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Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 365 - Arifureta After IV Demon King & Hero Arc I’ll Leave This Place to You and Go Ahead!

Arifureta Chapter 365

Arifureta After IV Demon King & Hero Arc I’ll Leave This Place to You and Go Ahead!

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AN: Resuming update.

I had so much fun writing that it reached around 15,000 characters. Please be careful so that your eyes don’t get tired.

If people can be killed with a gaze, then I would’ve been dead already for sure……

The one who was thinking that while breaking in cold sweat was Kouki. He was excessively sooty. His hair was also disheveled and his clothing was also relatively ragged.

「N-Nagumo. A-are you injured?」

「There is no way I am.」

「R-right, of course!」

The hero was unconsciously talking with polite language. Because even right now in this moment there was the owner of the murderous stare that kept shaving off his willpower――the demon king Hajime-san right at his side. He was sending Kouki a bla~nk stare from the side exactly like his first wife. He was in a super bad mood.

Even that Hajime was strangely sooty. His hair was also disheveled. His clothing was incomparably tougher than Kouki’s outfit, so not even a frayed spot could be found on it, but if seen from the side they would like ‘that’.

Yes, that, like entertainers in comedy skit program getting hit with explosion punch line.

「H-hahaha~, that was really surprising! Suddenly there was explosion!」

「……」

「Ah, but, speaking about that! For Nagumo isn’t self-destruct a romance――」

「Aa?」

「It’s nothing.」

The atmosphere didn’t change! Kouki reflexively changed his posture to seiza.

How did it come to this? The cause was just like Kouki said, the machine soldiers packed full with SF factor that attacked them self-destructed.

The demon king’s shooting and the hero’s sword play easily pierced or bisected them and annihilated the whole group but……right after the last one was destroyed, all the frames went *pi pi pi* just like the cliché countdown sound. They made such sound.

Ah, crap……the two’s expression convulsed hearing that sound. And as expected, the payback from the grave was activated in that instant. Flash and flame and shockwave mercilessly filled the area. Hajime and Kouki had immediately got down on the ground, but they were still forcefully blown away and spun around in the air.

In the end, they were completely unharmed because the demon king and the hero’s toughness far surpassed the level of normal human, but they still couldn’t avoid ending up like comedians who got hit with explosion in TV show.

While a really awkward air was filling the place, the two got up and sat down on the edge of the pedestal where they were summoned. The silence continued for a while.

And then Hajime took out the compass from his pocket once more and let out a sigh. He performed several tests while staring at his treasure warehouse and checked various other things for some time. Then they arrived at the current scene where his intense blank stare was stabbing on Kouki.

Kouki was quietly sitting in seiza posture with a meek expression while breaking into cold sweat. Then Hajime suddenly sighed and let go of his tension toward Kouki slightly. Kouki-kun unconsciously jerked, like a small animal in the presence of a predator.

(Haa……there is no point even if I keep venting my anger here.)

Hajime took off his gaze from Kouki and scratched his head as though to mess up his messy hair even more.

The current situation was really irritating with all the troubles that were overlapping with each other. But, although the cause of all these was Kouki’s tackle that dragged him into the summoning, but it was his own decision to allow himself to get dragged because he would hate to spend magic power later to search for Kouki and spent even more effort to bring him home. And his blunder of getting the self-destruct punch line when he himself often boasted that self-destruction was romance was him getting his just desserts.

And so, Hajime shaving off Kouki’s willpower by sending him a blank stare was merely him venting his anger. He acknowledged that. So Hajime switched his feeling and opened his mouth in annoyance.

「Oi, trouble magnet hero.」

If mommy Sumire or daddy Shuu heard that, Hajime’s sentence would guarantee them bursting into laughter saying 「Look who’s talking! Pupu-」. Kouki’s respond to it was,

「I’m sorry. It was a random impulse. Please don’t kill me.」

The hero responded with a magnificent dogeza. This dogeza would also make mommy Sumire and daddy Shuu evaluate 「A magnificent dogeza」「The best dogeza I’ve seen in ten years」「It’s a splendid dogeza that is accompanied with just the right sharpness without losing its elegance」. After all dogeza was Nagumo family’s forte.

Hajime let out another deep sigh.

「The talk ain’t going to progress like this so raise your head already. Asyou’re your punishment……Yue’ll be the one to decide it when we get back.」

「I have no future.」

Against the culprit who did everything he could to drag her husband into trouble, what kind of punishment would the first wife vampire princess would prepare……Kouki’s expression became even more sorrowful from imagining it.

「For now, let’s share information first.」

「Got it.」

Kouki pondered for a while before opening his mouth.

「The most important thing right now is the magic power dispersion phenomenon isn’t it? I also can’t feel natural magic power at all here……Nagumo, you fiddled with the compass and treasure warehouse but……is it just as expected?」

「Yeah, they won’t work.」

To be more accurate, he had no magic power to activate the compass. The magic power consumption of an artifact that was using concept magic was already tremendous even in the normal time. It would be difficult to just brute force it with magic power amount in this place that had even more severe magic power dispersion phenomenon than even Raisen.

「Even taking out magic crystal from the treasure warehouse is a pain. Either way it ain’t enough at all even if I use up all the stock I have right now.」

The magic power consumption of treasure warehouse was in proportion to the size and weight of the object that was taken out from it. Something like magic crystal would be as big as a fingertip at best. But Hajime said that even an item of that size would be difficult to bring out. Kouki’s expression turned grim hearing that.

「Is it at the level of “difficult”? Or is it at “impossible” level?」

「I can bring out about half of an item that is bigger than a rifle. It will be putting the cart before the horse if I consume magic power to bring out magic power supply. I guess right now it’s practically “impossible” for me to use medium sized artifact and bigger.」

「Doesn’t that mean most of your trump cards are sealed……」

The infinite variety of mighty artifacts that flew out from the treasure warehouse. Countless trump cards that were mass produced into staggering amount. Hajime’s biggest strength was in using them all depending on the situation. Right now that strength was practically sealed.

Kouki’s complexion worsened at that fact.

Even though he intentionally dragged Hajime here so that he could go back immediately without giving Hajime too much trouble, he was instead merely driving Hajime into a corner like this. He couldn’t help but feeling guilty and his hands naturally clenched hard on his knees.

Hajime saw the state Kouki was in, however, he didn’t even look concerned and continued talking frankly.

「So, the problem is whether this phenomena is limited to just this place, or if it’s the characteristic of this whole world.」

「Y-yeah……」

「In other words, what we should do is to confirm what kind of place this area is, and whether the magic power dispersion will be gone if we go outside.」

「I guess…….」

As long as this magic power dispersion was gone, they might be able to teleport using their remaining magic power. It would also depend on the distance and the strength of the gap between worlds, but at the very least it would give them more options.

Hajime’s serious gaze displayed how hard he was wracking his brain. His gaze was staring straight to the front while he calmly spoke his thinking. Kouki’s expression slightly softened seeing that.

「Even if this phenomena is the characteristic of this whole world, there is still a way.」

「Is, that so?」

「Yeah, with electricity.」

Kouki tilted his head. Kouki who had been living in Tortus until before still didn’t know, that Hajime had established a method to convert electricity into magic power. He also didn’t know how Hajime announced it at the “Returnees One Year Party” that they held just before they learned that Kouki got summoned again.

Kouki’s eyes turned round when it was explained to him. Hajime ignored him and stood up suddenly before approaching the wreckage of a certain machine.

「Look at the parts of this machine that summoned us. Doesn’t it look like a capacitor from its structure?」

「No, I don’t know anything about a capacitor’s structure but……is that true? Ah, but wait. When I slashed the robot soldiers before they also sparked……」

「Right? Nine out of ten, they are moving using electricity. This summoning machine too. This world is like SF, but its main energy might be electricity just like at earth.」

「I see! In that case, if we convert that into magic power with Nagumo’s technology……」

「That’s how it is. I can’t use transmutation properly so I can’t repair the capacitor here, but there must be a power generation facility somewhere. I should be able to brute force activating the magic even under this magic dispersion phenomenon if I take away all the electricity there. If possible I want to hijack a facility that is the equivalent of nuclear power plant here though.」

「You just said something outrageous like it was nothing but, I’ll pretend to not hear it for now!」

Kouki let out a large sigh at the hope that came into view. At the same time he also smiled wryly toward hajime who found the light of hope even within the adversity while he was being wracked with guilt.

He was made to realize once more. That there was no concept of giving up or standing still within this guy.

In order to survive, to accomplish his objective, he never stopped thinking even for an instant, trampled despair underfoot, laughed off any obstacle fearlessly, and grabbed the mean of survival without fail.

That was Nagumo Hajime――the man who was called with an exaggerated name of demon king as though it was only natural and killed even a god.

Kouki felt like he got laughed at and told that if he had the time to be tormented by guilt, he should act instead. His wry smile deepened before he slapped his own cheeks to fire up himself.

「……So you not only like cornering yourself mentally, you also like to injure yourself physically……as I thought, you’re just like Tio.」

「Who are you calling a masochist pervert huh! I’m just firing up myself! You know that right!?」

Kouki’s spirit was abruptly converted into anger because of the scornful gaze that was directed at him. Hajime backing away slightly from him was also really offensive to him.

Kouki coughed once and pulled himself together before trying to conclude the talk.

「Anyway, can I take it that our current objective is to go outside in order to confirm the range of the magic power dispersion and the location of power plant?」

「Hah? We can do the checking just fine from here.」

「Eh?」

While Kouki tilted his head, Hajime suddenly started walking to the corner of the room. And then he carelessly tossed away the pile of machine wreckage to clear up the spot.

「What are you do――eh, ah!?」

「So you already forgot .」

*Pop* What Hajime dug out was the man who got blown away together with the machines by the explosion and got buried underneath the wreckage. It was the man with loose and disheveled hair called Jasper. Blood was trickling from his head and his body was completely limp.

「H-he’s bleeding. How is he!?」

Kouki gritted his teeth in vexation for forgetting this man due to the battle with the SF robot soldiers while running closer. At the same time he suddenly thought. Even though Nagumo still remembered about this man, he prioritized exchanging information with him and left this man alone until now……. His expression couldn’t stop twitching.

Hajime kneeled beside the man and started checking his condition while ignoring Kouki.

「Oi you bastard, what are you doing sleeping huh. Wake up already.」

He slapped the man with his artificial arm. What’s more the slap made a round trip. Jasper’s face blurred fiercely to left and right. However, his eyes didn’t open. Rather it looked like he became even more limp instead.

「Wait, don’t attack an injured person like that!」

「……Strange. Usually people will wake up when they’re hit.」

「He isn’t like a broken TV that you can fix by hitting it!」

「Did I go at it from a wrong angle?」

「I’m begging you listen to me!」

It seemed Hajime was listening. He lowered his raised artificial arm.

「What now. We can’t use recovery magic or anything right now. We’re going to need magic power that far surpass even the highest class of magic for that you know?」

「Well, in the first place I still haven’t recovered at all from my battle with the Black King, so my magic power right now can only just barely do basic magic……」

「Haa, no other way.」

Hajime sighed and dropped his gaze to his artificial arm. Right away the shoulder part opened *kashun* and a small tube protruded out. It seemed to be a recovery medicine that was put there for emergency.

You’re really prepared for everything huh! Or rather, if you’ve that don’t choose violence without hesitation to wake him up! Kouki made a tsukkomi inside his heart.

「Look after this guy. I’ll do my preparation during that time, so don’t takeyou’re your gaze from him okay?」

「Preparation? Y-yeah, I see, you can’t use your treasure warehouse like usual right now……that’s, this is my fault for dragging you into this, so if push comes to shove, I’ll protect you Nagumo――」

Kouki said seriously with overflowing determination. Hajime inevitably felt goosebumps all over his body. He got a creeped out face as though he had seen something repulsive!

Kouki swiftly halted his speech and restated 「No, it’s nothing-. It’s nothing at all so don’t be creeped out like that!」 while starting to nurse Jasper with a dissatisfied face.

For some reason Hajime was raising his guard toward such Kouki as though he was in the presence of the monster of a certain clothing shop that was nesting in Brook Town while taking a deep breath. Then he concentrated into his treasure warehouse.

Faint and ephemeral sparks were generated with the treasure warehouse as the center like a toy firework.

「Guh……」

A small groan slipped out. His magic power leaked out like waterfall just for taking out the minimum required equipment. Hajime made a bitter expression that had no humor at all in it, even so he summoned everything that he could take out with magic power consumption that he somehow managed to suppress to an acceptable limit.

The bullets for Donner & Schlag materialized in drove along with a faint crimson light. At the same time tactical vest and bullet belt (belt for storing bullets), cylinders that had been loaded with bullets, every kind of hand grenades in zippo lighter size, a small long hexagonal shield to be attached on the artificial arm (shaped like a bracelet), knife, several tubes filled with mysterious liquid, etc, etc, and for some reason a violin case appeared.

And then,

「NNUOOOOOOOOOOH, THIS IS THE LAST ONEEE――」

「N-Nagumo!? Are you alright!? What do you want to take out!?」

Kouki reflexively turned around and asked because of Hajime’s yell that was excessively filled with spirit.

The answer came from inside the bright crimson light.

A leg flew out with a slippery movement. One leg, two legs, three legs, no matter how Kouki saw it, they were insect legs.

「Disgusting-!? Nagumo! Seriously what are you taking out over there!? Or rather, what in the world you are keeping inside your treasure warehouse!?」

*Slid slid, washa washa*, with a disgusting movement that was hard to describe as though a repulsive monster was crawling out into this world from hell, the thing that gradually showed its figure was……

「Come out yeahhh! Etemp & Netemppppppp!!」

「Name!? You named it!? Or rather what’s with that name!」

Ignoring Kouki’s tsukkomi, two eight-legged metal spiders that could be placed on the hand materialized――yes, it was the spider artifacts that always raised controversy because of the existences inside them.

「「IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!」」

It was Erst (temp) aka “Etemp-san” and Neunte (temp) aka “Netemp-san”! Both of them raised their front legs ‘Banzai!’. Perhaps they were proclaiming ‘Here we are!’ with that pose.

「Gasp, gasp……I managed to take out the minimum required equipments somehow.」

「Sorry to disturb while you’re tired but, can you tell these spider golems (?) to stop prickling my foot?」

「It’s not my doing. Those two are doing it on their own.」

「What do you mean they’re doing it on their own!?」

「Their inside is something that might be the god apostle’s Erst and Neunte.」

「The inside!? What do you mean the inside!? God’s apostle!? “Something that might be”, what does that mean!? No, that’s right! The griffon shaped Grim Reapers were also really free! Just what kind of construction they have!?」

「Their insides are just demons.」

「Aren’t you mistaking the way to use the word “just”!?」

「The inside of the Deadly Sins Ranger is the seven pillars of deadly sins, so the demons had been carefully screened. Even so there is no changing the fact that the insides of the mass produced Grims are rank-and-file demons.」

「No good! My tsukkomi can’t keep up anymore! What in the world happened in earth after I went back to Tortus……」

Kouki-kun finally fell on his knees while holding his head on his wits’ end. It seemed the situation was over the capacity of his common sense. Etemp & Netemp-san crawled on the head of Kouki who was in that state and stabbed their front legs into him repeatedly for some reason. Did they hold some kind of grudge toward the hero?

While Kouki was desperately attempting to recover his sanity level that was being eroded down, Hajime wore his tactical vest under his coat and shouldered the violin case on his back. He changed his belt with the bullet belt and set the bullets and various other equipments on it.

And so Etemp & Netemp-san seemed to be finally satisfied and leaped on Hajime’s left and right shoulders respectively. At that time Hajime had finished transforming into a heavily equipped Hajime that was different from the usual.

「……Can I just ask, one last question?」

「What?」

Kouki somehow got back on his feet with an unsteady gait and asked.

「Why are you carrying around a violin case?」

「Because of romance.」

「So it’s because of romance―」

「Actually I wanted to bring out a guitar case type, but as expected it was impossible because of the size and weight.」

「Is that so―」

I don’t get it anymore here……thought Kouki while staring at empty air with completely dry eyes.

「And, is he showing any sign of waking up?」

「No, there isn’t any reaction at all from him. It seems the injuries has closed but……this is……perhaps he fainted not only because of concussion due to the impact, he might have been really exhausted from the start.」

「Aa? You’re saying he isn’t waking up because he’s tired? This guy is a real big shot huh.」

「Can you stop snapping for every little thing!? Ah, oi you! Don’t raise your foot! You want to step on his!? Stopp!」

Then, in that instant Hajime and Kouki’s comedy skit atmosphere swiftly turned into battle readiness. Their gazes moved toward another direction almost simultaneously.

「Tsk. Reinforcement?」

「What now?」

「We don’t know the enemy’s full strength, so I want to avoid aggressive fighting for now.」

It seemed something was approaching from the corridor where the robot soldiers came from before this. In addition there was also a greater presence that was similar but different from the robot soldiers.

「Looks like there ain’t any time to question this guy. Let’s bolt from here for now.」

「Perhaps it’s better that he hasn’t wakened up yet in this situation. It’ll be troublesome if he struggle because of panic or running away alone when there’s a chance.」

「Don’t let him fall off from your shoulder.」

Kouki nodded and lifted Jasper on his shoulder. In the meanwhile Hajime tied a super fine wire on one hand grenade and set up a booby trap on the entrance of the corridor where the enemy was approaching.

Like that the two summoned people dashed into the other corridor to escape.

After a while, a loud explosion sound resounded from behind.

「It won’t stop them for long.」

「The number of presences also doesn’t seem like it has decreased much.」

Hajime and Kouki looked at each other’s face while rushing through the dark corridor with great speed. There was no lighting at all, but the two’s footsteps had no hesitation and they could see each other’s dubious expression clearly. Hajime was using his inherent “Night Eye” ability while Kouki secured his sight using the night vision function of the sunglass that Hajime lent him.

「Etemp. Put up a net.」

「III!」

Egali followed Hajime’s order and spewed out string with great momentum from its bottom. The walls, ceiling, and the floor were covered with superfine strings that couldn’t be seen by naked eye like a jungle gym in the blink of eye. The string had sticky quality and it was harvested from genuine spider monster that inhabited the abyss. It was something that could easily entangle and restrain the machine soldiers from before.

Netemp-san started poking at Hajime’s cheek with its front leg for some reason. Its gesture felt like it was saying 「Master, is there no order for me? Is this a case of Etemp First?」.

They were more or less in a tense situation with enemies in hot pursuit, but the tension would drain out if such scene was going on. Kouki smiled wryly and asked a question to make a light talk.

「Hey, Nagumo. Why is this night vision artifact in the shape of sunglass? You created it assuming it would be used in dark place right?」

「It’s the prototype……for supplying a certain person. That guy love sunglasses and twirling above all else.」

「……You’re talking about earthling aren’t you?」

「……There is also people with strange interest there.」

「So there is someone like that.」

Kouki didn’t know that earth was actually overflowing with fantasy. He made an expression of not knowing what to say. The thought that such person with strange interest was actually his classmate never even crossed his mind.

While they were making such talk, they came to see light at the end of the tunnel. It was the flickering of flame. Most likely it was the torches that were carried by the summoners.

Hajime and Kouki looked at each other for a moment and sped up further――

And then, they witnessed a disastrous scene.

「Wha-, this is!?」

「Tsk. Did the robot soldiers go ahead of us?」

There they found a terrible scene of massacre where everyone was lying dead on the ground with splashes of blood decorating the area as though buckets of it had been splashed everywhere.

Hajime and Kouki reflexively moved their hand toward the holy sword and Donner. At the same time their instinct rang the alarm bell.

They didn’t even have time to look up in surprise and leaped to left and right away from each other instead.

That thing descended in that moment, with a slippery movement that seemed like it was weightless.

「Oi oi, what the hell is this.」

「……I didn’t feel any presence at all until it was right on top of us.」

The thing that fell from the ceiling, if an example had to be made about it from an existing creature, then it should be called a “starfish”. However, it had a large body that reached three meter with arms above and below. In addition it was peculiar how it was formed from an iron colored fluid.

That starfish imitation suddenly pointed two arms toward Hajime and Kouki. The alarm bell inside their head rang out once more. Kouki obeyed his instinct and dodged. Hajime took a distance with back step while firing toward the opponent’s torso.

The spot where Kouki and Hajime were just standing at was pierced by the arms easily and got holes opened in it. Even though the floor was made from metal, a hard impact sound *GAN* resounded loudly.

In addition, the bullet that Hajime fired certainly blew away the starfish imitation’s torso but……

「You’re kidding me……don’t tell me that’s a liquid metal?」

The part of the starfish imitation that was splattered away fell on the floor. It then immediately flowed like water and returned to its main body before getting absorbed into it. The part that was blown away was also returning back to normal in the blink of eye.

Looking closer, there was bluish white light coming and going in high speed from the middle of its torso to the tip of its arm. It really looked like it was sending electrical signal around its body.

It looked even more and more like SF……Hajime and Kouki were both watching it with twitching expression.

But, naturally they weren’t given any time to leisurely watch the approaching absurd reality in a daze. The starfish imitation was rapidly closing the distance with Hajime by rolling. Its movement was hard to perceive because of the liquid body’s irregular motion, in addition it seemed capable to produce arms freely from anywhere on its body. Arms were shooting out to close any escape path.

「Nagumo!」

「Calm down.」

Hajime dodged the thrusting arms in a hair’s breadth, but the enemy immediately spread its body surface like a high wave to swallow Hajime. Hajime quickly took the romance on his back――the violin case and pushed the button on its handle grip.

As the result, the case’s tip made *basshu* sound and a missile flew out. It hit right at the center of the starfish imitation and burst. The missile spread a violent destruction along with a thunderous sound that blew away the air.

The starfish imitation got half of its body blown up as though the jaw of a gigantic creature had taken a bite of it. The liquid metal that formed its body was scattered to the surrounding like a rain of flesh and blood.

「If we go by the book then I should freeze it with liquid nitrogen though……」

「A, aa, you mean that movie.」

A missile explosion from point-blank. Hajime should be hit by the shockwave too, but he only said that while holding his artificial arm in front of him. That attachable small shield was transforming into a large shield that could wholly cover his upper body. But right after that the shield was sliding into itself with *kashun kashun* sound and folded into its former small shield shape. It seemed to be a transformable shield.

「Damn it. I have the liquid nitrogen itself, but it’s stored in a large cylinder……the magic power cost doesn’t worth it.」

「You really have anything with you huh.」

Kouki also wanted to make a tsukkomi about the violin case that was packed full with weapons inside, but he zipped his mouth close because in front of him the liquid metal of the starfish imitation was gathering back to regenerate. Although it had been temporarily stopped because half of its body was blown away, it wasn’t enough to kill it for good.

「It would be great if it has magic stone like a monster……」

「My magic stone eye isn’t seeing anything like that though……」

Even though this won’t be any trouble at all if I can use transmutation……Hajime thought with a scowl. Kouki was also looking pensive with worry. But there Hajime went 「Oh?」 in realization.

「It has a part that is hotter than its surrounding when I watch it with heat detector.」

Hajime tested by shooting that area with Schlag. Then there was a unique sound *Hiin* for a bit before the bluish white light that was running through its whole body vanished. In addition the body that was bloating up while regenerating became liquid that splashed down on the floor.

「I see. I understand how to kill it now.」

「Even so, what in the world this thing is――」

There was the sound *Hiiin* while they were inspecting the remains. Right away two starfish imitations appeared from the corridor. It seemed the true identity of their pursuers was also the starfish imitation.

「Amanogawa, touch the top right side of your sunglasses. It will activate the thermography mode.」

「H-how convenient.」

They understood how to defeat the enemies. Just two of the enemies weren’t a big deal at all. For now they would take care of these two swiftly.

With that plan in mind, Hajime fired toward the heat source. Kouki also closed the distance with a flowing movement that was unthinkable coming from someone who was carrying other person and swung down his holy sword.

And then it rang out.

The metallic sound *kaann*. Twice it rang out.

「「……」」

It seemed the liquid metal hardened to protect the heat source. What’s more the metal boasted a great hardness. Come to think of it, the arms of this enemy could pierce through the metal floor. If the tip was in the liquid form something like that would be impossible. They got it now.

After that realization, iron colored liquid welled up from the gaps of the ceiling and floor……they starfish imitations increased in number until more than ten in the blink of eye.

And then, they attacked simultaneously in exchange of greeting. Arms that were transformed into powerful spears stretched out from every direction.

Hajime let out a strange yell ‘dowah’ while dodging. He let out several missiles flying out from his violin case once more while Kouki quietly narrowed his eyes and cut open a path by slashing through the iron arms. The two of them stood shoulder to shoulder with another passage behind htem.

Although, if they turned their back on the enemy and ran into the straight path, they would inevitably assaulted by a line of spears from behind. Considering they were also carrying a man who would be their source of information, they wanted to avoid such thing.

Kouki glared at the squirming starfish imitations with a grim expression and asked quietly.

「What now Nagumo? Well, I think we can only steel ourselves though.」

「I guess you’re right. We need to steel ourselves.」

Kouki silently nodded.

The starfish imitations were gradually getting closer.

And then,

「Amanogawa!」

「Yeah!」

「I’ll leave this place to you and go ahead!」

「Eh!?」

When Kouki’s gaze snapped toward his side, the demon king-san was already gone. When he snapped his gaze to behind, there was the back of the demon king dashing away *pyuu~~* while sending him a thumb up……

In addition, his shoulder suddenly felt light. When he looked there, Etemp-san who was sticking on the ceiling had wrapped Jasper in string and collected it.

And then without pause it tossed away Jasper with a comical movement as though to say 「Netemp-chan, pa~~ss!」 before it was also firing web to the ceiling and leaped using centrifugal force like Spiderma○. Furthermore at the end it even accelerated by spewing out flame from the afterburners on its stomach and the tips of its legs.

Of course Netemp-san who was sticking on the ceiling at the relay point also caught the wrapped Jasper with a comical movement as though to say 「Etemp-chan, nice passss!」. It then immediately used centrifugal force to toss him to the front, connecting the pass to Hajime splendidly.

Both Etemp-san and Netemp-san pursued Hajime with their acceleration jet working at full force to land on his shoulder and head. The two spiders then sharply saluted at the dumbfounded Kouki before looking forward as though nothing had happened.

Truly a magnificent kidnapping!

Naturally the swarm of starfish imitations had no intention to let them got away and attacked simultaneously.

In front of such situation, Kouki was,

「Y-YOU BRUTE―――――――!!」

It was a soulful yell that came from the bottom of his stomach.

Hajime absentmindedly listened to that curse of the hero as well as the war cry of 「I, I’m doing thisss! UOOOOOH」 that resounded right after it while throwing small explosives on the wall. With perfect synchronization Etemp and Netemp used their web to made the bombs stuck on the wall.

The hero’s war cry was getting faint for a moment while they were doing that, but then the yell that was still continuing even now was suddenly getting louder.

「NAA――GUU――MOO――!!」

A furious emotion. When people speak of rage that boiled the mind, they referred exactly to this. Kouki was chasing behind them with the expression of an enraged ogre.

「What’s with you Amanogawa? Why are you making a voice like Hiyam when he croaked?」

「Stop with the not funny talkkk」

Kouki rushed with a great speed that it felt like there was a *gyuin* sound accompanying him until he came to Hajime’s side. Hajime nonchalantly ignored him and tossed another small explosive to the floor. At the same time he took out some kind of remote from his tactical vest’s pocket. There were around ten switches on it.

When Hajime clicked one of them *click*, an explosive sound roared from behind. Hajime didn’t stop there and kept pushing *click, click*. In respond explosion sounds roared from behind them in turn.

「W-what?」

「I exploded the bombs I planted in turn. It would be difficult to face that many enemies while protecting our source of information right?」

In other words, this was the standard practice in a situation of many versus one. It seemed Hajime temporarily left behind Kouki to hold back the enemies in order to apply the tactic of destroying the enemies while running away.

「Tell me from the start if that’s your plan. I thought I was going to die there.」

Although he said that, Kouki who hunted down three enemies without fail in that situation was also something else.

「There’s no guarantee they can be completely destroyed with that but……looks like it manage to hold them back at least.」

Hajime ignored Kouki’s protest nonchalantly again while looking back across his shoulder. He nodded after seeing that only around four starfish imitations were left to pursue them. The remaining enemies were most likely destroyed or at the very least in the middle of regenerating and couldn’t move.

Kouki sighed seeing Hajime’s composure. He said 「This is how this guy is, yep, I know already」 with dead eyes while convincing himself.

「So, Nagumo, do you know where you’re going?」

「There is no way I know. But well, I’m just moving so that we won’t get surrounded and get placed under saturation attack. Still, this old guy is seriously still sleeping even now.」

They might learn where to go if only he woke up. Hajime instantly got irritated when he thought that. Hajime turned his gaze to Netemp who was on his shoulder.

「Netemp. Spray him. No way he’ll keep sleeping if melting liquid is fired into his nose.」

「He might die from shock so please stop.」

Unfortunately the chemicals that were currently equipped in Etemp & Netemp were “penis killer” “paralysis drug” “Cheatmate Drdrink” for Etemp and “penis killer” “recovery medicine” “melting liquid” for Netemp. It was regretful that they weren’t installed with chemical that could be used to wake up someone peacefully. Also, their other three legs were installed with weapon gimmick or convenient tool gimmick.

There was no other way, so Netemp-san slowly raised its leg that was filled with melting liquid. It would at least be merciful and only sprayed it at the arm or some other place. Kouki averted his eyes after imagining the scream that would break out.

But, a troubling situation occurred in front of them before the measure could be carried out.

「Geh, it’s dead end ahead.」

「Slashing it open……seems impossible huh.」

A thick double-leafed door was blocking the passage. From its appearance the door was clearly really thick and tough like a bulkhead. Kouki who could easily cut steel immediately discarded that possibility. Hajime too shook his head because it didn’t look like they could breakthrough with the firepower at hand.

Furthermore,

「……The presences are increasing.」

「Did they finish regenerating, or are they reinforcement?」

The number of approaching starfish imitation had increased.

「Looks like we can only fight. In the worst case we might need to leave behind the information source.」

Hajime looked at the man on his shoulder and whispered.

「We can’t leave him behind. Entrust him to me in that case.」

Kouki immediately replied back.

The two’s gazes crossed for an instant. The level headed eyes of the demon king and the tranquil eyes of the hero.

But, before sparks could scatter between the two’s will, and also before the brutal weapons of the starfish imitations could reach the two of them, something mysterious occurred.

*UUNN* A faint sound rang out from behind. Next *gi gi* a disquieting sound like machine that hadn’t been oiled for a long time also came……

「Aa? The door, opened?」

「……What’s going on?」

This time the two’s gazes crossed each other because of a different cause. But, their decision was made instantly. Hajime and Kouki leaped across the door even knowing that there was the possibility this was a trap by someone.

There was also a corridor that was continuing to stretch forward behind the door. Right after confirming that, the arms of the starfish imitations slipped in from the gap of the door that was starting to close again. Those arms hardened and forcefully kept the door opened.

The starfish imitations flooded in. Hajime fired a missile to hold them back while running deeper into the passage together with Kouki.

「Another door.」

There was another door ahead of the passage. However, it didn’t look so thick. But, as expected it was also opening by itself without them needing to do anything forceful.

It didn’t stop there. The path was branching further ahead, but the emergency light at the right corridor flickered faintly as though to show them the way.

「Nagumo.」

「Can’t catch a tiger cub without entering the tiger den. Bring it on.」

「Guess so.」

They exchanged only few words, but they ran toward the door that opened by itself without hesitation using the emergency light that suddenly flickered as the landmark. The starfish imitations were still chasing persistently behind them like before.

But, that strange and tense game of tag was ended before even five minutes had passed.

「Nagumo! A ladder!」

「Now then, it’ll be great if it bring us to the surface.」

They sped up even more. And then Kouki climbed up first without stopping. He went up as though running by using only his feet. There he finally understood that the length of the ladder was more than 30 meter.

The starfish imitations congregated below them when they reached halfway. They immediately stabbed the wall with their arms to support their bodies and crawled up the wall.

「Netemp! Take this guy! Etemp, net!」

III! They gave their usual yell. Netemp jumped to the shoulder of Kouki who was running above. At the same time it collected Jasper on Hajime’s shoulder with its string. Etemp headed below and spouted out a lot of spider string to lay out a web for holding back the enemies.

The monster string from another world that was sticky and tough was extremely troublesome. Even the starfish imitations that could freely change their shape wouldn’t be able to keep moving if they touched it.

And then, that instant was more than enough. In Hajime’s hands were the violin case at his right and Schlag at his left.

Six missiles were fired right after. Even when the enemies hardened themselves, they were blown away with pure destructive power. The heat sources appeared defenselessly for an instant and got pierced accurately by pinpoint shooting from Schlag.

The six starfish imitations were instantly reduced into a rain of liquid metal that scattered everywhere.

「Nagumo! It’s the exit!」

Kouki didn’t want to waste time opening the lid at the ceiling and his sword flashed. While the metal lid was bisected more than ten times and falling to the ground in pieces, Kouki leaped out into an area filled with faint light that dyed his field of vision.

「The game of tag ends here.」

Hajime followed behind, however his body twirled. He got out of the hole with his back first while tossing his violin case to below him.

While dozens of starfish imitations were repulsively rushing up in hot pursuit, Hajime grinned widely and did a quick draw with Donner.

The bullet he fired pierced the violin case that was passing just right in the middle of the swarm right at that timing――

「Go to hell」

The middle finger Hajime gave acted like a signal. A thunderous explosion and shockwave that were the loudest until now surged out.

The remaining missiles that were still inside the case and the powder of super condensed combustion stone that had been loaded inside it from the start brought a flame blast and destruction in the level of the highest class flame element magic in this SF world.

A fierce earthquake shook the ground. The long vertical tunnel was instantly collapsing. Naturally the surrounding ground was also caving in.

「As expected there is no way they’ll keep chasing after this.」

「The violin case is already like this……I’m scared at what the guitar version can do……」

Hajime and Kouki who leaped out of the tunnel lightly kicked at the crumbling ground and swiftly evacuated from the caved in area. And then they stood side by side watching the rising cloud of dust from some distance away.

They observed the situation for a while, but there was no sign the starfish imitations were going out of the ground.

They unconsciously let out a sigh ‘fuu’.

「Even so……it’s fine and all that we have come out to the surface but」

Hajime looked around once more and made a conflicted expression. Kouki was also the same.

After all, no matter where they looked, no matter how they looked……

「This place, looks like a gathering place for garbage.」

There were only mountain, mountain, mountains of trashes and rubbles. They were surrounded by mountains of trashes that piled up as high as a building. The sky was covered with dark clouds that flashed with thunders. It was dark even though they were outside. In addition, as to be expected,

「The magic dispersion phenomenon is still going strong.」

「Guess it’s the characteristic of this world.」

The two of them sighed together once more.

But, then,

「u……guuhh……this place……just what am I……」

It seemed that Jasper was coming to himself. Kouki laid him down on the ground. Jasper’s consciousness seemed to be still hazy. His eyes kept blinking.

But, a beat later, the moment he became aware of the situation around him, his face turned pale in a flash.

It couldn’t be helped.

After all he was being wrapped like in a cocoon by spider web.

For some reason there were two metal spiders that he had never seen before on his stomach. They were going 「III!!」.

And then,

「Now then, Jasper is it? You have two choices. Speak after getting tortured, or speak obediently like a dog from the start. Rest assured. I’ll never let you die until you answer my questions.」

There was also the obviously crazy man lifting an artificial arm that transformed into a spinning drill *Gyuiiiiiinn* (the function of the attachable bracelet) while making a terrifying smile at him.

Jasper tearfully answered while trembling all over.

「The dog course please.」

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At the same time.

A faint light came to be at a corner of the underground passage nearby the collapsed vertical tunnel.

The light source was a metallic sphere. A part of the sphere was tinged with light like an eye that was moving restlessly to left and right.

That metal sphere restlessly moved its single eye for a while, then it made a faint whirring sound *jiji-, jijiji-*.

『――Self-diagnosis completed. Damage minimal. System restart.』

It spoke such words. Its body also shook before it lightly floated in the air at the next moment.

It moved in the air with a glide and for a while it stared fixedly at the passage that connected to the surface that was now blocked by rubbles……it then suddenly said.

『Th-that person is like demon.』

It went without saying who it meant by that. Of course it would want to say that after getting dragged into the destructive blast.

『Anyway, I have to find them.』

The metal sphere spoke with a smooth tone, or rather its muttering strangely sounded human. Its single eye blinked while saying 『Recalculating the route to the surface』 while turning its back toward the rubble and vanished into the darkness of the corridor ahead.

『I hope they will be able to end us.』

While leaving behind that muttering that melted into the darness.

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.

※Material introduction

– Violin case

It’s modeled after the guitar case weapon in the movie Desperado.

– Liquid nitrogen That movie

It went without saying that it refers too Terminator 2’s T-1000-sama.

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