Mondaiji-tachi ga isekai kara kuru soudesu yo:Volume 7 Chapter 7
Then came the wet sucking sound as Rin’s dagger was buried in the back of Jin’s waist.
Hearing the apology that accompanied the stab, Jin’s head started to swim as his eyes started to roll and lose focus.
“Haha, as expected of the “Strategist [Game Controller]”-sama! Just when I thought that you might be swayed over by the enemy to betray us, I couldn’t help but feel a chill run down my back just now!”
The owner of the voice clapped his hands while walking down the spiraling stairs. The man who wore the red and blue strikingly contrasted jacket was undoubtedly Maxwell Demon Lord himself.
“Fufu…… our ‘strategist’-sama has quite the brains and brawns. You’ve really changed my perception of you. To backstab such a simple-minded lad, you are really quite merciless.”
Walking closer to Jin and Rin, who was stained by the blood, Maxwell was beaming a wide smile that seemed to be his way of controlling his urge to laugh.
“HngHmph, you should know that us women are capable of nastiness as well. —So when did you start watching us?”
“Oh, only the last part. Just when he started to spin his lies. Well, it’s all because of my bashful bride running away from me again that I’ve been chasing her until a moment ago.”
“Ah~…… so that’s how it is.”
—what a liar. Rin and Jin’s instincts were telling them that.
Although they couldn’t be sure when he had started to listen in on them, but this man had surely heard of their plans. And Rin had narrowly pulled it off by stabbing Jin when she noticed his presence.
Watching the whole drama played out before him as an amusing joke, the man couldn’t help but have a smile plastered across his face which was his way of suppressing the urge to laugh.
“Come to think about it, “Strategist”-sama, have you gotten hold of the inheritance of the Dragon King of the Sea of Stars yet?”
“I was about to get it. —Mhm. I also wanted to let him see something special before sending him on his way across the Sanzu River. Hence I staged the little play just now.”
“Hoho, that’s really……”
Maxwell had a smirk on his face as he fixed them with his horrid gaze.
It was then that Jin realized his fatal error.
(This is bad…… The men under His Highness aren’t his private army but one that is mixed with a pair of eyes working for their superiors……!)
And that person was none other than Maxwell Demon Lord. Even if Rin possessed a Gift that is seemingly invincible, she would still be in trouble when matched with an opponent who can perform instantaneous teleportation to dispose of her. He would also possess the freedom to report his findings at any point in time.
Only being aware of this now, Jin gripped his fist with his other hand as he knelt over in regret.
(I was too hasty……I was too focused on the fact that I might lose the chance to negotiate with Rin if I lost this chance!)
If he had given it more thought, he should have arrived at the speculation of a look-out in their midst. But in the end, he had caused it to escalate into a situation that almost brought harm to Rin and His Highness as well. And by doing so, he had closed off the option for Rin to let him live as letting him off would put them into an unfavorable light.
“Then, ‘Strategist’-sama. What do you plan to do with him?”
“Tie him up and bring him with us. After all, Jin’s power is quite rare.”
“—What?” Maxwell’s expression had changed.
The mirth had left his eyes and there was a trace of animosity and doubt that started to grow in his gaze. However, Rin did not back away as she returned the stare and pointed her dagger at him.
“Maxwell-san, I should be asking you why you are here. Didn’t I ask of you to capture both the [Genome Tree] and Willa the Ignis Faatus, alive? Or is it so difficult that a fourth digit Demon Lord is also forced to run back with the tail between his legs?”
“I’m not willing, but to bring Jin Russel back with us would also count as an accomplishment. For us who are in need of all the accomplishments we can get, to earn us some favor, this is indeed a realistic decision. You should be able to understand that right?”
“Uu—” Maxwell gave a dissatisfied withering look but seemed to have agreed with Rin’s decision.
*Pak!* With a snap of his fingers, Maxwell had Jin locked in ice cuffs while using fire to cauterize the wound.
“Oh? You have quite some backbone on you eh? Although it’s just a small entry wound, it’s still a feat to not scream from the cauterization process.” Maxwell gave his insincere praise while Rin continued to watch with an unfeeling face. After all, if she were to say something that did not match her position, her intentions would have been given away.
“Mah, if you want to play with him, that’s fine by me, but it’s almost time to notify the rest to prepare their retreat, right?”
Maxwell stared at Rin with suspicion and it was clear that he no longer trusted her words.
However, Rin fearlessly announced her decision to Maxwell.
Though her heart was pained by the inner turmoil, but she could only use this method to tide the situation over.
“I will be obtaining the inheritance of the Dragon King of the Sea of Stars right now and releasing the seal of that Demon Lord—Issue the order to all our members to get out of the North Side immediately.”
Saying that, Rin retrieved the Dragon Horn of the Dragon King of the Sea of Stars. She then placed the two dragon horns upon the sealing pedestal with the tattered cloth that was used to wrap around them and the items immediately gave off a hazy glow.
But what had glowed wasn’t just limited to the Dragon Horns.
“……No, it can’t be.”
Jin momentarily forgot about his pain as he stared at that particular radiance.
However, what he had forgotten wasn’t just the pain on his side. For in his mind, the matters such as the battle that was taking place currently on the outside, or even Maxwell who was standing beside him, were all thrown aside as it took greater precedence.
—That glowing tattered piece of cloth was a Flag.
And that was a flag that he would never forget. It was the flag that Jin and Kuro Usagi had always looked up to during their years of growing up. Even if it were stolen or desecrated, the flag that continues to fly in their hearts had never disappeared.
The cloth that had a red background bordered with gold threads, depicted a girl with the rising sun behind the hills and this was a flag that had no other like it in this world.
“You must become a Man worthy of this Flag.”
Jin had grown up under such expectations from both his parents and the other adults. It was also the line that kept Kuro Usagi, the senior group and the other kids going even when the times were tough.
Even if it were to be at the expense of everything in his life, this is the one and only flag in the world—
“Hmph, for this rag to actually be the flag that belonged to the Community that defeated the most Demon Lords in the history of Mankind.”
“……and you still have the cheek to say that when you obviously didn’t have any trick to handle their leader.”
At Rin’s mock surprise, Maxwell fell silent.
Spreading the Flag across the pedestal, she then inserted the Dragon Horns of the Dragon King of the Sea of Stars.
“With this, everything is set. Then we would just need fire to be injected into the dragon horns to act as the catalyst for stimulating the ley lines and the veins of the volcano. And that would release the seals of the [Ecliptic path of the Twelve Chén] and [Another Cosmology].”
“The [Dragon]’s Sovereignty of the Sun……Hoho. With this, His Highness will be a step closer to completion.”
Maxwell walked over to stand before the pedestal where he placed his hands upon the Dragon horns to release a fiery blaze,
“Here goes—Open, the Gates of Hell!”
—[Kouen, City of Brilliant Flames] Workroom District, Sector 88.
The battle between Izayoi and His Highness, after jumping out of the Palace, continued to be a sticky situation and a total of 77 sectors had already been destroyed.
They continued to launch their fierce attacks at each other with enough power to shatter their own bones and causing their limbs to swell as they forced each other to their limits. But their fighting spirits did not seem to decrease. On the contrary, it was increasing. This wasn’t due to their pride but instead due to the situation, where they were carrying the burden of their respective camp’s fate, that led them to forget about the pain of their battered and bruised bodies.
Straining to raise their right fists, it had the scene not unlike the brave roars of lions as they buried their fists into each other. At the same time, their knees buckled forward, which allowed them to maintain some sort of balance.
The ground gave off a rumble like a scream in pain as it gave way even before their bodies could do so, dropping them down into the underground canal. This sort of fall wouldn’t have been a problem to them on normal days, but with their current bodies as battered as they were, they had already exceeded their limits.
The bodies in free fall met the cold surface of the water canal.
Even though their consciousness were about to leave them anytime, the chilling waters were a blessing to them as they were jolted awake by its chilliness. Izayoi was the first to get onto his feet and His Highness had also done the same.
But from the sequence of getting up, it was a clear indication about the extent of their injuries.
“Ha…… What’s the matter, Hakuhatsuki…… your kneecaps are quivering a lot.”
“What is quivering …… is your face, you fool.”
And His Highness coughed a mouthful of blood. It would seem that his ribs had punctured his lung and it was evident that His Highness’s condition was much worse than Izayoi’s.
“…… do you still want to go at it?”
“Of course. My defeat would mean the defeat of [Ouroboros]. The tables of the situation would also be turned over if I did. ……My subordinates are still fighting valiantly, so how can I just admit defeat here!”
Lifting up his head, His Highness renewed his fighting spirit to burn at a higher intensity.
Facing his opponent who had such a strong fiery determination, capable of churning the cold waters in the underground water canal, Izayoi couldn’t help but ask:
“…… I just don’t get it. What’s the purpose for you and your subordinates to have this battle? Is there a meaning or benefit from defeating the [Floor Master]s? Isn’t that only going to disrupt the peace and order of the society?”
Seeming like a breach in the levee, numerous questions flowed from Izayoi.
Having traded numerous blows with His Highness, Izayoi was still unable to see the background of this lad in terms of his developmental stages—No, it is more accurate to say that the insight, which he had grasped from the fight, did not match up with the actions.
Although he didn’t want to admit it, this lad wasn’t bad in his nature.
Even if that were the case, it didn’t mean that he is kind-natured either. If we had to give him a category, then a moderation between both would be the best place to classify him. This lad did not seem to be committing evil deeds by his own volition.
Then, that would only leave one answer.
“There’s a bigger organization behind you. You are taking their orders, aren’t you?”
Not denying and neither did he affirm it, His Highness just looked up at the sky in silence.
The sky was overcast with clouds that blotted out the stars and moon. It would seem that there would not be a showing of stars tonight. Even so, he continued to search the skies, seeming to seek out a ray of light in the night sky that was enveloped in darkness, while stretching out his hand before clenching it into a fist.
“……there’s actually no purpose at all.”
“I do not have any purpose of my own. Excuse me for this but even though I’m with this appearance, I’ve not even reached my third year in life. I don’t even have the time to think about things such as the varieties and diversities in life, or even things that I want. All I have is the knowledge which had been bestowed upon me during my birth.”
The revelation by His Highness had struck Izayoi like a lightning bolt. To describe it as an impact that he had never felt before might not be an exaggeration as well. Compared to the fierce impacts that had landed on his body, this was far greater in magnitude and it caused Izayoi to be speechless. It was already beyond the question of being good or evil.
This lad couldn’t even be classified in the middle grounds of those two—instead, he was a lad who was steeped in sin but yet pure and innocent.
“Even a person like me has something valuable to them. They who call me ‘Your Highness’ and elevate me upon the palanquin befitting a God. If there’s something that I can call as my purpose, that would be them. I’m not sure what kind of dreams that my subordinates see in me, but if they are able to see their dreams from my back—” He stretched out the tightly clenched fist before him.
And an undying flame of determination was ablaze within his golden irises.
“—then I shall allow them to continue seeing their dreams. To continue climbing in this world of Little Garden where the Gods reside. And for that aim, I will clear all obstacles that stand in the way. It does not matter whether they are my birth parents or Demon Lords. For my compass will always lie in the loyalties of Gra-Oji-chan, Aura and Rin.”
A limpid and honest gaze. This white haired lad with golden irises respected and trusted in the loyalties of his subordinates. As long as he had that sort of fated bond with them, he would continue to push his bruise riddled body forward.
In regards to that noble determination, Izayoi gave him a pitiful gaze.
He was already done with listening to this. To bestow knowledge to a child that has yet to experience it himself and to form a resolution within him to fight to the point of being battered all over—is something that he just couldn’t accept as being correct.
If this lad had his own dreams or ambition, it would have been acceptable.
That is because Izayoi has a persistent characteristic of changing the things around him to conform to the path that he deems to be ‘good’. Sometimes, it might also result in situations that only benefit others. But that is something that he would have wished for and he would never regret the decision. And as long as he is able to transform his feelings of being responsible into something higher in his heart, he will daresay that he isn’t being arrogant or adamant about winning.
However, for this lad— who didn’t have a reason to look forward to while battling, to be engaged in a battle, what kind of returns does he expect to get from this……?
“…… Mah, I guess that’s your life. If you are offering yourself for the sake of others, it would be pointless for me to stop that. But damn, that does add more reason for me to fight you.”
He then focused a stronger determination into his fist than ever before. At this current state, even the Gods would also be easily crushed to dust by this fist. It was this fist, one which he had injected such an extent of rage and power, which he stretched out before himself.
“I will use all my strength—-to make you regret your life. A little brat who finds such a noble-sounding nonsensical reason while placing the reason to fight upon others, will need to be given a sound beating from me. And I shall be letting you understand this fact in a while.”
Life is a continuous battle. Be it the world of the outside or this other world that they have come to. The only difference is that in the world of Little Garden, the wars were replaced in the form of Gift Games.
In the world that Izayoi came from, the endings of the defeated in a civil war were just as tragic. In the worst case, they would also lose their lives. Being able to incite wars without a need to resort to physical strength, it was no wonder that people were dying.
And this lad who placed his reason for battle upon the backs of others—-should never have existed.
Izayoi believed that no matter what the reason may be, the reason for people to fight should always be born from their own dreams.
Hence, he would use this fist to defeat this lad.
And what he learns from this, would then be entirely left for him to decide.
“The next move will really bring the curtains of this Game to a close— have you prepared yourself?”
“Ahah. But the one who will win is me.”
Up till the end, the white haired lad with golden irises was still unwilling to back down.
The chance of winning is not a complete zero. As long as there’s a chance of winning, he would always chase after it and grasp it tightly. Although he had only three years of experience in life, but that was how he had won in all his battles.
The water surface in the underground water canal rippled violently due to the escalating fighting spirits of the two combatants and it seemed close to the formation of water sprays. The ground was also creaking in agony and it wouldn’t be too strange if it were to collapse at any moment.
The battle between the two who had their fighting spirits ablaze —
Was interrupted by the threat, rising up from the crust of the lithosphere, which exceeded that of their current battle.
“The ground’s shaking…… really intensely! This can’t be a normal earthquake, right?!”
Being battered all over with injuries, they were unable stand firmly on their two feet and could only choose to drop their stance to prop themselves against a wall. The magnitude of the quake was so great that one would immediately understand that this was no natural disaster and it was able to bend and break up the underground canal that was supposed to be resistant to such earth movements.
The sound of houses collapsing above ground could be heard. And it wasn’t just one or two, but sounded more of dozens at a time.
The tremor that seemed like a deliberate attempt to change the geological landscape—that was the feeling that this intense earthquake gave to others. Standing within the underground water canal that led from the huge mountain peak, the two of them understood that the epicenter of the quake had originated from somewhere below the vein of the volcano.
(The dormant volcano has become active once more and erupted? Why must it be at this time……)
It must have been a deliberate act of someone to have created this tremor. Although the exact method or purpose for that action were unknown, but Izayoi’s thoughts were already set on that assumption.
“Could it be……that the seal has been released? What are they doing when the game is still on-going?”
“Oi, what’s that about?!”
“Let’s do the explanations another time! Just swear upon the oath to immediately pause this Game! And immediately head out of [Kouen City] or else everyone will just be killed!”
Drawing out the [Geass Roll], His Highness was in frantic state when he threw it over. And although Izayoi, who could not make heads or tails out of what His Highness was saying, caught the document with his hand, he did not make a move to swear the oath.
“Explain to me what this is all about for starters!! This earthquake was caused by you guys, wasn’t it?”
“Damn it, for your observation skills to fall to such a level at this point in time! We are indeed the cause of it, but that is also something that I did not expect! That intense earthquake was just the aftershocks from the revival of the Demon Lord sealed beneath the ground.”
“That……That was actually just the aftershocks……?!”
Stumped by the honest and direct explanation, Izayoi fell silent. Even if it were Izayoi, such a scale of an Earthquake might not be able to be created from Izayoi’s swing of his fist. But His Highness had said that to be just the aftershocks.
Since the aftershocks had originated from an epicenter beneath the Mountain peaks—
“—wait a moment, could it be that the Demon Lord was sealed… in the mountain behind the Palace?”
The earthquake was intensifying and the sound of the eruption from the active volcano finally reached the ears of the people who were in the underground canal. His Highness looked straight at Izayoi with a bitter expression as he nodded his head.
“That eruption just now should have been the last precursor. The first location, which would have the highest possibility of being targeted by the revived Demon Lord— would be the [Salamandra] Palace.”
There was no need for further explanations. Izayoi dragged his bruised and battered body to leap out of the underground canal. Throwing aside the thoughts on the threat of the Demon Lord and the tremors, he charged towards the place where his comrades were.
- [magrefnotes: that’s really kind of you or something along those lines. ]
- [magref: levees can be man-made or natural, the slightly elevated sides of the river bank that prevents the flow from flooding out of the river channel.]
- [magrefnotes: palanquin is the vehicle of the rich/royals/ upper class to get around. It is a covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers. In the East or India.]