ZAP – Chapter 42: Trial of Gods

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“Hey, Eugene, do your best in the Trial of Gods☆.”

It is the day once every 7 days when I go to Demon Lord Eri in the Underground Prison of the Academy.

I brought the favorite wine of Eri, apples, and smoked meat, as I finished up the other business too.

After that, we chatted for a bit and she said that.

“Yeah, we have finally made it this far.” (Eugene)

“Fufu…I wonder what ‘Trial Beast’ will be summoned. I am looking forward to it.” (Eri)

“I hope it isn’t too strong.” (Eugene)

“What are you saying? You defeated the super strong Cerberus-chan, right? You should have nothing to fear.” (Eri)

“I was lucky there, and it was probably holding back.” (Eugene)

I can tell now.

Cerberus was confused about being called into Floor 20.

When I watched a certain party challenge the Trial of Gods from the record magic the other day, Orthos was outstanding.

The Trial Beast that was summoned by official means was extremely strong.

“Wonder what will show up~. Maybe the Wolf God, Fenrir-chan? Phoenix-chan might be interesting. Hydra-chan’s poison is scary, but you should be able to manage somehow with your barrier magic, Eugene. Medusa-chan would be a bit dangerous. That girl’s Petrification Eye is in Quasi-God Rank after all.” (Eri)

“All the ones you mentioned just now were high rank Divine Beasts though…” (Eugene)

I don’t feel like I would be able to win no matter which one I draw.

Especially the last two ones that were defeated by the Gods in the past Divine Realm War.

Because of their sins, they are imprisoned in the depths of the Abyss, and they apparently are more vicious than the other Divine Beasts when summoned.

Compared to that, Cerberus is said to be a peaceful Divine Beast that’s normally sleeping in Hades.

“At any rate, from how you say it, it is as if you have met the Divine Beasts.” (Eugene)

“Of course I have.” (Eri)

“So you have…” (Eugene)

The personal history of a former Archangel and Demon Lord is an astonishing one.

“The Goddess you served in the Divine Realm was the Wood Goddess Freya-sama, right?” (Eugene)

“…………Can you please not remind me of something displeasing?” (Eri)

The Demon Lord frowned.

Eri doesn’t like this topic.

She apparently fell to the Mortal Realm because she had a fight with the Goddess.

“Sorry about that. That’s envying in my perspective though. Being able to meet a Goddess-sama.” (Eugene)

“It is not that nice of a thing, you know. They are all super selfish.” (Eri)

“That’s the same for the Goddess of Justice, Althena-sama, too?” (Eugene)

The chief god of the Grandflare Empire.

She is also the Goddess that my Pops and the Santafield household worship for generations.

Also called as the Goddess of Victory.

According to legends, all beings have no choice but to kneel just by her mere presence.

It is the peak that all warriors would aim to become.

“The Sun Goddess Althena-sama is…that personage is on a whole other level. She is a wonderful Goddess.” (Eri)

“I see. Have you spoken to her?” (Eugene)

“One or two words at most. That personage manages too many worlds. She can only direct her eyes at our world for a brief instant. Aah, if only I could have chosen the Goddess I serve…” (Eri)

“So you wouldn’t have become a Fallen Angel if you served Althena-sama?” (Eugene)

Is that something to grieve about?

One of the reasons why I can challenge Floor 100 is no doubt thanks to Eri.

“That’s nostalgic… The busy life in the Divine Realm too. I can just take it easy the whole time in the Mortal Realm. But I feel like the Angels that work under the Destiny Goddess Illia-chan managing the Zenith Tower don’t have the time to sleep either. The Mortal Realm really is better☆.” (Eri)

“Are the subordinates of the Destiny Goddess-sama having it rough?” (Eugene)

“The 3 Destiny Goddess sisters that manage this world are all busy to the bones~. I can only pity the Angels that are assigned there.” (Eri)

“I see…” (Eugene)

I can’t even imagine it.

The Destiny Goddess is worshiped in the whole South Continent, but it is especially the case in the homeland of Sara which is the Holy Nation of Caldia as it is their chief god.

I feel like it would be an honor to serve that Goddess though.

“Then, I will be going. If I get through Floor 100, tell me about your pains of the past, Eri.” (Eugene)

“Eeh~, I don’t wanna. We can have a pillow talk about my epics in my Demon Lord days☆.” (Eri)

“You have told me a whole ton about those already.” (Eugene)

I chuckled and left the underground prison where the Demon Lord is sealed in.


“Now then, it is about time we go, Sumire, Sara.” (Eugene)

I spoke to the two.

We are on the 1st Floor of the Zenith Tower.

We are meeting up here in order to head to the 100th Floor for the Trial of Gods.

“Yeah, I am prepared, Eugene-kun!” (Sumire)

“No problems here, Eugene.” (Sara)

Sumire has gotten a brand new staff that’s specialized in mana control.

Sara has her usual Holy Sword at her waist, and the custom-made exploration clothes of the Student Council.

I have brought two swords just in case.

By the way, we have told our acquaintances that we are challenging the Trial of Gods.

Leona was surprised and said: ‘You are already in the Trial of Gods?! Sumire-chan, you are way too fast!’.

Teresia said: ‘President Sara…please don’t push yourself. Also, you must not fight Sumire-san’, ‘I know. You are such a worrywart, Teresia-san…’, ‘Haah, I would have liked to go too if possible…’.

Teresia still hasn’t reached Floor 99.

Also, she still has the paperwork that she took over for Sara.

“Eeh?! You are not going to bring me along?!” -my bad friend Claude complained a whole ton.

Claude Percival is an A Rank explorer.

In other words, he has already gotten through Floor 100.

“We will challenge it with 3 people at first. It would lack the tension if there’s someone who has already passed.” (Eugene)

“I see. Then, I will pray for your fortune in battle. Don’t be reckless—wait, this is not something I can tell you, huh.” (Claude)

“What’s with that?” (Eugene)

“You pick a fight with a Divine Beast even when alone.” (Claude)

“I won’t do that anymore.” (Eugene)

I had that conversation with Claude.

The Trial of Gods this time around isn’t an irregular situation like before.

Our preparations and resolve are thoroughly completed.

At the time when all 3 of us chatted as we arrived at the dungeon elevator, a problem happened.

A party with the Magic Academy exploration uniform surrounded us.

“President Sara, you being together with Eugene must mean…!”

The one there was the man from the Enforcement Division that troubled us the other day.

There’s also a number of familiar faces that are completely armed.

“We are going to be challenging the Floor 100 from here on!”

“Hoh, so the same as us.” (Eugene)

“Eugene, the ones who become A Rank explorers are the ones who are worthy of becoming the party of President Sara! If we overcome the Trial of Gods and you fail, we will have President Sara join our explorer party!”

“Wait, can you not decide for yourself?!” (Sara)

Sara entered the conversation I had with the student council guy.

“Uwah…Eugene-kun and the men of the Student Council are fighting over Sara-chan. I feel like you could find that in doujins. A scenario right out of an NTR.” (Sumire)

“…Sumire-chan, are you saying something stupid here?” (Sara)

“Nothing~.” (Sumire)

“Look at my eyes. I can tell you are lying in an instant with magic.” (Sara)

“Scary!” (Sumire)

I found the most likely leading figure in the Student Council exploration party while they were getting all heated up there.

The attire is the normal dungeon exploration uniform.

The magic tools are all showing wear, but they are also all expensive ones.

The crest on the chest is that of the Blue Waters Federation and the academy badge.

Looks like a graduate from the Blue Waters Federation.

The Aura around that person is on a different level from the other students despite having a small build.

I was staring and my gaze was noticed.

“Oh, you are…the foolhardy-kun that challenged the Watchdog of Hades the other day.”

“Yes, Eugene Santafield. By the way, who are you?” (Eugene)

“Oh, sorry about that. I am Michelle. I am a graduate from the Academy, and currently an explorer and mercenary, I guess. I have been hired by these boys and am accompanying them in their party.” (Michelle)

The grin they showed was like that of a child and not at the same time.

I held the offered hand and they were strong contrary to their size.

And then, when I approached them, I saw the badge that had an S written on it.

“Michelle-san, you are an S Rank explorer?” (Eugene)

“That’s right. My current record is Floor 209. That said, I have been having trouble with the Floor 210 Boss for several years now, so I have been mainly working as a mercenary outside lately instead of being in the Zenith Tower.” (Michelle)

“Several years…?” (Eugene)

This Michelle-senpai in front of me only looks one or two years older than me.

“I am a half-human half-elf. My ears are the same as a human’s, so it is hard to tell though. My age is a secret☆.” (Michelle)

“I-I see.” (Eugene)

Looks like they are not exactly the age they look and is actually a seasoned explorer.

…Also, I can’t even tell if Michelle-senpai is a man or a woman.

A senpai with a whole ton of unknowns.

“Oi! We are going to the same place anyways, so let’s head to Floor 100. After that, we can decide who will be challenging the Trial of Gods first.” (Michelle)

Michelle-senpai proposed this to the men of the Student Council.

Looks like the opinion of Senpai is strong, the bunch of the Student Council didn’t seem to agree, but we got on the same dungeon elevator.

There’s a total of 12 people in the party of the Student Council.

6 are frontliners, 5 are backline; I guessed from the weapons they have.

Michelle-senpai is the only one I don’t know the job of.

There’s a sword, but there’s a lot of magic tools for mages.

I was staring and Michelle-senpai spoke to me as if reading my mind.

“I am a magic swordsman. That’s why my fighting style is that of an all-rounder, I guess.” (Michelle)

“Magic swordsman… That’s nice.” (Eugene)

The Job that I was aiming for.

I am in a way a magic swordsman with the borrowed mana though.

“I am interested in you. The young swordsman-kun whose partner is the Ifrit Sumire-chan, and on top of that, is accompanied by the top Holy Maiden candidate of Caldia. Want to try having a mock battle against me once the Trial of Gods is over?” (Michelle)

“Is that okay? I would love to.” (Eugene)

A veteran S rank adventurer that has been working outside the Dungeon City too.

There’s no reason to refuse.

“Then, I look forward to it☆.” (Michelle)

Michelle-san slaps my shoulder with a smile.

“E-Excuse me, why are you together with the Student Council people, Michelle-senpai?!” (Sumire)

Sumire joined the conversation.

“Hm? You are Sumire-chan, right? Nice to meet you. I was in the Student Council when I was in the Academy. I was greeting a professor of the Academy that had taken great care of me in the past, and these guys requested me to help them in the Floor 100. My normal commission fee starts from 1,000,000G, but they are my kouhai, so I gave them a special price of 50,000G!” (Michelle)


The voice of Sumire and I overlapped.

That’s less than 1/10th…

It seems like Michelle-senpai isn’t that much of a stickler with money.

Or maybe just looks after the underclassmen.

“President Sara, we will pass the Trial of Gods for your sake!”

“Just watch!”

“You people…even if you tell me to watch, you have an S Rank explorer to help you out…” (Sara)

“Connections are power too!”

“Eugene refused the help of the A Rank explorer Claude, you know?” (Sara)

“You must not choose your means!”

The Student Council members are talking with Sara even now.

It seems like a lot of work, but it would just get even thornier if I join in, so I decide to just watch over it.

“Hey, Eugene-kun, about the order in which we will challenge the Trial of Gods…” (Michelle)

“We are fine with challenging it after. No problem there, right, Sumire, Sara?” (Eugene)

I spoke to my two comrades.

“Eh? Is that okay, Eugene-kun?” (Sumire)

“Eugene, there’s no need to force yourself.” (Sara)

Sumire and Sara’s faces were telling me they didn’t agree.

“We won’t be able to watch how Michelle-senpai fights if we come first.” (Eugene)

“Oh! So you want to watch my gallant figure? That’s okay, that’s okay. Watch to your heart’s content☆.” (Michelle)

Michelle-senpai smacked my arm.


This person is so strong!

“Michelle-senpai, why are you getting along with Eugene?!”

“You are our ally!”

“Ahaha! You guys hired me, but I should be free to get along with other parties, right? Also, you are all students here, so you should treasure connections more. When you graduate from the Academy, it will get harder to make exploration comrades. You can get introduced to explorers in the Dungeon Union, but the leftover explorers mostly have either questionable ability or problematic personalities.” (Michelle)


“That might be true but…”

“Also, I came to the Academy in order to greet my benefactor, but I wanted to speak to good explorers since I had the chance. The talent of Lykeion Academy students is assured after all.” (Michelle)


The eyes of everyone change with the words of Michelle-senpai.

“Michelle-senpai’s party member?!”

“A chance to be invited by an S Rank explorer?”

“Maybe me…”

“I don’t take children who cause trouble to other parties~☆.” (Michelle)


The bunch that were hostile towards me calmed down.

“Thanks, Michelle-senpai.” (Eugene)

“Fufu, it is fine. I wanted to talk more with you after all☆, Eugene-kun.” (Michelle)

It makes my heart skip a beat when being looked at with those bigupturned beautiful eyes.

No, what am I thinking?

“Michelle-senpai~, thank you very much for helping us~. But aren’t you too close to Eugene?” (Sara)

Sara, who had been freed from the Student Council members, grabbed my arm.

“You are the current Student Council President-kun, huh. Nice to meet you.” (Michelle)

“Y-Yes! I am Sara Iglesias Lodis, pleased to meet you.” (Sara)

“I heard you are a Holy Sword user. I would like to see your swordsmanship too.” (Michelle)

“I don’t mind that, but you must not take Eugene away! Eugene is going to be marrying into Caldia after all!” (Sara)


Leaving aside the first half, did she not say something weird in the latter half.

Sumire and I tilted our heads.

We arrived in Floor 100 while we were having that conversation.

This floor is different from Floor 99 in that it is a very spacious empty lot.

There’s a round ring at the center of it and a complex magic circle on the ring.

(So the Trial Beast is going to be summoned from there, huh…) (Eugene)

“Alright, we are first!”

“Let’s go!!”

The Enforcement Division members ran to the ring as if calling dips.

We have already decided on the turns beforehand, so we won’t be cutting the line though.

“Hey, everyone, be careful!” (Sara)

Sara told them, worried.

“Just leave it to us, President Sara!”

“Something like the Floor 100 Trial of Gods will be easy!”

“We will get through it before Eugene!”

The Enforcement Division was full of confidence.

“Geez…” (Sara)

Sara sighed.

And at that moment…

—“The Floor 100 Trial of Gods has begun.”

A monotone voice rang.

It is the Angel Voice of the Zenith Tower’s administrator.


A black mist began to cover the ring.

This is…miasma?

A slimy and unsettling air spread around.

It is an unfitting presence for a familiar of the Divine Realm.

“This…it looks like the Trial Beast this time will be a Sin Beast.” (Michelle)

Michelle-senpai muttered this.

“A Sin Beast…is an Old God familiar that went against the Divine Realm Gods and was defeated, right?” (Eugene)

“Yeah, a Great Dark Spirit was summoned in my Floor 200 Trial of Gods, and that really flustered me. If we were too late in running away, we would have all been crippled.” (Michelle)

“Great Spirit… The race that was said to have fallen in the Divine Realm War of ancient times. They are still alive?” (Eugene)

“Spirits don’t perish. They are everywhere, just that we can’t see them. That said, controlling them is almost impossible though… Hm?” (Michelle)

There was a change on the surroundings of the ring while I was talking to Michelle-senpai.

*Rumble Rumble Rumble Rumble

Rumble Rumble Rumble*

Plants and trees I have never seen before were growing one after the other in the empty open space.

A forest was made in an instant around the ring.

A black forest filled up with miasma.

“The leaves of that tree are black… It is kind of creepy.” (Sumire)

“That’s a Demonic Tree that harbors miasma. It is a plant that inhabits one of the Last Dungeons, the Abyss, and the Demonic Forest in the West Continent where the grave of a Demon Lord is located, Sumire-chan.” (Michelle)

“That’s kind of scary…” (Sumire)

Sumire grabbed my clothes tightly.

“Well then, I will be going too. Watch from there!” (Michelle)

Michelle-senpai waved their hand with a cheerful expression and regrouped with the Student Council party.

However, that side-profile of theirs seemed slightly stiff from the tension.

Michelle-senpai gets back to the Student Council members that are on high alert.

At almost the same time as that happened, the magic circle began to shine a rainbow color.

(Just what in the world has been summoned…?) (Eugene)

I watched silently.

Sumire and Sara were not saying anything.


A scream was raised.

A black forest suddenly appeared.

And from there, black ivies tried to wrap up a Student Council member and drag them away.

“Yah!” (Michelle)

But Michelle-senpai sliced the ivies down.

“Be careful! We are already in the middle of the Trial of Gods!” (Michelle)

“But Michelle-senpai, we don’t see the enemy!”

“Attacking us while hidden. How underhanded…!”

The party was looking around while wary of the surroundings.

—“Fufu, I have been here for a while now, you know?” 

A voice clad faintly with mana echoed from above.

There’s something on top of the forest.

But I can’t see it.

(This voice…) (Eugene)

I feel like I have heard it before.

Just when I was trying to remember…



Sara raised her voice lightly, and Sumire held her chest in pain and fell on her knees.

“Are you okay?!” (Eugene)

I hurriedly run towards the two and put up a barrier.

“I am okay… I have the barrier of the Holy Sword, so look after Sumire-chan.” (Sara)

“Eugene-kun, what…is this?” (Sumire)

“You were most likely hit by the miasma filling this whole place and the mana of the voice just now.” (Eugene)

By the time I noticed, the ground and the sky had changed into a strange gray space.

Floor 100 had become like a completely separate world in itself.

This is like the Academy’s underground sealed prison…


A scream rang again.

A different student screamed and was dragged away by the black ivies.

But this time around, it was another Student Council member instead of Michelle-senpai.

“Sword Magic: [Lightning]!” (Michelle)

Michelle-senpai’s sword began to shine.

And then, rushed onto the thing that was in midair.


And a loud sound rang.

“Did we do it?!”

Someone from the Student Council shouted.

The one that fell a few seconds after was Michelle-senpai.

Senpai stood soon after, but their expression was warped in anguish.

“This is no good… Everyone…run away…” (Michelle)


“The S Rank explorer senpai has…!”

There’s Student Council members panicking and running away, and also those who are taking a battle stance there.

—“Oh my, are you leaving already?”

A black wind danced and ‘that’ showed up without a sound.

Long silver hair, white skin, beauty beyond that of any mortal, and bewitching limbs.

That beauty would make you mistake it for that of a Goddess, but the jet black wings from the back were denying that.

Michelle-senpai, the Student Council members, and Sara at my side were dumbfounded.

Sumire is the only one who doesn’t understand the situation.

There’s no resident of the South Continent who doesn’t know ‘that person’ after all.

(Why…?) (Eugene)

I couldn’t say anything because of my surprise.

“No…way…” (Sara)

Sara muttered this with a pale white face.

“E-Eugene-kun, what’s that?! Is that a Trial Beast?!! That looks like a woman though!” (Sumire)

“That’s…” (Eugene)

Before I could answer, she faced over here.

“I am Erinyes. Nice to meet you, Ifrit-chan.”


Sumire trembled.

The one standing in front of us and smiling calmly was the ruling Demon Lord of the South Continent 1,000 years ago.

The Fallen Angel Lord, Erinyes.

■Comment Response:

>What would happen if Sara were to be shown what Eugene does to Eri?

-Well, they have met now…

■Author’s Comment:

Lyco Rico <Lycoris Recoil> is ending next week huh…

I am so sad.

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