Words as its octagonal mouth disarrays into a queer shape. Something similar to blood flows down from its cheeks, dyeing the long fangs protruding out at the edges of its mouth. The fangs glow faintly as the blood-like liquid drips down.
It’s not an illusion but has actual mass?
The tone it used to ask 『Where is the sacrifice?』 sounds withered, and makes me feel its hunger. Its eyes are anything but those of a gentle elephant. A sharp glare scanning the sky.
Immediately following, the Time Pinyn screams in madness, “――Sacrificeeeeeee!”
Its unruly monkey fur resembles that of an orangutan. It stands on end as if about to jump out of the happi coat it’s wearing.
It dashes through the sky while pulling on the chain coiled around the big turtle alongside its legs. With swift motions like those of a leaping cricket, it’s charging my way. Quite quickly, despite riding a turtle that’s wrapped up by chains.
I reflexively pull back after being struck by its vigor that makes me experience the horror of the Time Pinyn. Still, I’m going to stop the Time Pinyn that’s closing the distance while swinging its elephant trunk around.
I silently cast the crest spell, 《Freezing Splash》. Thanks to the effect of <Instant Staff of Water>, the light blue liquid draws a magic crest. Countless frozen ice blades as tall as I am soundlessly come into existence from the crest. The swarm of ice blades piles up on each other vertically and horizontally
The even, gigantic net flies towards the Time Pinyn so as to wrap it up. Very likely it’s going to get frozen or cut if it gets touched by that net. At present it’s the highest-ranked crest magic I can use.
It’s big, so it should at least restrain…not. The Time Pinyn blocks my 《Freezing Splash》 with the brown cloud over its head. No, it’s rather the heavy metal rain falling out of the cloud? ――Fur needles? Rain needles? Rain pebbles?
Kinda an attack you’d expect from an apparition.
Showered by the rain, the big ice net turns dark, and as if having been basked in acid, it shrinks down while withering in no time, and then vanishes. The Time Pinyn made it disperse through its cloud. The cloud, which also seems to be a powerful acidic attack, seems to consume lots of mana.
But, far from just offsetting my 《Freezing Splash》, it actually erased it, meaning its firepower is tremendous.
“A sacred treasure user? Or one employing divine powers? Not bad…” The Time Pinyn says while moving its trunk up and down.
Divine power? Does it mean magic?
“But――” It heads my way in a forward-bent posture with a force that makes the atmosphere tremble.
Mana particles surge out of the turtle’s rear. It gives the Time Pinyn a propulsion similar to that of a jet engine. That Genbu-like transport moves in a way that totally reminds me of a famous, turtle-shaped monster.
The Time Pinyn rides that huge turtle like Son Goku the Flying Nimbus while grasping its gleaming cane in both hands. The cane’s tip consists of a pointed stake blade.
That’s the Time Pinyn’s main weapon, huh? A stake as tall as it is. It definitely doesn’t look like getting touched by that thing would end with just pain. I’m sure my body would get crushed, save Hal’Konk.
Hey, wait a moment! What’s going to happen to me then!?
While mentally retorting at my own imagination of getting turned into minced meat, I summon Baldok into my right hand, and rotate it on my palm.
Holding Baldok somewhat inwards, I adopt a stance of the Wind Spear Style, exposing the ax blade’s middle part at my chest.
While feinting to block the shining stake blade with the ax blade instead of a shield, I create a third mana hand ― <Magic Hand guided by Thought> ― as it grasps Holy Spear Arost. But, without looking at it, I maintain a gutsy glare full with the intent to dent in the approaching elephant trunk.
I take on the Time Pinyn from the front. From its point of view, it should look as if the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> suddenly appeared without me having moved at all. Or, as if some ambushing soldier had turned over a tatami, suddenly thrusting out Arost from beneath.
The <Thrust> of Arost heads for the Time Pinyn’s abdomen with a force as if a shrimp’s tail has changed its direction from being pointed downwards to now being pointed upwards.
――The Time Pinyn copes with that. While creating an afterimage as it swings its shining staff downwards, it skillfully blocks the cross-shaped spear’s <Thrust>.
The big, glowing staff and Arost clash violently. As if both weapons are fervently trash-talking each other to see who’s light attribute’s intensity comes out at top, they roar loudly like two veterans who have gone through many battles ― causing a shrill, metallic sound similar to a scream. Moreover, dazzling flashes scatter with the atmosphere trembling, creating peculiar glowing trails in the air.
The Time Pinyn’s body is huge, but it retreats while twisting.
“――Guooooh!” It glares my way while leaking a muffled roar.
My mana or the proficiency of <Magic Hand guided by Thought> which I forged through repeatedly using it in my training sessions ― I don’t know which of either powers fused, but…the force of Arost’s <Thrust> skill excelled the Time Pinyn’s staff technique.
At that moment, the Horse Lion Rollodeen spits a crimson flame with a “Nyagoaaaaa!”
The crimson flames swallow the Time Pinyn alongside the sky. Is it going to evaporate and vanish in an instant?
At least that’s what I wonder, but things don’t proceed so conveniently. Using the rusty water shooting out of its snout, it blocks my partner’s flames. Its long nose’s movements remind me of India’s God Gaṇeśa. And because it’s rusty water, it looks, to be blunt, like water full of shit…
Helme is silent, but…blocking a divine beast’s flames with plain water is next to impossible. Meaning, that rusty water is terrifying.
Speaking of blocking Rollodeen’s flames, it reminds me of Evil God Steertop.
Still, it looks like it consumes a great amount of mana. The Time Pinyn has shrunken even further, now being as tall as I am. The long nose…is a pew-pew water gun going by Helme’s imagination, but…right now it’s releasing brown water with a sound similar to a dam bursting.
Does it have that color because the Time Pinyn gets constantly showered by heavy metal rain? It might bless the rusty water with a power allowing it to repel Rollodeen’s flames. Or, unexpectedly and contrary to its appearance, it might have an effect allowing it to repel hindrances and evil spirits.
The Time Pinyn maintains a round water membrane around itself to defend against the flames. Accordingly, Rollodeen closes its muzzle, severing the stream of flames. Her eyes look like those of a cat, but…for some reason, they give me the impression of her being somewhat stubborn as a sharp glint, typical of a beast, dwells in her slit eyes.
My partner widens her imposing horse mouth, exposing the mouth’s interior. It almost looks as if her throat, her tongue, and even her sharp fangs are quivering. As soon as a divine beastly fire flickers up deep in her throat, she spits another ray of flames.
Once again, a sea of flames, exceeding the range of Ruler Class, assails the Time Pinyn. The Time Pinyn calmly opposes it with rusty water while being clad in its water membrane.
Even I, as I’m clad in Hal’Konk and <Spirit Ball Conception>…feel fine while being basked by the terrifying heat of the explosive flames. The flames cause the Time Pinyn’s water membrane to evaporate as if slowly peeling off its layers. A huge amount of steam billows up.
This spectacle reminds me of the Burning Knights, but I immediately switch my thinking. I feel like the Dark Hell Bone Knight ring has stirred as if to file a complaint, but it must be my imagination.
Suddenly, the steam around the membrane creates ripples on the water membrane’s surface, getting sucked into the membrane. The membrane becomes pure white and hides the Time Pinyn’s figure.
No, that only lasted but an instant. Once it becomes visible again, its outfit has changed. Its new happi coat has fully adopted the steam.
Can it use the steam as an energy source or something?
Ah, so that’s why it has a good affinity with Helme? It might be the reason why Helme could acquire a skill to absorb the Time Pinyn’s mana. But, I cannot hear any delightful voice saying, 『Pew-pew』. Helme-chan, in her state of being inside <Spirit Ball Conception>, remains silent. I guess it’s the same as when she enveloped Bruuun-sama’s idol.
Currently, Helme has merged with Hal’Konk. Helme has transformed into a semi-transparent happi coat through the power of <Spirit Ball Conception>. It’s slightly lonesome that I can’t hear her telepathic comments. Well, I suppose it’s a magic skill, or rather, a sage skill. She might need to focus on maintaining it to quite an extent. Though it might also be an issue of growing accustomed to it…
While I’m harboring such impressions, a part of the Time Pinyn’s membrane deforms. As expected of the firepower of Rollodeen’s flames… Did she put in more power since it’s her second shot?
The Time Pinyn is still blocking it, but…is it just a matter of time until its barrier dissolves?
But, huh? Its long nose suddenly expands, and stands upright. It’s not something indecent, but rather, rusty water gushes out of the big nostrils. With a force that’s higher than before. It’s maintaining its own water membrane by spraying new water at it from within…
But, won’t it drown instantly within the round barrier?
That’s what I thought, but maybe it’s an energy source to maintain the barrier? By being flooded with rusty water, the Time Pinyn’s barrier somehow manages to keep its shape.
“…Black horse beast, what flames you produce. And, you guys aren’t simple sacrifices either… Hmm, I saw a black beast a little while ago as well, but are you the same being?” The Time Pinyn talks composedly while bolstering its barrier.
Rollodeen seems quite frustrated over her prided flames not really working.
“…Your current appearance has a lion-like mane, and it also looks like that of a particularly refined, black horse, but…” It comments on Rollodeen’s appearance.
After growling in a way that would make any animal scurry into its burrow, my partner energetically closes her mouth. It’s different from a roar. It’s more like a ferocious sound of her upper and lower fangs gnashing together. Her vexed, red eyes are cute.
However, as might be expected of a divine beast, Rollodeen is filled with energy. It feels to me as if she’s actively considering something. She’s apparently given up on the flame breath.
And, shaking her horsey head, she neighs and gallops off to the left while making her long tentacles and her lion-like black fur growing around her neck and head fly in the wind. Her way of running is very beautiful. It looks as if the blue sky is being dyed by the color of night.
Rollodeen circles around into the back of the Time Pinyn. It looks like she’s aiming for a chance to launch a tentacle attack from behind.
On the other hand, after having endured the flame attack, the Time Pinyn sucks the faint remnants of the misty steam into itself. And then glares my way with its Demonic Eyes.
Something like a chessman is turning clockwise on the surface of the shining eyes. At that point, the Time Pinyn cocks its head as if pulling itself together. It averts its eyes and moves its head around, seemingly asking itself whether there are no other sacrifices around. It seems to confirm that it’s currently in the sky.
It makes the elephant trunk, which has been spewing rusty water, shrink down, and points it right above. After confirming its vicinity once more, it stares my way again. Then a noise similar to the buzzing of a wasp’s wing flapping reverberates.
…It looks like something similar to some sort of psychic wave is transmitted from his Demonic Eyes. I guess its Demonic Eyes are releasing that power all the time, but…it calmed down a bit? I guess I’ll try talking to it.
“…I’m no sacrifice, you know?”
“…You’re the one who’s poured mana into the 【Graass’ Time Box】, right?”
The box with the fret patterns is called Graass’ Time Box?
“True, I certainly did that.” Hearing my reply, the Time Pinyn folds its arms after making the adamantine cane disappear.
“That means you’re my next contractor. I’m starving since I haven’t devoured any sacrifices. But, rather than starvation, a further increase of dimensional chains of the contract binding me to this time…”
Spilling tears of blood comes from being hungry? It looks down at its feet and the turtle beneath. It sounds like it attacked us because it was tied down by those dimensional chains or whatever…
Seeing how it’s attacked me once, I don’t lower my wariness, and put force into my look.
“I have no clue about anything like that. I don’t have any memory of having tied a contract with a manchicken or mongoose box. Anyway, are you going to continue the fight?”
I ready Baldok. I think I’ll throw the Magic Halberd at my opponent for the first time in a long time. Afterwards I’ll turn Catiza into a third arm, and hold Murasame with my right hand while testing out the combination of Gatrance-form and <Spirit Ball Conception>… After slashing diagonally from the shoulder, I’ll apply pressure on it by using <Thousand Palms of Darkness>, and then deliver the finishing blow with my Magic Destruction Spear, huh? No, let’s go with my new <Fang Stab> as finisher after faking a <Chain> attack and instead constraining it with trees.
Imagining all that, I don’t know whether it’s a display of my thinking speed stemming from <Demonic Cerebral Spine Revolution>, but I envision more than a dozen new tactical patterns.
Thereupon, the Time Pinyn alters its happi coat’s shape as if disturbed, and puts itself on guard.
“Wait? The one who suddenly cried about sacrifices and came at me was you, right?”
“That’s true, but…I lost my mind because of my hunger. I’m sorry. Could you first tell me your name, please?”
The Time Pinyn, who’s stuck between me in front and Rollodeen in the back, has apparently calmed down, and emanates a very calm atmosphere, seemingly having amended its policy on how to approach this. Even its monkey fur becomes somehow small, and the happi coat design also transforms. For some reason or another, it fits with me since it’s the same happi coat-based design idea…
Oh, is that atmosphere possibly magic, too?
As such thoughts cross my mind, the Time Pinyn gentlemanly bows his head even while being semi-transparent. It’s also possible that he’s stalling for time since he doesn’t want to get bathed in Rollodeen’s flames again…
Well, fighting an opponent who has no intention to fight is pointless. If he’s polite, I’ll treat him likewise.
“…My name is Shuuya. My partner is called Rollodeen.”
It’s not an attack, but matching my introduction, Rollodeen also greets him, but with a voice that sounds wary. She might be telling me to not get careless.
“…One who has repelled <Bishop Vijnana>, Shuuya, I judged that…you and the black beast behind me are no sacrifices.”
“I hate the idea that I could become one. And, if you’re going to fight, then fight this spear with all your power…no matter whether you might be a god or some high-ranking being.”
“Hah, how cocksure. …But, I guess that’s only reasonable with your magic and spearmanship. Moreover, you’ve fended off my <Bishop Vijnana>, even if I might be weakened from not having had any sacrifices for a while.”
<Bishop Vijnana> are his Magic Eyes?
“Weakened means that this wasn’t your true power?”
Probably affected by the term weakened, the Time Pinyn adopts a truly timid attitude.
“Is that the reason why you wanted a sacrifice?”
“…There’s that as well, but just as I lightly broached a moment ago, there’s a fundamental problem. If I don’t provide magic elements and souls to this 【Graass’ Time Box】…the number of dimensional chains from the box, these damn shackles entangled around my feet, are going to grow in number. If I get bound by any more of these chains…”
The Time Pinyn contracts its trunk and creates vertical creases on its forehead as if being in a bad mood.
I suppose he means the thick chains coiled around his feet and the turtle. The dimensional chains have a different color than my <Chain>. And, countless small magic crests are carved into them. Those dimensional chains are even now as we’re speaking still extending out of the pretty box with the fret patterns. Seeing as they’re coiled around his legs, I feel some pity for him.
“That box is…”
The instant I ask that, a wet sound escapes the box, and the illusion of a Tathagata-like head shining in a golden gleam appears from within.
What the hell is that…? It’s an indistinct, holographic Buddha statue head. At the same time, a black rosary and a weird cube illusion lurk in the shadows around that Buddha head.
And then the mouth, looking like a straight line, of the Buddha that wakes the instinctive urge in me to pray moves limply.
“Tapir-Person toy, I had wondered why you’re taking so much time with those trashy sacrifices, but…it looks like you’re struggling, eh?”
“…Shut it, Graass.”
So the Buddha head is called Graass, huh?
“That’s no attitude a toy should take with me. Want me to increase the dimensional chains?”
A Buddha statue, albeit just a head. It preaches to the Time Pinyn in a way as if being in a clearly higher social class. But, trashy sacrifices is about me and Rollodeen, right?
“…I’m not trashy, you know?”
“…How rude for the likes of some mortal trash. To talk back to me…”
I’d love to ask who’s the one being rude here, but the other party seems to be a bigshot. It seems to be some god of sorts… The Time Pinyn is its toy?
“…I’m not trash. My name is Shuuya Kagari.”
“Are you going to become my new toy then, Shuuya?” Laughing, it opens its two eyes widely while twisting its expression disgustingly.
At the same time, magic chains are shot out of its eye sockets with a rattling. It’s an illusion consisting of a head that sways in the air, but only those chains look substantial. Both chains have the same color as the one binding the Time Pinyn.
It looks like it intends to bind me with those chains to turn me into its toy.
“――Don’t fuck with me. I’ve got no interest in being your toy.”
In an instant, I make Holy Spear Arost and the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> holding it disappear. For an instant I thought about using <Chain Spear of the Ray System>, but I’ll use a chain against a chain. I shoot <Chain> from both wrists.
My two <Chains>, which fly in a straight line, and the Buddha statue’s dimensional chains collide against each other smack down in the middle between the two of us. A flash as if space is torn occurs at the impact site. And then my chains pierce through the Buddha statue’s dimensional chains, and drill through the illusion.
Once two holes open up in the forehead of the Buddha head, it screams, “――Guuaaaaa.”
The golden head writhes while screaming in death agony. While releasing an ashen-silver light from its eye sockets, where the chains came from before, as if shooting a beam, it sucks up the shadowy rosary and cube around it, and vanishes, wilting away all of a sudden.
※Piiing※ Title: Crusher of a Demigod’s Fragment ※ obtained※
※Title: Emissary of Light Evil ※ and ※ Title: Crusher of a Demigod’s Fragment ※ change after fusion※
※Title: Cane User of the Demigod Sealer ※ obtained※
※Confirming Extra Skill linkage※
※Condition for skill derivation of Extra Skill <Chain Factor> met※
※<Sealer’s Seal> ※ permanent skill acquired※
Did the grade of my chain go up? The <Chain Factors> on my wrists have changed again. Unlike so far, they haven’t expanded, but instead shrunk down into a more compact size. Sanskrit character lookalikes have appeared in the center.
Moreover, the magic chains, which were coiled around the Time Pinyn’s legs and the turtle beneath him, have lost their power and come off. With a loud clattering similar to a chain counterweight driving down, the magic chains are reeled in as if escaping into Graass’ Time Box.
I’ve obtained a title and a skill, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve completely crushed the Buddha thing. But I guess that’s only natural since the opponent is a demigod.
“Ooohh, wow! Even though he was just an illusion, you smashed the chains of contract that bound me to time!” The Time Pinyn looks happy.
“The Graass’ Time Box is still squirming around. Is that okay?”
“It’s fine. I’ll take care of this. That Graass bastard has pushed me around for a long time…I’ll have him suffer a suitable amount of pain for that.”
The Time Pinyn grabs the box with a face full of hatred, and puts it into his pocket.
So Graass was the name of a demigod, huh? I guess I’ll ask him about contractors for the time being.
“Hey, you called me a contractor or something, what’s that about?”
“Contractor simply indicates a person having the necessary attribute to pour mana into this annoying Graass’ Time Box.”
“…You’re saying that Hogbar had the same attribute?”
“Indeed. At least the dimensional chains never increased during the time when the catman was contracted to the box… That’s why I gladly helped him out in various situations.”
Hogbar possessed an abnormal speed. I don’t know whether it’s the Time Pinyn or the turtle he’s riding, but I think he possesses a divine protection that raises one’s speed.
“…However, going by the garment you’re wearing, Shuuya, I suppose you killed the catmen that used me.”
Back then, eh? Helme, after she absorbed the Time Pinyn’s mana. As expected, it might be fine to regard this <Spirit Ball Conception> to be an outcome from having absorbed this god’s mana.
“Yep. It’s the outcome of that battle, but I think you know that.”
“…I do. After all, it smells like my mana. Anyway, I don’t have any intention to fight you and the black beast behind me anymore.”
The Time Pinyn has apparently finished its analysis of the situation around it through his Demonic Eyes, a skill, or the smell. From the way he talks with me, I suppose he’s God class, too.
Let’s try asking him about that box.
“Okay. So what’s that Graass’ Time Box you put into your pocket moments ago?”
“The Demigod of Time Graass. During the Great Abrahnam War I failed my task in the middle of what’s commonly referred to as Wild God War, and got captured by Demigod Graass who’s connected to the time box.”
I remember having heard about this. The battle between Ho’Oh and Azra. Hmm, in that case, on whose side did this Time Pinyn fight?
If it’s on Hoh’Oh’s side, it’d make him a friend of Wild God Magitora, Rollo’s white cat friend. This Time Pinyn might be hostile to Wild God Cazdolo Doctrine who gave me Balmint’s egg…
I recall having talked about this with Cazdolo who’s been partnered with the High Ancient Dragon Ronbalua. He told me to not ally with Azra’s side.
“…The battle between Hoh’Oh and Azra? Which side were you on?”
“I fought on either side since I’m a whimsical guy.” The Time Pinyn scratches his body with both hand’s fingers, which have changed in color.
Flea-like bugs jump off his body.
“…I see. Do you have a formal name?”
“You’re my benefactor. Feel free to talk normally with me. By the way, my formal name is “Tapir-Person who got trapped by Time’s Omen.” Other names are Mho, Tapir, Time Pinyn, and many more, but at this point I’m fine with Time Pinyn.”
I’ll keep it as it is then.
“Yep, no need to use formal speech with me. Just speak as you want, Shuuya.”
“Sure. So, what are you going to do from now on?”
“…That’s the problem. I’m still starving. That hasn’t changed. But, are you guys going to forgive me? Especially the black beast behind me…”
The Time Pinyn shifts his body sideways, looking at Rollodeen in his back.
Certainly, Rollodeen has a swarm of tentacles extending from her whole body, reminding me of a peafowl’s feathers. I think she planned to use those tentacles to launch a Gatling-gun-like chain attack. Since I’ve been continuing my conversation with the Time Pinyn, she’s simply remained on standby, I guess.
“I don’t plan to forgive you for having attacked us. But, I don’t plan to do anything further if you don’t intend to attack us.” While saying that, I signal Rollodeen with my eyes to hold back on attacking.
“Haha, you’re a peculiar guy. But, I’ll content myself with that, and obey your tolerant words, Shuuya…” The Time Pinyn bows politely. “And you have my thanks. I’ll give you a 【Wave Gourd】 that contains a part of the source for my precious 【Cloud Rust – Tenge】.”
Following that, he makes a big gourd appear from the tip of a part of his elephant trunk that he made transform, passing it to me.
“The source of the cloud floating above my head. It might be troublesome to master its use at the beginning, but it also grows depending on the user’s mana. Its possibilities are infinite. Please do your best in nurturing it.”
“If you give it to me, I’ll accept it, but…”
“Hah, no need to be so suspicious. I’m a Tapir-Person, a Time Pinyn, and not some cursed god.”
The Time Pinyn directs its eyes to the turtle he’s riding.
“Well then, farewell. We’ll get a bite of that whale over there. Let’s go Aaron.”
Immediately after jet-engine-like, silver mana particles appear from that turtle, the Time Pinyn leaves towards the distant sky. Just when I can only see him faintly, I notice how he picks a fight with a flying whale.
Sensing that the battle is over, Rollodeen contracts her tentacles, and returns to my side. I undo <Spirit Ball Conception> at that moment. The pretty, semi-transparent happi coat vanishes, and the liquefied Helme settles back into my left eye.
『…Your Excellency, a bit of your mana…』
Oh, <Spirit Ball Conception> uses quite a bit of mana, huh? Helme’s voice is powerless, so I quickly pour some mana into her.
She moans seductively.
Well, it’s her reward for having done so well. Now then, this Wave Gourd truly looks like a huge calabash. Is the rust cloud used by the Time Pinyn contained within?
It looks like it’s called Rust Cloud – Tenge… 1
Anyway, I’ll store it away in my item box. Someday I’m going to test it out. The skill checking has to wait for later, too. Let’s prioritize heading for Hekatrail for the moment.
“Rollo, we’re going to head south――”
Fortress City Hekatrail has come into sight. Its walls and the huge statues.
I feel like climbing to the top and screaming something, but it might be best to do that when leaving. Also, it’d be bad to plunge into the fortress city just like this. The griffon unit might swoop down on us. Well, that might be fine as well since it’ll allow me to meet Cecily, but I’ll normally enter the city from the base of the hill.
While having Rollodeen circle, we land at the base of a hill slightly away from the main road. She pulls her wings into her torso. Since I’m sharing the sensation of that soft, fleshy feel with her, I experience a strange happiness
――Alright, way to go.
Being linked to my emotions, Rollo walks onwards while firmly stepping down on the ground with her forepaws. It kinda feels like a military commander holding a spear while mounted. With such a mood, somewhat bouncy like Catiza, we get on the street.
Thereupon I recall how we left the city while riding Popobumu. The memories of everyone’s faces whom I had met and parted with here…cross my mind in succession, and disappear.
And while joining a merchant caravan led by an oxcart, and enjoying some casual chats with travelers and adventurers, as we advance along the main road in Hekatrail’s outskirts, the back of someone I remember having seen before enters my visual field.
That light brown, wavy creep perm, and the two-handed sword…
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