TNG Vol. 19 Chapter 3 Part 2

While screaming, 08 raised both of its hands up.

And slammed them into the ground a second, third, and fourth time.

Its fists, having struck repeatedly, turned fiery red, and the ground cracked, shattered, and heated up, unable to release the energy that had been poured into it.

The ice covering the ground melted, and the ground began to burn red.

It spread beyond where Shin and the others were to the entire rift in the terrain where the mana pool had formed.

The area wasn’t very wide to begin with. Nor was it capable of withstanding the energy poured into it from 08’s fists.

As if in response to the final blow from 08’s fists, flames shot up from the rocks and cracks.

“It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to resolve this through dialogue.”

“I guess not.”

Berett, holding his shield, said sadly.

08 seemed to be more human than the other dolls. It probably couldn’t bear the reality that Reed was not coming back and it couldn’t go to see him.

Even though its power was off the charts, it behaved like a child having a tantrum.

In spite of the fact that it was given a personality, considering its activation time alone, 08’s life experience was mostly spent in combat with divine beasts, except for the time it was activated to check its settings.

Time spent communicating with others. Time spent with Reed like Owl and the rest.

08 didn’t have nearly enough of those. Shin thought that its current behavior was, in a sense, justifiable.

“Looks like we’re going to have to subdue it with force. I really am sorry we couldn’t do this more peacefully.”

“No, we also are as much accountable for not being able to persuade it. So, there’s no need to apologize. I guess now we know that no one besides Master Reed could have appeased it.”

08 was now off the rails and no telling what it’d do next. The lights in its fists were still going strong along with the flickering red light behind its helmet even after it had struck the final blow.

Owl and Mighty were calm as if they knew this would happen.

They may be of different models, but they were still dolls. Even without having to go wild, they could understand each other’s thoughts.

“First, we need to get out of here. It could collapse at any moment.”

Shin and the others were in a fissure in the mountain.

The towering ground, almost like a wall, was now full of cracks and looked as if it could collapse at any moment.

Also, perhaps reacting to 08’s magic power, red lines like blood vessels were visible on the ground surface.

08 could go on a rampage without a care, but Shin and his party had to secure 08 without completely destroying it.

Even Shin and his party couldn’t be too confident dealing with 08 in a place where anything could happen.


08 roared again at about the same time that Shin and the others began to move away from the reddened ground.

Mana erupted from its entire body, and flames flared up from the ground in response. And the red lines running through the ground emitted a dazzling light.

“Everyone, gather around! Shibaid!!”

“On it!!”

The surging mana, the erupting flames, and the strange glowing lines. All of these things reminded Shin of a certain phenomenon.

He quickly gathered everyone together, and atop the equipped ‘Great Shell Shield of Collision’, deployed a barrier, stacking up the skills.

Shibaid must have sensed the same danger. Without saying a word, he also went on defense.

Furthermore, Schnee put her hands on the ground in sync with Shin and Shibaid. At the same time as their skills were activated, the ground froze around Shin and the others, about several dozen mel.

The explosion occurred almost simultaneously with the freezing of the ground.

Shin and the others’ vision went completely white. A vibration like that of a major earthquake shook their entire bodies, but there was no sound of the explosion as expected.

They could see the blast and flames hitting the barrier, so someone must have used a soundproofing skill to muffle the sound.

“Is everyone good? We’re going to move while keeping the barrier up, okay?”

Shin said after confirming the sound was back.

The smoke from the explosion obscured the surrounding area, but with [Through Sight], they could find their way just fine.

The barrier surrounding Shin and the others also kept out the smoke and dust, making it easy for them to move around as long as they watched their steps. The energy channeled into the ground seemed to have been used up in the explosion, and the lines running like blood vessels were no longer visible.

“It’s not moving.”

“I don’t think it lost sight of us though.”

After the explosion, 08 was standing still, overflowing with magic power.

It wasn’t unscathed from the explosion, but some of its injuries healed rather quickly.

Its faster recovery rate than what was known to Shin probably had something to do with that magic power.

Perhaps because it was in a place with dense mana, its output seemed to be higher than in the combat mode Shin knew.

“Shin! The cliff is collapsing! ”

“Shit. Spread out, everyone! ”

It would appear that the cliff could not withstand the impact of the explosion, and began to collapse almost simultaneously with Filma’s warning.

As someone who resisted the impact of the explosion, Shin would much like to commend it for holding out until now and collapsing immediately.

Blowing away the smoke and dust obstructing their view with a wind technique, the party evacuated to an area without a collapsing cliff.

08 on the other hand, did not move. Nor did it resist the falling rocks and debris flow and soon faded from sight.

“Um, what are we going to do about this?”

“If it stopped functioning, we’d simply dig it out and put it back in the docks, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.”

The light on its helmet was still going strong. Same with the magic power enveloping its entire body.

Kinda hard to believe that it was just going to remain silent and buried in the dirt. And on the map was a white marker at the location where 08 was.

Neither foe, nor ally, nor neutral. A color that indicated a character treated as autonomous gear like a doll.

However, an allied doll would have the same marker as an ally. Reed’s dolls, Owl and Mighty, were blue markers indicating allies.

Since 08 wasn’t officially activated, it seemed that even though it belonged to Reed, it wasn’t considered an ally of Shin. And considering its earlier behavior, it wouldn’t be surprising if it were determined a foe.

“It’s coming out.”

After waiting a while, some of the debris that had flowed into the fissure blew away as if it had exploded.

On account of 08, of course. The color of the marker had turned red, indicating a foe.

“Looks like it’s pretty pumped up. Berett and co., you guys stay back.”

“So sorry about this. Thank you.”

Bowing deeply, Berett and Owl moved out of the way.

Berett would be at a disadvantage given his abilities if he were to join the fight.

Same with Owl. Even though they were both dolls made by Reed, they couldn’t be any further apart in terms of performance with 08. Hence why it was decided in advance to stay away should it devolve into a scuffle.

08 slowly approached them. With its magic power peaking and fully armed. He was completely ready for combat.

“So you’re serious about this, huh?”

“If He sensed that Master Shin, his good friend, is in danger, he’ll probably come back. I’m sure of it.”

“Is that so?”

Shin perceived a certain kind of madness emanating from 08 that a desperate person would give off. It could no longer stop itself. For 08, meeting its creator, Reed, was all that mattered.

“Then come at me with all you got. Maybe that will calm you down a little.”

Pulling out his ‘Scorching Blade’. He asked Schnee and the rest to keep an eye on the surroundings so as to prevent anything from getting in the way.

Shin had already decided that should it come down to it, he would take it on.

After Reed, Shin was the next person involved in its creation, so he felt somewhat obliged.

To take on 08’s bottled-up emotions. Shin didn’t possess enough conviction, determination, or experience to pull off something like that.

He was originally a college student who spent his days attending lectures and working part-time jobs. He survived the Death Game and fought countless battles in this world, but whether or not he had grown deep down comparatively was a different thing.

Most of the battles he’d been through had been killfests with no room for discussion.

With only such experiences on his belt, what could he possibly say to a crazy-ass doll who had gone and lost it from having waited centuries upon centuries for its lord to return.

All he could do now was to serve as an outlet for its emotions. That was all he could come up with.

08 also took a stance as Shin drew his blade.

En garde. Just when everyone there was anticipating that, at that very moment, the ground rumbled.

It wasn’t the aftershock of the impact when 08 slammed its fists into the ground. But an actual earthquake, with the ground itself shaking violently.

“…Of all times, really?”

In this world, earthquakes were rare occurrences.

Even long-lived races such as High Elves and High Pixies were oblivious to the structure of the earth.

In the first place, whether they were caused by interferences between plates as in the real world was still unknown.

Hence, most earthquakes in this world were almost always caused by monsters.

Some roamed beneath the ground, some specialized in earth-attribute magic, some would strongly interfere with the earth itself, and so on. The ground would usually shake under the influence of monsters with such abilities.

And the earthquake this time was simply due to a monster emerging from within. And even if the monster itself didn’t have such intention, its superabundant force would affect the surrounding environment.

“All hands, equip the heat-resistant gear! ”

Shin, who had his eyes on the shaking ground, shouted and leapt backwards.

Immediately afterward, a large burst of flames erupted and burned the area where he was.

“Damn it, was this because of that barrage of blows from earlier?”

The flames were a double spiral of red and blue. Shin knew that combination well.

The earth was scorched.

Unlike with 08, the flames erupted from every corner of the earth, forming a fire that threatened to consume the entire mountain. Looking up, he saw that one of the two mountains, Iira, was on fire.

Shin, who was clad in a heat-resistant cloak and drew another blade, saw the fire take shape.

The fire that had been covering the earth became one huge mass and swelled up. Then, a long flame grew on each side, and then another, slightly toward the sky.

Then they were covered by an orange, stone-like or leather-like material. In a word, they were gauntlets and a mask.

However, they weren’t ordinary gauntlets. Stretching from the hand to the elbow, the thinly armored gauntlets were composed of only the frame hollowed out in places.

The mask was diamond-shaped, with only rectangular holes in the eye area. Everything but the mask and gauntlets were flames, and only these two seemed to be floating in the flames.

It was the calamity manifestation of Iira Suura, the god of fire, which Shin had seen many times back in the game era. A scorching incarnation of two flames over 5-mel in length intertwined together.

The flames of calamity would continue to rage until it got defeated or ran out of fumes.

For players, it used to be just a monster that dropped rare items, but that couldn’t be said of it now.

And the anomaly did not stop there.

‘Shin, look behind 08!’

Upon receiving a Mind Chat from Schnee, he shifted his gaze. Iira Suura was still not fully formed. So he had the leeway to look away.

08 had not moved from its spot. Its face was turned toward Iira Suura, but it wasn’t about to attack.

“Oh fuckin’ hell…you gotta be kidding me!”

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