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Day 321Edit

Translations - EDITED ~INA.XP32.

needs grammatical cleaning.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Day 321

Oniwaka's [ Rank Up(Existence Evolution)] seems to be [Gokusotsu Abare Oni] 獄卒暴鬼 ( " Hell's Tormenting (Prison Guard) Rampage Oni").

Oniwaka has always had a huge body as he is a great ogre, but now he is twice as big. In addition, the musculature on his whole body has developed and is as thick as armor.

The color of his skin is dark red as if dyed in blood. His dark purple hair is lustrous and as sharp as a knife.

Two horns point upwards on the top of his head like thick stakes. They are extremely sharp and look like they could drill holes into an object when headbutted.

A pair of crimson eyes glitter with the look of a hungry animal. His sharp fangs have now fully grown. Metal armor wouldn't stand a chance.

His protective armor, the loincloth, is worn as if it were clothing, and has tiger-like patterns. He also seems to utilize what looks like a ball-and-chain in battle.

The ball-and-chain seems to be a useful tool in capturing prisoners.

Although the weapon looks small in the hands of Oniwaka, the size of the iron ball easily exceeds 30 centimeters in diameter and is quite heavy.

I had thought that there was an ability that was restraining the high level power from Oniwaka's mind and body, but now I discarded such a thought because it didn't exist.

On observation of his weapon, it was clear that the chain could be quickly expanded and contracted. The length of the chain could change from 1 meter to 10 meters.

It could even act as chain mail if wrapped around the body in extended form. However, actually swinging the weapon would become difficult in that state. Nonetheless, it was really useful having both a means of offense and defense in a single item.

He could possibly hurt himself while using it if he wasn't too careful. That shouldn't be a problem with constant practice though.

[ED note: what happens when a noob using nunchaku recklessly fast?]

I did not have a lot of knowledge on that type of weapon, but I could tell how useful it was as I had used my thread to attack in a similar way before.

Then, the living body weapon was a spiked-club with a brutal appearance. It's huge to hold in a hand and looks like a thick column of iron which have spikes that line up regularly.

A strong wind is unleashed if an object with that kind of weight moves. Even if it is just waved lightly, it could damage the surrounding area.

If he is serious, most people won't be able endure the heavy slam and will be destroyed if directly taking a hit from the swing. Even with defense, they won't be left unhurt with more than just a scratch.

Physically, it's very powerful, but its obvious that it doesn't have the ability which could make it classifiable into [Magic] apparently.

It's possible to inflict status on mental state from abnormal attacks such as [fear] by roar or the power of observation. But still, it is not [magic] in the first place. However, on Oniwaka's case, there is only one ability which could be considered as related to [Magic].

I should think of [Gokusotsu Abare Oni] ( " Hell's Tormenting (Prison Guard) Rampage Oni"). as a subspecies that purely specializes in physical stats.

He'll be mistaken for a muscle brain.

He's got a slight vulnerability to magic or sorcery because he is specialized in physical stats. However, I am astounded that he doesn't seem to have almost any problem with vitality and defense towards it.

His skin will regenerate back which was carbonized even when it got roasted, came loose and fell from the Hell's flames before the skin, and they also can take the cannonballs of a spear and the ice of the rock with his thick muscle armor.

Uneasiness remains for the mind attacks and the like, but he won't have any problem if I supplement him with magic items for it.

Still, he often follows Minokichi and Asue whose evolved race is superior in physical aspect, but somehow I feel a sense of loneliness when looking at the subordinate of the two big Oni.

I wonder if it was better to have more physical contact, but I am on the verge being troubled as a father.

Well, even I personally haven't lived for one year yet. I shouldn't be too troubled.

Put the personal sentiment aside, today is the eleventh day for the holding of the "festival".

Since today is the last day, I climb the platform which I build by raising the ground after having myself filled with vitality from the grand breakfast using dragon meat and dungeon's ingredients. Just like the first day when I declared the opening of the holding, then I look around the members along with the orderliness and spoke words of the appreciation in [outside training ground].

Like the first day, the number of members standing in line surpasses 3,000 people.

However, the planned members who participated in today's event had decreased to under 1,000, which was less than a one-third of the total.

Treatment was provided and done by the medical care corps Prière which were lead by Seiji-kun with a large amount of magical medicine used in the middle of the event. However, the best treatment system is by soaking oneself inside the hot spring which had many of the hot spring's benefit including the promotion of natural resilience. From the slight wounds such as a scratch or the blow to the serious wounds such as comminuted fracture (Breaks in multiple locations of same bone) or internal organs exploding, it is cured in the degree that does not have aftereffects. By luck, there is no dead people appearing from any unexpected accident that didn't happen at the event .

However, you cannot be sure whether all of the injuries are completely recoverable.

There are limits to regeneration due to differences in the degree of physical ability when weak members are compared with top-classes such as Kanami-chan and me. They also were consumed in the harsh schedule which is beyond their body's limit.

It is hard to wipe the fatigue that is clinging onto the depths of the body with just having a rest, since there are those who require more rest for a while for trauma caused by extreme fear and stress. The numbers aside, I would say it was less than 1,000 people.

Though the members less than 1,000 were not in a perfect state, mostly it consisted of members who got hurt and tired.

It could only be said that they were simply not at their the limit yet.

As I did the event, there were times when I was doing one thing or another, however I could notice the improved quality and the quantity of magical power that can be felt from the body of the approximately 3,000 members who lined up. Then, somehow it just decreased though I only naturally stood there.

Even if it's not perfect, there is no doubt that almost everyone has improved one stage or two-stages or has more strength than before the festival.

Many members achieved [Rank Up(Existence Evolution)] which will lead us to greater success in the Holy war.


I wonder if the growth of the members, especially the Goblins and Hobgoblins, that are particularly in the childhood period of growth are remarkable or not .

The bodies containing useless fat had decreased by hard work and had gotten muscular instead, and they looked like a full-fledged soldier that had somewhere become lax on their guard.

[Rank Up (Evolution)] did it, or let's expect it when it only happened to the ones who seem to have the Oni talent carrying our futures core.

Anyway, I go to the seat which is next to the [Outside Training Ground] and explain the things for the last event after having finished saying words of appreciation to anyone who is none other than the approximately 1,000 members who were able to make it until this point.

Finally, ten people who were inspectors for those events ―― In other words, they're me and Kanami, Minokichi-kun with Asue-chan, Burasato-san with Supesei-san, Kugime-chan with Aifu-chan, and Avenger with the Rusty Iron knight ―― will have a battle against the approximately 1,000 people.

If one were to speak of..., the face of top are lining up in front of many eyes, Rusty Iron knight is warped in complicated feelings having to mix himself lining up beside the platform of the top members class, and also Avenger is somehow shows a discouraged expression.

Rusty Iron knight was saying that the members [Event's Inspectors] who stood in front of them are good. Why you had such a reaction Rusty Iron knight ? I thought, but then realized and puzzled if perhaps Rusty Iron knight might want to fight against us.

He is sure is so greedy to become strong every passing day.

And, for Avenger it must be the same too.

Rather, it is more blatant.

In the first place, I wanted man power and Avenger fell to me to achieve his revenge for oneself.

I want a strong man to acquire power all the more because he is settled by string-pulling when the revenge object came out from this [Holy War].


If that's the case then I must grant the wish. Since it's the case, I had the eight Oni [Top members] who added Rusty Iron Knight and Avenger to a counterpart vs. the composition of approximately 1,000.

A courageous shout and screaming showing some slight desperation echo in the vast forest. It's good If their spirits are that high.

With that said, I decided to start it on the [Outside Training Ground] at once.

Of course, we also won't be serious.

Since if I become serious, I might bring a person to death in an unexpected accident. Even without mentioning to limit of the each person's [Top Members] ability and having their specialized weapon made from wood by construction arms for the training.

Still, there are differences that come from my existence and potential isolation some of the tribe. However, this mock battle rather won't be any use if the differences like this couldn't be overturned by fighting spirit as if it is as the actual battle.

Since having used specialized weapons made from wood in it, it's better if members do their best as much as they can to set their aim at these weapon's destruction?


I made them from dark brown sturdy flexible wood called [Astor Ard] which in fact I could gather only in a small portion of the large forest in various ways because their condition at least won't be disintegrated even if we used it as complex wooden construction. Anyway, its got a superb reputation for its sturdiness.

They won't die instantly even if I hit them directly given safety measures, but we cannot try using them too hard even if it's unpleasant to top members because the bones of several of people among the mass could be easily broken.

For the time being, I continuously made hits and drove them away by having four tree spears by my four arms.

There are a few strong people such as those 100 times more tenacious than before who I can usually only dispel them by just to swing the spears around, but I might carelessly go too far since it just happens to be a counterattack.

In that case, it should become their nourishment to grow because I placed my hits carefully while pointing out the weak point.

Since this time the children - Auro and Argento, Oniwaka and Opushii came aggressively at me, my motivation is raised.

So to them they think again the fact that their father is great, I kindly, carefully and thoroughly play with them.

It may be violent physical contact, but such a physical contact may seem to be quite good as lineage of the Oni.

Anyway, Minokichi-kun and Asue-chan of the heavyweight division that strengthened my right and left, acted violently with wooden axes and wooden hammers to wait for in a hand.

I plunge into the place where a great number of people gather, and the defense are weak smashing the battle formation without care.

The state that two large ogres question on is a scene such as a natural disaster that even resistance is not permitted at all.

Still, from the experience of the event, the decrease of members was a bit more slow than before.

Burasato-san is running about in length and breadth inexhaustibly fighting against Avenger who projected sword techniques which he cultivated in the actual fighting.

Her physical movement is refined more than before, and there is little consumption such as physical strength or the concentration by reducing waste, the single blow adds to sharpness and weight more, and the model of one offense and defense confines even a counterattack.

Burasato-san has the power, but Avenger endures as well. Since going easy was useless when having anything to do with Avenger, Burasato-san let a wooden sword wrapped by blood and strengthened it, and the surroundings got shredded only by its aftermath while giving off an intense spark.

Just as expected, it became big vacant space around them since it was not at the level that could be meddled by other members.

And since they could die too soon if caught in it, it would have been inevitable.

Kanami-chan and Burasato-san waited at the rear, while Kugime-chan put up a barrage without ceasing.

As for Kanami-chan, there is the shock with the devil gun [water pressure shrinkage gun]·[water egg], but using a non fatal water hammer bullet, fired through the member who was careless from a long distance.

Members could not come too close at all if she continued supplementing a magical power because in a sense there was almost no intervals long enough between the continued shooting and Kanami-chan aiming and squeezing a trigger together endlessly.

Having the only non-lethal aim be too accurate and its weak power was what saved them from it, also water hammer bullets are cut off by minimum movement or because the members who can prevent it increased from before, the numbers do not seem to decrease greater than they thought either.

Supesei-san brings low rank magic like rain as if it was a festival event.

It is calculated so that plural magic raises each others effects this time ―― For example, I place magic to produce explosive flame in magic to produce a whirlpool of the wind in the same orbit. ―― It was sublimated to simple mixed system magic.

While a degree of difficulty goes up with it, if I can establish this in the technique that I tested in the last event than, as a result such as the mixed system magic with high power it comes to be relatively easy to have.

But, it seems to be farther from practical use since it still at research stage.

Because the magic of the same person uses the same fuel called the magical power, anything relatively easily mixes, but when it is the magic that others use, I resist it and seem to dampen it.

Well, I put the detailed technical stuff aside, and the movement of members is quick if it becomes the second even if innumerable magic falls. It may be said that experience is reflected by a result.

It may be said that Kugime-chan is the most quiet one but she checks members approaching by [eyes of the paralysis] and [eyes of the chaos] to spread in a constant range. Still when she was close to a shield by her comrade, she performed a reading of an action to see physical movement, it pointed out an exact chance and rolled it to the ground.

There are many members who got defeated against Kugime-chan which is not a battle type although it is hard to attract attention as much as she was while not more flashy than the surroundings.

There is composure for movement of Kugime-chan which forecast near future to see all of the companion's moves, there was elegance to the feel even if the impression that she was totally dancing.

I continued hitting the first move to forestall and wanted members to get a method to overcome the partner who controlled the flow of the battle freely, but, as for it, it seemed to be still a bit more difficult.

I strode along a battlefield with feeling like in the case of Aifu-chan which was search-and-destroy mode personnel.

I feel depressed from handy members, she operates without knowing what she is doing.

Some members were also trying to fight back but long-range attack were not effective due to majority of corrosion, but she also could not be easily attacked because the mind is contaminated if they come to close.

Even if they somehow come close through mental pollution, they got intercepted because her ability for simple battle is unexpectedly high and she had repeated that things all over.

Actions to be taken are incomprehensible only at a glance, and it seems to be difficult to deal in members.

I continued it for such a feeling from morning to the early afternoon, but approximately 1,000 people have been tired out, too.

A small number of it might be unavoidable and because of such fact that the more of the burden is increased.

So they rescheduled it, and remaining approximately 2,000 people who took a rest in half day added it.

If it be said that I reach the limit and take a rest in the half day, I recover to some extent.

It will be said that I endure it for remainder around several hours, and outrunning you has you do your best.

The last event which there was also a little gap so in the plan invited an ending of corpse troubles.

I do not die, but am really a state such as the dying one step before.

After Seiji-kun took minimum treatment generally quickly, I held the ceremony of end.


For words of the considerably short appreciation, I spend it for maintenance of rest and the armament for six days from tomorrow, I convey a plan such as departing for the planned site for [Holy War] seven days later, I distribute arms from the dungeon for the persons that results are excellent as the reward that they tried hard.


The items dropped which I got when I killed a dungeon monster in a labyrinth accounts for most of it, but the things which came out of the treasure chest of the hierarchy boss are few but I still release it.

By the way, there is a magic item of the grade that I got in spite of being a minimal number from a treasure chest of the dungeon boss grade [Legendary], but it is scheduled to be provided for top brass members again at later date.


Team members that are full of bruises are maintained to standup dignified much as they can, as soon as I finished the closing ceremony while doing so, they fell dramatically to the ground almost like a doll that was cut the control strings.


A wry smile leaks out to the figure through guts unintentionally till the last.

However, it is not bad too. It may be a rather good tendency.


I entered into a banquet of the launching while being satisfied and slept late at night.

The liquor is delicious after all.


Day 320 == Day 321 == Day 322





PLACE TRANSLATIONS ABOVE THE BAR. THESE ARE THE RAWS, LEAVE THEM HERE UNTIL SOMEONE DOES A REAL TRANSLATION (NOT JUST A GT OR RUSSIAN TRANS). CLICK EXPAND TO VIEW THEM.


 “三百二十一日目”

 【存在進化】した鬼若の種族は“獄卒暴鬼(ごくそつあばれおに)”というらしい。


 大鬼の時から巨体を誇っていた鬼若はそれよりも更に二回りほど大きくなり、全身の筋肉も相応に分厚く肥大化してまるで鎧のようになっている。

 皮膚の色は酸化した血液のように赤黒く染まり、黒紫色の頭髪はまるで刃物であるかのような光沢と鋭さがある。

 頭部からそそり立つ二角はまるで杭のように太く尖り、頭突きをすれば対象物を簡単に穿てそうだ。


 肉食獣のように鋭い双眸は爛々と深紅に輝き、口にはまるでナイフのような鋭牙が生え揃っている。もし噛みつかれれば、金属鎧でも容易に噛み千切られてしまうに違いない。


 その身に纏う生体防具は虎柄の(ふんどし)のような衣服と、手首足首にある鉄球を鎖で繋げた頑丈そうな枷のようなモノだけだ。

 褌はともかく、手足にある鉄球付きの黒い枷は囚人を捕らえる拘束具のようにしか見えない。

 鉄球の大きさは鬼若の巨躯からすればやや小さく見えるものの、それでも直径三十センチを超え、持ってみればそれ相応の重量がある。


 もしかすれば鬼若の心身から溢れ出ている力を抑制するような能力があるのか、とも最初は思ったのだが、どうもそんな事は一切無いらしい。


 色々調べた結果、鉄球と枷を繋いでいる鎖は数十センチ程度の基本的な状態から最大で約十メートルまで自在に伸縮する能力がある事が判明した。

 伸ばした鎖を手足などに巻き付ければ鎖帷子のようにもなるが、振り回せばそれだけで武器としても使えるので、生体防具とするには少々微妙で、悩ましい部分ではある。


 ともあれ、鎖付き鉄球の扱いは慣れが無いと自滅する可能性もあるので、簡単だがその使い方は後で教える予定だ。

 これまでは縁がなくて鎖付き鉄球を使った事は殆どなく、その扱い方を極めていないが、俺は糸を使って似たような事を何度もしているので、最低限使える程度には教える事が出来るだろう。


 それから、手に持つ生体武器は鉄柱のように太く巨大で、規則正しく並ぶ突起が凶悪的な金砕棒だった。

 巨大な見た目相応の重量があるのだろう、軽く振るだけでも重量のある物体が動いた時特有の強風が生じ周囲を荒らしている。

 本気のひと振りが直撃でもすれば、大抵の存在は重撃に耐え切れず防御ごと完膚無きまでに破壊されてしまうだろう。


 ただ身体的には非常に強力だが、どうやら【魔法】などに分類される能力は持っていない事も判明した。

 咆吼や眼力などによる【恐怖】などの精神的な状態異常攻撃は可能だが、しかしそもそもそれ等は【魔法】ではない。【魔法】によるものもあるが、鬼若の場合は種として持つ能力の一つでしかない。


 “獄卒暴鬼”とは、ただ純粋なまでに物理面に特化した種族、だと思えばいいだろうか。


 紛う事なき脳筋である。


 物理面に特化しているので魔術や妖術などに対して若干弱いのだが、呆れるほどの生命力と防御力で大半は問題にすらならないようだ。

 業火に焼かれても炭化した皮膚が剥がれ落ちる前から再生しているし、岩の槍や氷の砲弾などは分厚い筋肉の鎧で受け止める事が可能である。

 精神攻撃などには不安が残るが、それはそれ用のマジックアイテムで補えば問題ないだろう。


 それにしても、ミノ吉くんとアス江ちゃんについて行く事が多かったからか、進化した種族も物理面に優れているだけでなく、何となく二鬼の配下っぽい感じになっているのには少し寂しさを感じてしまう。

 もっと多くスキンシップした方が良かったのだろうか、なんて父親として悩む所である。


 まあ、自身すらまだ一年生きていないのだ。悩んでばかりもいられない。


 個人的感傷はさて置いて、祭りを開催して十一日目の今日。


 最終日になるので竜肉と迷宮食材を使った豪勢な朝食で活力を漲らせた後、開催を宣言した初日のように大地を隆起させて造った即席の壇に登り、≪外部訓練場≫に整然と並ぶ団員達を見回し、労いの言葉をかける。


 初日同様、整列する団員の数は三千名を超えて居る。

 しかし今日の催しモノに参加する予定の団員は全体の三分の一以下である千名未満にまで減っていた。


 催しモノの最中や終わった後に行われたセイ治くん率いる医療部隊≪プレアー≫による治療や高額な魔法薬の使用、自然回復力促進など数多くの湯効がある温泉に浸かるなどの非常に手厚い治療体制によって、擦傷や打撲などの軽傷から粉砕骨折や内臓破裂などの重傷まで、後遺症にならない程度にまでは癒えているし不慮の事故による死者も運が良い事に出ていない。


 しかし負傷の全てが完治しているか、と言えばそうではない。

 肉体の再生能力には程度の差はあれ限度があり、俺やカナ美ちゃんなどの幹部級と比べてまだまだ弱い団員達は今日までの過酷な日程で消耗した肉体は限界を超えている。

 休息を必要とするものの身体の奥底にこびり着いた疲労などは拭い難く、極度の恐怖やストレスによる精神的外傷でしばし休息を必要とする者も居るので、それを除いた数が千名未満と言う事になる。


 とは言っても、その千名未満の団員も万全な状態ではなく、怪我もしているし疲れたような顔を見せる者が大半を占めている。

 ただ単にまだ限界ではない、というだけだ。


 しかし何だかんだとありながら催しモノをやってきただけあって、並んでいる約三千名の団員達から感じられる体内魔力の質や量は向上しているし、ただ自然体で立っているだけなのに隙が少なくなっていた。

 完全とは言えないまでも、ほぼ全員が祭り開催前よりも一段階か二段階以上は強さを増しているのは間違いない。

 中には【存在進化】した団員も多く、聖戦では大いに活躍してくれるだろう。


 その中でも特に成長期である幼少のゴブリンやホブゴブリンだった団員達の成長が著しいだろうか。

 急速なレベルアップによって無駄な脂肪が少なくなった体躯にはその代わりに筋肉が付き、何処か緩みのあった顔立ちは一端の戦士のそれである。

 【存在進化】したか、もう少しでできそうな者達ばかりなので、今後の中核を担ってくれる鬼材になってくれるに違いない、と期待しておこう。


 ともあれ、労いの言葉を言い終えた後は最後まで残れた約千名の団員達以外を≪外部訓練場≫に隣接している見物席に移動させ、最後の催しモノの説明をする。


 最後は今回の監督官役だった十名――つまり俺とカナ美ちゃん、ミノ吉くんにアス江ちゃん、ブラ里さんにスペ星さん、クギ芽ちゃんとアイ腐ちゃん、そして復讐者と鈍鉄騎士に対して約千名で戦うだけである。


 と言うと、眼前で並んでいる団員達と、壇の横に並んでいる幹部級に混じる鈍鉄騎士の顔が複雑な感情に歪み、復讐者は何か落胆したような表情を見せる。

 眼前の団員達は良いとして、何故鈍鉄騎士までそんな反応をするのだろうか? と疑問に思ってみたが、もしかしたら鈍鉄騎士は俺達と戦いたかったのかもしれない、と思い至った。


 常日頃から強くなるのに貪欲だからな、きっとそうなのだろう。


 そしてそれは復讐者も同じに違いない。

 むしろもっとあからさまである。


 そもそも復讐者は自身の復讐を果たす為、力を欲して俺に降ったのだ。

 今回の聖戦ではその復讐対象も出てくる、と裏工作によって確定しているのだから尚更力をつける為に強者を欲している。


 ならばその願いを叶えねばならない、という事で、鈍鉄騎士と復讐者を相手側に加えた八鬼対約千名、という構図にしてみた。

 どこかやけくそ気味な雄叫びや絶叫が大森林に響き渡るが、それくらい元気があればいいだろう。


 という事で≪外部訓練場≫にて、早速行う事とした。


 無論俺達も本気ではない。

 本気を出せば思わぬ事故で死者を出してしまいかねないので、各自能力の制限はもちろん、得物は訓練用の木造武具を使用する。

 それでも種族的、能力的な隔絶とした差があるのだが、実戦であればこれくらいの差は覆す気概でなければ寧ろ駄目だろう。

 それにこちらの得物は木造なので、団員達も頑張ればこちらの武器破壊を狙えるようにはなっている分だけマシではなかろうか。


 もっとも、木造といっても俺達が扱っても自壊しない事が最低条件になるので、大森林のごく一部でしか採取できない【アストレアード】と呼ばれる硬くしなやかな暗褐色の木材に俺が色々付与した、とにかく頑丈さに定評のある逸品を装備した。

 直撃しても即死しない程度には安全策を施しているが、骨の数本は容易く折れるので、団員達にはそれが嫌なら頑張ってもらうしかない。


 とりあえず、先頭に立つ俺は四本腕で四本の木槍を持ち、突いたり払ったりを繰り返す。

 ただ振り回すだけでも大抵は吹き飛ばせるが、百人長などのそれなりに強い者達は以前よりも粘り強く、少しだが反撃も出来ているのでついやり過ぎる事もあった。

 その場合は弱点を指摘しつつ打ち据えたので、糧になっているはずである。

 それに今回は子供――オーロとアルジェント、鬼若とオプシーが積極的に俺のところに来たので、やる気が盛り上がった。

 父は偉大である、という事を改めて思って貰えるよう、懇切丁寧に相手をする。

 暴力的なスキンシップかもしれないが、鬼の血統としてならこういうスキンシップは中々らしいのではないだろうか。


 俺の左右を固めている重量級のミノ吉くんとアス江ちゃんは、手に待つ木斧と木槌でとにかく暴れていた。

 大勢が固まっている場所に突っ込んで、防御も陣形もお構いなしに打ち砕いていく。

 大型の二鬼が突っ込む様は、まるで抵抗すら許されない自然災害のような光景である。

 それでも催しモノの経験からか、団員者達の減りは以前よりもゆっくりとしたモノだった。


 縦横無尽に駆け回るブラ里さんは、自身が培った剣技を実戦で試すように突出してきた復讐者と戦っている。

 身体の動かした方は以前よりも更に洗練され、無駄を削る事で体力や集中力などの消耗は少なく、一撃はより鋭さと重さを増し、攻防一体の型は反撃すら封じ込めている。

 勢いはブラ里さんにあるが、復讐者も良く耐えている。復讐者を相手にする事に関しては手加減無用なので、ブラ里さんは木剣に血を纏わせて強化し、激しい火花を発しながら周囲を余波だけで細断していった。

 流石に他の団員では手が出せるレベルではないので、そこはポッカリと空いた空間になっていた。

 巻き込まれれば呆気なく死んでしまいかねないのだから、それは必然だっただろう。


 後方に控えるカナ美ちゃんやスペ星さん、クギ芽ちゃん達は絶え間なく弾幕を張っていた。

 カナ美ちゃんは魔銃【水圧縮銃(すいあっしゅくじゅう)水卵(みずたまご)】による衝撃はあるが非致死性の水撃弾を使い、遠距離から油断している団員を撃ち抜いた。

 魔力を補充し続ければある意味無限に撃ち続けられるその特性と、カナ美ちゃんが照準を合わせ引き金を絞るまでの間がほとんど無いため、団員達は全く近づけないでいた。

 ただ狙いが正確すぎた事と非致死性のため威力が弱かった事、それから最小限の動きで水撃弾を切り落とし、あるいは防ぐ事が出来る団員も以前より増えているので、数は思ったよりも減っていないようだ。


 スペ星さんは催しモノと同じく、低階梯魔術を雨のように降らせている。

 今回は複数の魔術が互いの効果を高め合うように計算されている――例えば風の渦を生ずる魔術に爆炎を生ずる魔術を同じ軌道に配置するなど――らしく、簡易的な混合系統魔術へと昇華されていた。

 催しモノの最後の方で試していた技術で、これが確立できれば難易度が上がる代わりに威力が高い混合系統魔術のような結果を比較的簡単に得られるようになる。

 が、まだまだ研究段階で実用には程遠いそうだ。

 なんでも同一人物の魔術は魔力という同じ燃料を使っているので比較的簡単に混ざり合うが、他者が使う魔術同士だと反発して減衰してしまうらしい。

 まあ、詳しい技術的なうんぬんはさて置いて、無数の魔術が降ってきてもそれが二回目となれば団員達の動きも機敏だ。経験が結果に反映されていると言えるだろう。


 クギ芽ちゃんは一番大人しいと言えるのだが、振りまく【麻痺の視線】や【混沌の視線】によって一定範囲内に近づく団員達を牽制している。それでも仲間を盾に接近された場合は肉体の動きを見て行動を先読みし、隙を正確に突いて地面に転がしていた。

 周囲と比べて派手でない分目立ちにくいものの、戦闘型でないクギ芽ちゃんを相手に負ける団員は多い。

 相手の全てを視て近未来を予想し動くクギ芽ちゃんの動作には余裕があり、まるで演舞をしているような印象すら受ける優美さがあった。

 先手先手を打ち続け、戦闘の流れを自在にコントロールする相手に打ち勝つ方法を団員達には得てもらいたいのだが、それはまだまだ難しそうだった。


 遊撃要員であるアイ腐ちゃんの場合は、気の向くまま戦場を闊歩していた。

 フラフラと動き、手頃な団員達から沈めていく。

 団員達も反撃を試みていたが、遠距離攻撃は大半が腐食して効果を発揮できず、しかし近づけば精神が汚染されるので容易に攻められない。

 何とか精神汚染を乗り越えて接近しても、単純な戦闘能力が意外と高いので迎撃されていく、という事を繰り返していた。

 対処法が一見だけでは分かり難いだけ、団員達では対処するのが困難なようである。


 そんな感じで朝から昼過ぎまで続けたが、約千名もへばってしまった。

 数が少ないのはそれだけ負担が増えるという事なのだから仕方ないのかもしれない。

 なので予定を変更し、半日休んでいた残りの約二千名も追加した。

 限界に達しているとはいえ半日も休めばある程度は回復する。

 残り数時間程度、耐え抜くくらいは頑張ってもらうとしよう。 


 そうこう少々予定にズレがあった最後の催しモノは、死屍累々の結末を迎えた。

 実際に死んではいないが、死ぬ一歩手前のような状態である。


 パパッと全体的に最低限の治療をセイ治くんが施した後、閉幕式を執り行った。

 かなり短い労いの言葉をかけ、明日からの六日間は休息や武装の整備に費やし、七日後に聖戦予定地へ向けて出立するなどの予定を伝え、頑張った褒美として迷宮産の武具などを成績優秀な者から配布していく。

 迷宮でダンジョンモンスターを倒した際にドロップしたアイテムが大半を占めるのだが、階層ボスの宝箱から出てきたモノも少数だが放出する。


 ちなみにダンジョンボス級の宝箱から極少数ながら獲得した【伝説(レジェンダリィ)】級のマジックアイテムがあるのだが、それはまた後日、幹部級の団員に支給する予定である。


 そうこうしながら閉幕式を終えた途端、傷だらけだが堂々とした立ち姿を維持していた団員達は、まるで操り糸を切られた人形のように地面に倒れ込んだ。

 最後まで意地を通したその姿に、思わず苦笑が漏れる。


 しかし、それも悪くない。むしろ良い傾向ではないだろうか。


 満足しつつ打ち上げの宴会に突入し、夜遅くに寝た。

 やっぱり酒は、美味いなぁ。

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