Arc 8, Chapter 41 – “Where Hell Resides”

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――Groovy Gumlet had no interest in Stargazers.

It was not a sense of aversion born out of disgust or hostility, but rather a genuine indifference in the truest sense.

In the first place, it was rare for an ordinary person to come into contact with those who spouted such kinds of nonsense as Stargazers did. In his position as General, he would occasionally encounter Ubilk, who was allowed entry into the Palace, but he rarely spoke with anyone other than those he had business with.

Groovy, also, could not recall ever speaking to him with the exception of shutting him up for constantly interrupting meetings.

Given such an impression, it was difficult to comprehend why Vincent, the Emperor, and Chisha, his trusted confidant, were unusually attentive to the movements of the Stargazer. The stance of the Prime Minister Berstetz concerning the Stargazer was unclear, but from what Groovy could smell, his loyalty to the Empire was genuine, and the complex resentment he harbored toward Vincent did not influence his judgment.

Therefore, with the leaders of the Empire having already determined their respective attitudes, Groovy, who had no opportunity to be involved, had no reason to take an interest in the Stargazer.

Precisely for that reason, if it were revealed that the clash with the Great Disaster, a threat to the survival of the Empire, had been known to the Stargazer in advance, his mouth would likely have overflowed with his habitual curses.

However, at least in this instance, the reason behind the familiar curses coming out from Groovy’s mouth was not anger directed at the Stargazers or anyone related to them.

Groovy: [――Fuck!]

Gray thorns emerged just above the left side of his chest, and the moment his fingers, trying to pluck them, passed straight through, the sharp thorns pierced his heart, causing an intense pain that made Groovy’s fur stand on end.

The sensation of having a sharp object thrust into the innermost parts of one’s body, especially a vital spot directly linked to life, was a pain so intense that even a seasoned warrior would not be able to help but writhe.

Infuriatingly, the thorns had no tangible form. It made it impossible to shake them off.

Gritting his teeth against the unilateral onslaught of pain, Groovy glanced to his side―― at the iron-helmeted man whom he was clinging to around the waist.

Naturally, suffering the same curse as Groovy, he too was writhing in pain――,

Groovy: [Fucking hell, get down! The fucking situation’s about to get even shittier!]

Al: [Get down… Guh!]

Reacting to his unresponsive companion, Groovy punched Al’s abdomen, forcing his body to move backwards.

As he groaned and fell backward onto the street, Groovy grabbed him and quickly pulled him into the shadow of a building just off to the side.

It was an indiscriminate ranged attack. Taking cover in the street like this was nothing but a temporary respite.

Cecilus: [Even so, we don’t want to be seen making a ruckus and end up attracting the horde of undead from all over the place.]

Groovy: […Haven’t you gotten the fucking thorns?]

Cecilus: [No? I’ve received them. I think it would’ve been quite literally a floral gift if they’d given us not just the vines, but flowers as well.]

Descending onto the same street as Groovy and the gang, Cecilus tapped the left side of his chest as he spoke.

Similar to Groovy, thorns were visible through his chest, and the pain should have been just as intense. And yet, he was grinning in the face of the pain that furrowed even Groovy’s brow――,

Cecilus: [The conduct of a leading actor is always the focal point of the audience’s attention. If one twists their expression in agony after losing someone they love or a dear friend, it can be emotionally moving. But if one distorts their face just because they’re in pain, it will only diminish their status as an actor.]

Groovy: [So, no matter how fucking painful or fucking difficult it is, you don’t show it on your face. That’s your fucking dumbass mindset.]

Cecilus: [Huh? Have I already talked about this before?]

Groovy: [You did, but fuck it.]

Despite not wanting to hear any of it, he had been made to listen to the convictions of Cecilus, who tilted his neck, to the point they were revolting to him.

While many did not pay any attention to Cecilus’s whimsical remarks, Groovy, who could not let things slide once his emotions had been hooked into, would often engage with him. It was because of this that he had become familiar with said convictions.

However, now that he had even forgotten that he had shared it, it became apparent that Cecilus had been living by this logic since before his limbs were fully grown, and this went from being impressive to being simply foolish.

And, as Groovy and Cecilus bantered with each other,

Al: [Ghagh… Huh, the pain from the thorns is gone?]

Rising to his feet after having been dragged into an alley, Al muttered as he looked down at the thorns on his chest. Instead, he rubbed his stomach where he had been punched, and directing a resentful aura towards Groovy,

Al: [My stomach hurts even more from being punched… What the hell is going on?]

Groovy: [It’s your own damn fault for not backing the fuck off…! Those thorns, they’re probably affected by distance.]

Cecilus: [Hoho, so you mean the distance between the thorn user and us? Certainly it’d make sense if the pain disappeared as soon as we stepped back! It’s even easier to understand because we were clinging to each other. First there was Groovy-san at the belly, then the sandwiched Al-san, and then finally me at the back, and even though it was less than a second, there was still a difference.]

Al: […But, the thorns aren’t gone.]

As he cleanly cut his finger on the untouchable thorns, Al muttered bitterly.

He was right, the pain had faded, but crucially the thorns had not disappeared. It was worrisome that, even though the obvious challenge of the pain had subsided, the thorns themselves did not. In most cases, this kind of residual spell had the effect of sensing the target’s whereabouts.

As long as those thorns remained, there was a high possibility that their whereabouts would be known to the other party.

Cecilus: [If that’s the case, even if we go to the trouble of hiding, they may suddenly send their forces against us. ――I don’t think it’s such a good idea to kill too many enemies.]

Al: [You said that earlier. The reason being…]

Cecilus: [A hunch, as I said earlier.]

Groovy: […Your fucking hunches, huh.]

As Cecilus did not hesitate to state the insight behind his reasoning, Groovy was unable to laugh at such a stupid joke.

While this was not a laughable situation, he had a track record that could not be dismissed as nonsense. Cecilus and Arakiya belonged to those of the Generals of the First-Class that went completely by intuition, but they were intuitive in different ways.

Groovy, also, did not think that their opponent who had caused a disaster of this magnitude would make a dull move of attacking with just brute force.

Rather, if the opponent only used brute force, then they would be no match for Vincent nor Chisha――.

Groovy: [――――]

For a moment, he glanced over at Cecilus’s profile, and then Groovy remained silent.

There were many thoughts going through his mind, but he knew that if their opponent had chosen to go with all-out force from the beginning, it would be a poor choice in their clash with the Empire, being that it contained the likes of Cecilus and Arakiya.

An opponent making such a presumptuous mistake could never be an enemy of the Vollachian Empire.

Of course, it would have been a different story if Cecilus’s shrunken state had actually been part of the opponent’s plan, but regarding that, Groovy’s own sense of smell negated that theory.

It was Chisha that had shrunk Cecilus. That he was certain of due to the residual Mana.

And, there was no way that Chisha would be complicit in the destruction of the Empire. In the end, however, it was hard for Groovy to figure out what Chisha’s intentions truly had been.

Al: [If our whereabouts are known, we don’t have time to think long and hard. What are we gonna do? Should we all go after them and confront the person who’s putting this curse on us?]

Cecilus: [Yup. That’s the fastest solution! But Groovy-san’s theory was that the curse’s potency is related to distance. That means that if we move away from the person, the pain will go away, if we close in however…]

Al: [This time we ain’t getting off with just a lil’ pain, huh.]

Cecilus: [Looks like it.]

While Cecilus put forth a guess, the mortified Al stared at the thorns in his chest.

Groovy agreed with Cecilus. Therein resided the horror of their enemy who was randomly scattering around a thorn curse on any target within range.

The closer one would get to the user, the stronger the curse of the thorns would act. Most people would probably be incapacitated by the pain before they could ever reach the user.

Groovy: [And if that happens, no matter how fucking stupid they are, they wouldn’t be able to move.]

Cecilus: [So, judging from that look in my direction, you must take me for a fool who rushes in without thinking, right? But as you can imagine, I won’t rush in without thinking either. If I can settle the problem by cutting down the opponent while enduring the pain that would be amusing, but――]

And, Cecilus, after a clap, clasped his hands together strongly in front of his chest, making a sound. As he was, he interlaced the fingers of both hands together, and alternatingly looked at Groovy and Al through the gap between his fingers,

Cecilus: [That’s not the case, is it? If it were a matter of cutting off the other person’s head, Groovy-san would’ve sent me out and made me do it by now.]

Groovy: […That’s what’s so fucking nasty about this curse shit.]

Cecilus smiled wickedly, and Groovy couldn’t help but sigh.

If this were magic, killing the caster would usually cause it to cease functioning. Magic was invoked by the caster using Mana to interfere with the world, so if the caster disappeared, that would be the end of it.

However, curses were specialized for causing damage that resulted in the death of the target.

For this reason, many of them activated in combination with the target’s Od, and most of them did not lose their efficacy as long as the target continued to live, even if the caster perished. For example, these thorns were clearly more dependent on the target’s Od than the caster’s, a perfect example.

The only way to break this type of curse was to have the caster break it, or to use a secret trick.

Groovy: [There’s that fucking sword, Murasame. Go get it.]

As he gave his instructions Groovy jerked his chin, to which Cecilus and Al simply stared in puzzlement.

Groovy did not pay much mind to Al since the latter had never known about it, but Cecilus, who had been aware of the sword but had now forgotten it, that he loathed. Grabbing Cecilus by the collar, Groovy bared his teeth.

Groovy: [I mean the Fiend Sword Murasame! That fucking sword’s the fastest way to cut through curses, Contracts, and other things that don’t have any form! Go find it!]

Cecilus: [Huh!? Even if you say so, I still don’t know anything about that sword! If you don’t know where it is, do you want me to go look for it… or would Groovy-san know where it is by the smell?]

Groovy: [It’s no use. That fucking sword cuts off the smell, so I can’t track it with my nose. Even if it’d been in a pool of blood all year long, I wouldn’t be able to follow the smell, fuck.]

Even if it were not for that, Murasame hated Groovy, who had melted the sword and reforged it into a katana; it would not even allow him to hold it in his hand.

Groovy’s nose could not locate the Fiend Sword, which was as difficult to deal with as its owner, Cecilus.

Al: [――But with it, you can do something about these thorns, right?]

As Groovy and Cecilus exchanged a few words, Al stood up and confirmed the situation in a low voice.

At his serious tone, Groovy released Cecilus and nodded.

Groovy: [Yes. If it’s to be somewhere, it’s either at this fucking idiot’s house or in a secret vault, but I don’t think the fucking idiot can keep a secret secret, so he probably doesn’t have something like that.]

Al: [I agree. Where is the house?]

Groovy: [It’s in the Crystal Palace’s garden. He lives with Arakiya in a stupid fucking shack.]

Cecilus: [Wait, wait! Groovy-san’s always talking about a “fucking idiot”, and I think he’s talking about me, but there’s a name I don’t recognize, who is it!]

Al: [Arakiya, that girl, is she doing alright in the Palace’s garden? What a small world…]

Groovy: [Nah, she’s probably not alright.]

As he replied to Al’s reasonable mutterings, Groovy wrinkled his nose.

The relationship between Cecilus and Arakiya was unclear even to Groovy, who could only observe from the outside. They apparently had known each other for nearly a decade, but it remained a mystery how Cecilus felt about her. It was clear that Arakiya disliked Cecilus, but they still lived together and shared meals together.

Groovy would be able to tell from the smell if they were actually together, but there was no sign of that. At times, they were a nuisance, as they could change the topology of the Empire while seriously going for each other’s throats.

Groovy: [But I don’t think that the Dream Sword or the Fiend Sword’d be left alone even after the fucking idiot got shrunk. So it’s possible that…]

Al: [――. If they were to be put in the Palace, they’d have done it from the start.]

Al was right in his concern regarding the uncertainty of whether they had been put in the Palace after having been recovered.

If they were to be able to get into the Crystal Palace, they could not adopt the bastion storming strategy, as it relied on reinforcements. However, in order to receive the reinforcements, it is a prerequisite that this caster be stopped.

Cecilus: [Hmmm, what to do? Leaving such a great weapon in the Palace would be a waste. Weapons that seem meaningful must be put to use.]

There, Cecilus, hands folded behind his head, interjected.

Cecilus, with his back to Groovy and Al, who were talking to each other, glanced at them and groaned, “Ugh”.

Groovy: [The fuck is it. If there’s something you want to say, just fucking say it.]

Cecilus: [No, no. Can’t the two of you speak by yourselves? It doesn’t seem like the two of you will hear anything I say anyway so I don’t really care.]

Groovy: [You’re sulking about Arakiya, fucking hell! You and that girl used to try and kill each other! This what you’ve been all pissy about ain’t it! So that’s all, you fucking idiot, now speak up!

Cecilus: [Huuhh, if you do want to hear it so badly. ――To be blunt, I’m talking about the fact that from their point of view, it’s better to let someone else have it than to leave it in the Palace.]

Changing from a smiling face to a sullen one, Groovy furrowed his brow at Cecilus’s statement, and became frustrated that he was then offered an opinion that was more honest and plausible than he had expected.

In other words, if Cecilus was correct, the Dream Sword and the Fiend Sword, two powerful weapons, were likely to be possessed by one of the undead.

Moreover――,

Cecilus: [If they are such powerful weapons then wouldn’t you put them in the hands of someone to whom you entrust an important location?]

Groovy: [Fuck.]

As stated by Cecilus, that was the most likely scenario, and thus Groovy agreed with a swear.

If this was the case, it was in their best interest to cut down on the possibilities they could and head for the correct locations.

Groovy: [As for Balleroy over at number three, that bastard’s different. He’s got a spear. He won’t make the shitty decision to switch weapons.]

Cecilus: [Then it’s somewhere else. It might be a waste of Al-san’s efforts to use my father and his friend as decoys.]

Al: [No, I agree with you that he’s the one that needs to be put out of the way the most… It’s no joke that he’s the only one who can hold bro and the others back when they arrive.]

Al’s clenched fist trembled, to which Cecilus, with one eye closed, looked at Groovy.

The plan was finalized. In order to obtain the Fiend Sword, they would go to the other bastions to find the person they thought might have it, a somewhat haphazard strategy――,

Groovy: [Fucking idiot, at least be the first to go and pull it off. Where’s the best chance?]

Cecilus: [Hmm~… I guess it’s number two, isn’t it?]

Al: [The southeast one, thats still pretty close to here. Then we’ll use the leather cloak again, and the three of us can go to…]

Groovy: [No.]

As they decided on the bastion to which they were headed, Groovy interrupted Al.

Shaking his head, Groovy threw the werewolf pelt in his hand to Al, turned his back on them, and went toward the entrance to the alley.

And then――,

Groovy: [We’re gonna go our separate ways from here. I gotta hold this fucking enemy’s head down so he won’t move. ――It’s a shitty role, but I’m the only one who can do it.]

Al: [――Hk, I understand what you’re saying, but there are thorns in our side! Aren’t the conditions the same for you and I!?]

Groovy did not stop even upon hearing Al’s voice trying to stop him.

Al was about to chase after him, when Cecilus’s small hand stopped him with a tap on his chest. While still holding back Al, Cecilus then asked Groovy.

Cecilus: [You can win, can’t you?]

Groovy: [At least I’ll make time for you, the fucking idiot, to do your work. Who do you think I am? I’m the amazing Groovy Gumlet, Sixth of the Nine Divine Generals.]

Raising his arm, so Groovy conveyed the basis of his confidence to Cecilus, speaking over his shoulder.

This seemed to have resonated particularly well with Cecilus. He let out a delighted snort that was obvious, and without even looking,

Cecilus: [Well, have fun. Next time we’ll meet with the Fiend Sword!]

With the leading actor’s familiar, florid speech, Groovy kicked off the cobblestone pavement and headed off to the battlefield.

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――After parting ways with Cecilus and Al, Groovy, now all on his own, leapt his way across the Imperial Capital.

Regardless of being out in the open, he sailed past the streets, kicked the walls and roofs of the buildings, and bounced with great vigor.

From here onwards, unlike covert operations that he might have performed by wearing the pelt of a werewolf, he had to garner the opposition’s attention by purposefully making his move in dramatic fashion.

Finally, at long last, the opportunity for Groovy to swing into action in his own element had arisen.

Groovy: [Making me do all this fucking annoying shit…!]

Placing the entirety of his accumulated frustration onto his tongue, Groovy spat out a spiteful sequence of profanity.

In the first place, behaving in a way that required him to scuttle around, such as running around in an effort to escape and lurking in secret out of the sight of others, was not Groovy’s thing at all. It was not about whether he was good at it or not, he simply hated doing it.

Despite that, ever since he had withdrawn from the western battlefield after the arrival of the undead, such a role had been unremittingly forced upon him until he had reached the Imperial Capital, and therefore, he was at the absolute limit of his patience.

Of course, his frustration was not the reason for his suggestion to act on his own, but now that he had obtained a perfect chance to run wild at his own discretion, he was going to savor it.

Groovy: [――Fucking dammit, it’s here.]

As Groovy spun in circles vertically while hugging his knees close to himself, the thorny vines surfaced and wriggled across his beastly fur-covered chest, its bindings undergoing reactivation due to the shortened distance between him and the caster.

The acute pain that pierced his heart directly was something that could not be withstood easily, even if the recipient was a warrior who was accustomed to pain. It was the complete truth without a sliver of falsehood, as stated previously.

Except――,

Groovy: [If it’s a shitty curse that torments the opponent, then there’s gotta be a loophole…!]

Drawing out a single dagger from the waistband fastened securely around his own body, Groovy barked.

Selected from the waistband loaded with multiple daggers, was one with a purple line streaking across its blade, and Groovy pointed the sharp edge of the dagger at his own neck, pushing the tip into himself.

Immediately, the poison affixed to the edge of the dagger’s blade coursed into his body, rapidly eating away at the petite build of the hyenaperson by flowing through his bloodstream. The deadly toxin ran amok, delighted by the joy brought on from fulfilling its duty of killing a living creature, and as it rushed to put a lethal end to the creature’s vital activity―― the blade was pulled back right before it could do so.

Groovy: [――Ahh.]

Enduring the sensation that caused the contents of his stomach to go through a reflux, blood rushed to Groovy’s widened eyes.

With the capillaries of his eyeballs having been ruptured, both of his eyes were dyed red, but his physical body had stopped short of being felled by the virulent poison, and a change was delivered to it instead.

A part of his body’s senses had been silenced by the poison. ――His sense of pain had been suppressed.

The next moment, the pain from the thorns that would have been enough to immobilize him had disappeared, and the sensation that constricted his heart was subdued by the exhilaration that came from forcibly overcoming the threat to his life.

Originally, the poison had been intended to be used as a tool for torture, the procedure consisting of administering it to captive enemies and letting them watch, fully conscious, as their own bodies were mutilated, all the while being unable to feel any pain.

Although, as long as he adjusted the dosage, he thought it would be possible to maintain control over his body and carry on with his sense of pain eradicated, just like this. He had always wanted to test this but had lacked the opportunity to do so, yet it had gone swimmingly without any preparation beforehand.

Groovy: [If I ever tested this on that fucking dumbass Cecilus, then it’s gonna be an irreversible mistake in case I fuck it up.]

If it were a matter of his own body, then he had it completely memorized, starting from the number of his beastly hairs without a single fang’s width of inaccuracy. He was able to make even the slightest adjustments thanks to it, but testing the poison on Cecilus or Al would have meant making rough estimates with their lives on the line.

More specifically, he did have an urge to test to see if even Cecilus would die from the poison―― pushing down his slowly climbing curiosity, Groovy set out for the third bastion.

The current situation spoke for itself. Right now, his topmost priority was to save the Vollachian Empire from its imminent destruction.

Truthfully, he wanted to make the most out of this situation with the undead reviving, going on a spree to collect materials from the limited numbers of rare races and from those that had already gone extinct, but he had to choke back his regret and let the opportunity pass.

The reason to allow such a thing simmered and blazed within Groovy.

Groovy: [Fuck this shit.]

He threw out brief words of obscenity. Those had come from the constant feeling of frustration within him.

――Ever since he had laid his eyes upon the Imperial Capital ruled by the undead, very much in the manner he was looking at it right now, the possibility that either Vincent or Chisha had died had come to Groovy’s mind. On top of that, if one of them really were to have died, then Chisha would have been the one, in his thoughts.

There had been signs of a faint smell of death trailing after Vincent’s steps. For all that, when the smell had abruptly vanished at some point, or so he thought, the situation had gone to shit.

Groovy: [Fucking pale-faced motherfucking bastard.]

The guy was a detached man who kept his emotions closed off from the eyes of others, but he had ultimately hid away even the inner workings of his heart from the smell.

As the Imperial Capital’s decisive battle drew closer, it had been the orders from Vincent that had sent Groovy towards the west, keeping him away from the battlefield, but that Vincent must have been Chisha.

He had no way of knowing what had happened to Vincent in the meanwhile, but upon imagining the circumstances behind why Cecilus had been shrunk down, the lone winner of it all would be Chisha.

In spite of that, if the Empire were to be defeated, then even his victory would be brushed away as if it had never happened.

Groovy: [Fuck that shit.]

Such a stupid idea could not be allowed to become a fact.

Groovy had been born in the Empire, raised in the Empire, and was a hyenaperson who lived in the Empire. The rise of his race’s social status depended on the work he did, and he had always been told that his duty was to fight courageously until he drew his final breath.

He was aware that he was born as someone who would leave his mark on the history of the Empire. In fact, he had been scouted by the Emperor, climbing through the ranks in leaps and bounds and eventually rising to the position of the Imperial General First-Class.

The group that such a person, Groovy Gumlet, had acknowledged as his equals, or even greater than him, were the Nine Divine Generals.

Groovy was a warrior who belonged to the Empire, and was also one person who obeyed the philosophy stating that “the people of the Empire must be strong”.

That was why the matter of victory or defeat was sacred. ――The victor must be honored, after all.

Groovy: [Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fucking fuck…!]

In Vollachia, the land of ceaseless battles, the world would sink to hell if even the aforementioned unwritten law were to be distorted.

Furthermore, hell was to be brought upon Vollachia’s enemies, so turning this world into that place was not an option.

He had to give the enemy an idea of where hell resided.

Groovy: [――Fucking found it.]

Spinning alongside his body was his vision, and Groovy let out a mutter when he saw a few silhouettes on the move.

The horde of undead at the bottom of his line of sight were screeching out something. However, their reactions were beyond subpar. They would have been harmless even if he were to leave them alone, but he had no reason to do such a thing.

Above all else, Groovy could not afford to let his prey get away in the midst of the smell of blood.

Positioning his fangs together with an audible click, he drew out the chain and sickle that he carried on his back.

It was a weapon difficult to handle, consisting of a wide, single-handed sickle connected to a weight with a chain. Usually, the chain would only be several meters long, and the chain and sickle were supposed to be used in fights that were close-ranged or middle-ranged, but Groovy’s weapon had been fashioned from unique materials.

Because of that, the chained weight had easily reached the group of undead, even though they had been nearly thirty meters away from him.

He swung his sickle-wielding hand in wide arcs, and the chained weight that followed after a moment sang its metallic tunes as it flew towards the ground with tremendous speed. The size of the weight was equal to a fist, but the power behind its acceleration was too enormous to be converted to a mere punch.

Of course, the undead jumped out of the pathway of the weight, not wanting to be on the receiving end of it―― but, how naive.

Groovy: [FUCKING MORONS!!]

The launched weight made contact with the ground in the direction of Groovy’s roar.

Suddenly, the weight manifested a red hue from within, and the surrounding buildings were caught in the massive explosion that followed. The resulting powerful shockwave engulfed the undead that had narrowly avoided the blast, and just like that, one of the Imperial Capital’s streets had been annihilated.

――The Crimson Hills Girall were located northwest of the Kararagi City-States, near the Great Waterfall.

That place, which appeared as a red desert area, was the most dangerous land in the world, made from delicate Fire Magic Stone particles resembling grains of sand. Because even a puff of wind could trigger a chain of explosions in that region, it was said to have been created from the bloody tears of a Great Spirit who had failed to become a part of the Four Greats.

The weight connected to Groovy’s chain and sickle contained Fire Magic Stones that had been collected from the Crimson Hills Girall in its interior, able to unleash its exceptionally destructive power in this manner upon absorbing Mana from its surroundings.

Exposing himself to the aftershock from the explosive heat that had demolished an entire street, Groovy landed on the charred ruins that unceasingly emanated black smoke and burned ablaze, and while leaning up to straighten his back,

Groovy: [Rrrooooohhh!!]

Like that, he roared as he let the destructive impulse that had been swelling up inside of him run its own course.

His pounding heart was bitching about the squeezing sensation from the thorns, but there was no pain to it. Moreover, he felt the scorching heat sear through his inner body, blowing out a breath that smelled of blood.

And then, he gnashed his fangs loudly, adjusting his hold on his chain and sickle,

Groovy: [Can’t fucking ambush me with a shitty curse like that!!]

As a shadow dropped from the sky, the hem of their red overcoat fluttering in the air, he launched the chained weight at them.

Just as how the power behind the weight had been demonstrated earlier, the opponent intercepted it with the sword in their hand, and immediately after that, an eruptive blaze swallowed them whole.

However――,

Groovy: [Tch!]

Witnessing the flames that had enveloped the sky becoming split in half, Groovy leapt backwards immediately.

The unnatural change that had occurred to the flames was a testament to the fact that the flying silhouette had chopped it down. In addition, the thorns pulsing with ardor at the arrival of their master, as if they were howling with joy, told him that his opponent was the one responsible for scattering the curse of thorns against Groovy, as well as his surroundings.

Had he gone without silencing his sense of pain with his toxins, then he would have been writhing on the ground, vomiting blood, by now.

Groovy wanted to say that he had the complete upper hand, supposing his opponent was someone who relied on their thorns alone. Alas, his enemy was apparently not easy to beat.

???: [Ambush? ‘Tis a rather strange remark. For what reason wouldst I resort to such underhanded subterfuge?]

The silhouette spoke as he descended upon the scorched field, languidly gazing in Groovy’s direction.

Fractured, pallid skin, golden pupils floating atop black sclera. His appearance was just as Groovy had expected, meeting the requirements of an undead, but there was something that had vaulted over a wall or two regarding his expectations.

First and second, there were the aesthetic garb that was only allowed to be worn by the Vollachian Imperial Family, and the facial features that were somehow reminiscent of Vincent Vollachia. More than anything, it was about the thing that his opponent had in his hand.

That was something only permitted to be held by the Emperor of Vollachia, the crimson, scintillating glow of the Yang Sword――.

Groovy: [Fucking hell.]

If the undead were resurrections, then of course there was the possibility of the Vollachian Imperial Family becoming a part of the horde.

Because of that, although Groovy was surprised by the fact that his opponent had the Yang Sword, he was able to accept it. What he was not able to accept was that it was not the only sword in his enemy’s possession.

With the Yang Sword grasped firmly in his right hand, the undead Emperor was holding a different weapon in his left.

And, it was a blade that Groovy had not been expecting this one undead to have gotten ahold of in this place――,

Groovy: [――How far are you gonna go to fucking defy me, you shitty ass katana!!]

As Groovy roared in an outburst of rage, in his field of vision was the undead Emperor, Fiend Sword Murasame in hand―― the Yang Sword and the Fiend Sword, two blades belonging to the Enchanted Swords were standing as an adversary against the Master of Curse Tools, Groovy, much to his chagrin.

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19 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 41 – “Where Hell Resides””

  1. I wonder if Eugard can use the same cloning technique as Lamia and Sphinx? If he could do that he’d be a threat with his thorn curse

  2. Eugard’s so far quite the impressive character. Though we know that Halibel is likely going to be the one to hold off Mezoreia, I wonder how Eugard might react to meeting him

  3. Somehow, the Blue Lightning does not seem verry impressive to me. Subaru even witnessed him dying once already. The “unbounded Stargazer”… there are probably more secrets hiding within him. But so far, he even had to run away even from this curse, right?

    Thanks for translating.

    1. He literally go toe to toe with arakiya and hunt a dragon, he constantly clash with strong enimies so so you just asume he is average

  4. I was wondering why the author is sending such a massive team to the capital, there’s gotta be huge HUGE battle that’s about to happen. Pretty sure it’s not gonna be just the immortal king and Ballebro who we need to defeat.

  5. “Eugard Vollachia uses Spike!”

    “Spikes are scattered around the foe’s team”

    “Groovey Gumlet uses Morphine!”

    “It’s fuckin affective!”

  6. I wonder if the Great Spirit of the Crimson Hills Girall is going to be the Night Weeping of the City-States? I mean, the desert there is said to be created by the Great Spirit’s bloody tears, which means it’s constant *weeping* was what created that area. It’s also close to the City-States, although I’m not sure about the ‘Night’ part..

  7. “Fuck this shit”
    “Fuck that shit”
    -Groovy gumlet, the 6th of the 9 divine generals.

    Seriously, groovy is such a mood lmao

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