Arifureta - Chapter 107
After Hajime left the plaza, Shizuku made Kouki drink the holy water and he recovered in no time.
The puppet soldiers that Eri had, numbered up to 500 people and out of that It seems that 300 were turned into minced meat at the plaza by Hajime. Most likely the missing soldiers went with Freed through the gate into Majinzoku territory.
Although it was later found out in investigations that magic formations were created from huge magic stones which were buried in the earth on the outskirts of the Kingdom, that appears to have been the secret to Freed being able to transfer his military.
Also, it appears that the King and other influential leaders were all killed by Eri's puppet soldiers, currently, the seat of King within the Hairihi Kingdom was open. Until the confusion subsides, Ririana and the safe queen, Ruruaria, will be taking the lead in the Kingdom's reconstruction. Most likely, once they've settled down, prince Randell who was also safe, will be ascending to the throne.
The number one cause of confusion was that there was no communication with the church.
Even though the Kingdom has turned into such an amazing state, widespread uneasiness and distrust was spreading throughout the followers as the church didn't appear during or after the war at all. The truth was, everyone related to the church were already blown to smithereens by the explosion at the head temple! If the citizens heard about that, what would they think? A boy with white hair somewhere held slight interest in that question.
Also, the pillar of light which annihilated the Majinzoku's large army was, ’’Ehitto-sama's’’ light of condemnation which was released in order to save the Kingdom! is what the rumors that have been circulating says, it was an incredibly painful story that their faith was further strengthened. Hajime was wondering if he should spread rumors that it was due to the ’’Goddess of Fertility’’ once again, however, if Aiko heard of that she'd likely suffer to no end in her mind.
People began to wonder of the reason why the church wasn't coming down from [Kamiyama], and naturally, they wanted to climb up to find out. However, there was far too much to be done for the reconstruction of the Kingdom, so there wasn't anyone to go up 8,000 meters above ground. By the way, because Hajime and them stopped the lift, the only way to reach the head temple was by scaling up the mountain.
Also, Hiyama's remains were found a little distance away from the plaza. His body was consumed and messed up here and there, after being completely beaten up by Hajime and blown out of the plaza, sure enough, he was attacked by demons.
It was thought that he was still alive when he got consumed because it appears that there were traces of intense resistance. In particular, his left arm was completely missing, judging from the traces of blood, with his left arm consumed first, he ran desperately for his life and then the side of his body was then eaten which caused him to die. If you tried to imagine it, it was likely one of the worst ways to die.
With that, a variety of things turned up and 5 days have passed since the betrayal and death of their friends from the Majinzoku's invasion.
Its needless to say anything about Suzu who was on good terms with Eri, but the classmates who were caught up in her obsession and insanity suffered deep mental wounds. After Hiyama and Kondo's deaths, Nakano and Saito who was always together with them became hikikomori's.*Google if you don't know the term*
Along with those who sustained deep mental wounds, Kouki and them were asked by Ririana and them to lend their powers in reconstructing the Kingdom in order to recuperate and recover, since that day Hajime and them had not shown up so they were frequently looking back at that.
All members of the front lines and Ai-chan bodyguards should have known of Hajime's powers but they still didn't know of the overwhelming power of the pillar of light which annihilated the large army, once again, they were forced to feel their difference in power.
Because Kouki and them knew of that, they took on less shock than the stay-behind group. Although they heard of Hajime's power from the returning members, they now knew that they had only understood 1/10,000 of Hajime's true terrifyingness. Anyone and everyone could do nothing but be concerned about Hajime, his comrades, and Kaori who he took with him.
And the remarkable one was Shizuku. Although she's doing exactly what needs to be done, once in a while she'll stare off into the distance with eyes that seem to be looking for something in her heart. It was clear to everyone that she was thinking of Kaori, the classmates who witnessed Kaori's death were unsure of what to say about it
From the talk that Hajime had with Shizuku, it seemed to have been something about Kaori coming back but, they were skeptical as the task of reviving a dead person was likely impossible and because of that they weren't able to comfort themselves.
They suspected that it was probably something just like how Eri did, she'll be brought back as a doll, in that case, it was easy to imagine that Shizuku would become further damaged because of that, especially Kouki who had always cautioned himself as he watched Hajime and them.
Kouki himself was extremely down that he was unable to do anything once again and saved twice by Hajime, the fact that Kaori left him for Hajime (Kouki recognized it within himself) was also added in, he wasn't able to hold any good feelings for Hajime.
It was, the so-called ’’Jealousy’’, however Kouki himself was not aware of it. It wouldn't be easy for him to admit it even if he had noticed it. If he recognised it, whether he moves forwards or looks away out of convenience......depends all on himself.
Both Kouki and Shizuku couldn't be said to have been in bright states, because Ryutaro is a muscle-for-brains he's not reliable, and all classmates were depressed in general.
At times like these, it would usually be Suzu's time to show her abilities as a mood-maker and brighten things up but, without a question the actual person is in low tensions, the smiles that shes shown occasionally were painful. It seems to be majorly due to what Eri had said to her. It's understandable. Throughout many years, the person who was thought to have been her best friend had only thought of her on the level of being a convenient tool.
Even still, the entire class hasn't completely fallen, the only person moving in order to reconstruct the Kingdom single-mindedly was probably only Aiko.
Aiko was also worried about Kaori, if she could, she'd do anything but, when weighed against what Hajime and them were trying to do, with Yue and Teio there she understood that she had no turn. That's why she couldn't neglect the students who remained damaged on the ground and decided to stay.
Because Aiko firmly had 1 on 1 communications with her students and encourage all of her students to work to their potentials, they were able to move on now.
By the way, Aiko had obviously known what had happened to the Church, although she knows more about it than anyone else, she stubbornly sealed her lips.
That was in order to not obstruct Hajime and them, and at the same time, every time she remembers what she had done, her mouth becomes heavier. Even if it was an unexpected result, her resolution to go through with it was true. That's why, when Hajime and them came back, she planned on telling Ririana and them the truth......police officer, it's me.
Although Aiko seemed to be behaving brightly, on the inside, she was trembling in fear. She herself aided Teio in the obliteration of the church, if the students had known that she was involved in the blast which killed Ishstar and them and the Knights then, what exactly would they think of her?
She fought because she was resolute to not allow her students to become toys of war any longer, although she doesn't regret about that matter, a murderer is a murderer. She was surely already prepared that her students would no longer call her sensei.
It should be noted that David and them, the Aiko bodyguard temple knights, were still alive and well. That was because after Aiko had disappeared, they protested to the upper brass, ’’Let us meet her!’’, many times, and after that was confirmed to never be fulfilled they decided to search for themselves, the upper brass who were fed up decided to lowered them onto ground level and restricted them from going into the head temple. And that's how they managed to barely escape from death at the head temple at the time. Currently they're listening to Aiko's words and working hard to help out with this and that for the reconstruction.
With those kinds of feelings, Aiko and the students are respectively holding their own weight in their minds and helping out with Ririana today to reconstruct the Kingdom.
Today's agenda was to reform the Kingdom's knights and employ commanders to each squad at the drilling ground. By the way, the new knight leader's name was Kuzeri Rail. It was a female knight and formerly Ririana's imperial guardsmen. The vice-commander's name was Neat Komorudo. He was the previous commander of the 3rd knight unit.
[Thanks for the hard work. Kouki-san]
During the mock battle screening test, Kouki had been working as a partner for the knights so he was wiping his sweat at the edge of the drilling grounds and those words of appreciation ranged out. When Kouki turned his line of sight towards it, Ririana was coming over with a smile.
[No, this isn't much of a big deal. .....As for yourself Riri, you've barely gotten any sleep recently huh? Really, thanks for the hard work]
When Kouki showed a wry smile in return, Ririana also showed a wry smile. Both of them hardly had any time to sleep over the past few days. To begin with, the reason why their sleeping time was cut down was due to completely different reasons.
[That's because right now is not the time to be sleeping. .....Casualties, dealing with the loss of beloved people, disposing buildings which collapsed, confirming missing people, repairing the great barrier and the outer wall, reports and communication with each district, deploying soldiers to investigate the surroundings, reorganizing.....this is serious, they're all things that need to be done. Even if I whine about it, there's no other way. Mother has also shared the burden, so I can still go on. .......The people who are truly suffering are those who lost important people and their property.......]
[If you're saying that then, even you've.....]
From what Ririana had said, Kouki tried to point out that even she's lost the King which was her father but, even if he said it, nothing would change, so he shut his mouth. Riri sympathized with Kouki's feelings and said, [I'm fine], with a smile once again, then changed the topic.
[How's Shizuku holding out?]
[......She hasn't changed. Usually its the same usual Shizuku but, without noticing it she looks up above for a long time]
As Kouki was saying so, he glanced towards Shizuku who was talking with Kuzeri at the center of the drilling grounds.
The two were probably friends through Ririana, they seemed to be discussing something rather intimately. However, the conversation was suddenly interrupted, and naturally her eyes glanced upwards, in other words, you could tell she was looking towards the top vicinity of [Kamiyama].
[She's.....waiting for them huh]
[That's right. .....Being honest, the thing that Nagumo said is too...untrustworthy...although I'd like for Shizuku and them to meet...*I think? this lines one of those lines where I get confused as to what they're really saying, 雫には会って欲しくないと思ってるんだけどね*]
Ririana had a slightly surprised expression as she turned her glance from Shizuku to Kouki. Kouki's expression had a complicated color, it was clear that what he said was not according to what he thought. Jealousy, suspicion, fear, pride, gratitude, antipathy, various feelings were mixed in impatiently, his expression was difficult to express.
Ririana couldn't find the right words to say to Kouki, she looked up towards the top of [Kamiyama] where Hajime and them should be.
The sky was clear, it's as if the crisis of extinction from a few days ago never happened. That sky looked as if it was in a happy-go-lucky mood, Ririana held slightly bitter feelings towards it and continued looking up at the sky.
Then at that time, she began to see a few black dots in the sky. With a doubtful look Ririana narrowed her eyes and she noticed that those black dots were gradually growing bigger, she noticed that something was falling down and panickingly she called out to Kouki by her side.
[Ko, Kouki-san! There! Isn't something falling down!]
[Eh? What are you suddenly....~, everyone! Watch out! Something's coming from above!]
Ririana's attitude surprised Kouki but, as he looked up in the sky, he confirmed that something was definitely falling down, [Get down, it's an enemy attack!], he warned out loudly with an impatient expression.
Shizuku and them were panicking and quickly evacuated the drilling grounds and went beside Kouki and them, simultaneously something landed onto the drilling grounds.
The earth trembled when whatever was falling crashed, as the dust clouds danced about, what appeared from it was......Hajime, Yue, Shia, and with Teio it was 4 people.
The first one to take off was Shizuku. Exactly like Hajime said, she believed in them and waited. Having excess momentum was unavoidable. However, within Hajime and them, Kaori's appearance was no where to be seen, her expression gradually became uneasy and darkened.
[Yo~o, Yaegashi. Are you living properly]
[Nagumo-kun.....where's Kaori? Why is Kaori not here?]
Shizuku relaxed somewhat after Hajime's joke, however it was the truth that Kaori was not in front of her, as expected, it must have been too hard to overturn Kaori's death, she was already unable to hide her uneasiness and asked in a trembling voice.
On the other hand, Hajime had an indescribably vague expression.
[Ah~, she'll be here soon? It's just that.......her appearance may have changed a tiny~ bit.....because of that see, it'll be troubling if you placed the blame on me, un, it's not my fault so don't get mad?]
[Eh? Wait a bit. What? What is? It makes me extremely uneasy though? What do you mean? What did you do to Kaori? Depending on the circumstance, with the black katana that you gave me.......]
Towards Hajime's words which only further fanned the flames of uneasiness, Shizuku's highlight in her eyes disappeared and she slowly began to extend her black katana on her waist. [Dudu], Hajime was suppressing Shizuku, suddenly, they began to hear a scream from the sky.
[Kyaaaa!! Hajime-k~un! Catch me~!!]
When Shizuku and them were wondering what it was and looked up, they saw something with a silver shadow falling down at blistering speeds.
With Shizuku's excellent kinetic vision, she saw a woman with silver hair and blue eyes who had the beauty that could compete with a beautiful work of art that a historically named artist produced, and against her cool appearance, she was falling down while awkwardly flinging her arms and legs with tears in her eyes and a miserable expression.
The silver haired, blue eyed woman came straight down plunging towards Hajime. From her eyes you could see that she trusted that she would be caught.
But, betraying such things were Hajime's quality. In the place where he was supposed to catch her, the moment before they collided he suddenly jumped back, [Eh?], his glance averted from the womans eyes and she crashed into the ground as if she was being consumed by the earth while becoming dot eyed.
Everyone had trembling expressions as they looked towards Hajime who had no intentions of catching her, [She's dead right?]. However, after the sand of cloud cleared up again, the beautiful woman with silver hair and blue eyes appeared, Aiko and Ririana both raised out a warning-like scream.
[Wha, why, are you......]
[Everyone! Get back! She's a dangerous person who kidnaped Aiko and lent Eri a hand!]
Towards those words, Kouki and all the other classmates at the spot, Kuzeri and all of the other knights all simultaneously picked up their weapons. Especially Shizuku who was close to Hajime and them who immediately prepared to performed a quick draw on the spot, she had piercing eyes filled with murderous intent for the person who had lent a hand in Kaori's death. If an opening appeared, she would immediately cut her down.
Towards the other party which glared at her, Nointo who had a pretty face like a work of art and silver hair with blue eyes, as if she didn't suffer any damage at all from the crash, moved agilly and easily stood up. Then for a moment she glanced at Hajime with reproachful eyes, and unbelievably she who had no emotions or expressions like a machine now carried them and panickingly she spoke towards Shizuku.
[Wa, wait! Shizuku-chan! It's me, me!]
[ ? ]
Shizuku had a suspicious expression towards the woman who called her name on their first meeting appealing for themself.
Hajime who was by the side muttered out, [you look like shady scammer......], the woman Ki'ed! at him with a glare then looked away. It was impossible for Aiko and them to not think of her as an enemy. Although the appearance and voice was different, the strange woman's casual gestures and atmosphere when calling out for herself was like a shadow of her best friend.
While gently relaxing her quick draw position, she spaced out and suddenly muttered the name of her best friend.
[......Kao, ri? Are you....Kaori?]
Was she extremely glad that Shizuku had noticed that it was her? The silver haired blue eyed woman had a bright face! and replied in a lively bright voice.
[Un! I'm Kaori! Shizuku-chan's best friend, Shirasaki Kaori. Although my appearance has changed.....I'm properly living!]
Shizuku was stunned for a bit. Although she has no idea how things turned out the way they did, even still, with the fact that her best friend was still alive and in front of her, finally soaking in, she embraced Kaori who had obtained a new body of a silver haired blue eyed woman with all her might as she cried out tears like rain.
Kaori was also sobbing like a baby and like Shizuku she embraced her back tightly and quietly whispered gently.
[I'm sorry to have worried you? I'm fine now, I'm fine]
[Hi~gu, gusu~, I'm glad, so glad~]
They both buried their faces in each others necks and Shizuku and Kaori firmly confirmed each other's existence.
Everyone who saw it was completely stunned, for a while, the cries of warmth and tenderness resounded throughout the drilling grounds.
[So then, what exactly does this mean?]
With eyes dyed red and swollen from tears, Shizuku's cheeks also blushed with the same amount of shame, and determined to hide her shame she demanded an explanation of the circumstances.
The current location has switched from the drilling grounds to the large room where Kouki and them usually eat at. In regards to Shizuku, it was explained that at heart she was Kaori and the body belonged to someone named Nointo, for the time being Ririana urged that they move to a calmer place. However, it wasn't only Shizuku who came, all classmates as well as Aiko and Ririana are attending.
[Well, lets see....cutting straight to the chase. Using magic, Kaori's soul was protected, Nointo's corpse? Remains? Ma~a, we restored it and took it over]
[I see.....I don't get it at all]
Shizuku just stared at hajime as he gave off his extremely simple explanation. From the stare, it was clearly saying, [Is that all there is to it? Ahh?], with an insecure look. In place of Hajime who had an expression that his motivation for explaining was 0, Kaori decided to explain with an amazed expression.
[Ehhto ne, Shizuku-chan. You know that the magic we're using now a degraded version of the forgotten magic from the past called Age of Gods magic right?]
[......Yes. I've studied some of this world's history. Its the magic that appears in the myth about how this world was created? Rather than the current attribute magic, they were more fundamental in useage......wait. Do you mean to say that it's that kind of thing? The Age of Gods magic that Nagumo and you guys have is the spirit type.....a power that allows you to interfere with a person's soul? With that, the spirit of the dead Kaori was protected and settled in a different body right?]
[Right! As expected of Shizuku-chan]
For some reason, Kaori was sticking out her chest proudly. In fact, the rate of Shizuku's brain being able to process things was fast. Hajime had also known of this before but, inside of himself, he was once again impressed.
[But, why in that body? Was Kaori's body no longer alright? I thought that you guys could somehow manage to heal up the wound that was inflicted on her heart with recovery magic though......]
[Ahh, the truth is, Kaori's body is completely healed and it was possible to return her soul to it]
Spirit magic was mind-blowing Age of Gods magic where you can literally stay immortally young through continuously fixating your own soul.
By ’’fixating’’ it was magic which preserved the dead spirit that was interfered with in order to not allow it to deteriorate nor disappear, at first, this was what Teio performed on Kaori. However, it was lucky that Teio made it on time because it's ineffective if several minutes have passed since death.
By ’’establishing’’, just as it says, regardless of the fixated spirit, they'll be established whether its as organic or inorganic matter. Bodies which have started decaying would still cause them to die once again even if they establish themselves because it won't be suitable for survival, however, it'll be possible with a healthy body, it's also possible to leave the wedge of time and become immortal like Miredei Raisen who established herself as a golem.
Obviously this magic isn't so simple that it can be done without proper testing and training. It was successful precisely because Yue and Teio were naturally talented at magic. Even still, it took 5 whole days to properly establish.
[Then, why.....what happened to Kaori's original body? There must have been some kind of problem then?]
[Shizuku-chan, calm down. I'll explain it properly]
While calming down Shizuku, Kaori continued to explain.
At first, Hajime had attempted to return Kaori's spirit back into her original body which they've healed with Reproduction magic.
However, the one who told him to wait was Kaori. Even while stuck in a spirit state, ’’Spirit Guidance’’ can be conducted to communicate with the soul. Kaori who was still in a spirit state, had heard of Meiredi Raisen and requested that she be placed into a golem like her. If it was Hajime, then he should be able to create a powerful golem.
At [Merujine Underwater Ruins], Kaori had realised her own powerlessness, she had no intentions to stay the way that she was now. She also had no intentions to give up standing next to Hajime as well. At that point, she knew that she would easily be killed. Cowardly, miserably, and mortifyingly......if so then, she thought, ’’what if I tossed away my human body’’.
Once Kaori was resolute on something, she became surprisingly stubborn. Although Hajime and them had tried to talk her out of it, she wouldn't listen. That determination was so strong it made Hajime raise out both hands in surrender.
With no other choice, Hajime had decided to create the strongest golem he could, however, suddenly the light bulb inside of Hajime's head lit up! [I can use that can't I?]. Right, it was Nointo who Hajime had pierced through the heart.
After Hajime recovered Nointo's remains, Yue used Reproduction magic to restore all the wounds. The strong body of ’’God's Apostle’’ had become Kaori's new vessel, it was a great success when ’’establishing’’ the soul to it.
Unfortunately, although the organ-like magic stone which supplied an infinite supply of magical power was reproduced, it was not functioning, however, Nointo's inherent magic ’’Decomposition’’, her dual wielding swords and skills, silver wings and feathers were useable.
It appears that Nointo's body remembers all previous combat experiences and knows how to use it, although she's unable to fly right now because the body is still new, once she gets accustomed to it, she'll likely be able to exert ’’God's Apostle's’’ true abilities. Now that she can directly manipulate magic, she's well qualified to be shoulder to shoulder with Hajime and them.
Kaori who was happy that her spirit was successfully established onto the body was an incredibly amazing sight. After all, she had the appearance of a cool beauty and she was making a fuss with ’’Kya, Kya’’ noises and a big smile. The opponent which Hajime was just fighting with not too long ago was making such a happy face and in addition she was clinging onto him, as expected, even Hajime didn't know this would happen and his eyebrows turned into a 八.
By the way, Kaori's real body was being stored in the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’ while receiving Yue's freezing treatment. A beauty frozen in ice created a very mysterious feeling. Since cells that are ruined after being thawed out can be restored by Reproduction magic, if she wanted to go back to her body, the possibility of it is extremely high.
[.....I see. Ha~a, Kaori, you've always been a bit spontaneous since a long time ago but this time supases all of those]
After hearing Hajime's explanation, Shizuku placed a hand on her head to suppress her headache. Her headache was worse than the time when she was asked what Hajime's favorite game was so she visited the game store, only to have mistakenly charge into the X-rated game corner.
[Ehehe, sorry for worrying you Shizuku-chan]
[.....It's fine. As long as you're still alive then......]
Shizuku said while smiling at Kaori who had an apologetic expression, then she suddenly straightened her posture and changed her expression to a serious one, then turned towards Hajime and them and bowed her head.
[Nagumo-kun, Yue-san, Shia-san, Teio-san. Thank you very much for saving my best friend. Although my debts are continuously increasing and I have nothing I can return in exchange.....I'll never forget this favor throughout my life. If there's anything I can do, then feel free to ask. I'll do my best to respond to it]
[.......You're as honest as ever. Ma~a, don't mind it so much. We just helped out our own companion]
Shizuku showed a wry smile towards Hajime's light reply. It wasn't just Kaori, they were all saved as well. There lives were saved twice at that. Even after being saved from their predicaments, most likely the results of the clash was convenient for Hajime's own circumstances as well, his state of mind was already something that you could only laugh at how different it was.
And, somehow the calm mood also had a hint of spitefulness in it as well, Shizuku sharply pointed out.
[.......Considering all that, although you were also worried about me, you gave me the medicine for Kouki's sake right?]
[If you had broken then Kaori would have been troublesome....]
[Trou, troublesome you say......that's mean, Hajime-san]
Replying to Shizuku's sarcastic remark, Kaori's tsukkomi also came through, [besides....], Hajime continued.
[Just like a certain Sensei has said, I should not walk down the ’’Lonely life’’. Though I can't afford to pay attention to everything, if it's just this much then......]
Aiko who had kept silent while Shizuku and Hajime and them had their conversation, looked towards Hajime with moistened eyes that were overwhelmed by emotions due to Hajime's words.
The other students were strangely admiring that Ai-chan's teachings properly reached Hajime who had become overly haughty, it seems that Aiko was more impressed than they were though, Shizuku and Yue and them sensitively felt that some other kind of heat was also included in Aiko's eyes.
Kaori appearance was like, ’’It can't be!’’, asking for confirmation, she lined her sight with Shizuku and Yue and them, Yue and them nodded with a sharp look while Shizuku averted her eyes and looked up towards the sky.
Shizuku sensed that a delicate atmosphere was beginning to build up and decided to continue talking in order to return the atmosphere back to normal. There were a mountain of things that she still wanted to ask.
[On that day, the day when Sensei was kidnaped, can we hear what you wanted to tell us that day? That talk surely had some kind of relation with Nagumo-kun and them who acquired Age of Gods magic right?]
Hajime heard Shizuku's words and turned his gaze over to Aiko. Silent pressure hung over Aiko to explain the situation. while clearing out her throat, ~Kohon~, Aiko began to explain Hajime's purpose for traveling, and, she began to explain about everything from the events when she was held at the head temple and when the Kingdom was invaded.
After she finished explaining everything, the first person to raise their voice was Kouki.
[What's with that. Then, are you saying that we're just dancing on the palm of God's hand? Then why didn't you tell us about it sooner! You could have told us when we met up again at Orcus!]
With a criticising look and voice, however, Hajime only glanced at Kouki as if he was troublesome and didn't say anything. He was ignored. Towards that attitude, Kouki got up from his seat with a ~gata!~ noise and was filled with hostility towards Hajime.
[How about saying something! If you had told me about it sooner then!]
[Wait a bit, Kouki!]
Shizuku's urge wasn't heard, Hajime frowned annoyingly at Kouki who had lost his temper, after letting out a grand sigh, he looked towards Kouki as if he was bothersome.
[If I had said it, would you have believed me?]
[What was that?]
[At any rate, you're a person who loves to believe in your convenient interpretations. Would the large majority of people believe that God has ’’gone mad’’ when told so, I knew it would have been meaningless to tell you about it, far from believing in me, rather, you'd criticize me instead? That kind of scene comes to mind]
[Bu, but, if you had explained it clearly repeatedly then....]
[Are you stupid. Why do I have to go through bone breaking stakes for your guys sakes? Surely you're not expecting that just because I'm your classmate, that I'll naturally lend my power right? ......Saying such foolishness is just like......a second Hiyama?]
Towards Hajime's glare which was like permanently frozen ground, all of the classmates averted their eyes.
But, It seemed that Kouki wasn't convinced and continued to stare severely at Hajime. Kouki didn't notice that Yue who was next to Hajime was looking at him with fed up eyes declaring, you've been saved twice so why are you still behaving like this.
[But, If we're to fight God together from now on.......]
[Wait, wait, Hero (Laughs). When did I say I was going to fight God? Don't just decide it on your own. Naturally I'll kill them if they come from the other side but, I have no intentions of going around to search for them? Because I just want to go through all great labyrinths and quickly return home to Japan]
Kouki's eyes opened up widely when those words were said.
[Na~, surely you don't mean to say that whatever happens to the people of this world is alright are you!? If we don't do something about God, people will continue being his plaything from now and onwards! Are you going to abandon them!]
[I'm not willing to use my powers for the sake of someone who's face I don't even know.....]
[Why.....just why! Aren't you stronger than us! If you have that much power then you should be able to do anything! If you have power then shouldn't you use it for the right things!]
Kouki was howling. As always, his words were overflowing with justice. However, such ’’words’’ were against the person's will to begin with, they didn't reach Hajime. Hajime looked at Kouki as if he was a stone on the roadside.
[......if ’’you have power’’ huh. That's exactly why you'll always be groveling on the ground. ....I believe that power should be used with clearly defined intentions. You don't do something because you have power. Because you want something you use power. If you're saying that just because ’’you have power’’ you have to do it regardless of your will then, that's probably nothing more than a ’’curse’’. that will is too feeble. ......Or rather, I have no intentions of arguing about which path you and I take. Anything more about this will be annoying so I'll seriously send you flying]
After Hajime said that, his eyes returned to normal as if he had no interest in Kouki and them.
From his attitude, Hajime was serious about himself and the world, Kouki realised that it wasn't out of a grudge nor hatred, he simply had no interest. After the reason why he lost was said out, he kept quiet while shaking violently. I have a strong will!, he wanted to object, but, for some reason those words wouldn't come out.
The other classmates as well, somehow understood that Hajime coming back and teaming up with them again was nothing but a dream, and, they trembled violently when they thought that they might seriously end up like Hiyama if they said things poorly.
After all, even though they were just puppets, their opponent was someone who held no hesitation and turned all the knights including Meld into chunks of meat. As for the stay-behind group, they couldn't even look Hajime in the eye after he fell into hell.
[......As expected, you won't be staying around? I wanted you to at least stay until the defense system for the Kingdom was repaired.....]
The person who requested it was Ririana.
As of now, confusion is still within the Kingdom, although the magic formation which allowed large-scale transfer was removed, they were still in a state where it was unknown when the Majinzoku would be attacking once again so Hajime and them were an existence which they didn't want to part with. Freed who seemed to be the other parties general only withdrew because Hajime was here. With just Hajime and them being here, they were already a kind of repellent.
[Since things were already established with God's Apostle, I want to hurry up ahead. Resurrecting Kaori took 5 days as well. I plan on leaving tomorrow]
Though Ririana's shoulders dropped, after Hajime and them had left, there was no way of stopping Freed and them so as a princess she needed to hold onto them.
[Is there anything......at least, that pillar of light......that's also one of Nagumo-san's artifacts right? Can you allow us to use it for the Kingdom's protection? ......I'll do everything I can to reward you for it, so]
[......Ah, ’’Hyuberion’’ huh. It's impossible. That thing broke after the first blow....it was a prototype after all. If I don't improve it, then]
Hajime's annihilation weapon ’’Hyuberion’’ that erased the huge army of demons and Majinzoku was in short, a sunlight convergence laser. Before going down [Kamiyama] he flew up to retrieve it.
’’Hyuberion’’ was an enormous airframe lens which converged sunlight, it can also charge itself while inside of the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’ which had heat capacity installed in it. Enormous heat which critically overflowed from the ’’Treasure Warehouse’’ would be discharged through the launching entrance where gravity magic was added in to make it discharge towards the ground.
And ’’Hyuberion's’’ biggest feature was the fact that it could still converge the sunlight even while it was night. It's secret was due to Oscar Orcus's false sun which lightened up his rooms. That thing's sunlight was created through Reproduction magic along with Space magic, it was through collaboration with the ’’liberators’’ who combined their Age of Gods magic as Hajime couldn't understand at first.
Even the Hajime as of now is still unable to create a fake sun. Plus ’’Hyuberion’’ was still in it's experimental stage as well, it wasn't able to withstand it's own heat and broke down, so it can no longer shoot anymore. To begin with, ’’Hyuberion’’ wasn't the only annihilation weapon that Hajime had created but.......
After hearing Hajime's words, once again Ririana's shoulders drops down. There, Kaori, Shizuku, and Aiko pierced Hajime with glares. The 3 people already know of Hajime's stance. Although Hajime did say that he'll consider people in his surroundings to some extent, fundamentally, the fact that he's indifferent about this world doesn't change. Reaching out towards the surroundings was so that sadness wouldn't indirectly reach Yue and them. That's why the 3 people didn't actually say anything. They don't but their persuasiveness were shown in their eyes.
Although Hajime had been ignoring them while drinking his tea, he let out a murmur because they were so persistent.
[.....Before we leave, I'll at least fix the Great Barrier]
[Nagumo-san! Thank you very much!]
Hajime ignored Ririana's, *not sure how i'm supposed to use this expression, パァ*Pa~a!, expression which was shining, and with a, is this alright then? he glanced towards Kaori and them. The three people as well as Ririana returned a joyful smile at Hajime.
Somehow or another it's become really sweat now, he thought, even Yue and Shia besides him were smiling at him, [Ma~a, this isn't bad I guess], Hajime let out a bitter smile as he shrugged his shoulders.
[And where are you guys planning on heading Nagumo-kun? If you're aiming for Age of God's magic then you'll be going for the great labyrinths right? If you came from the West then......is it the Sea of Trees?]
[Ahh, that's our intent. I had plan to go via Fuyuren but, heading partly towards the south is bothersome so I think we'll just go as is towards the East]
After hearing what Hajime had planned, Ririana's expression was as if she had thought of something.
[Then, will you be passing through the Empire's territory?]
[It'll probably happen.....]
[If so then, would it be alright if I tagged along as well?]
[N? What for?]
[There are mountains of things to talk about with the Empire about the Kingdom being invaded. The messenger and ambassador have already left for the Empire but, it's best to talk about it at the earliest possible. With Nagumo-san's transportation artifact, getting to the Empire would be quick right? That's why, I was wondering if I could board as well and have a direct talk over there]
Hajime was amazed at Ririana's bold plan and how she worked her way up towards it, if he thought about it, she was the princess who in order to get help, ran away from the Kingdom and traveled through a caravan. Thinking of it he was strangely convinced that it was natural that she would naturally think up of such an idea.
And, since it wasn't much trouble to just lower her down as they went along their path, his mind consented that it was alright. However, he didn't forget to give a warning.
[Dropping you off is fine but, we won't be entering the Empire? We'll never accompany you to a meeting with the Emperor?]
[Fufu, don't say such impudent things. Just dropping me off is more than enough]
Ririana unintentionally let out a wry smile after Hajime's cautious remark, then Kouki who was silenced by Hajime began to talk again.
[If that's so then, We'll also tag along. Riri can't be left alone with someone who thinks nothing of this world. We'll be the guards along the way. Besides, if Nagumo doesn't plan on doing anything then, I'll save this world! For that purpose, power is needed! The power of Age of God's magic! If we tag along with you guys, we'll be able to obtain Age of God's magic right!]
[No, I'll tell you their locations so don't come without permission. If you tag along it'll always be troublesome all the time]
What are you suddenly getting so fired up about, Hajime had an amazed expression. I guess the criticism about not relying on others wasn't understood. There, Aiko timidly points out Hajime's words from before.
[But, Nagumo-kun, you said that even if we challenged a great labyrinth now, we'd be killed]
[......No, that was, that other thing. Look, even I who was ’’incapable’’ managed to do something about it, so you guys should be fine. You can do it, you can do it. In short you need fighting spirit]
[Isn't that impossible?]
Hajime irresponsibly turned his eyes away from Aiko who completely remembered his remark.
As for Hajime, the dawn when they surpassed the limits of the world was something that he didn't mind allow his classmates to get a free pass into. But, helping them obtain Age of God's magic from the first step was something he wanted absolutely nothing to do with. There was no other reason but the loss of time.
[Nagumo-kun, could I ask you a favor. Just once is fine. Even with just 1 Age of Gods magic, it'll make a decisive difference in completing the other great labyrinths. Won't you let us follow along this once?]
[If you plan on leaching then the magic won't be obtainable? Its required through actions to be accepted by the labyrinth]
[Of course. Putting aside God's case for now, we're also the same in wanting to return home. We'll desperately challenge it with determined will. That's why, I ask of you. Being saved several times and only being able to say our thanks of repaying your kindness to you, but right now, we can't do anything but rely on you. Please lend us your power once more]
[Suzu's also asking, Nagumo-kun. I want to become stronger and have a talk with Eri once again. So I ask of you! This favor will definitely be repaid if you take along suzu and us]
Up until now Aiko had listen to their unreasonable words, only Shizuku earnestly wanted help to obtain the Age of Gods magic. Her expression was stiff and uneasy as she felt sorry that they had to rely on them while not being able to repay their kindness.
Suzu who had kept silent for a long time was also influenced by Shizuku and lowered her head. It appears that she had thought of various things about Eri. Her voice and expression carried desperation. Kouki's eyebrow jumped up a little in reaction to the spectacle he saw but, in the end he didn't say anything.
Hajime was hesitating. Normally, taking along Kouki and them to finish [Harutsuina Sea of Trees] was troublesome and unthinkable. He wanted to quickly refuse them and tell them to go to whichever they wanted out of [Orcus Great Labyrinth] or [Raisen Great Labyrinth].
However, this time, after his battle with Nointo his judgement was hesitating.
That was because, he thought of how to eliminate Nointo as well as the influential men who were seen manipulated back in the past at the [Merujine Underwater Ruins] who will likely be a nuisance, she was a doll who was the embodiment of God's will and literally the hands and feet of God that moved around secretly behind the scenes.
Then, if ’’God's Apostle(Nointo)’’ was clearly created, sure enough, can we be certain that there's not more than one. It may be overly optimistic in thinking so.
Nointo had said. Hajime was an Irregular and God's wish was to have him die while suffering. If so then, sure enough it's logical to believe that they'll send in more existences like Nointo. Assuming so, for the sake of that time, it may be a good idea to give Kouki and them some power? Hajime thought.
Although it was quite evil to throw others at the enemies which were after him, [Ma~a, the Hero has his mind set on fighting God so there shouldn't be any problems right?], he thought lightly, in the end, he finally decided to accept their company and moved towards [Harutsuina Sea of Trees]. For the time being, he glanced at Yue and them for confirmation and it didn't appear that they had any particular objections.
Shizuku and them had a smile of relief which leaked out, Hajime was thinking about the 2 remaining great labyrinths that would come in the future.
Regardless of what's there, the ending of these travels were coming into view. No matter the existence which blocked their path, no matter the situation that they fall in, he'll beat them by all means and return home. Along with the ’’Importance’’ that he obtained in this world.
That oath renewed his desire and included his new bonds which piled up and became even stronger. While feeling the flame of determination growing bigger within his heart, Hajime quietly smiled.