Arifureta Chapter 434
Tortus Travel Journal ㊴ Demon King VS Abyss Lord, Fight-
Author’s Note: Sorry for the lateness! I had lots and lots of fun writing the lord that the chapter swelled up till around 9000 words (sweat)
「Papa, it’s okay nano! Everyone including Myuu don’t think that papa’s fight is embarrassing nano!」
「No, I’m totally embarrassed. It’s not something that you need to force yourself to watch.」
「No way , boss! How can such famous battle not be shown to everyone, that’s impossible! It was truly a fierce battle that would remain in history forever-」
「It was truly an embarrassing battle that will remain black history! Only Hauria can possibly describe that as a famous battle, you stupid idiot!」
「Rana-oneesan should zip your mouth for a bit! Papa……」
「It can’t be helped if papa really hate it no matter what. That’s why, Myuu will scold Yue-oneechan and baa-chan. That’s why, please?」
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「……It can’t be helped if Myuu said that. Besides……thinking carefully, it’s not healthy mentally for me that only my embarrassing past got revealed, so perhaps it’ll be better to get Endo here too as comrade♪……」
「That’s horrible reason nano! But, surely Endou himself will want nothing more if papa can be convinced with that nano!」
There was no doubt that Endou would definitely yell 「I got nothing but complaint instead!」 if he heard that, but Myuu’s careless proxy speaking resounded through. Myuu fundamentally always treated everyone with sincerity, but perhaps it was just his imagination, it felt like Myuu’s treatment to Endou alone was rough. Why was that?
In any case, Myuu was currently in the middle of persuading her papa. Was it a persuasion to get permission to replay the past of Demon King VS Abyss Lord? No, it was a persuasion for,
「ABABABABAH, HAHAHAJIMEMEMEME~~~~I’M SORRYYYYYYYYYY~~~~」
Releasing Yue from Hajime’s hug while his whole body was covered in “Lightning Clad” because she ignored his yell to stop and prioritized her mother-in-law,
The vivid crimson spark was turning Yue’s golden hair into bomber head style. Tio was watching jealously!
It was the firm action from Hajime who was usually completely pampering with Yue.
For Shuu and others, the deep abyss of the Abyss Lord was already a known factor from their sightseeing in the great dungeon of Raisen.
And so, they never even imagined that even his once in a lifetime confession could also possibly be done “coolly”, so they sported stupid looks on their faces seeing Hajime’s reaction. They thought that he was overreacting.
But for Hajime that wasn’t all. Shuu and others didn’t understand the meaning of putting a scratch on the demon king. His heart was pained from just recalling it. Just imagining of looking back at that memory again made him wanted to writhe in agony.
That was exactly why he firmly refused the past replay to be played but……
It seemed that Hajime was rethinking it with Myuu’s persuasion (?). Though the reason why he was changing his mind was something horrible like wanting someone else to accompany him to hell.
Karm looked troubled seeing Hajime like that. However, he resolutely asserted.
「Boss, a word. Your battle with Abyssgate was definitely a famous battle. The undeniable proof of that is our acceptance of him as the next chief candidate.」
「That’s a discrepancy in interpretation. From Endou’s perspective too.」
Hajime dispelled “Lightning Clad” even though he was saying that. Yue was held up so her legs were dangling down from the difference in height, but she was still vee~ry limp. Hajime showed no sign of putting her down. It seemed he had no intention of going as far as releasing his hug.
「……U-umm, Hajime? How about putting her down already?」
「Not for a while.」
「It’s embarrassing right?」
「Very much so!」
Hajime fixed his hold on Yue to make her sit on his arm like how he usually carried Myuu. He didn’t stop there. He was gently rocking her like a baby while also mixing pressuring and teasing like 「Yooshi Yoshi, Yue-chan is a good girl. You’re a good girl right? Be a good girl」.
Myuu was smiling warmly seeing that. Exactly like a big sister treating a small kid with tender care. It was the reversal of their usual positions.
The other people were also putting on the same warm expression.
Yue’s cheeks reddened. She twisted her body to try to get down, but Hajime dexterously moved his arm and shifted his center of gravity to prevent that. Even when she tried to teleport, Hajime immediately sensed it and sparked in warning.
「……Hajime, are you genuinely angry?」
Hajime’s gaze turned at Yue, then at his parents, and last at Kaori and others. Everyone twitched. He said nothing. But, everyone noticed. Ah, those eyes promised PUNISHMENT for later! They realized.
It would be just a small revenge like how he was spurring Yue’s embarrassment, but he would definitely do it if he said he was going to do it. He was a demon king after all.
And so everyone including Shuu and Sumire apologized 「We’re sorryyy!」 but……the demon king-sama was still smiling! It seemed the punishment’s enforcement was a settled matter.
「Well, what we’re going to watch after this is simply bad for my heart, so Yue is here also for my mind stabilizer. Just let me hug you obediently.」
As expected, it seemed Yue had the self-awareness that she had gone too far, so she stopped resisting.
Actually, security personnel led by Head Warrior Gil were deployed around this clearing. It was to stop a part of the fanatic fans who couldn’t hold back from disturbing the sightseeing of Hajime and co.
They were within sight, so even the people of Fea Bergen were looking with widened eyes at Yue who was being held up like a baby. It was unnecessarily embarrassing. Yue went red until her ears while shrinking into herself. She looked adorable like that and even Gil and others were gradually brightening seeing that.
「W-we’re also going to get punished like that?」
「For me, if it’s a punishment then just bringst it on instead!」
「Tio-san, if it’s Hajime-san then I think his punishment to you will also take that into consideration so it will become an actual punishment.」
「I-is this too one of the 108 Harassments Demon King-style?」
「M-my my……how can I let myself to be carried away by the atmosphere like that……perhaps I too have been getting high spirited from the trip?」
Aiko was trembling. Remia’s “my my” face was twitching.
Hajime would most likely just laugh 「HAHA-」 and wouldn’t tell them anything even if they asked him when and what kind of punishment he would give them. There was nothing more terrifying than a punishment that they didn’t know what kind it was and when it would come. Shuu and Sumire were already making calm expressions as though they had resolved themselves to head to a hellish battlefield.
「And so, Kaori.」
「If we’re going to do this anyway, how about replaying the past starting from when Endou returned? You know, everyone has known that he confessed to Rana, but Kaa-san and others don’t know the sequence of events right? Really, suddenly posing “coolly” midair and then confessing……starting the replay from that point just feel incomplete.」
「Aa~, that’s certainly true.」
「Boss, as expected from you! How stupid of me, I got a bit hasty there! Kyaah, so embarrassing-」
「Boss, is it alright if we kill la kill big sis Rana now? It’s fine right? Let’s do it-」
The females of Hauria with Nea-chan at the forefront looked like they were going to explode anytime from how the veins on their foreheads pulsed. While Aiko was busy casting “Soul Repose” on them, Kaori went back further in time and replayed the past.
Inside the past replay, there was Hajime working with “Transmutation” in the clearing. It seemed he was remaking the artifacts that he lost in the final battle just in case. Yue and others were around him and there were also the classmates.
It seemed that the time was around noon. Shia and other Haurias together with the people of Fea Bergen were bringing lunch to the clearing.
「Hajime was creating the artifact for returning to earth at this time wasn’t he?」
「I wonder what were the other children doing……」
Shuu and Sumire asked with wondering looks.
「No, at that period we were stockpiling the magic power needed for going home into the God Crystal I created. We also decided not to waste magic power, so there were little that we could do.」
「We helped a lot with the reconstruction though……like coming and going to help Lily using a gate.」
「Indeed. After all the capital was annihilated……we did things like removing the rubbles of the god mountain.」
「Other than that, we asked all the students to act as emissary in order to adjust the talk between countries. I also got requested by the church to visit a lot of places as the goddess of harvest.」
It was just as Kaori, Shizuku, and Aiko said. Everyone in the class were basically spending their time helping with the rebuilding.
Though some, or rather Shinji and Yoshiki were busy with hitting on girls. They put their title as one of the students who saved the world to help with their appeal.
The fact that spring hadn’t visited the two of them even at present told the sad reality.
「Even so, we were mostly taking it easy in this capital.」
「We had just gotten through that kind of battle alive, so it can’t be helped that everyone wanted to just relax.」
「That was a part of it, but mostly, wasn’t it because everyone didn’t want to get too far away from Hajime-san?」
Tio and Shia smiled wryly. Remia touched her cheek with her finger while recalling the past. Tomoichi nodded in understanding.
「I can understand them. Hajime-kun was the only one in the possession of the method to return home. He was also their strongest leader. No wonder they found it difficult to get too far away from him.」
「Even though they managed to survive the final battle, no, that’s exactly why it felt scary for them to part from Hajime-kun.」
「Rather, Aiko. I’m amazed that you and the other children could still help with the rebuilding even with that.」
Akiko spoke in astonishment but also praise in her gaze.
「I’m an adult after all, and also a teacher……but, I think that the students has really become strong.」
Aiko acted humbly while also nodding with a blush.
Inside the past replay, the students were starting to eat lunch while being really close to each other. Sumire and Shuu squinted their eyes watching that.
Actually almost all the students didn’t leave their classroom even when it was lunch break──in other words it might be that they couldn’t leave Hajime. Rather than a warm scene, they couldn’t help but think that there was a trauma mixed in their behavior of not wanting to leave the absolute safety sphere.
Although, one of them had the atmosphere of someone with a different objective.
「Oh! That’s Yuuka-chan isn’t it? That girl, isn’t she being conscious of Hajime?」
「Oh? You’re right. That’s a lot of glances she’s sending him.」
It seemed that Yuuka was also entering the kitchen. She was a good cook who boasted equal or even superior ability in reproducing western cooking with Tortus ingredients. It seemed that this time too she was making just one dish.
It seemed that her cooking was also well accepted among the classmates, but she looked absentminded even when she got praised. Taeko and Nana were looking at her from her sides while grinning.
『Really Yuka, if you’re that curious then you just need to ask for his comment.』
『Yuuka-chi you good for nothing! Oo~~ii! Nagumo-chi! How’s the taste of Yuuka-chi’s special omelet!』
『Wait, what’re you doing! I’m not curious or anything!』
She got bright red and flustered. Her plate got knocked over from her overreaction but, she splendidly caught it with her innate juggling ability──
『It’s damn tasty』
And it slipped her hand. She was obviously being shaken from the curt but obviously genuine impression from Hajime who was focusing on stuffing his cheeks.
With a fine play, Nana slipped her own plate and somehow prevented at least the food from hitting the ground. As that happened,
『I-I dropped it! I’ll make one more!』
『Ah, wait, Yuuka-chi! It didn’t hit the ground you knowww~~~!』
Yuuka dashed away. The classmates were grinning, while Shinji and Yoshiki were looking like they had swallowed a lump of sugar even though they had been enjoying the omelet greatly before that.
That was the trigger.
『Sonobe got it really hard huh.』
『I wonder how it will turn out for her.』
Juugo and Kentarou were talking with each other in amusement, and then Kentarou suddenly spoke out.
『Come to think of it, how about you? Rana-san was it? You’re trying really hard to appeal to her right──Kousuke?』
No reply came back.
Kentarou-kun froze still from his casual question and the nonexistent reply. Juugo-kun also looked like he suddenly remembered something. His spoon stopped just shy from entering his mouth.
The two of them looked around restlessly.
Not here. They couldn’t see him anywhere.
They tried looking under the table. They also checked the trees around them. Perhaps he was lying on the ground, or perhaps he got stuck in branches, or perhaps he was hiding behind someone’s back……
『He isn’t here.』
『Yeah, not here.』
Kentarou and Juugo looked at each other. And then, they desperately wracked their brain as though they were used to it.
『When was the last time we saw him?』
『……Aa~, I think……err……it was after he tried approaching Rana-san for who knew how many times, he discussed the result with us……so……』
『Wasn’t that, around one week ago?』
『Further……than that I guess.』
Kentarou and Juugo looked at each other again. *Drip~* Cold sweat trickled down. Eeeh? We haven’t seen Kousuke for one week? They thought.
Seeing that past replay,
Shuu, Sumire, Tomoichi, Kaoruko, and Akiko looked like they were going to cry while covering their mouth with their hands. Even his closest friends didn’t nothing that he had been gone for one week!
「What a terrific hiding ability. No, it should be called a dilution of existence instead.」
「……If only we have such talent in our hands」
「Now now, Yaegashi-dono. Please remember that Abyssgate is Hauria’s successor.」
「Even before that, he is Hajime-kun’s right-hand man isn’t he? He got his hand on a great agent.」
The evaluation from the (un)ordinary people was extremely favorable.
「Fufu, my Kou-kun is really popular!」
「Keh, you can go to hell. Get dumped when you’re at the peak of your happiness and then live in sorrow.」
Mina-san’s peevishness was accelerating. No, the rabbits who were frustrated from the lack of contact with their boss were all in the same state.
Also, while Hajime and others were watching with very conflicted look, Kentarou and Juugo set out to investigate.
They asked their fellow party members Ayako and Mao who were nearby in a bit of panic, but they didn’t have any idea. And so they went to ask Rana directly but,
『Who knows. Fuh, it seems he was scared off by the path of hellfire that I’m walking on……he got cold feet……』
At first she answered “coolly” while looking really displeased, however, Rana-san spoke with a bit of loneliness at the end. It seemed that Kousuke’s daily fierce appeal to her had completely died down and she hadn’t seen him for a week.
『Aa~a, that’s really horrible of you Rana~! Even though a younger boy did his best to convey his feeling to you~♪ You hurt him like thaaat~!』
Mina-san poked Rana’s cheek while cackling kekekeh nastily.
『S-shut up you! Why’re you looking that happy huh!』
『Frankly seeing you so popular made me jealous. It made me feel good seeing him having enough of you already!』
『You-, this nasty rabbittt!』
To be frank, Rana’s attitude of looking not that displeased even while saying things like 『Geez, it’s troubling how he keep persistently appealing at me even though I don’t harbor any feeling like that for him~, aah how troublesomeee~♪』 had made all women of Hauria to think 『annoying bitch』, so it seemed all of them were feeling the same like Mina.
There was a lot of grinning with different connotation from what was directed to Yuuka before this. Those were all malicious smiles that seemed to be thinking that the unhappiness of their family was sweet like honey.
Kentarou and Juugo nodded to each other, and then, they raised their voice.
『『Ai-chan-senseiii! Kousuke is gone-!!』』
Inside the past replay, Aiko’s shoulders trembled from being taken aback.
After that she performed an emergency roll-call, but as expected there wasn’t anybody who had seen Kousuke for one week.
『I don’t think that there’s anyone who’ll do him in at this point though……』
『Got it got it. I’ll contact everyone and search him with human wave tactic. Sheesh, even though we can’t use magic power pointlessly right now, just where’s that guy scampering off to.』
Even though he was grumbling like that, Hajime moved to contact the leaders of various organizations like Alfrerick and the like. Kentarou sighed in relief seeing that. Even the top brass of each country would move if it was a request from the demon king. They would be able to search far and wide.
But there, perhaps feeling ashamed that the search was taking so much effort, Rana took a step forward while her eyes were darting around anywhere but forward.
『B-boss! I don’t think I might not have no idea not of where he went!』
『Which one it is huh.』
Everyone’s gaze turned toward Rana. Everyone was suspicious of how shady she was clearly acting.
Hajime only said 『Speak』 with a suspecting gaze, so Rana spoke while making a twitching smile to play innocent.
『T-this is just a maybe but, no, perhaps actually the possibility that I’m wrong is bigger. Yes, as expected, there’s no way such stupid thing can happen……I think, but』
『Spit it out already.』
『Uh………………………………he might go to, conquer great dungeon Raisen. Yes.』
What she said was just 『Haa?』. What need was there to risk one’s life diving into a dangerous place like that after finally surviving the final battle.
『What do you mean?』
『No, it’s possible that it’s another great dungeon buut, that’s the nearest great dungeon……there’s also a town nearby with a gate set up there so……』
『I’m not asking you that. I’m asking you why that guy is doing something that reckless at this point.』
Rana’s eyes kept avoiding Hajime’s eyes quickly like a tuna already.
But, there wasn’t any need to interrogate her until she told the answer. Regardless of the circumstance, what needed to be done first was 『Should I go take a look there?』, Shia suggested as someone who was used to explore great dungeon Raisen. But right after that.
『I, I finally return……back-』
The person himself returned. He must have used the gate at the capital and walked until this clearing. He was leaning on a tree near the entrance while breathing hard.
Everyone was surprised by the way he looked. He was covered with wounds all over. His clothing was completely worn out and torn here and there. There were also bloods oozing on some places. And most of all, it was clear to everyone how mentally tired he was.
But, his gaze was strong. There was a saying to take a careful look at a boy after not meeting them for three days. There was a dreadfulness from Kousuke now, as though he had shed off his surface layer. Although signs of nervousness could be felt from his appearance, his lips were sporting a fearless smile.
『D-don’t tell me……』
That muttering came from Rana. She was covering her mouth with both hands and her eyes widened in surprise.
Kousuke squinted his eyes lovingly toward that Rana. But, that too only happened for a brief moment.
Right after that, he stopped leaning on the tree and stepped firmly on the ground with both his legs while walking forward. He did that while glaring straight at Hajime.
And then, he took a deep breath and pointed sharply toward Hajime whose eyes widened in surprise.
『Demon king Nagumo Hajime-. Fight me!』
The words that surged out from his mouth were filled with fighting spirit could pierce even the heaven.
It was an unforeseen declaration of war toward the demon king. Naturally the classmates panicked!
『Kousukeee, return to your sensesss! Don’t commit suicideee!』
『Shirasaki-san-, Ayakoo, anyoneeee! Healing magic, quick-. Especially his head please!』
『Hajime-kun, don’t be hasty-. Endou-kun is, umm, he’s just a bit tired! His mind that is-』
Juugo, Kentarou, and then Aiko screamed. In addition, Kouki, Ryutarou, and then Suzu got in between Hajime and Kousuke with grim expressions!
『N=Nagumooo! If you’re going to kill Endou……you got to kill me first-』
『We’re going to buy time somehow-. So get that idiot back to his senses quickly!』
『Eri……I’m, going there now……』
『You guys, just what kind of person do you think I am.』
The place fell into panic like it was a scene from giant monster movie. However Kousuke ignored it all.
He yelled everything that he felt, which also revealed the talk that Rana said with ve~ry light feeling.
『Rana-san-. I love you! The condition you presented──that you might think about it if I can put a scratch on the boss, I believe in it! I’ll put a clear and undeniable scratch on Nagumo, right in front of you-!!!』
『Ah, wait, that’s-』
Rana was flustered. Everyone’s gaze moved toward her. And then in unison.
『『『『『So it’s Hauria again-!!!』』』』』
What, so he still hasn’t got fed up with her……the Haurias were feeling disappointed, even so they were grinning because with this one top contender for boss’s affection would drop out with this. Everyone couldn’t say anything when they saw that.
Also, Rana’s cheeks were blushing even though she was drenched in cold sweat. She was fidgeting. When she stuck her tongue and went 『Tehe☆Pero♪』 at the end to play stupid, there was no more words. Everyone could only think These guys are nothing but trouble!
「I seee. With that Kousuke-kun entered combat mode and made that “cool” war declaration before this.」
「Thank god. He also managed to confess his feeling in his normal state and not just in that painful──I mean, that slightly joke confession.」
「That’s pretty straightforward of him. Really Kousuke-kun, he is showing off his manliness.」
Sumire, Kaoruko, and Kirino seemed to hold favorable impression for Kousuke.
Ahead of their gazes, there was Kousuke crossing his arms with stylish movements, made a turn on the spot that looked excessively stylish, then he swung his hand before putting it under his face that was tilting slightly diagonally, and then smirked with a huff fuh.
It made them wanted to retract their statements.
「I have a lot of things I want to say about that but……still, Rana-san, that’s really lovely. To receive that kind of confession from a younger man, as expected it must make you very happy right? Auntie’s heart is beating fast just from watching it.」
Rana’s face became that of a lovesick maiden 「Ehe, ehehe. Well, he didn’t change no matter how cruel I was to him after all, fuheh」 from hearing Akiko’s comment. A spit was spat at the ground near her feet. Who was it? Must be Hauria.
『The vortex of abyss that is dyed blacker than black. The jet black blade that came from the depth of darkness is the proof of sin that tear apart even embrace of mother earth. However, it shall grant mine body freedom for a time-!!』
It was the activation of gravity magic. With that Kousuke started to float. Everyone was shocked from seeing the proof of conquering a dungeon.
Hajime was also surprised. Eh? Incantation that long is needed just to float? I don’t know any kind of chant like that as far as I remember though? He looked at Yue with that kind of surprise.
The past Yue-san shook her head. I don’t know any chant like that! She said. Or rather, from the flow of magic power, ninety percent of that chant is pointless! She continued.
Kousuke kept his “cool” pose while floating like a stage actor being lifted with wire. He then finally introduced himself.
I’m actually a Cancer but I want to introduce myself as Virgo just this once, Kousuke E Abyssgate! He yelled.
Hajime too couldn’t help but get irritated because of that quote that came from a respected character of his. He reflexively fought back.
With the activation of gravity magic “Black Vortex” for floating midair, the tree leaves that were scattered on the ground also got blown up and the lord used them as foothold to run midair. Hajime mercilessly fired at him.
Of course, he had finished changing his bullets to nonlethal rubber bullets. He also didn’t use electromagnetic acceleration. However, he was only targeting vital spots like forehead, heart, solar plexus, and crotch, all at the same time.
『Too naïve, demon king!!』
Everyone thought that the battle would end instantly, but the opponent was a conqueror of great dungeon despite appearance. The lord shifted his body while moving the “Black Vortex” that hadn’t been dispelled to the side. With that he diverted the bullets.
Without pause he threw the knife if his hand──the Azantium knife obtained from the last trial room of great dungeon Raisen. In addition,
『Know that underestimating the abyss shall lead you to being swallowed by that abyss! ──”The Darkness of the Depth of Abyss”!!』
『No, how many times are you going to say “abyss” huh! Or rather you, just what’s going on with you!?』
At that time Hajime didn’t know about Kousuke’s unique “Limit Break”──”Abyss Lord”. Because of that he was puzzled by the incomprehensible situation of a classmate suddenly acting like chuuni and attacking him at the end. That bewildered him too.
Perhaps the opening created from that bewilderment was actually the abyss lord’s true aim.
The Darkness of The Depth~, after such headache inducing chanting, what came out was a blinding flash. Yes, a flash came out from chanting about darkness.
Of course, Hajime wouldn’t possibly falter just from that kind of smoke screen. However, Kousuke was clearly behaving oddly so he shot through the “core” that formed the magic and dispersed it with wariness.
In that moment, a chill ran through Hajime’s back. It was an instinctual danger sense that he had never felt since the final battle. The warning from the sixth sense that he obtained through countless battle experiences made his body reacted almost unconsciously.
Hajime kicked on a foothold made from “Air Force” and twisted his body. Then a short sword passed through the space that he had just occupied. It was a hair’s breadth away from grazing his chest.
『Teleportation!? No, a body made from magic power? So it’s clone!』
『A correct answer-, o demon king! Have your fill of mine abyss’s exquisite skill to your heart’s content!!』
『Your way of speaking, seriously just what’s wrong with you!? It’s itchy! Mentally!!』
『HAAHA-HA-HA-! Stimulating isn’t it!? I’m glad to know that it pleases you!』
『Did you get a screw loose from how painful Raisen was!?』
『I’m in perfect form actually! My eyes have been opened toward mine abyss! I am the apostle of the abyss, Abyssgate!』
『I don’t get it! This is the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced since coming out of hell-』
『Kuhah. It’s an honor to be the number one! Now, how about we dance, demon king! For the sake of mine beloved! Mine courting dance can only be complete for the first time when you get serious!!』
『I don’t get it just as I thought! Or rather, stop with the “cool” actions already!!』
A bullet shot through the clone even while such conversation was going on. However, the second boy immediately attacked from the opposite side. In addition the main body fired magic.
Even when Hajime fired at the main body, the gravity sphere that constantly revolved around the body would divert the bullet. It didn’t stop there, it would also try to unbalance Hajime when there was an opening.
From appearance it was an offense and defense that kept going back and forth. Certainly, it was a fight that was quite worth watching.
As expected, their base strength was different. Kousuke’s attack didn’t land at all even with the help of gravity magic that he was desperately using.
He was attacking with quantity that was like a surging waves by creating clones no matter how many times they were erased, but they were being handled with only martial arts and Donner & Schlag that were only using rubber bullets without even the railgun function.
Even when the lord aimed at the opening when Hajime reloaded, Hajime had mastered the midair gun spin reload to the extreme that there wasn’t any more opening in it.
Conversely speaking, it was already praiseworthy that he managed to put up a fight against the demon king as the opponent but……
Before she realized it, Rana had been putting her hands together in front of her chest as though she was praying, while the classmates were watching raptly with admiring ooh and aah. But a single bullet finally landed on the lord’s stomach.
The lord got vomited air and fell on the ground. He somehow managed to soften his landing, but he couldn’t stand up immediately from the pain and impact. His one knee kept touching the ground while he could only glare at Hajime who came down from midair.
『Hey, Endou. Putting aside why your behavior is crazy like this, I’ve guessed your circumstance. It’s because Rana gave you some kind of savage terms if you want to go out with her, right? 』
『……Fuh, as expected from the demon king. I won’t have any qualification to be her special someone unless I manage to put on a scratch on your mighty self.』
So it’s really because of you……, Hajime glared at Rana. However, Rana’s gaze was fixed solely at the crouching lord. That fact made Hajime went 『Oh?』 as though he was seeing something amusing.
The feelings of the two sides were already clear to see. After all just conquering a great dungeon was already an astounding achievement.
Even Kentarou and others who were watching the fight were looking at Kousuke with respect for the guts and the grand result he produced.
That was why, Hajime offered a helping hand even while smiling wryly.
『Oi, Rana. This should be enough already isn’t it? You now know just how serious Endou is right?』
『The answer depend solely on you but, at least his feeling is already──』
『I shall have you shut up there, Nagumo Hajime.』
That voice was filled with more than enough pressure for Hajime to swallow back his words.
Everyone’s eyes unconsciously got sucked in. From the start he must have already completely exhausted both physically and mentally. His body was already starting to tremble just from the short battle just now.
But, even so his standing figure was far away from looking frail. Rather, his spirit kept stronger as each second passed.
『She told me. Conquering a great dungeon, and putting a scratch on you. This one accepted those conditions.』
『And then, this one made an oath. That this one shall definitely accomplish them. That it would be none other than the demonstration of the truth of this one’s feeling.』
He pulled out another two of his few remaining Raisen knives and gripped them tightly in a fighting posture.
The action showed his determination to continue the duel more eloquently than anything else.
『There shall not be any amend to a man’s oath-!!』
That war cry was Endou Kousuke’s stubbornness.
It was the stubbornness of a man that declared to the woman he was in love with in front of the man who she was devoted to, that he would definitely make her feeling became directed to him.
Rana’s face exploded deep red from the serious feeling. The same also happened with the present Rana. Yue and others were also going 『Oo~』 in admiration from watching something amazing.
And then, that oath that came from a man sticking on his pride had certainly reached even the demon king.
Hajime’s expression changed. He tapped Donner on his shoulder *tap tap* while sighing.
『……I see. Well, right. My bad. I underestimated you.』
He apologized. Thecylinders of Donner & Schlag were opened. The rubber bullets flew out. In exchange, the normal bullets were reloaded. On top of that crimson sparks were starting to spread through the two guns.
『Everyone, get out from the clearing. Yue, put up a barrier around us. Kaori, make the preparation for resurrection.』
『R-resurrection? But……no, I understand.』
Yue immediately nodded. Kaori was bewildered, even so she nodded after looking at Kousuke’s expression and Rana’s expression that was a mix of hope and anxiety.
Shia put her hand on Rana’s back with a face that looked delighted somehow. She urged her to move to the outer side.
Rana turned around on the way. She searched for words to say, but she couldn’t find any and called out to Kousuke falteringly. But,
『There’s no need for words. Simply watch from there. If it’s a conclusion made from watching this to the end, then no matter what kind of answer you give me──I’ll accept it.』
Rana stared at Kousuke’s back for a while. And then her gaze turned strong as though she had made some kind of resolve and wordlessly turned around.
The two were completely inside their own world, so as expected even Mina and others couldn’t butt in at all. Rather, they were sending supportive gazes to Kousuke just for this time.
Hajime and Kousuke faced each other in the clearing that had been cleared out from people.
『I think you get it but, I won’t show anything unsightly in front of Yue and others. If you say that you’re going to challenge me seriously──then I’ll seriously crush you.』
The godslaying demon king, was radiating serious fighting spirit. The intense aura would make ordinary person faint while foaming from the mouth. However, the lord grinned fearlessly in front of that pressure even while sweating rivers.
『Kuku-. That’s how it has to be, demon king. As this one thought, you and this one are connected with the red string of destiny. That’s right, this battle is already fated to occur!』
『Stop quoting Graha*-san here you idiot! You said that you’re serious!』
『Of course, this one seriously borrowed that quote and said it with the seriousness it deserves!』
『I already want to hate you even before we start!』
『On the contrary this one──wish to embrace you strongly, demon king! A thousand gratitude for accepting this challenge-』
『Dammit! You became completely the same like damn Haurias!』
It was an exchange of words that prevented the atmosphere from becoming completely serious. But, the first move made in the second round was far fiercer.
『Go die once!』
『Be swallowed by darkness, demon king! ──”Black Sky Destitution”!!』
It was a sure kill exchange right from the start that would require resurrection later.
The railgun aimed at the lord mercilessly. The lord seemed to have predicted that and leaped to the side before the trigger was pulled to dodge.
Hajime himself couldn’t continue pursuing because multiple clones that had actually been scattered at the surrounding were activating the lord’s trump card, so he retreated with all his strength.
『Oi oi oi oi-, we don’t know if resurrection will still work if the body doesn’t hold its original shape you know! You’re seriously going for the kill huh, oi!』
Fortunately, the lord was still inexperienced in handling gravity magic, so his trump card of creating black hole only resulted in something small with diameter of one meter at best.
And so Hajime somehow escaped from the range of the pulling force, but he couldn’t help from sweating nervously due to knowing just how brutal the magic was.
『You won’t be called as the godslaying devil king if you can be killed just from this!』
It was expected for the attack to be dodged. However, you can’t avoid from getting slowed down by the pulling force! Clone attacked as though to said that. Furthermore the clone was in different level from before.
『Haa!? How many of this you can make!?』
『I should have told you. I have awakened to the abyss! Something like limit doesn’t exist for the abyss!』
『No, even if you explain that like it’s a common sense it’s still nonsense!』
*Creep creep creep creep creep creep creep creep creep creep* Clones flooded out from between the trees. Their number had surpassed a hundred in the blink of eye.
It was truly the violence of number. It seemed that he used the trump card “Black Sky Destitution” as bait while planning to crush him with number like this.
Hajime couldn’t hold back and made his Treasure Warehouse shined. Seven Cross Bits appeared from midair.
『Even though I had just remade it, its turn already come.』
He smiled wryly while massacring all the approaching clones.
They swarmed him and got blown away, rinse and repeat.
The scene looked exactly like one scene in the Matri* movie. Coupled with the black outfit, it was like the battle between the hero and Agent Smi*h.
『W-what’s that magic? Even I didst not know about it.』
『……Nn. I also don’t know. Is that, really human?』
『Ahaha……Rana-san, could it be that you got liked by someone outrageous?』
『Amazing……holding on that far with boss as the opponent……he has gotten even stronger since the final battle……』
『Waa, I can see hearts inside Rana-san’s eyes. But for me, this remind me of the trauma from the great tree’s dungeon though……』
『Stop that Kaori! Endou-kun look like black sesames now! Don’t make me remember!』
『Shizushizu, black sesame……that doesn’t hide what you’re thinking at all.』
『Hey, Kouki. Could it be, that Endou is stronger than you?』
『……Just what is hero……aa, I see. Just some guy who looks strong from the title, I guess? Yeah, in that case it really suit me. Hehe……』
Kouki looked like he was going to fall into darkness, but nobody bothered with him. More importantly, nobody could take off their eyes from the battle.
Crimson magic power finally burst out from Hajime’s body. He activated “Limit Break”. He hadn’t remade many of his artifacts, so it seemed he chose to end the match with base strength.
He was reloading and shooting with speed that left behind afterimages, and he even started to add space skipping attacks from multiple angles using the chakrams Orestes. He was also using rocket & missile launcher “Agni Orkan” and also Cross Bits in full.
Explosion and shockwave raged like a storm. The surrounding area would become wasteland without the barrier.
『……The clones doesn’t just have number. Their specs are also increasing. Tsu, I see. That’s also “Limit Break” huh. So you were awakened to special derivative version of it.』
『Haha-, as expected from your magnificence! Yes, Abyss Lord is a special derivative version of Limit Break that increased the user’s specs as time passed! It has no secondary effect that weaken you in exchange of needing time to increase, truly it’s the power of abyss!!』
『I don’t know which part of it is abyss though!?』
『……Yeah, isn’t that right. “Effect: In the middle of gruesome battle, the abyss lord came from the depth of darkness that is even blacker than dark. Now, o veil of darkness, o the departed dark one, take the power of the abyss! That is the infinite power of the unreal……” you can’t understand even if something like that is written on the status plate isn’t it?』
『Don’t suddenly go back to normal, you’re a hectic guy aren’t ya.』
Although, Hajime laughed.
『Looks like you’re still not used to using it huh? Your movement is simple. ──I can see it.』
A crimson flash slipped through a gap of the countless clones.
At the same time an agonized voice echoed from the lord. Hajime saw through the real one among the astonishingly countless clones and shot only that one. Even the lord’s expression was twitching from witnessing such technique.
The side of his stomach was gouged out and fresh blood splattered. The audiences screamed.
『Guh, so I still can’t reach him even after using this number! Even though I hurried back here before he could finish building all his artifacts!』
『You might succeed if only you get a bit better in using the gravity magic.』
『Fuh, so I was too impatient. As expected, you’re truly a terrifying personage.』
『If this is the best that you can do, then you don’t have any chance in hell to win but……what now? Or rather, seeing your “cool” attitude is painful so, I want to end this already.』
『You’re telling me to surrender? That’s an offer that I can’t accept!!』
The abyss lord roared and descended on Hajime like an avalanche even further, but Hajime too activated “Supreme Break”. He fought without holding anything back in order to respond to the lord’s strenuous effort.
Therefore, the lord’s blade didn’t manage to reach him.
Finally all the clones were blown away and stopped reviving.
A Cross Bit managed to occupy the space above him and fired a burst bullet that was enchanted with magic power shockwave.
Yue and others were taken aback that Rana’s scream already got pet name attached.
The lord fell on the ground while smeared with blood all over. Even so he struggled to get up despite vomiting blood and dying the soil red.
『……That’s it huh.』
Hajime landed in front of him. A monotone voice came down on him.
When he raised his gaze, what entered his sight first was a gun barrel. And then the eyes of the demon king looking down on him. All his clones had been dispersed, the aura of magic power was also vanishing from the lord’s body.
It didn’t reach. He couldn’t even scratch him with his blade.
That was reality.
Feeling of disappointment spread through the audiences. Everyone naturally chose to support the lord who challenged the demon king. It made them wanted to see how Rana and Kousuke would end up after this.
That was just how grand and heartfelt the battle was. Putting aside the lord’s behavior.
『Do you have any last words?』
The lord definitely wouldn’t surrender no matter what. Then Hajime could only shoot him. He wouldn’t hesitate because they could just revive him later.
It was a checkmate situation no matter who looked. And yet the lord turned his gaze toward Rana, seeing her watching with all her focus and an expression that looked like she was going to cry──he smiled.
And then he replied back to Hajime.
『Let’s hear it.』
Hajime urged with a voice that had all emotions removed from it, but with a sense of sincerity that could be felt. With that the lord finally looked toward him──
『This is the only method that I don’t want to use. After all, it might leave behind a trauma in you!』
『What? What do you mean by──!』
Hajime gasped and looked back.
The clones that he thought were vanishing from the lord having no more strength to spare. But, it seemed that was just a feign.
It was impossible for the clone to continue fighting. Just maintaining a single clone was the best that the lord could do.
The trump card among trump cards that Lord Abyssgate had kept hidden in preparation this whole time, was now coming into play!
『Eat this! People call this, Abyssgate Special!!』
Hajime saw. He saw it completely. The existence that was there when he turned around.
The audiences all were speechless. Or rather, they were bewildered.
The reason was, because the clone there──
『Fuh, I’m the one and only godslaying demon king. The being clad in crimson, announcing the coming of the dawn!!』
The clone was wearing a wig of white hair, an eye patch, a metal arm equipment that looked like artificial arm, and a black coat──he was cosplaying as Hajime!
That clone cosplaying as his majesty the demon lord turn on the spot stylishly while putting one hand over his face and stopped turning in a slightly slanting “cool” pose! Yes, just like the lord when he made his declaration of war!
And then, in front of Hajime who was turning deaaaaaathly pale, the clone scoffed fuh and introduced himself “coolly”!!
『Carve this into your soul! Mine name is, the Ultimate Black Demon King of the Supreme Heaven Crimson──Southcloud The First!!!』
An unbelievable scream like a girl who encountered a pervert came from Hajime. He dropped Donner and Schlag and posed like “Munch’s The Scream”.
It was right at that moment.
『Now-, self-explosion is romance!!』
With the signal from the main body, the clone that had loaded its whole body with small pebbles self-exploded. The last attack that was like the explosion of a frag grenade from point blank range was activated.
But as expected from Hajime. His body moved automatically from sensing the danger even though his mind was half in madness.
The lord’s body was swallowed by the self-explosion and got blown away, even so Hajime slipped away outside of the shockwave range by himself.
He slipped away but……
『Guuh, so even that……is no, good…………nn? No, HAHAH!! Nagumo! That! A scratch!』
『Eh? Aa? O, oo?』
There was a slight scratch on Hajime’s cheek. He couldn’t completely dodge the whole thing and one pebble managed to leave a scratch.
Strangely, it was the same spot where Shia also managed to leave a scratch on Yue when she fought hard to be allowed to accompany them in their journey.
『It’s my, it’s my win!! Isn’t that right!?』
『…………Aa~, I want to say a lot of things here but…………yeah, it’s your win.』
After Hajime acknowledged it with a wry smile, loud cheers rose from the audiences at the next moment.
The people of Fea Bergen had also gathered when everyone noticed. They must have heard about the circumstance. They were making a ruckus. Kentarou and others were simply repeating 『Awesomee-』 like broken machine. Yue and others were also blinking as though they wanted to say 『To think that he really manage it……』.
Amidst that, the first one to break out running was of course Rana.
Kousuke really couldn’t move a single muscle from using up all his energy and willpower. Rana got on top of him and hugged him.
Ah, I can smell a really nice scent……rather, it’s soft……Kousuke was intoxicated and couldn’t understand what was going on, but his mind gradually recognized the reality and he turned red.
『Ra, R-R-Ra, Rana-san!? What are you!?』
『Hah!? Y-you misunderstand, just now is! Err, errrr……fuh, that wasn’t half bad, Abyssgate. To think that you really put a scratch on the boss, that was just too amazing! In addition you were extremely cool──no, I mean, umm──』
Rana-oneesan quickly separated herself from him and turned red while speaking incoherently without pause.
Mina walked out from among the gathered audiences and slapped Rana’s head.
『W-what are you doing!』
『Listen to him properly. You’re disqualified as Hauria woman if you’re still acting bashful and avoiding the heart of the matter even after all that.』
Rana went red from the scolding and she returned her gaze toward Kousuke.
Everyone was watching while holding their breath. Kousuke somehow lifted up his body and took Rana’s hand.
『Err, let me ask again. I love you Rana-san. What started it was how you found me even when I was invisible but……that’s not all, now I also love your personality. I will work hard in anything so-, please go out with me!』
The reply to that confession was clear even without Rana saying anything by looking at her expression.
Rana answered Kousuke’s feeling with a small, but clear voice.
『『『ENDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-』』』(TN: From Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, the part where she sang And Iiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Japanese people read them as ENDAAAAAAAAAAAA)
Suzu, Nana, and Taeko yelled. At the same time loud cheers exploded again from the surrounding.
Kaori casted regeneration magic on Kousuke, causing light to pour down on him, making it looked like the pair were blessed by heaven.
It heated up the clearing even more and countless yells of celebration continued to echo through Fea Bergen’s clearing for a while.
Like that, while Rana was being mobbed by Mina and Shia and others.
Hajime and Kousuke faced each other again. Yue, Kentarou, and others were quietly watching over the two who had just gotten into a fierce battle with each other.
Hajime’s expression broke into a smile while shrugging and giving Kousuke words of congratulations.
『……Ou, thanks. ……Umm, not just for the congratulation, but also for fighting me seriously.』
『Well, I understand you feeling after all.』
They made a manly smile to each other and held out their hand to each other for a handshake──wasn’t what happened.
Their hand was held up to cover their respective face.
Yue and Kentarou and others were bewildered by what was going on. Then the two of them simultaneously──fell on their knees.
『It hurts, my heart really hurtsss~. I’m sorryyy, I’m really sorry Nagumooo~』
『Damn idiottt, that was simply over the lienee, you damn idiottt』
Kousuke’s state was because of the display of his Abyss Lord Mode Depth V.
And for Hajime it went without saying. His state was because of seeing Southcloud The First.
The two buried their faces on their knees together due to the mental wound that would never vanish.
「「……Southcloud The First. Buhooh」」
The past replay vanished. Then the first one who broke the dead silent atmosphere were Shuu and Sumire.
It felt like the other parents were also shaking in their shoulders.
Rana was the only one who continued to be like usual and nostalgically recalled that time.
「……E-err~, Hajime? You alright?」
「P-papa? Umm, papa was really cool nano!」
Yue and others talked to Hajime in concern seeing him not reacting but……as expected, there was no reaction.
Oh? Looking carefully it looked like Hajime was keeping his eyes shut……
Head Warrior Gil noticed the abnormality and approached. Then he spoke with a surprised tone.
「How surprising. To think that he is mastering my special skill already. As expected from the demon king.」
It seemed Hajime-san was already mastering the secret art of complete shutout mode without anyone noticing. If he could normally converse even in this mode then it would be perfect.
To think that he arrived into a new territory because of giving permission for a past replay to drag someone else together with him to hell. Truly astonishing.
「H-Hajime! Wake up! Get a hold of yourself!」
「Papa! Can papa hear Myuu!?」
The other people also noticed the abnormality when Yue and Myuu raised their voices. They also called out to Hajime. They shook him.
For a while after that, Hajime wouldn’t even twitch a muscle with his expression looking gentle like a buddha.