Arifureta - Volume 2 - Chapter 5
Chapter 5 : Cheater rather than a Hero
’’I'm sorry. I was wrong.’’
As he said it, Hajime tried to quietly close the door. The blond hair red eyes girl panicked and tried to stop him. Her voice that had not been used for years got blurred into a mutter;though her desperation was conveyed.
’’W-Wait! Please! Save me...’’
Hajime said that and continued to close the door. Is a devil.
’’W-Why? I will do anything.’’
The girl was desperate. Only the head was seen, but her face was enough to transmit her feelings. Hajime responded in a gloomy manner.
’’Hey, this is the bottom of the abyss. I cannot possibly release someone that has been sealed in here. It would be absolutely dangerous. With the exception of the seal, nothing else is here...there isn't anything to help you escape. For that reason...’’
His argument was sound. He wasn't a normal person that would respond to the pleading voice of a captured girl and release her without any hesitation. Original-gentle Hajime would have surely helped her.
Being so coldly refused, the desperate girl raised her voice as she was on the edge of tears.
’’No! Cough...I'm not bad!...Wait! I'm’’
Hajime kept closing the door unaltered. A little time before it was completely closed, Hajime started to grind his teeth. If he had had only closed it faster, he would have heard...
’’I was just betrayed.’’
The closing door that only had a small crack, stopped when the girl's cry reached it. Only a little light got through the crack into the dark room. 10 second, then 20 seconds pass. Finally the door started to open again. Hajime stood at the doorway with a sour face like he had been bitten by 100 bugs and chewed up one.
He did not have any intention to help her. There must have been a suitable reason to be sealed in here. There was no evidence to prove that there wasn't any danger. Being deceived by a wicked being was a highly likely possibility. It was appropriate to forsake her.
’’I wonder what I'm doing.’’
Hajime sighed inwardly. His heart had shaken when she said ’’betrayed’’. The past should have been behind him. In this place, trying to fulfill his wish to ’’live’’ was extremely difficult. Grudges were unnecessary distraction. If her words could affect him this much, there was probably a part of him that had not moved on. Parts of Hajime's consciences probably still existed if he could sympathize with the girl that had the same circumstance as him.
Hajime scratched his head while he walked up to the girl. Of course, he wouldn't lower his guard.
’’You said betrayed? I don't believe that is the reason you were sealed. If what you said was true, why did the betrayer seal you in here?’’
The girl was stunned when Hajime came back. Through her abundant dirty blond hair, her red eyes stared at Hajime. Hajime got irritated with her lack of response. ’’Hey. Are you listening? If you are not going to talk, I'm leaving.’’ As he said that he turned heel. Surprised, she gathered herself and begun telling the reason for her sealing.
’’I'm an atavistic vampire...I was granted great power...because of it I worked hard for my country. But...one day...all my retainers...told me I was not needed anymore. Uncle...became my king...I was fine with that...However, I was dangerous because of my powers...they couldn't kill me...so they sealed me...in here.’’
She talked desperately and bit by bit it became dried. Hajime groaned while he heard the story. Seems like the circumstances was full of drama. There were a few things that bothered her. He inquired as he suppressed his boiling emotions.
’’You, what royal family are you from?’’
’’What do you mean can't be killed?’’
’’...Automatic regeneration. Injuries heal immediately. Even if decapitated.’’
’’...T-That's amazing...is that your great power?’’
’’Not just that...Magic, direct manipulation...also don't need formation.’’
Hajime understood that. Magic manipulation came to him after he ate the demons. Incantations and magical formations were useless to him for strengthening his body. He did not need incantations for his transmutation or other skills. In Hajime's case, it did not changed his dependence on hugh magical formations to use regular magic, because of his zero aptitude. His direct magic manipulation did not help in that regards and this made using regular magic for him impractical. If she had any magical aptitude, she could use some very powerful magic and she would be able of foul play. While other people would be preparing their chants and magical formations, she could just launch a spell at them without them expecting it. Honestly, it wouldn't be a contest. Also, immortality. It probably was not absolute, but it still was a cheat better than a hero.
While Hajime was thinking to himself, the girl pleaded with him.
Hajime motionlessly watched the girl, and she returned it. How long did they stare at each other...He sighed and scratched his head, and put his hand on the cube that sealed the girl.
The girl noticed the meaning and opened her eyes wide. Hajime ignored her reaction as he concentrated on his transmutation.
Crimson colored magic discharged from him. His magic had changed after he ate the demons. However, the cube was resisting Hajime's transmutation. It was exactly like the bedrock at the top and bottom of a level. The cube was not completely immune to it. Little by little, Hajime's magic started to erode areas around the cube.
’’Ku, resistance is strong...but, the present me!’’
Hajime started to spend more magic. The equivalent to a six phrase incantation. Finally, the magic penetrated the cube's defense. As for the surroundings, it was bathed in crimson light of Hajime's magic.
Hajime needed more magic. He poured 7 phrase...8 phrase...The stone around her seal started to tremble.
He fired himself up as he poured 9 phrase worth. If it was an attribute magic, it would already be a grand level spell. No, the amount of magic maybe was even more. The crimson light continued to rapidly grow brighter. Vampiress kept her eyes opened as she stared at the brightness and Hajime.
Sweat started to drip from his body, this was Hajime's first time using such a large-scale magic. If his control slipped for just a moment then his power would go on a rampage. Even with all this power the cube did not deform. Hajime was desperate;he had released all his magic.
Hajime did not understand why he would do all this are a girl he just met. He couldn't help it because he didn't want to leave her alone. Already, Hajime had decided to dedicate his life to eliminating all his enemies and getting home but...he asked himself ’’What are you doing’’ inwardly. He wanted to treat everything with a clear solution. He became serious.
His body started to emit a red light. Genuinely, he was going to release all his magic. All of his magic was poured into his transmuting to fulfill its goal!
The cube around the girl started to melt and little by little, she was getting being released from her shackles. Soon, more and more parts of her got free. Her swollen chest came to bare, then her waist, arms, and thighs. Under those cubes, she was wearing nothing. Even though her body was emaciated, she still had a mystique beauty to her. She dropped into a childish seat after all her body was set free. Her body seemed to lack the energy to stand up.
Hajime also sat down. His shoulders and breath huffed and puffed. A heavy sense of fatigue hit him when he felt his empty magical reserves. With his wild breath and shivering hands he reached for his ’’potion’’, but the girl clenched his hand. A hand that lacked any power;small and trembling. When Hajime glanced at her, she was staring at him. Her face was in an expressionless state, but her eyes told the real story.
With a small and trembling voice, she clearly said.
What sentiment was he to give to her thanks? Deep within his supposedly blackened heart, there was a small light that did not disappear.
Holding each others hands tightly. How much time passed? From Hajime's knowledge, vampires died out several hundreds of years ago. He remembered reading about it when he was studying the history of this world.
Even while she talked her expression did not change. In other words, she had long forgotten how to talk and express herself with other people. She had spent a long time in this darkness all by herself. Betrayed by the people she trusted. The girl did well in not going insane. Maybe it was because of her automatic regeneration. However, it could be considered a torture with it. Because it did not allow her to go mad, she had to experience everything and remember it.
Being able to drink the ’’potion’’, a wry smile showed on his face afterwards. He returned to grasping her weak hands. She responded back with her own grip.
’’...What's your name?’’
The girl asked Hajime with a whisper. Hajime finally noticed that they had not introduced themselves.
’’Hajime. Nagumo Hajime. Yours?’’
She muttered ’’Hajime’’ repeatedly. Like she was etching it into her mind as something important. To the asked question, she answered it with a question.
’’...Name, grant me.’’
’’Eh? What do you mean grant you? Don't tell me you forgot your name.’’
Hajime asked her if it was because of the long imprisonment, but she just shakes her head.
’’I don't need my previous name anymore. The name Hajime grants me is good.’’
’’...Ha, even if you say that.’’
Most likely she was dealing with the same thing as when Hajime changed. Throw away your previous self;live a new life with new values. Hajime was changed due to pain, hunger, and hatred. She wanted to change out of her own free will. The first step was to get a new name.
Her eyes was shining with anticipation. Hajime scratched his head while thinking there was no helping it. He told her the new name.
’’How is ’’Yue’’? I don't really have a sense for naming, if you want a different one...’’
’’Ah, I didn't mean Yue [romanji]. From my hometown the name means ’’Moon’’. When I first entered the room, I thought those eyes that shined through your blonde hair looked like the moon floating in the night...how is it?’’
The girl was surprised by the response he gave and just blinked her eyes. As expected, her face remained expressionless but her eyes shined with joy.
’’Yeah, from now on I'm Yue. Thank you.’’
’’Oh, for the time being...’’
Yue undid their clasped hands and looked at Hajime. He started to take off his overcoat and gave it to her.
’’Wear this. You can't stay naked forever.’’
Yue reflexively took the offered overcoat while she looked at her state. She was really stark naked. All of her important parts were completely exposed. Hajime's overcoat was quickly wrapped around her, while she turned bright red. Yue looked up at Hajime and murmured.
’’Hajime's a pervert.’’
Hajime choose to stay silent, because saying anything would just make it worse. The overcoat was cheerfully put on by Yue. She was only 140 cm tall, so the overcoat was oversized for her. Her hands held the hems of the coat with a pleasant expression on her face.
During that moment, Hajime was drinking his ’’potion’’. His vitality restored and his brain active again. Using ’’perception’’...he froze. There was a sense of a terrible demon in the immediate area.
The location...right above!
When Hajime had noticed its presence, that was the moment it dropped from the ceiling. With every ounce of effort he picked up Yue and used ’’Flicker’’. After executing his movement, he looked back at where he was. A thud came from the area he came from and saw what it was.
The monster's body was 5m in length. It had 4 huge-long-shear-like arms and 8 legs rustling around. A sharp needle was present on its two tails. Scorpions would be the best comparison to them. As for the two tails, it would be wise to assume it is poisonous. Hajime felt that compared to all the other demons he had faced so far, this one was clearly a strong warrior.
Sweat streamed down his forehead. When he had entered the room earlier, his full powered ’’Perception’’ did not pick up anything;now it was going crazy. This meant that this scorpion-like demon was released after he released Yue's seal. The last resort to prevent her escape. If he had left Yue by herself, he could most likely escape.
He set his glance to the girl in his arm. She was earnestly watching Hajime, and not minding the scorpion. Her eyes were like a calm water surface;resolving herself. The eyes that conveyed her feelings with eloquence. Yue had entrusted her fate to Hajime.
The moment their eyes met, the corners of his mouth rose, and his usual fearless smile came into being. Hajime, who did not care about others, felt sympathy for Yue. Light stilled remained in his mostly broken heart. For this betrayed girl, he would commit himself. If he couldn't reply to her pleas, he wasn't a man.
’’Bring it on! Try to kill me if you can!’’
Hajime quickly took his ’’potion’’ out from his pouch, he embraced her and fed some of it to Yue;who was perched on his shoulders.
The sacred water flowed into her body from the test tube-shaped container. Her eyes watered at being force fed an alien substance, but was surprised when her vitality was being restored.
Hajime moved Yue from his shoulder to his back with his hand. Her feet were still weak, but it would recover soon. He did not want to fight while having to protect her.
’’Hold on tight! Yue!’’
Her body was far from recovered, but she used the power that returned to hold on tight to Hajime's body with her limbs.
The scorpion started to make noise as it advanced towards them. Feeling Yue's grip on his back, he declared with his bold smile.
’’If you're going to get in my way...I'm going to kill then devour you!’’