16-48. Trial of Zaikuon (3)
Satou here. I think everyone, regardless of who, has cravings, big or small, for limelight and recognition. That in itself is important as motivation to keep moving forward, but when such a craving is swelled up so big one could only be satisfied by comparing oneself to others, I think that's where it gets dangerous.
"How'd you show up out of nowhere, space magic?"
"And why's miko-chan floating over there?"
Attendants of Hero Hayato, Rusus and Fifi threw me those questions.
Instead of looking puzzled to see me and the rock miko suddenly appearing in the arena, the two seemed very calm as expected of these two veterans.
『Emerge triumphant in the fight, accomplish the trial』
God Zaikuon spoke so through the rock miko who was still floating in the air.
At the same time, a black line was drawn on the edge of the arena.
"So then, are you going to fight us?"
"That's nice~. I was just feeling a little lacking with the fight earlier. We're ready anytime if it's a fight you want, Satou?"
Rusus and Fifi smiled ferociously.
They're clenching their fists, looking really pleased.
The rock miko held her hands up toward the heavens, then a yellow lights descended from beyond the sky, and then three yellow orbs appeared from inside that light, floated away and stopped right in front of me.
『Accept the powers of god, stand among the lowest seat of great apostles』
Nah, I'm good.
Perhaps my inner thought showed, as the yellow light orbs were repelled away in front of my chest.
『Why do you reject』
I mean, why wouldn't you?
Who needs [God's Fragment] that's almost certainly a back door anyway.
The rock miko turns her sight at Rusus and Fifi.
The light orbs floated toward Rusus and Fifi instead, but then a blue membrane-like material manifested itself around the two and repulsed the yellow light orbs away.
That was probably the divine protection of God Parion or something.
"O God! Our great God! Your servant, Holy Warrior Senuma is right over here!"
After the personnels in charge of the arena carried away the [Magic Warriors of Karion], the Zaikuon temple knight rushed into the arena.
The light orbs floated toward the temple knight and then began to orbit around him as if assessing him.
"By the Grace of great god Zaikuon, I shall slay the hounds of Parion and make known the great name of Zaikuon to all!"
The temple knight appealed at the light orbs orbiting around him.
He looks really desperate somehow.
"Satou, isn't that miko-san in, like, a real bad situation?"
At Rusus's warning, I turned my gaze toward the rock miko to find her unconscious with intense yellow light gushing out of her eyes and mouth.
Looks like she's hitting her limit with the Divine Possession.
The light wrapping her dissolved away as she fell onto the ground.
According to AR readings, she's been severely weakened, to the point that she'd die were she left alone.
"I, holy warrior Senuma, beseech your Grace, once again here!"
The cold-hearted temple knight ignored the predicament his colleague in, as he kept appealing to the light orbs.
Seemingly stricken by his desperation, one light orb went inside the temple knight's chest.
AR reading tells me that the Temple Knight has acquired the Unique Skill, [Invincible Warrior (Champion)].
His level has increased from 30 to 45, probably cause he got a God's Fragment.
"Ooooooh! My body is overflowing with powers! God powers of such majesty! No one can stand in my way now!"
Looks like he's intoxicated by feelings of omnipotence from the God's Fragment.
"Here I come, you Parion hounds! Prepare yourselves!"
Yellow light is flickering around the temple knight's body.
According to AR readings, his State is now [Champion] and [Super-Strength].
"By hound, you mean me? I'm a wolf not a dog y'know?"
The wolfear-kin Fifi rubbed her nose with her finger while smiling ferociously.
"Then, I'll be taking Satou on."
"Ah, no fair, Rusus! We're gonna decide who's going to fight Satou after I beat down this guy!"
I smiled wryly to see Rusus and Fifi disputing.
Since it seems like there is no avoiding fighting in this trial, it'd be great if they could fight the temple knight in my stead, that'd make things less complicated.
I don't mind laying bare my powers here if it's still within reason, but easily winning over two hero's attendants and an apostle by myself would be a bit too much after all.
"You bastard! You are before Zaikuon Apostle, the holy warrior Senuma-sama, what insolence!"
While the two were having a carefree chat, the enraged temple knight rushed at a terrifying speed toward Fifi.
The temple knight's sword that was faster than wind flashed and grazed Fifi's cheek.
"Oh pretty good. You're as fast as Rusus at least."
"Kuha, kuhahahaha, god's power is grandiose! Having been granted God Zaikuon's grace--"
The temple knight who stopped while getting drunk in his powers got kicked hard by Fifi who closed in at the same speed.
He was about to go out of arena and lose by default, but then a transparent wall not unlike that of force magic appeared above the black line and flicked the temple knight away.
Apparently, it'll only be counted as a loss if you went outside the arena if you're not under God Zaikuon's patronage.
"You're pretty good. Parion Apostles."
The temple knight stood up while bleeding from his mouth.
"Huh, when did we become apostles again?"
Fifi and Rusus shrugged their shoulders.
"No point standing around here, let's go at it ourselves yeah?"
"I'd like to give her treatment first if I could, do you mind waiting for a bit?"
"Nope, go on then."
Since I got Rusus's approval, I stopped next to the rock miko and let her drank elixir.
I made use of this timing to put away the holy sword and magic wand I had in hands.
The damage on both rock miko's body and soul should be restored by elixir, but it seems she still won't come to due to exhaustion.
"Oh what's this? Fifi's getting pushed back?"
I lift my head when I heard Rusus, and true enough, Fifi who was on the offensive earlier is now busy defending.
Finding it strange, I looked at the temple knight and saw that his level had been raised to 55, and he now has another Unique Skill [Vanquish Archer].
One of the light orbs orbiting the temple knight has vanished.
It appears that the temple knight got a power up while I wasn't looking.
"Fuhn, forget Hayato, you're not even at Meiko's and Seigi's level."
"Damn you Parion hound!"
Provoked by Fifi, yellow light wraps the temple knight once again.
"This isn't the extent of powers granted to me by great God Zaikuon!"
Looks like he hasn't used the Vanquish Archer's powers yet.
When the temple knight swung his sword down, an arrow of light manifested from his sword and flew toward Fifi.
Moreover, it split into 10 halfway through and rained down on her.
Cloud of dust whirled up when the arrows hit the arena, leaving it full of holes.
"Isn't that, like, super bad?"
Not Fifi, but the temple knight that is.
Similar to Hero Meiko who overused her Unique Skills during the Divine Punishment, there's also yellow crystal running through the temple knight's body.
It's still a bit away before he reached Meiko's state, but that limit is coming closer for sure.
Fifi couldn't manage to evade all of the light arrows, one of it grazed her leg.
The moment she was distracted by that, the temple knight charged in.
The temple knight swings his sword wrapped in yellow light.
Tearing up the air, the shockwave gouged out the arena's ground.
I block the cloud of dust and pebbles that are flying here with [Shield] magic.
Fifi jumped out of the dust cloud.
A moment later, the cloud of dust split into two.
Immediately following, Fifi who was still in the air turned around and swung her sword.
Fifi's sword scattered away intense sparks, sounds of air splitting echoed in the surroundings.
Apparently, the temple knight attacked her with an invisible slash.
Then second slash, third slash, Fifi parried them away while evading.
She couldn't seem to guard against the shockwaves, she's cut here and there, her blood stains her clothes red.
"Need a help? Fifi."
"Shut up! Fifi-sama ain't gonna lose against this level of an opponent!"
Even though there's not much gap in their levels now, and she's up against someone with two battle-oriented Unique Skills, Fifi still believes in her victory.
"Be proud of yourself, holy warrior. I'll show you a technique that I've never used in a match except against Hayato before."
Fifi provoked the temple knight while calmly sorting out her breathing.
Like saying, she's confident that her technique will bring her victory.
"Come at me, Parion hound. Witness as your little tricks stood powerless before holy warrior Senuma-sama who have received the Grace of God Zaikuon!"
The temple knight arrogantly jerked up his chin.
"O original blood that flows within me. O blood vessel of the divine wolf. Together with rekindled ancient memories--"
Light dwells in Fifi's blue eyes.
Feels like this chant gonna revive my lost history of chuunibyou.
I think it's a type of autosuggestion used to access the skill.
Steam-like white aura rises up from Fifi's body, her canine teeth are transforming into fangs.
Along with that, the white aura wraps around Fifi like fur, making her look like a werewolf.
According to AR readings, this aura has a support effect of adding five times her stats into her status.
In exchange, her stamina and MP gauges are decreasing at an awful rate.
This is probably a big reason why she didn't use the technique while fighting against demon lords.
Fifi is closing in while swiftly evading the incoming light arrows shot by the temple knight.
The invisible slashes that came assaulting during her rush were all punched down by the silver aura-clad Fifi.
The moment they were within each other sword range, a fierce sword clash began.
The slashes that Fifi parried crushed the arena, while the shockwaves from Fifi's attacks the temple knight blocked blew cloud of dust.
"Uwaa, that looks so fun~"
Rusus looks like she's truly envious as she watches Fifi and the temple knight who are scattering colorful sparks around and letting out heavy sounds.
It's scary since she said that while looking here, but there's something that's piqued my interest more.
I saw yellow light ripples running through the temple knight's body during this battle.
I'm not sure whether Unique Skills from God Zaikuon are the same as Unique Skills that reincarnated people like Arisa have, but I don't think you could get away willy nilly using powers beyond what human could wield.
Fifi unleashed a powerful move on the temple knight while shouting out loud.
I missed it a bit, but apparently she hit him with her finisher right when the temple knight lost his footings by her rapid assault.
The temple knight's defense was broken down by the direct hit, blowing off his helmet.
<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.>
"Ooh, did she beat him?"
Rusus shouted out loud when she saw the temple knight laying on the arena's ground.
Fifi who's just unleashed her finisher is also wounded with bone fractures and blood all over her body, yet she still keeps her stance without letting her guard down.
"--Oh boy, you're pretty tough."
The temple knight rose up while supporting his body with his sword.
Fifi smiled fiercely and beckoned at the temple knight with her hand as if provoking him.
The temple knight held his sword up above and roared.
Yellow crystal-like material emerges on his face.
--This looks bad.
While wrapped in yellow light, the temple knight snatched the last yellow light orb, that was orbiting around him, with his hand.
As the orb was struggling to get away in his hand, he put it into his mouth and gulped it down.
Yellow ripples ran through the temple knight body, his body grew twice, thrice bigger, and his face turned into that of an ogre.
Matching that, his level went up from 55 to 65.
With another Unique Skill added; [Great Caster].
The temple knight roared like that of apostles.
It seems like he'd just buffed himself with holy magic.
"This looks real bad--"
Rusus buffed herself with body reinforcement skill and rushed out to help Fifi.
I can't afford to just watch from the sidelines for too long either, but I can't exactly leave the unconscious rock miko alone and go to war either.
I could guarantee her safety if I used the install-type Fortress, but I'm a bit hesitant to use it in front of so many eyes.
Fifi who had lost her Beast Form after using up her stamina was knocked down by the temple knight.
Rusus is crossing swords with the temple knight, but she's clearly at disadvantage.
Her opponent has leveled up beyond her level through God's Fragments, and is buffed with Unique Skills, holy magic and the divine treasure's [Super-Strength].
"--Tch. Even double physical buff can't hold this thing off huh..."
Rusus took the downswing attack in order to protect Fifi, she got beat down onto the ground and coughed out blood.
The temple knight let out a victory roar.
Arrows of light are produced on his body, making him look like a hedgehog.
The arrows that were released like some sort of missile attack in a robot anime hit the arena wall, inviting lights and thunderous roars, along with screams and angry yells from the audience.
The defensive wall that protected the audience is smashed down like broken glass.
The temple knight roared.
It's like he's a villain in a kaijuu movie.
And that villain's gaze is directed toward me.
Looks like he found his next target in me.
"What is this guy doing..."
By doing this, instead of getting more believers, it won't be strange if people boycott God Zaikuon instead.
Well, considering it was the temple knight who took the initiative here, I suspect he's only acting out of God Zaikuon's will.
Liza who was watching from the audience seat jumped into the arena.
"Liza, lend me a hand."
I run on the uneven surface of the arena together with Liza, and drop a synced kick in the temple knight's face.
The temple knight attempted to block our attack, but there was no way he could do that in the face of Liza's acceleration helped by magic edge cannon and Flickering Movement and my full speed.
I ignore the temple knight who rolled on the ground and get down.
"Liza, could you keep that thing company for a bit."
The gleeful looking Liza dashed toward the blown off temple knight.
Fifi and Rusus's fight earlier must have tickled her battle instinct.
"Satou, we look so shameful..."
"Please save your breath for now."
I hold the coughing Rusus and gave magic potions to the two.
"This is a good medicine."
"We can keep going with this, but--"
Rusus and Fifi are looking at the fight between Liza and the temple knight.
"--Looks like it's not our turn anymore."
"Yeah, didn't know that lizard girl was that strong..."
The two stare at Liza in frustration.
Liza who was overwhelming the temple knight retreated here while raining down magic edge cannons from her spear and tail upon the temple knight.
"Master, there's something weird going on with that thing."
Liza murmured while glaring at the temple knight with her guard up.
Believing in her wild instinct, I investigated a bit and found out that the the temple knight had two races [Human] and [Apostle], with [Human] gradually being erased.
"Perhaps this is the [sisyphean task] thing that Arisa talked about? It felt weird, like striking water even though I was sure my spear stabbed him."
It's like when I was fighting the apostles using a holy sword.
It seems the temple knight is gradually turning into an apostle.
Unstable-looking yellow light ripples run through temple knight's body.
And every time, more yellow crystal covers his body, half of his face is already buried in the crystal.
The guy himself doesn't look like he minds this, but this looks like it'll get bad if this keeps up.
I heard the rock miko's voice close by.
Oh, she came around at a bad timing.
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