Loren was well aware that with just the double self-boost effect of his berserk mode, there was a high possibility that he would not be able to defeat Magna.
He did not know whether Magna was that much more powerful or whether his equipment were that superior, but whichever the reason, it did not make much difference from his point of view as the guy was his opponent.
Thinking that it might still not be enough even if he borrowed Shayna’s magic to increase his self-boost, Loren had asked Klaus for help before he fell into the berserk state. Although Klaus was unable to move fully due to the blow to his side he had received from Magna, he still had enough strength left to get close to Loren and use his power.
In short, Loren attacked Magna with the triple reinforcement of activating the self-boost technique, entering the berserk state, and the rare blessing of Klaus’s <<Strength Boost>>.
With the three reinforcement techniques being different in nature, it was impossible to predict what the results would be, but he could not think of any other method to increase his power at the moment. With no consideration for the consequences, Loren came at Magna, who was holding Gula by the throat, as fast as he could.
Magna responded lazily, but Loren’s triple-enhanced speed far exceeded his expectations.
Magna thought that Loren had used up most of his strength and magic power to send forth the flames from his greatsword, but the attack was more powerful than he had expected. Thinking that his shield might not be enough to deal with the attack, Magna released his right hand, which was holding Gula’s throat, and tried to draw the longsword at his waist.
Gula was not about to let this happen though: she clung to Magna’s right hand. The moment the grip on his throat relaxed, Gula, sensing that Magna intended to reach for his weapon, grabbed Magna’s wrist with both hands to stop him from doing so.
“Loren, don’t care about me! Just cut me too!”
With Magna not holding a weapon, Loren had a significant advantage. With this in mind, Gula chose to block Magna’s right hand and shouted at Loren to cut herself down too, but of course Loren had no intention to do so. He believed he could finish Magna off even without that.
Magna tried to shake off Gula’s grip on his wrist, but he quickly gave up and kicked his knee into Gula’s exposed flank instead.
There was the sound of something breaking, and Gula’s body almost collapsed. But she managed to stay on her feet and did not let go of Magna’s wrist. Magna threw another kick, and as expected, Gula could not withstand the second blow. She released his wrist as she spat out some blood with a cry of pain.
Magna was finally able to reach for the longsword at his waist, but that was a misjudgment on his part.
As he could make weapons appear in his hands in some way, if he had not insisted on using his longsword and used any other summoned weapon instead, he might have been able to deal with the blow that Loren unleashed. However, he was distracted by the weapon that was right there, and because he made the unnecessary move of reaching for it, he received Loren’s blow head-on.
Loren, however, was in the worst physical condition: he was barely holding his own with willpower, so he was unable to deliver a well-aimed blow. His blow struck Magna’s right shoulder, whether by mis-aimed or by accident.
The moment he heard Magna’s cry, Loren was pouring his remaining strength into the greatsword. The blade of the sword, which had burst into flames before, once again emitted a crimson light. Just as Loren thought that the flame was much weaker than last time, Magna’s black armor burned bright red at the site of the direct slash, and the blade cut down to Magna’s armpit as smoothly as a hot knife cutting into butter.
Loren’s slash, which both cut and burned at the same time, burned Magna’s wound, causing almost no bleeding. However, it solidly severed Magna’s right arm from the shoulder, and the right arm, which had lost its support, fell to the floor with the armor it was wearing, making a heavy sound.
Suddenly losing an arm’s worth of body mass, Magna fell to his left. Loren himself pitched forward and fell to the floor, as if he had used all his remaining strength in that blow.
“This is not good.”
Lapis, who had been watching the situation, lightly jumped off the coffin. At the same time, the coffin lid, without her weight to hold it down, was opened from the inside with great force. But Lapis ran to Magna without caring about it and casually gave him a front kick as he was trying to get up.
The front kick, which was delivered with an admirable form, struck Magna’s abdomen and sent him flying backward, but a dark-skin figure rushing in from the side caught his body, which must have been quite heavy.
“Magna-sama! Please don’t do anything rash!”
It was Noel, who had been released from the coffin, who held Magna in her arms. Her tanned skin, which was generously exposed, was glistening even though it was probably not anointed with oil.
Magna was unable to speak, perhaps from losing his arm and from Lapis’ kick. Noel held him with both arms while looking grimly at Lapis, who had slowly lifted Loren up and was calmly returning her gaze.
“How dare you people do this to Magna-sama!”
“I think the damage is greater on our side, don’t you?”
Noel’s shouts didn’t seem to faze Lapis at all. She nimbly took Loren into her arms, looked around, then told Noel.
“On your side, only that one guy, Magna or whatever he’s called, was injured. On our side, almost everyone has some kind of injuries, except me. You can tell which side sustains greater damage, can’t you?”
“Magna-sama alone is worth more than all of you!”
“A difference in values huh. Differences in perception lead to conflicts. How sad.”
As she said this, Lapis looked squarely in Noel’s eyes, which have grown even more steely, and spoke in a refined but matter-of-fact manner.
“If you are thinking of using the power of Lust, you should stop, okay? Everyone it might work on can’t move, and it doesn’t work on me.”
Lapis didn’t know how much power Noel had in her newly awakened body, but it was hard to imagine that she was stronger than Luxeria, the Evil God of Lust they had encountered before.
“And that mister Magna? His wound was burned so it doesn’t bleed and looks fine, but a whole arm has been cut off, you know? If you’re going to treat it, the sooner the better, don’t you think?”
Noel looked down at Magna in her arms. The pain from losing an arm must be tormenting Magna no matter how little blood he had lost, and perhaps because Lapis had kicked him in the abdomen quite seriously, his breathing was also disturbed. He started gasping for breath.
Noel understood immediately that although Magna might not be dying right now, he was in no condition to be left as is like this.
“If you run away, we won’t chase you. We’re all wounded on our side, too.”
Loren had used up all his power, Gula was almost choked to death and had received considerable damage to her abdomen, Leila was knocked down, and Klaus, Ange and Laure were all suffering from not-so-light damage. Lapis, who wanted to start treating them immediately, was eager to get rid of Magna, but she did not want to get into a fight with Noel, who had probably been transformed into an Evil God, even though she had just awakened.
“You’re going to regret this.”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure Loren will beat Magna next time.”
Lapis responded casually and Noel, after glaring hard at Lapis once more while grinding her teeth, picked up Magna’s body as well as his severed arm, and quickly ran away from the place. Lapis wondered whether Noel drew back because she believed she could not win Lapis head-on or because she thought she had to treat Magna as soon as possible, but the fact that once Noel decided to run, she did it in a straight line without a snide remark or a look back was an act worthy of recognition.
“I’m glad you ran away. I’m also pretty much in a pinch here.”
Loren was probably the most seriously injured, Lapis thought. His most serious external wound was the bruising to the abdomen from the tip of the cavalry spear, but the power he had put into the greatsword and the recoil from the force he had used to cut off Magna’s right arm seem to have caused deep-seated damage to his body. The next person with serious injuries was Leila, who had been struck down by Magna. Lapis diagnosed the others as having relatively minor injuries.
She was also worried about the Gula’s injuries, but probably thanks to being an Evil God, she had already recovered considerably with her own healing power alone, and it seemed that even if left alone, she would soon be able to move again.
With Loren in her arms, Lapis called out to Klaus, who was trying to catch his ragged breath with his hands on the floor.
“I’m sure you’ve seen and heard a lot this time.”
“That… Well, yes.”
When asked, Klaus readily admitted it. Lapis, who had prepared to be more violent in their talk if he intended to feign ignorance, exhaled a sigh of relief at Klaus’s honest response.
“Then, do you know what I’m going to ask you?”
“’I don’t care what happens to me, so please keep this a secret’… Something like that.”
Klaus answered in a slightly joking tone, but his voice began to falter as soon as he noticed Lapis’s cold gaze, and by the end it was almost inaudible.
Whether he was joking or serious, Lapis had expected him to say something like that. She kept her cold gaze on him and let out an exasperated sigh.
“I wouldn’t mind if we all kept our mouths shut here.”
“Just kidding, just kidding. I won’t tell anyone what I saw and heard here. I’ll make sure Ange and the others know that too. Is that okay with you?”
Klaus said, sitting down on the floor and raising his hands in surrender.
Wondering how much she could trust his words, Lapis continued to stare at Klaus with a cold stare for a while, but then decided that it was probably okay and dropped her eyes.
“Thank you for your cooperation, Klaus.”
“It’s nothing. Rather than that, can you tell Loren something when he regains consciousness? If he needs help, I’ll lend a hand. I’ll give you guys a discount, so feel free to call me. I’m a pretty good friend. I think I can help you.”
Lapis smiled wryly, knowing that ‘discount’ did not mean ‘free’. Loren was in eye-popping debt to the Demon Lord at the moment, so whether he would ask for Klaus’ help if it came with a price tag was a question, but it was always better to have more options.
“So I guess all that’s left to do is to investigate this facility and either stop or destroy it, and the request is done and dusted for now?”
Cursing the bad turn of events that had occurred in the place she had picked for a vacation, Lapis let out a deep sigh as almost no one else was able to move.