- 25: Dark God vs Fire God
The cause of the ground trembling like an earthquake, is in truth, not because of an earthquake; it is the fire cow Phalaris who is shaking the ground with each step it takes with those legs.
“Why?! The fire cow Phalaris has never moved so actively before!” (Mirack)
Mirack, who was only watching over the situation all this time, muttered this.
“Is this the time to be absentminded?!” (Haine)
Shouting at Mirack who was actually absentminded, I run with my all.
In order to go after that damn cow.
“Where is that guy heading to?! If it’s you, you should know, right?! It is your homeland after all!” (Haine)
“Then, as I thought! That guy is really heading to Muspelheim…the city where the Fire Church headquarters are?!” (Mirack)
“Eh? Y-Yes!” (Karen)
Karen-san is being pulled along by me along with Mirack.
“I will hold it back! Karen-san and Mirack, search for a way to defeat that guy!” (Haine)
“Eeh?! No way! Defeating such a giant monster…”
“That’s the job of a hero, right?!” (Haine)
With that one roar, the legs of Karen-san and Mirack stop.
Leaving those girls behind, I increase my speed, and go around the front of this damn fire cow.
Even its head is several times bigger than my whole body. That kind of gigantic monster had both of its eyes directed at me.
(…You still have any business with me, Dark God?) (Nova)
That’s right, this damn cow is one of the five Gods of Creation, the Fire God Nova.
The strongest monster he could create with his own hands, and reincarnated using his own soul. There’s a pungent smell of him scheming something quite large-scale and bad.
(And so, where are you going? Are you moving with the knowledge that there’s something in this direction?) (Haine)
(Of course. There’s a big city of humans there, right? I am heading there to destroy it.) (Nova)
…As I thought huh.
(Are you serious? The city that’s located there, Muspelheim, is the city where the main headquarters of the Fire Church are, you know? It is the city where the people who worship you gather. And you are going to destroy that place of all places?) (Haine)
(Doesn’t matter. Humans that have forgotten to worship their God are all equal sinners. Also, that city is not the only one I will be destroying. If I destroy around half of all humanity, they should be able to remember to fear their God.) (Nova)
(You bastard! What you are doing is contradictory! Just because they are not worshipping you… If humans die, the prayers also go with them!) (Haine)
(Just means that people who don’t worship us have no worth. No need to worry. Because of that needless thing called ethereal, humans have increased unnecessarily in numbers. Even if they are thinned out a bit, the remaining ones will remember the greatness of their God and worship with everything they have. That way, prayer energy will flow a lot!!) (Nova)
(Looks like you Gods have not changed at all in these 1,600 years. Just like in the time we fought, you only look down on humans.) (Haine)
(Humans were created by us Gods! That’s a given! You eccentric Dark God that has reincarnated in such a human, get out of the way! I will be fulfilling my role as a God!) (Nova)
(If I were someone that would get out of the way here, I wouldn’t have fought with you guys 1,600 years ago. This is a bit sudden but, it can’t be helped. Let’s have a revenge match for that fight in the ancient times!) (Haine)
(So impudent. But Dark God, even if I have been reincarnated as a monster, I am still one of the almighty Gods. Even here, I can still destroy a city easily, you know?) (Nova)
Saying this, the fire cow opened its mouth wide.
Its body was big to begin with, so when it opened its giant mouth, the size of that opening was like that of a cave.
(Dark God, why do you think I created a giant monster? Moreover, having me reincarnate in it? The answer is…because unless it is this big, it wouldn’t hold it all; the ability to utilize the power of a God.) (Nova)
(Could it be that you—?!) (Haine)
(Inside this steel cow, I have amassed my fire divine power. Hence, my big frame and steel skin. Look and marvel, the moment this power erupts!) (Nova)
From inside the giant opened mouth, a waving light is coming out.
([High Temperature Flash]!) (Nova)
What came out from the mouth of the fire cow was a giant flash that envelops everything.
And this was released towards me–no, that’s not it. It was directed at what’s directly at my back, the city of Muspelheim. Looking at the scale of that heat flash, the range is plenty enough. So his aim was there from the very beginning!
“Kugh! [Dark Matter, Set]!” (Haine)
Dark matter gushes out from my whole body. This spread out like a shield and meets the heat flash.
The fire and dark power clash. My dark matter shield was somehow able to block the high temperature flash.
(How annoying! This dark matter that erases the power of us Gods. To think it would be able to block a full-force high temperature flash. Even when you have reincarnated as a minuscule human, that power of yours has not grown any less annoying huh, Dark God.) (Nova)
(That’s why I have been telling you since long ago; humans are great.) (Haine)
(That greatness you talk about holds no point if it isn’t of use for us Gods. It is true that this dark matter of yours is troublesome, but if you are devoting yourself to defense, I wonder, just how long will you be able to defend? [High Temperature Flash]!) (Nova)
The high temperature cannon was shot once again from the mouth of the fire cow.
I did nothing other than blocking it with the spread dark matter.
(So you are going to just block it again huh. Even though it would be easier to just avoid it. I already know. It is because if you avoid this High Temperature Flash, it will directly strike the human city that’s at your back. It would wipe it out in one attack. To think you would be considerate to humans and be unable to show your full strength, as always, you are a foolish God!!) (Nova)
The fire cow Phalaris…that damn Fire God Nova is increasing the output of the High Temperature Flash, and I continue blocking it.
This is vexing, but my opponent is a God. Defending against the waves of attacks is taking my all and I can’t find an opening to counterattack.
This is truly an endless loop.
When the opponent is a God and I am a God as well, this struggle is an obvious result.
That’s why, there’s the need of a different trigger in order to overturn this situation. The intervention of something that’s not a God.
The key to this battle’s conclusion is being held by them.
- 26: Passion Clad Lightning
I -the fire hero, Katack Mirack- was only able to look at that hellish scene absentmindedly.
“Why…did things turn out like this?”
I simply thought of a farce in order to drive away the annoying light hero and her lackey.
There’s no way someone can defeat the fire cow Phalaris.
Just like the subjugation battle that was carried out in the past, the human side was made to scatter and had to run back. The monster stayed in this land as if nothing happened.
That’s what should have happened now, and yet…this fire cow has taken a different action pattern from before. It grew active and has been utilizing attacks I have never seen before.
What’s with that high temperature flash?
If something like that had been used in the past, not a single one of the people in the subjugation force would have returned alive.
Moreover, the direction this high temperature flash was directed at was -without doubt- the place where Muspelheim is located.
That weird follower of the light hero was blocking this high temperature flash, and…that’s the number one thing I don’t understand, but…anyways, there’s still no fatal damage, but at this rate, the worst case scenario is right at the corner.
Even so, what can we do?
In front of such a fight that defies all common sense…
“Let’s do something, Mirack-chan!”
The girl at my side that was once my childhood friend said this.
“In the time Haine-san is blocking its attacks, we will defeat that fire cow!” (Karen)
“What kind of stupid things are you spouting! Don’t joke around!” (Mirack)
I reflexively shouted this.
“Defeat that fire cow?! That’s obviously impossible! You have seen how out of bounds that giant cow’s power is, right?! It has already been proved that your light divine power has no effect on it. It has also been proven that my fire divine power has no effectivity against it since a long time ago!” (Mirack)
“We are heroes! Why is a hero the one who is giving up?!” (Karen)
I was unable to say anything back at that.
Damn it. I ended up thinking what she said was right.
“Also, I have an idea. That attack a few moments ago, the attack to the joints of the fire cow was certainly effective.” (Karen)
“Such an attack that was like pricking with a needle? No matter how many times we repeat something like that, I don’t think it will bring it to its death, you know?” (Mirack)
The attack Karen did just now; concentrating the attack to its very limit, is something that the fire divine power can’t do.
This is like a specialty of each element, and it is certainly true that shooting at the joint areas where it is least resistant is effective, but the body of that cow is way too big to become a fatal strike.
“Also, I think it depends on the location we aim at. ‘Depending on the place the bee stings, it might even down a bear’, right?” (Karen)
“In that case, the location we should aim at is, as expected, the neck huh. It is a joint area and the armor there should be less, so if we are able to properly cut an artery, we might be able to kill it in one hit. That’s only if monsters follow the same logic as normal living beings, that is.” (Mirack)
“Let’s do it! Haine-san is doing his best blocking the attack, so us heroes can’t just stand around doing nothing!” (Karen)
That’s the number one thing I don’t understand though.
But the one that can’t just be standing around the most is me.
The place that the fire cow is aiming at is the fire capital, Muspelheim. In that sense, this isn’t directly related to the light hero Karen and her follower, and they can just ignore it.
And yet, they are the ones that are trying the most to stop the monster.
…The line that determines a true hero and a fake one.
The words that person said before remained in my chest even if I didn’t like it.
I approach the fire cow, dragged by Karen. For that giant guy, we were like grass growing on the ground. And in this current state where it is facing that follower head on, it has no intention to pay us attention.
It means that we are not even worth its time.
“If we can properly get close to it, we can gift it with a real good one, right?” (Karen)
“……No but, it doesn’t seem that way though.” (Mirack)
The more they get closer to the fire cow, the higher the temperature of the surrounding gets.
The waves of the high temperature flash are creating incredible heat. The earth and stones that are at its foot had already fused and became glass.
Humans jumping into such high heat would be akin to suicide.
“Getting closer than this is impossible. We have no choice but to aim at its neck from here.” (Mirack)
“Eh?! We can’t! No matter how concentrated the light divine power of the ‘Holy Light Blade’ is, even if we were to aim at a part that is least armored, piercing through it without being at close range is probably…impossible!” (Karen)
Damn it, just how useless are we. Being called heroes when we are like this, what a bad joke.
…No, the only useless one here is me. Karen has the key to defeat the fire cow Phalaris.
Compared to that, if the one here were not me but the water hero, that person could reduce the temperature of the surroundings and safely allow Karen to reach the neck of the fire cow.
But I am unable to do something like that.
“Damn it… Damn it!!” (Mirack)
Self-deprecation came out from my out from mouth.
And then, in my anger, I grab the hand of Karen.
“?!! Mirack-chan?!” (Karen)
“Now that it has come to this, I will give you my divine power. Putting my divine power on top of yours and boosting the output, even in this distance, we might be able to pierce through the neck of that fire cow!” (Mirack)
“Eeh?! But Mirack-chan, it is possible to do that with the same element, but…our elements are fire and light, you know? They are different elements, you know?! Who knows what would happen by mixing them!!” (Karen)
“But there’s no other method than that! We don’t know how long that follower of yours can hold back the fire cow, and in the moment he is unable to, my city will be!!” (Mirack)
I am underhanded and a coward.
The reason for all this was because I brought them here in order to make them fail, and yet, now I am asking for their help to escape from my own crisis.
I know that I don’t have the right to ask anything of them, but…even so!!
“Let’s do it, Mirack-chan!!” (Karen)
The hand that was holding Karen, was held back with strength.
“We are heroes after all! There’s nothing we can’t do to protect the people!” (Karen)
This is what a true hero looks like.
It has nothing to do with strength. Nothing to do with pride.
In order to protect the powerless people, you can do anything huh.
That was the prerequisite to being a hero.
Just what have I been doing until now without even understanding that.
“Let’s go, Mirack-chan…… Holy sword, Saint-George, please grant me your light power!” (Karen)
“Yeah, Karen…… Fire fist, Barbarossa, please grant me your fire power!” (Mirack)
Just like the holy sword that was granted to Karen, I was also granted a holy weapon by the Fire Church. I pack divine power into the fire knuckle.
From now on, this mixing is a territory that no one has ever explored.
“Mirack-chan, thanks…” (Karen)
“Why are you thanking me? The one doing the thanking should be me…no, I should be apologizing.” (Mirack)
“Because I was able to hold the hand of Mirack-chan again.” (Karen)
Now that I think about it, just how long has it been since I have held the hand of Karen?
Leaving aside the time when her follower forcefully had us hold hands, I feel like when we were 4 or 5 years old, we would always hold hands when we were going to play.
Those days were cut away in that day when Karen suddenly disappeared.
I heard from the adults that Karen had entered the light church, in order to become the light hero.
It was then that I learned the word ‘hero’ for the first time.
No wait, wasn’t I aiming to become a hero since my childhood?
The trigger of that was… when I learned about heroes and what reason I aimed to become one.
I can’t remember well.
After that, only the harsh days of training pop in my mind.
‘Excessive effort will warp other things’, is what that follower said.
Does that mean I have really been forgetting something because of the harshness of those days?
What was it?
Looking at the side of Karen’s face, I remembered.
I became a hero in order to stand by the side of Karen just like this.
I learned about heroes when I heard about Karen becoming one, so being in the same light church wouldn’t work. In each church, only one hero is chosen. That’s why I entered the Fire Church.
It is not like my fire element number was high since the beginning. I covered it with blood-curling effort. But that blood-curling effort made me forget something important.
When I became a hero and reunited with Karen after several years, I told this to her: ‘You are not a friend, you are an enemy’.
Why did I say something like that? Did the harsh training in the Fire Church change my heart as well?
The fire hero has to compete against the other churches. Being affected by that unwritten law, I ended up seeing Karen as an enemy.
Even though my past self didn’t wish for something like that.
Even though I didn’t aim to become a hero for something like that.
‘Excessive effort will warp other things’.
“Karen, I…!” (Mirack)
For some reason, in this precarious situation, I remembered so many things and I couldn’t hold my tears as they overflow.
“I love you, Mirack-chan!” (Karen) <No guys, this is not yuri.>
“Me too!” (Mirack)
Our divine power begins to mix along with our hearts.
Light and fire; the feeling of divine powers that shouldn’t be mixed originally.
A chant naturally rose into my mind.
“”[Divine Fire-Light, Thunder]!””
- 27: God’s Divine Punishment
I -Kuromiya Haine- was feeling as if my body and spirit were both screaming.
The Fire God Nova and the fire cow Phalaris; to put it bluntly, they are the same existence, but for what reason is it screaming in such a painful manner?
(W-What was that shock just now?! It hurts! It stings! What in the world is this?!) (Nova)
I follow the gaze of the fire cow and notice it as well.
Karen-san and Mirack; the two are holding hands and are using that hand to aim at the fire cow.
“One more shot, Karen!” (Mirack)
“Yeah, Mirack-chan!” (Karen)
““[Divine Fire-Light, Thunder]!””
From the linked hand of the two, a light is shot.
That’s light divine power? No, it is not. There’s something added to the light?
And again, Nova and the fire cow let out screams.
(W-Why?! This steel skin that I have manufactured for the sake of this body isn’t supposed to be receiving any wounds from something like the mere divine power given to humans! Gugegege?!!) (Nova)
In that time, I noticed.
“…Combined elements.” (Haine)
The light element and the fire element; by mixing two different elements, a completely different elemental divine power was born.
(Light and fire; by combining these two, what came out of it was ‘Lightning’ element.) (Haine)
(Lightning element?!) (Nova)
(Your steel skin…was actual steel huh. That’s why it conducts the electricity, and it is damaging your body directly. Their attacks are already not pointless against you.) (Haine)
“It is working! I don’t understand well, but it is working, Mirack-chan!” (Karen)
“Yeah! There’s already no need to aim for an opening!! Let’s hit it with all we got!!” (Mirack)
““[Divine Fire-Light, Thunder]!””
(Ugyaaaa!!! Stop iittt!!) (Nova)
Nova screams, but the cow-shaped monster is only going moo moo, so Karen-san and Mirack won’t understand what’s saying.
(Why?! Why?! Combining elements should be an impossible deed for us Gods!) (Nova)
(That’s because…you guys don’t get along. If you don’t overlap your hearts perfectly, it would be impossible to mix your elements to this extent.) (Haine)
(Stop it! I am a God! The Fire God that gave you power, fire hero! Are you going to point your fangs at the one you worship?!) (Nova)
(You are currently not a God, but a monster. A sinful monster that’s trying to destroy the people they are trying to protect. What’s wrong about pummeling someone like that?) (Haine)
(Don’t spout stupid things! Humans are the slaves of us Gods! Gods are free to use humans in whatever way they wish. Whether it is killing them, or playing around with them—! Eh?) (Nova)
(Looks like you finally noticed. That I have approached you till the very front of your face. Nova, you damn fire cow, the moment you received the combined attack of Karen-san and Mirack, you stopped your high temperature flash attacks after all. Thanks to that, I didn’t need to use a dark matter shield, and was able to freely move.) (Haine)
“In this stalemate, you were at the edge as well.” (Haine)
“You must have understood as well, right? By having me block your high temperature flash, you managed to pin me down in place, and there would be no fear of me fighting back. Fighting back with the dark matter that I create.” (Haine)
(Entropy-san, wait. Please listen to what I have to say!!) (Nova)
“Don’t call me with that name. Right now, I am the human, Kuromiya Haine.” (Haine)
(Yes!! Uhm, Haine-san…!) (Nova)
“You didn’t forget, right? In the battle of Gods, even when I had five Gods as my enemies, I managed to fight on even grounds. You know just how fearsome my dark matter that’s able to erase all divine power is, just how painful it will be to be punched by it, right?” (Haine)
(Wait, please. Weren’t we real good pals in the past? As fellow Gods, how about we get alo—) (Nova)
“I was unable to move because of the high temperature flash, but thanks to the heroes, I was able to get this close. To a distance where my fist can reach. It is true that I am the unknown Dark God, but I am still a God. The punishment I hand down is without doubt divine punishment. Now then, Fire God Nova…” (Haine)
This time, it is your turn to receive divine punishment.
*Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!*
Countless punches were striking the giant body of the fire cow.
Of course, they weren’t normal punches. They are punches clad with dark matter.
The dark matter goes from my fist and penetrates the body of the fire cow.
(The dark matter is—! The dark matter is entering my body!! I am being erased!! My fire divine power is steadily being eraaseeed!!) (Nova)
Monsters were created by the Gods in order to harass humans; living beings that are outside the natural order of the world.
Their identity is that of a mass of divine power.
That’s why, when they die, they will disappear just like that; if they come in contact with the dark matter that erases divine power, their volume will die out, and just like that……they are erased.