82-82 Misra's Flesh

 I gulped.
 Suddenly, a woman who looked exactly like Pope Astira appeared in front of us.
 But the atmosphere was so different from the woman I knew. She looked so much like her that I could almost say she was the same person.

 ...... Who the hell is this person?

Doctor, is that ...... the woman you're looking for?
"...... Astila. ......?

 I was also puzzled.
 She's a woman who looks like Pope Astira and has the same name.

"...... Oh, hi, I'm ...... Astila. Nice to meet you, my little lady. I'm ...... out of the blue, but that's an amazing dress. ......?

 The woman in front of us, who introduced herself as Astila, looked at me and smiled softly.

"Astila, this is Leanne. She's one of us.
Sorry for the ....... My name is Linneburg Kreis. My name is Linneburg Crace. I go by Lean now as a street name for adventurers, so you can call me that.
"Oh, so you're Lean. So, that cool boy over there is ......? ...... I don't know why I feel like a stranger.
"......Mother ......Sama ......? No, it can't be. ...... What the hell are you?

 Tyrence also looked puzzled in front of her.
 No wonder. I felt the same way.
 She looked so much like the Pope ...... that I could only assume it was the same person.
 But I still feel that this person is completely different from that Pope.
 This woman now has a soft smile on her face that makes you feel at ease just standing near her, in contrast to the Pope who keeps his distance and stares at us.
 I'm not sure what to say, but I'm going to say it.

"Excuse me, ......, my name is Tyrence.
"I see. Tirens. It's a nice name. ...... I don't feel like a stranger after all. ...... Why is that?

 In the event you're not sure what you're looking for, there are a few things you can do.

 St. Mithra and the Pope, whose hands had been shattered by him, did not move from their positions. They seemed to be on alert, waiting to see what the doctor would do.
"Where has ...... you been?
"Actually, I'm not sure either, but ...... it seems we were inside that blue stone.
"......In that core? ......?

Yeah. And then he just took off. I followed him.
".................. ran away?

 I didn't understand what he was saying right away.

 He said he had been in the core of the labyrinth.
 A person enters the core of the labyrinth?

 ...... I've never heard of such a story.
 And ...... escaped ......?

 I've never heard of such a thing. ...... Who escaped ...... from whom?

"I'm really ...... surprised. How did I get out of there?

 When I was puzzled, the Pope, who had not moved for some time, opened his mouth.

I was puzzled, and the Pope, who had not moved for some time, spoke up. "......How, or ......? It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're going to be doing and how you're going to do it.

I don't know why." "Well, ......, that's really horseshit. I'm sure you're not the only one. I'm not sure how easy it was for you to track me down,......, but I guess I underestimated you a little bit. I must reflect on that.

 Then slowly, a skeletal hand grabbed the Pope and lifted him up in front of him.

It's a good thing I have ──── this body at least. It should be enough to give you some strength.

 Tirens stood and watched as the Pope was lifted up by the skeleton and burned by the scorching flames that surrounded him.

"...... Mother, Mother, ......?

"...... Tyrence. I will be his flesh and blood in a little while. You should come here soon, too. You'll be very happy. This is the highest 'salvation' in Mithraism.

"Mother, what are you ──── doing?

 In front of the standing Tyrence, ──── St. Mithra threw the Pope (his mother) into his jawless mouth.


 Immediately, an enormous amount of miasma rose up around the area.
 At the same time, blood flowed from the bones of St. Mithra's body, and a little flesh could be seen clinging to her.


 The earth-shaking moans seemed to be coming from the monster's throat.
 I felt a powerful surge of magical power that almost knocked me unconscious from the huge skinless humanoid shape that appeared in front of me.
 I became unable to move again.

 That thing is already beyond the realm of demons.
 It's something that no human can ever face properly.

 The slight relief I had felt earlier was quickly replaced by despair.

 The moment ────

 A roar.

 I felt something crash into the ceiling of this space, where the core of the labyrinth is located, and break through.
 It was a momentary thing, and I couldn't even react.
 It seemed that the skeleton in front of me had suddenly plunged its hand into the ground and forcibly jumped up something.
 I couldn't see anything at all in the sequence of actions.
 I couldn't even see what had just been thrown up.
 I shuddered again at the realization, and as I looked around, desperately trying to remain calm, I noticed that there was one person who had disappeared from my surroundings.

 It was ────

"............ Noor, Doctor ......?

 There was no sign of the teacher who was supposed to be here earlier.
 The person who had disappeared from here.
 It was Dr. Noor.

 ──── Oh no.

 It's been waiting for this moment all along.
 An opportunity to remove the greatest threat of all from the scene.

 That leaves us.
 The only ones left are us, who will be nothing more than ──── prey to it.

 My legs trembled with fear again.
 But the skeleton that had gained so little flesh did not look at us, but remained in a heavenly position, emitting a low, eerie sound.

"A゛────a゛. This,ha──── what,iv,delicious────a,iv,iv────.

 That earth-shaking sound was the voice coming from the monster's throat.


 ────It's as if they are dancing for joy.
 ──── Or just as if it were raging.

 The monster (St. Mithra) punched and shattered every rock in the area at random.
 As if a thousand explosions had occurred at once, the hard walls of the labyrinth exploded, leaving huge holes everywhere. Not paying attention to the countless debris falling from the upper floors that collapsed from the impact, it looked down at us and let out that low "sound" again.

"──── Di. Di . Dilens.
 Linneburg ──── and you, my friend. I'm still going to tote it around. It would be a shame to end it here. It's a waste of time.

 A fearful voice echoed in the labyrinth, freezing us from the depths of our souls.

 Two bloodshot eyeballs in the process of forming look down at us.

"......a. Aa────subba-ra-dee-ii.

 This blood. This blood, va. Ha. So... It's amazing.
 It's more than I could have imagined. ──── I never knew elf blood could be so delicious and nourishing. It's a shame that there aren't more of them left to replicate. It's a shame that there aren't more replicating resources left. It's a waste of ──── time to let this be the end. But... It's really delicious ────. Aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah. aaah.

 Again, St. Mithra hit the ground like a madman.
 The ground shook and I could not move for fear.
 She could not move a finger.

 Perhaps it was ──── laughing.
 That monster just laughed, shattering and shaking the earth.
 It's still not the same thing as before.

 It's ──── more powerful.
 ──── evil.
 ──── madness.

 Everything has become unmanageable.
 It's hard to even breathe anymore.

 The difference in power is unreal, as if you were facing an evil god in mythology.

 Instantly, a ward was set up.
 A ward of unbelievable strength, as if it would burst apart at the mere touch.

 It was a cage.
 A cage to keep us, its prey ...... or even livestock, in.

"Ana. You're ──── here. Wait for me. We'll be back for you soon.

 The monster's voice echoed through the cage.

"────a. I hope you feel safe. I want you all to be safe. I hope so. There's no way you'll get hurt. It's an important, important ────, fun (・・・・・) seed. There. Adult, sig. Cid, cid, cid, cid, cid, cid, cid, cid, cid, cid, cid.

 That's what the monster said, looking at us locked in a cage. ────

 The labyrinth shuddered with the roar of ────'s out-of-this-world sound.

 The roar shook my labyrinth and shook my insides.
 As soon as the vibrations ceased, St. Mithra crawled up at an unbelievable speed, forcibly expanding the hole that had been created by the shock of blowing Dr. Noor away.


 Then, as the monster's presence faded away and the sound died away, I was finally able to take a breath.
 After a few breaths, I noticed that my whole body was drenched in cold sweat like a waterfall.
 I was so nervous that my throat was parched.

"...... that ...... Leanne, and ...... Tyrence, was it ......?

 Suddenly a woman approached me and Tyrence.

"...... Uh, ...... Astira ...... Pope, Your Eminence ......?
"Oh, no, I'm not the pope or anything like that. ......? I'm Astila, an adventurer. I'm Astira, an adventurer. I mean, what is this Pope ......?
...... I'm sorry, I'd like to talk to you, but ...... I don't know where to start.
"Hmm, okay. I'd love to sit here and talk with you guys, but ...... that's not really an option right now, is it? I have to go help him right now.
To help ......?

 She was referring to ...... Dr. Noor, perhaps?
 But how can I ...... help him in this situation?

Yeah. I think maybe I need some help. It's more powerful than before. ...... Yes!

 In the event you're not sure what you're looking for, you'll be able to find out more about it here.

"What ...... are you ──── doing now?

 Tyrence and I stared at the woman's face, dumbfounded.

It's not like I didn't do anything while I was trapped in there for so long, you know? If you think that Astila will just sit back and let that bone monster do its thing to you, you're mistaken. ...... I'm the kind of person who keeps secrets. Now, now, please hurry up and get out!

 It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for and what you can do to help.

...... At any rate, it looks like we've thwarted one of its plans, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. But this is not enough to make me feel better. I really need to have ...... Noor really beat him up in front of me.

 As she said this, the wind whipped around the woman, and her body floated softly in the air.

"...... No way, [float] ......?

 I was once again startled by what I saw.
 In the event that you have any questions regarding where and the best way to get in touch with us, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 This woman is using it like it's nothing.

 ...... What the hell is this woman doing?

That ......? I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out how to do it.
...... Yes. But I've heard it's a very difficult wind magic technique. I've only been shown it by the Sage Oaken.
"What the heck ...... is this ...... from Oken?

 The woman who looked a lot like the Pope looked surprised.

"Do you know Dr. Oken by any chance ......?
"Hmm, I know nothing about ────.

 The woman smiled, somewhat happily.

I'm the one who taught him this. I'm sure you've heard of it. ...... At the time, I was very defeated, saying that I would never use it and that I didn't need such a simple technique. You've learned to do it with proper practice. ...... Great, great, great.

 The woman nodded with a satisfied smile, but at that moment, there was a violent tremor above her head and countless pieces of debris fell.

It's not a good time to talk about ......, is it ......? I'm going to go now.
Are you alone?
I've been a famous adventurer for a while now. I've been through a lot of rough patches,......, mostly because of someone who was willing to be reckless. You seem to know him too, but ......! I'm not sure what to say, but I'm sure you'll be able to understand what I'm talking about. ...... I'm sorry, but when I meet people after a while, I get really chatty. ...... I need to tighten up.

 The woman's expression suddenly became serious, and she put magic power into the wind around her.
 Then, a violent storm instantly erupted, and she felt wind pressure that seemed to blow her body away. ──── Immediately after, the wind she felt on her body instantly disappeared.

 And then you can see the countless debris falling from everywhere above you, floating softly in the air and slowly descending to the ground as if to avoid us.

 ──── And so, you understand.
 He's also an extraordinary person.

 What I saw there was a tremendous control of the wind.
 She was able to concentrate a storm that could blow away a huge building with a single blow on the surface of her body, and manipulate it like a delicate finger.
 I could see that the wind magic I was so good at was nothing but child's play in front of her.
 And just by being by her side, I can feel the tremendous amount of magic power that I think even the [Demon Saint] Dr. Oaken can't match.

 There was a person there whose existence itself was as unbelievable as it was when I first met Dr. Noor.

So I'm going to go to ──── you guys get to the safest place possible.

 She rose like a gust of wind and was out of our sight in a flash.

"Let's get back up there as fast as we can. ...... Tyrence?

 I called out to him, but he just stood there for a moment, looking up in the direction the woman had gone, dumbfounded.

"...... Wait, Leanne. That person is ...... maybe that person is my real ────
"...... Tyrence. We need to inform the others of the danger and evacuate them as soon as possible. I'm sorry, but we don't have time for a conversation right now.

"──── Oh, yeah. I'm sorry.

And I don't think you need to worry about him. ...... I'm sure we'll be reunited safely.
...... What does ...... that mean? If you're trying to comfort me, I appreciate it. ────

 ──── No.

 What I said was not a comfort to him.
 This is what I need to say to my legs, which are not working the way I want them to right now.
 These are the words I need to shake off the fear that I myself am approaching that hopeless existence again.
 ...... I know it myself.
 It's only a wish.
 But if I didn't ──── say it, I was going to be crushed.
 So I said it without thinking.
 So I couldn't help but say, "It's too optimistic, it's just a wish.

I said to myself, "──── Now that Dr. Noor is up there. It's going to be okay.

 But as soon as I said it, I felt a strange lightness in my step.

 ──── Yes.
 What a cowardly wind I've been blowing.
 Don't give up yet.
 It's still too early to despair.

 Because here in the land of Mithra we have that teacher Noor.
 Hope has not been destroyed.

 I know that and I can't just stand here cowering.

We can't just stand here. Let's do what we can now.
Oh, ────, that's so true.

 So we retraced the path we had just taken, and ran as fast as we could again to the road that led to the ground.