17-44. Netherworld Invasion (4)
Satou here. People sometime see a rapid growth thanks to any number of reasons. Like coming up with a new perspective, finding a fitting workplace, or encountering an advisor. You can find those chances everywhere you go.
Not just in daily lives, but even in another world--.
"...T-this is, Netherworld!"
Starting with lady Karina, the girls voiced their shock when they saw Netherworld scenery.
"Quite a template Netherworld, isn't it."
"Almost made me want to answer that with 'yep gansu'."
As said by Arisa and Hikaru, what lie before our eyes are barren purple colored grounds, soaring thorny mountains, and clouds rising out of erupting volcanoes filling up the skies.
Dark shadows that appear to be demons are running rampant in the lands and the skies.
I had quickly opened my Map to investigate, however, it displayed [Area without Map] same as the Realm of Gods.
I also tried to use All Map Exploration magic just in case, but it failed to extract any information probably because there's no Dragon Veins in Netherworld.
Nevertheless, all terrains within my sight and the large spaceship's observation areas get automatically inputted into my Map. Doesn't seem like we'd get lost now.
"Satou-san, look at the sky!"
"Blue moon nanodesu!"
Looking up where Zena-san and Pochi pointed at, a blue moon--an earth-like blue planet is hanging in the cloudless sky.
"That's not it, Arisa-chan. You know what that is, Tina?"
"Yes, Hikaru-sama. It's the same as the landmass drawing I saw in Banned Archive."
Now that she mentioned it.
It's true, the shape of the continent in the center is the same as the landmass we live on in human world.
"Think we can get back to our world there?"
"Nah, it's probably just an image."
Considering the Netherworld Corridors, that's most likely not how human world and Netherworld are connected.
"Master, we have got warnings so I report."
"It seems the miasma density here is even thicker than in the corridors."
"Yes, Sera. Estimating anti miasma barrier to last for about 30,000 seconds, so I report."
Nana and Sera reported in.
30,000 seconds huh, about eight hours I guess?
Well, it's not like we're gonna stay here for long.
Tama and Mia pointed forward.
Mia must have perceived it thanks to her Unique Skill [Sanctuary Guard], yet Tama also did at the same time. Looks like Tama's crisis perception rivals that of a god's Authority.
There's something black floating above a sea of clouds--a huge mass of rock covered in jet black cumulonimbus clouds tore apart the sea of clouds as it made its entrance.
Or rather than a lump of rock, its size is like that of an island or a continent.
"Yeah, and it looks similar to one from Lalakie Dynasty."
I affirmed princess Sistina as she murmured.
It's exactly like the floating island of Lalakie caught in my sight during the Divine Punishment.
Looking closer, there are even somethings that look like Rumooku Kingdom's shadow castles floating close to it.
"It's more like a fortress than an island huh."
"Yes, Arisa. Clouds-like black dots have been launched, so I report."
"Emergency nanodesu! Pochi and co's got to scramble egg nodesuyo!"
The girls sent out a red alert as swarms of demons took off from the floating island.
Pochi mistook scramble for scrambled egg in her panic.
"Master, our enemies appear to have discovered us. Should we go intercept?"
Liza looked at me to confirm.
Judging from the black dots' movement, they have definitely noticed us. I'd like to know how they managed to see through Sera's [Hermit Hide].
I turn around and look at the purple little girl sitting next to Core Two.
"--No, I don't think so."
Noticing my glance, Hikaru negated my guess.
"Yup, that's what I believe as well."
Hikaru nodded positively at Mia's murmur.
Moving around in a dense miasma with a barrier that brushes miasma aside and miasma purifying [Saint Prey] active is like doing a march while ringing a bell.
"I know. But there's sure a lot of them."
Liza asked for my permission once again, but we're greatly outnumbered.
During the conversation, I've been controlling Menu, opening magic list, picking a certain magic and designating targets and range displayed on my Map.
I know a spell that works best in times like this.
I don't think one shot would be enough, thus I use up about 30% of all mana batteries I have in Storage to repeatedly cast the spell in a rapid succession.
"Okay then, how about we get on board support fighters to help as well!"
"I too shall deploy in a small spacecraft along with Raka-san desuwa."
Zena and lady Karina announced.
This large spaceship has two small spaceships that also act as lifeboats, one docked on each sides. There's only six manned fighters, and even fewer people who can pilot one.
"Both of those are equipped with Miasma Barriers. It might not hold up as long as this main ship, but it should be enough to last for a few minutes."
Princess Sistina added.
"Master, 600 seconds until we come into contact so I report."
"We've got no time to argue over this. First of all, we should reduce their numbers."
Fortunately, I don't have to worry about collateral damage here.
"Gotcha! I'll claim the first strike with 『Over Boost』 and advanced level magic--"
"No, there's no need for that."
At the confused-looking Arisa, I pointed my finger at the sky.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"WHAT THE HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECK!"
Stars are falling.
Rain of stars are falling down from beyond the sky with a blue moon as a backdrop.
Arisa's scream acting as a BGM, sky-packed rain of meteorites pierced through the cloud-like incoming demons, demolishing the gigantic floating island and castles, brushing aside the dull clouds below without slowing down before gouging out the purple lands below.
Tens, hundreds of thousands of demons are rapidly getting felled from being stricken by giant meteorites.
It's truly a Map annihilation attack.
The log is scrolling crazy fast in the corner of my vision.
Zena-san mustered the word.
"This is the forbidden spell used to defeat 『Dog-head Demon Lord』..."
"What an amazing magic desuwa."
"No, this is more like--a work of god..."
Princess Sistina, lady Karina and Sera gave their impressions as well.
"I've heard about it already, but seeing it in person is really something else."
"Yes, that's our master for you."
"Master is the strongest nanodesuyo!"
Hikaru spoke, followed by Liza and Pochi's proud agreement.
"Master, some have slipped through the Star Falls coming straight here!"
The two scouting pair Tama, Mia gave a warning followed by Lulu who's in charge of monitoring.
Several tens of greater demons who've survived my attack by either being outside the small range, or by using other demons as shields, are coming straight here.
"Nana prepare defensive--"
As I was giving an instruction, a familiar sense of pain from the time of that first meteor shower back then assaulted me.
I know what it is now.
A severe case of level up intoxication.
"""MASTER!""" "SATOU" """SATOU-SAN""" ""MASTER""
I could hear the girls calling my name in concern.
In my vision dimming from the pain, I saw several dots closing in on us.
I wanted to tell them to focus on that instead of me, but I couldn't let my voice out due to the pain.
"--Nana-chan, prepare defensive measures!"
"Yes, Hikaru. Deploying 『Paladin Domain』 so I announce."
A vermilion light emitted out of Nana's closed shell cockpit.
"Mia-chan, Garuda please. Tina, take care of defensive measures with Gun Golems, Lulu-chan aim for bigger enemies with gun turrets!"
"Nn--Magic Wind Create (Create Garuda)."
"Understood. Activating Thousand Thrones. Core Two, I need your assistance."
"Un, I'll help."
"AI-san, release full armaments. Your assistance please."
"AYE AYE MA'AM, ALL WEAPONS FREE. FCS STAND BY."
I could hear the girls.
"We will sortie out in heavy powered suits as well."
"Aye aye sir~"
In the corner of my view, I saw the beastkin girls jumped into emergency shooters that go straight to Catapult Deck.
"I'm going out in a support fighter as well."
"I-I shall accompany you."
It's Zena-san and lady Karina.
"You two are in charge of close quarter defense. Don't let any swift-footed demons get too close if you could. Counting on you too Raka."
The two jumped into shooters after receiving Arisa's instruction.
"Sera-tan, how's Master looking?"
"Recovery magic doesn't seem to work."
"Don't worry, Sera-chan. It's probably a severe case of level up intoxication. He should be fine after some sleep, let's put him in the medical capsule for now."
"Un, if you'd please. I have to take control of the main armament, take over for me later."
"Sera-san, the girls who went outside need your support. Tell them not to get too far away from the ship chasing enemies."
"Please leave it to me."
After hearing that last conversation, my consciousness was swallowed up in darkness.
"--Starboard hit. Second barrier partition has been broken through."
My consciousness arose out of darkness from a sensation of having my body greatly shaken.
"Damage control is reaching its limit. Can you re-cast [Paladin Domain] yet, Nana-san?"
"Yes, Tina. 1800 seconds until cool down so I report."
"Tama! Take care of Starboard! Mia, call up another Garuda!"
"Pochi-chan, Liza-san, don't get close to Kukulkan! Arisa-chan, Jormungandr is coming from below us!"
"Tchhh, so that thing hasn't kicked the bucket yet! What a pain these demon lords and Authority-holder greater demons are. I'm gonna shoot them up with full powered anti-god magic instead of just lesser ones this time!"
"That's too rash! What would you do if you turn into demon lord again!"
"I'll think about it when that time comes. Rash or not, all is lost if I don't act now!"
My fading consciousness was completely roused up from that conversation.
I got to the bridge using Unit Arrangement.
"Set the main armament's spellcasting mode in full power."
『Aye aye ma'am. Transform Staff Ship Mode.』
I stopped Arisa who was going to push herself over her limit.
The members who were still on the bridge saw me, smiles floated up on their fatigued faces.
"Thanks for waiting, everyone."
One of the dots displayed on Radar made a mad dash here.
I went up on deck with Unit Arrangement.
"Kukulkan slipped through!"
"Pochi will go after it nodesuyo!"
Liza and Pochi in their heavy powered exoskeleton suits went after Winged Serpent (Kukulkan).
Considering our current positions, I must careful not to have those two dragged in.
I cast [Magic Arms] and sent the incoming foe flying with the spell.
The number of Magic Arms is weirdly numerous.
What was once 120 Magic Arms at most have been expanded to more than a thousand.
I hurriedly checked out my Status in Menu.
I thought I would gain a few levels, but never would have dreamed it would be an additional digit.
Perhaps my Meteor Shower managed to kill hundreds of millions of demons.
I point my arm at a kilometer-long giant serpent demon lord--Jormungandr coming from ahead of me.
Fire Shot that was supposed to be only about as strong a intermediate-level magic destroyed Jormungandr's defensive barrier with power rivaling Arisa's advanced magic.
Jormungandr's hard scales broke apart, black blood gushed out of its skin.
This demon lord seemed to be under the influence of black sludge as well, its gushing blood hardened into a wriggling armor over it scales.
Looks like I'd better end it in one go than resorting to bite-sized attacks.
I restrain Jormungandr with [Magic Arms] and [Deracinator].
『All hands, take anti-shock and anti-flash defensive maneuvers.』
After confirming the girls outside have returned to the large spaceship, I cast a spell.
A flash of light that would have dazzled even those with sunglasses on dyed the surroundings white, part of Jormungandr's body that was hit by the laser evaporated instantly.
Wave of plasma-turned air mowed down mushroom clouds and particle dust, deeply deeply gouging the lands out.
I had chosen this spell for its limited collateral damage since I was afraid other more powerful means of attacks could end up damaging the spaceship, and yet this is how it turned out.
So glad I didn't pick anti-god magic or forbidden spells by mistake.
"Master, above you!"
I cut apart the swooping Kukulkan with the hero's secret move, [<<Shining Blade>>].
Even a black sludge-powered demon lord was instantly killed by a weakened flying shockwave of the attack.
I might have gotten about as strong as the Demon God Dog-head mentioned back then.
"That's it, over there. That's the castle where milord-sama's at."
With the purple little girl in charge of navigation and after several loops of sight-based Unit Arrangement, we finally arrived at the center of Netherworld.
"More like a comet empire."
There's a city with radically shaped buildings on a floating moon that's been cut in two flatly.
Just as Arisa's said, it looks similar to the enemy's stronghold 148,000 light years away in a certain classic SF masterpiece.
That seems to be Demon God's castle.
"Incoming super huge enemy so I report!"
A greater demon over level 200 that had been circling around Demon God's castle is heading our way.
It's gigantic, many times bigger than even Ancient Dragon. And it's got Unique Skills to boot.
However, there's neither fear nor anxiety in my mind.
"It's nothing to worry about."
I made a short work out of the demon lord using a more advanced version of Flexible Sword, Ultra High Speed Dragon Rending Sword.
No unnecessary collateral damage with it.
"Awesomely awesome nodesu!"
"Master was already incredible to begin with, but now your strength is just scary."
"Yeah, it's cause my level went up by a lot."
I don't think I'd lose even against Demon God now.
Now then, let's get this over with in a jiffy.
※ No update is planned for 12/22. Next update will be at the end of the year.
※ Forgot to add about how Ringrande's group went their separate way at the end of [17-40. 「17-40. Dungeon Corridors and Lunar Corridors (2)]. Added now. [TLN: Translated]