Combat shifts back to Shiro’s perspective.
Final Battle ㉓
Wheeze, wheeze. Th, that was close! I never expected my main body to get done in! I took Yamada-kun’s Divine Protection of Heaven too lightly! Seriously! I never imagined getting done in by a method that’s like threading the eye of a needle you numbskull! Being on guard for such a thing is basically impossible okay!
But too bad for you eh! Even if my main body gets done in, then a second or third me will appear before long! Well, yeah. The mere fact that I have clones available means that even if my main body is done in, I’m still okay though. Even though I call them “main body” and “clones”, the only differences are in which one I myself am moving, as well as the difference in energy distribution, so it doesn’t change the fact that all of them together are in fact my body. So long as my soul is safe then whatever body I move is “myself”, basically. In short, if you intend to kill me, you’ll either have to destroy my actual soul, or otherwise you’ll have to smash into smithereens my main body together with all my clones to make it impossible for me to restore myself.
For a start, to be able to destroy the soul is a privilege that only gods have, with the exception of stuff like Heresy Attack or Abyss Magic, and smashing my body into smithereens cannot be done with some kind of basic attack. You could cut an arm or two off and I’d be able to regenerate them instantly as well. Which is why I had thought that once Kuro was defeated my victory was unassailable you see… I never expected to be blown away by the Hero’s Sword. It was a miscalculation. Thanks to that, my main body got done in.
……This is painful. The energy in my main body got blown away as well. To put it bluntly, I can’t participate in any further combat.
Using a clone remaining in the System nexus I was able to knock back Yamada-kun and Ooshima-kun with a surprise attack. They’ve fainted, but they’re not dead. If they had killed the Demon King, then regardless of the fact that I was short on energy I would have totally murdered them, but fortunately they passed up the opportunity to do so. In which case, I’ll also pass up the opportunity as a courtesy.
The Demon King too. You pushed yourself way too much okay. Despite the Demon King’s body being in no state to fight, she was still fine with forcing herself to stand in front of Yamada-kun and co. Since I couldn’t move immediately after my main body was done in, I wouldn’t have been able to make it in time if they had decided to put an end to the Demon King then and there. The thought of that happening kinda sent chills down my spine.
I had knocked back Yamada-kun and Ooshima-kun out of the System nexus and beyond the door. I trudged over to where the door was, then quietly closed it. While I was at it, I fixed the door in place with thread. That feels like using packing tape to strengthen a crack in a dam with a hurricane coming on. It should buy me some time if someone tries to open the door. Nobody will be able to enter for a while.
Now then, now then, now then. Shall we get the show on the road already? Due to this sequence of unexpected events, my energy is just barely adequate. Any more than this and it would be seriously bad. This means having to walk the tightrope, but just sitting here and waiting is the same. In which case, I gotta do it.
My thread pierced the head of the Goddess Sariel.
The Goddess Sariel’s voice stutters with noise as if a bug occurred. At the same time, the remaining half of Goddess Sariel’s body arches backwards. Her eyes open wide, with an unmistakable expression of pain on her face. Ah, this is not something that I could let the Demon King see. I sure am glad that I closed the door.
What I’m doing right now, is hacking the System. Using the Goddess Sariel as a medium, I’m directly interfering with the System. Until now, considering the burden placed on the Goddess Sariel, I was interfering by attacking from the outside as gradually as possible. But, that sure took a long time. By waiting just a bit more time I could safely cause the System to collapse, but that way perhaps Yamada-kun or someone will surpass my expectations again. Before anything unexpected can occur, I will settle things.
It’s fiiine! The only compensation to pay will merely be the Goddess Sariel fainting in agony after sloshing her brain around a bit! Eh? Why am I doing this when we were working so hard to save the Goddess Sariel? That’s true, but putting that aside I don’t like this person for a start. Look, when it’s all over she will have been properly saved, okay. The Demon King will be satisfied with that, okay. Actually, I’ll be keeping these events a secret from the Demon King anyway. As long as she doesn’t find out it’s fine!
I directly interfere with the System using the Goddess Sariel as a medium. With the enormous magecraft known as the System. I will dismantle a part of it, using the energy gained to restore this planet. The particular part in question, is what’s referred to as status values and skills, granted to the living creatures on this planet, the soul enhancing element. The mechanism by which those are used to strengthen the souls of the living creatures on this planet and to recover the energy of those strengthened souls, apart from the bare minimum needed to survive. Except for the part that governs the restoration of this planet, I slice that all off. I will convert that into energy.
In doing so, I will also collect the energy associated with the status values and skills that are in turn linked to all of the living creatures on this planet. Because those are associated with their souls, that also means that their souls are disrupted by a non trivial amount. It’s rather like forcibly separating two things that were glued together without using a solvent. And so, the souls of the people of this world might not be able to withstand the impact, due to being repetitively reincarnated and distorted for many years. About half of them will die from the impact. Preventing that is the reason why Kuro and Yamada-kun and co fought against us.
Now, if I can proceed with this operation, about half of humanity will be sacrificed and the energy to restore this planet will be secured. However……
『Gah gah gah!』
While stuttering with noise, the hand of the Goddess Sariel seizes me. At the same time, there was a development of magecraft in order to obstruct my interference with the System. Yeah… I figured this would happen. Well, naturally the Goddess Sariel would get in my way! Yes, yes, yes, yes. I get it already so behave yourself!
Before I cause the System to collapse, I use the energy I had set aside beforehand, to insert a new feature. Seeming to understand what that will do, the Goddess Sariel stops her resistance.
Sigh. So it comes down to this after all. Well, I expected it to go like this anyway. That’s the whole reason why I had preserved some of my energy after all. Thanks to that I’m flat out of energy now! Or rather, due to my main body getting done in, there’s not quite enough! But, I gotta do this anyway!
I trigger the collapse of the System. The feature I had added… is simply a soul protection feature. Previously, I had performed a technique on those close to me and the reincarnators so that their energy won’t be extracted. Unlike that, this new feature is simply one that protects the people from dying of shock while their energy is extracted. However, considering that this has to be applied to the entirety of humanity on this planet, it consumes a vast amount of energy that is in proportion to their numbers.
I had worked hard to gather the energy for this. Even during my battle with Kuro I didn’t touch that energy, and as a consequence of that I was completely on the defensive at the start. Well, if it looked like I wouldn’t be able to win I would have still used that energy, but fortunately I was able to turn the battle around.
To be honest, I didn’t want to use this energy if at all possible. If the Goddess Sariel hadn’t resisted, I could have collapsed the System while sacrificing half of humanity in the process. But oh well, I guess it’s better for everyone to be able to smile with a “happy ending” when the story is over. So I don’t regret this.
On top of the energy that I’ve already put in, I have also included all that which was sustaining my life though.
While my consciousness fades, I send a thumbs up towards the Demon King. Since my hand is currently a sickle, it basically just seems like I’m raising that overhead though, but as the Demon King isn’t here, nobody but the Goddess Sariel would get to see it anyway. Well, I’ve successfully done it, Demon King.