The Holy City
A city enveloped in a tranquil light .
A holy city protected by a holy barrier .
This was a high level defense barrier developed through many years of arduous study .
This barrier prevented uninvited outsiders from entry and protected the city for over a thousand years .
It is truly the embodiment of the citizens’ prayers .
It can even block sunlight allowing the city’s natural light to be regulated . It is thus brighter in the afternoon and darker at night .
The temperature inside the barrier is mostly fixed throughout the year creating pleasantly cool summers and warm winters .
And thanks to the isolated farmlands, they are able to harvest any season’s crop throughout the year .
A paradise where no one starves .
Every child receives equal education and every citizen is employed .
A paradise of law and harmony .
Such is the Holy City Ruberius of the Holy Empire Ruberion .
Hinata walked down the path leading to the Great Holy Chamber .
The gentle warmth that enveloped her seemed to sooth her heavy heart .
This country is wealthy .
No one hungers or sleeps in the streets .
Everyone is given a role that they respect .
They wake up at the sound of the morning bell and fall asleep at sunset .
Those with superior abilities help those with inferior ones . And this harmony ensures that the citizens’ happy life continues .
A land of equality under god . This reality called the Holy City unfolded before her .
Hinata looked at the faces of nearby citizens .
They all had a tranquil smile on their face .
But, she couldn’t help feel that something was wrong whenever she was in the city .
She could transfer from the Grand Cathedral in the Holy City Ruberius to the Ingracia Kingdom’s Western Saint’s Church in a split second .
These two cities were connected via a grand magic circuit .
Ingracia’s capital was the most advanced city in the world and housed both the Council and the Freedom Association .
Thus, in order to spread the church’s teachings there they prioritized the creation of a direct access into the city .
In fact, around six hundred years ago Ingracia Kingdom and the Holy Empire Ruberion exchanged barrier magic for transfer magic and decided to connect their cities .
As a result, rather than on this holy land, they gained the ability to establish the church’s headquarters in the Ingracia Kingdom .
Hinata, however, found the holy city to be the ideal and sought to create a society that would not need to fight with neither Ingracia Kingdom nor any other state .
She sought a society where the weak was not devoured by the strong .
However, Ingracia Kingdom and the Holy Empire Ruberion were was too incompatible .
And that caused her to feel out of place .
The Free city Ingracia and the Harmonious city Ruberius; truly, they are polar opposites .
And her discomfort only intensified when looking at children’s faces .
She could hear children’s voices coming from the school built adjacent to the Great Holy Chamber .
Perhaps running late, a few children were desperately running towards the building .
Those who could run faster were grasping the hands of those who were slow .
A common scene that was hardly problematic . Yet Hinata found it uncomfortable .
What would happen in Ingracia?
There was a school next to the Church .
So she often saw children playing outside . What was it like?
At the crack of dawn, the belated children ran out the gates with a smile . Those too slow would not be able to learn .
At that time, those who were quick had the proud look as if they obtained what was naturally theirs .
What do you think would have happened to these children who would help others like the kids of Ruberius?
Certainly, none of them would make it to the lesson and be yelled by the teacher .
Of course, they only had to wake up earlier .
Yet this was a trivial difference .
But for some reason Hinata’s discomfort just wouldn’t fade .
What was different?
Are those faster not kind? No, that’s not it .
Though they ignored the slower kids, they did not make fun of them .
Moreover, the slow kids just sheepishly laughed .
They were having fun even while getting yelled at by the instructor .
In that case, what about here in Ruberius?
The kids all have the same facial expression .
A tranquil smile .
The same one as worn by the adults–satisfaction .
And somewhere within that expression was a sense of abandonment, hence the cause of Hinata’s displeasure .
She only started paying attention to this after the Slime Rimuru mentioned his anger regarding the children .
Though it must have been simple nonsense, Hinata unintentionally mulled over his words .
Hinata shrugged off these thoughts .
She couldn’t possibly show such an unsightly appearance before the Seven Celestial Sages .
Last time, immediately after being told that Veldora was reborn, she received a report from the Monsters’ Country Tempest .
As a result, though the Sages had called for her, for some reason they weren’t able to meet with her .
Thus, a week has passed .
That being said, that might have been the first time she had met them as the Seven Celestial Sages . And noticed something she hardly cared about .
Last time, when they were telling her about Veldora, was the first time she had seen them together .
Previously, she would study under each one and move onto the next one immediately ater finishing the training .
And, after graduating as a disciple, she had never met them while receiving her orders .
At most, no more than six had gathered at the same time .
That’s just how strange these people were .
They’ve been probably running around the world for some unknown reason .
If that’s the case, then Veldora’s rebirth is an unimaginably important event .
Since Hinata had never personally endured Veldora’s rampage she was not surprised at the news but could still judge its importance based on the response from the other nations .
So she was probably right in delaying the trip to Tempest .
But she couldn’t just ignore a demon lord who was reigning so close to humans .
And the presence of dangerous monsters only underlined the urgent need to subjugate them all .
But, was this fellow Japanese who reincarnated as a monster truly a hindrance that needed to be removed?
According to their creed, he was undoubtedly a wicked demon .
So why does she feel so lost…?
(I see, I feel lost, huh…)
Hinata was self-reflecting .
Feeling uncertain was unlike her . Thus mocking herself she hardened her heart .
Right, even she could feel lost .
She lived in order to create a “An equal world without struggle” .
A world where children abandoned by their parents could live happily .
Perhaps that was an idealistic and impractical goal . But for Hinata, who was about to resign herself to this fact, the church appeared the embodiment of that ideal .
Since then, Hinata would never doubt the Church’s Creed and systematically worked to propagate it .
Unlike her mother who clung to religion, she was at a position where she protected the creed .
And that was the source of Hinata’s confidence .
Though she didn’t believe in god, she would recognize it as long as it was of use .
Achieving one’s goal was more important .
Thus, she had never faltered since joining the Western Saint’s Church .
And now, for the first time ever, a conflict arose between her thoughts and the church’s teachings .
So she decided to seek advice from her instructors .
Satisfied with this decision she found herself standing in front of the Great Holy Chamber’s doors .
Without faltering, she opened the door and entered .
Ahead sat her instructors the Seven Celestial Sages .
Upon passing through inner chamber she felt the air change .
She was now inside the empire’s absolute defense barrier .
This area was isolated from the outside by a barrier that would prevent anyone not invited from entering .
Hinata proceeded forward in confidence .
The path led along the mountain towards an estate . That’s where she would meet her instructors .
When Hinata arrived, four of them were already seated .
Four among the Seven Celestial Sages .
「I apologize for the delay . I am truly grateful for meeting with me in spite of your busy schedules」
Hinata greeted them .
She lifted her eyes to see the four calmly nodding .
Their faces hidden behind a mask, she couldn’t read their expressions .
「Relax . No need to sit so formally」
「Thanks for coming, Hinata . Are you here about Veldora countermeasures?」
「What a dejected face! That dragon is a natural disaster . Not something we humans can oppose」
「Is something worrying you?」
They asked .
As always, she could not tell which one of them said what, perhaps a single one said every one of those lines .
That’s how strange they are .
Even the instructors said that it’s pointless to fight Veldora .
But does that not go against their creed?
When she asked, they responded that『Dragon Veldora is a monster and is also not a monster』 .
A dragon is actually a holy spirit and is thus a ball of energy .
Therefore they were nearly intangible beings .
And further, they added,
「That annoying dragon recently joined hands with a newborn demon lord」
「Right . That demon lord massacred Farmas’ army」
「Never thought a single being was capable of such a feat」
「An evil dragon and a demon lord joined hands… if we don’t proceed carefully, humanity will fall」
Presently, they weren’t in a state where they could offer resistance .
But that was not something they could permit .
They couldn’t simply consent to an enemy’s rampage just because they were strong .
Hinata lifted her head and looked them in the eyes .
「Pardon this interruption, but I will not run away .
Whether a dragon or a demon lord, I shall bring home victory」
She declared .
She couldn’t forgive herself for thinking that just because the demon lord was a compatriot she could speak to him once .
Perhaps they insisted that we couldn’t handle them out of fear for the demon lord .
Human hearts are weak . Judgment is often clouded by fear .
She found it ridiculous to permit a rampaging being to continue existing .
They should immediately destroy him .
「Don’t be conceited, Hinata . Normal attacks will not hurt that evil dragon」
「Even a hero could only seal him!」
「Your attacks could hardly cause it much damage」
「Angering the opponent would lead to further problems . Do you still insist on trying to defeat him?」
But Hinata would not waver .
If he needed to be defeated, then she would defeat him .
「I have come with a request today」
She replied to their questions .
Honestly, she had wanted to seek advice on how to treat her compatriot who was reborn as a monster, but listening to the report that he joined hands with Veldora and massacred Farmas’ army caused her to reconsider .
As she thought, humans and monsters cannot coexist . They need to be destroyed before they produce further casualties .
Her heart free of worry, she felt at peace .
And she continued quietly .
「I have come seeking permission to use the spiritual weapon」
She quietly waited for their reply .
The Sages’ movements stopped and the room was filled with silence .
Suddenly, boisterous laughter filled the room .
Hinata did no move .
She silently waited for their response .
「Very well, we have witnessed your resolve」
「Perhaps you can defeat him」
「I’ll permit it, this generation’s “Hero” Hinata . We will permit you to use the Spiritual Weapon!」
Spiritual Weapon .
That was a weapon reserved only for heroes and developed in secret by the church as an anti-monster weapon .
As an anti-monster weapon it could only be used by someone loved by the spirits–a hero .
Hinata is loved by the holy spirits .
But, having never sought this ultimate weapon she hadn’t called herself a hero .
Her abilities overwhelmed her enemies so much that she hardly had need for the spiritual weapons…
But not this time .
For Hinata, a hero was something that her original instructor Izawa Shizue spoke of .
A being which was both overwhelmingly strong and overwhelmingly kind .
A being which could make people’s wishes come true .
Hinata understood .
She, whose face were a cruel expression could not become an instrument to fulfill other human’s hopes .
But this time she decided .
She could not permit the existence of monsters .
Perhaps she could not become the people’s hero or grant their wishes… but she could become a sword that would destroy anyone that could do them harm
Even if that was a mistake, she could not allow monsters who would slaughter people without reason to continue existing .
Thus, Hinata called herself a hero .
And she drew a large sword .
One that was larger than she was used to . It was so heavy that a grown man probably couldn’t swing it around .
Swinging it as a human would only harm oneself .
Even a professional weight lifter would not be able to lift this sword .
As someone who favored the rapier, Hinata’s muscles were not overly developed .
Hinata fought by beating her opponent’s speed .
No matter how specialized this weapon was for fighting monsters, it simply did not suit her .
But, with no hesitation, she approached the sword and lifted it with one hand .
With a carefree look on her face, she glanced over the sword .
She could easily swing the tip at the speed of sound and wield the sword as if it was her own body .
Her movements resembled a sword dance .
No problems .
But this was not due to her strength; perhaps a giant could wield it with strength alone .
Hinata was simply using『Weight Manipulation』and『Inertia Manipulation』at the same time .
So this hefty weapon weighed absolutely nothing to her .
And if she increased the weight the moment it made contact with her enemy, she could land a devastating blow .
Furthermore, no matter how fast her opponent, as long as she nullified their inertia she could deflect their blow .
Thanks to her flexible swordsmanship and these skills, Hinata boasted invincibility .
The extra skills included in her unique skill『Usurper』were perfectly managed by the unique skill『Mathematician』 .
That was her strength’s secret .
Not because of the spiritual weapon .
The sword was the product of many years of the Celestial Sages’ research on developing a weapon to counter Veldora…
And Hinata has long ago acquired it .
She did not need the Sages’ permission to wear it; she was herself rejecting it .
She convinced herself to only use it when permitted by the Sages .
And they permitted it .
Hinata released her limiter and returned to her true form .
A thin membrane covered her body transforming into armor .
That was the reason why she did not wear any . That is, she was always wearing it .
That was the hallowed equipment, Saint Armor “Holymail” .
It was woven from high level spirit power and could only be worn by those who surpassed human powers .
Thus transformed clad in holymail, she had the appearance of a true hero .
Clad in the strongest holy armor, with the strongest anti-monster weapon in hand, she set off .