https://novelplanet.com/ - 22.214.171.124Chapter 6 - The One Who Bring Back Light 1
「Ji, jiigaa toku butsurai, shou kyoushou kosshuu, muuryou hyaku senmon, okusai aasougii自我得仏来、所経諸劫数、無量百千万、億載阿僧祇 ──buhah!? Jo, jousetsu boukyoukee常説法教化 ……ouchhhhhh!」
Riona was beaten by a waterfall.
Within the great amount of water that was falling with repet.i.tive splas.h.i.+ng sound, she was desperately reciting sutras.
Sometimes water would enter her mouth and she became unable to chant the sutras. Each time that happened, it would come flying. The terrifying voice of the "honorable master" sect master Luo Hao──
「Myouhou renge, bussho gonen妙法蓮華、仏所護念! Pray with all your heart!」
She was scolded by a dignified and lovely voice.
Furthermore, each time she heard that, Riona's whole body would feel ripping pain.
It wasn't a metaphor. She would physically feel pain. A vibration like ultrasonic waves would run through Riona's body from the head until the toes while she was doing waterfall meditation in straight posture and hand pressed together in praying pose.
It was uncertain whether it was magic or a more special power. However.
(Honorable master, she caused a shockwave just by letting out her voice, that's just too monstrous!)
Furthermore she could adjust the strength as she pleased. It was terrifying that she reprimanded her disciple with something like this.
Her costume was a black vestment that was handed to her from her master. The design looked completely like something that would be worn by pract.i.tioner of Buddhism or Taoism. But, this place was other world Hyperborea. She must have ordered her subordinate in Byakurentou to purposefully create this.
That cloth had also became soaked wet a long time ago by the waterfall water. Her body was also completely freezing.
She had to focus on sutra chanting in order to forget the coldness too. Riona continued.
「Jousetsu boukyoukee, muushuu okushuujou, ryounyuu oobutsudou, nyoorai muuryoukou常説法教化、無数億衆生、令入於仏道、爾来無量劫……buhah」
「Eliminate your wicked perspective and turn your heart into nothingness!」
Another scolding from the master who was watching from outside the waterfall basin came once more. *Rip rip*. Riona screamed.
They were in a small island that was several dozen kilometers away from the island that contained the mansion of Byakuren Ou.
It was an island that contained small mountain, forest, clear stream, waterfall, etc. It had everything that made it a location truly suited for training.
Riona was confined here.
There wasn't a single boat in the island. Even if she flew to escape──the onmyoudou that Riona specialized in as well as Yatagarasu's spiritual power were all sealed.
It was because of the so called 《prohibition art》 that her master Luo Cuilian applied on her.
(To think that the second coming of Abe no Seimei, this Toba Rionsama is treated as though she is a little child like this!)
Riona was secretly gnas.h.i.+ng her teeth. There was a reason for that.
Her training was the waterfall meditation that could be said as the cliché among cliché. It was old fas.h.i.+oned, in addition was the illogical coaching that was simply like power hara.s.sment from a superior. Usually Riona would scoff and ignored this kind of teaching.
But the "honorable master" had personality as well as physical strength that didn't allow that.
The sun set and she received permission to get out from the waterfall.
Riona was wheezing while climbing up to the ground. She lied down spread-eagled with her whole body still soaked wet. Her master, sect master Luo Hao was right beside her.
The G.o.dslayer who was possessed both wisdom and courage was clad in loose ancient Chinese outfit today.
She was a completely nonsensical existence who was able to fight well even in such getup.
「Ho, honorable master, you mentioned that you are a magic user──that you are a pract.i.tioner using Taoism as the base. You're a Taoist……no, you are female so should you be called as Taogu?」
She was still unable to stand up from being too tired. But there was something that was bothering her.
Riona kept lying on the ground while talking to her master.
「And yet you are making me to chant Lotus Sutra──the sutra of Buddhism endlessly. In other words you're someone following the school of Quanzhen that adopt the taste of Buddhism to Taoism, is that correct? It feels like practicing the legend of w.a.n.g Chongyang that is familiar in work like Kinyou's wuxia novel for real……」
「Well, it's something like that. However」
Luo Cuilian was looking down on Riona with a gaze as though she had encountered a rare animal.
「Even in such state, you're really intelligent aren't you.」
「Because that's my strong point. Please praise me more.」
Feeling moved and thankful when getting praised wasn't the style of Toba Riona.
However she wasn't a match against the reaction that Luo Cuilian showed in the aspect of being outlandish.
「In that case, I shall command you. Discard that cleverness intentionally, and arrive at the emptiness──at the state of mind that is free from every wisdom and thought.」
「When you're able to do that, you will be able to advance to the next level.」
「The, there isn't a single person on earth who is able to speak to this me with such condescending att.i.tude you know?」
Riona grumbled in blank amazement. The reply came back swiftly.
「I don't know about other people. However, I'm someone who has gone far ahead than you──to far higher stage that will make you feel faint. That's why keep to my teaching well.」
The honorable master talked as though her words were the truth of the world.
And then, that was also the reality. But, Toba Riona wasn't someone who would obediently do what she was told to do. She whipped her tired body and slowly stood up.
With her queenly obstinacy on the line, she attempted to hold even more intellectual conversation.
「Let's change the topic, honorable master. Please give me your teaching already.」
「Like, this Hyperborea, what is the mythology that is used as the base of this world.」
In respond to Riona's question, sect master Luo Hao spoke as though such thing didn't matter at all.
「I'm not especially concerned about such thing. You too should stop thinking about insignificant matter. Something like the truth of the world is something that you will suddenly perceive by yourself when the proper time comes. Until then you can just spend your days while amusing yourself with the nature in heaven and earth.」
「Uuuuu. This is why someone who follows the philosophy of Laozi and Zhuangzi to do nothing and take things as they come is just……」
「But if I have to say one thing. In the sanctuary of Hyperborea, a form of an extremely ancient belief is left behind in a very simple form. I find it interesting.」
「What do you mean by that, honorable master?」
「In here the name of G.o.d isn't that important. Rather than using name, the G.o.ds are recognized and wors.h.i.+pped by the ma.s.ses with t.i.tle like The One Who Bring Back the Light, The One Who Expand the Land, The Warrior of Flame, Devam King, and the like. Also, in this Hyperborea──there are a lot of G.o.ds who are waiting for their revival even after death.」
「G.o.ds waiting for revival? That's」
The topic that the master suddenly mentioned made Riona bent forward in curiosity.
「It's about the 『heroes who died in the underworld』 that honorable master mentioned before isn't it? Those people who would one day resurrect.」
「It's not in just the underworld. There are also G.o.ds who died in battle when the world was once destroyed. Their body and soul are waiting for the time of revival.」
「That, please teach it to me in more detail!」
Even though she was an embodiment of the ideology of Taoist, but as expected from the great sect master who possessed both wisdom and courage.
Precisely because she had stayed in this world for a long time, she was properly watching at the things that ought to be watched. Until now Riona was sitting down on the ground with slovenly posture, but.
She quickly fixed her sitting posture into seiza and begged in supplication to the master.
「I'll also do my training with utmost effort, so please!」
「How truly glib……. But, very well. According to my observation──this world once touched the fury of the G.o.ds and a great flood occurred. Most of the lands were sinking into the bottom of the sea, therefore Hyperborea became a world of only sea……」
It was exactly like the hypothesis that she herself formed. Riona nodded 'uh-huh'.
She listened carefully once more to the lecture of her master that sounded like the sound of Chinese zither being played.
「From the sinking land, dragon of water, dragon of earth, evil spirit and the like appeared and destroyed the G.o.ds and heroes. A part of the G.o.ds who were defeated and died at that time are waiting for the time of revival.」
「What should be done so they can revive?」
「For example, when a sacrifice that is worthy for that person is offered. This place is where such tale of death and revival are repeated many times. Whether it is at the surface or the underworld──」
Riona was greatly impressed.
「A world where Hero's Journey is repeated mostly automatically. So to speak Hyperborea is a 《hero world》 then.」
「Hou. Hero world Hyperborea. That's a really good naming.」
「What I don't get, is the connection between that hero world and sun G.o.d Apollo……. Honorable master, we're already covering this far, so please teach me about that too.」
Riona supplicated to her master once more.
Luo Cuilian who was out of norm at every aspect. No matter how much of a queen Riona acted as, it was a bit disadvantageous for her to challenge her master from the front. Perhaps she should cajole her master while also attacking her weak point at time──.
She convinced herself that this too was also training and prostrated herself for the first time in her life.
「At this rate I'll be curious about the answer of the puzzle and become unable to empty my mind!」
Sect master Luo Hao pondered only for an instant and immediately chuckled.
「In that case, I shall grant you my teaching. Listen carefully.」
「My many thanks to the honorable master!」
「The G.o.d of thief stole Apollo's cow──there was such story wasn't it?」
「I know the story, Hermes's cattle thieving. Hermes sneaked into the ranch that Apollo owned and seeing the many cows there, he got a sudden impulse. If I remember right, he roasted a cow whole in front of a cow shed and ate it.」
The master's word caused Riona to recall the story.
「In Homer's poem, the scene of 『roasting a cow whole for offering to the G.o.d』 often appear. That's quite the case of food p.o.r.n isn't it…….」
Even at Trojan War, the heroes and royalty often roasted a cow whole.
It was for making offering to the G.o.ds of Olympus. But, for some reason they ate the grilled cow as it was and then began a party.
The content of the poem was listing the depiction of food p.o.r.n that seemed to be really delicious.
『Cut the cow's thigh, envelop it with fat meat that is folded to two layers, and put raw meat on top of it』, 『hold it up over the firewood and grill it, put the entrails that are skewered over the fire too』, 『after all present finish eating the leg meat and entrails, skewer the remaining meat and carefully roast it──』, etc.
Since she was confined in this island, Riona had only eaten thin porridge.
It was porridge of barley with only vegetable leaves boiled in it. The taste was terribly bland. Every meal had the same menu. It was a very sad menu. It was the honorable master's policy that simple diet was also training.
Riona's stomach was going to growl thinking of fatty beef.
Sect master Luo Hao suddenly muttered.
「Now then. Why was Apollo in possession of a lot of cow?」
「Perhaps, it's because he is the protector G.o.d of stock-farming isn't it?」
「I wonder about that. Now that you mention it, I heard that Apollo have another name Apollo Hecatonbios. It seems that the origin of the word means 『offering of a hundred cows』.」
「In other words, Apollo who has a hundred cows sacrificed to him──」
「If you think of it simply, the meaning is literal. But, perhaps it should be interpreted as the one who sacrificed a hundred cows……I think that should be the case.」
Luo Cuilian said various things with meaningful tone. Riona grew impatient.
「Honorable master, I'll be frank, what is the answer to the puzzle!? I'm curious!」
「Fufufufu. That's as far as I'll teach you.」
The beautiful Luo Cuilian ignored her disciple's pleading and smiled aloofly.
「Riona──you are intelligent and also has curiosity without equal on top of that. You must be hopelessly bothered about what kind of meaning my words has! Shake off that idle thoughts, climb over that greed that isn't fitting for a person of wisdom, and arrive at the mental state of emptiness!」
She gave hint was as a part of training in the end.
Riona was feeling dizzy and unsteady on her feet at Luo Cuilian's thoroughness.2
「Oo Paean. Oooo Paean」
Apollo the bright was humming.
In his left hand was a silver bow. He nocked an arrow of light there with his right hand.
「When I wield my bow of silver, you all are cheering, saying 『O officiator of bow and lyre, shoot thy s.h.i.+ning arrow to afar swiftly』. When it fall down to the land of my Phyto, all shout together, 『Ooooo Paean, the one who shoot down dragon and snake』they say……」
At the wasteland of the underworld.
Apollo was standing above a slightly elevated rocky mountain and aimed his bow to below.
Ahead of where the s.h.i.+ning bright arrow was targeted to, there was his fated arch-enemy. It was the land dragon that tore apart the great Apollo several days ago.
But, the terrifying monster was already hit by several hundred arrows.
It already had no spare strength to resist. It lied down on the ground on its belly and could only hung down its head powerlessly.
That land dragon──the huge beast that was of the same kind with the arch-enemy of the sun G.o.d, Python was finally pierced through by the sure kill arrow of Apollo.
「Oo Paean. Glory to the one who offer sacrifice Apollo.」
The arrow splendidly pierced the forehead of the land dragon.
The last strength left the huge body of the terrifying beast. The two eyes that were blazing fiercely with killing intent in the past were closed. The resurrected Apollo obtained victory──.
「Fu……. With this the heroic tale is completed.」
Apollo smiled while looking down on his enemy's corpse from high.
That was right. It was insufficient with just getting resurrected. It was the accomplishment of his counterattack toward the opponent that once defeated him that became the completion of 『the trial of the magnificent one』.
Thus, the deceased G.o.d now could return as 《The One Who Bring Back the Light》──.
「Let me say it again now. That 『there is light』 even in this world that is filled with despair.」
Right after Apollo solemnly declared.
The corpse of evil dragon on the ground──the tip of its tail was lit on fire. This fire was spreading in the blink of eye and completely enveloped the dragon's huge body.
「This is truly the brilliance of life, the flame of salvation……. Now then, I should summon the remaining sacrifice──」
Right after he whispered so, Apollo turned around.
「So you come, Rokuhara Ren. What a tenacious man you are……oo! For Princess Ca.s.sandra to be with you too, what kind of magic you used!?」
The far shooting G.o.d's sharp eyesight discovered it, The coming attack of the beast that was worthy to be recognized as his great enemy, and the revival of the maiden who he once tried to give his affection to.
Apollo stared at the group that was walking toward him and let out a smile.
「Let's postpone the ceremony for a while.」
He silently waved his hand. The corpse of the land dragon that was only started to burn vanished.
「Then, I'm going. Everyone, get away from here for a bit.」
Ren stopped walking for a moment and talked to his companions.
「I managed to save Ca.s.sandra somehow but, I don't want Apollo-san disturbing us anymore after this. That person said about bringing destruction to our earth after all.」
「Certainly, that person is the enemy of Buddhism that ought to be defeated here.」
The spirit of Umayado no Ouji nodded.
「Strive forward, G.o.dslayer. It's also the guidance of Buddha for you to enter a battle in the underworld too. I too intend to help you as much as I can.」
「I'm also praying for Ren-sama's fortune in war.」
Ca.s.sandra also spoke sincerely.
On the slightly elevated rocky mountain some distance ahead, Apollo was standing with a silver bow in hand. Perhaps he was grinning just like usual there.
──Ren noticed. The lovely Troia princess was looking very worried.
She was staring at Rokuhara Ren with an indescribable pained look.
「It's fine. You're a good girl, so wait for a bit here.」
Ren hugged Ca.s.sandra closer and lightly kissed her forehead.
The anxious girl finally made a slight smile. She must be forcing herself to smile. In order to allow Ren to fight without any worry.
Ca.s.sandra looked down just for a moment and then she lifted her face in determination.
「Even my big brother Hector who is dead is surely wis.h.i.+ng for Ren-sama's victory too right now. I will also aid Ren-sama with all my effort!」
This time she declared strongly. Ren smiled.
「Yeah. It's like I got the strength of a hundred people with me if Ca.s.sandra is helping!」
「Leave it to me!」
During this time, Fumika was watching over the conversation between the princess and Ren with a shocked gaze.
Ren suddenly approached and hugged his fiancee's little sister.
「I'm going now, Fumi-chan♪」
「Hyaaah!? Ro, Rokuharsan, whwhwhat are you!?」
「What, it's just a hug. I was thinking that perhaps Fumi-chan also want one.」
After joking mischievously, Ren made a thumb up.
「If the worst case happen to me, run away with Ca.s.sandra until the surface. After that you can rely on Riona and Luo Hao-oneesan. Then」
「Ple, please do your best, Ro──Onii-san!」
Fumika gave her encouragement even while feeling astonished.
Ren received that voice with his back while walking forward by himself. He walked toward Apollo. When there was only ten meter left until the rocky mountain where the G.o.d was standing on, Ren called out.
The radiantly beautiful youth smiled widely and looked down at Ren from the height.
「So you come, G.o.dslayer!」
「Did you wait? Nice timing. The bad thing that you did to Ca.s.sandra──I want to give the payback to you.」
Although Ren was speaking out his resentment, his expression was bright and his footstep was also light.
Already──he wasn't as highly strung like when he was irritated by the kidnapping of Troia's princess. He also wasn't raging because of the land dragon's vitality that filled him.
Surely his unnecessary tension had been nicely let go from his mutual touching with Ca.s.sandra.
He was the usual Rokuhara Ren that was following his own pace and mood that was too lighthearted.
It was fine like this. Smile. Relax. If he wanted to move quickly than straining himself was forbidden. He had to keep his body and his heart's flexibility──.
Like that he would be able to display his highest speed for the first time. He could oppose even Apollo's divine bow.
「Fufufufu. I'm feeling your composure, Rokuhara Ren. This time──you can exert your everything to challenge me. Because after removing the obstacle called Rokuhara Ren, Apollo will immediately return to your surface world with the intention of bringing destruction to that land.」
「So Apollo-san is also in the faction of 『the polluted earth is unnecessary』 huh……」
Ren muttered. The s.h.i.+ning G.o.d turned his bow toward him.
「Of course. I too am someone with the same ambition as Athena. Such land that achieved prosperity in that kind of completely distorted form ought to be burned to ash with flame and sunk down to the bottom of the sea as expected. There is no other choice than that. After that──I will expand the land again with my hand.」
This time Apollo was nocking his silver bow with a jet black arrow.
Everything was black from the arrowhead until the arrow feathers. It had an ominous coloring. The weapon wasn't suited at all with the radiant handsome youth, but mysteriously it didn't give any out of place feeling.
「I took out various arrows that I kept in reserve within my depository. It'll be great if it suit your taste.」
「Go easy on me. I'm someone who don't want to have a hard fight or anything like that.」
「What a coincidence. Me too!」
As soon as he said that, Apollo fired the jet black arrow!
Ren's perspective instantly entered the accelerated state. He should be able to dodge the arrow anytime. But, before Ren started to move──
The jet black arrow broke into pieces!
「Know the threat of Apollo Smintheus……of Apollo the Mouse. I'm also the leader of the mouses racing through the darkness carrying sickness with them!」
The destruction of the arrow produced fine powder and was scattered in the air.
In addition, wind blew and spread the powder out. Ren too almost breathed in this powder, but his back suddenly felt s.h.i.+vers.
He took a big leap behind using the agility of his accelerated state.
He jumped until more than ten meter behind and somehow evacuated from the spreading range of the fine powder.
And then Ren saw. The tree growing from the land of underworld──the tree that had withered a long time ago was showered by the powder from the jet black arrow and it rot to black color.
「I Apollo am a G.o.d of healing art who cure sickness. However, I'm also a G.o.d of pestilence who spread around sickness. Even if you dodge my arrow itself, you won't be able to dodge the sickness inside the arrow too!」
「You have that kinda arrow!? It's like the chemical weapon thing!」
Apollo faced the shocked Ren and fired three more arrows in succession.
The three of them were black arrows. The arrows of sickness. All of them climbed high to the sky and broke apart in the air. A terrifying amount of poison powder was coming down on Ren's head──.
At that time, a familiar voice resounded through the sky of the underworld.
『Namu──Yakuou Bosatsu, Yakujou Bosatsu! Bestow your blessing!』
「Umayado no Ouji!?」
The voice that chanted the spell belonged to the crown prince of imperial virtue.
The poisonous powder that caused sickness──immediately became sparkling grains and vanished ephemerally in the air before long.
『Although I'm not at the level of the reincarnation of Yatagarasu, this Umayado is also the personification of savior Guanyin. I shall be of a.s.sistance with my meager strength!』
Shoutoku Tais.h.i.+ aka Umayado no Ouji's voice rang out.
Ren was grateful to receive his support. However Apollo quickly aimed his silver arrow toward the thankful Ren.
He drew the string. However there was no arrow. He wondered what kind of attack it would be.
「Then what about this!」
Ren intentionally stood still and sharpened all his nerves.
If he focused too much on attacking, his reaction would surely slow down. He heightened his defensive instinct to the maximum and sharpened even his hearing!
*Whoosh whoosh. Whoosh whoosh. Whoosh whoosh. Whoosh whoos.h.!.+*
「Unseen arrow or transparent arrow, anyway arrows are coming huh!」
Ren splendidly detected the arrows relying only on the sound of the arrow feathers cutting through air.
He began accelerating at that instant. He jumped far to the side. He safely dodged the unseen arrows. Then Apollo quickly fired two arrows.
──This time it was also unseen arrow but.
*Doon!* A sound of destruction echoed.
A lump of air was fired from the bow like cannon.
Fortunately the flow of air was transmitted on Ren's skin, so he was able to guess the flight of the air cannon. Ren ran once more and dodged this one too.
Although impacts were bursting on the dry ground of the underworld, Rokuhara Ren wasn't there.
「In that case, how about this!?」
Apollo summoned his usual s.h.i.+ning arrow and fired.
Ren side stepped with his super acceleration. He dodged the arrow with room to spare──was how it should be. However the arrow's speed was great and it grazed Ren's left cheek.
A line of scratch was created and blood trickled down. Although it was a small wound, it was still an arrow wound.
「Fufufu. That's an arrow that flies with the speed of light. So you can dodge it just barely.」
Ren was bewildered. Apollo was chuckling to himself.
Arrow of light speed. If he remembered right, then the speed should be around 220,000 kilometer per second. Ren's G.o.dspeed was equal to lightning, around 150 kilometer per second. The speed difference was unbelievable!
He barely dodged was because the shooter Apollo didn't move in the speed of light.
He summoned an arrow of light, nocked it, and let go of the string──.
During those actions, Ren ascertained the firing line in his accelerated state and took evasive action. That was why he wasn't hit. However, how long he could continue that? Even if he could dodge two or three times in the critical moment, he had no confidence he could continue dodging after that……. Ren made his decision.
「So I've no choice other than to show my trump card already huh.」
*Ton, ton. Ton, ton.*
A footwork that repeatedly stepped to the back and front. Ren rhythmically jumped on the ground, he moved back and forth. He jumped slightly to the front, then returned to his original position.
Jumping and then back. Jumping and then back. It was the lightness of an outboxer.
Apollo standing on the rocky mountain laughed loudly.
「A fist fighting of the future that even Apollo doesn't know about is it? But, it won't work against this arrow!」
「I wonder, about that!」
The instant the arrow of light was let go, Ren──split into seven.
The afterimages of Rokuhara Ren overlapped in seven layers and the real one couldn't be ascertained. The situation was looking like that for the one who was facing Ren!
The arrow that came flying with light speed pierced through one of the afterimages.
「It's a new technique that I learned recently. It's pretty good right?」
Apollo was astonished. Ren stood still and ended the afterimages.
He was simply standing alone on the underworld's wasteland without blurring into seven of him. But, he immediately began to perform the steps *ton ton*.
「I want to try practicing it, so try shooting it one more time.」
「Very well. I'll test the quality of that sleight of hand for you!」
The light arrow was fired and Ren split into seven once more. One of the afterimages became sacrifice.
Smile vanished from the face of the radiant Apollo. He praised with a serious face.
「Splendid, Rokuhara Ren. I never even thought that you're able to do that kind of movement.」
「The theory is really simply though.」
The point was to start making feint the instant the G.o.dspeed was activated.
That was all. He moved with small repeated movements and stepped to the right, to the left, to diagonally forward, to diagonally behind, to every direction, so that it couldn't be predicted where he would leap toward. By repeating such small and repeated motion in G.o.dspeed──he could create multiple clones.
It was a technique that he found at his first confrontation against sect master Luo Hao.
At that time, Ren tricked the sect master with a sliding kowtow. That was how it looked like.
But thinking back, technique like spinning kick or forward jumping locking technique, the surprise attack techniques that was attempted by throwing forward the user's body would misfire if it was executed without really good timing. To say nothing when the opponent was an expert who boasted as『the emperor of martial arts』.
In fact at that time sect master Luo Hao was watching Ren escaping by rolling on the ground without any trouble.
In other words his kowtowing movement was seen through.
Rather──wasn't the faint that he showed before that more effective?
Right, left, front, back, would she know where he would jump to? Repeating small steps like a single-minded fool. That movement was actually the one that was confusing her wasn't it?
By making use of that movement thoroughly, Rokuhara Ren reached a new frontier of『clones』.
And then now──
The arrow of light speed came flying for the third time.
Ren too started to make small steps. *Ton ton ton ton totototo*──the G.o.dspeed feint created seven clones. One of the afterimages was pierced by the arrow of light. In that instant.
Ren stopped the feint and jumped with a speed of lightning.
He instantly jumped toward Apollo who was standing on the rock mountain and came until the same height with him.
Ren glared at the gallant sun G.o.d and chanted in the air.
「Divine punishmentNemesis is handed down toward wicked deed that harmed life──I ask for the judgment of justice right here!」
The words of power of Retributive Justice. The figure of winged G.o.ddess appeared behind Ren.
The numerous attacks that he received until now were all returned to the sun G.o.d Apollo. The phantom of Nemesis spread opened her wing widely behind him.3
The phantom of the G.o.ddess was also in the sky together with Ren who jumped to the air.
Nemesis's ice blue hair fluttered and her beautiful face was hidden by a black mask. Pure white wings were growing from her back that was clad in crimson dress.
Those wings now were overflowing with the divine punishment of Retributive Justice.
The arrows that Ren had dodged many times. Arrows of light, arrows of sickness, arrows of light speed. Arrows. Arrows. Arrows. Arrows.
Of course, they were flying toward their original shooter Apollo.
Also, behind the rocky mountain where he was standing, the land dragon that he defeated before this appeared while groaning 『Nuuh』. It was resurrected only now at this time as phantom to take revenge for itself!
And then, Apollo who was the target yelled.
「Oo, Nemesis! It has been a long time since I saw your figure!」
In that moment, Apollo was pierced by numerous arrows.
The land dragon's phantom bit him from behind and gnawed at him whole.
The stock of Retributive Justice that Ren acc.u.mulated mercilessly trampled the unruly sun G.o.d. It was a full power attack that drew victory toward him, but.
「The falling Apollo is like the darkness of night──」
The handsome youth that was seriously injured spoke out words of power.
「Watch the abyss of the raging G.o.d! I am the one and only king of darkness!」
It was the words of power of darkness. Even though it shouldn't suit the radiant Apollo at all, the scripture summoned darkness that extremely suited him.
And then Apollo who was pierced with numerous arrows and crunched by the land dragon's teeth was──
Turned into darkness itself.
Indeterminate darkness. Black mist. Hazy vortex of dark.
Apollo transformed into such thing. The arrows of divine punishment that were fired one after another from Nemesis's wings stabbed into that vortex of darkness. However.
All the arrows──were absorbed into the formless darkness and met annihilation.
Even the land dragon that should be biting the handsome youth was also swallowed into the vortex of darkness.
「Fufufufu. I somehow made it in time.
Apollo's beautiful voice came from inside the darkness.
「If I receive that divine punishment whole, my body won't hold. Allow me to let it pa.s.s like this.」
「Apollo-san, you can use power of darkness too even though you're a G.o.d of light. That's absurdly unfair isn't it? The elements are totally opposite of each other.」
Ren grumbled. He was standing on the rocky mountain where Apollo was at until just now.
He watched Apollo enduring Retributive Justice from his big jump while landing here. On the other hand, Apollo who transformed into darkness laughed.
「No, no. rather it is darkness that is the origin of me, Apollo. ……It was the darkness of the depth of earth that hid my mother who was pursued. The young child who was born in darkness rose into fame later on and became a radiant hero. Yes──Apollo's true essence is 《hero》.」
The voice of the youthful G.o.d leaked out from the spiraling darkness.
The voice was refres.h.i.+ng but contained an ominous echo somewhere in it.
「It was also me who was born in darkness and hidden in shadow. It was also me who was a heaven-sent child of darkness and caused calamity. It was also me who murdered evil beast and offered animal of sacrifice to the heaven. It was also me who s.h.i.+ning bright as the heaven-sent child of fire and light. It was also me who wielded strength as an unruly hero and be victorious──」
「But Apollo-san, you said it before right?」
Ren retorted smoothly.
「You said that light will vanish if it's. .h.i.t by stronger light. If following what you said, then won't darkness also vanish if it's. .h.i.t by strong light? It's the staple that the sun is what drive away darkness.」
「Indeed, it's exactly as you say.」
Apollo who became darkness itself easily agreed.
「To speak the truth, your retainer……the fire bird maiden is a bit of concern for me. She might become the one who illuminate Apollo that is like darkness with her sun. But you're unfortunate. I don't know the reason but, your connection with your retainer right now──is obviously severed.」
「As expected from Apollo-san, to actually realize that. But」
「It's fine. There's an amazing reinforcement in her place.」
The radiant Apollo transformed into darkness──a little while before that happened.
Umayado no Ouji who was watching over the confrontation between G.o.d and G.o.dslayer from behind suddenly turned his gaze to the people who were present with him and he opened his mouth.
「As expected, it become just the princess predicted. Tamayori Hime, do you remember my command?」
「Ye, yes-. Furube yura yura to furube──」
It was the spell of Tamayori Hime. Fumika chanted with her whole heart.
She aligned her heart with the ghost of j.a.pan's crown prince in order to heighten his miraculous strength even further. Without delay Umayado no Ouji unsheathed the straight sword on his waist.
With its tip, he finally pointed at Apollo who turned into a vortex of darkness─
「I humbly wish to the four heavenly kings. Allow me sure victory against the enemy opposing me. Daitzura Taten, Birurokus.h.i.+ Yaten, Biruhakus.h.i.+ Yaten, Bishamonten──come namu s.h.i.+tennou!」
The imperial prince of imperial virtue personally performed a summoning.
Immediately four armored warriors appeared from empty air.
The four Gohou Douji serving the crown prince was modeled after the four heavenly kings who were the protector of Buddhism. The manifestation of Vaisravana, Dhrtarastra, Virupaksa, and Virudhaka.
The four of them had expression of rage, and each of them was holding a spear, a sword, an axe, and a halberd.
The four heavenly kings flew freely. They looked down at Rokuhara Ren from the sky and quickly surrounded the vortex of darkness──the avatar of Apollo and thrust their respective weapon.
Instantly, Umayado no Ouji chanted.
「Light pure and innocent, break all darkness with Buddha's limitless light of wisdom!」
The four warriors of four heavenly kings immediately s.h.i.+ned from their whole body.
It was a light that was like dazzling sun. Furthermore, that radiance was increasing rapidly and became a pure white flash that brightly illuminated the land of underworld──.
Even Apollo who was in the air as a vortex of darkness let out an agitated voice as expected.
Ca.s.sandra narrowed her eyes from the radiance while clearly hearing that voice. Even the handsome youth who was always having a ruffian smile tugged on his lips was finally taken by surprise.
「Splendid work, Tais.h.i.+-sama!」
「What. This too is solely thanks to princess's oracle. It's also your achievement.」
Umayado no Ouji nodded large heartedly in response to Ca.s.sandra's grat.i.tude.
In the middle of accompanying Rokuhara Ren who was looking forward to a confrontation with Apollo while walking in the underworld. Ca.s.sandra who obtained a prediction softly whispered to the G.o.dslayer and the imperial prince's ghost.
The two who weren't normal people at all immediately accepted the words of the cursed prophet──.
『Hou──! That person will transform into darkness itself sooner or later?』
『That's a secret trick that is really like Apollo-san.』
『Then, I have a secret plan. Just leave it to this Umayado.』
And then now the four Gohou Douji made the light of sun to descend──.
In front of the radiance that was too bright, Umayado no Ouji chanted once more.
「Even within the terrifying battlefield, if one pray for the power of that Guanyin, then every foe shall be dispersed altogether!」
Thus, the raging Apollo was caught in a trap.
He raised a shriek that could split the land and felt anguished.
He was illuminated by white lights from four directions. The figure of vortex of darkness was shrinking bit by bit. If it continued at this rate, Ren would be able to win. He secretly got that hunch──it was then.
The spiraling darkness laughed meaningfully with Apollo's beautiful voice.
「You're quite something, Rokuhara Ren. The flame I acc.u.mulated in this Hyperborea in order to destroy your world──I never thought that I would have to suddenly use it……」
Flame? Ren felt suspicious, but right after that the vortex of darkness chanted.
「There is light even in this cursed world.」
The jet black ma.s.s spiraling in empty air──vanished.
In exchange, the handsome young man Apollo was floating there s.h.i.+ning bright. It wasn't that he looked s.h.i.+ny. He was really emitting divine white light from his whole body.
「So you returned to your original form……」
The four armored warriors flew beside the rocky mountain that was using as foothold.
Of course they were the four heavenly kings. Vaisravana, Dhrtarastra, Virupaksa, and Virudhaka lined up smoothly in front of Ren and took defensive posture. Even if Apollo fired the arrow of light speed, the four heavenly kings should protect him──.
The victory or defeat was like a coin toss. That was what Ren thought but,
「Watch this, o G.o.dslaying beast.」
Apollo emitted light while floating in the air. He spoke solemnly.
Ren was taken aback. When he noticed around the rocky mountain he was standing on right now──was filled with corpses of animal. Most of the corpses were bull. Then there were also deer, horse, boar, wolf, elephant, etc.
Every one of them had splendid body. They were beautiful with the appearance of divine beast.
In addition there were even『a caterpillar with countless short legs』 and 『a soft and flabby lump of meat with indeterminate shape』.
「These are the animals floating in the sea? The one that suddenly turned into island……」
「Indeed, they are the animals of sacrifice. Apollo went around Hyperborea in this one month killing them and throwing them to the sea──. Their souls after death flowed into this underworld. I gathered them here.」
The ground that Apollo and Ren looked down at was filled with dead animals.
There must be more than a hundred of them died. Furthermore, it increased by another one. Even a corpse of a huge land dragon suddenly appeared, lying down on the ground.
It was the dragon that once killed Ren, then shared its vitality with him later on, and then it got murdered by Apollo──.
「Listen, Rokuhara Ren.」
Apollo formed his sentence with manly beautiful voice.
「I'm a traveler who came from the sanctuary of the ancient Greece, but originally I came from the east. The east seen from Greece──it was a land between inland sea that was called by the humans as Caspian Sea, Black Sea, and so on. That land is none other than Apollo's original hometown, the land that was once Hyperborea.」
「Several hundred days of travelling from the holy ground Delphi. The land of far northeast, at the bank of Black Sea there is Kavkaz Mountains and Colchis Country. If you advance even further east, it'll finally be beyond the north wind……」
If Ren's memory served him right, it would be Caucasus region.
If it was referred by country name then it would be Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and so on. Come to think of it, the s.p.a.ce distortion near Ararat Mountain that Ren and others entered was old Armenia territory.
Apollo spoke sonorously with a beautiful voice.
「In the distant ancient times, the G.o.ds in this land had no name. They were simply the 『heavens』 itself, and the 『animals』. Yes. The humans who were so unsophisticated that they only had stone weapon wors.h.i.+pped the animal they hunted, the buffaloes and deers that became their life sustenance as "sacred thing".」
Apollo was only talking, he wasn't attacking at all.
Rokuhara Ren who had used up his stock of Retributive Justice wouldn't attempt any attack from his end──perhaps Apollo had seen through that. Ren felt a light irritation. But he mustn't.
Anger and irritation would dull his movement. Let go of his tension, relax.
He resolved himself. He should hold the feeling that he should at least go along with Apollo's long talk.
「Is that a story about the stone age?」
「Umu. Before long the time went on and the G.o.ds who were nothing but animal were given name──and human figure. For example I, Apollo was originally a wolf, and also a mouse. Athena who you also know was an owl, and a terrifying snake. Also a lot of G.o.ddesses were female cow.」
「Cow──now that you mentioned it.」
Ren looked down. He looked around at the heaps of animal corpses.
「Cow's corpses numbered the most here.」
「Hyperborea people were people of stock-farming. Cow is especially important sacred beast. For them, killing a cow was a sacred ceremony. They would lit up a great fire and roasted a cow whole, then they would also share the meat with everyone as a sacred ritual. The humans would kneel and wors.h.i.+p the burning flame and roasted cow as "sacred thing". Also, the murdered cow was also an offering to the G.o.ds in heaven……」
──'Hm?' Ren noticed.
It was starting to burn. The corpses of the sacred beasts that were piled up on the land that he and Apollo were looking down at──were lit with crimson flame.
One corpse, then another corpse was burning in crackling flame.
Apollo was looking around at that flame with satisfaction.
「Hyperborea people were people who tamed horse and rode on them or using them to pull carriage. They migrated to the east, west, and then further south where they pa.s.sed down their myth. The land that you humans know as Persia was a country which received that influence strongly. In that land──there was a G.o.d who ought to be called as distant cousin of I Apollo.」
Burning. Burning. The dead animals were burning one after another.
As though every single word of Apollo was calling for that flame.
「Oo Mithra. G.o.d of law Mithra. Just like how Apollo formed the law in Hyperborea's land, Mithra too formed the law in the ancient Persia. He also had a 『myth of killing cow』. When Mithra killed a cow, plants and medicinal herbs also grew from the corpse, covering the land with greenery.」
The animals lying down on the ground were all enveloped in flame when he noticed.
The heat caused ascending air current. Hot wind was blowing toward Apollo and Ren.
「Do you understand, Rokuhara Ren? Sacred beast slaying in other words is a ceremony to 『expand the land』!」
「It's that animal of the beginning thing huh. More importantly Apollo-san!」
The lower ground was becoming a sea of fire.
The animal corpses that became the trigger for the fire caught fire in the blink of eye. The force of the flame was increasing second by second. Ren yelled among it.
「Aren't you playing with fire too intensely here!?」
「Forgive me. Killing animal──and burning them with flame. This is a set of sacred ritual. The burned animal becomes meat, becoming a holy dining that satisfies the people's hunger. The smoke that is caused by that flame will rise until the sky and become an offering to the G.o.ds living in heaven. Therefore」
Apollo's voice was containing magic power.
Fanned by that, the surface of flame was blazing up as though to scorch the sky.
「The one who killed the sacred beast become the G.o.d of fire. Because they control fire they become the embodiment of light and sun!」
The blast of flame that rose from the ground swallowed Ren.
Apollo's talk of legend was a spell incantation as it were. It was words of power to summon the sacred flame. Because an obvious attack would only get dodged by Rokuhara Ren.
The four heavenly kings that originally should become a wall to protect Ren also got burned by the flame.
Ren heightened his magic power to maximum and somehow endured the flame's heat.
However, how long could he hold on──. He had to rush out as fast as possible with Nemesis's escaping legs. The moment Ren resolved himself,
The small G.o.ddess who was fused with Rokuhara Ren, Stella's thought came to him.
(This flame is an offering to the G.o.ds that will reach until heaven! No matter how high and fast you are flying, it will chase you until the end of the earth!)
「Then I'm counting on you Stella! Use your strength!」
(Leave it to me-. Umayado no OUji, lend me your servants for a while!)
Rose colored light was emitted from the whole body of Ren who was burning.
And then, Vaisravana, Dhrtarastra, Virupaksa, and Virudhaka who were similarly enduring the flame were flying in succession toward Ren and entered inside his body!4
The G.o.dslaying beast possessed strong resistance toward divine curse.
That was why right now Rokuhara Ren was burning the mystic force contained inside his body to the maximum to endure the flame that Apollo summoned.
However, there was no way he would be able to pull through with just that.
The sacred beast slaying flame swallowed the whole area that became the battlefield. It was burning high with a force that would scorch even the sky. It was a divine force of scorching heat that would bring death to even G.o.dslaying beast.
That was why, Umayado no OUji was praying with his whole heart.
He was watching the progression of the duel from far away while praying in order to protect the G.o.dslayer.
「Suppose one hold the name of Guanyin Bodhisattva, even if they enter a great fire, the fire won't have any hope of burning them. With the desire power of Guanyin, even a fire pit will change to be no different from a pond!」
It was a sutra to wish for divine protection from fire.
He entrusted it toward the four heavenly kings. Vaisravana, Dhrtarastra, Virupaksa, Virudhaka──the four of them were already fused with Rokuhara Ren's body.
The four heavenly kings inside the G.o.dslayer were also praying.
「「「「「Desire strength of Guanyin, fire pit into pond!」」」」」
Umayado no Ouji and his four Gohou Douji chanted the prayer of flame repellent.
Thanks to that and the peculiar tenacity of G.o.dslayer──Rokuhara Ren somehow endured just barely without getting burned by Apollo's flame.
「This feels like getting pushed into the stone oven to grill pizza……」
The rocky mountain that Rokuhara Ren used as foothold was becoming red hot.
Sooner or later it would surely become lava that flowed down. But, on that rock that was becoming red hot──the G.o.dslaying youth was going strong even while he was on one knee.
His clothes and skin still hadn't started to burn.
Although his clothes was getting scorched her and there, he himself was only sweating.
However, it must be a heavy burden to stay smack dab in the middle of blazing flame. He who was boasting swift feet couldn't even stand up and fell on his knee.
The sun G.o.d Apollo was looking down on his arch-enemy who was like that while singing in the sky.
「Oo Paean. Oooo Paean. The great G.o.d who expanded the land and increased the livestock are now holding the rite of fire. He shall burn the hundred offering cows right now──」
He sang a festive poem as the words of power to work up the flame.
Each word that Apollo recited became fuel that strengthened the fire. He intended to continue this and annihilated Rokuhara Ren in fire.
The far shooting G.o.d flicked the string of his silver bow as though he was strumming a lyre.
*Pling. Pling.* He had no more intention of using it as weapon. He judged that if he carelessly shot, that arrow would only be turned for Retributive Justice.
Ca.s.sandra was feeling anguished with painful thought.
She felt frustrated that she was only able to watch like this. Even if she fired an arrow to the raging Apollo, the arrow would be burned to nothing before it could reach him.
Princess Ca.s.sandra was born in a warrior family. She also had skill in fighting.
But, she had no prowess in the level that would allow her to interfere in the battle of G.o.d against G.o.dslayer. If only she could transform into a bird of fire like Toba Riona. Or perhaps, if only she was as strong as her heroic brothers──.
「My deceased brothers! Please protect Ren-sama!」
At the very least, she would pray imploringly to her brothers who died in Trojan War.
……Without her noticing, Toba Fumika had approached until right beside her. The younger girl was staring fixedly at Ca.s.sandra, and then she addressed her even while feeling blocked in her chest.
「Ca, Ca.s.sandrsan-. Can I speak for a bit!?」
Suddenly Fumika took Ca.s.sandra's hand. Ca.s.sandra tilted her head.
「What's the matter, Fumiksama?」
「I'll explain later-. Focus on listening to my prayer while concentrating so that your feeling is placed into it! If you do that, then perhaps we'll be able to do something amazing!」
「G.o.d of swiftly galloping wind, I beg you to intermediate──. Akitsu mirror, Hetsu mirror, Yakka sword, longevity stone, moving stone, death returning stone, path returning stone, shawl of snake, shawl of bee, shawl of various articles……combining the ten varieties of treasure one two three four five six seven eight nine ten furube yurayura to furube──」
Fumika chanted after taking a breath.
「Visitor from the faraway realm of the dead, come here right away!」
Right after that. A thunderous sound echoed like thunderclap.
*Rattle rattle rattle! Rattle rattle rattle! Rattle rattle rattle! Rattle rattle rattle!*
Ca.s.sandra muttered「Oh?」. It was a familiar deep sound. It was the thunderous sound of wheels rotating with tremendous speed when horses and chariot were sprinting swiftly──.
She looked up to the sky searching for the source of the sound. Ca.s.sandra was shocked.
A chariot was soaring to this direction from the sky faraway.
Two war horses were pulling the chariot. There was no driver. There was only one person standing imposingly on the chariot, taking aim with his peerless bow──it was her dead big brother, the princess of Troia Hector!
The chariot was running over Ca.s.sandra's head.
At this time, her big brother definitely waved his hand in greeting toward his little sister below──.
「Even though Nii-sama should have died, how!?」
「This is the realm of the dead! With the feeling of Ca.s.sandrsan who is seeking for someone deceased and the lineage of royal family who is descended from the G.o.ds, it won't be strange for something like this to happen!」
Fumika taught her happily.
She seemed to be excited. She was puffing up her abundant chest that didn't take after he big sister.
As expected from j.a.pan's Tamayori Hime. The shrine maiden who summoned the spirits. There was no mistake that it was her achievement for guiding them to reach this miracle.
The area of flame that scorched even the sky was burning Rokuhara Ren.
He wondered how much time had pa.s.sed since he was swallowed by this flame. Was ait several minutes, ten minutes? He became unable to understand even that.
The heat was making his mind hazy. Ren muttered.
「I'm able to hold on thanks to Tais.h.i.+-sama but……at this rate I'll be roasted whole……」
His throat was also in a worse state than being parched dry.
It felt like his whole body was drying up completely from getting exposed to the extremely sweltering heat.
And then, the ruler of the great fire Apollo was staying in the air. He was at the same height with Ren. He was watching the prey who was unable to move with deep interest.
Both of them were similarly scorched by blazing flame.
However, Apollo looked completely unruffled. Ren called out.
「…….Isn't this fire too grand just to kill me alone? Even though you don't need to make a camp fire this big for this.」
His voice was hoa.r.s.e because his throat was dry.
Apollo made his ruffian smile and narrowed his eyes in delight.
「What are you saying. As expected from a G.o.dslaying beast, you're enduring the great fire of annihilation well. You're truly something. However──」
The gaze of the handsome youthful G.o.d became slightly sharp.
「It seems your limit will come soon.」
「Well obviously getting into a sauna without being able to take cold bath is harsh. But, well, I think it's still in the degree that I can endure……」
Ren somehow acted strong with a powerless voice. Apollo nodded.
「Then let me test you. This is the finis.h.i.+ng move.」
The far shooting G.o.d readied his silver bow for the first time in a while and nocked an arrow of light.
Of course, the s.h.i.+ning arrowhead was aimed at Rokuhara Ren's forehead.
「Now then──I wonder if in your current state you will be able to send retribution in respond to my arrow or not.」
「That's a hard trial but, I've no choice to take up the challenge.」
The index finger and middle finger of his right hand. The fingers to pull the trigger of the Retributive Justice.
Ren joined his two fingers just like usual and made his resolve. From here it would be do or die──the timing to decide the victor and loser at the end. It was then.
*Rattle rattle rattle! Rattle rattle rattle! Rattle rattle rattle! Rattle rattle rattle!*
A chariot was charging with two divine horses soaring in the sky pulling it.
A warrior drew his large bow above the chariot and fired it. His name──was of course known by Ren. It was a great hero with impressive and handsome face. The armor covering his body was also one with history behind it.
「Hector-san! Isn't that Ca.s.sandra's big brother!?」
「Oo!? Hero of Troia, why are you turning your sword toward Aopllo who protected your home country!?」
Both Ren and Apollo were astonished.
Hector continued to fire his powerful bow even then. More than ten arrows rushed toward the sacred beast slaying sun G.o.d.
Most of the arrows were burned before they could reach the target and turned into ash.
However, there were just two arrows that hit Apollo. The first arrow pierced the beautiful youthful G.o.d's right flank, while the other one sunk into his left thigh.
Apollo groaned. The arrow wounds weren't fatal, but they were still a painful blow.
Taking advantage of that opening──the flying chariot and two sacred horses crashed on Apollo. The hoofs of the powerful sacred horses kicked Apollo flying. He was blown far away!
The G.o.d of fire was falling toward the ground that was covered with great blazing fire.
On the other hand, in front of Rokuhara Ren──the G.o.dslayer who was on one knee above the scorching hot rocky mountain that could melt anytime now, Prince Hector was standing there when Ren noticed.
In an instant just now he jumped down from the chariot and jumped until this spot.
As expected from the brave warrior who rivaled even Achilles the swift. He was agile. Hector was fully armed with a long sword and s.h.i.+eld while looking down on the crouching Ren.
He gave no fighting spirit or killing intent. Hector 's lips were opening and closing.
His voice couldn't be heard. Ren realized.
Perhaps his words couldn't be heard by those who wasn't Tamayori Hime. Yes. The hero of Troia Hector had died a long time ago after all.
When Ren looked, the whole body of Prince Hector was starting to burn.
The tips of his limbs were already scorching black. No matter how great of a hero he was, as expected he couldn't stay safe within the great fire of Apollo.
Ren understood it. Within him, Stella sent her thought to him.
(This child's armor and s.h.i.+eld are treasured articles of Troia's royal family. It's not as great as Achille's equipment, but they seem to possess quite the effect. They're doing well protecting their master even within this fire.)
But, even then they couldn't completely defend against Apollo's blaze.
Why did Hector come to Ren? Open and close. The lips of the prince were still moving even with flame burning his whole body.
Ren recalled this person's disposition.
「It's fine. Leave Ca.s.sandra to me. I don't really have any a.s.set that I can boast about, but I'm someone with a lot of friends. I'm also feeling really happy to be able to meet her. So much so that I want to pray to G.o.d that if possible I want to be together until death part the two of us──」
(Wait! Wait Ren, why are you prattling about!?)
Ren ignored Stella's retort and stared at Hector.
He was a virtuous man of character. The first prince who treasured his family. The supreme commander of Troia army in the past smiled in satisfaction──and caught fire.
His body from his head until his toes were finally becoming ash along with the armor on his body.
But, two weapons fell in front of the crouching Ren──the long sword and s.h.i.+eld of the hero Hector. The two of them were still in good condition even with the fire burning them.
(He is telling you to use them, Ren! Quickly take them even if just the s.h.i.+eld!)
The round s.h.i.+eld was made from wooden planks joined together into a round shape, with seven pieces of tough cow hide layered on top of it, and finished with solid bronze plate affixed on it──.
Urged by Stella, Ren took this s.h.i.+eld.
Immediately, his body that was tormented by sweltering heat became more comfortable. The magic power residing in Hector's s.h.i.+eld was starting to protect the G.o.dslayer Rokuhara Ren.
Finally Ren stood up and looked around the surrounding that was transformed into a sea of fire.
Here was above the rocky mountain. The visibility was good. He immediately found Apollo who was ran over by Hector's sacred horses and chariot and fell to the ground.
Surely Apollo was in a daze for a while.
He was standing up at this time. He was trying to recover his balance even while staggering on the burning land.
In addition he was aiming the silver bow in his left hand to Ren and he also had summoned a s.h.i.+ning arrow in his right hand.
「To think that Hector would intrude. Because of that the good opportunity was ruined but……it's time for the curtain closing soon!」
The arrow of light speed.
It was a weapon that Rokuhara Ren 『couldn't evade』 and one that he had to face with resolve.
The far shooting G.o.d nocked the arrow with unparalleled fast movement──but Ren felt a clear conviction the instant the G.o.d was trying to do that.
「It's my win. All thanks to Hector-san and Ca.s.sandra!」
He moved in lightning speed with confidence.
Originally Rokuhara Ren could only accelerate when evading enemy's attack. However all this time until now, even now he was being exposed to Apollo's flame. He could move with G.o.dspeed at any time.
He picked up Hector's long sword in front of him──and leaped toward Apollo.
His left hand was holding a s.h.i.+eld. His right hand was holding a long sword that he didn't swing around. He readied it near his waist with the tip pointed forward. He moved his body to collide with Apollo!
At this time, Ren's jumping down movement was exactly like a falling lightning.
「O fate, manifest the entanglement of karma──now is the time for the judgment of justice!」
The words of power of Retributive Justice. He returned back the flame that had been dealt to him severely.
However, Apollo's torso that he pried open with the long sword that he thrust──inside that wound. The flame was for the sake of burning the inside of the heroic G.o.d who was also a G.o.d of fire from inside there.
「Do you intend to destroy the heaven-sent child of fire and light with flame, Rokuhara Ren!?」
「There is no art to it if I use it the same way like Apollo-san after all!」
The instant Ren said that, he already started running away.
Using G.o.ddess Nemesis's escaping feet, he headed to a ground several kilometer behind with just one leap, retreating from the sea of fire swallowing this area.
Apollo was looking up at Ren who was jumping far behind with an astonished look.
According to him 『light could be erased with stronger light』. In that case, what if fire was combined with a fire that was just as powerful──?
The result came out in front of Ren who was flying high in the sky.
The flame of Retributive Justice ran amok inside Apollo's body. Perhaps because of that a large explosion occurred, as though the G.o.d of fire itself became the trigger.
It swelled up in the blink of eye──
A fire ball that was too huge was manifested in the land of underworld. If it was an area that was only as big as one of Tokyo's 23 wards, it felt like the scale of this fire ball would be able to reach its whole area with its impact and shock wave.
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