“To think it would be to this degree…” (Souma)
I gulped at the Evil God Fragment that appeared from the shadow of the building.
It is definitely more than 2 times the size of the one underground Lamurick.
If size is proportional to strength, even if I were to use the data from the game, it will most likely be impossible for me to win against it.
Even considering the possibility of fighting it normally is absent from my mind.
“Mitsuki, move to my back with Sazan still on your back.” (Souma)
I raised my voice and I could feel that Mitsuki moved to my back.
But I don’t have the time to confirm that.
Taking my eyes off the fragment for even a second might spell my death.
I was burning with impatience here and moved my left arm restlessly.
“W-We have to run away…!” (Sazan)
Sazan said with a scared voice, but that would be a bad idea.
Its tentacle attack has quite the speed and range, so this place is most likely already within attack range.
You will get stunned if you get hit once, and considering its size, there’s even the possibility of instant death with just one hit.
A metallic ear-ringing sound echoed as if to stir my thoughts.
It was only after a while that I noticed that that voice came…from the Evil God.
(So it really can talk.) (Souma)
Considering the recording, this is not strange.
But that also means that it has comparable or even more power than the main body of the Evil God in the recording, and has high intelligence on top of that.
Even if we were to fight, it would be more troubling than just plain strength…no, I had no plans of fighting it normally to begin with.
That’s why, no matter the case, it won’t be much of a difference —is what I want to believe.
“You two, run in one go to the Sorcery Tower at my signal.” (Souma)
I instruct the two in a low voice.
I didn’t even have the time to hear their response…the Evil God moved.
There’s no change to the wriggling tentacles and the giant arms.
But an ominous light gathered in the red core at the center of the Evil God’s chest, and…
Before the light was shot as the ear-ringing voice echoed…
I shouted loudly and waved my arm.
One instant later, an eye-scorching beam was shot.
A chilling scream came from my back after I ran off.
But I didn’t look back.
I move away from that place at full speed.
I was running parallel to Mitsuki towards the Mage Guild, and Sazan spoke to me from the back of Mitsuki.
“Y-You, what did you do just now? What it shot was the Flash of the Annihilator, Kill Beam, right?!” (Sazan)
“Stop it! I end up understanding it despite not wanting to, so stop that! …I reflected it with this.” (Souma)
I showed the gear I had equipped on my arm as I was on the verge of being polluted by the chuunibyou of Sazan.
This thing that is shining silver is the gear that I got from the treasury room of the castle just before defeating the Demon Lord as a countermeasure for the Evil God.
The equipment that reflects light element attacks by itself: the Mirror Gauntlet.
This is a special piece of gear, and different from the other resistance equipment, it has the special trait of reflecting any light element attacks that hit the gauntlet.
The Flash of the Annihilator, Kill—no, the Kill Beam is a light element attack with outrageous attack power.
That’s why you can’t get a big advantage if you reflect that and hit the enemy.
It would be nullified if it were to reflect it to the core, but it has outstanding power to the point of being able to destroy one part aside from that in one hit. In the fragment battle of the game, it is a basic strategy to reflect the Kill Beam that has a high chance of being shot in the beginning of the battle and destroy the head with that.
The fragment of the Evil God has a high regeneration, so it will regenerate no matter where you hit aside from the core, but if you destroy the face, you can seal the fearsome Genocide Wave, and you can also immobilize it temporarily with the damage.
“You normally do that after you have gotten the safeguard of light element nullification armor though.” (Souma)
Even if the size is different, it seems like this action I am used to doing in the game helped me out here.
The Evil God Fragment always aims its Kill Beam at the center of your chest.
That’s why, if you place the gauntlet at the correct angle, it will definitely go well, is the logic here, but…
“It really is bad for the heart.” (Souma)
I definitely wouldn’t want to do it again even if told to.
I would like to tear myself away from the Evil God if possible for the sake of that.
“Anyways, let’s hurry! [Step], [High Step], [Ground Compression]!” (Souma)
I ended the conversation and ran through the empty city.
We arrived at the Mage Guild in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately, I don’t feel the Evil God Fragment chasing behind us.
We ran into the guild, and entered the reception room at once.
Mitsuki is the only one who knows how to open the secret door here.
Mitsuki threw down Sazan from her back before even hearing my words, and jumped onto the panel that opens the door.
“Guh! Y-You, be a bit more gentle…” (Sazan)
Sazan complained after being thrown onto the ground, but there’s no time to care about him.
I picked Sazan up instead so that we can enter immediately after the door opens.
“Ah, h-hey…” (Sazan)
Sazan rampaged again in my arms, but…
“Be still!” (Souma)
I scolded him strongly, and he got unexpectedly obedient.
I glanced at the back.
The Sorcery Tower being okay is because there’s no way to enter aside from this secret door.
Putting it in another way, if we were to allow the Evil God Fragment to enter when we are entering, the people inside won’t be safe.
I pray ‘hurry hurry’.
“It is open!” (Mitsuki)
The voice of Mitsuki that had relief mixed in it made my eardrums tremble.
“Sazan, let’s go!” (Souma)
“Eh, feh!” (Sazan)
I forcefully pushed his body into the opening of the wall that was sliding to the side.
After confirming that Mitsuki jumped in one second later, I immediately operated the panel on the surface of the wall and closed the secret door.
“…Did it go well?” (Souma)
There was no sight of the Evil God Fragment on the other side of the wall even till the end.
And then, after sighing in relief…
The voice of the person that I wanted to hear the most and wanted to meet the most reached my ears.
A blue haired girl was there.
The irreplaceable comrade that I thought I had lost for a moment was standing there.
However, there was no emotional reunion soon after that.
“Sinking Prince-sama! Aah, even Hisame-sama!”
“Souma-sama, thank you for coming to save us!”
We were surrounded by the citizens that had taken refuge there, and were being crushed by them.
And then, the familiar item shop clerk said…
“Excuse me, I only have this, but please take it.”
She said this and gave me a Fancy Skull.
…No, I really don’t need it though.
Or more like, I fail to understand why you went through the trouble of bringing something like this.
“…It is great to see you have come.”
The one who spoke to us at the end was a man with a crown on his head.
“King Rihito—” (Souma)
I was about to greet him formally, but the King Rihito said ‘it is fine’ and stopped me.
“…I have lost most of my people because of my own lack of ability.
I can’t regret it enough. However, we have to save the ones that remain some way.”
I was overwhelmed by the King Rihito who said this with a regretful face and tightened fists, and then looked at my surroundings.
“So these are the only ones who managed to take refuge.” (Souma)
From what I can see, there’s only a few dozen people in the Sorcery Tower.
There’s the King, Queen, the greengrocer old lady, the item shop clerk, and the Knight Captain Spark Hawk.
But putting it in another way, that means that all the other people are…
“Are these the only ones who survived?”
At that moment, Sazan asked in a stiff tone while looking around restlessly.
“No, there’s one more. There’s someone checking the state of the surroundings from the stairs…”
The door deeper inside opened right at the time when the king answered.
The one who came from there was…
A small body.
An innocent yet poisonous smile.
A sweet voice like that of boiled sugar.
…There’s no doubt.
My voice was erased by the voice of Mitsuki that rang at my back.
My question was answered by Poison-tan who ran to Mitsuki.
“Aah, even Mitsuki-chan is here. Long time no see~!”
“You too… I knew you were alive.” (Mitsuki)
Looks like Silvia is the real name of Poison-tan.
Well, thinking about it, it wouldn’t be strange for Mitsuki and Poison-tan to be acquainted.
Speaking of which, Mitsuki was strangely wary of Poison-tan when I was a wanted person because she was an acquaintance, huh.
The atmosphere was turning mild from the awkward reunion of the two, but…
There was someone who destroyed that atmosphere completely by dashing off.
He ran to the room deep in, and disappeared into the door that Poison-tan -Silvia- came out from.
I could only be taken aback as I saw him off.
What in the world happened?
Mitsuki answered my question by my side.
“I was inconsiderate. Alex and the others are not here.” (Mitsuki)
I felt as if my head was hit with that.
I didn’t notice because I was so taken in by my reunion with Ringo and Poison-tan.
There’s no Alex, Raiden, or Baccarat here.
In other words, they are…
“I will go talk to him.” (Mitsuki)
Saying this, Mitsuki left.
I hesitated for a moment and decided soon after.
“King Rihito, I am sorry, but…” (Souma)
“I also ask this of you. Please chase after that child.”
King Rihito asked me instead before I could bring it out.
“Despite appearances, that child has a lot of burdens.
No, we were the ones that burdened that child.
…That’s why, please.”
I don’t know why King Rihito said that.
No, if Sazan really is the descendant of Nameless and a noble, he might have been close to the King Rihito.
…No, that doesn’t matter right now.
There’s no need for a reason to worry about my comrade.
“Let’s go, Ringo!” (Souma)
I took the hand of Ringo who was looking over here with bewildered eyes for some reason, and we walked to the door deep in.
“…So, why did you come too?”
There’s a big room on every floor of the Sorcery Tower, so you have to pass the room in order to head to the stairs for the next floor.
I looked back in front of the door to the second floor, and there was Poison-tan there.
“Eh?! Do you think there’s any other reason aside from this being interesting?” (Poison)
Being told this as if saying ‘aren’t you an idiot?’ I was on the verge of exploding even in this situation.
I endured that and Poison-tan laughed with an evil ‘nishishishi’.
“Geez, I am kidding, just kidding. A moving scene will be happening, so it would be a pain if there were interlopers, right?
That’s why I will be watching over the door~!” (Poison)
No, you are the one getting in the way -is something I couldn’t say.
“It is okay, I won’t let anyone in, so take your time~!” (Poison)
I was seen off as if implying something as I entered the room.
“Mitsuki, Sazan…” (Souma)
Sazan was leaning on the far-off wall of the spacious room, and Mitsuki was telling him something in front of him.
It seems like Mitsuki has noticed we have come, but it is not an atmosphere we can go into.
I returned the mitarashi dango I was about to take out from my bag.
“Can’t be helped. We will wait here—Ringo?” (Souma)
That’s when I noticed what was strange with Ringo who I was holding hands with this whole time.
Ringo was holding my hand without strength, and was facing down as if fearing to meet my gaze.
“What’s the matter? Was it scary?” (Souma)
When I asked this, Ringo shook her head.
And then muttered.
“…I am…sorry.” (Ringo)
An apology again.
I don’t get it.
“There’s nothing for you to apologize about, Ringo.” (Souma)
“But I have…troubled you again…” (Ringo)
“You didn’t trouble me at all!” (Souma)
I cut off the words Ringo was about to say.
I grabbed both of Ringo’s shoulders and said this clearly.
“I am happy that you are alive…and I was able to get to where you are.” (Souma)
I look straight at the beautiful sky-blue eyes.
“If we are talking about troubling, you being gone is a whole lot more troubling.
When I heard that you were dead, it really hammered the fact of how important you are to me.
That’s why, stay by my side from here on too…” (Souma)
Just when I said that much with a blushed face…
A thunderous sound that shook all the way to my stomach rang and the tower quaked.
“W-What was that?” (Souma)
I don’t get what happened just now.
But I had a bad feeling.
Ringo and I look at each other’s faces.
Her expression is stiff.
She must have taken this abnormal situation as a serious matter.
I glanced deep in.
Mitsuki was making the flustered Sazan stand up.
That place should be fine with Mitsuki there.
But seriously, what happened?
“Could it be that the Evil God Fragment is attacking the tower from outside?” (Souma)
But this tower is a separate map.
No matter how much you attack the surface of the tower, it shouldn’t affect the inside.
In the special abilities of the Evil God…
Just when I was about to grasp a hint, the door at the back rang loudly as it opened.
I readied myself, but the one there was Poison-tan.
“What, don’t scare us—” (Souma)
I was about to complain, but…
Poison-tan falls forward.
And before she reached the floor…
That body of hers turned into light and disappeared into the air.
I couldn’t believe it.
It was such a sudden ending.
But just now…right in front of me…
—A person certainly died.
“You gotta be kidding me…” (Souma)
Not just anyone.
An acquaintance of mine, always laughing, always nasty, but kind, and has meddled with me a lot.
Strong, reliable, and hateful.
A person that you would think wouldn’t die no matter what…
I called her again.
But what showed up instead of an answer was…
A dark red something stretching out from the other side of the door.
That something hit the place where Poison-tan was just now and bent its tip.
The tip of the dark red tentacle had a familiar hair ornament.
That’s from Poison-tan who was teasing me just now…
“…Dimension Breaker.” (Souma)
At the same time as that happened, my way too slow brain led me to this answer.
An Evil God Fragment that has grown to a certain degree has the ability to travel dimensions.
The reason why the Evil God Fragment was staying in the city was because it was aiming to slaughter all the survivors remaining in the Sorcery Tower.
It destroyed the walls of this tower that should be isolated by using Dimension Breaker, and attacked this tower.
I snapped back at the scream by my side.
At the same time as that happened, muddy air entered from the opened door.
The sudden turn of events slowed my decision making.
Ringo and I got hit by the miasma that was blown in.
Fortunately, it seems like I managed to resist the status ailment effect of the miasma.
The effects of the status ailment defensive ring have shown its utility here.
“Ringo, we are retreating from here! Ringo?!” (Souma)
“Souma, legs…” (Ringo)
But that wasn’t the same for Ringo.
There’s a pitch black effect on the legs of Ringo.
“Damn it! Shadow Bind!” (Souma)
The status ailment Shadow Bind that seals the movement of the afflicted person.
It is a status ailment that’s rarely used, but the troublesome part of it is that others can’t carry them until it runs out.
I stretched my hand to the bag in order to bring out a potion, but the enemy didn’t wait for that.
The walls around the door were blown open from the outside.
What jumped out from there were tentacles, tentacles, and more tentacles.
They all came at us with their tips and…
They didn’t attack us, and around 2 meters of distance from us, they instead dropped one thing after another.
Ring, shield, stick, vegetable, piece of paper, and cloth.
The dozens of items that didn’t have commonality fell onto the ground.
And then, the moment I saw the skull and the crown falling at the end, I understood what was going on here.
“Clerk-san, King Rihito…?” (Souma)
There’s dozens of articles the Evil God Fragment stole from the people in the 1st Floor.
In other words, the amount of items that fit the people on the 1st floor were dropped…
“So that’s what this is?” (Souma)
The inside of my head boiled.
I glared at the horde of tentacles that covered my whole vision and stood in front of Ringo.
Ringo raised her voice in protest, but I didn’t stop.
It is not like I am facing them without a plan.
They wasted their chance when they didn’t immediately attack.
Ringo can’t move.
Mitsuki and the others won’t make it in time.
There’s many tentacles in front of us.
Then there’s only one thing to do.
“—Sweep them all!!” (Souma)
The same time as I shouted this, I activated a certain skill.
—[Incarnation of Fury].
This skill that multiplies all my stats for a brief period of time can change even my speed to 3 times more.
If someone like me with 3 times the average speed were to use it, it would be 9 times the average.
It is not a speed you would normally be able to control.
Not even moving, it is impossible to do delicate command inputs like Skill Cancel.
Even so, it is still possible to use skills as they are.
That’s why I held Shiranui.
The skill that I will activate with this weapon that I have cut through many dangers with is obviously…
“—[Midare Sakura]!” (Souma)
This slashing effect that takes 18 seconds to finish was called Instant Samidare Slash because of how unwieldy it is.
But that’s if it is used normally.
With a 9 times acceleration that goes beyond the realm of common sense, I can shorten the 18 second slashes into 2 seconds.
A sword dance that even my eyes can’t keep up with.
Countless slashes that would be stupid to count and were far more than the amount of tentacles there were flashing around.
“How’s that?!” (Souma)
Right after the long but short 2 seconds…the mushy sound of flesh being sliced blew up the tentacles that were around without leaving a single trace, and silver lights danced around…
I couldn’t tell for a while what was the meaning of those silver lights dancing in my vision.
But after searching for the source of that anomaly, I noticed what it was.
I ended up noticing.
The weapon that I swung after finishing the effect of the Midare Sakura…the katana that has fought a ton of enemies together with me since the game days, had the blade of it missing.
It is true that my attack power reached the Evil God Fragment.
However, what decides the durability decrease of a weapon isn’t the power of the user, but the attack power of the weapon itself.
Shiranui was swung against an enemy with a difference in strength, and couldn’t endure the continuous slashes of Midare Sakura.
And because of the shock of losing Shiranui, I lacked awareness of my surroundings.
That’s why, deep in the horde of tentacles, at the other side of the broken wall of the tower…I didn’t notice that the core of the Evil God was peeking in.
The heart of the Evil God Fragment.
An ominous light was gathering on the core that shoots a powerful beam.
“Ah, my body can’t move—” (Souma)
I tried to escape.
I tried to place the Mirror Gauntlet.
But my body was not moving an inch, betraying my will.
No matter how much Agility you increase, you can’t shorten this negative point of activating skills.
A fatal opening.
An unpleasant creaking sound.
I could only listen to the sound that denoted my death…
I felt an impact from my back.
I was pushed by something and rolled on the ground.
The ominous red light disappeared from my vision.
I know what happened.
Ringo pushed me.
“You saved me there!” (Souma)
I desperately raised my body that was too accelerated, and faced my life savior Ringo…
—-And a streak of light had pierced Ringo.
The words clung onto my throat.
I couldn’t speak.
What must not happen has happened right in front of me.
The light that should have pierced me has shot through the center of Ringo’s chest, her thin body shook…shook and…
Seeing her own body changing into particles of light, Ringo made a wondering and slightly troubled face.
And then, she slowly raised her head.
When she found me, she soon made a happy face.
And with a raspy voice, she did her best to open her mouth.
“Souma…I love y—” (Ringo)
I desperately stretch out my hand.
I stretched my hand in order to stop the light particles that were melting into the air.
But I couldn’t reach it.
The light that was once Ringo went through my fingers and disappeared in the sky.
At that place where Ringo disappeared from, something hard fell on the ground.
A partially destroyed watch.
The Chronos Watch that Ringo held onto the whole time.
The promised watch that we held on to walk the same time together is no longer moving…