G5: This part is big in regards to the story as a whole so sit back and enjoy :3 It might leave you with lots of questions.
Answering Such A Thing Depends On Yourself After All | Part 8
However, Menou’s suicide attack from before had depleted his stamina and magic power. Estellar threw his fist, emitting a shockwave of magic power at Menou and knocking him down to the ground without having to touch him. It looked like he had bounced off the sky.
“That blacksteel armor giant is Demon King-ossan?”
Muttered Kagami and he shifted his expressionless gaze to the blacksteel armor giant while Menou was pulling himself up from the ground.
“He’s not the blacksteel armor giant. That is the Ancient Annihilation Weapon created to destroy humanity and it can only be handled with Demon King-sama’s immense amount of magic power. It is the 【Mecea】. Its power is equal to that of a Hero who exceeds Level 400…Do you understand? It means that even if your Level is 999, you still aren’t a match for it.”
“Humanity will be annihilated…Um, we’ll run away though?”
“…What do you want to say?”
“Nothing much. Anyways, we’ve been betrayed by this Mecea, regardless of my and the Demon King’s will?”
“That’s right. This is Demon King-sama’s true power. It’s not an opponent you guys can compete against, unless it’s a Hero who exceeds Level 500.”
The moment Estellar looked at Rex sarcastically and with a hideous smile, Kagami muttered “Is that so,” with a smile, as if he were relieved.
“Well then, we have to save both Salumeria and the Demon King.”
The moment Kagami had said that he would continue fighting, Estellar, who had been looking at Rex, hurriedly returned his gaze to Kagami, looking baffled.
“Save him…you say? What the hell are you saying? Isn’t Demon King-sama an existence that humans need to defeat? Besides…do you still not understand? You can’t defeat the Demon King.”
“It doesn’t matter that he’s the Demon King. He’s fighting with humans even though he doesn’t want to, right? The Demon King is a close friend of mine, and he’s the father of Alice-chan. Isn’t it a given for me to save him?”
At these unexpected words, Estellar’s mouth gaped for a while, and although he seemed curious, he remained silent.
“Close friends with Demons? Although I thought that something had happened because of Alice-sama’s actions…do you not regard Demons as enemies?…I see, with that logic, even if you reached that Level, you wouldn’t go and try to kill Demon King-sama. Even though you originally had that reason…give it up. No matter how many times you lose, it’s useless.”
“I won’t give up.”
The moment Kagami replied, the fighting spirit in his eyes lit up again, as if he had confirmed that he was absolutely capable of doing something. Estellar looked directly at Kagami.
Immediately, without seeming discouraged, Kagami once again ran quickly towards Mecea, leaving a gale in his wake. Dumbfounded by this useless action, Estellar continued to stare at him. Then, in less than a few minutes, Kagami flew into the stone wall once again.
Whether he’d remembered to put up a defense or not, it appeared that the damage he’d taken this time was less than before. The baffled Estellar furrowed his brows when he saw the tattered Kagami seek help from his allies.
“Yosh, I can go at it one more time. The potions are still effective.”
Kagami once again ran past them, moving towards Mecea with a gale-like speed. He did not seem discouraged, as if nothing had happened to him after he was healed. However, barely a minute had passed before he collided with the wall again.
“Yosh…that was too painful, it made me cry a bit. This thing is too dangerous, though I certainly saw a dent in its armor. I was able to get a blow in. How is it? I held true to myself.”
While this was said, he gulped down the potions that the worried Krul, Tina, and Alice were silently handing to him. Then, the wind scattered once more as Kagami rushed out again, but not even a minute had passed when he collided with the wall for another time.
“…What is it?”
At this time, Rex had a feeling of indescribable discomfort. It was that strange sensation he had felt ever since the first time he met Kagami.
“The potion’s effects have worsened…although I can’t fully heal…I can still go.”
Just like before, Kagami had immediately rushed at Mecea, but at that moment, Rex realized the source of his discomfort.
“He avoid…ed it?”
When everyone saw Kagami do this, they wore expressions of surprise.
Mecea fired off a fast punch, which was unexpected due to its giant body, and although it had previously sent Kagami flying each time before he could react, this time, he narrowly avoided being punched.
Just like that, he punched Mecea’s head, and Rex noticed that Mecea was certainly becoming frightened.
Estellar, who hadn’t noticed it before because of his condescension, realized it as he muttered that. Rex had also thought what Estellar muttered.
It made them doubt another thing; ‘Was Kagami’s power truly weaker than that of a Hero whose Level was below 300?’. Rex wondered about this because he was a Hero, but of course, he had no way of finding out what the true power of a Level 300 Hero was.
However, he doubted that he could pull off the same movements as Kagami if he reached that level, even if he looked at his own status’s growth from level one. Rex had believed that, one day, he could be Kagami’s equal…however, now he thought that becoming like Kagami was beyond his ability.
Immediately afterward, the Mecea, which had appeared momentarily frightened, caught Kagami with its giant hand and, using a force incomparable to the previous times, forcibly threw him into the stone wall. He was engulfed in the debris of the destroyed stone wall. As the fluttering cloud of dust engulfed the surroundings, Alice cried out, looking worried, and rushed towards Kagami in a hurry.
“What did that bastard…do?”
Estellar uttered as he looked at Kagami, who was still breathing after receiving that last attack.
“Nothing at all…? I’m just…putting in some effort.”
It was clear that the effects of the potions that Alice was handing him were weakening, and despite his worn out state and reduced healing speed, Kagami slowly stood up and answered Estellar.
“Just stop it…just stop it, Kagami-san! Y-you don’t have to do your best anymore!”
“You stupid idiot…I have to…rescue…Alice’s father, right?”
With half-opened eyes and a ‘pon,’ Kagami placed his hand on the worried Alice’s head while staggering. However, before he could run at Mecea again, Krul and Tina, who were trying to gather potions, stepped out in front of him.
“Kagami-san…you should stop it already. It’s already useless…you’ll just end up dying.”
“P-potions aren’t really helping you anymore!”
The two of them understood that Kagami was just being reckless, so they no longer tried to give him potions, even though they had more.
“Seriously…Well, I’ll rest for a little bit, then I’ll go out one more time?”
The two of them were puzzled by these words. Even if he wanted to say something, why did this man not try to change his mind on the answer to ‘why is he capable of rescuing this person?’
“Why do you continue to fight like this?”
Palna couldn’t help but want to ask him this, despite not showing any attachment until now.
“You…could use healing magic? Rather, you had some magic power remaining?”
“Just a bit, because I retreated immediately. However, the effect will be small, since it’s not Advanced Healing Magic like Tina and Krul use. Rather than that…tell me, what’s the reason you’ve been fighting until now? What is it that you know, what is it that you think? Please, give us your reasons for taking on such a reckless battle and not opposing the Demons, or else…I’ll stop healing you.”
As she pointed her palm that was emitting a faint light at Kagami, Palna said that and glared at him, as if she thought he would run away. As if the others had realized it already, their gazes shifted to Kagami at Palna’s words. Feeling resigned to the current situation, Kagami said:
“It started when my father was killed by a Monster. It was really frustrating that I, as a Villager, was so weak, but I’ve seen many things after finding a way to become stronger.”
He had said that while sighing, but continued to speak.
“What are Roles? Who decides them? Why do Monsters drop gold? Why are we able to go shopping with the gold dropped by the defeated Monsters and use it as currency? The number one thing we don’t understand is, naturally, the Status Window. What is it? Even though no one has realized it, what’s the meaning of the display? Is it to show the benefits of our roles? Levels also have an unknown meaning. Do we become stronger if we obtain experience from defeating Monsters of higher Levels than us? Does the way to become stronger depend on a person’s Role? If so, how? The Skills too…Why do we suddenly obtain a Skill at Level 100?”
Only Estellar’s face distorted at these words. Conversely, the others couldn’t quite understand what he was saying. Although this was natural and considered common knowledge, they didn’t understand why it was strange when Kagami mentioned them.
“I realized it when my mom was killed by humans. Humans and Demons don’t really change. It’s just the world fighting them with its ploy. It was rather simple after I thought about it a little. In this world, you become stronger when you defeat Monsters, and the way to lead a better, more efficient life is by obtaining gold and spending the time to outfit yourself.”
However slightly, Rex’s group was beginning to understand the discomfort brought on by his words. They had definitely felt as if they were being guided by something.
“We didn’t doubt this since it was natural for us. It’s like I was being completely manipulated by something, and I didn’t realize it as I continued to fight. I couldn’t realize…that the way we live is defined by the Role that we are given.”
At these words, everyone of them recalled their own lives.
Tina, born as a Monk, had entered a Temple and trained there. Palna was the same. Since she was a Magician, she had strengthened her magic power and memorized incantations from many books. Krul, as a Princess, was born as a Sage, so she had devoted herself to training since she was expected to join the Demon King subjugation party. Rex, too, was the same. Since he was the Hero, he was obstructed from choosing another path, by the restraining feeling that there was something he had to do.
“Rex, seeing that you were bound by a Hero’s sense of duty, I had pitied you from the bottom of my heart.”
The abrasive Rex couldn’t find any words to reply with as he was reminded of his past. In reality, he thought he had led a merciful life by just fighting.
“Exactly what is the value of living while being bound by your Role?”
The only one who felt like they could understand these words was Takako. She had understood the value of living the way others could after she had deviated from the path of continuous fighting.
“We…surely, it’s fine to become what you want to be, but with this world’s scheme, it tries to get in your way. I thought I was unhappy when, no matter how much time passed, I couldn’t throw away my role as a Villager. I finally gave up all hope once I reached Level 999. The amount of experience necessary for the next Level was no longer displayed on the Status Window.”
“If that’s the case…then, why have you continued to fight?”
Before he knew it, Estellar was also questioning Kagami. Disregarding their relation as enemies, he was simply worried about what Kagami had obtained after becoming the unprecedented existence of being Level 999.
“I was frustrated. I thought I was being taken for a fool. I thought I couldn’t forgive it. I had hoped to become much, much, much stronger. Then, I realized it. When I became Level 999 and acquired a new Skill…I was given the answer by this world I had always doubted.”
At that moment, Kagami displayed his Status Window before him. What was displayed was his Level of 999, and Estellar was surprised when Kagami revealed his Status Parameters. It was clear that each value in the Status Parameters were not those belonging to a Villager.
Although it wasn’t equal to a Hero’s, if a Hero temporarily became Level 999, the values on Kagami’s card would probably equal half of the Hero’s power. On that screen, there was not a single value that should have belonged to a Villager.
Then, the display on the Status Window changed. What was displayed now was one of the ten Skills Kagami had in large letters. This was what was written:
Skill: The One Who Challenges God
Effect: This person’s growth will not stop. Obtained experience is converted into a power that exceeds one’s limits.
“There are people who created the system of this world. That’s why I’ll find these guys and beat the crap out of them. We are free; we are not puppets they can manipulate!”
They were speechless. They couldn’t help but be speechless. Estellar who still wore a surprised expression could only mutter, “Such a thing is…” and trembled.
This Skill granted Kagami two benefits. The first was that he was a presence akin to a 【God】, and the other was that he caught a scent of the existence of skills that would oppose them.
“Hints have been found, you know? Although they were unable to manipulate this world since ancient times, it was always the creators selling these items for 10,000 gold. They were ‘unclaimed rewards’. Well, I just had the feeling that I would need to buy one someday, but it was just a hunch.”
After Palna finished casting her Healing Magic, Krul, Tina, and Alice, who had advised him to give up earlier, stood up and faced Kagami. He had recovered his stamina as he spoke, thanks to his Skills.
“This is my answer. That’s why I will never give up, even if you tell me to.”
He clearly declared his intention with those words.
“Finding the answer to such a thing, depends on yourself.”
Kagami turned his back to them and headed towards Mecea, who was walking towards them at a really slow speed from far away.
Then he muttered, “Healing no longer works…This is the end.” He abandoned the tactic of run-and-strike that he had been using until now. He bent his waist while concentrating and began to release a white aura from his entire body, bright enough to be visible.