Maou na Ore to Fushihime no Yubiwa:Volume 3 Chapter 6
Chapter 6: The beginning of the end
“By the way, oniichan, when will we go back?”
While we were having breakfast at the hotel, that question came from my sister’s lips.
“… Well. Since it was written on the tour ticket sent by mom that it was 4 days and 3 nights… Maybe around the day after tomorrow?”
“But, you know. Come to think of it, does it still matter what the ticket said?”
“Well… That’s true.”
“To tell the truth… I’m also worried about that. We can’t text to the human world from the Netherworld… I have to contact daddy soon.”
“Is that so? Why don’t we ask Lilith-san about bringing forward a bit the date of return?”
“There’s no need for that.”
“… Ah! Lilith-san. None too soon.”
As usual, Lilith-san appeared at an unexpected time from a unexpected place.
“So… What do you mean by not having to worry about it?”
“Since you all will be staying in the Netherworld for some more time.”
“Some more… How many days are we talking about?”
“… Let’s see. If things go well, maybe you will leave the Netherworld in 3 years’ time?”
“Yeah. By the way, I meant three years would be if things go well… Assuming the worst case, you’ll spend all your lives in the Netherworld.”
“… Erm, of course that’s a joke, isn’t it?”
“No. I’m being serious. What need do I have to lie to you?”
Hearing Lilith-san saying it wasn’t a joke, the cheerful atmosphere from a while ago changed abruptly.
As if it were a lie, the mood became gloomy.
“… Good grief, that’s stupid.”
Said Zonmi, slamming the chopsticks she was eating with against the table.
“Even though I’m indifferent about returning, to reach the world of humans from here you just have to get done with some formalities.
Chiharu… You don’t need to listen to what she’s saying. Come on, let’s retrieve our luggage. We’ll leave from here this very morning.”
“Hey. Zonmi, wait!”
I held back Zonmi, who was leaving without a word.
At least… It’s not too late to listen a bit more about what’s happening.
“I see. Even if you really want to leave, it’s still fine.”
“… ? What do you mean?”
“It’s going to be the same no matter what you do. It will be a problem if you underestimate us demons. At our call, forget reaching the human world, you wouldn’t manage to even leave this island.”
“I see. If ye will go even to the extent of confining us, beyond doubt it’s something very deep. Isn’t it, Demon?”
Iris looked at Lilith-san sending daggers with her glance,
“… Why dostn’t thou be truthful with us already? The real reason we have come to the Netherworld…”
“… Is that so? Do I not have to keep it secret anymore?”
As if realizing something, Lilith-san slowly started to tell us.
“Frankly speaking, Chiharu-sama’s existence is too much of a danger to us.
A chimera between a human and a demon… If that existence reaches public knowledge… The illegal organization that is researching the combination of humans and monsters… It’s not like its members will keep quiet.
With your power, as you hold the power of a monster while having a human body, replacing the current humanity with a brand new humanity… It’s possible for that unrealistic event to happen.”
I didn’t know.
However, If, as Lilith-san says, that kind of underground organization exists, no doubt my very being would be a suitable sample for them.
… Mm, wait.
“Could it be that that organization you say…?”
The mysterious monster tamer I battled the other day crossed my mind.
I recalled Noelle, who, while being a human, had the power of a monster.
“It’s as Chiharu-sama has guessed. The Black Tamers… Those guys are the leading people in researching the merging of humans with monsters.”
Is that so?
So it was like that…!!?
It looks like I have tied together everything about the doubts that were haunting me until now.
The reason the Black Tamers came for us so desperately.
And, about the monster tamer I battled before. The reason that Noelle held the ability to turn her own body into a monster.
If we think that all of that is because of their research, everything that happened up till now comes together.
“I’ve understood the reason why I can’t return to the human world.
However… Why now? If you simply wanted to trap me at the Netherworld… You should have done it earlier.”
“That’s right. If, like up until now, Chiharu-sama’s secret was safe, you could be allowed to keep living at the human world, but… Regrettably, that cannot be.”
“So that means… The secret has been leaked somewhere?”
“Yeah. Are we talking about 3 months ago? An unauthorized access to the database managed by the IMA was confirmed. What’s more… As the culprit held internal privileges, we didn’t discover it until recently…”
“…So it was like that.”
Speaking about three months ago, that’s around the same time I received on my cell the mail from the IMA.
Come to that, could it be that my being chosen as a monster tamer and the leakage of my information from the IMA database are connected somehow!?
So, the moment after I was about to voice my doubt.
Suddenly, the sound of a siren resounded inside the room.
At first, I thought that a small fire had started, but it seems that it’s not that.
The sound of the siren, rather than from inside the hotel… Seems to be coming from outside the building.
“Head maid… It’s an emergency!”
The one who appeared before us was a maid who was breathing roughly, and her countenance surmised that “what happened is no trivial matter”.
“What is it!?”
“An enemy attack! The opponent is likely the Black Tamers… They number 30… No, more like 50! Before the enemy charge, our defensive lines are on the verge of collapsing. Some of them have infiltrated already.”
“… Is that a mistake? This island, entirely covered with a summon forbidding field, should have perfect counter terrorist defenses.”
“About that… The enemy wields a strange skill that lets them change their own body into a monster… They don’t seem to mind the summon forbidding field in the least.”
A shadow fell over Lilith-san’s face,
“… How stupid. Do they plan on repeating the same error as ten years ago?”
“Erm… What the heck is happening on this island? Besides, just now… Black Tamers…”
“It seems that we don’t have the time to explain it properly. Chiharu-sama… Leave from here at once.”
Right after Lilith-san commanded me so.
There was a creaking noise of broken glass.
As we looked at the source of the noise, from outside the broken window, a single giant monster entered the hotel.
That monster was shaped like a wolf with lovely black hair & huge fangs.
“Yoh… Long time no see. I was looking forward for the day to come for me to exert my revenge against you… Kusumi-kun!”
Wh-who’s this guy…
I’m sorry, but I don’t remember having met any werewolf.
“Haha! You can’t guess with this shape? Don’t worry, will you remember me once we start to fight!?”
After spewing that sentence, the wolf monster swung down its paws against me.
It’s definitely not a move I can’t react against, but… I didn’t dare to evade it.
Why?… Since, for starters, I didn’t feel that there was a need to evade.
As soon as the werewolf identified me as its target, Zonmi, ready for combat, fended off the attack with her umbrella.
“… Tch. You again, bitch? Thanks for taking care of me back then. Ghoul womaaan!”
“I remember this face from somewhere… The man who we battled before that used a Minotaur… Is that you?”
“On the mark! I’m glad that you remember me!
Haha! This time it won’t be like last time! Ill show you the might of me, who’s called the strongest among Seconds!”
Is it… A joke…?
This werewolf’s true identity… Is the black suited Black Tamer I battled before?
The shocking thing is that it’s not part of his body.
The Black Tamers’ members have genuinely… Completed their research to turn a human into a monster!?
… Though that was a surprise, it’s not like I’ll show my agitation to the enemy.
I have to show to them a composed smile.
“Can you allow yourself to look away? I too have strengthened my battle power.”
“… Haah? Bastard, what are you… Guah!?”
Receiving a severe blow on his flank, the werewolf rose a dull moan.
“Haru… I’ll protect you!”
Kyouko’s dropkick from the side had enough strength to send flying the large build of the werewolf.
From the start, in battle power alone, Kyouko can suitably be called the strongest of our members.
And in addition to that, because of making a contract with me, that destructive power has grown and become something fearsome.
“If you forget about Manami, you’ll regret it♪”
Saying that, Manami dynamically threw a pair of huge kitchen knives in a boomerang fashion.
That strength surprisingly seemingly being nothing to make light of, with the knives stuck to his forehead, the werewolf let out a big moan and one of his knees touched the ground.
“… Keh! Isn’t a surprise attack bad manners?!
However, I didn’t expect it… For you bastard of a rookie to so quickly… Contract three monsters…”
I’m very sorry for the misunderstanding.
You may not believe me when I say this to you, but… My sister is not a monster.
“… I beg you fall back a bit.”
“Eh!! But it’s fine. Can Manami fight? If Manami uses her girl power, monster or whatever, won’t he fall in one punch?”
“It bothers me that you think that’s fine!”
As I remarked that to her, Manami, *GUFUFU*, let out an unpleasant laughter,
“Humf♡ There’s no way.
Oniichan can’t help but worryingly worry about Manami♪
Kyaaah♡ Could it be that Manami… Is being loved!?”
“… Yup. Since it’s a pain in the ass, let’s leave it like that.”
Somehow managing to make my sister leave the front lines, I let out a sigh.
The werewolf, having heard our conversation from the start to the end, let out a composed laugh,
“Haha! How surprisingly easygoing. Thanks to your long conversation, bastards, I too could finish my preparations.”
Looking to where the man’s gaze pointed at, there were five giant flight-type monsters, six, seven… One by one they could be seen coming here from outside the window.
Each and every of those guys was shaped like a bird or an insect, and like this, they were closing the distance with us.
This is bad.
No matter how strong Zonmi and the rest are, we can’t stand up to these numbers by normal means.
Now all of us have to cooperate…
When I made that judgment and looked around, I suddenly noticed something.
—I couldn’t see Iris anywhere.
“… Don’t tell me!?”
The worst possibility crossed my mind.
That’s right. Hearing news about the Black Tamers, how could Iris keep doing nothing? I dare say that Iris, right now… To exert her revenge, there’s no doubt that she must have taken the absurd action of going by herself.
… As I was thinking that, the flight-type monsters entered the hotel one after another.
The man laughed loudly,
“Haha! Now things have changed! You’d do better surrendering like this, you bastard.”
It seems that, as expected, the objective of the Black Tamers is me.
It looks like they want to use my body to further their research.
Lilith-san called my name.
Before I knew it, she has brought heavily armed maids, ready for the battle.
“Their objective is you. This place, how about… You leave this place to us? Chiharu-sama, please head to the underground passage I showed you the other day.”
“We apologize for our difficult to accept request. You’re worried about the safety of Zonmi-sama and the rest, right? However, be relieved. If we stabilize the front lines, they can go after you… Erm. I beg your pardon. Could you please repeat to me what I’ve just said?”
“You said to leave this place to you.”
“Take care of Zonmi and the rest.”
“Eh, errrm… Yes. You can surely leave it in our hands.”
That I complied with the two answers may have been quite surprising to her.
Lilith-san was confused for a while with a face that said “there’s something I don’t quite understand”.
… I better leave before she becomes aware.
Of course, this time, I won’t comply in the least with what Lilith-san has said.
I have one thing I must do.
To retrieve Iris, who has gone to fight alone, and save her from her pinch.
After all… I promised her that night.
If you ever fall into a pinch, no matter what kind… I’ll definitely go to save you!
I’m worried about the safety of Zonmi and the lot, but since the enemy’s objective is my body, exiting the hotel will make them be safer.
With a strengthened decision, after sneaking out of the room, in order to search for Iris, I ran to outside the hotel.
Vigorously rushing out of the hotel, searching for Iris was difficult.
If I had at least made a contract with her, I could have used the thread of magic power that comes out from the ring to choose the shortest way, but… Even if I complain now, it’s no use.
Instead, I could find along the way charred black monster bodies.
Could it be perhaps… That Iris had been battling here?
Though I may have left her behind, I reached that conclusion by putting together those tiny clues.
As I approached the town’s center, the frequency at which I found charred black monsters went up.
Surely… Iris must be near.
After walking for a while, *SHBROOOM!*, from the town’s center came a noise like that of breaking concrete.
I could easily spot Iris, turned into her red dragon form.
Iris, with her body conspicuously buried into the wall at the top of a building, looks to be clearly worn out from consecutive battling.
After taking flight by extending her wings, Iris let out a roar that made the earth tremble.
“Kyaha♡ Don’t hide, lizard-chan. I’m going to lovingly tease you a bit.”
The person Iris is against is a very familiar face.
The monster tamer I engaged in battle some time ago, who could turn her body into a golem.
Noelle North Norm.
Contrasting with Iris, whose face was easily readable, Noelle’s countenance was frighteningly cold. It was as if she enjoyed the death match like a game… That kind of madness could be felt.
After being provoked, Iris flew up front in Noelle’s direction.
However, Noelle easily stopped that attack by transforming both her arms into those of a golem.
Looking from the side, the figure of a girl skillfully making use of a pair of rocky arms five times her size was beyond weird.
“No, no♪ Attacks like those won’t work on me.”
Noelle grabbed Iris by the tail and turned her around.
Making use of that impulse, she tossed her against a building.
Iris, being thrown again against the concrete of a building with frightening strength, let out a fearsome roar.
… I couldn’t look.
After that, Iris faced Noelle again and again… It seems that the other side has mostly grasped her battle skills.
Iris’s attacks were focused on her inborn speed, but her fangs not reaching her enemy, she was at her wits’ end before the continuous counterattacks.
… I understand.
It seems that my “somehow or other, I want to save you” only hurt Iris.
How could I have thought that Iris had abandoned us at the hotel?… She never did so.
So to speak, this… Is her personal battle.
… Until now, Iris’s objective of attaining revenge, instead of denying or accepting it… I adopted an uncertain attitude.
Since, after all, I had one-sidedly decided that there was no way I could understand this girl’s feelings, all alone after losing her family.
Thinking about her, I mostly tried not to butt into her way.
Perhaps… No, absolutely… Iris won’t be glad that I get roped in her battle.
Even so, should I go help her?
Even so, should I get in the way of her way of life?
“Even so… I…”
My decided course of action on a limited situation was that Iris… I don’t want to lose an important person, those were my honest feelings.
“Iris… You can’t loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooose!"
Before I knew, I was shouting.
In honest truth… I don’t know if my voice reached her, seething with rage.
This may be no more than wishful thinking, but…
I felt that Iris’s eyes recovered some of its vitality.
Mustering the strength of her whole body, Iris spewed her scorching breath against Noelle.
The breath she spewed in large quantities was so powerful that its heat reached even here.
“… Good, this is it!”
I was confident of Iris’s victory, but just after that.
Noelle let out a composed laugh.
“Kyahaha♪ Fire is not effective against rock!”
Making full use of her golem arms, Noelle was skillfully drowning out the breath that came down.
Besides the impregnable defensive wall that were the huge palms made of rock, Iris’s breath turned completely ineffective.
“What the heck…”
Attacking directly is no good. Spitting flames is no good.
In that case… What can Iris do…
And then, something outside expectations happened.
When Iris’s breath stopped, Noelle’s eyes were tinged with surprise.
“The he… The flames were a co…?”
It was not like Iris kept spewing flames just because.
In other words… Though she kept spitting flames in order to obstruct Noelle’s sight… She was waiting for the moment her opponent lowered her guard.
It’s a simple tactic, but not even Noelle would have expected this action from the single-minded pattern of attacks up until now.
“Wai… No… ! Let me down!”
Picked by her nape by Iris’s talons, Noelle was unavoidably dragged into an aerial fight.
From now on, Iris has the control.
Having brought the battle to the sky, Iris became more active, she was in her element, and quickly gained altitude.
Has she reached maybe around 600 meters, I wonder?
Just when Iris’s body was smaller than a speck of dust, I could saw a girl falling from the sky on the edge of my vision.
Of course, that girl was Noelle.
Noelle kept falling at a terrific speed, and in the end she crashed head on against the concrete surface with great force.
Just when a thunderous roar as if a bomb had fallen was heard, a crater with a diameter of 5 meters appeared on the floor.
That must have been instant death.
Even I, who draws the blood of a Demon, am not confident that I could survive being dropped from such height.
It’s no joke.
Let’s assume that Noelle has a body resilience that exceeds mine.
Even then, the damage Noelle has suffered… It’s like trying to do bungee jumping without rope from the top of the Tokyo Skytree.
At the very least, she has to have lost consciousness for a while.
Soon after Noelle’s fall, Iris flapped her wings and gradually started decreasing her altitude.
Has she completely spent all of her magic power?
From that way of acting… A terrible weariness can be perceived, as if she had been fighting for three days and three nights straight without resting.
Once again, I shouted to Iris.
I noticed the red dragon transformed Iris’s eyes turning to me.
That’s good… It seems that this time my voice has reached her.
It was at that time.
Just when I let down my chest with relief.
I noticed Iris’s body becoming smaller and smaller, changing to human form.
Having lost her wings, Iris, pulled by the gravity, started to drop at a terrific speed.
So as to not let her crash against the ground, I moved at top speed.
By a hair’s breadth.
I somehow managed to catch Iris’s falling body.
It doesn’t look like just a while ago a life or death battle had been taking place. That girl whose little body was snugly resting between my arms… Was your run-of-the-mill young girl.
“… Oi. You alright, Iris!?”
So as to clear away my uneasiness, Iris promptly opened her eyes.
“Monster tamer… I owe thee. Recently… I’ve often bore human shape. This form is more comfortable.”
“I see… As long as you’re safe, that’s fine. That’s good… You’re alive… That’s really good.”
Seeing Iris smiling to me, I noticed something warm filling my chest.
Unable to hold my feelings, tears formed.
Iris, with a bewildered look,
“… Incomprehensible. Why, what need dost thou have to shed tears?”
“Isn’t that… an obvious thing? I don’t know what you think, but… I think of you as someone as important as my own family.
That’s why… You being alive is what makes me happiest…”
“Family… Is it?”
Iris slowly ruminated the meaning of the word,
“I feel that I had long forgotten the meaning of that term. So… Being with thy family gives thee this kind of warmth…”
So as to say she had reached the limit of her energies, Iris, softly buried her face in my chest.
“Sorry. Monster tamer. Lend me thy chest for a bit… Right now, still surrounded by thy warm… I want to rest my body.”
When I replied, Iris fell into a deep sleep.
Iris… You’ve given your best.
Let’s leave the fighting back there to Lilith-san and her lot and return to the hotel asap.
At any rate, now… We better leave behind this place even a moment sooner.
Judging that, when I turned back.
From somewhere, came the noise of rubble crumbling.
“Are you… pulling my leg?”
Looking behind me in panic, I could see a ragged and heavily damaged Noelle slowly crawling out of the hole.
That looked like something entirely removed from the realm of reality… An impossible view.
That thing that barely kept human form must have every bone in its body broken. From her arms and abdomen protruded white bones dyed with blood.
Her neck bone had clearly just been broken.
Having lost its support, Noelle’s head… Was slanted in an unnatural angle and wobbled with each of her steps.
Am I imagining things?
I feel that I’ve seen something like this just recently.
That is… In one scene of last night’s movie.
“It hurrrts… Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch!”
Seeing Noelle, showing the revolting appearance of a zombie and raising pained screams like crazy, I felt cold shivers through my backbone.
“The pain… Don’t wanna. I remember something from long ago… Hey, help me, oneechan.”
I think it’s of a nauseating hypocrisy for my part, but… Though she’s the enemy, I cannot abandon her like this.
… It’s fine. She’s suffered so much damage.
She probably… Has no more strength to keep fighting.
“… Oi. You alright?”
Truthfully, anyone can see that her state is everything but “alright”, but, not finding anything else to say, I asked her that.
“Kyaha!♡ It’s oniichan—. Oniichan fo—und♪”
“Erm… I’m not the best one to say this, but… How can you be alive in that state?”
“Ahaha. It’s easy… Us Firsts are not human… The experiment was a failure…”
“… What’s that experiment? Tell me so that I understand.”
“We don’t have a family… We are isolated existences made inside test tubes… That’s why…”
Stopping there, Noelle spat a lot of blood from her mouth.
When, worried by her condition, I tried rushing to her, I could feel an uncanny killing intent.
“That’s why I… Will kill you and become a perfect human…”
“You… What are you blabbering…?”
“Level… Over limit.”
Right after Noelle muttered something.
Her whole body was covered by a rocky armor, and then grew.
Raising in volume like mochi over a stove, the clump of rocks became human-like.
Once it finished… There was a huge female golem.
Its length… I’d say, around 40 meters?
It’s obviously by far the hugest monster I’ve met till now.
“Ahaha♡ Hey. Oniichan… Where are you?”
Is it the effect of turning into a monster?
It seemed like Noelle’s voice, turned into a monster, had become quite low.
To add to that, her voice’s volume, following her body’s size, was as powerful as that of a speaker installed downtown.
“Ahaha♡ Hey. Oniichan… Are you there?”
After making that low voice resound through the whole area, Noelle stomped strongly under her feet.
That instant. The sound of cracking asphalt was made.
Frankly, I thought I’d die.
Holding Iris in my arms, I suffered a tremor stronger than any earthquake I’ve ever experienced.
“… It’s no joke.”
By no means can I picture how to defeat the current Noelle.
Is it good or bad luck?
As you see, Noelle, by transforming her whole body into a monster, it seems that she has obtained overwhelming power, but… It looks like, in compensation, her sight has weakened.
… In any case, right now I have to flee.
No sooner than I had decided that, I turned back.
While somehow holding Iris in my arms, I managed to slip through Noelle’s field of vision and entered an abandoned building.
“Ahaha♪ Come out♪ Hey… Come ooooooooooooooooooooooooooout!”
She repeatedly and indiscriminately destroyed and shouted.
It seems that Noelle hasn’t found me yet.
“… Moron. Stop it.”
It’s not like I can win.
I kept repeating that to myself again and again in my head.
Have you seen that chick’s strength? What the heck… Isn’t she a bona fide freak?
For now, while you pray that, like this, Noelle goes somewhere else, hold your breath and stick to the plan.
This… May be no more than my personally convenient assumption.
I feel that if I flee from here… Perhaps, no one will save her for the rest of her life.
“Ahaha♡ Oniichan… Where are you—?”
I felt like Noelle’s voice kept growing fainter and fainter.
It may be broken now… But the building isn’t moving away from here.
In any case, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a desperate situation…
“… I’ll do it.”
Certainly the foe’s strength is mighty.
My chances of winning like this may be dim.
However, Noelle isn’t perfect.
On the contrary… It seems that I can take advantage of the cracks in her unstable mentality.
It’s fine… It’s not like I don’t have a chance.
If I fight by making sure of the situation, I’ll definitely make a breakthrough!
What’s more… This is a method I didn’t want to use if possible.
Come the worst… If I act as a diversion to attract the opponent's attention, it won’t be difficult to save Iris’s life.
“Iris… Sorry. I’ll return soon.”
Lying down Iris on one of the abandoned building’s sofas, I dashed to the building’s stairs.
Thinking about it, this is my first battle since I’m self-conscious of the Demon blood half that runs through my veins.
I… am different from regular people.
So, being aware of it, things that until now I thought were impossible became doable.
For example, jumping power.
The me right now can move from rooftop to rooftop of buildings of nearly 10 meters of height by jumping with calm and composure.
Faster… Even one second faster… I must go to her.
If I leave Noelle by herself… The town may end up as rubble. If that happens, Iris’s life would be in danger. Inside the buildings, there may be frightened people that were late to take refuge.
That’s why, I… I must appear before her once again.
“Kyahaha♪ Hey… Onii-chan… Where are you?”
“Noelle! I’m here! I won’t flee nor hide! So… Stop doing this!”
“Hey… Where… Where are you?”
“That’s why… Since I’m here…”
Noelle suddenly swung down her huge arm.
Jumping to the neighboring building by a hairs breadth, I somehow managed to evade her attack.
I ended up unconsciously showing a wry smile before Noelle's out-of-league power.
The building I had been standing on till just now had been cleanly sliced in half by Noelle’s iron hammer like a cheesecake by a knife.
Be it monster or human, it doesn’t matter.
If they received the attack from just now, it would be surefire instant death.
Thinking about not loosing foothold, I kept jumping from roof to roof, parrying Noelle’s attacks.
Like in an action scene from a Hollywood movie, the townscape was gradually being destroyed.
Full of guilty conscience, I continued evading attacks over and over.
While I had been avoiding them for a while, a doubt rose into my mind.
… Could it be that Noelle can’t control herself at will?
Up till now, Noelle, no matter what pinch she was in, she hadn’t transformed her full body into a monster.
Despite, when thinking in simple attack power, being stronger this way, she was obstinate in not doing that.
It seems to make much more sense to think that the reason was “since when transforming the whole body into a monster, conscious control becomes impossible”.
… So, What do I do?
On top of not having any hope to solve this through dialogue, there’s no chance in the least to win this by attacking up front.
Nevertheless, having reached this point, showing the back to my opponent is out of question.
In that case… There’s just one thing I can do.
To drain Noelle’s internal magic power till the last drop.
If I keep dodging her attacks, in time surely Noelle´s magic power should become empty.
In theory, it’s the same that happened earlier when Iris returned from red dragon to human shape.
In this way, surely… There’s no doubt that I can tame her.
Noelle once again swung down her iron hammer.
However, this time I could evade the attack with quite the composure.
With all of her body transformed into a monster, there’s no doubt that Noelle, hides an abnormal power enough to level the whole town, but in exchange her attacks become, in a word, monotone.
Like this… If I pay attention to my opponent’s actions, I may be able to dodge all of Noelle’s attacks until I leave her without magic power.
Just when I held that hope, something out of expectations happened.
The world trembled.
For an instant, I couldn’t comprehend what had happened.
It seems that, centered in just protecting my body, I wasn’t cautious about what I was using as a foothold.
Noelle happens to have means to attack me besides direct contact.
Namely, by crushing the building I’m using as a foothold.
Being at my wits’ end after completely losing my footing by Noelle’s low kick, my body was tossed into the air.
Aiming at me, as I became unable to move in mid-air, putting all of her body weight into her palm, Noelle squashed my body.
Definitely… With this… I died.
Anyhow, have I not been crushed flat by a stone giant with a body nearly 30 times mine?
Unexpectedly, I was still living.
… No, thinking better, is it that unexpected?
Actually, now it’s not like I couldn’t imagine something like this.
However, I feel anxious.
That is… In what shape has my body been left after such an attack.
… There’s no way I believe that I’m alive and in tip-top condition.
Surely right now my body looks like a fun sticker.
I timidly open my eyes.
What will it be?
What the heck… What’s this…?
Let alone becoming a sticker, my body looks reddish brown and swollen.
I could hear directly in my ears my heart beating strongly.
My body feels hot. It’s like… I’m soaking in boiling water.
Is it my imagination?
I feel… Like I have experienced this feeling before.
That time, if I’m not wrong… My body was controlled by the magic power that engulfed me and, like that, my consciousness flew away.
Consciousness flying away… This situation… Isn’t it just like Noelle right now!?
Let’s say that the power of a strong monster is something that swallows human consciousness… That would explain what happened to my body last time I fought Noelle.
In that case… I can’t let the magic power engulf me like this.
Don’t let the darkish magic power that surges from the depths of your body engulf you.
For what reason have I come here?
That’s… To protect Iris… To protect this town.
This power that sleeps inside my body… It’s definitely not for harming anybody, nor for destroying anything.
It’s for protecting the people I care for!
Thus, being aware of that, I could feel my temperature going down and my body steadily becoming lighter. The darkish red and swollen skin was returning to its original condition… Instead, I realized that my hair was growing.
After that, two bat-like wings grew from my back and tore my T-shirt.
Could this be… My true shape as a monster!?
Since I can’t see my whole body reflection on a mirror, I can’t be sure, but… Maybe leaving out growing wings and my hair lengthening, It doesn’t seem like I’m very different from a regular human.
Although the changes in my appearance may be scarce… The power that seethes inside is unimaginable.
Oddly enough, this appearance… Seemed to resemble that of the late Maou that Lilith showed to me at that underground room in the hotel.
As soon as Noelle confirmed my survival, letting out a strange voice, she swung down her fist again.
However, this time… It didn’t look so frightening.
It’s like a human not fearing the attack of a wild rabbit… Having gained an overwhelming power, I could easily stop the attack.
Maybe she thought I couldn’t stop her attack. I saw a tinge of impatience in the turned into a monster Noelle’s countenance.
It may be because of the difference in body complexion, but the other side’s attack was unexpectedly powerful.
It was so mighty that even I, having obtained tremendous strength by controlling my monster power, if I lose focus for a bit, will end up squashed.
“The me right now… Won’t lose to anyone!”
I rejected Noelle’s fist with all my might.
Losing, Noelle lost her balance, I made her mass tumble.
I didn’t miss out on that opening.
Without a moment’s delay, I took flight by moving my two wings.
At first, I was worrying if I could fly properly, but all it took was mere seconds to get used to it.
I dare say… It’s just a guess of mine.
The same that a butterfly that just came out of the cocoon knows how to fly, I may unconsciously know how to use my wings on a genetic level.
Noelle, eager to connect an attack, kept swinging her arms, but those actions looked so slow that even a fly could have stopped them.
Even if we were well matched in power, I had great advantage in speed.
Using the impulse of the fall from the sky, I hit Noelle’s big frame with a dropkick in the truest sense of the word.
Of course, I didn’t make her fall with a single hit, but from here on it’s easy game to connect attacks.
After that, piling up a second, a third, a fourth hit, I succeeded in bringing Noelle down with the seventh hit.
It’s not that I wouldn’t be glad to return to human form at this moment if I could, but…
Unfortunately, the other side doesn’t feel like that.
Fixing her stance, Noelle then took a greatly unusual and unexpected course of action.
From a standing position, Noelle greatly flexed her knees and………… Took a big jump.
This technique certainly deserves to be called history’s most dreadful body press.
If she makes full use of her huge frame that causes shakes like earthquakes with each step… I fear that the whole town will be destroyed.
“… There’s no way. Do I have to make myself serious?”
After temporarily landing, I used the momentum to fly up with full force.
And, like that, I kicked her body up with full force.
“Ah, ah, aaaah… Gaha!?”
Successful hit. Under my attack, Noelle’s body came apart… Like that, she returned to human form.
If she suffers big damage, that can revert her monster transformation?
It was a long… And relentless battle.
After this, it’s just catching Noelle’s falling body… Bringing her back to the hotel with Iris, and this battle is finished.
When I return to the hotel, I have a lot of questions to ask her.
About herself… The Black Tamers… And about her monster transformation ability.
I’ve roughly guessed her landing point.
After this, it’s only waiting for her to fall,
…Come to think of it, these 2-3 days have been anything but a display of newly revealed shocking facts.
My mom is a monster tamer.
My sister is only half-related to me, as we are half-siblings with different fathers.
And, above all… The most shocking thing is that my true identity is that of a new monster species born between a human and a demon.
Surely, even now… What I know is just but part of it… There’s still a lot of things I should know from here on.
If listening to her helps to that… Then we could say that this battle was very meaningful.
Just when I extended my arms to grab Noelle’s body.
Suddenly, before me it appeared, the head of a huge snake.
It’s length… To tell the truth, I couldn’t see it in its entirety.
Sure that thing’s head was right before my eyes, but its body stretched far away and I couldn’t ascertain the tail.
However, the snake that immediately started to coil around me clearly boasted a size in a league of it’s own not comparable even to the fully monster transformed Noelle.
On top of the big serpent’s head, a single human could be seen.
… Could it be the monster tamer that has made a contract with the snake monster?
That personage, maneuvering the huge snake, instead of me, grabbed the recently fallen Noelle.
“Ahaha… I knew you’d come… Oneechan…”
She’s probably spent all of her internal magic power.
Noelle muttered with a feeble voice like that of an ill person on the verge of death.
As, from here, the figure was against the light, I couldn’t discern it well, but the silhouette of the person who embraced Noelle seemed to be that of a woman.
“Ya-ho—. It’s been quite a bit too long a while, Chiharu-kun.”
The somewhat missed, laid-back tone hints of an adult.
Still riding on top of the snake’s head, she gradually came closer… At last, I could clearly grasp her appearance.
“How… Why are you he…”
“Hmmm. All of a sudden, you drop a harsh question. Well… I’ll explain it to you in a way easy to understand for you… Nori, is it?” How would I put it, it’s that kind of feeling.
That foolish atmosphere as if people were food is characteristic of her.
“Don’t joke with me, answer me properly… Luka-san.”
“Waah. Scaredy-scary. Chiharu-kun… How come you became able to glare like that without my knowing?”
It’s only natural that I became silent.
The person that appeared before me all of a sudden as a monster tamer is my superior.
“… You have a face of not understanding anything. Good. Then, I’ll specially tell you one thing..”
Starting like that, Luka-san,
“In fact, I, Luka-san~, I’m the one who founded and stands at the top of the Black Tamers. Isn’t that the answer you were looking for?”
“Arara. Your reaction has been more bland than I expected. Could it be… Chiharu-kun had realized it at some point with his sharp intuition?”
“… Nope. Not in the least. It’s just… I’ve grown accustomed to surprises. Recently there have been many things and I’ve grown tired of reacting to each and every one.”
“Ahaha… By the way, Chiharu-kun.
Sorry, but… It seems that I don’t have the time to rejoice upon our reunion.
You see. According to the reports of my subordinates, aren’t they coming sca~ry demon reinforcements very soon?
We’ve gathered enough data… After successfully retrieving our injured comrades, we can put a finish to this. With the exception of the irregularity called yourself, everything seems to have gone according to my plan.”
“… Good for you.”
“Thank you. So… Bye, bye, see you later.”
Just after saying that.
The big serpent before me slithered.
By the time I noticed that that movement was an offensive action, the surrounding buildings had started to collapse against me at once.
As I directed all my attention to the snake’s head, I totally missed its body.
The me right now won't fall to this kind of attack.
“… She fled?”
Nimbly slipping through the collapsing buildings, extending my wings and flying high, I couldn’t perceive the enemy’s figure.
It seems that by then, Luka-san and her troupe were already at more than 500 meters from my position… No problem.
If I fly with all my might, surely I could reach them soon.
The instant that I opened my wings again with renewed vigor, I felt terribly dizzy.
My heart pounding strongly, it brought attention to the risk on my body.
Are you… Joking…?
With this timing, I reached my limit…?
Has it been maybe around five minutes since I totally transformed into a monster?
It seems that my limit is around that?
However, thinking about the overwhelming power up till now, it may be a reasonable retribution.
With the unbearable feeling of having let my archenemy escape from under my nose without resistance, I—my consciousness slowly blacked out.
References and Translation Notes
- Even Japanese punks are at least this polite. He does still need to wash his mouth with soap and bleach.
- From “second test bodies”. Like Firsts, but the next batch.
- Pokémon reference.
- Just under 2,000 feet.
- Around 16 feet and a half.
- The tallest tower in the word and the second tallest structure, after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper. A broadcasting tower cum restaurant cum observation area, 2,084 feet tall, that has become the replacement of the Tokyo Tower (a red and white slightly taller copy of the Eiffel Tower) as broadcasting and observation tower and symbol of Tokyo (the restaurant is a new addition exclusive to the Skytree).
- The Black tamer’s boss (i.e. Luka).
- Rice paste. Can be eaten as is or as an ingredient for several dishes, but usually it is grilled over a stove, which makes it swell.
- Over 140 feet.
- Almost 33 feet.
- Her fist. I know it’s rock but…
- Man, you’ve clearly not watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- ”Dropkick” is said “flying kick” in Japanese. It still has sense in English.
- An edible seaweed typical of Japanese cuisine. Better known as onigiri wrapper.
- Over 1,640 feet.
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