Chapter 438 Tortus Travel Journal ? This is, Me?
「No, I’m not gonna destroy them okay?」
The choices that Lyutilis presented.
It was asked to the one who slayed the god, whether to destroy the godslaying powers together with the great dungeons for eternity or not. Everyone, especially the parents were waiting for Hajime’s decision with bated breath. And the conclusion that he reached under all those attentions were,
Such swift reply.
Hajime said that without even any pause or indecision. He reached the conclusion so very easily, with the casualness as though he was deciding what to eat for dinner.
That must be unexpected.
Uroboros the Third who was silently standing with his arms crossed while waiting for the conclusion fell down like in a gag show. He tumbled down from the back of the throne and fell on the ground with a thud.
The parents were also opening their eyes wide altogether. Even Shia and others were looking slightly shocked. Although it seemed the surprise that Shia and others felt was toward Hajime’s lack of hesitation, and not about the conclusion itself.
The proof of that was,
「……Nn. I thought you would say that.」
Yue didn’t look surprised at the slightest. There was a faint smile on her lips. She squinted and looked toward Hajime with eyes that were filled with gentleness. It seemed that Yue was the only one who knew in advance that Hajime wouldn’t hesitate.
「Fumu, will it be alright?」
It was Shuuzou who recovered earlier from his surprise. He asked Hajime with a bit of doubt in his tone.
「Of course, I mean about the worry of Lyutilis-dono.」
The godslaying power that was left behind in a world without god.
Lyutilis questioned the right and wrong about leaving such thing behind. It was her worry for the future that made her concerned like that.
The powers that could shake the world. Could mankind leave such thing alone when they had lost the “common enemy” that was god? Wouldn’t conflict break out over those powers? She harbored such concern.
「Well, that will be a concern if the dungeons can be conquered so easily.」
「In reality, excluding us, there were only two people who were able to conquer a dungeon’s trial during these five hundred years.」
「Freed and Yue-san’s uncle──Denreed, it was only those two desu.」
Hajime smiled wryly. Tio and Shia nodded in agreement with him. Of course, it was partly caused by the detail about the benefit of conquering a great dungeon being almost gone from history, so the number of challenger itself was few, but even now when the fact had become known worldwide, it would be next to impossible for the people of Tortus to even challenge the great dungeons.
With the average level of the people of Tortus, they would simply get filtered off by areas like the surface hundred levels of Orcus or the ice and snow zone before they could even reach the true great dungeons.
「Certainly it’s possible that now a lot of people are going to seek age of god magic and ruin themselves but, that has also been this world’s history until now……」
「Certainly. It’s also depends on each person’s affinity with the great dungeon’s concept but, even the hero Kouki was unable to clear a great dungeon.」
It was just as Kaori and Shizuku said, the possibility that a lot of users of age of god magic appearing and conflict broke out in order to secure those people was exceedingly low.
「……Nn. It’s not our business if people take risk and die.」
「But Yue-san. Isn’t it possible that people will look for information in order to increase their chance of success?」
Kirino’s opinion was correct. In other words, she was worried that there might also be those who tried to contact Hajime and co to obtain information and even tried to use forceful method for it.
But, Yue bared her vampire’s fangs in a warlike smile in respond to that worry.
「……That’s also fine. After all we will be able to discern anyone harmful before they can obtain age of god magic.」
「I- I see.」
Even the usually unperturbed and dauntless Kirino blushed slightly with her gaze wandering around from the dangerous and captivating smile Yue sported.
It was truly the smile of a vampire queen.
Tomoichi and other males slightly averted their gaze. They instinctually felt attraction and fear that they would get bewitched if they didn’t rein themselves with effort.
……No, perhaps Tomoichi was the only one who did it because he feared the eyes of his wife that were losing their highlight.
Hajime gently patted Yue’s hair while shrugging.
「Well, it wasn’t like I never thought about it before but, there were a lot of other things to do that I had been putting it off but……from this point forward, I’ll consider installing a monitoring system in each great labyrinth to notify me of the challenger’s arrival.」
Shuu put one hand on his chin with a slightly pondering look. He stared fixedly at his son.
「No, it just feels like this is unlike you. You’re someone thorough in this kind of situation right? I’ll crush all the possibilities! That feels like something you’ll do.」
「That’s right isn’t it. Rather you should even say something like, I’m gonna monopolize the age of god magic for myself yeah! at this kind of time aren’t you?」
「You two really know me well.」
Hajime’s wry smile deepened. It was just as Shuu and Sumire said. Even if the possibility was exceedingly close to zero, it was still “possible” as long as it wasn’t zero.
The possibility of someone exceptional like Freed securing age of god magic and baring their fang toward Hajime and co couldn’t be denied.
Similarly, although there was also the merit of dealing with anyone harmful like Yue said, the possibility of someone seeking information to conquer great dungeon using indirect method couldn’t be denied.
And, Hajime was someone who wouldn’t just ignore such possibility.
Because they understood him well as his parents, it felt like Hajime didn’t choose to destroy the dungeons because there was a reason, but it was as though not destroying the dungeons was the premise and he only tacked the reason afterwards. It was only natural for them to be unable to understand Hajime’s decision.
Hajime stirred awkwardly from the inquisitive gaze of his parents. Unexpectedly he even looked slightly embarrassed. It was as though he was shy of saying the reason……
「……Okaa-sama, Otou-sama. Fufu, Hajime want to protect it.」
「……Yes. Protect this world, the proof of the life of Miledy and her friends.」
Hearing what Yue said on Hajime’s behalf made not only Shuu and Sumire, but all the parents to go 「Aa……」.
Yes, Lyutilis herself also said it. The great dungeons were the proof of the life of the liberators. That was why, they didn’t want to tell Miledy that it was alright to destroy them.
Shia and others too, although they were surprised that Hajime didn’t hesitate at the slightest, they understood that Hajime made his conclusion without considering any merit and demerit for it. They chuckled and looked at Hajime with gentle smile.
「The great dungeons, are also the grave of Miledy-oneesand and her friends nano. Isn’t that right, papa?」
「After the final battle, Hajime-san and others told the whole world about the actual story of the liberators so……in that sense the great dungeons are already──」
「The places where “the world’s protectors” are sleeping. Perhaps they will become new sacred grounds for the people of Tortus.」
Just as Remia and Aiko explained, that was the common perception in this world right now.
Actually, the rebirth holy church also recognized Miledy and co as saints and the talk of recognizing the great labyrinths as sacred grounds were formally progressing.
The one who showed agitation that he even froze from hearing that was Uroboros the Third who had been like the personification of majestic dignity until now.
If it had eyes just like human, then there was no doubt that they would be opened wide in astonishment. That was just how much he was focusing at Hajime with such clear discomposure.
Come to think of it he doesn’t know huh, Hajime thought as he scratched his cheek.
「Well, that’s how it is. You guys, your ancestor and his friends……aren’t rebel anymore. You guys are the “world’s protector” who had continued to fight for countless years even in death by leaving behind power for the future generation. The history of the liberators, is going to be passed down to the future generations correctly.」
── …… ──
Uroboros the Third froze still as though he had been turned into statue.
Although he didn’t have thinking ability as great as the first generation with the passing of generations, it was plain as day that he was being swallowed by a great upheaval of emotions.
Perhaps what was passed down from his ancestors wasn’t just thinking ability, but also memory to some degree.
In that case, he was undoubtedly a successor who inherited the feelings of the liberators at that time.
── -, gratitude-, gratitude-!! ──
He was trembling hard while even the thought that he conveyed felt somewhat quivering.
But, he clearly and strongly conveyed his feeling of gratitude. Perhaps he would be bawling at this time if he had the bodily function to cry.
「Even when they were defeated, the liberators possessed the strong will to entrust their wish to the future generation. It wasn’t just the great dungeons and the age of god magic. Surely there had been many things that you guys left behind for the future generations, more than I even know. And it’s a fact that I, that we were saved by that.」
Hajime spoke with a gentle tone toward the trembling Uroboros the Third. Surely he was talking toward Miledy and her friends through him.
「I’m grateful. During my journey, aa~, that’s, you know. I got no composure at all and treated you guys roughly……that’s why, this is, my apology for that too.」
Finally his embarrassment crossed the line and his face turned sullen instead.
But, his atmosphere was somewhat calm. He averted his gaze from Uroboros the Third and stared toward the ceiling, to the sky, as though to stare at Miledy and others who were at the other side.
「I’ll at least act as their grave keepers while I’m alive. So that the truth about you guys will never be forgotten anymore.」
That was why, he wouldn’t destroy the seven great dungeons. He wouldn’t allow anyone to destroy them.
Even if troublesome thing befell Hajime and others because of their existences, he wouldn’t drive away the proof of the liberators leaving behind the method to kill god in the future to the corner of history and oblivion.
That was the biggest reason for Hajime’s choice.
── Understand!! ──
Uroboros the Third got back on the throne and properly stood with boldness on it. His feelers stood straight and accepted the decision of the successor who successfully slayed a god.
He seemed to look bright, but surely that wasn’t just their imagination.
Understanding had dawned on the faces of Shuu and Sumire, and the other parents. And then the way they looked at Hajime……turned warm and bright. Those gazes made Hajime felt itchy.
That was why he didn’t want to say all that. Hajime looked aside to cover up his embarrassment.
There was no way a parent would pretend not to see such cute side of their son. The father and mother crept up on him with a grin on their face.
「What, so you actually know how to pay a proper respect to the deceased.」
「Yep yep, I think you made a good choice there.」
「I get it so stop trying to pat my head. Stop that smirking and poking too!」
Hajime brushed away the devilish hands of his creeping parents and also pretended not to hear the chuckle and congenial laugh of Yue and others.
Tomoichi suddenly asked a question which also doubled as a lifeline for Hajime.
「Come to think of it, Hajime-kun. You mentioned that the god mountain is also a great dungeon. Could it be that it will revive together with the god mountain even if it’s left alone?」
The god mountain that was still destroyed. According to Lyutilis, the great dungeons had self-repair function, so this question was only natural to ask.
Hajime sent a grateful gaze to Tomoichi who changed the atmosphere while turning his gaze to empty air in pondering.
「Hmm~, I wonder. Actually, the god mountain’s great dungeon isn’t on the mountain but underground.」
「Eh!? Is that true? I completely thought it was near the summit of the mountain……」
It wasn’t just Tomoichi, Kaoruko and the other parents also looked surprised.
They heard that when Kaori died, she received treatment and got revived at the summit of the mountain, so it was only natural for them to get such impression.
「……Nn. There are two routes in the god mountain’s great dungeon. There are magic circle at the summit and also at the foot of the mountain. Someone who has more than two proofs of conquest can teleport inside.」
「And, in that case they will get teleported not to the room with the proof of conquest, but at another place. From there they’ll have to fight with the combat force of the past church, well, or the reproduction of it in any case.」
In this world Tortus, a religious organization that worshipped Ehito would definitely be raised no matter the era, but the headquarters of that organization would definitely be set up at the summit of the sacred mountain, the highest place in this world.
Therefore, the summit was the route that was reached by defeating the “present church”. Those who tried to avoid doing that by finding the magic circle at the foot of the mountain would be sent to go through the route of defeating the “past church”.
The difference in difficulty between the two route was tricky. The past knights were all equipped with replicas of divine tools. Each of them also possessed powerful unique magic. The difference in battle strength between them and the present knights was like elephant and ant.
In contrast, if the challenger choose to face the present church, a user of age of god magic would be able to curbstomp them but, it would mean attacking the present headquarters of Ehito’s religion, so an intervention from apostle would be inevitable. Because they couldn’t possibly allow the current symbol of god’s majesty to be destroyed.
If the challenger sought age of god magic in order to kill god, picking the summit route would mean getting into a decisive battle with the god’s stronghold before they even obtained the mean to face god, so originally the mountain’s foot route was the correct route.
In Yue and Shia’s case, they came to the summit of the mountain after destroying the force of the present church, so it was an irregular path that they took.
In any case, thinking very carefully it would be very difficult to create a great dungeon near the church’s headquarters. It would be more logical to work on it from the foot of the mountain at the northern mountain range area where not many people came near.
The magic circle at the summit too, it wasn’t found because Tio and Aiko had turned the church into rubbles but, most likely it was located in a hidden place even inside the church. Laus Barn was a former knight of the church, so he must have used his position to set it up.
Yue and Shia explained that at length. Then Hajime continued the explanation.
「We actually found the summit’s magic circle among the rubble though.」
「Eh, it wasn’t destroyed?」
「Yes, there was an artifact that protected only the location of the magic circle with age of god magic. We found it when helping out with the rebuilding after the final battle, and at that time we also found the mountain’s foot route. It was behind the god mountain.」
Even Laus Barn surely never even imagined that the whole god mountain would collapse. And so, if by some chance someone conquered the god mountain’s great dungeon right now and chose the shortcut through the summit’s magic circle to escape, they would pop out above the magic circle that was engraved on a rubble right now. That rubble was currently in a portable state.
Also, the magic circle in question was being stored inside Heiligh Kingdom’s treasure warehouse.
「Even the revival of the god mountain itself is technically possible but, well, that’s being postponed right now.」
「I, I see.」
Coincidentally, Guryuen Volcano’s great dungeon had also been sunk into a sea of magma after Freed destroyed its keystone, but the magma there had withdrawn and the dungeon was regaining its former appearance.
This too wasn’t because of the nature at work but because of the great dungeon’s regeneration ability.
「Well, anyway that’s my conclusion. More importantly, the safekeeping of the “key”……no, until now I didn’t even know about its existence, so I guess it’s alright.」
They finished talking and Hajime gave his confirmation to Uroboros the Third once more.
── Affirmative! Need? ──
「No, I don’t need it. Now that I know about the central’s existence, I can enter it using the compass and crystal key. In that case it’ll be better if I don’t carelessly learn about it in detail. Or rather, it’ll be more reassuring to destroy it.」
── ……Affirmative! True!! ──
Uroboros the Third seemed to be thinking for a bit before showing consent for the destruction. He crossed his arms and nodded as though to say 『I leave it to you!』.
This G, he was really like a human. Or more like a warrior.
Perhaps that was why the others also became even more used to the humanoid G’s existence.
「Really Hajime, you’re communicating normally with him when we noticed.」
「Though seen from the side, this only looks like a kid talking with a humanoid G.」
「Somehow we’re also getting used to it.」
「Yes, even though he’s only using single word and gesture, I’m also understanding what Uroboros the Third-san want to say.」
「It’s amazing what you can get used to.」
Nagumo couple and Shirasaki couple along with Akiko were exchanging words with very complicated expression on their face. Hajime glanced at his watch while they were doing that.
「Uroboros, there’s nothing else right? We should go to the garden soon. Is there any shortcut to there from here?」
── Acceptable! ……No see? ──
「Hm? Are you asking if we aren’t going to watch? Watch what?」
── Of course! Deathly! Battle! ──
Uroboros the Third pointed at himself with two legs pointedly. It seemed it was asking if they weren’t going to watch the past last trial.
He somehow looked excited with expectation.
*Vvvn* He moved his wings. It made Hajime and co shivered a little as he flew back on Myuu’s head. The height of his tension could be seen from his heroic landing posture.
The good news of how the truth about his liberator ancestors were being spread through the world, and the decision to not destroy the great dungeons. It was clear to see that he was extremely pleased by those. His feelers were also twitching in delight.
「Papa! Isn’t it okay if only those who want to see go see nano? Myuu will be alright nano!」
「Aa~, well, I guess. There isn’t any reason why everyone has to see it together anyway.」
Now that she mentioned it that was true. Before this he normally put it out of consideration because the didn’t think there would be such laudable human but, if it was now that everyone had gotten fairly used to G’s existence……
Thinking that, Hajime looked at everyone else to check whether they would be down for it.
「Fumu, in that case allow me to watch it.」
「Shizuku, how about you also come watching?」
「Because the way you became deranged before this, smaa~ll fry smaa~ll fry?」
「Okaa-san, you were amused by that!?」
As expected, Yaegashi family (daughter excluded) wanted to watch.
Seeing that, the other people also got affected and started hesitating.
「Hey, Kaori. Can you make it covered with mosaic like before?」
「Eh, Okaa-san also want to watch? That’s surprising……」
「That’s, as expected, I wanted to watch just how did my daughter do her best. This trip is for that after all. I want to watch anything that involved Kaori as much as possible. ……Though, seeing a great swarm of that terrifying insect that I fear to even mention its name flying around everywhere around me will make me faint, so perhaps it’ll be impossible for me……」
Kaoruko said that with a troubled expression. Tomoichi and Akiko looked like they agreed with her. As expected a part of them wanted to watch. But, there was bigger possibility that they wouldn’t be able to endure being in the presence of a great swarm of G.
「I, I see……hm~~m, but it’s impossible to put mosaic on them one by one……right, Yue?」
「……Nn. That’s difficult. In the end, the best we can do is putting mosaic on the whole area, making it hard to understand what’s going on. Rather……」
「Uu, with the mosaic covering up everything, it will make us imagine just what is it at the other side isn’t it? That might be even more terrifying than reality.」
Yue nodded at Aiko’s worry. That might be possible the case. And then her expression became slightly pondering.
「……Not an illusion that is put on the surrounding, but applied to the watcher……if it’s a magic that is applied to the perception of the watcher, it will be easier to do, maybe.」
「Aa, I see. Thou means, making the person perceive the G’s existence as something else?」
「……Nn. But, if we’re going to do that what should we replace it with? It will have the same effect like the mosaic if we choose carelessly. Something that is normal to fly in groups in a number that is as many as the stars in the sky, and also something that won’t easily evoke any negative emotion or the actual scene. Narrowing by size……something like sparrow?」
「Hmm~, certainly it’s normal for small birds to fly in group, so that seems safe.」
It seemed that they were moving the problem from how to not see what was there, to see but seeing it as something else.
As long as this problem got solved, everyone would definitely go see the past scene. Myuu looked up at Uroboros the Third on her head and said 「Great for you, nano!」 with a bright grin on her face. Uroboros the Third also nodded 『Umu! This is good tiding!』 with dignity while standing imposingly.
There, while Yue and others were having discussion, Sumire seemed to also get an idea and raised her voice.
「About the image, can you make it following my suggestion?」
「……There won’t be any problem if I myself can concretely imagine it.」
「Okay! Then I have a suggestion!!」
Sumire grinned as though she had gotten an excellent idea. She called at her son with excessively bright voice.
「Paper and pen!!」
「Ah, yes! Sensei! Welcome back!」
Sumire’s hand reached demandingly toward Hajime. She didn’t even look at him and glared at empty air in order to make the image inside her brain even clearer.
Hajime activated his treasure warehouse and took out pen and paper. It was as though the reflex had been conditioned into him. Both his hands held a pedestal and a pen holder with various kind of pens in it before he kneeled on one knee and offered them like a knight offering his sword.
This one also got down on all fours like a well trained dog without the slightest hesitation. He straightened his back as much as possible while taking position in front of his wife. His movement was extremely experienced. From there it could be easily imagined that he had surely lent his back like this often when they went to an outing.
「W-what? Just what’s going on with Sumire-san?」
「Tomoichi-kun! Be quiet! Don’t be a nuisance for my wife!」
「Hajime-kun? Just what is Sumire-san──」
「Shuuzou-san! Be quiet! Sensei is concentrating!!」
Sumire sat in seiza posture on the spot, put the paper that was hold with a binder on her husband’s back, pulled the pen’s stopper energetically, and closed her eyes quietly. This was the popular shoujo mangaka Sumire-sensei!
Just what in the world was going on? The sudden happening made the parents looked bewildered. Then right after that, Sumire-sensei’s eyes snapped open in front of them.
Her arms moved with unbelievable smoothness. The sound of lines being drawn *sha-shaa-* played out with pleasant tune to the listener’s ears.
Yue, Shia, Tio, and also Myuu and Remia were watching with sparkling eyes. They surrounded Sumire as though they were encountering a rare phenomenon. Tomoichi and others were lured by that and peered at the scene from behind.
Ahead of their gaze, a beautiful illustration was being drawn with a speed that was also unbelievable!
The son instantly understood the type of pen that would be required and the coloring and moved ahead to prepare the pen in an easy to reach position, while the husband was in a state of extreme concentration to keep his body from moving at the slightest.
And then, there was Sumire-sensei whose gaze was sharp, her face near expressionless, and her focus was clearly being wholly concentrated to her fingertips.
「As expected from a creator family……」
「T-this is the first time I see this. Sumire-sensei’s work mode……」
Sumire’s work mode couldn’t possibly be seen unless one went to her workplace Sumire studio, or sometimes in her home.
And so, Kaori, Shizuku, and also Aiko couldn’t help but spoke in admiration with admiring gaze seeing the gap of this Sumire-sensei with her usual jovial self who delighted in pranking others. Tomoichi and others were also in admiration at how the Nagumo family moved in the same beat just now and seeing Sumire as an actual first rate mangaka.
「Myuu love seeing Obaa-chan drawing pictureee~?」
「Yes. It always look like magic that send my heart aflutter no matter how many times I have seen it.」
Myuu and Remia who sometimes caught Sumire being like this were excitedly making delighted comments.
The work of a genuinely masterful person was something that could draw other people to watch it forever, and it wasn’t just limited to drawing.
In fact, the illustration that was finished in the blink of eye was just like magic. Everyone was watching entranced while forgetting the time.
Like that, Sumire finally put down her pen on the pedestal *bachin* without even taking that much time.
She held up the finished illustration. Myuu immediately raised her voice 「Waah, so cuteeeeeee nano!!」 in praise. There was no way anyone would voice any complain. A second later Yue and Tomoichi and the rest also went 「Oo~」 in a tone of admiration.
What she drew was, plainly speaking, a “beautiful girl”.
She was wearing frilly western clothes with two tone colors of white and black. Her black hair was long and tied in twintails, her skin was light brown. Her chest was voluptuous and her waist was slender. The line from her hip to her thigh was artistic. The absolute territory there was extremely dazzling.
Her expression was full of confidence. The way she looked like she was going to snort 「Fufufun」 even now made her looked adorable which was combined superbly with the aura of the strong. The combination really drew other people’s eyes to her.
But despite such look, her inhuman feature was clear from a glance. On her head she had feelers with the tips in heart shape, while insect wings were growing from her back.
And then, at first she was a powerful enemy, but a bond was formed after she fought the main characters several times, and in the endgame she became an ally──countless glittering stars were whirling around her as though to describe this powerful magical girl character.
「……What unbelievable quality from an illustration that was created so quickly like that! As expected from Kaa-san! No, as expected from Sumire-sensei!」
「Nice……this is nice! I can see her background even without any explanation! I can see the path that she had walked until now-」
Sumire-sensei responded to the applauses and praises from her son and husband by sweeping up her hair with one hand and smiled fuh. The way she looked so confident was as though she was saying, Well, it wasn’t much.
Then right away, she thrust the illustration to Yue while ignoring her surrounding who was watching open mouthed.
「Yue-chan! You can project using this!」
「……This meteor shower is the normal G? And for the small type and medium type humanoid G──」
「So you also need the deformed version! Give me forty seconds!」
*Sucha-* Shuu got on all fours, and *Sucha-* Hajime prepared more pen and paper.
Forty seconds later, the “Nend*roid” version of the beautiful girl illustration was finished. Fast!
「……Nn, if it’s this detailed……I can do it-」
It seemed it was possible. But, Tomoichi and others looked really conflicted.
Because, in other words, that illustration would be used when projecting the past image, which meant……
「Uroboros the Third-san……no, the magical girl of love and violence who protect the world, U-☆chan! This is your other form!」
── !? ──
A shock ran through Uroboros the Third-san! On Myuu’s head, she put her front legs over her mouth and started shaking, as though she was feeling moved while saying 『This is……me?』.
「You can’t claim to be an otaku if you can’t anthropomorph all things in existence!!」
There was nothing in this world that couldn’t be anthropomorphed. Something that couldn’t be turned into beautiful girl, doesn’t exist!!
Brain’s image conversion was an otaku’s habit. And it was a creator’s job to make it a reality!!
Sumire boasted like that. To Tomoichi and others, she looked the brightest they had ever seen until now.
「Myu~~!! As expected Obaa-chan is awesome nano!!」
If asked whether she was amazing, then certain she was amazing. One couldn’t help but be impressed at how she was able to draw an original beautiful girl illustration with such high quality in this very short time.
「U-☆chan! So cute nano!!」
── Blush/// ──
The humanoid G shyly scratched the back of her head with her front leg. When glancing at her form……
The true form of the beautiful girl was that. Seeing that, they couldn’t help but feeling reality getting thrusted right onto their face.
In the end, would they be able to appreciate the past replay without getting reminded of the actual Uroboros the Third-san behind the façade of U-☆chan?
Tomoichi and others couldn’t help but looking conflicted while feeling a little bit of apprehension.