67: Barrier Muuk of the Four Heavenly Kings


We advanced through the desert.
I looked at the widely spreading battle in the far distance using "Clairvoyance" and "Attentive Ears".

Barrier Muuk and the Ocean Goddess Lilille are squaring off against each other at the World Tree's stump with its diameter of several kilometers.


Barrier Muuk, whose body is shining golden, is laughing.
"Come at me, I'll let you attack three times. I'll teach you that you can't do anything to me. Fuhahaha"

I look at him with "Truth Sight".
--------------------
[Status]
Name: Barrier Muuk
Race: Demon Ogre
Job: Demon Lord Army Special Forces Captain
Attribute: "Grudging Darkness"

Attack Strength: 9999
Defense Strength: 800
Vitality: 1900
Mental Strength: 500
Auto Recovery: 300

[Skills]
Strike:
Kick:
Sonic Wave: Emits a shock wave when swinging the arms. Range Attack.

[Data]
All attacks are invalidated.
[Equipment]
Cloth cloak
Cloth pants
Holy beat gold skin: Plated with holy beat gold.
--------------------
Hmm? He doesn't seem that strong.
Even Celica or Minya could defeat him if their attacks would get through.
He isn't even a commander.
That beat gold. Has he coated himself in it. That's quite the bad taste.


"I don't mind. Well then, first..."
Lilille kicked the ground and her white habit is spinning around.
Sand is whirled up as she lunges at Barrier Muuk.
"Ha!"
High-spiritedly, she punches him with her water-covered fist.

*dogooon!*

The air and the ground are shaking violently.
An attack of a goddess, who has an attack strength of 8.88 million.


However, Barrier Muuk is standing firmly.
"Mh? Did you do something? It neither hurts nor itches though. Fuhaha!"
"Ku, just as rumored, isn't it?"
Lilille takes a step back.

I wondered why she attacked when she already knew that it wouldn't work.
But I soon realized, that she did it to show it to me. The information might prove useful.

But how can that be?
Even though physical attacks are ineffective, he should at least be blown away.
Is the generated energy completely absorbed?
No, such a counter-effect shouldn't exist.


Lilille waved her arms. Just by doing that, a giant wave appeared behind her with a "zaa".
Heh. She summoned a part of the ocean while probably making sure to not influence the ocean itself.

"Waves of the ocean, gather in my hands..."
The giant wave behind Lilille's hands forms a blue belt and blue light is gathering.

"...'Aqua Laser'!"
Extremely compressed water becomes a straight line and is released from her hands.

It would even slice the scales of a dragon like paper!

*bashii!*

A violent shock hit Barrier Muuk.
However, it only bounces with a *bashabasha* in front of his golden colored body.
He calmly stands with his arms crossed.

"Mh? This is your best afford!? This isn't serious at all."
Barrier Muuk is laughing loud with a "ahaha".


Lilille flicks her togue with a "Tsk"
Her beautiful face distorts into a fierce grimace.

"As expected, it's still ineffective... then, one more time..."
Lilille waves her thin arms. Again, a giant wave appears behind her.

"Don't you have any other skills? It seems you can't entertain me any further!"


Lilille disregarded him and brings her hands in front of her chest.
"Oh great ocean, fill the space --'Aqua Pool'"

An about 100 meter high column of blue water rises with Barrier Muuk in its center.
It's several hundered meters wide and the millions of tons of water are sparkling.
Lilille is also enclosed by the water column and her white veil and habit are swaying.


It's a plain magic that simply gathers water.

However, Barrier Muuk grasps his throat and white bubbles are leaking from his mouth.
"*Gulp*... *Gurgle*"

Barrier Muuk tries to swim, but the water column moves with him.

--Oh. Did that kill him?
"I wonder about that... I'm not sure"


Barrier Muuk stopped moving after he let out some more white bubbles.
One minute passed, two minutes passed.

Five minutes later.
"Might this, have killed him?"


--Then.
Barrier Muuk raises his head. He has a suggestive, large smile on his face.
Then he swung his golden arms.

*zudoonn!*

The water column was blown away and the water scattered around the desert.

"Fuhaha! Any attacks and magic are powerless before me! I thought you knew that!"
"Wh, What!? Even the 'Aqua Pool'!"


--It, It can't be!
Is even magic invalidated that doesn't target him specifically?!

This made the method I came up with impossible.
I thought about creating a vacuum and letting him suffocate.

I just have no idea how the invalidation works.


I telepathically spoke to her.
--Let's retreat for now! Lilille!

Barrier Muuk approached Lilille with a grin on his face.
"Those were your three tries, right? --Then, it's my turn!"

Barrier Muuk jumped from the World Tree's stump.
He's fast enough to leave a golden trail behind.
He extends his fist at a lunging speed.


"Ah!"
Lilille immediately tried to avoid it but didn't make it in time!

*dogooo!*

Barrier Muuk's golden arm pierced through Lilille's stomach.

"*Guha!*"
All her breath leaves Lilille's mouth as she is blown away.

Shouldn't she have had a defense value of about 17 million!?
His attacks shouldn't go through!

I looked at Lilille with "Truth Sight" at once.
--------------------
Name: Lilille
Vitality: 79.76 million / 88.65 million
Mental strength: 79.76 million / 89.35 million

Attack strength: 8.88 million
Defense strength: 17.7 million
Magical offense strength: 26.7 million
Magical defense strength: 17.94 million
--------------------
It decreased by 10%!?
Damage 8.89 million...!?

Is Barrier Muuk's attack strength added to Lilille's attack strength!?

Eh? Does he ignore defense values? I don't get it!
I think I've never heard of such an attack.


Lilille lies in the desert.
"*kaha!* ...that hit hard"
She bleeds while she is raising her upper body.

Barrier Muuk stretched his arm out.
"I'll show you how to attack! --Heh!"
He swings his golden arms at a high speed.
A whirlwind is welling up. It's a fierce wind.
It's comprised of strong magical power!


--Avoid it, Lilille!

Lilille is standing up while she is staggering and is blown to the side.

*zaann!*

"*Aa*...!"
Blades of wind are cutting her from her chest to her left arm. Red splashes are scattering.
--------------------
Name: Lilille
Vitality: 53.06 million / 88.65 million
Mental strength: 89.33 million / 89.35 million

Attack strength: 8.88 million
Defense strength: 17.7 million
Magical offense strength: 26.7 million
Magical defense strength: 17.94 million
--------------------
It decreased by 30%. --No, exactly by 26.7 million!
He ignores the magical defense strength and deals damage equal to her magial offense strength!

Is it some kind of magic reflection!?
But in that case, the conditions are strange.
I looked at Barrier Muuk's status but it hasn't changed.
Just what does this mean!


--Run away somehow, Lilille!
"I... can't afford to die--"

Lilille chants while she tries to stand up and blood is flowing from the corner of her mouth.
"--'Flow Wave'"

With a *zazaza*, a cloud of sand if rising and moves Lilille at a high speed.
She is faster than the wind. That's what I'd call god speed.


Barrier Muuk starts to walk with big steps.
"Where do you think you're going? Don't think you can get away from me! Hahaha"
Then he broke into a run and chased after Lilille.

Astonishingly, he can keep up with her godly speed.
A cloud of sand is magnificently rolled up.


--This is bad, he catches up to you! Come here!
"I don't want to cause any trouble to you--"
"It'll be even more troubling if you die! My dream will be over!"
"I guess you're right... I'm sorry. I'll come to you"

Lilille changed her course and headed into our direction.


I ordered everyone to stop.
We're in front of the last sand dune. Once we cross it we can see the World Tree's stump.

"Everyone, stop! Prepare for battle! Fioria, take Rii and run away!"
"Yes!" "All right" "Understood"
"Lapisia, you'll heal the saint"
"Understood!"


We climbed the sand dune and a white habit appeared on top of a cloud of sand.
The saint smiles exhaustedly.
"I'm sorry to trouble you--*Aa!*"

*zaann!*

A blade of wind cuts into Lilille's back.
Red blood is scattering while she tumbles down the sand dune's slanting.
Her HP are at 26.36 million. She'll die with the next magic attack.

I run up the sand dune.
"Lapisia! I'll heal her and you'll fight! Celica and Minya will act as your support!"
"""Yes"""
Lapisia can't heal her fast enough.
Although she restores 420000 HP, this isn't enough for this god.


I embraced Lilille. Her white habit is stained with blood.
I chant while I sprinkle some water from my gourd.
"--'Recovery'"
The wounds are rapidly closing and she starts to recover.
Just, it'll take some time. She has too many HP!


The girls are standing like they are protecting me while I'm holding Lilille.


--Then.
A golden radiance appeared above the dunes.
Barrier Muuk looks down at us while he is basked in the sunlight.
"Kuhaha! So she had companions here. I'll be your opponent once I've killed that woman!"

"I won't let you!"
Celica unsheathed her rapier. A blue coldness is rising from the blade.
Next to her, Lapisia is clutching her fists and blocks the route.

"Oh. Does this mean, you want to die first? ...Well, I don't mind. I'll teach you that it's futile, no matter what kind of attack you use. Now then, I'll let you attack three times. Then you should know despair! Kuhaha!"
--He again lets himself attacked three times, huh?
Just why does he go through such lengths?

I catch my breath.
I get that there is a possibility that the three attacks might be some kind of trigger.
However, I have too little information.
I didn't have the time to thoroughly investigate.


Lilille has only recovered half of her HP.
I can't move yet--!
Celica and Minya definitely can't win.
There was no other choice left but to rely on a miracle by the Mother Earth God.

"Go, Lapisia! Buy us some time!"
"Understood, Keika!"
Lapisia is clutching her fists, swings her white dress and runs up the sand dune.

Barrier Muuk crosses his arms on top of the sand dune while looking down on her.
"You're just a small brat, but you seem to be strong. I'll look forward to whatever attacks you have!"


However!
Lapisia suddenly turns around after she had almost reached Barrier Muuk.
Tears are floating in her golden eyes while she comes back.

"Wh, what's wrong, Lapisia!?"
"Curse! Scary! Hate!!"
"Eh!? Curse!?"

Where is there a curse...?
The cloak and pants are just made of cloth. And that's just normal beat gold.

A curse? A curse--.


I spontaneously yelled out.
"--Ahh! So that's how it is!!!"
I over-enthusiastically put strength in my arms, and Lilille, who is held by me, lets out a "*Fugyaa*".


Lapisia rushed down and went behind me. She firmly grabs my clothes while she trembles.

I smiled to Lapisia in that state.
"Great, Lapisia. This is your achievement. I didn't notice it because it wasn't written in the status. There were also no signs of it. Or rather, the curse is probably hidden by the beat gold."
"I, great? Scary, good?"
"You're the best. You're probably the only one who would notice it with your trauma in curses"

Lilille mutters in my arms.
"Wh, What on earth...?"
"First, he lets you attack three times. That in itself is a trap. He has a curse that curses attacks and returns them, so to speak, he's like an evil spirit. That would adequately explain the unbelievable damage."
Normally, defense ignoring magic reflection is impossible. The magic is the same.
But if it's returned by a curse that works outside the system, it's possible.

And he wasn't chasing after her with that godly speed, but it was an effect of the curse that kept him within a certain distance.


I handed Lilille over to Lapisia.
"Lapisia, I'll let you heal Lilil...the saint"
"Understood! Cuuuuure--Cuuuuure"
A strong light is released from Lapisia's palms many times over.

I held my gourd and stood up.
Barrier Muuk is about to escape.
"What do you plan to do? Don't come!"


I rush up to the top of the sand dune. I can see the World Tree's stump on the other side.
Without any hesitation, I splash water from my gourd at Barrier Muuk, who tries to flee.
"Your secret was exposed! --Pure streamlet flowing through valleys Wash evils away and cleanse--'Purification Pure Water'"

Barrier Muuk is screaming while his skin is burning. The golden color is peeling off and brown meat can be seen, that goes up in black smoke.
"GyaAAA!"
Barrier Muuk is writhing while more and more darkness is gushing out from him and his body is decaying.

At the end, there was only the flesh on his bones left and he became like a zombie.
I look at him with "Truth Sight".
--------------------
[Status]
Name: Barrier Muuk
Race: Demon Ogre
Job: Demon Lord Army Special Forces Captain
Attributes: "Darkness"

Attack strength: 1111
Defense strength: 800
Vitality: 1000
Mental strength: 500
--------------------
Oh, the "Grudging Darkness"-attribute disappeared, now it's just "Darkness".
I got it right.

For the time being, he seems to have changed back into a simple monster.
 
I unsheathe my Tachi and sprinkle water from my gourd onto it.
"--Abiding by the name Keika Hiko-no-Mikoto, o small streamlet flowing since the age of gods, gather to form a raging torrent"


Barrier Muuk still came attacking with his tattered body.
"How dare you... The strongest power that I got from Demon Lord-sama... I won't forgive youuu!"

I swing my blue glowing Tachi.
"Perish, evil spirit! --'Water Demon Slashing Destroyer'!"

*zuaaan--!*

"*GyaAAAA*!"
Barrier Muuk was split right in half from his head and turned to dust, which was blown away by the wind, as he crumbled down.


I swing my Tachi and sheath it.
"That really was some troublesome guy."

Celica climbed up from below the sand dune.
"Thank you for your hard work, Keika-sama."
"It was easy once I knew the cause. One should have first either cleansed or blessed him without attacking to undo the curse. But if he instigates you to attack him three times, the normal reflex is to attack. It was a blind spot."

Lilille's wounds were healed and she spoke to me.
"Thank you very much, Keika-san. You literally saved the world."
"You're exaggerating...although, isn't that actually right?"
The oceans were about to die and the people probably with them.
It almost became impossible for me to become a god in this world.

Lilille nodded while she smiles more beautiful than in the painting.
"I'll be in your care from now on"
"By the way, where's the egg?
"Ah... I threw it away while I escaped. I have to go pick it up."
"That was a good judgement. Shall we go then?"


--Then
Somewhat in the distance, cheers came from next to the Word Tree's stump.
When I looked with "Claivoyance", a group of people with long ears and green hair was making merry.
There were 200 people. All of them were elves.

When I looked closer, Fioria and Rii were with them.
"Look! The hero Keika-sama has defeated the loathsome Barrier Muuk of the Four Heavenly Kings!"
"That's the power of a hero!" "To think he defeated Barrier Muuk!" "What strength!" "Amazing!" "He's the god who protected the World Tree"
Cheers are resounding in the blue sky.


I see, since I defeated him on top of the sand dune, it should have been visible from the other side.
And Barrier Muuk certainly stood out.

Minya brings the Sand Lizards and the luggage.
"Just as expected, you're strong, Keika-oniichan. I love you."
"It's thanks to everyone. I was helped by being able to observe the saint's battle and by Lapisia's instinct."
"I, great?"
"Yes, you've done great, Lapisia"
She squints her eyes and lets out a "Ehehe" when I pat her blue hair.


After that, we headed toward the World Tree's stump to join the elves.