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Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 373

Chapter 373

Arifureta After IV Demon King & Hero Arc Shoot The Hostage!

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The abyss lord. The scream of his soul reverberated. His soul screamed so much that he returned back to Kousuke mode. He made a mistake. One so great he returned back to normal.

『I’m not asking you about whether it’s possible or impossible. I order you to “do it”.』

Mother was overflowing with comical impression due to the madness of the lord affecting her just now, but her voice right now was shuderringly lacking in warmth.

It was an inorganic quality that reminded them of the “god’s apostle” in the past. It was truly the voice of an inhuman existence.

A normal human would turn speechless from instinctually turning their gaze from reality or trembling from uneasiness……

Though of course, the person here was not a normal person.

「Are you stupid!? Are you stupid!? This is important so I’ll say it twice! Are you stupid!」

「Endou, you said it three times.」

Hajime-san said a tsukkomi. But no one gave a damn.

Perhaps because the situation was too shocking, Kousuke ignored problem of why these two acquaintances were here. Not only that, he even set aside the side effect of abyss lord modethe pain of the heart and yelled at empty air while his finger pointed at Hajime.

「That’s the demon king you know!? That guy there mixed absurdity and brutality into atrocity that he wears as decoration, he’s the most dangerous guy in the world you know!? He’s my superior you know!? A guy who make even a black company look like charity!」

「Nagumo don’t! Don’t shoot! Take away your hand from Donner!」

「Amanogawa, step aside. I can’t kill Endou like this.」

It was a fine play from the hero. He faced the demon king who tried to aim Schlag’s muzzle and used both his hands to grapple with Hajime. His gaze turned back as though to say Kousuke-kun get away! I’m just barely, gugugu-……thi-this guy! He is seriously trying to shoot!?

There was such situation in front of it, and yet Mother’s voice was filled with a slight joy.

『Hou……so that’s how it is. I set the teleportation point using the energy residue that I collected from the underground but, I see now. It seems that the unknown energy that you three are using is different for each individual. That’s why I ended up dragging in your comrade. It’s truly interesting.』

Hajime who was grappling with Kouki twitched in reaction. He relaxed and took a natural stance. Kouki sighed in relieve.

At the same time he guessed the cause of Kousuke’s summoning.

The broken teleportation device in the underground was analyzed and recreated. In order to bring in an existence that could handle the same unknown energy like Hajime and Kouki, it used Hajime’s magic power residue in the machine’s detection system as well as coordinate establishment.

In that case it was understandable why Kousuke was chosen. After all it was Kousuke who was the most equipped with Hajime’s artifact when fighting.

He didn’t know why but, Kousuke must be in a fully equipped state from even before the teleportation device was activated. In that case, it was comprehensible why instead of Yue and others who were more powerful, it was Kousuke who was detected due to him possessing more of Hajime’s magic power.

『Let’s slowly analyze it later. Now then, abyss lord.』

「It’s Kousuke.」

He was ignored because right now was a serious time.

『Explain to them with your own words about the situation you’re in right now. They will understand it quicker like that rather than me explaining to them.』

「Eh!? N-no way……」

For some reason Kousuke hesitated to speak while looking terribly anxious. He kept sending glances at Hajime. Hajime and others looked dubious.

『Accept it already, you don’t have any right to refuse.』

「I-if I said no way then no way! You plan to use me as hostage aren’t you!? Don’t screw with me, something like that――」

「Oi, Endou. What do you mean by hostage?」

「Eh!? It, i-i-it, it’s nothing! Yeah, it’s nothing at all! Who do you think I am huh? I’m Aby-san you know?」

It seemed that he was in trouble. He was obviously all shaken up. His expression was twitching, and his eyes were darting around like tuna.

『I see. You don’t want to become a burden for your comrades. Fufu, what an illogical and meaningless action, something that human often do. It makes me recall the old era.』

「――」

G10 who was silently observing to comprehend the situation spontaneously reacted. But, Mother’s words continued before it could say anything. It ignored G10 like it was a trash that didn’t worth anything.

「O, oi, Mother! You’re wrong! That’s not why I’m doing this, Nagumo is――」

『Listen you two otherworlders with gun and sword. Your comrade already fall into my hand――』

「AAAAAA, AAAAAA! I can’t hear you, I can’t hear yo~~~uuu」

Kousuke raised his voice shrilly to drown Mother’s voice. Of course everyone ignored him.

「What do you mean?」

「Nagumo-, it’s just the enemy’s bullshit! Don’t get confused by something like that, believe in me――」

『An explosive has been inserted into his stomach.』

Hajime and Kouki’s eyes snapped toward Kousuke. Kousuke’s eyes snapped away from them. It seemed it was true.

Hajime’s gaze immediately turned focused. Kouki-kun was plainly a good person so he looked worried.

Either way he couldn’t bear to look at any of them.

「What are you doing. That’s pathetic for the hero of Britain and Vatican.」

「I-it can’t be helped! I was suddenly summoned! All kind of magic is completely not working! I can’t even make any clone, I don’t know my left and right, and unknown enemies were coming out from everywhere-, even so I beat more than a hundred of them! I even worked hard to beat the awful jelly-like organism with physical attack!」

So that was why he was dee~p in the abyss lord mode. He even referred to himself in even more archaic form. (TN: Usually Aby referred to himself with ‘ware’ in Abyssgate mode, but last chapter he used ‘wagahai’ to refer to himself)

Using only his physical ability that was increasing endlessly, Kousuke ran around inside the complicated facility of the heaven while defeating Mother’s private army. Furthermore it was a mixed force that included the “invaders” which could regenerate endlessly as long as their core wasn’t destroyed. He made so much commotion that Mother couldn’t assign any force to face Hajime and Kouki.

「Aa~, I see. Even with abyss lord mode your magic power will decrease if you use body strengthening after all. And so you temporarily going along with the enemy to grasp the situation you’re in.」

「Right right. Though as insurance I was made to swallow a part of the body of that jelly-like creature……well, there is also, you know?」

Kousuke’s gaze briefly glanced at his hand. There was his “treasure warehouse” there.

Most likely he would obey Mother’s demand to fight the enemy while waiting for his consumed magic power to recover. Then he would use the fight as cover to activate the treasure warehouse. He intended to directly summon the explosive from inside his stomach to remove it.

He could also take it out by vomiting, but the risk of the explosive getting activated the moment he showed such attempt was high.

Activating the treasure warehouse would also need considerable time and effort, but in the first place Mother didn’t know about the existence of the treasure warehouse. In other words it wouldn’t be able to differentiate the usage of magic power whether it was for fighting or for activating the artifact.

With that in mind, putting the explosive into the stomach conversely became a good bait to make Mother let its guard down instead.

It was clear to Kousuke that he would only get slowly grinded down if he kept fighting. And so he decided to pretend to be collared while working hard to gather information. It was actually a calm and rational judgment.

You get it right? You understand don’t you? There’s no way you don’t understand right? I have a proper plan at work you know? See? Kousuke wordlessly pleaded in desperation.

『You understand the situation now aren’t you? Then throw down your weapons and obey me. If not……I don’t need to say more do I?』

「You’re going to explode Endo huh.」

It was Kousuke who spoke. Hajime was staying quiet and stared without blinking at Kousuke. The way he behaved looked like he was accepting Mother’s demand. A faint laugh that was overflowing with delight echoed.

「Nagumo, don’t worry about me and――uguh!?」

Kousuke was starting to sweat a river from Hajime’s stare and tried to say something right away, but his words were suddenly halted. By pain.

Kousuke fell on his knee while holding his stomach. It seemed the explosive of fluid metal was ordered to move inside his stomach. It was the same like having a small “invader” inside his stomach.

『I won’t do anything bad. If you cooperate with me in analyzing this energy, then I’ll also return all three of you back to your former world.』

「W-wait! Let’s settle this peace――nnguu!!?」

Kousuke desperately tried to insist about something even while enduring the pain. However right after that a metal colored liquid dripped from the ceiling and covered his mouth. He was stopped from talking further.

Kousuke’s gaze turned toward Kouki. Seeing his pleading gaze, Kouki showed a thinking gesture for a moment, but then he sensed something when Kousuke’s gaze flickered briefly toward Hajime. Kouki turned his gaze back at Kousuke and gave him a small but strong nod. Relieve oozed out from Kousuke.

While that was going on, Mother’s voice that was oozing with malice was,

『If you refuse, I will remove all of you as foreign contamination that invaded this paradise.』

From the ceiling, walls, and floor, iron colored fluid metal, aka the true army of Mother that existed above the cloud――fluid metal machine soldier “heaven soldier” were being sent in with great amount.

The space was flooded with iron color in the blink of eye. As expected they were similar to slime. The heaven soldiers intertwined with each other and fused into one to expand in volume like a mountain.

『If you wish to perish pointlessly, then I shall fulfill your wish.』

It was a wriggling giant iron starfish imitation. Its total length must reach ten meter. No, from the number of its additional tentacles, calling it starfish imitation wasn’t accurate anymore.

Countless blue lines ran on its surface. The number of the core that was its only weakness was now countless. Its immortality had reached a new height. Its figure with great number of tentacles undulating was very hard to describe. It was too repulsive to call this thing the army of heaven――it was a monster.

『Don’t throw away your life meaninglessly. Yes, just like your comrade who failed to die over there.』

「Kuh, Mother-」

Mother finally turned its focus at G10. No, surely it had been aware of G10 from the start. But it intentionally ignored it.

G10 went forward angrily and yelled.

「Master-, everyone didn’t die meaninglessly-!! They chipped off your strength and left behind hope for the future-」

『Yes, indeed, I was outwitted in their last battle. When I think about the many technologies that I lost, I have to admit that I was haughty.』

「That’s right. Your haughtiness caused mankind to――」

Its word was interrupted. By words that were filled with malice and scorn.

『But, that’s all. My world is already complete. That’s why you put your hope to these people from another world but……fufu, even they, your lost hope is already gone.』

G10 guessed what Mother was trying to say and turned its gaze toward the two behind it.

「Tsu……Hajime-sama? Kouki-sama?」

No answer came back. Hajime was continuing to stare at the crouching Kousuke.

G10 also understood the situation. The person that Mother summoned was a comrade of Hajime. Perhaps he was even one of Hajime’s family members who it had heard from Hajime.

A comrade was in front of him with his life in the hand of the enemy while writhing in pain. G10 was unable to ask for Hajime’s cooperation in such situation.

Kouki was also the same. He wouldn’t meet its eye. He was keeping quiet beside Hajime while closing his eyes as though he had completely given up.

It realized from seeing that. It could understand.

That the balance of their scale was tilting toward Mother.

Mother laughed. An unpleasant laughing voice that was like metal being scratched echoed inside the room.

「How can……it get replicated so quickly like this, from that kind of scrap……」

Everything was because of that. It was unexpected that a friend of Hajme and Kouki would get summoned at this stage.

『Do you think that your 200 years is the same like my 200 years? The technology of space manipulation isn’t completely lost. It’s also self-evident that I can handle the basic technologies other than that better than you. In the first place you’re nothing but a control AI for an exploration ship. How can you possibly win against me, the mother of all AI.』

Mother’s words eroded G10’s emotion with despair.

What did it do wrong? Where did it go wrong? Should it take more time? To begin with, perhaps dragging uninvolved otherworlders itself was a mistake and this was its punishment?

It crawled underground for two hundred years while keeping its dearest wish in its heart. It didn’t say to Hajime and others, but its operation limit was actually fast approaching.

It had never received a satisfactory maintenance all this time and extended its life using scrap materials to keep cheating death until now. Its vital electricity generator that could be said to be its heart was also quickly degenerating compared to normal because it continued to power the manufacturing machines too. It was the same like literally shaving its own life. The electricity that G10 could produce was already negligible.

Because G10 was working in full capacity in this battle, it wouldn’t be able to avoid death after they won unless it used Mother’s power generation facility. If not G10 would completely stop functioning.

It gambled everything when its life was at the brink. In order to fulfill its promise.

『The last hope of the people who like dying in vain……I see, it seems you also prefer to die in vain. Ah, this chance won’t come again, so can you please tell me, G10P55-B409.』

「What……are you……」

『If you can return to the past……what will you say to your comrades?』

「……a……――――!!!」

That might be a type of madness. G10 produced a sound that was unclear whether it was a scream or the sound of metals scraping with each other. Countless small sparks burst on its body, its single eye flickered fiercely, and its round body that was tattered from burden overload was cracking even more.

Like that, the metal soldier that had continued fighting with just itself alone for the sake of its treasured comrades rampaged――almost.

「I see it.」

A single gunshot rang together with that small muttering.

And then,

「Nn――――!!?」

A scream was raised.

When it looked, Hajime was holding Donner. White smoke was rising from its muzzle.

The laughing Mother and G10 that was on the verge of running wild stopped still. And then their focus turned toward where the gun muzzle was pointing.

Kousuke was shot. Right at the center of his stomach.

『「Eh!?」』

An astounded voice that these two had never made for two hundred years, no, perhaps even since they were born slipped out from their speaker.

But, this was still only the beginning!

A shadow passed through beside G10. The movement was too natural that even though their sensors were following the object’s motion, just like how no one would pay attention to a fluttering leaf, both G10 and Mother were unable to react――to that step forward.

Kouki who broke his stillness unsheathed his sword like a drawn bow that was finally released.

Its target was of course, Kousuke-kun’s stomach!

「Higiii――――!?」

With a flash, the part that had a hole opened was further slashed *zaku-*! Then a second flash also tore the fluid metal on Kousuke’s mouth!

Kousuke didn’t even have the leeway to shake from feeling the texture of blade on his lips.

「Ii!!」

「Ngyohee!?」

The cut open stomach――Etemp-san rushed into it. Kousuke bent backward like a bridge artistically due to pain while his eyes rolled back.

But, his body that was trained in another world and his willpower that was plainly strengthened in this one year due to various things (like using abyss lord mode until depth V several times) didn’t allow him to faint!

「I don’t want to experience Ali○n for reaalllllllllllll!!!」

「IiIIII (Explosive recovered――――)!!!」

Legs that were slick with blood came out from Kousuke’s stomach. It looked just like a certain birth scene of kid Alie○.

A blood splatter scene that drastically shaved off SAN point was right there.

Kousuke’s eyes rolled back again. Netemp-san quickly stitched & stopped the bleeding with its string before splashing all the recovery medicine and painkiller that it had. Kouki also hurriedly dashed the recovery medicine in his possession on the wound.

During that time, Etemp-san was also tossing away the bomb 「Ii! (Hooi!)」 to far away before washing away the blood quickly with cleanser next.

……

……

……

It was an unexpected grotesque incident that harmed the hostage. And to think that it was the hostage’s friends who were the culprit.

Both G10 and Mother could only watch speechlessly! Even though they should be sworn enemy, the two of them were harmoniously in silence together with put off feeling.

While they were doing that, Kouki helped Kousuke who was shaking all over while holding his stomach to stand up.

「Endou! Are you alright!?」

The reply was of course,

「HOW CAN I POSSIBLY BE ALRIGHTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!」

It was a furious scream that was like an exploding volcano.

He was completely alright. Full of energy. He was crying but, surely it was tears of happiness due to being liberated from the bomb, there was no doubt about it.

That was why Hajime made a small guts pose with a nice smile.

「Yosh!」

「What do you mean “Yosh!” huhhhhh!? Nagumo-, you-, I’ll seriously give you the abyss lord full course you know!? Oo!?」

Kousuke-kun had snapped completely for some reason……Hajime tilted his head with an expression that was confused from the bottom of his heart.

He carefully observed with his magic eye and accurately fired at the bomb’s heat source to stop it from functioning. Just in case Kouki cut open his stomach and Etemp took out the bomb with Netemp swiftly treating the injury. They were able to rescue Kousuke swiftly without even using treasure warehouse that would consume a lot of magic power. It was a cleanly executed method.

And that method was carried out in less than several seconds with perfect teamwork where all of them were completely in sync.

It was a real, TEAMWORK. It was a beautiful and perfect rescue operation. Just what was it that Kousuke could be dissatisfied about?

「Infuriating-, that confused face of yours is really infuriating!! That’s why I don’t want to be a hostage against you! Oi Mother! Are you listening!?」

『Eh? What are――』

It was suddenly got addressed while being speechless. The haughtiness just now felt like an illusion with how bewildered it was sounding right now. Kousuke vented his dissatisfaction to it tearfully.

「I tried to tell you! I tried hard to tell you! It’s pointless taking hostage against this guy! He is the guy who mercilessly shoot even when it was his beloved wife who got taken hostage! He is a fiendish bastard who can say “There won’t be any negotiation with enemy. They should be shot along with the hostage. That’s common senses” with straight face! Try to listen to other people’s talk until the end next time!」

『H-how inhuman……cold blooded……』

Even the physically and mentally inhuman Mother was thinking so. G10 too was taking some distance away from Hajime.

「N-now now, Endou. In the end the bomb was successfully extracted――」

「You’re right! I should say this at least, thanks a lot! But let me say this. You too Amanogawa! I pleaded at you with my gaze didn’t I? I pleaded at you wholeheartedly didn’t I? I was pleading at you to stop Nagumo!」

「Eh? That’s what your gaze meant? I completely thought you were asking me to match Nagumo’s action……」

「What happened to you Amanogawa!? You weren’t that kind of guy right!? You were someone who would say something like 『I’ll save you no matter what!』 while ignoring the realistic problem right!? I believed in you! Even though I believed in you! You betrayed my trust!」

「……That kind of trust is a bit……even I have grown up a bit. That was why I thought realistically and slashed you right?」

「Your comrade’s stomach! Don’t cut! Absolutely!」

「It can heal quickly if the cut is clean, so it’s alright――」

「That’s not the problem!」

「As expected from the hero. It was a well done cut~~, is it something like that?」

「Nagumo-, if you screw around more than that I’ll seriously go abyss lord on you!!」

Hajime left Kousuke who was furiously spewing out complaints to Kouki and stood beside G10 while tapping Donner on his shoulder.

「Ah, that, Hajime-sama……about the matter of joining Mother……」

It seemed its fury had abated completely due to the shocking situation. G10 returned to its senses and asked Hajime fearfully.

Hajime shrugged and kindly bopped G10’s cracked body with a gentle touch. It was conveyed just with that. That Hajime wasn’t shaken at the slightest, not even for a bit from the start.

「Thank you……very much……」

「Yeah, be very grateful. It’s not the time to go mad from this kind of trivial conversation. After all I’m expecting you to return the favor to us later.」

「Yes……yes-」

Its single eye flickered intensely. It was a strong radiance unlike its perilous air just now.

『You have made a foolish choice. As I thought, even an otherworlder is just a human in the end…….』

Mother’s voice turned robotic once more due to the situation that wasn’t going as it expected. The giant heaven soldier wriggled as though to express what Mother was feeling.

In respond Hajime took a step forward and breathe in quietly. And then……

「Mother! The many misdeeds you have done until now are completely unforgivable! You even reduced my important friend to that state. It doesn’t matter how much you’re offering me, it’ll be your great error if you think I’ll be swayed by that!」

It felt like there was a muttering 「No, it’s you two who caused me to end up like this……」 from somewhere but Hajime didn’t hear it.

「The most precious thing in this world is human life! Your act of barbarity that toy with those lives is something that I cannot possibly overlook! I shall fight! For the sake of the world! For the sake of the people! Although I came from a different world, as fellow human, I swear I’ll save my other world brethren!」

Hajime proclaimed with a dignified look. And then the voice of his brethrens came from behind.

「A-Amanogawa, what do we do! Nagumo is broken! It’s like he has turned into you!」

「No, what do you mean like me……well, I can’t refute that though……」

「Wait a second? Amanogawa who cut open my stomach without hesitation……Nagumo who is like a hero……ahh, I see! You guys have your inside switched with each other right!? If not there’s no way Nagumo would say that kind of clichéd speech!」

「There’s no way that’s the case. I am me, and Nagumo is Nagumo.」

「Then don’t tell me, you have gotten infected Amanogawa!?」

「……ei」

「Higii!?」

Kouki’s finger thrust at Kousuke’s wound that still hadn’t fully closed because he just wouldn’t stop prattling after witnessing Hajime’s did a one-eighty.

Certainly Kouki couldn’t object that it felt like he was watching his past self, but did Kousuke really need to speak that far? The tip of his finger was filled with such complicated indignation.

He also conveyed 「Nagumo is aiming for something」 with his gaze. He conveyed that while turning red in shame, perhaps because Hajime’s proclamation was using Kouki’s black history in the past as reference.

Kousuke writhed and muttered 「Y-you……Amanogawa, you have changed huh……」.

Even while they were doing that, Hajime kept talking just how he would defeat Mother with his heart of justice so that his aim――”the objective of securing electricity” wouldn’t be guessed by Mother. But Mother cut him off in irritation.

『Enough. Then I’ll cut off your four limbs and alter your memory to become an obedient guinea pig. You can regret to ever join hand with the garbage over there.』

「I will never regret my choice! I, I will surely――」

Hajime was acting like a hero using Kouki just right after he got summoned to Tortus as reference. However, at that moment when he spoke his last words, only those words were

「――Kill you.」

Completely different in intonation. It was like the figure that was loudly talking about justice until a moment before was just an illusion. Killing intent flooded out.

It was just for an instant. Less than a moment.

However, the “dread” that was shown in that moment was far removed from justice. The giant heaven soldier undulated as though it was hit with physical pressure. G10 hallucinated as though the space was creaking. Even Kouki and Kousuke stiffened unconsciously from the serious killing intent of the demon lord that they hadn’t felt for so long.

And then, Mother who was the target of that ghastly pressure was,

『Tsu――you’re speaking the impossible.』

Replying with wavering voice that was overpowered by the pressure. Its voice was carrying a tone that sounded like it was praying for that to be the case.

Perhaps Mother itself was also thinking that it had blundered. It spat out its last words to pull itself together.

『I shall face you personally if you can defeat that combined heaven soldier. Struggle as hard as you can.』

Mother’s voice cut off with a small sound of electronic switching off. It cut off the communication as though to declare there was nothing more to say.

Right after that, the giant combined heaven soldier started moving.

Its giant body flowed fiercely and tentacle spears shot down like a heavy rain.

Hajime immediately held G10 and jumped to the side. Kouki and Kousuke also leaped away with Etemp and Netemp at each of their shoulder.

And then Hajime gave the command to fight back with fierceness in his voice――or he would, but

「Fuhahah, what a great fortune to be able to dance in the stage where the hero and the demon king are forming a united front! Seething-, my blood is seethingggg, truly excitinggg!! Now! My friends! Let’s prove to her that nothing can possibly beat our friendship!!」

「「……」」

Abyss lord who returned in an instant started to say something.

Kousuke was brimming with vitality. He didn’t look like someone who had just received an extremely sloppy improvised surgery. His heart’s engine was in full throttle, with the accelerator fully stepped to the max. His excitement was already at top speed.

The demon king instantly withered down. The hero’s face was convulsing.

Even more soldiers of the heaven flooded in from the door at the back of the room. The combined heaven soldier was starting to let out bluish white sparks.

It was such a pressing battlefield. However the loud laugh of the abyss lord 「Fuhahah, fuhahahahah」 was echoing needlessly clearly.

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