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Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 386

Chapter 386

Arifureta After IV Demon King & Hero Arc Sequel⑤ Explanation Chapter First ~An Extremely Strange Voice Can be Heard~

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AN: This is an explanation chapter. There is no excitement or anything in it but, this is for ending the story and also to lay the groundwork for next story, so I’ll be happy if you readers can go along with it.

It was hard to say whether it was as expected or it was shocking, but after the gate opening scene was burned into their eyes, Hajime and others walked through a narrow tunnel.

Blau Niebel was in front of them showing the way.

She was walking like a model on catwalk.

Her hips were swaying left and right excessively. Her butt that looked harder than even steel was shaking. Her blasphemous outfit that looked like swimsuit was completely digging into the creek at the middle of her butt. Her small wings that were flapping noisily made them wanted to tear them off.

「S-say……everyone, why are you walking while closing your eyes like that kofuu?」

Aularodde asked with a voice that was filled with bewilderment. Hajime, Kouki, and Kousuke answered her with a beautiful harmony.

「「「Training.」」」

「I, I see.」

As expected from them, they were walking without trouble despite closing their eyes, but……

Aularodde thought. Perhaps they are still halfway in their training? Because, the three of them would sometimes open their eyes and made an expression of suffering before they closed their eyes once more right away. Such thing had been repeating all this time.

「Hah!? Crap. I just noticed……could it be, what is waiting for us from here on isn’t the fairy town but a muscle hell instead?」

「「!?」」

Because of the muscle fairy priestess’s impact, they moved along the flow and headed toward the city of fairy without thinking, but if the place they arrived to was a city of muscle faires only……

Kouki and Kousuke’s legs stopped. Of course, Hajime also stopped. It was as though they collided on an unseen wall in front of them. Etemp & Netemp were going 「Ou, walk quickly」 while urging them.

「Curiosity will destroy yourself……kuh, it’s exactly as you say goddess.」

「I’m happy that you understand now, but for some reason I can’t really accept it kofuuh」

Aularodde made a conflicted expression. Blau Niebel took her place to talk and turned around lithely. The motion of her waist was truly coquettish.

「Oh noes. There is no way it’s like that. The appearance of fairies is extremely varied and wide-ranging. Chubbiness like mine only appear among us Niebel Clan. It’s really embarrassing wan.」

「So you plan to insist that you’re just “chubby” till the end huh……」

Hajime stared scornfully. Blau Niebel winked back at him. The wink of her eyes made *bachikon* sound. Hajime’s consciousness almost flew away.

「Actually most fairies are born from the wish of the apparitions and the apparition gods kofuuh. They are also influenced by the size of the apparitions that became their base kofuuh, even their shape and lifespan are really varied kofuuh.」

Hajime felt relieved by Aularodde’s explanation, but then he suddenly had a question.

「Now that you mention it, goddess.」

「Kofu?」

「You said that god apparitions also exist, but in case they came from legend that really exist, does that means there will be two of the same gods existing?」

For example, the hell’s demon. Kousuke also went 「Now that you mention it you’re right……」 and nodded.

「There are cases where it’s like that, but there are also cases where it’s not like that kofuuh」

「What do you mean?」

「The existences that are born in this world is depending on the influx of conception. But, in case the legend isn’t just mere legend but really exist kofuuh, the conception will naturally be directed toward the actual existence kofuuh.」

「……I see. So what the heaven tree is drawing toward itself in the end is only the floating conception that has nowhere to go.」

Hajime endured the impulse of wanting to tear off that mask right away while asking 「And in case that both the legend and the god apparition here exist?」.

「If it’s a conception that a lot of people have kofuuh, a surplus will be produced no matter what. Kofuh. That surplus will flow to this world and most of the time it will be mixed with a legend of other worlds and born in such form kofuuh」

「Hey, how about you take off the mask first while we are still in this tunnel?」

Aularodde shook her head in extreme refusal and swiftly ran to Kouki’s side. Kouki smiled wryly at such goddess while opening his mouth saying 「Could it be」.

「Hey, Nagumo. If I remember right, Ehito was changing people’s faith into his strength wasn’t he? Could it be, he was interfering with this conception?」

「Aa, that’s possible. In fact, I don’t know whether that Ehito understood the difference between conception and thought element……」

「Wait a second, Nagumo, Amanogawa. ……Ehito, won’t he revive in this world? He is already gone after all, and the world thinks that it was the “evil Ehito” who was killed at the decisive battle right? People there still believe in the “good Ehito” right now.」

「No, the conception from Tortus won’t flow here with Ua Alto in a dry state like that.」

「Ah, I see. ……In that case it was a really good job by the liberators then?」

Aularodde tilted her head at the conversation between the three and,

「The influx of conception is an upsurge kofuuh, even if that person called “Ehito” obtained life in this world, his personality won’t be the same with the one that you know kofuuh」

Aularodde also added that it was also the same with the case if the legend was real that they talked just now.

In short, the existence here would be a different person with only similar skill and appearance. Everyone understood that explanation. Kouki turned a respectful gaze toward Aularodde, but then his gaze immediately became filled with disappointment next seeing the suspicious person going ‘kofukofuh’ there.

「But Aularodde is really amazing when you got serious. You managed to seal those god apparitions and divine beasts by yourself.」

「Hero-sama, it’s not that I’m outrageously strong. It’s more that I’m in an absolutely advantageous position in this world, that was why such feat was kofuh possible. Zee zee.」

「,,,,,,Aula. Shouldn’t you take off your mask if your breathing is painful? Now you can’t even finish talking before going kofuh.」

「I’m fine, hero-sama hyuh, kofuh. Rather, being like this feel calming for some reason kofuuh」

That in itself was problematic……while everyone was thinking that, the talk continued. According to Aularodde, the existences in this world were all formed from thought element. As the avatar of the heaven tree, Aularodde was able to interfere with that thought element.

She was free to annihilate or give birth with a single finger flick――that was something that she couldn’t do, but even if she was facing a god apparition that was the supreme god or war god or a being that called themselves evil god or great demon in other worlds, as long as they were a life of this world, she was able to chip off a substantial amount of their strength when facing them.

That was the reason why she was the goddess of this world――the supreme deity here.

「Well, even so I used up the majority of my strength to seal the children who were born from the mythologies of other worlds, so in the end, I ended up gobu in this state……fuuh fuuh」

Aularodde hung her head down with ‘kofuu~’ self-depreciatingly. Blau Niebel couldn’t endure it anymore and raised her voice roughly. Her muscles were bloating up. No, her self-proclaimed fats were hardening.

「Goddess-sama, please don’t degrade yourself! Niebel clan all know it wan! The story has been passed down for generations!」

「Uh, Blau Niebel, lower your voice a little……」

「Five thousand years ago, the situation was already beyond help when the previous goddess chose Aularodde-sama right!? The previous goddess just left it all to Aularodde-sama!」

「N-no. Because of my compatibility with the heaven tree kofuhfu, there was only me who was able to suppress the mythological existences altogether. The previous goddess didn’t just leave it all to me……」

Although she said that, it was a fact that when she succeeded the position of goddess, the situation was already in a checkmate where the best that could be done was only delaying the demise of the world.

In actuality, the goddess was chosen from among the fairies who had high affinity with the heaven tree. If the senior goddess didn’t follow the term of office as stipulated in the rule and yielded the position to Aularodde a bit earlier……Aularodde couldn’t deny that such thought sometimes crossed her mind.

Furthermore, the senior goddess then returned to being a normal fairy and casually became a housewife that lived a fulfilling life……

No, at that time with that situation there was nothing that could be done except handing the baton to Aularodde, and the predecessor who had lost her goddess power became unable to do anything, but……

She ended up working non-stop for 5000 years……

That woman married and built a warm family……

「Fuck it……」

「Aula!?」

Currently Aularodde had a little bit of leeway due to the successful hero summoning. Her feeling of these 5000 years welled up and tumbled out in the form of words. The dark side was whispering to Aularodde……come over hereee.

Kouki tried to change the topic in panic.

「C-come to think of it, you mentioned that the apparitions lost their sanity and they are being influenced by their legend but, there are also cases where legend is something “good” that protect people isn’t it? Aren’t there any of them who helped Aularodde……」

「When they became crazy, their first desire kofuuh, is dominated with nothing but securing conception that is their life source. They aren’t sane, so even if their legend is “good” gobugobuuh, they won’t rationally become my ally gofuhfuuh」

And yet it was troublesome that in their insanity their way of fighting was approaching their legend instead, Aularodde said while lifting up her mask with her finger for just a tiny bit. The fresh air was delish.

I see……while everyone was understanding the explanation, the end of the tunnel came into view at that timing. There wasn’t any door, they could see bright light――

「Oo……」

「It’s beautiful……」

「It’s a world of difference from the wasteland outside……this is truly the fairy city.」

What first entered their eye was a huge tree. That tree looked completely like the heaven tree that was scaled down. It was located at the center of a vast space.

Its branches and leaves were lush and abundant. Water was overflowing from its trunk, creating a waterfall. The flowing out water created a spring on the ground, and from there several branches of rivers were flowing through flowers and trees.

And then there were wooden houses of various sizes and hollows in the trees that were used as residence crowding the area. The inside of the heaven tree had a shape like steps. The steps from above till the bottom also had houses set up on them.

There wasn’t any dimness here. The big tree at the center and a part of the inner wall were scattering particles that were wrapped in light. This place was like inside a forest that had several spots where sunlight filtered through trees.

A sight that should really be called as a city of water and greenery was spreading out before them.

「I see. There really are various fairies.」

Hajime narrowed his eyes and muttered in relieve.

Ahead of his gaze, there were people flying around in the sky while scattering faint phosphorescence and people walking around on the ground.

There were fairies that naturally looked like bird, then dog and cat, even those that looked like animal like lion or bear, those with slender humanoid form like elf, a palm sized dwarf. Existences that looked like moss ball, sphere of light, or like water that was extremely transparent. There were also those that looked like fishes or even cotton candy.

There were those who had half transparent wings, and also those who didn’t.

It was a fantasy sight that moved their heart. ……It made Niebel’s clan even more bizarre and stand out even more.

But……

「……The city has become really quiet gobuh」

Aularodde whispered with a depressed look (her face was covered because she dressed like a suspicious person, so this was just a guess though).

Certainly, it was a city that was wrapped in silent mood. It was hard to claim that there was vitality in the city. But it wasn’t that the atmosphere was dark or that no one here lacked vigor.

But, yes, if it had to be put into words……

「They feel like old men who has sensed their death approaching……」

It was just as Kouki said.

The fairy city, the people who lived there, they were simply wrapped in melancholic resignation and calmness.

「……I don’t know when did it start. Someone said it pyon. The goddess has to continue to fight because we exist. But, if we commit suicide we will only sadden her needlessly, so if we can’t do anything, at the very least we should perish gently and calmly without raising any more new life.」

「Tsu, that……that isn’t what I wish for-」

「Yes, I understand. But goddess-sama, to be useless for someone who you like, to be able to do nothing except watching……it’s even more painful than what you can imagine pyon.」

「……」

And when that continued for as long as several millennium, their heart almost broke.

In the middle of that, someone suddenly spoke that proposition. No one spoke their agreement loudly because they knew just how hard Aularodde was working, but they all shared that opinion tacitly.

As the result there was no new fairy that was born within this one thousand years. Now only the races with particularly long lifespan remained.

Aularodde clenched her fist and looked down. She regretted too late for getting scared and refused interacting with teh fairies until now.

「……There isn’t anyone who is really at fault here. Everyone is just too tired.」

「Hero-sama……」

Surely it was just as Kouki said. Even though they had lifespan that far surpassed human, surely this world, and also the people living in it, and even the goddess too were all too tired.

「Blau Niebel-san, please show us the way to your house. We have to quickly talk and take action.」

「Ufuh, understood pyon! Also, please call me Blau-tan!」

*Bachikon* A wink that was even more brutal than a railgun flew at Kouki. The hero’s eyes, they turned white for a moment.

Kousuke helped Kouki stood on his feet and they followed behind Blau Niebel before they finally arrived to a wooden house that was located near the summit of the fairy city.

「I’ll prepare the tea and snacks now wan. Please sit anywhere you like.」

「……Where are the other muscles, I mean Niebel-clan?」

Hajime asked vigilantly. Blau Niebel wore a frilly pure white apron while she answered.

「My sisters are protecting the other gates and the center of the city wan. It’s not like there is no trouble at all here, so they are on standby at the other bases most of the time.」

「Didn’t you say that you guys aren’t good with fighting……」

「We aren’t good at it pyon. That’s why it’s scary and we will cry when faced with the prospect but……when we do so, everyone will immediately make up with each other pyon. They are really kind aren’t they?」

「Niebel clan is the one clan that mustn’t be made to cry gobubuh, I remember there is such saying gobuh isn’t it?」

「I think we can understand their feeling. Or rather, goddess. Take off that suspicious person look already. Your breathing is starting to go ‘goburi’ now, you aren’t turning into goblin inside there aren’t you?」

「Gobuh!?」

Aularodde showed a slightly surprised look. Even so she reluctantly took off her sunglasses and mask and hood.

Hajime and others endeavored to not turn their gaze toward the direction of Blau Niebel whose appearance had become even more fiendish while sitting around a large wooden rectangle table.

When they looked around the spacious living room once more, they saw plush dolls and fresh flowers of various kinds filling the room. The furniture inside like curtain, carpet, sofa and the like were matched in pink and white color. The room really gave off a maidenly atmosphere.

「This room looks like Shizuku’s room.」

「Eh? Yaegashi-san’s room look like this?」

「Yeah, though the person herself is hiding it, so it’s a secret except to Amanogawa and her other childhood friends, her family, and me and the others.」

「You completely exposed it to other people just now though.」

Kouki made a troubled face, while Kousuke muttered「I, won’t be cut down because of this right?」.

Blau Niebel’s joyful humming entered their ears at that timing. It felt like they heard a line that sounded like, the secret spice is fairy powder~ or something but……what in the world was she putting inside her cooking?

Hajime put his utmost effort to take off his mind from that direction while getting the ball rolling for the situation’s explanation.

「Now then, we’re finally sitting down and relaxing, so let’s hear about the situation now.」

Aularodde nodded with a complicated expression. Then she began to talk. The way to save the world, and the story of the world that Hajime and others wished for.

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「Wa-wait a second. There is too much information, please let us digest it for the moment.」

Shizuku’s bewildered voice resounded at the terrace of Synclea Kingdom’s palace. This was after they listened to Aularodde’s explanation for a while.

Hajime stopped the recording with a wry smile. When he looked at the others, Yue and others, and Moana and others were also having a look of desperately sorting the inside of their mind.

「There is just a bit more you know?」

「I’m already full now desu.」

Shia said that with her rabbit ears twisting in contemplation. Her rabbit ears just had never took in this much new information all at once.

Tio was folding her arms while tapping her index finger on her cheek with a pondering face. Then she concluded.

「Fuumu……it’s just as goshujin-sama hypothesized, there are nine worlds, and the great tree also exist in all the worlds. In addition, there art an origin world that art supporting all these.」

「……Nn. The origin world’s name is “True World Astral”, and the root of the great trees is the “World Tree”. The general term for the great tree in each world is the “World Tree’s Branch”.

「Hajime-kun was the one who coined those names though. After all it’s hard for our imagination to comprehend the goddess terminology that Aularodde-san used.」

「Yeah, that’s right. I coined the name using earth’s legends as reference. After all Aularodde’s explanation about the origin world is just really big.」

According to Aularodde, it was a world where there was just a single tree with immense size that beggared the imagination.

Hajime recited from his memory with his eyes looking at nowhere in particular.

「――The sky becomes the ground, and the ground becomes the sky. Time is flowing forward while also going in reverse at the same time. Life and death are circulating infinitely. Past, present, and future all lost their meaning there. It’s an eternal world where every possibility is converging.」

And then, Aularodde said.

Those who reached there would be granted all the equation they wished for. But, that would be like pouring the water of a great waterfall into a small pot. With human body, no, even an existence with divinity would be unable to bear it at all. The moment they wished for those equations and solutions, they would perish.

Therefore,

「”The Grand Record Depository of the World”……even an avatar like Aularodde is unable to reach that world. Even wishing for such thing is a taboo.」

It’s like the concept of Akashic Record at earth isn’t it? Hajime said with a shrug and a wry smile. Yue and others looked like they didn’t know what kind of expression they should make.

Of course, Moana and others couldn’t possibly understand some of the words that he said, but they could guess that it was a world that was completely out of their imagination just from bits and pieces of the talk. It made them shivered unconsciously.

「Perhaps, this world is completely different from the nine worlds. It might not even a “planet”.」

「……You mean it’s a conceptual world?」

「Apparently when avatars like Aularodde and others become an avatar, they felt like they became connected with something endless. But, it doesn’t seem like they were granted any particular knowledge from the World Tree. Even Aularodde only knew this from the word of mouth that are passed down from the first generation heaven tree’s avatar until her generation. She has never actually gone there herself.」

Hajime said that with a sigh. Then Ryuutarou who had been befuddled since the middle scratch his head roughly.

「Anyway, I don’t really get it but, I can just take it to mean that this is some kinda amazing place yeah? It makes me feel headache just from listening.」

「Ryuu-kun, you will feel sick just from entering a library don’t you? In other words, this is something like that.」

「Aa! As expected from Suzu! That’s easy to understand!」

As expected from a muscle brain’s girlfriend. She was good in making simple explanation.

「Well, what Sakagami said is also not mistaken. You can just think of Astral like that. It’s something outside of your curiosity and interest anyway.」

「Hajime-san, don’t get driven by your mad scientist soul and charge into that place, and then getting your head bursting like a balloon so that you can’t come back okay?」

「What kind of person do you think I am?」

「You are a person who ignored your family’s warning and continued to immerse yourself in your research, and as the result you received my German Suplex that your head burst for a moment there desu.」(ED Note: A German Suples is when a wrestler stands behind the opponent, grabs them around their waist, lifts them up, and falls backwards slamming the opponents head or back extremely hard against the floor)

Hajime who got a lot of previous offenses quietly averted his gaze.

To pull herself together, Shizuku smiled wryly while saying 「Err~, if my memory serves my right, the nine worlds are……」 to continue the talk. Suzu and Ryuutarou’s gazes wandered to empty air while they counted with their fingers.

「Err~, the earth is “Earth”. And then, the “World Tree’s Branch” that should be in earth, should we call it as “King Tree”?」

「We don’t need to change how we call the “Great Tree” and “Tortus”……we can also keep calling hell as “Hell”. Then I guess we can call the tree in hell as “Demon Tree”.」

The two’s gazes turned toward Kousuke. Actually it was just that naming that came from Kousuke’s idea. The two worlds were the world where the demon king came from and its neighboring world, so if the names of the two trees there were combined then it would become “Demon King Tree”.

It went without saying that everyone who was watching the recording got a warm gaze in their eyes after witnessing that distinctive chuuni imagination power. And so, Kousuke right now was hugging his knees on his chair while burying his face behind it. Don’t look at someone like me……

「Lutria-san’s world can be called “Star Spirit World” and “Star Tree” then. It’s simple and easy to understand.」

「The world where I got lost into shoudslt be called “Sky Dragon World” and the tree as “Dragon Tree” then. Umu, that’s certainly easy to understand.」

「What’s left is, the machine world where master went through hardships――this place is “Factory World” and the tree there is “Sacred Tree”, while Aularodde’s world will be “Fairy World” and the tree there is called “Heaven Tree”.」

It was seven with that. After that……hm? Who talked just now? Yue and others pulled out their focus from the whirlpool of their thought. But, Hajime continued talking before they could fully question it and diverted their focus.

「Ehito’s original world, the existence of that world itself has been confirmed. That guy said that world was destroyed, but it looks like the planet itself is still there. Let’s name this planet “Calamity World” and the tree “Grudge Tree”.」

「Your hate to Ehito is overflowing from that naming. Well, it’s really a world that was visited by calamity anyway, and if the World Tree’s Branch there is still alive, I think it’s highly possible it will be resentful that the planet is ruined.」

「Right?」

Shizuku smiled wryly. Yue and others also made the same expression. Next it was Koone who continued. Her twintail was bobbing while she raised her hand.

「So then our world is “Desert World” and the tree is “Blessing Tree”……demon king-sama, Koone protest! In the future Koone will make this world overflowing with nature, so let’s call this world as “Plentiful Nature World”, or let’s just call it “Koone World”! Koone declare that name is absolutely better!」

「That’s a wonderful suggestion Koone-tan! Let’s announce the world’s name “Koone World” at the same time with your coronation ceremony too!」

Moana had been giving off the smell of a good-for-nothingness since she gave up her position as queen. Ignoring her, the manly and person of firm character, the royal guard Lilin made a conflicted expression.

「Forget about that, if there is the Blessing Tree of Foltina-sama in this world, then shouldn’t we search for it?」

Spencer and others nodded at Lilin’s words. Lilin’s father, the deeply knowledgeable Linden spoke with a pensive look.

「If my memory serves me right, there is a story how there is big tree at the end of the far west, where the sun is setting. It’s a tree that brings about blessing. It’s vexing that so many books are lost in the middle of war but……either way, the west has been the territory of the “Dark People” for a long time, so even if the legend is actually true, most likely……」

「But Linden. Foltina-sama exists. Kouki-sama’s summoning is an undeniable proof of that. In that case, isn’t it only natural to think that the “World Tree’s Branch” is also still exists?」

The dangerously shaking prime minister, grandpa Bruitt‘s words made everyone nodded 「Certainly……」.

In respond to that, Hajime easily gave the answer.

「It exist. The “Blessing Tree” is there. But, the distance is really far. Nine out of ten it’s located at the opposite side of the planet, outside of this continent.」

Just like how the Star Tree Lutria was located in a solitary island at the furthest north, the Blessing Tree Foltina would also be located at the most remote location wouldn’t it? Such conjecture didn’t seem to be wrong when Hajime also checked the compass.

「But, the number of humans and nature in this world has decreased too much. It has also been mentioned just now that a lot of books have been lost. There must be a lot of legends that has been completely forgotten too. Inevitably the amount of conception produced from this world must have been reduced too. Perhaps Foltina herself is in a weak state right now.」

「That might be the case……demon king-sama, please we ask for your cooperation……」

The one who knew the precise location of the Blessing Tree Foltina was only Hajime who possessed the compass. Even if Foltina was giving oracle to the people of this world to show the way, the journey to reach her location would certainly become an endless journey if it was just Koone and others doing it.

Koone’s blessing art “Regeneration” would be effective here, but right now she was urgently needed to rebuild Synclea Kingdom. There was no way the queen could go to such a journey that nobody knew when it would end.

It was Yue who replied to that supplication that was filled with such feeling.

「……Koone, did you forget? From the start Hajime has intended to revive all of the “World Tree’s Branches”.」

「Yeah……that’s right. That too was the method to radically save the Fairy World.」

Koone had completely forgotten about what she saw and heard from the recording because of feeling too excited and anxious. Her cheeks reddened shamefully. Her looks at time like this was really befitting the eight years old that she was.

Tio watched Koone smilingly while correcting the way the talk was going to go back to the adjustment of the information.

「In the end, it’s necessary to return the influx of conception to normal so that the Fairy World can avoid its true destruction, art that correct? To do that, reviving the “World Tree’s Branches” art a necessity.」

「Yeah, that’s how it is. To buy time for that, first we acted to revive the “Small Heaven Trees” that existed at the east, west, south, and north of the Fairy World”.」

The method to save the Fairy World that Aularodde explained was largely divided to two stages.

The first stage, in order to purify the conception that was stagnating in the Fairy World even just for a bit and circulating it, the previous goddess created the “Small Heaven Trees” that were placed at the four directions of the continent. These trees had to be revived.

Only the north and east trees remained, while the west and south trees were corrupted and decayed by the apparitions there together with the surviving cities around them.

Aularodde couldn’t leave the Heaven Tree as its protector. She didn’t have any leeway to revive the small trees once more. It forced her into a situation that only gradually worsened……

If Hajime and others could revive those trees, at the very least the continent where the Heaven Tree existed and the apparitions too would be able to recover their sanity to some degree.

And then, after they had bought time to delay the destruction of the Fairy World, they would revive the “World Tree’s Branches” in other worlds so that the influx of conception would return to normal, solving the fundamental problem of the Fairy World and saving it.

「Even so, even if the “World Tree’s Branches” themselves are revived, there are a lot of the worlds with little conception……either way, the Fairy World will need some time until it recover completely.」

This Desert World, then the Hell and the Sky Dragon World, and also the Calamity World and Factory World. The existence of “people” to produce conception there was too few. Though they could see signs of recovery for the worlds other than Hell and the Calamity World.

「Well, the situation will improve somewhat if we revive the earth’s King Tree and Tortus’s Great Tree. The earth is especially a treasure of conception.」

「……Hajime, you’re crooked.」

Yue’s blank stare stabbed Hajime. Shia and others too.

Why?

That was because in this revival plan of “World Tree’s Branches”, Hajime would deal with the worlds with existing but weakened trees, while Aularodde would deal with the worlds that had lost their tree like earth and hell.

Tio opened her mouth in exasperation.

「Goshujin-sama wouldst sell favors to the weakened “World Tree’s Branches”, while in the case where the tree need to be revived from zero, Goshujin-sama wouldst make Aularodde to surrender the right of interference to thee as “compensation”……Goshujin-sama, art thee planning to seize all the “World Tree’s Branches”?」

In other words, it was like that. After the “World Tree’s Branch” was revived, in case the tree selected someone to be its avatar or gave birth to one, it was unknown whether that new avatar would agree to give Hajime the right of interference.

That was why Hajime would make Aularodde use her goddess authority to revive the tree. Then as the creator of that “Branch”, Aularodde would also have the authority over it. Hajime planned to make Aularodde created something like “Lutria’s Orb”, a sacred treasure for interference that he would be able to use.

Of course it wouldn’t be something like the orb that Lutria made with reluctance, but a powerful interference sacred treasure that would give Hajime over over that “Branch”.

Like that, even if Aularodde stopped being a goddess, Hajime would still be able to interfere with the “World Tree’s Branches” as long as he had that sacred treasure. Perhaps.

「Aularodde-san, she really didn’t want to do it……」

「Then she got condemned again by being told, you will break your promise again huuh~, and at the end she was weeping while consenting……」

「Hajime……I think it’ll be fine even if you share a bit of kindness with Aularodde-san too you know?」

「No no, that was why master is master. The day master is in control of all the worlds is near. I’m super looking forward to it.」

「Nagumo-kun, you have obtained even unlimited magic power. Just where are you heading to――eh? Just now, who said――」

Suzu looked around in puzzlement, but before she could find anything, her focus was pulled toward a voice that sounded like it was oozing from the dark side.

「……That woman――I mean goddess, she is going to return here together with Kouki isn’t she……」

Oh? It seemed like there was something wrong with Moana-san……

「O-Onee-chan?」

「What did she say again, after she finished her last job as a goddess? Fufu, what did she say about becoming something with Kouki?」

Actually, Moana had been making the table and her chair shaking something fierce from the start to end of the recording. She got tearful eyes and spewed out her jealousy 「W-what’s with that woman! How dare she cling all over Kouki like that!」 while biting on her handkerchief.

At her side, Lilin was going 「Rival? I don’t mind at all. It doesn’t matter whether they are a former queen or a former goddess, I’ll just kick them aside altogether-」 while burning with fighting spirit.

Their jealousy and fighting spirit reached the peak when they heard about Aularodde’s maidenly wish.

It referred to the “last job” that Moana mentioned just now.

Yes, Aularodde-san, she had resolved herself to finally retire after the world was saved!

After the Fairy World calmed down for a moment and she went to travel with Kouki for reviving the “World Tree’s Branches”, surely there would be a suitable person in another world. As soon as she found one, she would give up her goddess position to that person, and then――

「Moana-sama, she said husband and wife. That cursed goddess talked using indirect expression about retiring and then joining Kouki-san’s household to follow the example of her senior. Kouki-san pretended not to hear it but……we need to have a reckoning at least once.」

「That’s right! I need to teach her who is at the top! Who care if she is a goddess or whatever!」

「My wind is roaring! Just come here if you dare!」

The former master and servant who just a while ago did things like making proclamations to snatch the love of the other or yelling Traitorr~ resentfully in their dispute for Kouki had formed a tag team once more at this moment.

It seemed that the ordeals of the black goddess who wanted to be happy would still continue even after retirement.

「C-come to think of it demon king-sama! In the end what is a “hero”? The holy sword also has a relation with it isn’t it?」

Seeing how her big sister and her close aide were acting, Koone imagined her own future and her face was convulsing slightly. She raised her voice in order to divert the topic.

「That would be explained if the recording wasn’t paused there but……well, guess I’ll explain it simply. That Aularodde, she gave a long explanation mixed with useless comments as though she is a fan talking about her favorite idol or an otaku talking about a show they recommended.」

Hajime smiled wryly because he too was the same kind of person who would be real talkative when talking about his hobby. And then he gave a simple explanation.

According to the explanation, hero referred to someone with the qualification to become the protector of the “World Tree’s Branch”.

In other words it was the same existence like the avatar of “World Tree’s Branch” like Aularodde, but in case of avatar, they also functioned as the last fortress, so they fundamentally were unable to separate from the “Branch”.

When the world’s balance was starting to go out of order due to internal or external calamity or due to conflict and the like among the lives of that world, the “hero” would shoulder the role of balancer as the hands and feet of the avatar.

That was why, when the avatar sought help and carried out a summoning, it would definitely get connected to the hero. Also, it was because the hero was an existence with the quality that the World Tree recognized, the hero was able to pass through the gap between worlds. Though as the side effect of that, when a hole was drilled open in the gap between worlds, most of the time it would also get connected to the hero.

「And, it seems the necessary quality is “someone who can risk his life for the sake of the many even if he has to cut down his one and only important thing for it”. It really describe that guy.」

Shizuku and others went 「I see」 with an understanding face. Moana and others were also showing an expression of understanding that was also enduring grief and deep emotions somewhere in their heart.

Silence reigned for a brief moment. However, it was a silence that contained no unpleasantness. As expected, it must be because of Hajime’s expression.

His expression looked exasperated, but it also looked impressed. He looked displeased, but there was also a smile somewhere in it. He was making a mysterious expression that was really hard to describe.

Everyone was drawn by that and their feeling also turned calm. Their hand reached toward their tea to take a short pause in the talk.

After appeasing her thirst, Yue suddenly tilted her head.

「……Hm? Hajime, Hajime.」

「What?」

「……If that’s the case then why was Shia summoned?」

Yue’s question made Kaori and others went 「Ah, now that you mention it……」 and their gazes all moved toward Shia. Moana and others who didn’t know about the situation were looking puzzled, so Tio gave them a simple explanation. Hajime waited till she finished before he spoke his conjecture.

「This is only a guess but, wasn’t it because Lutria strongly declined to do hero summoning? That was why the hole was opened to a different place from the hero.」

「Aa, Lutria-san. She was fully resolved to destroy mankind at that time……」

「U~mu……however, goshujin-sama. Even though that can be seen as a reason that Kouki wasn’t summoned, it doth not explain why it became Shia that was summoned.」

「Is that so? If there is someone else that get summoned other than that guy, unless the summoning isn’t specified like when Endou was summoned by Mother, it’s not that surprising that the summoning reached Shia you know? You yourself said it in the past didn’t you? Perhaps that was the reason.」

「Mu? ……Aa, that one.」

Moana and others, even Kousuke got question mark floating on their head. Kaori who directly heard the words in the past spoke them sonorously as though she was singing.

「――She took a step forward even while in fear, she fought even while weeping, she continued to stand up beside the people she love and her friends. From where I’m standing, the title of hero doth not suit Kouki, or even goshujin-sama. The title of “herothe brave” must be referring to Shia Hauria――those were the words.」

「Offu」

Shia’s rabbit ears fell flat on her head. They fell even further and covered her eyes. If Shizuku had her ponytail guard, Shia had this droopy rabbit ears guard.

「It might not be a quality that the World Tree’s Branch is looking for, but you’re a good-natured person no matter what you said after all. In the end you were unable to abandon those guys and lent them your hand. You even clashed with Lutria head on and opened her heart.」

「When all art said and done, Shia art like a semi-hero perhaps?」

「Shia-shia would become a normal hero if only she wasn’t dyed by Nagumo-kun’s color.」

「Usa~」 (TN: A play of word I think. It’s taken from the word usagi (rabbit), but it can also mean annoying.)

「……Shia, you never made that kind of sound. Are you embarrassed? Hey hey, are you embarrassed?」

「Yue is teasing Shia? How rare……」

「……Shia, how cute.」

Shia became even more embarrassed with Yue poking at her repeatedly.

Kaori was also casually joining Yue with poking at Shia. Hajime watched the three of them with a warm expression while adding his own understanding at the end.

「By the way, about the holy sword……just as you guys imagined, it seems to be something created from the Great Tree. It seems at the bottom of the great tree, at a place near the bottom of the roots, there was a spot where the root and underground minerals blend with each other. It seemed that was the main material used for the holy sword.」

「I see. That was why the best Hajime could do was only giving maintenance to the holy sword.」

In the past, when Hajime tried to improve the holy sword, it contained too many black boxes that in the end, Hajime mainly just repaired it so that the degradation that had accumulated over time was removed and the holy sword could display its original power. Other than that Hajime could only add external options for it.

「Yeah, I couldn’t completely meddle with the holy sword because the Great Tree’s material is also mixed in it. ……I’ll say this just in case, it’s not the transformation of an avatar like what Aularodde did. What Aularodde did was just because she got a screw loose in her head.」

「……Then, it’s just our imagination that it seems like it has its own will?」

「No, there is a will dwelling in it. It can’t exchange words with us no matter what, perhaps because it’s too old, but Aularodde is able to understand it to a certain degree.」

According to her, dwelling inside the holy sword was the will of the first avatar of the Great Tree, Ua Alto.

It seemed that this sword was created in order to oppose Ehito when descended to Tortus and several years hundred passed since he started baring his fang. But, the hero at that time and also Ua Alto herself were tragically defeated in the end. Ua Alto then used her last strength to transfer her soul into the sword.

Hajime glanced briefly at Kousuke. Kousuke also glanced at Hajime. The two of them nodded.

「By the way, the holy sword is the same like Aularodde――a former goddess.」

「「!?」」

Moana and Lilin’s eyes snapped wide open. Koone’s twintail also jumped up.

Kousuke presented additional information.

「We asked the goddess to use her power to materialize the shape of the holy sword’s soul just for a bit and……she was a super pretty black haired girl you know? She has the appearance of a fifteen years old.」

「「!!?」」

Fighting spirit burst out like volcano from Moana and Lilin. Koone’s twintail was starting to flap up and down wildly.

「As expected we couldn’t exchange words with her directly but, that Amanogawa, he was really moved and expressed his thanks for everything until now. Her smiling face when hearing his thanks was really soft and bright wasn’t it?」

「Yeah yeah, that was truly a goddess smile.」

「The word earnest or dedication really suit that goddess huh.」

「That Amanogawa, he turned red when he saw that smile didn’t he?」

「It was dangerous. Even Aularodde almost turned into an evil god.」

「「「……」」」

There was no more words that could be said. Moana and LIlin suddenly stood up. It made their chairs to clatter. Were they planning to warm up for war? Koone was making a face that was pondering something. There was no doubt that she was absolutely scheming something no good.

And then, Hajime and Kousuke chuckled and high fived after seeing Moana and others like that. Yue and others were sending them a very exasperated gaze.

「Historically, there had been several heroes in Tortus, but she was always dedicated each time. Although not at my level, she is a person of character who is overflowing with motherhood. Even before dwelling in the holy sword, she opposed Ehito until the very end.」

「So the Great Tree has that kind of past……eh? The voice just now……」

「……Nn. In a sense, she is an existence that had continued fighting Ehito for even longer than Miledy and others……nn? Who talked just now?」

Kaori and Yue looked around in puzzlement at the same time. Seeing them, Tio and Shia also looked at each other.

「For some reason, there hath been an unknown voice joining in the talk occasionally until now……so it’s not just my imagination?」

「That voice……its tone was strangely annoying, and the atmosphere too……」

「It was a woman voice wasn’t it?」

Suzu looked around fearfully. Everyone’s head that was filled to the brim with new information was finally almost finished with sorting the information and gave them a leeway to think about other things, so the other people also searched for the voice’s owner in confusion.

But, the tea party’s members were still the same like at the start without any of them ever coming in and out of the room.

There was no way there could be someone unknown sneaking in but……

「Master, master. Isn’t it time to resume the projection again? Let’s fast forward the hero’s explanation until the part of our true identity, the great revelation scene! Hands also slipped! Ahahn, lewd! Let’s play that part!」

「It wasn’t really like that though.」

Everyone’s gaze finally found the source of extremely cheerful voice.

Everyone’s neck moved stiffly like a gear that hadn’t been oiled. Their gazes were focused to one spot with disbelief――

「Fufufuh, so all of you finally noticed? Damn fools!」 (TN: She said it exactly like how Excalibur of Soul Eater said fool.)

The one who said that with a very irritating tone while taking pose of two front legs pointed forward, was the spider above Hajime’s head.

Yes,

「It’s Etemp-san yo!!」

It was Etemp-san who should be unable to say anything but Ii!!, no, that in itself was already strange, but anyway, it was Etemp-san who shouldn’t be able to talk.

She was talking absurdly fluently and also with a beautiful voice.

The place fell silent like a grave. Yue and others were staring so hard at the spot above Hajime’s head their stare could open a hole……

A beat later.

「「「「KYAAAAAAAAAAH IT TALKEEEEEEDDD——!?」」」」

Everyone screamed with an expression like the painting of Munch’s “The Scream”.

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