Side Chapter 58: A third end and an unending problem
Rodcorte, the god who ruled over reincarnation, didn’t know whether to be sorrowful, impressed, or furious. All he could do was continuously groan.
Rikudou Hijiri had failed to receive Rodcorte’s Divine Message and finally put his plan into action. After that, ‘Balor,’ ‘Artemis,’ ‘Sahadeva,’ and more reincarnated individuals had died one after another.
That was fine. It was a battle between reincarnated individuals, so Rodcorte had expected that some reincarnated individuals would die. If they had started killing each other when he first had them reincarnated in Origin to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to promote the development of Lambda, he would have been saddened. He would have been dejected and lamented the nature of humans to find conflict.
But now, Rodcorte’s objective was to kill Vandalieu, destroy the nation he ruled, and decrease the number of people in Lambda who were aware of Rodcorte’s existence.
To that end, the development of Lambda and the continued existence of Origin were no longer of any importance to him. To put it in an extreme way, even if the current battle resulted in all life in Origin being extinguished, he would not be bothered in the slightest.
He had already once tried to cut Lambda off from his circle of transmigration system, despite the fact that it would have come at the cost of having to cut off Origin and Earth as well. In other words, Origin was a world that he had already tried to discard. He couldn’t care less if it was destroyed or annihilated.
However, he was worried about whether Vandalieu would break souls or not. Although Origin was a world that Rodcorte didn’t care about sacrificing, it was still currently connected to his circle of transmigration system, so the system would be affected if souls in Origin were broken.
And most of all, he didn’t want the souls of the reincarnated individuals to be broken, as he needed to use them to kill Vandalieu.
But the situation had become far more out of control than he had expected.
The souls of ‘Balor’ and the others were intact, but Balor’s mind was broken. Even now, he was weeping in fear. Rodcorte wouldn’t be able to make him fight Vandalieu.
The minds of those who hadn’t been directly killed by Vandalieu – ‘Sleipnir,’ ‘Artemis,’ ‘Ares,’ as well as ‘Sahadeva’ who had been killed particularly quickly – were unharmed, but they were frightened by how broken Balor was.
And as for ‘Copy’… His soul wasn’t broken, but it was so damaged that he was on the verge of being completely unable to act. He would be of no use.
Well, Rodcorte would simply need to erase their memories and personalities before having them reincarnated in Lambda, but the first problem was Amemiya Hiroto.
Rodcorte had hoped that Amemiya would reject the death attribute like the ‘Mage Masher’ Asagi had. But although things between him and Banda weren’t so amicable that it could be called a complete reconciliation, they were not hostile to one another. Given that, Amemiya was unlikely to fight Vandalieu even after the incident with Rikudou was dealt with.
Although he wasn’t a prominent god, Rodcorte was still a god, and his perception was that religious values were very important to humans. He had expected Amemiya Hiroto to reject the death attribute out of a hatred for it driven by those sorts of values.
But in reality, Amemiya Hiroto’s hatred towards the death attribute was due to the fact that its research and the creation of mages capable of wielding it had caused a great number of people to be sacrificed. He rejected the death attribute based on ethical reasons, not a reason based in a hatred driven by religious values.
Thus, he had no intention of harming Vandalieu or his own daughter, who already had an affinity for the death attribute, nor the victims of the research. Rodcorte had never realized that this would be the case.
Rodcorte was able to learn everything Amemiya Hiroto saw and heard, as well as Amemiya’s thoughts in response to his experiences, but he didn’t understand his personality and ideals.
And now, Rikudou Hijiri had achieved his own reincarnation and attained the power of the death attribute.
“To think that Rikudou Hijiri would build a circle of transmigration system and become a god. At this point, it’s hard to tell if the divine protection and fortune I gave him are still functioning…” Rodcorte murmured.
Rikudou believed that he had become a god, and this was true. He had become Origin’s first demigod – a god with a physical body.
His Mana and strength were inferior to even that of a Colossus or Elder Dragon, never mind Vandalieu. But the essence of a god was not in their ability in combat – this much was clear, considering that Rodcorte was a god.
By carrying out reincarnation – the work of a god – Rikudou Hijiri had achieved godhood.
Given that, it was questionable as to whether the divine protection and fortune bestowed upon him by Rodcorte – another god – were still in effect. But given that his cheat-like abilities seemed to still be functioning, they were unlikely to be entirely lost.
The reincarnated individuals who had become Rodcorte’s familiar spirits were watching him.
“I have to ask – What will happen to Rikudou now?” asked Aran.
But Rodcorte had no answers to this question. “I do not know.”
He normally never granted humans divine protections or fortunes. He had no idea what would happen if a human with his divine protection became a god.
In addition to that, there was no Status System in Origin. Thus, there was no way to confirm whether Rodcorte’s divine protection and fortune were still in effect for Rikudou.
“They do seem to be in effect for now. His escape from the clutches of Vandalieu’s split entity is clearly something that was only possible because of his fortune. But whether they will stay in effect… More importantly, even if Rikudou were to die, would I be able to recover his soul?” Rodcorte wondered out loud.
Not only had Rikudou become a god, he had created a new circle of transmigration system that he now belonged to. Thus, Rodcorte wouldn’t be able to do anything to his soul as long as that system was functional.
But because Rikudou was the one who ruled over that system, it was possible that it would be destroyed when he died, and if that happened, Rodcorte would be able to recover his soul.
In other words, there was no way to tell until it happened.
“Why is everyone doing things outside my expectations!” Rodcorte shouted in irritation.
But he couldn’t give up on Rikudou now and pass up the chance to use him now that he had become this powerful.
And it seemed that the moment of Rikudou’s death was finally about to come. Rodcorte thought about reaching out while keeping an eye on the situation and recovering his soul… but in the end, he gave up on the idea, as he was afraid to touch Vandalieu’s dome-shaped ‘Embodied’ soul that surrounded Rikudou’s headquarters.
I’m sure he has some other scheme. I must be careful and keep an eye on him, Rodcorte told himself as an excuse.
Not having expected Rikudou to sever his own limbs, Banda was a few moments late in chasing him. He hastily threw aside the limbs that were still impaled on his claws, and extended his tongue and tentacles to try and seize Rikudou again.
“Explode!” Rikudou yelled as he manipulated his blood to gain some distance.
Banda immediately stopped trying to grab him. The temperature of Rikudou’s limbs was rising rapidly.
Rikudou was doing the same thing as Baba Yaga’s ignition ability, using his own limbs as fuel. Having noticed this, Banda had no choice but to use his membrane to cover Rikudou’s limbs in order to prevent the others from being harmed by the explosions, even though he was aware that this was exactly what Rikudou had wanted.
There was a dull explosion, and smoke rose out of the gaps in Banda’s cape-like membrane.
Amemiya tried to go after Rikudou instead, but the blood surging out of Rikudou’s body suddenly evaporated, forming a poisonous mist that blocked his path.
“Damn it! ‘Powerful Wind!’”
With a spell that did exactly as its name suggested, he produced a powerful wind that swept away the poison. But Rikudou had already made his move to turn things around.
“DIE!” Rikudou screamed, releasing a shockwave of death.
Banda immediately returned to where Mei and Mari were to provide additional protection, and Amemiya and the others instinctively braced themselves as well.
But they wondered why Rikudou would release another shockwave at a time like this. Surely, even Rikudou was aware that nobody here would be affected by it.
But a moment later, dying breaths and quiet screams could be heard – coming from the ‘Shaman’ Moriya Kousuke, the ‘Knight’ Nabeshima, and the ‘Issun-Boshi’ Yazaki.
“Rikudou… sa…” Moriya groaned.
These three were enemies, and therefore not equipped with transformation equipment. Up until this point, Rikudou had excluded them as targets of his shockwaves.
But this time, Rikudou had deliberately included them as targets.
“That bastard! Did he just kill his subordinates now that he’s done making use of them?!” shouted an astonished Iwao.
“No, that’s not it… I should have killed them first,” said Banda, scratching at the floor with the claws of his jointed legs in frustration as he saw where the spirits of Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki had gone.
Rikudou, who was still missing all of his limbs, let out a triumphant laughter. “I am complete! I, too, have obtained spirits that obey me!”
He was floating in mid-air, and the three spirits were next to him.
Having been enveloped in Rikudou’s death-attribute magic, they had become Ghosts, and they were smiling now. Their worship and loyalty for Rikudou was still unchanged despite their deaths.
“What do you think?! Do you still believe me to be imperfect?!” Rikudou shouted at Banda, madness in his eyes. “Now, the only difference between you and me is the size of our Mana pools!”
But Banda felt no irritation or disgust towards Rikudou.
He didn’t think for a moment that he and Rikudou were the same, but he knew that even if he were to try and explain why, Rikudou wouldn’t even try to understand. In fact, his greater concern was that by not killing Moriya and the others from the beginning, he had exposed Mei and Hiroshi to abhorrent behavior that could set a bad example for children.
But it seemed that Amemiya, who had known Rikudou for a long time, had his own thoughts.
“Seeing you now, I realize that what you said in the past was right,” Amemiya said. “When I said that research into the death attribute should be prohibited, you told me: ‘The death attribute is the same as the other attributes. In other words, the problem lies in the people using it.’ And you were right. In my eyes, you and Banda are different – Not only in the amount of Mana you have; there’s a fundamental difference between you.”
The limbless Rikudou, whom the Ghosts were surrounding like a gown, radiated a sinister aura that was not at all inferior to Banda’s. But his actions and words were the exact opposite.
Rikudou had willingly sacrificed his own subordinates who worshiped him in order to survive and become a special being. Vandalieu had sent a split entity to protect the daughter of his own killer, and had even sent his ‘Embodied’ soul from another world to protect those who worshiped him.
To Amemiya, it was clear as to who was good and who was evil, and Rikudou was the embodiment of the kind of death-attribute users that he hated.
Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki, who were now Ghosts, responded to Amemiya’s words with insults.
“Silence! You’re nothing but an ordinary person other than your ridiculous number of abilities, and you’ve always been reliant on the support of others!”
“Without Rikudou-san’s support… If he hadn’t chosen you as his puppet, you would never have been able to continue to be a leader!”
“You’re just a decoration that’s good for nothing but combat!”
“Even after being turned into such a form, you guys are still defending Rikudou?!” exclaimed Derrick.
“Is that so surprising, Derrick? We’ve become a part of Rikudou-san’s power! We’ve been freed from our physical bodies. We have ascended to become servants of God!” said Moriya.
None of them resented Rikudou. What they said was what they truly felt; their loyalty and worship for Rikudou was genuine.
“That’s enough talking,” said Rikudou.
He provided Mana to Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki, and began wielding their power. Ironically, this was similar to Vandalieu’s ‘Dead Spirit Magic.’
Unlike Princess Levia and Vandalieu’s other Ghost allies, Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki were just ordinary Ghosts. The amount of Mana provided to them by Rikudou was but a small fraction of what Vandalieu provided his Ghost allies. As a result, they were even less powerful than Vandalieu’s ‘Dead Spirit Magic,’ never mind his ‘God Spirit Magic.’
But Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki had cheat-like abilities that Princess Levia and the others didn’t have.
Purple ice grew from Rikudou’s wounds, replacing his lost limbs, and a black armor of death-attribute Mana took form, protecting his body.
“Now then, let’s begin round two!” Rikudou shouted, unleashing three shockwaves of death.
Rikudou was aware that this didn’t affect Amemiya and the others. But he hadn’t missed the fact that Banda was irritated every time he used this spell.
This monstrosity was unaffected by Rikudou’s attacks, so the shockwaves of death were certainly worth casting if they somehow caused him inconvenience.
“Don’t back down! He’s just struggling in vain!” shouted Amemiya.
“You are acting like you have pulled an ace out of your sleeve that will turn things around, but have you forgotten the events leading up to this situation?” said Banda.
Amemiya fired ‘Life Radiance’ in bullet form, while Banda fired horns of the Demon King.
These attacks were capable of nullifying any barrier. Amemiya’s ‘Life Radiance’ bullets were capable of nullifying any defense, not just barriers.
Even ‘Magic Absorption Barrier’ couldn’t absorb the Mana of ‘Life Radiance,’ which had the power to erase death-attribute Mana.
“It seems that you are the ones who are forgetting!” Rikudou shouted in return. “Ymir! And ‘Issun-Boshi!’”
In response to the unstoppable attacks flying towards him, he ordered Moriya to create an artificial spirit of purple ice, then used Yazaki’s ‘Issun-Boshi’ to increase its size and sent it charging forward.
This massive giant, created by Moriya and Yazaki’s spirits, contained not only death-attribute Mana but water-attribute Mana as well. Its charge deflected the Demon King’s horns away from Rikudou, and the ‘Life Radiance’ bullets were extinguished after clashing with the water-attribute Mana.
“What?! Rikudou’s death-attribute magic has become more adaptable by using the Ghosts!” said Amemiya.
“Can you do that, Banda?” asked Mei.
“I don’t think I can. But I’ll combine my strength with your Papa in other ways,” said Banda.
He moved behind Amemiya and began doing something.
Rikudou watched him and laughed loudly while casting another spell. “It’s true that you’ve cornered me! Despite the fact that I have become a god, I had to prepare myself for death! I can’t deny that. But it’s also true that you were unable to kill me, even after using up all your strength!”
He created a deadly, poisonous liquid and enlarged it with ‘Issun-Boshi’ as he threw it at Amemiya and the others.
“Enough with the sophistry!” said Joseph, making plants sprout from the corpses of Moriya, Nabeshima and Yazaki.
“Blessings! Blessings to the plants that stand up to the inferior god!” shouted Bokor, making the plants grow.
The plants protected Amemiya and the others from the deadly poison and continued forth towards Rikudou.
“Shit, do spirits even sleep?!” cursed Youdou, who was trying to suppress Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki’s spirits.
“Sophistry? Do you really think this is sophistry?!” sneered Rikudou.
He sapped the life from the branches with sharp thorns before they reached him. Youdou’s ‘Sandman’ had no effect on Moriya, Nabeshima, and Yazaki due to the sheer amount of Mana provided to them by Rikudou.
“Freeze!” said Yukijoro, releasing a wave of cold air.
“Take this, ‘Mana Bullet’… Huh?!” Hiroshi exclaimed.
He had tried to fire an even more powerful ‘Mana Bullet’ than the last one he had sent Rikudou flying with, but he produced a black beam instead.
“Hiroshi, I will not underestimate you any longer…” Rikudou began to say, but in the next moment, he let out an alarmed shout.
He had easily blocked Yukijoro’s attack with an artificial spirit of blue-white flames created by Moriya, but he was forced to hastily dodge the ‘Hollow Cannon’ that Hiroshi had accidentally created by compressing his Mana.
But he was unable to avoid it completely; a part of the armor of death-attribute Mana he had created using Nabeshima’s ‘Knight’ was grazed by the ‘Hollow Cannon’ and broke off.
“Hmph! You’re even more troublesome than your father!” Rikudou cursed.
“Yeah, I’m really proud of my kids!” said Amemiya.
Rikudou let out a gasp.
He was shaken by the fact that Hiroshi’s attack had broken a part of his armor, and Amemiya had taken advantage of the distraction to close the distance again, holding the ‘Life Radiance Sword’ in his hands.
“I’m getting sick of seeing that thing!” Rikudou snarled.
Having become used to creating poison now, he cast another spell to create some more and threw it at Amemiya. Even with the Ghosts obeying him, being wounded by ‘Life Radiance Blade’ would be fatal, so he wanted to avoid a close-range battle.
But Amemiya made no move to avoid the poison; he closed the gap and swung his sword, aiming at Rikudou’s neck and heart.
“What?!” Rikudou shouted in astonishment.
He raised his left arm to defend himself, and its armor was cut off and sent flying. And then he noticed that the pattern on Amemiya’s cape had changed.
A magic circle had been drawn on the cape, providing Amemiya’s transformation equipment with a death-attribute enchantment that nullified poison.
“You bastard! You’re going so far to aid your own killer?!” he shouted, realizing that Banda was the one who had done this.
Banda responded by spitting masses of mucus at him. “Ptui, ptui, ptui. ‘Death by Fire,’” he said, igniting the flammable mucus after firing it. “Everyone is saying all these unnecessary things.”
Rikudou began shouting once more, but Banda ignored him and headed towards Hiroshi.
“Will your pictures help Papa do his best, Banda?” asked Mei.
“Yes, since his only weakness is now gone. I’ve given him quite a lot of Mana, too,” said Banda. “And Hiroshi, that was a magnificent spell.”
“Yeah, I even surprised myself, but… th-that might be it for me,” said Hiroshi.
His face wasn’t visible due to the thick transformation equipment covering him from head to toe, but a heavy fatigue could be heard in his voice.
The transformation equipment’s function as a magical medium was tremendous, but it still required the Mana of the caster. Hiroshi had managed to fire an extra-large ‘Magic Bullet’ and accidentally released a ‘Hollow Cannon’ by spending a large quantity of his Mana, but he had far less Mana than any of the Bravers to begin with.
His Mana was almost completely depleted now.
“I’ll transfer some more Mana to you. Do you think you could fire that black beam one more time?” said Banda.
“Wow! My body feels so light all of a sudden! Uh, the beam I just used? I-I don’t know. My arms started shaking after I used it, and if I use it now, I might accidentally hit Dad with it,” Hiroshi said.
“Hmm, even if we coordinate with Meh-kun’s Mama’s ‘Angel,’ there’s a chance that you’ll miss. Let’s use the transformation equipment’s eyes, then.”
Joseph and the others had worked together to buy time for Banda to draw the magic circle on Amemiya’s cape. This coordination had been made possible due Banda being able to relay his thoughts directly through Mari, who was connected to everyone through Narumi’s ‘Angel’ and inside his membrane along with Mei.
Banda had thought that this plan might work if Hiroshi and Amemiya were connected through ‘Angel,’ but it seemed that despite being an extremely talented boy, precise control over ‘Hollow Cannon’ was still beyond him.
“Sorry, I…” Hiroshi began.
“It’s not something you need to apologize for,” said Banda. “I used to break the bones in my arms and fingers every time I used that same spell. You’re much more skilled with it than I am.”
“… It’s a really dangerous spell, huh. But is Dad really going to be able to win at this rate?!”
With the support of the Bravers who were mentally connected to him through Narumi’s ‘Angel,’ Amemiya was fighting an evenly-matched battle against Rokudou.
Amemiya’s transformation equipment had previously been unable to withstand poison, but now that this weakness had been overcome, Rikudou was forced into a close-range battle with him. He had no time to recite incantations for large spells.
Thus, he was giving death-attribute Mana to Moriya and Yazaki to use their abilities, using the same concept as ‘Dead Spirit Magic,’ but because he wasn’t used to fighting in this way, he was unable to strike a decisive blow.
“It’s about fifty-fifty,” said Banda.
Amemiya’s side wasn’t able to overpower Rikudou, either. Rikudou was learning death-attribute magic and inventing his own spells at a terrifying pace.
And Amemiya and his allies didn’t have unlimited Mana. Banda had used ‘Mana Transfer’ for Amemiya once already, but ‘Life Radiant Sword’ was an incredibly Mana-inefficient spell.
The outcome of this battle would come down to whether they would be able to defeat Rikudou before they ran out of Mana or he gained too much experience with death-attribute magic.
“I’d like to join the battle again and kill him myself, but… unless I catch him by surprise, he’ll definitely target Meh-kun,” said Banda.
If he were to join the battle, they would certainly be able to defeat Rikudou. He was considerably more troublesome to deal with now that he was being supported by the Ghosts, but even so, Banda possessed overwhelming power.
But because he was that much more troublesome now, Banda wasn’t able to kill him instantly. And he had already used the trick of switching places with Mari once; Rikudou would certainly notice if he tried it a second time.
If Banda were a hero, he would choose to trust his companions, leave Mei and Hiroshi in their hands, and fight Rikudou in order to achieve victory and save the world.
But to Banda, the lives of Mei and Hiroshi were far more important than this world. It just so happened that he was protecting this world while protecting them. Even Vandalieu’s soul, which had descended upon this world, had no intention of protecting this world if it came at the cost of Mei or Hiroshi.
However, with just ‘some effort,’ he was capable of protecting the people he had guided in his dreams but never met in reality, the worshipers of the Eighth Guidance, and the other people he had seen through Banda’s eyes – the people in the Amemiyas’ neighborhood and their babysitter and bodyguard. With that being the case, he had decided that it was worth making that effort.
The only other reason was a sense of obligation towards the God of Origin, though he wasn’t too concerned about that.
“I can’t bring my main body’s soul because Rikudou keeps releasing shockwaves of death every so often, and things are troublesome outside as well,” Banda said.
“Outside?” said Mei.
“I’m not sure if I really want to know, but what’s going on out there?” Hiroshi asked.
“Bomber aircraft have been flying around like insects, and they’re very annoying. They even started dropping incendiary bombs to turn the surrounding area into a sea of fire,” said Banda.
The Nordic Federation and the Chinese Republic seemed to have learned that missiles would be sent flying back at the aircraft that fired them. Deciding that weapons that weren’t self-propelling were safe to use, they had begun throwing incendiary and explosive bombs at Vandalieu’s soul instead.
His ‘Embodied’ soul was completely unaffected even if all of the surrounding oxygen was burned up by the high-temperature flames, but even so, he couldn’t help but be distracted.
“Well, I’ve used the presidents’ spirits to possess the bomber aircraft and sent them back as cursed bombers, so things are quieter now,” Banda added.
“… So, I suppose the Nordic and Chinese air force bases have been turned into seas of fire themselves now,” said Mari, her eyes drifting as she imagined it. “Well, whatever,” she muttered.
“Now that things have come to this, I might have no choice but to have my physical body come as well,” said Banda. “It’s not something I really want to do, though…”
Even with just his soul, he was affected by the differences in the laws of physics between the two worlds. There was no telling how much his physically-existing body would be affected.
It would be fine if Vandalieu was on the receiving end of all of the effects, but there was no telling what would happen if this world’s laws of physics were altered.
But if it only caused a few natural disasters, then it was worth doing to defeat Rikudou and destroy his soul here.
Just as Banda came to this decision and genuinely began crossing the boundary between the two worlds, Vandalieu suddenly felt himself being expanded.
The God of Origin had come to the decision to grant its divine protection to Amemiya and help him defeat Rikudou.
This decision had not changed even after Vandalieu’s soul descended upon the world… though several of the deities that made up the God of Origin began clamoring: “The world is better off coming to an end! Humanity, your time has come!” while others cheered: “It’s the Devil! God is dead!”
The deities were the gods that were worshiped by Origin’s people, and all of them had different values. Because they were based on the gods of the religions that people followed, there was no small number of gods that even welcomed the end of the world.
However, many of them had solidified their positions as ‘anti-Rodcorte.’ Even the gods who accepted that the world would be destroyed one day would only accept an end that was foretold in the scriptures of their religions; they were not willing to accept the world’s end due to Rodcorte’s interference.
Thus, even if their interference with Rodcorte’s plans resulted in the world’s destruction due to reincarnation no longer taking place, it wouldn’t matter to them. The very humans that worshiped them accepted humanity being pushed to the brink of extinction by the judgment of gods.
If humans accepted natural disasters as trials of the gods, then the gods would accept these as trials that they had given. This was what made up the entirety of the God of Origin.
“I wonder if Vandalieu’s physical body will be descending soon,” said the deity Pluto, getting impatient.
She was the Pluto who had been born due to the Eighth Guidance’s worshipers in Origin, not the Pluto that was reincarnated in Lambda. The people’s belief that she adored the ‘Undead’ was alive within her.
Thus, a full-scale intervention by Vandalieu in this world was something that she very much wished for.
But something happened that even she had never expected.
“… I appear to be in anguish,” said a new deity within the God of Origin.
The gods who had been born from existing religions trembled, and there was an enormous, expanding dome-shaped being with countless eyeballs and mouths.
“You’re…!” Pluto murmured.
“Yes, Pluto. It’s me. I just came into existence due to the president of the Federal States; I’m not something that split off directly from me, so I’m not a split entity of me,” the being said, speaking in a flat, neutral tone from its numerous mouths. “But I am a being that the people believe is me, and they offer their prayers to me under that belief, so there is no way to argue that I am not me. Therefore, I can declare that the me that has come into existence within the God of Origin is me and a part of me. Now then, just as you told me you would as the God of Origin, I shall give Amemiya my divine protection. It will be temporary, but several times more effective than it currently is.”
This Vandalieu had come into existence as a deity of the God of Origin and become a part of Vandalie. Now, he granted Amemiya his divine protection – one so heavy that if divine protections had a physical mass, it would have crushed Amemiya to death.
Light began emanating from Amemiya Hiroto’s entire body.
“This is… Power is… overflowing from me!” Amemiya murmured.
His body was filled with power, and the Mana he had spent recovered past its limits. The light shone on the other Bravers, healing their wounds and restoring their Mana in the blink of an eye, and it melted away the artificial spirits that Rikudou had created.
“Impossible! You still had more hidden up your sleeve?! Or are you telling me that some kind of miracle has occurred?!” shouted Rikudou, compressing his death-attribute Mana into the form of a sword.
“I don’t know if it’s a miracle or not, but… it’s like a new life has been breathed into me!” said Amemiya.
His ‘Life Radiance Sword,’ glowing as brightly as the sun, clashed with Rikudou’s sword.
“Impossible… Why?! Why is it that only you can become special, even though I’m so much superior to you?!” Rikudou screamed as he watched Amemiya’s glowing sword slowly cutting through his own jet-black sword, inching towards his body.
“That’s –” Amemiya began, trying to respond to the resentment of the man he had believed was his friend.
Would he rebuke Rikudou for treating his companions like pawns and discarding them without a second thought? Or would he say it was because Rikudou had lost himself in power?
“– I have no right to say anything. Ask him later,” Amemiya said.
He exhaled and finished severing Rikudou’s black sword, and his sword continued along its path to cut Rikudou in half, beginning from the top of his head and finishing between his legs.
Rikudou let out a dying scream. But he clung stubbornly to this world.
“It’s not over! I’m not finished yet! I’ll become a vengeful spirit, and –”
“I thought you’d try that,” said Amemiya.
He slashed Rikudou with his ‘Life Radiant Blade’ once more – targeting his spirit that was on the verge of becoming a Ghost.
Truly powerless after being cut down a second time, Rikudou’s spirit and body faded away, as if melting into the air.
“We’re not done yet. You’re too dangerous. I can’t leave your soul intact,” said Banda.
Rikudou was a dangerous individual who had attempted to perform an indiscriminate, global-scale massacre solely for the purpose of increasing his own power and harassing Banda. There was no choice but to erase him.
A part of Vandalieu’s soul stretched out at a rapid speed like a tentacle and attempted to devour Rikudou’s soul.
But because this was an unfamiliar world to Vandalieu, and because he was still suppressing the shockwaves of death, everything felt different to his senses.
He gave a small gasp of realization. “This is…”
The moment he thought he had bitten down and broken Rikudou’s soul, he realized that another presence had swiftly recovered it.
“What’s wrong?” asked Amemiya.
“… Nabeshima and Yajima outplayed me. I didn’t expect them to sacrifice themselves for Rikudou,” said Banda.
What Vandalieu had broken wasn’t Rikudou’s soul, but the souls of Nabeshima and Yazaki, who had protected him. Vandalieu’s main body had acquired ‘Knight’ and ‘Issun-Boshi,’ and he could hear messages in his head informing him of these abilities merging with his other Skills.
The being who had recovered Rikudou and Moriya’s souls was likely to be Rodcorte.
It was possible that they would meet again in Lambda.
“But in any case… This is the end of the incident in Origin,” said Banda.
With Rikudou defeated, the Bravers’ tension was broken, and they finally felt relief. But what Banda said next was an extra-large bombshell, especially for the Amemiyas.
“Now then, shall we discuss what to do next? I’ll be taking Mari and the other people that Rikudou used as experimental subjects into my care, along with Meh-kun and Hiroshi. Joseph, what are you people going to do?”