「Amanogawa Kouki────a hero.」
Hearing Kouki's declaration, the <Dark King> let out a dubious voice.
『A hero, you said?』
It was likely that he was demanding for a word that could substantiate Kouki's strength more specifically.
'I guess that's too abstract huh', Kouki smiled wryly inside his heart while asking back in return this time.
「<Dark King>. Human and <Dark Being>, won't you help me looking for a way where both sides can coexist?」
Bafflement──that wasn't it. The emotion that was filling that voice was as expected……ridicule.
『In this end of the war, where I'm about to get my hand on my longstanding desire, and you are asking me to discard it? Hah』
Out of the question, was what he conveyed. But, Kouki continued his words without faltering.
「You're only about to get your hand on your desire, but you won't be able to obtain it for real.」
『……Hou. Why do you think so?』
「Because I'm here.」
This time it was wrath. A terrific wrath was emitted from the <Dark King>. He thought that Kouki was telling him that the <Dark King> couldn't win against the <hero>, that he was inferior than him.
『Are you mocking me?』
「No. It's my determination.」
The words that replied back concisely contained a clearness that couldn't be ignored.
The <Dark King> looked up to the sky. His miasma was completely blocked by the torrent of light. It was the proof that the being confronting him right now was a being that possessed extraordinary strength.
There was a still silence. The <Dark King>'s answer was──
A thunderous sound resounded.
That was the sound of clash played by the sheathed holy sword that Kouki lifted up with both hands clashing against the large sword that was swung down vertically. The attack was a powerful one that caused a hallucination as though the ground was split.
『Hou, that's really something.』
The voice came from the back. At the same time a giant jaw assaulted from left and right!
Kouki immediately tried to jump forward to escape from the unknown, but he saw black beasts assaulted him from all directions simultaneously.
Kouki immediately created multiple barriers using <Heaven Severance> to block while continuing his question. It was the same question that he once asked Ragal.
「Why? Why won't you take a path where everyone can survive!? If your race can survive by other way, then there should be no need for human to be livestock! It's fine even if it's only mutual non-interference with each other! Just what meaning there is in a world where both sides are merely continuing to kill each other!?」
The <Dark King> didn't reply. But, it could be seen how the red eyes peeking out from behind his helm's slit warped in mockery. He was really not seeing any worth from Kouki's wish except as trash.
Kouki continued to argue vehemently even while gritting his teeth.
「There will be spark of hatred remaining for sure if you turn human into livestock. Discord will occur without fail if you rule through fear. If mankind rebel once more in the future, a lot of <Dark Beings> might die. A lot of lives will be scattered if a war occur! You are their king aren't you!? Aren't you thinking to look for a path where no sacrifice will result for the sake of the future, for the sake of your compatriots!?」
The <Dark King> seemed to be able to teleport in short range even when he wasn't in the territory of miasma. Surprise attacks came one after another. It was truly a storm of great sword. And then, every single attack possessed terrific might. If it was an average soldier then they would get cut down without even noticing it, or even if they could defend there was no doubt they would still get cut down along with their defense.
In fact, he was barely blocking the attacks by placing <Heaven Severance> at his blind spots, but small wounds from unavoidable attacks that cut through those <Heaven Severance> were increasing continuously.
In addition, the countless beasts that suddenly appeared from empty air became numerous murderous weapons. They used miasma to explode or became blades that constantly attacked from his blind spot.
There was no opening to perform defense to all directions using <Heaven Severance>.
Kouki used <Heaven Severance> and <Light Halo> to hold back the beasts, and used <Light Blade> and < Light Explosion> to forcefully take some distance. Only then he was barely able to evade or block everything.
The <Dark King> was responding with ridiculing laugh as expected toward Kouki's desperate words.
『Not at all.』
Kouki's expression distorted in grief.
「Why, how could……」
『War? The bigger the better. Strife itself is something like a delicious food. What meaning is there in a life where there isn't even one entertainment?』
Kouki's expression changed slightly. His desperation thinned down and his expression was turning vaguely calm.
『Conflict, rule, the livestock's rebellion, they are side show. All of those are indispensable "entertainment" for living don't you think?』
Kouki understood. Completely. About the nature of the race called <Dark Being>. He understood for sure this time.
So to speak they were the same like a species of migratory fish that would die if they didn't continue to swim. Conflict was exactly their motivation for living. They couldn't help but fight. They couldn't help but conquer. They would invade until the ends of earth if it was for the sake of that. They would scatter the spark of hatred themselves.
If was the way of living for survival, and at the same time it was also something to fill their heart.
Evil──it would be easy if <Dark Being> could just be labeled like that.
But it was if from the viewpoint of Kouki, no, from the view point of the great majority of human.
But, from the viewpoint of the <Dark Being>, perhaps it was Kouki's insistence for coexistence that was exactly an evil that was trampling on their nature.
Their viewpoint was decisively too different.
『Are you finished with your questions? Then let's end this. You have allowed me to enjoy this somewhat, but even that torrent of light won't match the strength that I have continued to stock for this whole five years.』
The air shook greatly. Raging miasma converged behind the <Dark King> with fierce momentum.
『Power is everything in this world. The strong rule everything. I'll teach your body the meaning of kingship.』
The miasma formed shape. The darkness colored miasma was forming into a giant that was about fifty meter tall from the ground. Arms were formed, a head was formed, a great sword was formed, and then the whole body was covered with armor. It was truly the avatar of <Dark King>. The figure of the strongest king that wouldn't perish as long as miasma existed was there.
『How about you create your barrier of light? You almost died protecting a town of the livestock using that didn't you?』
In respond Kouki closed his eyes slightly. He wrapped his body in silence and the tranquility of a clear spring resided in his eyes.
Once more, he chose.
He imagined along with his resolve. Once, he escaped from reality, and at the end of it he was bestowed with that form of strength. Since that time, no matter how many times he attempted it he was always unable to do it anymore──if it was now he would be able to do it. With such conviction he declared.
「No, there is no need. I'll defeat you and end this──<Heaven's Might - Light Dragon>」
A calm voice resounded.
But, the occurring phenomenon right after it was something tremendous and grand.
A gigantic torrent of light converged behind Kouki. It formed a shape in the blink of eye──what appeared was the form of radiantly shining dragon with size that rivaled even the miasma giant.
『You, how far you are going to──』
「……Because you are a king, I had to ask. I wanted to hear, the words of the king of <Dark Beings>. I thought that perhaps, there still might be other different path. I didn't want to discard that possibility. However, I had heard your answer. The time had come. That's why──I won't let you do anything anymore. I won't let you.」
『Tsu, don't look down on me-』
The miasma giant swung down its great sword. The air screamed from its overwhelming pressure.
Instantly the world was dyed white.
The light dragon's breath blew away anything and everything. It wasn't at the level like the air was screaming anymore. It was a might that annihilated the air. That was truly the manifestation of heaven's might. The very light of ruination itself.
The giant's great sword was instantly vaporized. The body's upper half that was hit by the breath showed that it was enduring. But, that too was only for a moment. The body's upper half was erased as though it was gouged up.
The breath that stabbed at the ground far away caused a localized earthquake. Just its after wave blew away the warriors of <Dark Being> without them being able to stand their ground.
But even amidst of that, just as expected, although one of his trump card was easily annihilated, the <Dark King> repressed his turmoil and teleported behind Kouki in order to take advantage of Kouki's stiffening post using the technique.
A sound like the clear ring of a bell rang out.
『──tsu. You bastard!』
Even though he should have taken the enemy by surprise from a blind spot, when he noticed his hand that was holding the great sword was cut away and sent flying.
(When was it slashed? No, was it just a coincidence?)
The <Dark King> teleported again and took some distance while pondering about the attack just now. It was a method of defense that was different from the beginning of battle where Kouki was obviously defending using his instinct or deploying barrier at his blind spots beforehand. This time he was intercepted with pin point accuracy……
He made dark beasts attacked from Kouki's blind spot also with the intention of observation.
──The head of the dark beasts were already lobbed off when he noticed.
He regenerated his arm and large sword while attacking with line of spears from all directions.
──Kouki deflected only a few spears and evaded everything by moving only a step.
He teleported to a blind spot. He swung his great sword horizontally.
──*shan* Such clear sound rang. At the same time the trajectory of his great sword was averted, and when he noticed his body was already slashed diagonally.
Different from before, these sword attacks were calm. He was unable to perceive the process for even once. He could see how dreadful the skill behind these attacks. And yet, he didn't feel anything from the person himself. Whether it was killing intent, or fighting spirit, or hatred, nothing……
『You-, just what the hell are you doing!?』
The <Dark King> finally couldn't hide his turmoil and shouted.
At the same time, as though to say that if he was slashed if he approached, then he would just pulverize everything altogether, he reformed his miasma giant and ordered it to punch down.
──It was blown away by the giant light dragon.
Even when he attacked from the blind spot, everything was slashed off. While area attack was annihilated by the giant dragon standing by behind the enemy.
『Then I'll use number! I'll crush you with number!』
The <Dark King> created a hundred miasma warriors that resembled bull head species with height of three meter in one breath. He formed them in a way that surrounded Kouki and made them charge. If the opponent was the soldiers of the kingdom, they would be easily blown away even if they hardened their defense with twice the number. This was a charge of monsters that allowed gruesome trampling with their rush momentum and physical strength.
Kouki swayed relaxedly, and two heads flew.
The moment the <Dark King> perceived that, three more heads already danced in the air.
No matter how powerful the miasma warrior he created──they were cut.
Some rushed ahead using their comrade as shield. They were cut altogether.
Some was covered wholly with armor. They were cut together with their armor.
Some swung down their large sword. They were cut together with their large sword.
Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut.
There was no room for resistance, the miasma warriors who weren't supposed to even feel pain were cut away without even feeling it at all. Everything was with one attack. There wasn't even the sound of cutting wind when the sword was swung.
And then, the smoothly flowing movement was approaching to where the <Dark King> was little by little. The miasma warriors were cut away with easiness as though an afterthought while strolling casually.
『Tsu, what's this? You bastard, what's with your gaze!?』
No one would believe it. Within that <Dark King>'s voice, there was a definite "flinch" filling it.
What he was fearing wasn't how everything he was doing was getting cut down. It also wasn't how his trump card the miasma giant was being completely helpless from the breath and the storm of light bullets that were like meteor shower unleashed by the giant light dragon.
It was those eyes.
There was no hostility in them. No killing intent. No hatred. No desperation. No fighting spirit. No emotion. Most things that could be called will couldn't be found there at all.
Those eyes were tranquil like a spring sleeping deep inside an untrodden and unexplored region.
It looked like he was looking somewhere, but it was also as if he wasn't looking anywhere.
Within those slightly opened eyelids there was only tranquility.
At the end after stepping foot into his territory, there was only one result waiting after going through all the process.
That was──being cut.
The moment he drew out his katana couldn't be seen. The trajectory of the sword couldn't be seen. Everything was already over without anything that could be seen.
It was the furthest land of sword skill that Moana and others witnessed at that day.
──The last derivation of skill 【Sword Art】 【Will Possessing Pure Mind】(TN: In the raw it's Munen Yuusou, munen=free from obstructive thoughts, yuusou=possessing will. Please tell me if you have idea for better name. I'm stuck)
With feeling inside the heart, one swung the sword in the state of complete trance. Because it was in a state of nothingness, the process of the sword being swung was remarkably difficult to perceive.
If one didn't have omnipresent consciousness that could notice the sway of the grass below even while crossing sword in a battlefield, this sword strike would be extremely difficult to be evaded with how very naturally it was done.
It was one of the summits of being a swordsman that Kouki obtained in the end of his continuous battle that was driven with only a single thought of "I have to protect" even while he wasn't conscious.
Against this abnormal opponent that was responding against his attack while giving him no impression at all, the <Dark King> finally ordered the <Dark Beings> at the surrounding to attack.
『All of you-, don't just stand there! Kill him!』
For a moment, the <Dark Beings> made an expression that was filled with faint suspicion of 'Is the king about to get defeated?' before they rushed Kouki.
But, the soldiers of the kingdom who were similarly continuing to watch the battle of the <Dark King> and the <Hero> wouldn't allow that.
「Don't let them interfere with Kouki-dono!」
「This is the critical moment! Fight with the intention of making this place your grave!」
The one that gave such order while rushing at the forefront was Spike and Lilin.
Spenser and Linden looked at each other for a moment seeing their children taking the initiative. They made an expression that seemed to want to say how the both of them had grown so old before heading out to reinforce Kouki while leading the surviving soldiers.
「E, errr. Death god-san! Please listen to Koone's wish! I hope you can attack violently at the crowd over there!」
「Eh? Koone? Death god-san?」
Even while Moana was looking surprised, the griffons seemed to say 『Kue! (Order acknowledged yeah, missy!)』 at Koone's request and they turned the enemies into meat scraps using missiles or small gatling gun that came out from under their belly.
Moana stared with her pupil turning into dot at the agonizing cries of the <Dark Beings>.
Then, at that time.
Silver light shined and rippled through all the other battlefields with the exception of the battlefield at the capital's front where Kouki and others were at. If Kouki didn't enter his trance state, then he would realize that it was the cheat healing that his one other childhood friend unleashed.
Wind of agitation ran through the battlefields. That was only natural. After all the people's wounds were healed in the blink of eye without caring of how heavy the wounds were or even how miasma had eroded inside, in addition their comrade in arms who should be died already snapped their eyes open and stood up.
The chaotic battlefield made it went unnoticed, but the revival was limited to those whose time of death was within half a day more or less……even so what was happening around them was nothing but a "miracle".
A miracle that was brought at the battlefield where the <Hero> was standing on.
The confusion immediately settled down and their fighting spirit rose with a terrific momentum. Their despair was swept away and a momentum to the degree that pushed back the <Dark Beings> at all battlefront was born.
『Again-, am I going to taste that humiliation again-』
The <Dark King> raised a voice of rage. Five years ago, he ate a painful retaliation just when it would only take a bit more to destroy his enemy. Because of that he was attacked many times by his compatriots who were thinking 「Perhaps I can become king if it's now?」.
Perhaps they could win.
That was the greatest humiliation for the <Dark King> that other could think so about him. He was the strongest, the king that possessed the ultimate strength. Those who doubted that and also those who caused such doubt couldn't be allowed to live no matter what.
That was why, he endured the humiliation, crushed the attack of his compatriots, saved his strength determinedly, and he even created a new skill, biding his time before marching with his army, and yet…
『Even if I have to retreat this time, I'll at least kill you betting my title as king!』
The miasma giant dispersed. Just when it looked like that, the miasma converged into the <Dark King>. It was just like when Kouki was going to unleash <Heaven's Might>.
「I accept the challenge. I'll end you who are unable to choose living with various race.」
The giant light dragon converged into the holy sword.
『You hope of the livestock. Perish!』
What was unleashed was a darkness colored bombardment.
Facing against that was naturally,
「This is my choice──<Heaven's Might>!!」
A pure white bombardment. That attack that was unleashed with Limit Break state boasted a scale and might that was easily several times the one he unleashed in Arquette. It was pure destruction.
The dark and light bombardments that clashed in the middle blew away the surrounding thoroughly with terrific impact. A crater was created at the desert land.
The two bombardments looked like they were equal, but that too was only for a few seconds.
The holy sword shined even brighter.
The light of destruction swallowed the darkness and went straight ahead.
The air rumbled, the world was dyed pure white, the sound vanished. Kouki felt like he heard that word inside such world.
Before long, the light of Heaven's Might thinned down and vanished as though it was melting into the air.
There was nothing left behind.
Silence visited the battlefield.
In a brief time, the <Dark Beings> whose number had been reduced considerably, and also the soldiers who were riddled with wounds, everyone was watching the spot where the <Dark King> was at.
Kouki's shoulders were heaving with heavy breath. He wasn't clad in light anymore. Actually he was forcefully activating <Limit Break - Supreme Break> continuously using <War Demon>, so his body was considerably burdened. Honestly speaking, he was gravely exhausted that it felt like he was going to faint anytime now.
But, he didn't allow his expression to show such thing. Kouki scolded himself──
He slowly lifted up the holy sword above his head.
Even without words, it was still the most eloquent victory declaration there was. It was the prove that the strongest <Dark Being> in history──the <Dark King> was defeated.
A beat later.
Intense cheers spread through the battlefield.
After that, the morale of the <Dark Beings> declined with the <Dark King>'s defeat, furthermore after witnessing the absurdity of the soldiers who should have died already coming back to life, even the <Dark Beings> who loved conflict and domination chose to retreat as expected.
And yet, the soldiers with Lilin in the lead went to pursue them with amazing vigor and morale, in the end just how many of them could escape……
At any rate, it could be imagined that it would be less than several thousand, it was a catastrophic state if looking back how it was an army of seventy thousand at first. Surely they wouldn't be able to make any move for a while.
Kouki who was desperately staying awake for the sake of his ally's morale also secretly consumed a magic medicine from the Grim Reaper's stock and now he was recovering bit by bit somehow.
Even so, it looked like it would take a while before he was recovered to the degree where he could immediately fight. The use of <Limit Break - Supreme Break> and <Limit Break - War Demon> in conjunction forced a harsh burden on him that it actually wouldn't be strange even if he dropped dead right after.
Kouki slowly sheathed his sword and let out a long sigh.
And then, he scolded his staggering body while turning around.
At that moment,
A flying brutal small headbutt exploded on his solar plexus. The body Kouki who was relatively at his limit doubled over and then he collapsed down as though he was pushed down.
Koone tilted her head going 「Eh?」. She thought that Kouki would catch her, but unexpectedly Kouki was easily brought down.
「O, oi! Koone! It's obvious that Kouki is tired if you look carefully!」
「So, sorry, Kouki-sama!」
Moana who approached with Spenser's support dropped down her fist *poka-* on Koone. Koone who came back to her senses from that fist hurriedly get down from straddling Kouki. She then moved to his side and looked at him worriedly.
Moana also sat down at Kouki's side.
Both of them stared still at each other. Moana was praising him with a unfathomable smile that looked as though she was going to cry, worried, loving, and happy. The tears gathering at the corners of her eyes were falling down drop by drop.
「You are, really okay aren't you?」
「You didn't believe in me?」
Kouki spoke jokingly while laying down still. Moana shook her head at such Kouki.
「I believed. But, I doubted a little whether inside the "okay" that you said you included yourself properly.」
「……It has no credence what's with my previous offense huh.」
「Fufu. ……The rear territories are all right aren't they?」
「Yeah. Because some guys who are so disgustingly reliable took over for me, those places are absolutely all right.」
Moana guessed it when she heard those words that Kouki said with wry smile.
「Your pick up……has arrived then?」
「You're going home?」
Moana's expression strained. However, she didn't say anything to make him stay, she only slowly grasped Kouki's hand tightly, as though enduring her gratitude and her feeling that were overflowing from inside.
Kouki also closed his mouth. The parting, felt really regrettable. To the degree that he couldn't express it with word.
He wanted to watch over this world's future for a bit more. If possible he wanted to lend his help until the problem with <Dark Being> was resolved. He also had such feeling, but right now he was only thinking that he didn't want to let go of the hand of the slightly older woman before him.
However, the matter of going home completely depended on "that guy". That guy came here to pick him up, and he even already gave him his cooperation, and the matter was more or less settled, however because he still wasn't satisfied, so came again later to pick him up when he finished his business……there was no way Kouki could ask for such convenience. If he was going to stay behind longer than this, then he would need a resolve to stay in this world for his whole life.
He had family, friends, comrades, and also things left undone in Tortus.
It was a really difficult choice. He couldn't answer easily. That was why Kouki naturally closed his mouth. While grasping back at Moana's hand.
The queen and the hero was staring at each other wholeheartedly from really close distance, their hand grasping each other's hand.
……It was really picture perfect.
If the matter about the place being a battlefield welcoming its end was excluded.
「……Onee-chan, and also Kouki-sama, do the two of you forget that Koone and others are here?」
The two released each other's hand in a flash and took a bit of distance. Koone's eyes were staring still.
Spenser was watching over them with a really complicated expression. Linden who had arrived at their side unnoticed, Donar whose life seemed to retain his life from that healing light, and then the soldiers were making bright expression that was looking on smilingly and joyously.
Kouki's gaze was wandering around from the rapidly increasing embarrassment he was feeling. Spenser and others conveyed their praise and gratitude from their mouth to him. Loud cheers resounded from throughout the capital. There was a lot of words praising Kouki inside the far away voice too.
Kouki was feeling shaken at the interstice between his feeling that wanted to go home and his feeling that wanted to stay.
Seeing such Kouki, Moana was also feeling shaken between her loneliness and her wish of seeing off Kouki with a smile after thanking him representing the whole country.
In the end, the two of them kept stealing glances at each other with complicated feeling while at loss for words.
Koone was sighing loudly amidst such atmosphere.
「Aa, geez. If Onee-chan loves Kouki-sama that much, then Onee-chan can just go together with him. Kouki-sama too, you have done enough already, so it's fine for you to take Onee-chan with you and go home. Seeing the two of you keep fidgeting and fidgeting and fidgeting make us feel embarrassed here. The two of you aren't some brat in puberty anyway!」
'Little girl shouldn't say that', no such retort came.
Moana's cheeks reddened and she objected in a hurry.
「Eh, ah, no, Koone-tan? Look here, Onee-chan is the queen, so──」
「The war is over. From here on it's Koone's era! Someone like her majesty who is just a step from dying is fired!」
The objection was suppressed decisively.
Certainly, skirmish between the two sides would still continue from here on, but large scale battle wouldn't occur anymore. In the recovering world postwar, rather than Moana who not only used up her strength and unable to walk by her own strength, but even her life span was uncertain, it was obvious that it would be better for Koone to take the throne just as planned.
Above all else, Koone wanted Moana who was already that ragged to at least spent her remaining life for her own sake.
Moana who was told that she was fired was shocked 「Ko, Koone-tan is in rebellious age……」 and she hung her head down.
Kouki who was unable to watch quietly spoke out hesitatingly.
「Bu, but see, Koone. The method to cross over world, is only possible by asking that guy. That guy is fundamentally a fiendish and inhuman guy, that's why perhaps after I crossed world with Moana, it will be your last meeting with Moana in this life──」
「Your repetitive prattling is noisy. Indeed, that person is truly a brutish and scary person, but Kouki-sama isn't a person who will give up just because of "maybe" right? Koone won't say something like come visit here frequently. It's enough if we someday, we can meet again even if it's only once. Until that time, Koone will surely return this world into its former state that is abundant with nature!」
From nearby 「Aa?」 such dangerous voice, and voices like「Don't! Hold back Hajime-kun here!」 or 「Hajime, please read the atmosphere!」 resounded faintly, but no one noticed.
Kouki's eyes opened wide at Koone's speech and her tremendous faith on him.
「What's with that look? It's vexing. Koone protest, that it's vexing! ……Even like this, Koone dearly love you just as much as Koone love Onee-sama you know, Kouki-sama?」
For Koone who said that she was leaning toward her big sister when weighing her against the world, those words showed the best just how much fait she had to him.
……Kouki felt like she heard Moana whispering 「Koone-tan? It feels like you're making a woman's face somehow……that's just Onee-chan's imagination right?」 with a slightly flustered expression, and voices like 「……Kouki-kun, is lolicon?」 or 「Kouki. Am I gonna have to punch him again? With just Nagumo being lolicon──bubeh!?」 accompanied with crashing sound from nearby, but Kouki ignored it.
Koone took the hand of Moana and Kouki that separated from each other and connected them again. She then corrected her sitting posture before she opened her mouth with a shockingly gentle expression.
「Your majesty Moana. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for staking your life to guide us since that day. This Koone de Shelt Synclea will take over for the future from here on. Please take care of your health with peace of mind.」
Moana opened her eyes wide. Behind Koone, the soldiers including Spenser, Donar, and Linden were lining up. They respectfully kneeled in unison. Their stance was filled with their gratitude, and their wish for her to rest because it was enough already.
Moana's let out tears falling through her cheeks once more. Her various feelings until now became an immense heat that overflowed out.
With a gaze that already emitted an atmosphere as queen, this time Koone turned at Kouki.
「Hero-sama. As the representative of mankind, I express you our deep thanks. The grand exploit that you accomplish, it will surely be carved deeply into the annal of history along with our respect and gratitude. The path to the future that you grant us, we swear that we will make it into something glorious. Please I beg you, move forward through the path you desire without worry.」
「……You keep on surprising me since from the beginning huh.」
The path to the future could be seen. The despair was cleared away. For the rest they would do their best by their own, so Kouki didn't need to abandon his precious people for the sake of this world. Hearing those words of Koone that was telling him so, Kouki looked up to the sky with a giving up expression.
And then, he grasped Moana's hand tightly. Moana twitched for a moment, but after she closed her eyes for a bit, she grasped back at Kouki's hand still with a crying face.
「And? Looks like you guys finished talking already but, is it all right that you are taking along that woman too?」
「Hiih, he came out!?」
The presence and voice that suddenly appeared right beside Kouki and Moana caused the two to harmoniously hugged each other, and then Koone who turned into queen mode rolled backward while her twintail went wild.
「Na, Nagumo! Since when you are there!?」
「Around the time you ate that brat's headbutt and fell down I guess. By the way, everyone is here too.」
Hajime snapped his finger while saying that. Right away, the barrier of camouflage from Pencil Cross Velt was dispelled and Yue, Shia, Tio, Kaori, Shizuku, Ryutaro, and Suzu's figures showed up.
「We divided the rear between us and took care of it. Be really grateful until you die.」
「Ye, yeah. Thank you. I'm seriously grateful for that.」
Kouki lowered his head with a soft smile not to just Hajime, but to all the other members who also cooperated. Moana and others sent Kouki a question with their gaze.
「Kouki, these people……」
「Yes, I'll introduce them. They are the people coming to pick me up……my friends from my original world.」
There was a bit of pause because he was hesitating whether it was okay for him to call Hajime that. However, it would be too complicated in various things if he talked about their relation accurately, so he put Hajime in friend grouping while averting his gaze a bit.
「Nice to meet you, I'm Nagumo Hajime, the one who is fundamentally fiendish and inhuman according to hero-kun's introduction. If you like, you can also think of me as a brutish and scary person too.」
At the same time, the returning griffons were neighing while circling around above Hajime's head. His appearance was awfully demon king-like.
Koone went「Hiih, forgive me!!」 while casually hiding at a position that turned Kouki into a shield.
Kouki let out a dry laugh to divert from the topic. Shizuku, Kaori, Ryutaro, and Suzu dashed toward such Kouki.
「Uwaa, Kouki-kun. Your inside is worn out you know? You over there, err, Moana-sama, that's her name right? That person also feels a bit horrible, I'll regenerate the two of you okay?」
Kaori who at first rushed toward the two used age of god magic <Regeneration> to heal Kouki and Moana instantly. While she was at it she also healed the warriors like Linden who were injured with loss of body part.
Linden whose arm was restored the moment he was wrapped in light as though going through a video playback opened his eyes wide. Kouki already knew about Kaori's cheat-like effect of Kaori's regeneration magic, so he wasn't especially surprised. He could say「Thanks Kaori」 calmly, but Moana couldn't be like him.
「Wha, wha wha, wha!?」
Seeing Moana's shaken expression, the gaze of Spenser and others turned grave and caught Kaori with question 'Is she doing no good thing to Moana's body!?'.
But, before they could do anything, a change happened to Moana.
Yes, Moana's hair that lost its color was recovering its radiance that was really similar with Koone's hair. It seemed her hair coloring was a bit thinner than Koone, so perhaps it should be called as platinum blond.
Moana scooped up her own hair and stared at it while opening her mouth in a daze.
「……I feel, it. My strength returned……」
Saying that, she lifted Kouki's hand to her chest and offered a prayer. Right after that, Kouki was wrapped in faint platinum light. What Moana invoked without any difficulty or even any considerable burden was naturally the heaven's blessing art <Divine Protection>.
Putting aside the healing cheat who said「Something like this I think?」 with really light tone at the side, Shizuku and others started talking to Kouki.
「Fufu. Looks like you had a nice encounter. I'm hardly recognizing you right now.」
「……Yeah. After all I won't have the face to look at my big sister if I keep being an unworthy little brother forever.」
Moana instantly recovered from her turmoil. And then she moved on to a new turmoil. 「Thi, this person is Kouki's big sister!? In other words, sister-in-law!?」
Looks like Shizuku got another younger stepsister in a different sense than the soul sisters.
「Yo, Kouki. I was seriously shocked when I heard that you got summoned again yeah? Well, no matter where you got sent to, in the end it looks like you are completely yourself huh. ……However, spare me from having a lolicon best friend yeah?」
「Geez, Ryu-kun! There is no way such thing can happen with Kouki-kun, don't say something like that!」
「Ryutaro, Suzu. ……Thank you for coming. But……"Ryu-kun"?」
The distance between the two was strangely close. And then the changed way of calling. Kouki looked on dubiously, but before he could receive an explanation, Hajime who was heading to take back the Grim Reapers that were landing simultaneously slightly some way away asked Kouki.
「So, what're you going to do? Going home, or not?」
Kouki stood up and he looked at Koone and others. Koone and also Spenser and co were saying「At least stay here until we can express our gratitude somehow」, they weren't telling him not to go home.
He looked at Moana.
「It appears that I'm just get dismissed from my duty. Following you back……might be fine I think?」
「……Yes. It's fine if Moana want it.」
Kouki nodded while nodding. He was doing his utmost to not pay attention at his childhood friends who were grinning at him and Yue and co who were unexpectedly watching with great interest while he headed toward Hajime.
Behind Hajime who had finished taking back the Grim Reapers into the Treasure Warehouse, Kouki was about to tell him about his intention of taking Moana back with him and also to ask something like 「If I ask you to open a gate to this world again, about how much it will cost me?」.
「Hey, Nagumo. Moana and──」
It was right at that moment.
Hajime noticed a strange presence and he turned around. At the same time, space whirled right above Kouki's head. It was like a black hole that instantly tried to capture and suck in Kouki!
「Do, don't tell me, this is……」
An intense power aimed at Kouki. Even though the sand below him wasn't getting sucked at all, yet the space vortex was fiercely shining while pulling insistently at Kouki as though saying 「Take care of the next world too pleaa~se!」.
Kouki looked at Hajime.
As expected Hajime who seemed to be surprised also looked at Kouki.
Hajime made a thumb up. Seeing that, Kouki was convinced that Hajime had the same thinking like him.
That was to say, 「This must be summoning……」 he thought.
The moment Kouki's feet floated lightly from the ground, various emotion exploded inside Kouki and he……
「N, no-, NO MOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE──!!!」
"Will Possessing Pure Mind" as well as "Limit Break" activated! With a step method that was remarkably difficult to perceive as though slipping between the gap of consciousness, he leaped at Hajime.
The hero and demon king floated to the air. Without pause the two floated to the sky like dusts that were sucked by vacuum cleaner.
「You bastard-, this son of a bitch! Let go of meee-, THIS SHITTY HEROOOOOOOOOO-」
「I'm not gonna let go of you no matter what-, DEMON KINGGGGGGG-」
They were vanishing amiably into the other side of the sky.
The people who were left behind, including even Yue and Shizuku who were usually always calm were staring blankly with their mouth gaping wide. And then they all simultaneously,
They were raising a voice that seemed really want to say 「Something like that, is just not done in this kind of timing~」.
After that, because the Crystal Key was held by Hajime, Yue and others were waiting patiently at Synclea. Hajime returned to them about one week later.
And then, when they talked about what happened, they heard from Hajime how Kouki was going to save the world for a bit together with the goddess, furthermore Hajime said that it seemed the goddess was pleased with Kouki. Hearing that, the light vanished from Moana's eyes.
It went without saying that when Kouki returned, it became a bloodbath.
AN: Thank you very much for reading every time.
Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.
With this Kouki's arc is temporarily over.
I'm thinking of someday writing the tag battle of demon king and hero too.
Now then, just like I previously mentioned, I will take a bit of rest.
I'm thinking that I'll restart writing again around the middle of October at the slowest, so please take care of [Arifureta] again at that time.
Arifureta Nichijou's newest chapter is updated at Comic Galdo.
This time is interesting too! And then the illustration of Mori Misaki-sensei is cute.
You can go there through Overlap-sama's homepage, so please go take a look by all means.
I pretty much was allowed to write one of Historia Garden (The side store of Garden series) but,
It's also made available to the public. You can go there from Overlap-sama's homepage.
Please read it if you're interested as a mean to kill some time.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.