Chapter 316: The True Enemy
“… As expected of the Hero chosen by the Spirit of the Shield. The other sprits are praising him.” (Atlas)
“Yes, yes, that’s all fine, and dandy. Now in exchange, reimburse me with information.” (Naofumi)
I’ll bombard this spirit with all the questions that have been circling my mind.
It’s as if this world itself is intentionally hiding information from me.
“First is… right. Why was I summoned?” (Naofumi)
“That’s probably because Naofumi-sama had the qualifications to be a Hero. 『No matter the trouble, even if you’re vomiting up blood, you’ll still proceed forward. Choosing you was no mistake on my part.』 says the Spirit of the Shield in Hind-sight.” (Atlas)
The four spirits are trying to appeal to me.
And among them, the Spirit of the Shield seems to be inflating itself, and acting cocky.
“Vomiting blood… Whose fault do you think that is!?” (Naofumi)
Even so, the qualifications for a Hero…
Putting it that way doesn’t make me feel bad, but still, I definitely think there’s some ulterior motives here. With this mindset, am I really qualified to be a Hero?
“The Sword, Spear, and Bow spirits are complaining, 『Why the hell is it that you’re always the one to pick the best Hero candidate, you glorious bastard』.” (Atlas)
“By that phrasing, what are the others?” (Naofumi)
What do you mean best?
It’s as if it was some sort of examination.
“Fumufumu… The other three have their ups and downs.” (Atlas)
Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki are… still taking the test.
I can’t bring this up to the humans.
And wait, the biggest problem is me being selected as the best. Are these spirits right in the head?
No, perhaps their expectations aren’t that high to begin with.
And that’s none of their concern, anyways.
“Even though he often summons the one with the most potential, they usually die quickly. So there’s no real point in the title.” (Atlas)
Oh, right. There was the possibility of me getting involved in a political struggle in Silt Welt.
I don’t really have any expectations for them, and since there are some Heroes that drop dead right off the bat, I guess there’s no real meaning in candidate ranking.
In that aspect, Ren did live up to this point, so perhaps they’re not too bad.
“The other three have ample qualifications to be heroes, but they each have their own set of problems.” (Atlas)
“Ah, I see… and?” (Naofumi)
“As an obligatory reward, they’ll at least be able to escape death this time around.” (Atlas)
Well, those guys did die before they came here, so I guess that condition is essential.
Even if they struggle to save this world, it’s no joke if they were to die the second they got back.
“By that logic, I think I also have my share of problems.” (Naofumi)
On my response, the Spirit of the Shield bobs up and down again.
What is it? For some reason, I think he’s making a fool out of me.
“『There’s no way the Spirit of the Shield, whose duty is to defend others, would allow any harm to come to you. Interference was out of the question.』 He says.” (Atlas)
He’s speaking as if he knows the source of this.
I need to ask that too.
“It seems you do not understand, but Naofumi-sama was specially selected to be the Hero of the Shield. You can be proud of this.” (Atlas)
“No, I get that. I have something else I need to know. Tell me.” (Naofumi)
“Anyways, the Legendary weapons don’t seem to know much about things that don’t pertain to their duty, but will you still ask? He says.” (Atlas)
“Yes, that’s fine. What do you mean by interference?” (Naofumi)
“Interference from the enemy the Legendary Weapons are supposed to oppose.” (Atlas)
“And who’s that?” (Naofumi)
“Unknown. At the very least, it’s someone who’s trying to destroy the world from the outside, apparently.” (Atlas)
One who’s trying to bring an end to the world.
There’s definitely some plotting and conspiracies at foot here.
But just who could it be?
The first one that came to mind was the woman born of the wave, Glass.
“Was it… Glass, the Human-Shaped enemy from the wave?” (Naofumi)
The Spirit of the Shield starts spinning vertically.
“It seems that that is not the case. She came to fight and fulfill a duty similar to theirs: to protect the world. She’s one who brought power to this world.” (Atlas)
Atlas shouldn’t know about Glass.
But perhaps the Spirit of the shield taught her.
Even so, to protect the world…
That makes it harder to fight her.
“Next. What… is the wave, exactly?” (Naofumi)
“The wave is __________…” (Atlas)
(TL: ___, we meet again, my little friend)
What!? … The Spirit of the Shield’s words, translated through Atlas, put me at a loss for words.
“I-is that true? It’s not a misunderstanding, or something like that?” (Naofumi)
“There’s been no mistake.” (Atlas)
How could this be.
So that’s why… The Four Legendary Weapons… that’s why people came to call and revere them as such.
Perhaps this is the theory the Queen was going to present.
There, I remembered the conversation between Glass and Raphtalia.
Glass… despite being an enemy, she was surprisingly honest.
So this is why.
(TL: This is chapter 52)
“I apologize, but you can’t be any more incorrect about her being my companion.” (Naoflashbackumi)
“Doesn’t matter, what you are doing is unjust.” (Glass)
“Speaking of unjust, this bitch has done far crueler acts. I have quite a grudge.” (Naofumi)
“Master is like a villain~” (Firo)
“Shut up.” (Naofumi)
“I do not have an argument to offer to an enemy…” (Raphtalia)
Why was Raphtalia able to understand Glass’s words?
I was able to because my Shield acted as a translator.
But Raphtalia’s different.
We’ve already proven that languages differ across worlds.
Raphtalia can’t even understand the language of Silt Welt.
But she could understand that woman just fine.
That means that what the Spirit of the Shield is saying isn’t wrong.
… Why is such a thing happening?
This is definitely related to the one causing interference.
“The enemies you’ve fought so far have been but the vanguard. The Heroes of the past used the technology of those long gone, and to make sure these powers would fade away one day, someone schemed. Time was meaningless to them. They kept on sending enemies, no matter how many decades, or centuries…” (Atlas)
As I thought.
In this world, geniuses are the apostles of social growth and decay, but in truth, someone was actually reincarnating people from another world, and controlling them. To take away the means to fight against the wave.
I did find it strange.
The way to fight Houou and the Spirit Turtle. How to break the Level Cap. The destruction of the Hengen Musou School.
Also, various pieces of information were conveniently eaten away by the ages.
Thinking back, the uselessness of the information Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki brought to this world all lead back to that.
That means, our true 『Enemy』 is…
“Next question. My Shield is gone. What should I do?” (Naofumi)
“There is no problem. The only thing he managed to take was the outer layer.” (Atlas)
“I see…” (Naofumi)
The Spirit of the Shield sways back and forth in the air.
“His last attack was able to incapacitate you for a while, but if you were to wish for it… the Spirit of the shield would be able to answer to your resolve. An attack like that would be no problem. No, a small fry like him wouldn’t be able to lay a hand on you.” (Atlas)
“Even if you tell me that…” (Naofumi)
In front of the Spirit of the Shield, another Spirit asserted its presence.
“Naofumi-sama, in regards to that fake, do you want to deal with him personally?” (Atlas)
“Well, if it’s within my ability.” (Naofumi)
“This spirit says that it wishes to lend you its power temporarily. In that case, the Spirit of the Shield’s functions will be put on hold until you call for it again.” (Atlas)
“Meaning… I can fight with a weapon apart from the Shield?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, but you can call back the Shield when you wish. Until then, as long as Naofumi-sama has the permission of the Wielder, you should be able to use any of the Seven Star Weapons.” (Atlas)
“It’s just that in order to use their full power, you’ll have to retrieve the stolen portions from that thief.”
The eight other balls of light begin shining brightly, and one of them flies at me.
After being enveloped by its power, I was able to understand what sort of weapon it was.
And that Hero of the Whip… no.
That foreign invader. I know how I can defeat him.
I see. So this is how I can beat him head-on.
Yep, I can win with this.
No, it was because the loss of Atlas had blinded me that I was unable to do anything before.
“It’s asking you to 『Get its Wielder back on track』.” (Atlas)
“… I know. But I’ll only be able to do it my way. Don’t expect anything great.” (Naofumi)
“They are no longer the Four Divine, and the Seven Stars. Please release their five brethren from the clutches of that small fry.” (Atlas)
“I understand. And I know how. Last is… what is the Four Holy Weapons Manual I read before I was transported to this world?” (Naofumi)
“A vague record of a predicted future, and the gateway to another world, apparently. Though it seems its predictions were quite off the mark.” (Atlas)
Atlas starts rising into the air with the Spirits. She smiles.
“Remember that I am always with you, Naofumi-sama.” (Atlas)
“Atlas… I couldn’t protect you.” (Naofumi)
“It’s alright. I’m always with Naofumi-sama. And Onii-sama, and Raphtalia-san, and everyone in the village. Please hold them all dear.” (Atlas)
I hold up my hand… and our fingers wrap around each other.
Upon feeling her skin, tears start forming in my eyes. I’m not even sad, so why?
“Will we meet again?” (Naofumi)
“We’ve never parted.” (Atlas)
“… That’s right.” (Naofumi)
Atlas’s body changes into light, and disperses.
I watch over the scene, and head off to reality.