Arifureta - Chapter 104
Unintentionally, Hajime voiced out as he watched the huge mushroom cloud that scorched the night sky. A long time ago, while stunned he remembered a scene from a war documentary that he saw on TV, then suddenly a telepathy came.
’’Ma, master.....how are things on your side?’’
’’O? O~o, Teio huh. No, things on this side just ended....’’
’’Fumu, that's great then. As expected of master. We've just finished up on this side as well but, can you join up with us?’’
’’No, something amazing just.....’’
’’.....We already know of the cause. Or rather, it's mistress and co.'s fault.....’’
’’.....What was that?’’
’’For the time being, can you join up with us?’’
’’Ha~a, I got it’’
It seems the cause of how the church's head temple completely collapsed is known, just what, Hajime quickly moved to meet up with Teio while his cheeks cramped up. While going up into the sky, Teio's black dragon form was quickly discovered in the air at a distance away from the mushroom cloud.
And, in Hajime's eyes, Aiko who was riding on Teio's back had an, [Awawawa], kind of feeling with panicking emotions reflected. The question, Why is Aiko here? appeared within his head, judging by Aiko's personality, she most likely begged Teio to stay and cooperated instead of running away in order to help Hajime. Rather than that, its obvious that Aiko was in a worried state of [I've went and done it now] kind of feeling.
[.....Sensei, Teio. You both seem to be fine]
[Na, Nagumo-kun! Thank goodness you were safe. ......Really, thank goodness]
’’Master. Umu, for a moment there we thought that you were dead, but you're still alive. Jeez, as expected of master's sensei-dono. I didn't expect mistresses dragon breath to completely eradicate the entire church itself. It was heavenly brilliant’’
Towards Teio's words, Hajime could only blink. And with a ’’It can't be’’ expression, he turned towards Aiko.
[.....Sensei, just what exactly did you do]
[Awawawawawa, th, thas*not a typo, she's flustered* wrong! I didn't mean for this to. The church's barrier was a pretty strong.....if Teio-san's breaths power was increased then......we only intended to break the barrier but......]
Although Aiko leaked out a sigh of relief when she saw Hajime's appearance, she began to panic again when Hajime asked her questions. It appears that this is what you get when you ask a panicked Aiko questions.
Aiko while riding on Teio, was determined to fight so that Ishtar's magic which caused an abnormal state wouldn't be used on Hajime. However, even with a high aptitude for magic, Aiko who didn't have a satisfactory magic formation wasn't able to release strong magic attacks. And again, the cathedral itself seemed to be an artifact which created a powerful barrier, If Ishtar was being protected within the barrier, then even Teio's breath wouldn't be able to reach him.
If this continues, Ishtar will be able to calmly use magic from a safe zone. She thought about whether or not there was a way to obtain more power to exceed the barrier as they dodge the temple knights attacks, what Aiko came up with was......to take advantage of her own special skills. By the way, Aiko's abilities are as followed,
|Name: Hanataka Aiko||Age: 25||Level: 56|
Among these skills, it seems that she used Fermentation Operation. About [Kamiyama], since there are lots of people living here, there was a large amount of things that could be fermented. With that in mind, she seemed to have tried to performed methane fermentation like on earth. To be exact it was a replica with different world substances, however there was no change in it being flammable gas.
While single-mindedly spreading it around the church. It wasn't a magic attack so the church's barrier didn't react as it was merely fermentation and it actively collected within and outside of the barrier just like air. In order to keep it within a certain range, Teio used manipulated the wind to blow them into a fixed location.
And, with so much flammable gas gathered like this, combined with Teio's breath it would be possible to destroy the church's barrier, with that, when she released her breath......
[.....It became like this]
’’Umu. Mistress and co. blew them away on a grand scale, it's been a long time since I've last felt death. Far from destroying the barrier, the church itself erupted.......such a method, throughout mistresses life she's never thought of anything like this. As expected of master's sensei-dono. I'm impressed’’
[Thas wrong! It wasn't like that! I didn't think it'll explode so much like this! Just that, I thought I shouldn't half-ass it! That's the truth! Ha~!? Everyone of the church!? What's become of them!?]
Aiko made excuses while flustering and teary eyed, her eyes began to wander towards the church ruins. Hajime and Teio also looked towards the mountain of ruins.
[........Ma~a, they were likely blown away with it]
’’The church just put too much faith in their barrier. It was also a surprise attack, completely defenseless against that blast, it's likely none are alive’’
[A, ah.....it can't.....saying that, although I prepared myself for this.....]
Having been an accomplice, Aiko's face turned pale as she was the cause that led to the explosion killing everyone of the church. Although she steeled herself for the battle, she can't regain her composure when the results were being pointed out.
Unintentionally she vomited on the spot. To Aiko who was crying and vomiting, Hajime scratched his head ~Kari Kari~, and quietly snuggled up with Aiko. And he held Aiko's hands without minding that it was dirty with vomit. The current Aiko required warmth.
Aiko felt warmth being transmitted through her numb hands and her frozen heart melted. And, just for now, she forgot everything related to a teacher and student relationship, she leaped onto Hajime's chest and clung on tightly while sobbing.
Teio voiced her sad opinion while looking at the terrible sight of her back, she immediately used Reproduction Magic to restore her scales. Teio also desired to allow Aiko some time to recover, she was the one who shot the breath to begin with so Aiko didn't have to feel more responsibility than necessary, however right now wasn't the right time to explain that. So, with Reproduction Magic, she slightly healed her worn-out soul.
Aiko whose energy returns, looks up from Hajime's chest. Although it's become a terrible scene because she has so much snot, tears, and vomit, Hajime didn't particularly mind and simply took out some water and towel from the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’ and cleaned up the dirty Aiko. Although Aiko was upset to have shown such disgraceful behavior, she remained as is.
[Have you calmed down? Sensei]
[Y, yes. I, I'm fine now. Nagumo-kun.....]
Aiko who pulled herself back together after Hajime's question, her face was dyed in red with shame and what not. Somehow, Hajime's voice causes her fever up. The eyes glancing upwards and staring were feverish and moist. No matter how you looked at it, that wasn't caused by only a sense of shame, rather it was the expression which held special feelings.
Hajime only saw Aiko as a teacher and not a ’’woman’’ however, as expected, when such an expression is being shown, [Are~? Isn't something about this different? Is it possibly, that kind?], he managed to understand Aiko's feelings and his cheek cramped up.
This was dangerous in various ways, Hajime immediately adverted his eyes and Teio voiced out a word of caution.
’’Master. There's a person. He clearly doesn't seem to be ordinary.....’’
[What was that?]
It couldn't be, its surprising that anyone could have survived that kind of explosion, Hajime looked in the direction that Teio was looking, there was definitely a man with a bald head and wearing white vestments descending, Hajime and them stared directly at him. However, as Teio said, he definitely wasn't an ordinary person. That was because his body was transparent and he was swinging waveringly.
Did the man with the bald head guess that Hajime and them had recognized him, he turned around and started heading back, he was moving as if gravity didn't exist and slipped and slid to the other side of the mountain rubble. And he turned around just before he disappeared to glance over at Hajime and them.
[......Is he trying to tell us to follow?]
’’Probably. What should we do, master’’
[......That's right, although I want to quickly meet up with Yue and them......to begin with, we came here to look for the Age of Gods magic. It's possible that this is somehow related to that. We can't afford to miss clues]
’’Fumu, That's right. Well then, lets chase after him’’
With Hajime's words, Teio nods once and flaps her wings to land on the ruins, after unloading Hajime and Aiko, she reverted back to human form. And she noticed the dirt on her back, with lowered eyebrows, she took out new clothes from the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’. Hajime also noticed his state and pulled out some extra clothes from the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’ and finished changing quickly.
[A~u, s, sorry.....I've made you dirty]
The cause was Aiko, she apologized and her small frame became even smaller with shame. As a woman, it's unbearably shameful to have vomited on another person's clothes.
Hajime and Teio also understood that there was no helping it, they wanted to tell her not to mind it, but it wasn't such a simple thing to do. Anyways, with the little exchange from a while ago, Aiko had accepted her feelings, therefore, she's begun to think about various things about Hajime in particular.
However, it would be a problem if she stayed curled up forever, Hajime quickly changed the topic.
[Sensei, sorry for making you tag along. Though I don't know what will happen.....we need to make sure of that bald guy's identity]
[Y, yes, I understand. .....I'll follow along with Nagumo-kun......]
Hajime thought that there was a strange power and heat from those last words she spoke, but he daringly pretended not to notice and stepped into the place where the bald man had disappeared.
The bald man's figure is shown once in a while as they advanced through the ruins. And after 5 minutes of walking they finally reached their destination, the bald man stood quietly while looking straight at Hajime's group.
[Who are you? What do you want with us?]
The bald man did not answer Hajime's question, however he did point silently with his finger. Although the place was just a heap of rubble, the old man's glance seems to be telling them to advance. Hajime who judged that even if he questioned him he wouldn't be getting any answers, he nodded at Teio and them and went towards the location. Then, at that moment, the rubble began to levitate and the ground underneath it began to shine faintly. If you looked, one of the crests of the great labyrinth was carved there.
[.....You're one of the.....Liberators?]
As Hajime voiced his question, simultaneously the light that the ground emitted wrapped Hajime and them. And in the next instant, Hajime's group were standing in a completely unknown strange space. It wasn't that big. The room was painted lustrously black, a magic formation was drawn in the center, and there was an antique book on the pedestal by its side. It appears that they've suddenly reached the final room of the labyrinth.
Hajime and them walked towards the magic formation. Hajime grabbed Aiko's hand who had a ’’?’’ floating over her head and led her, while nodding to Teio for a moment they stepped into the magic formation.
Then, it wasn't the usual feeling, their memories were being examined, there was a sense of something going deeper inside, and the 3 people instinctively let out a groan. It was a very uncomfortable sensation, for a moment, they thought it was a trap, but in the next moment it completely cleared up. And, were they recognized as people who's completed other labyrinths, the knowledge of magic was implanted directly into their heads.
[U~mu. It appears to be magic that can directly interfere with souls]
[I see. The reason how Miredi's soul survived and was directly implemented into a golm was this....]
To the experience of knowledge being carved directly into the head suddenly, Aiko was crouched down holding her head, After Hajime noded with a consent face, they approached the pedestal by the side and picked up the book.
It appears that the contents were notes written by Rouse Byrne*pronounced Ban* who was the founder of the [Kamiyama] great labyrinth. It explained practically the same thing that Oscar Orcus had, the liberators exchanges up until he died at [Kamiyama].
However, because Hajime wasn't interested in it, he quickly skipped through it. He didn't care about Rouse Byrne's life. Why did he only leave himself with an image body, he probably could have lived like Miredei by using Spirit Magic, although the reason was explained during the confession, he was through*as in done with the subject*.
And, the last section was describing the conditions to capturing the labyrinth, according to it, when the image body of Rouse Byrne appears as the guide, it would mean that you've pretty much been accepted.
Because the image body required at least 2 or more proofs of capturing great labyrinths, also having no faith in god, or overcoming some kind of influence that god's power acted on in order to appear. In other words, it appears that [Kamiyama's] concept, was to possess a firm will that wouldn't bow down to god.
That was probably it but, originally, if you challenged the proper route, it may have been possible to be accepted by the will. Aiko had been accepted, Although she received quite a lot of teachings from the church for a long time, because her feelings for her students were much higher than faith, or maybe it was enough that she had the judgement to go against the church.
For the people of this world, it was a rather harsh condition but, it was an easy condition for Hajime and them.
At last, Aiko who recovered from the shock of obtaining Age of Gods magic is encouraged, and they took the ring from the pedestal along with the book, they then quickly left the place. Once again, Rouse Byrne's crest shined and they returned back to their original place.
[Sensei, are you alright?]
[U~u, yes. somehow.....even so, such amazing magic.....certainly, if there's such incredible magic then, there might also be magic that sends us back to Japan]
Aiko nodded as she consented and was massaging her temple. Her expression was of someone who was tired from the rough events that developed within several days and had finally ended, she loosened up when the possibility of returning was truely felt.
[Well then, we know the place where the magic formation is now, lets quickly join up with Yue and them]
[A~, that's right! The Kingdom is being attacked right? I hope everyone's safe.....]
With a worried expression Aiko clenched her chest as she prayed, then they began to descend from the mountain. Though I say that, the only way down from [Kamiyama] to the Kingdom was to jump through the lift.
Aiko's Scream was echoing as she experienced free-falling, Hajime and Teio are through though. With Aiko on his shoulder Hajime and them landed on the ground and, disregarding the flames and screams of the Kingdom which Aiko had a skeptical expression towards and they decided to first go to where Kaori and them were.
And, what they saw when they joined up......
With a sword thrust through the chest, Kaori's figure had already ceased breathing.