Black smoke was stilling rising up from Mountain Fuji.
There was no afterquake or eruption. The black smoke simply blew out like a smoker exhaling tobacco smoke. The sight could only be described as eerie.
It was already midnight, but the people living in the towns and villages in the vicinity couldn’t possibly sleep peacefully in this situation. The evacuation was continuing with a noisy atmosphere everywhere.
Especially at the northwest.
The area centered around Aokigahara was designated as red zone by the government from early. Because of that the evacuation there was given a high priority.
Currently the national highway was also blockaded. Nobody was allowed to enter, not even reporter or even specialist. The place looked like ghost town.
Everything was thanks to the evacuation guidance from the JSDF that was dispatched there immediately.
In this situation, even just making a single decision would need a ton of acknowledgement from every related parties. In addition it was also night, so it should be impossible for JSDF to be dispatched already just several hours since Mountain Fuji started smoking……
Not to mention, even the meeting where the government would rely on the opinions of the specialists and experts got skipped when they announced the designation of the evacuation area. Such thing should be even more impossible but……
Although there were a lot of people who noticed that unnaturalness, they were in a stage of great uproar right now because it was unknown when the eruption would occur and how the progress of the evacuation was going, so no question was raised.
From the start, Aokigahara was a place where a great amount of lava from the eruption of Mountain Fuji in the past a long time ago accumulated and hardened. So nobody really questioned the decision to prioritize the evacuation there. Therefore,
「Surely there is some higher ups whose relatives are living in the blockaded area, so they heavy handedly made the announcement……many people must be thinking like that. Well, preparing scapegoat and cover story is the forte of politician, so they will manage somehow.」
Inside a large truck shaped command vehicle that functioned as the base of the national highway’s blockade, Fukube was talking to himself while swallowing the stomach medicine that he finally got his hand on.
He wasn’t wearing his usual worn out suit, but a combat uniform with black camouflage pattern. There was even an automatic rifle leaning on the wall beside him.
There were several other people inside the command vehicle that had countless display screens lined up. One of them were frowning while turning his gaze at Fukube.
「Chief. It was you who invoked the power of the state heavy handedly. Please resolve yourself when this is over.」
「Ee~, what are you saying. I’m just an underling you knoww? There is no way I can give that kind of heavy handed order right? The responsibility belong to the director who skipped asking the permission from the ministries and dragged the minister――」
「It was you who did something to make the director gave such heavy handed order. Sometimes you became really scary like this chief. Just what did you do?」
Eeh, I don’t get what you mean at all……Fukube said with a smile of someone playing dumb. The subordinate let out a long sigh in respond.
They had known each other for a long time. He also trusted this man as a superior. But, he would still get shivers on his back when he caught a glimpse of the “nation’s guard dog” hidden behind this frivolousness.
Fukube had many connections to all kind of people that couldn’t be explained with just his position. He also possessed information network that sometimes could make influential people to cooperate with him readily even while they were looking deathly pale. He could only describe Fukube as a dreadful person knowing that.
Although, as expected he had overdone it this time. After all he was even applying pressure to every mass media. What Fukube did was an outrage that went off the rails. It would be impossible for him to avoid taking responsibility after this.
「That’s just how important this is.」
「……Please don’t read my heart like it’s only natural.」
Like a cliché in American police movie, Fukube took out donuts and coffee from somewhere while saying 「Anpan and milk are too old fashioned. We need to globalize in this kind of thing too」 as he began to have dinner. All his subordinates inside the command vehicle sighed.
Although, after being told that a lot of foreign agents had entered the country, that they had special attack method just like the returnees, and that if they were left alone Mountain Fuji would erupt――their sense of danger would get lit whether they wanted or not. They put their spirit into their job.
They were grumbling only because they didn’t want to lose a capable superior like Fukube because of getting blamed for the responsibility, but they understood the seriousness of the matter.
Also, Fukube hadn’t told anyone about the story that Japan itself was a giant apparition called “Dragon”. It was something that even he himself was still half in disbelief about. Rather than lowering other’s trust toward him and their sense of danger because of such outrageous story, it was more realistic to tell others that it seemed the enemy had the method and knew of a place that could the mountain to erupt.
Either way, if Mountain Fuji erupted, the surrounding area would be grievously damaged. The damage that Japan would receive would be immeasurable. There was no changing the fact that this matter couldn’t be overlooked. That was why.
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There, a call came. It was a report that the final confirmation of the evacuation had been finished. In addition, there was also reports coming from the forces that were being deployed at the outer edge of the sea of trees.
『Duel 1 to Arc. Positioning complete, target can’t be confirmed.』
『Buster 1 to Arc. We have finished taking position too here. The target’s position is unknown.』
「This is Arc. Roger. All forces, standby on your position until the time for the start of the mission.」
Even after that, report from each force like Blitz Team, Aegis Team, etc, etc was also coming in.
「……Chief, it might be too late to ask this now but, can’t you pick some other name for these callsigns?」
Fukube had finished eating his donuts and coffee and got on his feet when his subordinate asked him. Fukube gave a final check to his equipment while speaking with a firm expression.
「The callsigns of mister Britain over there are servants you know? We can’t lose.」
「D-don’t use Mobile *uit’s names just because of that……even though it’ll be better if you at least use the first generation’s names.」
「Hahaa, that’s because Justice-san and Freedom-san were born. So I thought that we should use the names from the same series here.」
「……People like you, even though this is a danger that might cause Mountain Fuji to erupt……haa」
「What what, you’re already making that kind of unpleasant sigh even though you’re still in your thirty. Do you need stomach medicine?」
The report from the last force about the completion of their positioning arrived even while such exchange was going on.
Fukube cackled at his sullen subordinate while placing the strap of his automatic rifle on his shoulder. Then he opened the back door of the command vehicle.
「Noow then, you guys. It’s time for work.」
Immediately the members of the squad under his direct command quickly formed lines with astonishing speed.
「It’s overtime work but, it can’t be helped. Japan is in danger.」
He leaped down from the command vehicle and stood in front of the soldiers. A glint like a fierce beast ran through his eyes. It sent a chill into everyone’s back.
「There is a terrifying tiger at the front gate. We are the wolf of the rear gate. Let’s teach the enemies a lesson. Just how frightening the civil servant of this country is.」
The soldiers were silent. However they all made a salute with a perfectly coordinated movement.
Fukube nodded in satisfaction seeing that. Then he put――a sunglass! It was an artifact that was enchanted with the ability of night vision and seeing apparition. It was supplied together to his force together with special bullets that could damage even apparition. Yes, everyone wore one! They didn’t perform any turn though!
His gaze was still ferocious, however an atmosphere of 「This feel kind faun isn’t it!」 was also oozing from him as he yelled.
「Strike Team, Strike 1――Fukube Koutaro! Heading out!」
「You just want to say that aren’t you!」
At the same time when Fukube and his men began to harden the defense of the outer edge.
The center of the sea of threes was already turning into a hellish battlefield.
――Shrine’s line of defense - Northeast theater
The defensive line was laid out around the shrine in a circle and divided into four parts. This theater in the example of clock was located from twelve o’clock until three o’clock.
Muzzle flashes and gunshots were ringing endlessly, cutting through the darkness of the night. The angry yells of the allies, inhumanly terrifying roar and screams that whittled on human’s mind, they were overlapping on top of each other.
「New enemies at two o’clock! There is a ton of them! Sabers 5 to 8, concentration fire!」
The angry yell of Barnard who was leading Saber Team of security bureau’s assault department reverberated through the radio.
Ahead of his gaze was a white swarm that was so vast it looked like it was repainting the night’s darkness――a great variety of “Shikis” were approaching like an avalanche.
There was no end to this since the start of the battle.
(The quantity of the enemies is abnormal! This is already like a real war!)
He couldn’t help but cursing inside his heart.
He thought it was strange that the enemy took a long time before resuming their attack after Hauria repelled their small number of saboteurs, but he could see the reason why if that was caused by the preparation for this.
That must be……just how unknown Hauria was for the enemy. There was no doubt that they made every preparation they could before the day could change.
If they weren’t supplied with the effective special bullets, and also if they weren’t given “Sunglass - Aby Model” that allowed them to see through darkness and expose invisible existence, they would surely get stomped in an instant. That fact sent chills through his back.
The most troublesome thing was the invisible remote attacks that were rained down on them. The assault squad couldn’t do anything about that.
「Saber 3 and 11 are down! Their talismans are burned down!」
Two squad members suddenly pressed their hand on their chest as they writhed. It was a curse. Just one member of “Shadow Monk” that still hadn’t showed themselves was lurking in this vast sea of trees while sending deadly curses accurately at them.
「I’ll dispel the curse now! Drag them back!」
「Yosh, Saber 8, 15! Cover them!」
The language barrier didn’t exist due to the earring artifact of “Language Comprehension”. Tsuchimikado’s practitioner――Tsuchimikado Kiyotake came running.
「What the hell is this powerful curse-, dammit!」
The unusual cursing was an expression of his frustration. The talismans that were distributed as countermeasure against curse had been splendidly broken down. Even though they should have at least reduced the curse’s effect with the help of the barrier, the two tough soldiers who were overflowing with stamina and spirit were driven to a state that wasn’t fit for fighting.
As expected from the practitioner of the main land. Kiyotake was forced to admit that there was a clear gap between their skills as technique user.
Although he himself had his specs improved thanks to a mysterious item. And most of all, right now he was being given a chance to recover his honor like this after getting a disgrace of being manipulated by the enemy.
That was all the more reason for him to put his all into this. He closed his eyes, sharpened his mind, and spoke the words of power.
「ひふみよいなむや こともちろらね しきるゆゐつ わぬそをたはくめか うおゑにさりへて のますあせえほれけ(Hifumiyoinamuya Kotomochirorane Shikiruyuwitsu Wanusowotahakumeka Uowenisarihete Nomasuaseehoreke)!!」
It was the exorcism words of ancient Shinto. The “Hifumi Purification Rite” that consisted of 47 characters brushed off the curse of death that was gnawing on the two soldiers.
「Tsu, I’m saved! My thanks!」
「Saber 1! 3 and 11 have recovered!」
Even though they should have just tasted intense pain that made them wanted to die, they jumped on their feet instead with eyes that were burning with hotter fighting spirit. The two returned to the frontline right away.
This is Abyssgate’s stage! This ain’t the time to sleep! Hyahhaa! Such atmosphere, or rather those words that actually entered his ear made Kiyotake-kun drew back a little.
While that was going on,
「Don’t just daydream! You’ll get taken out like that!」
「Tsuchimikado is lacking in battle experience isn’t it! As expected exorcist is clearly more amazing!」
The snake apparition that leaped from Kiyotake’s behind was restrained by the light chain that flew out from the tonfa of Anna the exorcist. It almost got its mouth on Kiyotake before it was stopped.
Reaper The Inferno (Sky Rending Funeral Prison) Minasteria――not, Mina of Hauria didn’t miss that opening and lopped off its head with her two swords.
The assault squad was pruning the enemy from the frontline using their firearms, the onmyoujis were dealing against the curses, the exorcists were acting as rear guard as well as long distance attack, while Haurias were searching and destroying the enemies that got away from all those.
There was that kind of division of task, but putting aside older technique user who also excelled in martial art, a young Tsuchimikado like Kiyotake was still a bit lacking in experience.
「Anna-chan, don’t compare like that! You too, daydreaming in a battlefield like that is no good you know? Well, big sis will cover for you in that case though.」
‘Kay? Mina-san winked. Strange. She wasn’t acting crazy even though she was a Hauria. She was a normally playful beautiful older lady who was strong with sexy body.
Kiyotake-kun went *kyun*. She had rabbit ears after all!
「Eh? ……Ehh!? Just now, you said that to me!?」
「Eh, ah, I-I’m sorry-. What I’m saying!」
「Do, d-d-d-don’t mindddd! I-it doesn’t bother me you knowww?」
Mina-san had no luck with man at all until now that she was completely hungry for romance from continuously getting exposed to the happiness aura of Shia and Rana. Because of that recently she was getting emotionally unstable to a dangerous level. It was inevitable that she was super easily shaken up like this just from a bit of praise.
「Can you put that kind of thing off for later?」
Anna said with a fixed stare as she dragged down a flying type apparition that passed above them using her chain of light, she twisted her body with her tonfa held at her side as though she was going to thrust it, however, she performed a spinning kick instead of using her tonfa.
「R-right! On Abiraunkeen!」
「Y-yeah! Leave your head behind!」
The two ran off to hide from the senior Tsuchimikados, Hauria comrades, and even the exorcists who got an exasperated look from watching them.
With that going on at the background,
「Fuh, they can still play around like that. How reliable. I too need to step up my game……for the sake of my new family member who will be born soon too.」
「I’m telling youuu! Can you not say that kind of thing in the battlefieldd!?」
A clone of the lord felt some kind of hunch and came running here to find a small insect “Shiki” about to attack Barnard from a nearby tree. He cut it down while getting cold sweat drenching his body.
Even though the clone was in Abyssgate mode, he was so flustered that he returned to normal.
「Oo, Aby! How’s it going? Does it look like you will be able to find the Shadow Monk bunch?」
「You aren’t giving a damn at all even though you almost casually die just now huh. Even though you got no good luck……ah, I see. In this situation, I was sent here by the goddess of fortune huh.」
The man who raised death flag as casually as breathing, and in fact imminent death really often approached him, and yet he had dodged deaths so many time until now with an impossible amount of luck. He was the most mysterious existence in the security bureau, no, most likely people like him was very rare even throughout the whole world. Barnard who seemed to be loved by the death god and goddess of fortune at the same time made the clone looked weary.
*Cough* After clearing his throat once,
「Fuh, it seems those guys are specialized in hide and seek. They must be camouflaging themselves with some kind of technique.」
「I thought it would be easy if you searched from where the apparitions appeared but……it’s impossible huh.」
「As expected, it seems they have also accounted for that.」
Lord was participating in all the defensive theaters. At the same time he took the initiative to hunt powerful looking youmas while they were still far away.
In addition to that, he was also searching for the Shadow Monk members. If he could subdue them, this completely endless flood of “Shiki” would stop.
However, it seemed they were also super first class when it came to hiding. He was investigating using the sunglass’s function as well as other techniques like presence detection, but he still couldn’t find them because the sea of trees’ complicated geography and its size also made such effort harder.
「The Shiki goes without saying, but the number of the apparitions is also unusual. Let’s focus on defense for now.」
「What about human wave tactic with maximum number of clones?」
「I have received quite a great amount of magic power stock , but there is still limit you know? If the Shadow Monks are actually outside the sea of trees, or even scattered farther away and I can’t take all of them out……」
「That will be bad. At this stage we also haven’t know all of the enemy’s hands.」
「Umu. In the current situation where the demon king (sworn friend) is busy, doing anything that willl lower my strength is a poor plan. But don’t worry, if I limit the number of my clones then at least I can keep the defensive line from being broken. No, I absolutely won’t let that happen. As long as I’m here!」
A twirl and turn. A push up on the sunglasses. Barnard also, no, all his squad members who were nearby also synchronized with him and pushed their sunglasses simultaneously.
A gigantic apparition that looked like a dog was charging forward with the bullets not doing anything at it all. Seeing that, the clone leaped on a tree branch with a light step.
「Okay! We’re going to hold back the small fries. I’ll leave the big game and the sneaky ones to you! Hero, Abyssgate!」
「Fuh, leave it to me!」
「Let’s have a drink when this is over. It’ll be my treat yeah?」
「I’m telling youuu! Stop with that kind of line!」
The lord’s clone returned to his plain personality again. It was when he just leaped above the head of the dog apparition, so the result was obvious.
The clone, he got gobbled up. Like a dog catching a frisbee that its owner threw. The dog’s acrobatic leap was beautiful……
「R-rocket launcher! Bring a rocket launcher hereeee!」
「Binding technique-, hurryyy!」
The northeast theater was filled with panicking screams until another clone came running.
――Shrine defensive line - Southeast theater
「Dammit. Goddess! Don’t rub the death flag on me too!」
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One clone was returning to his plain self while feeling shame from the blunder at the northeast theater as he destroyed an apparition by encasing it in ice.
There a thick presence that made him felt like he wanted to vomit came.
A monstrous bird crossed the sky above in an instant. He tried to bring it down with gravity magic, but with a superb timing that disturb him, a huge grotesque shape assaulted him.
It was a white horse with tiger limbs. The apparition had a horn on its head. Its overwhelmingly ominous presence was like a muddy stream, marking it in a completely different level from a mere “Shiki”. It was clearly an apparition.
「Trying to attack me with a mere charge like that-, naïve!」
He kicked on a dust midair and dodged like a matador. At the same time his short sword mowed its neck. But,
*Slip*, he only felt a sensation of gentle caress from his strike. The apparition turned around unharmed.
An apparition with the supernatural ability of blocking harm by sword.
A neigh like drum being pounded came out from its sharply fanged mouth. It then resumed its attack with astonishing speed.
「Not bad! But, know that you can’t escape from my abyss!」
While he was taking on the Haku, another clone moved to stop the monstrous bird that was stilly flying.
However, as expected it seemed that they could do teamwork. Another interference came.
「Nowah. Flame in a forest!? You got no constraint at all!」
There was a raging flame that might swallow the whole area. The night forest was temporarily brightening from the brightness of scorching flame.
「――Abyss Style Earth Tonjutsu - Raging Earth Dragon Wall (Darkness of Hell Swallowing Al)!!」
He stabbed his short sword into the ground and made the soil bulged up as a wall. It wasn’t related at all with dragon or hell’s darkness, and it couldn’t possibly swallow any creation but, it succeeded in stopping the wave of flame. At the same time he threw a kunai at the source of the raging ghostly air.
「Fuh, not bad! To manage to dodge an attack from my darkness like that!」
The flame was bright so the attack didn’t come from any darkness, but thanks to that the flame burst was stopped.
The figure of the apparition that was the cause of the flame was faintly visible at the depth of the sea of trees that was still bright from the spreading of the flame.
Its other name was Golden Fur Kou. Its shape was between a lion and a dog. A close example that could be made to describe it was perhaps a komainu (guardian lion-dogs at Shinto shrine). Kou was an apparition and also a sacred beast with supernatural power to blow flame.
「It will be bad if the fire spread. Extinguish――」
「Even if destruction by fire come until the persimmon tree that place shall be untouched when you are red!!」
It was a divine poem to prevent fire disaster. The elderly nobleman――Tsuchimikado Jounosuke saw the spreading fire from the rear and made his move. At the same time a voice came from the radio.
『Kousuke-san, we will take care of the bird apparition!』
『Call me Abyssgate right now! Aziz-kun!』
『Who cares about that kind of thing! It’s possible that this will become a protracted battle, so please don’t waste your magic power even if you have stocks!』
『H-how can it not matter?』
The call got cut off. Aziz-kun, recently his treatment to him was really cold for some reason. It wasn’t like he hated him, but it was like he was strangely on guard against him or something.
「Uumu. If it’s like this I need to have a heart to heart talk with him at least once. Umu. I’ll prepare a time and place to be alone with him after this.」
『Stop that, seriously, please.』
He was bothered! He was bothered with what his junior was thinking! But, Haku and Kou, and not just them, more than ten powerful apparitions that were clad in ghastly aura also showed up and rushed at him, so he postponed thinking more about that for later!
「Kuku. Just how much force is in your possession. Very well, Shadow Monk! As someone who live in the same darkness, I shall take on everything that you all havee-」
The lord’s tension increased and he charged into the apparition swarm.
「My my, really Aziz! You’re completely conscious at him!」
「Please don’t joke around. I’ll slice it off.」
The elder sister of the exorcists (manly woman), TJ hugged himself while trembling. The eye glint of Aziz-kun when he looked at him across his shoulder made him hallucinated the gaze of Director Dime that seemed to constantly say 「I’ll……kill you bastard-」.
「Here they come! Play the music already big sis!」
While he was playing a sacred performance that weakened the enemies, something flew overhead the trees and the “Shikis” that were being shot down to death one after another. It was an existence that was really fit to be called a monstrous bird.
Its other name was Sougu or Nine Headed Bird. It was a strangely shaped bird with nine heads. Blood was constantly splattered from one of the heads and poured down from the gust that its wings caused.
「Acknowledged――god’s shield protects me. Light of salvation that cut off the evil of the wicked and protect the righteous!」
The user of tower shield holy vessel, an exorcist who looked like a worn out salary man in a glance――Sharif Yeast’s shield of protection became a shining dome that protected his allies.
The barrier was like an inferior version of “Holy Severance”. The disgusting black blood was blocked by it and slid down its surface.
The effect caused a drop of blood to unluckily flew outside the barrier and landed on Archer 4――the name of the squad at the southeast theater was “Archer” ――he let out a scream at the same time when an explosion sound went off.
When everyone looked over there in surprise, it seemed that his automatic rifle unluckily exploded. His hands lost their original shape.
「Move him into the base! Ask Miss Emily to treat him! Archer 6, cover him!」
The squad leader Archer 1 immediately gave an instruction. Archer 5 who was beside Archer 4 took out a small metal plat, made its surface slid while placing it on the ground beside Archer 4.
The magic circle was completed by sliding a part of its surface. Magic power circulated and the artifact with the same structure like Hauria style’s “teleportation artifact” activated. If Archer 4 was put into the gate that was formed on the ground, he could be moved to the first-aid station at the shrine. After that Emily and an Arachne who had been enchanted with regeneration magic should heal him.
The elderly nobleman watched that from the corner of his gaze while realizing the enemy’s true identity.
「That’s most likely Kisha! Its blood bring misfortune! It also has a legend as soul eater!」
Coincidentally after those words were said, the legend was proved as correct.
One of the Haurias who fired a crossbow――Nea suddenly fell unconscious and collapsed.
「Guh, my na――」
「Your neck!? Are you injured there!?」
Aziz panicked. Nea gritted her teeth and spoke.
「My name-, is Kill Nahatol (Outside Massacre Flower) Neastadtrm! Don’t mistake it!」
It seemed that mistaking her name couldn’t be tolerated even while she was writhing in pain. As expected from Nea.
「Fuu fuuh. I amm, finally outtt-」
Outside Massacre Flower Neasta――Nea-chan jumped up on her feet in a flash and glared at the sky. Perhaps because she had been staying here for long due to the village building, actually she had gotten addicted to watch yakuza movie recently. The influence from that was completely coming out in her way of talking.
「The skill that mistress-sama directly taught meee-」
A total of six shurikens were instantly held between her fingers and she let them fly.
It was the throwing skill that was taught to her by that person who was currently sneezing *kushun* in Nagumo house. Each of the shuriken drew a different trajectory so as to surround the Kisha.
It was inevitable that below was the only direction remaining for the Kisha to dodge.
Aziz who noticed that intention immediately moved.
「Tsu――god is the righteous judge. My body is the sword of saint. O lord, please bestow your protection to your soldier!」
His large knife holy vessel shined. That shine instantly enveloped Aziz. The weapon’s ability was to explosively increase the wielder’s physical ability. It pushed up Aziz to the air like a rocket. He changed direction by kicking on the tree branches and instantly circled to behind the descending Kisha.
A beautiful crescent moon was drawn on the night’s darkness.
A beat later, the Kisha’s many heads were all beheaded and fell in pieces to the ground.
Aziz rolled midair like a cat and performed a five point landing on the ground. His comrades who were protecting the southeast theater together with him sent him thumbs up.
「Nea-san, are you alright?」
「Fuh, naturally. This Neastadtrm is never without the protection of boss’s love! Yes, by boss’s love!」
「I don’t understand what are you saying.」
The girl who was making a cool pose with a posed look was incomprehensible like usual, but if it was summarized, it seemed that the artifacts for preventing the mind interference of the “Dragon” that had been distributed to everyone just in case had blocked the ability of the Kisha to “eat soul”.
「More importantly the next one is coming.」
Nea said that as she turned her gaze with a glint that would make even yakuza to run away bare feet. Right after that, a horrific roaring sound came from the neighboring battlefield――the southwest theater.
The ground shook and a shockwave were transmitted through air. In addition there was even a roar that drowned the countless gunshots.
Right after that, a contact came from Assassin team that was entrusted with the southwest theater. The terribly panicked voice was asking for reinforcement.
『This is Vanessa (Assassin team)! Some enemies broke through! The enemies are a group of oni――aah, Kousuke-san died!? This inhuman person, I mean, inhuman oniiii!』
No, she sounded like she still had breathing room? Although, if the opponent was in a level that could defeat a clone then certainly the situation there was bad. Taisei’s voice came next in the place of Vanessa.
『Hinata! I’m sorry, we couldn’t hold them back! It seems that “Shadow Monk” has resurrected even more of Japan’s monsters than we thought!』
A report was give to Hinata who was right beside the central shrine.
『The onis of Mountain Ooe are all here! Endou-kun! I’ll leave my daughter in your hand!』
The leader Shuten Douji, the second in command Ibaraki Douji, their subordinates the four heavenly kings.
「Guh, I see. I thought it was strange that Shuten Douji’s relic was only a single horn but, as expected there was still more of them……princess!」
The elderly nobleman muttered in anxiety.
It seemed even though Hidzuki was already here after getting directly summoned from the fairy world, some remaining relic was used to manifest “Shuten Douji of Japan’s legend” together with his subordinates.
And then, if that was possible――
『This is Northwest theater’s Carmvanti――eei, there isn’t any time! There is a huge oni rampaging, screaming to bring out Shuten Douji! Abyssgate! Increase your clones already!』
『Report from Northeast theater! Right now Nine Tailed Fox broke through from above! Ohii-sama-, I’m sorry!』
Yes, there was no way the enemy wouldn’t manifest Ootakemaru and Tamamo no Mae from their remaining relics that were also stored inside Byoudou Temple.
The bad premonition was right on the spot. The group of Japan’s prominent onis and three great youkai had broken through and headed toward the center.
In addition, to worsen the already bad situation.
The apparitions until now were already threatening enough, but in addition to them, a group of high apparitions of greater status than them, sacred beasts that were faintly clad in divine aura, and furthermore even more potent curses came attacking.
It felt like the defenders were being shown of the hidden reserves of the supernatural organization of the main land that had managed to pass down their inheritance through unbroken line until now. It was as though the offense until now was just a preliminary skirmish.
In front of the overwhelming pressure of the intensifying invasion, everyone though, This is bad, the only way left is to use Abyssgate’s self multiplication at maximum……it was then.
『Everyone, there is no problem. Please continue to defend as you are.』
『I’ll show that my capability doesn’t lie solely in facing demon.』
The calm voice belonged to Hinata. The voice that was overflowing with motivation belonged to Claudia. The two were taking position together in front of the shrine. Their unwavering voices penetrated into the ears of their allies.
Right after that, a young but dignified voice echoed.
『God of the east sea your name is Amei. God of the west sea your name is Shakuryou』
A pillar of cool and clear light pierced the sky from the center.
Claudia’s voice overlapped at that timing as though in a chorus.
『O lord, I beseech you to listen to my prayer and lamentation』
A second shining pillar burst up and stood side by side with the first pillar.
『God of the south sea your name is Kyojou. God of the north sea your name is Guukyou』
『I beg you to give salvation to the other followers. With the power to clear impurity, please protect them from the wicked』
The gloomy air of the sea of trees, the air that was starting to stagnate as the apparition’s invasion progressed, they were purified together with the words of power.
The legs of the apparitions and “Shikis” were disregarding the casters’ order and stopped moving. Their instinct was pleading to them to not get any closer.
Even the group of onis and Tamamo no Mae that were forcefully bulldozing their way through to the center reflexively stopped moving with their eyes widening. They took a defensive stance as their instinct commanded.
Right after that, the words that were filled with the power of the two were completed.
『Great gods of the four seas push aside the hundred demons and purify the calamity! Kyuukyuu Nyoritsuryou!!』
『You who harbor animosity, know repentance! Amen-!!』
The two light pillars that were very similar to each other shrunk, then at the next instant, they became a surge of light that spread out.
Those were divine words for crushing evil that were the same with each other despite coming from different systems.
From the orient, the strongest onmyouji――Fujiwara Hinata.
From the western, the strongest exorcist――Claudia Barenberg.
The strongest saintess and shrine maiden of this generation created a kind of sanctuary with their words that contained the power to sweep away disaster. The offense of the enemy was damped down unquestioningly.
The bodies of all the onis were smoking with their breathing becoming labored. Tamamo no Mae was also brought down from the sky and now it was groaning on the ground.
A delighted chuckled came out at that moment.
『What an extremely delightful world this is.』
『The fate of the world is more or less hanging on the balance here but……fuh, I shall agree with you.』
It was Hidzuki, and the lord’s real body.
Protecting the two strongest casters were the strongest protectors.
『Mine beloved. The onis of Ooe Mountain art mine. Although he is an offshoot of mine, I doth not wish for you to see a me with the body of a large man and a red face.』
『Okay, my beloved oni. In that case, Ootakemaru and Kyuubi shall be my opponent.』
Such extremely calm and collected voices reached everyone. It allowed them to let out the tension from their shoulders.
As though to say there wasn’t even any room for despair here.
『Fujiwara Hinata. I shall serve as yer Zenki. I’ll have ye proof yer worth in tonight’s war, whether ye hath the qualification to employ me as yer Zenki for real or not.』(Note: Zenki, from Zenki and Gouki, two ancient onis whose name literally meant front oni and rear oni. In their legend they ended up serving En no Gyoja, the founder of Shugendo religion)
『Depending on the result I might teach ye of mine true name.』
『I’m grateful. Then, Shuten Douji-sama, Endou-sama! I ask the two of you to stop the enemies from approaching! As my Zenki and Gouki!』
『Umu! ……Umu? Nn?』
A moment passed.
『Wait a seconddd!? Can you stop treating me like Gouki nonchalantly like thatt!?』
As expected the hero was slovenly at the very end.
The tsukkomi of the lord who returned to his plain self echoed through the sea of trees at night.
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