I Became the Strongest With The Failure Frame【Abnormal State Skill】As I Devastated Everything - 266
I thought about splitting this chapter into several parts because it has a lot of words, but I thought a lot about this chapter and decided not to split it.
< Goddess Vysis POV >
Hijiri Takao has made up his mind.
I understood that.
She saw through that my long-windedness is to stall for time.
Just as I had expected, she really is quite the shrewd human.
And she’s looking down on a Deity.
The first action I took was to disengage.
In a few strides, I leapt up the stairs and landed in the upstairs hallway.
Hijiri would probably follow me downstairs.
Now then, how would she———-
She isn’t there.
She leapt up without using the stairs.
Probably due to inherent skill, she had gained an extraordinary leaping ability.
Perhaps, she used her wind ability to muffle her sound as much as possible.
Turning around, I transformed the bone in my right arm into an axe shape.
Just like that, my strike slashed away Hijiri’s sword.
However, Hijiri Takao’s onslaught———– continues unabated.
Weaving in and out with her inherent skill, she continued her attack.
She showed no signs of slowing down.
Her attacks were also showing no signs of stopping.
With a voice no one could hear……
They were always trying to lead me in the direction of the Great Demon Emperor.
But if I were to evade the direction she’s leading me to, I will definitely be struck.
As if all her movements were planned out.
As I thought, the older twin really is quite clever.
She doesn’t confine herself with her inherent skill and status correction.
With all her capabilities————
[What a shame…… It was truly a shame. She would have made a good pawn……]
Upon all these———- I only get away, run away, escape.
Currently, I can only go on the defensive.
For now, I need to get as far away from the source of the Tyrant’s Miasma as possible.
As I take more distance away from it, my regenerative ability should also increase back to normal.
The Root of All Evil————- and their Tyrant’s Miasma.
They truly are an abominable existence.
First of all, Divine-type Magic couldn’t be used in places where the Tyrant’s Miasma is dense.
I won’t even be able to shoot a single “Fireball”.
(T/N: Blazing Ball of the Heaven’s Will / Fireball)
Using our clashes to propel my body, looking like a bug, I bounced around the hallway.
It may look unsightly, but with the situation like this, this is the best way I could escape for the time being.
Landing on the floor, I took a quick scan around me.
I’m currently on a corridor that connects the building I was in with the one nearby.
The stone corridor has windows, but they don’t have any railings attached.
The figure of Hijiri disappeared.
[———-Even so, this is what happens after I use my treasured Dark Purple Gem huh.]
“No”, I quickly changed my thought.
I suppose it’s a good thing I can move like this thus far under the influence of the Tyrant’s Miasma.
Although I’m extremely weakened, I’m still able to resist Hijiri Takao.
However———– I really can’t stand against the Root of All Evil.
The closer I get to it, the stronger the burden it is for a Deity like me, even heavier than what a human carries.
Above all, Deities’ attacks are unable to pierce through the Root of All Evil’s defenses.
Even if I can move this much, any of my attacks would just be nullified.
No matter how powerful a Deity may be, this is an absolute that we couldn’t overturn.
That’s why we have to rely on the short-lived Heroes from Another World who were able to attack them.
Even so, I pondered————-
How long had she been planning this betrayal?
Was it just her that had been planning this?
Does she have other people supporting her?
If so, was the idea of killing I, the Goddess, from Hijiri herself?
Or perhaps———— Had she been tricked?
Considering the timing of events……
[I suppose the one she’s in contact with would definitely be Mad Emperor’s subordinate huh……]
“There’s a way to defeat the Goddess”
Perhaps, such things were being whispered to her ears.
How is it that Mira’s spy was able to escape from my eyes?
Though I guess the answer is simple———— It was because I had been too busy.
Especially before and after the Great Invasion.
I was busy working on behalf of the useless humans.
As a result, I overlooked the enemy’s spies that had entered the vicinity.
[In addition, for the Great Demon Emperor to have directly entered this area…… It’s truly unprecedented……]
They really are different from the past Root of All Evil.
Even in its early stage……
They are learning about this world quite well.
However, how in the world did they get in here?
What method did they use?
However, only the Deities should have been able to create Teleportation technology.
Though I say that, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be made anymore.
Then again, if other deities come to this world, I would know.
However, no one came……
Thus, there’s no way that other deities are involved.
As for unexplored underground ruins……
There is a possibility that some unknown teleportation technology is in there…..
However, most of such things are devices that couldn’t be brought to the surface.
[With that being the case……]
Does that mean that this time’s Great Demon Emperor was an exception, having a teleportation ability?
If that were the case, it’s strange that it hasn’t been used in the past Great Invasion.
In that case, there’s one thing left in my mind.
[They’ve acquired a Teleportation Stone huh.]
However, that doesn’t exist here in Alion.
Of course, the Magician Guid doesn’t have it either.
It’s the rarest among the rare items.
Thinking about the people who would have it……
[Yes, that annoying Witch of Taboos would probably have them…… Other than her———]
Jonato Principality or Mira Empire.
Mira———– Mad Emperor.
Could it be that the Great Demon Emperor’s attack this time was under the guidance of the Mad Emperor?
Did that Mad Emperor “dared” to hand over a Teleportation stone to the Great Demon Emperor?
[Fufufu…… If that were the case, he really has become mad. Duke Polarie would probably become furious again…… Ah, scary……]
[Hijiri-saaaaan? Where aaaaaaare youuuuuu? If this continues, I will completely regenerate, you knoooooow?]
As for escaping———– It would be hard to imagine that she’d do that.
This would definitely be the perfect opportunity for Hijiri.
[In this case……]
The time when she can strike with that <Gungnir> skill again is near.
Meanwhile, I filled my regenerative ability into my drooping right arm……
My attack with my right hand that had transformed into several edged limbs.
Hijiri Takao was able to safely handle it.
It was as if she had experienced fighting with a similar style before……
It was like she had seen some sort of example……
An example huh……
If there were two people with more fighting ability than Hijiri, it would be those two.
Takuto Kirihara or……
Speaking of which, what are the other S-rank Heroes doing?
Would they come as her reinforcements?
Is Hijiri awaiting the arrival of the other S-ranks?
If that were the case, I’ll have to get rid of Hijiri as soon as possible……
Even so———– They made the right decision.
Repulsive it may be, it could be said that they made the right decision this time.
If they wanted to get rid of me, it would certainly be now or never.
There is no better time to conduct a plan like this other than now.
Even though it was just a fragment, I feel admiration for her for making this decision.
Normally thinking about it, this would have been something hard to achieve.
It can be said that she’s a human with tremendous mental strength.
[Well, even if that’s so, it’s just a mere passing fancy though♪.]
I continued moving forward.
If she were coming after her, I would have been able to feel her presence.
She would come out into a spacious corridor.
I’m currently on a corridor similar to the one where I had fought Hijiri earlier.
As I had expected, under the railing of the second-floor corridor where I am now, there’s a spacious atrium.
I could see several humans collapsed on the floor, convulsing.
They would probably die sooner or later.
With the situation like this, the fragility of human life sure surprisingly brings a smile on my lips.
[I don’t feel any signs of her following me——– She escaped huh. Good grief……]
Seriously, for me to have really trusted the Hero who I should have dealt with first……
I may have been looking down on them too much.
[Lowly humans…… Seriously, always disregarding God’s good intentions. Ahh, how sad…… Sniff, sniff…… It’s really sad…… Ueehhhh! For a short-lived race, your kind really are filled with scum.]
My body continues to regenerate.
[Well, whatever. The power of the Dark Purple Gem…… is truly amazing. I- If the weakening effect of the Tyrant’s Miasma disappears…… I wonder how powerful———-]
At that moment……
One of the doors in the corridor opened wide.
I wonder if it was originally half-opened.
It seems like the wind or something pushed it open, making it creak.
From the sides……
Without making any sound———-
Hijiri Takao is closing in.
That creaking sound……
It was caused by her wind ability.
Realizing this, I kept my ears alert to even the smallest sound.
Seemingly sensing this, it seems like she created a sound with the wind.
She made it look like a natural breeze.
However, it seems like when my attention was drawn by the sound———–
In that faintest moment of opening……
Hijiri Takao thrust forward.
Even when she approached, I couldn’t feel her presence at all.
Not just sound———- even her presence.
With that wind ability of hers……
With her inherent skill……
Detestable it may be, that ability of hers has an unusually wide range of applications.
I guess that’s to be expected of an S-Rank.
Exerting myself a bit further, I used my regenerative abilities and transformed the bone in my right arm.
[H- H- H- H- How impudent! Impudent, impudent, impudeeeeent——— U- Uuuuuu…… Why are you doing something as sorrowful as this, Hijiri-san!? For what reason are you———–!]
My elongated bone’s blade and Hijiri’s longsword struck each other.
With tears leaking down my face, I fervently appealed.
[For what reason———- For what reason that a God and humans couldn’t understand each other like this!? For what reason is……!? Imma kill you, you f*cking brat!]
The sword Hijiri’s using isn’t just a normal long sword.
Using her skills, it seems like it was clad in a powerful wind blade.
However, that wind blade inflicted a small cut.
Though I say that, it really is just a small injury.
It seems like the number of edged limbs I had hadn’t given me an advantage at all.
My movements had been rather sluggish.
The reason for this was simple.
That skill I had been expecting didn’t come.
That <Gungnir> skill of hers.
Is she waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it?
No———- In the first place, could she even use that skill again?
I’m starting to doubt that now.
Could it be…… she actually couldn’t use it yet?
It has only been pretending that it could use it already……
Isn’t she just trying to make me vigilant so that my movements would be sluggish?
Hijiri’s fighting style really is the height of impudence.
She’s still just trying to casually lead me towards the Tyrant’s Miasma.
But if I were to evade where she leads me to, I would be struck at a disadvantageous angle.
[You’re too shrewd♪ Y- You should just let yourself be killed!]
She’s piling up all sorts of small tricks.
She couldn’t win against a God head on.
Weakened I may be, she still wouldn’t be able to win against a God.
Truly pathetic, you short-lived beings.
There was just one problem though.
I’m starting to feel pressure pushing down myself.
[Ahh, geez! This is…… the Great Demon Emperor huh!]
It seems like the weakening effect of the Tyrant’s Miasma is stronger than I imagined.
Taking a glance behind me————- I started escaping.
Slowly, the pressure of Hijiri’s sword pushed me over the edge.
[……Kuh! You f*cking shrewd braaaaaaat! Are you looking down on a Gooooooood!? Guhhhh……!? Ahh———- Kyaaaaahhh!?]
A heavy blow blew my body away.
Bouncing on the floor again and again, hitting the walls, railings, and ceiling several times, before finally————
I hit the wall of the corridor with the railing behind me.
Thereupon, Hijiri continued with her attack———— but I could feel it. The atmosphere of this strike is different.
[Don’t tell me……]
Foreseeing her plans, I muttered.
She’s planning to settle things here huh———-
[Hijiri-san! W- Wait a mo————]
Crawling back, I reached out behind me.
And immediately after———— Hijiri’s movements stopped.
[W- Who~~ Who, who……♪ Who is iiiiiit?]
It was piercing through……
—–through Hijiri’s stomach……
“That” which had the shape of a sword.
Thereupon, Vysis moved the blade of the sword in her hand and gouged out Hijiri’s insides.
In between me and Hijiri———-
[That room, the one with the door you made noise with the wind…… That was the room I lent out to “her”. This noble’s daughter, whom you seem to have been seeing regularly……]
Thereupon, I grinned.
[She was just right there, collapsed on the floor ♪]
A few moments ago, I found the girl lying on her back.
Shortly thereafter, I started escaping.
As my body was blown away, I deliberately let myself be blown away, as flamboyant as I could.
Bouncing around, I rolled to get near that girl.
That’s when Hijiri seemed to have been planning to settle things.
Picking up the girl’s body behind me, I thrust her towards Hijiri and used her as a shield.
This stopped Hijiri in her tracks, and she took the full brunt of the thrust from my hidden sword.
I knew that Hijiri was acquainted with this girl.
No, she isn’t just an acquaintance, as she often interacted with her.
Hijiri often interacted with the nobles within the country.
It seems that she had been collecting magic tools and other such things secretly by taking advantage of the nobles.
This had been something I knew long before.
[However, I thought you were just making preparations for defeating the Great Demon Emperor…… For it to actually be used to point your blade against this God♪ It’s like you’re asking to be killed.]
Hijiri retreated, escaping from my sword.
Thereupon, she silently stared at me.
For a moment, I felt her gaze turned towards the sword held in my hand.
[Ahh, you curious about this? This is usually soft and flimsy like paper. But if you imbue a certain amount of magic power into it, it will harden and take the shape of a sword♪ It’s a hidden weapon I had been keeping in case of emergencies♪.]
Happily grinning, I tried to hold back my laughter.
[I had only been using my edged limbs on my arm for a long time, so you must have assumed that my only weapon would be those edged limbs, right? It doesn’t seem like I’m hiding any sort of weapon…… However…… I always keep this hidden blade at all times♪ Also…..]
Thereupon, I calmly stood up.
[Fufu♪ Me acting on a frenzy, me acting like I’ve been driven to a corner…… How was it? It looked like it was real, didn’t it? You’re actually fooled, aren’t you? Fufu, even though you say you can tell if something is true or false…… If “I believe that such a thing is true within my heart”, you can’t even see that I’m overacting, can you? In other words, you used your wind’s ability to detect lies and became negligeeeent. Ahh, deceiving short-lived scum sure is interestiiiiiing. M- Most of all…… P- Pupuuu…… Puuuu! Kusu kusu!]
With the white in her eyes bared, the noble’s daughter had fainted.
Grabbing that girls’ collar and dragging her along, I took a step forward.
[For you to be letting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip away because of one little girl……A- Are you sane, Hijiri-san!? The moment you recognized that this girl was being used as a shield, you clearly looked panicked and stopped attacking!? Ahh——— Ahahahahaha! T- This is funny! Yeah, this is so funny! However, tell you the truth……]
Putting away the smile on my face, I spoke.
[You’re a good person with a good heart, and you’ve saved me from a narrow death. I appreciate your efforts.]
“However……”, I continued.
[How do you feel now? Hey? What do you have to say for yourself? Pfft, kusu kusu…… ———–Oi, you listening to me?]
Without any expression on her face, I looked at Hijiri.
This is strange.
What’s happening currently isn’t one that makes me smile at all.
This is just strange———- abnormal even.
Her expression didn’t change at all.
[What the heck is with her……?]
There was almost no change in her expression this whole time.
She didn’t look even a single bit flustered.
The same is true when I had gouged out her stomach with my sword.
Normally, one would have frowned at the pain.
However……. It seems that you do feel pain…… You certainly have facial expressions and emotions. If you don’t feel pain and are lacking in emotions…… It would have been understandable. But even though you both possess them…… You’re suppressing it with just your mental strength? ……No, no, there’s no way……]
However, if it really was just with her mental strength……
Takao Hijiri’s mental strength surprasses her tenaciousness———- by an abnormally large amount.
Realizing what Hijiri’s up to, I pouted.
[If you hardly had any response, you’d make me think that I hardly won? That’s really cruel of you.]
“It’s just, well……”, thinking for a bit, I continued.
[It could be said that this is the first time in history that a human has done so well against me. I”ll give some praise for that———– just a bit. However…… It sure is troubling, ain’t it? That wound is pretty deep, isn’t it? Ara ara, you’re even looking so weak that it could be clearly seen…… How pitiful.]
Pressing her hand down on her wound, Hijiri collapsed on her knees.
[Ahh! Even if you don’t show it on your face, it seems like you’re just enduring it huh…… Haahhh…… How disappointing.]
Seeing that this farce is already nearing its end, I cast the noble’s daughter aside.
With my thoughts focused on evasion, I waited a moment.
Her <Gungnir>———— still didn’t come.
[Fufu…… As I had thought, that <Gungnir> skill of yours, once activated, seems to be a skill that can’t be shot for quite a while, right? Is it limited to once a day? Well, be that as it may, with this————–]
Looking at the kneeling Hijiri, I declared.
[It’s your end.]
With a surge of light—————– A thunderous roar rang out in the corridor.
[……She was able to shoot it out huh.]
Maintaining my vigilance, I lowered the arm that was protecting my face.
I can’t see Hijiri nearby.
It seems like she had escaped.
[If she had just blown me up with that noble’s daughter, she might have won…… Ahh, humans really are lowly.]
The injuries I received this time were lighter than the last time.
First of all, I was farther away from the Tyrant’s Miasma than when her first shot had been released.
But most of all, the Dark Purple Gem has greatly improved my abilities.
Thus, I was able to defend and evade in time.
Moreover, the power had decreased.
I wonder if that’s a skill that needs some kind of build up time to increase in power?
I suppose the more likely reason———-
—–is because she probably didn’t want the nearby noble’s daughter to get caught up with her skill.
[She’s completely naive……]
But even so……
[I won’t let you escape.]
There is a blood trail left on the floor.
Following it, I ran after where Hijiri could possibly be.
However, it stopped in a corridor.
More specifically, under a stone window with no glass covering it……
I could also see some blood under the window frame.
[Could she have jumped out of here and escaped? Hmm…… No……]
This bloodstain is just too blatant.
Looking closely at the floor, I saw a splattering of blood that continued down the hallway.
[Since she doesn’t have the strength to escape, she plans to hide herself in the vicinity for a while huh. Or perhaps, she was expecting me to be defeated by the Great Demon Emperor in the meantime…… Fufu♪ She wants me to think that she escaped outside, but she’s actually hiding in the castle…… It’s like how it’s always the darkest under the lighthouse huh. She’s completely shrewd.]
With a smile on my face, I walk down the stairs.
The blood trail seems to be leading towards the kitchen on the first floor.
Within it, I turned my attention towards the storage cabinets in the kitchen.
There is enough space in it for one person to hide.
In front of one of the storage cabinets, the blood trail was cut off.
She should be in there.
Grasping the handle, I vigorously opened it.
[Long time no see! ……Ara?]
—-but she isn’t there.
……I smell the scent of burnt meat.
Being in the kitchen, I suppose such an odor isn’t surprising.
[No, perhaps, Hijiri Takao——–]
She cauterized her wound to stop the bleeding.
The bloodstains on the ground were all a “trick” to buy time.
In fact, she should be able to escape without leaving a blood trail.
However———– She still had the time to conduct such tricks?
Instead of wasting time on these tricks, she could have just run away.
That was what most people would think.
At first glance, doing such a thing would be a waste of time.
However, wouldn’t it only take a few seconds for her to set up such a trick using her wind ability?
She has an ability that has so many applications after all.
It would be foolish to think that this is something she couldn’t do.
Perhaps, the time she’d need to set it all up———– was even shorter than I imagined.
Looking at my surroundings again, I can see that it isn’t just in the kitchen.
Those deceptive “trails” had been scattered all over the place.
[Hijiri Takao————– Good grief, even at the last moment, you’re still a shrewd girl……]
< Takao Hijiri POV >
I’m currently on my way out of the castle.
Normally, it would have been best to run towards Sogou Ayaka.
After all, the place she is in is inaccessible to the Goddess because of the Great Demon Emperor.
But if I were to think in the Goddess’ shoes, she would have thought of that and would have found a route to the source of the Tyrant’s Miasma.
However, going against what I had expected————
The Goddess suddenly appeared in front of me.
[You have…… done well. However, this is as far as you can go.]
“Fufu”, the Goddess giggled.
[I’ve given it a lot of thought. Normally, one would think that you’d go straight to Sogou-san for help————- I mean, if you had gone towards the Great Demon Emperor, it would be harder for me to approach. However…… What if I dare think about situations aside from that, and think that you’re just escaping out of here? In that case, this would be your only way out.]
It was as she said.
“Hijiri is heading towards the Great Demon Emperor.”
That was what I thought the Goddess would think.
[You’re a shrewd girl, enough for me to slightly praise you for that…… How- e- ver-♪ If someone knows that you’re quite clever, it’s easy to predict when “you’d have some hidden plan in mind” ♪ The smarter you are, the easier it is to read your thoughts, you know♪? I’ve already grasped how shrewd of a human you are.]
It seems that the Goddess was one step ahead of me here.
But in the first place———–
I never had the option of running towards Sogou Ayaka.
If I were to have failed, I need to avoid getting Ayaka involved in my blunder.
Joining up with Ayaka now would just be a risk I couldn’t take.
The truth was that Ayaka knew very little about this betrayal.
I hadn’t told her about it.
I also hadn’t told her my plan to betray the Goddess.
Even that note I had given her before……
Those were instructions I gave to Ayaka that were not directly connected to my betrayal.
“Everything here is done by me, Hijiri Takao, at my own discretion”.
I’ve been working for this to happen.
When my plan fails, stealing away the “possibility” that she possess———- would just be too conceited of me.
[However, well, that noble’s daughter…… As far as I can see, the only reason she cooperated with you is because of her sexual desires, right? Unattainable love, longing…… In the end, all of them are products of sexual urges. For such a lustful monkey, you actually let such an opportunity escape…… Kusu kusu.]
[……And you’re too quick to assume that humans are a foolish species.]
[Eh? Foolish? Foolish, ridiculous…… and pathetic short-lived race. The same stupidity, repeated over and over again…… from one generation after another, they’re repeating their stupidity that I got tired of seeing it. It was quite unbelievable, you know? Their unwillingness to learn from the past, I mean. Even if there are a few wise and brilliant people, they will eventually be crushed by the violence of numbers of the lustful monkeys Humans will always remain foolish♪ Well, they’re easier and more manageable that way♪ I mean———— As I had expected, the root of all humans are evil♪]
[I’m not saying that…… all humans in the world, including me, are noble, righteous and good. However…… Good intentions and dignity that should be respected indeed exists. Moreover, not everyone is foolish. And…… They aren’t as rare in the world as you make it out to be.]
Upon my words, the Goddess clapped her hands.
[T- T- T- There it is, the beautiful words! Hypocrisy! Ignorance! Seeing only what you want to see! Hearing only what you want to hear! Believing only what you want to believe———- Covering up everything that’s oh-so-inconvenient for you with neatness, all to keep looking away from the truth. At the end of the day, a lot of humans get choked up, suffocating as if they were committing suicide…… Goodbye! How truly pathetic, how many times did you humans show that all throughout humanity’s history!? And yet, here it is again! The pathetic escapism through whitewashing! You humans certainly are great at doing that! It seems like your kind is flocking in this year again huh♪]
(T/N: Not the slang that those people use. Whitewashing, as in deliberately attempting to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts about something.)
[I haven’t lived long enough to be disappointed by all the humans. Also…… Aren’t you the one who’s looking away? Labelling us as being that whitewash as we want, you’re the one who denies the goodness of mankind———— the benign parts of us humans. But how unfortunate…… The “goodness” you want to deny so much does indeed exist. Above all, it seems to me…… that the foolishness you speak of, whether it’s the foolishness of humans or a God, I don’t see how they’re any different.]
Sarcasm held within my tone, I asked.
[Did you really think you’re any different?]
[Eh? What’s the matter with you? Why are you suddenly trying to start a debate? Geez, you do realize you’re about to die now……]
[…… < Blizzard > ]
As the shards of ice flew with the wind, they began clumping together.
Thereupon, they started exploding.
Crack! Crack! Crack!
My inherent skill.
[Ara ara, a final stand huh. Now then…… Now that you have blocked my line of sight with your skill, I wonder what kind of futile struggle you’d make? Just because you cauterized it, it doesn’t change how deep your wound is, you know?]
Behind the goddess……
With the super-acceleration brought by <Unlock One>, traveling from a far distance in an instant———-
—–was my sister, Takao Itsuki.
Thereupon, I spoke.
[—————-My long-windedness is to stall for time.]
[ < Lightning Shifter > ……]
The Goddess tried to turn around as quickly as possible.
[The explosion of ice wasn’t to deprive you of sight…… but to have the explosion “overwrite” the sound of skill vocalization…… all so that you couldn’t hear it————-]
Reaching the end of the unlocking process————- and finally, as the lock was brought down again, it discharged.
[————————- < Lock End > ————————-]
(T/N: Final Step, Raijin / Lock End)