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The Golem knights’ movements were agile, despite their large build. ‘Gashah gashah’, was the noise that appeared while they rapidly approached, they gave off intense force along with their glinting weapons. It was as if walls were closing in from all directions.
And Hajime aimed at those golem knights. Even though the two railguns he grasped in his hands were only able to put out power less than half the usual, their power that was still several times that of a real rifle, and was shot at the golem knights.
Two flashes of light targeted and shot two golem knights’ heads accurately, at the eyes’ parts. The knights fell on their backs from the impact to their heads. When the next set of knights drew near, Hajime lightly jumped. Then he shot them in rapid succession, and the lethal encirclement was thrown into disarray.
Having endured Hajime’s storm-like gunfire using shields, large swords, and the bodies of their companions, several knights finally drew near Hajime and his party.
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However, that was the gray hair with a blue hue Shia Haulia’s killzone, who had set up her superheavy Sledgehammer in the air. Without any need to talk, with her physical ability strengthened to the limit, she let out a blow that cleared away everything.
There was a yell. She brought down her Sledgehammer, Doryukken, with a tremendous impacting sound one of the golem knights was flattened. Although the knight set up its shield beforehand, it defense was still crushed.
There were cracks and a dent on the ground caused by Doryukken. The attack was released with all her might, maybe after it confirmed the dead body, a knight was able to set up its shield and endure the impact, while trying to cut Shia in two with its large sword.
Shia firmly confirmed that with a side glance. Twisting the handle, she adjusted the angle of Doryukken’s head, then pulled the trigger.
Such an explosive sound came from Doryukken that was on the ground and it jumped. At Shia’s side a shotshell fluttered after rejecting from its case. While riding on Doryukken’s momentum, Shia rotated in her place and delivered a blow carrying great centrifugal force. The knight that tried to bring down its large sword was hit in its flank.
She let out a shout filled with vigor. The knight that received the direct hit had its body bent, as if it was run over by a speeding truck, it magnificently rolled to the back and hit the other approaching knights. The knight’s body, because it was unable to stop itself, was squashed and did not gave any sign of movement.
That sound of wind entered Shia’s rabbit ears. When she took a peek at it, it was a large sword that the golem knights had raised, it was rotating mid-air after having parted from the knight. Shia jumped and grabbed the large sword, and then with all her might, she threw it at the oncoming golem knight.
The large sword flew with great velocity, and when it collided with the shield that the golem knight had set, the shield was flipped. Not missing that chance, Shia swung Doryukken from below. The golem knight which had a large build received the impact in its abdomen and floated in the air. Although it tried to swing the large sword in desperation, Shia raised Doryukken then using the centrifugal force, clashed with the large sword, and this time Doryukken attacked the floating knight from a lower angle.
Just like the previous golem knight, was blown away like a cannonball and flew at the nearby golem knights, swallowing them with its large build and laid on the ground.
A smile floated on Shia’s lips. It was not like she felt the pleasure of fighting. She was only happy that she could fight properly. She felt that she could continue traveling with Hajime and Yue now. At that moment, she was a little distracted.
On the battlefield, such a thing is fatal. When she’d noticed, a lot of knights’ shields had already drawn near. Somehow, the golem knights decided to throw their shields toward Shia. As expected of golems, they flew with extraordinary power, although it wouldn’t be fatal against Shia’s strengthened body, they have enough power to cause a concussion. If that happens, it’s easy to imagine what’ll happen next.
How careless! Though there was no time to think that, she at least tried to steel herself to endure the incoming attacks. Then, a laser-like water current attacked the shields right before they collided with Shia, and it bent their trajectories. The shields passed by the sides of Shia’s head, then crashed into the golem knights behind her.
“… …Unpreparedness is one’s greatest enemy. Punishment will be thrice the usual.”
“Fue!? Just now, was that from Yue-san? I-I am sorry, also thank you very much! Wait, punishment will be thrice!?”
“Nn… … don’t daydream.”
“Uh, yes! I will try my best!”
With a “Meh!” —like feeling Yue scolded her, Shia was also conscious of her small carelessness. She braced herself while reflecting on it. Once more, she tried to defeat the approaching golem knights. With help from water lasers that flew from behind her back, the golem knight that tried to perform a sneak attack from behind of Shia was confirmed to be cleanly bi-sected.
Shia felt a warm feeling inside her knowing that Yue will protect her back. To not show any disgrace in front of her master, she raised her fighting spirit.
Afterwards, the same water current flew at the knight who tried to go into the rampaging Shia’s blind spot, and cut it just with sharpness keener than blades. What Yue used was middle-ranked magic from water system called “Rupture.” It was a water cutter that fired the moisture in the air at ultra high-pressure.
In Yue’s hands were big metallic water bottles. There were also two other water bottles on her shoulder strap. These were something taken out by Hajime from “Treasure Box.” Every time Yue muttered the magic’s name, water cutter would fly out from the water bottles that she held.
Although Yue was able to use the moisture in the air, she thought it would consume too much magic power to pressurize it from scratch. Moreover, utilizing the exit of the water bottle to aim, the water cutter that came out didn’t contain magic itself, so it wouldn’t affected by the disintegration and disappear.
Shia’s explosive area attack, was supported by Yue’s water blade that covered her blind spots. The knights were incapable of breaking the duo’s combination, and one by one they were destroyed as if being played with.
Hajime who took a side glance to look at Yue and Shia’s splendid cooperation floated a wry smile.
“Oioi, you can do it after all. I wonder if I would also be capable of displaying something good?”
While joking to himself, Hajime started to enter close-combat with Donner-Schlag (…).
He warded off a descending large sword of a knight with Schlag’s barrel, and shot its helmet at zero distance with Donner in his right hand. Without looking at that knight who flew backwards, he warded off an attack from behind with Schlag, and shot the knight behind him without turning around, then he squatted down while rotating to dodge large swords that were swung horizontally, the knights’ hands were intersected and he shot their sides.
A shot that didn’t use “Lightning-clad” ricocheted from the knight’s shield and hit a nearby knight’s knee joint, destroying its balance. And then he jumped up and while reversing his view, he destroyed the knight and another nearby knight at the same time from overhead. He parried large swords aimed at him with the back of his hands, then fired to his side while mid-air and four knights’ heads were shot and crushed at the same time. As he landed, he took the bullets from “Treasure Box,” and reloaded the guns by spinning them, and he resumed shooting while spinning. The surrounding knights were blown away radially.
Doing that, without leaving a chance to be scratched, they slaughtered those golem knights one by one.
While counterattacking the golem knights, Hajime raised his eyebrows in doubt. The reason being that, although a lot of the golem knights were destroyed, there was no change of density that approaching.
It seems, Yue and Shia were also having that doubt. Finally, when they carefully observed the battlefield, the golem knights that they had defeated could not be seen.
“Looks like it.”
“That can’t be!? Then, it won’t end at all!”
That’s right, after the golem knights were destroyed and lost the glint in their eyes, more knights with the same glint and body as those knights were reproduced in no time and rejoined the rank.
Shia raised a panicked voice while mowing down the approaching knights. It was reasonable to say that, after all no matter how many she defeated there was no meaning to it. However, Hajime and Yue were calm, there was no impatience in their expressions as they kicked around the golem knights. This might be what is called a difference in experiences. They had experienced something like this many times in the depths of the Abyss. Naturally, they were stronger now.
“… …Hajime, if it’s a golem then there must be a core”
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Just as Yue had said, it was normal for golem to have a core inside its body, and that core was the source of its power. The core was made using demonic beasts’ magic stones. It was written down on blueprint of Oscar’s cleaning golem. What Yue said was to destroy that core.
However, Hajime floated a bitter expression having known Yue’s proposal.
“What can I say, these guys didn’t have a core at all.”
“… … Really?”
“Aa, I have confirmed it using magic eye, there is no mistake about it. Although I was able to find some suspicious magic power from the golem…”
“I-it ended with that after all! It’ll be bad if this keeps up!”
Shia raised her voice filled with impatience. Hajime only let Shia’s shout pass through his ears, then used “Mineral Appraisal.” For golems that operated without core, he wondered, “Are they made using special ore?”
His thoughts were right on the money.
An ore that naturally induces magic. It was able to establish a connection of magic power between two or more induction ores, using one ore, other ores with an established connection of magic power can be remotely controlled.
These golem knights made using induction stone must have something that acted as a remote control. Although Hajime and his party thought it was replication, it was actually rearrangement by manipulating the ore, they only needed to add to the parts that were insufficient. It’s actually more like reconstructing rather than replicating.
If you looked carefully, you’d notice that the floor was also made using the induction ore, and parts that that appeared to be cut away could be seen. Those were probably used to replenish the parts of the golems. Without defeating the controller, it’d be truly endless.
“Yue, Shia. There must be something that’s controlling them. Because it’s seriously endless, let’s breakthrough them!”
Under Hajime’s signal, Yue and Shia immediately dashed out toward the altar. Hajime advanced using Donner-Schlag’s rapid-fire against the knights and as they scattered a path was created, two grenades were thrown toward the knights that approached from behind. With a big explosion in the back, the golems knights were felled one after another by the blast and the shockwave.
Shia advanced through the space that Hajime made, while rotating Doryukken, mowing down golem knights all the while. The golem knights were skillfully throwing their shields and large swords at Shia only to have Yue’s “Rupture” come and split them.
Hajime whose duty was to guard the rear, fired his railguns in rapid succession at the golem knights approaching from behind. Using the opportunity, Shia passed through the encirclement and arrived in front of the altar. Next was Yue who arrived in front of the door after jumping over the altar.
“Yue-san! The door-!?”
“Nn… …It was sealed after all.”
“Au, as expected!”
In front of their eyes were the suspicious altar and door. They had guessed it’d be sealed. That’s why, they originally thought it’d be troublesome and decided to slaughter the knights instead. While they resolved to release the seal on the door. Shia complained as usual, which resulted in knights flying in from the stairs.
“I’ll leave the seal to Yue. It’d take too much time to breakthrough it using transmutation.”
Hajime stood beside Shia to look out for her back. Just as Hajime said, to forcibly use transmutation to breakthrough the door, although it might be possible, it’d consume large amounts of magic power in this area, and it’d also take a lot of time. That’s why, having reached the altar with the yellow crystal with so much effort, it was faster to release the seal normally. Hajime who thought so, left the duty to Yue who had bad magic consumption.
“Nn… … leave it to me.”
Yue readily acknowledged that and immediately took the yellow crystal from the altar. That crystal was in a square made of pyramids shape, if you looked carefully it was made from combinations of solid blocks.
Yue looked back at the door behind her. There were three indentations there. Yue thought for a while, then started to disassemble the square of pyramids. She reassembled those blocks to make new cubes that fit the indentations.
While assembling those, Yue observed the indentations in the door. Then, only by carefully observing it she noticed small characters that were carved there. They said…
“I wonder if can you solve it~, I wonder~”
“You’ll die if you don’t do it fast, you know~”
“Well, it can’t be helped if you can’t solve it! You’re just an ordinary human unlike me after all!”
“Don’t worry! Even if your head is bad you can liv-… … you can’t live! How regre~ttable! Pugyaa—!”
They were the annoying sentences as usual. Yue was truly irritated by it. With her usual expressionlessness, she concentrated to solve the puzzle although she wanted to punch the door.
Somehow, Hajime and Shia could feel her anger from her back, and could only curse in their minds while concentrating on destroying golem knights.
“Hajime-sa~n. Please use DOPAh just like before~”
Like a certain black thing from the kitchen, the golem knights swarmed disgustingly, that’s why Shia begged Hajime to use a grenade.
“Idiot. That must be thrown where it was sure no trap was installed. If it was thrown near the stairs, you must know what might happen.”
“You said it now even after it laid waste to the golems before?”
“Well, it was something Miledi Raisen made. Isn’t it possible that it won’t react only against golem?”
“Uu, I can’t refute that…”
In certain ways, Hajime and Shia only played around with the golem knights so they could make idle talk. In the beginning, Shia was truly impatient about it, but when she saw how calm Hajime and Yue were, she calmed down.
“But, it made me somewhat happy.”
Once more, while smashing a golem knight then making it fly with a kick, Shia blurted that out.
“Just a little while ago, I, who was only capable of running away, was able to fight together with Hajime-san… … it made me so happy.”
“… …You are truly a curious one.”
“Ehehe, I, finally able to flirt with Hajime-san after we capture dungeon ! Yay.”
“Oi, you. How did you connect to that, it’s the same as raising a death flag. To be a tragic heroine will be too much for you, so stop that. Also, I just can’t rebutted it, but you know this material, right?”
“It was, “I absolutely won’t let you die, my honey?”, something like that? Hajime-san, mouh!”
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“You twisted it too much! Recently, although I was scared of your positivity… … I don’t have any appropriate remarks for it…”
They kept chatting for several minutes while repelling those knights. In a way, in the space between the two who kept flirting, “nuu~,” a shadow appeared. It was Yue.
“… …Flirting is forbidden.”
“Well, we didn’t do anything like that.”
“Nufufu, is that what it looks like? How embarrassing~”
“It’s better for you to shut up…”
Somewhat, after Hajime look with a side glance at Shia with a tired expression, he turned to Yue who looked a little displeased. However, without re-thinking about this situation, this time she showed a little proud look having done a great achievement.
“… …It’s open.”
“How fast, just as expected of Yue. Shia, fall back!”
Hajime took a peek behind him, and as Yue said, the seal had released and the door was open. There seemed to be nothing unusual inside the room. Hajime told Shia to withdraw, then he retreated toward the room. The golem knights wouldn’t able to chase after them if they closed the sealed door. Yue was the first to retreat, next was Shia who jumped beyond the door, and because it was a double door they were on standby at both sides to close it.
Hajime threw several grenades as farewell gifts, and dived into the room. Although the golem knights rushed after their escape, they were scattered by the strong impact that came from the grenades. Their balance were destroyed. Without missing that chance, Yue and Shia closed the door.
Inside the room, using farsight it was confirmed that there was nothing at all. Surely, even if it was not Miledi Raisen’s room, there must be some clue leading to it, right?, and that was what they thought while losing their momentum.
“This, isn’t it that? Even though there was a conspicuous seal, there was actually nothing inside, is it that kind of punchline?”
“… …That can’t be”
“Uu, Miledi. How much do you want to take us for a fool!”
The trio were dropped because of that most possible possibility, suddenly, they heard the familiar unpleasant sound.
Along with the sound of mechanisms beginning to operate, the room trembled. Then, G came from the side of Hajime and his party.
“Kh!? What happen!? Did the room just move!?”
“… …Looks like i—!?”
At the same time Hajime said that, this time the G came from above. Because of the radical change, Yue may have bitten her tongue as she covered her mouth with teary eyes while trembling. Shia fell from the ceiling in a frog-like pose.
The room continued to change its direction several more times, it was stopped after approximately 40 seconds of ignoring the law of inertia. Hajime was able to endure the impact of a sudden stop by fixing his location using spikes driven into the ground, while Shia who unable to endure it, was rolling around, flying, and hit the back of her head hard against the wall. She rolled over here, she rolled over there, and raised a scream every it changed direction, that’s why her complexion was bad. It was as if she was drunk. She was completely down like a drunk with sharp pain in the back of her head. By the way, since the start Yue was clinging to Hajime’s body so she had no problems at all.
“Fuu~, finally stopped… … Yue, are you okay?”
“… …Nn, no problem.”
Hajime retracted the spikes and stood up. There was no change at all when he observed the surroundings. Considering the movement, the door they entered from should connect to a different place.
“Ha-Hajime-san. Why are there no words for me?”
Shia who cover her mouth with blue face, stared at Hajime. It seems she was displeased because he only asked Yue.
“Well, if I ask the current you it’ll reverse the momentum… … and then you’ll throw-up and get vomiting rabbit as a new title, you don’t want that, right?”
“Of course! Even so, I wanted to be asked because that was a maide— uppu.”
“See, it’s better for you to rest a little now”
Leaving alone Shia who was on all fours that seemed to vomit at any moment, Hajime and Yue confirmed the surrounding. Finally, there was nothing after all and they faced the door.
“Well then, what shall we do?”
“… …Is the one that controlled it there?”
“There is that possibility. Miledi should have died… … then who on earth moved those golem knights.”
“… …No matter who appears, it’s all right. Hajime will be protected by me… … subsequently, Shia too.”
“I can’t hear you~ uppu.”
Hajime smiled, having heard Yue’s typical words. Gently, with one hand he rubbed Yue’s head. Yue who wanted to be spoiled came closer while pleasantly narrowing her eyes.
“… …Even though I remembered saying this before, could you stop suddenly entering into a world of just the two of you? What can I say, to be alienated makes me feel so lonely, uppu.”
While enduring the nausea, “I don’t want to be left out!”, was what Shia expressed while crawling on all fours.
“… …Even though I had also said it before, it still comes out, so could you stop that horror flick-like movement? What can I say, it’d be scary if it appeared in my dreams.”
“T-that’s good. To be beside you even just a little is a maiden’s heart-, uppu. I also wanted to be patted just like Yue-san. Please embrace me and pat me! Ue, uppu.”
“To say that with a face of someone who will vomit at any moment… … moreover to casually add your own demands.”
“… …It is still too early for Shia to be patted by Hajime.”
With her willpower, Shia came to Hajime and Yue’s side, she looked at Hajime with expectant eyes and a pale face. Hajime quietly averted his gaze to face the door. Behind him, “Why! Ueppu”, was the noise that could be heard, but he just let it pass through his ears.
On the other side of the door, will it be Miledi’s dwelling, golem’s controller, or just another trap… … Hajime thought, “Come whatever it is”, while he opened the door with a fearless smile.
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“… …Have I seen it before? This room.”
“… …Certainly. Especially that lithograph.”
Ahead of the opened door was another room. There was a lithograph and passage at the left side of the room. They should have memories of this room. Because, this room was…
“It looks like… … the first room, right?”
Shia thought that even though she said it, she didn’t want to think it was so. However, certainly, just as Shia said there was the lithograph with the annoying sentences carved, just like the first room. But there was a difference from that room. The proof was, after several seconds the door opened, characters floated up from the original room’s floor.
“Nee, right now, how do you feel?”
“Even though you had advanced after much hardships, only to arrive at the starting point, how do you feel?”
“Nee, nee, how do you feel? What kind of feeling do you have? Nee, nee.”
The expressions of Hajime and his party ‘suton,’ fell from their faces. Their expressions perfectly fit the words ‘Noh mask’. The trio watched as the characters silently and smoothly moved. Then, additional characters started to appear.
“Ah, there is something I forgot to say, this dungeon will be altered at regular intervals.”
“As usual, it was Miledi-chan’s thoughtfulness to make you enjoy the dungeon with a fresh feeling.”
“Are you happy? You are happy, right? There is no need to reward me! I only do it because I like it after all!”
“By the way, because it always changes, mapping it was useless.”
“Don’t tell me, did you make it? With so much hardship? But, sorry! Pugyaa—”
The trio let out three different types of broken laughter. Afterwards, needless to say screams were echoed through the entirety of the dungeon. After getting through the first passage, it was just as Miledi said, the stairs were greatly altered along with the differing position of the corridor ahead of them. It goes without saying that they let out resentful voices again because of the structure.
Somehow they manage to regain their spirits, Hajime and his party once again tried to conquer the dungeon. However, it wasn’t a smooth sailing as expected, especially Shia who always triggered the traps (gold basin, bird lime, shots of liquids with strange smell, etc), “weren’t those psychologically dangerous?”, that is to say she became totally enraged, well troublesome things are troublesome after all.
Then, they connected back to the starting scene.