- 242: Shadow Calamity all over again
“[Light Suppression Palm]!” (Yorishiro)
High-density light divine power was released from Yorishiro-sama’s palm again, however, it didn’t blow Ates-sama away.
The spear that was wrapped in jet-black had absorbed all the light after all.
“It is useless no matter how many times you try. As expected, in this kind of situations, even the intelligent ones would do the same thing huh! They continuously repeat pointless things.” (Ates)
Ates-sama spins her two spears with an expression of victory.
Even Yorishiro-sama who can bring an output far superior to mine had the tables completely turned around.
That’s how strong shadow is against light users.
Originally, light doesn’t hold a disadvantage against any of the other four elements, and rather, holds a slight advantage to all of them. Also, against the rare element ‘Darkness’ that only one person in the world can utilize, the light holds an advantage that could even be considered the nemesis of darkness.
Even this element, that at a glance is all-powerful, has only one element that we can’t do anything against; that’s shadow.
The shadow is a pseudo-darkness that is created from light.
The stronger the light, the stronger and more distinct the shadow becomes. The shadow users absorb light divine power and power-up limitlessly.
This is not the first time we have gone against the shadow element.
In the past, when we journeyed to the Dark Underworld Country that no one knows of, we were attacked by a beast that was clad completely in shadow and Yorishiro and I couldn’t do anything against it.
The reason why we managed to return alive was because Haine-san, with his ability to erase anything aside from light, was there as well. But right now Haine-san is still bedridden due to the heavy injuries he received in the terrorist incident.
We can’t expect his assistance.
On top of that, Doraha-san who uses the same shadow power is currently guarding Haine-san just in case.
In the current members that can fight right now, there’s none who can go against the shadow of Ates-sama.
Ates-sama once again swings her light spear Cain.
Yorishiro-sama jumps away from the light wave that was released and, losing its target, it destroyed the ground. The ground that had been gouged out horizontally made a tsunami of rubble, and the light knights, who were gathered up in order to not let Ates-sama escape, were running away from it.
“Ates! To think that you had obtained the power of shadow!” (Yorishiro)
As expected, even Yorishiro-sama had furrowed her brows at the precariousness of the situation.
“In the time I was brought down by you, did you really think that I was doing nothing but play around? I utilized that moment of leisure you provided me to its fullest.” (Ates)
“Of course, I didn’t think you were obediently passing your time without doing anything, but I thought that if you were to make a move, it would be more of a stealthy political move. I didn’t expect you to put steady effort like this.” (Yorishiro)
“Even when you are about to die, you still make fun of me huh. That’s just like you.” (Ates)
This is not good! Ates-sama —no, Ates is seriously trying to kill Yorishiro-sama, and Yorishiro-sama has no cards that can stop that from happening.
Yorishiro-sama also knows how powerless light is against shadow!
“Ates, tell me one last thing. How did you learn about the existence of the shadow power?” (Yorishiro)
Even when Yorishiro-sama had sweat flowing down from the tension, her eyes were still sharp.
“The power of shadows that is utilized by altering light is by no means something that can be noticed by coincidence. The only possibility is that you were told about this by someone or…could it be…!” (Yorishiro)
“That’s a foolish question, Yorishiro. If it’s something you know, I also know about it.” (Ates)
“I am you, and you are me…” (Ates) <I am thou, thou art I>
Ates takes a step towards Yorishiro-sama.
It was clear that she was moving to deal the blow that will decide the battle. In other words, she is going to finish Yorishiro-sama?!
“Hold it there!” (Karen)
I run and stand in front of Yorishiro-sama to protect her.
I direct the blade of my holy sword Saint-George at Ates.
“Ara ara.” (Ates)
Even when I showed my resolve of joining the fray, Ates didn’t show a single sign of agitation.
“As I thought, this little girl is an idiot. As long as you are the light hero, you won’t be able to do anything in the face of my shadow spear. Don’t you understand that?” (Ates)
“Even if that’s the case, fighting to protect the Founder is what makes a hero! Yorishiro-sama! Let’s retreat for now! I will hold Ates back!” (Karen)
Of course, I who only has light as my weapon can’t defeat the current Ates. But even so, I will carry out my duty as a hero!
“Don’t, Karen-san. You should be the one running.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro-sama said strictly.
“Go to the hospital and bring Doraha-san here. To defeat the current Ates that has obtained the power of shadow, there’s no other one but Doraha-san that holds the same power. If you use your usual flying machine, you should be able to get there in a matter of minutes. Do it while I am holding Ates back… Go!” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro-sama, I can tell.
In the few minutes I take to bring Doraha-san here, Yorishiro-sama will be killed by Ates for sure.
“I…don’t want Yorishiro-sama to die.” (Karen)
“There’s the duty as a hero, but most of all, it is because Yorishiro-sama is a friend!” (Karen)
I don’t want to do something like abandoning a friend.
Just a while ago, Yorishiro-sama told me this: ‘I want you to stay unrelated to the filthy behind the scene schemes’. It has to do with avoiding any lowering in my image as a hero, but I could feel that there was one other reason for it.
Yorishiro-sama didn’t want to be hated…by Haine-san and I.
She didn’t want us to see how she used underhanded means to bring the downfall of her opponents and have us repudiate her —she was scared of that happening.
That’s how Yorishiro-sama is.
She hardens her heart with logic and intelligence, but inside that armor, she holds boundless fear towards making contact with others.
“I love Yorishiro-sama. I want to love everything about Yorishiro-sama!” (Karen)
“Loving a person by just seeing the beautiful parts of that person, I don’t think that can be called love at all! Even if Yorishiro-sama tries to hide the parts that are not beautiful, I will step into it!!” (Karen)
That’s how I have gained many friends, that’s why, today as well…
“Let’s fight together, Yorishiro-sama! If today’s enemy is exactly that ugly part of Yorishiro-sama, as a friend of Yorishiro-sama, I will fight that enemy!!” (Karen)
- 243: What two can do
Ates suddenly began laughing.
It was a laugh that I could tell was truly from amusement, but as expected, there was contempt in it as well.
“Karen-san, as I thought, even when you are an idiot, you are an interesting one……no, maybe it is exactly because you are an idiot that you are interesting.” (Ates)
“I don’t feel like I am being praised here at all.” (Karen)
“No, I do evaluate you highly. You said something truly sharp. I am that ugly part of Yorishiro.” (Ates)
No, that was simply a figure of speech…
“It is exactly as you said. I am Yorishiro’s evil, Yorishiro’s darkness; are humans born evil first, or are they born good first? No matter the case, they will all have good and evil inside of them. However, it was different for Yorishiro and I.” (Ates)
“Yorishiro was the good, and I was the evil. We both were two and yet one. Therefore, I am her, and she is me.” (Ates)
What is she saying?
I couldn’t understand what Ates was saying at all.
“[Holy Light Destruction]!!” (Yorishiro)
It was at that next moment, the cracks that ran at the feet of Yorishiro-sama were letting out blinding light. The earth and pebbles making up the ground floated up, the earth split, and the footing crumbles.
The surroundings were covered in a cloud of dust so dense that I couldn’t even see my own hands.
“Ara ara, Yorishiro. Taking away the vision? That’s an unsightly way to buy time for someone like you…… But don’t think you can escape by utilizing the dust. I am not easy to deal with, you know.” (Ates)
On the other hand, having suddenly lost my footing, I ended up falling down. Due to the denseness of the dust pitching in as well, I couldn’t even tell where I am currently at.
As I was in this state, a hand was gently placed on my back.
“Don’t listen to what that person says. For that person, words are a tool to lead people astray after all.” (Yorishiro)
“Ah, yes…..Uhm, I am sorry.” (Karen)
“No, I was also saved by you. I am truly glad that you are our hero.” (Yorishiro)
The reason why Yorishiro-sama raised a cloud of dust wasn’t simply to buy time, but for a more clear objective. In other words, a plan meeting.
“Karen-san, I think you already know but, now that Ates can use the power of shadows, she is the worst kind of opponent we can have. Even if we were to fight her together, I don’t think we can win.” (Yorishiro)
When we were attacked by the shadow-turned Doraha-san, our attacks didn’t work at all.
That situation has returned to haunt us again.
“But Ates isn’t a serious adversary compared to Doraha.” (Yorishiro)
“Just like how there’s compatibility differences between the divine power users of other elements, the shadow users also have their own difference in compatibility. Compared to Doraha who had thrown everything away to become shadow itself, the current Ates is basically small fry.” (Yorishiro)
“A-Are you saying there’s a way to win?!” (Karen)
As expected of Yorishiro-sama. She acted as if she was in despair, but she was properly looking for a way to turn things around!
“The past Doraha had completely turned into shadow, so it was possible for her to infinitely absorb light. Because of this, she was a fiend that could have destroyed the world…… Well, there’s still the possibility even now, so there’s always the danger of her going berserk though.” (Yorishiro)
But for Ates who had only chewed on the power of shadow recently, she doesn’t have that much capacity, is what she is trying to say?
If we were to push with Yorishiro-sama and I -two of the highest light users-, we can fatten Ates to her limit capacity and overload her.
“There comes the problem; the light spear Cain.” (Yorishiro)
The face of Yorishiro-sama clouded.
It looks like the cloud of dust hasn’t cleared up yet.
“Even when she obtained the power of shadows, she didn’t take her hands off her light element. Seriously, what an annoying ruffian. Thanks to that, she managed to resolve her own capacity problem.” (Yorishiro)
When Ates absorbed the light power of Yorishiro-sama, she soon released it with her light spear Cain.
By continuously releasing the turned back light that had been absorbed by the shadow, she can escape an overcapacity.
“To defeat Ates-san with that overcapacity as the aim, we have no choice but to surpass that capacity at a speed faster than the absorption and release rate…… But I currently have no divine power release technique that surpasses the one of the ‘Light Calamity Palm’…as a human.” (Yorishiro)
The last part was too low to pick up, but as I thought, is there really no way for us to defeat Ates?
“At present, there’s no way to defeat Ates —if I was alone, that is.” (Yorishiro)
“But right now I have Karen-san with me. If it is us two, there’s a lot of things we can do that wouldn’t be possible alone.” (Yorishiro)
“So you finally come out.” (Ates)
The cloud of dust cleared up, and by the time the vision had grown better, Ates was standing in the same place as before.
Must be her leeway of being sure of her victory.
“Have you finished giving your parting words? Whichever the case, you two are not necessary in the new Light Church I will be controlling. I will have you two die right here and now.” (Ates)
At the surroundings, there were many light knights encircling the place, but no one could do anything.
There were many who were there to corner Ates in place, but due to the high level of the battle, they couldn’t interfere.
“There’s no need to get involved! Everyone, be on the lookout in case Ates tries to escape, and prioritize protecting yourself please!!” (Karen)
- 244: Persona
Being cornered this much, there was only one thing Ates could do.
With the light spear Cain in her right hand, she receives the attack of Yorishiro-sama.
This wasn’t to absorb like with the shadow spear Abel, this was a pure clash of same elements.
Ates and Yorishiro-sama; the one with the stronger light divine power output wins.
“Kugh, well thought! So you utilized the advantage of numbers to attack me from different directions!!” (Ates)
“In this moment where Karen-san is holding back the shadow spear, you have no choice but to fight against me with pure power. Ates, this is where you fall.” (Yorishiro)
Even if Ates is a shadow user like Doraha-san, they are different.
Ates can’t even reach the feet of Doraha-san, who is the ultimate shadow user that can endlessly absorb light with her whole body. Ates can only absorb light from her shadow spear.
That’s why, as long as we can pin down that shadow spear, it is basically as if we had sealed the cycle of light and shadow.
“This is your limit, Ates. You, who only thinks about using others, will never be able to win against the power of unity that humans obtain from cooperating!!” (Yorishiro) <Nakama Powah!>
In the first place, in terms of light divine power amount, Yorishiro-sama surpasses Ates —overwhelmingly.
Of course, Ates is also utilizing the light divine power she absorbed from me as well, but even with that into the equation, Ates won’t be able to outpush Yorishiro-sama.
She has no choice but to be crushed!
The light spear that’s trying to push away the ‘Light Suppression Palm’ of Yorishiro-sama was slowly being crushed, bend, and about to be destroyed.
The situation was already flowing into Ates’ defeat and it looked like no one could stop it anymore.
“Splendid, Yorishiro, and also Karen-san; to think that you two would be able to corner me to this extent!” (Ates)
“Are you accepting defeat? Are you planning on begging for your life now? Too bad, but that chance had long been gone. I will be eliminating you as an enemy of the church and a threat to all the people that I love!!” (Yorishiro)
“Even though I am you?” (Ates)
Again with those words.
For me, those words were a complete mystery, but it felt as if they held unmeasurable meaning behind it.
“Give it a break already! You are not me! Even if we were born from the same parents, we are separate existences!” (Yorishiro)
“The bodies we reside in have nothing to do with this. The amount of similarity we hold surpasses something like that. Let me show you proof of that. If I don’t, my life will be in danger after all.” (Ates)
And then, from the mouth of Ates, there was no doubt that the name of that technique was voiced out.
“[Light Apocalyptic Palm]” (Ates)
From the right hand of Ates, a lump of light that was several hundreds of times bigger than the opened palm of Ates was released, and it blew away both Yorishiro-sama and the light spear that was in the middle of both of them.
Wasn’t that a technique of Yorishiro-sama?!
Ates has the same technique as Yorishiro-sama?!
“This is not the time to be worrying about your friend.” (Ates)
The right hand of Ates was directed at me this time.
“[Light Suppression Palm]” (Ates)
This is also a technique of Yorishiro-sama!
How is this possible. Ates can also use techniques without the need of a divine tool!
Then why has she been relying on a divine tool until now?
“Good grief. I wanted to keep this power a secret for a bit more. There’s Haine-san of course, but it looks like there’s also a troublesome one in the Wind side as well after all. I even went as far as putting up an act and making up facts in order to hide it, but it looks like it all went down the drain.” (Ates)
“Ates, what in the world are you!” (Yorishiro)
“As I have been saying, I am you. You reducing the area of effect of your ‘Light Suppression Palm’ to not get Karen-san caught up in the attack ended up biting you back. If you had used a serious ‘Light Suppression Palm’ from the very beginning and had crushed me along with Karen-san, you could have won.” (Ates)
‘As I thought, humans are living beings that are supposed to be used’, is what Ates says as she laughs.
“In the end, this fight ended with me as the winner…… No, not only this fight, but the true battle that had continued for forever since the time we were born in this era. And as expected, in the human world, it wasn’t good that they looked for, but evil.” (Ates)
“You…what in the world are you saying?” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro-sama couldn’t hide her confusion at the strange words of Ates.
“It is unnecessary to explain this to someone that is going to be eliminated right now. I will be efficiently showing my love to the Light Church and Haine-san, so you can die with peace of mind.” (Ates)
The palm of Ates is directed at Yorishiro-sama.
“Like hell I will let you!!”
“Woah there.” (Ates)
The swung down holy sword was easily deflected by the shadow spear.
“So you can still move with those wounds huh…… You are a truly courageous girl…and annoying.” (Ates)
I received a hit from the handle of the shadow spear and collapse.
“Just stop it already. This shadow spear Abel is the very reason why I infiltrated this church. It is a complete waste to swing it against small fry like you.” (Ates)
My body can’t move anymore.
At this rate, we are going to be killed.
Not only me, but even Yorishiro-sama.
Normally, in this kind of moments, Haine-san would always conveniently appear and save us. But he is currently unable to move after having saved something more important.
There’s no choice but for me to do something.
A hero is not someone that looks to be saved, but the one doing the saving!
I was trying to put my all into standing up, but Yorishiro-sama hugged me from behind.
“Your undying fighting spirit reached even me. Thank you. Really, thank you. You are the best friend I could have had.” (Yorishiro)
“Now that I think about it, you were always pouring priceless love and trust onto me. I don’t know how many times that has saved me. You really are my hero. You are a true light hero.” (Yorishiro)
What are you saying all of a sudden?
We are in the middle of a battle here.
“That’s why, I have resolved myself. I can entrust everything to you. The one and only way to overcome this predicament. You will become a hero.” (Yorishiro)
“You will surpass a light hero…and become the hero of the Light Goddess.” (Yorishiro)
- 245: God Hero
“Wa? What are you trying to do?!” (Ates)
Even Ates who was sure of her victory couldn’t hide the trembling in her voice at the unpredictable development.
In between the space where Yorishiro-sama was hugging me in, a pure light I had never seen before was pouring out. But that was only the afterlight. Most of it was entering from Yorishiro-sama to me.
It was such a holy light divine power.
“Impossible. Yorishiro! Are you telling me you are pouring the soul of a God into her?! Into a lowly human?!” (Ates)
Soul of a…God?
“Since the moment the Demon Lords appeared, I have been researching all this time; the way to oppose that overwhelming evil. This power that I thought of in order to defeat the Demon Lords, it is not good to use it before we fight the Demon Lords, but I trust Karen-san.” (Yorishiro)
It is flowing into me!
The trust Yorishiro-sama has in me…is turning into overwhelming power!
“If the prayers of humans become the strength of Gods, then the trust of Gods in humans obviously turns into strength for humans as well!” (Yorishiro)
Power is welling up inside of me!
“Like hell I will let you!” (Ates)
Ates releases a light wave, but the attack was blocked by the light surrounding us.
“Karen-san! Brandish that power as much as you want! The current you has the power of a God while being a human, you are a Light God Hero!!” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro-sama had already parted from me, and by the time I noticed, I was already standing up.
My body is light. Not only that, I am overflowing with power, even when my whole body should be in tatters because of Ates’ attack.
I don’t know what happened to my body since I have been given no explanation, but there’s something I understand.
I don’t feel I would lose to anyone.
Even if those Demon Lords were in front of me right now, I feel like I would be able to win.
I raise up my hand towards Ates. I am not holding the holy sword Saint-George. It was a bare hand.
From that palm, a light bullet was shot.
I am now able to do divine power attacks without the assistance of a divine tool.
For some mysterious reason, I was not that surprised by this reality, and rather, felt as if it was natural.
The light bullet flew a straight path towards Ates.
Before it impacted, Ates once again held up her shadow spear and absorbed the light bullet.
“Fool! No matter what you do, as long as I have the shadow spear, all light attacks will—! Eh? Guaah!” (Ates)
Before Ates could finish her triumphant speech, an abnormality occurred.
The skin of her left shoulder swelled up like a balloon and bursted. Light divine power and blood flew around at the same time.
“Gyaaaa!! I-Impossible! I can’t properly alter and absorb it?! It is different from normal light divine power!” (Ates)
Yorishiro-sama speaks out to the flustered Ates.
“Ates…! I still…don’t know at all what you are… But you are not the only one…who has secrets!!” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro-sama had a somewhat exhausted expression.
“What are you saying!” (Ates)
“Karen-san, at this moment only, is a human that possesses an ability of a God. It is a forbidden technique that Gods perused in the past. Karen-san has made that power her own at present with a human body.” (Yorishiro)
“C-Could it be…!” (Ates)
If it’s now, I feel like I can do anything.
I brandished the holy sword in front of me and pour power into that blade.
It felt as if the whole world was flowing inside my body.
The whole world’s trust, love, aspirations, jealousy, hatred; no matter the positives or the negatives, it changed into strength for me!
“Could it be that you have given her the ability of Gods to change the prayers of humans into power?! Are you an idiot?! If you do something like that…!” (Ates)
“I will shoulder all the burden! Karen-san, you and I are currently one. Act as you see fit! Like a hero! Like a God!!” (Yorishiro)
I gathered power into the holy sword once, and then, the divine power that was amplified by the ore returned to me. I move that divine power into both of my hands, condense it, and release it.
The ‘Holy Light Bisection’ that was incomplete, had now been perfected, and is going even further beyond.
Utilizing the image of Yorishiro-sama’s previous attacks…a light sword was created with both of my hands shaped into knife-hands.
“[Light Calamity Claw]…? No, I need to add the ‘Holy Light Bisection’ somewhere!” (Karen)
Maybe because the energy inside of me was going wild, I couldn’t create a sword with a beautiful shape.
It curved in a sinister manner, and rather than calling it a sword, it was more of a giant claw.
And there were two for my right and left hand.
Both sides were aiming at Ates. Cutting their way as if in a pincer.
“[Light Calamity Pincer]!!” (Karen)
They attack Ates as if they were giant light pincers of a crab.
Ates was not so bold to not feel any sort of fear towards that.
“Damn it!” (Ates)
She puts away the shadow spear Abel inside the shadows. In the exchange just now, she already understood that absorbing the light divine power won’t serve for anything.
As expected of the quick thinking of a previous hero, but…
“Don’t get arrogant just because you have obtained one ability of a God!! Someone like you, I can beat you head on with my divine power!!” (Ates)
A light hand expands.
“[Light Calamity Palm]!” (Ates)
That hand that looked like a giant light spider clashed head-on against my light pincers.
Both stop their movements the moment they collide with each other, and soon after, the hand was cut by the giant pincers.
“I can tell. What is currently flowing inside of me; this power that is mixing with my divine power and growing stronger…they are the emotions of Yorishiro-sama and many other people. Whether it is good or evil, a hero receives many emotions from the people. Now that I am able to change all those emotions into power…!” (Karen)
There’s no way I would not be a match to someone like you!
“Damn it, damn it!!” (Ates)
The small body of Ates had disappeared into the dazzling light of the approaching giant pincers and was not possible to see her anymore.
And then, I myself was unable to bear the many emotions that were flowing into me, and my consciousness was cut off.
I couldn’t tell at all what happened after.