Prologue – Peak Battle ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼
In a rocky wilderness at dusk.
There is a crater of several hundreds of meters radius.
With that crater as the center, there is no vegetation growing within a radius of approximately forty kilometers, and only the color of the ground could be seen.
ーーthis land is the place, where the Flame and Earth dragons have fought.
The Flame Dragon twisted the physical laws at the atomic level, and released nuclear attacks in a focal manner.
Against that, the Earth Dragon used ultimate barrier magic to protect itself, and intercepted the Flame Dragon while making the damage to the land at the minimum.
As a result of the battle between the ultimate physical laws and ultimate magic, the scenery of a wilderness where no living things can exist was created.
And right nowーー
In the center of that crater, a bare-skinned red-haired girl and a black-haired girl wearing a sailor uniform are facing off.
The red-haired girl looks like that in her early teens, and the black-haired girl wearing a sailor uniform is that of the late teens.
The red-haired girl has an appearance of an otherworldly artistic beauty.
Compared to that, the black-haired girl has a beautiful appearance without a doubt, but it is something that would be found in thousands of the same age, but is not out of common sense.
「Flame Dragon Empress……you should hurry up and become one. You can’t win against me by yourself」
The girl wearing a sailor uniform said that while pointing the golden dragon behind the red-haired girl.
「Can’t win? Indeed, that might be true……however, you must have a different aim」
「What do you mean by “aim”?」
「More specifically, each of us, as an individual, is not enough to become your experience point, is it?」
The girl wearing a sailor uniform narrowed her eyes and nodded.
「It’s good that you’re understanding. I’ll give you ten seconds, hurry up and become one」
「We shall do that even if you do not speak of it. Although it is frustrating, individually, we do not even have ten percent compared to our peak strength. With someone who could reach the deepest part of the labyrinth with some spare strength as an opponent……it would be quite difficult」
The red-haired girl turned to the golden dragon.
The two of them nodded at the same beat, andーーthe surroundings are enveloped by light.
Their bodies turned into blinding light particles, and finally, both of them combined in mid-air as if to melt into each other.
After the light has dissipated, the red-haired golden-eyes girl opened her mouth without hiding its color of displeasure.
「With this, we are now the Earthfire Dragon Empress. And so, really……what a rude person huh? The first thing you say after suddenly appearing is『Flame and Earth dragons……I shall receive those heads?』you say?」
「There’s nothing to be rude or anything to the one you’d kill right?」
The girl wearing a sailor uniform laughed while rolling her eyes.
Towards that, the Earthfire Dragon Empress showed irritation by popping veins from her temples, and released anger as if she would attack the girl wearing a sailor uniform any time.
「Seeker from that land, the labyrinth. Beings such as you are plagues for the world, walking freely outside! You must return immediately!!」
「Is that an order? Or is it a request?」
「I am a Dragon Empress, of course it’s an order」
“Haa〜……”, the girl wearing a sailor uniform let out a deep sigh.
「The Flame Dragon was easier to talk to. Well, the Earth Dragon could appeal stronger in that form so it can’t be helped I guess」
「What are you talking about?」
「Orders doesn’t activate with effectiveness if it isn’t enforceable you know?」
「Am I not speaking as the Dragon Empress?」
「I’m saying, I’m stronger than you. That’s why, in this case, you should’ve said it as a request, not an order」
“Kufufu”, the Earthfire Dragon Empress laughed.
However, in her temples were more veins popping out.
「Just a while ago, someone who came from the labyrinth bared its fangs against me, but……it seems like there are many from those place does not know where their places are? You do not know how much strength I possess」
「I know very accurately how you guys have an unimaginable strength」
「Fumu? You claim you are not ignorant? You know me as I am, but even so, you are challenging me?」
「Yeah, well, I know about it accurately as painful as it can get」
And there, the Earthfire Dragon Empress shrugged her shoulder with disdain.
「In the first place……someone who knows our powers accurately does not exist. After all, nothing has survived after challenging us. Only vague information from those who have seen our battle from far away remains」
「That is why, even if ignorant fools face us, it can be said that it cannot be helped. Well, it is very annoying however」
「That’s why I’m saying that I know. I know about your strengths. What you can do and cannot do, and your ace in your sleeves. I know everything about your moves」
“Kufufu”, the Earthfire Dragon Empress scoffed.
「Enough of your bluffs, youngster! The only ones who know about our moves……is ourselves, the Flame Dragon Empress and Earth Dragon Empress!」
「Really, what a troublesome person……well then, I should just show some proof」
「Proof, you say?」
「First, about your current state. By two becoming one, you support each other’s lacking dragon powers. As a result……you would have 120% of each of your peak strength, I guess? Well, I should say that you created your flesh as such individual, I think?」
「The Flame Dragon’s abilities are attack-specialized. Your favorite skill is generally atomic attacks using physical law intervention. And within those, you are good at the technology far ahead of nuclear fusion. Well, it’s a technology usually called called【Flames of Purgatory】in the area of the deepest floors, so it isn’t that rare of an ability」
The Earthfire Dragon Empress showed a dumbstruck expression with her mouth dumbly opened.
「And, the Earth Dragon mostly uses defenses using magic barrier and physical law intervention. It isn’t as simple as just using magic because you’d intervene with physics calculation law, so……ordinary air would become an impregnable defense that far exceeds that of orihalcon. In short, the strongest shield. This is also, an ability which is not especially rare in the deepest floors of the labyrinth」
「……what……did you say?」
「Two people who possess the strongest blade and the strongest shield becomes one, on top of that, the strength of your skills are increased compared to what you have as an individual. Because of that, you can’t be blamed that you would misunderstand」
「I’m saying, it can’t be helped that you would misunderstand that you would remain a strong existence at any time and any place」
The girl wearing a sailor uniform walked towards the Earthfire Dragon Empress with eyes filled with killing intent.
And there, the Earthfire Dragon Empress reached out its right hand and stopped the girl.
「Wait for a while……Balfnaught said that she wants to speak with you. I shall try to make her consciousness strongly appear on the surface」
「Ahh, it would be great if you’d let the Flame Dragon out. She should understand the situation very well after all」
「Yes I got it」
The red-haired girl closed her eyes.
And, her golden eyes opened with a strong light.
「While you and Charlings were talking……I have continuously observed. And, there is something that I’ve noticed」
「You are someone who goes to the deepest part of the labyrinth. And most probably, you are stronger than us. Adding to that, your soul is distorted. So, that means, you are carrying a karmic fate.」
“However……”, the Earthfire Dragon Empress continued with a sigh.
「Even you, cannot go against that “thing” existing in the deepest area?」
「That’s the reason why I’m here」
「You are saying, you have already hunted every monster inside the labyrinth?」
「Exactly, more specifically, I have hunted everything that could become mine. Including those executives of the group that aims to clear the labyrinth. However, those monsters that are only troublesome ignores me as I do with them. In conclusion, no matter how many small fries I hunt in the top and middle part of the labyrinth, the experience point is zero. The situation is like that」
The Earthfire Dragon Empress who heard that laughed as if she had heard something ridiculous.
「Searching for experience points, you’d even went out of the labyrinth……to come and kill some prey?」
「That is right」
The girl wearing a sailor uniform smiled with composure.
「A human “shura”ーーno one might fit that nickname better than you」
「I won’t deny that. Together with the taboo of interrupting the concept called time, I have received the punishment towards insanity as well」
「Hey, what can you see beyond the end of killing? What can you see beyond thousands, millions of corpses? The cycle of killing would not end? In the first place, whyーーhave you relied on such heresy?」
「Cycle……huh. That really fits it I guess」
「Massacres to gain experience points, and the emptiness to conflict itself. Let us say that you have become that strong and was able to reach the deepest area. They say that any wish would be granted, but, I wonder what reward you would wish for」
And there, the girl wearing a sailor uniform made a huge nod.
「That’s already decided」
「I won’t wish for anything. No, by reaching the deepest area, the thread of karmaーーthe cycle will all end」
The Earthfire Dragon Empress shrugged her shoulders with an inexplicable expression.
「You have a skill that can intervene with the world’s laws. On top of that, it is really a strange skill. I wonder, comparing you and that boy, who’s in the better situation」
「I met him just a while ago. There is a boy with a soul that is completely distorted. I looked at him thinking of what it is, and……I thought it’s【Returning from Death】, but I was wrong」
*Pikuri*, the temples of the girl wearing a sailor uniform moved.
However, she immediately shook her head.
「Any more words are unneeded」
「I got it. I’ll also let Charlings’s consciousness surface. She’s better in instantaneous decisions during battle after all」
And then, the strong light from the Earthfire Dragon Empress’s eyes gradually disappeared.
The Earthfire Dragon Empress exchanged had laughter breaking out from her mouth.
「I want to ask something」
「You near the limits where you can maintain your sanity right? Right now, you only have the strength that is about equal to ours……why do you think that you can reach the abyss in that pace?」
「I don’t plan on giving any answers anymore. Especially towards people like you」
The katana that hangs on her left waist.
The girl wearing a sailor uniform gripped its hilt.
Receiving that as battle intention, the Earthfire Dragon Empress answered by raising her right palm towards the sky.
「Give me ten seconds」
「I do not plan on answering any question」
「No. This might be our last battle, being naked is too bad right」
The Earthfire Dragon Empress’s surface was enveloped by a white light.
「If it’s because of that, I don’t mind waiting. I think you should just do what you want」
After several seconds, “Hou”, the girl wearing a sailor uniform opened her mouth in admiration.
「You……that white one-piece dress」
「Yeah, they are burial clothes」
The Earthfire Dragon Empress sharply glared at the girl wearing a sailor uniform.
「However, we shall not be defeated easily. We shall take one of your arms with us……」
「You’ve completed your resolution……huh. In this case, your latent strength is really troublesome. Although I’m acting composed……I’m expecting quite a hard fight. How easy would’ve it been, if you were to run or give up……」
The girl wearing a sailor uniform annoyingly spat out.
Towards that, the Earthfire Dragon Empress released a voice of fury
「Bratーーdon’t look down on dragons!!」