Last Embryo Volume 2 Chapter 9 Part 3
Everybody’s gazes focused on that one point: at Asterios’ battle axe, which was said to possess the most destructive power among all of the Divine Weapons based on the Twelve Constellations: 『Proto Keraunos』, which still emitted lightning from its edges, even when its wielder lost most of his power.
Certainly, if Homura was able to effectively wield such a destructive Divine Weapon, then it might have been possible even for him to destroy the entire Labyrinth with ease.
With his hand firmly on his chin, Izayoi began calculating their chances of victory in case if such a development really did happen.
「Hmm… you know what, you’re actually right there. With your Gift and its ability, you might just be able to pull such a stunt off.」
「I know, right? And compared to the Star Particle Bodies research or handling the accounting work for the orphanage, this should be like a walk in the park for me!」
Homura instantly cleared Izayoi’s doubts, meaning that there was nothing left for him to say in that matter. Sitting back on the chair with a ferocious smile on his face, he crossed his legs and made an announcement to the three of them:
「If you’re that confident in your success, then I guess all I have to do is to see how you deliver on all of those promises of yours, so go out there and knock yourselves out trying, shrimps!」
「「We aren’t shrimps anymore god damnit!」」
Homura and Suzuka objected him at once. Ayato looked at their sibling-like bickering with envy, but soon she coughed a few times to gather their attention back to herself.
「*Ekhem*, it looks like your little dispute has been settled, right? Then how about we move out while we’re still highly motivated?」
The three of them nodded towards each other and picked up the gauntlet thrown to them by the final battle with the Monster of the Labyrinth.
Inside of the Labyrinth, which was now dominated by an eerie silence.
Now that the chaos of all the previous battles died down, the entire structure returned to its quiet, dormant state. Both the Indian God of War and his heroic child, who were fighting ever since the Monster of the Labyrinth awakened all the way to the very end were now nowhere to be seen, because the due to various changing circumstances they had no choice but to stop their battle and retreat. The only things that were now left in the Labyrinth were the shadow-covered Giant Spirit Train 『Sun Thousand』, The Minotaur with its giant stone body displayed in its full glory and the open area where the altar and the throne atop of it were located.
The crowd of bull heads was banging on the walls of the Giant Spirit Train until recently, but now that it has been covered with a barrier of shadows that seemed to be repelling any and all kinds of physical attacks, so they stopped that and retreated, but they were apparently going to stand and wait I its near vicinity to resume the assault as soon as the shadows dissapeared… if they ever disappeared that is.
But the truth of the matter was that no matter how safe the crew of the 『Sun Thousand』 was inside of it, they simply couldn’t be holed up there forever.
Now that the giant chalk version of the Bull Monster stopped attacking, the rest of the bull heads followed its example and simply turned into a mass of rocks right where they stood, allowing themselves to slowly be absorbed by the main body, so naturally it could be concluded that the longer they would be left to their own devices, the bigger the Monster of the Labyrinth would grow, and with that, the battle would inevitably turn in his favor with all the advantage it managed to gather. And with the amount of rocks it has already amassed into itself, Ayato’s Serpens Scorpius Sword Flash would most likely become totally useless. After all, what good would coiling around the enemy do her if she would be unable to cut through its body due to how thick and hard it became?
With how tall it was at the moment it could be easily said that it was towering over the surroundings by just staying in place and not moving at all, but then… it raised it enormous horned head towards the sky.
「. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 」
The gentle breeze blowing across the Mediterranean Sea at the other side of the special tear stimulated its weak sense of self, or whatever was left of it after such a long time anyway. That wind and that sky…. Yes, they most certainly belonged to the land where Asterios was born and raised (TL Note: and to the playground where he spent most of his days?). Now that his consciousness has been suspended and his horns broken, he has finally understood everything by becoming one with his own royal tomb.
The fact that he has contacted smallpox at a young age. The fact that his own father cut off his head as a sacrifice meant to stop the disease from spreading… and that the nation of the entire island mourned the passing of him and his seven most loyal servants into the afterlife.
Now that he had finally learned the truth about himself, there was nothing he desired anymore. Now, just as the laws of the world dictated since time immemorial, it was his duty to return dust to dust, ash to ash and the dead back to the earth where they rightfully belonged. After being brought back and granted a temporary life by the War for the Sun’s Authority and achieving his goal, nothing else mattered to him anymore, so she should just disappear without causing any more problems than his transient existence already did.
「. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 」
However… if he would be allowed to live just a bit longer… if he was allowed just one more little thing, then he wanted to feel the breeze of the sea of his homeland gently brushing against his face one more time while he was still in his human form. When he was still alive, he has contacted a debilitating disease and had to be isolated from everyone he loved for a long time after which the curtain has been drawn on the play of his life when he became a sacrifice for the greater good without being allowed even that one small solace of being able to hear the sea waves and see the waters of the Mediterranean for that one last time.
Unconsciously, without even being aware of what he was doing due to how weak his sense of self has become, the Monster of the Labyrinth extended his enormous hand made out of chalk-stone towards the tear in the sky, where the scenery he has longed to see for so lang was waiting for him, right within his reach.
But no matter how much rock he accumulated, his fingers would never take a hold of it, because right now this Labyrinth was his entire world, his country and his resting place, and it would never let him go of its grasp now that it finally managed to get reunited with him. His fate was to stay there forever, and no matter how much he longed for the scenery of his childhood days where everything was much simpler, the Labyrinth will not allow him to have it.
And then, the shadows protecting the Giant Spirit Train got released all of a sudden.
(So, looks like they are coming after all.)
They must have finally concluded that fighting with him and putting an end to his life were the only options left for them, and resolved themselves to bring him down so that they could continue to live while leaving him behind when this final fight will be over.
Just as he expected, the golden-haired girl was the first one to leave the train and make her way towards him, but strangely enough, no one seemed to be following in her footsteps. Did she really planned to take him on by herself without anyone backing her up? If so, then she was much more foolish than he was initially taking her for.
There was a fine line separating bravery from bravado, and right now, that girl has plunged herself head-first behind that line, straight into the territory of pure recklessness. She must have thought that with the bull heads gone she might have some chance at winning, but it will ultimately amount to nothing. Even if they were not present anymore, it didn’t mean that they were gone. Instead, they have been assimilated into the Minotaur’s main body, which was now towering over the entire Labyrinth as its only solitary ruler who would have no one defy him in the place that was his and his alone.
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