Arifureta - Chapter 124
In the dense fog that clung onto bodies, people's shadow could be seen moving on without hesitation.
It was Hajime and them.
With Shia in the front, Hajime and them are currently heading towards the big tree. It's the second day after they've arrived at Fair Bergen, the cycle for the path to the big tree to open has finally come.
Within that time, there were various disturbances which Hajime and them were caught up in as they stayed in Fair Bergen but, if you compare it with what usually happens, it's likely not to such a high extent that it couldn't be categorized as their daily lives.
Mainly, the thing with Kouki and the freed slaves (girls), a group of male Demi-human's were doing this and that to hajime because of the thing with Arutena, and Ryutaro was doing this and that with the Demi-humans martial arts masters......those kind of stories.
Along the way, forest demons launched a surprise attack under the fog. However, Hajime and the rest, Yue, Shia, Teio, and the Hauria didn't deal with it at all, they left everything up to Kouki and them. Since they didn't know what kind of trials the great labyrinth [Harutsuina Sea of Trees] holds, as a warm up they were told to take out the demons.
To begin with, because the Sea of Trees drives the senses of other races besides the Demi-humans mad, it was completely different than fighting against the demons at [Orcus Great Labyrinth], Kouki and them were having a pretty hard fight. They kept teasing by using hit and run tactics repeatedly and Ryutaro was plainly irritated at the demons who made full use of the dense fog.
[......There! Like this....this!]
Within there, Kaori was mixed into Kouki and them's repeated combat.
Kaori still wasn't completely in full control of Nointo's body yet so she was there voluntarily to train. It appears that, the dense fog didn't effect Nointo's body as much, it seems to be just the right adjustment for the battle experience and trace skills that Nointo had.
Even now, while fluttering her wings which shined in silver, it shot out silver feathers to repel the demons. It appears that she's gotten used to using the silver feathers, as if they were homing missiles, they launched out at the demons and instantly decomposed them to nothingness.
In addition, while giving out a shout, the approaching demons who slipped past the silver feathers were wonderfully cut into 2 by the great sword that was clad in silver light that was pulled out in an instant.
It seems that she still couldn't wield them freely like how Nointo did but, if its just one hit then she's considerably skilled. At the very least, it was at the level where she couldn't be embarrassed to call herself a ’’Swordsman’’.
[I seem to be considerably getting used to this. It's worthwhile that I get into a fight with Yue everyday] *<-This part may be wrong, it sounds different from what the machine's actually giving me, ユエと喧嘩しているだけの事はある*
[.......Your spec's are abnormal. I can't afford to be careless]
Hajime let out a breath and muttered, [Fuu~], as he watched Kaori's figure.
Although she's still not on the original Nointo's level yet which was able to give the Hajime at full power a hard fight, but if you think about her growth rate, it was wonderful since it was still only around 10 days since her soul was transferred. Kaori's diligence is likely allowing her to rapidly master Nointo's fighting power.
[That's not true. I'm still not accustomed to using magic while fighting, if I don't concentrate on Decomposition it wont activate as well.....I still can't even get a hit off of Yue]
It appears that she heard the conversation between Hajime and Yue, Kaori was pouting as she moved forwards. She wants to quickly become stronger, she has the image but, she's frustrated that it doesn't go as she thought it would.....those kind of feelings are reflected on her expression.
[.......Kaori. What are you saying. Your physical abilities exceeds ours, you have the brutal ability of decomposition in your silver wings, and you've got aptitude in all attributes and can use magic without having to chant and without magic formations. Your swordsmanship is also progressing limitlessly like a joke as well, due to your proficiency in recovery magic, your defenses are like a fortress, even if they successfully inflict a wound onto you, it'll heal up immediately....it's already unsuitable to call you a cheat anymore, you're more like a bugged character. Yet you're still dissatisfied?]
Shizuku pointed out her specs as if she was amazed, Kaori had felt that she definitely felt like a monster so she just let her eyes wander around.
[But, I can't defeat Yue or Shia.....if I'm a bugged character then, what are Hajime-kun and them?]
[.....Something hard to describe or something...like that.....]
Shizuku was showing a difficult expression as she thought of the best way to describe Hajime and them, it seems that nothing came to mind in the end. Kouki called out to Shizuku.
[It's fine, Shizuku. As long as we can clear the great labyrinth then even we can become as strong as Nagumo. No, if you think about Nagumo's non-fighting class, surely we'd be able to be stronger than him]
[Looks like it. I'm looking forwards to find out what kind of magic we'll obtain]
[Un, lets do our best!]
Although Hajime's strength doesn't come solely from Age of Gods magic, Kouki who was through with it was strongly clenching his fist. Ryutaro and Suzu also seemed to have been pumped up.
[Every~one, We've reached it~]
When Kouki and them were firing themselves up, Shia tells them of their arrival at the big tree as she looked back over her shoulder. When Hajime and them chased after Shia who advanced ahead and disappeared into the other side of the fog, they arrived at a space that had no fog. Towering in front was a withered huge tree just exactly like they saw before.
[This is.....the big tree.....]
While looking above their heads, they weren't even able to see the top of the big tree, Kouki and them had their mouths opened absentmindedly as its width was so long it was as if they were standing in front of a wall. Surely it was the same expression anyone else would have had when seeing it for the first time, Hajime and Yue had a small smile while looking at eachother.
Hajime approached the lithograph while pulling out all the proofs that he's obtained from the other great labyrinths out of his ’’Treasure Warehouse’’. The lithograph hasn't changed since last time, crests of the 7 great labyrinths are drawn on the front and it's back was hollow in order to allow the proofs to be place in.
While crouching down, Hajime was playing with the 5 proofs in his palm, Kouki and them were finally freed from the large tree's dignified appearance and focused on Hajime. From now on it'll be a place where anything can truly happen at anytime. While bracing themselves, Hajime looked sharply at Kouki and them.
[Cam, Since we don't know what'll happen from now on, back off with the Hauria tribe]
[Roger, boss. May fortune be with you]
By Fair Bergen's negotiations, the south land with the big tree became Cam and their territory but, from Hajime's words his expression became a bit disappointed, However he still decided to salute and then everyone spread out together.
When he confirmed that, Hajime slowly placed the [Orcus Great Labyrinth] ring of proof into the hollow section of the lithograph. Once it was placed, the lithograph began to shine faintly and characters appeared.
’’Power of Reproduction’’
’’Guidepost of weaved bonds’’
’’A path for a new trial shall be open for those who have everything’’
[This is the same as before as well. The used proof....is anything other than [Kamiyama] fine]
Hajime went ahead and set the proofs into the lithograph that while muttering. [Raisen's Ring] [Guryuen's Pendant] [Merujine's Coin]......
Each time one was set into the lithograph, it's light strengthened up. And immediately after placing the final coin, the light was set free and it scattered onto the front of the big tree, this time the big tree was the one that shined brightly.
[Mu? A crest has appeared on the big tree]
[.....Next is, the power of Reproduction?]
As Teio muttered with great interest, a pattern of the 7 angel systems stood out on the trunk of the large tree. Yue walked towards the shining pattern and while quietly touching it she used Reproduction magic.
The big tree was wrapped up in a light uncomparable to before, a wave of light was continuously rippling towards the top from the place that Yue had touched.
The big tree that was shining brightly, gradually revived as the light spread out to every corner as if it was absorbing water from its roots.
Shia pointed at the leaves which appeared as the tree regained it's vitality with each passing moment. It was almost like looking at the birth of life, Hajime and them were staring at what was in front of their eyes with a mysterious feeling, the big tree was quickly growing and it regained its bright green looks.
As a slightly strong wind blew by, the sound of the large tree's leaves rustling around could be heard. Then, at the next moment, all of the sudden, the front of the tree trunk was split from the right and left and a cave appeared. It was a big cave which could fit several tens of people.
Hajime and them looked at each others faces and nodded to each other and stepped into the cave without hesitation.
Hajime was slightly concerned would the other members who have not captured 4 great labyrinths actually be able to challenge the great labyrinth of the Sea of Trees, but it appears that it was pointless worries. Everyone was able to enter the cave without a problem.
It was probably like the other great labyrinths in the stance of, [If you want to enter, it's fine as long as you have what's necessary. However, your life is not guaranteed].
Hajime looked around the surroundings. But, there didn't seem to be anything particular in the cave. It was simply a huge space which extended out like a dome.
[Is it a dead-end?]
Kouki muttered out doubtfully.
Immediately afterwards, the entrance to the cave began to shut as if it had been reverse-reproductioned.
The light from the outside gradually thinned out. Hajime scolded Kouki who instinctively panicked. When the entrance was completely shut, the inside of the cave was wrapped in darkness, immediately Yue secured a light source and held it up in her hand. However there was no need for it.
That's because a huge magic formation appeared underneath their legs and it emitted strong light.
[Uwa, what's this!]
[What's up! What is this!]
[Quit making so much noise! Its a transfer magic formation! Don't be careless when you're transferred!]
After Hajime warned the shaken Ryutaro and Suzu, their view blacked out.
What reflected in Hajime and their view when the light returned was a lush forest. A sea of trees inside of a tree.....created an indescribably odd situation.
[Is everyone alright?]
Kouki lightly shook his head and confirmed his surroundings for the safety of his comrades. There Shizuku and them, [We're fine], replied. Yue, Shia, Teio, and Kaori didn't seem to have any particular problems either, they watched their surroundings with caution.
[Nagumo, this is really the great labyrinth right? ......Which way should we progress in?]
The place where Hajime and them were transferred to was, a vacant circled lot where they were completely surrounded by trees in 360 degrees, there wasn't a guidepost indicating which way they should go either.
Since it's covered in a dense fog, it doesn't seem like flying overhead to look for a path would be useful. That's why Kouki asked Hajime who had lots of experience with great labyrinths.
[......For the time being, we've got no choice but to look around]
Hajime muttered out with a slightly displeased expression, he placed his hand onto the trunk of a tree and activated ’’Tracing’’. A magic mark was created, a bright red arrow was placed onto the tree and pointing in the direction where they were going.
When Kouki and them saw that they nodded. It seems they understood that they had no choice but to search while placing signs. And they took the lead since they heard that even if you cleared the labyrinth, if they weren't recognized by the great labyrinth then they wouldn't be able to obtain Age of Gods magic.
The other members followed behind successively. However, only Hajime didn't move from his place as his eyes retained coldness within it. As they began to walk, Shia noticed and a ’’?’’ appeared over her head as she turned back towards Hajime.
[......Hajime-san? Whats wro -]
Shia called out to Hajime......in that moment,
When they heard that wind-like noise ring out, in a instant Yue and Teio, as well as Ryutaro were coiled by a wire, with both spheres on both ends fixed into the air they were restrained. Hajime had taken out the bola from his ’’Treasure Warehouse’’ and quickly thrown them to bind them.
Yue, Teio, and Ryutaro wiggled around as they struggled. When Kouki and them saw that they were dumbfounded. However, once they regained their sanity and as if it was able to produce a ~Ki~ sound they immediately glared strongly at Hajime.
[Nagumo! What exactly are you doing!]
Kouki instinctively raised his voice angrily. Shizuku and them had tensed expressions as their eyes conveyed that they wanted an explanation from Hajime.
[......Be quiet for a bit]
However, Hajime only said that and didn't answer Kouki and their doubts and silently looked towards Yue, he briskly walked up towards her who was expressionless.
And, as Yue looked up at Hajime perplexedly, Hajime pressed Donner against her forehead. His eyes had a coldness of absolute zero within them, it was obvious that Hajime was completely furious in anger.
Yue had a, I can't believe it, expression as Hajime pointed his muzzle at her. And when she tried to voice out her doubt as she called Hajime's name.
However, immediately after that,
Hajime pulled Donner's trigger without hesitation. A dry explosive noise echoed throughout the sea of trees. For now, although the muzzle was removed from Yue's forehead and pointed towards her shoulder, even still it didn't change the fact that Hajime had shot his beloved lover.
Towards that fact, it was obvious that Kouki and them as well as Shia and them were intensely shaken. And they looked at Hajime with eyes that doubted his sanity.
[Wha, what are you doing! Nagumo-kun!]
Shizuku and Kaori raised their voices to attempt to stop Hajime who was filled with rage but, Shia finally noticed the sense of incongruity and held onto Kaori and them by the hand instead.
Although there was an air like Kouki would spring at any moment to try and restrain Hajime but, that disappeared after Hajime's next words.
[Don't speak without permission, Imitations. You're only an imitation and you dare imitate Yue's voice. If you dare to call my name with that voice again. I'll scrape off your hands and feet]
The moment Hajime uttered his voice, as if the ground was arctic cold, the air was filled with coldness. However the temperature hasn't actually fallen. Murderous intent was overflowing from his body and in turn dropped the heat that life was giving out. Somehow, even the surroundings became dark. Towards the dense murderous intent, Kouki and them naturally became shallow breathed and cold sweat ran down like a waterfall.
[What are you? Where is the real Yue?]
Yue's appearance was as if stating, ’’What is it’’, with her expression and was silently unmoved in her stance *<-I improvised and have a feeling the ending here is incorrect by a lot, ユエの姿をした’’何か’’は表情をストンと落とすと無機質な雰囲気を纏って無言を貫いた*. Rather than ’’Who are you’’ it was ’’What are you’’, this was because blood was not flowing from where she was shot in the shoulder. It was obvious that it wasn't a ’’person’’.
This time Hajime shot through the opposite shoulder. However the fake Yue still didn't change her expression. It appears that they didn't have a sense of pain. Just like Nointo, they carried an image as if they were puppets, or they may not actually have any will of their own.
[Are you not going to answer. ......No, do you not have a function to answer. Then its fine already. Die]
This time Hajime pointed Donner's muzzle onto Yue's forehead and used a rail gun to blast her head off. Behind Yue (Fake), something was splattering and scattering.
Although Shizuku and them instinctively turned away from it, if you took the time to look at it, it wasn't a brain but a rust colored slime that had scattered. Yue's (Fake) body which lost it's head was beginning to melt after one beat, it similarly turned into a rust colored slime and stained into the ground.
Hajime continued to shoot through Teio and Ryutaro's heads consecutively while they were still restrained by the bola. As the two people splattered Kouki and them instinctively had goosebumps but, as expected they turned into a rust colored slime and were inhaled into the ground just like the Yue (Fake) slime.
[Chi. As expected of a great labyrinth. Starting right off the bat....]
Hajime cursed out as he holstered Donner.
[Hajime-san.....Yue-san and Teio-san are.....]
[They must have been transferred to a different location from earlier. There was a slight sense of the feeling when our memories were being searched by Age of Gods magic. The rust colored slimes who obtained the memories used their mimic abilities to disguise themselves, it felt like they had openings from behind?] *<-Unsure about this part, 隙を見て背後からって感じじゃないか*
Hajime's expression distorts into a bad mood as his lover turned into soup. Shizuku and Suzu nodded as if they felt admiration as they heard Hajime's guess.
[I see. .....Even still you've done good to notice]
[Un un, Suzu wasn't able to tell the difference at all. How did you notice?]
Suzu asked for Hajime's identification tips as it would be troubling if they couldn't distinct their own comrades apart. Kouki looked at Hajime with interest as well while worrying about the safety of his best friend.
Hajime's answer towards that question was....
[Even if you asked me. .....I can only say that the instant I saw them, I noticed. What was before my eyes was ’’Not my Yue’’]
[ [ [ [ [........] ] ] ] ]
In a sense, all members lost their strength when the answer was him speaking fondly of his sweetheart.
[Then, how about Ryutaro-kun and Teio-san?]
[Once you know that there are imposters then, with the ’’Magic Eye Stone’’ if you look carefully you can see a sense of incongruity. That's why you don't have to worry as long as you're with me from now on]
Is that so~, Kouki and them looked at Hajime amazedly. Within that, as if Shia thought of something she went, ~ha~, while fidgeting she asked Hajime while expecting something.
[Ano, Hajime-san.....if it was me, would you also notice it in an instant?]
[ ! ]
Kaori who was next to Shia reacted, in her glance she asked, [How about me?]. Somehow or another eyes were attracted to Hajime. Inside of the delicate bittersweet atmosphere, Hajime answered plainly without much vigor.
[Sa~a? Isn't it impossible for just a moments glance?]
[ [........] ]
Usually while one was reading the air, [Of course, Isn't it obvious that I'd realize it?], and answer like that but, this was part of Hajime's quality. While thinking that he mercilessly answered.
Unintentionally Shia and Kaori continued to stare at him but, Hajime continued to advance into the depths of the sea of trees while being indifferent about the two people's glances.
[It's questionable how he can have such strong nerves....]
[Au, Kaolin, Shiashia, cheer up!]
[Kaori is really, what about that guy is.....]
While following after Hajime, Shizuku and them glanced at Shia and Kaori who puffed their cheeks in a bad mood from their appeal. While having various problems at the the start of the line, they stepped into the sea of trees.
By the way, in his mind, [If it was Shia I'd know], is what Hajime had thought but.....he had just decided to take on an honest attitude but he carelessly said that bluntly so he may very well be a tsundere.
Exactly like an electric fan moving at maximum speeds, that kind of sound was echoing in the sea of trees. It wasn't one or two either. It was the buzzing of countless numbers. Translucent wings that were flapping at super-high speeds were already like a kind of attack as the noise reverates.
[Uu~, gross~, ’’Beyond Heaven-ugh’’!]
[Don't whine! Suzu, it went that way!]
[Ku, it's quick! ’’Heavenly Flying Sword’’!] *<-What I'm calling it, 天翔剣*
Suzu looking like she wanted to cry as she was holding in the physiological disgust she felt from looking at the demon.
That may be something that can't be helped. After all, the reason for the buzzing was a toddler sized ’’Bee’’. If you compared it in form then it would be a hornet. The super-huge bee-typed demon were attacking in swarms with their tough jaws and lethal stingers.
With a malicious yellow and black hue, their jaws creaked as it opened and closed, their stingers had green liquid dripping from it, their feet that waved around eerily, and their dark red compound eyes......it certainly was a creature that you'd want to avoid.
Moreover, this bee-typed demon were hard to deal with because they were quick and they cooperated in groups. Furthermore, they could continuously shoot out their needles since a new one would immediately grow in its place, from mid-range it was exactly like a machine-gun so there was the threat of being swept by a rain of stingers.
Somehow Suzu's barriers were keeping out the stingers, as opposed to Kouki's method of hammering them with a single blow, Shizuku was breaking apart their cooperation and speed, however the swarm of bee's were not decreasing in numbers at all.
[Damn, these guys, they're exactly like the Majinzoku's demons!]
[No, it's reversed isn't it? They're monsters are similar to the great labyrinth's monsters]
Kouki wielded his sacred sword with a desperate look, he remembered the scene of bloodshed that they experienced previously and unintentionally cursed out. They had absolutely no space to relax because the great labyrinth's monsters were so strong.
At the moment a mantis-shaped demon that was around 2 meters in length was about to do a surprise attack on Kouki from behind but, Hajime killed it in an instant and tsukkomied at the same time.
A slight distance away from Hajime, Shia was killing 3 meter ant-typed demons in a single hit with Doryukken and blasting through the ground building a mountain of corpses. Kaori wasn't losing either, she continuously shot out silver feathers and close to 30 bee's were already shot down and decomposed.
When Kouki saw the spectacle that came into view, he grit his teeth as he feels the difference between Hajime and their powers once again.
[’’Beyond Heaven-ugh’’ ’’Beyond Heaven-ugh’’! It's useless. We'll be overwhelmed!]
Suzu who was close to tears, created several shining shields, she kept repeatedly building new ones as soon as the previous ones were destroyed, Suzu's magical power was mercilessly shaved down.
’’Beyond Heaven’’ is not that strong but its strength is that it can be produced in great numbers, Suzu was a ’’Barrier Master’’ so her barriers also carried enough strength to take on several attacks from normal demons before they were destroyed.
However, in front of the bee-typed demon's stingers that they shot out, those barriers were instantly broken as if they were paper waste, currently Suzu was being forced to deploy barriers at unprecedented speeds.
Little by little, little by little, the deployment of barriers were being delayed and the scene of flying stingers gradually fills the distance, it was as if she was being strangled by a line of silk and it damaged Suzu's mind.
[Run rampant, ’’Thunder Flower’’! mince them, ’’Flash Claw’’!]*<-What I'm calling it, 爪閃*
Along with Shizuku's chants, a sinister flower of thunder bloomed in the sky, and a claw of wind minced through. She demonstrated her black katana's abilities on the approaching bee-typed demons.
With her sharp swordsmanship, she was certainly feeling the feedback of the demons being torn apart. With Shizuku being a Speed Fighter, being paired up against the bees was a good match. While disturbing their cooperation with her free movement skill ’’No Rhythm’’, one by one she was sure to slaughter them.
However, the bee-typed demon's strength was their numbers. Even if she could defeat them, Shizuku was lacking in overwhelming annihilation powers. Hence, the war situation was that they were gradually being pushed, Shizuku who noticed that had a bitter expression.
[Will of the blade, harboring light which will tear apart the enemy! ’’Light Blade’’!]
Thanks to Shizuku, Kouki was able to chant as he liked and his sacred sword was coated by a sword of light.
The light blade extended his sacred sword by about another 2 meters in length. Kouki swung the huge blade of light while rotating his body in one motion which cut through all gathered surrounding bee-typed demons.
However because the motion of the attack held too many openings, the demons charged in towards him. In response his body was hurled backwards.
[Ku, why you!]
The bee-typed demon was about to thrust its stinger into him but, fortunately, Kouki's sacred armor prevented the stinger from coming near, Kouki somehow managed to use that chance to get up and cut off it's head.
He had no room to answer Shizuku's worried voice. In the next moment, he was attacked by huge quantities of demons so Kouki needed to finish recovering his balance.
Although Kouki waved his sacred sword while shouting, the demons in the great labyrinth weren't sweet enough to spare you any time when you've exposed a chance. At last, a bee-typed demon managed to slip past the sacred sword and get behind him, it then clung onto him from behind like spikes on shoes, it was trying to use its jaws to tear through Kouki's neck.
Kouki raised a voiceless scream.
in that juncture,
The moment when the bee's jaws were about to pierce through Kouki's neck, a flash of light surged out from the side as it cut through the sky and easily blew off the bee-typed demon's head off.
Kouki who was unsteady due to the aftereffect, ignored the heat that he felt on his neck and separated himself from the remains of the bee-typed demon that was clinging onto him. Although it was a narrow escape from death, Kouki's cheeks cramped as more demons swarmed him.
I'll be overwhelmed!
He was convinced. A voice that had no sense of panic was heard in Kouki's ears.
[Don't move, Amanogawa]
Immediately afterwards, countless meteors fell down upon the bee-typed demons and mercilessly trampled them.
Doo~opan! Doo~opan! Doo~opan! Doo~opan! Doo~opan!
You could only hear one gunshot but, the truth was that there were 6 flashes produced. *<- lol wut? the author only had 5 Doo~opan's*
The shining red spear of light pierced through all demons in the line of fire and killed them instantly. In addition, the bullets were shot out with well-thought out trajectories, they went through the air and collided with the other bullets and with that slight change in angle they efficiently pierced through more Demons.
According to their viewpoint, it almost seemed as if the enemies voluntarily jumped into the bullets. Such special technique could be called an admirable performance, the demons which were giving Kouki a hard time were overwhelmed by Hajime, the bullets were continuously spinning and reloading one another, in addition Donner and Schlag shot out when they fell into confusion.
......It didn't even take 1 minute before everything was taken care of. It was instant killings.
Hajime who annihilated the bee-typed demons in no time at all holstered Donner and Schlag as if nothing happened, he approached the defeated monsters as Kouki and them were stunned.
[Chi, it doesn't seem like there's any meaning even if I ate them.....]
[E, eat? Eh, Nagumo-kun, you intended to eat this? Seriously?]
Instinctively, Shizuku asked after being influenced by the previous act of devastation.
[Did I not say it before? .....If I eat a demon which is equal or higher than me, I can take in the opponents inherent magic for myself. In the abyss, the only thing there was to eat were demons. Ahh, you guys shouldn't copy me. Without a doubt you'd die]
[Even if you didn't say it, we wouldn't. Hearing it once again is truly sublime.....]
Shizuku was looking at Hajime with a complex expression. He's really reliable since he's helped them countless times by now but, she was reminded once again of where that power came from was through a sublime experience, she was lost on whether she should honestly feel admiration or not.
[Bu, but, why aren't you eating this thing then? No, as for Suzu, suzu doesn't want to see such a predation scene so you don't have to eat it but......]
[I just said it just now? There's no meaning unless they're equal or higher than me. The guys around here are all small frys]
[......I See~. For Nagumo-kun, this monster is a small fry~. I see~, ahaha]
[Suzu, I understand your feelings so don't break. Please come back]
Suzu who was giving a dry laugh as if slightly broken and Shizuku was sighingly asking her to regain her sanity.
Within that, only Kouki was staring at the remains of the demons that Hajime had created while tightly grasping the sword in his grip. For himself, the enemy was powerful to the extent where he had almost lost his life, but Hajime evaluated them as if they were just stones on the side of the road without any value, he felt unpleasant from their difference in ability. Although he was trying to pretend to not notice, dark emotions were beginning to swell up again within his heart.
Hajime glanced over at Kouki who was standing still silently.
[~. Wh, what is it?]
[For now just think about finding your childhood friend. Being worried about this and that, it'll be fine as long as you do what you have to do]
[Ah, ahh. You're right, we have to quickly find Ryutaro and them....]
Although he stuttered somewhat, Kouki nodded firmly towards Hajime's words. He braced himself again to search for his missing childhood friend.
After Hajime was glancing at Kouki like that, he seemed to have lost interest and averted his glance.
As a matter of fact, Hajime had clearly understood what Kouki was feeling. Inferiority complex and frustration, jealousy of strength........they were emotions which Hajime had felt once before.
He never thought that Kouki who had everything would be feeling that way towards himself, it was a rather ironic subject. As Hajime was thinking about such things, because he had no feelings to consider for Kouki, he was simply through with it. The words from awhile ago that Hajime said out was already a big treat.
[Hajime-san, the other side was cleaned up~]
[Fu~u, this side is done too]
In the meantime, Kaori and Shia who finished dealing with the demons came back.
[Alright. Well then, shall we depart. I think that if its Yue and Teio then it's alright but, we should still regroup with them as quickly as possible. Sakagami is......ma~a, whatever happens, happens]
[Wha-, aren't you treating Ryutaro too crudely? Say, I know that your lover is important and all but....]
From what Hajime said, Shizuku had a troubled expression as she tsukkomied. The party advanced through the interior of the sea of trees to look for their companions who were separated from them.