OmaeGotoki: Volume 1 011 - My Time There Wasn't Pointless After All

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Flum’s arm is stuck in the spiral of flesh in the ‘woman’s face and refuses to budge. The ‘ogre’ clenches its fist, ready to strike her while she can’t evade its attacks.

Since there’s no way to pull out her arm no matter what she does, there’s only one path left to her.

“Sara-chan, cast some healing magic on my arm!”

“Eh!? But if I do that---”

“Just do it! Hurry!!”

Sara didn’t learn magic to hurt people. Flum knows that full well, but has no choice but to ask that of Sara nonetheless. Sara, stifling her misgiving about using her healing magic to harm her friend, holds her hands out to Flum’s immobile arm.

“Recover!”

‘Heal’ alone isn’t strong enough to ‘remove’ someone’s arm. She has to use an even stronger spell.

Light from Sara’s hands envelope Flum’s arm, and it starts to rapidly dissolve from the inside.

“Ah, gah… AAAAAAAGH!!”

It’s far more painful than she thought it’d be. Her entire body breaks out into a cold sweat and she can hardly breathe properly. It feels as though her bones were suddenly replaced by molten lead, but thanks to that her arm is reduced to half-melted strands of flesh.

Flum pulls the strands apart by her own will at the very end, sending herself sprawling onto the cold metal floor in the process.

DOOMM!

A split-second later the ‘ogre’s fist blows the ‘woman’ away completely, scattering bloody chunks of flesh down the hallway. The gauntlet Flum was wearing hits the ground with a loud clatter.

The stump of Flum’s arm sprays blood and for a moment she feels like she’s about to lose consciousness, but she grits her teeth and starts half-crawling away from the ‘ogre’.

“Oneesan!”

Sara extends a hand to her.

“Hahh, hahh, haahh… Sara-chan… let’s go!”

She grabs Sara’s hand and stands up. She picks her gauntlet back up as they run back the way they came, away from the ‘ogre.’

It watches them as they run, still hunched on all fours.

Just as Flum looks back in surprise that it doesn’t seem to be following them---

DONDONDONDONDONDON!!

She twists her face in horror as it starts scuttling after them like a gigantic four-legged spider. Fortunately, crawling on all fours is a lot slower than sprinting.

Flum starts running faster as her arm starts to regenerate and the pain subsides a little. By the time they make it around the next corner they’ve managed to put a fair bit of distance between them.

“Oneesan, are you really okay, su?‘

“I wouldn’t say… I’m okay, but… fuu, I think I can keep on going…!”

The pain wears on her mentally as much as it does physically, and having an arm amputated like that is a lot for a sixteen-year-old girl to have to go through.

She thinks back to Milkit waiting for her back in Enchide. As long as she’s waiting for her, Flum can’t afford to die --- she uses the thought to reinvigorate herself.

Regenerating back to the same shape she was before losing her arm, they run at full speed through the facility. They do their best to take as many corners as they can and avoid travelling straight as much as they can--- but then they realize that the ‘ogre’ is no longer following them.

“Did we lose it, su…?”

Sara stops, looking around her uneasily.

“I think so. We can’t let down our guard yet, though. I don’t think it’ll just let us walk out of here.”

“Yeah, su. Also… I think there are more of those creepy corpse things, su.”

Flum can hear their voices now too, echoing from all around them.

“Help me, somebody HELP MEEEEEEE!!”

“It hurts, it huuuurts!!”

“Agh… somebody, anybody, please… somebody come help me…”

Listening to them makes Flum’s head spin. Just like that woman from before, they’re likely traps using human corpses.

It would seem that the ‘ogre’ is not only a lot stronger than a normal ogre but a lot smarter, too, likely another effect of the ‘spiral’.

“What’re we gonna do, su? We can’t just keep runnin’ forever, su.”

They still haven’t found any way out. Since they weren’t able to find an exit while they were just taking their time, it’d probably be impossible to search while being hunted. Worse, there’s no guarantee the ‘ogre’ will just give up once they make it outside. If it follows them into town there’ll only be more casualties.

“If only there was some way for us to defeat it...”

When they fought it up on the surface, however, neither the Zweihander nor Sara’s mace had any effect.

“Can you cast any offensive magic at all?”

“I’m really bad with that kinda stuff, su. Nothin’ I can cast is stronger than my mace, su… How about you, su?”

“I can’t cast any magic, so if my sword doesn’t work I can’t do anything.”

“I guess we’ll have to find some way to hit harder, then, su. You don’t think we could use anythin’ in the facility around here to do that, do you, su?”

They’ve found a fair amount of experimental apparatus up until now, but even if they still worked they don’t know how to operate them and don’t have the time to figure it out.

That means their only hope is to find some way to strengthen themselves.

“Hmm… Come to think of it, isn’t there some Light Attribute magic that can raise stats temporarily?”

“I can’t use any of that stuff, su. Sorry, su.”

Even if she could cast it, it’d probably only make Flum weaker.

“Don’t be sorry. But in that case… hmm, what can we do?”

She puts her hand on her chin, deep in thought.

They don’t have any more time to sit and talk, however. The same rapid, heavy footsteps they’d heard just a little while ago reaches Flum’s ears.

The sound is coming from around the corner right in front of them.

“Oneesan, it found us, su!”

The ‘ogre’ peers out from around the corner in front of them, the spurting blood from the spiral staining the ground. Flum and Sara take a step backwards as it puts its hand on the wall and pulls its bloodstained top half around the corner.

They turn and run as the ‘ogre’ follows after them, straddling the corridor as it crawls along the walls.

“Kh, how’d it get in front of us!?”

“It probably knows this place a lot better than we do, su!”

“A normal ogre’d never be able to do anything like that…!”

Flum is painfully reminded of the fact that the thing chasing them isn’t an ogre in anything but appearance.

They continue to run through the halls, but this time it follows a lot more closely, refusing to lose them this time.

“Isn’t it a lot faster now, su!?”

It’s clearly a lot more mobile than it was last time they met. Now it doesn’t seem to be adversely affected by turning corners hardly at all. It’s close enough that if they were to stumble on the debris littering the floor even a little the ‘ogre’ would catch them in a heartbeat.

“Don’t tell me it’s climbing the wall because there’s no debris there…!?”

“What kind of twisted logic is that, su!?”

Regardless of how strange it might be, it’s right behind them precisely thanks to that.

If they just keep running, it’ll wear them down eventually. They need some way to break through its hard guard, and fast.

If only there was some way to suddenly hit harder---

[We adventurers sometimes have to fight monsters with stats several times our own. This technique is a method for temporarily surpassing your limits to overcome such foes.]

Flum suddenly remembers something from her time in the Hero’s party.

Even though he knew she couldn’t use it, the seasoned warrior Gadio nonetheless taught her all about a certain sword style.

“Cavalier Arts…”

“What’s that supposed to mean, su?”

Sara cocks her head to the side in confusion, having never heard of it before.

She’d been told all about it when she was his ‘apprentice’, even though she couldn’t use it. Since it’s a sword style that temporarily converts one’s Stamina into prana to temporarily overcome one’s limits, she couldn’t use it with her old stats.

Things are different now, though. She might just be able to use it now that she has her cursed equipment. It’s a little sudden to learn a completely new skill and if she fails she’s dead, but they’re going to die at this rate anyways.

“If my plan works, I’ll be able to hurt that thing.”

“I don’t really get it, but there’s a chance, right, su?”

“Yeah, but it’s really risky.”

Honestly, Flum has no idea if there’s any chance of it working at all, but she pretends to be unafraid for the young Sara’s sake.

“Need some time, su?”

If Flum says yes, Sara will probably offer to buy time.

Can I really let her fight that monstrosity alone, if even only for a little while?

“...I’ll need a little, I think.”

Still uncertain, she leaves it up to Sara.

She feels pitiful, but she has no other option. This is the best for both of them.

“In that case, I’ll go slow it down, su!”

She stops and turns around, drawing the mace off her back.

The ‘ogre’ stops, glad its hunt is finally over, the spiral on its face writhing in pleasure and spurting blood.

I can’t let this chance go to waste.

She pulls the Zweihander out of its extradimensional space and lowers it, closing her eyes and sharpening her focus.

“Come at me, su! I might just get carried away and turn you into mincemeat myself, su!”

Having long since recognized her as an obstacle, the 'ogre' quickly crawls closer and swings its right arm down at her. She jumps, dodging its attack and hitting it in the head with her mace.

GONN!

A normal ogre would’ve had its brains liquefied, but the monstrosity is completely unfazed.

“I’m not done yet, su!”

She hasn’t lost heart yet.

The ‘ogre’ takes another swing at her just as she lands, but she runs out of the way, dodging its follow-up attempt to grab her by kicking off the wall and into the air.

[It’s just like using magic. With magic, you reach inside yourself and grab the energy that’s already there and give it a form. The only difference here is that you’re not drawing from your Magic, your power source is your Stamina.]

Remembering her mentor’s words, Flum imagines her vitality flowing through her body like the blood through her veins and envisions grasping it. Just as she thinks she’s gotten a hold of it, however, it slips through her fingers like water and is lost.

[Unlike magic, prana’s a fickle bastard that doesn’t like being told what to do. It’s a very pure, untainted energy source, so you need to be perfectly focused or else you’ll never get hold of it.]

She imagines going even further inside herself.

All noise around her disappears and she goes somewhere entirely cut off from the real world. In that peaceful place free from all disturbances, she hones ‘herself’.

The surface of her heart becomes as clear and undisturbed as the unbroken surface of a vast, pure lake.


“Guh…!” Sara accepts a direct hit from the ‘ogre’ with her mace.

The hit turns out to be a lot heavier than she expected, however, sending her flying backwards into a wall.

“Gaha…!”

The air is knocked clean out of her lungs and she can feel a sharp pain in her back. Sensing something wrong with her bones, she doesn’t hesitate to cast healing magic on herself.

Taking advantage of that opening, the ‘ogre’ charges in for its next attack.

BLAM!!

It drives its fist into the wall, crushing the metal as if it were clay.

Sara leaps to the side at the last moment, narrowly avoiding being crushed to death. It took all she had to dodge, but to the ‘ogre’ it was just a punch like any other.

The difference in their strengths is painfully apparent. Sara has been completely cornered.

“Oneesan’s not ready yet… su! I’m fine, I can keep goin’ for hours, su!”

She tries not to lose hope yet.

Flum, on the other hand, finally feels something. She extends her hand and feels the energy flow there naturally, not being forced there but shifting as if it understands her will. The energy that kept on escaping her is now gathered there.

She succeeded.

She can’t be too pleased with herself, however. If she loses focus now it’ll fall right through her hands again. She moves on to the next step.

[Once you’ve got hold of it once, the rest is easy. Let it flow through your arms and into your sword.]

Unlike Attributal Magic that requires focus and specific visualization, Prana is a lot more accommodating after it’s been grabbed once.

She imagines it moving as if it were an extension of her own body from the center of her torso near her heart through her shoulder, from her shoulder to her hand, and finally from her hand into her sword --- that pure, untainted energy fills the Zweihander to the brim.

[Once your sword’s full of high-purity prana, all you do is---]

She did her best to follow Gadio’s words, and she doesn’t know if she did it as well as he would’ve, but the power is there.

Undeniably, unquestionably, the power is there.

“Oneesan…!”

Sara is lying sprawled on the ground, the ‘ogre’s lethal fist raised above her. She can’t dodge this time.

She isn’t asking for help, though her voice is trembling. Anyone would be scared if they were about to be killed by a monstrosity like that. Anyone would want to cry, anyone would want to scream in terror --- but Sara doesn’t do either of those things.

She simply believes in Flum, and believes that she’ll turn everything around.

Flum has to respond to the young girl’s faith in her. Silently thanking Sara with all her heart, she leaps forward.

[---swing your sword with everything you’ve got.]

Remembering Gadio’s words, Flum sets her sights on the creature’s neck.

Cavalier Arts---

“SEAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!”

---Prana Shaker Imitation.

Shluck!

Her attack is incomplete, a blade forged from necessity alone. Only an imitation.

Unlike before, however, the Zweihander bites through its skin, its muscle, finally reaching bone.

SPLURURUT!!!

The ‘ogre’s head trembles, a copious amount of blood gushing from the frantically convulsing spiral.

It’s suffering.

“It worked --- Leave the rest to me, Oneesan, su!!”

“Finish it!!”

Flum lets go of the sword and backs off. Sara jumps into the air and takes a powerful swing at the exposed blade.

KLUNGG!

The impact drives the blade even further in its flesh, finally emerging from the other side.

Its head slips off and hits the floor with a thud, and the spiral finally stops making those horrible squelching sounds.

It stops attacking.

“Ha… Hehe, that was really somethin’, but… it looks like we did it, su!”

“Hahh, hahh… I really hope that’s enough to kill it…”

Sara looks at the headless body, certain it’s dead.

Flum, on the other hand, is still oddly unnerved.

If it’s dead, good --- but then why is it still standing?

A normal ogre, or any other living thing for that matter, couldn’t survive being decapitated, but the monstrosity is unlike any other living creature. She doesn’t lower her guard yet.

There’s a chance that this alone won’t be enough.

And right then---

“Sara, chan… we need to get out of here.”

“W-What, su? It should be dead…”

The bloody stump of its neck starts moving, reforming into an all-too-familiar shape.

“No way, su… It’s spiraling…!?”

The new spiral starts violently spurting blood.

Its shoulders start to tremble, and a split-second later it’s moving again, reaching out to Sara as she watches with shock.

“Get down!”

Flum tackles her to the ground, causing it to miss by a hair’s breadth.

“T-Thanks, su.”

“Let’s hurry and get out of here.”

They quickly pick themselves up and start running again.

That monstrosity isn’t natural. The longer they’re near it the more chances it has to catch them off guard, and eventually it’ll get the better of them.

The chase begins again, but perhaps because it isn’t used to moving around without a head yet its movements are clumsy. They have little difficulty putting some distance between them.

As long as they’re trapped underground, however, they can’t escape their fate. Eventually it’ll find and kill them. They need to come up with a plan and kill it for certain this time.

The most likely method would be to make another attack at its vitals with the Prana Shaker Imitation, but even if they pierce its heart Flum isn’t convinced that’ll be enough to stop it.

Unable to come up with an effective strategy, they run around corner after corner after corner until finally they can’t hear it following them anymore.

They rest for a moment with their backs to the wall, breathing heavily.

“Hah… hahh… t-that’s not right, su… We cut off its head… it was bleedin’ an’ everythin’, su…!”

“Ha, haha… It’s just as immortal as I am…”

“That’s only because of that curse, su…”

In other words, there must be something in that thing’s body that gives it its vitality.

“If only there was a… hahh, fuu… obvious weak point somewhere…”

“Either way… we don’t have much of a chance, su…”

Flum’s just not strong enough as she is now. She had tried to use Cavalier Arts to compensate for that, but it just isn’t enough in the end. All it does is allow her to temporarily exceed the level the ‘ogre’ is at constantly.

She racks her brains, ideas spinning through her head, asking herself over and over again what she can do.

The answer is probably ‘Reversal.’

There’s no way to raise her stats easily, but if only there were something lying around that could lower her stats---

“...Hey, Sara-chan. Feel like taking another risk?”

“I haven’t been able to think of anythin’, su… I’m impressed you can even think of somethin’ to take a risk on, su.”

“It’s really nothing to thank me about, trust me. Let’s head back to that first room.”

“That room that I didn’t see, su?”

“Yeah… I really didn’t want you to have to see it, but desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Relying on their memories to guide them back, they avoid the crying corpse-traps, covering their ears and doing their best to endure the horrible cries coming from all directions. The occasional sound of the ‘ogre’ moving mixed in with the other noises is enough to make Flum’s heart almost stop and make Sara’s breathing grow ragged and her skin crawl every time. Fortunately, as long as they stay still and don’t make any obvious noises whenever they hear it, the ‘ogre’ can't seem to find them. After letting out relieved breaths, they keep moving.

Maybe it hasn’t found them yet because it’s missing its head and important senses with it, making it unable to properly follow them.

They finally arrive back at the room they started in. After Flum warns Sara to look around them as little as possible, she opens the door. The powerful reek of decomposition hits them, and they both cover their faces as Flum searches for the light switch.

The wretched sight of the mound of corpses fills the room before them.

“Ugh… cough, cough… a-are these all… corpses, su…?”

The bodies piled there range from skeletons to rotting bodies, with even some almost mummified corpses in the mix. Sara resists the urge to vomit.

“Sorry I had to bring you back here…”

“N-No, it’s fine, su… I-I’m used to seeing corpses an’ blood an’ stuff… su.”

Working at the Church as a healer means that she’s used to seeing injuries and illnesses. As young as she is, she’s probably even seen corpses before. Even so, she’s probably never seen so many at once.

They can’t afford to just stand there by the door. The ‘ogre’ could find them at any moment. They need to get what they came for.

Flum nears the mound, reaches out with some hesitation, and starts pulling out corpses one by one, checking all their possessions.

“Oneesan, what’re you doing, su?”

“Looting corpses.”

“L-Looting… corpses, su?”

“Look, I hate it too! If there are this many of them, though, there’s a fair chance there’s something cursed in the pile somewhere.”

“You’re going to use something like that, su!?”

This was the only thing Flum could think of. If she can gather some more cursed equipment, she can raise her stats even further and hopefully kill it with a strengthened Cavalier Art.

“Ughh… I feel sick…”

As she searches, the cold and slippery sensations of entrails, blood, and rotting flesh cover her hands. If she pulls too hard, some bodies even come apart in her hands. Whenever something unsavory hits her face, she wipes it off with her wrist and just keeps on moving. At times she even has to brush off fat insects as they try to crawl onto her.

Tears start gathering in the corners of her eyes, but she doesn’t give in or give up, crushing her desire to cry and flee as she continues to cast Scan on the corpses’ clothing one piece at a time, determined to make it out of there alive.

Sara suddenly sits down beside her.

“You can wait outside if you want, Sara. I’ll be fine.”

“I’m… I’m gonna help, su.‘

“No, really, I can handle it.”

There’s no way she can let a ten-year-old girl help her with such a gruesome task, but there’s a strong light in Sara’s eyes.

“You’re doin’ this so we can both make it out alive, su. I can’t just sit and do nothin’, su.”

Squinting, she grits her teeth and reaches out for a corpse.

“Sorry… I feel like you’ve done nothing but cover for me this whole time.”

“No, I’m not doin’ much of anythin’ really, su. I should be thankin’ you, su.”

“How about I treat you to lunch after we’re out of this mess?”

“I’ll look forward to it... but I think I’d prefer to just have Milkit’s cookin’, su.”

“Are you really okay with just that?”

“I’m really okay with just that, su.”

They distract themselves by making a promise they might not be able to keep.

No matter how many times they cast Scan, they can’t seem to find even a single piece of cursed equipment.

That just means that all the curses are gathering into one thing.

Flum tries to reassure herself.

“...It’s here, su.”

The sound of the ‘ogre’s footsteps gradually grows closer.

The room they’re in currently is at the center of many rooms and corridors, all of them eventually leading right to them. If they can hear it, it’ll reach them without a doubt.

They’re out of time.

They work together to pull out one last corpse, the rotting body of a woman. Her equipment, while rotten, is on the cleaner side of things.

Flum casts scan on everything she’s wearing.

Her necklace, her ring, her blouse, her skirt --- and finally, her boots.

Name: The Misotheist Leather Boots
Tier: Epic
[This equipment lowers your Strength by 257]
[This equipment lowers your Magic by 330]
[This equipment lowers your Stamina by 885]
[This equipment lowers your Agility by 731]
[This equipment freezes your flesh]

As soon as Flum sees those stats she immediately strips them off the corpse and puts them on her own feet. The inside of the boots is unpleasantly cold, but she can feel power flowing through her body as soon as she puts them on.

Fortunately, there’s no sign of her body either freezing or burning.

Reversal turns negative effects into positive ones --- Flum can’t help but wonder how the freezing flesh curse will reverse.

“You found it, Oneesan, su!”

“It’s all thanks to you, really.”

Flum’s stat total is now 3,396. Her Strength and Agility are both over 500, and her Stamina is more than 1,000. She can feel her heartbeat calm and her breathing return to normal.

She should be able to generate a lot more Prana now.

“I mean it. Thank you, Sara-chan.”

“It’s too early to thank me, su. If we don’t kill that thing we’re still dead, su.”

The ‘ogre’ arrives at the door and tries to force its shoulders through, but fortunately the doorway is just barely too narrow for it to fit. Instead it starts moving the stump of its neck as best it can, scanning the room until finally it stops on Flum and Sara.

They watch it nervously as it sticks its green hands through, grabbing the doorframe and bending it wider with a shrill screech of metal, the veins on the backs of its hand bulging as it works. Finally, after the opening is wide enough, it reaches out with its right arm and digs its fingertips into the metal floor.

It pulls itself through the gap with only the strength in its arms, and as soon as it’s in the room it finally has the room to stand.

Without wasting another second, it turns and fires that ‘power’ at them.

DOMM!

The spiral plunges deep into the pile of corpses as Flum and Sara dodge to either side.

Its target was, of course, Flum.

Fortunately, with her new equipment, she moves like an entirely different person. Before it can attack again, she draws the Zweihander and rushes at it, slashing as she passes.

A thin red line appears on its green skin.

Thanks to her increased Strength, she can now hurt it, even if it’s just a scratch, without using Cavalier Arts.

Circling around behind it, she gathers the strength flowing through her body from the Boots this time and strikes at its back. It leaves another shallow wound, but this time the flesh around the wound freezes solid.

SPLUT, SPLURURT!

Unused to the sensation of having its flesh freeze, it twists its body around, spraying blood from its spiral.

It turns around and tries to nail Flum with a lariat, but she’s already gone, once again circling around behind it.

Flum takes a deep breath, letting energy flow down her arms and into her sword before making a leaping strike at it.

Prana Shaker Imitation.

“TERYAAAAAAAAAA!!”

Shlurk!

With one strike she takes one of its arms clean off. It flinches from the pain, but the blood stops a moment later as the wound twists and spirals.

“You did it, su!”

Sara lets out a cheer, but they can’t get careless.

The ‘ogre’ turns around and swings at Flum, but she dodges. The large motion leaves its back wide open to Sara.

“My turn, su!”

She brings her mace crashing down on its frozen flesh, shattering its hide and muscles in the process. She isn’t able to hurt it on her own, but breaking ice is something she can do.

The giant green figure stumbles forward.

Flum freezes its right leg, and at the same time that Sara shatters it Flum’s Prana-infused blade takes off its left leg.

SPLURURURUT!!

Its body trembles with pain and blood shoots from its neck like a geyser.

They’ve got complete control of the battle now.

“HAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!”

Flum’s final Prana Shaker Imitation lops off the monstrosity’s remaining left arm.

The ‘ogre,’ having lost it head and all its limbs, can’t even move now. All its lost limbs twist and turn into spirals, but the creature is completely powerless now.

“I think it’s still alive, su…”

“It doesn’t feel like it’s dead yet, no… but I don’t even know what to cut off next. We shouldn’t have any problem escaping now, so we could probably just leave it like this.”

“Yeah, I’m too tired to hit it any more, su.”

“It looks like we’re finally done.”

They make eye contact and laugh bitterly. Sara’s forehead is drenched with sweat and her shoulders quiver with every breath. Flum is similarly completely spent, both physically and mentally.

Leaving the oddly quivering chunk of meat behind them, they move to leave the room.

Flum stops just in front of the entrance the ‘ogre’ had widened.

“...Hey, Sara-chan.”

“W-What is it this time, Oneesan?”

“Is it just me, or is there suddenly a breeze in here?”

She can clearly feel the wind on her cheek.

It’s possible that their fight was intense enough that it opened a hole to the outside that they can escape from --- but the trembling ‘ogre’ behind them is a little too unsettling.

“So you feel it too, Oneesan, su.”

The wind isn't be just Flum’s imagination. It slowly grows stronger, enveloping the entire room --- no, even the connected hallways.

“I guess it’s trying to get in one final attack.”

“I think it’s already done more than enough, though, su.”

“The bastard’s still not satisfied yet, it looks like.”

Flum and Sara turn around, drawing their weapons once more.

When they weren’t looking the clump of green flesh had slowly risen into the air.

All five of its spirals, one for each limb stump and its neck, are spraying blood everywhere. It doesn’t have an expression for Flum to read, but she can feel the intimidating pressure it’s giving off clear as day.

No matter what, the ‘ogre’ --- no, that terrifying something’s consciousness that has been lurking in the ogre’s body the whole time is dead set on killing them both.

Flum has no idea why it’s so obsessed with her. At her roots she’s still just an ordinary farm girl, so there shouldn’t be any reason for it to have a grudge against her.

The accelerating winds start to slowly affect the huge mound of corpses.

Judging from how it’s used its ‘power’ up until now, the more time it takes to activate the larger the area of effect --- once it’s activated, however, no living thing can possibly survive.

“Teryaaaa!!”

“Oryaaaaa, su!”

The two of them leap at the floating remains of the ‘ogre.’ No matter how deeply Flum’s Prana-infused blade cuts, the injuries simply stop bleeding and twist into spirals.

Sara’s attacks similarly just don’t seem to be affecting it. She grits her teeth, but there’s no way she can just suddenly grow stronger. She turns her focus to the areas that Flum has frozen instead.

The green torso grows ever smaller every time Flum cuts a chunk off, every time Sara shatters the flesh frozen by Flum’s attacks, but the ‘revolution’ never ceases.

The wind becomes a gale, the gale becomes a storm, and the storm starts to turn into a tornado, whipping up debris and corpses as it starts to blacken with mass.

“Just how much do we have to hack at it before it stops!?”

“I don’t know, su! Just don’t stop freezing, su!”

Even the metal walls start breaking and peeling away as they join the strengthening storm. Everything within the ‘ogre’s range is rapidly being torn, shredded, and added to the mass, and Flum and Sara are finding it increasingly difficult to keep on attacking in the eye of the storm.

The torso has lost all its vitals including its heart, reduced to an orb of spiralling flesh --- but even then the storm only continues to grow.

“You don’t even have a heart left! Just die already!!”

“You’re just a twisted clump of meat, su! Give it up already, su!!”

“Kh… Stop, stop, STOOOOOP!!”

The meatball has hardened to the point where Flum isn’t strong enough to break its flesh with normal attacks and Sara can’t shatter the frozen parts.

Flum infuses her blade again with prana and stabs deeply into the flesh, and as she does so she can feel the blade make contact with something hard.

This might be it!

Convinced they’re finally making progress, she makes all the prana she can flow to the very tip of her sword, pushing the Zweihander forward with both hands.

“Uaah… Ah!?”

Just at that moment, Sara slips on the slick blood covering the floor and collapses.

“O-Oneesan… g-good luck, su! I can’t…”

“Sara-chan!!”

Her body is slowly dragged across the floor towards the wild storm surrounding them, about to join it. If that happens it’d probably only take an instant for her to be pelted to death by corpses and chunks of stone and metal. She barely manages to grab onto a crack in the floor, but it’s only a matter of time before she can’t hold on any longer.

Her hands start to grow slippery with sweat.

The only way to save her is to stop the storm.

Driven by raw desperation, Flum screams.

“Fughuuuuugh, ugh, AHHHHHHHH!!”

She’s already hit her limit but she keeps pushing nonetheless. She draws out all her strength, every bit of Prana she can muster, every last drop of energy from the cursed equipment.

It’s just not enough.

Her blade inches forward, but it’s not enough to break the hard thing.

“AAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!”

She put everything she has into the blade.

She squeezes out the last of her power, and every time she does so she thinks of another reason to keep pushing.

I can’t die here! There’s someone waiting for me to come home!

Milkit’s waiting for me in town, all alone! I can’t leave her all alone!

Even if we’ve done nothing more than lick each other’s wounds, I decided to save her.

I can’t die here.

I can’t make her sad.

I can’t die here!

I can’t save her if I’m dead!

Thinking of Milkit, Flum pours even more into her blade, every bit of power she has regardless of the form it takes, and forces it through her blade.

“UWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!”

She twists a scream out of her throat.

Perhaps because of all prana she's been using, her skin splits and blood pours down her arms.

Her wounds regenerate themselves but new ones appear just as quickly, and it feels as though something’s peeling the skin off her arms with a dull blade.

---Even so!

Her endless power, her single-minded determination to rebel against fate overpowers even the malevolence of the heavens.

OmaeGotoki 01-Ch11 1.png

---CRACK!!

The ‘something’ inside the meatball cracks and breaks.

At that moment the remains of the torso loses its strength and collapses to the ground and the storm surrounding them subsides just as it started, the debris and corpses all coming to rest on the ground.

“Haah… ah…”

All her strength spent, Flum collapses to her knees, arms hanging limply at her sides, and looks at the ceiling blankly.

“Is it finally… over…?”

There’s nothing left of the ‘ogre’ except a small broken black crystal lying in the middle of the floor --- but she can think about that later.

She needs a moment to rest first.

“Y-You did it, su… Oneesan, you defeated it, su…!”

Sara is lying collapsed on the ground where she slipped, lacking the strength even to stand.

“Haha…. ahh… I killed it… ahaha… haha… I knew I could do it…”

Unable to even stay sitting up, Flum falls back onto the cold, hard floor, but even that feels comforting to the two victors.


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