「Has he lost his sanity?」
A kamikaze attack from super high altitude. It should be called as a suicidal act.
Mother was taken by surprise and its thought came to a halt. It felt a hard to describe displeasure at this absolutely bold war proclamation. The surprise only lasted for a few moments, but, the high speed cargo plane that was accelerating even right now was closing the distance in the blink of eye using those few moments.
Remaining altitude――8000 meters.
The speed was already breaking through Mach 7. But Mother had no more time to do such analysis or cursing in its mind. After all it wouldn’t even take five seconds until the plane arrived at the ground.
There was only one chance for it to intercept the plane.
Mother’s eye flashed brightly. In that instant, all the anti-air weapons turned to above and attacked simultaneously in almost no time at all.
It was like a meteor swarm in reverse. Countless bluish white flashes cut through the air. High output laser cannons mercilessly fired in interception.
All those boasted destructive power that originally could even destroy a meteor swarm if the meteors were around the size of a car. However……
『As expected from the plane that was intended for your own escape. It’s really tough.』
A mocking voice was broadcasted. Just as the voice said, the airframe that originally should be Mother’s very last protection was now protecting its passengers even while turning red hot from the lasers hitting it.
It also wasn’t blown away by the overwhelming speed and mass. It was bulldozing through its own path in a straight line like a tank that was crushing everything on its path under its thread.
Remaining altitude――6000 meters.
Irritating. Whether it was how its possession was used by other like it was their own thing, or how they were broadcasting their voice through the hidden line of G10 that it already finished analyzing, everything about them was irritating.
The other anti-air weapons also fired an instant after the laser cannons shot.
The railguns that had finished charging also fired. In addition, countless missiles were fired from the fleet.
The battleships were shaped like vertical diamond shape and similar size like earth’s aircraft carrier. They could attack to all direction without needing to turn their hull first. Therefore, the many batteries that were gathered along the monorails running over their hulls’ armor aimed above and increased the density of the bombardment.
Remaining altitude――4000 meters.
The sky was completely covered with swarms of cannon shells and lasers and missiles. The figure of the high speed cargo plane disappeared at the other side of the storm of violence. Right after that, the sky was colored by flashes and explosions. The holy land that was dyed red by the evening sun instantly changed color like it was afternoon.
Even Mother’s escape plane that was made to be extraordinarily tough would be destroyed in less than several seconds under such concentrated firepower.
But……such expectation was overturned in an instant.
「Tsu, space interference-」
The flame blast was blown away powerfully. Although the plane’s hull was being damaged, it appeared while still retaining its original shape.
Its wings were gone, its tail was also blown away, and the hull was already on the verge of disintegrating midair. However, the plane still protected its passengers even now.
The cause of that was undoubtedly the cross that was placed on the bow of the airframe. Four crosses were deployed to form a space isolation barrier like in that battle at Coltran’s summit. The barrier protected only the minimum range.
That cross lost its brightness as though it had finished its role and spun away to the empty sky.
Right after that, a shell flew out from the airframe’s damaged spot toward the ground in counterattack.
Due to the speed of the cargo plane itself and the gunpowder explosion, the shell flew from the sky like a spear that pierced through the air and splendidly penetrated the armor of a conspicuously large battleship――most likely it was a battleship of flagship class. But, it seemed the battleship of an SF world wasn’t so soft it would sink with just one shot. It only shook a little.
Even so, the time to fire the second wave of attack――had already ran out.
Remaining altitude――2000 meters.
A large metal ball with a diameter of more than two meters flew out from the rear of the cargo plane. No, it would be more accurate to say it was purged. Most likely the ball was thrown out from the rear cargo entrance. The ball had a lot of uneven spots on its surface, perhaps for increasing its air resistance. The distance between it and the cargo plane was quickly opened as though it was left behind.
The cargo plane was letting out black smokes while that was happening while arriving above the holy land……
Remaining altitude――1000 meters.
There was a thunderous roar. The air burst. The metal lump that weighed several hundred tons charged forward with a speed that was nearly ten times the speed of sound at the end. The destructive power could only be described as gruesome.
A wave of destruction was spreading out in a round shape. The fleet stopped their bombardment as though they were hit by a tsunami. In addition, it seemed the plane was loaded with a lot of explosives. Secondary explosions induced further secondary explosions and a flame blast was spreading as though a sun had materialized.
However, it was just as Mother said.
That kamikaze attack was pointless. The cargo plane was intercepted. By the force field that was rippling at the sky of the holy land.
Mother felt a violent displeasure because it was unable to intercept the plane despite being able to stop it at the end. It turned its single eye toward the whirling black smoke to at least send insults toward the idiotic otherworlder.
But, before it could,
『Hahah, it has been a long time since I’m breaking into cold sweat-』
A metal ball came charging a beat later. It passed through the force field.
No, to be more accurate that was only an optical mistake.
The instant the cargo plane crashed, the space was twisted with a superb timing――space distortion. Most likely it was set up so that space distortion explosive was activated at perfect timing the moment the plane impacted.
And then the metal ball charged at that spot with pinpoint accuracy. Normally that spot would be a spot of death that would blast everything along with space to pieces, but it was clear that the ball’s movement to that place was calculated seeing how the ball was clad in crimson light the instant it passed through.
Mother’s analysis ability seen through that the metal ball wasn’t affected at all by the space distortion because a type of space interference shield was laid over it the instant it passed that deathly spot.
Yes, the force field was forcefully passed by forcefully creating a path using space distortion and isolation. At the same time, the kamikaze attack of that cargo plane was also nothing more than a cover for to hide that attempt.
Mother activated the railgun that was near the ball’s falling point. It aimed at the metal ball and fired.
A loud impact sound rang out. The metal ball was blown away like a pinball. But it only got a part of it damaged. The ball wasn’t pierced or pulverized. That was only natural.
――Transformable large shield Aidion
Although the magic power consumption to restore the shield in high speed was harsh, it was the barrier of the demon king that once even blocked the concentrated bombardment of disintegration attacks from the “god’s apostles”.
The ball instead destroyed the top of the tower it hit along with the anti-air weapon there before bouncing toward the sky. Right after that the ball was making *kashun kashun* sound and its spherical form was unwrapped. An anchor wire flew out from inside and stabbed at teh rooftop of a nearby tower.
The laser cannon on that tower took aim, but right after that a crimson flash pierced it from the muzzle to the inside and a large explosion occurred.
The anchor wire was wind up in high speed and the metal ball dropped on top of the tower and crushed the laser cannon. Within the black smoke from the explosion that was thickly rising up, the sound of *kashun kashun* continued and human silhouette started to become visible at the other side of the smoke.
「……You cockroach, how far are you going to get in my way」
A voice of grudge leaked out from Mother.
Its detection ability was telling it the truth that was making a fool of ii once more. The wreckage of the cargo plane was scattered like volcano eruption. The majority of them were deflected by the force field, while the small fragments that weren’t judged as threat were raining down like a rain. That sight completely looked like a scene in film production.
「I’m throwing those words right back at you.」
A hateful voice resounded through air instead of through a communication channel. While the wind was blowing away the smoke and clearing up the air, a man with flapping black coat, white hair, and eye patch came into view.
On his left hand was a coffin shaped large shield that was as tall as him. On his back was a weapon that looked like the laser rifle of machine soldier, while his right hand was holding a large revolver.
G10 was floating beside him, while at the opposite side was something that shouldn’t be there――a spare body of Mother was standing there. Its internal condenser and CPU should be self-destructed already. There was no way G10 was able to remote control it. And yet it was standing over there.
「……Come to think of it, you made a summoning device using scrap materials didn’t you?」
Mother’s eye turned toward G10. Mother was also in the form of metal sphere right now. However, Mother’s body was a size bigger than G10. That body’s luster was also black with a presence that was in a different level from G10’s already tattered body.
However G10 didn’t show even the slightest timidity.
「……Indeed, Mother. Their type might be old but, throughout these two hundred years I had snatched one or two scrapped CPU. It’s not a big deal.」
「You petty thief. You should know your place. Even though you’re just remote controlling it, that frame is too good for the like of you.」
Mother spoke condescendingly in order to clear its irritation even if just for a little. In respond, G10 was going to crack jokes like what it learned from Hajime and Kouki――but before it could.
Netemp Mother made a pose for some reason. It put one hand on its hip, put its other hand over its eye while forming a horizontal peace sign, lifting up a single leg, and last it made a wink☆. It was a perfect posing like a certain most annoying lady in the world. Netemp Mother got punched by Hajime.
「……It looks like you have been heavily influenced by the otherworlders, G10.」
「Eh? Ah, y-yeah, looks like it.」
The voice of Mother was finally crossing the boiling point of its anger and turned monotone seeing its personal body getting used for such comedy.
On the contrary, G10’s voice was slightly shaken. However it wasn’t because someone was getting angry to it, but more because it received an unreasonable criticism, and yet it couldn’t claim that it was a misunderstanding even though it wanted to say it!
「……I admit. You all are a genius of making a fool of other. I never had my emotion in this much turmoil until now.」
「I’m honored. You don’t need to give us any applause, just let us listen to your death throes in exchange.」
「I have no intention of going along with your joke any further than this.」
The weapons on top of the tower all turned toward Hajime and co. Heaven soldiers were crawling up the tower. Heavy machine soldiers were also marching through the iron bridges that were connecting tower to towermidair corridors, while small fighters in the shape of trident were flying out from the fleet and starting to fly around at the surrounding.
Machine soldiers with flying ability were going up to the sky one after another and forming an encircling net. That sight was similar with that time when Hajime fought the apostles at the holy precinct in the past. It was an amazing number of enemy that the crowd of machine soldiers and fighter aircrafts were looking like a tornado if seen from outside.
In addition, clouds were suddenly starting to form at the sky. Pitch black dark clouds. No, they were lightning clouds.
Although the first hurdle was cleared by rushing to the bosom of the enemy to neutralize wide area destruction weapon from being used, the enemy’s force was still overwhelming.
There weren’t even five hundred meters in a straight line to reach the iron colored structure where Mother was. And yet, that distance felt endlessly far away.
「It seems you have managed to provoke the residences of Coltran but……it will be over soon over there.」
It seemed the battle at the Coltran side was already starting. What Mother meant by it would be over soon was that although they could still resist right now over there, it was only a problem of time.
Hajime turned his gaze toward the east just for a moment, but he immediately turned toward Mother once more.
「Yeah, it’ll be over soon.」
Crimson magic power burst up together with a fearless grin. It was the radiance of “Limit Break – Supreme”. Hajime put the Donner on his right hand back into its holster. In exchange he made his “treasure warehouse” shined.
Four Cross Velts appeared from thin air. However they were wired type that was directly controlled with magic power through cable.
At the same time, Netemp Mother’s hands moved toward the equipment on its back. It grabbed over its shoulders and unfastened the clasps. The weapon it took was two large sword. They had broad double-edged blade without any hand guard. For some reason it looked like it was swinging the sword in a good mood. From outsider’s perspective, its movement was terrifyingly sharp as though it was familiar with using two swords.
G10 also moved to behind the large shield Aidion. It extended a cable to fix itself near Hajime’s hand. After that it projected the hologram of battle support system in front of Hajime’s eye.
「Now, let’s begin already, this brief war!」
「No? What’s going to start here is just a curbstomp!」
The wind of strife that would decide the fate was blowing violently through the holy land.
Terrible firing lines were fired from the surrounding. The view was like a reverse playback of a bursting firework. The gun fires came from all direction, leaving no place to escape.
Before those could arrive, Hajime kicked on the ground so hard the floor under him was pulverized to jump away. Netemp Mother also followed behind him at almost the same time.
A beat later, the tower they were standing on just now was pulverized to small pieces pitifully. At the same time, an extremely violent barrage caught Hajime ahead of his path.
A loud yell welled up. An abnormally loud thunderous sound and impact were transmitted from the large shield Aidion that was held up at the front.
They were at midair. They almost got blown away by the impact, but Hajime activated “Air Force” for an instant by consuming ten times the normal required amount to endure and broke through the barrage.
As though to say Leave it to me, the shoulder of Hajime whose speed was reduced by the impact was used by Netemp as a stool and it flew forward like a cannon ball.
Right after that, a beautiful curve was drawn at the empty air. The first large sword bisected the cannon machine soldier at midair without even allowing it to react. Furthermore, Netemp immediately used the cannon machine shoulder it slashed as a stool and advanced further. It then diagonally bisected another machine soldier with its second large sword.
Netemp swung the twin large swords freely with a skill that wasn’t inferior at all to Kouki’s sword slash. It used the enemies it slashed as a stool or using the large swords’ centrifugal force to move to its next target.
The wall of machine soldiers that was on the way of Hajime and G10 was cut open one after another with a single slash for each enemy. A hole was opened in the encirclement net.
It was a midair dance that made it seemed like Netemp had wings on its back. The superb technique of twin swords was really similar with the “god’s apostle” as expected. Hajime watched the back of Netemp Mother who was cutting open the path with a conflicted gaze for an instant.
But, they were in the middle of an overkill encirclement. There wasn’t even a milisecond free time for him to relax.
G10 warned, at the same time the battle information it projected rang out the alert signal. The visualized trajectories prediction of one second ahead completely filled Hajime’s field of vision.
Even within the extended perception time using “Light Speed”, there was no leeway for him to make a choice of attack.
G10 immediately narrowed down the information and showed which attacks Hajime should let himself got hit with.
Hajime flipped midair while still holding Aidion. He slightly raised his altitude by using “Air Force” for an instant and reduced his speed at the same time. He blocked the predicted attacks that flew from behind.
He half unfolded Aidion while he was blown away toward a swarm of lasers.
Hajime gritted his teeth from the intense pain at his waist and foot that were grazed by the laser beams while destroying the trident shaped fighters that circled to his sides using Cross Velts’ exploding slug bullets. Without pausing Hajime blocked the railgun shot that G10 displayed using Aidion with an exquisite timing, twisting the bullet’s trajectory while his body was getting blown away further.
He was bounced around like a pinball, but G10’s support had unparalleled accuracy thanks to the advanced parts that were left behind at Coltran’s heaven. Using them G10 had recovered its tactical support ability though it would only last for several minutes.
With skillful calculation, Hajime was bounced closer toward the iron colored structure. He was falling toward a tower that he would use as a foothold.
Naturally the weapons on the rooftop of the tower fired laser bombardment, but Hajime blocked them with Aidion while destroying them without a pause.
Immediately after, a railgun bombardment from the neighboring tower and cannon fires from every direction that were fired by the cannon machine soldiers came flying. All of them were cut down by Netemp Mother that landed an instant behind Hajime.
The twin large swords were Hajime’s quality product. The thinness of their blade’s tip was at the level of a single molecule. Normally it would be inevitable for the sword to chip if it was used for blocking a cannon ball, but in front of Netemp Mother’s skillful sword play, it wasn’t any different from cutting paper scraps.
Even so, as expected from battling against enemies that were literally countless.
Netemp Mother was directly hit by a laser attack from a trident aircraft and a hole was opened on its shoulder. A cannon ball grazed it and fragments were scattered from its body like blood spray.
「Missiles!! From every direction! This is……please endure it!」
Hajime immediately lifted up Aidion and unfolded it to take a half spherical shape like a turtle shell. Netemp also swiftly slipped underneath it.
Right after that, a violent impact attacked. Even with Hajime’s inhuman strength that was currently increased until five times, destructive power that made him felt like his body was going to be torn apart was attacking without any pause.
「I won’t let any of you get closer. After all I don’t know what kind of trump card you otherworlder have.」
Even though it was humiliating, Mother took the safe approach. It didn’t try to do anything unnecessary like wanting to finish them off with its own hand. It was going to simply suppress them with overwhelming firepower.
Just as it proclaimed, the hole that was opened by Netemp after cutting through machine soldiers and fighter aircrafts was filled in the blink of eye. They could only see a glimpse of Mother through the gaps of enemies once more.
「In the end you are just a past AI that was once defeated. To show that human a bad move like stopping in place……that’s why your comrades died in vain in the past.」
The concentrated bombardment didn’t end. It was because it became easier to aim once Hajime and co stopped moving. Even lightning strike was finally also launched like a divine punishment. That destructive power was terrific even though Aidion had been given insulation treatment against electricity. Paired with the bombardment, Aidion was also gradually breaking.
But, it was the floor that was unable to endure first. The tower was crumbling. G10 immediately activated its floating ability and floated together with Aidion. Netemp also grabbed on Aidion. Hajime sensed that the machine soldiers at the ground were aiming at them. He gritted his teeth while unfolding Aidion to take a spherical shape.
Even with its deteriorated parts replaced with high quality parts, G10 was already at its limit. Its body was screaming from activating its floating ability to float the weight of a large shield and two people. Its body was starting to let out sparks ominously.
『Tsu, Hajime-sama, the sacred tree-……』
『Now then, it’s not like there is no feedback but-……as I thought, our distance with that “cage” is a problem-』
They were doing telepathic communication while being glued to each other so that Mother wouldn’t be able to detect it. Hajime’s voice sounded agonized, while G10’s voice was also starting to have heavy noises mixed in it.
「My energy is inexhaustible. You are free to endure there, but I won’t stop attacking until you die you know?」
It was an indirect proclamation of checkmate. Mother was urging them to stop making any pointless resistance any further.
「Hah, bring it on. Looks like this ain’t the time to save any insurance for going home.」
Hajime could cross to Tortus if he used around 80% of the remaining magic power stocked inside Elemagia. Double the magic power would be needed to cross other world than Tortus, but in the first place the magic power required for world travel was already in a different scale than from merely activating treasure warehouse.
Hajime had managed to keep the spending of magic power for summoning Aidion, the twin large swords, Cross velts, and “Limit Break” within 20%. To be honest he wanted to keep the rest as insurance for opening a gate in case he failed.
But, as expected reality wasn’t that kind. He couldn’t be stingy here. One had to always shoulder the risk in order to grasp success.
Yes, that was the case even if it was a risk that his ally potentially had.
Hajime moved only his eye to look at Netemp beside him. The inorganic eyes of Mother’s body silently stared back at him. Those eyes seemed to say “Please believe me”.
Hajime let out a small laugh.
「You’re your preparation. We’re going out together on my signal. After that it will be as we planned.」
Aidion already lost its outer layer that was made from Azanthium. Even the protective layer made from Shtar ore that had its endurance increased with magic power was getting cracked. Using space isolation barrier continuously would consume too much magic power and could only be used sparingly for an instant each time. It would be useless to lament about it but……
Just now a single attack from a laser cannon finally penetrated. It became the beginning where Aidion was breaking up moment by moment.
G10 yelled a warning. At the same time, a battleship had moved to a position where it could attack without damaging the holy land and fired its main cannon from the side.
The hologram showed that battleship’s front side splitting up and a gun turret with a caliber that couldn’t be joked about was jutting out from there. It was like the main cannon that was installed to a battleship at the World War 2, but seeing the sparking rails surrounding that turret, the power that could be imagined from it was nothing but a nightmare.
A cannon ball with caliber that was more than 40 cm flew out with electromagnetic acceleration.
Hajime activated “Light Speed” with maximum strengthening. He pulled G10 apart from Aidion and tilted Aidion to parry the approaching cannon shell up.
Hajime accomplished the miraculous feat although a groan leaked out unconsciously from his lips. Aidion was blown away by the impact, but he succeeded in diverting the trajectory of electromagnetically accelerated cannon of a battleship.
And then, without delay he activated the four point barrier of Cross Velts to form a solid barrier once more.
Activating space isolation was consuming magic power with incomparably terrific rate. The remaining magic power had gone down to 70%. G10’s floating ability became unstable, so Hajime also activated “Air Force” to brace himself. It accelerated the magic power consumption.
The continuous lightning flashes dyed the holy land white many times over. The unending gun fires and the roar of cannon fires continued to whip up the air.
It was unknown how long they would be able to endure this. Dozens of seconds, or several minutes?
「What’s wrong? How about you use the trump card that destroyed me at Coltran?」
There were around 400 meters remaining. The remaining magic power was 50%.
Mother talked to Hajime and co who were pinned down on the spot by the violence of number. There wasn’t the slightest carelessness in its voice.
Hajime vomited blood just from enduring the bombardment. All the wounds and exhaustion had been piling up in him without any time for him to recover satisfactorily. Furthermore he was also using “Limit Break – Supreme” in succession. His body was screaming in pain.
Perhaps it would be possible to eliminate them just like this……Mother was starting to think that within its calm mind.
Right after that.
G10 raised its voice. It wasn’t a voice that was oozing with agitation. It was a spirited voice that crushed any sense of resignation.
Hajime’s grin widened.
Mother’s eye glinted sharply and it braced itself. Perhaps he would finally fire that sunlight convergence laser cannon that boasted extraordinary destructive power……it thought.
But, its expectation was betrayed.
By a new trump card.
「Half of the remaining magic power. Take them and go――Neunte!」
Cross Velts widened the range of the barrier until the maximum limit their wires could stretch.
From the perspective of magic power, it was pointless to widen the barrier like this. But inside the barrier, a huge diamond shaped ore appeared. It had high transparency like a crystal. This ore was used to seal the existence inside it in preparation of the worst case, so that the unknown existence inside the arachnes wouldn’t transfer into it as they pleased.
It was the body that Kaori stole in the past. Most likely it was Netemp’s former body.
Yes, it was the flesh of “god’s apostle Neunte”, a battle doll that was created by a god.
The crystal broke apart. Mother’s body threw up the twin large swords over its head, at the same time it fell on the ground like a marionette with its strings severed.
Then, the peerlessly beautiful face broke into a smile and the closed eyes slowly opened. Both her hand moved smoothly and grabbed the thrown up twin large swords.
And then, they spread out. The beautiful but terrifying silver wings.
The upper part of Cross Velt’s barrier opened. The “god’s apostle” went out to right in the middle of the concentrated bombardment.
All those attacks became dust the moment they touched the silver light that was generated by the woman and dispersed.
「Wha-……you still have another card like that-」
Mother’s shock and irritation were condensed into its voice.
Neunte stepped forward and disintegrated every little bit of the concentrated bombardment. She turned to look back across her shoulder. A slight tension welled up inside Hajime.
Those eyes that were once like extremely inorganic glass spheres――
「Here I come!」
Were sparkling. In addition there was a wide happy grin on her lips.
「Master, please continue calling me Netemp. Because, I am Netemp-san.」
She even made such request while making some kind of cool pose from start to end.
Hajime smiled wryly while feeling a heavy fatigue suddenly rushing through him.
「Go to work already. You only got ten seconds!」
The silver wings flapped in the air. She swung her twin large swords to the sides and they were wrapped in silver light at the same time. Then she flew off with an amazing speed.
Hajime followed behind while carrying G10. Mother’s flustered voice resounded during that moment.
「Tsu, just what in the world that thing is-, how does that work!?」
「Tremble in fear~!」
She replied back with a tone that sounded like she was screwing around. She really wasn’t Neunte but Netemp-san. But, in contrast with her joking attitude, she brought a disaster to the enemies within her short ten seconds revival.
A silver bombardment mowed down the enemies. With just that everything on the line of fire made *Boba-* sound and returned to dust. Even with the machine soldiers and fighter aircrafts becoming a wall, they were bisected each time the twin large swords were swung. There were also silver slashes flying out from the swords in crescent shape, severing out all the enemies until the far distance.
Agitation could be felt from Mother. Liquid metals flowed out from the surrounding towers. They burst up like geyser and hardened right away to act as physical barrier.
「Master, this is the last. Please give me a reward later. Specifically I want a new body that has been improved to be overflowing with romance!」
「You have finally revived into that body though?」
「I can’t be Neunte! But master’s Netemp-san!」
「Ah, yeah. I guess.」
Hajime made a listless expression that wanted to say, Neunte, or rather, a “god’s apostle” isn’t this kind of joke!
Even while making such talk, Netemp charged while firing a disintegration bombardment. It gouged open a hole in the liquid metal wall. She also disintegrated the surrounding liquid metal that was undulating to crush them to death while advancing further forward and forward. She attempted to break through with her master Hajime behind her.
「Stop there-, stop-!!」
There was no way she could be stopped. Any wall was returned to dust in vain no matter how much its thickness was increased and they passed through.
There were 200 meters remaining until Mother.
Netemp gathered magic power for a moment, and then she unleashed her last disintegration magic power. A tunnel became particles and scattered everywhere. Hajime and others then flew outside once more. Mother was already within a stone’s throw away.
「You did well.」
「It’s an honor.」
Netemp replied so while her silver light died off. Her body silently fell toward the ground after using up all her power. It seemed what happened had scared Mother more than necessary. The falling Netemp was rained with more than necessary bombardment and her body was turned to tatter.
But, she had definitely accomplished her duty to deliver her master until the destination.
「Don’t get any closer than that-! Otherworlder-」
「Sorry, this is already my kill zone.」
The bombardment rained down once more. Hajime blocked them with four point barrier while opening only the front side. He then made his “treasure warehouse” shined brilliantly.
「Eat this to your heart’s content just as you wished.」
What appeared was the trump card that Mother dared Hajime to use――the sun convergence laser “Burst Hyperion”.
「Haha-, that won’t be enough at all, otherworlder!」
Mother’s words sounded uplifted as though it was convinced of victory. Hyperion fired its light as though to blow away that boast.
Immense heat was going straight toward Mother. There was no way it would be stopped no matter how many machine soldiers and fighter aircrafts getting in its way……
However, Mother unleashed a bluish white spark at that timing. Its own castle unfolded explosively. It was its last and strongest card――the huge iron colored building itself was starting to move.
It became a protective wall in front of the light of Hyperion. That mass was easily thousands of times of its body at Coltran. No matter how much of its body was melted, liquid metals kept flowing endlessly and hardened to layer even more iron wall.
「――Release second and third compression furnace!!」
「My castle won’t break with just that much-」
Even thicker and hotter beam crashed at the castle. The amount of the flowing liquid metal was increasing even faster.
「Release fourth until sixth compression furnace-」
「Fall already-, otherworlder!」
The bombardment from behind Hajime was increasing in intensity. His remaining magic power fell below 20% and one of the Cross Velts finally fell. It became impossible to deploy a three dimensional barrier. Hajime somehow managed to maintain a triangle shaped space isolation barrier, but he couldn’t block the attack that came from other directions than his back like that.
「How long are you going to continue-, you damn monster-」
Although Hajme at least avoided fatal wound using defensive skill “Vajra”, blood sprayed out from Hajime’s body to his surrounding. His wounds increased even more because he was holding G10 close to his chest to protect it.
「Hajime-sama! We arrived at the “sacred tree’s cage”-」
Hajime grabbed the rifle on his back at the same time with G10’s signal.
「I suggest you block this with everything you get!!」
Hajime fired the rifle with one hand. A weak sound *bashu-* rang out from it. The rifle used compressed air to fire its load. It wasn’t anything like bullet, and the direction was also to above where the light and wall was clashing.
「What are you――」
「Look up at the sun.」
The small gem glittered. That was the remnant of “Burst Hyperion” that was used until the third compression furnace at the battle in Coltran.
Yes, it was the “specialized treasure warehouse” that was containing sunlight energy that was the core of Hyperion. When it was broken and liberated the heat it contained, it was like the materialization of sun.
――Converged sunlight bomb Roze Helios
There were three of them scattering scorching heat indiscriminately. They exploded above Mother’s head.
Sound vanished. The holy land under the thunder clouds was dyed with the color of afternoon. The surrounding towers were collapsing in fanning out shape. The machine soldiers and fighter aircrafts were blown away.
The liquid metals spread out like an umbrella. In front of the beam from the front and the threat from above, Mother devoted itself wholly to defense in desperation just like Hajime said.
In exchange, the sacred tree came into view.
It was because the building that was made from liquid metal to surround the sacred tree by many layers had to be wholly deployed in order to defend against the attacking heat wave.
The sacred tree was withered. It was always withered like this, however it was somewhat different from the great tree Ua Alto that wasn’t decaying by any means. If it had to be explained, the tree in this world was like a slave that had been forced into hard labor continuously without being allowed to die.
「Endured-, I endured it-, you otherworlder monster!!」
The sunlight that painted out the holy land was starting to weaken rapidly. Both Burst Hyperion and Roze Helios had liberated all the heat they contained.
And, right after that,
The barrier of Cross Velts finally vanished. Hajime had run out of magic power. In such state, there was only the “Vajra” protecting Hajime now.
Hajime was unable to neutralize the impact and the cannon ball that hit his back caused a raw sound of bones breaking to resound. Hajime didn’t even have any time to listen to that with his body getting blown away and spinning through the air.
And then he passed right beside Mother. His body crashed on the trunk of the sacred tree that looked like a wall if seen from nearby. After that his body fell on a root below.
「Tsu, good grief, I was hoping that this would be over already with just that but……well, as expected, it’s impossible huh.」
Hajime smiled bitterly and leaned on the sacred tree’s trunk. His remaining magic power was only the magic power within his body right now. Even that amount was only 80% of the normal amount. With such amount, the best he could do was only to struggle uselessly.
「Hajime-sama, you are really an preposterous person. Among all the people I know, there is no one who is as strong as you. I’m honored to be able to fight at your side.」
「Don’t talk like it’s over already.」
G10 was still protected on his chest even after he was blown away like that. Hajime shrugged at its words.
Another voice came at that timing.
「This time is really the end for real. I won’t hand over my paradise to anyone.」
A giant made from liquid metal was standing before him without any sound. There was a hole on its head. Mother was looking down on Hajime and G10 from there.
The iron colored giant lifted up its fist. That fist was the size of a building. Right now it became the hammer of god toward the cornered pair,
「For the sake of my peace――disappear.」
And it was swung down.
Meanwhile around the same time, Coltran was at the brink of destruction.
The large army of heaven soldier looked like a muddy stream. Although the defenders managed to hold them back with extremely thick barrage at the beginning, it only lasted for thirty minutes.
The moment the large army of heaven soldiers split to north and south and attacked. The lack of commanders and the underworlders’ lack of training came to the forefront.
The collapse came quickly when the heaven soldiers managed to enter inside the wall.
『Jasper-! How’s over there!?』
『There are enemies as far as I can see, fuck!』
Kouki faced the heaven soldier’s main force at the west side while sending communication transmission. Jasper screamed a curse while intercepting the enemy at the defensive encampment at the rear after failing to retreat.
Their side might be annihilated in less than ten minutes if they were hit with a pincer attack. Therefore the majority of the upperworlders that were precious battle strength were positioned at Jasper’s side, even so,
『……Ten minutes. Ten more minutes is our limit.』
According to Jasper, that was the time limit until their downfall.
『Got it. When that time come, I’ll go in a rampage as much as I can. Use that chance to evacuate as many people as you can to underground or the upperworld.』
The last defensive encampments were set up at each shelter. But it was unknown how long they would be able to resist from there or even whether they would be able to reach it.
『……Roger. But, you too, don’t you dare die at this kind of place. Etemp-san is going to pick you up if push come to shove right? Protect Mindy and the others up there for me.』
『I know that, too.』
Even while making this talk, Kouki was cutting down all teh heaven soldiers that were crawling up above the wall and struck them down to the outside.
But, he was also gradually getting cornered. Even with the holy sword’s lengthening ability, the range that a single human could cover was limited.
The voices of people getting killed were audible even now. It felt like even his heart was getting killed.
「Kouki-san! The third squad is annihilate――gueh」
A young man who came to report had his throat pierced by a spear of liquid metal that elongated from below. His corpse was then thrown and fell outside the wall.
The corpse was swallowed by the swarm of heaven soldiers. Blood and body parts were scattered like nightmare.
「No good, they’re coming up-! We can’t stop them!!」
A voice that was dyed in despair resounded from above the protective wall dozens of meters ahead.
「I won’t let you――”Soaring Flash”-」
He felt a large chunk of his magic power consumed. As compensation, the shining sword flash bisected a heaven soldier that was leaping up on the wall right at that moment.
Kouki was finally starting to breath hard with heaving shoulders.
But, at that time, a terrific thunderous roar explosively shook his eardrums.
「Those bastards, they self-exploded!」
「Aaa, the wall is collapsing……」
The wall was certainly crumbling at 100 meter ahead at the south.
They were barely able to hold back the enemy’s invasion only thanks to the wall. It was clear what would happen if a hole was opened in it.
The defensive net was finally broken.
Despair was running rampant.
People dropped their guns and fell on their butt.
That was why,
「YOU AREN’T GOING TO PASSSS――――!!」
The eyes of the people around him opened wide. Kouki jumped down toward the crumbling wall, toward the ground that looked like a sea of heaven soldiers with how many there were. It was a reckless action that made many suspected he was committing suicide.
Of course, it wasn’t a suicide. The shining holy sword in great sword mode that was held above Kouki’s head struck at the ground in front of the crumbling wall.
A destructive power that was unthinkable coming from a human blew away all the heaven soldiers that were going to flood in.
A crater as though it was the center of an explosion was created there. Kouki turned his back toward the people who were watching with their eyes opened like saucer due to shock.
The holy sword predicted its holder’s will instantly and changed into katana mode. Almost at the same time, it was drawn out with iai sword drawing and its length extended.
Several hundred heaven soldiers that were rushing to Kouki’s position. All of them within the fan shaped range had a single line carved into their body.
Because they could revive as long as their core wasn’t destroyed, only 20% could be destroyed. However, the attack stopped their advance.
「I’ll take care of this place-. I won’t let a single one pass me!! That’s why――!」
――Don’t give up-!!
『Don’t give up-!!』
Even though no megaphone was used, that roar spread through the battlefield clearly. It wasn’t just Kouki’s voice. It was also Jasper’s voice that was broadcasted using a megaphone.
『Survive even just for a second longer! Protect your comrades even just for an instant longer! Mother is fighitng! Our victory is not far away!! Fight-!! For the sake of tomorrow!! Now- Fight!!』
The people who were in the brink of despair, whether they were upperworlder or underworlder, all of them mustered their courage once more. They roared and continued to pull their gun’s trigger.
Kouki let out 「Good grief……」 with a wry smile. He felt like Jasper’s courageous encouragement was sharing energy to even him.
「Come, you starfish imitations. I’m just a bit strong you know-!!」
*Rin, rin* each time the beautiful timbre resounded, heaven soldiers were cut and turned into mere liquid. The innumerable iron colored liquid was coloring the ground like blood.
Before he knew it, there was only tranquility residing inside Kouki’s eyes.
Just like what he did at the desert world, he was simply persisting in safeguarding the people behind him with a heart that was free from obstructive thoughts. Ultimate slashes that no one could perceive were cutting down heaven soldiers systematically.
But, it didn’t change the fact that the defense above the wall became thinner with Kouki gone from there. One by one heaven soldiers were climbing over the wall. Each time their number increased, the number of screams resounding from behind the wall was increasing.
And then, finally,
『Report! They broke through!! Everyone, retreat!! Run to the shelter!』
Jasper’s voice came from both the communication channel and the megaphone. The defensive encampment at the rear was finally crumbling.
And then, an aircraft came from the sky. Etemp sensed that it was already the limit and came to pick up Kouki. Even without landing, if it was Kouki――if it was just Kouki, he would be able to jump and board the plane.
Just as they talked before, he should withdraw from here at this time in order to protect the people at heaven.
Even though Kouki heard Etemp’s urging voice, his body wouldn’t kick on the ground.
Because there were people fighting behind him with face that looked like they would cry.
An instant of hesitation. An iron colored spear attacked in order to make Kouki pay such thing that was an unforgivable sin in battlefield. Although he instantly twisted away, his shoulder was pierced and he was held in place at the wall.
Although he immediately cut the metal with the holy sword and got his feet back on the ground, teh heaven soldiers made use of the opening and passed through beside Kouki and broke through into behind the wall.
「Again, once again I’m not strong enough-」
His face distorted. Blood flowed from his body and also from his heart while he continued to cut the heaven soldiers before his eyes.
The upperworlders who were on board of Etemp’s plane were giving support fire from the sky. He could jump to the plane right now.
He had to jump. In order to protect the refugees at the heaven, he should abandon the warriors at this place.
Because he was unable to protect everyone.
He understood that. From the start he had understood.
He cursed once more.
He used his logic to pin down his helpless rage toward himself.
He saw it.
A beat later, the heaven soldiers stopped moving. They stood still as though in bewilderment.
The people were staring at the ground in confusion.
A laugh leaked out from Kouki’s mouth.
「That’s right. That’s right, You have, never messed up. As annoying as that is.」
He fixed his grip on the holy sword. He felt something on his skin, his instinct was telling him something, and then lines of light gathered to a single spot like cracks on the ground. Kouki looked up to the sacred mountain Coltran that was starting to shine and yelled.
「I refuse all hostility and malice-. Grant absolute protection to the children of god! Here is the consecrated ground where god’s enemy shall not pass――”Sacred Severance”-!!」
A shining light spread out in dome shape. It washed away the heaven soldiers like a high wave, however those who should be protected weren’t affected and got enveloped inside the absolute protection.
The barrier――didn’t disperse. Coltran was sending out light from its summit as though to display the reason why it was the sacred mountain. It was as though it had started breathing just now.
In front of the miraculous scene, the people of Coltran were unable to close their gaping wide open mouths.
With them behind him, Kouki stepped toward the large army.
「O will of god, destroy all evils. O breath of god, blow away all dark clouds and fill this world with holy purifying. O benevolence of god! Forgive all sins with this single attack――」
The holy sword returned into its original western sword mode. Kouki thrust it toward the sky and said Let’s go with a fearless grin. His words of power surged throughout the world.
「――”Divine Might – Light Dragon Maximum”!!」
Coltran looked small. The bursting up pure white light was gradually taking shape and a huge dragon like in myth appeared in this SF world.
「I won’t let even a single more person die. ――Are you prepared?」
The hero’s heart that was furious toward the irrationality of the world manifested.
The light of destruction converged in the opened jaw of the gigantic light dragon. Now, it swallowed the large army.
「What did, what did you do……」
Mother’s voice that was filled with confusion resounded through the holy land.
The arm of the iron giant was stabbed into the root of the sacred tree. No, it was kept back just before it could hit the root.
「……It seems, it gave me a little help. Me meddling is a different matter though.」
Yes, several――roots of the sacred tree had broken through the ground to protect Hajime.
「How, how can something like this! What did you do!? That thing……what in the world is that thing!?」
The giant’s arm was pulled.
The extremely thick roots of the sacred tree were torn off. A lot of metal were coiling around it. It seemed that the metals of the underground facility were also getting torn off. At the other side of the roots, a faint light could be seen.
Inside Hajime’s grasp was a beautiful orb. Inside the orb, a very, very small tree was standing.
「The orb of Lutria.」
「Can you get the picture if I said that it’s a sacred tree of another world? You see, that tree has a will. This Lutria is the sacred tree――no, the personification of the world. I received this thing from her.」
A tree with a will of its own at other world. Mother’s eye flickered in agitation when it heard that.
「You don’t know, right? There are countless worlds, and most likely every world has a sacred tree of their own. The worlds are connected with this thing as the center.」
Hajime started thinking like that since that time when he got transported to hell. He hallucinated a great tree towering high at the mysterious clearing existing deep inside a forest at Britain. It made Hajime harbored a quess, that perhaps a great tree existed in all worlds and the worlds were fundamentally connected?
「I didn’t really have any way to make use of it when I first received it. I also didn’t have an artifact to convert electricity to magic power, so I’m still unable to go to the world of the star tree to make sure.」
He also became unable to go to that sky world that he and Tio wandered into. The cave wasn’t connected to that world anymore. He was also unable to go by himself to that world to check due to magic power problem.
What he was able to confirm was that a great tree also existed in hell in the past. Though according to the people inside the demon rangers, that tree seemed to have decayed already and there wasn’t any trace of it anymore.
Amidst that, Hajime wondered if there might be some kind of clue and investigated the great tree Ua Alto when going to Tortus before the voyage this time but……the “orb of Lutria” showed a reaction there. No, to be more accurate, it was resonating. The great tree Ua Alto was also showing a reaction.
「It seems that this thing is also some kind of permit, a proof of someone who is recognized by the great tree. I can interfere with the great tree itself to some degree with this.」
For example, like when the “Liberators” created a great dungeon at the inside of the great tree Ua Alto.
It could make the branches and leaves growing, make the roots protruding out, or――
「Creating a hollow inside the tree to form a path that lead directly to the deepest part, see?」
「Tsu!? Don’t tell me-!?」
Hajime ignored the situation and spoke unusually attentively to the listener to give a thorough explanation. But a demonic and atrocious smile was formed on his lips.
「The Element Arrangement Equal Conversion System. In other words the sacred tree. I have also finished analyzing the data G10 snatched but, from its structure and scale, it has it right? At the deepest part of the sacred tree.」
Right after that,
『Nagumo!!! The upload is finished! It’s a success! Do it-!!』
「Tsu, that man!!」
A voice resounded from an open channel. It was the voice of the natural owner of paranormal ability who would fall off from everyone’s awareness even when they tried to be cautious toward him, the man who should be called the right hand of the demon king――Endou Kousuke.
「It’s time to pull down the curtain.」
The withered sacred tree flashed brightly as though it was exploding.
Yes, it was shining with crimson light that was even more vivid than the sunset.
A radiance of violent crimson rushed through the trunk like blood flowing through the blood vessels. The radiance rushed until the very tips of its branches as though the sacred tree itself was dyed crimson.
And then, light burst out like volcanic eruption to pierce the sky.
Light also burst out at the surrounding with the sacred tree at the center. A crimson spiral connected the sky and earth like a tornado.
Within the torrent of light, Hajime carried G10 in his arm and lightly kicked on the ground. Several ripples were spreading out and he rose until the same altitude with Mother easily.
Hajime stepped on the air without any difficulty and faced Mother with the shining sacred tree behind him. A voice of uneasiness and hatred surged out from Mother.
「It’s only a cracking of this level-. A mere junk of ancient past dare to-」
「Hajime-sama, hurry! Even with the virus and me, sixty seconds are the limit until it’s restored!」
It was obvious that the “Element Arrangement Equal Conversion System” located at the deepest part of the sacred tree was invaded. Mother guessed that the conversion destination of Star Energy was changed based on the magic power data of Hajime that it created when manufacturing the summoning device at Coltran.
It was an invasion method to the deepest part of the sacred tree that it never expected at all. And then there was also the impossible situation where the intruder slipped through the security robots and inserted a data chip into the console. Originally such feat should be impossible.
Even so, Mother was the AI who once grasped victory after fighting a lot of AI singlehandedly. There was a world of difference between its specs and G10’s specs.
It could still recover from this. It wouldn’t even take 60 seconds. It would take back the control instantly and made all of its enemies fell into a hopeless situation once more! It increased its own processing power to the limit.
At the same time, it ordered for an all out attack to Haijme so that he wouldn’t be able to do anything. It didn’t even care if the attack would also damage the sacred tree.
But, before it could.
「I don’t even need 60 seconds.」
An unexpected reply came to it.
Hajime lifted his hand. The jewel on his ring emitted light explosively.
Right after that.
「Now, let’s begin the curbstomp.」
Crimson surges spread out. Over and over again. The surges were even accompanied with physical impact. Mother’s liquid metal giant, the machine soldiers gathered behind it, the fighter aircrafts, the fleet, every single one of them was blown away to the back together.
「Kuh, something of this level……」
There was no damage although they had been pushed back. But, Mother turned speechless at the next instant seeing the sight that entered its eye.
It couldn’t be helped. After all what happened just now wasn’t an attack but merely an after-effect. It was the after-effect from the demon king summoning his army.
The funeral procession of black and crimson crosses “Cross Velt”――3000 of them.
A weapon that looked like a giant cross due to the wings attached at both its sides, containing 500 pencil missiles & 500 rockets where every single one of them possessed the destructive power that rivaled a cruise missile due to the compressed burning stone and magic power shockwave inside them――the missile & rocket launcher “Agni Orkan”.
Electromagnetically accelerated gatling cannon with six gun barrels where each barrel was a six barreled gatling gun, “Metzelei Disaster”.
Electronically accelerated 88 mm anti material sniper canon that was specialized for penetration――”Schlagen AA”.
Electromagnetically accelerated gatling pile bunker that fired super heavy and super hard giant pile――with new invention of compressed burning stone stuffed into the pile bunker――to pierce the target and then exploding inside, the electromagnetic acceleration Gatling Bunker Buster.
The mechanized death gods who were equipped with those weapons. The army of monsters with repulsive but beautiful appearance of multiple animals being combined into one――the Grim Reapers, 3000 of them.
And then to make doubly sure, the sunlight convergence laser “Burst Hyperion”――seven of them were floating around Hajime.
Mass production of trump card and overwhelming quantity battle using superweapons. This was truly the demon king’s domainOne Man Army.
Hajime’s lips split to form a crescent shape.
「Mother. For the sake of my peace――disappear.」
Right after that, violent destructions were unleashed from both camps.
But, it only looked like the battle was even at the first attack.
Seven beams of scorching lights that were brought about by Hyperions. Mother was forced to devote the giant’s whole power into defense just to deal with this. 1500 missiles and rockets per second didn’t allow anything to approach near. All the attacks from the enemy’s side were completely blocked by a multifaceted space isolation barrier that had a shape like a regular icosahedrons. This barrier was formed by the Cross Velts and also defended the sacred tree.
And then the simultaneous attack from the Cross Velts, gatling, pile, and 88 mm cannon that smashed apart the enemies one after another. If the Grim Reaper also joined in……
Mother’s army was starting to crumble before it could even say ‘ah’.
The heaven soldiers or the other machine soldiers or even the battleships were unable to resist the death gods. Their mobility, tactic, and the equipped firearm’s destructive power were overwhelmingly different.
After all the Grim Reapers were filled with genuine demons. Then they were handed the superweapons of the demon king. This was even worse than giving a metal rod to an ogre. (TN: A saying in Japan, which means making something strong even stronger)
In addition, the number was increasing even now. The demon king’s ring that was continuing to shine was continuously summoning an army of Grim Reaper from empty air like a flood. Although there were Grim Reapers that were struck down by the lightning strike from the clouds, it was just like a drop in a bucket.
It couldn’t be helped with how many demons were looking for employment from Hajime. The army of Grim Reapers that were originally only numbered in a thousand responded to the job request and increased until 5000. Yes, it couldn’t be helped! He was the demon king after all!
「You’re unexpectedly persistent. I’m impressed. ――But, die.」
「You-, damn monster-」
The positions of both sides were completely changed. The eye of Hajime who was lording over the battlefield with the sacred tree that was clad in crimson light behind him looked exactly like Mother’s eyes toward Hajime and others when they fought at Coltran.
Mother’s thought were thrown into complete chaos due to the unbearable disgrace. It unconsciously repeated something like this is impossible over and over in its mind, but the present situation was cornering it without giving any leeway for excuse. It was beyond doubt that Mother was unable to overcome this danger!
It gathered liquid metal from all over the holy land. It disassembled the towers and weapons and absorbed even the heaven soldier army. It was an amount that beggared the imagination, like looking at an ocean.
However, in front of the seven Burst Hyperions that continued to sweep down everything without pause, Mother wasn’t permitted any leeway to counterattack and had its hands full with just protecting itself. Liquid metals were turned into scorching magma that completely covered the ground.
Its attacks were blocked by space isolation barrier. Its machine soldier army, fighter aircrafts, weapons at the towers, all of them were changed into scraps by the Grim Reapers’ outrageousness and their high spirit that seemed to yell 「It’s the first summon of the whole army! HYAHAA――!!」.
Even the fleet that was its hope had wind holes opened in them and then exploded to pieces by the Grim Reapers who were equipped with electromagnetic acceleration Gatling Bunker Buster. And unbelievably, the flagship was bombarding its allies at the end.
It seemed the shell that was fired at the flagship during the cargo plane’s kamikaze attack was the special shell, Squirm Shell. In other words, the inside of the flagship was now swarmed by numerous metal small spiders. Apparently the managed to take control of the ship.
「But, with just a little bit more-」
It could take back the Element Arrangement Equal Conversion System. If it managed that, the crimson energy that was bursting up even now would immediately dry up. Conversely it would be able to launch a large scale destructive attack if it resigned itself for the holy land to be greatly damaged. There was still a chance for it to turn the table……
But there, something unexpected for both Hajime and Mother happened.
「Ah? This is……」
「What in the world……」
「Hajime-sama, the unconverted energy is getting discharged with tremendous force! No, this is, the energy is being absorbed? This is completely an intervention from outside the system!!」
G10 was smoking because of its electronic warfare with Mother that it did with the preparedness to die. It raised its voice with bewilderment and agitation.
It couldn’t be helped.