Chapter 6 – Human’s Worth
Grace was at the field of the arena on that day where snow was floating down relatively calmly.
「Hmph……I never imagined that I would come as far as another world to fight in an arena.」
Grace looked around the vast arena with a diameter that reached 10 kilometers. There were audience seats more or less, but after all it was an arena with diameter of 10 kilometers, so the spectators were also sparse.
However, all the spectators were also warriors that fought in the same arena. They were opponents that she might fight someday. They were sending zealous gazes to the arena trying to grasp the true strength of the fighters.
And then, there were also the figures of Aine, Zelcyone, the Quartum, Gravel and Aldea in the front row of the audience seats, observing the fate of their comrade with bated breath.
「However, what a sad number of guests this is.」
Grace whispered jokingly, and then she gazed at her opponent with a wry smile.
「Yes……if this was Vatlantis, this match would definitely be a gold card with all the tickets sold out.」
Lunorlla of the Quartum spoke apologetically.
Grace and the Quartum also fought several matches in this Odin’s world. It was for the sake of earning their daily provisions. And so, after they obtained the minimum required rank, they stopped making challenges from their side.
However yesterday, the battle system was revised.
According to Odin, a compulsory matching would be carried on.
The reason was for the sake of stimulating even faster evolution――they were told.
「Good grief……we wanted to avoid conflict between comrades though.」
「But, conversely we can manage this any way we want, so perhaps this is more convenient. Even if we cut corners, or if we decide before hand who will be the winner, it will be as we please.」
The audience seats were really heating up compared to the calm two. They jeered or yelled to quickly kill each other. When they looked up, Odin was looking down from the balcony of her palace.
「She is being a spectator huh. When I think this is for amusing that woman, this is really not funny at all.」
「Isn’t it fine, if we think that this is for our own entertainment in the end.」
Lunorrla said hesitatingly.
Grace also nodded in delight.
「You’re right. Then, the true strength of the Colosseum’s god of death, let me take a thorough look at it.」
「As you command.」
Lunorrla drew out twin swords from the wings of her magic armor 『Seles』.
And then Grace also drew out a feather from Koros’s wing and transformed it into a scythe shape.
Aine held her breath while observing the two who took a fighting stance.
The distance between the two was less than three meters.
Lunorlla’s both hands that were holding short swords were dangling down limply, Grace was also putting her scythe on her shoulder causally. Neither of them was making a stance, their posture was natural.
It even seemed like their calm talk just now was still continuing.
However, there was no smile or anything on the expressions of the two. It seemed they were full of openings, but there was actually no opening at all from both sides.
They said consoling things like how it was possible to do fix games as much as they pleased, yet both of them were completely serious. Perhaps they were enjoying this match that was difficult to realize in Vatlantis from the bottom of their hearts.
The surroundings were jeering seeing the two who were only staring at each other.
The spectators who were tired of waiting raised up their hands.
A thick cloud was covering the sky.
Snow was raining down.
Wind was blowing slightly.
The spectators above the wall were howling.
Snow was piling up, around ten centimeters thick.
Snow whirling up from the explosion.
The bodies of the two passing over each other.
Lunorlla’s swords were cutting through empty air.
The scythe of Grace that was passing through was hanging on Lunorlla’s neck.
――It was Grace’s victory.
The audience seats returned to silence instantly.
After a few seconds where it felt like the time stopped, cheers rose from the audience seats. Aine and the others also sighed in relief. Quartum’s Clayda and Ramza high-fived each other and shared their happiness.
The scythe was taken off from Lunorrla’s neck and Grace smiled in enjoyment.
「Hrm, a contest of only martial art like this is also something fun.」
「It seems that we also satisfied the spectators.」
Lunorlla looked around the noisy spectators and sighed in satisfaction.
Looking up at the balcony in the palace, there Odin was making a face as though she had bitten something sour.
Grace snorted looking at that face.
「Hmph. We have been conforming to the rules. That woman cannot make any complaint.」
Odin hit the floor with Gungnir that she was holding like a cane. That strike shook the whole palace and made a thundering sound that was like an earthquake in the arena.
The audience seats fell silent and silence ruled over the arena.
「The match is decided. The winner is Grace.」
Odin spoke the result dispassionately.
「Well, it’s like this.」
「Then, the winner Grace――」
Odin’s right eye glinted fiercely.
「Kill the loser.」
Shock ran through the arena. Aine, Zelcyone, and also the other Quartum doubted their ears.
「――Wa, wait. What is the meaning of that?」
Grace looked up to Odin and spoke with a shrill and nervous voice.
She felt like she was suddenly pushed down a cliff. The last fence that she thought to be an absolute safety was easily erased by a single will of someone else. She was shocked when she understood that.
A signal that notified Grace of danger rang inside her heart. Her body turned cold, and her ears were buzzing.
「The meaning is exactly as I stated. The loser is to be granted death according to the rule changes. After all if it’s not like that then nobody will fight seriously.」
「Wha……we were fighting seriously!」
「If you lose after fighting seriously, then surely you won’t have any regret even if you die.」
Odin’s voice resounded in the arena.
「Death to the loser! Death to the incompetent! That is the law of Odin from here on! If you say that you refuse that……」
Odin swung Gungnir and pointed its tip at Grace.
「Then the winner is to grant death to themselves!」
A palace covered in snow and ice was built on the slope of a mountain.
A person whose body was wrapped in thick cold proof clothes was looking up at that palace. The building seemed to be a historic ruin from considerably far in the past, but the specific number of years was totally unknown.
There was no door at the entrance. That person was being careful so they wouldn’t slip on the freezing floor while entering inside the palace. The inside was simpler than what they thought, a wooden floor and wall without decoration were continuing on.
That person advanced inside the palace. They stopped still when there was a branching path, before starting to walk again after thinking for a while. It seemed that this person entered this palace for the first time, but they also didn’t look like they didn’t know the path at all.
After advancing forward even while hesitating about the path, before long they arrived at a vast room.
「As I thought……the fundamental arrangement is similar.」
There was a large relief around five meters high on the wall.
It seemed to be something carved in a large tree by people of ancient times to extol the ruler. At the topmost was a carving of a female with long hair and abundant breasts, below it were a large number of humans lining up. And then in the middle there was also a figure fighting with a sword.
That person lowered down the hood covering their head and took off the muffler covering their lips.
「This is……Odin I think.」
Queen Landred approached the figure carved on the ancient relief.
「The letters too……as I thought, it’s close to Baldin’s.」
When she heard the story from Gravel and the others who were defeated in their fight against Odin, Queen Landred had only one point that she became concerned with.
The historic ruins near where the Oldium landed. Odin said this regarding that historic ruin.
『That was the palace before I became a god you know.』
Before she became a god.
Perhaps there was once a period where Odin was a different existence from a machine god. Not a flawless being like now, but a living thing that would shed blood if she was stabbed with a knife an died. Such possibility existed.
Landred arrived here in her search of the previous form of Odin.
Her gloved hand wiped up the ice and she traced the letters carved on the relief with her finger.
「Those wings, destroy tens of thousands of enemies all at once……」
However, the current Odin has no wings.
――What does that mean I wonder?
She searched wondering if there was more detailed information, but there were only words extolling Odin’s strength carved there.
「Is there……nothing more?」
White breath that was like smoke blew out from her mouth along with that whisper. And then her eyebrows frowned with a serious look.
Landred searched for other descriptors and went back and forth in front of the relief.
Her fingertips stopped still.
「Odin has regeneration ability……?」
Landred’s face complexion changed in a flash.
「Even if she is killed five times, she will resurrect five times. Even if her arm is gone, even if her leg is gone, even if her head is gone, Odin cannot be granted death……」
Landred crossed her arms with a serious face.
――If I believe this relief, Odin will revive no matter how much damage she is given. Most likely that is the original power of Odin. What is written here, the wings that defeated many enemies all at once, and the regeneration ability, they are the foundation that built up the current power of Odin.
However right now she wasn’t using those two powers.
Most likely her other abilities were for the sake of making those two powers effective. And then those two powers were being preserved as trump cards.
In any case, it was certain that the difficult problems were increasing. Currently it was hard to make an attack reach Odin, but even if an attack struck Odin, even if Odin was damaged, it would be meaningless.
Landred let out a deep sigh and breathed out large white smoke.
There was nothing but things that praised Odin here. They were telling how strong and how invincible she was. Certainly there was new information, but it was only needlessly increasing her despair.
Landred turned her back on the relief and she was about to exit the palace.
Currently, it was about the same time where Grace and Lunorrla were having a match. Yesterday, when they gathered, they agreed to have a match but would fight in a way that wouldn’t endanger their life. However, would such justification really work with Odin?
The match card today was also including Baldein’s researchers that originally weren’t combatants. They would be helpless if they fought.
「If something is not done……」
After breathing out a white breath with that whisper, Landred stopped her foot that was heading to the exit and turned around towards the relief once more.
There was one point, that caught her attention.
「Odin doesn’t have, a left eye.」
The left eye of Odin in the relief was hollow as though a hole was gouged there.
――Odin who should have infinite regeneration power, yet why?
Landred went in front of the relief once more, she took off her glove and put both her palms on the freezing wood. And then, she chanted a spell inside her mouth.
「If, this world is the basis of Baldein……」
It was magic to supply energy into buildings that was handed down in Baldein through generations. It was basically the same power with was providing lifeline into Aine’s apartment.
If she granted life to this palace once more, she would know what appearance this relief once displayed. If so――,
Landred’s body shined blue. That light ran from the floor to the ceiling. The building material, the lumber that had magic mechanisms built in it internally were being granted life force once more.
The ceiling started to shine, the floor was tinged with heat and the ice was starting to melt. Ice became water at once, and then into hot water, flowing on the floor while raising steam. And then it was as though light that was buried inside the relief was shining, coloring the relief with various colors beautifully.
The appearance of Odin that was ruling on the summit. Blue light was gathering there.
「At her back wings are?」
Blue light was spreading on Odin’s back. It was as though crystals were forming the shape of wings.
「Is……that the thing that destroyed tens of thousands of enemies all at once?」
Other than the shining wings, thin lights were running on top of Odin’s body like blood vessels. Before long those lights were gathering into several spots.
The left and right of the abundant breasts, the abdomen, and then the hole gouged in the left eye.
Those spots were starting to shine as though telling that those were really important.
As though boasting that power.
As though showing that those were precious things.
Landred’s gaze was gradually turning wide.
At that moment, there was something that crossed Landred’s mind.
She turned on her heels and looked outside. The palace that recovered its life melted the ice covering it, the ice became water and flowed down from the entrance to the outside like a waterfall.
Landred stood at the palace’s entrance that was continuously spouting out hot water and looked up to the sky.
The thick cloud was cut apart and a single streak of falling star was flying.
The radiance she felt from that falling star was something that she knew.
It was a star that was possessing radiance brighter than anyone, yet that radiance was hidden secretly.
Landred stared at that radiance and squinted her eyes fondly.
「That person, is going isn’t she……」
Landred turned her eyes to where the falling star was moving to.
Ahead of it there was a palace.
The castle where the machine god Odin was residing.
It was exactly there that Odin was pushing Grace into a predicament right now.
「Choose, kill your opponent, or kill yourself!」
Grace was trickling down cold sweat while staring at Lunorlla.
But Lunorlla was surprisingly calm. Her face was even smiling, and she nodded.
「It can’t be helped now that it has become like this. Please, do it resolutely.」
「Wha……what are you saying!」
「Even I am a warrior that was called as the Colosseum’s god of death. Dying in a match, is something that I have resolved myself to since I was a child. However……」
Lunorlla knelt in front of Grace and hung down her head.
「It seems, I saw too much of a good dream.」
「Please do it resolutely.」
Grace strongly clutched the scythe her hand was holding.
And then she looked up fiercely at Odin and spoke with a resounding voice.
「Don’t make a fool of me, machine god!」
Odin’s one eye distorted.
「This Grace hasn’t fallen so far, that I’ll put my hand on own my people just to spare my own life!」
Grace faced Odin and readied her scythe.
「The one who’ll die is you! Odin!」
Aine yelled from the audience seat and jumped down to the arena.
「We are also going!」
Gravel wearing her magic armor and also all the Vatlantis members were running towards Grace and Lunorlla’s side in succession.
Odin was staring at that situation with a fed-up face.
「Incompetents that are unable to understand my thinking……」
Odin’s body was shining blue.
Blue light was spreading on her back. That light was emitting radiance like crystal and solidified. Wings that other machine gods possessed, yet Odin didn’t have. Right now, it revealed its appearance.
「You all can die together.」
The wings on her back emitted light.
Several streaks of light were launched from the crystal wings. Sharp beams accurately shot through Grace and the others in the arena.
Those beams pierced the magic armors and smashed it into pieces.
And then a moment later, explosions occurred in the same number as the fired beams.
Flame blast and shockwave overlapped and blew away Grace and the others as though they were being stirred inside a mixer.
Odin didn’t move a single finger.
The wings on her back automatically shot Aine and the others with its own will. That was the impression they got.
Furthermore, that destructive power was absurd, there was no one standing after the smoke from the explosions cleared up.
The collapsed Aine tried to stand up somehow. Zeros’s thruster died from the attack just now. It was a lethal wound for Zeros that had speed as its inherent characteristic.
「Get a hold of yourself, Grace.」
Aine walked with staggering steps towards Grace who was lying down on the ground, then she held up the body of her little sister in her arms. Koros’s wings were half torn up, Grace herself was also bleeding from her head and she fainted.
「How dare you……」
Aine looked up at the palace’s balcony.
「Just why do we have to kill!? There is no need to kill at all, just because someone lost!」
However Odin spoke coldly.
「People with inferior ability, they should die.」
「Until now it was a mistake to let the loser live. Incompetent people are only giving negative influence to my world. Furthermore, how dare they try to look for a meaning to life other than ranking.」
Aine lost her words towards Odin’s extreme point of view.
「That’s why, I’ll dispose of all the incompetents with rank below five hundred.」
With something like that, almost all the people of Baldein with Queen Landred in the lead would be killed.
「Don’t screw around! There is no way you can do something like that!」
Odin tilted her head with a frown, as though to say that she couldn’t understand what Aine was saying.
「It caught my attention since before this but, you all are talking as though life is something precious aren’t you? But that’s a mistake you know? Something like life, it’s a dime a dozen, it’s really nothing that significant. It’s just consumable goods. The problem is how you use it.」
「I’m using it as a method of evolution. What is necessary for that, is life with high ability.」
The inside Aine’s heart was blazing with an uncontrollable rage.
However Odin wasn’t even bothered with that and declared coldly.
「Incompetents are to die.」
A star was falling at that time.
A white falling star pierced Odin.
That which was flying from beyond the sky broke through Odin’s iron wall defense.
Fafnir that couldn’t be defeated by anyone was instantly pulverized.
A honed attack was piercing Odin’s stomach.
It wasn’t arms or a weapon.
Just a mere kick.
That kick sent the god flying and destroyed that palace.
The dreadful impact tilted the palace and broke the wall. The flying Odin smashed the palace’s tower and like that she was buried under the rubble.
The tilting palace exceeded the limit of its construction and was turning into rubble from the chain reaction.
Relentless smoke was rising up and the palace of god had collapsed.
The internal machinery caused explosions and wooden materials were flying off in succession.
Fragments that were smashed into pieces were soaring high into the sky.
The palace that boasted its luxury and majestic appearance, granting terror that made the summoned warriors tremble in their boots, it was crumbling away.
The rubble became a mountain that raised smoke high into the sky.
The figure of Odin covered in splinters appeared from under the rubble.
「Against this me……who dare……WHO DAREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!」
Above the mountain of rubble that was a mere shadow of the crumbled palace, a shadow was standing.
It was a beautiful black haired woman.
There was a silver circlet like a tiara on her head.
There was a lot of exposure with the white pilot suit that tightly fit that body, the left and right of her breast was only barely covered, and from there her flanks and between her legs were just slightly hidden.
Both her legs and arms were protected by silver armor, which notified the others only barely that it was a magic armor.
However, the suit with little armor and extreme exposure rate made anyone who saw it to hesitate to call it a magic armor.
The white wings that looked like an angel’s folded up on the back were shining with blue magic power.
That woman opened her glossy beautiful lips.
「Machine god Odin. There is one thing, that I should teach you beforehand.」
Aine and the others were struck with surprise and trembled seeing that woman who suddenly swooped down in this place.
A whisper leaked out from Aine’s lips.
The reality that appeared couldn’t be believed so suddenly.
Grace, the Quartum, Gravel, Aldea, and even Zelcyone――,
They were merely staring dumbfounded, their mouth gaping wide, their eyes widely opened towards that figure.
That armor, was an exclusive magic armor(order made) created only for that woman(person)’s sake.
It was an inheritance of slaughter(present) from her mother who once almost destroyed the world and became a god.
That was an angel that descended from the sky.
That was a magic armor that was the garment of god, 『Zecros』.
That was the ultimate weapon that wore the strongest magic armor.
Hida Reiri howled.
「The worth of a human isn’t about whether their ability is high or low! It’s a problem about how they live!」