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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
The 6th circle of Hell.
That was where the sage candidates had arrived to, a totally unexplored area.
Hell’s environment varied for each one of its levels, and this one was completely different from the one Yogiri had previously been to.
The first floor had given the impression of it being a cave system, but the place that spread upon them now looked just like the world above.
A blue sky covered the heavens, light clouds flowed, and the sun shone over it all.
The vast land didn’t seem to have any bare rock surfaces either.
There were forests, grasslands, rivers, small mountains, and cliffs. It was a world where you could even forget you were underground.
There were 18 sage candidates. A royal guard sent by the kingdom accompanied them. As soon as they went down to the sixth level they walked into the forest.
For some reason there was a path in this world, where supposedly no human had stepped in before, and they followed it.
They felt as though they were being guided by someone, but that didn’t change the fact that the path would lead them straight to the center of the area.
Moreover, Hell always considered those who might challenge it, however, according to what they had heard, there had never been a trap as big as this one before.
“It seems we got the worst part of it all, didn’t we?”
Yogiri asked David, who walked beside him.
At that moment Yogiri and the others were in a battle formation which consisted of two rows.
They were 18 people and had divided themselves into two rows of 9 each.
Yogiri and Tomochika were the last in line while David didn’t care much about the formation and walked freely.
Due to their deportation, all of the sage candidates ended up being moved to Hell, and the kingdom of Mani had given its approval.
However, there was always a possibility of them returning to the royal capital through the use of their powers, which was why David was sent to act as a witness.
“No way. I volunteered myself. I don’t think I’d ever be able to come to the sixth level if I missed this opportunity. I wanted to check it out. By the way, wouldn’t the power of the royal seal help you as well?”
But there was no meaning in observing the sage candidates.
David wasn’t strong enough to stop or control any of them, plus they had no way to get in touch with Earth no matter what happened.
Yogiri had a lot of doubts about the situation but it appeared that his companion’s wish was to tag along in the end.
“If you’re fine with it then I guess it’s okay. But don’t push yourself, and you should probably go back home when the time comes.”
Yogiri had practiced some swordplay with David, so at least he was somehow familiarized with it.
“Even if you tell me to go back there is just no way I would be able to do so without your help. Well, I think that it should be fine if you guys just defeat the demon and its avengers. I’m not saying it will all go smoothly, but at least if you do that then the rest should take care of it by itself.”
“The demon… To be honest I’ve been thinking as to why we have to do all of this.”
In reality Yogiri didn’t really care much for either Hell or any demon. If he defeated him and completed the quest, he would only become a sage, that didn’t automatically mean he would be able to go back home.
So far, they still didn’t know to get back to their original world, however there was a high possibility that the sage Shion would know a method, and getting to meet and talk to her seemed like a good first step.
He thought that if he continued going on with his classmates, the sage would eventually show herself, but so far, they hadn’t seen as much as their shadow.
It seemed that in order to actually meet Shion they would have to defeat the demon.
“Hey, isn’t there any way to defeat that demon all the way from here?”
Tomochika asked in a quiet voice.
“I don’t know anything about that demon. And it’s not like he’s going out of his way to specifically kill me or anything. Moreover, even if we kill it, we would have no way of actually proving it.”
The reason they had inadvertently killed the demon in the tower had been because it had reacted to the miasma that had been released on accident.
However, until now, there was no direct sign that Hell wanted to harm the Yogiri. You can’t kill a demon if you don’t even know if it’s there at all.
“Anyway, I’m pretty sure that if we descend all the way to the last level something is bound to happen.”
If we find him, I can quietly finish him off. I had nothing against the demon, but it seemed to be the only way we could meet the sage.
“To be honest I thought that everyone would freak out if it got to this, but it seems as though we’ll do just fine.”
He couldn’t see everything from his place at the end of the formation, but the rest of the troop didn’t seem to be that nervous. They had all previously traveled all the way to the capital and kept advancing in their journey together. It was probably that experience which had given them such confidence.
They went through the forest, climbed some mountains, crossed rivers, and walked on the grasslands. There were some ups and downs, but it didn’t seem as though anything would go especially wrong. So far, they hadn’t been attacked by any monster, and everything proceeded smoothly.
And finally, after climbing a small hill they saw it.
There was a wall.
A wall went as high as their eyes could see. It was curved and seemed to be built in a way that it wrapped itself around the center of hell.
The only visible entrance was a large castle-like gate on the wall.
“What should we do?”
“Can’t we just take a detour?”
“It’s just too suspicious for us to be forced to enter this way…”
They stopped to take a break and discuss their following actions with the rest of the sage candidates. However, while they were doing so a loud, high-pitched sound resonated throughout the place.
As though signaled by that noise, many monsters started coming out from the castle gate. Their numbers kept increasing until there were so many they couldn’t count them all.
“Let’s see, there are around 5097 of them…”
Tomochika was taken aback by Jogasaki Romiko’s words.
She was a counter class and had the skill to calculate the total of any amount of figures.
The girl was able to instantly assess any number, even those that no one else could figure out at a glance, however there weren’t many occasions in which such a power could prove itself useful. This time had been quite a rare opportunity.
“It looks like we’ve been found.”
Said the guy who wore an armor, Yazaki, their general.
The appearance of the monsters seemed to be an obvious response to the sage candidate’s intrusion. There was a wide array of creatures, and they were trying to make a formation. If the candidate’s troop just kept advancing, they would be crushed by the sheer number of enemies.
“However, there’s also many of us. Let’s try and scatter the enemy.”
Yazaki called-up the rest of the troop.
The ones who would fight ended up being 6 of them; the general Yazaki Suguru, the shinigami Fukai Seiichi, the samurai Ninomiya Ryoko, the ninja Carol S. Lain, the saint Hanamiya Mei, and the gunslinger Takekura Kyoko.
He seemed to have gathered the fighting classes.
“Will six people be okay against such a number of enemies?”
Asked a worried Tomochika.
It was such a ridiculous difference in numbers, and no matter how strong each of theirs could be there was just no way to think of it as a fair challenge for them.
“It’s okay. As long as we have my skill on our side.”
Said Yazaki before jumping out full of confidence and running down the hill. The other five followed behind him.
“Gaahhh!! Envelopment and extermination formation!”
“You should say that once you have them surrounded!”
Yazaki raised his sword and rushed into a group of monsters. From then on, the battle was pretty much one sided. Each time the general swung his sword, dozens of bodies would go flying away from the blow.
The kunai that the ninja threw towards the monsters pierced their formation in a straight line and the samurai’s katana cut many of the creatures in half.
Those who looked at the Shinigami went down one by one, while the gunslinger’s two-handed pistols turned one after another monster into part of a beehive. The saint fought as well and as soon as her fist touched a monster they turned into light and disappeared.
In just a few moments all of the over five thousand enemies had been quickly exterminated.
“Weren’t you going to surround them?”
That skill would’ve had the power to overwhelm the entire horde all at once, but they ended just attacking them from the front. It was certainly a victory to be celebrated, however Tomochika still wasn’t convinced.
Lute and Hanakawa stood in front of the strongest seal that held back the demon called Mana. Inside of it, Mana laid in a luxurious bed patiently waiting for them to break the seal.
Hanagawa had a seal key in his hand, and in front of him there was a pedestal which had a keyhole on it. This meant that their next move depended entirely on what Hanagawa would do.
“This might be nothing more than my humble opinion, but it definitely seems as though freeing this person wouldn’t be a good idea!”
Even though he tried to make a light jest out of it, Lute still looked quite nervous and kept himself silent.
“Hey, if you keep such a serious demeanor it’s tough on me as well, you know…”
“Lord Mana. There’s something you must know.”
Lute readied himself and opened his mouth to talk.
“Oh my, what would that be?”
“…It’s about our lord, Albagarma the demon… he…he has passed away…”
At that moment, Hanakawa felt as if the temperature had dropped in the room.
It wasn’t as though it had actually changed, however there was definitely something different in the air.
“I see. Care to tell what on earth happened to him?”
Mana was calm.
Even smiling as to try to persuade him to talk.
“It’s something very, very hard to believe but…”
Lute proceeded to tell him everything he knew.
About the plans to resurrect demons through the goddess Vahanato. And also, that everything seemed to work at first but for some reason Albagarma ended up dead. And that the person who did it was apparently called Takato Yogiri.
“I see…it was that woman…”
He seemed to put emphasis on his thoughts about that woman, and even seemed a bit enthusiastic about it. However, Mana kept calm for the time being and Hanakawa was slightly let down.
“Lute-dono… I feel you weren’t too shaken by what you just said? I can’t believe you weren’t either upset, distraught or that you didn’t even refused to believe that our lord had died, I hoped for a colder, more yandere-ish reaction from you.”
“I do believe he died. There is no way big brother would ever lie to me, right?”
“That’s right, he never would.”
“I loved my brother very much, but it no matter the situation it would be presumptuous of me not to believe the news of his death. My brother’s rank was below mine, and I had always worried that he wouldn’t be able to compete with the other higher-ranking gods.”
“Uh? I thought you were the kind to get depressed about it, but you’re saying
some normal stuff, aren’t you?”
“Yes, it’s not like I want to delve too much into it but there was always a chance that my brother would die. That’s why, even if I was told he had died, I would feel sad about what happened but not to the extent of not believing the news.”
“And what about now, are you thinking about getting revenge? Lute-dono, you had told me you wanted help from Lord Mana to get your revenge, right?”
“Revenge. You say. Of course, I will do it.”
“Oh! Lute-dono! You’ve got this!”
Their original plan had gone without a hitch for the time being so Hanakawa relaxed a bit. It’s not like they needed to empathize with the demon’s side, but it would be nice to get rid of Yogiri anyway.
“However, there is something I need to do before that.”
“Ohh, there’s something that has to be prioritized over your revenge?”
“I have to give birth to my big brother.”
“…uh? I’m sorry, I don’t really get what you’re talking about?”
“It’s a bit sad but I knew that there was a possibility of him dying so I had to think of a plan in advance, right? If he was going to die, then he just needed to be born again!”
“Ah! Sh*t! So it was actually Magimon then? What’s your problem?!”
“Now. It’s obvious that with the current situation there’s a limit to how much I can do, which is why I would like to break the seal.”
“What would happen if it was broken?”
“I will give birth to a new older brother who will be okay even if he dies, and then we will conquer the surface world. After that, I will create an ultimate form for him so he will never lose to anyone ever again and eventually I will destroy the Earth together with him and our children.”
“Oh, you want to bury earth under your…wait! That’s definitely not what I had in mind?! I think it’s enough just having Takato die!”
Hanakawa took a step back involuntarily.
If they freed him the situation would be much worse.
He didn’t need to think to know that much.
Lute let out a scream as Hanakawa looked at him.
Lute’s arms were gone. Everything starting from the tip of his elbows wasn’t there anymore. “There’s no way he would…” he thought before he turned and looked into Mana’s direction, Lute’s arms were there. He had no clue how he’d done it. Mana took hold of Lute’s arms lightly.
“Here you go, I will adhere my brother’s factor to you, okay? Just take it for now. It’ll be useful once we have to produce another one of him again.”
Hanakawa suddenly saw the key he held in his hands.
That was the key that had been attached to Albagarm
’s body. It naturally ended up becoming the factor to be used.
“Ah… but… I…”
He wanted to escape.
He needed to escape.
However, his feet wouldn’t budge.
“Now that you have the key you will speak my brother’s will. It’s up to its owner if they lift the seal or not… now, how would you go about releasing it?”
Hanakawa didn’t feel like doing any of his usual jesting.
He understood at once that he wasn’t someone he could get through to with eloquent words.
He couldn’t remove the seal.
If he did so it would bring forth the end of the world.
Everyone would become a slave to Mana. That wasn’t a world anyone would want or could live in anymore.
Even if he survived the ordeal, it wouldn’t mean anything to go on living if the human world was gone.
“We’ll be in trouble if you just freeze like that. Well, I see. We can just take that servant’s brain as well for the time being. Since he still remembers how my brother looked and everything.”
“Ple-Please, wait! Aren’t I helping you, Lute-dono?! I-I even survived through the whole thing and all, wasn’t I an important subordinate of your older brother?!”
Hanakawa thought that it would be okay if he managed to keep himself alive, he had said so. But Lute had activated a strange flag and his destiny must’ve tied to it.
“Ahh, I don’t really know anything about that, but if you say you are going to help then please release the seal now.”
Hanakawa approached the pedestal.
He inserted the key, which he held in his trembling hand and gave it a turn.
“Checking the administrator’s authorization. Access has been allowed to all functions.”
He heard a voice say in the back of his brain.
At the same time, he immediately understood how to do it.
It worked in the same way as someone absorbing a skill.
And then, Hanakawa broke the seal.
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