Arifureta - Chapter 233
Arifureta After II The Legendary Dragon Knight
『Ee, everyone. This is sudden, but we are not anyone suspicious by any means. In this situation, we should strive to reach a mutual understanding peacefully, by means of communication like a cultured human shouldn't wee-』
The voice of Hajime that was amply filled with sincerity was resounding through the whole airspace. He was appealing by using telepathy, so his voice should undoubtedly reach both the army and the air pirate.
While the air pirate's airship and the army's mother ship that was located diagonally right behind it were approaching, Hajime was hovering midair while showing a friendly smile. The first impression was truly the most important thing in forming personal relationship.
Tio who was nestling close beside him was nursing the small dragon in her arms while acting the straight-man「No matter how they look, thou only look like someone suspicious though」, but it didn't even give a single scratch at Hajime's ignoring skill.
Hajime lifted up both his hands to appeal that he had no hostility while he continued his words like a cultured modern-day person.
『We don't have any hostile intention. No, honestly! I'm not lying at all! It will be a cold day in hell before I lie. A person like me is saying that, that's why there can be no doubt about it. We don't have any hostile intention!』
「It sounds extremely fishy......」
Tio-san beside Hajime was saying something. But his ignoring skill level had reached the max value so there was no problem.
『Everyone, it appears that all of you are pursuing after this rug rat dragon, but the two of us don't need it! Rather, we are even thinking seriously whether we should just toss this thing away over there.』
'We don't have any intention of snatching your prey okaaay!' Hajime appealed so, but for some reason hostility was overflowing form the pilots of both factions circling at the surrounding. Especially all the pilot-san of the air pirate, their rage was fierce. They were laying out their protest by punching *bang bang* at their cockpit's windbreaker.
『......It was a joke. Just now was a joke filled with wits. That was my consideration to everyone trying to calm down this place. Anyway, we don't have any intention of snatching this thing, so we will hand over this rug rat. Owner-san, please come out to the fro~~nt』
For some reason, when Hajime said ’’rug rat’’ or ’’owner’’, the killing intent of the air pirate pilots doubled. Somehow he got the feeling that the more he talked the more their hostility got fanned up.
Even while Hajime was making speech like that, the airship of the air pirate had approached until nearby.
There, perhaps their mental petrification against the really strange duo was finally dispelled, the air battle force of the army side was starting to move.
It seemed that it was the fact that they tried to capture the small dragon alive, so instead of attacking Hajime and Tio, they resumed their attack toward the airship.
Perhaps it should be called as an abnormal obsession, because the airship was recklessly charging forward without even taking evasive action. It was getting bombed directly and got damaged all over.
The pilots of the air pirate side returned fire. However, because their number was reduced by the army's overwhelming attack, and how the airship wasn't taking sufficient evasive action, and then, because there were Hajime and Tio――or more accurately the small dragon nearby, their movement got restrained and they were unable to deploy in a defensive battle like before.
『Ee, everyone, let's calm down for now. I will hand over this rug ra――this young dragon, so both sides, please stop your ship. Let's talk it with each other about the handing over――』
「Please match your speed with usss-. And then, give Kuwaibel to me! Please-」
An amplified voice of a woman――no, a girl reached Hajime, cutting off his speech.
When Hajime turned his gaze there, he could see on the front deck of the airship that was charging to here, a girl carrying something that looked like a megaphone was leaning his body forward on the handrail that she looked like she could fall off anytime. Behind the girl was a tall blonde haired young woman and a young man with the same blonde hair standing by, they were desperately holding the girl who looked like she could fall off anytime.
The girl's silver semi-long hair was wild from the strong wind. But, the girl's expression was even wilder than that. Looking closer she was a beauty. However, her eyes that were greatly slanting upward and her desperate looked that even resembled an ogre were honestly at a creepy level.
But, her figure that was reaching out her hand earnestly and sincerely even when she knew that she wouldn't reach conveyed the seriousness of the girl.
The ship wasn't decelerating. It would get shot down if it stopped. It was something definite. That was why the girl yelled for Hajime to match his speed pleadingly.
The airship was passing through so close it almost grazed Hajime and Tio. The girl was still reaching out her hand with a despairing and grieving expression.
Hajime and Tio looked at each other's face.
「Aa~. It looks like they also know the name of this rug rat, and based on the situation, perhaps what this thing meant by friend refer to the air pirate――let's toss this thing to that girl and get away from here.」
「This hath really become troublesome in various aspects, I understand.」
They nodded once. Hajime and Tio started sliding backward with a sudden speed.
The movement that wholly ignored things like propulsive force or dynamics caused several pilots who were looking for chance to open their eyes wide in shock.
Hajime and Tio instantly approached the airship's deck.
The girl's expression greatly brightened up. The blonde hair duo behind her looked wary.
Perhaps thinking that the small dragon was going to be handed over, the mother ship behind the airship launched innumerable number of missiles. It seemed that it took into consideration that the small dragon was nearby, so its main cannon the majestic 3-gun turrets stayed silent, but in front of nearly fifty missiles, it was hard to say that it was ’’fortunate’’.
The Vulcan cannon loaded aboard the airship spouted fire, shooting down the missile swarm, but in the first place it couldn't take evasive action. The sky battlecraft pilots also joined in the interception, but naturally by doing that the respond toward the army's sky battlecraft thinned down.
One plane slipped through the defensive line of the air pirate and launched its missile.
Most likely its aim was the bridge. Human silhouettes could be seen across the windbreaker of a place that was jutting out in the central position of the airship.
The girl and the blonde haired duo opened their eyes wide. They were staring dumbfounded at their last moment――
Ahead of their gaze, one smoking sky battlecraft barged in. It slipped between the bridge and the flying missile without any hesitation.
It was a shield with one's life on the line. For a ’’pirate’’, that skill, that spirit, that everything was noble.
Flame blast illuminated the bridge, the girl and others on the deck, and Hajime and Tio who were flying parallel to the airship.
The plane's rear part was pulverized and the front nose was torn to pieces. It was merely luck that the cockpit wasn't blasted off.
But, there wasn't any concept of bail out or anything for the pilot of this world. The reason was because there was nothing but the sea of clouds below when they ejected out, inside that was a hell that rejected human's survival.
The girl's pained voice resounded at the interstice of the wind's howl. Even though she wasn't using megaphone, but her voice resounded excessively clearly was surely because the pilot was an important people for her.
「......Good grief. Well, I'm a Japanese after all?」
For some reason Hajime was making a strange excuse while taking out something from ’’Treasure Warehouse II’’ that he threw away. That thing which was flying in a high speed that was unthinkable to be reached just from a snap of the wrist slid right under the cockpit part that was about to vanish into the sea of clouds.
And then, that thing that spread out with *kashun-* sound――variable type chakram ’’Orestes’’ swallowed the cockpit along with the pilot through its center.
The girls and co leaked out「Eh?」, at the same time another Orestes that was also thrown on the deck unfolded and the cockpit fell from there. The deck got dented along with a loud impact sound. The pilot who returned safely (?) looked dazed from being unable to comprehend what happened.
Hajime caught the returning Orestes while calling at the girl and co who were dumbfounded at the unbelievable sight.
「O~i, you over there! You are this guy's owner――not that, you're his friend? You are aren't you?」
「Eh? A, e, u, tha, that's righttt!」
Hajime asked while poking at the small dragon Tio was carrying. The girl was in a state of 'presently in chaos!', however she somehow returned word of affirmative.
「Then, I'll return him, so catch him properly okaaay!」
「Eh? Catch? Eh?」
Hajime directed a really nice smile at the girl was all flustered and all shook up. He ignored Tio who was speaking hesitantly「No, Goshujin-sama. Although the situation is as it is, that art a bit......」, and he strongly grasped the small dragon in an eagle grip.
And then, he tossed it away「Hoi-」with a really casual feeling.
「WAITTTTTTTTTT-, WHAT ARE YOU DOINGGGGG-」
The girl screamed, however she did that while running on the deck with surprising swiftness and performed a dive catch at the falling small dragon. At that occasion, she also seemed to perform a face sliding, but she seemed to be unexpectedly tough because right after she lifted the small dragon to show at the panicked blonde hair duo.
That figure looked like an outfielder baseball player showing up his fine play, or it closely resembled a person of a certain unpopulated island going「I CAUGHT ITT―――!!」. The blonde hair duo was rushing to the girl while applausing. (TN: Click here if you want to see the pose. I don't really know what this refer too. Perhaps some kind of TV show in Japan?)
Seeing their figure like that, Hajime showed a really satisfied smile that seemed to say「Today too I'm accumulating up good deed yeah」before he used telepathy once more.
『Everyone, with this we are not involved anymore. From the start we are just a passing by people of virtue, and so, we will quickly vanish so that we won't be a bother to everyone. Well then-』
Hajime prompted Tio and he rotated his skyboard. The skyboard turned 90 degree left from the course of the air pirate. That was a course that distanced away from the cloud mountain range. Hajime predicted that the air pirate who had recovered the small dragon would head toward the cloud mountain range in order to escape the army, so he chose a course that was the exact opposite from that route.
But, destiny-san wouldn't let such a shallow demon king-san to get away! It was impossible to escape from destiny-san!
「Piih!? Pii~~? Pipiih!? Pii――――!!」
「Ah――, Ku-chan! DON'T GOOO-. COME BACK HEREEEEE-」
Such cry and scream could be heard from behind.
When Hajime and Tio looked behind in surprise, the awakened small dragon was chasing after Hajime and Tio once more. Perhaps the girl had jumped out overenthusiastically, because she was diving outside the handrail, but the blond hair duo caught her leg in a narrow call.
The screams (?) of the blonde hair duo「Pr, princessss-. Do you want to dieee-」or 「Aa, this is bad-. Roze-sama's clothes is slipping offffff-」who were looking desperate could be heard. The pilot who went through emergency landing on the deck jumped out from the cockpit in panic and joined in the rescue of the girl whose buttocks were getting exposed.
「Wai-, why are you chasing us!? Just as I thought Tio, a strange smell really is coming from you!?」
「That's a cruel remark don't thou know!? Even if it's me, I couldst still feel hurt here!?」
Hajime and Tio accelerated rapidly.
However, surprisingly the small dragon made its body to be clad in silver color and chased them steadily. In contrast with the tininess of its body and its pitiful 'pii pii' cry, it was unexpectedly a speed fighter.
「Uwaa, somehow everyone is following after us......what's with this game of tag?」
「This art chaos.」
In the world of twilight, Hajime and Tio were in the lead with the small dragon, the air pirate's sky battlecrafts, the army's sky battlecrafts, airship, and mother ship were pursuiting in a straight line which created a bizarre sight. Hajime was looking weary while Tio's face was twitching.
Even when they attempted to camouflage themselves using pencil Cross Velts, but as long as the small dragon was chasing after Tio by somehow grasping her position accurately, there was no other way to get away other than shaking it off using speed.
Hajime withdrew Donner from his holster and loaded it with special bullet ’’Exise Bullet’’. It was a special bullet that could change place along with the space around it to another space coordinate. By firing the bullet with electromagnetic acceleration and then exchanging place with it at the farthest distance, it enabled the user himself to move in the pseudo realm of electromagnetic acceleration.
「Tio, grab on me. We are teleporting.」
「......Right. That's fine but......why, didn't Goshujin-sama use it when chasing after that Higgs fellow?」
Hajime's gaze wandered around a bit while,「You, it's that you know, that. Yes, interfering at the battle between you and that guy is just inelegant right?」he was making a strangely lame excuse while his finger was about to pull the trigger.
But, just before he could,
Hajime controlled the skyboard and made a sharp turn. The place where they were just at a moment before was rushed through by innumerable bullets.
Furthermore, the sky battlecraft squad that cut in at the path Hajime was turning to was carrying out a strafing with Vulcan to reduce Hajime and Tio into meat scraps without even a shred of mercy.
Hajime further barrel rolled to avoid that, but
「Oi oi, they are really feverish with murderous impulse huh.」
「Looks like they art losing their temper with this game of tag.」
Ahead of the gaze of the two who were turning around, there was the form of the mother ship that unnoticed had taken a steep climb and aimed its gun turret at its lower part from the far height. It seemed the turret was a type that could be stowed in, that turret that was protruding out from the ship's bottom was opening its large nozzle that had a diameter around two meter.
It was a caliber that was too big to shoot cannon ball, but it seemed what it would shot wasn't cannon or missile.
It had silver light converging in it. The energy was so immense their skin could feel it. No matter how they looked, it was in the preparation stage to fire a beam cannon like space battleship that often came out in SF.
Going with firing the main cannon of a mother ship that was boasting its hugeness just to kill two people, these guys were really bunches with screw loose in their head.
Naturally, Hajime was trying to take evasive action, but the aim of that cannon turret was detailed in contrast of its size. Furthermore, the army's sky battlecrafts were joining in the attack from all direction to seal their movement so they couldn't escape from the firing line.
Indeed, although this was for the sake of breaking the deadlock of the situation, but it was unthinkable that the height of this killing intent was coming from the bunches who were refraining themselves from large scale attack in consideration of the small dragon's existence.
『Oi, we told you already before, we don't have any hostile intention, we also don't want anything with that small dragon! We also don't want to get involved with you guys! We are going to disappear right away, so pull ba――』
Hajime's persuading words resounded to the whole airspace using telepathy. But, before he could finish his sentence――the atmosphere burst.
*GOU-* The silver bombardment was fired from diagonally above and exploded the air. Due to the sky battlecrafts attacking in waves, a wall of bullet was created between the two and the pursuing small dragon, distancing the two sides.
Therefore, that merciless attack dyed the world that was in madder red color as though it was midday, pouring down on Hajime and Tio like iron hammer from the sky.
「Ku-chan-, Kuwaibel-! Come back quickly! Just what are you thinking about those two!?」
The girl on the pursuing airship was desperately raising her voice using a megaphone at the small dragon that was forced to evade due to the shockwave that shook the atmosphere. Even the sky battlecrafts of the air pirate that got reduced in number were making a shuddering expression at the bombardment of the mother ship while circling at the small dragon's side.
The game of tag was over. The air pirate was now too far away from the area of cloud mountain range that was their only chance of escaping. Actually, the inside of that mountain range area was relatively calmer compared to the sea of clouds, so it was the optimum place to conceal themselves, but it was impossible for them to return there from now. The only way that remained for them now was only to dive into the sea of clouds even though they would crash nine times out of ten by doing that.
And to do that they had to take back the small dragon into the airship even for a second faster.
But, the small dragon in question was only raising its cry at the silver pillar of light searchingly.
It was as though it was convinced at the survival of those two who had disappeared inside the pillar without even a one in ten thousand chance to stay alive......
Those words were surely representing the feeling of all the people in this battlefield.
The silver bombardment from the warship was vanishing as though it was melting into air.
That attack should annihilate everything without leaving even dust behind. However, while the brightness that was like midday was vanishing and the color of twilight was returning to the world, the future that should be absolute was overturned.
What appeared was a sphere.
That solid metallic sphere which was shining gently from the reflection of the evening sun was further surrounded by jet black and crimson colored crosses around it.
「......It was an unknown attack, so just in case I jointly used eight point barrier and Aidion at the same time, but it seems that attack doesn't have the power to break through the space isolation.」
「Well, this defense couldst even completely block the disintegration bombardment of the god's apostles. As long as it's not even a penetrating attack that ignore defense, it's next to impossible to slip through Goshujin-sama's defensive wall.」
*kashun-kashun-kashun-* With such sound, the metallic sphere――variable style large shield ’’Aidion’’ was undoing its omni-directional defense. It was several layers of shield sliding and contracting smaller continuously to its neighbor. Before long the sphere was switching to its normal mode of coffin form. At the same time, the eight point barrier also vanished.
The battlefield was silent. No, more accurately the sound of wind and the planes' thruster sound were reverberating, but the people in this battlefield were so speechless to the degree that it felt like that.
They were rightly amazed and dumbfounded. An individual was pulling through a direct hit that was fired by the main cannon of a mother ship class battleship unharmed. Everyone's reaction was understandable.
In the battlefield that became still as death, Hajime started to monitor the conversations at the bridge of the mother ship using the application of telepathy even while feeling his blood rushing to his head.
While they were all in a straight line chase, because the small dragon was in the line of fire the mother ship couldn't attack satisfactorily and left attacking to its sky battlecrafts, yet why did they suddenly act decisively by attacking like that......
Inside the bridge of the mother ship that Hajime was skillfully monitoring......
『Shit-, even that was defended-. Those guys, as expected they are monster-』
『Impossible......we had confirmed it from the recording of Glowser 4 but......even though it was just sixty percent but that was the main cannon. Just what in the world are those two......』
『Captain-. Quick, quickly prepare the next attack-. The one with the full power! If not, everyone will be slaughtered again!』
『Shut up Higgs! We, the soldier of the divine country is the chosen people that rule the sky, there is no way we will lose against just two pirates!』
『But-, those two aren't human! You see it right-? The male destroyed sky battlecraft personally, and the female transformed into dragon and pursued hot on my tail even when I used maximum speed!』
『Chih. Oi, someone take Higgs away! He is an eyesore!』
It seemed that surviving sky battlecraft had the system of video recording loaded in it. With that, they knew the incomprehensible strength of Hajime and Tio, and using the chance when they were distance from the small dragon, they launched an attack that could be said as excessive. That seemed to be the case.
The person who seemed to be the ship captain gave order with angry voice at his subordinates inside the bridge who were making noise from feeling shaken.
『Launch the air battle squads that are in the middle of standby! Don't let those two get near the air pirate and the monarch dragon! Helmsman, circle to the left side of the target with velocity 3! Replenish the main cannon, maximum power! Fix pod number 1 until 20 to the target. Bullet type Grog! Keep firing without pause! There is no way a shield that can block attack like that can hold out for long! Crush them with quantity!』
It seemed they were seriously planning to shot down Hajime and Tio.
The mother ship was starting to circle to the left side while spouting silver light. The Vulcan barrels and cannon barrels that could bombard using medium size bullet type were directed at Hajime and Tio.
Hajime's eyes narrowed quietly. He broadcasted a voice that was losing its intonation using telepathy.
『You can hear me right? Listen well, I'll say it one more time okay? We don't have the intention of getting involved with the dispute between you guys. We have the awareness that it's us who are trespassing at your territory. We the nuisances will disappear. That's why, don't direct your killing intent to us more than this.』
It was silent for a while. The army side was bewildered with the voice that was resounding in their head, however, the captain spoke his answer from his spot even while half in doubt whether his voice would be transmitted.
『Sleep talk after you go to sleep. There is no way we can just leave alone anyone with that kind of bizarre power and also obsessed so much by that monarch dragon. Originally we will want to catch you two for human experiment to search for the secret of that power, but you two are just too dangerous. That's to say nothing how you two had laid your hands at the pilots of our army who are the people of god. We will kill you two right here right now for sure.』
The main cannon of the mother ship was gathering an immense energy. Innumerable sky battlecrafts flew out from it. Their number were already surpassing fifty plane if combined with the planes that had came out from the battle before this.
The small dragon was trying to approach Hajime and Tio, but the army's sky battlecrafts were obstructing it with wall of sound wave. They also attacked at the air pirate. The air pirate's aircrafts were already less than ten.
Just what was making it trying that hard? The small dragon was desperately calling at Hajime and Tio. It didn't want to get separated from them, or perhaps, it was asking them to escape together......it also looked like it was saying that kind of things.
Hajime loosened up his expressionless face a bit and pulled the trigger of Donner. Two streaks of light flew out. One went toward the small dragon, and the other one went toward the girl on the airship. Just before it shot them through in a flash, the special bullets ’’Exise Bullet’’ stopped still in place, and using its effect, the small dragon was instantly transferred to the girl's location.
「Just stay quiet at your friend's side. Okay?」
「Ku, Kuwaibel, is listening to what he is told?」
Those words that were said with unexpectedly gentle voice in contrast with the dangerous atmosphere the speaker was clad in made the small dragon to look alternately at Hajime and Tio restlessly, but after a slight hesitation it replied back energetically. The girl who embraced the small dragon so that it wouldn't run away for the second time showed a surprised expression at its behavior.
In addition, before they realized several Cross Velts were floating around the airship, forming protection barrier.
The focused silver light was already in critical point. The attack of the army's sky battlecrafts that became unreserved by the small dragon's distance was increasing in fierceness. Several thousand Vulcan bullets, several hundred missiles, and sound waves that were even accompanied with shockwave came in really absurd number that it was presumptuous to even call it overkill, and all those were concentrated toward just two people.
Flame blast enveloped the barrier, the figure of the two disappeared inside as though a small sun was coming into existence there.
They were receiving that much concentrated attack, however, Hajime who continued to defend using only barrier of space isolation turned his gaze at Tio beside him. Tio shrugged and answered back at the wordless question.
「Goshujin-sama who art still trying to persuade them somehow even when having killing intent directed at thee art also not bad but......as expected, acting absurdly unreasonable with no question asked, that art what truly worthy for mine master. Goshujin-sama, holding back this late art unnecessary. Mine will art always together with Goshujin-sama.」
Hajime displayed a fearless grin and embraced Tio. If the figures of a man embracing the waist of a beautiful girl on the skyboard weren't hard to see because of the flame blast from the missiles enveloping them, then surely the expression of the enemies would convulse grandly.
A calm voice resounded at the battlefield that was decorated with explosive sounds and impact sounds.
『......This is your last warning. Get lost, right now.』
Not just the captain of the mother ship, all the people who heard that voice felt a shiver in their spine from terror. But, unfortunately, it seemed they converted that terror into rage using their elitism and pride that were oozing from their every single word.
『Don't falter! Fix them in place! They cannot move-. Their shield too shouldn't be able to hold out for long anymore-. Show our power as the soldier of the divine country! Main cannon, status!?』
『Five percent left until the full charge, four percent, three percent......full charge! We can fire anytime-』
『Fire at the count of five! Air battle squads, pull back!』
The madder red sky that was turning dark was dyed by the silver of midday once more.
It was incomparable with the previous one, it wasn't just the turret below the mother ship, even the 3-gun turrets installed at the front deck also fired bombardment in exactly the same scale. The total of four silver bombardments tore through the sky with might that ripped apart the atmosphere. The diameter of its hit range could reach ten meter. If the after-shock was included then the area of further ten meter was a fatal territory.
Hajime and Tio's figure vanished along with flame blast that bloomed in the sky.
The world rumbled. The sea of clouds directly below was undulating and splitting from the impact. The cloud mountain at faraway had a large hole opened at it side and scattered away wholly.
Inside the light that should be called as aurora, the people from both camps who were fixing their eyes upon that scene by holding their arm over their eyes or through a visor――
They witnessed it right after that.
*GOU-* The jet black spiral that blew upward and pierced the sky.
In defiance of the silver light, that pure black looked as though it was wordlessly asserting that it wouldn't be dyed by any other existence no matter what.
「What's, that......」Someone whispered.
At that moment, the jet black whisper converged tighter. It rushed out from the silver torrent and became a whirling sphere in the sky.
And then, it ruptured. As though the seal was broken. As though, born from a jet black cocoon――a figure appeared.
A single roar. A single flap of wings.
That form was magnificently, majestically, and gallantly conveying without scruple a dignity as the supreme ruler of the sky that didn't fear or hesitate against anything.
The large build that drew a line against the emaciated dragon of this world, and the overflowing dominating aura. Its existence's mightiness that the skin, or perhaps the instinct could feel.
『I'm concluding you guys, as my ’’enemy’’. I don't care whether you are from divine country, if you are a chosen race, or whatever, but you can learn it with your own body. That my wife, is the one and only supreme ruler of the sky.』
Those words echoed through the whole airspace.
The people who suddenly regained their senses with 'hah' noticed although at this late hour.
Of the existence on the back of the hovering black dragon with its wings spread and the blazing sun behind it. There, a man was standing imposingly, glaring down at everything.
Anyone couldn't help but to feel awed at that figure mounting the back of dragon that they had never even seen before.
Everyone held their breath and lost their words, in the middle of that,
The girl who was holding the small dragon murmured in astonishment.
A fairy tale that she knew since she was little. Yes, that was the legendary......
「......Dragon knight, sama?」