17-36. Offenses and Defenses at Purple Towers (3)
Satou here. There were times I found myself plunging straight into crunches when I discovered unexpected mistakes while taking care of last few remaining jobs with the last bit of my willpower. As otherwise, it would come back requiring far more effort to take care of later if I looked the other way and pretended I never saw those, hence I had no choice but to tearfully plow through it.
"S-swarm of Evil Dragons..."
From beyond a vast cavern unthinkable inside a tower, a huge swarm of <<Evil Dragon Vanguard>> is drawing near.
Silver members and Hayato's attendants who just got through a fierce battle against one Evil Dragon trembled when they saw the swarm.
"Pochi's itching for a fight nodesu."
Pochi and Tama spun their arms round and round when they saw the swarm.
"These dragons look like it will be worth defeating."
"They will be adequate as our opponents so I inform."
"Yes, let's do our best!"
Other golden members are raring to go as well.
"Y-you're really going to do this?"
"Yes, just leave it to us."
Liza took a stance with her trusty magic spear Douma.
Looks like she's still planning to keep the new dragon spear I've given her out of action.
Even if magic spear Douma has seen many improvements, its penetrating and offensive power falls far behind the dragon spear. Logically speaking, you'd think the dragon spear fits best against powerful enemies, and yet she chooses her trusty spear instead.
"I shall join the fight too."
『Hold it, Karina-dono. We will only get in their way.』
Lady Karina the battle hyena was going to stand next to Tama and Pochi, but her partner [Intelligent Item] Raka stopped her.
"You girls, please get some rest as you prepare for your next battle. You can leave this to these girls."
Judging from my Map, once we get past this swarm of evil dragons, the only other place with powerful enemies is right in front of the Netherworld Gate.
There are still many spots where lady Karina and the rest could get in actions until then.
"Powered Exoskeleton, deploy!"
With Arisa's command, the golden members equip their powered exoskeletons stored in the adjacent sub-spaces.
These powered suits are basically like the ones you see in many western SF, with one addition of extra units developed from Lulu's Floating Fort for the rear guards. These units fall short compared to Gunboats and Shield Ships, but they're just right for combat inside a tower.
"<<Golden Knight Red (Arisa)>>, please release <<Yellow Wing (Lyuryu)>> from the cage nodesu."
Pochi's voice gets altered by the function installed on her golden armor.
"OK! Cage Release."
Lesser dragon Lyuryu got out of a sub-space created by Arisa's space magic she used to carry Lyuryu into the tower.
Lyuryu is equipped with the same golden equipment, matching Pochi's. Their identities are obvious to all, but it's way too late to care about that.
"Alright then, rear units! We're starting out with full power right ahead!"
Arisa points her World Tree's wand toward the swarm of Evil Dragons.
Matching her move, floating fort support units connected to her exoskeleton also turned toward the evil dragons.
"<<Lesser Mythology Down>>"
"<<Lesser Mythology Extinction>>"
Arisa and Hikaru cast their anti-demon lord magic.
Flash of light blew the evil dragons away, thundering sounds and impacts coming slightly later shook my body.
The two purposely de-focused their aim to maximize the spells' range, a great majority of evil dragons took the hit, half of them received huge damage.
As I watched over several dots vanishing, next to me Arisa shouted out loud while fist pumping up high.
"I leveled uuuuuuuuup!"
--Oh, for real?!
Arisa has finally broken through the so-called [Humanity's Limit] level 99 and reached level 100. She's got a new title [One who Breaks the Limit of Man] which I don't have.
Everyone stopped their attack and congratulated Arisa.
And despite not knowing what was going on, Hayato's attendants also gave a round of applause to Arisa even while looking confused.
Of course the Evil Dragons weren't going to wait for us, hence I secretly bought us time with space magic [Labyrinth].
『Congratulations on breaking the limit, Arisa.』
『Ehehehe~ thanks. Now I've just gotta give it my all to catch up to Master.』
That's going to take some heavy NEXT exp points.
<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.>
"They should be coming out anytime now."
Right just as the girls have re-taken up their positions, the Evil Dragons broke out of Labyrinth.
"Think we got around 20% of them so far, no?"
"I believe so."
Their job was to break through the thick multi-layered defensive barriers protecting those dragons, shaving down their enormous stamina, and they've done a great job at it.
"It's Lulu-oneesama's turn next."
Arisa passed the baton to Lulu next.
『Mult-Target, Lock-on. Burst Mode Ready.』
"Launching Saturation Attack!"
Lulu pressed the trigger extending out of her Powered Exoskeleton's extra unit.
A moment later, all 24 acceleration cannons and magic cannons on her Powered Exoskeleton and extra units unleashed their barrage.
The blue holy bullets hyper-accelerated by acceleration circles rained down upon the swarm while leaving laser-like trails on their tracks, shooting through the dragons' bodies and wings before boring holes on the ground.
Thanks to Arisa and Hikaru's actions, there were more fallen evil dragons than anticipated.
A blue light flashed out of Liza's body as she ran through the battlefield, wrapping other girls in blue lights.
Must be the Unique Skill [Hero Heart] loaned by god Garleon.
Of course, the reinforcement magic I put on them is still on effect as well.
"Aye aye sir~"
Pochi and Tama riding on Lyuryu's back followed after her.
Seemingly feeling threatened by them, the evil dragons shot out their breaths all at once.
"White (Nana), defensive maneuver!"
"Yes, Orange (Liza). You disgusting repulsive evil dragons! I shall be your opponent, so I declare!"
Vermilion light streamed over Nana's body as she shouted out loud with the usage of Provocation skill, uniting Unique Skill [Paladin Shield] with the highly mobile [<<Absolute Throne>>] into [Paladin Domain].
The all-swallowing muddy stream-like dark purple breaths shot by the evil dragons swooped down on the girls.
Dark purple flames clashed with Nana's barrier with a vermilion outline.
The blocked flames went up toward the ceiling, transforming it into lava.
"That's some firepower alright."
"Yep. Nana's barrier still comes out on top though."
Just as Arisa said, even flames that turned ceilings and grounds into lava could not break through Nana's Unique Skill-reinforced barrier.
"The flames are so intense Pochi can't rush in nodesu."
"Want a short cut cut through shadows~?"
"Let's go with that. Can you make the exit on the shadow of those stalactites hanging above?"
The beastkin girls and Lyuryu jumped in the shadow gate Tama created with her ninjutsu, appearing right above the evil dragon swarm.
"These evil dragons are exhausted. Let's each get them."
"Aye aye sir~"
Tama vanished as she was falling down before coming out of shadow below the evil dragons.
"An opening~? 『<<Dragonic Eater>>』"
Ninja Tama created countless clones of herself to mercilessly cut up evil dragon's abdomens using the twin small dragon fang swords in her hands.
Other evil dragons who noticed that unleashed their breaths toward Tama, but there was no more Tama at that spot. Ninjas come and go in unexpected places at unexpected moments.
"After Burner Full Throttle."
Liza produced magic edge cannons inside her acceleration part's exhaust vents, generating an even greater acceleration for her.
With her finisher deployed, Liza landed on an evil dragon's back at tremendous speed.
She went through the back and came out of its abdomen.
The ground sunk greatly, a donut-shaped cloud of dust spread out of the impact point.
Such crash would have harmed her normally, but thanks to the force magic [<<Inertia Control>>] put on her Powered Exoskeleton, the force from the impact was converted into horizontal energy.
Liza pierced through the defenseless abdomens of one Evil Dragon after another while maintaining a speed that exceeded Flickering Motion.
"Liza is a lightning nanodesu."
The way Liza went for evil dragons in a zig-zag pattern must have looked like a lightning from Pochi's position flying high near the ceiling..
"Pochi and Lyuryu won't lose either nodesuyo!"
As Pochi and Lyuryu went around and got behind the evil dragons, she shout out loud.
"Lyuryu, full speed ahead nanodesu!"
The large-scale acceleration parts attached below Lyuryu's wings produced super sonic speed.
They closed in the distance to the evil dragons at speed rivaling Liza's afterburner.
"<<Dragonic Acceleration>> nanodesu!"
Pochi grabbed on white dragon Lyuryu tightly, took a stance with her dragon fang sword, and charged ahead using her powered exoskeleton's accelerated circle, skewering several evil dragons at once.
Other evil dragons turned their heads toward Pochi to let out breaths.
"Won't let you~?"
A voice appearing out of nowhere was heard, then a lines ran through those evil dragons' necks.
A moment later, dark purple flame sprouted out of those lines.
Tama moves between evil dragons with her ninjutsu, severing a neck every time she hopped.
Right at the moment, mana swelled up behind me.
"... ■ <<Create Lesser Fenrir>>"
Mia finished her long chant, manifesting the anti-demon lord artificial spirit, Lesser Fenrir.
Lesser Fenrir rushed toward remnants of evil dragons that had survived the beastkin girls' assault.
"Chantless not fair."
"Well, I also think it's unfair, but it's not something you can just learn, gotta do it through exploiting 『Self-Status』 you know~"
Perhaps we can make a [Blessing Orb] for learning [Self-Status] skill at the Phantasmal Labyrinth?
I'd feel bad if it turned out to be no-go though, I should save telling Mia this after confirming it myself once we're done with sealing the Netherworld Gate.
I could afford thinking all this stuff while watching over the evil dragon extermination campaign led by the girls.
After exterminating the <<Evil Dragon Vanguard>> swarm, we're currently advancing through a spiral staircase with Pochi and Tama leading the way.
Initially the girls were trying to compete which one get the vanguard whenever one appeared, but now they've settled with golden members taking care of <<Mutant Dragon Vanguards>> while the silver members and Hayato's attendants going for mid-class vanguards like manticores and hydras.
I'm in charge of replenishing everyone's mana, and navigation.
"Paladin Castle so I inform!"
Nana's barrier blocked a breath coming out of a passage next to us.
"Master, a wild metallic scales appeared!"
Arisa is correct, the one who shot that breath Nana blocked is a sub-species of evil dragon boasting metallic scales.
It goes by the name of <<Evil Dragon Apostle>>, it's clad in a dark purple aura.
At first I thought it had Unique Skills, but turned out it was simply an enemy that would revive several times before you could kill them for real, so we face no problem in particular.
The beastkin girls are driving their finishers into it right now.
That's fine and all, however--.
"Did it show up out of nowhere again?"
I gave an affirmation to Hikaru's question.
That Evil Dragon Apostle just now suddenly appeared on my Radar.
I considered the possibility of Mana Camouflage skill, but these dragons had no such skill.
『Arisa, could you take a look at the space around this area?』
『OK, just leave it to the pro of space magic, Super Arisa-chan!』
I know that there are several spots where space is distorted, but I have no idea why.
『So there's a gate to Netherworld at the end right?』
『Yeah, it's like this.』
I send her Map info through Familiar Link.
Turn out you can send simple images through it.
『I figured as much. That gate is the root. It's hard to tell since the connections are interrupted all over the place, but if you connect them like here and here you get this, see.』
Indeed, once you connect the lines Arisa pointed out, root-like distortions are spreading from the gate.
Mia pulled my clothes.
Indigo blue light blinked over Mia's outline.
Looks like she used the Unique Skill loaned by god Urion, Sanctuary Guard.
"It's dangerous, ahead."
Right after Mia said that, this danger was conveyed to my mind.
Must be the power [Detect approaching wickedness, and make it known] from Sanctuary Guard.
I can feel a presence similar to the one I felt during the [Demon God's Offshoot] incident at Shiga Kingdom's capital.
It's also similar to when god Zaikuon used the [Forbidden Power Deprived from Demon God].
The root of this presence is one and the same as the distortions in space.
"Seems like this gate is more dangerous than I thought."
--That said, I can't just turn tail and leave the Netherworld Gate as is.
"Let's strengthen our defense from here on."
I put the perceptive Tama and Mia to be on guard, in addition to Arisa with her space magic and Zena-san with her wind magic as we advanced through the passages.
"It's really getting thicker..."
The presence of Demon God's Offshoot is getting stronger the more we progress further, the evil dragons are also getting more powerful.
As the distortion in space got even worse, we even found stuff like part of evil dragons such as heads and tails growing out of walls.
The gate is just a bit further ahead, but maybe I should let the girls out of this tower for their safety.
Sera who was healing wounded silver members called out to me.
"I have received an oracle from god Tenion!"
Another trouble I reckon.
"T-the Netherworld is encroaching the human world! Tenion-sama said the Netherworld and human world might fuse into one at the rate it's going!"
Whoa, that sure sounds like a bit of a pickle alright.
※ Next update is planned for 10/20.