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While in a forward-bent posture, Schmihazar looks our way as two spears are coming out of the masks’ mouths on his shoulders. Should I use the blood I spilled to penetrate his head from above with <Blood Chain Banquet>?
While considering that option, I erased Ganghis from my left hand.
“…Thanks, Shuuya.” Higlia’s voice is feeble, almost trembling, like that of a puppy.
“Don’t mind it.” I answer with my back turned on her.
“Your hands have been cut as well…” She says after apparently having seen the state of my palms.
Come to think of it, the swords I pulled out of my belly were sharp. Those swords are now stabbed into the ground at my feet.
To be honest, my palms sting, and I feel like my regeneration is somewhat slow, too. My palms were deeply cut by the sword blades. Did I create new palmar lifelines?
However, although my hands and belly are frigging hurting…being a man means enduring such pain. This pain is a man’s medal!
I feel like saying I told ya to kiss my ass, piece of shit, but I’m not Moga…
Taking my mind off the pain in such a way, I send a powerful glare at Schmihazar who has distanced himself.
“Guboboboa――” Schmihazar makes his lips quiver rather than actually yelling something comprehensible.
And then he swings his big sword, up and down…seemingly regarding the trees along the river as a nuisance. Those trees are being mowed down as if he’s trying to chop them into smithereens. Then, apparently satisfied with his own work, Schmihazar readies his right arm sword.
Thereupon, red, wriggly, slimy mucus is released into the air from the gems embedded in the sword’s blade. That bunch of slimy goo transforms into new, glowing knives, which then take a defensive formation while revealing numbers. With the knives floating in the air, the suspiciously glowing, red numbers make the whole scenery look like a futuristic neon city.
Schmihazar…a giant who stands stock still among all those numbers!? Making that retort in my mind, I look at his white hair as it flutters in the wind…I do feel some impact from it.
Schmihazar moves his three Demonic Eyes, which are endowed with a steel-like hardness, to glare straight at me.
“Guboboboa…Spearmaster, I didn’t expect you to protect the divine princess to the extent of allowing blades to penetrate you.” His deep croaking makes his lips tremble.
It sounds grim, but his looks are somewhat funny. But, he also possesses a force which oppresses everything around him. It seems like me protecting Higlia with my own body went beyond his prediction. Although he might also be simply vexed that he failed to take the divine princess.
Still, the floating coffin has an impressive presence. No, I guess that presence comes from the spears. Schmihazar’s shoulders are pole shoulders imitating masks, or maybe protector-like armor pieces. Two spears are in the middle of appearing from the mouths in the middle of those shoulders.
I’m extremely bothered by those spears. Earlier Schmihazar called them cursed spears. There’s no doubt that they’re some kind of magic spears. So far, only the tips have come out, but…those spearheads are clad in green and red colors…is all I can tell.
The knives also continue to manifest in huge numbers from his gladius…he definitely uses weapons I haven’t seen before. Are all of them Legendary? They might even be Mythological. Either way, they must be precious items.
I’ll refrain from attacking by using <Blood Chain Banquet>. I think it’d be smart to hold back on any attack that would destroy those items.
“…Gubobo, that look tells me that you’re curious about the cursed spears I’ve been summoning through my Flair.”
“Of course. As you can see.”
Hearing my reply, Schmihazar smirks disgustingly with his trembling lips. His face is full of hate.
I focus on the Magic Dragon Gem at the butt end of Baldok. I’d love to use this Magic Dragon Gem for a full swing, like a driver in golf, to hole in one by blowing his head away. However, I’ll endure for the moment. The counterattack for pissing me off with his attack and trying to snatch away Higlia is going to follow after I satisfy my curiosity.
Suddenly, the magic lines connected to his sword arm and the thick breastplate are pulled back into his Demonic Eyes. In exchange, the lines connecting Demonic Eyes and shoulders gain in thickness.
Has he strengthened the flow of mana provided to his shoulder protectors? Does the summoning or revealing of the cursed or magic spears require mana? At least it looks like the mana is converging there.
And then he directs the Demonic Eye on his forehead at the swords stabbed into the ground while turning his regular Demonic Eyes towards my chest and abdomen.
“…So you possess a body immune to the effects of Magic Sword Sharlow and Holy Sword Saraten, huh? Even high-ranking vampires should have scars left after getting hit by a holy sword.”
I suppose those are the names of the swords at my feet. I fix my eyes on Schmihazar’s face once again. His three Demonic Eyes are symbolic, but…his face has deeply chiseled features. His looks, except for the lips, are rather handsome and exotic.
Hmm? Sweat? I can see violet drops of liquid on his forehead. He’s knitting his white eyebrows. With the wrinkles underneath his eyes increased, he’s showing a stern expression. Is Schmihazar flustered? Or is he preparing some secret plan? Or is he simply awed after confirming the power of my race as Light Demon Lucival through my blood? Is it because he’s in the middle of evoking his skill to make the magic spears appear out of his shoulders?
While feeling doubtful, I explain, “…I thought you already knew, but I’ve got a slightly special constitution, you see? So my wounds will regenerate.”
“…Guboboa, your body has a special constitution invalidating the effect of Saraten’s blade? The Great Hoffmann-sama estimated that you might possess stigmata as they’re described in the Suffering of Lu Kalveil, but…”
His lips are trembling again.
Stigmata? I do have a Granted Seal of Light, if he’s talking about that.
Anyway, I kinda wonder whether he kisses women with those big lips. The surface of his lips is plastered with warts… Eh? Moreover, characters? They look a bit like Enochian letters.
Enormous fodder, lust, cannibalism, soul, Azrael of Yearning, Hypostasis of the Archons, Vampire Angel of Death Melchior Hoffmann…the rest are all things I don’t understand at all.
However, his spear summoning is still not done, huh? I guess I’ll wait for a bit until he’s done over there…
That doesn’t mean I’m careless, but at that moment a shoulder, not the lips, of Schmihazar begins to tremble, before one of the spears fully exits the mouth at long last. It has a coloring of olive green and chrome green. Big mother-of-pearl leaves and wood form a cone shape as if recreating the tip of a lance, smoothly continuing down to the handle. The blade at the tip is as thick as those of two-handed swords.
It’s slightly different from the sword that has fused with Schmihazar’s right arm. I think it resembles the gladius-shaped blade a bit, though. On the whole it’s a very artistic spear with gems of different green shades glittering on its surface. …A truly pretty wood spear. The basic tone of the handle is chrome green as well.
That spear floats next to the giant’s shoulder.
But…a cursed spear with such beauty? It also contains a tremendous amount of mana. Rather than a magic spear…it seems like a holy spear inhabited by a tree spirit… I’m sure Helme would like it.
However…it’s not holy or pure. Just as Schmihazar said, it’s cursed. Something ominous, like a blackish, ethereal body, oozes out the green spear. That body is coiling itself around the spear’s surface and the green leaves growing out of it as if snuggling to it lovingly.
With each passing moment…the mana released from the spear becomes more viscous and extremely dodgy… Somehow, there can’t be any doubt about it being a mysterious, wicked, magic spear.
The other spear, the red one, is still in the middle of coming out of the other shoulder’s mouth.
“…That’s a cursed spear?”
Schmihazar reacts to my question by raising his body from crouching and grabbing the evil spirit spear with his left hand. He also wants to support the translation by reading it on their blog instead of aggregators.
“Quite so. Its proper name is Evil Spirit Spear Iglued―― Take my mana.”
In response, leafy feelers spring forth from Iglued. The tremendous number of earthworm-like feelers penetrates Schmihazar’s arm. Or rather, they’re devouring his arm. I can hear the chewing and crunching of bones all the way over here.
“――Guuoooo!” Schmihazar screams in pain.
Ugh…so this is what he meant by cursed. Alright, let’s use that opportunity to launch my attack.
That’s what I planned, but Schmihazar’s Demonic Eyes remain focused on me. Even while suffering and agonizing, he makes the knives spread out from the right arm sword. Looking closely, the shape of the gems embedded in the sword’s blade is similar to jar-like quivers. The crowd of red, glowing knives extends from the large sword, and flickers in my visual field like lights that decorate a Christmas tree.
It’s a ranged attack based on guidance sorcery. I expect that it has enough directionality to target Higlia and me. …The knives might possess some other abilities as well. And it’s quite possible that the knives are going to head for the group around Nemus, and not just Higlia.
I think I’ll keep an eye on them. There’s also the red spear which is still in the middle of coming out.
During that fraction of a moment I used to consider things, Schmihazar’s red arm had turned olive green. It looks like the feelers are corroding his big arm. His arm has transformed into an abnormal object entangled by countless green and brown branches.
In addition, the ethereal body of a woman appears from Iglued. A thin, chrome green layer of mana covers the woman’s body. And green mana is being emitted from her entire body in an elliptic shape. The lower half of her body is connected to Iglued through small magic lines. At a glance, she looks like a ghost, but her upper body half appears to be somewhat substantial.
Plant threads, similar to vines, are reproducing long hair, and she has a leaf-patterned skin from her forehead to her cheeks. I sense the cruelty and malice characteristic to her from her red eyes.
Then my attention is drawn to her swaying chest. Well, I’m a boob sage, so that’s why. …Her tits have been reproduced by drawing curves with plant leaves. They’re splendidly voluptuous.
But…BUT! Even a matchless boob lover like me…can’t really appreciate plant boobs…
Even that guardian monster I fought on the twentieth floor some time ago was still better with its drooping fruits…
Just remembering it sends a shiver down my spine. I sense the same coldness from the ethereal woman. She possesses a hair-rising aura like Hanako, the toilet ghost. It also feels as if I’m watching the leaves and branches of a willow sorrowfully swaying in the wind.
Just as I’m thinking all of that, “Fu, fu, offering…fufu, the smell of a sacrifice, fufu!”
Whoa, a totally shady remark.
“A sacrifice for me…” The ethereal woman hisses with a smile.
Since I can completely feel her cruelty from her gaze, it’s damn scary, to be honest. She reminds me of a monster I encountered when traveling from Hekatrail to Holkerbaum. Its name was shapsi.
The ethereal woman checks the vicinity by making use of her seductive, tight waist. The leaves growing out of her ethereal body flutter gently. Somehow, she makes me feel fear and fascination at the same time.
The woman lovingly wraps something similar to an arm around Schmihazar’s thick neck, and suddenly whirls around him after burying her chest in his chest. Immediately after she circles to the back of his head as if to take a look at his back, Schmihazar screams, “Aaaaahh, guboboa.”
――Come on, man….don’t scream with such a shrill voice all of a sudden.
Even I got startled…since he had used a deep voice until now. I let the tip of <Chain> out of my left wrist while readying Baldok in reflex.
Thereupon, his left arm transforms, probably as a result of having been devoured. Sinister, larva-like branches newly grow out of the surface from the wrist to the upper arm, and start to wriggle. The branches form a wood membrane as if recreating Nemus’ tree. The entire left arm is covered, with just the shoulder being left out.
Is it a new wood protector? No, the coloring is the same as the spear. The left arm has converted into Iglued, a brand-new plant spear.
Pain is written on Schmihazar’s face. He looks exhausted in various ways, but also somewhat satisfied. His left Demonic Eyes have shrunken down significantly. I guess he’s consumed lots of mana, stamina, and mental power since he’s transformed in addition to the shady spear that’s still in the middle of leaving his shoulder.
That said, is his right arm sword going to transform in a similar way? Is he using weapons that can only be used by sacrificing his mana and body parts? I’d say, those perfectly qualify as curses.
Furthermore, circular, green blades similar to halos are appearing behind Schmihazar. Is it light emanated by the ethereal woman?
“…As always, your mana and flesh is delicious. Last time was the Great Elemental Emperor, wasn’t it?”
“You’re bringing up a fairly old story…did you already forget about Holkerbaum?”
“Oh my…where might that be? Aahh! You mean the underground town? I thought that was the same since the magic elements hadn’t stabilized over there, but was it something else then?” The woman asks with her head inclined.
“…We’re in the Sea of Trees right now. I don’t think you’ll find Holker’s Stone of White Milk and Jupeil’s Shaft here. Besides, the business with 【Apostles of the Blood Mark】 has long ended.”
“Oh, really? You’re talking about the guys who used Evil Spirit Seeds and countless corpses with Spirit Copper Threads, aren’t you?”
“Looks like you finally remember.”
“Barely, but yes. Sea of Trees…there’s a few of those, but you mean the forest with the fluctuating magic elements, right? So, is the situation here the same as in Holkerbaum’s underground town? Back then you fed me a part of that gathering…so, it means it’s fine for me to eat the man and woman over there?”
Iglued or whatever she is seems to target Higlia and me.
“…In accordance with my will, yes.”
Still, 【Apostles of the Blood Mark】 she said?
At that moment, creaking reverberates from Iglued.
“――Your will, eh? You prefer me encroaching your entire body then? Just like Demonic Marquis Adombraly who’s ruining your right arm…” The ethereal woman clearly shows her displeasure.
Her tone has become shriller as if to cause ghastly dread around her.
At that moment, the floating knives linked to the sword move. They bunch up diagonally above Schmihazar, forming a cluster. The cluster’s shape imitates the shapes of the gems embedded on the blade. The red knives turn into a tiny life-form while squirming, contracting, and expanding. That life-form is as semi-transparent as the ethereal woman. And it glares at her with the faintly shining eye located in the middle of its tiny head.
“…Don’t screw with me! I’m going to devour you.” The voice of that life-form is weird.
As it’s talking quite quickly, it might be kinda cute. Rollodeen would likely react right away if she was here. But, as of yet she hasn’t returned. Did she spot something strange in the forest? Oh well, I’m sure she’s going to come back sooner or later.
While I’m pondering about Rollo, the ethereal woman and the life-form connected to the sword begin to quarrel. Since both of them are semi-transparent, their attacks disappear fruitlessly in the air. Their relationship as fellow weapons appears to be bad.
Accordingly, Schmihazar speaks up with the intent to mediate, “Adom…go back. And, Iglued, you ate a part of my flesh and soul, didn’t you? It’ll be a problem if you don’t help me in proportion.”
The woman nods at Schmihazar’s words, and says with a laugh, “…I was just joking. I understand without you telling me,” while stroking the giants’ hair.
She doesn’t seem to have any further interest in the small life-form. Iglued, the ethereal woman, glares at the dark red spear in the middle of appearing from the other shoulder mouth. The tip of that red spear has turned into the shape of a stake.
The small life-form called Adom…obediently follows Schmihazar’s order. Its body breaks apart with a poof, turning back into a swarm of red knives again.
“…It seems like you’re resolved to use the witch spear as well, so I won’t miss the opportunity to eat what I can right now.”
Immediately after muttering that, the spearhead of the left arm Iglued points at me.
“In that case, don’t try to look up to trees you can’t scale. Your current target is the spearmaster.”
“Fufu――” The woman laughs and vanishes within Iglued.
“Spearmaster, do you wish to get a taste of a spear with an evil spirit?”
“I’ll take on a spear with a spear. But, I’m a rebellious man, you know?” I look at Schmihazar while forming an evil smile with my lips. And then I say to Higlia, “Higlia, I won’t tell you to fall back, but stay out of this.”
“I know. I’ll watch my cherished duel partner!”
Even though I’ve told her that I won’t do any duels with her, she’s still hung up on it, I guess.
“Very well, then take on Evil Spirit Spear Iglued!”
I can distinctly hear the confidence in his voice. At the same time, I feel how my blood boils in joy. With my emotions on fire, I’m all set.
The instant I shift my eyes towards Schmihazar, a booming sound reaches my ears from over there. As if pushed by a powerful gust of wind, Schmihazar closes in on me at a high speed.
An evil spirit spear for a left arm, huh? I suppose I’ll handle tree with tree then. With that decided, I focus on <Tree of the Evil King>. At once, trees from Evil Domain Hellrhone form at my feet. Those trees head for Schmihazar while bending and stretching as they please.
At the same time, I invoke <Blood Path – Open Third Gate>, and immediately thereafter, <Blood Acceleration>.
I could use the trees continuing to grow out beneath my feet like a surfing board, but I deliberately run by myself to capitalize on the acceleration through my blood. I keep dashing across the trees growing and bending.
The pointed ends of the extending tree branches are faster than me. The trees of the evil domain home in on Schmihazar.
If all goes well, they might be able to immobilize him…is what I thought, but he easily pierces through my trees with Iglued. My trees are broken into small fragments, causing countless wood chips to flutter about.
While swirling through the air, those chips stick to all of Schmihazar’s body. They act like a natural smoke screen, making it look as though he’s surrounded by a brown mist.
However, although it’s not <Nightvision>, I’ll be troubled if you look down on Magic Observation. The mana cladding Schmihazar, and the mana contained in Iglued and the Spirit World-something-sword is tremendous. It allows me to grasp my opponent’s movements within milliseconds.
Schmihazar is rotating as if to capitalize on the left arm with its protruding broad-bladed spearhead.
In that moment, I thrust out Baldok to counter Iglued. Baldok’s red spear and the spiraling spear of Iglued clash with a terrifying force. The wood chips are blown away, and I can hear metal screeching similar to the scream of a woman. At the same time, a flash of poisonous mana particles illuminates Schmihazar and me.
Don’t make your lips tremble each and every bloody time! is what I swallow down without voicing it out.
While harboring such a feeling, I use the technique of Riko, the divine spear king ranker, and thus succeed in hooking the flat spearhead of Iglued with the red ax blade.
“Muuaah――I’m being swept away!?”
My opponent’s balance breaks apart as I fluently pull Baldok to myself. Schmihazar tries to fix his posture in panic, but we’re in the middle of a high speed battle. Of course Schmihazar is floating in the air to begin with, but because he’s a giant, he can’t easily change the flow once his frame moves in that direction.
While confirming with a sidelong glance how Schmihazar’s huge body and Iglued tilt to the right, I relax the muscles in my upper legs. Performing a toe rotation with my left foot, I lightly jump to the left. At the same time, I use the rotational power to deliver a blow against Schmihazar with Baldok’s Magic Dragon Gem.
However, I get a hard feedback. Meaning, I couldn’t smash his back. It was a move you wouldn’t expect from giants. I suppose he used his right arm sword to block the dragon gem by grandly twisting it backwards.
I erase Baldok from my right hand while clicking my tongue. Meanwhile Schmihazar fixes his posture by making use of his muscle strength while rotating. Then he extends Iglued straight towards me while adding the power of his rotation to it after coming to a halt in a sideways position.
The spear isn’t spiraling. Probably because it’d lose power. He simply unleashes the spearhead at my chest.
Seeing that thrust, I bend myself back, and do a backward somersault to dodge. While doing that somersault, I use the opportunity to kick Iglued.
I can hear a woman’s scream from the spear while perceiving a hearty feedback from the kick. Simultaneously continuing to rotate in the air, I activate <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, and draw Murasame with my left hand.
I swiftly pour mana into the steel hilt, causing a yellow-green beam saber to appear from the hilt’s emission guzzle, as if it’s equipped with a focusing lens. The buzzing sound reaching my ears feels comfortable. At the same time, I clad my whole body in Magic Combat Style, adding even more acceleration to <Blood Acceleration>.
Having doubled my speed, I charge in a forward-bent posture. Schmihazar attempts to pull back Iglued. But, he’s too slow. I swing the beam saber up from below as if drawing a half moon.
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