Mob Hero’s first world problems.
Final Battle ⑤
Author’s comments: Shun’s perspective.
There’s intermittent earth tremors, and the sounds accompanying them. I involuntarily raise my head, looking up.
「Don’t worry. Even if the upper layer collapses down, we shall protect you.」
Perhaps because I was rather too concerned about what was going on above, Fire Dragon Guen-san told me that to reassure me.
「Oh, there’s nothing to apologise for. It’s inevitable for those with human bodies to be afraid of a battle on this scale.」
When I apologised in shame, Guen-san kindly told me that. I’m not the only one who is concerned about what is going on above. Those accompanying us – Katia and Sue, even Ronant-sama, also sometimes turn to gaze above with a severe expression. What we’re feeling are not just earth tremors and the sounds. It’s the truly overwhelming sense of power flowing from the two people fighting there.
The battle between Water Dragon Iena-san and Sophia has begun. In the upper layer, above us in the middle layer.
I know just how wide the Elro Great Labyrinth is, as I also went through it during my journey to the elf village. Whether it’s to be able to submerge such a vast labyrinth, or to be able to defend against the surging water by freezing it all – both actions feel so large in scale that it doesn’t seem real. But, such things are happening during this battle. Once again, I am forced to realise just how utterly useless my own strength will be in this battle. My duty… is simply to aim for the innermost place of the bottom layer, while being protected by Guen-san and co.
We are currently riding on the back of Guen-san in dragon form after entering the middle layer. This is after a hole was opened from the seafloor to the upper layer and seawater started flowing in. Taking advantage of that chaos, we came to a place right next to an entrance to the middle floor using Ronant-sama’s Teleport, and since then we’ve been riding along on Guen-san’s back. Iena-san has become a decoy. The way in which Iena-sana has submerged the upper layer is an excessively grand distraction. In short, the real action is here.
「Iena-san will be okay, right?」
I watch the battle between Iena-san and Sophia by activating Clairvoyance. Their attacks and avoids are just so intense, that I can’t even tell what’s what. Their speed is so fast that it’s hard simply to follow for a start, and each of their attacks are so big in scale that I can’t tell which are the feints and which are the real attacks. Most likely, even with a slow-motion replay, I’d probably still need someone’s commentary to be able to understand their battle. That’s just how sophisticated the battle was. I can’t even figure out who has the advantage.
「She’s going to lose.」
Darkness Dragon Reise-san declared that indifferently. While predicting the defeat of a comrade, he had a slight smile on his face. His attitude was somehow composed. Does this mean that… even if she loses that they have some plan for her then? Some plan that means she can survive without any damage? However.
「Well, of all of us, Iena has the most guts. I’m sure she fully understands her duty. So she’ll buy us plenty of time until her death I’m sure.」
Reise-san casually denied my expectations. I was dumbfounded by Reise-san’s attitude. Your comrade is about to die, but you’re being so casual about it?
Perhaps he felt the same as me, as Guen-san called out Reise-san’s name as if chiding him.
「Guen. Iena shall accomplish her own duty through death. That being the case, don’t you think that we who are proud of her should send her off with a smile that says “well done”?」
Guen-san was silenced by Reise-san’s words. Likewise for me – I felt shame at having thought of Reise-san as being a cold-hearted person. It was the opposite. This person has an arrogant attitude about him, but it seems that in his heart he has resolved himself to an extreme degree.
「That being the case, for us to accomplish our duty, is itself the best possible gift we can send off Iena with.」
Otherwise, I doubt he’d be able to speak such words.
「Indeed. Quite so.」
It has just been a few days since I met the ancient dragons. While I have only known them for a short time, I can tell that all the ancient dragons are facing this battle with a strong resolve. They are very different to me. That’s exactly why they are reliable.
「Uhhh. So hot. So painful. I want to go home.」
Correction: Just one of them, Ice Dragon Nier-san might be a bit on the unreliable side… Well, I know that it is Nier-san who is suppressing the heat in the middle layer for us. In this middle layer overflowing with magma, we lose our stamina just by being here. It’s particularly bad for Katia since she has lost most of her skills in order to acquire Chastity. Simply being in the middle layer could kill a person. It is Nier-san who is mitigating against that. The heat of the middle layer is being neutralised thanks to the cold air that Ice Dragon Nier-san is giving off, and so we can be here without taking damage. I’m grateful to her, but I can’t help but think “is this person really going to be okay – she’s even more heat sensitive than we are”.
「Nier. Straighten up. We’re about to reach our target site.」
Guen-san said that as if exasperated, while looking straight ahead. Our target site – where we plan to open a hole to the lower level. Rather than try to pass through the middle layer in a stupidly straightforward manner, we intend to create a shortcut at a point where passages between the middle layer and lower layer overlap each other. While there are shafts that directly connect between the upper layer and the lower layer, the Pope’s analysis suggests that in all probability those places will be laid with traps. Most likely, the remaining Queens are lying in wait there. In which case, it is better to avoid them.
For some reason I had been under the impression that the walls of the labyrinth couldn’t be destroyed. That’s a stereotype from games though. However, if you ignore that stereotype, this sort of method becomes possible. But then again, opening a hole is only a simple matter when you have the strength of ancient dragons with you.
「Okay. We’re here.」
「Good. Fortunately the battle above ground seems to have settled down as well. I’ll go pick them up.」
Saying so, Ronant-sama disappeared with Teleport. Him saying that should mean that in the battle above ground with the Queen, that Wind Dragon Hyuvan-san and Lightning Dragon Gouka-san have won. With Ronant-sama able to use Teleport, those two should be able to join us here soon. Teleport sure is quite a cheat.
「Then, until that lot can get here let’s burrow…「I won’t let you」…!?」
At that moment, I couldn’t even tell what had happened. However, when flames hot enough to burn my eyes suddenly gushed out, I instinctively closed my eyes, and by the time I opened them again we had been thrown off Guen-san’s back and onto the floor of the middle layer.
Even while groaning, in order to determine the situation, I stood up while looking around. Which is when I noticed that there was a man here confronting Guen-san.
That man… was Kyouya.