ZAP – Chapter 45: Eugene faces the Demon Lord

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“Uuh, I am nervous…” 

Inside the dungeon elevator. 

Sumire is restlessly moving around inside of it.

“Sumire-chan, it will take a while before we reach Floor 100. How about drinking this?” (Sara)

Sara gave Sumire a magic beverage that has the effect of stabilizing the mind. 

“Thank you…Sara-chan… Oop. I think I am feeling a bit better now.” (Sumire)

“I see. That’s a relief. Speaking of which, you are the same as usual, Eugene.” (Sara)

“You could say that. Are you not nervous, Sara?” (Eugene)

When I asked this, Sara smiled awkwardly. 

“Once I reported this to the Holy Maiden-samas in my country, they pressured me quite a lot; telling me to leave marks of the Holy Nation no matter what…” (Sara)

“Don’t push yourself. I will fight against E—the Demon Lord. Please concentrate on freeing the hostages, Sara.” (Eugene)

“Hey, Eugene-kun, are you not scared of the Demon Lord?” (Sumire)

Sumire asked me with an upturned gaze. 

“…Yeah, I am okay.” (Eugene)

“Haah…That’s impressive.” (Sumire)

“We are going against the Legendary Demon Lord, you know? What are your nerves made of?” (Sara)

Sumire and Sara made amazed expressions, but me not fearing the Demon Lord is a bit different from what they imagine. 

I am sure I wouldn’t be this calm against any other Demon Lord aside from Eri.

—“We will soon be reaching Floor 100.”

A monotone voice rang in the dungeon elevator. 

“““………”””

We all naturally fell silent.

The door of the dungeon elevator opens slowly. 

There was no spacious empty space like before. Even though there’s no wind, a black forest shaking creepily was spreading before our eyes. 

I took the front and slowly advanced through the forest. 

The vision is bad. 

The dense mist is making it impossible to see a few steps ahead. 

Having difficulty breathing must be because of the miasma.

“Sumire, how are you feeling?” (Eugene)

Sumire couldn’t even properly stay up before because she was hit by the Demon Lord’s miasma. 

“I am feeling a bit bad, but…I am okay.” (Sumire)

“Sumire-chan, don’t leave my side. Even if you have the magic gear that King Uther lent you, you don’t have any techniques that allow you to resist the miasma.” (Sara)

“…Yeah. Thanks, Sara-chan…” (Sumire)

The plan this time will have Sumire and Sara pair up. 

Erinyes has spread a living barrier, Black Shell Forest, in the whole Floor 100.

Sumire is in charge of burning down the black forest; Sara is in charge of saving the captured hostages.

I will face the Demon Lord in order to buy time for the two. 

That’s why I will be the only one going deep into the forest. 

“Well then, I will go ahead and declare my challenge to the Trial of Gods. Once you hear the Angel Voice, please carry out the plan.” (Eugene)

I spoke to the two, and just when I was about to go ahead alone, the two grabbed my arms. 

“Sumire? Sara?” (Eugene)

Before I could ask if there was an issue here, Sumire said this to me with a serious face. 

“Hey, Eugene-kun.” (Sumire)

“What?” (Eugene)

“Once we get through this Trial of Gods safely, there’s something I want to tell you.” (Sumire)

Sumire’s red face and teary eyes told me this isn’t just anything. 

“Something you want to tell me? You could tell me now.” (Eugene)

“No, I will tell you once we have safely gotten through Floor 100. Getting through Floor 100 is one objective of explorers, right? That’s why I will tell you once we achieve that.” (Sumire)

“? Got it.” (Eugene)

It bothered me, but I didn’t pursue it any further.

Let’s ask her again once we pass Floor 100.

“Eugene.” (Sara)

This time around, it was Sara who held my hand tightly. 

She slowly leaned her body onto me and whispered to me at a distance where her breath could touch me. 

Sara’s long hair touched my body and it made my heart skip a beat. 

“I…also have something to tell you. I actually should have told you sooner -before the thieving cat appeared…” (Sara)

“Hey, Sara-chan~?” (Sumire)

“Can you not interrupt, Sumire-chan? I dutifully waited for you to finish saying what you had to say, right?” (Sara)

“Who is this thieving cat you are talking about?” (Sumire)

“Oh my, oh my, can’t tell unless told? What a dense little kitten.” (Sara)

“Is this the mouth that’s spewing vile~? Even though you are called the pure and innocent student council president in front of everyone, aren’t you a bit too harsh on me~?” (Sumire)

“This is my original personality. You can’t fill the role of Holy Maiden Candidate by just being honest after all. Isn’t it about time you learn how to speak with more decency, Sumire-chan?” (Sara)

Sumire and Sara are pinching each other’s cheeks. 

“Y-You two…get along, okay?” (Eugene)

This time’s plan hinges on Sumire and Sara.

I thought they began getting along recently, but they would quarrel like this every now and then.

“Leave it to me, Eugene-kun! I will do this perfectly with Sara-chan.” (Sumire)

“Yeah, I will look after Sumire-chan. You don’t have to worry.” (Sara)

“Let’s go, Sara-chan!” (Sumire)

“You should be following behind me!” (Sara)

“Isn’t that fine? Let’s go while holding hands.” (Sumire)

“I have to use barrier magic to hold your hand or I would get burned, and I don’t like that!” (Sara)

The two were bickering loudly while disappearing to a different path from mine. 

We have confirmed the locations of the hostages beforehand. 

They should be heading there. 

I looked up.

It is hard to tell because it is hidden within trees, but there’s a floating spherical magic tool. 

It is called The Eye of Babel.

The whole South Continent can see the state of the Last Dungeon through the Satellite System with that eye. 

(Are Pops and…Airi watching?) (Eugene)

Even if they are not watching right now, they will probably see it at some point in time. 

We are talking about the Demon Lord here. 

(I can’t show them a pathetic sight…) (Eugene)

I thought this while slowly advancing through the black forest. 

I thought there would be some sort of obstruction, but nothing of the sort happened.

I eventually ended up in a slightly open space, and that place alone was bright. 

A small spring was lying right inside the black forest. 

White flowers were in full bloom around it, creating an ephemeral sight. 

A beautiful woman is sleeping within the white flowers. 

Her usual jet black wings are nowhere to be seen. 

She apparently can bring them out freely.

I could hear steady breathing. 

Has she noticed me?

Oh well.

There’s no ambush in a Trial of Gods. 

You have to show your power in a fair battle.

“Eugene Santafield challenges the Trial of Gods.” (Eugene)

I whisper this to the explorer badge.

The monotone Angel Voice echoes in the floor as if in response to this. 

—“The application for the Trial of Gods from the challenger Eugene Santafield has been accepted… Uh, seriously, please do something about this. I beg of you.” 

(…Hm?) (Eugene)

The latter part of the announcement was weird. 

But I had no time to bother about that. 

The air changed.

“Fuwah~. Finally a challenger has come.” 

Because Erinyes had gotten up.

And then, when she saw my face, her eyes opened wide and she blinked a few times. 

*Grin*

She must have thought of something, her lips curved into a grin.

“Eyes of Babel, leave.” (Eri)

“……Eh?” (Eugene)

I ended up letting out my voice, dumbstruck.

The ‘eye’ of the Satellite System watching me from above went somewhere faraway.

The eyes of the Last Dungeon that no one should be able to interfere with. 

Cold sweat came out from me. 

Eri directed a big smile at me without knowing about that feeling of mine. 

“Heya there, Eugene! You came to see me, right?” (Eri)

Erinyes waved her hand. 

That way too usual attitude of hers almost took me out of it, but the miasma she is letting out can’t be compared to the usual. 

The small body of Eri looked bigger than a dragon in my eyes.

“Hey, Eri, aren’t you going to return to the basement of the academy?” (Eugene)

I said this while placing a hand on the handle of my sword.

Sumire has shared her Ifrit mana with me. 

I have one more trick up my sleeve this time around.

“Hmm, it has been a while since I am free. I would like to enjoy that for a bit more, I guess~. By the way, your girls are not together with you.” (Eri)

“They said Eri is scary, so they won’t come.” (Eugene)

Liar.” (Eri)

She easily saw through my lie. 

I didn’t think I would be able to deceive her in the first place. 

The black forest is a barrier that the Demon Lord created.

She probably sees through every action of ours as long as we are inside it. 

“The Ifrit girl…is wearing weird clothes. It must be the taste of that Academy Principal geezer, right? As for the other Holy Maiden apprentice…she at least holds a Holy Sword, but she doesn’t know how to use it at all… As she is right now, she probably doesn’t hear the voice either… Hmm…” (Eri)

She talks as if she is watching while she speaks. 

No, she must be seeing them through the barrier. 

“I am the challenger of the Trial of Gods, Eri.” (Eugene)

I unsheathe my sword and activate Mana Sword. 

The blade shone red and made sizzling sounds. 

“I didn’t raise you to be such an impatient man, Eugene.” (Eri)

Big black wings appeared and spread open on the back of Eri. 

At the same time as that happened, black wind shook the whole forest heavily. 

(What an unbelievable miasma…) (Eugene)

The miasma in the Underground Prison can’t even compare. 

It is the type that would make a person with no resistance against this mana to lose consciousness in an instant…

(Sumire, Sara…) (Eugene)

Just when my attention was away…

“You are not concentrating.” 

The Demon Lord appeared in front of my very eyes. 

(Teleport?!) (Eugene)

My body moved before my brain.

I barely manage to avoid the hand of the Demon Lord that tried to grab my neck.

*Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom Whoom*

More than a hundred branch spears flew at me from the black forest. 

I block those with barriers and my Flame Blade.

“Oh my, nicely done. Then, how about this? Dark Magic: [Shadow Beast].” (Eri)

Lions on two legs with long claws and pitch black bodies appeared around me. 

Tens of shadow beasts jumped at me all at once.

There’s way too many! 

“Twin Heavenly Resonance Style: [Kamaitachi]!!” (Eugene)

The sword waves that increased in numbers with the Kamaitachi drop the heads of the shadow beasts.

As if aiming for that moment…

“Dark Magic: [Black Wind Fang].” 

A singing voice rang. 

Attacks assailed me without even giving time to catch my breath. 

The mouth of a giant beast appeared right in front of me and swallowed me. 

“Kuh!” 

Even after covering my body with barriers, there were nasty cracking sounds coming from my whole body. 

“Twin Heavenly Resonance Style: [Dance of the Lion]!!” (Eugene)

I pierce through one point and escaped from the spell of the Demon Lord.

The Demon Lord clapped when she saw this. 

“You have to do at least that much.” (Eri)

The Demon Lord seemed to be satisfied, but my mind was filled with unease. 

Forget about landing a hit on Eri. I haven’t even been able to close the distance to her. 

I can’t stay like this.

(Not yet…?) (Eugene)

I remembered the conversation I had with the Academy Principal in the training. 

◇◇

“Sumire-kun, wear this.” (Uther)

“Is this the magic tool that makes you better at magic?” (Sumire)

What Principal Uther gave to Sumire was a red magic robe. 

It looks a bit old and I can’t feel a lot of mana from the magic tool itself. 

Even though it is a treasured possession of the Academy Principal, it didn’t look as if it were a big deal. 

It seems like Sara, who knows more about magic than me, has the same opinion.

But the moment Sumire passed her arm into the robe, I got goosebumps. 

The air smelled burnt. 

There’s sparks dancing around. 

What in the world is happening? 

“T-This is…” (Sumire)

Sumire herself seems to be confused.

“It was a success, Sumire-kun. This magic tool’s name is the Salamander Robe. When you wear this, it has the effect of gathering Fire Spirits enmasse. Normal humans would have their whole body burned in less than 5 minutes.” (Uther)

“Wait, Principal?!! What are you making me wear?!” (Sumire)

“Don’t worry. You are an Ifrit, Sumire-kun. You are above Fire Spirits. You won’t get burned. Spirits will run away if you put up a barrier, so I couldn’t wear it either. They would need to be able to wear this Great Fire Spirit Robe without doing anything, but there’s no person who could do that, so I had given up…” (Uther)

“Until Sumire came.” (Eugene)

“That’s right! Truly a blessing.” (Uther)

The Academy Principal laughed out loudly. 

“King Uther, forgive me for speaking out here, but it is said that Spirit magic is even harder to use than normal magic. It is the kind that long living elves and dwarves would take long years of their lives to finally attain. I think it would be hard for Sumire-chan…” (Sara)

“Eh?! Really, Sara-chan?” (Sumire)

“I have heard about that before.” (Eugene)

Just like Sara said, we have been taught this in the academy. 

But the Principal just grinned.

“That’s right. The difficulty to obtain Spirit Magic is way too high within all magic, so it is mostly respected from afar. In the first place, why is it so hard to use Spirit Magic? It is because Spirits are whimsical. You have to devote long years of your life to get along with Spirits in order to control them. But you are going against the Fallen Angel, Erinyes. Do you know the reason why Spirits and Angels are antagonistic towards each other, Sumire-kun?” (Uther)

“Uuh, I think I have a faint memory of it…and not…” (Sumire)

“There was a war between the Gods that ruled over Spirits and the Gods that ruled over Angels.” (Eugene)

“Aaah, the Divine Realm War stuff! I remember now!” (Sumire)

I threw a lifeboat and Sumire hammered her hand.

“That’s why Spirit Magic is extremely effective against Erinyes. Let me teach you a trick of Spirit Magic. There’s no need for Sumire-kun to give detailed instructions. If you tell them ‘I would like to defeat the former Archangel Erinyes, please lend me your strength, Fire Spirits’, they will happily lend you their strength. There’s the need to learn Spirit Language, but it should be transmitted to them with the effect of the Salamander Robe.” (Uther)

“I see… But we can’t use it as everyday clothes. It might end up in a fire just from her wearing it.” (Eugene)

I said this while looking at the sparks around her.

“In those instances, you either walk around without wearing the robe, or use barrier magic so that the Spirits can’t approach. Fortunately, the two of you can use barrier magic.” (Uther)

“So it would be dangerous if she is not with me or Sara. Sara and Sumire will be moving as a pair then.” (Eugene)

“Can you do it?” (Uther)

“U-Understood! I will try.” (Sumire)

Sumire nodded while looking nervous. 

This is how Sumire became a Spirit Magic User (tentative) in a day. 

◇◇

“Now then, next is…oh?” (Eri)

The Demon Lord noticed the abnormality. 

There’s spark dancing in the whole forest. 

Looks like Sumire managed to safely request the Fire Spirits. 

The black forest is shaking in pain.

“Hmm, Fire Spirits, huh~. That’s a bit annoying.” (Eri)

Only a bit.

I feel like her carefree attitude of just now has disappeared a tiny bit only. 

“I hope you don’t think this has put you at an advantage, Eugene.” (Eri)

The Demon Lord held her hand up.

A single black spear fell onto her hand.

“The spear of the world tree, huh. Well, better than nothing I guess.” (Eri)

“?!” 

The moment the Demon Lord took a stance with that spear, I felt pressure as if that blade had been pushed onto my throat. 

“There’s still time, so…let’s slaughter each other a whole ton, okay, Eugene?” (Eri)

The Demon Lord licked her lips lightly. 

I could feel sweat going down my neck.

…Looks like the Legendary Demon Lord that ruled the South Continent is going to be taking me seriously now. 

■Comment Response:

>Just how old is King Uther? 

>Or more like, what race is he? He is definitely not human.

→The secret of the academy principal will be revealed eventually. 

He doesn’t seem like your regular human, huh.

■Author’s Comment 1: 

I have actually changed the title stealthily.

(New Title) 

Tale of the Sword Saint beginning with Zero Attack Power ~ Abandoned by his childhood friend Oracle, he enrolled in the Magic Academy, and ended up making a contract with the Demon Lord ~

(Old Title)

The Squishy Swordsman with Zero Attack Power ~Abandoned by his Childhood Friend Oracle, he entered the Magic Academy, and ended up looking after the Demon Lord~

■Translator Comment: 

So…what do you guys think? Should I change the title as well? Or just add that there has been a change? Don’t know how confusing it will be in novelupdates if there’s a title change to be honest.

Would like your opinions on this one. Keep it the same or change it? 

■Author’s Comment 2: 

The illustrations of the 10th Volume of Zero Believers Goddess have been published.

https://over-lap.co.jp/Form/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?shop=0&pid=9784824003133&vid=&cat=BNK&swrd=

Here you will be able to check the cover + the 1st illustration.

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