Record 1: Onwards To The Next Uncharted Region
Port City, Fuellscher
On the northern part of the continents’ west coast.
This city served as the main trading port of these coastal areas and became quite prosperous due to that.
Standing on the harbors entrance was a stately lighthouse.
The brilliant light it gave off served as a guide to the ships that sailed these waters at night.
Thanks to this lighthouse, the downtown area of the city was brightly lit up like it was midday even at night.
The equipment shops and cafes which catered to traveling parties,
Even when other shops had already closed up for the day, these places were still teeming with customers.
This was also one of the unique features of this port city.
And so, bathed by the lighthouses brilliance—
“Aw man! Just why do I have to run like crazy in the middle of the night?!”
While blurting out such complaints, Ren ran in passed the port city Fuellscher’s gates.
Ren E. Maxwell.
Light brown hair cut in quite a careless manner and light brown eyes which held hints of crimson within.
He had a moderately well featured face, but the boy’s expressions still had traces of youthful naivety present.
“Haa…. Haaah… Looks like… my stamina’s… drained already…”
After passing through the large gate which held the city’s symbol, his legs grounded to a halt. Afterwards, he took in deep breaths.
“To… To think things would turn out like this…”
“Really? I thought it was pretty interesting.”
The one who nonchalantly commented was a young girl with impressively lustrous silver hair.
Deep emerald green eyes, more vibrant than that of the emerald ocean waters.
Bewitchingly adorable features akin to the elves in fairy tales.
Her dainty figure that was currently wrapped up in traveling clothes, couldn’t be described as anything but lovely.
Dragon Princess, Kyelse.
The princess of the dragon race that stood high above all of them. History’s strongest Heavenly Sky Dragon that only the Goddess of Heaven and the previous Demon King could stand up to.
This girl, while being bathed by the brilliance of the lighthouse, was now pointing her finger towards the skies.
“This was the first time I experienced flying while riding on top of the back of my kin. It was unexpectedly comfortable. It was your first time too, right Ren? It should be a pretty rare thing for a human to ride on a dragon’s ba… Mmmph!”
“Ssh! You can’t! What will we do if someone hears you?”
A public road which was filled with pedestrians even in the middle of the night.
Ren, in great panic, hurriedly stopped Kyelse from speaking in a loud, clear voice.
“You didn’t like riding on a dragon?”
“Of course not. I was actually really excited you know! Something like riding on the back of a (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon… It’s a very rare an experience, I don’t even have any idea how many humans managed to actually do it in history!”
“Right! In that case, you should proudly boast about it more.”
Kyelse proudly declared as she puffed out her chest; as if she was boasting about herself.
“It isn’t a problem about how rare it is for a human to ride on a dragon, Kyelse.”
The one who answered back while displaying a bright smile was a young girl whose dazzling golden blonde hair was one of her most striking traits.
She was as tall as that of an average young man.
Her facial features, which did not lose out to those of more mature women, were quite impressive. But what were definitely the most eye catching were her breasts, which were shaped like twin, voluminous hills and the bewitching silhouette of her shapely hips, that was distinctly shown on top of the skirt which was wrapped around them.
“Indeed. Even though experienced parties should not have taken much notice of a dragon flying by, who would have thought that the Rapid Dragon (WYVERN) would land on a place where they could see us clearly. Then Ren and the rest of us got off its back. It’s no surprise that they became all riled up—”
The one who answered next was a girl with brown colored skin who was standing next to Fear.
The previous Demon King, Elise.
Her current appearance was that of a young pre-teen girl. But this was the appearance she had taken after the events of the Apocalyptic War three hundred years ago, when she was forced to reincarnate. Previously, she was the demon crowned as the Demon King, who ruled the vast lands of the Underworld.
“—is what you wanted to say. Right, Ren?”
Ren patted Elise on the head and nodded while sporting a bitter smile.
——A few hours earlier…
——They were all still standing within the place called (The Valley of Dragons). The uncharted region which was the hidden sanctuary of the dragons, Re Inferiel.
『Human called Ren. You are the hated enemy of all dragons!』
Dragon Lord Calra.
The fierce battle with the leader of the dragons who wanted Kyelse to remain in the Valley of Dragons.
After its conclusion.
Dragon Lord Calra finally acquiesced to Ren and Kyelse journeying together in order to find the World Record [Encore].
The problem was the place they would go to next after departing from the Valley of Dragons.
“We needed to travel by boat next via the port city right? If that’s the case, we would have had to go through those ruins again to come all the way back to Great Volcano Galia. Compared to that, traveling by way of riding on a (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon’s back did seem more convenient but…”
“That’s right! Traveling back to the Great Volcano Galia would have taken us a few days. Thanks to my kin, our travel time was shortened to just a few hours. You should rejoice a bit more.”
“Well… It’s become a very memorable event for me for sure. I don’t quite remember just how many tens of times I was almost thrown off its back though…”
『Speaking of riding on the back of a dragon, the posture might be somewhat similar but, unlike riding on horseback, there’s no saddle or bridle to speak of. Every time the (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon flaps its wings, its large body shakes greatly. And the place you need to get on in order to board it properly was at an altitude above more than a hundred meters from the ground.』
『If you accidentally fall off, it’s a headfirst dive, straight down.』
『I barely managed holding on to the (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon’s scales but… This truly is the first time I felt the joy of being alive after managing to get on top of and successfully ride a living creature.』
“Also, to think that it would land on the mountain side of Great Volcano Galia.”
“Hm? Was there another good place to land on?”
The dragon princess asked with a serious expression.
Towards Kyelse who was looking up and peering closely at his face, Ren heaved a sigh.
“I meant landing there just fed the rumours about us further. The things they’re gossiping about us just increased by one—”
Inevitably, the parties which were hiking up the mountain side saw Ren and his companions get down from the back of a (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon clearly.
“Well, we optimistically thought we wouldn’t be seen by other parties since it’s the dead of night but… I guess a (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon does stand out too much. In the eyes of the people present at that time, Ren, who looks perfectly like the [Brave Hero] Eleline, got off after riding on a (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon’s back. Of course they were shocked silly.”
Fear said while trying to suppress a wry smile.
“They really did look quite shaken up huh?”
“Didn’t they? So, quickly running away was a good call.”
Some distance away, several curious parties hurriedly appeared one after the other.
Not liking the thought of being surrounded in that place and causing a great commotion, with Ren taking the lead, the group frantically went down the mountain in the middle of the night and ran all the way to the port city.
“I was quite okay with it though. Being famous doesn’t seem so bad, I think.”
“No, it’s kinda embarrassing so… I don’t think I’ll ever get used to being the center of attention.”
Even if he was similarly famous when he was still undergoing training courses for the sake of searching for the legendary hidden treasure — World Record [Encore] at St. Fiora Journey Academy, in Ren’s case, it wasn’t really in a good way. He, who was akin to the [Brave Hero] only in appearance, was called [Fake Brave Hero] in ridicule. It was “that” kind of “famous”.
It’s the complete opposite now—
After defeating the (Demon General of Blaze) Achendia, [Knight of Reincarnation] became quite known to a lot of Parties around the world and was receiving quite the attention. Being treated pretty much like a celebrity, he was feeling rather embarrassed.
“Hmm? I think you should act more proud about it though.”
Elise said as she inclined her neck while her crossed palms were on top of the back of her head.
“If you look at them in a positive light – successfully driving away the Demon General of Blaze and being able to fight the Dragon Lord Calra to that degree… Those are actually some pretty impressive feats. What do you think Fear?”
“I like the modest Ren right now though. I felt this about Ren for some time now – That his humble attitude led to all the earnest effort he’s been putting forth until now. That, I think, is something really important. Right, Ren?”
Fear then hugged Ren’s left arm like it was natural.
Her actions would have been a perfect example of an angel’s loving grace. But in this archangel’s case, her bountiful breasts being boldly pressed upon Ren’s arm was a cause for concern.
“Ara, what’s the matter? I’m simply just hugging Ren’s arm right?”
As she said so, the angel gave off sultry laughter.
“Hey, you Ero Angel! Let go of Ren’s arm already!”
“It’s purely an expression of friendship though.”
With her eyebrows raised, Kyelse got in between them and forcibly separated the two.
“Well then, where are we going to stay the night Ren?”
“Oh, that should be easy enough. Look, even in the middle of the night, there’s still lots of groups that look like Parties walking about. In such a lively place like this port city, we should be able to easily find a lot of inns to stay at.”
Port City Fuellscher. It was a place quite famous as a hub frequented by all sorts of people from all over the continent.
It was a flourishing city that serves as a stop over and meeting place for traveling Parties to interact and exchange information with one another.
Quite a lot of people were going to and from the lined up shops.
Moreover, the sheer scope of the city was in a different league altogether.
“Also, even though it’s already gotten this late, I wanna have some dinner somewhere. You know. Ever since we went through the underground temple and even after we reached the Valley of Dragons, we’ve always been eating preserved rations. Looks like we can finally have a proper meal in this city.”
“Shall we split up then?”
Kyelse suggested as she pointed at the lively business district.
“Ren, you go find an inn we can stay at. We’ll look for a place where we can have our meal.”
“Okay. Well, I’ll leave that up to you all then.”
Kyelse, Fear and Elise. Turning his back to the three of them, Ren made his way to the business district, brightly illuminated by lights of various colors, in a jog.
Port City Fuellscher, Inn: Migratory Bird [MIGRATAIL].
An inn within the port city which a lot of tourists and traveling Parties were frequenting.
When Ren made reservations at the counter, groups of Parties and people who seemed to be mercenaries also made theirs just beside him.
Some of them kept glancing curiously after they got a good look at his face. Ren just pretended not to notice as he let things pass.
“Hey… Is it really alright for Elise to be in charge of cooking dinner.”
“Don’t worry! Don’t worry! Just leave it all to me, I say!”
At the back of the Migratory Bird [MIGRATAIL] Inn.
In a place where no other figures of people were present, a very uneasy looking Ren was watching the scene happening before him.
Poisonous looking, dark purple colored flames which seemed to be from demonic magic.
The thing being bathed by such a flame was a large pot which contained some kind of mystery stew. Frothing with ominous looking bubbles going *blub blub on top, was an equally ominous looking green colored liquid.
Elise hummed as she kept stirring the concoction with a ladle.
“It really can’t be helped. This late into the night, bars and even cafes apparently only have alcoholic drinks prepared.”
After being asked in concern, the blonde young woman answered back with a bitter smile.
At night, drinking alcohol instead of having meals seemed to be the norm. And due to ships arriving from other places in the continent, the bars were almost always filled to the brim.
“Prohibiting minors from drinking alcohol is a commonly enforced law in this continent after all. If the bar employees saw Elise who looks like this now, there’s no doubt we’d be turned down.”
“Ah… Well, okay…”
And because of that particular circumstance, they were now cooking their dinner themselves.
The ingredients for the stew were procured by Kyelse and the others while Ren was away but, as for what those ingredients actually were, Ren was too afraid to ask.
“But, this is good too. We can freely talk about things here.”
Kyelse, who was helping out with Elise’s cooking, turned her head around as if suddenly remembering something.
“Ren, you remember what we were talking about while we rode on the (WYVERN) Rapid Dragon’s back, right?”
“I wasn’t able to hear that well because of the wind but, I guess so…”
The memoir the [Brave Hero] Eleline left behind — World Record [Encore].
Even now, it was still being sought out by Parties the world over. But, not to mention finding it, even the location where it was hidden was yet to be ascertained.
“It’s about how the likeliest hiding place of the [Encore] is within the land where the Apocalyptic War was fought right?”
Apocalyptic War —— it was an ancient battle said to have been fought roughly three hundred years ago.
But what was strange was that almost no records of it remain in the possession of people. The only thing passed down from antiquity was that the world was once invaded by something [Unknown].
Not one person knew—
—Of the location where the Apocalyptic War happened, just what the [Brave Hero] Eleline and the Three Great Princesses fought in that battle and its eventual conclusion. Even the changes that may have occurred to the world after the War.
“So, just where exactly did you fight the Apocalyptic War?”
“Oh, we can just simply tell you the location. But that’s useless since you probably won’t be able to make sense of it. It’s in a place not recorded in any map made by humans after all.”
“Well, that’s how it is so, let’s just temporarily call it [Apocalypse Island], okay.”
The one who answered back was Fear.
Even though she said it in a calm manner, her expression had an air of seriousness mixed in.
“That island is now in a state where no one can enter.”
“Ah, you also told me that earlier. A special seal is put up on it, right?”
“That’s right. The Surface World’s Dragon Lord, Heaven’s Goddess-sama and the Underworld’s present Demon Lord. It’s a powerful Triple Seal. Unless we have them lifted, we can’t enter [Apocalypse Island].”
Kyelse made a pose of crossing her arms in front of her as she nodded.
“On that note, I’ve already received the dragon’s seal from Calra. Ren, I can go ahead and confer it anytime.”
“Ah, I was actually wondering about that. What kind of thing is the dragon’s seal, exactly?”
At Kyelse’s words, Ren reflexively pounded his palm.
The dragon’s seal was entrusted to them by the Dragon Lord Calra. Ren was only told as much. Was the seal given to them in the form of some kind of spell or was it an actual object with physical form that was akin to a key? Ren couldn’t manage to guess.
“Hey, hey. Kyelse.”
For some reason, the Dragon Princess drew back, seemingly flustered.
And rapidly, at that. Her face was colored scarlet from embarrassment.
“I-It’s a secret for now. A-Anyway, we’ll leave the explanation about the dragon’s seal for last, alright. After all, if we don’t gather the other two seals, it’ll be meaningless.”
“Eh? What’s with the vagueness?”
“Shu- Shut it! A-Anyway, it’s no good for now. …I still need to prepare my heart.”
The dragon girl then hastily averted her face. Though, as Kyelse said, it was true that they had to think about acquiring the other two seals.
The ones possessed by the Goddess and the current Demon Lord.
“So, we’re decided on going to Heaven and the Underworld?”
“That’s why we’re at Port City Fuellscher. I think Heaven should be alright as our next destination. In order to get to the nearest Trial Gate leading to Heaven, we need to use a boat after all.”
Deeper inside the business district.
Fear indicated towards the direction of the wharf with her gaze
“The Trial Gate of Heaven huh? I heard it’s always guarded by the angels since it connects the Surface World and Heaven. Does Fear-senpai know of a special way to pass through?”
“No. Let’s just straightforwardly enter the Trial Gate in a grand manner and pass through, okay.”
Heaven’s masterfully hidden Trial Gate.
Even highly seasoned (ENCHANTER)Barrier Setters were prevented from detecting it using their anti-concealment spell techniques. Even if one did manage to find it, one still needed to undergo the trial set by the angels before being allowed to pass through.
“Of course, since I’m with you all, there will be no need to undergo the trial. It’s just that——”
After making a suggestive pause, Fear continued.
“You have to keep your guard up, Ren. Heaven is also an uncharted region after all. The Sacred Beasts living there are extremely powerful foes for humans.”
“There’s no such thing as a safe and easy uncharted region huh?…”
“Exactly. If you treat it as a sight seeing tour, you’ll be in for a lot of trouble. Think of it as part of training, okay.”
After nodding and swallowing a breath at Fear’s words——
“It’s done! Hey, hey. The meal’s done guys.”
Elise, who continuously stirred the pot earlier, suddenly cried out in a lively voice and beckoned.
“It’s the Underworld’s special curry guys!”
“Eh? This is actually curry?…”
Within the green, gooey liquid, mushrooms with spot patterns that looked the poisonous kind and the large bones of some kind of unknown animal were floating about.
…It didn’t have weeds and bugs in it like Kyelse’s cooking.
…But don’t the ingredients all look to be of the poisonous variety?
Moreover, even though the fire has been put out, it showed no signs of stopping to boil. If one had to give comparison, it was like it was cooked in molten lava — but green colored.
“Ren, eat up lots okay!”
“….Elise, can I start with tasting just a bit?”
He took up a silver spoon.
After scooping just a little bit of the green colored Underworld curry with the tip of the spoon.
In a gooey fashion,
The spoon made of pure silver melted from the tip up till the middle.
“Uwah! Now just hold on! Why the heck did the spoon melt? Is this stuff acid?! Poison?!”
“What are you saying Ren? There’s no way that’s the case. It’s just that, because of the hell flames I used to cook it, the temperature of the curry reached about two thousand degrees or so.”
“That temperature is already way too abnormal you know! How the heck am I supposed to eat this stuff?!”
“Here. I prepared some heat resistant spoons for us.”
What was handed over was an eerily colored spoon with a suspicious looking demon carved on it.
“Eat it before it gets cold. Well, it’ll take at least about a hundred years before it cools down.”
“If I really eat this stuff like this, the insides of my mouth will suffer a great calamity you know!”
“Is that so? I think it’s pretty delicious though.”
Kyelse, who sat just beside him, was stuffing the Underworld curry into her mouth in a composed manner.
“But Elise, it’s a bit lukewarm. I feel that you didn’t boil it enough.”
“Just as I thought. I controlled the temperature of the fire a bit for Ren. If I just raised the heat slightly, it would have been more delicious.”
An ultra high temperature of two thousand degrees. A dangerous substance that would melt not only silver but white silver and even iron was now being eaten with *bakubaku sounds by the Dragon Princess Kyelse and the previous Demon Lord Elise, as if it were delicious.
“Eeto… By the way, how about you Fear-senpai?”
“I’m fine with just this.”
Fear slightly tilted a wineglass filled with white wine.
“From an angel’s standpoint, we can’t eat anything that contains the meat of living creatures.”
“Oh yeah. That’s right, isn’t it?”
Kyelse and Elise’s scorching hot Underworld curry.
While Fear was filling herself up with the wine she seemed to have bought from a bar, I’ll also buy bread in order to have some light dinner. It was the goal Ren sneakily thought up.
“Ren, if you’re not going to eat, how about you try the training I came up with?”
“It’s not something so grandiose as to be called martial arts. Just some simple *kumite (barehanded sparring).”
Laying down the now empty wine bottle on the lawn, Fear did some stretching exercises right there and then.
“Kyelse and Elise can just watch us as you two continue eating. If you have any useful advice later while watching us, please convey it to Ren.”
“Ho- Hold on a bit. Fear-senpai?”
“What’s the matter?”
Fear asked in wonder. Or rather, the archangels’ tone was seemingly amused at his reaction.
“What do you mean by kumite?…”
“The (FULLTYPE)Fighter lessons at St. Fiora Journey Academy had them right? Ren majored as a Knight so you should have encountered it on your second year.”
“Um, that’s not it. Err, you know…”
“I know what you’re worried about. I’m a girl and Ren is a boy. If we have kumite together, you might accidentally touch some places on my body you’re not supposed to, right?”
Fear, as if to say she had seen through everything, closed one eye to wink in a knowing manner.
“That’s if you’re able to lay even one finger on me.”
After hearing the archangels’ faint murmur, the sky and ground in Ren’s field of view suddenly switched places.
Feeling the pain from his elbow being slammed to the ground, Ren leaked out a pained voice.
On the place where Ren was at just a moment ago, Fear now stood there while looking down on him.
—Truly an instant.
—Before he even sensed her approaching, she had already gotten close and had thrown him down.
“The moment before your head got slammed to the ground, you used your elbow to mitigate the impact. The fact that you’re able to cry out like that is proof that you’ve reduced the impact to the minimum.”
“….That sure doesn’t feel like I’m getting praised.”
He stood back up while holding his numbed elbow.
“Alright. Then, next up…”
He instinctively crossed his arms and adapted a defensive stance. As if to get past that, Fear grabbed his neck instead.
He immediately tried to sweep away her hands and swung out.
“Because you instinctively try to protect your neck, your awareness of what’s below your feet gets neglected.”
Inversion of Heaven and Earth.
Fear unleashed a low kick that swept up both of Ren’s feet, making him spin twice in mid-air. He fell prostate on the ground without even having the chance to cry out.
“Ren, do your best!~”
“Pathetic. You have to do something like, before she throws you, make her eat a counter-throw or such.”
While continuing to eat Underworld curry, Elise and Kyelse made some very carefree remarks.
“….You two make it sound so easy.”
He stood up once more while pressing down on his flank.
There was no room for doubt. The first attack notwithstanding, the reason why he was able to get up after taking such an attack was because Fear held back.
“You must have already noticed Ren. That last attack would have counted as a『checkmate』situation. I could have easily crushed your neck if I wanted to. Even if that wasn’t the case, you would still have had your feet swept away and would’ve rolled around like earlier. Only these two outcomes.”
Fear normally talked in an unchanging, mild tone. But now, it was unusually stern and laced with hints of challenge.
“The kumite just now. Have you recognized what the problem you encountered was?”
At first, even if he was caught unprepared, he was able to barely respond in defense.
On the second attack, even with his vigilance raised, the opponent was able to close in deep and expertly destroy his stance before he could even mount a response.
Was it because his responses and defense were just that bad?
If the opponents were human, mounting a defense was still possible. Yet, in the adventures he faced as they journeyed to find the World Record [Encore], he didn’t fight humans, but instead faced much larger monsters and a mineral golem. He even battled dragons and demons. With a normal human body, directly defending against a dragons breath or a demons demonic magic wouldn’t even work.
So the crux of the problem lied elsewhere.
“In both times, the moment you managed to close in, I already lost, right?”
The archangel nodded as she responded in a teacher-like manner.
“That’s correct. Ren, the goal you should be aiming for should be, above all, not to get hit with attacks. Not learning a one hit, certain kill attack, nor aiming for a counter attack when being assaulted. Instead, you need to control the distance by using agile and varied footwork. You can’t have yourself engaging in an exchange of blows from close range. That’s because you can’t possibly win a fight with a monster in a close range, blow-for-blow melee.”
“…Well, that’s right, I guess.”
“The most recent example to infer the basics from would be the party leader of the [Sacred Vessel of Canaan Pilgrimage] we met back in the underground temple where we found the Ancient Spirit of Earth [Gnome].”
The (FULLTYPE)Fighter named Thyrus.
Not only did he skillfully handle the attacks of the mineral golem created by the Ancient Spirit of Earth [Gnome]. He also held its attention in order to let the young (ARIA)Caster girl, Premier had enough time to cast her spells.
“There’s some similar instances with the mock battles Ren fought in at St. Fiora Journey Academy as well.”
Ren was lacking in build compared to the other student Knights. When he fought by clashing swords with them directly, he would lose to the opponents strength and got his weapon deflected. Even if that weren’t the case, it was evident that he would be pushed into a one sided defensive battle.
Therefore, in order to properly oppose them with a sword, Ren needed something other than simple physical strength and stamina.
—The ability to swiftly read and react to the opponents attacks.
—Unparalleled and precise swordsmanship that would allow him to penetrate through an opponents weakness, in order to compensate for the lack of power in his attacks.
The results of his efforts were finally seen in the fight with the [Demon General of Blaze] Achendia.
And the fierce battle with the [Dragon Lord] Calra.
“I feel the strength Ren has built up and polished through great efforts is quite wonderful. Therefore, in order to evolve it further, I think learning a (FULLTYPE)Fighters martial techniques will be essential.”
“…I’m convinced. So, we were talking about learning the basics from someone just now.”
As he spoke, Ren honestly let out an appreciative sigh.
The sudden kumite that was seemingly started on a whim, was actually suggested after careful consideration.
『Nice footwork, young man. In your unique and yet crude movements, I can see signs of persistent training.』
Come to think of it,
He kind of remembers the (FULLTYPE)Fighter Thyrus praising these strong points of his as well.
“Well then, let’s get back to talking about the earlier kumite, shall we.”
“The reason why Ren was thrown down so easily was because, before the throw in question, you let me close in on you. And the reason I was able to easily approach you was because my (taijutsu) physical movement technique was better than Ren’s. It’s simply that.”
(Taijutsu) Physical movement technique.
A term that generally refers to the ways of defensive body movements or [Movement Arts].
“Look at my moves first, and then try to copy them. It’s a set of easily understood movement methods. If you’re able to replicate my moves, you should be able gain the ability to deal with my attacks.”
“Understood. Please go ahead.”
Patting the dust off his back, Ren slightly bent his knees and prepared himself.
“Anyway, I just need to train by paying attention and dodging, right?”
“That should be fine for now. Now that we’re clear on what to focus on, let us continue.”
Fear lightly clenched her fists and took a stance.
“Alright then. I won’t just throw you down this time. I’ll also close in by using high speed footwork and hit you with strikes to mix things up. Of course, I’ll be holding back but, if I still somehow pulverize your bones and such, then I’m really sorry, okay.”
“You made a really dangerous statement just like that!?”
“That’s how it is. So you better put all your efforts on dodging, alright.”
The golden blonde archangel then gave an extremely lovable smile.
“That’s right. This is training. It would also pain my heart if I injure Ren but, I’ll purposely turn myself into a battle enthusiast who would attack and knock down Ren even while weeping this time.”
“That’s not something an angel should say, right? Geh. Uwah?!”
The archangel’s fist grazed the side of his face.
“Mm. Good reaction. The fact that you always worked so hard during our time in St. Fiora Journey Academy really shows through.”
“Why the heck are you making that kind of smile though?!”
As he fled from the fists of Heaven’s strongest angel, Ren let out screams of extreme suffering.
Port City Fuellscher. Migratory Bird [MIGRATAIL] Inn. The bright rays of the sun shone through the gap in the curtain, heralding dawn.
“Ren. Wake up, Ren.”
“Uh….. Dammit….. Next time I’ll….. Ow!…. No….. But this time for sure…..”
“For the contents of your dream to be of training is truly admirable dedication but, it’s already morning.”
His shoulder was being shaken repeatedly—
“You’re finally awake.”
With Kyelse’s exasperated voice, his half closed eyes slowly opened.
His faint vision gradually cleared up. Right in front of Ren who rubbed the edge of his eyelids. No. The distance was close enough to allow their bangs to touch each other.
“Really now. Because of your grumbling and sleep talking all night, I’m the one who ended up not getting enough sleep.”
Kyelse who was just wearing thin night clothes. He was together on the same bed with her. Moreover, they appeared to be under the same bed sheet and were glued closely together.
“Be quiet. Don’t shout so close to my ear.”
The girl sat up.
“It’s because you used up all of your strength and fainted while sparring with Fear. I had to carry you all the way up here you know.”
“Bu- But still.”
Waking up to find himself glued together with a scantily dressed Kyelse.
…..This already happened before.
…..But getting used to it only after experiencing it a few times was still a tall order.
A dragons nature.
In Kyelse’s hometown, the uncharted region of Re Inferiel, the dragons apparently all slept closely huddled together. The Dragon Princess Kyelse was the same. She would feel more at ease if she snuggled up together with someone when she slept.
He had already heard of the matter before but, in Ren’s case, the stimulation was just too much.
“Anyway, just get up first.”
“I- I know….. Huh? I’m still wearing yesterdays clothes.”
The clothes he wore during the previous days spar with Fear. He fainted while sparring. Kyelse carried him to his room and was made to sleep on the bed as is.
…..But, come to think of it, in the span of a week,
…..Every day was always spent in such a manner.
“It’s been a week since we’ve arrived here. It’s been quite a number of days since we left the academy. This is actually the first time we were able to properly conduct intensive training for you.”
“I don’t remember just how many times I exhausted myself and fell down though…..”
A week at the Port City Fuellscher.
Elise had already tried to reserve a ship in order for them to head for Heaven’s Trial Gate earlier. But because they still needed to find a suitable vessel, the date of actual boarding and departure would be for a while later.
In the mean time, Ren received unrelenting training in sword fighting and martial techniques from Kyelse and Fear.
During the day, he received instructions regarding swordsmanship from Kyelse.
At night, he trained with Fear via spars that simulated actual combat.
“I see….. I fainted in the end. I think I’ve somewhat gotten used to sparring with Fear-senpai though.”
“I already told you to get some rest. It’s because you stubbornly persisted to continue sparring practice.”
Kyelse sighed while sporting a half-bitterly smiling, half-exasperated expression.
To cap off the week long training.
In the middle of sparring with Fear, the fatigue that had continuously built up from all the training caught up with him all at once and made him faint in the end. He was fast asleep ever since.
“In any case, it did seem to me that your movements gradually improved day by day as you sparred with Fear. You did make good progress.”
Kyelse lightly jumped off the bed.
“Anyway, you’ve already woken up too. Elise has already secured a ship for us. It’s finally time for us to depart towards Heaven. You can go ahead outside. I’ll follow soon, after I get changed.”
Kyelse pointed towards the hallway. Ren went ahead and headed outside.
The roar of the sea.
The waves dyed in ultramarine continuously pushed against the breakwater. A dynamic scenery filled with countless bubbles and spraying seawater. The wind blowing from the bay was especially damp. It also carried a salty smell.
“It really feels like we’ve finally arrived at the sea huh.”
Port City Fuellscher. Harbor.
Elise commented as she walked beside the many anchored ships.
“It does. This place doesn’t seem all that different from other cities that prospered due to their night markets. But once you get to see the ocean, you can’t help but feel that way. The waters that welcome you being calm lends more to the feeling.”
Said Fear, who was walking out front.
What she, who was more familiar with human culture, was looking at were the vessels of various shapes and sizes.
From the single masted, small sized yacht to the triple masted, large sized sailing ships.
There were luxuriously painted and decorated ships that were used for sightseeing tours. There were also tough looking ships, probably used by large Parties to travel around the continent.
“It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a ship. How about you, Fear?”
“It’s been about a year since I last boarded one. It was during my time at the human academy. I was together with my classmates so it was a very lively trip. By the way, Ren. Should we slow down a bit for you?”
“N- No. I’m just fine….. Probably….. O- Ow.”
As Elise and Fear walked ahead.
Ren answered as he continued to follow several meters away from them, with gritted teeth.
“My….. muscles are still aching….. Ouch!”
Muscle pains throughout his whole body. Especially from his thighs down to his calves. His backside, around his waist was suffused in grating pain. Apart from when he enrolled at St. Fiora Journey Academy, he didn’t remember any other time in the past when his entire body screamed in such a manner.
“Is it normal to experience muscle pains on the entire body like this…?”
“A Knight and a [FULLTYPE]Fighter’s movements are quite different after all. It’s backlash from doing full body training that you’re not used to. But, that is also proof that Ren earnestly gave it your all.”
Fear said as she held down her hair that fluttered due to the sea breeze.
“And Kyelse, could you do something about that ghastly depressed face?”
“We’re about to board a ship you know. You expect me to put on a happy expression?”
The Dragon Princess replied in an unusually meek voice.
“A-re? Kyelse, do you perhaps actually hate ships?”
“I don’t have any good memories of them. I’ve boarded one only twice three hundred years ago though.”
The young lady sighed while sporting a heavily clouded expression.
“I was fine till this morning but, now that we’re here at the harbour…. Uu…….”
“Eh? You hate them that much? Why?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. It isn’t really anything major. So don’t worry so much about it.”
Fear interjected, not bothering to hide her wry smile.
“That aside, Ren. Have you understood what I explained earlier?”
“Don’t worry. About the Trial Gates being usually concealed by the Angels so there are a lot of Trial Gates that haven’t been discovered by humans right?”
The Trial Gates of Heaven, hidden by ingenious concealment techniques.
That they were the doors that connected the Surface World and Heaven was a fact Ren knew well. But usually, one needed to take along a high ranked [ENCHANTER]Barrier Setter and search all over the world in order to find one.
“In the past, there were also Trial Gates that were not hidden. But, just like with the forbidden sanctuary of the dragons, Re Inferiel, there were a lot of reckless Parties which kept trying to infiltrate them. So, as per the decision of Resflaze sama, all of them were promptly concealed away.”
“Goddess Resflaze huh…”
The one who rules Heaven.
The second Archangel of Heaven, Fear’s one and only master. Furthermore, the one who has lived the longest from amongst all transcendental existences, including those of the demons of the Underworld and the dragons of the Surface World.
Truly a『Living Legend』who had witnessed all of History.
“I’m really nervous about meeting the Goddess but, Elise and Kyelse already know Her right?”
“We met about three hundred years ago. I was forced to exchange a conciliatory handshake with her while under the watch of Eleline on the Surface World. That time certainly was quite the disgrace. I’m sure the other party also felt the same.”
The Dragon Princess Kyelse and the Former Demon King Elise answered in assent.
“It’s fine to just be at ease. Just think of Her as the number one greatest Angel please.”
“That’s all the more impressive…”
“It’s something to look forward to when you meet. Well then, about the Trial Gate in question. We’re about to head for a Trial Gate that has yet to be discovered by humans.”
The blonde Archangel then pointed towards the vividly azure sea.
“It’s just beyond the horizon.”
“Uh, there’s nothing but the open seas over there though?”
“Uhuh. That’s why we’re venturing out to sea.”
Fear answered matter of factly, as if it were but natural.
“The Trial Gates of Heaven are used by angels to freely travel between the Surface World and Heaven. Angels have wings, so even if a Trial Gate is in the middle of the sea, we could just fly in the skies and cross it with no problems.”
“Ah, I see. Now that you mention it…”
Right in the middle of the deep seas.
An idea that was far removed from a humans concept of what a ‘gate’ was. Even if one actually considered the possibility, they would find it quite hard to approximate its exact location within the the vast oceans.
It was the ideal place to hide a Trial Gate.
“That’s so like you angels. You could just straightforwardly place it down in a grand fashion like the Underworld’s Trial Gates. Right Ren? When it’s time for us to come to the Underworld, it would be a lot simpler, so look forward to it, okay.”
“Actually entering the Underworld would be quite the difficult matter on the other hand though. Let’s leave that topic aside for now. …It should be just around here. Ah. There it is. It’s this ship.”
In front of where Fear stopped her feet at was a ship that was conspicuously large even amongst all the seafaring vessels surrounding it.
A ship thoroughly coated in modest white. On each of the sails fitted on the masts were images carefully handpainted by an artist.
An extravagant cruise ship. Furthermore, it looked like something which royalty or rich people would use on vacations.
“Amazing. The tickets for this thing… Just how much more do they cost compared to other ships? It’s amazing that you managed to make some reservations Fear senpai. Wasn’t it absurdly expensive?”
“Ren, that’s not the one.”
“It’s over here.”
The thing Fear pointed at was… a considerably old yacht moored just below the grand cruise ship Ren was looking up to. Its wooden surface had grown dull from years of being exposed to the sun. Its furnishings were already peeling off due to the corrosion caused by seawater. If looked at closely, there were actually damaged parts where rusty nails were already sticking out. Far from being comparable to the extravagant cruise ship right next to it, after looking around, one could assert that there was no other ship worse than it.
“C’mon, Ren! Hurry up and get on!”
Elise leapt onboard the ship.
Even if she was the only one who boarded it, creaking sounds already rang out from various places all over the ship. The hull itself was in a state of being tilted to one side.
“This thing… Doesn’t it seem like it could capsize at any moment?…”
“That’s quite fine. We’re going to use it a bit roughly, so I wanted a ship that we won’t be scolded for even if it were to be smashed to smithereens.”
Holding down the fluttering hem of her skirt, Fear jumped down on the ship with an elegant gesture.
『Just now… I think I heard some pretty ominous things.』
『…It feels like I would be even more scared if it were told in more detail.』
“Come, let us set off. It’s early in the morning, so there seem to be a lot of people entering and leaving the harbour. If we want to leave without standing out, now would be the perfect time.”
“That’s what she said, Kyelse.”
“It can’t be helped. I’ll just have to steel myself.”
Following Kyelse, who jumped onboard the ship with a ‘pyon’, Ren also got on.
“Well then, where’s the oar?…”
Even if it was called a ship, with the hull being so compact in size, the sail that served to catch wind was also quite small.
Before managing to come out to the open seas and proceeding to ride on the tidal currents, a little manual input was necessary. Thinking that, Ren took hold of the oar on the gunwale.
“Ah, we won’t be using this.”
With a ‘hoi’.
Fear took off the bindings fixing the oar in place and detached it, of all things.
“Eh? Then what should we do? The wind in this spot is still—”
“Elise, please go ahead.”
“Leave it to me. I just need to make the wind blow, right? Piece of cake.”
Elise stood up on the pointed end of the stern.
“Ren, make sure to hold on tight, okay. If not, you’ll be thrown off.”
“Thrown off?! It can’t be…”
At the words of Elise, he clung on to the gunwale in the midst of a rising tinge of anxiety.
At the same time, a dark colored magic circle rose up from the palm of Elise who was standing at the stern. The magic circle, which was colored in a shade characteristic of demons, rapidly increased in brilliance.
“Hey, Elise, can you hold back a bit at the start if possible——”
Before Ren could even finish talking.
A windstorm. No. A tornado-like wind that could only be likened to the force of a massive explosion blew out from the magic circle. The small sized yacht ridden by four persons was pushed out all at once.
If he was not clinging for dear life on the gunwale, it wouldn’t be strange if he were already thrown off.
When the sail, which was supposed to be for catching the wind, finally could not manage to withstand the windstorm released by Elise anymore and was torn to tiny shreds, the small yacht had already travelled forward by quite a great distance.
“What’s with this wind?! Is it a spell?”
A female [ARIA]Caster who was standing on the wharf was enveloped by the swirling winds and fell on her bottom.
A Knight who donned imposing armor also panicked and dived down — the sight of Parties which witnessed such a spectacle rushing over, one after the other could be made out in the distance.
However, at that time, the ship of Ren and company had already gotten far away on the sea’s surface.
“The sail!? I mean, the mast also got broken to pieces!?”
“It’s alright, y’know. I can just blow the entire ship over to our destination. By the way, [SPIRIT]Spiriters who use wind attributed spirit armaments can also do something similar.”
“I get that but… Hah, this is just too frigging fast!”
Ren screamed as he continued to hang on to the gunwale.
As he surveyed the surroundings, he could only see a world of ultramarine colored ocean spreading out. The Port City Fuellscher’s harbour had already disappeared beyond the horizon.
“…I think I saw a lot of Parties gathering at the wharf earlier.”
“Yes. It seems they noticed Elise’ wind.”
Fear sat down on the gunwale, looking as lovely as ever.
There wasn’t even a hint of her being perturbed, even right in the middle of the squall, with her dazzling blonde hair fluttering.
“They won’t be able to catch up to us. So there’s no worry that they’d discover what we’re after.”
『Ah. No. I’m not concerned about that. I’m just worried about what outrageous rumors are being spread about us by the Parties on the wharf right now.』
Swallowing the words that he was about to say, Ren just gave a strained smile in return.
“By the way, Ren. Now that we have the perfect opportunity, why don’t we study about the sea for a bit? Look, over that way. You can see some pretty huge sprays blowing upwards right?”
“You’re right. A whale?”
“Judging from the size of those sprays, I’d say no. It’s a Greater Monster called the [KRAKEN], I think.”
The archangel pointed towards the rising sprays.
“It’s not known for attacking humans deliberately, but it has a strong territorial nature. It will attempt to get rid of ships that approach it. It turns into quite a harrowing battle at times. That’s why it’s a creature classified as a Greater Monster.”
“That’s a Greater Monster [KRAKEN]…”
A generic term for wild creatures that have been feared since ancient times as monsters of the deep.
There’s a lot of theories about its true form, like it really being a huge man eating creature or a giant king jellyfish with poisonous tentacles. But its form cannot be accurately confirmed from above the surface of the sea. Hence, they lumped them altogether and called them with the generic term Greater Monster [KRAKEN].
The time when it rises up to the surface… is approaching?
Yet, putting a damper on Ren’s growing anxiety, the presence headed away from their ship, as if it were fleeing. The rising sprays were also gradually getting smaller. Finally, it had all but disappeared.
“Did that thing just turn tail and run away?”
“Uh-huh, probably. It should have noticed the poison in my evil wind.”
“Phew… Wait, poison?!”
“It’s my, the previous Demon King’s spell. Just blowing out plain old wind is boring y’know. I made sure to mix in some deadly poison that would work on any given creature.”
The tan skinned young girl laughed away and puffed out her chest in pride.
“I’m… continuously being bathed by that super poisonous wind or something ever since earlier though.”
“Hm. It’s probably okay, right?”
“There’s got to be a limit to answering vaguely y’know!”
“I can still properly detoxify you if it’s just that level of poison. That’s my role as a [HEALER]Curer. What’s unfortunate is——”
Sporting a strained expression, Fear turned her gaze towards the young woman sitting beside Ren.
Right. To Kyelse, who hasn’t even spoken one word. Holding on tightly to the gunwale, she had her back facing towards them, totally still, with nary a twitch.
“It’s unfortunate but, Kyelse’s condition is something I can’t cure.”
“Oi, Kyelse. What’s the matter? You haven’t even uttered a sound since earlier.”
There was no reply.
Ren’s thoughts turned from doubt to worry. He reflexively started to stretch out his hand towards her shoulder. The silver haired young girl then turned around with unsteady movements.
With a pale blue face seemingly devoid of blood.
“Uwah. That’s one heck of a bad complexion?!”
Tottering, Kyelse leaned on Ren’s lap as if she had used up all her strength.
“This… is… why… I hate… ships.”
“Like that of some humans, Kyelse has a tendency to get seasick. She’s actually a dragon, so riding in a small ship that’s constantly bobbing to and fro due to the ocean seems to be really uncomfortable for her.”
“I… want to turn back into a dragon and fly instead…”
She clung onto him while half in tears.
She changed from someone stout hearted and overflowing with confidence to someone who seemed even more delicate and fragile than a human girl.
『…I actually think it’s pretty cute of her.』
『But she seems to be really suffering so I can’t exactly tell her that huh.』
“Uu… I think I’m gonna hurl.”
“Now just wait a moment! Please spare me from that now that you’re still clinging onto me!”
“Moreover, the stuff she’s about to hurl away is Elise’ Underworld curry. Kyelse’s been eating it since yesterday. The contents of her stomach should still be about five hundred degrees hot, I think. If it gets onto Ren, you’ll be burnt badly. Yet, if she throws up on the sea, the whole place would end up slathered in the Underworld curry’s toxins.”
Explained Fear, who looked as if it had nothing to do with her.
“Let’s just have Kyelse bear with it, shall we.”
“Do your best Kyelse! Don’t throw up! Please just don’t throw up, kay!?”
The Dragon Princess hung her head in a frail manner and let out a teary voice.
“Now that it’s come to this, I’ll just have to let out a [BREATH] and vaporize everything… Seawater and all…”
“Don’t say something so violent. Look, we’re about to arrive.”
Fear pointed towards the empty horizon ahead. Due to the powerful evil wind pushing it, the ship rapidly approached the place Fear pointed at.
“Hai, Elise. Please stop here.”
The yacht promptly stopped in place. Fortunately or unfortunately, due to the weight of Kyelse who was still clinging onto him, Ren avoided being thrown off by the recoil from the abrupt braking.
“Yes. Heaven is just this through here. Accompanying me are——”
“Please hold, Fear sama.”
“We would be the ones to determine whether or not those people are suited to enter for a visit.”
The voices of children who seemed to be twins resounded.
It was at that time that a pair of winged, twin angels appeared from within the light pillar that shone down from a great obelisk.
“…You two are?”
Fear gazed up at the angels who appeared.
Judging from their outward appearance, the two blonde angels seemed to be even younger than Elise. Both donned pure white heavenly raiments. Their hands held small sized bows and arrows.
“Welcome. One who holds the appearance of the Brave Hero of old.”
“We have come as representatives of Heaven. You should already know of this but, in order to pass through the Trial Gates of Heaven, answering the angels demands is the usual custom.”
Love Angel [CUPID].
Possibly the most well known amongst all the different types of angels within the human world.
“We would have you answer to the angels judgement——”
“Ara. Now that’s different from what I know, isn’t it?”
A solemn tone. But a faint hint of resentment dwelt within the eyes of the Archangel Fear.
“I, myself, have personally decided to invite this human to Heaven. Testing him here in the Trial Gate is unnecessary.”
She looked up at the Love Angel [CUPID] pair floating above as she stood at the swaying prow of the ship.
“You two. It’s not as if you do not know who I am, right?”
“But of course.”
“Archangel Fear sama. The pinnacle of angel-kind, ranked right after Goddess Resflaze. Of pure white wings. Incarnation of great power. Beauteous Morning Star of Dawn. All these words aptly refer to Fear sama.”
The beautiful golden blonde angel nodded in satisfaction.
“If so, then this should go without saying. It can be considered that I have personally conducted an angels judgment already.”
“Administering judgement in the Trial Gate is the duty of the officers assigned to guard the Gates. In other words, us. This is an inviolable wright the Goddess Resflaze sama bestowed upon us.”
The pair of Love Angel [CUPID]s looked towards each other and nodded while giggling.
“Even if it’s Fear sama.”
“You do not hold the authority to invite a human to enter Heaven.”
Fear raised an eyebrow with a twitch.
“What are you two saying, I wonder? I’m not sure just who truly gave you the authority but, to not even know my and Goddess Resflaze samas relationship——”
“We are not aware of such a thing.”
“As shameful as it is, we are but young novices who have just been conceived recently.”
The Love Angel [CUPID] pair each gave out such replies. They asserted themselves without a hint of hesitation, even in front of Fear. The pair then slowly descended in front of the group.
“Nevertheless, a relationship with Goddess Resflaze sama? Whatever the case may be, aren’t you a bit overly familiar with the Goddess Resflaze sama?”
“In the first place, when we were born, didn’t Fear sama repeatedly just idled away after soaking in the hot springs bath of Paradise when you were in Heaven?”
“Furthermore, you went down to the Surface World on a whim just a few years ago.”
The Love Angel [CUPID] pair frolicked all over Fear.
They continued to make such provoking actions even though they were supposedly just angels of lower rank.
“You two. How old are you both exactly?”
The voice of the lovely, blonde young woman trembled. The smile that absolutely didn’t waver in the face of prideful teachers and impudent students while at St. Fiora Journey Academy.
This very instant——
That smile now turned quite frosty.
“It doesn’t seem like you experienced the Apocalyptic War.”
“We are not that old. We’re both still at the young age of two hundred.”
“Unlike Fear sama, we’re at the peak of womanhood. Yup. Unlike Fear sama.”
“I- Is that so. There wasn’t any reason to emphasize that by saying it twice right.”
With her cheeks becoming quite taught, the blonde archangel then subtly clenched her fists.
『…This is bad.』
『…I haven’t seen Fear senpai become this angry before.』
“A~ cha. Those [CUPID]s have done it now.”
Ren stealthily moved from the stern to the edge of the ship. The one who muttered in a soft whisper was Elise.
She gave out a rare smile of pity.
“Two hundred years old, is it? Just at the end of the Apocalyptic War then. I suppose they didn’t manage to meet Eleline. They also don’t know about the time of the one called Heaven’s Strongest Tyrannical Angel huh.”
“Err, was that Fear senpai?”
The brown skinned demoness answered back in a whisper.
“The strongest delinquent even the Goddess isn’t able to handle once angered. The thing about Fear’s actual strength being above the Goddess, even if the Goddess is technically her superior, is widely known even in the Underworld. But she’s not simply just a rowdy angel. At the time of the Apocalyptic War, if Fear wasn’t present, Heaven could very well have been annihilated.”
“The Paradise they mentioned earlier is supposed to be the resting spot for angels. In Fear’s case, it also served as a hot spring. She mainly went there in order to heal the injuries she received from the Apocalyptic War. Well, that there would be youngsters who are ignorant of the circumstances back then should be expected for the most part, I guess. Fear should be feeling rather irritated huh.”
The former Demon Lord then shrugged her shoulders in exasperation.
“Is Fear sama really all that great in the first place?”
“We’re not really all that informed about the exact circumstances, you see.”
On the other end, without noticing the exchange between Ren and the others, the Love Angel [CUPID] pair continued to fly around Fear. As for Fear, she was hanging her head down in complete silence, without even so much as a quiver.
As for the expression she had hidden below, even imagining it felt dreadful.
“It’s totally the end for them huh.”
Elise uttered such a ruthless statement.
“Isn’t Fear sama already at ‘that’ age?”
“That’s no longer the proper age to go adventuring around the world y’kno————— Nagyaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
The fist Fear silently unleashed rose up, pierced through and blew away the white clouds. Without ever losing its momentum, it continued on, till finally disappearing from Ren’s field of vision.
“….You insolent rabble!”
Sprays were born from the rising sea waves with a ‘za zaa’ sound.
The Archangel materialized huge, shining wings from her back. The overflowing resplendent light coming from her entire body filled every corner of the high heavens. It went even beyond the horizon, towards the other continents and shone down on them as well.
——An intensity of a completely unfathomable scale.
——A great brilliance that seemed to be the very re-appearance of the Light of the World’s Creation.
It was more than enough proof of her divinity.
Overshadowing even the power of the Goddess Resflaze, seemingly to declare just who Heaven’s strongest was.
“Thy conduct that is filled with ignorance. Thy deeds soaked with unbridled arrogance. Turn to dust together with your great sins!”
With her dazzling blonde hair fluttering.
The Archangel, who scattered countless white feathers in the air in her wake, moved right in front of the Love Angel [CUPID] pair, who were now frozen in terror, in practically an instant.
“Aa…. a…. u… I– It’s a lie…. H– How does she have such overwhelming power…?”
The Love Angel [CUPID] pair was frozen in place and trembled in an uncontrollable fashion. It was now far too late to notice their folly. They had finally realized this fact.
“Prepare yourselves. I’ll pluck every single feather off of your wings and offer you up as fish food, okay.”
“Wait, wait, wait up please! We were truly utterly foolish! Please forgive us!”
“I can’t hear you~”
Fear reached out to truly pluck off all their wing feathers.
“Wai— Wait up, Fear senpai! Just please calm down okay!”
Reaching out to grab the shoulders of the young woman standing on the prow of the ship, Ren tried to stop the Archangel in front of him.
Will his voice reach her? It was his first time witnessing Fear becoming seriously enraged, as well her overwhelming divinity. He desperately endured his voice being drowned out in front of the Archangel’s transcendent might. He steeled himself.
“Fear senpai! Senpai, please!”
Suddenly, the female angel turned around, as if coming back to her senses.
“Uh….. I….. I’m…..”
“Y— You see… Just hold up for a bit, okay. I somehow get that they said some really rude things about you senpai. But it seems that these guys are going to properly reflect from now on. And also, that angry expression doesn’t really suit you.”
“Look. Uh… I think always wearing a smile is more like you, senpai.”
Fear blinked repeatedly while sporting a vacant, absentminded expression.
After a few moments.
“You’re… right… It’s as Ren said. I, of all people, did something truly so immature.”
With a puff, her expression began to soften. The wings on her back disappeared. And the luminescence that illuminated up till the very ends of the world dimmed.
“Well then, about the matter with the Trial Gate.”
The Love Angel [CUPID]s straightened up their manners on the spot and gave some crisp salutes.
“Bu– But you see… The thing about judgement needing to be administered is the truth. Even if Fear sama has already given her approval, the other angels do not yet know that human well. Inviting humans into Heaven should be a matter discussed amongst all angels—”
“Alright, alright. I’ll do it. It’ll be fine after I undergo judgement right?”
Interjecting Fear, who still seemed to want to say some things, Ren went over to the ship’s bow.
“You’re gonna judge me by giving me tests I need to challenge right?”
“Exactly. And my only duty is to do this desu.”
The Love Angel [CUPID] brought up the bow and arrow she held. She then aimed them at the brilliantly azure ocean surface.
With Ren and company’s ship as the center, a portion of the oceans surface, about a hundred meters wide, got enveloped in white frost and turned into a land of freezing ice.
“To make a foothold that would serve as the stage desu. Now then, child which will administer the judgement. Descend, on this Gates [CHIMERA]!”
A thing then leaped out from the light pillar.
A winged, three headed lion.
“Three Headed Beast [CHIMERA] huh?”
A Greater Monster that is rarely discovered within the savage regions.
But the only Three Headed Beast [CHIMERA] species humans know of, is the one covered with emerald colored scales.
The one which appeared above Ren, was a rare, pure white colored species.
“It’s a rare specimen which only lives in Heaven desu. We will properly witness if you’re up to the task of defeating this creature.”
The Love Angel [CUPID]s slowly floated up.
And the one which descended in exchange, was the white beast. Its three heads glared angrily at Ren. Upon reaching the frozen surface, it unleashed a savage roar.
A tidal wave of sound.
Due to the thunderous roar, one could temporarily lose the ability to hear. While Ren was still assaulted a sensation akin to vertigo, the Sacred Beast targeted the small yacht that was currently frozen over and leaped out. Ren then braced himself, but—
“So louuuuud! Shut up, you damned pup!”
Kyelse, whose eyes had now become bloodshot, unleashed a flying kick, which made a direct hit on a head of the Three Headed Beast [CHIMERA]. Its large body was blown away easily, as if it were but a small pebble, and split the frozen surface in two.
“I’m, of all things… Uu… about to die from seasickness. And yet, you just had to scream in such a loud voice. What nerve!”
The Three Headed Beast [CHIMERA] floated on the surface of the sea. The Dragon Princess continued to unleash kicks on its heads in order to vent her anger. It may not have noticed because it had already fainted from earlier.
“You impudent puppy…… Because of your loud barking, my headache has become a lot worse…… Uu…… I’m getting nauseous again from all the shouting………”
“Oi, Kyelse… That thing seems to have already fainted y’know.”
“Fainted…… Is that so?…… In other words, it’ll become more quiet now……”
Even with her face pale, the Dragon Princess nodded in satisfaction. The administrator of the trial, the Gate’s Sacred Beast [CHIMERA] was but the same as a puppy in front of her.
“Err, how about my turn?”
“Fool. You’ve even fought with the Dragon Lord Calra before. What do you think will be the result if you fought with just this damned pup? Well then. I’ll wait for you. Hurry it up then and come back straight away.”
Kyelse went back inside the ship while tottering and collapsed.
Because the seawater had been frozen solid, the shaking of the ship had stopped. Thanks to that, she had finally begun to recover from seasickness. But her complexion was still far from healthy.
“Perhaps, I already had a feeling this would happen.”
Fear folded her arms below her rich bosom.
“It’s just as I said. Holding this Trial is meaningless.”
“We are convinced……”
The Love Angel [CUPID] pair grumbled while sporting dumbfounded faces.
“O human. We will now be guiding you towards Heaven. Fear sama will be accompanying him, correct?”
“Huh? I’ll ask just to be sure but, are Kyelse and Elise going to stay behind here?”
Heaven. Surface World. Underworld.
The ones who supervise these three planes of existence, the leaders of the angels, dragons and demons, have agreed to a pact of nonaggression. The pact mediated by the late Brave Hero Eleline three hundred years ago was still being honored today.
In truth, when they went to the Valley of Dragons, the Archangel Fear and the former Demon Lord Elise properly observed their customs.
“I’ll just wait here.”
The blue faced Kyelse said while lying down face–first.
“If I and Kyelse went to Heaven, it’ll just create quite the commotion. Just get going and quickly get the seal from that Goddess.”
Elise said as she continued to rub Kyelse’s back. With Kyelse’s condition still being like that, it seemed the two of them had already planned to stay behind in the first place.
“Well then, let us depart. Ren, over here please.”
Fear jumped inside the giant obelisk, which was the source of the light pillar. Within the light pillar, her body began to gradually vanish, as if it were being sucked in.
“You can just follow what Fear sama did. Alright, you can jump inside the light pillar now.”
The Love Angel [CUPID] pointed her finger towards the obelisk.
“Is it fine even for a human? I better ask this now. I won’t be told something impossible like flying over on my own after entering the light or something, right?”
“Please do not worry. Anyway, you’ll understand after you touch the light.”
He nodded deeply. He then kicked off the prow and jumped off.
Within the vast expanse.
Ren took a big step towards the road of light that connected the azure sea and sky.
The boy and the archangel had crossed the Trial Gate of Heaven.
After their figures disappeared, the brilliantly shining pillar of light began to gradually lose its intensity. Bearing witness to the whole process——
“There they go. If everything goes well, we will soon have two seals. Afterwards, we’ll just have to go to the Underworld and retrieve the third one from my little brother, the current Demon Lord. Won’t it be unexpectedly simple?”
“That’s if they manage to get permission from the Goddess though.”
Kyelse, who had finally gotten up, replied to the murmuring Elise, who was looking up at the sky from within the ship.
“Well, if it’s that Goddess, there’s no danger of the matter forcibly turning into a battle, unlike with Calra. Well… In any case, piling up experience while exploring uncharted regions is essential. The matter with the Gate’s Sacred Beast [CHIMERA] ended up like that but, the fact that Ren is human remains. No matter how much stronger he becomes from now on.”
His lifespan fell far short compare to dragons, angels and demons.
It depended on the extent of injury but, if he got wounded too deeply, it might prove to become something fatal.
Just like how the Brave Hero Eleline passed away three hundred years ago.
A human was such a weak creature…..
Once the human named Ren steps onto the land where the Apocalyptic War occurred, [That Island], what would he feel? And just how would he cope?
“It’s still not enough. He needs more. More.”
“Strength? Or experience, perhaps?”
The former Demon Lord asked in a testing tone.
“Uh-huh. ‘That’ is? Hm? What’s wrong Kyelse?”
“I forgot what I was about to say. My seasickness is acting up again……”
Kyelse fell down on the ship once again.