Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN) Chapter 232
Arifureta After II Cannot Staying as Onlooker
The near future type aircraft made in another world was racing through the sky in a speed that left the territory of sound in the lurch.
It detoured a large cloud mountain with amazing turn to shake off something, it then accelerated in one go from its slight reduction in speed. The nozzle at the plane's rear was ejecting sparkling silver particles――the ejected amount increased explosively.
The sky battlecraft intruded into the world of the speed of sound once more along with an impact sound. The surrounding cloud was blown away from the shockwave. Its acceleration knew no end and it had easily surpassed Mach 2 already.
『NUOOOOOH-. THAT'S REALLY FAST-. AS EXPECTED FROM FIGHTER AIRCRAFT! IT'S GETTING AWAYYYYY-』
A beat later, a black dragon appeared by charging through the cloud mountain with a desperate look. A whirling black wind was deployed around Tio. Seen from the side, it looked like there was a jet black typhoon flying horizontally.
It was Tio's flying skill that realized flying in super speed by reducing the air resistance to the extreme and furthermore she caused a spiral shaped wind around herself to convert it into propulsive power. Even if one looked at the long history of the dragon race, there didn't exist anyone that entered the realm of the speed of sound.
Therefore, something like storming into an unknown territory of speed, and what's more it didn't stop there, furthermore she was flying while maintaining a speed that was twice the speed of sound. It was truly something out of common sense. A miraculous feat that couldn't possibly be realized without the age of god magic called sublimation magic and the assistance of artifact. Of course, there was also the delicate yet powerful skill that should be called as Tio's own special talent included in there.
Tio was unmistakably the history's fastest living thing in Tortus. However, even so it was the fact that against the aircraft that was continuously accelerating even now she was gradually getting left behind. She somehow managed to be hot at its tail because the aircraft would sometimes take evasive maneuver against the threat of Hajime's sniping but……
『Hmm~, looks like it will be the limit soon even with the threatening. It seems he is starting to realize that we got no intention to hit him.』
『Nuu. I know that I couldst not win against fighter aircraft in a match of pure speed but……when it comes to it, it's vexing to be left behind like this.』
『No, by the time there is a biological creature that can freely fly in the sky at speed twice the speed of sound, complete with heavy armor and high firepower, that's already a nightmare. You too has deviated much from the scope of a living thing you know?』
『I'm happy to be praised, but it's only this that I couldst not accept even with logic.』
Tio was looking at far away at the sky battlecraft that was already looked nothing but a speck in the sky while moaning「Muu」in dissatisfaction.
Seeing such Tio, for a beat Hajime tilted his head as though he was thinking of something, and right after that he grinned――and took out something.
It looked black, thin, long, and elastic――
『Here we go, Tio. Let's show our combination move.』
『Mu? What in the world――-, tha, that's!?』
Tio glanced back at Hajime's words and she opened her eyes wide in astonishment, her voice was raised half in shock and half if joy.
That thing which her gaze captured. That thing which was going to be swung right now.
――Black Whip ver 2.1 "This is not a weapon. It's for personal use desu"
It could be easily guessed for what kind of personal use it was used for.
『GO-, TIO! UNTIL THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY!』
The black whip was swung down. *hyun-* It split the air and dexterously flew to right behind and made a really good sound *bechin-*.
『AA―――!! HOW COULDDDDDD-. Thi, this sensation that hath been a while-』
『What's the matter Tio! Your strength shouldn't be just this much!』
Once more, *bechikon-!* The greatly twirling whip's tip was *donpisha-* striking Tio's butt.
『IT CAME IT CAME IT CAME-! MINE POWER IS OVERFLOWING OUT! MORE! HIT MY BUTT MOREEE! WITH THAT, I FEEL LIKE I COULDST GO FURTHER!』
『You said it! You matchless pervert dragon! I'll give you more!』
『BRING IT O―――N-!!』
Tio's eyes were getting moist. Her mouth was leaking out heated breathing 'haa haa'. Her body was shivering in joy and the jet black tornado enveloping her was fiercely increasing in acceleration! By using her special skill "Pain Conversion", the reward that was granted to her by her master was giving her strength! Her speed was increasing endlessly!
The sky battlecraft that had turned into a speck was getting larger to the size of a thumb!
『PLEASE HIT ME! MINE BUTT, PLEASE TORMENT IT MORE!』
*hyun hyun-hyuun-* When the sound of slicing wind resounded, the sound of whip blow *bishi-, bashi-, bechikon-* was resounding as though in respond of that entreaty. By using the personal use artifact that was bypassing the black scales and granting direct and superb pain only to the internal, the hopeless dragon-san was reaching her perfect form!
The sky battlecraft at the front was reeling for an instant.
Just when he thought that he had barely escaped with his life from the incomprehensible monster that destroyed sky battlecrafts using flesh and blood body, next a majestic black dragon that he had never seen before was chasing after him clad in jet black typhoon. In addition the dragon was moving in speed of sound and also equipped with something like laser cannon attack.
He lost count how many times he made mistake with his piloting and reduced his speed from shock……
On top of that, a perverted roar that was mixed with excitement『HIT MINE BUTTTTT-』reached his ear as though that solemn voice was coming from the sky.
The pilot was in chaos! Next he became teary eyed! He couldn't understand what the reality was anymore!
「Glowser 4-. I believe in you! Get me out from this nightmare!」
The pilot called out to his beloved plane――Glowser 4 with a pleading voice. The mindless plane was naturally keeping silent, but due to the hard stepping on the slot pedal, it was displaying its ability until the very limit of its performance.
Based from the specification, it was a super fast sky battlecraft that could reach the maximum speed of Mach 4.4 in pure straight line. It left behind explosive sound that was like the air ruptured and dashed through the sky like a streak of meteor.
Behind it, the hopeless dragon-san was chasing right on its tail! The owner-san riding on her back was swinging around "personal not weapon" without pause in high spirits! Howls of joy were resounding through the vast sky! Tio Claus was outdoing modern aircraft!
『ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA-, you got slightly left behind! Put your strength into your ass! This damned hopeless dragon-』
『AHIIIIIIIH! I CAME! I'M COMING TO BEYOND THE SKYYYYYYYY-』
「Just what the hell-. Please no more-. Someone HELP MEEEEEEEEE-」
The sky was blue. The wind was refreshing, the sea of clouds was beautiful.
Amidst such magnificent nature, three different roars from three different people were……
It was truly, a chaos.
A while after chaos was spread in the azure sky,
「Don't cry Tio. You set a new record you know? You are without a doubt the fastest living thing in history. You are amazing. In various meaning.」
There was the figure of Tio who was flying in normal speed while sobbing and Hajime who was consoling her.
It stood to reason. Tio who reached the realm of four times the speed of sound even though it was just for a moment was unmistakably an existence that had deviated from the scope of living thing and could be said to have entered the realm of god. But, even so, she was unable to match the endurance of the near future type aircraft of another world that could maintain such speed continuously. In the end she was left behind like this and her pride got hurt.
『It's vexing, how vexing』
「Come on, stop crying already. You are amazing okay.」
Hajime exposed a gentle expression that was unthinkable coming from the person who just now was exhibiting a storm-like whipping while laughing loudly. He was patting *pon pon* and caressing Tio's black scale.
To be given the carrot after the whip, Tio drew in her tear of vexation and continued「But……」while enveloped in aura of happiness.
『We let go of a source that we couldst finally communicate with. What wouldst we do from here, Goshujin-sama.』
「H~m, let's see. We can also return to the floating island just now and investigate the cause that make the island float, but we had flown really far from there. Let's try to go for a bit toward the direction that guy is flying to.」
『Well, in this first place this art an aimless adventure, I don't mind that.』
While saying such thing, the two continued to fly carefreely in pursuit of someone who they didn't know how far he had escaped.
Sometimes Hajime would change their route randomly saying things like「Let's try going over there」or「Let's try going toward that cloud」. Tio would tilt her head thinking「He is not in the mood of chasing anymore?」, even so there wasn't any particular reason for her to object so she would continue fly following the instruction.
Like that, they must have flew continuously for half a day.
Midway, they were discovering several floating islands while advancing through scenery that wasn't really changing. The time was finally starting to enter a period where the sun was starting to sink at the other side of the sea of clouds.
Inside the world that was painfully beautiful dyed in madder red color, it appeared.
「Hee. This thing is also really big. Is this a mother ship I wonder?」
『……It's not clear if this is the place where that guy escaped. Well, though it doth not feel like we art mistaken based on the direction and distance.』
「Ou. We aren't mistaken.」
For a moment, Tio directed a really speechless expression at Hajime, but she immediately pulled herself together and asked「What wouldst we do?」
Hajime showed a thinking gesture while staring at the thing ahead of his gaze.
It was a large flying warship vacantly shining dull grey from the illumination of the sun's orange light. It shape was similar with a blimp in earth's term. It had a small but wide shape like a rugby ball. Thinking how it was made from metal, its shape as a while was unsuited for flying, but it was giving a definite sense of stability even seen from afar. It was ejecting out sparkling silver particles to the back while flying with considerable speed.
Its size was about as big as two aircraft carriers in earth. Seeing really closely at it, there were countless cylindrical protrusions on its exterior. There was no need to guess that those were weapons on board the ship. Countless small square hatches were lining up. There was no doubt that those were for the loaded weapon like missiles or the like.
'This is becoming even more like SF' ――Hajime was thinking of such thing while speaking out their plan.
「Yosh, the situation changed from pure fantasy to semi-SF. We too will job change from adventurer to spy.」
『H, hmm? In other words, we art going to infiltrate?』
「Yeah, somehow I'm getting thrilled. Tio, dispel your transformation. We are sneaking into that mother ship overflowing with romance――Golia○ with camouflaging artifact fully deployed.」(TN: Goliath is a destroyer ship in Laputa)
『It feels like that temporary name art telling the fate that ship wouldst meet though……the flag of its sinking art as likely as a certain Titani○-san』
Tio was saying such thing while emitting a bright flash from her transformation cancellation. She was hovering with her wings showed out using partial transformation. Hajime also took out a skyboard from "Treasure Warehouse II" that he rode on. He activated pencil Cross Velt and deployed barrier for camouflage.
「Do those guys have the technology that can break our camouflage……we won't know until we try it.」
「What wouldst we do if we art discovered?」
「Of course, we will have a peaceful dialogue. After all I am a virtuous and exemplary Japanese. If I tell them that I'll at least spare their life if they hand over the guy screwing around before this, then surely both sides will be able to build a friendly relationship.」
「Goshujin-sama, that's a joke correct? Thy face art serious and thy voice art flat, but that's a joke correct? Isn't that right?」
Haijme-san didn't answer. Since the ancient time a good Japanese boy was a taciturn person!
In a state that was without sound, and without shape if seen from outside, and furthermore without heat that couldn't be detected, the two of them approached sii~~lently from behind the mother ship. They could feel how big it was the closer they got.
The two who arrived above the mother ship removed away the skyboard and wings before landing on the edge of a giant deck.
「……This is unknown metal, but it doesn't have any particular effect. I guess it's a normal metal.」
「So this thing art floating not because of the metal.」
Hajime whispered while kneeling on the deck with his hand crawling on the smooth floor. Tio was paying attention to the surrounding but there wasn't any human sign on the deck. At the central part there was a sticking out place that seemed to be the control room of the mother ship. They could see glimpses of human silhouettes across the windbreak. They couldn't make the judgment whether that place was really the control room or just a watchtower.
「Goshujin-sama. Although we hath invisibility barrier, I just couldst not calm down no matter what by staying for long in a place this open. I couldst see something like an entrance over there, how about we hath a look for now?」
「I guess. I'm curious with the material and some other things but……well, I can just take some sample with me.」
Hajime said such thing and he casually tore off a railing and stored it into "Treasure Warehouse II". The area part around ten meters from the door that seemed to be the entrance became uneven as though it had been gnawed by worms.
What a natural vandalism & larceny. Police officer, catch this demon king please.
Whether he actually noticed the amazed expression of Tio behind him, Hajime whose mood to be stealthy was zero despite being in the middle of infiltration was advancing through the deck briskly and reached in front of the door that connected to inside. He covered the whole door with barrier so to not ring any alarm from the difference in air pressure and the like and he put his hand on the door to investigate if there was any trap.
And then he used transmutation and changed the door into a mere hole and stepped inside also with a casual attitude. Tio followed in and the door was returned to its former shape again with transmutation. Lock or anything was meaningless in front of a transmutation master.
「For now, infiltration success.」
「How strange. This art different from the infiltration that I know though.」
Hajime nodded in satisfaction that there wasn't any alarm that got triggered. Tio's expression was really complicated.
Both of them paid attention to the presence at their surrounding while advancing forward. They progressed through the passage of smooth metal. Several places were gouged by Hajime-san's hand. He was like someone who was using coin to scratch cars on the roadside while casually strolling. It was truly a nasty prank (?).
「The driving force is likely to be at the rear of the hull. Also, that place n the highest position, it must be the watchtower or the control room.」
「That sparkling particles must be one of the reason the island art floating. Then, should we search the rear hull first?」
Hajime thought for a bit before nodding at Tio's suggestion.
「Yeah, I want to quickly carve the meaning of regret to that guy who got away but, well, we know he is inside this ship anyway, we can put him for later.」
Both of them vaguely headed toward the rear hull. In contrast with how big the ship was, the corridors inside were unexpectedly narrow. Three people walking side by side would feel cramped.
Naturally on the way they encountered a lot of the ship's crew.
Hajime and Tio who were able to detect the other party's position using Presence Detection before they bumped with each other kept advancing forward without getting discovered.
Even in the case they encountered a small group inside the small corridor, they would jump to the ceiling and pierced the ceiling with fingers thrust and clung there until the group passed, or created an appropriate gap on the wall using transmutation and pushed their body into there until the group passed.
The mood was really like a certain spy somewhere. Hajime's expression was in enjoyment as though his childlike innocence had returned to him.
By the way, when they were clinging on the ceiling, Hajime would turn into something like human hammock to take hold of Tio, and when they slipped into the gap created in the wall, Hajime would embrace Tio tightly, so Tio herself was also really having much fun with it in feeling embarrassed and happy.
「It seems there art a proper country existing. They look like military personnel. Their ethics art low, but they hath obedience for the chain of command.」
「Yeah. They are proper military with pecking order divided into ranks. The military can deploy an expedition of this scale means that their country also has quite the scale.」
The two made their conjecture based from the figures of the crews who were wearing unified uniform even if in different color schemes, the conversation the two overheard, and in addition how the weapon the crews were armed with were obviously guns also with uniform made.
Even while conversing like that, the two were enjoying their game of spy make-believe to their heart's content, slipped through several doors, passed through several spacious rooms, descended several stairs, and then they came out into a particularly large corridor at the lowest floor where they suddenly smelled an unpleasant smell.
Hajime and Tio looked at each other's face with a grimace at the familiar offensive smell and they followed the smell as though in invitation.
They could hear talking voices from the other side of the corridor's corner. Both of them peeked out from the corner.
「Oi, did you heard? Those guys from Glowser squad, they were annihilated except Higgs.」
「Is that, true? Just what in the world happened huh. Was it those Avenst bunches?」
「Might be. But, among the Glowser squad that came out for supply, it's only the messed up Higgs who came back in terror. That one seems true. Is it that scary just by getting attacked by those bunches?」
「That's……perhaps, they used new weapon?」
「You think those bunches has that kind of power huh. They are just air pirate that keep spewing out delusional words like tradition or pride or whatever you know?」
「Then, why do you think Higgs got that scared against the like of those bunches?」
「Ain't no way I know that even if you ask me.」
The two men were leaning on the corridor's wall while speaking out several concerning information. The source of the smell certainly came from those two. It was obvious from a glance. The reason was because their work clothes that looked like overall was drenched in blood.
There was a large door in front of them. They must be doing work that drenched them in blood there. The two didn't really want to imagine what was being done inside there. Most likely the men were in the middle of break right now.
「Well, anyway, it's fact that we lost four sky battlecrafts. After all we are ordered to extract spare fuel for aircraft like this.」
The two workers sighed at their comrades' misfortune. It wasn't clear how strong their feeling of fellowship against their comrades from their conversation. However, it seemed certain that the work which drenched them with blood was necessary to replenish the sky battlecrafts that Hajime shot down.
The two workers took a puff of something that seemed to be cigar before returning inside the room feeling that it was bothersome. When they entered, an intense smell――blood smell was overflowing from behind the opened door.
「Yeah, let's go.」
The two's personality weren't so cute that they would falter just from smell of blood after this far. In order to ascertain the true identity of the "fuel" that was the source to make the sky battlecraft, and perhaps also this mother ship and the floating island to float, Hajime and Tio approached the room.
The door was a sliding type, most likely it would automatically close after a certain time. Hajime and Tio slipped inside the room before the sliding door closed.
And then, they witnessed it. The cause of why those pilots were trying to capture the dragons alive. And also the true form of the "fuel".
Inside the room was spacious. It had the height of two floors with length and width that could reach a hundred meter. Three sides of the walls were made from cages without any gap in between, there was some kind of work stand at the middle of the room. Several things that looked like crane and arm were protruding from the ceiling and floor.
The cages were filled with dragon and nothing else. The dragons' size, color, and shape were varied, but they were living things that were obviously dragon from a glance. There were also grey dragons like the dragons they were playing with at the previous island. Even the biggest of the dragons here didn't surpass three meter, most were only small dragon with size around one or two meter. There were also dragons with size around thirty centimeters among them.
The center of the room was truly in a state of sea of blood. There was a large work stand and a dragon was lying down there and fixed in place by several arms. The dragon already didn't have light in its eyes, blood was still flowing from its ripped open chest onto the floor.
There were around ten workers including the previous two. One of them was carefully washing a small silver stone that taken out just now from the dragon.
And then, the stone was entered into a machine nearby, and after the worker confirmed something that was displayed by the machine, he handed over the stone to other worker. The worker who received the small silver stone inserted it into another machine and he controlled the machine while confirming something several times.
Like that, the small stone that had uneven shape before this was processed into a clean square chip.
The silver stone that was processed into a square chip was then handed again to another worker. That worker inserted the chip to the bottom of cylinder machine that looked like a thermos connected to a cord. And then, after he pressed several buttons, the meter display at the side of the cylinder machine was starting to shine silver sequentially from below.
After witnessing until that far, Hajime muttered with a small sound and expressionless face.
「……I see. So the dragon of this world also has something like a magic stone.」
「And by processing that, they couldst obtained this "fuel".」
Tio who nodded beside Hajime was similarly expressionless like Hajime in contrast with her comprehending words. Her voice had no intonation at all.
「Surely the floating island also has similar ore like that. ……Geez, it will be fantasy world banzai if this end just with that. This really left a bad taste.」
「But, just because of that, we couldst not stop them or resent them. For them who are living in the sky because of the polluted land, dragon hunting art truly a matter of life and death. Perhaps obstructing them from doing that art the same like saying 'die' to them after all.」
To say further, because Tio was a person of dragon race, she had just a little emotional attachment toward dragon species, even so, if it was said that these dragons were monster unrelated to her then that's that. Even in Tortus, she wouldn't hesitate to exterminate a monster of dragon species.
But, as expected, the likable dragons she first met in this another world flashed at the corner of her mind. Therefore, there was no way she could think nothing about this work of making dragon as battery replacement.
It was just as Hajime said, even though they could understand what they were doing, but it left a "bad taste" inside.
「Let's go Tio. It's enough already.」
They had seen and known something disgusting――Hajime and Tio left the room with such feeling. The weak cry of the dragons that sometimes reached their ear sounded like a cry for help to the two of them. Even though they knew that it was just their imagination, they couldn't help but sigh deeply.
Like that, Hajime and Tio were about to step out of the room, it was at that time,
A sound that resounded to the bottom of their stomach, and along with that G force assaulted their body as though the ship was accelerating all at once.
The sudden change was nothing for Hajime and Tio, but several of the workers were stumbling or fell on their butt.
『Announcement from the control room. Sighting of Avenst is confirmed. This ship will enter battle action from here on. All crew, go to your post right away. Repeat, this ship will enter battle action from here on. All crew, go to your post right away.』
At the same time with the shrilly alert sound inside the ship, a broadcast to the whole ship resounded. The announcement from the control room commanded the sortie of the sky battlecraft squad, in addition, an order that commanded the workers in this room to hurry with the resupply was given.
The situation inside the ship suddenly turned hurried. The workers put around ten of the cylindrical machine like just now into a case and put the case on a trolley before going out of the room with fast steps.
Following them, Hajime exited from the room while opening his mouth with a pensive look.
「Avenst, is that the air pirate those guys talked about just now?」
「Perhaps so. It's unknown whether this is a coincidence or inevitability, but it appeared this wouldst be a battle.」
The two didn't know the battle strength of the other party, but it was unthinkable for a regular army that belonged to a country could be done in by a "pirate" group at best.
However, even so, an army in possession of unknown battle strength would battle an enemy with similarly unknown strength. They would like to be spared from harmoniously staying inside this ship in the unlikely chance that this mother ship got shot down.
「Let's get out quickly. We grasped the cause of the floating phenomenon already, and I smell a bit of danger from the energy that might result from the destruction of the power reactor that grant the absurd propulsive force to this mother ship. Let's take some distance and watch the situation.」
「Right. That art the wise choice.」
Hajime was thoroughly ignoring the flurried activity inside the ship while taking shortcut to get outside by irresponsibly opening stair shaped hole on the floor using transmutation, before he opened his mouth as though he recalled something.
「Come to think of it, that survivor……if I remember correct, his name is "Sniff" is it?」
「Indeed, I think that person kept sobbing without end since he encountered us, but his name art not Sniff, but "Higgs". Goshujin-sama, you only get the "i" correctly.」
「Well, it doesn't matter if he is Hics or Huggs. Sorry, looks like we don't get the time to beat him up.」
「Such thing……I'm not really concerned of that. Just knowing that Goshujin-sama got angry for mine sake already made me need replacement panty.」
「No need to worry. I thought that might be the case, so I stocked panties for your use inside the Treasure Warehouse.」
「What, the? Thi, this art the first time I heard that.」
「Yue made me brought them. Some time ago there was a chance when I went out with just you right? At that time, she said something like『Did you bring your handkerchief? Your wallet? Tio's panty? Geez, it's no good to be forgetful. Nn-』.」
「What legal wife power……」
The two of them were doing that kind of stupid conversation as though to wash off the unpleasant feeling from just now while Hajime used the hole that he arbitrarily opened out in the hull to jump out from the mother ship that was cruising in high speed to outside where the winds were buzzing thunderously. Tio also jumped out after Hajime.
Hajime wasted no time riding his skyboard while Tio also revealed her dragon wings. They were taking distance from the mother ship while starting to fly in parallel with it.
Hajime laid out a camouflage barrier that wholly covered both him and Tio, then he turned his gaze to what the mother ship was pursuing.
The flying ship of the air pirate called Avenst had similar shape with the mother ship, but its size was only a third of the mother ship. Different from the mother ship, its rear hull wasn't emitting silver particle, but white light that even looked colorless.
The speed difference between two sides was evident, the sky battlecrafts that flew out from the mother ship quickly caught up and began their offensive.
The airship of the air pirate endured the attack with skilful maneuver while intercepting using the weapon on board so that the sky battlecrafts couldn't get near. In addition, sky battlecrafts were also launched from the airship of the air pirate, and they were also displaying splendid dogfight technique while protecting their ship from the assaulting enemy.
「It seems the air pirate is inferior in equipment and number, but their skill is better.」
「The speed difference art obvious, and their turning ability and weapons art also inferior in a glance, yet they art splendidly enduring. But……」
「Yeah, the difference in strength is hopeless.」
Yes, no matter how skilled the air pirates were, their battle strength was overwhelmingly insufficient. Even from a quick count, the difference in number of sky battlecraft was three times, the power of their Vulcan and their missile weapon's maneuverability were so weak that the spectator would want to avert their eyes from looking.
Most likely, the air pirate's side would get shot down if they got hit by a single missile or several bullets from the Vulcan. In contrast, the sky battlecraft of the army side, putting aside the missile, it seemed like their battle capability wouldn't be affected even if they got hit dozens of times just by the Vulcan of the air pirate's sky battlecraft.
The air pirate was facing against an enemy with several times their number, they couldn't hope to shoot down the enemy without landing hits several times as many and they also couldn't shake off the enemy using speed. The preeminent skill of the pilots was displaying a miraculous defense that would make any spectator to spontaneously sigh in admiration, but it was obvious that too was only a matter of time.
「No matter how you look at it, it's not that the air pirate came attacking, but they unfortunately got discovered by the army……something like that.」
「O, Goshujin-sama. It looks like the mother ship of the air pirate art changing course. Hou, it seems they art planning to plunge into those clouds that looks like a mountain range see?」
They could see a giant waterfall of cloud at the left side. The river of cloud was flowing down like vapor of dry ice falling to the ground from the towering mountain range of cloud that looked like it was continuing until the end of the world. It was merely a place with height difference among the sea of clouds, but seen from the side it indeed looked like a mountain range of cloud.
Inside the sea of clouds was a place where black rain that caused necrosis on the cells and fierce lightning were raging. As expected, was the airship and sky battlecrafts of the air pirate that seemed to have low spec able to endure that environment……
No matter how they thought about it, this was obviously a sin-or-swim gamble. But, either way it was only a matter of time until the air pirate got shot down at this rate. There was no doubt that for the air pirate too they had no other choice then to make this gamble.
The airship of the air pirate was starting to swivel left as though drawing a large arc. It was already partly damaged from getting shot several times by the army's air battlecrafts. Even so, it was evading the powerful cannon and missile from the mother ship, so it was still an amazing skill that they were displaying.
Although, if it was asked whether they could escape like that,
「……It will be harsh.」
The mother ship was approaching until nearby already. The nearer it got, the more accurate their bombing became. No matter how divine the skill of the pilot was, there would be nothing they could do if the distance was closed further than this.
It was really unthinkable that the air irate would be able to reach until the cloud mountain range.
Hajime and Tio were watching that sight. Of course, the two wouldn't head out to give reinforcement. These people were the "pirate" of this world. The outlaw that ignored the rule which protected many. This wasn't a good problem to be mucked up irresponsibly by people of another world who came just to fulfill their curiosity of wanting a bit of adventure.
No matter how problematic the moral of the army's pilots, no matter how the "fuel" production left them with bad taste, it was completely unthinkable for them to be the air pirate's ally because of that.
As expected, the environment and the way of living of the people in this world were a bit too severe for the two of them to purely have fun here――Hajime and Tio smiled bitterly. They didn't have the disgusting hobby of purposely enjoying the death of many people, so they averted their gaze thinking to withdraw from this airspace.
But, the destiny or something following Hajime and co around wasn't that good of a guy that would let them get away that simply. All the events that happened at other world Tortus, tumbling into another world like this when they came out just for a little stroll, then how that world had ended already, furthermore having the scene of a battle between two factions unfolding in front of their eyes like this……
In the battlefield that was decorated with explosion roars, howling wind, and orange flame blasts, suddenly a high-pitched sound reverberated. It sounded like blown whistle, however, there was compelling desperation filled into that――crying voice.
Hajime and Tio who reflexively returned their gaze to the battlefield caught a presence of something small rapidly approaching them.
A shining silver small creature was flying, weaving its way through the orange gap of the explosions and the light of the setting sun that illuminated from the interval of the sea of clouds and sky. It was a small but magnificent dragon.
The silver small dragon was desperately flapping its wings while raising a cry that sounded like it would tear up its throat.
'A lost dragon?' Hajime and Tio thought doubtfully, but they immediately noticed. That small existence was staring straight at the two of them, no, more accurately it was staring straight at Tio.
Hajime looked at the pencil Cross Velts floating around them. They were functioning normally. The camouflage barrier was going strong. Their form, smell, and heat shouldn't be possible to be detected. But, the small dragon heading at their direction was going straight at Tio no matter how he looked.
Hajime suddenly brought his face closer to Tio and his nose sniffed repeatedly.
「Wha, what is it, Goshujin-sama? As expected it's embarrassing to have mine body suddenly sniffed at.」
「No, I'm wondering if you have a unique smell that even my artifact cannot hide.」
「……Right now, it shouldst not be wrong of me for thinking of wanting to hit Goshujin-sama.」
Tio who was unusually angry was pushing on Hajime's face with her hand to make distance while her cheeks were blushing slightly.
Even while they were doing that, the small dragon arrived at their position, 「Pii! Piih!」it was crying out while circling around the two. It appeared that it was really detecting their presence without any doubt whatsoever.
「Oi oi, what's with it? It's looking really desperate somehow.」
「……Don't tell me, is it looking for help?」
Tio stared at the tiny dragon with an expression that was lost for words. She was wondering why a dragon that should be fearful against human was trying to get involved with human conflict. Hajime was also cocking his head in puzzlement.
But, the strange matter was continuing further.
Of all thing, the pirate that should be heading desperately to the cloud mountain range was swiveling greatly while bending their path. The direction the ship's nose was pointing was at――the direction of Hajime and Tio.
「What's going on? Don't tell me the camouflage barrier is really broken?」
「No Goshujin-sama. I'm only guessing, but this child might be the cause?」
「They are turning midair to chase after a small dragon when they are in the brink of getting shot down anytime? I seriously don't understand what's the meaning of that.」
Perhaps the army also noticed the small dragon's existence seeing how the air pirate changed course, surprisingly several sky battlecrafts broke away from the front line and approached here. Even though they should be pressuring the greatly skilled air pirate's sky battlecraft, yet they still approached the small dragon even if they left behind a hole in their side's battle force.
At the same time, the sky battlecrafts of the air pirate also ignored the defense of their own mother ship and flew out toward the small dragon.
「……Just who in world art thou?」
Tio unconsciously asked at the small dragon that was desperately pleading something. The air pirate that pursued the small dragon even if they had to throw away their life. The pursuing army that left behind the air pirate even though it was just a bit more before they could finish them off.
It was already obvious that this small silver dragon wasn't just a mere stray dragon.
「Chih. I don't know what's going on, but at this rate we will get dragged in. Tio, we are finished being a spectator. We are withdrawing from this airspace right away.」
The two were curious with the small dragon's existence, but it was out of the question for them to get saddled with an existence that was unanimously pursued by the army and air pirate. Hajime and Tio nodded at each other and tried to leave that place.
That moment, as though guessing the intention of the two, the small dragon blocked their route. And then, it began to emit silver right immediately after.
Tio and Hajime unconsciously stopped moving seeing the dazzlingly shining small dragon that looked solemn somehow. Inside their head, a pleading resounded. It sounded vaguely childish, yet filled with a greatly earnest feeling.
『Help-, help! King, please! Everyone, my friends, help them-』
They didn't hear any clear words. But, that feeling was certainly conveyed to them.
Hajime and Tio couldn't hide their bewilderment. They looked at each other while standing still.
Instantly, a sound wave impact assaulted the area.
「Nuwah. This art from that time!」
It was the sound wave attack like what the sky battlecraft emitted at the floating island. Furthermore this one had more power than that time. It even generated physical shockwave that mercilessly attacked Hajime and others.
Naturally, Hajime and Tio weren't damaged, but the small dragon wasn't unharmed. The small dragon that was emitting a mysterious silver light got blown away by the impact and furthermore it was falling limply as though its consciousness was cut off.
「Ah, hey, get a hold of thyself!」
Tio spontaneously leaped out and held the small dragon with both hands.
「Tio! Don't daydream!」
The sky battlecraft of the army passed through instantly. When Hajime gave her warning, it was after the second planes following behind it had launched the missile that deployed net like the time at the floating island.
The special net burst in front of her eyes and it spread widely to envelop its target.
Hajime cut in between just before it could envelop Tio and the fainted little dragon.
A yell of fighting spirit. The magic power that was gushed out directionally was converted into physical impact due to the skill "Magic Shockwave". The crimson wave that possessed immense power blown away the cage net far away without any trouble.
After the second plane passed through, the third plane that was further approaching was decelerating while deploying something that looked like a hook from its lower part. Most likely it would use that hook to catch the cage net and carried it until the mother ship.
The pilot of the approaching third plane opened wide his eyes in shock.
After all, just when they were about to capture the small dragon by a beautiful coordination, suddenly a winged beautiful woman appeared midair and caught the small dragon in her embrace, furthermore the cage net was blown away by a crimson wave and in the end a man riding a flying board also appeared after that, that was why it was impossible for him to not get shocked.
Yes, Tio got out of the camouflage range when she leaped out, and Hajime also exposed himself because he fired the magic shockwave.
The tough-looking hook flying out from the rapidly approaching third plane's lower part was about to hit Hajime and Tio and the small dragon behind him.
The fingers of Hajime's right hand bended like claws. He instantly swung his right hand toward the hook that almost hit him.
By doing that, what was left behind was the figure of Hajime that was reduced into a pile of meat and got sent flying――was naturally not what happened. There was only the sight of the torn apart wreckages disappearing into the sea of clouds.
The sky battlecraft that pursued after the army's sky battlecrafts swiveled greatly to avoid Hajime and Tio.
When Hajime sent a glance, as expected, the air pirate pilot was also showing a shocked expression as though his eyeballs were going to fly out. He looked really like「WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLLLLLL-」
「Tio, how is the dragon?」
「Hmm, looks like it's just losing consciousness without any serious wound. ……Forgive me, Goshujin-sama. Because I unconsciously jumped out, we art dragged into something troublesome.」
Tio showed an apologetic face while approaching Hajime's side. Hajime shrugged while smiling wryly to that.
「If your body moved by itself, then that must be the action that Tio want to do from your heart. Then I don't really mind that. First of all, it's too late already saying we are dragged into troublesome matter by this time. This kind of thing can also happen from putting on air as onlooker.」
「Ye, yes. I see. Thank you Goshujin-sama.」
Tio's lips loosened up greatly hearing Hajime's indifferent speech. And then, for some reason Tio seemed to be nestling even closer than before to Hajime.
Ahead of Hajime's gaze, the scene of the air pirate's airship approaching and the army's mother ship circling around the two of them was unfolding. The sky battlecrafts were circling around Hajime and Tio in circles with wariness and bewilderment.
Seeing that kind of sight, Hajime's wry smile deepened and he muttered.
「Now then, first how about we try starting with a peaceful "talk".」
AN: Thank you very much for reading this every time.
Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.
Just a little notice, the comic version that is in the middle of serialization in Overlap-sama's homepage was update.
Damn, seriously damn. The impact at the fight against the claw bear among other things is just damn.
It really has impact and I can enjoy Hajime in his early day at abyss with another fresh feeling.
If you are interested, please take a look by all means!
The next update is planned to be at 6 P.M Saturday too.