Faint light shone on the surface of the sea, and it made the swaying waves a ceiling.
In that space, a building that was like a temple existed in the center, which was supported by four huge columns. There was no wall between the columns. A delicate, complex magic formation was drawn at the place that seemed to be an altar at the center of the temple. Still, from the temple whose surroundings were filled with ocean water, the pathway that floated on the surface of the sea extended in four directions, and the end went on to become a circle. And, a magic formation was also drawn on the footing of that circle.
One among the four magic formations began to shine suddenly. Then, after the momentary light that was like an explosion, the shadows of people stood there. It was Hajime and Kaori.
“……Here is…… Is that a magic formation? Unexpectedly, was it captured?”
“Um, is there some problem?”
“No, I didn’t think that it was really already cleared…… Though I felt it was a little easy when compared to the other Labyrinths…… Though I expected that clione to at least come out at the end……”
Apparently, understanding that they seemed to have arrived at the dwelling of Meiru Merujine, Hajime made an expression like he was a little let down. In contrast to that, Kaori, peeking at his face from over Hajime’s shoulder, replied while smiling wryly.
“You know, Hajime-kun. This place was plenty difficult. The beginning is an undersea cave after all, and because normally you would not possess something like a submarine, you would continuously be consuming a lot of magical power the whole time until it was cleared, and if done poorly, as it is you would drown. The clione-like thing was an almost impossibly tough enemy, and because physical attacks were ineffective against the things that looked like ghosts, you will again rely on magical power. Because of that, breaking through cannot be done without fighting a large army. It’s a sufficiently ridiculous degree of difficulty.”
“Yeah, though I guess it might be so if you say so.”
“Not to mention, as for the people of this world the piety seems to be strong…… To display such madness……”
“Too much mental intensity……?”
Kaori’s point was, in short, that Hajime was too strong. When saying up to there, certainly, Hajime agreed that Guryuen Conflagration Mountain would have also been able to be captured flawlessly if not for the attack of Fried at the end.
And, come to think of it, they had arrived before joining up with Yue and the others, but at the time that he thought about what they were doing, the magic formation that was at the end of the path to the right began to shine like it had read Hajime’s thoughts.
When the bursting light had settled down, the figures of the three people of Yue, Shia, and Tio were there. It was exquisite timing.
“Good timing. Was it OK over there?”
“N…… Over there…… was it not safe?”
“Ah, Kaori-san are you alright!?”
“Mu? Are you hurt? What happened to recovery magic?”
To Hajime’s calling out, even though each of them showed an energetic appearance, they sent gazes like they were worried at Kaori who was being carried on Hajime’s back. Kaori’s reply regarding that was……
“Thank you for worrying. But, I’m fine. Because half was just me being spoiled.”
To Kaori who declared that boldly as she floated a truly cheerful smile, as Yue narrowed her eyes, Shia appealed with “I’m jealous. Please switch places with me~,” and Tio raised a broad smile with a “Hohoo,” seemingly amused.
“Hey, Kaori. Perhaps, can you already stand up?”
“Ehehe, actually from the beginning there was no problem with walking…… I’m sorry?”
“Haa, hurry up and get down.”
To Kaori who laughed like a little evil slipped out, Hajime let Kaori down while showing an amazed expression. And then, they joined with Yue and the others and faced the temple.
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“And? What happened? Hey, try to say it, Goshujin-sama. It seems something happened with Kaori? Hey, hey, what happened? Say it without hiding - hebuu!?”
Because she began to question him with an absolutely annoying feeling while Tio smirked, Hajime who became irritated dispatched an open handed slap at once. As she sat at ease, Tio, who had crumbled down with a fascinating slanting posture, colored her cheeks while breathing roughly.
“I-impact after a long time~, haa haa, n, Goshujin-sama, isn’t it fine punishing me more? Isn’t doing a kick instead good?”
In the atmosphere that was expected somewhere, ignoring Tio who said such things as she pleased, Hajime and the others went towards the altar inside. From the back, “One more time, it is fine with one time! Please, hit me~,”though the disgusting words were heard, everyone ignored it with all of their power.
“……And? What happened?”
Yue asked the same question as Tio. However, the look was not at Hajime, it was faced at Kaori. Kaori, smiling sweetly in good humor as she matched gazes with Yue, dropped a bomb of words like the other day.
“I only kissed with Hajime-kun a little.”
“Eh!? Is that true!? From which one!? From which one was it!? It can’t be, from Hajime-san!?”
To Kaori’s words, Yue’s voice lowered one level, and Shia drew closer like she was excited.
“It was from me. ……Hajime-kun was angry for my sake…… I stole it not being able to endure it.”
“Waa, it’s the same as my time! I also stole one because I could not endure it. We’re comrades! Kaori-san!”
“Ufufu, that’s right, Shia. Next time, shall we steal one with two people?”
“In that case, should we rather make it to a fait accompli?”
Right at Hajime’s side, the two girls began to refine the Hajime attack plan. A cold sweat flowed on Hajime’s face. Though it looked like they were in high spirits going “Kya Kya” as they appeared to be joking, in fact, it was because the eyes of Kaori and Shia were serious. In the old days he never would have imagined Kaori turning carnivorous eyes towards him.
“……I thought you would run away with your tail rolled up.”
Yue turned a probing look at Kaori. Yue had noticed that Kaori was tormenting her heart as she felt an inferiority complex. Therefore, this time that became the first Great Labyrinth challenge for Kaori, possibly she thought about if she would run home failing. Of course, she had no intention to comfort the other party who had proclaimed a declaration of war to her. If she drew back here, it as just fine if she declared victory when she considered the extent of it.
However, it seemed that Kaori had gotten back on her feet, or rather, there was even an atmosphere of determination being made since before. She was anxious about what had happened.
“……That’s right. From Hajime-kun as well, I was told that doing so sooner was better. But, the various differences among other things with Yue…… I will show them now.”
“……Did you become defiant?”
“Indeed it might be called that. Or perhaps I should say, although I came along with you all becoming defiant from the start, showing the difference, it was surely only forgotten. I showed you a shameful place.”
“……Although it would be fine if you gave up as you were.”
“Fufu, are you scared? To compete together?”
“……Don’t get carried way by the rhythm. Troublemaker.”
“That, it was said also by Hajime-kun. ……I, do I have a constitution to make trouble like that I wonder……?”
To Yue’s sharp words, Kaori’s face stiffened. Though she felt a little down being called a troublemaker similarly by both her rival in love and the one she loved, she immediately pulled herself together. Incidentally, actually Yue as well, or perhaps you should say Hajime and the others, because everyone comparatively has a constitution to make trouble, though the words surely boomeranged considerably, the self-consciousness of it was not in Yue.
“Well, although it might be as Yue says……because I am at least Hajime-kun’s ‘Importance’, I decided to aim at ‘Special’ doing my best. Whatever anyone might say, right?”
“……I see. In that case I will accept your challenge the same as before.”
“Yes! Ah, even so, I don’t hate Yue, you know? A fighting friend or something like that, that sort of thing was yearned for just a little.”
“……Friends? Kaori and I are?”
“That’s right, friends. In Japan, there is something like a person who represents friend writing rival. In that case, isn’t it fine to read friend by writing love rival too?”
“……Japan…… Hajime’s birthplace…… It is a more mysterious country the more I hear about it. But…… I think it is a good sense.”
“Right. Ufufu, that’s why, please take care of me after this too?”
Though Yue and Kaori were emitting an atmosphere of good feelings somewhat, at the side, Hajime who heard the two people’s conversation was terribly uncomfortable. It was a feeling like a young man alone even inappropriately slipping into the midst of girls that were making girls talk. And, such things as Kaori knowing the words of a certain end of the century person called strong, although it cannot be helped wanting to tsukkomi because Yue’s return was the words of a certain cardboard box loving snake, he controlled himself because he read the mood.
Hajime and the others who arrived at the altar set foot on the magic formation with everybody. Going by the usual, it carefully examined the inside of their minds, and their memories were read. However, it was not just that this time, it was like looking at what the other people experienced at the same time. In other words, what Yue and the others experienced was shared with Hajime and Kaori too.
Somehow or other, it seemed that Yue and the others finally arrived at an abandoned metropolis that should even be called an undersea city in a huge underground space. Thereupon, the space warped the same as with Hajime and Kaori, and it was like war came in the metropolitan area with the armies of two countries. Because, that metropolis seemed that it was a place being invaded by the army of the Majin tribe in the human capital, and in the end, it seemed they were attacked from both the same as Hajime and Kaori.
There was a huge architecture that appeared to be the royal castle in the interior of the capital, and Yue and the others who pushed on while kicking about the armies heard the speech of the leaders in the invaded royal castle.
By all means, because the incident where the Majin tribe destroyed a human village was the impetus, although the humans’ country that made this metropolis the capital city began a war with the Majin tribe side, actually, that was like a conspiracy of the human side that did not hope for peace and desired the Majin tribe’s extermination. By the time it was noticed, the war that was already getting out of hand expanded, and finally it had become a situation where the united human side had the tables turned on them and was invaded until the royal capital…… It seemed that was the situation.
And, the person plotted that conspiracy, it seemed it was the high priest of the Light Faith Church that was deeply connected with the country, and this Light Faith Church apparently was the predecessor of the Sacred Faith Church. Furthermore, they appeared to be violently cornered. As though they were entreating a deity in troubled times, they tried to obtain the support of God offering sacrifices. As a result, several hundred human women and children were gathered from the metropolitan area, and it became a ghastly situation of a mass killing being done in the church’s cathedral.
Even Yue and the others, when they saw that scene it seemed to be quite intense as expected. Because the confirmation of memories by the magic formation compelled them to remember, it made their faces pale. Especially, Shia seemed like she would vomit at any time.
Finally the confirmation of memories ended, and everyone seemed to have been recognized as someone who had captured it safely. The new Age of Gods magic was etched within Hajime’s and the others’ minds.
“Was this magic here? ……Wasn’t it end to end of the continent? Damn Liberators.”
“……Found it, ‘power of regeneration’.”
Hajime breathed out abusive language. That was because the Age of Gods magic of Merujine Undersea Ruins that they obtained was Reproduction magic.
He remembered the wording of the lithography that was under the Great Tree of Hartsina Sea of Trees. He was certain that it was written that the “power of regeneration” was necessary before advancing. In other words, to capture the Great Labyrinth that was at the end of the east, it would not be obtained if you did not go until the end of the west, and it was absurdly troublesome for a person who had arrived at Hartsina Sea of Trees first. Though it was still better since Hajime and the others possessed the means of high speed movement with the magic driven vehicles.
When Hajime puckered his eyebrows at the repulsiveness of the Liberators, and simultaneously with the magic formation’s light paling, a parallelepiped came out from the floor and approached. It seemed like a small altar. When thinking that the altar shone faintly, in the next moment the light took the shape of a human form. Somehow or other, it seemed to be a message left behind similarly with Oscar Orcus.
The human form clearly changed into an outline gradually, and it became a single woman. The girl who sat on the altar was wearing something like a white one piece dress that became loose, and she possessed fan shaped ears and long, emerald green hair. It seemed that the Liberators’ one person Meiru Merujine was a woman who was related to the Sea Tribe.
She, the same as Oscar, told the truth of the Liberators after she introduced herself. She seemed to be a gentle woman, wearing a kind atmosphere even while carrying grief. Before long when she finished the same talk as what Oscar had reported, she spoke words at the end.
“……Please, do not cling to God. Do not rely on it. Do not get used to things that are given. Struggle for the sake of grabbing hold of and taking it. Decide by your own will, and advance ahead by your own feet. Any difficult problem, the answer is always within you. It is only within you. Do not be misled by the sweet answer that God deludes you with. Under free will for sure, there is happiness. To you, I am praying that a rain of happiness pours down on you.”
Finishing it so, Meiru Merujine vanished, becoming faint light again. Immediately afterward, a small magic formation shone as it appeared in the place where she had sat, and when the light settled down, a coin where the crest of Merujine was etched was placed there.
“The number of proofs is four, Hajime-san. With this, we are surely able to challenge the Sea of Trees Labyrinth too. I wonder how Father and the others are doing~?”
Shia was quick to think about her family and hometown that she really missed. However, because what came to mind was her father and the others going “Hyahha-!”, she dispersed that scene by shaking her head. As Hajime put away the coin of proof in the Treasure Warehouse, he recalled the Haulia going “Hyahaa-!” the same as Shia, and drove out the scene by shaking his head.
And, just as the proof was put away, the temple began rumbling. And then, the ocean water of the surroundings suddenly began to raise the water level.
“Uo!? Tch, forced expulsion, huh? Everyone, hold on!”
“Wahwah, it’s too unreasonable!”
“It’s like Raisen Great Labyrinth, no mooore~.”
“Water torture…… is being done.”
To the sea water that terrifically increased in force, Hajime and the others who did not even have time to take out and board the submarine were submerged in the blink of an eye. Right away, they were again individually no match for the draining, and everyone firmly grabbed on each others’ clothes and equipped a compressed oxygen cylinder in their mouths that was taken out from the Treasure Warehouse.
And then, immediately after that, the ceiling part opened like the shortcut of Guryuen Conflagration Mountain, and ocean water poured in with violent force. Hajime and the others also, flowing into the shaft, were blown away to the upper regions by the violent force like being pushed out in a water fountain from below.
Perhaps, though it might be the shortcut of Merujine Undersea Ruins, different from the Meiru Merujine with an atmosphere such as a kind onee-san being gentle, it was an absurdly violent shortcut. Furthermore, it was like compulsion. Unexpectedly, she might have been an extreme person.
Hajime and the others who were forced up finally noticed that overhead was a dead end. However, the moment they collided with it, the ceiling part slid again, and they were thrown out into the vast sea vigorously outside of the ruins. Hajime was convinced. Meiru Merujine was absolutely an extremely sketchy character contrary to her appearance.
Hajime and the others who were thrown out in the sea hurriedly took out the submarine from the Treasure Warehouse. And then, though they tried to board it from the hatch, that plan was obstructed. Mostly, because of an opponent they did not want to meet.
A semi-transparent tentacle passed before their eyes with terrific force, and the submarine was sent flying.
In the gaze that Hajime turned ahead, although it was a seemingly fairy-like modeling, making everything melt, it was the worst, brutal creature that regenerates infinitely - the huge clione. While grinding his teeth at the thing that appeared especially after the capture was finished, Hajime called out to Yue by invoking Telepathy.
The huge clione again shot a countless number of tentacles with a violent force like they were not resisted by the water. On the other hand, Yue froze the surrounding ocean water in a spherical shape by harmonizing in response to Hajime’s call, and formed a barrier of ice.
The barrier of ice was mightily blown away in the sea by the force of the tentacles that hit directly with Hajime and the others inside. Everyone was made to shake within the barrier at the violent impact.
[What should we do!? Goshujin-sama!]
To Tio who communicated by using the telepathy gem, Hajime answered.
[Everybody aim at the sea. We’ll be tortured to death underwater. I’ll buy us time!]
Hajime remotely manipulated the submarine by operating the ring type induction stone while saying so. From behind them, the submarine that should have been blown away and sunk plunged forward with extreme speed, and evaded the countless tentacles that came to attack while wrenching the hull. And then it shot a countless number of torpedoes from the bottom of the ship.
The number of torpedoes that could be shot all at once was twelve. If one thinks about it normally it would be plenty of destructive power. However, Hajime, judging that the situation would gradually get worse if he did not make a certain chance here, did not loosen his hand and shot all of the torpedoes consecutively that were loaded on the submarine. Making it navigate like making the hull slip sideways, he made a circle with the huge clione in the center. While implementing impossible movement if it was an ordinary ship, the number of torpedoes that were fired successively were 48 in general.
Those that rushed while drawing a line of bubbles brought violent destruction, directly hitting the huge clione without varying their aim.
Doou! Doou! Doou! Doou!
Such muted impact sounds reverberated, and the ocean water rose and swelled like it had expanded. From the sea, if one were to look above the huge clione, the sea level would instantaneously rise, and next they would have observed an enormous column of water spout.
Hajime and the others tried to surface by manipulating the water current immediately after all of the torpedoes exploded. However much it looked like a monster that even possessed regenerative power, it should have bought some time for a little while. However, the huge clione’s nonsensicalness seemed to have easily exceeded their predictions.
[Tsk… no good, I won’t make it!]
A semi-transparent jelly was drifting above Hajime and the others who were trying to surface while recovering the remote controlled submarine, and it became a clione of three meter size when it gathered and solidified in several blinks. And then, when it opened its large head with a “Gapa!”, it swallowed the barrier of ice as it was. Naturally, Hajime and the others were in the clione’s belly together with the barrier.
[Sheet, the regeneration is too fast!]
[It looked like it regenerated from a tentacle that was torn off!]
[This is bad, Hajime-san. The surroundings are full of jelly!]
Apparently, it was not just the tentacle that was torn off, the semi-transparent jelly seemed to have been distributed here and there by getting on the ocean current from the beginning.
[……Hajime. There is not much to maintain it! I can’t reinforce it because there is no ocean water in the belly!]
[Tch, everyone prepare for impact!]
Yue frantically resisted the barrier of ice melting with terrific force. Hajime, while strengthening its defensive power by cladding the barrier with Vajra, took out a large quantity of rockets and torpedoes from the Treasure Warehouse outside of the barrier, namely, in the belly of the clione.
Once more, the clione’s body exploded and scattered together with a thunderous roar. Because it began to melt even with Vajra in a short time, even Hajime and the others who bathed in the shock of the nearby explosion were grandly blown away, and the barrier of ice was also smashed.
They were thrown out into the sea. Hajime remotely controlled and moved the submarine in the sea as he caught Kaori and Shia who could not directly fight underwater.
However, this time the submarine was caught. One part of the huge clione had clung to the ship’s bottom before anyone was aware and opened a hole in it. In the gap where the cruising speed dropped as ocean water flowed into the interior of the ship, the surrounding semi-transparent jelly that had been scattered gathered in one go and wrapped up the submarine.
Furthermore, Hajime and the others noticed when they were surfacing that a large amount of semi-transparent jelly was expanding to cover overhead of them. Judging by the huge clione’s unusual recovery speed, it was not possible to break through in a halfhearted manner.
While spewing abusive language in his mind at his prided submarine being melted, Hajime called out to Yue with telepathy.
[Yue. I’ll rely on you for Spatial Piercing]
[……It will take forty seconds.]
[Hindrances will not be done. To escape from the sea, we have no choice but that.]
[N…… Leave it to me.]
Yue closed her eyes to concentrate and did not move. Kaori and Shia clung to her so that she did not get washed away by the current. The Spatial Piercing that Yue was attempting to use was one of the Space magics that was the Age of Gods magic acquired in Guryuen Conflagration Mountain. Making a hole in a point of two spaces, the space of the two spots were connected. In short, it was magic that made a warp gate. Still, because it hasn’t been long since it was learned, being used by Yue it will take that much time.
The tentacles that came attacking, Tio somehow mowed them down with a rapid fire of reduced version breath. However, since the breath’s magic power consumption is intense, and since the power and range fall considerably underwater, it was difficult to hit the tentacles because of the straight line attack and the annihilation power was weak. It will likely break through without being held for even several more seconds.
Hajime, taking out ores successively from the Treasure Warehouse, proceeded to continuously use Rensei, and like the barrier of ice that Yue formed not long ago, formed a physical barrier in the shape of a sphere.
[Goshujin-sama! It has already broken through!]
[I was able to do it, so everyone get in!]
The metallic barrier sufficient enough to take in five people was completed, and simultaneously with Tio getting into it last the hole was closed as it became a perfect metal sphere. Furthermore, that metal sphere was covered in red magical power. It was strengthened by Vajra. Tentatively, because gravity stones were also included, it would not keep sinking as well.
Immediately after that, the tentacles rushed the metal sphere, and began to wrap it up in one go.
The semi-transparent jelly that melts even magic power itself immediately destroyed and consumed the Vajra. And then, even the surface of the metal sphere was melted in a moment. However, when thinking that red sparks ran on the metal sphere, metal swelled from the melted edges, and the protective wall was just barely maintained.
That was because Hajime continued to constantly use Rensei from within. Fortunately, there was a kind of ore that was contained within the Treasure Warehouse to a literally rotting degree. Repeated Rensei seriously as he opposed the rate of melting, and then, the moment he impatiently waited for finally came.
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Yue’s spatial transference magic was invoked. Within the metal sphere, a shining membrane of an elliptical shape was completed in the immediate vicinity of Hajime and the others. It was the gate that connected space.
[Everybody jump in!]
In accordance with the command of Hajime who continued to use Rensei by applying his hand to the metal sphere, everyone jumped into the gate all at once. Hajime also jumped in last. After Hajime passed through it, the gate immediately terminated, and several seconds later a countless number of tentacles pierced the metal sphere and melted it.
Hajime and the others who passed through the gate were attacked by a terrible floating sensation. It was because the movement done before was to the sky. To be separated from the sea even a little, Yue had established the exit one hundred meters in the sky.
Immediately Tio used Dragonification and floated as she placed Hajime and the others on her back. On Tio’s back Yue started to crumble down, and Kaori and Shia supported her from the sides. It was a state of magical power completely drying up. Hurriedly, she replenished it taking out magical power from the magic crystal stones.
“Yue, you saved us. As expected of you. Space transference is proportionate in difficulty.”
“……Haa haa, n. I did my best. But, it’s still not a level for combat.”
As Yue said, the handling of Space magic was difficult to the extent that it could not be compared with Gravity magic, and in the view of Yue it was still not at a level where it could be used in actual fighting. Much time is taken to construct the magic formation image by means of Imagination Composition, and the magical power efficiency is also still bad, as even though they made a spatial transition of one hundred meters, it was to an extent that it consumed magical power of two times that of superlative magic.
Nevertheless, because of Yue being skilled she was able to attain it and put it to use in a short period, and their escape was able to be done. Admiration was sent freely from Kaori and the others too, and to a certain extent, Yue who blushed was embarrassed.
Though everyone loosened their faces at the situation, the next moment, their expressions became frozen.
Together with such a roaring sound, suddenly a huge tsunami swept down on them from the back of Hajime and the others. No, even calling it huge is presumptuous. Already there was a wall and the sky. The tsunami that seemed to easily exceed five hundred meters in height came to attack while raising wave crests in the distant sky where Tio flew about one hundred meters high in the sky. And the diameter seemed to be about one kilometer.
Tio recovered herself at Hajime’s shout, and accelerated in one go as she fluttered her wings. There was no escape anyway. Space transition would not be in time. If it was, there was nothing to think about but “To the other side”! She flew with a high speed that seemed to rival the time she escaped from Guryuen Conflagration Mountain.
“-Restraining Seal, Beyond Sage!”
Kaori produced a rope of light that connected everyone to prepare for when they would be swallowed, while at the same time she expanded high grade defensive magic together with Yue. Shia gave a warning the next instant as she widened her eyes when concentrating on something.
“Tio-san, be careful! That is inside the tsunami! Tentacles are coming!”
She seemed to have reported the scene that she saw with her characteristic magic Foresight’s derivation Future Assumption. Tio, without even confirming Shia’s words, twisted her body instantaneously. Right afterward, countless tentacles extended from the tsunami and pierced the space where Tio was until now immediately.
She was able to avoid them successfully. However, the difference with the tsunami had been shortened because of that reason. The tentacles that still came attacking, though Hajime intercepted and burned them to ashes with a flamethrower……
“Damn it! Everyone get together!”
Hajime who was on Tio’s back covered Yue, Shia, and Kaori like he was hugging them, and then, right after that, the huge tsunami that should even be called a natural disaster swallowed them.
Because there was the Beyond Sage of the pair of Yue and Kaori, though they did not receive the impact of the tsunami directly, even so they were unreasonably tossed around by the fierce torrent and were sent back into the sea.
One piece of the Beyond Sage was completely smashed, and the other piece was already cracked. Supposing if they had not expanded anything but one piece, then at about this time they might have gone to a watery grave. Hajime and the others who shook their heads at the shock from being thrown into the sea raised their faces as they made grim expressions again.
“How should I put it, the aimed at prey isn’t let go?”
The huge clione was already in front of Hajime and the others who were protected by Beyond Sage. Furthermore, that figure was becoming even larger, and had already exceeded twenty meters. Was it still insufficient? While gathering semi-transparent jelly from the surroundings, it continued to grow even larger.
“I-it can’t be…… Things like not dying, melting anything, and manipulating even the sea…… What should we do?”
“……Hajime-san. Can you give me a serious kiss? I want to do it with Hajime-san at least at the end.”
“……Fuu, Goshujin-sama. Me too, I desire a kiss at the end.”
Kaori darkened her expression in despair, and Shia pleaded to Hajime while floating a smile like she was embarrassed. Tio was also the same.
However, the girls who turned their gazes at Hajime shook their bodies with a “Biku”. Because, Hajime’s eye glittered with flames. The glint in his eye was sharp, carrying murderous intent of an insanely thick degree, and he was glaring at the clione that had become huge as he bared his teeth.
Hajime would not do something like giving up. There was not even a tiny bit of such a thought. What was in his head was: what should they do to kill the enemy before their eyes and how could they survive, it was only just that. Confronted with a formidable enemy of an impossible degree, if that was enough to give up, Hajime would not be standing in this place now. He surely would have perished in the abyss a long time ago.
And, understanding that, surely because they had escaped the verge of death in the abyss together, Yue also still frantically worked out her thoughts without carrying the likes of resignation at all.
At the eyes of Hajime that glittered, Kaori, Shia, and Tio, though they stiffened as they were and gazed at him with expressions that were engrossed for a little while like their hearts had been stolen, they regained their consciousness because the huge clione commenced its attack finally becoming a thirty meter class.
Panicking, Kaori formed Beyond Sage over again. Shia grasped for possibilities of victory with Future Assumption. Tio fired breath. In the girls’ eyes, there was no color of giving up anymore. The likes of a brave woman, if that was not a person who should be at Hajime’s side, it was because it was thought so.
Yue also, although she had not thought of a plan to to break the deadlock yet, for now she was going to crush both offense and defense for the sake of surviving.
Hajime did not do anything in particular, and just intently worked out his thoughts. In the given time that Yue and the others earned, he continued to search for a path to victory with high speed thoughts while invoking Lightspeed. He ordered himself to recall all of the information there was now. With terrific force within Hajime’s brain, the scenes until now flashed back.
And then, he remembered. He and the others had once gotten away from the huge clione. That changed into a question. “Although so much power exists, why did it overlook us once?” At that time, what differed with the present fight? ……That was…
“We’re not using fire much.”
Right, last time Tio and Yue grandly used magic of the fire system with reckless abandon. That time, the tentacles became ash, and should not have been used to regenerate.
Hajime found hope there. Though it was a guess without positive proof, probably, the regeneration of the clione was not infinite. The semi-transparent jelly that composed its body and appeared to be equal to infinite existed in mass quantities.
Also, it appeared likely that it was able to even create it on its own just by seeing the situation until now. Though, if it were annihilated in one go, it might need time to replace it. Therefore, last time because it replaced a large quantity of its annihilated body, it prioritized regeneration over pursuit, and Hajime and the others seemed to have been able to escape.
In that case, it was the same. It was fine if they could annihilate it faster that it could create or regenerate the semi-transparent jelly that composed the clione. However, this place was in the sea. It was sufficient to say that fire magic could not be used the most effectively as one might think. Though Tio’s breath is high temperature, it did not seem to be able to finish annihilating it. There was no method. There were no stored arms that could annihilate it. In that case……
“It’s just fine if I make it.”
Hajime, taking out torpedoes and ore successively from the Treasure Warehouse, began to produce something with terrific force for some reason.
“……Hajime? Did you think of something?”
“Yeah. To use fire in the sea there’s no choice but this. It should defeat it if it goes smoothly.”
“Hajime-kun, is that true!?”
“As expected of Hajime-san! I believed in you from the beginning!”
“……Shia, you, didn’t you solicit a kiss as you gave up in the beginning……? No, that aside, that’s our Goshujin-sama!”
“However, it will take time. You all, I’ll leave it to you.”
At Hajime who said so while smiling fearlessly as he lifted his lips, Kaori, Shia, and Tio immediately nodded their heads strongly, and even more, they confronted the huge clione increasing their concentration.
Hajime expanded his perception ability to the maximum using Lightspeed, and furthermore he demonstrated concentration power that exceeded the limit by using Limit Break at the same time too as he poured all of his power into the weapon creation.
One, though he completed another one, the mass production in one go does not go like the bullets whose degree of difficulty to create is extremely high. Nevertheless, when using them sporadically, the huge clione might finish regenerating or creating the semi-transparent jelly. The situation would gradually get worse if it became so. If he was going to do it in, he should do it in instantly. While wearing red magical power — the proof of Limit Break, Hajime’s frantic Rensei was repeated.
However, reality is heartless. As far as the huge clione is concerned in the sea was a place of its overwhelming advantage, and even with Yue and the others of the cheat group doing it, they did not seem able to rival it for long.
Though Yue, Kaori, Shia, and Tio were desperately standing firm with expressions that seemed strained, they did not seem to be able to hold out until the preparation was complete.
[Three minutes, the end at most, if there is three minutes!]
While invoking telepathy instinctively, Hajime shouted so. Finally, the huge clione whose fierce attacks they could not contain approached before their eyes, and swept down to swallow Hajime and the others as its head split with a Gapa!
Hajime reluctantly decided to fire even though it was only as much as he was able to now to try to survive this moment.
But, at that moment, neither Yue, Shia, Tio, nor Kaori either, it was a refined old man’s voice that responded to Hajime’s shout with telepathy.
[Yo, Ha-bou. Doesn’t it seem dangerous? Occhan will help you out.]
[-!? T-this voice, it can’t be, Li-san?]
[Yeah. Ha-bou’s friend, it’s Li-san.]
Yes, having appeared, the one who had been captured in Fyuren’s aquarium before, it was the human faced fish demon Lieman who Hajime called Li-san. Hajime, when he looked at the surroundings as he widened his eyes in surprise, suddenly a huge silver shadow rammed a hit into the huge clione’s body from the side. The huge clione that was in a posture of just being about to prey upon them as it opened its mouth was blown away as it received the perfect surprise attack, and was pushed away.
In that space, the human faced fish that was certainly remembered swam to the immediate vicinity of the Beyond Sage. At the abrupt situation, Yue and the others also were completely not able to follow. Seeing Lieman’s figure, Yue and Tio stared in wonder, Shia widened her eyes in surprise with “That time!”, and arriving at Kaori, she screamed with a “Hii!?”
[Was Shia jou-chan also in good health?]
“Fue!? Um, y-yes! I’m healthy.”
[That is splendid. Then, Ha-bou, what are you doing lazily? If you had three more minutes, would you be able to deal with the Akujiki somehow? If you have to do it, do it quickly. Do you not have so long?]
[Y-yeah. Although something wasn’t understood well, at any rate you saved us. Thank you, Li-san.]
Hajime moved the hand he had stopped at the sudden appearance of Lieman, and resumed the weapon creation in a hurry.
Meanwhile, the huge silver shadow, suicide attacking the huge clione, bought time doing an exchanging of attacks. Somehow or other, the silver shadow’s true identity seemed to be a group of fish. They were not even demons or the like and were just fish. Though they were just fish, tens of thousands, or, if the number equaled several hundreds of thousands, it seemed that even a monster opponent was able to be held off. Because they decreased in number by the staggering force, certainly, they did not seem able to keep it up for long.
Why was Lieman here? Shia, who was put out ahead forcibly as the representative because she seemed to be an acquaintance, asked that question.
[U-um, Li-san? Is that fine? Uh, what in the world is going on?]
[Hmph, it isn’t anything in particular. As I was properly hanging around this area, a telepathic communication was heard accompanied by a huge, familiar magical power. What I saw when I rushed over, wasn’t it Ha-bou being attacked by the Akujiki? Though there were a lot of questions, it was my friend’s crisis. It is the shame of a man to not do anything.]
“Uh, that group of fish…… is the Akujiki in it?”
[The Akujiki is that thing. Long ago, a monster that haunted the sea from ancient times… no, that fellow is a natural disaster. It could also be called an ancestor of demons. That crowd of fish is being guided by my ability. To our species that uses telepathy, the ability is possessed to manipulate the normal sea creatures to a certain extent.]
A surprising fact came to light. The human faced fish Lieman seemed to have been a fish user. The group of fish was almost destroyed in the timing that Lieman’s conversation ended, and the huge clione again attacked while opening its mouth as it went toward Hajime and the others.
However, the time that was earned by the noble sacrifice…… was precisely three minutes.
A group of larger than normal torpedoes were spread out in the surroundings of the Beyond Sage that enclosed Hajime and the others. The number was roughly 120. And, rings of the same number floated in the surroundings of Hajime who smiled fearlessly.
When Hajime activated the induction stone on hand, the group of torpedoes were shot all at once. 120 torpedoes rushed towards the huge clione that had opened its mouth at high speed while drawing a line of bubbles. However, only the torpedoes, because they would just scatter the body of the huge clione even if they exploded, there would not be substantial damage either and it seemed that it would immediately regenerate.
The huge clione attempted to intercept the group of torpedoes, sending out a large number of tentacles as it was upset at them becoming a hindrance to its meal, and everyone stared ahead wondering what they should do. Hajime who had exceeded the limit manipulated the torpedoes with the very limit of his concentration power and barely evaded them.
“Are you not going to avoid them? Then, I’ll let you eat to your heart’s content.”
Hajime’s mutter resounded. The huge clione that was previously the Akujiki, at the reason that it was able to melt anything, Hajime thought that might have been why it did not avoid the attack.
And then, the expectation was correct. The group of torpedoes that had finished dodging the barrage of tentacles directly hit and pierced into the huge clione’s whole body uniformly without it even showing an attitude of avoiding them.
However, an explosion did not happen. Buried in the huge clione’s body, although they were melting there was not an explosion of even one shot. The huge clione that had embedded the group of black torpedoes throughout its body was in a state like a flecked pattern was made as if poison had invaded the previous position.
Hajime, before the group of torpedoes completely melted, carried out the next move. He took out a massive quantity of black liquid into the empty space from the Treasure Warehouse. It was the tar that was made from liquified Flamme ore. To the inside of the surrounding floating rings, it was poured there like a waterfall.
Then at the same time, the whole body of the huge clione began to be stained black. As though, like water soaking into paper and changing its color all at once, the black liquid was encroaching on the semi-transparent, huge clione. The identity was the tar of liquefied Flamme ore that Hajime had poured into the surrounding rings.
These rings and the group of torpedoes, all of them were connected by a small gate. What passed through the inside of the ring jumped through space and arrived at the same ring used as an exit that had been built into the inside of the torpedoes. In other words, the torpedoes were not explosives, they were things to carry the rings, and at the same time, they were also a physical barrier of the rings while sending in the tar.
Naturally, though the tar itself was also melted, because of the total of 120 gates, the melting speed of the large quantity of tar that poured in without pause could not catch up to the encroachment of its whole body by the tar.
In an instant, the huge clione, though it tried to escape the encroachment by separating its body, Yue and the others did not allow it. The separation was thoroughly hindered with a barrier, freezing, and breath. Still, Yue’s gate was unable to be used because she was not able to open the gate on a pinpoint on a moving target yet. To be able to do it, two established points of space just had to be connected.
The huge clione, because it became serious, though it had been on the verge of finishing off Hajime and the others by a war potential with a volume of the maximum class done by gathering the semi-transparent jelly of the surroundings, now it had backfired. The tar that Hajime poured into it finished dyeing the huge clione black without leaving anything in the end.
Hajime, as he curved his mouth, he pierced the huge clione with fiery, glittering eyes. In his hand a tiny ember was being held.
“Burn in hellfire from inside of the body and die.”
The ember that was flicked by Hajime’s thumb, while drawing an arc, it hit directly like it was being inhaled in one of the tars that was pouring down. At that moment, a scorching heat of 3000 degrees Celsius surged and spread through the gate instantly.
Not long ago, it was dyed black, and the huge clione had tried to melt the tar inside its body with an atmosphere that it felt desperation somewhere, and this time, it had become dyed a scorching red. As Hajime said, from inside of its body, hellfire that was not able to be opposed did not allow even a moment of resistance, and its body was completely burned.
A large, crimson flower that bloomed in the sea finally appeared from inside the body of the huge clione accompanied by the coloring of a name called a mass of bubbles in the sea, and it was destroyed, frying even through the exterior. And then, the super high temperature flames raised a violent steam explosion as they evaporated the ocean water in an instant.
A terrific impact surged, and the distant sea burst open like a joke. In the sea that was also still raging, it was a state like a storm was called in. Inside the rough sea, Hajime and the others who let the impact go past them searched for the form of the huge clione beyond the barrier.
Though their gazes went around without negligence in the sea that was calming down moment by moment…… the form of the clione that was like a nightmare was nowhere to be seen. Hajime, though he carefully investigated using the magic eye stone and Farsight, as expected the huge clione’s traces were not reflected.
Hajime and the others were convinced. The monster of ancient times — the Akujiki subjugation had been completed here.
“Guh…… Somehow, is it over……?”
The rings that had floated in the surroundings scattered and sank as they lost their power, and the red magical power that covered Hajime’s body also quickly dispersed and vanished. At the same time, Hajime who staggered by the side effect of Limit Break went down on one knee inside the barrier of Beyond Sage, and distorted his expression from an intense headache because of overworking.
However, in his eyes that said “I killed it!”, great joy overflowed at having survived victoriously.
“……Hajime, are you alright?”
“Hajime-kun, I’ll heal you immediately!”
Yue immediately approached Hajime’s side and supported his body. Kaori also went to heal Hajime as she chanted recovery magic immediately. Shia and Tio also came to approach at the sides and embraced Hajime.
“You did it! Hajime-san!”
“As expected of Goshujin-sama…… you made a harsh killing scene. I felt chills.”
At Kaori’s healing, while feeling his headache lessen a little at a time, Hajime also loosened his cheeks at his companions that had gathered. While soaking in the reverberations of their victory, when it became peaceful, an old man’s voice who seemed to be a little displeased resounded.
[Yoo, Ha-bou. Please tell me if it’s going to explode. Didn’t you consider if I might die?]
[Ah, Li-san. Sorry. I thought about nothing but what I was killing.]
Apparently, Lieman seemed to have been completely blown away by the last explosion. Because he had used all of his power to kill the huge clione, his consciousness had not been turned toward Lieman. Moreover, the last explosion was not something Hajime had intended. For a bit, Hajime had also been surprised.
[Well, can it not be helped if it was to kill the Akujiki? Whatever was done, it was splendid.]
[If Li-san hadn’t come it would have been seriously terrible. Thank you.]
[You’re welcome. Well, I only stuck to my moral code. Don’t worry about it.]
[You’re an honorable man as usual. As expected of Li-san. I’m thankful too for the coincidence that you were here.]
[Ha-bou, coincidences that have accumulated, isn’t it already called inevitable? That Occhan was able to assist you was also inevitable, and that you survived like this is also an inevitability.]
Hajime loosened his mouth with a “hah” the same with the fish with the old man face that smiled broadly. At the two people who were communicating something to each other, the female formation in the background were discussing together with whispers.
“……What’s that? Aren’t they excessively communicating something with each other?”
“……Honorable man’s friendship?”
“Hajime-kun…… the friend that he was able to make in the other world is a Seama○? Even in Japan the appearance of him hitting it off with someone to that extent wasn’t seen!”
“There was such a feeling even before. Girls’ talk can’t help becoming boys’ talk if it’s a guy? Well, though the other party is an old man……”
From themselves, to the intimate atmosphere of Hajime and Lieman of a certain meaning, when Yue and the others turned complex expressions towards them without either trembling or bewilderment attached, the two people’s conversation also seemed to have just ended.
[Then, Occhan is already going. Ha-bou. Let us meet again if fate allows.]
[Yeah. Li-san also take care.]
With one mutual nod, Lieman turned back. However, when looking back as he advanced a little, he talked to Shia.
[Jou-chan. There seems to be many rivals, but do your best. When you are able to have children, let’s have them play with my children sometime. I will introduce my wife also. See you.]
When leaving only those words, without looking back this time, he disappeared into the ocean as he was.
Those that remained behind……
“””””You were married—!!?”””””
It was a grand tsukkomi of such a Hajime and company. Though he put on the airs of a wanderer, when thinking that he possessed a family, nothing but a normal useless old man was seen. For awhile, their tsukkomi echoed in the ocean.
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