Sitting with one knee raised =
Chapter 15 – Armour of the Evil God
Observing the dungeon capture was basically an everyday routine to me now, but the people joining me always changed. I basically watched every single day, but the most frequent observers after me were Sophia and Anbaal, and then Leonora, Lili and Tena.
Today there just happened to be more people than usual, and almost everyone was gathered and sitting on chairs in my office while watching the screen.
Lili was sitting on Sophia’s lap, while Leonora was waiting on Anbaal next to him just like last time. And Tena was standing behind me… or so I’d like to say, but unfortunately she had something else to attend to, and wasn’t here.
How strange. Even though this is supposed to be a Home Game, it feels like I’m the Away Team.
“So Esteemed Father and the others have made it to the 20th floor today, huh.
“Took damn long, huh…”
Perhaps feeling cornered by the last few days of puzzle solving, Sophia and Anbaal looked a little worn out. Well, members of the Divine Race shouldn’t be tired from just that much, so it was probably my imagination.
Hm? I was sure they were going to say “I don’t want to hear that from you!” or a reaction like that, but the two just gave deep sighs and didn’t react any further.
It seems that they were a lot more dejected than expected.
“So Anri, there is a boss on the 20th floor as well, is there not?”
“If I remember right, wasn’t it a living armour or somethin’?”
“Mn, that’s right.”
“Compared to the 10th floor boss, sounds a lot more ordinary, don’t it?”
Was it ordinary? Whenever I look at it, I really can’t feel that way.
By the way, although they’re called ‘Living Armour’, there are actually two main types.
There are the living armour animated by a remaining grudge that are closer to undead, and then the living armours that are animated by magic that are closer to golems. Also, they’re titled ‘living’ but neither are actually living organisms.
The one stationed as the 20th floor boss was the latter; a Living Armour similar to a golem.
The mixed party vigilantly stepped into the boss room when the door automatically closed behind them. Orlaine was preoccupied with the shut door for a moment, but quickly turned her focus to what was in front of her.
『The owner of this room, I suppose.』
In the middle of the empty room a few dozen metres in front of them stood something with eye-catching presence. Sitting with one knee raised, it was a huge set of jet black armour with a height of five metres.
“Oi, wait a moment. How the heck is that a Living Armour.”
Watching the boss in the middle of the screen, Anbaal questioned me with a spasming mouth.
“No, I mean, yeah, I don’t wanna admit it but it’s a Living Armour, but no matter how you look at it that ain’t normal, right?”
“It has not retained its original form, but that is orichalcum isn’t it.”
“Not just that. She freaking hardened the thing to hell with divine protection.”
The two of them were mostly correct. The 20th floor boss was an orichalcum-type Living Armour that I gave my divine protection to. Anbaal said “freaking hardened the thing to hell” but all I did was give it divine protection the way I usually do, so I didn’t do anything special.
When I summoned it, it was a set of white armour a little bigger than the size of a human, but because of the divine protection it turned black and more than doubled in size. On top of that it was an orichalcum type to begin with so it already had high strength and magic resistance, but these rose as well.
The result was the 20th floor boss──Armour of the Evil God: Anril Armour.
As they approached it, the Anril Armour stood up, and raised its sword and shield. Although the movements were smooth, they were somewhat mechanical. Now that its entire figure was clear after standing up, the mixed party became even more vigilant. Although it wasn’t as strong as the Black Dragon, even so it was plenty big enough to be called gigantic. And being gigantic meant that it made for an even bigger threat.
『Brace yourselves, Renarve, Vikuto. With some bad luck, it may even be above the dragon from before.』
『Yessir. I understand.』
『I see. This may become quite a tricky one.』
The Demon King side were the first to ready themselves for combat. At Ojisama’s warnings, Renarve and Vikuto both kept an eye on the Anril Armour’s movements, whilst taking up combat positions so that they could deal with whatever happened.
『Let’s go Lionel, Orlaine! I’ll leave the support to you guys.』
『Understood. Please leave it to us.』
The Hero side took their formations as well, with weapons at the ready. Seeing their weapons, I suddenly had a question, and turned to Sophia.
“Speaking of which, what are the Holy Sword and Holy Spear made of?”
“They are also made from orichalcum. They have my divine protection as well, but it mainly focuses on the protection of their users, and does not increase their power very much.”
“The sword that the current Demon King’s using is the same. But well, I wasn’t really thinking about their safety or whatever, so I focused it on power though.”
It’s kind of turned into an ‘Orichalcum and Divine Protection Fair’.
They’re all the same in that they’re orichalcum with divine protection, but since the focus of the blessing was different, that will probably become important. The divine protection on the Anril Armour was focused on defence so from what I’ve heard, it’ll probably be hard for the Heroes to do any damage with the weapons they’re holding. The key to this match will be Ojisama’s Demonic Sword, due to the offensive divine protection on it.
Renarve and Vikuto’s attacks probably won’t even damage it.
『Kuh-! So hard!』
『Unfortunately, it appears that it would be best that we focus on supporting Your Majesty.』
Renarve had aimed for the opening created when the Anril Armour blocked Vikuto’s ice arrows, but he grimaced at the feedback from the impact, and immediately withdrew to avoid the counterattack.
After attacking just once they noticed that their attacks had no effect, so the two Heavenly Kings immediately switched to harassment and support.
With the support of the two, Ojisama began to attack. The strike succeeded in wounding the Anril Armour, but despite the fact that Ojisama’s attack was enough to force back the Black Dragon, the Anril Armour simply stood on the spot and countered with a swing of its greatsword.
Promptly taking the blow with his Demon Sword, Ojisama was sent flying through the air, and twisting his body, he landed.
『Are you all right, Your Majesty!?』
『I am fine. More importantly, what a troublesome opponent. Unlike the dragon, it is not a living being, and does not falter in the face of attacks.』
『It doesn’t seem that the Hero side are managing to do much damage either.』
At a loss as to how to continue, the Demon King side exchanged their opinions while they continued to distract it.
On the other hand, just as Vikuto said, the Hero side weren’t making any progress either.
『So hard! This is even more troublesome than the dragon!』
『Even my Holy Spear can only make scratches like that!?』
『It vexes me to say this, but my Holy Bow doesn’t seem like it will damage it.』
Orlain’s Holy Bow itself was orichalcum, but was not something you used to directly attack, and made use of mana to attack with light arrows. No matter how even the bow might have been in material, it was something that used magic attacks, so it wouldn’t make much impact on the Anril Armour.
Arc’s Holy Sword and Lionel’s Holy Spear were doing damage at least, but they were by no mean large wounds.
『Vikuto, do you have no plans?』
『Let’s see… From what I can see, the enemy seems to react automatically to our attacks. The proof is in the fact that it reacts to every attack from Renarve and I without fail, even though we do no damage. I believe that our best option may be in having the two of us distract it, while Your Majesty attacks through the openings in its counterattacks.』
『I see. Then we shall go with that.』
After promptly deciding on their strategy, the Demon King side ran into action.
Vikuto shot an ice arrow towards the Anril Armour’s head, and it raised the shield in its left hand to block. Aiming for the opening below the shield, Renarve immediately ran by its feet and slashed. Of course, the slash did no damage at all in the face of the Anril Armour’s defensive power. But the Anril Armour reacted to the attack, and countered by swinging a sword down at Renarve.
Aiming for that large opening, Ojisama jumped in as Renarve retreated with wind magic, and he swung his Demonic Sword with all his might. The attack struck against the Anril Armour’s torso, and succeeded in causing the biggest wound yet.
『Fumu, it seems like this will work.』
Perhaps realising that it would be dangerously to aim for another attack against the Anril Armour that didn’t hesitate from taking damage, Ojisama decided on hit-and-run tactics and temporarily retreated.
In the end, the Anril Armour only reacted mechanically, so as long as you attacked, it would continue to earnestly respond to you. Because of that, just by repeating the tactic from earlier, Ojisama was able to stack up damage.
Although they weren’t coordinating, the Heroes’ attacks served as perfect distractions as well, and the number of wounds on the jet black armour continued to increase.
“At first I wondered how things might progress, but the situation appears favourable, doesn’t it.”
“Yeah. As long as they keep repeating this, they’ll probably win.”
“Well, as expected of Esteemed Father and the rest, perhaps I should say.”
Sophia and Anbaal were watching the mixed party’s valiant struggle as though they had already won, and Leonora agreed while looking my way in worry. Lili didn’t seem to know what was going on, and tilted her head in wonder.
I had used a revelation, and gave orders to a certain person.
The first to notice was Renarve. Next, both Vikuto and Orlaine noticed as they were watching from afar, and then finally Ojisama, Arc and Lionel.
『The movements… have changed?』
Up until now, the Anril Armour had reacted even to ineffective attacks like Renarve, Vikuto and Orlaine’s, but now it had begun ignoring them and instead changed its target to the damaging Ojisama, Arc and Lionel.
That wasn’t the only change. With sword still in hand, the Anril Armour raised its arm, and from it a number of shadow bullets assaulted the party.
『Whoa! So close!』
『Impossible! An armour with no will using magic!?』
『Impossible! …That armour?』
The mixed party was shocked that the Anril Armour fired darkness magic. Using the openings from their frozen surprise, the Anril Armour swept its greatsword towards Arc and Lionel.
The Holy Sword and Spear managed to stop it for just an instant, but the large difference in power and size sent them flying a few metres away. Lionel was unfortunately sent flying towards a wall, so he ended up crashing into it.
“Oi, the fuck you do?”
“There is somebody inside that armour, isn’t there.”
With the change in the Anril Armour’s behaviour, Anbaal and Sophia sent questions my way.
Sophia’s guess was right. The Anril Armour is an armour set that’s animated by magic, but there are two ways it can do so. Up until now it had been on autopilot mode, and was following a set pattern. Because of that, its behaviour was mechanical. In contrast, right now it was using manual mode and was being directly piloted. Because of that, it was able to adapt its behaviour to the situation, and it was able to use magic too.
However, the people able to pilot it were limited, and unless they were my kin, it was impossible to move it.
“Speaking of which, I’ve been wondering why I haven’t seen Tena around but… it can’t be…”
Right. The reason Tena wasn’t participating in our peeping party was because of that. As a member of my kin who could use darkness magic as well, Tena easily met the requirements needed to pilot the Armour of the Evil God: Anril Armour. She’s gentle and not really suited for combat, but to begin with we weren’t killing in this battle, so in that regards, I could rest easy with her as the pilot.
The only problem was that she didn’t have much combat experience, but unlike a direct battle with her body, this time she was piloting the armour, so you could even say it was better than she didn’t have any battle experience. A skilled warrior might have been bewildered by the huge difference in feeling, but there was no need to worry about that with Tena.
『This does not bode well. The movements are completely different from a while ago.』
『Yes. Using the same tactics will not work. It ignores Vikuto and I.』
『So we can’t distract it any more, huh. Unless we do even a little damage, it will probably not work…』
Saying that, Vikuto glanced in Arc and Lionel’s direction.
Since Renarve and Vikuto couldn’t damage it enough to distract it, they needed somebody who could damage it enough to allow Ojisama to get a real hit in. And the only ones there who could do something like that were the Heroes.
『Nu… I suppose it cannot be helped.』
With Vikuto’s silent suggestion, Ojisama nodded with a reluctant expression, and approached Arc and Lionel without failing to watch out for the Anril Armour.
Noticing that the Ojisama had approached and called out to him, Arc replied in wonder.
『I shall only say this once. We need your power to defeat him and advance. …Lend us a hand.』
『Don’t fuck with us, who the hell is going to… Arc?』
Lionel had reflexively refused, but before he could finish, Arc held up a hand to stop him.
『What do we need to do?』
『You already get it too, don’t you, Lionel? We can’t beat that thing alone.』
Unable to react to Arc’s persuasion, Lionel fell silent. It was truth that although the Anril Armour wasn’t impervious to their attacks, they could only leave scratches at best. No matter how many times they attacked by themselves, it was impossible to defeat the Anril Armour.
『Aah, damnit! I got it. I’ll help out too!』
In the end, Lionel folded, and they faced the Anril Armour again, Arc and Lionel at the front, and Ojisama at the back.
『Leave the offence to me. You lot bring out an opening with his attacks!』
『I don’t have a damn choice, so I’ll do it, but just this once, got it!』
Huh? They suddenly started getting along…?
While I was watching the drama unfolding onscreen with a faraway look, Sophia began letting out a a voice of admiration from behind me.
“I had no idea Anri. You gave them a trial in order to reconcile them?”
“Oh? So ya do have a good idea from time to time.”
“You sure thought it through, Anri.”
“Anri-sama, you’re amazing.”
Eh? Nono, what kind of merit would that hold for me? Or so I wanted to say, but seeing Lili’s pure eyes of admiration, it became really hard to.
Without thinking a thing, I just continued to stare at the screen. While I was doing so, a frantic and cornered voice arrived at my ears.
『Anri-sama, I can’t anymore! I can’t hold on any longer!』
The owner of the voice was Tena, who was currently being exposed to fierce attacks from the Heroes and Demon King. Of course, the one taking the attacks was the armour outside so Tena herself wasn’t injured, but once the Anril Armour broke, she’d be in danger as well.
『Well done. You can come back now.』
Either way, it didn’t seem like she would be able to stop them anyway. After judging so, I teleported Tena from inside the Anril Armour to the office we were in.
“I-, I thought I was going to die…”
Stroking the slightly teary-eyed Tena on the head, I turned to look at the screen and found that the Anril Armour was quickly being wounded now that it had returned to autopilot mode. It was only a matter of time before it broke.
The middle floors were broken through as well. I finally had my back to the wall.
The only ones left were the lower floors, so I was a little anxious now.
TL: I think you’ve already guessed, but the name of the Living Armour is basically a stupid pun on “unreal”, and perhaps a stupid pun on “mithril”.
Also, generally if the stuff at the top and bottom of page is in italics, it’s me, Estelion.