|Author: Firehead||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Hands of Vecna||English Source: Hands of Vecna|
|Editor(s): TpstT, Keii|
Hit, hit, hit, hit.
Lowering his waist and stepping firmly on the ground, Orm gave a sharp yell and swung his fist. Each and every strike was a deadly attack. True to the name of deadly attacks, they had power that wouldn’t bring shame to the name. They were so destructive that a single hit could completely obliterate a dragon.
They weren’t just normal attacks. Each attack was imbued with countless skills, such as those that increased his status, increased damage, penetrated shields, and countered skills. They were certainly not half-hearted attacks. The speed of Orm’s punches exceeded six hundred million kilometers per hour, which was faster than Mach 500,000.
The number of digits had risen so much that it seemed like a child’s delusion, but the truth was that he was actually punching that fast. His attacks were launched as if it was raining. And again, they weren’t weak. Living creatures wouldn’t be able to survive them.
But in that case, what was this woman in front of him? Was she even a living creature?
…That might be so. But at least, she had surely exceeded the definition of a living creature as defined by the Goddess.
—They’re not hitting her!
Ruphas had been maintaining her natural pose without moving. When viewed by a third party from the sideline, it seemed as if Orm was attacking one-sidedly, while Ruphas was just standing there.
Needless to say, normal people wouldn’t be able to see Orm’s punches due to how fast they were. Therefore, this hypothetical third party would barely be able to follow their speeds…This was based on the premise that they had at least five hundred levels in their classes. If they had such power, then they could vaguely understand that Orm was making some sort of amazing attacks.
Ruphas’ hair was fluttering, and the ground behind her was being shaved off as if it were jelly without anyone touching it. If one were to look at it, they could guess that the cause was the shockwaves from Orm’s attacks, so one would know that Orm was attacking even without being able to follow his speed.
However, Ruphas, who had not moved, was still unharmed as she smiled in a relaxed manner. Actually, she wasn’t really being immobile. She had been evading, defending, and diverting the attacks. But her speed was so fast that she seemed to be unmoving.
“You’re quite a slow starter, aren’t you? Or are you taking a wait-and-see approach?”
Ruphas smiled and reached for Orm’s forehead with her right hand. Then, she flicked his forehead with her middle finger. It was the so-called forehead flick.
Orm disappeared from the surface of Midgard in an instant, and some asteroids that were floating near the planet shattered. At around the same time, a crater formed on the next planet. The landscape that reflected in Orm’s eyes wasn’t that of the Midgard that he was familiar with. He had gone beyond into outer space.
…! I was…blown away? This far with just a single blow!?
『What’s wrong? That was just a greeting.』
A telepathic message was received by the astonished Orm.
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He quickly got up in this world of zero gravity, but Ruphas had somehow already caught up before he realised it and was calmly waiting there. Needless to say, as was generally understood by most people, outer space wasn’t an environment in which living things could survive.
Since flügels usually lived in areas of higher altitude than other humanoids did, they tended to have higher vital capacities1 and were less likely to suffer from anoxia. They could function with less oxygen compared to other humanoids and could hold more air in their lungs. But even so, they were never designed to survive without oxygen.
However, Ruphas was calmly present in such an environment. As if the surroundings were just a little dark, she merely stayed there casually. Since there was no oxygen, naturally, she wasn’t breathing…
But she was a monster after all. It would be pointless to expect her to suffocate. Even if she survived without breathing for an entire day, Orm wouldn’t be surprised. This woman, Ruphas, was someone who could realize something like that as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
『…I see. As expected of you. You’re completely different from before.』
『If you understand that, you should get serious, Moon Ouroboros. You’ll regret it if you don’t give it everything you’ve got.』
『Then allow me to do just that.』
Normally, Orm kept his power sealed. This was similar to what Leon and the other Tyrannical Twelve Stars did, but Orm’s case was different in magnitude. His true form was an ouroboros—a mechanism of the world itself that acted as an agent of the creation deity.
Orm’s body lost its original shape and began to change at an incredible speed. His total body length exceeded one hundred twenty-three thousand kilometers2. Just the tip of his nose alone was larger than the mountain of Vanaheim. Each of his fangs was larger than both Leon and the Dragon King. They were of ridiculous size.
However, a battle was not only about size. This was particularly true of this ridiculous world. It wasn’t an uncommon sight for a small creature to overwhelm a larger creature. But there was still a limit to this.
If it wasn’t too big, it would be fine. However, if the sizes were too different, it wouldn’t even be possible to fight to begin with. This wasn’t the difference between a human and an ant. It was the difference between a human and a microbe, or a god and a human.
Midgard Orm3. This was his fearsome true form as an agent of the deity from mythology.
Black scales covered his entire body, leaving no gaps in-between. Each of them was large enough for Aries in his sheep form4 to stand on. Perhaps, this would convey how beyond common sense it was.
But despite the size difference, Orm did not lose sight of Ruphas. His golden eyes were firmly on Ruphas, his small but powerful opponent.
『How spectacular. Is this your true form?』
『Yes, it is.』
Orm opened his mouth, and a destructive light surged forth, completely engulfing Ruphas’ field of vision. This was the judgment of the deity, the heavenly tribulation that living creatures could not resist.
The shining light advanced in a straight line, annihilating the asteroids and comets that were in its path. After a long delay, the lights of those celestial objects were snuffed out. However, the one who had been struck by that destructive light had not disappeared. Although she had been thrown back several hundred kilometers, she was still watching Orm with her arms folded.
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The damage to Ruphas was slight…or perhaps even, zero. But Orm was unmoved by this. He had expected this. He knew from the start what would happen with an attack of this magnitude. If it had ended with something of this magnitude, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge in the first place. Therefore, his heart wasn’t agitated just because the attack was ineffective. Orm immediately moved on to the next attack.
He moved his oversized limbs. Despite being so small and difficult for Orm to aim at, Ruphas was blown away in the direction of Mars.
The universe in which Midgard existed and the universe in which the Earth existed were two sides of the same coin. The planets that existed in each universe were almost the same, except that the Earth was replaced by Midgard. Therefore, there were the Sun and the Moon, as well as other planets like Mars and Mercury.
In the instant that Ruphas touched down on the ground, Orm fired another ray of destructive light. The radiance swallowed Ruphas, but it had already been proven that it was ineffective.
However, what about the secondary disasters that were caused by this attack? The planetary core of Mars was destroyed by the ouroboros’ destructive light. The planet expanded and caught Ruphas in a huge explosion.
Although the destructive end of a planet was nowhere near the supernova explosion of a star, it still generated overwhelming power and heat. Orm used his body to shield Midgard from the shockwave, and watched the explosion with vigilance.
『Losing sight of the enemy in an explosion…It’s the archetypal losing flag in a battle manga that my avatar likes to read.』
At the same time as he heard the telepathic message, Orm felt an impact on his head. He was being attacked by something. Something had crushed Orm’s scales, which should have been tougher than anything in the world, and drew blood. Another blow struck, blowing Orm’s huge body away to drift in space.
What is this…? No, only one person could have done this.
That person, Ruphas, was looking at him with the same appearance as before. It was as if she didn’t even notice the planetary explosion.
『Even a planetary explosion…is ineffective?』
『You don’t have to sigh. That previous attack was on the right track. It’s actually effective. It’s not like I didn’t take any damage. But although it’s effective, it won’t claim my life even if it’s repeated one hundred times.』
…What a monster.
Forgetting that he himself was a monster, Orm thought so from the bottom of his heart.
Ruphas slowly clenched her fist in front of him. She had only been observing the situation so far, but she was about to start a full-scale attack now. Orm didn’t take his eyes off Ruphas, but his vigilance was pointless. Ruphas vanished, and his huge body was blown away.
What a ridiculous monster!
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His size was comparable to a celestial object, while his power exceeded that of a celestial object by far. Yet he was so easily blown away. It was simply unimaginable.
Could this mean that this woman could break a planet in two with a single punch?
…It might actually be possible, if it was this woman.
Since there was a difference in their muscular strength, the size difference was just a disadvantage for Orm.
Imagine this. Imagine a mosquito flying about in the middle of summer. The mosquito wasn’t hurt when it was caught by a human hand. Instead, the human was blown away with a mere touch by the mosquito. Such a scene would be too surreal. Was there even any chance for the human to win in such a situation?
The situation here was like that…No, it was actually even more hopeless than that. However, Orm had been prepared for such a struggle from the beginning. He had come here after having strengthened his resolve for it.
『In that case…how about this!?』
Orm’s huge body began to circle around Ruphas at a super high speed. He opened his mouth and bit his own tail, spinning continuously like a spiralling snake. Eventually, his speed exceeded the speed of light, and Ruphas was completely confined within.
Those who were trapped within an ouroboros that was moving faster than light would be separated from time itself. A second experienced by them might be a day, a year, or even a century on the outside. They would be trapped inside a prison called Time.
Then, the time that had elapsed outside would bare its fangs at them. Their bodies would deteriorate as if a long time had passed. Essentially, it was like Urashima Tarō’s jeweled hand-box5, except that it was not nearly as simple. The time that was currently assaulting Ruphas could easily reach tens of thousands of years.
—Unique skill, Cyclical World (Ouroboros).
I caught her!
Orm was confident that even if this didn’t bring him victory, Ruphas would surely have taken considerable damage. After all, Ruphas was still a living thing. Even if she had a long natural lifespan or had consumed longevity elixirs, her lifespan couldn’t be unlimited. Old age was inevitable. If she was hit directly by the waves of time, there would be nothing that even she could do.
Yes, that was how it should be…But why…why was Ruphas crossing her arms with a relaxed look as if she wasn’t changing!?
『That was a good idea. It’s an interesting trick. But when it comes to tricks, I’m also quite confident in them…Sorry, I’ve already neutralized your attack. 』
『Neutralized…!? Ridiculous. That shouldn’t be possible…The Goddess shouldn’t have created any counter skills for this…』
『No, that fool certainly created one. Although she didn’t mean for it to be a counter skill…she had given the skill to her own alter ego.』
When she said that, Orm finally noticed it. The time that should have been accelerated within the enclosed space wasn’t accelerating at all. On the contrary, it was even being rewound.
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This skill…Ridiculous. This should be impossible. This isn’t Ruphas’ skill. Only Dina should have this skill.
『Yed Posterior. It’s one of Dina’s unique skills that can slow down time, stop time, and even reverse time to the point before the target was born.』
Unique skills could only be used by the person in question. This was why they were called unique. In other words, this was an impossible situation. Her action completely defied reason.
Orm activated a special version of Observing Eye that could only be used by agents of the Goddess. This ignored any level difference and allowed him to look at Ruphas’ status.
And he understood…the reason. The class section in Ruphas’ status included The Archenemy, a class that shouldn’t exist. That was the reason. Indeed, a class with that name shouldn’t exist. At least, it wasn’t created by the Goddess.
In that case, who created it? Obviously…Ruphas had created a class that was suitable for herself and added it to herself. That had probably been done by bending rules with the Key to the Heavens. Furthermore, when selecting which skills to acquire from leveling up, she selected the skill of her subordinate. This was the only explanation Orm could think of.
After reasoning it out, Orm faced even greater despair.
What’s going on? This woman…Does this mean that this woman can use all of the skills of the Twelve Stars!?
『Is this okay? Staying so close to me…I’m going to burn you up.』
As she said that, Ruphas’ entire body was covered in a rainbow-colored flame. The god-slaying flame (Mesarthim) would deal continuous damage proportional to one’s maximum HP upon contact.
The heat spread out with Ruphas at the center, ruthlessly scorching Orm’s scales. It didn’t matter how hard Orm was. No matter how tough he was, it was still meaningless. The heat of this flame increased limitlessly in proportion to the opponent’s power.
Orm slowed down momentarily as he struggled to endure the heat. In that instant, Ruphas flew out and struck Orm with all of her might.
—Ultimately, petty tricks could not overcome despair (Ruphas).
In his drowsy consciousness, Orm remembered Terra when he was still a child. At first, he had just wanted to create a doll that would act in his stead. It was supposed to be a substitute to comfort himself and disguise his misery. Naturally, he would not have felt any sentiment towards such a thing. There was no reason he would feel any emotion towards it. That was what he had thought.
…When did it all begin? When did he become happy to be called by his child (Terra)? When did he start to think that his child’s smile was so precious? When he had finally noticed it, it was no longer a comforting doll, but an irreplaceable existence to Orm.
Orm was an ouroboros, which was an agent of the Goddess. An ouroboros was a perfect life form, which was as close as possible to immortality. He would die if he was killed by someone, but only the Goddess could do such a thing. Therefore, the ouroboros, Orm, didn’t need a mate or an offspring. He was complete all by himself. There was no meaning in leaving offspring behind. Inevitably, he had never experienced what a parent would feel ever since he had been born.
This is my first experience…My heart is so calm because someone else is nearby. Now, I feel that I can understand those heroes who had challenged me to protect what was important to them.
When did it all begin? When did he become so weak?
He was terrified of Ruphas Mafahl. He was so afraid that there was nothing he could do about it. He had always thought that death was simply an end. He had even thought that it would be fine for him to die at any time. Yet, now that death had taken shape before him, he was terrified to such an extent.
No, I don’t want to die. I still want to live.
No, not yet…I still haven’t seen that child grow up!
Furthermore, what would happen if I die? What would happen if that terrifying death-omen star were to meet my son?
No, I won’t allow that to happen. That alone must not come to pass.
I still…cannot die. I don’t want to die and leave my child behind.
He still remembered how relieved he had felt when Ruphas was gone. But that relief quickly turned into despair again. The Goddess had given him a command…that it was time to close the curtains on this story. This would be the end of the demons. The evil Demon King would be overthrown by the heroes, and his subordinates would be culled by the humanoids…Terra would be no exception.
I don’t want that to happen. I won’t accept it.
It’s just a scenario to the Goddess, but to me, it’s a priceless treasure.
—By the time he had noticed it, he was already ignoring the Goddess’ script and subjugating the heroes.
Image from Light Novel Volume 8
- Vital capacity (肺活量) is the maximum amount of air a person can expel from the lungs after a maximum inhalation. Anoxia (酸欠) refers to a total depletion in the level of oxygen, an extreme form of hypoxia or “low oxygen”.
- Earth’s circumference is almost exactly 40,000 km, so Orm could coil around the Earth three times. As mentioned in Chapter 48, Vanaheim is a bit higher than Mount Fuji.
- Orm (オルム) is the Old Norse word for “snake”, “worm”, or “dragon”. Therefore, “Midgard Orm” is a reference to Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent.
- As mentioned in Chapter 13, Aries’ sheep form is more than 100 meters in length.
- In Japanese folklore, Urashima Tarō (浦島太郎) was a fisherman who visited the Dragon Palace for several days. When he left the palace, he was given a jeweled hand-box (玉手箱) and told not to open it. When he returned home, his parents had died and there was nobody that he could recognize. In his dismay, he opened the box and was transformed into an old man.