Chapter 178 – Karkinos Used Revenge!
Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/179/ (2017/04/16)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2020/08/08)
Editor 1: Hand of Vecna (2020/08/10)
Editor 2: Keii (2020/08/11)
Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c178/
Notice 1: ETA for chapter 179 has been changed to August 16.
“You’re in the way!”
Aigokeros shouted out loud as he grabbed and spun the Heavenly Ouroboros around.
The words that he had muttered were truly unreasonable. After all, Aigokeros was the one who had intruded upon the battlefield. If anybody there deserved to be called a nuisance, it should have been him. Consequently, it was a line which should have been said by the Heavenly Ouroboros.
However, this was a battle where logical reasoning and common sense had no standing whatsoever.
Binding common sense from all four directions and making it unable to move, then violently beating it up until it was unable to recover. At the end of that process was this battlefield known as the Fimbulwinter.
At the end of it all, this battle was irrationality versus irrationality to determine who was the strongest and most irrational out of them all. Long story short, it was a clash of two egos.
We are stronger. We are correct. We don’t like the other side. So they should be destroyed.
Putting it in a very simple way, what both sides were effectively saying was just that.
As a person who had a relatively normal way of seeing things, when Saturnus heard what Aigokeros had said, she was left in disbelief and muttered something along the lines of “Why are you the one saying that!?”
「You… you, you, you, you! Every single god-damned one of you keeps getting in the way of my fight with the Moon Ouroboros! 」
Needless to say, the one who was the most angry there was the Heavenly Ouroboros.
It angrily sunk its fangs into Aigokeros’s body and started shredding and devouring him.
But Aigokeros was not willing to lose out. Instead, he took hold of the Heavenly Ouroboros and tried to pull it aw— At this moment, a numerous amount of rays came flying and assaulted the Heavenly Ouroboros, blasting it away.
It was not like the fruitless attack which had been previously executed by the demon race.
This was an all-out attack that was carried out by heroic spirits.
“Hey, Aigokeros! What are you doing!? Our opponent is the Wood Ouroboros!”
「She’s right, you know! This old man’s over here.」
Matching Pollux’s disapproving words, the Wood Ouroboros came to float beside the Argo and rebuked Aigokeros.
Because the Wood Ouroboros had closed the distance on them so suddenly, Pollux was given a fright, but the Wood Ouroboros simply repeated “delightful, delightful” with a smile and then pulled back some distance away.
“Whether I face one or two, it’s the same thing. Both are my master’s enemy. I’ll bury them all! Come at me!”
“It’s difficult to do just that! Can’t you see that’s why we’re splitting up and fighting separately!? You idiot!”
Pollux was almost tearing up from frustration as she shouted that out. But she quickly recovered and calmly assessed the progress of the battle.
She understood painfully well how useless she was in this battle.
Thanks to the ring she had received from Ruphas, she was barely able to keep up with all the fights and even criticise Aigokeros the way she had just a moment ago.
The only thing she was able to do at this point was use her brain… Having been left in a state where she could not even summon heroic spirits as freely as she wanted, the only weapons that she had left in her possession were the experiences that she had gained from having lived a needlessly long time and her intelligence.
They had split up exactly because it was difficult to face multiple ouroboroses at the same time… but battles never progressed the way one wanted them to.
This was especially true for Orm. It was originally predicted that his matchup would be the one with the highest probability of victory because both he and his opponent were ouroboroses. But in fact, he was the one who was the most disadvantaged out of everyone.
Even though it should have been an even battle, he was hindered by his primal instincts.
Whilst Terra and the demon race were there to support him, unfortunately, they were an insufficient factor in reversing the scales.
Long story short, left on his own, Orm would lose. When he did, the Heavenly Ouroboros would be free to jump into another matchup and start a snowballing effect.
Of course, Aigokeros would not have thought that deeply. However, looking purely at what they had to do, his words were not incorrect.
“… Fine, whatever. Either way, with how things have developed, we can’t avoid an all-out brawl. Everyone, we’ll team up with Orm and fight the Heavenly Ouroboros and the Wood Ouroboros at the same time!”
Pollux raised her hands and then concentrated.
The number of heroic spirits she would be able to summon was, at most, ten. As such, she could not continue to overwhelm the enemy with a numerical advantage the way she had been doing before. She could not afford to summon half-assed spirits.
Having said that, in this battle, even Ruphas’s former subordinates would be inadequate and could be easily erased.
In that case, who should she summon? Aeneas? Uranus? Or perhaps some other heroic spirit?
No, they were no good. They were still not enough. Unless they were even stronger than them, they would not even be able to fight properly.
In that case… there was only one individual left as a candidate. Correction, one creature.
It was not a creature who would listen to what people had to say, but that should not be an issue this time. Considering its personality, if it had not ended up meeting Ruphas, it would have gone ahead to battle the ouroboroses on its own accord.
The issue was whether she would be able to summon it in the first place. After all, she had never considered that creature to be a hero before.
Unfortunately, this was not the time to be insisting that she would never be able to summon it. “Unable to summon” was not an excuse that she could use at this point. She had no option but to do it.
If it was impossible, then all she had to do was make it possible right now. If she was unable to do it, then all she had to do was make herself able to do it.
Ruphas was able to break out of her own shell and stand in this battlefield because she had done that.
Pollux had also witnessed Virgo soar into what she was currently. Similarly, she was able to understand that Orm was on the verge of breaking through his own limit.
So at the very least, she had to show that she could get past a limitation of this degree, or she would not look respectable in comparison.
“The one that this Fairy Princess shan’t recognise, yet still commands… Return from Valhalla and become my sword. Thou, the king of dragons who possesses ten heads—”
“!? Pollux, that’s…”
“– descend! Ladon!!”
When Pollux shouted the command, lightning started to flash.
Using her skill in a way which clearly deviated from how it was intended to be used placed a burden on her, causing her to feel pain all over her body.
Argonautai was a skill that called upon a heroic spirit. If what was being summoned was not recognised as a heroic spirit, the spell could not be invoked.
Pollux had never thought of Ladon as a hero, and this time was no different.
Yet she still forcibly summoned it back as a spirit. Saying that what she had done was reckless was an understatement.
Nevertheless, she forced her way through that with pure unreasonableness and actualised the summoning.
Gradually, the lightning strikes started taking form, and from within it, a dragon with ten heads manifested and roared loudly.
Ladon looked around the battlefield by moving its ten heads, but the Heavenly Ouroboros saw this and spoke with ridicule.
「Humph! I was wondering what you were going to call… but it turns out it’s just the boss of those bad imitations of ours. Did you think you’d be able to win against me if you summoned trash like that? Kukuku… You’re showing your true self, Fairy Princess. In the end, you’re nothing but the Wood Ouroboros’s avatar. And you, the Dragon King? You might have a fancy title, but the king of garbage is still nothing but a speck of dirt. Know your place!」
The Heavenly Ouroboros might have mocked what was happening, but Pollux daringly smiled.
It was as she had expected… Pollux was able to ascertain the Heavenly Ouroboros’s personality after hearing what it had said after being spun around by Aigokeros.
That ouroboros was the type to recognise entities who were equal to himself, but looked down on all others.
Therefore, she had predicted that if she placed Ladon in front of him, he would definitely say something along these lines. She was spot on.
All ten of Ladon’s heads locked on to the Heavenly Ouroboros and were riled up, angered.
“… Are you the bastard who insulted me and my brethren just now?”
The outermost right head represented all ten of its heads as it demanded the answer to its question.
Unlike when it was last summoned, it had not lost its own sense of self.
It had been summoned in its entirety and in the complete state that it had been in before it was defeated by Ruphas.
Whilst it might have been a hassle if it had turned hostile, it seemed there was no need to worry about that right now.
「So what if I am, inferior creature? Did it get to your head after you were told the truth? Don’t make me laugh. I’m just calling some trash a piece of trash. What is there to be indignant about, huh? What a joke you are.」
“I’ll kill you!”
Ladon allowed himself to be swept away by his bloodlust and charged at the Heavenly Ouroboros.
Up until this point, it was as Pollux had been hoping for, but even the Dragon King would not be able to defeat an ouroboros on its own. Having said that, it was still an entity which had the same strength as Leon. It would not be beaten very easily.
During this interval, the Argo moved near Orm so that she could speak to him.
“Orm, we have to work together. Lend us your strength!”
「Very well. I’ll move according to your directions.」
Pollux nodded and Castor took command of the whole situation in her stead.
The twins, who shared the same real body, were able to understand what each other was thinking without having to exchange words.
Furthermore, Castor was able to fully utilise the whole of Argonautai to its full capacity, allowing him to move the army of heroic spirits as if they were a single entity.
The one he was pointing to at this point was the Wood Ouroboros.
He must have been planning to focus on striking down the Wood Ouroboros first before concentrating on the Heavenly Ouroboros.
The Wood Ouroboros, who saw through Castor’s strategy, curled its lip and then aimed its tail at Orm, whom it had assumed would be the source of the attack.
It was a direct hit – but Orm did not budge even a little. In fact, the Wood Ouroboros felt something off about the impact itself.
When it looked carefully, it looked as if there was a crab in between its tail and Orm.
Karkinos’s skill, which used the enemy’s power against them, was activated, pushing the unexpecting Wood Ouroboros back.
Matching this timing, Castor pointed his hands at the Heavenly Ouroboros, sending everyone to that side.
「Oh, oh no!」
Following Castor’s command, Orm and Aigokeros both fired destructive rays from their mouths. Sagittarius fired his sure-hit arrow and Pisces similarly blasted a beam from his mouth. A blade was shot out of the anchor which Castor swung down and everyone which was on the Argo activated their respective skills. To top it off, every gunport on the Argo shot what they had. All of these landed directly on the Heavenly Ouroboros.
After being slammed with a tremendous amount of energy, the Heavenly Ouroboros somehow managed to stay rooted in place, but the stream of attacks was not yet finished.
From each of Ladon’s ten heads, a beam was fired. Instead of hitting the enemy directly, all ten of those beams converged on the same spot in the air.
Was Ladon trying to attack itself and self-destruct? Or was it a misfire?
No, it was neither of those.
The ten beams fused with each other and then started expanding in place, shooting off sparks before turning into a giant fireball.
This expansion did not stop. Instead, the world rumbled in panic as a premonition of the destruction ahead.
“… We’re going to die.”
A mass of pure destructive energy, which had been pushed to the limit, was then fired.
That energy and the energy from the previous barrages of attacks on the Heavenly Ouroboros mixed with one another, inviting a brief moment of silence.
“This isn’t good, everyone take cover!”
Castor quickly grabbed Pollux whilst everyone else got into a defensive position.
Immediately afterwards, an explosion big enough to burn heaven and earth took place, gorging away a chunk of Midgard before leaving behind a massive pillar of flames in its place.
Even while being blown away by the blast of the explosion, Pollux conveyed the next step in her strategy to her brother, who then relayed that to everyone else.
“Pisces… No, wait, Eros! Use your unique skill!”
“Why did you correct yourself there!?”
After being prompted by Castor, Pisces activated his skill all the while complaining about what had happened.
When he did, Pisces’s body turned into mana and, as if he was being sucked in, drifted into the Wood Ouroboros’s body.
Those who were originally in the Goddess’s camp were each in possession of a unique skill of the Goddess, almost as if they had inherited a fragment of her power. Powers such as Parthenos’s Vindemiatrix, Pollux’s Argonautai and Dina’s perception manipulation abilities all fell under this category.
Pisces was not an exception to this.
His unique skill was called [The Deity’s Cord (Alrescha)]. The effect of the skill allowed the user to take possession of an opponent and manipulate them. It was very similar in effect to the ability the Goddess had been using up until this point.
If one were to describe this skill using the terms and knowledge gained from “the other world”, then this would be similar to a skill that controlled an opponent as if it was their own avatar.
If this was an online game, it would be analogous to illicitly logging into someone else’s account.
This power was almost cheat-like… no, it was definitely a cheat, allowed only because Pisces was the son of the Goddess.
If he had used this skill, he might have been able to deal with the Mutant God himself. However, because he was repulsed by the Evil God’s appearance, he refused to use the skill.
Unfortunately, this time, the opponent he was possessing was the Wood Ouroboros. Even Pisces would not be able to manipulate him according to his will. The most he would be able to do was make him dull and limit his movement somewhat.
But that was enough. Pisces would hinder the Wood Ouroboros from the inside and slightly readjust the direction of his attacks so that they would miss. Being able to achieve that was enough to greatly increase their chance of victory.
「Ho ho, so you intend to hold back this old man’s movements, eh? You lot came up with an interesting strategy, mm?」
「Nu ow o… this guy, what a guy…! Even though he’s possessed by me, there’s no sign of his consciousness disappearing…」
Both the Wood Ouroboros and Pisces’s voices came out from the Wood Ouroboros’s body.
Both consciousnesses remained, but the one with the initiative over the body was still the Wood Ouroboros.
If Pisces was able to successfully take over its body, then things would have become easy. However, as expected, it was not that simple.
Castor sent his next order to Karkinos and Karkinos quickly got behind the Heavenly Ouroboros.
When Karkinos, who should have been a barrier for his party, moved around to the opposite side, the Wood Ouroboros was puzzled and suspicious of his actions. At the same time, he felt excited about finding out what his children had came up with.
「I wonder what you guys are scheming…」
Pisces was trying to take possession of him, while Karkinos, who was the shield, was retreating. The Wood Ouroboros pondered what those actions signified.
Thinking over things normally, the Wood Ouroboros felt that it was nothing more than decreasing their own battle potential. After all, even Pisces was not able to take command over its body.
Having said that, it was clear to the Wood Ouroboros that they were scheming something.
He decided that it was not the best course of action to be reckless and it would be best to probe them a little with a light attack.
But at that point, the other ouroboros appeared out of the smoke and angrily shouted at the Wood Ouroboros.
「What are you doing, Wood Ouroboros!? Why don’t you quickly finish off the pesky mobs!? For there to be weaklings in this battlefield is nothing but an eyesore!」
「Calm down now, Heavenly. These younglings are trying to do something. It’s best for us to be more cautious, don’t you think?」
「Irrelevant! An ouroboros can easily overcome such trivial and worthless strategies with power!」
「… Don’t make me say I told you so.」
The Heavenly Ouroboros opened its mouth and white light concentrated within.
Similarly, the Wood Ouroboros opened his mouth and lightning began flashing within. It would be a simultaneous breath attack by the two ouroboroses. If it landed, it would definitely be annihilation.
Seeing what was happening, Orm quickly opened his mouth and tried to offset their attacks. The Dragon King also matched the Heavenly Ouroboros’s attack and prepared to fire a breath attack from all ten of its heads. Similarly, Aigokeros produced black lights in his hands.
But in a weakened state, Orm would be unable to perfectly offset their attacks. Likewise, even when the Dragon King and Aigokeros’s skills were combined, it would be barely enough to counterbalance just one of the enemy’s breath attacks.
The moment before all of the attacks were fired, Castor gave an order which surprised some people.
“Now, Pisces! Amplify the power of the breath attack!”
Pisces’s skill allowed him to possess his opponent and possibly take control of their body.
At the same time, just as individuals who were possessed by the Goddess became stronger, it was possible for Pisces to power up the individual he possessed by adding his own power to them.
Why would Pisces amplify the Wood Ouroboros at this very moment…? Even Terra and Orm were surprised at this unexpected order, but the answer to that question became apparent very quickly.
The breath attack fired by the Wood Ouroboros missed the Argo and flew towards the Heavenly Ouroboros – correction, towards Karkinos, who had circled behind it.
Exactly. Karkinos had a skill which pulled an enemy’s attack towards himself and made it hit him with absolute certainty — [Asellus Borealis].
Having said that, it was not an absolutely accurate arrow (Alnasl) like Sagittarius’s attack, which teleported from one location to another. It was a simple and plain skill which merely attracted the attack towards himself by bending its trajectory.
If there were any obstructions in the path between the attack and Karkinos, then the skill would easily fail to have the intended effect. If an enemy was aware of this weakness, then it would be easy to prevent Karkinos from using a counter as a result of being hit due to this skill.
Yes, exactly… if there was anything between Karkinos and the skill when he used this absolutely get-hit skill, then it would end up hitting whatever was obstructing it.
In other words, it was friendly fire.
Because the Heavenly Ouroboros’s breath attack was neutralised by Orm’s, Aigokeros’s and the Dragon King’s attacks, the Wood Ouroboros’s breath attack was able to directly hit the Heavenly Ouroboros in its amplified state.
Needless to say, Orm did not miss out on this opportune moment.
He bared his fangs and then bit down on the Heavenly Ouroboros’s neck, splattering blood everywhere.
Terra also attacked from the opposite side of the Heavenly Ouroboros at this very moment. This attack contained the force of his full might, but as expected of the Heavenly Ouroboros, it still lived.
But that would not be the case any longer. Aigokeros followed it up by taking hold of the Heavenly Ouroboros and then, relying purely on his strength, twisted it around.
The cracking sound of an ouroboros’s extremely strong bones resounded, and eventually, its neck was torn apart.
Faced with this gruesome sight, Pollux instinctively looked away from the scene, but at this moment, the Heavenly Ouroboros, with its shockingly amazing vitality, attempted a final counterattack.
「It’s not over yet! I’m still alive! My joyful battle is not yet over!!」
Even though it only had its head left, the Heavenly Ouroboros attempted to execute its final counterattack as it positioned itself to fire a breath attack.
The chance of being able to offset this attack… was none. Everyone’s current positioning was just unfortunate.
The Heavenly Ouroboros was aiming at the Argo, but Orm and Aigokeros were too close to the Heavenly Ouroboros at this moment, as they had previously intended to finish him off.
With where they currently were, the Heavenly Ouroboros’s breath attack would reach the Argo before the two of them could get in between and shoot the attack down.
The heroic spirits quickly deployed shields, but it was questionable whether there was even any meaning to this action. Unfortunately, even if they were able to soften the blow a little, they would still be unable to avoid getting shot down. This meant that even if everyone else survived, Pollux would definitely end up dead.
A final breath attack was released from the Heavenly Ouroboros’s mouth.
The ray that travelled faster than the speed of light blew away half of the Dragon King’s body which had been in its way before closing in on the Argo.
But right before it landed, the light was obstructed.
It was stopped at the last moment by the Twelve Heavenly Stars’ shield – Karkinos.
But even for Karkinos, he could not get away scot-free after being directly assaulted by an ouroboros’s breath attack.
This was still true even after taking into consideration that his level had been pulled up to level 1000 by Ruphas’s current state, the fact that the Heavenly Ouroboros was weakened to the point where it was on death’s doorstep and that it had been somewhat softened up by the heroic spirits’ shields.
Even with those conditions, an ouroboros’s breath attack was still enough to destroy a star. It just simply wasn’t that weak.
Karkinos’s shell melted and shattered. In an instant, Karkinos’s HP was dropped to a dangerously low point.
But the higher the damage dealt by the enemy, the more potent his skill became.
While cutting through the Heavenly Ouroboros’s breath attack, Karkinos charged right in.
His scissors were all worn out and cracked.
But even then, he did not stop until the blade that paid back multiple-fold was thrust into the Heavenly Ouroboros’s frame.
With how things had developed, the battle could be considered over. The Heavenly Ouroboros, which was now merely a head, no longer had the strength to overcome its own attack reflected back multiple times.
He was left in a daze and muttered in disbelief.
「… I, I, lost…? Against these, small creatures…」
It had a brief moment of peace of mind.
Eventually, the Heavenly Ouroboros accepted everything which had happened and then laughed out loud.
「Fu, fuhaha… fuhahahahahahaha! Well done, well done, small creatures! I see, I see. I’ll recognise all of you. It seems I was the one who was wrong. Of course, it was only natural for me to lose when I underestimated such strong enemies as weaklings! But heed my friendly advice. Even after you defeat me, the battle will continue. In the end, the ouroboroses are nothing more than pawns for that person! I’ll be keeping an eye out for how you guys will go about handling the next battle, which you could never overturn, from the afterlife!」
Leaving behind a speech, the Heavenly Ouroboros accepted his impending death.
The cause of his defeat was because he had underestimated everyone except for the Moon Ouroboros as weaklings, and as a result, made light of them.
If anything, the Heavenly Ouroboros should have welcomed it. He should have rejoiced. After all, many strong enemies were in front of him. What a blunder on his behalf to have looked down on them instead.
If there was to be one misgiving, then it would be that the Heavenly Ouroboros wished it could have used magic…
Because of Aigokeros, it had been unable to use any arcane magic. To an ouroboros, the loss of access to magic meant they had lost one weapon in their arsenal.
Yet even then, it was a fruit of the enemy’s endeavors in their battle. The Heavenly Ouroboros could not help but recognise their effort.
「Thank you for letting me enjoy a fun battle… I give you my blessing, small creatures.」
Just like that, the Heavenly Ouroboros gave his recognition to the enemies who had managed to strike him down and paid his respect. At that moment, Karkinos’s blade sliced through it.
“… Goodbye, Heavenly Ouroboros.”
– It then scattered away.
The Ouroboros of the Heavens, who had served as the one who managed the ouroboroses as a whole, turned into light along with a sound loud enough to burst one’s eardrums and disappeared.
“Hmm, so that’s the pinnacle of the Sun Attribute, huh… At the very end, even though it was moments away from death, it looked quite peaceful and refreshing, didn’t it?”
With her arms still crossed, Ruphas looked upon the passing of the Heavenly Ouroboros and pondered on its personality a little.
Well, I guess it was a more of a decent guy than the Fire Ouroboros. But to have fought an enemy with pride and conceit, then end up losing. Not only that, to give its recognition and disappear after leaving behind a speech… I feel like what had happened is quite familiar, almost as if I’ve seen it before… Where and when was it again…?
“……… Oh, it was me.”
I see, I see. Indeed, I am a Sun Attribute.
Accepting the oddity behind the whole situation, Ruphas was somehow coming to terms with it on her own.
[Sad News] The head of the ouroboroses was defeated by a crab.
(Author note end)
TLN: I’m proud of you, Karkinos! People can no longer joke that you’re just a useless placeholder. Anyways, the number of times that the author wrote, “X opened its mouth and fired/blasted/shot a ray/beam” in the past few chapters are… just too many.
 The Deity’s Cord (Alrescha) (神の紐(アレルシャ)).
Alrescha (aka Alpha Piscium), which means “the cord” in Arabic, is a binary star in the constellation of Pisces. Ptolemy described Alpha Piscium as the point where the cords joining the two fish are knotted together.