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Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 376

Chapter 376

Arifureta After IV Demon King & Hero Arc VS Mother First

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Heaven, uppermost part.

Hajime and Kouki were breathing roughly in front of lattice shaped heated rays that were blocking their way.

「What, you’re worn out already?」

「You yourself, your shoulders are heaving over there.」

Their exhaustion was genuine although they were making small talks with each other.

After they parted from Kousuke, Hajime and Kouki ran straight up the elevator shaft while defeating a great number of heaven soldier and upperworld troops.

Not just that, in the upper part of the heaven they also received fierce attack from machine soldiers in the forms that were the combination of upperworld soldiers――though they weren’t as though as what Kousuke fought, the machine soldiers would be the combination of at least two types――furthermore there were also traps activating one after another within the facility that they had to break through.

They did that while protecting G10 who couldn’t even provide them with satisfactory battle support.

The weapons that they brought from the hideout had been all used up a long time age. Hajime even needed to activate his treasure warehouse once to resupply his ammo.

Overwhelming quantity of attack within a limited space.

Indeed, it was just as G10 said. It could be said that G10’s former comrades had splendidly achieved their purpose in reducing Mother’s strength as much as they could with their strategy, even if it was a different matter if asked whether the degree of Mother’s exhaustion was just as they assumed or not.

「Nagumo, how many did you defeat?」

「I wasn’t counting after the three hundredth of them.」

「I was also around that many, about counting it I mean.」

「It was around a thousand enemies in total between the both of you.」

G10 who was carried with one hand by Hajime was giving the answer while cracking the system to remove the heat rays.

「Only 1000 between both of us eh. It’s pathetic that we need the two of us to reach that kill count.」

「That’s because your specialty is quantity battle Nagumo. Those are the words of one whose forte is earning kill count.」

「……Even so this is an unbelievable war results. If it is the soldiers of my era, I don’t know just how many damage they would have to bear in order to reach the same result……」

A breakthrough offense that would consume human lives like they grew on trees. G10’s eyes flickered in frustration even just imagining it.

「Hajime-sama, Kouki-sama. I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart for bringing me until this far.」

It was a quiet voice that gave a glimpse of the resolve within.

「What’re you doing thanking us at this kind of place.」

「It hasn’t even begin yet you know? The real thing start from now, G10.」

The very casual words of Hajime and Kouki who finished calming their breathing made G10’s eye glittered. It looked like it was laughing.

「No more enemies are coming huh……does it run out of body?」

「It’ll be a pain if they interrupt while we’re in the middle of fighting Mother though. Well, it’s pointless to talk about it.」

「I can’t guarantee that there won’t be several enemies hiding in ambush. However, I believe we can consider that most of the enemy force has been taken care of. In the first place there is no existence in this current era who can breakthrough until this far.」

Upperworld machine soldiers and sturdy “Heaven Gate” to protect itself. Then heavy firearms that covered the outer surface like hedgehog, turning the area into a fortress. Normally it was already checkmate at that point.

If there was someone who could break through even all of those, the upperworld troop and the heaven soldiers protecting the lower level of the heaven would close in on them. Even if they could breakthrough that by a miracle, the countless traps existing throughout the middle level until upper level, furthermore the ranked up multiple types of combined machine soldiers――temporary name royal guard machine soldiers were waiting for the intruder in the thousand.

Indeed, to be frank, it was an excessive defensive preparation for a world where there wasn’t any hostile against Mother.

Most likely Mother was hypothesizing in case the people of Coltran was rising in revolt all at once but……even taking that into consideration, this level of thoroughness was cut off from the human’s civilization and technology in reality.

「It’s a real coward huh.」

「Stop it Nagumo. It might be listening to us right? At the very least call it a worrywart.」

Hajime cracked his neck and checked his own condition. His magic power was exhausted, but he still had stamina remaining. Well, it wasn’t a bad state to be for the last boss battle.

Kouki rotated his wrists and ankles while replying back with a frivolous line. He was saying those words with the conviction that Mother was surely listening in to them. Hajime wondered if he should think of it as Kouki getting quite better in bantering or if it was the result of his rage as a hero that was seething inside his heart toward Mother’s deeds.

Either way, G10’s heart was calm because of the two’s light atmosphere.

It had nervousness. It was also feeling fear of failure and also its grudge of many years blazing hot inside. However, it was really calm that it surprised itself. It didn’t feel any restlessness at all even when the decisive battle that was the culmination of its 200 years was right before it.

(Surely this is the mental state of someone with determined resolve.)

In front of Mother, what G10 could do with its seriously damaged self was only one thing. It would accomplish that role no matter what. This mental state was truly that of someone who had done everything they could do and now they could only wait to see what god decided.

「Unlocking success. Both of you, are you prepared?」

「Since a long time age.」

「I should be the one asking you that. Spare us from you expiring in the middle okay?」

G10 firmly grasped the unexpressed meaning of Hajime’s words and answered 「Of course」 strongly.

Right after that, the lattice shaped heat rays vanished quietly and the path was opened. It was the path that led to the heaven of this world where Mother was at.

Hajime fixed his hold on G10 under his arm. He ran his gaze at the others and nodded once,

The three started running to the path ahead.

They could see what lie before them. Something was firing a fierce light.

That thing’s true identity was……

「Oo, I saw this kind of thing in a movie before. As expected from SF.」

「Should we called it an energy tower?」

It was a pillar of light that really could only be called that.

It was a cylinder pillar with diameter of ten meters. Perhaps it should be represented like a giant base light that was set up vertically. Giant devices were connected to its top and bottom. The emitted light was bluish white with countless sparks crackling from it. It was clear that it was a device that contained immense energy.

A gigantic columnar shaped space was expanding with that energy tower as the center. Its width with the tower as the center was around a hundred meter. Hajime and co came out at a spot near the summit, where an iron bridge without any handrail was stretching straight toward the center.

There was a sky corridor surrounding the energy tower. Furthermore if one had a bird’s eye view to the other three directions, there were other iron bridges stretching out to draw a cross. There was also a pedestal that seemed to be a console at the front part of the corridor.

「There is also path connecting to below huh……」

Hajime peeked down from the edge of the iron bridge. He could see similar cross shaped bridges placed every ten meter down with their positioning shifted slightly. Seen from above they looked like a spiraling staircase.

The depth of underground that was visible from the gaps of those lower floors’ cross bridges was a pit that went straight through the sacred mountain Coltran from the zenith.

「Nagumo.」

「I know.」

Kouki urged him to be cautious. The top part of the energy tower that was around three meters high from the corridor was surrounded by several pillars like an altar. That place started to shine.

The width of the bridge was around five meters. It was spacious enough even if they walked side by side on it. And so, the two of them advanced with some distance from each other so they could react against anything.

*Crackle crackle, jijiji-* The sound that the electricity played and the clanging footsteps that rang on the iron cross bridges were reverberating awfully clearly.

Like that when Hajime and Kouki stepped their feet on the corridor, a voice finally rang out.

「To think that you three can really arrive here……are all the humans of other world as terrifying as you?」

A voice that didn’t give the slightest hint of fear resounded from the altar. Fluid metals oozed out from each pillar and surprisingly they began to drift in the air. They were whirling, meandering, like a cloth fluttering in the wind.

For now,

「Yeah. Like the clan of head reaping rabbits for example, they will destroy even your mind.」

Hajime replied naturally while drawing out his gun and fired with an extremely natural motion. Sparks scattered from a pillar with a part of it damaged together with a gunshot. He then muttered 「As I thought I can’t pulverize them unless I used railgun……」 with a small voice.

Beside him Kouki spke 「This guy……he pulled the trigger in the middle of idle talk……」 with a terrified expression. But he immediately accepted it because well, that was the kind of guy Hajime was and,

「Won’t you think about my offer once more? It’s pointless even if you try to hide it. Both of you are already considerably fatig――」

「Uwa, it’s really hard. What kind of metal it’s made of?」

A flash of sword slash. Kouki tried slashing the pillar with his elongating holy sword. Although he complained like that, his blade had dug into half the pillar. Was it regretful that he couldn’t bisect the pillar? Or should he be praised for being able to cut until halfway?

At the very least Mother should,

「……Bunch of fools.」

Be angry in this situation. In fact, it seemed to be very irritated. It undoubtedly wanted to yell Listen to what I’m saying.

「It’s the height of folly if you think that you can defeat me after defeating the like of those machine soldiers. All of you absolutely cannot win against me.」

The way it spoke was filled with some kind of conviction. Hajime narrowed his eyes while Kouki raised his guard.

「I shall improve my term. If you two cooperate with my research of other world, I shall permit you two to enjoy luxury in this land. If you wish I will also share the territory and the humans with you. You two will be like a god in the middle of the lives under your control.」

Apparently this was the greatest concession Mother intended to make with its sense of values. As expected from the thing that possessed a genius that was the incarnation of arrogance as a parent, it should be called as a machine intelligence that knew no emotion.

The unimaginable power that Hajime and co displayed when facing the combined heaven soldier made Mother harbored even stronger interest and wariness toward them. It must wished to obtain them in its grasp within the possible limit but……

Hajime and Kouki who heard Mother’s term reflexively looked at each other.

「Is this that? That legendary “I’ll give you half of the world” line?」

「Perhaps, so? Amazing, I never thought I’ll be able to hear it in reality.」

「Yosh, Amanogawa. You answer it. This is the scene where the hero should answer.」

「You should answer instead Nagumo. Show it how it’s done as the demon king.」

「S-say……both of you. Let’s stop joking around for now……」

G10 hesitantly cautioned them. Because, the light on the altar was giving a dangerous vibe. It was sparking and the fluid metals swimming in the air were getting stormier. It was clear that Mother was extremely enraged.

The proof of that was,

「……Very well. Then I shall follow my original plan and keep both of you as specimen samples. There won’t be any problem as long as your brain is undamaged. Your body shall be disposed. Regret your own foolishness later in that state.」

Its voice became a step lower. At the same time the altar moved. It seemed the floor part was sliding. Something was gradually rising.

The sparks and light and the liquid metals made it hard to see, but it was a metallic humanoid. It had a slim built and in a glance it looked like smooth humanoid body with female shape.

Right after that, the liquid metals wrapped around that body like a gown.

「I’m not so laudable I’ll wait for the transformation scene to finish.」

「Agreed.」

Gunshot and sword slash attacked simultaneously. However the liquid metal and an unseen force field became a double barrier that blocked them.

And then in the next instant, that liquid metal became spears that attacked the two. Even when they swiftly leaped aside, a part of the wall behind them and the ceiling slid and heavy weaponries flew out.

Kouki cut down the bullets flying at him. Hajime kneaded his magic power in that opening and fired railgun but……

「It’s pointless. I have finished analyzing all of your trump cards.」

The altar was emitting light that created a halo behind it. The humanoid body advanced in the middle of that.

Four slim limbs and beautifully slim body line of a female. Its body was clad in tight and lustrous pure white garment that looked as though it was clinging to the body. It had a close resemblance with a pilot suit that came out in SF.

The suit covered its neck until its limbs completely, but only its face was exposed. Its wavy silver hair and golden eyes left a great impression――the unvarnished truth was that a peerless beauty was standing there.

Its quietly pointed one hand forward. There was a flattened bullet stopping in midair ahead of its hand.

「So it can stop a railgun like nothing huh.」

Even though it would be nice if a certain bugged bunny was the only one who could do such thing……Hajime cursed inside his heart. Kouki too was also strengthening his grip on the holy sword with a slightly twitching face.

Right after that, the fake goddess with metal body that was covered with liquid metal――Mother lightly floated up.

Bluish white electrical discharge came out from under its feet. It contacted the energy tower and the sky corridor and sparks were scattered. Right after that, the electrical discharge reached its whole body and it began to shine as though there was a real halo shining over it.

In addition, the altar’s pillars transformed into a diamond shape and flew to the air. They deployed like three pair of wings behind the body. On top of that, several electrified liquid metal sashes also flew out from the altar to hover around Mother. They were like iron colored “dragons” serving a goddess.

Mother glared like a god looking down on the insects from the heaven. It quietly pointed with its finger,

「This place is my paradise. Invaders, offer your everything to me.」

It declared so.

In respond Hajime and Kouki were,

「I’ll drag you down to the ground――」

「So I’ll finally become a godslayer too huh. Great. Here I come――」

The two of them simultaneously

「Limit Break-」

「Limit Break!!」

Replied with a war proclamation, clad in crimson and pure white light.

Instantly, lightning flew from Mother’s stretched hand. It wasn’t spear or ball like magic or transformed lightning to act like cannon. Lightning was simply discharged indiscriminately to atttack like a countless snakes. They attacked following irregular trajectories.

Hajime and Kouki was a step faster and leaped away, but flashes covered their sight. Within that blindness, two of Mother’s six wings opened their obscure tips and pointed at them. The two’s cheeks convulsed when they noticed that.

They looked like, no, no matter how the two looked at the wings, they were exactly like the all range weaponCross Velt that Hajime used……

Hajime watched the electrified mechanical wings’ muzzles while narrowing his eyes. Bluish white flashes were fired while scorching the air at that instant.

The two railgun bullets landed under the feet of the two who leaped to the edge of the iron bridge. Thunderous sounds rang out and impact attacked their body powerfully.

「Nagumo!」

「Guh――」

Kouki somehow managed to evade without losing his balance. It was fortunate that his skill “Foresight” and his knowledge of Hajime’s Cross Velt enabled him to move before his body was shot.

But shockingly Hajime seemed to be a bit late in his evasion. Although he dodged the direct hit, the impact sent him flying and his back crashed on the iron bridge. He bounced and then his body was sliding down the edge.

He immediately caught the edge but,

「Dammit――」

「Hajime-sama……」

G10 slipped out from his arm. G10 fell down and hit the iron bridge a level below. It bounced on the ground with a loud clang before falling again below helplessly like a ball.

「As I thought, it looks like it can’t even use gravity neutralizer anymore. Its endurance is also at the limit too……unfortunate. I wished to show it the moment its hope vanish right in front of its eye.」

「What a distasteful parent. You should introduce yourself as Mother (lol) from now on.」

「Nagumo. We’re going to defeat it here so it won’t have the chance for that. Let’s just engrave that name into its grave later.」

Hajime pulled himself up on the bridge with one hand. He then made fun of Mother with a grin that rubbed one’s nerve the wrong way. Even Kouki joined in.

The corner of Mother’s eye twitched.

「You two can still act really composed in that exhausted state when you don’t even have any battle support. I told you already. I have finished the analysis. That “Limit Break” thing, in exchange of raising your physical capability, it also literally caused the unknown energy inside you two to overflow correct? It’s only a matter of time for your defeat.」

「I don’t plan to slave on like in a black company. I’ll finish the work and go home right on time.」

「A reformation in the way you fight huh. I’ll need to follow your example too. Spare me from any overtime.」

Their joking attitude didn’t break even now. There wasn’t any agitation, irritation, or uneasiness from them. They were convinced that they would be the winner at the end. They were stubbornly fearless.

It was displeasing. Mother couldn’t stomach their attitude.

「Let me make those loose lips to make loud screams that are begging for your lives.」

There was no reply. But, those two pair of fearless eyes spoke what they thought about Mother’s words more eloquently than anything. Which was, 「Try it if you actually can」.

With Donner & Schlag in hands, Hajime shifted half his body to the back and took the Gun-kata stance. Kouki lowered his center of gravity deeply and took the iai stance――in the next instant,

「Gah!?」

Kouki was blown away with a thunderous sound. It was like a dump car crashed on him with high speed.

He was struck by a wall that was flying horizontally like a cannon ball.

「Tsk. It’s accelerated electromagnetically huh.」

Hajime clicked his tongue. Hajime switched place with Kouki and pulled the trigger at Mother who had its fist thrust toward them.

He already activated “Light Speed”. His expanded perception ability perfectly sensed the trick behind the high speed movement of Mother who was constantly in an electrified state and Kouki who avoided direct hit by putting his holy sword between his body and the attack just barely.

Mother blocked the six shots that Hajime fired by using the liquid metal dragon as shield. The bullets were perfectly stopped by hardening only the parts that were impacted. Mother left the dragon and closed the distance to Hajime.

*Jijiji-* The unique sound of electrical discharge was emitted while the distance was instantly closed.

「But, I can see you.」

「So what?」

Its two hands transformed. They instantly turned into heat blades. Hajime crouched low to the ground to avoid the blades that slashed from left and right. He aimed his gun muzzles to gouge Mother from below but,

「――」

The freezing chill that his instinct and experience told him made him cancelled his plan to attack with his all. Hajime rolled on the ground to the side, then an instant later a spear of liquid metal stabbed at that spot.

Attacking and dodging simultaneously was Hajime’s fundamental. The aiming and shooting were already done by the time he stood on his knee with a smooth movement.

But, Mother’s movement wasn’t thrown out of order. It didn’t even dodge. An invisible force field was generated and the bullets were blocked. At the same time two mechanical wings’ muzzles caught Hajime in their aim and bluish white lasers were fired.

Hajime rotated with his knee as the focal point and dodged, then he fired once more――but faster than he could do that, the heat blades approached to lop off his head. With no other option, Hajime blocked them using Donner & Schlag’s barrels.

Mother’s foot kicked forward, giving him no time to breath. Hajime also responded back with a front kick. *Gan* An impact sound like a collision of metals resounded.

「You really doesn’t seem to be human.」

「Gahah!?」

A fist punched out from Mother’s abdomen. The liquid metal skin wasn’t only for imitating human. It seemed it was for making it possible to carry out inhuman offense and defense.

Hajime was sent flying from the impact like a destructive hammer had hit his stomach. He cursed inside his heart.

(Vibration destruction huh!)

Apparently the fist was also thoroughly installed with such function. The abdomen part of his tactical vest that was mixed with metal fiber was splendidly destroyed while his abs was convulsing as though they were screaming in pain.

He rolled midair and landed on the wall on his legs. But, at that time all the mechanical wings were already sparking――

「Fuck-」

Hajime kicked on the wall to lea to the side. At the same time the railguns fired. The impact sent him flying further than expected, at the same time wire anchor shot from the back of his artificial hand.

He traveled further through the air using the centrifugal force, even so his pendulum trajectory was really easy to predict. Three shots of electromagnetically accelerated bullets approached toward his future position. Within the instantaneous world, he finished Donner’s reload by exchanging the cylinder. In a flash two shots were fired each to the three bullets.

If his timing and positioning missed even slightly, there was no doubt that he would be heavily injured. In front of such threat, Hajime’s demonic technique splendidly led him to survival.

Each of the railgun bullets grazed his side. Their trajectories were shifted and pulverized the wall that Hajime passed through.

Hajime cut off the wire and rolled midair. Schlag grazed his bullet belt for a high speed reload and,

「This is your own home right? Be a bit more careful!」

Six consecutive quick draw & pin point shots. The bullets traversed through air in order to gouge into Mother’s forehead. However as expected, the liquid metal dragon deployed in multiple layers and hardened to block the bullets.

And then,

「――」

Hajime was too focused on Mother. Even though this was its territory.

When he realized, a sentry gun that had appeared from the wall behind Hajime soundlessly targeted him. The muzzle flashed.

Hajime had no leeway to turn aside. His reload also didn’t make it in time.

He prepared himself to be shot. He couldn’t avoid consuming magic power and tried to endure by using “Vajra” and body strengthening for an instant――but just before he did,

「Shih」

Countless sword flashes shifted all the bullets, cut them down, or deflected them. It was Kouki who leaped to the air to stand back to back with Hajime.

「Too slow.」

「My bad-. I was a bit paralyzed!」

Actually, the fist that Kouki was hit with also had vibration destruction applied. That impact was also accompanied by electric attack, limiting his movement due to the impact and electric shock. He was also showered by concentrated fire of sentry guns on top of that. He cut all of them down before he could finally return to the front line like this.

The two of them landed together on the cross bridges. The railguns mercilessly came at that timing.

「Go-, Amanogawa!」

「Yeah!」

Donner & Schlag that had finished reloading endured the attack with the demonic technique of shifting the railgun bullets. Kouki using the opening to rush forward with his body really close on the ground.

At the same time, *rin-*a sound of a bell rang out. The sword that was unsheathed and stretching out was slashed horizontally to bisect Mother.

It was the attack of the holy sword in katana mode that had bisected everything into two until now.

That attack of all thing was,

「Wha-!?」

Mother caught it between its elbow and knee to stop it dead on its track.

「I have finished analyzing your movement. No matter how you’re you are, it’s only natural that I can react to it if I understand where it’s coming from and its timing.」

Kouki returned the holy sword to its original length in panic, but Mother stepped forward in the same speed with the holy sword’s shortening.

Kouki didn’t return the sword into its scabbard and exchanged slashes with the heat blades right away. But,

(Kuh, my movement, is predicted!?)

Mother’s golden eyes were blinking rapidly in high speed. Kouki understood because he was this close to it. Its eyes were displaying countless informations that were changing rapidly. Mother’s movement was flowing from one to another with the minimum motion. It dodged the tip of the holy sword in millimeter and counterattacked.

「A logical technique, befitting a human.」

That was exactly why it could read it.

The extensive data that was collected from the previous war to be applied into the machine soldiers. The battle data of Kouki until now. His gaze, muscle movement, the faint signal that the nerve emitted, all of those were integrated and imported into the battle support system and projected here.

It wasn’t just for show that it was the mother of artificial intelligence that took on the whole world by itself and won.

This super high speed mechanical analysis ability, it was unmatched even when multiple battle support AIs like G10 worked together when facing Mother in the past. It predicted Kouki’s movement in every split second and then Mother’s exclusive battle body implemented a movement that didn’t even have a millimeter margin of error. This body possessed a spec that was worthy for a machine god.

Furthermore, its movement wasn’t that of an amateur. Kouki felt an essence of “martial art” from its extremely logical movement. Most likely it was the military’s hand-to-hand combat technique. Furthermore it was at the master level.

But, even so there was no way he could let himself be defeated here. Kouki narrowed his eyes and roared.

「Don’t you dare……underestimate human!」

「No, in the end you’re just a human.」

“Serene Mind”――activated. The light of will vanished from Kouki’s eyes. A tranquility that was like a calm lake surface covered his body. The state of mind without any spirit that was unthinkable to happen in the middle of battle made it possible to actualize a movement that was “extremely difficult to perceive”. This movement would even work against that abyss lord. The slash from that movement had reached the extremity that blew away even time.

But, against that perfection of sword slash,

「So you’re also a superhuman as I thought.」

Mother reacted. As expected, it seemed it couldn’t react perfectly, but it used the liquid metal dragon and the invisible force field to compensate for its lacking, forming a phantasmagoric outer shell.

「Oi self-proclaimed god, don’t fight in that uncouth way when you claim to be a god.」

Explosions reverberated. When it looked back, two of its six mechanical wings were smoking white and sparking while falling down.

Hajime had endured the railgun’s fierce attack and brought down the wings with grenade’s area attack.

Even so, not all the wings could be brought down. It was because Mother was fighting strategically using the surrounding weapons from the wall and its mechanical wings.

It was befitting an AI. Even while fighting a high speed battle in close combat against Kouki, it was also dealing with Hajime properly using parallel thoughts or thought division.

Hajime somehow crushed the weapons on the wall and approached Mother from the opposite side of Kouki.

Schlag had been returned to the holster and his artificial hand that was freed activated “Vibration Destruction” as payback.

Mother caught that hand with an arm that was newly created from its back. The hand wasn’t getting pushed back even against Hajime’s inhuman physical strength. At best the vibration only scattered the hand’s outer skin.

During that time Mother’s right heat blade slashed toward Hajime horizontally. At the same time the left heat blade was locked with Kouki’s holy sword.

The liquid metal dragons approached from behind the two, while the mechanical wings circled to their sides and fired bullets. The rifles on the ceiling were also sniping at them with precise accuracy.

「Annoying-」

Dodge, dodge. Hajime sniped at Mother’s foot while Kouki wordlessly matched him and aimed at the neck.

Magnetic force burst out and Mother dodged with its body staying horizontally in midair. Then it let out electricity with itself as the center. The electric attack burst from close range and stopped the two’s movement for an instant.

Mother used that fatal opening and kept floating using magnetic force while rotating like a spinning top with a movement that could be said as elegant. Its left and right heat blades elongated like the holy sword and aimed at the two’s necks.

「Woah there!」

「Kuh」

Although their body stiffened, they weren’t so soft that their thought also got paralyzed. Kouki turned his holy sword into great sword mode, while Hajime used the attachable shield on his artificial arm. Each of them avoided death by a hair’s breadth.

But, in the next instant, those heat blades warped like a whip while maintaining its heat. The whip almost entangled Hajime’s artificial arm, but he avoided that by purging the shield right away. Kouki too escaped by letting go of the great sword the moment the whip wrapped around it and pulled.

If they got pulled in……it was clear what the result would be if they looked at the rifle bullet that gouged a hole right through the iron bridge.

Kouki didn’t even glance at the tossed away holy sword and stepped forward with “Ground Shrinker”. Mother narrowed its eyes in puzzlement for the first time.

「You won’t be able to dodge against this」

Hajime held back the mechanical wings and liquid metal dragon with Donner while transforming his artificial arm. The five fingers elongated to become like claws that grabbed Mother’s whole body like an eagle. Slug bullet was fired from the palm.

A telling blow landed. Mother convulsed from the impact and its movement stopped just for a moment.

And then, its eyes snapped open. It saw Kouki’s hand thrusting out toward empty air and the holy sword making U-turn midair to settle into that hand.

「Got you」

Kouki’s voice was monotone. However, it was filled with confidence――

「No. It’s impossible.」

Right after that, Mother exploded. Light flashed out brightly, at the same time a tremendous impact radiated out. It seemed it blew up the liquid metal that was covering its body.

Kouki immediately shield himself using the flat side of his great sword, even so he got blown back and his back crashed on the iron bridge hard.

Then, Hajime who was even closer to Mother because he was restraining it was……

「Guh」

As expected, he was falling backward while letting out a small groan. He instinctually realized it was bad and used “Vajra” for an instant even though it consumed his precious magic power. Because of that he had no serious external injury.

But, the five fingers of his artificial arm were damaged. And the impact entered inside his body in not so little amount. He involuntarily coughed and blood splattered out from his mouth.

And then, even though he stood up quickly, an opening was still an opening……

「Guah!?」

The railgun that was fired from inside the fire blast hit him and he was blown away in an arc.

Although Hajime barely blocked it with Donner, he was still hit by an electromagnetically accelerated bullet. No matter how tough the flesh that Hajime possessed, he couldn’t avoid his mind from blacking out.

Hajime’s consciousness returned next the moment he felt a severe impact on his back.

「Gafuh! Shit-, lost my consciousness just now!」

His field of vision was flickering. He painfully felt a severe nausea in his stomach.

Even so he grasped the situation in an instant. It seemed he fell on the cross bridges around three level below and his back hit the floor hard. He lost consciousness was only for several seconds too.

His body was really tough to not die even from falling for thirty meters. It was also the same with his partnerDonner that didn’t break even after stopping a railgun bullet.

「Haha-, it really has been a long time since I’m in a struggle to the death. I’m fired up.」

He spat out his saliva that was mixed with blood and wiped his mouth roughly.

Even though not enough time had passed for even one round to this point, he had already received the greatest damage he ever experienced since the final battle in Tortus.

Although he could still banter, the reality of the situation was really harsh.

After all based from his analysis of the current situation, Mother’s specs weren’t that much different from the “god’s apostle” in “Pseudo Limit Break” state.

It wasn’t as fast as those apostles and it also had no disintegration ability, but when Haijme and Kouki’s greatly restricted abilities were taken into consideration, then its inferiority compared to the apostles wasn’t a saving grace at all. If the plus and negative was totaled then it amounted to zero……

No, if he considered its outrageous analysis ability and super high speed calculation ability, and its capability to compute numerous tactics within an instant that was supported by its fighting ability, it wasn’t zero anymore but negative instead.

After all Mother’s movement was optimized to face Hajime & Kouki. It really should be called as the ultimate weapon against the demon king & Hero.

「……I’m really counting on you here」

Hajime whispered to particularly no one and glanced briefly to below. But, he immediately returned his gaze to above. He ignored his pain and put strength into his feet. He jumped to the cross bridges above him in order to return to the battlefield that was filled with thunderous sounds even now.

But, then,

「――tsuu!!」

Kouki was falling with a voiceless yell on the cross bridges a level above.

He bounced and then almost slid off from the bridge. Seeing that Hajime leaped that way and pulled Kouki’s leg to prevent him from falling off.

「Uwaa……are you alright over there huh」

「I’m not, alright――cough」

Hajime reflexively let go of Kouki’s foot. That leg was twisted to a wrong direction and dangled powerlessly. It seemed his arm was also broken. It looked like the heat blade had grazed his side. Although no blood was leaking out, there was a scar with the flesh scraped off over there.

「We’ll get analyzed even more the longer this goes on huh.」

「Good grief, I’m getting sick of this.」

While they were saying that, they looked at Mother who was looking down on them while floating in the air with sparks of electricity coming out from its whole body. It already renewed the liquid metal covering its body. Its appearance was returning to its former beauty.

That Mother narrowed its eyes once more.

「……How are you two standing?」

「Guts, perhaps?」

「Are you Shia huh?」

Mother’s gaze was directed at Kouki. Yes, toward Kouki who was standing normally even with his broken leg.

――Limit Break’s special derivative War Demon

It was a power that made it possible for the user to continue fighting by using magic power as gypsum replacement inside the body until their body was smashed to pieces. Therefore Kouki’s broken arm was also looking normal.

Even so, the time limit was near. The countdown until the two ran out of gas was starting.

Even so, they didn’t even show the slightest sign of panic toward such a pinch. Their composure was still holding up.

As expected, seeing that Mother was,

「Unpleasant. How extremely unpleasant.」

Hopelessly irritated.

That was why,

「I was planning to keep the brains of you two intact but……there is still one other sample specimen.」

No matter how much it showed the difference in power in front of their eyes, no matter how much she hurt them, the fearless glint in their eyes wasn’t affected at all. Against such “human”,

「Enough. I shall……erase you two.」

It would erase them. Just like it did to the mankind that thrived in this world in the past.

The golden eyes shined. Right after that, *goun-* a heavy sound that resounded until the bottom of their stomach came down from the ceiling.

The ceiling was split vertically. Mechanical sound was echoing while the ceiling was opening to left and right.

With the ceiling opening, naturally the lightning clouds with countless flashes of lightning came into view.

「Tsu, n-no good……」

「This is still within expectation.」

Although he said that, Haijjme’s cheek was also twitching slightly.

The instant they felt a block of ice caressing their back, the two dodged to left and right with all their strength. Their instinct was correct. A flash fell from the sky. A beat later, thunderous roar that felt like it would tear their eardrums resounded loudly.

It was a lightning strike.

The spot where Hajime and Kouki were standing just an instant ago was hit with a lightning that fell with pinpoint precision. It attacked the two of them like a god’s judgment.

They had heard that there was weather control technology in this world, but the fact that lightning was intentionally aimed at their spot made them unable to stop cold sweat from coming out.

It made them wanted to make tsukkomi if it would be alright doing such thing in this place with the energy tower so nearby, but if they considered the attacks until now that weren’t holding back at all, then the important parts must be made to be so tough that there would be no problem with it.

Furthermore. To make doubly sure……

「Ambush troops……so there’re really some here.」

「I wonder if you can you really call them ambush troops. Shouldn’t you call them strengthening part instead?」

If the sky could be controlled, then the sea also could be controlled. This situation might be like that. A lot of liquid metal burst out from every surface of the walls like a broken dam.

They didn’t obey the gravity and fell, but flowed in the air while discharging bluish white electricity. They were converging toward Mother. That sight was really like someone was controlling an iron colored sea.

A developed technology couldn’t be differentiated from magic. Those famous words were perfect for this situation.

「Let’s end this.」

A voice that was robotic but containing hatred somewhere inside it echoed through the space.

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