“I’m going to try and find a way to return. Will you be okay?”

‘There’s still time before the killing begins. However, it will be hard to do anything once it does.’

Against those with the sage’s gift, Tomochika’s physical combat ability would not be enough to deal with them.

“Contact me if things get dangerous. I’ll figure it out.”

‘How will you do that?’

“Well, I’ll be able to do it, using a method that I don’t really want to use.”

‘Fine. But hurry up and get back here!’

The call ended.

He decided to move towards the forest for now, but then realized that there was a lot of noise coming from close by.

Someone was causing a racket and coming closer to them.

“NOOOOO! Wh-why are you attacking me!? I thought you were going to let me go!!”

The voice sounded familiar.

The person who was speaking soon came out of the forest and showed themself.

“Eeeeeee!”

The person who appeared was a chubby boy, who fell onto his hands and knees the moment that he saw Yogiri. And he continued to slide down in that posture.

Yogiri saw him and remembered something.

“Hanakawa, was it? Why are you in a place like this?”

“Isn’t that what I should be asking you!?”

This boy was a classmate, Hanakawa Daimon.

“Now that I think of it, I did say I would kill you if we met again.”

Yogiri only had vague memories of dealing with Hanagawa. It was probably because he wasn’t really interested.

“But you didn’t say that!? You only told me to wait in the forest!”

“Really? Then why are you here?”

Then Yogiri started to remember.

Hanakawa had come because he was targeting Tomochika, who had stayed on the bus.

Yogiri had killed the other two who were with him. That’s when Hanakawa had put on some slave collar and demanded to be made his slave.

And so Yogiri took all of Hanakawa’s valuables and ordered him to wait in the nearby forest.

After that, they reunited in the devil tower for some reason, and then he ordered him to wait in the forest again.

“Uh…it’s because of…”

Hanakawa muttered as he kept his head on the ground and moved behind Yogiri.

While Yogiri was impressed by this astonishing feat, something else came from the forest.

What appeared were semi-transparent blobs.

They were shapeless, jelly-like things that were so large that you had to crane your neck to look at them fully. There was something that looked like garbage inside as well. When you looked back into the forest, it was as if everything that had been in their path had been melted down. Perhaps they incorporated those things into their bodies.

While they had no solid shape, there were leg-like extensions that came out and supported their bodies as they moved.

Such were the things that crawled out from the trees.

“Die.”

After that, Yogiri sensed a clear hostility from them, and so he unleashed his power.

The blobs immediately became powerless and fell apart on the ground. The only thing that remained was a heap of wet garbage.

“You’re as crazy as ever!”

Hanakawa shouted from behind him.

“So?”

Yogiri told him to continue his story.

“Uhh, yes, the thing is…”

Perhaps it was very difficult to say, because Hanakawa seemed to be unable to begin.

“Look here. If you’re thinking of a way to trick me, why even bother? You should know how hard it is to continue to tell lies that are consistent.”

At this point, Hanakawa seemed to have understood that it was no use. And so he gravely started to explain, while remaining on the ground.

“Ummm. It’s a long story, but a lot happened after we separated.”

“Well, nevermind. I’ve got better things to do than listen to you.”

“You only care about yourself! You!”

“So this is the seventh layer. I want to return to the sixth. Do you know how?”

“What a strange thing to say. Why don’t you just go back the way you came?”

“Because I fell. I can’t go back that way.”

“Then how are you alive!?”

“I killed my momentum.”

“Ugh. Anything goes with you, huh!”

“So, how did you come here, Hanakawa?”

“Uhh, that’s a long story. But going back up is no big deal. There is a shortcut that you can apparently use to travel to different places in the demon world.”

“All right, then take me to it.”

“R-right. That is fine, but something terrible is happening here on the seventh layer. Those blob things are crawling all over the place. So, if you could just protect me as we move…”

“Of course, I’ll protect you. I won’t know how to get back if you die.”

“Do you mean it? Oh, let’s pretend I didn’t just say that!”

Hanakawa stood up.

Then he started to walk, but Yogiri stopped him.

“Wait a minute. Take this person with you.”

Yogiri pointed to the fallen David.

“Ohh! There was another one! And you want me to take him? You should do it yourself.”

“I’m telling you to carry him.”

“Why me!”

“You are level 99. Shouldn’t it be easy for you? Also, can’t you use healing magic?”

“Ggg…why me…and a guy…”

Hanakawa grumbled but still used his healing magic. This seemed to heal David’s wounds, but he did not wake up. And so Hanakawa reluctantly carried him on his back.

“Well, it’s not too far from here. After all, I was moving towards it, even while those weird things were chasing me.”

Yogiri followed after Hanakawa.

They entered the forest yet again and walked for some time until they reached the cliffs.

This was the edge of the seventh layer.

Now that they were here, they walked along the side of the cliffs.

“Really, isn’t it quite strange how those crawling, jelly-like things have suddenly stopped showing themselves?”

“I’ve been killing the blobs as they approach.”

Perhaps they could detect their presence, because the semi-transparent things kept coming, one after another.

And so Yogiri had been killing them whenever he noticed that they were nearby.

As they came from so many directions, it was unlikely that Hanakawa would have been able to deal with all of them.

“Ohhh! How reliable you are! However, don’t you think you should express at least a little more anxiety over it!?”

“Speaking of anxiety, why do you talk like that? It’s annoying.”

“What a thing to ask at a time like this! Well, uh, um, I have my reasons for being the way I am.”

“Whatever. I’m not really interested in you.”

“Then don’t ask in the first place!”

As this conversation went on, they arrived at what seemed to be their destination.

There was a metal door attached to a wall made of rock.

And on the door was a great handle that seemed to be keeping it shut.

“Hehe! I happen to be the person who received complete control over this demon world!”

As Hankawa approached, the door opened automatically.

Apparently, it could only be opened by the person who managed the place.

The interior was a small, rectangular room. It seemed like some kind of elevator.

“Now. You wanted to go to the sixth layer, right? I want to get out of here as soon as possible, so once I leave Takato and the others on the sixth layer, I’m going to go to the first…”

“But this thing can’t be controlled without you, right? Then you’ll just have to stay with me.”

“That’s true!”

Hanakawa’s face tightened.

If the person who could teleport died in the battle on the sixth layer, he would lose the only method of getting back.

As this was quite likely now, Yogiri was not about to let Hanakawa escape.

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