Final Act: Let’s Make the Future in the Sky
「 Calm down. There’s nothing you can do now.」
Aur said that to Lilu, who wandered back and forth in front of the door.
「 Sigh… I know, but…」
Incidentally, Aur was also kicked out because apparently 「 He would only get in the way.」.
Next to them were Spina, Mari, Zaitreed, Wolfe and the others. The time was well into the night, but every one of them was fully awake.
Beyond the door were only the midwife, Melizand and her priests who assisted with Yunis’s birth.
From time to time Aur could hear a pained voice sounding behind the door, and it made him as nervous as Lilu, who walked back and forth even faster now.
And then suddenly everyone stood up at once when they heard the cries of a baby.
「 It’s been born!」
Pushing Lilu aside, Aur entered the room first.
「 It’s a healthy baby boy.」
The smiling midwife held a loudly crying child in her arms.
「 You did well, Yunis.」
Aur praised her and gently stroked her hair.
Then. Together with Melizand who had a steep look on her face, he turned towards his newborn baby.
「 Mary, this is…」
「 Yeah, it’s just as you expected… no, it’s more than that.」
A sigil of three overlapping wings was engraved on the child’s forehead, a sign that it was born as a hero. Moreover, the rings symbolized the previous three heroes, Yunis, Zaitreed, and Wolfe. It was a sign that the child would one day inherit the power of all three of them.
Aur took the child from the midwife, and place him on top of the prepared magic circle. Yunis’ birth went smoothly, but the real thing started now.
A part of being a hero was the so called 『Parent Killing』 , where the child caused the death of its parents, intentionally or otherwise. Unable to cope with regret, many heroes chose to go against their oaths and died as a result.
Both Aur and Yunis’ son must’ve been born with a cruel fate. Up to this day, Aur’s children were only girls. It was a sign that Heaven waited patiently for the child who would be most suitable to become a hero in order to cut down the Demon Lord who defeated their saint.
「 Let’s do this, Aur! Don’t let such a cruel fate to befall this new life!」
「 You don’t have to tell me that twice.」
However, Aur and Melizand anticipated it from the very beginning, and came up with a countermeasure. The Demon Lord will not allow his son to become a hero, a puppet whose strings were being pulled by Heaven.
They have been preparing for this moment. To twist and break the chains of a hero’s fate with their own magic power.
Watching this whole situation, Wolfe stroked his beard. His sense were telling him that everything was going to be all right, and that it would be best for him to leave, and take care of that what was about to occur.
「 Heaven will surely not let this go unpunished. They realize that going against you is futile, but they will try anyway.」
「 Can I ask you to handle it?」
「 If it’s for my grandson, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do.」
Wolfe nodded and left the room.
Outside of the Demon Lord’s castle were four appearances that shined like the second sun.
Those were the four angels with four faces and four wings, Cherubs, members of the second higher tier of angels. Their power was on par, if not stronger than Melizand, someone who was not to be challenged alone of trifled with.
Without a doubt they were Heaven’s elite now, its strongest soldiers. There was not supposed to be anyone stronger than them both in heaven and earth.
「 Isn’t it awfully nice of them to send their elites at us all at once?」
A small figure interrupted Wolfe as he was preparing to change into his draconic body.
「 Is there anything I can do to help you?」
「 Could I ask you to lend me your strength? If I could have your cooperation, I would be greatly at ease, Queen of Demonic Beasts.」
「 That name is totally rude, I’m just a simple village girl.」
「 Sure you are.」
Both of them smiled as they prepared to rain down hell on the foolish angels.
「 Lord Aur, there are angels inside the castle!」
「 Were the defense mechanisms hijacked?」
Melizand clicked her tongue at the report made by one of the Black Alvs. All of the angels in the Heavenly Labyrinth were under her direct control, but there was one exception. She could not control an angel who has ascended even beyond the rank of a saint and became an even higher existence.
The world as we know it is full of mysteries, so there was always a possibility of such a thing happening. But whether or not such an angel was Heaven’s current ace in the hole, this would be the first and the last time he was going to be used in battle.
「 Ellen’s group is fighting the enemy together with adventurers, but their numbers are too great! We won’t be able to hold them down!」
Angels under the heaven’s control continued to press their attack on the castle and the city using the surrounding power. The labyrinth floating in the sky is full of light, so they were able to wield their powers without any restrictions, unlike that time in the Ground Dungeon.
「 Send reinforcements everywhere where they are needed, but you guys stay here and guard this place.」
「 Leave it to me!」
「 I won’t even let them near my precious little sister!」
Leaving the defense to the two Heroic Spirits, Lilu and Spina created their clones and left the room together with Aur.
「 That reminds me…」
Aur just noticed that they were short on numbers. Currently in the room were Aur, Lilu, Spina, Zand, Zaitreed, Melizand, Yunis, priests and the midwife. One person was clearly missing.
「 Where the hell is Mari?」
「 Sorry, but there’s no entry past this point!」
The angels stopped in their tracks, seeing a young girl who declared such a thing. A girl with golden hair and blue eyes. She must’ve been really stupid if she thought that she alone was enough to stop them.
「 Step aside, girl. If you interfere with us, we’ll have to cut you down!」
One of them declared while raising his spear. He wanted to say something more, but was unable to.
Because his head was knocked off his shoulders.
The eyes of all the others shot wide open with surprise. With her small frame, the girl slipped right between them, wielding two swords in her small hands. When she swung them gracefully, two more heads went flying.
「 Dual wielder! Just get her from two sides! Give her no space to attack!」
Mari blocked the incoming spear with her weapon. Then she blocked the second strike, but her swords were sealed.
「 It’s not just two swords.」
Mari smiled like a little angel and whispered.
The angels that blocked her were shocked to see two additional swords dancing in the air as if they were being wielded by invisible hands.
Having the freedom to attack, Mari’s swords rushed at the third angel, and pierced his left breast.
「 Four! She’s got four swords!」
「 Don’t be absurd, that’s impossible!」
The swords dancing in the air were clearly not manipulated by magic.
It was a Law. The girl used the Law to wave the swords around as if she was holding them in her hands. This effect was simple, but incredibly effective. Since it was not magic, there was virtually no way to stop it.
「 And that’s not all.」
Slaughtering two more angels like pigs, Mari used another spell to create countless flame arrows levitating in the air. She turned her swords towards the rest of the angels and said only one word.
The fame arrows flew around her and pierced the hearts of her enemies without her even aiming. They were impossible to avoid or defend against, as they were given the trait of 「 Sure Hit」 by the law.
「 She’s using weapons, magic and laws at the same time?!」
The angel screamed as this precedence was way beyond his understanding. Laws and magic were like light and dark, positive and negative. They should negate one another if someone tried to use them both at the same time. So how was such a trick possible?!
The answer was simple: Mari was the only being in the world who could pull something like that off. Alf of her body was attuned to magic, and the other half to the laws. If you factor in her curse, I guess you could call her an ultimate sorcerer.
「 Out of my way.」
Mari scoffed at the angel who had a flaming ring on his back. He was different from the others, both in appearance and his power level.
「 I am Vinael, the leader of Thrones, the third seat of the highest order of the angelic hierarchy. Girl, state thy name.」
「 ….I see.」
Vinael took hold of the ring on his back and threw it at Mari. As it flew towards her with tremendous speed.
「 Farewell, child.」
Its destructive force was further enhanced by the waves of heat it was emitting, making dodging it almost impossible. And even if she managed to do that, Vinael looked ready to charge at her with the sword he brandished.
Mari tried to intercept the ring with her four swords, but she also knew this was not going to work. The swordsmanship which Yunis taught her. Magic that Aur taught her. Usage of Laws that Mary taught her. All of her skill will be put to the test here. And besides, even with all her skills taught to her by excellent teachers, she was not a hero, and her physical abilities are still immature. She won’t be able to do much against an overwhelmingly powerful attack. Heh, looks like this might just be the end of the line for her.
Just as she thought that, four demonic arms came to help her once again.
「 Logan! … Thank you.」
「 Don’t mention it.」
Logan was always there for her, even though sometimes his attitude was a bit off. He was ready to help and support her as long as she treated him like her older brother.
「 You stopped my wheel! Are you a Higher Demon?!」
Right now there should be no demons capable of going against the high-tier angels in this world. And the low and mid-tier demons, which humans perceived as higher beings, should be equal in power to the mid-tier angels at best.
Based on that assumption, there was no way for an angel like Vinael to be pushed back by such an insignificant demon.
「 Me? A Higher Demon? I don’t think so.」
Logan threw the flaming ring to the side, looked at his burned hands and said:
「 I love little girls with all my soul and am normally quite docile, but now due to the intense anger boiling inside of me due to the fact that Lady Yunis’ child is a man and not a girl, my true power has awakened! Watch and be amazed, you feathered f*ck, for I am the legendary evil incarnate… Super Low-tier Demon Logan!!!!!!」
「 I’m surprised how fitting that is.」
「 Should we really be helping this piece of living trash?」
Voicing their disgust towards the residual lolicon, the two people who Mari liked almost as much as Mary and Logan appeared.
「 Sofii! Lilu!」
「 I told you to call me 『Elder Disciple』 . Have some respect for your elders in the arcane craft.」
Displeased with her disrespectful disposition, Spina voiced her complain while creating a magical blade in her hand. When it came to the magic hierarchy, Aur was the master, spina was the elder disciple, and Mari was the younger disciple.
「 Now then, let’s get on to business, shall we?」
Lilu’s smile was brimming with confidence as she prepared an anti-fire magic shield.
「 Let’s do this, Marie. Give it your best shot!」
Mari prepared to use another law. Her unbendable will and belief in her comrades allowed her to become stronger, and she was about to show the result of that.
「 There’s no way we will lose!」
And she released a myriad of attacks at the angel standing in their way.
The Queen of Demonic Beasts rode on top of her dragon comrade as he flapped his steel wings furiously.
「 What a colossal beast…」
The cherub in front of them admire the dragon’s size, even though he was almost as big as him. It had the head of a human, lion, cow and eagle, and flapped his four pure-white wings. It was one of the angels that survived the War of the Gods, so that made him one of the strongest Heavenly enforcers among his kind.
Compared to Metus’s gigantic body which measured up to eighty feet he seemed small and insignificant as he danced in the air while approaching Aur’s Heavenly Dungeon.
「 Does it tick you off that he has so many beastly faces?」
「 You have no idea.」
Teased by the King of Heroes, Mio smiled wryly. He looked like a beast, but he was actually an angel. He couldn’t get a pass in her book even if he wanted to.
「 With that said, let’s go!」
Mio stood on top of Wolfe’s head, grabbing onto one of his horns. Her eyes emitted a golden light, and the synchronization began. Their fields of vision overlapped, increasing dramatically. Right now, Mio was able to see
everything that Wolfe saw.
「 Target flying at collision course at forty degrees, impact in three, two, one… AND DODGED! IN YOUR FACE!」
Not only was her field of vision widened, but she could also read the enemy’s magic power level accurately. She delivers all the necessary information to Wolfe, allowing him to outmaneuver the Cherub.
This was the power of cooperation between the beast and its rider that was normally unavailable to them if they tried to fight separately.
「 Prepare poison breath in ten seconds. Ten, nine, eight… enemy approaching from starboard, eighty degrees, enemy projectiles incoming!」
Wolfe shot the projectiles down with a swipe of his thick arm. Even though they managed to pierce his iron skin, they were unable to make any kind of noticeable damage to him.
「 Toxins are gathered, I can use my breath now!」
「 Then do it!」
Wolfe opened his mouth wide and shot out a massive toxic cloud like a bullet. And the mass of poison that could vaporize water, turn earth into desert and kill anything in existence hit the angel square in the face.
And despite his status as one of the Heaven’s strongest, even he started to choke and his face was twisted in unspeakable agony.
「 All right, let’s keep it up!」
「 Wait! Something about him feels strange!」
Mio prompted Wolfe to continue the approach. But then the Cherub switched its faces, putting the lion one in the front. By doing that he seemed to have nullified the effects of the toxin, and began to spit fire and shoot countless magical arrows.
「 He had such a trick up his sleeve?」
「 Multiple arrows incoming! We won’t be able to avoid all of them!」
Mio cried out sorrowfully. Wolfe made a decision. He could gather all his power and break through a single point in their enemy’s defenses to get him, but they would definitely die in the process.
Nevertheless, his children and grandchild will be saved by it.
「 I’ll make sure to protect you all. The rest, however, is up to you.」
He decided to believe in her and her beasts. He roared deafeningly, and spread out his wings.
「 An honorable decision. Worthy of a true hero.」
He heard a gleeful voice saying. He could not remember exactly where, but he could’ve sword that he heard it somewhere before.
Without him noticing, a white-haired man stood on his wing.
「 Just leave this small fry to us!」
And on his other wing stood a girl with similarly white hair.
「 The enemy’s core is in the head of a cow, right between his eyes.」
And on his back stood a knight wearing a strange helmet.
「 You guys! 『Magic Bullet』 , 『Flame Hair』 , 『Unknown』 !」
「 First time hearing that name.」
『Magic Bullet』 Muttered while playing with his hair.
「 My name’s Rex. Rex the Waker!」
Loading the arrow onto his bow, 『Magic Bullet』 shot it into the air where it exploded into a myriad of smaller lights that destroyed all of the Cherub’s arrows.
「 Well, since we’re using made-up silly names I guess I’ll play along with you two idiots. Yohanne Arc, the one who burns everything!」
『Flame Hair』 snapped her fingers, and when she did, red and white flames enveloped the angel like a whirlwind.
「 As for me, I’m Gaius the Blind. Little lady, use this.」
『Unknown』 touched Mio’s hand, sending the exact coordinates of the enemy’s core directly into her mind.
「 Thank you very much!」
「 The rest is up to you, 『Dragon Killer!』 」
With that, all three ghosts disappeared.
This was all they could do, seeing as most of their power was used to keeping up the barrier that defended the castle, allowing them to keep up their physical appearance for only a short while.
「 Thank you guys, but I am not 『Dragon Killer』 anymore. I am the King of Heroes, Wolfedear! Now missy, let’s do this thing!」
Their minds and bodies united with one purpose: to bring unstoppable despair and destruction upon their enemy. The dragon’s steel body shone with a dazzling light and turned into a gigantic sword ready to be swung.
It was the sword that Wolfe used to pierce through Metus’ heart to become known as the King of Heroes.
「 「 Frant!!!」」
With one swing, they pierced themselves right between the eyes of the cow’s head, all the way to the other side of it.
「 How about that, a**hole?!」
Wolfe returned to his dragon form just in time to see the Cherub opening and closing his mouth like a dead fish while he stared into space with an expression of utter shock and disbelief painted all over his face.
That was his last action in this world before he turned into the particles of light and died.
Out of breath, Mio leaned on Wolfe’s head. Being careful not to drop her, he turned his sight towards the castle.
Our job here is done. The rest is up to you.
He muttered so in his mind.
「 I don’t feel the angel’s presence anymore. It seems my father did it.」
Defending the room together with Zand, Zaitreed knew that his turn had come.
When he enter the delivery room, he was unusually tense as he called out to Yunis.
「 Up until now you’ve worked so hard, I am proud that I can call myself your older brother. I love you.」
「 Big… brother?」
Yunis called out to him in a worried tone.
But he said nothing more, and instead approached Aur, Mary and Unis’ son. The two of the tried with all their might to prevent the child from receiving the hero’s curse, but their faces were growing increasingly darker.
It wasn’t just a matter of the seal on the child’s forehead. It was also a matter of inheriting the strength of all the previous heroes. Heaven was so serious with this matter that Zaitreed suspected that there might be no more heroes in the next hundred years. And Zaitreed was the only one who could prevent it.
The thing is, by doing so he will probably exhaust all of his life force to the point where he could no longer be reincarnated. He will disappear from this world and there will be no coming back for him. However, he had no regrets about this.
「 There are many thing that I want you to say, Demon Lord, but swear just one thing. Swear to me that you will make Yunis and her child happy.」
「 This goes without saying.」
Aur answered, staring right into Zaitreed’s eyes. And in them, he saw undeniable strength and conviction. Why didn’t he saw them before?
「 Hilda, please tell my father that I fought valiantly until the very end… and forgive me for leaving you behind again.」
Hilda only laughed and smiled as she shook her head.
「 I refuse.」
Unable to cope with such an outright rejection, Zaitreed was at a loss for words.
「 My husband is a man stronger than the King of Heroes, and braver than anyone in all of Heaven.」
Hilda said that with confidence.
「 Also, are you really going to cause a tragedy on a day of your nephew’s birthday?」
Hilda smiled back at Yunis. Although they were not related by blood, she thought of her as her sister and she knew the hardships she had to go through up until now.
「 Hahahaha! Who knew that you could be so forceful?」
Zand laughed at this whole scene and stood together with Zaitreed.
「 I might be a grandma now, but I’m not senile just yet!」
That sealed the deal for Zand.
「 All right, I’ll do it. The oldest Heroic Spirit in the world is going to give you a hand. This is going to be a tough nut to crack, but we’ll manage somehow!」
Shouting like that, Zand flew right into Zaitreed’s body, combining their souls together.
「 Big brother, don’t do it! Mary, please, stop him!」
But Zaitreed has already put his hand over her baby and poured his power inside him.
Zaitreed channeled his full power into the baby, countering its hero’s curse. The impact on his body was so severe that he thought that his body was going to be ripped to shreds fiber by fiber. It was an agonizing pain as if someone was sticking red hot iron into every cell I his body, but he never once gave in to the agony.
His skin grew pale and thin and his blood began to boil in his veins. Zand did his best to ease his pain and repair the damage that was being done to him. If it were just him, he would have regenerated on the spot, but doing that while possessing someone was not that simple.
Moreover, Zaitreed’s soul was damaged at the same time as his body, even when Zand did his best to keep it intact.
It was only for a few moments, but it felt like an eternity for the two of them. And those who were watching.
Finally the emblem on the baby’s head disappeared, and moments later Zaitreed lost his balance and fell to the ground. Aur took the baby into his arms and hugged it.
「 Big brother… you’re alive!」
「 Yeah… somehow.」
「 How are you feeling?」
「 Peachy… just peachy.」
Zaitreed answered Yunis while spitting out a lot of blood. The inside of his body felt like it was grinded on a cheese grater, but thankfully he still had enough juice left in him to regenerate.
「 You did well.」
Hilda hugged Zaitreed with watery eyes.
「 Yunis, hold him.」
Aur passed their soundly sleeping son to Yunis. She touched it gently as if he was an incredibly fragile object, and looked at him with tears in her eyes.
「 Our son… our baby…」
And she looked at it with eyes filled with overflowing love.
「 His hair is just the same as you, Yunis. A bright, flame-like red.」
「 The nose and the eyes are the spitting image of master.」
Lilu and Spina, who suddenly appeared, peaked at it from the sides.
And in the distance, they heard a loud roar of the dragon.
「 I wonder what kind of tale this child is going to weave for himself.」
Yunis said quietly not to wake the child up. Now she understood why her mother gave her life so that she could live. Yunis thought that she would do anything for this child’s future.
「 The road he was supposed to walk down has been torn apart. He will have to figure the rest on his own.」
Aur stroked his son’s head and smiled. Even without being a hero, he might still grow up to become someone great… just like his father.
「 You’re right. After all, he is our son.」
Yunis said while smiling brighter than the sun.
And on her chest, there quietly slept the future as deep and boundless as the sky.
Maou no Hajimekata, The End