It was curious if that scream was incomprehensible from the start or if the deafening explosion had merely muted it, but regardless, the directional explosion of the spider bombs was directed inwards just as it had been with Kite.
It was indeed a strange sight, and a thunderous roar resounded, and particles rose up and flew as the shockwaves dictated.
The power of destruction swirled up into a single point, and the floor that remained despite its cracks was at long last destroyed, the ground beneath laid bare, yet the explosions showed no signs of abating, giving rise only to a cacophony of deafening musical arrangements.
“Ku, ka ka ka! I might have lost some precious dolls, but it’s a cheap price to pay for an S Rank brain.”
He was certain that the explosion would swallow up the maids and the boy, leaving only his brain for him to retrieve.
“───────Are you really that dumb?”
But a cold voice from Kite rained on his parade.
He was still lying on the ground, but the mockery in his eyes was clear for any to behold. There was even pity in them.
The alchemist turned back to look at him, and though infuriated by his words, he merely snorted.
“Hmph, and here I was wondering who it was. Well, if it isn’t the mad hero. Your hope died just now, I’ll have you know.”
“Putting me aside, it seems you really don’t know who you’re fighting, do you? You keep looking only at the Status, that’s why you can’t make heads or tails of what’s in front of you. Anyone who fights him will lose. No exception.”
“Don’t make me laugh. Just where are you looking…”
“I mean you did turn back to look at me, an enemy, without confirming anything, didn’t you?”
The alchemist tried to dismiss Kite’s words for meaningless mockery, but he had that annoying smile on him, and he even closed one of his eyes like a signal of some sort.
‘Don’t tell me,’ the alchemist thought to himself, but the hero doing that didn’t actually mean anything with that wink.
He just knew that Shinichi loved to make his opponents feel that way before giving them a world of pain.
“Tada! Here’s your consolation prize!”
Just like that.
Shocked, the alchemist spit out dazzling blueish-white blood.
A black arm had penetrated him from behind and through his chest.
And Kite just smiled a crescent moon smile, muttering under his breath, “I knew it.”
“How dare you!? Gaha, cough!?”
The alchemist threw up blood again but turned around nonetheless, and indeed, the boy was there with that usual invincible smile of his.
Not only was he safe, he wasn’t the slightest bit hurt.
All those explosions that should have devoured him and those girls also disappeared without a trace.
Not a hint of destruction nor the scattered pieces of blood and flesh that one would expect could be found.
“Ah, ha ha… Was I useful?” Kite said.
“A little, but I’ll praise you for it. All the time that you bought was definitely useful,” Shinichi said.
The old alchemist yelled furiously, but Kite just ignored him and made a small guts pose.
He was still lying on the ground, but his face was all smiles now. ‘What an easy hero,’ Shinichi thought.
“You’re abandoning that body already? You should take care of your body some more.”
The armored doll was thrown away and was then crushed into scraps the size of a pinky with gravity magic.
But no one paid any attention to it anymore, and instead they all looked at a child that stood some ways away from everyone else.
“That was pretty effective just now, wasn’t it?” Shinichi said.
As expected, the alchemist created his body anew.
He wore that same youthful face as before, but there was now an inconcealable anguish on it.
“Uu, gu… I can’t believe you actually managed to hurt the soul directly without relying on holy magic. *Cough *Cough!?”
A dazzling blueish-white blood spilled out of his mouth once again.
Evidently, it was not the blood of his body but that of his soul.
The old alchemist threw that up many times while furiously glaring at Shinichi in pain.
After all, behind Shinichi could be seen the maids completely unharmed as they rested against the rubble.
Such a scene was tantamount to saying that the attack he was so proud of was meaningless.
“You actually got everyone out of that unharmed!? Even if you’re an S Rank, that’s just ridiculous! What kind of foul trick did you pull, boy!”
“So he was only hurt that much. As expected, this is going to be troublesome.”
The alchemist had no idea what the boy had done, but he howled madly nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Shinichi just muttered to himself.
That attitude of his poured oil into the flames, turning the youthful face of the old alchemist red from rage, but the boy just continued.
──I’d intended to kill him too.
In the end, it appears that he still recognized him as ‘human’.
Though of course, it was ironic how he could find such an act to still be ‘gentle’.
But regardless, his inability to kill was a troublesome problem against someone who could just keep remaking their body.
After all, there was not much point in hurting someone like that.
He might try to crush the pride and intent to fight of most other foes, but against this old alchemist, he would have to take a different approach.
But of course, it was precisely because he’d expected this that he’d judged their battle to be time-consuming.
“Are you trying to say that I’m not even worth your time? How dare you! If you survived once, then that just means I need to try aga— The link’s been cut!?”
But then again, this was just business as usual.
While Shinichi thought that to himself, he quietly dropped the objects held in his hand, and as they clattered on the ground, what was revealed were 11 pebbles smaller than the tip of the pinky.
“Those are— Damn you! How did you get those things? Those were lodged inside their heads!”
But Shinichi just smirked without saying anything and quietly crushed all of those underfoot.
“Indeed, the question begs itself, does it not? How? Leading us to part three of our exposition, which I’d hope that you could fill once again. I mean you are smart enough for that, right—”
There have been many cases where he met an opponent that he struggled to harm physically, but against this alchemist, the information he had was already too excessive.
Whether it was his identity, his goal, the problems surrounding it, his limits, his contradictions… He knew everything – right from the very beginning.
And when taken into account his presently easily irritable personality, there was indeed nothing to worry about.
Hence, from here on was simply the events progressing as they naturally ought to.
And one by one, from the alchemist’s confidence, to his trump cards, to his wish, to his desires… Shinichi would crush them all.
“────Johann Schubal Earthgant, a pitiful king and a depraved father.”
The blood-stained crescent moon smile of the