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Chapter 231 Labyrinth Encroachment Part 6
Apito and Beretta, who were fighting against Dino, suddenly disappeared.
Although they had sealed his legs and were continuously torturing him, it all came to an end all too suddenly.
Telling himself that it was probably his imagination that the torture was slowly starting to feel good, he started thinking of the reason behind Apito and Beretta’s disappearance.
What’s with them?–Dino had thought but it only took him a moment,
As the reason soon became clear.
He had detected an enormous energy signature, approaching at an insane speed.
As the floors inside the labyrinth differed in dimensions, it gets difficult to detect with ‘Magic Detection’ if something is even a few floors apart.
However, that signature was blatant and showed no signs of concealment and even while it was coming from a few floors apart, it was caught by Dino’s detection.
“Oi, Ramiris! What is going on here?”
And the reply to that was,
[Umm, for the time being, the fight is on hold. If you want to continue the fight, let’s meet again later!]
An ambiguous reply.
(I see, that Zero completed the labyrinth encroachment so those guys are in a hurry to escape.
Alright, nice, I am also probably saved with this.)
Judging that he was able to escape from the danger, Dino chuckled.
But that was a very naive thought.
Having assimilated with the labyrinth, just as Rimuru and the others predicted, Zero had completely lost his reasoning power.
At the end, his sense of self was just cultivated through implanted knowledge.
In front of great power, he couldn’t resist and became an existence which only acts on instinct.
However, that was also according to what Velda had predicted.
Zero will absorb the surroundings energy, multiply and enlarge.
And then, he will bring destruction upon that area.
That was exactly the way to operate the completed Aji Dahaka.
Even a strong being like Zero is nothing but an activation medium for it.
The stronger the medium is, the stronger Aji Dahaka’s rampaging state will be.
Not to mention that the labyrinth’s insides make replenishment of vast energy extremely easy.
The evil dragon which was born, sublimated all the energy it had absorbed at once and turned into an existence which can even be called the 6th dragon species.
And, abiding by its evil dragon-like instincts, it began the elimination of all life forms inside the labyrinth.
Its name is–”Mad Evil Dragon” Zero.
Malice bared its fangs.
The trembling inside the labyrinth started growing .
The reason behind it was because the source of the vibration was closing in on the floor Dino and the others were on.
“Hey, is it just me, or do you also have a bad feeling about this…?”
“What a coincidence. I also do, Pico–”
Gracia and Pico conversed anxiously.
And towards those two,
“Oi, you two, that is fine, just help me get my legs loose!
Beretta, that bastard, he left, leaving the floor all metal.”
Yelled Dino, struggling to get his legs out of the metal floor.
It was probably not fun for him, being completely forgotten like that.
“Ahaha, sorry, sorry. But, I am surprised such an unpleasant ability exists.
Can’t you apotheosize and turn yourself into energy?”
“I can’t. This stupid annoying ability also has jamming waves flowing through it…”
“That demon doll, he seemed much stronger than when we fought, after all.”
Being trapped by physical things–such a disgrace for a spiritual life form, huh, Dino?”
“Shaddap. Just help me already, Pico.”
“You got what you deserved, Dino. It’s because you’re always so lazy that you have to go through these situations.
If you had gone all out, you might have been able to avoid this, right?”
“I wonder? I was pretty serious. At the very least, I endured the pain seriously!”
Pico and Gracia looked at him as if they were looking at an idiot.
‘If you had the time to be serious about the pain, why not be serious about escaping from it?’–was what could be clearly read from their expressions.
“W-what is it, ganging up on me like that? Even I was thin–”
Just as Dino was about to say something, ‘that’ had reached their floor.
That being Zero, who had lost all sense of ally and foe due to an extreme feeling of hunger.
“Uwaa… how do I say this, that Zero, seems like a different guy…?”
“Or rather, that, is it really Zero?”
“This is bad, he seems to have lost all senses. Aren’t we in danger, as well?”
The three were dumbfounded but it was Gracia who realized the danger first.
And the bad feeling they were getting a while ago was indeed appropriate.
Just as their eyes met, Mad Evil Dragon Zero came attacking the three.
Pico and Gracia were saving their energy for their escape.
Gracia came forward and blocked Zero’s tentacle attack.
The ‘Circle Shield’ Gracia had equipped on her left hand had transformed into a ‘Huge Shield’ unfitting of her slender body, and she kept on blocking the lance-like tentacles one after another.
Its shape had resembled Gerudo’s Huge Shield a lot and the abilities were also about equal in general.
Gracia was originally a warrior specialized in defense.
However, Zero–Mad Evil Dragon Zero, who had now assimilated with the labyrinth, had tentacles radiating in all directions, making it possible for him to attack in all directions, as well.
It was impossible to block them all off with just one shield and as such, Gracia’s situation did not look good.
Protected by Gracia, Pico created several spears to negate the tentacles.
But even that attack didn’t have much of an effect in front of the unlimited tentacles.
There’s no way they could match up to the Mad Evil Dragon Zero, who possessed the amount of power the dragons did.
Pico and Gracia’s energy were shaved off very fast and that, on the other hand, increased Mad Evil Dragon Zero’s strength.
“This is bad! At this rate, we will run out of energy and be eaten alive!”
“What do we do? Even with my defense, we won’t last long with this in front of us.
There’s a limit to how many shields I can create, you know?!”
At the moment, the two of them were protecting themselves but as long as the fundamental problem of not being able to defeat Zero persisted, they would just be prolonging the delay until their death.
On top of that, there wasn’t much time to think.
Mad Evil Dragon Zero could absorb the labyrinth’s energy but Pico and Gracia had no choice but to use their personal energy.
(What do we do? At this rate, we will get annihilated. But, then Velda-sama will–)
Dino was troubled.
–Dino, think carefully. Veldanava and Velda are different beings, you know?–
Remembering Ramiris’ words, he strengthened his resolve.
(That’s right, that’s exactly it. Why was I hesitating over something like this?
Why was I trying to release Dagrule, to make him fall into depravity?
Wasn’t it all to get over Veldanava-sama’s death?
It is true that he still possesses his memories but his personality–even the way he thinks is like that of a completely different person…
It’s weird when I think about it. Is it possible that he also controlled my thoughts?
Either way, taking care of Zero comes first now!)
Dino tightened his fists and punched his cheeks with all his strength.
There was no pain. However, he could feel quite the damage to his brain.
But with that punch, all the cloudy troubles inside Dino got blown away.
“Oi, you guys! I have decided to rise against that Velda bastard!
But what will you guys do? Will you–”
“Ahhhhh, geez! Who cares about such trivial stuff, just save us you good-for-nothing!!”
“That’s right, Dino. If you don’t hurry, my shield will be pierced, you know?
I have been creating defensive shields continuously for a while now but all of them are being destroyed.
With my strength, even buying time will be–”
“Besides, Dino, I don’t think this world is such a bad place.
The fried squid I had when we sneaked into this country was pretty delicious too.”
“I heard it had demon ingredients mixed in but it was pretty good, huh?”
“And so, I actually didn’t really want this war.
I just came along ‘cause you said you would follow Velda.”
“That’s right, Dino. We follow you.”
Dino couldn’t hide his honest surprise to Pico and Gracia’s reactions.
He was perplexed by how they didn’t have any loyalty towards Velda, who was equivalent to even God.
However, at the same time, he thought that, as he suspected, he was probably under Velda’s control.
“Alright, got it. Seems like I made you guys wait a bit.”
Dino said with a smile of no doubt.
And while smiling, ‘And so, Pico, do something about this metal holding my feet!’ he asked Pico refreshingly–but don’t tell anybody about this.
Dino came forward with a daring smile.
He had Pico destroy the ground and was successful in escaping.
“Now, then. I guess I will go all out for once.”
Muttered Dino, who normally looked very sleepy but now had his eyes wide open.
“Divine armament manifestation!”
For the first time in a long while, Dino apotheosized and turned his body into battle form.
His appearance was blazing with splendor, with 6 pairs of wings. Shining black and white wings.
He had attired himself with a jet black pastor-like formal clothing and summoned 2 swords.
Excalibur and Caliburn.
On top of it being a God level weapon, it was also tempered thoroughly with ‘Star Heart’.
White and black, holy sword and demon sword.
Excalibur, which shone like gold, and Caliburn, with a jet black body and star mount.
Maneuvering those two extreme opposite swords skillfully with both hands, that was Dino’s way of fighting. He was a dual-wielding swordsman.
Using the Gods’ greatsword Crumbling Fang was only his temporary fighting style and it was also how Ramiris knew Dino wasn’t serious.
As Dino had not trained using a greatsword with both hands, he was only relying on his Ultimate Skill: Slothful King Belphegor’s Hyper Mode to fight.
If Dino had brought out his two swords, his skill would even excel that of Albert or Grasword.
The strongest swordsman in this world, that was Dino.
Dino casually walked forward and lined up with Gracia, who was blocking the tentacles.
“Leave the rest to me.”
And just as he said that, he cut off all the tentacles in an instant.
Gracia took a breather.
It had been more than a thousand years since she saw Dino in this form but, as always, it gave her that sense of security.
(Good grief… you’re so lazy…)
On contrary to her thoughts, Gracia had a smile on her face.
“Go, Dino! Send that monster flying!”
Pico cheered for Dino.
Dino responded to her cheers by slightly shrugging his shoulders.
And, at that moment.
Metallic footsteps could be heard.
Someone was walking towards them calmly.
And then, that person asked Dino,
“Is that your true form?
Even the seal of ‘Death Butterfly’ I carved on you disappeared, eh?
It stands to reason. As I thought, my eyes hadn’t misjudged.
So? Are you ready to apologize to Ramiris-sama?”
The guy who came, Zegion, asked, without even showing any sign of surprise towards Dino’s transformation.
He probably guessed as much when he couldn’t completely control Dino.
That Dino’s true power rivals that of Zegion–or perhaps even exceeds him.
“Yea, sorry about that, Ramiris.”
Dino honestly apologized to Ramiris.
Ramiris’ reaction towards that–
[Hoooohhohohohoh! Seems like my righteousness has been proved, huh!
Fine, I will forgive you! And so, Dino–
Defeat that Evil ‘Dragon species’ already!]
Was as such.
Dino gave a bitter smile and then his expression stiffened.
He noticed how Ramiris mentioned ‘Dragon species’ there.
(Good grief, Zero, that bastard… So he took in the labyrinth and evolved into a dragon, eh?
No–That’s exactly what Velda aimed for, giving him Aji Dahaka.
If so, I can’t think of anything other than him trying to use and destroy his subordinates.
Certainly–such a guy can not possibly be Veldanava-sama’s reincarnation.)
Dino stood, without any doubt in his mind.
“So, will you help me out, Zegion?”
Hearing Zegion’s unhesitant reply, Dino smiled.
Dino casually threw his sword to Zegion.
That was Dino’s favorite temporary weapon, Gods grade Crumbling Fang.
“I will let ya have that. I need to defeat this guy quick and pay my debts to Velda.”
Zegion lightly nodded and said ‘I shall accept’ and caught the sword with one hand.
He then went and sheathed the sword on his back.
And at that moment, the Crumbling Fang started shining dazzlingly.
By the time that light settled down, a pair of wings had grown on Zegion’s back.
That was the Crumbling Fang’s newborn appearance after having combined with Zegion.
It was the moment Zegion’s new ability, ‘Crumbling Feather’ was born.
“….It accepted you as it’s master quite easily.
Looks like I wasn’t accepted by it even at the end, huh?”
Zegion didn’t pay any heed to Dino and turned to face Pico and handed over the thing he was holding in his other hand.
It was the mini dragon Gaia.
Before Zegion went to defeat Zero, he searched the labyrinth and took Gaia with him.
“This dragon is Demon Lord Rimuru-sama’s pet. Treat with utmost sincerity.”
“Eh, ah? Wait?!”
Pico became flustered.
She lamented ‘why me?!’ but it was quite an appropriate role.
As long as Gracia focuses solely on defense, there’s no one else free.
Even while doing all these, the tentacle attacks didn’t pause for a moment.
Dino brushed it all aside.
And then, the preparations of the ones left behind in the labyrinth was complete.
Dino and Zegion.
Next, it was their turn to attack.