicked on the head part that lost its strength and escaped.
Hinata was relieved, but right after the clone landed, she screamed 「Fuhyaa!?」 once more.
She got thrown again. Furthermore, this time she was thrown horizontally like a cannonball.
The lord turned while catching her body to perfectly killed the momentum. It was a superb technique that he could use only because he was a skilled turn user.
Even though she felt like the world was turning round and round around her, Hinata turned her gaze to see why she got thrown again. There she saw the clone getting pushed down by a white giant body.
「So it’s a tiger this time huh!」
As expected he couldn’t feel ominous aura from them. The figure that was clad in white light was giving off a divine aura.
Even so, there was no changing the fact that it attacked them. The clone held back the approaching jaw with a short sword in one hand while mowing its neck with the short sword in his other hand. But, what came from that was a hard sound like metal colliding with metal. The blade was deflected by the thing’s fur.
「Whattt!? It’s just like Shia-dono!」
The clone was bitten and vanished with those words as his last.
There was no time to even breath. This time a vermilion light came from right from the front above. Right after that wings sprouted from the light like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Then the light transformed into a blazing bird.
The figure that had scarlet halo shining behind it looked sublime just as expected.
It flapped its wings once. It raised a high-pitched cry. Right after that, a heat wave assaulted them.
「Fuh, my heart is constantly blazing. There is no need to heat it up even more I believe?」
It wasn’t something that could burn them to death in an instant. It must be because there was Hinata here. Although, that heat was like sauna. In addition it was accompanied by wind so it was hard to open their eyes. It was also hard to breath. Normal human might faint if they got exposed to this heat for five minutes.
A clone immediately rushed to eliminate it, but as expected it was merciless to anything other than Hinata. It fired feathers that were scorching red and the clone got turned into a Swiss cheese.
In addition, in a stroke of a profound mystery the flame feathers that landed on the surrounding dispersed without burning even a single blade of grass.
And, and, Hinata suddenly pressed her hands on her throat and coughed violently.
「Endou-sama……my throat is……」
「Tsu! This is……a bit bad!」
When he realized, there was a different existence taking position at the opposite side of the white tiger.
Its appearance was like water itself was converging into a shape of large turtle. Its heavy looking stance gave it a sluggish impression.
But, its form that was clad in highly transparent black light spontaneously caused feeling of awe to well up at the inside. And then, its ability was also something terrifying.
「Are you trying to make us dehydrated!? I’m not delicious as a dried food you know!」
Yes, the water turtle was taking away the moisture from the surrounding. Not only from the air, it was also drawing away the moisture from inside the lord and Hinata’s body bit by bit. Hinata was pained from dry throat due to the lack of moisture in her mouth.
For the time being, he sent a clone. If it was a clone made from magic power that didn’t have any moisture inside the body, even the water turtle’s ability could be neutralized……that was his guess, but it seemed that the turtle couldn’t be dealt with so easily.
「Tsk, so it also has regeneration ability! What a pain!」
Just in case, the clone used hyouton (ice element) to freeze and smash the turtle, but the water body was reconfigured in the blink of eye and furthermore it changed into water torrent that quickly traveled to a distance. From there the turtle started to steal moisture once more.
The dehydration effect vanished right after it was defeated, so it wasn’t completely meaningless but……
It seemed that regeneration ability wasn’t limited to the water turtle.
A ripping sound could be heard from behind. Hinata who was in the lord’s embrace looked behind over his shoulder and spoke with a shaky voice.
「The dragon just now is……」
「It’s growing again right? Looks like we better consider all the trees in this mountain to be transformed object.」
Most likely, the fire bird and the white tiger would also revive even after they got defeated.
「There is no time to care about them! Take care of them, us!」
『『『『『『『Leave it to us, me!』』』』』』』
He sent two clones each to all the enemies. His specs were rising up together with his Abyssification that was deepening as more time passed. With that he became able to summon two moer clones.
While his clones held back the enemies, he jumped to the rooftop of the mansion with a single leap and charged toward the barrier right after that.
「Princess, I ask you to endure for a bit!」
「I’m, fine-. Please, don’t mind me!」
Thanks to the clones distracting the fire bird and the water turtle with all their strength, the progression of the heat wave and dehydration were temporarily stopped, even so it still should be harsh for Hinata’s immature body.
Her courageous reply really showed just how gutsy this princess was. The lord sent her that praise in his heart while,
「I’m going to force my way through-!!」
Using Abyss Style Dotonjutsu――abbreviated, he tried to slip into the earth barrier itself and passed through. It was one of the lord’s favorite trick to sneak into underground. Hinata also closed her eyes tightly and prepared to hold her breathing.
But, as expected it seemed they couldn’t pass through that easily.
It wasn’t just a mere earth wall. It was like a rapid torrent. The inside of the wall was in a state of earth flood with overwhelming mass.
Because of that, they got washed away even with the lord creating a space with his doton. And then they got blown away to outside right away.
The lord used his back to break their fall while protecting Hinata. Then he rolled backward to get back on his feet.
There, countless tree roots grew from the ground and entwined around them like tentacles.
The clones that were sent toward the wooden dragon cut down the dragon’s neck while vanishing at the same time from getting pierced by the countless branches growing from it. But right after that, the dragon’s head grew out from the roots entwining around the main body and Hinata.
It seemed it could move instantly from tree to tree.
「――Hisai Renpa (Fire Destruction Violent Wave)-」
Actually he wanted to chant Abyss Style Fire and Wind Composite Tonjutsu - Shin’en no Kouen Senpu (Surge O Flame of Black Darknes)-!! while making a pose, but he didn’t want to distress Hinata physically so he abbreviated the name with bitterness!!
He hugged Hinata tighter to hide her on his chest and right after that, flame that pierced the sky surged around the two.
The wood dragon bit at the lord’s head while using another root to tear off Hinata from him, but it was carbonized in the blink of eyes and its ashes were blown by the wind.
The blazing whirlwind was dispelled, at the same time an explosive sound thundered.
The clone that was fighting the white tiger put his own hand into its mouth and self-exploded. The tiger’s head was atrociously smashed up. And then it regenerated as though nothing had happened. It was the same with the wood dragon, it was growing back from a tree slightly far away.
The lord too summoned new clones at his left and right, one for each of enemy.
『I can’t find anything that seem like a core. Perhaps their origin is in another location.』
『Considering their appearance and ability, the toriis surrounding the heavenly altars are suspicious. In that case, their true identity is also naturally clear. Isn’t that right, me?』
Water torrent whirled and the water turtle circled to in front of him. At the right was the wood dragon and at the left was the white tiger growling. And then above behind him was the fire bird flying above the mansion’s roof.
Oddly they were positioned in the four directions of north, east, west, and east with the direction in front of him was north. Added with their external appearances, the lord guessed their identity.
「I see. So they are Tsuchimikado’s guardian gods.]
The lord’s muttering was affirmed by a male’s voice that resounded like a mountain’s echo.
『The four gods protecting the territory of Tsuchimikado are indestructible.』
――Tsuchimikado Clan’s Guardian Divine Beasts The Four Gods
The east guardian ruling over “wood”, “Seiryuu”.
The south guardian ruling over “fire”, “Suzaku”.
The west guardian ruling over “metal”, “Byakko”.
The north guardian ruling over “water”, “Genbu”.
No wonder they were clad in a divine aura. Of course they couldn’t possibly be the genuine four gods, there was no doubt that in the end they were just “shiki” that Tsuchimikado created.
But, their abilities were extraordinary. Most likely they could only be activated by the head of Tsuchimikado in this land of Tsuchimikado, furthermore only in this extremely limited place that was the inside of the main residence’s ground.
They were truly a trump card. The strongest combat strength of Tsuchimikado.
In fact, they were able to stop the abyss lord dead on his track.
Hinata glared with a grave expression at the caster who was at the other side of that earth barrier. The lord also narrowed his eyes.
「You are, the elderly nobleman……」
「Well well. So the house head finally deign to make his entrance.」
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An affirmation came back. That he was none other than the house head of Tsuchimikado clan, Tsuchimikado Jounosuke.
『Give up princess. I have seen the limit of that shikigami.』
Lord looked back. He didn’t make stylish reply. The Kousuke part inside was going 「Eh? Hinata-chan’s shikigami? Where?」, because he would never accept that he was being thought as a shikigami by all means.
『The ritual will finish soon. It’s impossible for you to repel the four gods and break through this protection of Sokujou in several minutes. Ohii-sama yourself doesn’t wish to go through agony pointlessly correct?』
In fact, the remaining time was around three minutes. That was the time limit.
「Are you telling me to simply watch my father, my family die quietly!? There is no way anyone can do something like that!」
『But, your mother will stay alive.』
Oh? Lord was secretly taking out something from his pocket……
『In the first place, the cause of everything is Fujiwara clan’s fall into earthly life and their trampling of our ancestral spirit’s dear wish. I shall have all of you to pay for those unforgivable neglects!』
The amnesiac Hinata didn’t understand the depth of discord between Fujiwara clan and Tsuchimikado clan.
Whether it was the feelings that both sides harbored, or the fact, nothing.
However, she at least understood what was wrong. That was why.
「In that case, turn your anger toward Fujiwara only! Doing something like releasing all the evil spirits to threaten the innocent people is wrong! Please rethink your doing!」
『Silence! There’s no way a little girl like you can understand our――wait a second. You bastard! What are you doing!』
Lord was doing something horrible while Hinata and the elderly were heating up.
Hinata gasped in surprise and turned her gaze. There she saw the lord injecting the content of a syringe into his neck. It was marble colored liquid that looked abnormal no matter how she looked at it.
「What am I doing? Fuh, I shall tell you something good. This is Cheatmate――FUUUUUUH, I’M BOILINGGGGGGGG, IT’S SUPER EXCITIIIIIIIING!!」
Lord was starting to go HIIHAAAH!! in the middle of his explanation. Crazy.
Hinata-chan yelled with a startled look.
「Aah, you must not-, Endou-samaa!! How can you lay your hand on a dangerous drug!」
『Laying a hand, on dangerous drug!? No, wait, drug for shikigami? What do you mean!?』
The confused elderly nobleman also yelled. He never heard of “dangerous drug” having any effect on apparition. No, a certain ogre king was also said to get exterminated after he got drunk on sake, so unexpectedly there might be some effect……
Putting that aside, lord’s eyes were bloodshot, white smoke was wafting up from his whole body from some reason, and he bent backward while combing up his hand with one hand and starting to laugh HAAAHHAHHAHHAHHAH loudly. No matter how anyone looked at him, he only looked like a dangerous person who was getting high from a “dangerous drug”, but of course, he wasn’t dirtying his hand with illegal drug because he was feeling cornered despite his appearance.
「That is the embodiment of infinitude, deeper than hell, the inescapable blackness――」
Quietly his face turned serious, he raised one hand above, and began to chant stylishly.
「The wind is……」
『What are, what are you trying to do!!』
The air changed. The wind changed.
The wind was moving in a slow spiral around the whirling barrier of earth. Leaves and grasses were getting carried along with the flow. Then in the next moment, they all stopped moving completely and returned back to the ground before right after that, they all headed up at the same time.
No, to be more accurate it was more like that they were drawn up.
The mansion ground that was quiet bright from the torches and moonlight was slightly darkening as though the light was sucked away.
*Jijiji-* A sound that sounded like electrification echoed.
Hinata looked up with a gasp. To right above the barrier of earth.
Over there, there was a small black sphere rotating――
Right after that, the chanting of the lord that was stacked up with extreme carefulness was completed.
「Here it is created, the star of disaster that swallow all creation――”Kokutenkyuu (Black Sky Destitution)”-!!」
The star of disaster was enlarged explosively. It was the secret technique of gravity magic to annihilate everything by swallowing them, the trump card of lord.
A scream broke out from Hinata while agitation surged from the elderly nobleman.
It couldn’t be helped. The earth was getting sucked up with violent momentum. The sparking black sphere with diameter of five meter was swallowing them up.
The earth was getting sucked up toward the sky as though gravity didn’t exist. That sight was just like a joke. It was as though heaven and earth had been overturned.
Both Hinata and the elderly nobleman were looking up at that in a daze. They didn’t know what would be the fate of the things that got swallowed into there, but their instinct had guessed it.
That was, anything that had been swallowed by that would only vanish.
Mercilessly, without any discrimination. It would swallow anything and everything and brought demise.
It was an absolutely inescapable annihilation.
That was, yes, that was――something far more terrifying than something like apparition.
She heard groaning. Hinata who was shaking in fear returned to her senses and looked at the face of the lord who was embracing her painfully tightly.
The lord’s face that looked so easygoing before this was now soaked with sweat. Blood veins rose to the surface of his face like they were going to burst, and he was biting his lip in agony.
It was obvious from a single glance that he was concentrating with everything he had, no, with effort that went over his limit.
It was only natural. He was activating the secret technique of gravity magic in this area where his concentration was extremely disturbed.
Furthermore, the magic had to be controlled with extreme precision to only suck up the earth barrier without touching the elderly nobleman and Taisei and others inside the barrier.
Originally such performance was impossible and ill-advised. The cause that allowed him to maintain such impossibly difficult technique was the marble colored liquid that lord injected into himself just now.
“Abyssgate-san’s Special Awakening Present!” That was the name for the item that came from a certain SOUSAKAN (agent)who won the naming right through a rock-paper-scissors match. This was a new magic drug exclusive for Kousuke.
Professor Emily who received the supply of other world ingredients that Hajime collected combined them with the medicine she created from a certain biological weapon of ancient time to create this. It was a dangerous drug that would definitely blow anyone other than Kousuke to a hallucination world for sure if they consumed it.
The special “Limit Break” called “Abyss Lord” that wouldn’t put its user into weakened state after use by giving gradual increase to the user’s specs.
In exchange of killing that merit, “Last Zell” generated the same effect like normal “Limit Break”, but with “Abyss Lord”, by also using recovery medicine from that point and waiting for a considerable time to pass, it was possible for the specs increase to reach until the level of “Limit Break - Supreme”.
In other words, Cheatmate ASAP was a drug to blow away even this required time to reach “Supreme” level.
Of course the recoil from the drug was great and in addition it had the weak point of only lasting for three minutes but……
Right now those three minutes were enough.
『Four gods-, the head of Tsuchimikado offer his plea!! I ask thee to remove the enemy of ill intent toward this land!!』
The words of power of the elderly that sounded like a shriek echoed.
The four gods let out a roar that they had never made until now.
They moved fiercely as though they had forgotten to give any consideration for Hinata’s safety. The appearance of this unexpected trump card of the lord made the elderly to consider that it was fine even if Hinata died here. He had decided that the priority was to stop the threat no matter what.
Those four gods were intercepted by two clones for each of them. The lord didn’t use his usual overwhelming multiplying tactic. He was unwilling to spend resource for the clones and assigned his energy mostly for controlling the “Kokutenkyuu”.
「Princess-, get away, from me-」
The main body had no leeway to protect Hinata. If his control of the black star of disaster was disturbed for even a little, it might swallow up everything on the ground.
That was why, he considered it fortunate that the enemies were prioritizing his defeat. He squeezed out the energy to create the ninth clone to evacuate Hinata to a safe area.
She could see the clones desperately fighting back. One cloned sacrificed itself to block an attack toward the main body, then the second clone used that opening to attack, and then the first clone revived immediately from that second clone. Death and revival were repeated in high speed from the repetition of that process alternately.
Even so, the four gods were rampaging tremendously as though they had transformed into furious gods. Their attacks went through the gaps and headed toward the main body.
And yet the lord ignored them and used his body to shield Hinata, as though to say that there was no problem as long as the attacks didn’t deal lethal wound on him. His cheeks and shoulders were slashed up by branches’ thrusts, his skin was burned by flame feathers.
Even the lord’s words were becoming halting in desperation. Hinata saw all those from close by.
And then, a beat later. The hand of the ninth clone that was trying to lead her away forcefully in hurry was,
「I’m not princess-. My name is Hinata!!」
Shaken off. The lord’s eyes turned round like saucer when Hinata hugged him with the intention of absolutely not letting go.
『Princess-, move away from there! I won’t mind even if you lose one or two of your limbs-』
「Just do it if you want!」
The lord and the elderly nobleman’s shocked voices overlapped.
At the same time, the lord who was nearby, and the elderly nobleman who was getting into view due to the earth barrier getting gradually peeled off became the ones holding their breath this time when they saw Hinata’s eyes.
Seeing the very strong glimmer in those eyes.
「I-, absolutely won’t part from this person! If you want to harm this person then you have to go through me first-!!」
『What are you saying just for a mere shikigami-』
Hinata ignored the elder and used her hands to hold the cheeks of the lord who was about to say 「Princess-, don’t say such stupid thi――」 to match his gaze to hers from really close.
「Use me as shield!」
The lord lost the rest of his words in front of the determination dwelling inside the girl’s eyes.
Certainly, even if the elderly nobleman could tolerate Hinata getting heavily injured, he would be troubled if she died. If the lord took the initiative and used her as shield, the attacks of the four gods would definitely get restricted too.
Although, he couldn’t allow something like that. Just as he was about to object――
「You are risking your life for my sake. Then, losing a mere one or two limbs is nothing at all!」
He was made to swallow back his words again.
Even while they were doing that Genbu’s ability was intermittently attacking them, taking away moisture from Hinata. Her voice hoarsened and there were small cracks forming in her lips.
However, Hinata’s words didn’t stop. They couldn’t be stopped.
「Just as you are protecting me, I’ll protect you. By doing that, we can overcome any kind of difficulty no matter what, that’s what I believe-!!」
Perhaps, even though she had no memory and couldn’t use any jutsu, those words might already be words that contained power in them――words of power in its truest sense.
「……Good grief, those words cause shivers inside.」
Feeling of enjoyment naturally rose inside the lord’s tone.
He erased the ninth clone that he formed by forcing himself. He got down on one knee in order to reduce the surface area of his body that could be targeted as much as possible, and then he put down Hinata on the ground.
「I’m counting on you, Hinata.」
In respond to the words of the lord, or perhaps Kousuke’s words, Hinata replied with a bright smile that was unthinkable for the gruesome situation she was put in.
And then, she faced forward and made good on her words by spreading out her hands. She faced the elderly nobleman and the others who had completely come into view now. From her, they could certainly see the drive of her determination to throw herself into attack to become a shield if it was really necessary.
At the same time, it could be felt that the lord’s focus was completely put toward the “Kokutenkyuu”. It was unknown what was really going on inside his head, but from the outside it looked doubtful whether he would be able to react immediately if Hinata really threw herself into danger.
A type of trust that the elder and other clan members held toward the lord, that no matter how fierce their attack to him was, the princess would still be safe under his protection was shaken at this point.
The elderly nobleman gritted his teeth audibly and raised his voice angrily.
『We need one more minute-』
One of the casters who was desperately sending curse to the lord answered.
A deathly battle was unfolding between the infinite multiplication of the earth apparition and the pulling force of the black star were, but it seemed the advantage was at the side of the “Kokutenkyuu”.
The first layer of the barrier protecting the elder and his men was pulled up like a waterfall going through rewinding. It couldn’t fulfill its function anymore. Their figures were being completely exposed.
However, the second layer, the last barrier surrounding the heavenly altar was still there. As expected because of its small size, it had more earth compressed in it. There was also how the power of the “Kokutenkyuu”was being adjusted to stop it from being lethal toward human, so it looked like it would take time right now for it to dismantle the last barrier……
――Fifty five seconds remaining until the ritual’s completion
The elderly nobleman grinned despite the cold sweat he was soaked in. They made it in time. It was their victory.
Hinata was driven by fretfulness seeing that. Her feeling toward her father swelled up in her heart.
Perhaps that was why. At that time, a divine revelation came down on Hinata.
That was the instinct of the genius onmyouji who was said as the second coming of her ancestor, and the last hand that was still just barely remaining for the father who believed in his daughter’s sixth sense more than anyone.
Hinata took a deep breath. And then,
It was a mystery how such small body could produce such loud voice to call her father.
The elder and others grinned scornfully, seeing her trying to call her father back into sanity at this late hour――before their eyes opened wide like saucer.
「JAPAN DERBYYY, IT’S STARTINGGGGGGGGGG!!」
In that instant, Taisei’s eyes that were closed inside the earth barrier snapped wide open *KA-!!* in a flash.
At the same time, a loud voice that gave no damn about the earth barrier and the like resounded!
「Thy master (trainer)command thee-. Come to me! ――”Horse Oni (Hinatyrant)!!”」
If it was his daughter, he believed that she would surely say the strongest (Japan) activation words (opening).
Even if he was bound by enemy’s jutsu, there would be no problem if he acted subconsciously. That self-suggestion that he just barely managed to plant in himself when he was attacked was now activated.
In respond to its master’s call, the huge apparition horse that was given its name with the hope that it would “rule like the tyrant when it was time for war even though usually it was kind like his daughter” appeared.
Somehow it looked like it was a bit reluctant somehow, but it neighed with air enveloping its body and it charged toward the elderly nobleman and others.
「Impossible-, how can he do that when is under Tou-san’s jutsu――gofuaa!?」
「Takehikoooo!? Nuoh, stop-, uaaaaaaaah!?」
It was a perfect surprise attack. Not to mention that everyone there was completely focused in holding back the lord with all their strength.
There was no way they could do anything to respond. The six elite clan members of Tsuchimikado were kicked around by the horse’s six legs. Takehiko who swiftly moved to protect the elderly nobleman was sent flying as though he just got hit by a car. The elder’s clothes got bitten by the horse’s mouth and it swung him around. His coat was torn off and his body got tossed away to somewhere.
Naturally, the curse stopped and the attacks of the four gods also turned duller.
That was truly a lethal opening.
――Thirty seconds remaining until the ritual’s completion
「Hahah, that was truly an amazing combo of father daughter! Leave the rest to me!!」
The concentration obstruction was alleviated and the clones obtained leeway in their battle. The lord dispersed four of them and reassigned the resource from them to the “Kokutenkyuu”.
A brutal sucking force gripped the earth solidly and it was sucked up without any room for resistance.
The speed of the absorption and annihilation was completely, overwhelmingly surpassing the multiplication speed of the earth.
Finally there was a sound of *bobah* and the barrier crumbled.
Dots of light could be seen inside. Light particles were floating up unsteadily from the ground. A shining pentagram was floating above the altar. And then, the members of Fujiwara clan were chanting mantra in unison even now with expression like ghost.
――Twenty seconds remaining
「Wait here Hinata!」
「Yes-. Please save them-, Endou-sama!」
The lord left Hinata behind and broke into a run.
「I won’t let you! Devour the sacrifice and come-」
Takehiko’s words of power and scream resounded.
Over there, he was losing one arm with blood spurting out. Using that compensation, the next generation’s house head unleashed his strongest move. He couldn’t control it because he was still immature, but this last insurance could come into play now that the lord was away from Hinata.
A big name showed at this late.
Appearing from the pentagram that was drawn on the ground in front of the altar was a giant spider.
It was clad in ominous aura that was incomparable to all the apparitions before this. It let out thundering roar that was seething with malice and loathing toward human――
「Sorry but, this one’s real field is assassination!」
The blazing short sword “Tentei Raizan Ichimonji” skewered the spider’s brain from behind. A beat later, flame fiercely spurted out from the spider’s eyes and mouth, and here and there all over its body. A shriek surged out from it.
The lord’s figure was already behind the Tsuchigumo. He simply threw his short sword to behind him as he passed over it.
Time was also the lord’s ally.
His specs kept increasing as time passed. His movement easily left behind the perception of ordinary person and even the senses of a powerful apparition. Takehiko had completely misread the timing to play his trump card.
「Now then, with this even the girl’s tragedy shall――」
With his other short sword “Ijgami Kikokumaru” in reverse grip, the lord leaped to the center of the altar.
――Five seconds remaining until the ritual’s completion
As the despairing scream of the elderly nobleman reverberated, the mystical sword that had the function of giving exceptional assistance for earth element tonjutsu was,
「Come to an end.」
Immediately, the lower part of the heavenly altar burst off in destruction. Cracks ran through the whole thing, and in addition, the ground bulged and gently pushed Taise and others to outside.
The light scattered, and the pentagram was now――vanishing.
The elderly nobleman and others stood dumbfounded in their inability to accept reality.
The four gods stopped moving. The earth was also completely falling silent.
The abyss lord also reached his limit. His clones and “Kokutenkyuu” were vanishing.
The raging wind stopped, and silence descended.
Looking at Taisei and others who were rolled outside the altar, every single one of them had bad complexion and groaning, but it seemed they were completely liberated from the jutsu of barrier destruction. There was no danger to their life.
A sigh of relieve was breathed out.
Last Zell and Cheatmate’s effect ran out and his body was assaulted by a feeling of lethargy, even so the lord mustered his last strength and sighed fuh with a smile.
And then with a frantic efforts he turned while sheathed his sword with the greatest and coolest style that he had been trained in so many times by a certain rabbit eared clan. He pushed up his sunglass with his finger――
In that instant, earth burst up with a thunderous roar behind him like a geyser.
「Tsu!? You are really persistent!」
Could it be that this mountain itself was already transforming into the earth apparition? Even though such unpleasant possibility crossed his mind, he let his guard down thinking that the case was closed with how the elderly nobleman and the others were in a daze. Did they wish to finish off Kousuke no matter what?
The lord had completely returned back into Kousuke. Mental agony and shame flooded him. He wanted to use earth tonjutsu to bury himself, even so in front of the high wave of earth that was descending on him,
(Make it in time-!!)
He tried to oppose it while half praying――
Instantly, a wave of light surged.
It was a beautiful pure white light that was simply too pure.
That wave of light pushed back the earth wave that was trying to swallow Kousuke at that moment.
Kousuke gasped and looked back across his shoulder.
There was Hinata. With the horse oni standing obediently behind her, she was forming a sword handsign with her right hand’s index finger and middle finger standing straight. Her left hand was making a swiping move. Her form looked somewhat elegant.
Pieces of paper fluttered in the air from her left hand. It was a human shaped paper that was torn to shreds――the vessel where Hinata’s memory was sealed into.
Most likely, when the horse oni assaulted the elder and torn off his coat, it was for the sake of taking that thing back.
In other words, right now she was,
「Endou-sama, my heartfelt gratitude for you. Please leave the rest to me.」
Her lovely voice that sounded like the ring of a bell was the same like before. There was also no change with her appearance.
However, she was different. Completely different from before.
There was a core in her tone. Her eyes that were tinged with pure white light were looking straight forward unwaveringly. Her dignified standing posture was indescribably beautiful.
For a moment, Kousuke forgot what he was going to say and even the enemy behind him.
There was no problem even if he forgot.
Hinata silently took a deep breath.
「――Banki Koufuku (All Minds Capitulation)」
The words of power that were filled with fierce determination became the light that was as bright as then sun of a sunny day. It painted over the territory of Tsuchimikado clan.
No existence in this place could resist it.
The earth crumbled, the four gods were sent back, the elder and his group were restrained and pushed on their knees――
The strongest onmyouji of this generation was revived right here, right now.
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