Apostle of the End
“Really, stop with the jokes please.”
This was the current state of Dino’s mind.
A new person had appeared as soon as he thought that he had defeated the previous opponent. Moreover, their purposeappeared to be to make him expose his skill.
He failed in his objective to dispose of Ramiris and he had a feeling that even escaping on his own would be a difficult situation.
It seemed to be true that somehow he had been observed and even Dino’s intention to kill the people who were guarding Ramiris seemed to have been predicted.
In the first place he didn’t know whether the person in question, Ramiris, had escaped.
This was an abnormal thing.
“Don’t tell me that the conversation was with an illusion since the beginning?”
But, he possess an Ultimate Skill, not to mention it was an Ultimate Skill with hypnosis as its main power, so he thought that it’s impossible for him to be deceived by illusion.
He knew the strength of the insect type devil named Zegion.
When the Empire’s forces invaded the labyrinth, with his overwhelming fighting power, he was the devil who disposed of the high ranking individuals of the Empire’s forces.
He was an existence that could be called as the strongest in there, inside the labyrinth created by Ramiris.
(That’s why I hated working……)
Dino was formulating the best course of action to be taken in this place, whilst letting out a sigh andhaving thoughts of giving up.
Zegion stepped forward calmly without caring about Dino.
「What is it? Do you have any last words?」
「Did you guys ignore my incursion on purpose to uncover my powers?
Don’t joke with me, that’s so dirty!」
Dino who had complained for the time being, ignored his own actions which were full of faults.
Even though it’s no more than a mere outburst of anger, he understood that it couldn’d be helped even if he had said it.
「What ridiculous words, that’s how a fight should be.」
「I already know that!」
The exchanges of words are over, tension runs between the two.
Dino knew of Zegion’s strength. That was an advantage that Dino had, of course he’d use it.
Zegion possessed an ability that specializes in combat that exceeds the level of a Unique Skill.
If comparing only in close-combat ability, than Zegion would be stronger than Dino who has Ultimate Skill.
Dino’s ability was more inclined towards mental attacks, and so it was different from the direct physical offensive abilities.
However, the ability of Dino’s『Slothful King Belphegor』could be interweaved into his sword techniques too, creating a phantasmagoric illusion sword.
It obstructed the enemy’s perception and could make him continue on with the battle advantageously.
Also, he could acquire a fighting strength that’s beyond a master swordsman, like Albert, by releasing his stored power with perfect timing.
Still, Dino’s judgment made him wary of being in close combat with Zegion.
Yet, it wasn’t the time for him to be hesitating.
In order to get past this place, the most efficient way was to kill Zegion with his strongest attack, perhaps even his trump card.
「Humph! Don’t underestimate me. Even though I look like this, I’m one (one pillar) of the Demon Lords; I have lived for a long time.
Take this, and then you shall perish! “Fallen Strike (Fallen Heaven Strike)”!!」
The strongest secret technique of the illusion sword that Dino had created.
He performed the maximum ability release of『Slothful King Belphegor』,the strongest strike with all of his power.
It concealed a wave that stimulated negative feelings and just a graze could rob the target of its will to live.
The only people that can endure this attack are the ones who possessed strong willpower and an Ultimate Skill.
Even Guy would not end up safe if he took a direct hit of it, or so Dino believed.
The negative wave would be released into all directions, so even if someone succeeded in evading the strike, they would just be bathed in the wave and ultimately the person couldn’t escape from his fighting power being drained. Then, Dino could deliver the final blow by slashing his opponent with his sword.
It was his hidden card that Dino released with confidence.
However, Zegion didn’t move.
He ascertained the trajectory of Dino’s sword and, as if it was not something serious, he took Dino’s Great Sword “Crumbling Fang” with the exoskeleton of his left hand, which had been transformed, giving it the properties of Hiihirokane (Ultimate Metal).
「You fool! Even if you stopped my sword, it will become a fatal injury. I won this match!」
It was his fastest attack, but it was caught as expected. Moreover, with one hand, as if to say that it was a trifling attack.
A terrific impact should have occurred from the G.o.d Cla.s.s Great Sword, but Zegion remained standing without any hints of shaking. He was calm to the extent of being odious.
But this match was Dino’s victory.
Even if Zegion possessed many Unique Skills with high defensive abilities to an unthinkable degree, it wouldn’t be able to prevent the effect of the soul series attack of an Ultimate Skill.
He made Zegion let his guard down thinking that it was just a sword strike, Dino’s strategy to give off a fatal attack of the soul series seemed to have succeeded.
Because Dino knew that Zegion was strong, he would’ve predicted the sword trajectory and chose not to evade it, as close attacks were his forte.
「Humph. I want all of this to stop, good grief.
He seems to revive in several minutes, I need to kill Ramiris quickly…」
So he muttered, as he turned around towards Souei who was holding the sleeping Ramiris.
With his『Magic Perception』, he felt that Souei’s presence was thin. In other words, this Souei was one of the clones.
The clone’s fighting power was weaker than the main body and much more fragile.
Besides, since Souei didn’t possess an Ultimate Skill and Dino grasped that he doesn’t own Ramiris’s “Bracelet of Revival”, even if the one who standing in front of him was the main body, Souei wasn’t a threat to Dino.
However, he had revealed all of his trump cards and his remaining energy was also decreasing.
Clashing with the executives one after another was unexpected for Dino.
Because he was able to defeat Zegion with his saved trump card, he should get away before he revives.
Dino started walking towards Souei…
However, he felt a strong chill and turned back around to Zegion.
「I’m asking you now, are your attacks of the delayed effect series?
Do you think this non-threatening, breeze-like attack can defeat me?
If, under this situation, there’s no need for such lackadaisical methods, you should release an attack with an immediate effect.」
Zegion says so while standing calmly and unchanging like a while ago, he opened his thrust out grasped left hand from before.
5 flashes were emitted. Those were Zegion’s Dimension Rays.
Dino succeeded in avoiding a fatal injury by instantaneous evasion actions. However, his black wing and right arm were severed.
Dino was crouched and groaning in pain, but not that much.
“It’d be really dangerous if things continue to go like this”, as Dino ignored the warning given by his instinct, and shouted
「You, why? Why didn’t “Fallen Thanatos (Hypnotic Inducement towards Death)” work?
Even if it was a virtual body,it’s an inescapable technique that would affect the main body even if it was at a distant place,you know!?」
To Dino who was shouting his question,
「I don’t have the obligation to answer it.」
So Zegion answered with cold, heartless voice.
However, he continues…
「――But, I’ll answer it for the pitiful you.
I made it into a phantasm, subtle and profound. Since the very beginning, you have been under the control of my ability.
Know that mind attacks don’t have any effects on me, who has been given the t.i.tle of “Mist Lord”, the ruler of the illusion world!」
In the voice of an absolute, benevolent being, Zegion answered Dino’s question.
As a result, Dino realized that Zegion is an equal existence to his current self, no, Zegion had possible became a far off, higher ranking existence.
In other words――
(You’re kidding right!?
I saw this guy become a coc.o.o.n while the others fell in a deep sleep, but that is the phenomenon seen when evolving……
You can’t be serious, is it a “Harvest Festival”? Everyone? And, furthermore, in the sleep mode!?
Even if it was so...... What the heck is with this guy, how could he have become so strong!!)
Dino understood that it was some kind of evolutional phenomena.
However, it was unimaginable that even while Rimuru was only just an awakened Demon Lord, his subordinates have already evolved into existences that were equal to their Master.
This phenomenon was not expected, even by Dino who had lived for a long time either.
No, in the first place, it wasalready abnormal that there were several Demon Dukes.
They, who are the highest ranked existences of Demons, the strongest spiritual life forms, are forces that can stop Dino.
Just like Beretta and Adalman from a while ago. He could’ve said that the two are forces that equal to or exceed the former Demon Lords.
If things didn’t go well, they could equal to an awakened Demon Lord even if only in power…
But, Dino understood that that was not the case with Zegion, who is in front of him.
He’s clearly different.
He was at an awakened Demon Lord level, and endless power could be felt from his ability.
He’s equal to Dino and this suggested the possibility of Zegion having acquired an Ultimate Skill.
And above all else, his own power had been nullified which meant that the enemy’s ability was stronger.
(No way… My ability is of the Deadly Sins series. It’s a top cla.s.s ability among the Ultimate Skills you know!?)
It had become a habit for Dino to live while concealing his ability and he could handle the ability just fine.
It’s not weak at all.
It just that his opponent had bad compatibility with him, no, a very, terribly, bad compatibility with him…
From the beginning, this place was Zegion’s control s.p.a.ce.
That was, in other words, an indication of this incompatibility.
「You should pray. Oh the sinned one who touch the abyss! Dimension Storm (Phantom Dimension Wave Storm)!!」
The fact is that Zegion is much stronger than Dino.
A rainbow-colored storm swallowed Dino, and Dino’s whole existence was erased.
It’s exactly a high energy storm of a different dimension.
Dino, who didn’t have any means of defence, was annihilated without leaving any piece of meat behind ―― or so it should have been.
「Oh, was his prayer answered? He seemed glad that it’s not only bad luck」
In the meantime, a small breaking sound of something resounded, and Dino’s existence that should have been erased is regenerated.
Zegion understood the situation definitely.
The sound died down and everything was an event within his calculations.
Dino had equipped an ordinary bracelet on his left hand.
It was the cheap thing that can be purchased at the stall in front of the labyrinth.
Right, that was “Bracelet of Revival”.
A ma.s.s produced commodity made by Ramiris.
Unlike the genuine article which was worn by the executives inside the labyrinth, it was an inferior product that could only be used once.
For caution’s sake, Dino had purchased this bracelet on his day-off. This was because he didn’t get provided with the genuine one that the executives wears..
When he wore it, he thought that even when all of his positions and conversation were being leaked, his mind could be in relief.
Anyway, Dino prepared the inferior article and equipped it this time around.
Hewas going to kill Ramiris who produced the item and the produced item was to be his insurance. Being able to do such an unprincipled action unconcernedly, that was Dino’s own way of doing things.
Naturally, Zegion noticed that Dino was wearing the bracelet.
He turned a blind eye to it after he had noticed that, mostly because he was conducting an experiment.
‘Whether Ramiris’s divine protection would activate for the person who held hostile intentions towards Ramiris or not?’
The result was right in front of his eyes.
Dino seems to have won the gamble.
For Zegion, there was no big difference whether Dino had won or lost the gamble because, in addition to obtaining the experiment results, he had also fulfilled the conditions for victory by protecting Ramiris.
Zegion lifted Ramiris, who was lying on the ground, with one hand and quietly laid her down on the couch.
Souei seemed to go to support the surface...
Zegion was going to join in the fight too, but apparently it didn’t seem that he was needed for that.
Dino who got away will insist on withdrawal, and it will come to an end soon.
And if there’s no sign of escaping, he will crush him.
The safety of this place was secured. Very soon Beretta and Adalman will revive too.
After Zegion had confirmed Ramiris’s safety once again, he began walking calmly to the surface.
‘I’m really tired of this.”
Dino was in a gloomy mood because the strategy failed, rather than being in a more delighted mood because he had survived.
Rather, if Zegion had become such a monster, then capturing the labyrinth by a frontal attack would be hopeless.
Perhaps the situation until a while ago was his biggest chance and he understood that it had been completely lost now.
(Isn’t that guy too strong!?)
Even the finishing blow against himself was beyond his comprehension.
Even for Dino, he only seen a glimpse of Zegion’strue ability and all other information had practically been hidden.
It must be a sign that he had overlooked as the one that was severed was his right hand and not his left hand.
Dino was not so foolish as to not realize this.
Above all else, that monster will arrive at the surface if he doesn’t escape quickly.
With the power he currently owned, he could understand that he could not win against Zegion and therefore, he should withdraw as soon as possible.
(This might be according to that fellow’s expectations too.
He would let me decide to withdraw simply because his comrade on the surface was at a disadvantage.
Or rather, the reason they left the bracelet on me is for an experiment to test whether Ramiris’ ability will affect people with hostile intentions towards her?
As for the reason to do such experiment...
Depending on the situation, those fellows might have taken the possibility of Ramiris being deprived of her management of the labyrinth.
For that experiment, I was used…Good grief.
It’s frightening and unpleasant to think about it.
Demon Lord Rimuru, a fellow you mustn’t be careless with…)
To the frightening imagination that he thought of to himself, Dino increased his evaluation of the Demon Lord Rimuru by several steps.
He even used Ramiris who is his friend; he is someone who might throw away something if it’s not necessary anymore.
If such a person, who is more frightening than a demon, planned a strategy, then no one will know whether there are any other kinds of traps that have been laid out.
Dino hurriedly returned to his comrades on the surface.
When Dino traced back to his comrades, the progress of the battle changed to his advantage.
Standing there, protecting the entrance of Monster Country Tempest is the “Barrier Lord” Gerudo.
His body was stained with blood and it wouldn’t be strange for him to suddenly collapse because he’s full of wounds.
By his side are Souei and Shion.
The executives themselves and not their subordinates are the ones who have become the opponents to prevent the damage from being spreading out.
Dino thought that that it was the correct action.
The opponents of those three were two fallen angels who were Dino’s comrades.
Pico and Garasha.
His “Observer” comrades that were called “Apostle of the End” had overwhelming power.
Spreading their 3 pairs of jet black wings,they were inappropriate for angels who were the proxy of G.o.d’s will.
Unlike 10 people who stayed in the sky, the two were just like Dino, who had fallen onto earth.
Including Dino, there were formerly 13 members of the Seraphim.
But three of them had fallen onto the earth and had done many kinds of activities.
If it were those girls of Seraphim cla.s.s, it should have been easy to annihilate Tempest…
Although they’re dominant right now, they weren’t able to break Gerudo’s defence and only little by little received damaged from Shion.
Shion herself is unhurt.
And then, not only Souei came to give his a.s.sistance, even if it was those girls, they couldn’t made break through the defence.
(Are you serious? Though they’re on the same level as me, if only judging by sheer power, those girls are on par with the average strength of an awakened Demon Lord you know…)
Although not possessing Ultimate Skill, his colleagues who might equal to awakened Demon Lords cannot defeat those two who were just two Devils. To that reality, Dino felt dizzy.
(I’m aware that woman named Shion is abnormal, but that High Orc is also not an ordinary one)
He didn’t attract attention very much as he was working quietly, but that devil named Gerudo seemed to be a quite excellent warrior.
That’s certain as he has survived with two Seraphim cla.s.s as his opponent.
「Geez! How very tenacious! If you don’t finish her in one blow, the wound will immediately healed」
「Don’t panic… But still, it’s troublesome!」
Pico shouts while irritated and even Garasha who was usually prudent seemed to have lost her composure.
That might be so, so Dino thinks.
Although they had fallen, they were first rank seraphim. Because those girls cannot attack, their pride might be shredded to pieces.
But, that is Shion’s winning strategy so Dino calmly concludes.
They made use of Gerudo‘s defensive powers as a shield, literally a shield, as they’ve entrusted him to take on every attack. Gerudo, who could survive despite all of that, really deserved to be praised.
(Rather… These fellows, what do they think a comrade is?
Without any sympathy, he’s being made use of as a shield……)
Dino felt so put off.
But, it wasn’t the time to say something stupid indefinitely.
If he doesn’t withdraw quickly, that monster (Zegion) will come.
「You guys, withdraw. We will withdraw!」
The two people reacted to it and seemed to be dissatisfied but they obeyed Dino.
「Hey, did the strategy succeed?」
「Ah? It failed. If it didn’t fail, then I wouldn’t have ran away you know!」
「Oi, doesn’t that mean that you were defeated?」
「Ah? That’s why you don’t ask about each and every detail!
Couldn’t you guys feel pity for me and kindly pretend to not notice this!?」
Pico and Garasha became silent as their answer to Dino.
While the situation looked as if they were running away in shame, Dino succeeded in escaping from that place.
Which side was really leading in the first move?
It was an opinion that was heavily debated in the coming ages.
However, it’s certain that the controversial details were known only by people who knew about the internal circ.u.mstances deeply.
The one thing that could be said, as the event was well within the calculations, there was no real damage at all on Tempest.