16-65. Holy Land Parion, Once Again (4)
Satou here. I often found myself getting absorbed and lost in thought when I encountered something that piqued my interest. Usually it's no biggie, but it gives me many troubles if I do it when I'm with my friends or my loved one...
"This is kind of amazing."
Arisa muttered while watching the heroes.
Before her eyes, Hero Meiko is engaging the lich demon lord in a high speed battle while three rings of flames are flaring up around them as if encircling them.
"Meiko! I'll burn down all the blood and pieces of meat! Keep slashing at it without worry!"
Hero Yuuki shouted at Hero Meiko.
Hero Meiko replied curtly, but the corner of her mouth lifted up in glee as she switched from full-on dodging to attacking.
"Give it your all, Meiko! That's the real body of the split demon lords! My Unique Skill tells me that!"
Hero Seigi shouted out loud from outside the rings, but it didn't seem to reach Hero Meiko who kept slashing at the demon lord in ecstasy.
There's nothing that differentiate it in my AR reading, but Hero Seigi's Unique Skills, either the [Evil Search (Where's the bad one)] and [Justice Eye (There's only one truth)], must have seen through it.
In fact, the demon lord that's fighting Hero Meiko does move far quicker and fight more skilfully than the rest.
Hero Meiko herself is even better and faster than the demon lord though, thanks to the dodging skills assisted by her Unique Skill, and her battle sense.
"Yuuki-sama! Some pieces of meat flew off!"
Hero Yuuki's attendant discovered a piece of meat that was starting to transform into a sludge-like feeler while regenerating mid-air, responding to that, Hero Yuuki evaporated the meat piece with an advanced fire spell that would even melt magic metal.
"Yuuki! Some fell out behind the flame! Burn it down before it regenerates!"
"Tch, easy for you to say! --Great Forge!"
Hero Seigi who was emitting blue light pointed out a piece of meat behind the flame rings that had started to regenerate.
At a glance, Hero Seigi may look like he's not doing anything, but it appears that he's playing an important role in this demon lord subjugation as well.
However, at this rate, Hero Yuuki's mana would run out--.
--Oh? Hero Yuuki's mana hasn't decreased as much as I thought.
Checking with Mana Sight and AR readings, looks like Hero Yuuki's attendants are supplying their mana to the hero.
Attendants who have run out of mana cancel the link to Hero Yuuki and take mana recovery medicine, and once their mana has recovered enough they link back to the union, such is the routine.
"Hero girl is doing her best nodesu. Let's cheer for her together nodesuyo!"
"You can do it~"
Pochi and Tama cheer for Hero Meiko.
The innocent Lulu and Nana joined them too. Lulu has put away her gigantic Floating Fort in [Garage], Nana too has changed her broken golden armor.
"Sa--Nanashi-sama. Is it alright, should we not help them?"
Zena-san is looking at Hero Meiko and the others with a worried look.
Even for Hero Meiko and her perfect evasion-type Unique Skill, fighting one-on-one against a demon lord seems to be quite taxing, sometimes she dodges too far away consuming her stamina, other times she evades too narrowly, breaking parts of her armor.
She suffered small wounds whenever her armor got torn off, but Hero Seigi's attendants healed those wounds even without me giving a hand.
"It's okay, don't worry."
Right when I said that, Hero Meiko made a mistake and chopped off the demon lord's wrist.
"Meiko you dunce!"
"Seigi! Can't you use your flame yet?"
"I told you not yet!"
"Damn it--Great Forge!"
Hero Yuuki attempts to burn down the wrist with the conflagration, but apparently larger parts regenerate faster than the flame could burn them, it's gradually turning into a new demon lord.
"Uwaaa, what do we do."
"Shut up! Great Forge! Great Forge!"
"Yuuki! Stop your magic! I'll grind it down into a size that can't regenerate!"
Hero Meiko got away from the demon lord's main body, and unleashed a furious rapid assault at the regenerating wrist.
"I won't let you get to Meiko-sama!"
Hero Yuuki's wingkin attendant blocked the main body's way, but her shield and armor broke apart in a flash and she suffered wounds all over.
"She shouldn't have--. <<Dimension Pile>>."
Arisa's space magic and Tama's ninjutsu stitched the demon lord's body in its place, stopping its fist as it was about to blow away the wingkin attendant's neck.
"O-oh thank god--I thought Michael was gonna die there."
"I would have never imagined Yuuki-sama to worry about me. Also, my name is Mieka."
The wingkin attendant came back flying outside the flame ring unsteadily, and Hero Yuuki hugged her, looking glad to see her safe.
Hero Yuuki muttered in a small voice, [Thank you], and the wingkin attendant gave her thanks to me and the golden knights.
After several more of such small events, Hero Meiko succeeded in literally slashing the demon lord down into nothingness before she ran out of energy.
"We did it! We beat it!"
"Something came out!"
Mixed among the black mist that came out of the demon lord's corpse, the usual dark purple light orb--[God's Fragment], showed up.
Even thought it had three Unique Skills, only one [God's Fragment] showed up.
And it's acting differently than the usual fragments.
Usually they would be grumbling about some wicked-sounding stuff here, but today, it only floated around anxiously before it began to silently ascend to heavens.
I don't plan to let it get away, but the people who should perform their role here, the heroes' attendants were quarreling about [whose attendant should seal it], so I gave them a warning, "It'll get away if you don't act soon."
That apparently would be bad, the attendants took their [Divine Talisman] from their bosom in a fluster and pointed them toward the God's Fragment.
"""O Divine Talisman! 『Seal』 these evils away!"""
The purple light was wrapped in blue light and got sucked into a Talisman the wingkin attendant held that was double the size than the others.
Hero Meiko's attendant looked frustrated, but during Hero Meiko's fight against the demon lord, he was simply watching from the safest location without even healing her, so I think he's not really qualified to complain here.
Arisa pulled my sleeve and asked, "Did you see these heroes' titles?"
After looking at it as advised by Arisa, I got what she was trying to say.
None has gotten the [True Hero] title.
With the pattern so far, a hero who has defeated a demon lord should get [True Hero] title.
With Hero Hayato, right about now should be the time for lights to descend from heavens wrapping up the heroes, but there's no sign of that happening.
"Maybe the gods can't see what's going on here since we're inside Yuika's barrier."
Arisa reminded me of the barrier that the Little Oni (Goblin) Yuika, a reincarnated person, put up to prevent gods from peeking here.
There's no way the return offer would come if the gods didn't know these heroes had defeated a demon lord.
I brought everyone back to the sanctuary site while ruminating a way to apologize to the heroes.
"Why am I still here! Didn't you say that Parion would return me home if I beat a demon lord!"
Hero Meiko pressed on her attendant with a threatening attitude.
"I've got no 『True Hero』 title either."
"Sure missed our chance to power up."
Unlike Hero Meiko, Hero Seigi and Hero Yuuki didn't seem like they have any intention to go home at all.
"Hey, let me back! Let me go back to my home!"
Hero Meiko grabbed and pressed her head on the attendant's clothes.
Her sorrowful scream originated from my careless mistake stung my heart.
"Hero girl is crying nodesu."
"That's right nanodesu! Pochi will present her with Pochi's especially reserved whale jerky nodesuyo!"
Tama and Pochi took their snacks, whale jerky, hidden in their golden armor, they were going to cheerfully walk to Hero Meiko before Liza caught and lifted them under her arms.
"There's no kid who wouldn't cheer up after eating whale jerky nodesuyo?"
"There are kids where that does not apply too."
The two fell dejected and took on corpse poses after Liza admonished them.
Urged by Arisa, I step toward Hero Meiko to tell her the truth and take the blame.
Tama who was enjoying playing as a corpse looked up with perked up ears.
"The sky feels weird nanodesu."
An unnatural dark cloud hangs over the holy city.
It's weird for such a thick dark cloud to appear in holy city that's practically in the desert area.
A howl that felt like a frost blade stabbing your soul resounded in the dark cloud hanging over the holy city.
And from inside that dark cloud, a wraith lord with a swelled up presence--Pope Zazaris showed up.
Its body is clad in a flowing vestment made of what seemed to be an embodiment of darkness and resentment.
"That's the former pope right?"
I affirmed Arisa's question.
"How did he turn into a demon lord?"
Demon Lord Zazaris has two Unique Skills that the lich demon lord had, [Unparalleled Pulverization (Nothing that cannot be pulverized)] and [Unlimited Regeneration (Rebirth)], its level has also exponentially increased to 70.
I narrated my guess to Arisa.
Wraith Lord Zazaris probably took a group of lich demon lord with it to the Realm of the Dead when the lich demon lord greatly multiplied itself in the City Core Room, then Zazaris probably used [Life Drain] and [Soul Drain] to snatch their levels and exp, eventually it took the demon lord soul with [God's Fragments] into itself, transforming into a demon lord.
"Zazaris! First you did something foolish and lost Parion-sama's favor, now you even desecrate the holy city as a demon lord!"
The middle-aged Parion Temple Miko-san who had been ignored all this time censured demon lord Zazaris that was laughing loudly above the sanctuary.
Hero Meiko overheard the middle-aged miko and lifted up her tear stained face.
"Oh look, there's one here."
Hero Meiko looked up to the sky with a sickened look on her face.
Hero Meiko bounced up toward the demon lord while creating footholds in the air.
It's probably Sky Step skill, not Sky Drive.
Hero Meiko easily dodged the rain of [Ice Javelin] that demon lord Zazaris poured down on her.
Demon lord Zazaris immediately switched to [Ice Storm], but Hero Meiko cut through it with her holy sword clad in her Unique Skill.
She's acting quite reckless, her body is covered in innumerable wounds, the Ice Storm is getting painted in red.
As an apology for earlier, I healed Hero Meiko's wounds with an extended range recovery spell, and supported her with [<<Enchant Spirit Protection>>], and [<<Enchant Physical>>].
Hero Meiko let out a small voice of admiration at the physical enchantment that far exceeds the extra mode installed on Pochi's golden armor.
"I can do it now!"
Hero Meiko looked up straight at the demon lord and climbed up the sky at a speed that far exceeded hers before.
She cut up demon lord Zazaris that should have had the physical resist trait from its Wraith Lord days.
Chopped arm disappeared into black mist, and a new arm grew in its stead.
"Oy, Seigi. Did you see it?"
"Yea, I did. This guy ain't multiplying."
Hero Seigi and Hero Yuuki who suddenly get all pepped up support Hero Meiko from afar.
Hero Yuuki with fire magic, Hero Seigi shoots cover fire with a magic gun he snatched from his attendant.
"...■■■■ <<Sacred Turn Undead>>!"
Silver Knight Holy, aka Sera, unleashed holy magic on demon lord Zazaris, but it gave no real damage besides a miffed scream.
"We will burden the sin of Parion Temple ourselves. Tenion temple personal over there, please refrain from interfering."
The middle-aged miko who saw through Sera's magic to have originated from God Tenion gave a warning to Sera.
"Heroes! Keep that traitor that's turned into a demon lord in check just like that! We shall utilize this chance to seal the demon lord with the miracle brought upon by our artifact!"
The middle-aged miko and her companions took out a rainbow colored orb from Item Box and held it up high.
The main temple personnels who've come along with her put their hands on the orb and pour their mana into it.
I'll be watching over them, I'll leave them alone if they're going to help Hero Meiko and her friends, and expel them if they look like they're going to get in the way.
A light magic circle appeared in the center of their group, then it piles up into 20 circles.
"That's quite an unusual spell."
Mia frowned and groaned.
"Master, did you get it?"
"I think it's a sealing-type spell based on holy magic--"
First I've seen this spell. Truly fascinating.
Magic circles of holy magic only have one symbol that signifies a god, but for some reason this magic circle the middle-aged miko and her cohorts have created carry eight symbols that signify gods on them.
There's one symbol that looks unlike any of the seven pillar gods' symbols I know.
Demon lord Zazaris noticed the magic circle the miko produced and tried to get away into the Realm of the Dead, thus I got next to the opened portal with Flash Drive and destroyed it.
"This is our prey okay!"
"Yeah, I'm not going to take it from you, do your best."
I snatch away demon lord's mana with [Mana Drain], and destroy the buff magic it's put on itself using [Break Magic].
In addition, to prevent the demon lord from opening another portal to the Realm of the Dead, I fully opened my Spirit Light as well as purified all the miasma in the surroundings. Though I have no proof, these measures should be correct if the knowledge I got from the [Sage's Tower] is correct.
"Good work out there. You're as overprotective as always, master."
Ignoring the amazed-sounding Arisa, I watch over the battle.
"I wanted to fight more, I mean the demon lord came down and all."
"Shut it, Seigi. Just keep shooting!"
Hero Seigi's magic attacks were mostly resisted by the demon lord, but Hero Yuuki's magic attacks dealt enough damage even though they were also resisted.
Hero Meiko kept up her fierce assault on demon lord Zazaris while furiously emitting blue light.
This demon lord doesn't seem to have battle sense of the former homonculus lich demon lord, it's getting pushed around by Hero Meiko even though it should be higher leveled.
Though apparently, she's still having a hard time to deal as much damage as she wants since she's up against a demon lord that has a naturally high resistance against physical attacks and of higher rank.
"Master, look at the magic circle!"
The rainbow orb the middle-aged miko was carrying floated and dispersed in the air.
Right after the orb dispersed, the magic circles stretched out toward the sky in a cylindrical shape, and once it was twice as high as the altitude where the demon lord was, it began to transform into a more precise sphere.
A great number of spell formations complement each others, forming a powerful seal that cannot be easily undone.
It's quite an artistic spell.
Nothing to worry about since it's not complete yet, but once you're caught inside this seal, magic break-type of magic is useless against it. At least, my own magic won't work.
I memorize the sealing spell formations, thinking I might be able to create something out of these.
"Good--get back, heroes! Otherwise, you will be caught up in an infinite prison where not even demon god could escape from!"
The middle-aged miko-san proudly shouted.
It is indeed a powerful sealing spell, but the [not even demon god could escape from] is exaggerated.
"This 『Rainbow Gem of Sealing God』 is an artifact from the age of gods bestowed to my grandfather, an apostle of Parion-sama, the Yellow Clothed Saint! We were not able to seal the demon lord that showed up in the holy city the other day because of Zazaris's intervention--"
The middle-aged miko began to explain about the rainbow orb even though no one asked her.
"Yellow Clothed Saint?"
There's probably no mistake about it, it must be the yellow bodied demon--the senior greater demon I defeated at the Duchy Capital.
And suddenly, this [Rainbow Gem of Sealing God] thing gets more suspicious manyfold.
"Shut up! This one's our prey! I'm not gonna hand it over to anyone!"
"Then, be sealed off along with the demon lord."
The middle-aged miko gave her last warning to Hero Meiko who refused to stop fighting the demon lord.
"Master, shouldn't we stop the sealing artifact, we've got to save Meiko--"
"Ah, yeah you're right."
I got too absorbed in memorizing the sealing spell formations, I forgot about it.
But it's okay. There's still a few seconds remaining before the sealing spell is completely activated.
I use space magic [Aport] to pull Hero Meiko along with demon lord Zazaris.
The holy sword clad in Hero Meiko's Unique Skill [Strongest Katana (Nothing that cannot be cut)] cut down my [Aport].
--No no. This isn't the time to be surprised.
It's OK, I can still make it.
I moved next to Hero Meiko with Flash Drive and captured her abruptly--.
My reached out hand fell in empty air as if slipping through Hero Meiko's body.
It must be a technique that combined her Unique Skills [Unrivaled Mobility (Nothing can hit)], and [Foresight].
Nevertheless I managed to catch her on my third time's the charm, but that was when the sealing spell formations had been completed, thus we ended up getting sealed inside.
"Lemme go! I will defeat demon lord even if I have to go alone!"
"You're not alone."
"Geez, putting my life on the line for a friend is really not like me though."
Looks like Hero Seigi and Hero Yuuki had jumped in before the sealing spell was completely done.
They looked like they didn't get along well, but turned out they were friends enough to jump into dangers to save each others.
"Let's just beat the demon lord for now."
I put a hold on Hero Seigi's suggestion.
"If you defeat it here, the result might not reach God Parion, and the return offer might never come to you just like earlier."
"That's bad--wait, I couldn't go home earlier because of you?"
I resigned myself to Hero Meiko's denunciation.
"Hold it, Meiko. We should get out of here first."
Hero Seigi mediated in.
"Can't your Unique Skill cut it apart, Meiko?"
"I'll give it a try."
Hero Meiko slashed at the barrier with her blue light-clad holy sword, and one of the spell formation got cut in two.
However, the other spell formations around it worked together and repaired the hole in an instant.
"--Tch. Don't look down on hero youuuuuuuuuu!"
Hero Meiko rapidly slashed at the spell formations while screaming her lungs out, but it's a perfect sealing barrier formations that flawlessly complements each other.
That [not even demon god could escape from] the middle-aged miko boasted might not have just been a mere bravado.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"So, you can get out of here, can't you?"
Hero Meiko glared at me while breathing heavily.
"I've tried several kinds of magic to break this seal, but simply breaking it resulted in the hole getting quickly restored, it's no good. Of course, teleportation is useless here either."
I can't get out of this sealing barrier with teleport magic or ninjutsu, even Arisa's familiar link has been severed.
"Are your [Inventory] and [Unlimited Armory (Endless Swords)] still usable?"
"I still can use them both--huh?"
Hero Meiko stopped talking while she was concentrating.
"My mana isn't recovering."
Now that she mentions it, my mana isn't recovering either.
Since we've been cut off from Sources, magic essence isn't getting replenished and we've got to make do with mana essence present in this place.
"I don't wanna starve in this place."
"You think I want that too."
"I shouldn't have helped if I knew it would come to this..."
"I never asked for your help."
"H-hey now! Meiko, and Yuuki too, stop fighting."
I observe the sealing barrier's spell formations next to the quarreling heroes.
"You look calm somehow, got any plan?"
This spell is absolutely unbreakable with magic or physical means.
I reach out to the heroes.
"Give me your hand."
I grip the heroes' hands.
Also, I extend out [Magic Hand] and catch demon lord Zazaris that's frantically trying to break the barrier wall in desperation.
Many voices call out to us.
We've moved outside the sealing barrier.
I figured it would be fine since Hero Meiko was able to use her Unique Skills, but that was quite a thrill.
Well, even if Unit Arrangement failed, I could probably get out with my mysterious trait that could break every kind of barrier.
"I-it cannot be! How could they get out of Saint-sama's seal!"
The middle-aged miko who had gotten all beat-up somehow shouted out when she saw us.
The heroes' attendants probably beat her up.
I stitched demon lord Zazaris that was trying to get away in the confusion.
"First of all, why don't we defeat the demon lord."
I proposed the idea and went on with the heroes to knock down the demon lord.
"--here it comes! You guys, no quarrellings now okay!"
Hero Seigi point at two dark purple lights--[God's Fragments] that came out of the demon lord's body.
Just like the fragment earlier, these two are also fluttering about in silence.
"""O Divine Talisman! 『Seal』 these evils away!"""
The two purple lights got wrapped up in blue lights and sucked in the double sized talismans Hero Seigi's and Hero Meiko's attendants carried with them.
When the demon lord's body disappeared into black mist, blue light fells down from the heavens into the heroes.
The same spectacle that unfolded after Hero Hayato's successful subjugation of a demon lord.
The heroes are probably meeting God Parion.
After a while, the blue lights disappeared.
"--I'm returning tomorrow she said."
Hero Meiko shed tears with a cheerful face.
She must have been really eager to go back home.
"I'm staying here. This world is a shitty game no different than earth, but at least it's more stimulating than my grey former world."
"Me too, I'm staying. It's easy to tell apart evils here, simpler to judge them too."
Hero Yuuki and Hero Seigi are staying it seems.
Hero Meiko walked up to me while wiping her tears.
"Thank you for your help. This makes your failure earlier a wash."
I exchanged a handshake with Hero Meiko.
"But you're really out of ordinary aren't you."
"I mean, guy's grabbed an incorporeal demon lord and tore it apart and all."
"With silly strength of magic to boot."
"This native hero and dragon king over there are extraordinary themselves."
Pochi's and Liza's tails are wagging in elation at Hero Seigi's words.
Inside my shadow, Tama muttered, "nin nin" lonesomely.
Looks the heroes didn't even notice her because she was way too stealthy.
"Later then, Seigi, Yuuki. If you meet Fuu, tell him to bathe in the sun once in a while."
"Got it. Don't forget about my letter okay."
"I know. Yuuki, you sure you don't wanna send a letter?"
"Un, I'm sure. Nobody needs me in the original world anyway."
"Really. But I will remember you. Come back home if you feel like it, you hear me."
After the heroes have said their farewell, I walk up to Hero Meiko.
Along with Pochi who's had a connection with Hero Meiko.
I handed over a lump of pure gold and several bottles of elixirs stuffed inside a baseball bat bag, and exchanged a handshake with Hero Meiko.
"A gift for you. It should be useful in the world there, I think."
I've made it to look like a modern art outwardly, it should be okay even if she gets questioned by police.
Pochi presented Meiko with her treasured jerky set.
Hero Meiko disappeared inside the blue light after whispering that in the end.
Attentive Ears skill picked up something curious, so I looked at the direction it came from.
The middle-aged miko who was watching Hero Meiko's return from afar is groaning with both hands on the ground.
I didn't know what it was about at this time, I found out the significance when I visited her as Satou two days later.
"Parion Temple at the old capital of Saga Empire?"
"That's right. It's regrettable to say, but since the holy city's cathedral is in this state, having God Parion descend here would be blasphemous. Therefore, temporarily. Yes, temporarily for sure, Parion Temple of Saga Empire will perform the duty in place of Parion main temple."
The middle-aged miko spoke of the oracle she received as the blood vessels on her head looked like they were about to burst.
I donated a sensible amount of money to the miko who had done a good job conveying the message, "Hope this help with the restoration."
"What's the matter Master? You've got this somewhat unsatisfied look on your face y'know."
I think the middle-aged miko received the message when Hero Meiko was leaving, but I didn't feel any kind of divine presence from the miko back then.
Well the volume of divinity was thick at the time of Hero Meiko leaving, I might have just missed it because of that.
"Nah, it's nothing."
"Alright then. But if you have any worries, Arisa-chan is here to hear you out--of course, she also warmly welcomes night crawling--"
I whacked Arisa on the head as she started to babble some ridiculous stuff, and then I changed the airship course toward Saga Empire.
※Next update is planned for 9/30