Chapter 172 – Merak Used Hydro Pump (From His Eyes)!
Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/173/ (2017/03/26)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2020/06/27)
Editor 1: Hand of Vecna (2020/07/07)
Editor 2: Keii (2020/07/10)
Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c172/
Honestly, if you’re going to use Hydro Pump, you should have used Surf or Scald instead.
(Author note end)
For Merak, it was a regret from his past that he could not get over.
He had betrayed his friend and plunged the world, which had almost been unified, back into turmoil.
Why had he done such a thing? Why hadn’t he thought about it a bit more?
He could not understand why himself. Even though they were his own, he could not understand his own thought processes at the time at all.
Even the subsequent battle against the Demon King, which he had attempted as a way to atone for his sins, ended up in a miserable defeat. Afterwards, he ended up passing a few days on top of his bed, unconscious.
Yet, the misfortunes did not stop piling up.
Underpinning the fact that he had lost, the demon race exploited the occasion and invaded.
By the time he had regained consciousness, everything was long over.
Although they had barely managed to successfully defend the kingdom, many lives had been lost.
Beyond anything else, the event which had tormented Merak the most was how the whereabouts of his wife and daughter had become unknown.
The relationship between him and his wife was by no means a loving marriage. They had initially only become engaged as a result of their parents’ decision due to their positions as fellow members of well-established families within the flugel race.
Nevertheless, they were still family. It was only when they had disappeared that Merak realised the significance of his wife’s presence.
However, reality was cruel mischief. The corpse of his wife was found the following day. The body was found quite a distance away at the foot of Vanaheim, along with the corpses of her guards. … In all likelihood, she had been killed while they were attempting to get away.
In the end, the case was closed without him being able to locate the whereabouts of his daughter.
Having lost many important things to him all at once, Merak was stricken with grief.
His missing daughter was… a child similar in appearance to his wife with pink hair… and possessed pure white wings just as he did.
“Are you… my father?”
“That should be how it is. Although… I don’t know if I have the right to call myself your father.”
They were inside Megrez’s mansion, which was half destroyed.
On the surface, Merak looked calm and collected. However, he was unable to raise his head.
He knew that if he were to raise his head and see Virgo, he would want to give her a hug with his tainted hands.
He knew clearly that his already fragile tear glands would burst open in a flash.
He felt that he did not have the right to call himself a father. Nor did he have the right to give her a hug.
But even then, he was joyful and relieved.
That she had continued to live on… with just that, he could not have felt a greater happiness.
“Parthenos-sama, my lady… From the bottom of my heart, I offer you my deepest gratitude. Truly… I don’t even know how to express how grateful I am.”
“You should express your gratitude to your wife’s grave. I didn’t do anything at all. In all probability… after predicting that they wouldn’t be able to successfully get away, she hid Virgo and voluntarily chose to become the bait herself. It was only by chance that I picked up Virgo.”
In the face of Merak’s gratitude, Parthenos crossed her arms and responded curtly.
Merak seemed to have been paying her respect in her position as the former Guardian of the Sanctuary. However, the Seven Heroes were not existences that Parthenos favored.
Even if those individuals were to offer her words of gratitude, she would be troubled trying to figure out how to respond.
“Instead of me, why don’t you say something to Virgo instead, eh? Isn’t this supposed to be a reunion between a parent and their child?”
“Y, yeah, you’re right… I know that, but… I don’t know what I should say this late in time…”
The fact that they were able to reunite with one another made him happy, it as if his dream had come true. If it indeed turned out to be nothing more than a dream, he wished he wouldn’t wake up from it.
But on the other hand, Merak was at a loss for words.
He felt that whatever he said would come out cheap and shallow, making his daughter feel unpleasant as a result. Because of that worry, he was unable to say anything.
There were things he wanted to say. In fact, there were plenty of them.
I wanted to see you again. I’m glad you’re alive. You look just like your mother. You’ve become beautiful. Are you happy right now? How have you been up until now? Have you ever encountered anything you disliked? Have things been tough for you?
But before he could ask each and every one of those questions, his conscience would whisper within himself.
Do you even have the right to ask such a thing?
Do you even have the face to act like her father this late in time?
Thinking such a thing, he just could not bring himself to say anything.
“Umm, father… I don’t know what I should say, but… I’m glad that I was able to meet with you.”
With just those words, Merak burst into tears.
I’m glad to have met you too.
Even though he wanted to say just that, he could not vocalise the words because of his tears.
In the face of him being like that, Virgo smiled warmly and affectionately, then gently placed her hands on his shoulders.
“… What a good-for-nothing man, you are.”
“A certain individual cannot read the mood, thus she will be removed.”
In response to Parthenos, who did not read the mood and said unnecessary things, the gatekeeper golem, which was on standby, grabbed and restrained her.
And, as if it was carrying a cat around, the golem, which could unexpectedly read the atmosphere, took Parthenos away and left the building.
After acquiring Orm as an ally, we were aboard the ship, Argo, and were flying towards Svalinn at our top speed.
I was informed that the guy called Sol had been defeated by Leon. Additionally, Taurus, although heavily injured, had been retrieved by Pollux and Castor.
Furthermore, whilst I was away, a lot of things had happened. For example, Parthenos had turned into a Heroic Spirit, Virgo had awakened, and the young boy Sei and his amusing gang of friends had worked to persuade the kings of Laevateinn and Draupnir.
After settling my business with Orm, the only problems left for me were Libra, Dina and the other ouroboroses.
The Goddess should already be trying to find Dina. Before she managed to do so, I would have to finish up doing what I needed to do.
For the time being… I would have to evacuate every living creature in the world.
Very soon, Midgard would be destroyed. This was already a predetermined fact. As long as the Goddess did not change her mind, it was a course of events which could not be avoided. It was precisely because of this that I had no option but to pretend to lose in the battle two hundred years ago.
Even if I had won the battle, if the Goddess decided to move the ouroboroses, every living thing would have died. There was no meaning to such a victory.
But this time would be different. After all, we had spent two hundred years preparing for it… we would not make the same mistake again.
Though to be fair, the credit for half of the preparations belonged to Dina and not me.
The ouroboroses had been sealed as insurance so that they would not move until this point. However, there was no longer any need for them.
After the Argo arrived in the airspace above Svalinn, we all leapt off the ship and landed in front of Megrez’s half-destroyed mansion.
The inside of the building had already been somewhat tidied up somewhat and I spotted Virgo and Merak having a conversation across the table.
For some reason, Merak was sobbing as if he was overcome by emotion and I was taken aback a little.
Outside the building, the heroes’ entire party was present, and for some reason, Parthenos was restrained by the gatekeeper as if she was a cat.
What on earth were these guys playing at exactly?
“Gatekeeper, how’re things looking?”
“Everything looks good, Ruphas-sama.”
“Then it’s fine. By the way, what did Parthenos do?”
“I had judged that she was in the way of a reunion between a parent and their child, thus, I removed her.”
“Ruphas-sama, can you say something to this guy? He doesn’t understand how to treat a dead person properly.”
“If the dead person is as energetic as you, there shouldn’t be any problem.”
Although Megrez and Mizar weren’t present right now, they had probably already started taking action.
Those two were not individuals who would lose sight of what to do knowing the world was about to perish.
Normally, Merak should also be taking action, but… well, I suppose I could overlook him given the situation.
“I made it in time, huh.”
As I mumbled something to myself, the young boy Sei gave a puzzled response.
It seemed that the Goddess had not yet meddled with him.
If we were to believe Dina’s words, then there would definitely be some form of an action directed towards him… but in any event, he was still fine at this moment in time.
Personally, it would be most convenient if that something were to be done while I was present in the area.
After all, if I was present, most things could be handled.
In any event, just the fact that he, despite being the hero, had not taken any hostile action towards us whatsoever until this point was a far happier miscalculation than he had been believing it to be.
After all, if he had acted just as Dina and I had been thinking he would, he would have long had his spirit broken… or would already have become a pawn under the Goddess.
The fact that such a piece had disappeared would signify that we had gained “one piece”, and at the same time, the Goddess had lost “one piece”.
On the board, this was insignificant yet significant.
Using shogi (Japanese chess) as an example, it was just as if the Goddess suddenly lost a piece on the board which she was eventually going to move.
I supposed as an analogy, currently, on top of the board, they had the King General and the ouroboroses which protected that King… so two Gold Generals and two Silver Generals.
No, since they had already taken Libra and we predicted that Dina would also be taken from my side… they would pretty much be the Flying Chariot and the Bishop. So I reckoned that they would place those units on the board soon.
As for the current progress of the battle, I would say that I had the advantage.
“Sei, boy. I have a request for you. Would you hear me out?”
“Y, yes… If it’s something that I can do.”
“It’s something that only you can do.”
The fact that the young boy Sei was willing to work for our side was very convenient.
From what I’d been told, apparently, he had gone as far as to discuss with the king of Laevateinn that I was not their enemy.
With how things were, he would do better persuading the citizens than I was predicting he would.
I could not do it. Since I was still the symbol of terror around the world, whatever I attempted to do would only give birth to rebellion.
Orm was out of the question. He was even less suitable for this than I was.
Leon was not even worth mentioning, and Benet would only be able to move the citizens of Mjolnir.
In that case, how about the members of the Seven Heroes? Some people also opposed them due to the war two hundred years ago.
As a consequence, there was a need for a representative who was distinct from any of the above.
If that representative just so happened to have the title of the Hero, then there were no further objections.
“Soon, the Goddess will move the ouroboroses and Midgard will be destroyed. Before that happens, I want to force as many living creatures as possible away from this planet into the Ark. During that time, I want you to persuade and calm down the citizens of this world who will no doubt be in confusion. Of course, I’m not telling you to do it alone. I plan to get Megrez and the rest to help out as well.”
If the world were to perish, the people living in that world would also perish. If such a thing were to happen, that could no longer be called a victory.
As such, I had prepared the Ark as much as possible so that all living things could evacuate into it.
Unfortunately, because I did not have the leisure to be persuading people one by one, it would pretty much be done by force.
I would throw them onto the Ark regardless of the person’s will.
Needless to say, doing such a thing would give rise to chaos. There were also sure to be people against it.
However, if I were to come out and suppress those who were opposed to it, it would only have the opposite effect.
Although it was possible for me to forcibly shut them up using my Coercion, it would mean a repeat of what had happened two hundred years ago. A reign which depended on oppressive power and fear would definitely give birth to a rebellion… Back then, I had not understood that.
This was exactly the situation when the name of a Hero could shine.
He did not have to participate in battles. It was exactly because he had not taken part in any useless battles that he could do this.
“Umm, for something like that, rather than me… I mean, I’m weak, and… I don’t have the gravity like Ruphas-san has, and…”
“You’re better exactly because you’re weak. In the past, I relied on nothing but power to try and control everything. It ended up giving rise to fear among the people, and ultimately, it failed.”
In the past, I was weak. I was someone who had been oppressed.
Because I hated that self, I sought power. I greedily coveted and wished for power.
I dashed headfirst into countless battlefields, then I killed, killed, and continued to kill some more.
In the beginning, I must have had the mindset that I wanted to protect other weak individuals like myself.
I kept saying that I would save an individual like my mother, who was kind but had no power.
Then I got stronger, then I got stronger some more – and by the time I realised it, I could no longer understand the hearts of the weak.
I did not gain power. I ran away to power.
“Only the weak can understand the hearts of the weak. That makes you the most suitable one for the job.”
I patted his shoulder, and when I did, a small light enveloped him.
“U, umm, what just happened?”
“It’s just a small trick. It’s to make sure that no nuisances happen when you’re persuading others. Don’t worry about it. There’s no detriment to you, and I’ll make sure to properly undo it afterwards.”
“I, I see…”
He did not run away to power.
If it was him, irrespective of what the Goddess attempted going forward, he should not lose sight of himself.
It was exactly as Benet had said. Those who walked independently on their own two feet would never become something like the Goddess’s doll.
Furthermore, the exchanges of violence from one side to another which we would encounter from this point onwards were not battlefields which were suitable for him.
Such vulgar fights were battlefields for people like myself. A battlefield for me and the Goddess.
Long story short, this was a fight between Alovenus and myself. I did not like her storytelling. She did not like me. We were screaming that and were trying to forcibly remove each other with brute power. It was nothing more, nothing less.
Something like that was just vulgar, right? It was no different from the temper tantrums of children.
The only problem was, the children having those tantrums would not lose to anybody when it came to power.
So, that would end up happening, right? They had to figure it out.
To decide once and for all who would come out on top.
So, it’s about time for it all to begin. The world’s most high-levelled and pointless battle.
“– Winter of Winds.”
I activated a skill and covered the whole of Midgard with winds.
At the same time, I activated the skill X-Gate. I let it pass through the space-time continuum and called forth “that thing”.
The thing which was brought over was an extremely large ship… so extremely large that it was multitudes of times larger than Blutgang.
It was an evacuation vessel that had been built up by Dina and the floresiensis over the course of two hundred years in order to survive the twilight of the gods.
Its length was easily over a few hundred kilometres. At this point, it was no longer an ordinary ship but a space battleship.
Around the ship, there were sacred beasts which were once said to have protected the hobbit’s kingdom floating around… Seiryu (Azure Dragon), Suzaku (Vermillion Bird), Byakko (White Tiger) and Genbu (Black Tortoise).
“How grand. Is this the reason they were missing for the past two hundred years?”
“Hey, wait a minute… Why are these guys here? Aren’t these plebs the ones this mistress killed back then?”
In response to the Ark, which suddenly appeared out of thin air, let alone the young boy Sei, even Benet and Scorpius were dumbfounded. There were also murmurs from the people of the city.
Having said that, perhaps the people of Svalinn had already been persuaded by Megrez, as they remained fairly calm.
I manipulated the wind and first brought the ship to Svalinn, which was closest to me. I then ripped the entire kingdom off the ground.
I then covered the kingdom with a shield and placed the entirety of the kingdom into the Ark.
The Ark, which was on standby, was laid out perfectly. There were open passages here and there.
Next, I went to the kingdom of Laevateinn, then moved on to Laegjarn and the other nearby territories. After that, it was Gjallarhorn and Nectar.
Although Nectar was a little far away, it was beyond favourable that every other humanoid domain was concentrated in a tiny area of space. Alternatively, even this might have been within Dina’s calculations.
I also pulled the deep-sea kingdom of Skidbladnir from the bottom of the seas, which was followed by the various countries under the flag of Draupnir.
Although I was making sure not to shake up the land too much, if one or two pieces of furniture were to be broken, I would like that to be overlooked. I would try and compensate for it afterwards.
“Wai—, Ruphas-san! What exactly is this!?”
“Didn’t I tell you? Midgard will soon perish. In that case, I can’t just leave the people on the planet. I’m going to evacuate them to the best of my ability.”
Exactly, this planet would soon become a battleground.
For the Goddess, the ouroboroses and us.
In that case, it would be better for us if nothing else was here. If there were people around who would die just from being caught up in our fight, I would not be able to fight seriously. After all, this whole planet would soon turn into a dead planet.
Now then, Alovenus. With this, there’s no longer any need to hold back.
If you’re ready, then come at me from anywhere you’d like.
Q: So what exactly did Ruphas even do?
A: She “shaved off” the surface of the Midgard, which included everything from kingdoms and living things to mountains and everything else, then chucked them all into the Ark.
The current Midgard is a barren land which had over half of its surface peeled away. In particular, the places where the humanoids were present has become a completely barren land. There is not even a single insect left.
Oh, wait, Megrez’s mansion is still left in its place. After all, Ruphas is standing there right now.
It’s a ridiculous object with a length well over a few hundred kilometres long.
The time taken to construct it was two hundred years.
It’s made so that as many inhabitants of Midgard as possible could be accommodated. There’s even a water area for the deep-sea kingdom.
Although there are different floors for the magical beasts, demi-humanoids and humanoids, I have no intention of going into too much detail.
Using combinations of magic and science, things like gravity and atmosphere were maintained.
It’s pretty much at a scale where it’s fine to call it a space colony.
What exactly is fantasy…
Ark: “I’ve accepted living things, nature and everything else! Please be at ease!”
Midgard: “…Eh? Could it be…? This time, I’m really going to end up perishing?”
(Author note end)
 Hydro Pump: “https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Hydro_Pump_(move)”.
 Ok… Shogi is Japanese chess. There are few ways where shogi differs from western chess. The key points for the analogy are as follows:
(1) Once you “take” the enemy piece, you can place that unit back on the board on your team. For example, if you take the “bishop” from the enemy team, you can use a turn to add that “bishop” to any empty spot on the board as long as it’s within 2/3rds of your side. This is what’s meant by “place those units on the board soon”, since the Goddess has taken those pieces and will be able to add them back on the board as her units.
(2) If you can get your unit to the enemy’s 1/3rd of the board, you can “upgrade” them. So for example, a Flying Chariot can be upgraded to Dragon King. I assume this is referring to Dina, because once Dina is upgraded, she can control the ouroboroses.
(3) Bishop/Angle Mover can be promoted to Dragon Horse. Honestly speaking, I always found Dragon King and Dragon Horse to be overpowered pieces. They’re pretty much the “Queen” in western chess. Even as Flying Chariot and Bishop/Angle Mover, they’re still pretty strong though. Infer what you will.
(4) A shogi board is 9×9. The King is placed in the middle, and to the left and right of the King are Gold Generals. And to the outside of the Gold Generals are Silver Generals.
 The Ark (箱舟) was first mentioned in chapter 167 (and hinted even earlier than that, but I can’t remember when). “https://handofvecna.blogspot.com/2020/06/boss-167.html”.
 Winter of Winds (風の冬), Winter of Wolves (狼の冬), and Winter of Swords (剣の冬) are based on a misconceived conflation of the three-year-long Fimbulwinter and the four ages (axe age, sword age, wind age, wolf age) preceding Ragnarök. There is no evidence that the four ages directly correspond to Fimbulwinter in the Poetic Edda.
 Author please stop changing the way you write hobbit.
Hobbit (小人族), also called halfling (ハーフリング) and grass-runner (グラスランナー) in ch4. Also Sun Hobbit (陽小人族) and Floresiensis (フローレシエンシス) ch54.
Seiryu (Azure Dragon) of the East: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azure_Dragon”.
Suzaku (Vermillion Bird) of the South: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermilion_Bird”.
Byakko (White Tiger) of the West: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Tiger_(mythology)”.
Genbu (Black Tortoise) of the North: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Tortoise”.
These are Chinese constellations along the ecliptic. They’re well-known sacred guardians in East Asian cultures. “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Symbols”.