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Arifureta - Chapter 326

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Chapter 326

Arifureta After III Tortus Travel Journal ⑥

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A huge object was floating in the world of azure where the light of the sun was pouring down.

Hajime's artifact, the airship Ferner. It was flying as though gliding above the sky where clouds that looked like cotton candy were floating sparsely.

Originally they planned to use gate to teleport until the city of Horuad, but the wish of Shuu and others 「This is a rare chance, so we want to try flying in the sky of another world」 resulted in this.

「UOOOOOOOOH」

「HOAAAAAAAH」

It went without saying who was the people who were making those strange voices. It was the Nagumo spouses. They held on the handrail on the rear deck and leaned their body forward to gaze at the superb view of another world. As for the strange voices, it seemed it was because they were deeply moved.

And then, although the other weren't raising strange voices like those two, the Shirasaki spouses, Hatayama Akiko, and the members of Yaegashi family were also similarly feeling moved seeing the other world's sky, mountains, plains, and the European Middle Ages styled cities and villages that sometimes came into view.

The scenery that they were seeing right now itself was moving, but it was also added with how they were staring at the surrounding area outside the plane that was moving in high altitude. The experience that was impossible to get in earth made them couldn't help it to feel excited even though they were adults.

「Son! You are amazing!」

「Son! You are the best!」

「Well, thanks.」

Shuu and Sumire rotated their upper body and snapped up a thumb up to behind them. The synchronization in their words and action made one wondered whether they had made prior arrangement beforehand. Though for Hajime, his parents were already like this since he became aware, so it was already too late to wonder about that.

Hajime smiled wryly at the delight and action of his parents. Tomoichi asked him then with a bit of excitement.

「Hajime-kun. What's with this avant-garde hull? How about the propulsive power? How can something this big is flying even though it has this kind of shape? Or rather, in this altitude we aren't having trouble breathing or even feeling the slightest breeze......」

Hajime's wry smile deepened at Tomichi who looked like he would press his question further even now while explaining.

So to speak, Ferner was moving by adjusting the gravity neutralization effect and the gravitational direction from the gravity stone. More accurately speaking, the airship was ’’falling’’ rather than ’’flying’’.

So to speak, the propulsive force came from magic power, as long as Hajime was on board, he could freely move the ship no matter where he was. There was a barrier put up so the wind pressure could also be adjusted, and so on.

Also, about the avant-garde hull――the shape that was like manta fish was because of Hajime's preference. Things like aerodynamics and the like, he didn't give a damn about those things, so he said.

「No, how should I say it, it's really fantastical huh......」

「Fufuh, Otou-san, Otou-san. Hajime-kun is amazing right?」

「......」

Tomoichi-san fell silent morosely. His daughter circled to in front of him and pressed for answer, but he turned around and drove her out from his vision. When Kaori circled around once more, he turned around. Tomichi, turn-. Kaori, turnn-.

The Shirasaki father and daughter was turning and turning and turning.

It was the persistent offense and defense of the father and daughter, but seen from the side it only looked like a super close parent and child. The atmosphere was naturally getting filled with warmth and smile.

Tomoichi was sending a gaze that was filled with demand for help! To his wife.

Kaoruko was making a gaze as though she was looking at difficult people while her gaze turned toward Hajime. It seemed she left it completely to him. Please change the topic okay! Her gaze said.

Hajime shrugged in acknowledgement and after showing a pondering look for a bit, he grinned widely.

「Oi, Tio.」

「Mu? ......Aa, I see. Kuku, I doth not mind.」

Tio was quick on the uptake. The two of them really had mutual understanding of each other.

Everyone's gaze was turned at Hajime and Tio, at the same time the two of them started walking together to the edge of the deck.

「Yue, take care of the ship's handling.」

「......Nn. Have fun.」

Yue laughed 'fufu'. Sure enough, it seemed she had completely grasped the intention of Hajime and Tio. She poured her magic power into Ferner and accepted the control of the ship while smiling gently.

「Tou-san, I'll show you an astounding fantasy scene after this. It will be a fantasy among fantasy that anyone will absolutely admire if they are a man.」

「What? Hajime, just what in the world are you planni――」

Shuu didn't even hide his excited face after hearing his son's words, but the next moment, his expression became frozen.

Because Hajime and Tio jumped off the ship.

A single hop from Ferner, really casually.

「Heh?」

「Eh, huh?」

Shuu and Sumire were dumbfounded with mouth gaping open. Tomoichi and others were also in a daze with their mouth staying open.

But, the next moment they raised a shocked yell 'WAAAAAAAAH!?' and rushed forward toward the deck's handrail.

Yue and others the wive~s were completely calm. Despite that they didn't notice that fact at all and they leaned forward while holding on the handrail to look below in order to search after Hajime and Tio who suddenly leaped to their death.

It was right at that moment.

――'GURUAAAAAAAAH!!'

A grand and majestic roar that stirred the air hit the ears.

Shuu and others spontaneously jerked and backed away while trembling.

Ahead of their gaze, a giant jet black shadow passed through from below to above.

Akiko and Kaoruko unconsciously fell on their butt from the impact of the view. The shadow that was causing that by rushing in the sky was of course,

「Dra, dragon!」

Shuu's emotional and shocked voice echoed to the surrounding.

He already knew. That she was able to transform into dragon like what came out in book or game. He had also seen it for real before.

Although, this was the first time Shuu and Sumire saw her flying in the sky freely like this. In the end they had only seen her figure transforming on the ground.

Above Ferner that was gliding in the sky, Tio in the black dragon form was circling around elegantly.

The jet black dragon scale that was shining from the sunlight reflection was very beautiful. The large wings that were catching the wind and the huge body that was full of impact were tremendously majestic.

One more roar surged out as service. This time it was accompanied with a scorching breath attack.

The eyes of Shuu and others who were looking up from the deck of Ferner were emitting a shine that didn't lose to the sunlight. They were letting gout voice of excitement that sounded similar like a roar.

Tio circled around above them one more time before flying parallel to Ferner with smooth gliding.

「How's that, Tou-san? Great right?」

Hajime said that while unusually sticking out his chest looking incredibly proud. He was standing imposingly on Tio's back with his arms folded while grinning.

「I'm totally jealous-. A man's romance is right in front of meee-」

Shuu hit the handrail in frustration repeatedly. He was also kicking the ground with a vexed look.

Hajime laughed cheerfully seeing his father looking like that. Then he told Tio to land on the deck.

「It seems Tio doesn't mind, so how about Tou-san and everyone else also ride on her back? Flying on the sky riding on a dragon's back in another world will be a nice memory of a lifetime you know?」

「......Tou-san has never felt so grateful like today, for having a son like you who have a dragon wife. Please let meee!」

「Tio-chan! Actually I had the thinking that someday I want to ask to ride on you! Please」

『Fufu, it wouldst be mine pleasure if it's Hahaue-dono and Chichiue-dono. The others art also like family to me, so come up without worry, because I wouldst guarantee thy safety.』

The voice of Tio that was directly resounding inside their head seemed to make Tomoichi and others to be convinced for real that the majestic black dragon near them was really Tio. They nodded up and down in high speed speechlessly.

Like that, Shuu and Sumire rode on Tio first and Tio leaped up to the sky once more.

Just when it seemed they looked a bit scared, as expected from the parents of Hajime, the spouses' tension was at max right from the start. Shuu was even hopping up and down on Tio's back while yelling 'hyaho~i'.

『......Fumu』

「Hm? What's the matter Tio?」

Hajime sharply noticed Tio letting out a voice that sounded deeply emotive and asked. Then, Tio spoke with a voice that sounded vaguely in agony.

『No, it's nothing big. Being stepped on like this by Goshujin-sama's parents art quiet pleasant in its own wa――』

「Hmph」

『HIGYAAAAAATHANK YOU VERY MUUCHH!』

Goshujin-sama's fist that impacted hard until the internal organs smashed on the back of the perverted hopeless dragon. The hopeless dragon-san smoothly spoke out her gratitude even while screaming.

The terrific impact caused the altitude to drop with a jerk and the body balance crumbled.

「――ah」

Shuu fell leaving behind that voice. Like that 「aAAAAAAAAAA~~~」 a trailing scream resounded through the sky.

Hajime made a face that said 「Ah, damn it」, while beside him Sumire screamed 「DEAAAAAARRR~」. And then, a silver flash rushed at the corner of their vision.

A beat later.

「Geez-, Hajime-kun, what are you doing! Otou-san almost turned into a stain in the ground just now!」

Kaori flapped her silver wings to fly up while carrying Shuu in her arms from behind.

Shuu who experienced skydiving without parachute was muttering 「Thank you very much, thank you very much-. Living is wonderful......」 while his eyes were half rolled back.

「Well, even if he become a stain on the ground, if it's Kaori then it's recoverable......」

「Don't treat Otou-sanfather-in-law like a broken doll! Geez......treat life with care, you know?」

Although there was limitation to a certain degree, the demon king-sama's group had basically risen above death. Even Hajime himself was starting to have thinking like 「It's fine, it will only be death for a bit. It will only really be for a bit」 taking root inside himself.

*Flap flap. Flap flap.* The silver wings that actually didn't need to be flapped at all to fly were flapping adorably due to habit and Kaori returned Shuu on Tio's back.

The moment it became obvious that there wasn't any particular problem, Shuu stared fixedly at Sumire who was laughing while holding her stomach while raising his voice toward Tomoichi who was on the deck.

「Tomoichi-ku~~~~n! It's just like you saiiid, Kaori-chan is~, certainly an angel!!」

「That's right isn't it! Kaori is an angel! Kaoriii~, that was amazing~! You did great! But, Otou-san's life has shrunk by fifty years here, so please don't suddenly jump off anymore~」

It seemed that Tomoichi-san would soon run out of life span.

『Chichiue-dono, I beg for thy forgiveness.』

「No no, that's fine. I was getting a bit too high spirited. And it was also really thrilling.」

「Pupupu~, dear, you went 『Aa~~~』 in real life! Ahahahah」

Laughin unreservedly at her husband's shameful sight was Sumire quality.

Shuu cleared his throat to cover up his embarrassment while attempting to shift the topic.

「The great labyrinth we are going to right now is also a really thrilling place right? That free diving was a good side entertainment.」

「I think the thrill of a great labyrinth is different from just now though......」

There, Hajime who was also smiling a bit like Sumire made a slightly worried expression.

「Tou-san, Kaa-san. As I thought, I think it's better to only visit the surface floor and Oscar's hideout in Orcus. Fighting against monster is......it's more gruesome than Tou-san and others think......」

「No, Hajime. We came here because we want to know the track that you followed. I want you to show us what kind of path you were walking.」

「......」

Although, Hajime wondered how much he should show them. In his opinion, the happening before he fell into abyss and the survival after he encountered Yue would be fine to be shown.

That was as long as the two of them, and also Tomoichi and others didn't give up from the bloody battle.

However, the event at that time when he went through the change of his mind......

He flatly refused to do something like bragging of his misfortune. There would be no point of him purposely showing the bloody and nauseating event. If they wanted to know about the path that he walked, he thought that it would be enough to start from after his encounter with Yue.

But, would Shuu and Sumire be convinced with that much......

It would be great if it went well and they let the censoring passed. Hajime was thinking of such thing for a while.

『Kuku. Even Goshujin-sama who was always quick and decisive art also a parents' child. I couldst see thou straying in various things before thy parents.』

She was saying those words while laughing slightly, but her voice was filled with gentleness, understanding, and also affection toward Hajime's hesitation.

It seemed that the telepathy was sent only to Hajime seeing that Sumire and Shuu didn't react.

Being seen through at various things and having a definite affection directed to him like this made Hajime to avert his gaze to faraway in embarrassment.

「You're right. I'm like this in front of family, ’’princess Tio’’.」

『!?』

「Really thank you for always considerate at various things, ’’princess Tio’’. You are always reliable, ’’princess Tio’’. No, I'm seriously not your match, ’’your highness’’.」

『Stop calling me princessss-. That is truly embarrassing! Goshujin-sama! Thou art childish!』

Strength left Hajime's shoulders and he sat down cross-legged. He then caressed the solid and smooth scale with a surprisingly gentle hand movement. Tio slightly shook as though writhing emotionally.

「Tio, turn around. Also hold back that expectant gaze of yours. Perform a lovely sightseeing flight okay?」

『Right-. Leave it to me. I'll have them taste to their heart content, just how great the black dragon of Goshujin-sama art.』

Question mark floated above Shuu and Sumire seeing the intimate conversation of their son and his dragon wife that seemed to have ticklishly sweet atmosphere somehow. Even so they were sending a gentle gaze at their son.

After that, Tomoichi and others also enjoyed being dragon rider to their heart content. Then the group arrived at the city of Horuad while their excitement hadn't cooled down.

-

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「......Right, everyone. Here is the spot where the famous incident ’’Kaori-san confessed wholeheartedly, she got easily rejected though and went pugyaaa’’ took place.」

「YUEEE!!」

In front of Orcus Great Labyrinth, the cat fight that was like usual occurred.

Hajime and others who entered Horuad introduced the inn that they once stayed at and the guild that they used while going until the entrance of Orcus Great Labyrinth.

Like that, the first voice that Yue spoke out was that.

Tomoichi's gaze became fierce. 「You bastaardd, why the hell you rejected my angel, huuuh!?」He spoke with a thuggish look like that.

However, surely even if the place got introduced as 「The place where her confession succeeded」, there was no doubt that he would still say 「You bastaardd, what do you mean that you are going out with my angelll, huuuh!?」 with a thuggish look.

While Kaoruko, Kirino, and Akiko were giving a deeply interested gaze that that said 「Oh my」, Shia smiled wryly while giving mediating words.

「Eeer, about that. It's not like it was just Kaori-san who got rejected by Hajime-san. Other than Yue-san, everyone got thoroughly rejected after all.」

「My, is that so? Shia-chan also got rejected?」

「Somehow that sounds hard to believe.」

Kaoruko and Kirino's eyes turned into saucer because they knew about the current intimate relationship of Hajime and co.

Myuu smiled cheerfully while adding the explanation at the two.

「For papa Yue-oneechan was ’’special’’ nano!」

Kaori whose appearance was a bit messy made a displeased expression as though to confirm those words and said.

「It's frustrating but, that's how it was, Okaa-san.」

「Truly. Goshujin-sama at that time was completely an adherent of Yue supremacy doctrine.」

「He hasn't changed that much even now though~」

Tio and Shia muttered in nostalgia. Aiko and Shizuku smiled wryly while continuing after them.

「Thinking back, Shia-san's guts was amazing. Even though when I reunited with Hajime-kun it was a Hajime-kun that was a complete believer of Yue supremacy doctrine, she still brazenly declared 『I'm Hajime-san's woman desu』.」

「In a sense, that time of confession was Kaori's turning point. Since then, Kaori began to rush nonstop to a strange direction.」

It was human's nature to become absurdly curious when seeing the related party to be immersed in recollection by that much. Especially when there was a method to reproduce that scene, then it would be even more so.

Kaoruko's eyes shined and she pressed on Yue.

「Yue-san Yue-san. Can you reproduce Kaori's confessions scene?」

「......That's a piece of cake, Kaori mama.」

Yue's crimson eyes sparkled. She gave a powerful thumb up. Kaori attacked to stop her......

Kaori mama pinioned her from behind.

Kaori papa who didn't want to see something like his daughter's confession scene tried to chide his wife, but before that the magic of past viewing activated.

And then, the confession scene was unfolding before their eyes.

『I love you.』

「NOOOOOOO~~, DON'T LOOOKKK~~~!」

Kaori who turned bright red blocked her ears with her hands while yelling 'no no', but the past image was mercilessly progressing. The eyes of her mother were shining brilliantly as though saying 「Myy myy」.

Inside the image, Hajime turned Kaori down, however, she exposed herself with strong gaze and words.

And then, at the corner of the image, for some reason there were men piled up with this and that getting discharged from their crotch......

『Because, my feeling that think of Hajime-kun won't lose against anyone.』

「NYUWAAAAAAAA~」

Kaori tried to drown out her own words with a loud strange voice, but her line resounded clearly.

By the way, they were at a public place, so naturally there were a lot of people. Like adventurers, or merchants....... Everyone had warm eyes like 「Hou」 or 「Oh my」.

Anyway, Kaori kept blocking her ears and rolled around on the ground while hugging her knees. It seemed she couldn't help but roll in a frenzy from the overflow of her embarrassment.

The battle of woman inside the image ended, and at the end Yue gave permission for Kaori to accompany them while Hajime got left out from the talk for some reason, and then the two smiled at each other fearlessly.

It was the moment of beginning of the history of the love rivals that still continued even now.

「Watching it once again, rather than the beginning of Hajime and Kaori, it's more the beginning of Yue and Kaori. They are super close with each other using the love rival relationship as cover.」

「「We aren't close!」」

Yue and Kaori intimately objected in synchronization. They were really close with each other.

By the way, the image of Kouki challenging Hajime to a duel and fell into hole at that time was also playing, but the kind everyone splendidly pretended to not see it.

「Uu, Okaa-san you idiot!」

Kaori pointed the tip of her ultra shyness at Kaoruko. However, Kaoruko gently caressed the head of the crouching Kaori like she was a little kid.

「Fufu, I'm sorry Kaori. But, Kaori was really cool there. As expected from Okaa-san's daughter. You really did your best.」

「uu......Okaa-san......」

Other people were watching, it was a bit embarrassing to be consoled like a little kid......Kaori fidgeted with blushing cheeks.

「You see, Okaa-san too was fighting against the swarming cockro――cough, women in order to catch your Otou-san. I remember in the past~」

「Okaa-san, just now, you said cockroach......hey, just now, you were going to call other woman as cockroach――」

「Your Otou-san, he was really, really popular. What's more, he was someone who couldn't differentiate between being kind and pampering, he was being kind to any kind of cockr――woman, so Okaa-san had it hard.」

「Ka, Kaoruko? You don't need to go that far about the matter of the past I think? I think? We are in front of Kaori, look, there are also everyone else, right?」

「Otou-san. More importantly than that, Okaa-san called other woman cockroach......」

It seemed that the Shirasaki spouses had also gone through various things. Tomoichi-san was sweating like rivers, while Kaori-san was put off that her mother almost called other woman as cockroach so naturally.

The bearer of the original Hannya, the current user of Yaksha stan○――Shirasaki Kaoruko.

Seeing from this, indeed, it seemed that Kaori had really inherited her blood. As expected, Kaori didn't call other woman cockroach, but that must be because luckily she was similar with Tomoichi in that aspect.

Soon the crowd of people would get too big, it looked like it would become a commotion if they stayed longer than this.

Hajime thought that as expected, this wasn't something to be done in front of the entrance. He forcefully carried Yue like a sack when she was going to invite even more chaos by saying 「......And then, this is the figure of Shizuku rejoicing from receiving a present of sharp thing from her best friend's loved one」, and he urged everyone to enter inside Orcus Great Labyrinth.

-

-

-

「Hou, it's quite developed. It looks exactly like a game's dungeon.」

「Really. The lighting is......aa, is this the green light stone Hajime mentioned? A natural mineral become lighting for the place as it is.」

Shuu and Sumire were looking around busily inside the dungeon with great interest.

Tomoichi and others too surely had the image that the place would be darker and eerie like a tunnel. They seemed to be greatly interested seeing that the path was unexpectedly developed.

「The monsters that comes out in the surface of Orcus aren't a big deal. But raw material can be taken from them to a certain degree. With the level of the monsters here, not just low level adventurers, even civilian can manage somehow, so there is also a lot of demand. That's why this area is properly developed.」

Hajime's explanation that was like a tour guide was added further by Kaori.

「Conversely, if you come out to a place like a natural cave that isn't developed, it means that it's a place that is dangerous for people who aren't combatant, so be careful okay?」

Hajime said 「Although......」 there while pulling out Donner with really natural movement.

And then, he pulled the trigger even without really taking aim. It wasn't accelerated electromagnetically, even so the firing sound was loud and echoed greatly due to the location.

The bursting sound that made the air shook made Shuu and others to turn their gaze to the front in surprise.

Over there, there was a monster like mice with its head blown away. It was a ratman.

「Uh」

「......」

Kaoruko covered her mouth with her hand while Akiko went a bit pale. It seemed the people of Yaegashi family were calm, but even Tomoichi's expression looked tense.

Even more ratmen crawled out from the corner ahead. They shrieked up 'KIIIIIII' which sounded harsh on the ear and their dark red eyes glinted fiercely with killing intent.

Clear killing intent and hostility rode hostility rode on the wave of air that descended on the group. Kaoruko immediately clung on Tomoichi while feeling like weak in the knees. Tomoichi was supporting her with pale expression.

Beside Hajime, Yue was looking up at him wordlessly. Hajime guessed what her gaze was saying, but he smiled and shook his head.

Right after that, the group of ratmen fiercely rushed forward. Their number was roughly thirteen.

「O, oi, Hajime? That's――」

「Hajime, it's alright isn't it?」

Shuu and Sumire asked in a bit of agitation. Hajime answered with his action.

Firing sounds burst out consecutively. It was precisely five shots. One shot would open wind hole on several of the ratmen altogether, furthermore the penetrating bullets would ricochet and dug into the remaining targets.

It was a swift killing, no, it was truly an instant killing.

Shuu and Sumire, and then Tomoichi and others were dumbfounded in mute amazement seeing gun fired from nearby and the technique that looked like it came out right from Hollywood.

Even calling the fight overwhelming would still be presumptuous. It was a difference of status between both sides that was exactly like an elephant stomping on ants. They couldn't help but feeling that.

Hajime made his ’’treasure warehouse’’ shined and summoned bullets from empty air like it was nothing and casually performed gun spin reload while turning around. The bullets were loaded into the cylinder like a joke, and just right after they perceived that the gun was put into a holster with flowing motion.

「Just as you saw, even if we are in the abyss, there isn't anything here that is a match against me. And just like Kaori said, I hope you all would refrain from acting on your own because of curiosity but......well, Yue and others are also here so it's fine even if you think that there would be no danger here.」

Tio and Shia stayed in the rear, while Kaori, Shizuku and Aiko stayed at the left and right. As long as they were staying in the middle of that formation, nothing would happen even in the worst case.

There was one problem. The reason why the monsters weren't turned into ash by Yue's magic or turned into dust by Kaori's disintegration, but dealt with gunshot that left behind remains which looked the most graphic in a sense.

「So, how is it? As expected, should we just go directly to Oscar's hideout?」

That question was especially directed to Kaoruko and Akiko.

They must had understood how graphic a battle could get from the scene just now. Although they were monsters, seeing a living thing burst out right before them was a traumatic shocking sight.

However, the image of the past they would see from here on would be even more gruesome than this. It would be better if they rethought once more right now.

This was a consideration from Hajime who was thinking that. Sumire who saw the how greatly shaken Kaoruko and Akiko were proposed that the two of them took a rest at the hideout ahead of them.

It seemed that Sumire and Shuu didn't plan to pull back. They intended to follow after the track of Hajime till the end.

Kaoruko looked at Tomoichi. Tomoichi nodded with a strong gaze even while he was still a bit pale. Kaoruko looked at Akiko next. Aiko was worried about her and grasped her hand, but she too took a firm look at Aiko and then turned her gaze to Kaoruko and gave a strong nod.

After Kaoruko saw that, she looked like she had resolved herself.

「No, we are fine Hajime-kun. Please teach us too the path all of you have gone through. ......I too want to know the path my daughter had followed.」

「......I understand. But, please don't force yourself. The chance isn't just this time. If it's necessary, I'll be available anytime to show you anything.」

Seeing Kaoruko recovering her smile back and saying her thanks, Hajime shrugged with a troubled expression in resignation.

After the parents cleared the first barrier, he advanced while talking about the memory of that time.

Midway a monster that looked like a cute raccoon came out,

「Kukyu?」

「Uh」

Shizuku who loved cute things hesitated a bit. This monster almost had no combat ability, but it had a battle style of approaching with its adorable appearance and then injected a powerful paralysis poison with a bite. And so, there was no danger even if she hesitated but......

「Haa, I'm not good with this type――」

「Ei-」

*Supan-*, a pleasant sound resounded. The raccoon-chan cried 「Kukyu?」 and its head flew.

The perpetrator was Kaori-san.

Kaori turned around while behind a fountain of blood spurted out from the monster's neck.

「Shizuku-chan, it's alright? Leave this kind of thing to me!」

「......Yes.」

The empty eyes of the raccoon's head that was rolling on the floor was looking at Shizuku hatefully.

Shizuku replied with a faraway look. Surely ahead of her gaze there was the Kaori of the past who was gentle and unrelated with violence.

Kaori papa and Kaori mama who were making the same faraway look behind Shizuku undoubtedly were also recalling their past daughter in nostalgia.

After that, Shuuzou and others said 「I can't endure anymore! Let us fight!」, so they advanced while experiencing real battle under their daughter's supervision. After a while, the group finally arrived at floor 20 that connected to the floor 65.

The first thing they did was taking care of several Rock Mount that were camouflaging themselves as rock by disintegrating them, opening win hole on their body, splattering them, or turning them into ash.

「I think you can call this place the fated crossroad. It has been removed right now but, at that spot there was a crystal with beautiful appearance called Glanz crystal, but it was a trap that teleported the victims to floor 65.」

Tomoichi asked with a complicated expression after hearing Hajime's explanation.

「......I heard. The kid that once killed Kaori, activated that trap right?」

「Yes, that's right. That guy had feeling for Kaori, and because of that he reached out for that Glanz crystal for her.」

「I wonder, what would happen if that time I didn't show interest to that crystal......」

Would their fate change? Kaori showed a complicated expression.

Hajime kindly patted the head of Kaori who was like that while speaking.

「It wouldn't change anything. He didn't act because of one cause. ......The target of his scorn which was a virtually incompetent guy had the attention of the girl he liked. The days in the school and then everything that happened since coming to this Tortus were nurturing the seed of killing intent inside that guy.」

And then, he literally ’’succumbed to evil temptation’’. He, the human called Hiyama Daisuke didn't have the strength to oppose that devil's whisper.

「There is no need to worry about it, both in good meaning or bad meaning.」

Hajime asserted firmly with unwavering tone toward Tomoichi and others whose complicated thought was showing on their face from hearing the deed of the classmate who died in another world.

「That guy is already gone. I killed him. Everyone doesn't need to feel troubled about that guy or that guy's family. Even if there is a need to worry, it will be my burden. It will be troubling if other people get concerned on their own about my burden.」

'I've got no plan to feel burdened about it though', Hajime read the atmosphere and didn't say that.

It was a harsh manner of speaking that felt like rejecting away others, but it was clear that those words were filled with thoughtfulness toward Tomoichi and others. Tomoichi and co relaxed their expression slightly.

Even so, perhaps in order to change the atmosphere that had become slightly gloomy, our Yue-sama took a step forward.

「......Don't worry, Kaori. forward.

「......Don't worry, Kaori. It's just as Hajime said, nothing would change.」

「Yue......」

The smile of Yue that was even emitting kindness made Kaori's expression broke out into a smile......

「......Yes, no~thing would change. Hajime would encounter me without a doubt, and inevitably rejected Kaori.」

「Yue?」

Yue-sama threw out her chest and snorted 'fufuh'.

「......Because, Hajime said it. Even if he returned to the past, 『I'll follow the same path no matter how many times』『I want to meet Yue after all』 he said.」

'Mufufuh', Yue-sama laughed while her hand elegantly covered her mouth. *Snap* Kaori kept smiling while blood vein pulsed on her forehead.

「......Yes, Hajime would come to meet me. Leaving Kaori behind! Leaving Kaori behind! No matter how many――」

「Disintegrate!!」

A silver flash surged out while grazing Yue's head. The thrust of a large sword that was clad with disintegration magic was unleashed!

If Yue didn't immediately bent down, she would become like the raccoon-chan before this!

「......My, my scalp, it got slightly shaved, perhaps」

「Chih, I missed.」

Yue-sama held her head with both hands saying 「Even though the experience of my scalp getting shaved happening once is enough......」 while her eyes became slightly tearful. It seemed she still perfectly remembered how in the past she got shot by Hajime.

「......You-, this stupid Kaori! It's really childish to get angry from hearing the truth!」

「Yue is the bad one! Besides, I'm still in my teenage year! Not like Yue! Eh, come to think of it, Yue-san Yue-san, how old are you right now?」

「......Die」

「Come at me!」

Yue and Kaori started quarreling that was like breathing to them.

Certainly the atmosphere had returned to normal but......at this point this felt a bit exasperating already.

While the two were grappling with each other, they

「If the trap didn't activate, various things would absolutely change I'm telling you!」

「......No way it would change! No matter what kind of path it was, it's destiny that Hajime would meet me!」

「The, then, it will be fine if I lock him up! Like in the inn or in the palace......anyway I'll just lock him up! If it's Hajime-kun at that time even I can lock him up anyway!」

「......Confinement!? Terrible!」

「I, it's not terrible! Everything is for Hajime-kun's sake!」

「......Kaori you psycho! Rather than getting confined by the dangerous Kaori, better me who confine Hajime!」

「No! I'll be the one confining him!」

「......I'm the one-, who am going to-, confine him!」

'Confine, confine! Confine Hajime in!' Yue-sama and Kaori-san grappled with each other while repeatedly yelling that.

Hajime opened his mouth with unusually pale expression and also trembling voice.

「The past me was really in serious danger huh. Before talking about Hiyama or whatever, the imprisonment bad end from Kaori and Yue was right beside me......look, this arm. It's really getting goose bumps.」

A hand gently patted Hajime's shoulder that was slightly trembling. Unexpectedly it was Tomoichi.

「Hajime-kun. It's fine, in the end love will win. I too, in the past I also got confined by Kaoruko.」

'This uncle, he suddenly revealed something outrageous'......not just Hajime, everyone other than the two grappling with each other also thought that. It was only Kaoruko who for some reason was fidgeting with embarrassed look while saying 「Geez dear, don't mention that」.

「You see, at first she would only come to look after me devotedly like a regularly visiting wife, but during that time her private items keep increasing inside my room, and when I realized it was like the two of us were living together......」

「E, err, Tomoichi-san?」

Tomoichi-san was looking back at the past while slightly trembling. What's this, it looked like light was gradually vanishing from his eyes......

「We were always together when going out, even though we had different class in the university, when I noticed she would be waiting for me outside the classroom......」

「O, o~i! Kaori! Stop fighting and look after your father for me! Somehow this looks bad!」

Tomoichi-san's eyes were rapidly getting blank.

「Kaoruko would do all of the shopping, so there wouldn't be any need for me to go out other than for a date. But, even that date would gradually turn into things like watching movie inside the house, or spending comfortable time together, things like that......」

「Kaoruko-san! Your husband's eyes are dead you know!?」

Kaoruko-san was blushing hearing her husband talking about their life before marriage while fidgeting.

「I wonder when did it happen. Once I went out for drinking with the girls in the university, then the next day, Kaoruko told me. 『It's okay that you don't go to the university anymore. Leave everything to me. It will be fine if Tomoichi-san stays forever in this room』 she said......」

「Kaoriii-!! The dangerous one was actually your mother! Ah, no, you are also a dangerous enough girl huh! God dammit!」

'Tomoichi-san! Return to your senses!' Hajime said while shaking him back and forth.

Tomoichi gasped and returned to his senses, then he looked at his daughter who was still making racket about 'confinement-confinement'......

「Hajime-kun. Call me when it get bad. I'll give you some advice.」

「......Yes, thank you very much, Tomoichi-san. If it feels like Kaori finally become like ’’that’’, at that time please let me listen to your life experience.」

Right now they looked like a happy husband and wife, so surely Tomoichi had handled the past yandere Kaoruko well.

In Hajime's view, for the first time Tomoichi looked like a very reliable adult.

And then, seeing Hajime honestly begging for help with an expression that was slightly twitching, Tomoichi too was also feeling something.

The two of them exchanged a powerful handshake with each other.

Hajime and Tomoichi. It was the instant where the distance of their heart shrunk by a little.

After that, Myuu who was actually having fun with following the track of the Hajime before she met him remonstrated Yue and Kaori because the group didn't make any progress at the slightest due to their quarrel.

She came forward, faced the two and pointed her finger forward and said 「Myuu know the two of you are really close with each other nano! That's why please be a bit more quiet nano! Both Yue-oneechan and Kaori-oneechan are bad nano!」.

To think that a five years old little girl would caution them with 「Let's be quiet」......

Yue and Kaori who were told that they were bad got depressed and sat with seiza posture before Myuu, and they apologized 「......Sorry that Kaori is too high spirited」「Forgive Yue for her noisiness」.

Like that, the group that pulled themselves back together finally teleported to the floor 65 using the gate, toward the destination of that trap.

-

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AN: Thank you very much for reading this every time.

Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.

Next chapter, the Orcus sightseeing part of Tortus travel journal will be over.

At that point I will put an end to this arc temporarily, do another short story for a bit, and then I'm thinking that I want to write a long extra story again (like the story of Shia, the hero that punch the enemy to death......or perhaps another story......).

The Tortus travel journal that is following the journey of the past is a story that Shirakome himself want to write slowly while having fun remembering various things, so forgive me that the chapters are scattered here and there like this, but please understand.

※The main comic chapter 24 is updated in Comic Gardo.

It's the climax of the battle versus Miledy. It's impactful like usual!

It's distributed free of charge, so please go there to look no matter what.

※Arifureta spin-off――Zero volume 2 as well as Zero comic volume 1 are on sale!

You can use them as accompaniment inside your cool room.

The murderous heat wave is continuing, so all of you the people of Narou too please pay attention to your health.



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