Arifureta - Volume 9 - Chapter 8
The User of Age of Gods Magic
Without any warning, the white beam suddenly shot down from the heavens.
The light attacked Hajime with a perfect timing;when he was about to finish the last Magma Serpent. Thus, Hajime was swallowed by a destructive storm carrying fierce heat and impact.
Yue's scream rang out. Slightly away from Hajime, Shia and Tio could only watched Hajime being swallowed by the beam absentmindedly, only to regain their senses when they heard Yue's sorrowful scream they never heard even once ever since they met.
Pouring down from right above Hajime, the beam also swallowed the last Magma Serpent and reached the scorching sea, grandly blowing away the surrounding away, and temporarily disclosing the bottom of the magma sea. The beam kept piercing the sea of magma for a while, but gradually became thinner and thinner before finally disappearing as if merging with the air.
Yue, who frantically jumped to where Hajime was, Hajime appeared from the disappearing light and was floating in the air, even though he had become tattered. However, having crossed his arms to protect his chest and face, Hajime immediately lost his balance and began to fall towards the rampaging sea of magma because of the beam's impact.
Thinking Hajime had lost his consciousness;Yue used magic to stop Hajime from falling on his back. Using this chance, she hugged Hajime and they landed in the nearby foothold.
’’Kh! Hajime! Hajime!’’
Maximum uneasiness could be seen on Yue's face while she made Hajime drink the holy water she took out. Hajime's condition was quite miserable. His right arm was burnt so badly that even the bone could be seen, while his artificial arm half melted. His eyepatch was blown off and blood kept flowing from the deep wound on his cheek. Furthermore, his abdomen was burnt black, carbonized. Even so, as a proof of his growth, his internal organs weren't damaged.
At that time, in the moment the beam was about to swallow Hajime, he twisted his body to face the beam by a hair-breadth and used ’’Concentrated Strengthening’’ and ’’Strength Endowment,’’ derivations from ’’Vajra.’’ Thanks to that, his head was defended by the reinforced artificial arm while his heart and lungs were protected by his right arm and Donner. The clothing around his belly, made from a special demonic beast's leather, had its defense raised further by ’’Strength Endowment,’’ Hajime himself had an abnormal magic resistance, so there was no danger to his life but...
’’Nh... recovery is too slow!’’
Apparent with Yue irritated mutter, the recovery using holy water didn't advanced much. Thus, Yue gritted her teeth.
Previously, Hajime had been burnt and collapsed after receiving the beam attack to protect Yue during the fight against the hydra in «Orcus Great Dungeon»'s last trial. Thus, Yue didn't want to see it again, and she vowed to never let Hajime experienced such a thing again. However, the spectacle of Hajime being swallowed by the beam and collapsed powerlessly was just like the reproduction of that time. It made Yue's normally expressionless face warped from regret.
And at that moment,
’’Fools! Above thee!!’’
Tio warned and at the same time, numerous flashes poured down. These were small version of the beam. Each had the power and scale of a tenth of the previous beam, but each of light of death could surely destroy one's body.
However, Yue hadn't notice the incoming flashes above because she was occupied with making Hajime drink the second vial of holy water. It was a situation where Yue's magic wouldn't make it in time since she had only looked up now because of the warning. In another three seconds, no, one second... between the time it felt like it enlarged, Yue desperately constructed a defense magic in her head.
’’Won't let thee! ’’Tempest Void’’!’’
Tio let Yue earned another few seconds. ’’Tempest Void,’’ was a mid-ranked defense magic of wind element. The wall of compressed air received the rain of death. The barrier of wind bent greatly at the moment of impact. Normally, the attack would bounce back, but there was no chance to do that. The mini-beams hitting one after another made the air shrieked. The time it could be intercepted was truly only a few seconds.
However, that was enough.
Yue's defense magic activated. Normally, she would use ’’Absolute Calamity,’’ but the time shortened to activate it wasn't much even though she had become more skilled in using it. It was because the time to construct and activate gravity magic couldn't be compared to magic of other attributes. Thus she decided to use ’’divine Interruption,’’ the best defense magic she could immediately activate.
Barrier of light that shone brilliantly appeared before Yue's thrust out hand, covering Yue and the unconscious Hajime in semi-sphere. In addition, the ’’Tempest Void’’ activated by Tio was finally unable to endure the storm of mini-beams, and collapsed accompanied by sound of air being ripped. At the same time, the non-declining torrent of destruction poured into the barrier of light below it.
The huge waterfall-like pressure didn't annihilate Hajime and Yue, but it continued to attack them. Yue's ’’divine Interruption’’ cracked. Judging it would be bad after receiving more force than she imagined, Yue transformed the all-covering barrier into a shield that only covered overhead in the middle of its activation. The strength increased conversely to the range it covered.
The surroundings were destroyed by the mini-beams and parts of the foothold other than where Yue and Hajime were, already sunk into the sea of magma.
These mini-beams stubbornly aimed at Hajime, they didn't even pouring at the nearby footholds where Shia and Tio were to halt them. However, Shia and Tio were forced to stay where they were because the power and density of barrage from the mini-beams were that abnormal.
’’Calm down, Shia! Thou willth die if thou come out of this one's protection!’’
’’But! Hajime-san is-!’’
Tio frantically admonished Shia, who tried to dash into the downpour of mini-beams with tearful look while she moved the shield of swirling wind.
Tio was also worried about Hajime. She understood how painful it was for Shia. However, they mustn't defenselessly charge into the minimized version of the attack that had severely injured Hajime, and had an effect of weakening the recovery rate of holy water. Gripping Shia by the scruff of her neck, Tio desperately averted the threatening lights.
After ten seconds or maybe one minute... the storm of beams that seemed to continue through the eternity, poured down particularly intense, and the end finally could be seen. The surroundings were in miserable condition, and white smokes were rising here and there.
Yue and Tio had used up their magic power. Panting, they refilled their magic power using the magic power stocked inside Magic-Crystallization stones.
And at the same time, a man's voice that was half-amazed and half-admiring descended from the sky.
’’... A force that cannot be overlooked;indeed it was the right thing to ambush here. You are all too dangerous. Especially, that man...’’
Yue and the girls looked up towards the ceiling where the voice came from. Following that, their eyes opened wide in astonishment. As for the reason, several dragons and a pure white, gigantic dragon that couldn't be compared to the rest were flying, and there was a red-haired, black-skinned, slightly pointed ear, a man from Demon race on the white dragon's back.
’’For the Breath of my white dragon to be incapable of killing him... and in addition, he had strong unknown weapons not written in the report... these women, too. It is truly unbelievable for you to not be finished with a barrage of 50 Ash Dragons. You, just what are you? Just how many Age of Gods magic do you have?’’
The man was glaring from the sky with his dangerously narrowed golden eyes, similar to Tio's. He asked that question while being cautious of Yue and the others who glared back at him. He thought Yue and the girls' power came from Age of Gods magic from the Great Dungeons.
’’Before questioning, how about you introduce yourself first? Does the Demon race have no manners?’’
The one who answered the Demon race man was the previously unconscious Hajime. The Demon race man frowned. However, Yue and the girls' voice rang out before the man even opened his mouth.
’’Art thou okay!? Master!?’’
Hajime somehow managed to raise his upper body, but he once again fell because his injury was indeed severe. Yue promptly supported him while Shia and Tio jumped from the nearby foothold to where Hajime was, worried.
Hajime smiled to tell Yue and the girls, who were worriedly looking at him, that he was alright, and stood up by himself. However, he wasn't in a condition where he would be able to immediately fight. This was displayed by his forehead drenched in sweat due to sharp pains he felt. Even so, Hajime moved his gaze from Yue and the girls towards the Demon race in the sky, and was showing a fearless smile.
’’... There's no need to introduce myself to those who will die soon.’’
’’Same here. I am asking just because it was normal to ask. I am not interested either, so don't mind it. By the way, how's your friend's arm?’’
Hajime asked as if to ridicule to stall for time for his recovery. The Demon race man had said ’’report’’ and ’’ambush,’’ so Hajime recalled the Demon race who was behind the scene inside the town of Ul, whose arm blown off and got away with his life. Thus, his information might have come from there.
With his eyebrow twitching for an instant, the Demon race man answered with tone somewhat lowered than before.
’’I change my mind. Bury this name of mine into your flesh and bones. My name is Freed Baghuar. A God's Apostle who will give divine punishment to the heretics.’’
’’God's Apostle... I see. How exaggerated. Were you allowed to introduce yourself as that because you obtain the Age of Gods magic? It wasn't the kind of magic that control the demonic beasts, right? ...Although the demonic beasts fired the beams, they seemed to do it at their own discretion. So, it must be a magic that created demonic beast, right? Of course, those who can create a matchless army can introduce themselves as God's Apostle, heh.’’
’’That's right. For ’’Alv-sama,’’ who had obtained God's powers, told to me directly, ’’My apostle.’’ Therefore, all of my being is devoted to realize my master's wish. Thus, I will use my all to deny you, whose existences will only be an obstacle.’’
Closely resembling Ishtal of Church of the Saints, the Demon race man, Freed Baghuar, was denying the existences of Hajime's party up front. However, Hajime fearlessly laughed with fierce denial. Though his recovery rate was slow, Hajime had used ’’Recovery’’ derived from ’’Magic Conversion’’ to change his magic power into recovery, and his bleeding had stopped. Though he could not use his left arm, it was possible for him to use his unbroken right arm even if the bone could be seen. Hajime psyched, ’’I can still fight!’’
’’That's my line. Those who obstruct me are enemies. And I will... kill my enemies!’’
After shouting so, Hajime endured the sharp pain to aim Donner at Freed and pulled the trigger. He held down his screaming right arm and body due to recoil, and used killing intent aimed at his enemies. Furthermore, he activated ’’Light Speed’’ and took out Cross Bits to attack. At the same time, Yue's ’’Thunder Dragon’’, Tio's Breath, and Shia's exploding-slug bullet fired.
However, when several of the 3-4 meters long Ash Dragons entered the attack trajectories, numerous piled up, triangular, reddish black barriers immediately appeared and received all of the attacks from Hajime's party.
The barrier that received the force of Hajime's party's attack and didn't even held on for a few seconds before it cracked, but more Ash Dragons came from behind and piled up another similar barriers, and thus it wasn't possible to break through. When they looked carefully, there were turtle-shaped demonic beasts on the dragons' back. Their shells were shining in reddish black, so these turtle-shaped demonic beasts were most likely the ones that activated the barriers.
’’Did you think I only brought along these dragon-type demonic beasts? You wouldn't be able to easily break through their defense, you know. Well then, I will show you. I will show the other power I had obtained the power of Gods!’’
Freed began to focus and recited the chant in mutter. On his hand, there was a large fabric where complex and bizarre magic array was drawn. According to what he said, it was another power of Gods. He probably meant the Age of Gods magic he obtained in this «Guryuu-en Great Volcano». Knowing the great effect of an Age of Gods magic, Hajime's party began to attack furiously, to not let him finished his chant.
However, once they broke through the barrier of the Ash Dragons, a new barrier would immediately activated behind the previous one, thus their attacks could not reach Freed. Normally, Hajime would've asked Yue and the other two to cover him and go forward using ’’Aerodynamic,’’ but he still haven't completely healed, so it would be difficult for him to beat the group of Ash Dragons. Thinking so, Hajime grinded his teeth.
Hajime put away Donner, and fired all ammos of Orkan whose recoil was small, but they only blew away several of the Ash Dragons' barriers, that's all. They weren't able to reach Freed. Even the Cross Bits that had quite the power couldn't completely destroy all of the barriers.
And the time was up. Freed finished his chant.
’’Kh! Behind you! Hajime-san!’’
At the same time as the last letter of the magic's name was said, Freed and the white dragon disappeared. More accurately, shining membrane-like thing appeared and they jumped inside. The time Freed said the magic's name and Shia's warning were the same, so Hajime's party, without having time to be wide eyed from astonishment, turned their heads around.
There was... right before Hajime a white dragon's whitely opened mouth and Freed on top of it, aiming at Hajime. Inside the dragon's mouth were extreme heat and magic power which concentrated and compressed until the limit. Hajime immediately used Orkan as a shield and at the same time, the beam was fired from zero distance.
Accompanied by a roaring sound, the held up Orkan was hit by the beam and Hajime was blown away. The severe impact and the damage made his flesh screamed, and Hajime raised an agonized groan from his clenched mouth.
Wanting to help Hajime who was blown away by the beam, Yue and the girls immediately tried to attack the white dragon, but the Ash Dragons attacked in a barrage as if they knew what the girls would do.
While he didn't receive a direct hit from the beam, the impact from being blown away made Hajime's wound reopened, and his blood sprayed. Hajime was desperately holding Orkan with his wounded right arm and braced himself using ’’Aerodynamic.’’ Then, thinking he would be dropped into the boiling sea if this keeps up, Hajime activated ’’Limit Break.’’
It was a dangerous bet to activate ’’Limit Break’’ with a wounded body. Normally, he would only be exhausted after using ’’Limit Break,’’ but with his current condition, he would likely to become paralyzed afterward. Even so, Hajime judged that using it was indeed necessary to break through this situation.
Hajime's body wrapped inside a torrent shining brightly red, his power swelled up explosively.
Roaring, he slanted Orkan to forcibly avert the beam up. Even so, he could not completely avert it, and he was blown away while spouting blood because of the beam.
The white dragon continued attacking by firing numerous light bullets which was the same as Hydra's. However, the dragon's beam was far tougher than the hydra, so the light bullets also couldn't be underestimated. Furthermore, its combination with a user of Age of Gods magic made it extremely troublesome.
With the incoming light bullets, Hajime concentrated to his limit, entering the slowed down world and was evading like a swaying fallen leaf. Following that, he put away Orkan that had become useless because it had melted, and fired Donner, while also making the Cross Bit fly to assault Freed at the same time.
’’How tenacious! To dodge a decisive blow by a hair-breadth-!’’
Covered again by the barrier of the turtle-shaped demonic beast, Freed was grinding his teeth as he watched the seriously wounded Hajime's tenacity in wonder. Then, he once again begin to recite the chant while the white dragon flew at high speed.
’’This one won't let you!’’
Towards Freed and the white dragon who endured the fierce attack from the Cross Bits while firing the light bullets and backing away from Hajime to regain time to finish the chant, a mysterious voice suddenly resounded in the entire space. At the same time, they were attacked by a terrific impact from the flank.
Blown away, Freed stopped his chant and instinctively clung to the white dragon. He then looked at the one who blew away the ten meters long white dragon. He opened his eyes wide in astonishment.
’’It seemth thou hath forgotten thy place and got carried away! This one won't let you hurt Master anymore!’’
The one who blew Freed and the white dragon away was the ’’Dragonformed’’ Tio. Having accepted the risk that the Demon race would know about the Ryuujin race, Tio demonstrated her appearance. And even though she was one size smaller than the white dragon, her pressure far surpassed the white dragon.
The reason Tio decided to join Hajime's party on their journey was because she came to like Hajime, but also to observe the people who came from another world, and to find what her future move would be. With that, she wanted to conceal that she came from Ryuujin tribe. It was also her race's law, so she naturally would do that. After all, no matter how strong her race was, they wouldn't be able to fight against number. It was something that permeated inside their people from the persecution 500 years ago.
However, Hajime, who she was convinced to be invincible and could not be injured, had sustained severe injuries. Thus, when she saw Hajime had powerlessly collapsed because of the beam pouring down from the above, Tio's mind was attacked by fierce agitation.
She thought she had misunderstood something. Hajime is a human. If wounded in a moment of carelessness, it was possible for him to easily die. Tio gradually recalled this, and her, who had forgotten common sense due to her long life, was now clearly conscious of her feeling thank to her devotion towards Hajime. He was an object of her interest, but not as her Master. She understood now that Hajime was a ’’man’’ that she, as a woman, did not want to lose.
Therefore, she decided to ’’Dragonform’’ in front of others. She wouldn't be able to puff her chest and call them comrades if she was unwilling to do it in this crisis. Above all, the pride of Tio Clarce of Ryuujin race would not allow her to choose the law above her important person's life, neither could she do that.
’’Young one! Remember this! This is the ’’Dragon’’'s Breath!’’
Accompanied with a roaring sound, a black flash immediately came to swallow the white dragon along with Freed. The white dragon twisted its body and fired its Breath beam towards the incoming Breath. Black and white flashes collided, scattering violent shock wave. The ocean of magma right below, centered on the colliding point, was rampaging and generating gigantic tsunamis of magma.
At first, Tio and the white dragon's Breaths were equal, but Tio's Breath began to gradually push the white dragon's.
’’Kuh, for me to meet a survivor of Ryuujin race here... there's no other way. Although it is risky, I will use magic to make the space...’’
’’Do you think I will let you?!’’
Maybe because he didn't have any report about the Ryuujin race, Freed was truly surprised. Seeing this situation, he gritted his teeth, took out another fabric from his pocket, and tried to chant the Age of Gods magic again.
However, he was interrupted by the impact followed a voice behind him.
It was Hajime who arrived behind Freed, unbeknownst to him, and fired Donner in succession while blood was spouted from his wounds. Six bullets were fired with one firing sound. All of the bullets, without deviating even a millimeter, were hitting the same place.
The turtle-shaped demonic beast by Freed's side had activated the barrier faster than Freed could react, but once impacted in almost zero distance by the flashes;the barrier shining in reddish black was easily smashed. Following that, Hajime slipped into the bosom of Freed who displayed his irritation and panicked.
Activating ’’Wind Claw’’ on Donner, Hajime swung it at once.
By a hair's breadth, Freed escaped from being cut in two by falling behind. However, a horizontally slashed wound was carved on his chest. Hajime didn't stop his attack, rotating using the momentum from slashing Freed, he activated ’’Magic Shockwave’’ from ’’Magic Power Conversion’’ and back kicked Freed.
Freed barely guarded using his left arm, but he could not kill the momentum, and thus his left arm was crushed and his organs were damaged. Freed was horizontally blown away from the white dragon.
Noticing his master's disappearance, the white dragon lost its concentration and the black Breath approached it in a dash. Immediately after Hajime jumped off the white dragon, Tio's Breath grandly blew off the beam along with the white dragon.
Screaming as it was being blown away, the white dragon somehow managed to regain its balance mid-air even after its belly received the attack from Tio's Breath, and it immediately flew towards the ceiling. Once again, Freed was on the back of an Ash Dragon with Freed. Reunited in the air, Freed once again boarded the white dragon.
Hajime tried to pursue using ’’Aerodynamic,’’ however...
The bright red light enveloping Hajime was disappearing rapidly, and not only from his wounds, but he also vomited a large amount of blood. His ’’Limit Break’’ had reached the time limit. In his wounded condition, the damage was further deepened from breaking his limit, and thus the time limit came earlier. Hajime was falling into the ocean of magma because his ’’Aerodynamic’’ was deactivated.
’’Master! Hold on!’’
Tio flew to put the falling Hajime on her back. Hajime, whose damage deepened from ’’Limit Break’’'s after effect and should have collapsed, managed to somehow get into kneeling position and his eyes shone as he glared at Freed above.
From what he saw, even the Ash Dragons that were attacking Yue and the girls had gathered by Freed's side.
Shouting Hajime's name, Yue and Shia came running. Tio landed in the nearby foothold. She did it because the possibility of the current Hajime not being able to endure Tio's battling movement and fall was high. Having jumped onto the same foothold, Yue and Shia immediately came to Hajime's side and supported his body.
’’... What a dreadful force. Those women are also not normal. A Ryuujin race that should have been annihilated, no-chant no-array using magic-user, and a Rabbitman tribe with unexpected power and ability to see the future... They are also possibly users of Age of Gods magic. And to have cornered me now... it would have been my side that would have gotten beaten if I didn't first attack, huh...’’
Squeezing his words, Freed was exchanging gaze with Hajime, creating sparks. Panting, Freed touch the wound carved on his chest with his unhurt right hand.
’’Why are you assuming this is the end? I can still fight.’’
Hajime's expression turned ugly because of Freed's words. But even with his tattered body, Hajime's eyes were shining with killing intent while he declared the battle to continue.
’’... Of course. The torrent of killing intent overflowing from you expressed you would not give up no matter how wounded you are. Not only do you have dreadful powers, you also have killing intent that could devour your enemy... No, was it the attachment to survive...’’
Guessing once, then Freed made a resolute expression and glared at Hajime again.
’’I don't want to use this method... but it is necessary to use it if it can kill powerful enemies like you.’’
’’What did you say?’’
Not answering Hajime's question, Freed said something to the small bird-shaped demonic beast, unknown as to when it landed on his shoulder.
RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE!
Great tremor shook the entire space, no, the entire «Guryuu-en Great Volcano», and the ocean of magma began to rampaging, accompanied with a terrific, roaring sound.
Suffering from the sudden shockwave from below, Hajime's party got on all fours and screamed, while desperately trying to balance themselves. The great tremor was gradually becoming even more intense, and could be said to reach seven in the richter scale. From the ocean of magma, numerous fire pillars, no, magma pillars began to spout.
’’Hajime-san! The magma level-!’’
With Shia's words, the magma surrounding the foothold, where Hajime's party were, was indeed rising in level.
’’What did he do?’’
Hajime squeezed his words and asked the obvious culprit behind this situation, Freed. Having moved to the ceiling above the middle island, Freed answered the question.
’’I only destroyed the keystone.’’
’’That's right. Didn't you think it was strange when you saw the magma? «Guryuu-en Great Volcano»is obviously an active volcano. However, there's no record of it erupting until now. What I mean, is there must be something controlling the activity of the underground magma reservoir.’’
’’That's the ’’keystone,’’ huh... Don't tell me!?’’
’’It is. I have destroyed the gigantic keystone that calmed down the magma reservoir. Thus, this Great Dungeon will soon be destroyed. And although I deeply regret that I can't give my kins the Age of Gods magic of this dungeon... it isn't that regrettable if it means I can kill you here. Be destroyed along with this Great Dungeon.’’
Coldly looking down at Hajime's party, Freed held a pendant on his neck towards the ceiling. Then, the crack on the ceiling began to be open. Along with the circular hole on the ceiling, several doors above it also opened.
Apparently, Freed had opened the shortcut to the outside using the proof of having conquered «Guryuu-en Great Volcano». For the last time, Freed glared at Hajime's party then turned on his heel along with the white dragon, disappearing into the passage on the ceiling.
With the surrounding magma rampaged like the sea influenced by a hurricane, the number of spouted magma pillars kept increasing. The magma began to swallow the edges of the foothold where Hajime's party were. It was a spectacle worthy to be called the end of world.
In a short while, Hajime closed his eyes and was thinking of something. Having decided on something, he stood up despite his injury. Immediately, the Ash Dragons left behind by Freed and the white dragon began to simultaneously fire small beams. They seem to want to kill Hajime's party here by all means.
While Yue was intercepting the small beam attacks using ’’Absolute Calamity,’’ Hajime put his hand on the ’’Treasure Box.’’ Then, he put his hand on the hard dragon scale covering Tio's cheeck, who was firing Breath towards the Ash Dragons overhead, to make her face him.
’’Tio, listen. Take this and you alone must escape from that ceiling to the outside.’’
For a moment, Tio was blinking, not understanding what was said. Then, she realized it in the next moment and raised a voice which mixed with sadness and anger. Hajime's words were as if telling her to let herself survived, casting him and the other two away.
’’Master, is this one, is this one not worth spending the last time with thee? Art thou discarding this one? This one...’’
’’That's not it, Tio. I will say it just once because there's not much time left. I am not giving up anything at all. I will get the Age of Gods magic and I will someday beat that bastard. Also, I am going to fulfil my promise to bring back the ’’Serene stone.’’ However, it is impossible to do it alone. That's why I want you to lend me your power. If it is not you, it is impossible to break through everything and return to Ancadi... Please, Tio.’’
Hajime looked at the dragonformed Tio with a serious gaze he had never looked at her with before. With his pride and arrogance, Hajime had said he would be able to do anything by himself, but he relied on her. Expressing he needed Tio's cooperation to accomplish his wishes, and to overcome all of the difficulties. He said he needed Tio's power. There was neither trace of him giving up, trying to sacrifice himself, nor was he excluding Tio at all.
The sadness and anger in Tio's heart changed radically into one of joy as she trembled. She was ’’entrusted’’ with something important by the man she liked, no, the one she wanted to be her partner in this life and death situation. She would not be a woman if she didn't answer him.
Therefore, Tio only answered with one sentence.
’’Leave it to this one!’’
Hajime put ’’Treasure Box’’ in the inner part of Tio's scale. Doing so, he was directly touching the Tio's body while she was in her dragon form.
Confirming the ’’Treasure Box’’ with her skin, Tio quietly rubbed her head against Hajime. It was the best expression of love she could do now. Hajime also gently stroked Tio once before he parted. Tio turned her gaze to Yue and Shia. Then, she nodded powerfully having felt that the two also haven't given up.
’’Tio, deliver this message to Kaori and Myuu. ’’I will meet you later.’’ Okay.’’
The too nonchalant message Hajime gave made Tio laugh inadvertently, and after a beat, she flew at once while cladded by a powerful wind. Using barrelroll to evade the incoming small beams, Tio immediately tried to pierce through the group of Ash Dragons. The Ash Dragons, sensing the crisis from the black dragon's movement, concentrated their attacks on Tio.
The rushing small beams were counterbalanced by Tio's Breath, but it wasn't easy because the beams keep coming one after another. However, the moment the balance about to collapse, a beam gushed out from below and blew several Ash Dragons that were attacking Tio.
It was the small beams compressed and fired by Yue's ’’Absolute Calamity.’’ In addition, exploding-slug bullets were fired and the shock wave blew the Ash Dragons away.
Suddenly, maybe because Freed and the white dragon had reached outside, the doors on the ceiling began to close. Realizing she didn't have much time, Tio focused on accelerating with resolution of receiving the bombardment. Tio's flight speed was further increased, but the fired off small beams began to break Tio's dragon scale.
’’Hmph, a pain only of this degree, it feels good! Bring it on~!’’
Just as she said, Tio's mood brightened along with the increment of her speed whenever the attack from the Ash Dragons damaged her body. It was the effect of ’’Pain Conversion’’ in ’’Dragonform.’’ The more pain she felt, the more her tension increased along with temporary boost of her ability, an awful skill derivation. Incidentally, it was something she obtained when she met Hajime after living for several hundreds of years. So, rather than ’’breaking through the wall (as in the wall before the skill derived),’’ it was more like ’’the door had opened.’’
With the Ash Dragons somewhat taken aback, Tio passed through the storm of small beams and passed through the door right before it closed. Looking above, a small, nostalgic light could be seen. It was the light of the outside. There were still several doors that had begun to close one by one.
Without thinking about the consequence, Tio used her magic, except some that would be used to maintain ’’Dragonform,’’ to the limit and manipulated the wind. Recalling the long life she had, it was a speed she had never use before. She literally flew, turning into a gale.
She passed through one door, two doors, three doors, and she finally arrived at the last door;a thick door connected to the outside. Tio was going forward while surrounded by black wind like a cannonball. And light bullets attacked her from above.
Apparently, Freed and the white dragon had noticed Tio, and thus they stopped to attack her. Now, more than half of the door had been closed. Rotating while evading, Tio didn't lower her speed even if she could not evade the bombardment, and the white dragon fired off the beam.
Exhausted of its magic power, the beam didn't have the force it had in the beginning. It was only half of its usual power at best. However, the damage, if Tio was hit by it, would still surpass the one she received from the small beams. Furthermore, her speed would fall if she evade or intercept it. If so, she might not make it in time before the door closed.
Tio steeled herself, and she further raised her speed using ’’Pain Conversion’’ right after the bombardment of the light bullets.
And at that time, several shadows passed through Tio's side, appearing in between Tio and the incoming beam.
They were things Tio knew just by seeing. The floating crosses, all-ranged weapons, Hajime's Cross Bits. They had followed right behind Tio.
The three Cross Bits that came out were clad in bright red light, tried to change the angle of the beam, and averted it to the side. Although they were destroyed one after another by the force of the beam, they had interrupted the beam and protected Tio. Furthermore, another four Cross Bits flew to Tio's side to protect her.
’’Nuhaa~, can't hold it! Masterrr, this one love you~!’’
Even though he might get overcome by the torrent of magma, Hajime had still controlled all of the Cross Bits from the ground to protect Tio. Thus, Tio roared towards the world, shouting her love. Being especially strong even amongst the Ryuujin tribe, Tio had never been protected by a man up until now. It was always her who did the protection. That's why, the fact that she was protected during such an extremely difficult situation made her exploded in joy from the sensation she had never felt.
With a dragon's roar, she passed through the last door. Having turned into a mass of black wind, Tio flew out vertically, dancing under the sunlight that poured down surrounded by the gigantic sandstorm.
’’For the situation to turn out like this...-! What a monster! But that black dragon is covered in wounds. I will kil-!?’’
Tio who flew overhead made Freed on the white dragon astonished, but he immediately sharpened his gaze and tried to attack. However, his plan and words were interrupted. The four Cross Bits had surrounded Freed and the white dragon from all directions before they were aware of them.
Freed made the turtle-shaped demonic beast he took during his escape to promptly put up a barrier. After all, it had been proven that the Cross Bit's offensive power could not destroy the barrier. And although the result might have been different if they were loaded with explosive bullets, the exploding-slug bullets in Shia's ranged attack were scarce, and Hajime had given priority to the bullets on Donner-Schlag, thus he had no time to implement it on the Cross Bits.
However, the Cross Bits have one more powerful attack method. This method made Freed's composed expression freeze, proven by how he was blown away along with the white dragon after receiving a huge damage.
When thinking it was odd the Cross Bits didn't shoot and abruptly shined red, but in the next moment, they exploded.
The four Cross Bits had been positioned in all sides to not let their targets escaped from the impact. The grand, powerful impact and the bullets that scattered like a storm easily destroyed the barrier, attacking Freed and the white dragon.
The master and servant were mutually screaming as they were blown away.
In addition, Tio attacked with tornado, pushing Freed and the white dragon into the sandstorm. Tio had wanted to shoot out Breath to kill them for sure, but she could not because she didn't have much strength left.
Tio watched the place where Freed and the white dragon had disappeared for a while, then she moved her gaze after she to confirm there's no change at all. She quietly watched the «Guryuu-en Great Volcano»before her without even a trace of her perverted tension remaining. Next, nodding as if expressing ’’This one will believe in thee,’’ she turned around and flew towards Ancadi.
After several tens of minutes, a great earthquake with «Guryuu-en Great Volcano»as the epicentre, with sounds surpassing roaring sounds, a great explosion occurred that even cracked the atmosphere, and temporarily blew off the sandstorm. Black, black smoke rose from «Guryuu-en Great Volcano»while scorching rocks went flying, and sparks scattered from the volcano.
It was a great eruption of «Guryuu-en Great Volcano»that was recorded to have never erupted in history. In a way, it was a historical moment. After a few minutes, the volcano was once again wrapped with a veil of gigantic sandstorm, concealing its bizarreness.
Even so, the roaring sound that seemed to be the scream of the world along with the spouted black smoke was certainly seen by the people of Ancadi. Their uneasiness grew stronger. It was also felt by the girl and little girl who were waiting for their important people to return.