Monday, September 18, 2023 @

Volume 2 Chapter 31 Dawn of Falling Stars

 The moment I activated the Mikatia (Storm Fist), I stopped thinking about unnecessary things.

 I just punched what was in front of me and moved forward.

 I pushed back Tarim's fist and took another step, slamming my body into his.

 It didn't matter if he regenerated; I'd keep beating him from where he regenerated.

 I pressed forward and struck him. Tarim tried to resist, but I didn't allow it, pounding my fist into him.

 Sooner or later, I'd hit the Sanctuary's wall, and Tarim's body would be pressed against it, but that wouldn't change anything.

 I kept punching, even as the Sanctuary creaked and cracks appeared.

 After all, Lisha would respond.

 I believed in that and focused solely on crushing Tarim.

 Magic power surged through my entire body, and emerald light swirled around me.

 For the five seconds I had declared to Tarim, the Storm Fist raged mercilessly without pause.

 "'It's over'."

 And then came the final blow. I held back the force of the storm with my fist, momentarily freezing it. The raging power threatened to tear my arm apart from the inside, but I controlled it with sheer strength. All the accumulated power was released, and what I struck with was the Fist of Destruction.

 The emerald magic power spread like ripples and... BAM! It blasted away the swirling atmosphere. If it weren't for the Sanctuary, the surrounding buildings would have crumbled. That's how powerful it was.

 I released the magic and slowly lowered my fist. Tarim was no longer there.

 No, more precisely, the Tarim I knew was gone.

 In front of me lay a small gray figurine. It wasn't finely crafted; it looked like a mud doll a child had made by kneading a clump of dirt into a humanoid shape. To signify its nature as a living being, small black holes were present where the eyes and mouth should be.

 "'Is this the real you, the Senai Tarim?'"

 The mud doll that used to be Tarim tried to run away from me in the air, but in his palm-sized state, that was impossible.

 Actually, I had no intention of letting him escape. I grabbed the mud doll by the neck, and he flailed his arms and legs in the air, but it was futile.

 "'I see, so you're a Golem'."


 "'So what?'"


 With just that word, Tarim held his head in his hands and crouched in the air. His magic power was minimal, and more importantly, his spirit was already broken. He understood that he couldn't surpass my Storm Fist, which is why Myriad Transformations didn't activate.

 But the fusion of core and soul, that was interesting. While Golems typically have a core, like a heart, at their center, it seemed that Tarim had managed to establish that core in a completely different way.

 That's why he didn't die.

 However, this thing before me had no fighting strength left. Not only did he lack magic power, but he had also given up in his heart. Once you admit that you can't win, as it had, you shouldn't be able to activate Myriad Transformations against me ever again.

 If emotional stimulation can enhance magic, then the reverse must be true as well.


 As I pondered these thoughts, I felt a light impact from the side. I looked and saw Lisha's golden head rubbing against my armor.

 The armor didn't budge at all, but inside, I felt the pain from that light bump all over my body.

 But I had a man's pride. I endured the pain without a word and placed my hand on Lisha's head.

 "'Lisha, thank you. You saved me.'"

 Even after receiving my Storm Fist repeatedly, Sanctuary didn't break until the end. That's why I was able to go all out until the end.

 "I thought, I thought Yuusuke-san was going to die!"

 As she spoke, Lisha sniffled and tears flowed. To her, watching me get beaten up without resistance must have been painful.

 But she had stayed true to her role until the end.

 "'I won't die. We still have a promise.'"


 I reassured her.

 Lisha looked up at me with a tear-streaked face. Normally, I would offer her a handkerchief or something, but in my armor, I couldn't do that. All I could do was wipe away her tears with my fingertips.

 "What are you two lovebirds doing?"

 Whoa! I was startled.

 When I turned around, I saw Kanami carrying a pure white woman. It seemed she had successfully neutralized the Winged Guardian.

 As for the Guardian herself, she stared at Tarim in my hand with astonishment.

 I had plenty of questions for that creature too, but there was someone I needed to talk to first.

 "'Kanami, thank you. You saved me.'"

 Honestly, this time, Kanami saved me. If she hadn't shot through the duplicate, I might have had to resort to asking for directions and then attacking.

 But when she heard that, Kanami's cheeks turned so red that I thought smoke might come out of them, and she waved her hands flustered.

 "N-No way! It's nothing, really!"

 "'No need to be modest. I truly appreciate it.'"

 With a *poof*, it seemed like smoke might actually start coming out of Kanami's face. I thought she was overly deifying me as a Hero.

 After bowing her head and struggling for a while to regain her voice, Kanami finally coughed.

 "Yuusuke-sama, your skills are truly remarkable. You defeated this guy all without a single casualty."

 "'Lisha's help was invaluable.'"

 "Indeed, Lisha's power played a part, but it was undoubtedly thanks to your power, Yuusuke-sama, that they were defeated. And..."

 Her deep blue eyes fell upon Tarim, who dangled from my fingers.

 "That's the demon, isn't it? What will you do, Yuusuke-sama?"

 The question was whether I would kill him right here and now, or extract information from his first.

 This creature played with someone's life for his own benefit. He should be killed here and now.

 I knew that better than anyone.

 But Luiid didn't kill, and deciding which demons (mazoku) could be killed and which couldn't was too selfish. It made me wonder if he considered himself a god or something.

 Your words are truly a curse, Julius.

 No matter how much I thought about it, the conclusion was clear: it should be killed. My own feelings shouldn't be considered now.

 "P-Please, don't kill me!"

 Tarim screamed, but I held onto his small body.

 If I squeezed it like this, Tarim, who had almost no magic power left, would die.


 I could tell that Lisha right next to me had tensed up.

 The moment I tried to put more strength into my grip, a white hand touched my finger.

 When I raised my head, Kanami was looking at me with a calm expression. Her deep blue eyes pierced through everything.


 "Please forgive me for speaking out of turn. Let's put off killing it for now. There are still many things I want to ask."


 "If we do it this way, it won't be able to cause any trouble."

 As soon as she spoke, Kanami lifted her skirt.

 Her well-toned legs were briefly exposed, and my heart skipped a beat.

 In that fleeting moment, Kanami retrieved something from under her skirt and, with a clatter, assembled it before placing Tarim into it.

 "W-What is this!?"

 Tarim, who had rolled over and sat up, shouted.

 At first glance, what Kanami had put it in looked like a small birdcage.

 If it's this size, I thought, it would be easy for this thing to escape.

 Perhaps she sensed my concerns, as Kanami shook the cage and said.

 "This is a barrier designed to lock magic creatures. It has barriers even in the gaps, and most importantly, it incorporates a magic power absorption spell."

 "W-What are you doing, you little brat..."

 "I'll let you know. If you plan to escape, you know exactly what will happen."

 It seemed the magic power absorption was taking its toll, as the mud doll that had been Tarim sat down, completely exhausted.

 In this weakened state, there might not be much magic power left for him to recover, and that means he wouldn't be able to escape either.

 Kanami lowered her head slowly.

 "I apologize for my hasty judgment."

 "'No, it's okay. Thank you."

 She must have realized. She must have noticed my hesitation. That's why, as a Guardian, she chose this approach, even if it was unbecoming.

 I felt both grateful and sorry at the same time.

 Someday, the time will come to settle the words spoken back then. To not betray the trust of those around me, I'll continue to build upon the things I can do one step at a time.

 The night regained its quietude, as if forgetting the battle had ever happened, and the usual night breeze flowed in.

 We contacted Kagami-san so that the people who had fallen could return to their normal lives starting tomorrow. Each of these people is undoubtedly important to someone, so let's do everything we can until the end.

 And so, the disaster, centered around the Senai demon, came to an end with the dawn.

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