The goblin had severe cuts on its body but it was still breathing. Gofunkawahara gave instruction to the other goblins to carry the wounded goblin inside the s.h.i.+p.
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“Sorry. I’m late.”
“If you say you don’t want to increase the death count, then first of all make sure that you yourself aren’t the number two victim.”
However, there was a strange feeling that this fog was no good. Right beside her, while tending to the carrots at her own pace, Hanazono muttered.
While launching scales like bullets, Uozumi threw out abusive language. Kensaki also nodded while floating in the air by treating Kagoi as a stepping stone and slashed (at the hydra).
Rin didn’t want to think that Kyousuke was a coldhearted person like that.
Gofunkawahara asked while looking anxious. Ryuzaki nodded.
“Gofunkawahara-kun, behind!” [Rants]
“Himemizu, Ok.u.mura, did you see it just now?”
“Both of you, if you cannot fight, stand down!!”
When Gofunkawahara gave a signal, the goblins at every turrets pointed the tips of the machine guns toward the snake. Just as Rin came back to the deck after escorting Hanazono to the cabin, she found several swaying shadows emerging from inside the fog.
Ok.u.mura nodded to Rin’s question. Yamata no Orochi, or possibly Hydra. A kind of multi-headed dragon often told in folklore. What Rin and the others knew was obviously knowledge from the former world, but it wouldn’t be strange even if a similar monster also existed in this world.
“…My, my fault…?”
Ryuzaki witnessed as a shadow that wasn’t there up until now got down from on top of the hydra head, which had fallen on the deck.
“The damage is zero for now. But it’s quite strong. This thing.”
Gofunkawahara decided to aim at the wounded head and gave out instructions to bring it down. Kagoi stopped the attack of that snake head, and Ok.u.mura pinned it down from the side. Kensaki took a stance with her sword and leaped at it. They also had to prevent the attacks by the 5 remaining heads one way or another.
While all people present nodded to each other, the ogre Zeku also clenched his fists and kept a close watch to his surroundings.
But then, is it okay for Kyousuke to fight in that state? Rin was lost. It was because she couldn’t understand what kind of emotion was moving Kyousuke now. Was it impulse, a sense of duty or something else entirely different?
Episode 36 — Her Confession, His Return
Gofunkawahara shouted while keeping his eyes on the surroundings. The shadows that had appeared inside the fog all seemed to be snake heads.
I cannot combine with Kyousuke now.
“Cla.s.s rep, pull yourself together.”
Turning around, at the area around the bow of the wars.h.i.+p, «something» that seemed long, thick and slimy was about to drag a goblin to the other side of the fog.
“Didn’t you said it yourself that you cannot afford to step down from the leader’s seat?!”
“What, it’s not just
Without listening to Gofunkawahara trying to stop him, Ryuzaki roared and charged at the hydra. The maximum priority is to protect my cla.s.smates now. It was my careless decisions that lead the cla.s.s into danger, and now the things that I can do is nothing other than fighting.
“Oi Ryuzaki, you’re good to go already?”
That fact feels like it symbolizes the distance between our hearts are helplessly growing further apart, Rin couldn’t help thinking so.
“I’m just guessing, but maybe all the heads belong to one body debu.” [Reminders]
“I don’t know!”
Ryuzaki, while standing up on the deck, clenched his fists. It felt like his heart was completely stripped bare. After all, it appears that I have once again shown a such a disgraceful behavior. There is a slight self-deprecation, change that self-deprecation to prudence.
Then why did you mention it? Faster than she could tsukkomi, a goblin’s scream came from behind.
When Kyousuke just barely squeezed out his words, they heard Gofunkawahara’s shouting voice.
“Ah—, so you were crying after all…”
Running through the deck in his complete dragon form, with overall body length reaching about 10 meters, Ryuzaki crushed one of the snake head.
However, the snake head jumped in as if to strike the deck, the hull (of the s.h.i.+p) shook greatly causing Ok.u.mura and Zeku to let go of the snake head they were grabbing.
The snake head held Zeku strongly in its jaws and tried to disappear into the fog, but at that moment, ∗dopan∗, there was that sound and its neck burst open and flew away.
As Gofunkawahara had said, the effective field of vision was only enough to just barely confirm the terrain of their surroundings. For this reason, the heavy cruiser branch school had also been moving forward with a greatly reduced speed. The slope with the conifer forest densely grown had also disappeared from view, and sandwiching both side of the s.h.i.+p were just dull bare rocks now.
“Zeku, you have done well! Be proud as someone from the same ogre race.”
Rin asked while hiding in the shadow of the cabin which seemed to be a blind spot from the hydra. Rin also understood well the mental shock that Kyousuke had received. First was a shock from having to look straight at the problem holding within himself that he had never looked at up until now. And immediately after that, there was a shock from the scene where his cla.s.smate was killed right in front of his eyes.
“If you understand your own value to that extent, don’t fight in a way that treat yourself so lightly!”
Following Gofunkawahara’s shout, several students beginning with Kinogasa escaped from the deck to the cabin.
A snake head again extended as if breaking through the fog. Ok.u.mura and Zeku who noticed it first, cooperated together and caught it. Being held down by the two boasting of their super human strength, the snake struggled in irritation. From what Rin could see, this «snake» was more than she thought. Its tongue was slithering in and out from its mouth, and its pinned down jaws were trying to open somehow.
“Enemy attack. It’s quite enormous.”
From a blind spot of all people present, a snake head extended out and caught one student in its mouth.
Looking at Kyousuke who shouted like he had lost his patience somewhat, Rin finally consented to his words.
“Go–Gofunkawahara-kun, what happened!?”
～ Part 2 ～
According to Gofunkawahara’s instructions, the goblins at the gun turrets restrained one of the heads, and Uozumi’s scale bullets intercepted another. Ryuzaki pinned down one of the heads with his arms and held one more different head with his jaws.
“Gun turrets, aim at the snake heads!”
It was completely torn to pieces as if it took a shot from the heavy cruiser branch school main battery, the 20 cm cannon. However, there was no traces that the main battery mounted on the deck was fired when they look at it. In the first place, Kyousuke had previously cautioned that firing it in a melee is a taboo, so it was expected that no one would shoot it in such a circ.u.mstance.
“But then Ryuzaki, wait a bit you…”
Saying so, Kyousuke turned his line of sight toward the battle on the deck. If you include the goblins, this side would win in terms of number, but that hydra was a strong enemy. Inside the cla.s.s, the number of combat personnel with Phase 2 was few in number, so if the two of them were to help out in the state of Stream Cross, the battle situation would changed to some extent.
The giant was wearing shoulder pads and a mantle that he shouldn’t have been wearing when he left the base. He had two horns grew on his head and a muscular body. And then, there was a glint in his sanpaku eyes. Golden energy was rising from his body as he glared at the hydra. And this time, the man who came back said this to everyone who was present ——— especially toward Ryuzaki.
Some of their cla.s.smates including Kensaki came out from the cabin. Gofunkawahara answered.
“It was something like a snake debu.”
But this was the worst timing for it to come out. Even at the best of time, this situation with poor visibility was bad enough. And then, the cla.s.smates’ spirit was practically at the lowest possible value.
Kyousuke took 2, 3 steps back and fell down while barely muttering.
One remained. Ryuzaki moved his tail but the hydra head slipped through it and swooped down on Kensaki.
“Something seem to have collided with the s.h.i.+p, but the fog is dense so I cannot see it well!”
Gofunkawahara also said. The words of those two were especially heavy. Ryuzaki nodded again.
Rin took Hanazono, a non-combatant, to a safe place. Meanwhile, Gofunkawahara and Ok.u.mura, Zeku and the Goblins were glaring at the surroundings.
To Rin’s shout while pulling Hanazono up, Gofunkawahara shouted back.
Ryuzaki charged at one of the hydra heads and bit its neck. The nails of his forefeet bit in deeply and he was putting in more power into his jaws. But the hydra didn’t have just only one head. The heads of the hydra, which were crowding in the surroundings, simultaneously aimed at Ryuzaki and bit his arms, neck, wings and tail as if to return the favor.
As Kyousuke nodded, Rin attached to him, winding, wrapping up his whole body. When Rin tried to make a human shape over his whole body, she noticed a sense of discomfort. Compared to usual, her body was awfully heavy and painful. This sensation, as if,
Ok.u.mura raised a scream. The fangs of the hydra all came out and pierced deeply into Zeku’s steel-like muscle, blood scattered on the deck.
“Gofunkawahara, what’s the situation?”
However, Kyousuke himself was doubting his humanity.
“DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS ON MY CLa.s.sMAATTEESSS!!”
Rin put her hands on Kyousuke’s body and tried challenging combination for the second time, but she slipped off in the same way as before.
That line of thought was merely to escape from the guilty conscience tormenting his heart, but Ryuzaki didn’t realize it.
Even considering the fact that this place was a former site of the fallen kingdom, this hydra had to be one of individual living since that time.
Everyone who was present on the deck simultaneously opened their eyes wide. A giant of about 3 meters in height, dragged out his brethren with the same appearance from the hydra’s jaws and laid that guy who was faintly breathing down on the deck and said.
At that moment, a little late to the party, Ryuzaki came flying at the Hydra.
Rin knew the process of how Kyousuke’s heart was shaken. She had been in a combine state with him at that time and Kyousuke’s heart was directly transmitted to her.
Turning around, the usual skeleton was standing there. He should have been shutting himself in his room until just now.
Receiving Rin’s warning, Gofunkawahara just barely managed to dodge a different snake head jumping at his place.
Gofunkawahara, Ok.u.mura, Kensaki, Kagoi, Uozumi, Zeku as well as the goblins. They were all safe. But he couldn’t afford to just sigh in relief. Ryuzaki used both of his hands to threaten the many shadows surround the heavy cruiser branch school.
In any case, it was strange. Even if she climbed onto Kyousuke’s body, she didn’t get a sense of being supported as usual. Her whole body felt out of place, as if sitting on thin air. No matter how many times she tried challenging it, the same thing happened. Rin’s body couldn’t overlap with Kyousuke’s body.
“Speaking of which, I have read a novel about a monster coming out of the fog before—.”
Then what was it?
“I, I have realized the truth of my own heart … because of that …”
“As if I would allow that!!”
After a strong shock attacked the hull, the heavy cruiser branch school stopped moving. That was Rin shouting on the deck. In front of Rin’s eyes, Hanazono’s head plunged deeply into the field and she was kicking and struggling with all her might. The goblins running around the deck was rus.h.i.+ng around restlessly. While Gofunkawahara was giving out instructions, Ok.u.mura and Zeku also rushed out from the cabin.
Combine, is impossible.
“Hana-chan, get in the cabin for now!”
The monster in front of them was probably a hydra. There was a description about similar monsters in the memo Selena left behind. The most famous one was the Marsh Hydra appeared in the wetland region to the South of the Empire, but aside from that they also inhabited various other locations. Their population wasn’t that many but they’re monsters with a high degree of danger.
All students who came out to the deck were members of combat groups. They probably sensed the abnormality and rushed out, but it seemed that there were also students whose legs were trembling slightly. The shock from Was.h.i.+o’s death had yet to leave them.
That guy is also my cla.s.smate. There is no good reason to abandon him. Ryuzaki tried to help him, but his body was conversely entwined by the hydra neck and had its freedom s.n.a.t.c.hed away.
Utsurogi Kyousuke dumbfoundedly stood stock still. Rin tried to push that body into the cabin somehow. Kyousuke’s delirious mutterings of apologies was painful to look at. No matter how much she touched Kyousuke’s body, Rin couldn’t read his heart as she used to.
“I–I’m sorry I’m sorry. My body doesn’t get on well for some reasons…”
A breath flashed together with a roar. The cla.s.s representative Ryuzaki Kunihiro looked around the deck in a circle.
Rin screamed and immediately fell onto the floor ∗becha∗.
Snake. It was unmistakably a snake. However, its length was at least 10 meters, and even its thickness was about 2 meters. It was just a big snake, but the situation is that the snake was lurking on the other side of this fog. No, a.s.suming it was coiling around the hull, it had to be much longer than what could be seen.
While Kagoi the Gargoyle rushed up to Ryuzaki, he spread his wings and floated up to the air. He attracted the several heads of the hydra that were trying to pursue Ryuzaki.
Ok.u.mura stood next to Ryuzaki and said.
“It maybe better not to ask.”
“Even if you go wild, even if you regret, the dead won’t ever come back debu.”
“But, but … is Utsurogi-kun okay…!?”
As for Rin, she had no choice but to watch her cla.s.smates battling the hydra with impatient feelings.
Gofunkawahara jumped at the gun turret and fired the machine gun at that «something». Lead bullets intermittently flew out and there was sound like flesh tearing. Blood splattered on the deck, the goblin’s body was thrown away.
“I don’t know but … there’s no choice other than fighting now…”
Hearing Kensaki’s shouting voice, Gofunkawahara gave instructions to the goblins.
“He, he~e—. What sort of novel is that?”
“The s.h.i.+p was shaking…. So I thought something may have happened…”
The hydra had 9 heads, among them, 3 heads had been crushed, 6 remained. Hydra is a monster with very high vitality, it will regenerate in a few hours even if some heads are crushed. So they had to either crush all of its heads or aim at its heart, but in this case, it was enough if they could drive it into retreating.
Zeku, who was still free, cut in between and tried to pin down the snake head. However, the hydra’s jaws opened widely and immediately bit down on Zeku’s body.
“Not just Utsurogi group! Those who think even a little bit that they cannot fight, step back!”
“How much longer can I keep crying. I cannot let victims come out from my cla.s.s anymore.”
“Is that something like Yamata no Orochi?”
“Himemizu, sorry … I …”
“Ryuzaakiii! You idioott!!?”
The goblins fired the machine guns, some of the shots scattered blood from the heads of the hydra. Ryuzaki also took some of the stray bullets, but thanks to the st.u.r.dy dragon scales, it didn’t result in big damage. The hydra shrieked and flung Ryuzaki’s body into the air. As it was, he was thrown down to the deck.
When saying so, it was noticed. No matter how hard he tried, as expected, it seemed to be exposed when the onlookers saw this.
“Let’s go, Utsurogi-kun.”
Hydras were said to be biological weapons left behind by a wicked magician who tried to take over this world several hundreds years ago. Some of the individuals who lived through that age were still alive even now, and in such cases, their combat strength was much higher than the ones that were born in present time and increased their number.
In that state, the snake, aka the hydra, tried to drag Kinogasa into the fog, but Kensaki slashed at it. Toward that Kensaki, two more hydra heads extended. As for this, Zeku and Ok.u.mura, as well as Kagoi and the others prevented it. This hydra was a formidable enemy. With the current situation where their footings was unstable, they couldn’t fight back. Just as Rin was feeling impatient, there was a voice came from behind.
Kyousuke had this emotion inside himself. It was the result of focusing his eyes on that emotion, I just want to help someone, I just want to support someone, and then, I just want to receive grat.i.tude. Moreover, he ended up being «convinced» that I guess it doesn’t matter who the other party is, I just don’t care at all about the humans around me.