Campione! / Campione! Vol 13 Chapter 5


Chapter 5 – Black Blade, Hitherto Unawakened
Part 1
Directed by the goddess, lightning descended from the thunderclouds.
Godou, Yuri and Ena had jumped into the stream together. They did not
mind immersing themselves up to their knees. After all, they were going to
get completely wet later.
“Take this, Yuri. For tying everyone together!”
Ena tossed a ball of red thread to her fellow Hime-Miko.
It looked like the type of thread used for sewing. Yuri apparently knew how
to use it already. Simply replying “Very well!”, she caught the ball of thread.
Next, Ena took out a small wooden toy.
Simply stated, it was a mini-sized “raft.” Ten-odd wooden rods had been
cut down to the same dimensions and bound together with string.
Placing this “raft” on her forehead, Ena chanted spell words.
“The one who effects wondrous change shall enact a miracle.”
Then with a cry of “Ei!” she tossed the “raft” into the stream.
The palm-sized “raft” expanded in size as it fell into the water, transforming
unbelievably into a real raft. Godou realized at this time.
This was the Japanese version of the magic Erica used to transform her
beloved sword.
“Because Ena already performed a secret ‘rite’ on this thing, it should be
quite reliable. It is much sturdier than normal rafts built from wood!”
The make-shift raft created using wizardry was a square roughly three
meters long. Explaining, its maker was the first person to sit down on it.
Godou and Yuri immediately followed.
The make-shift raft started to move along with the stream.
Whitewater rafting by inexperienced amateurs. A terrifying challenge was
about to begin.
— Woooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Godou and the girls screamed as they clung onto the raft.
The one-eyed giant — the cyclops. After being blown away by the [Boar],
this monster had stumbled and crawled his way to the stream, reaching out
with his massive arm.
Nevertheless, the giant on his last breath exhausted all his strength at this
time and collapsed into dust.
But just as the trio breathed a sigh of relief, the goddess’ voice was heard
from the sky.
‘Are you going to flee as well, Kusanagi-sama!? Indeed, speaking of the
various god-slayers of the current generation, they are all great indomitable
heroes who flee with such alacrity as though they had wings!’
Her words were filled with sarcastic laughter. Furthermore…
‘Nevertheless, I will never give up on you, Kusanagi-sama! Fufu, I shall
prepare a new assassin to replace the slain minions. Flee as much as you
like. So long as I live, the day of your sucessful escape from this island
shall never arrive!’
She was issuing a warning. However, the goddess did not seem like she
intended to pursue personally.
Was she taking precautions because she was cut by Ama no Murakumo
no Tsurugi?
In any case, getting far away from the goddess as quickly as possible was
a good thing.
By the time Godou turned his attention back to his surroundings, the sound
of thunder was already quite distant. Thanks to riding the flow of the
stream, they had now left behind the Fire Goddess hidden in the
thunderclouds.
However, the make-shift raft was not comfortable at all.
Due to following raging rapids, the feeling was naturally akin to a rodeo.
The raft kept jumping up at times while sinking into the water on other
occasions. The up and down feeling was quite frightening.
“By the way, you mentioned some kind of ‘rite’ just now. What is that?”
Godou yelled while being shaken violently.
Although it was a model handcrafted by Ena, this raft give off a feeling as if
it were made of antique timber. Why?
“Uh, it’s that thing. Amakasu mentioned it before. Using popular
terminology, I guess you could call it a shikigami spirit. Because this [Rite]
was passed down in the Seishuuin family and used over the generations,
it’s quite effective!”
“Ah yeah, that thing you see in television and movies!”
Called onmyoudou or onmyouji.’-^ Godou recalled the relevant knowledge.
It seemed to be something quite unexpectedly valuable. But sitting here
without seat belts, one could easily fall off at any time. The trio hung on
desperately with both hands as they sat on the wooden raft. As they
stayed in this state, a short while passed —
“O Kukuri no Himegami, I beseech you to watch over these skills of thread
spinning and tying!”
Yuri chanted spell words presently.
She seemed to be concentrating her thoughts into the ball of thread she
was clutching tightly in her hand.
“Everyone, please lie down!”
Godou and Ena did as she instructed. Yuri also laid herself face down on
the raft.
Then the thread she was clutching began to move on its own. Like spider’s
silk, it flew out of the Hime-Miko’s hand!
The thread wrapped itself around the raft, layer after layer.
Godou, Yuri and Ena looked as though they were tied up face down as
they lay on the raft. In any case, using the raft as a base, the three of them
were bound together by thread.
The thread wrapped around them repeatedly for ten-odd layers, binding
Godou and the girls securely.
Godou sensed magical power from the thread. This was probably no mere
sewing equipment but a real wizardry apparatus.
“This thread is strong enough to withstand cuts from bladed weapons.
Except for special circumstances, it will not break at all!”
In other words, this thread was as strong as metal wires.
Nevertheless, this did not change the fact that they were engaged in a
life-threatening event.
The raft continued to rise up and down on the water surface due to the
impact of the rapid currents.
Water splashed into their faces repeatedly and the raft dipped many times
underwater. Even when it floated back to the surface, they did not get that
feeling of salvation from death. The possibility of drowning crossed
everyone’s mind.
With such momentum and speed, the raft kept colliding into certain objects
as the water currents pushed forward —
Ena had said “much sturdier than normal,” but how sturdy was it exactly?
There would be collisions with rocks as well as driftwood, right?
Dangerous elements were innumerable if one tried to count them all. This
was the current situation.
During this time of danger, the two Hime-Miko by Godou’s side performed
spells to their best ability.
“O Great God of Arms! Hasten forth to welcome our arrival at this land of
the rising sun!”
“O Sai no Kami, please grant us your mercy and bless us along the road
ahead!”
Ena prayed to the guardian deity of warriors while Yuri pleaded to the
guardian deity of travelers for protection.
The Hime-Miko had been praying nonstop all this time. This was probably
what Ena had meant when she said to “keep casting all the protective,
disaster warding and anti-drowning spells you can think of.”
Since things have come to this, all Kusanagi Godou could do was believe
in them.
That said, faced with dangers he was powerless against, Godou could feel
nothing but fright. Compared to a battle against gods, he lamented with
even greater feeling —
“l-l almost thought I was a goner…”
“S-Same here. To be honest, I was thinking I would never live to step foot
on Japanese soil again…”
“Oh my… How intense… In all sorts of ways…”
Godou, Yuri and Ena finally relaxed and muttered.
Counting from the time they started the deadly voyage, an hour had
already passed.
The raft the trio was riding managed to survive. Along the way, the current
brought them into collisions with hard rocks many times. Every single time,
there was nothing they could do but pray to the heavens. There were also
several times when the raft endured impacts with hard objects with a loud
“crash.”
In the end, they capsized roughly three times (although miraculously, the
raft righted itself every time).
In spite of all that, this raft that barely counted as a boat still endured,
transporting the trio to this place.
Fortunately, there were no waterfalls along the way. The water current
pushing the raft was quite gentle now. This was because they had left the
mountains and finally reached flat lowlands.
Seeing that it was safe, Yuri had released the thread of wizardry a short
while ago.
Although they were completely drenched, the trio could at least relax and
rest on the raft after what seemed like eternity.
“By the way, your anti-drowning spells were really effective, Mariya and
Seishuuin.”
Godou thanked them sincerely from the bottom of his heart.
Although their prayers did not show visible effects, he could not attribute
the safe outcome of their reckless rafting to any other reason.
“Yes. It seems like there were more benefits than expected.”
“To think you would say ‘it seems like’… Didn’t you guarantee it was going
to succeed with full confidence?”
Godou smiled wryly in response to Ena’s exclamation.
However, he noticed Yuri making an expression as if she wanted to say
something.
“Oh dear, those spells do not have ‘visible effects on use’ after all. They
feel more like invisible protection.”
“Y-Yes. Which is why we were able to arrive here safe and sound. What a
relief.”
“It probably wouldn’t have worked if Ena was alone. But since Yuri is such
a good girl, Ena believed she would surely find a way to overcome all
difficulties.”
“Ena-san, please do not rely excessively on these spells in those kinds of
situations…”
I see. So that method of escape was actually beyond Ena’s expectations,
huh?
Godou was utterly shocked. This brave attempt at rafting was perhaps an
exceptionally risky gamble. That said, the fact of the matter was they were
saved as a result. After all, being carried by the water current like this
eliminated the need to walk, thus reducing Yuri’s burden greatly.
“So long as we ended up alright, I guess I shouldn’t fuss over it…”
Godou sighed as he spoke. Oh well, they were safe anyway.
While the leader exhibited his natural easygoing personality, the voyage
continued without incident.
The one rowing was Ena who had somehow brought out an oar and was
casually charting their course. Despite lacking prior rafting experience, she
seemed quite used to using this type of oar.
From the raft they could observe tropical rainforest scenery on the
riverbank, quite different compared to the mountainous view in the
mountains. The temperature was also much higher, prompting Godou and
the girls to take off their jackets.
A tropical zone. The land of constant summer heat again.
The clothes drenched from raftting should air dry rather quickly.
Soon after, the salty smell of the sea drifted across the river surface,
announcing the ocean’s approach.
The trio looked at one another, recalling a particular warning. So long as
the goddess is alive, Kusanagi Godou was absolutely unable to escape the
island. So, what exactly was going to happen — ?
Before boarding the raft, the trio had abandoned their burdensome
rucksacks.
Currently, they were only carrying minimal possessions such as water
bottles. Also, everyone should be quite tired from the rowdy farce that
lasted until now. Godou particularly wanted Yuri to have a rest.
Calculating thus, Godou decided to make a rest stop nearby and regroup.
As the sun set, the second night arrived on the island in the demonic
realm.
The trio of Godou, Yuri and Ena was currently on a beach by the seashore.
Everyone was gazing towards the ocean beneath the night sky. Soon after,
a boat sped across the sea to enter the cove that served as the entrance
to the island.
The engine-powered boat advanced nimbly, arriving at the beach where
Godou’s group was waiting.
“Thank you for waiting patiently.”
“The important thing is that everyone is safe and sound!”
The new arrivals at the beach were Erica Blandelli and Liliana Kranjcar.
After reaching the beach, Yuri’s psychic sensing could be used freely.
They had contacted the knights and decided to meet up tonight here.
Instead of flight magic, the knights traveled by boat in order to bring
provisions such as food and water.
But after a brief delightful reunion, they sat in a circle to hold a serious
conference.
Due to illumination by the moon and the stars, there was no need to use
flashlights.
“Reaching the seashore is a good thing, but I’m positive making an exit
won’t be so easy for me.”
Godou spoke with resignation.
“However, it’s different for everyone else — ”
“Are you asking the four of us to depart from the island, leaving behind
Kusanagi Godou alone?”
“How utterly inane. On the contrary, this is the only point that is a little
fresh. But you couldn’t really be considering that, Godou?”
Liliana and Erica glared with reprimanding gazes.
Well, I expected this sort of reaction. Godou shrugged and stopped what
he was going to say.
Hence, Yuri spoke up instead.
“The labyrinthine magical effects that fills this island… I believe it is indeed
Prince Alec’s authority. After hearing His Highness’ name mentioned by the
goddess, I saw the same god’s sacred name that I once saw at the floating
island.”
“Cretan civilization’s divine king, Minos huh? A deity of the earth with
connections to Poseidon.”
Liliana nodded.
“Yes. The authority Prince Alec used before… I believe the goddess is
likely sustaining it through some sort of magic.”
“How terrible. So what extent of divine magic does this goddess possess?”
As Ena grumbled about the enemy’s myriad magical powers, Erica
interjected:
“A witch enslaving heroes as well as a sun deity… Although I can think of
several names, jumping to conclusions at this juncture seems too
dangerous. The issue of the ‘Pan-Eurasian hero’ also needs to be
resolved.”
“A witch related to a hero from some country huh? No idea.”
“Let’s either wait for more decisive clues or when Yuri receives a spirit
vision. Right now, we’re a little short on both.”
Erica and Ena nodded to each other. On the side, Liliana lamented with
chagrin:
“Furthermore, to think Verethragna’s incarnations would be stolen…
Kusanagi Godou, please be careful. The reduction of available combat
potential is a huge problem — ”
“Hmm?”
“Now that you have lost the [Ram], this means that you cannot revive as
usual when suffering from fatal injuries.”
“True, but being excessively cautious isn’t good either.”
Although he nodded to acknowledge the blue knight’s advice, Godou
replied:
“If one falters in the face of a god, the already miniscule chance of victory
shrinks further into nothingness. Oh well, I just have to go all out with what
I have. Furthermore — ”
Suddenly remembering, Godou looked at his right arm. His “partner” was
still available and ready.
“I still have Ama no Murakumo. Although as a weapon, it’s not that easy to
use.”
This was not complaining or grumbling but simply what Godou thought.
He did not think he could use Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi effectively as
a weapon. Perhaps this was just as well, since swords were such
dangerous existences.
Oh well, if the divine sword wanted to go on a rampage, it was probably
going to be disappointed.
“Your Majesty, Ena will work hard too. Because Ama no Murakumo is Ena
and Your Majesty’s partner.”
Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi’s real user stated.
Perhaps Ena had already secretly heard the grumblings of this “partner.”
Imagining this to himself, Godou went “I’m sorry” to apologize.
The situation was a bit — no, it was quite pessimistic. But in spite of all that,
so long as there is a will, there should be a way… Godou resolved himself
in this manner.
Part 2
After the reunion and the conference ended, the team set up their tents to
camp for the night.
The tents were part of the equipment Erica and Liliana transported with the
boat. Just like last night, they were going to rotate in shifts and have one
person keeping watch while the others slept. As before, morning arrived
without incident.
Godou finished breakfast and was feeling tense in anticipation of the
upcoming battle against the goddess today —
But the current situation was not especially tense. In fact, one could say it
was the opposite.
A tropical zone’s dazzling sunlight. The weather today was exceptionally
sunny.
A white beach. Completely free from pollution, this demonic realm’s beach
was truly pure and pristine. Beautiful beyond compare.
There was the ocean as well. Facing this South Seas region of constant
summer was a clear, bottomless, emerald-green ocean.
Gathered here were girls in swimsuits, displaying their figures with freedom
and delight…
“No. Going swimming in this kind of situation, what on earth are they
thinking?”
Godou reproached calmly.
The sight before him consisted of attractive maidenly figures that made him
embarrassed to stare directly.
But in this case, the situation was already developed. With common sense,
full presence of mind and the spirit of critical appraisal, Godou turned his
indifferent gaze towards the girls’ gorgeous appearances.
First was Erica. Godou originally expected her to wear a red swimsuit as
usual, but that was not the case.
Instead, it was a white bikini. Nevertheless, the two colors representing the
association she belonged to — red and black — were used to line the edges
of her swimsuit as decoration. This style of swimsuit, self-assertively
emphasizing her proportions to an excessive degree, was on the other
hand —
Quite usual of her.
Then there was Liliana, who adhered to her usual color by wearing a blue
bikini with a black pareo wrapped around her waist. Untying the pareo, her
astoundingly slim figure and slender limbs exhibited charm akin to that of a
professional beach volleyball player.
Yuri was also dressed in a bikini-style outfit.
Her swimsuit’s elegance and pink material were quite suited to her.
According to Godou’s memory, Yuri only wore one-piece swimsuits in the
past. She was actually not very comfortable dressed like this, right?
Looking quite embarrassed, Yuri attempted to hide behind the other girls.
But it was impossible to hide. Despite Yuri’s slender physique, her bust
and posterior regions were rich with a curvaceous sense of fullness, clearly
visible due to wearing a bikini.
Finally there was Ena.
Just as expected, she was wearing a bikini.
However, its two-piece design had an especially adult flavor.
Although Ena’s personality was cheerful and innocent, her figure rivaled
Erica in splendor. Furthermore, her waist-length black hair was full of
luster. Standing on the beach dressed in a black bikini like this, she gave
off an incredible sense of maturity as well as the charm of a mysterious
young beauty.
Equally beautiful. This was a blooming display of attractive young women.
“We’re about to fight a deity. Why are you girls dressed like that?”
“Godou, your way of thinking is too shallow.”
The one who rebuffed his common sense commentary was naturally Erica.
“Indeed, the battle is imminent. However, we still don’t know when it’ll
begin, right?”
Godou frowned at what she pointed out.
She was right. The goddess’ abilities were powerful and varied. In any
case, surely she already knew her quarry was at the beach since
yesterday. But yet she had not made any appearance.
Was she planning on preventing them from going out to sea, to instill a
sense of despair?
Or perhaps, banking on her advantage of being able to strike at any time,
she intended to let the hunted prey, Godou, fall into anxiety and unease?
“It is not a good thing to wait nervously for an enemy whose arrival time is
uncertain. You’ll just get all worked up for nothing. Rather, wouldn’t it be
better to relax without compromising alertness excessively? Also, this is
preparation.”
“I don’t understand that logic… But anyway, why a swim in the ocean?”
“Because we were going to be walking around the island, sufficient
swimwear was prepared beforehand for everyone. Since we brought them
here already, it’d be a waste not to use them. Also, isn’t this simply more
fun?”
So this was the argument Erica used to convince the girls.
Turning his gaze, Godou found Yuri going “Seriously, Erica-san, this
again…” with a troubled expression, but the honors student did not seem
like she was going to voice her objections.
Liliana also went “well, this is also battle experience” and simply stood
back with a sour look. One could ridicule the fact of her preparedness in
casually bringing a lifebuoy.
Speaking of Ena, she was smiling with her usual attitude.
“Yes yes. Even if we waited with discipline akin to staying awake all night
in a besieged situation, nothing good would come out of it.”
Oh well, perhaps they really were right.
Godou nodded and Erica smiled tenderly as she tossed male swimwear
over to him.
After changing behind a rock, Godou found the four girls frolicking in the
seawater, their playful laughter greatly adding to the beach atmosphere.
To avoid exhaustion, he probably should not swim too strenuously.
“Your Majesty, please come over here for a while!”
Just as Godou was about to enter the water for a light swim, Ena called
him.
“Oh my, since Your Majesty is in a position of waiting for the enemy to
arrive at this encampment, Ena thinks Your Majesty should make a display
of solemn dignity. Yeah, something that feels suited to a king’s position.”
“Say, Seishuuin, I don’t think sea bathing has anything to do with position.”
“Okay okay. Come, let’s sit here for a bit.”
Invited to a patch of cool sand next to the sea, Godou did as he was told.
As Godou puzzled over Ena’s intentions, the Hime-Miko of the sword
swiftly took a seat by his left. Then she pressed her body close to him,
leaning with all her weight!
The tender supple sensation caused Godou to shudder in surprise.
But unlike Erica, this did not convey the kind of alarming feeling as if the
posture would progress into something even more intimate. Perhaps this
was actually what made Ena so perfect?
“W-What are you doing!?”
“Ena saw this in a foreign teledrama once. Like a mafia boss guy sitting by
the poolside with two ladies waiting on him, drinking cocktails. Your
Majesty should do that too. Yuri, come over for a while!”
Ena called to her childhood friend who was a short distance away. Over
there, Liliana was floating casually in the water, sitting on a lifebuoy that
served as a piece of the boat’s lifesaving equipment. Yuri was also wearing
a lifebuoy and the two girls seemed to be playing together happily.
Called by Ena, Yuri turned her head to look and hence discovered the
situation.
“W-What are you two doing over there!?”
“Fufu, you should hurry over here, Yuri. The two of us will play the roles of
His Majesty’s lovers together.”
“You two, please do not engage in this type of behavior during the daytime,
especially outdoors.”
“Guh… What a situation of utter depravity! Even Kusanagi Godou could not
possibly do that!”
“It’s not like that, Mariya and Liliana! Seishuuin decided this all on her
own — ”
“l-ln that case, Godou-san, you should hurry and separate from her.”
“O-Oh yeah.”
Conditioned by past scenes of being held captive in Erica’s forceful grip,
Godou had forgotten that Ena did not possess the same kind of monstrous
strength. Godou immediately stood up, forcibly struggling free from the
Hime-Miko’s body.
However, someone else immediately pounced on him from somewhere.
Godou could feel an elastic and supple sensation on his back together with
a sense of volume.
More conspicuous than anything else was the immense strength of the
arms embracing Godou from behind, wrapping tightly around his neck —
“Godou. Do you intend to engage Ena-san in loving intimacy, neglecting
me on the side?”
The voice whispering in his ear was, of course, the usual familiar one.
“Ah, what happened? Erica-san arrived faster than Yuri. But no matter. We
two will play the role of His Majesty’s lovers, how’s that?”
“Role playing is redundant. Because I am truly Kusanagi Godou’s lover.
However.”
Erica declared proudly to Ena who listened nonchalantly. But a fearless
lioness’ smile immediately surfaced on Erica’s face while she and the
Hime-Miko of the Sword nodded at each other.
“Perhaps this is not such a bad idea. For a stubborn someone who
obstinately clings to his opinions, this is a good opportunity to let him
realize the unparalleled extent to which his behavior is the antithesis of
being human.”
“E-Erica-san. Since we are simply relaxing in preparation for battle, is this
not contrary to what you were saying just now!?”
“She is right, Erica. Besides, these matters should be the job of the grand
chamberlain, in other words, me. K-Kusanagi Godou, you should not make
a lustful face just because you are sandwiched between those two!”
“Of course I’m not! Could you please direct your sight to my attempts to
resist!?”
Dazzling sunshine. A white beach. And also the sea.
In any case, Godou’s entourage was enjoying these conditions while
“waiting” on standby without being excessively off guard.
Then roughly two hours passed —
The first person to look up was Yuri.
Both yesterday and today, she had deployed her psychic sensing to cover
the vicinity of the beach so as to discover any emergency immediately.
Liliana also narrowed her eyes, casting her gaze towards the air.
Ever since last night, she had been using a spell that gave warning as
soon as powerful magic was sensed.
This was to avoid repeating the same mistakes as during the divine eagle’s
attack and to prepare against the goddess who could arrive at any time.
Noticing Yuri and Liliana’s reactions, Erica smiled courageously and Ena
nodded forcefully.
Back on the beach, the girls were currently dressed in their swimsuits with
a light parka and t-shirt to avoid getting cold. Godou had also put on a
shirt.
While having fun, all of them had remained alert. Then it finally came.
‘Kusanagi-sama, I cannot believe you are frolicking with these lowly girls!’
As the goddess’ voice thundered, the originally sunny sky suddenly
darkened.
Dark clouds filled the sky with frightening speed. A gigantic silhouette of a
woman floated up onto this dark canopy of the sky. Slender as a juniper,
this was the shadow of the mysterious goddess.
Her head almost reached the clouds. Such was the size of the gigantic
silhouette.
‘Fufu, only the tasteless would choose the company of such lowly girls. A
hero like you should love a suitable partner!’
“On the other hand, I’m pretty sure you’re not the suitable one…”
Feeling that a rebuttal would be futile, Godou simply muttered softly.
However, he renewed his spirits and looked up, yelling with a loud voice:
“Are you still refusing to come down here today!?”
The goddess’ figure looked as big as a rainbow hanging in the sky, but she
was definitely far away.
She was watching Godou and his group from up high in the distant sky.
When having a close encounter with a deity, a Campione’s power would be
roused intensely. Due to the current lack of that effect, Godou instantly
understood. Was the goddess highly wary because she was cut by Ena
once?
‘Hmm. Kusanagi-sama, you have apparently summoned all your
subordinates. This time, I as the queen shall send troops to challenge you,
the king.’
“It’s not just this time. Haven’t you been sending your subordinates every
time?”
The enemy called herself the Fire Goddess. Godou felt that she must be
hiding something else apart from her name.
Although he wanted to keep questioning her, to probe the matter more
thoroughly —
‘Fufu. A weak woman and a heroic warrior differ completely in their ways of
doing things. Kusanagi-sama, considering the courage it takes for a mere
woman to challenge a manly god-slayer, please show generous leniency.’
Things were not going well, The Fire Goddess was messing up all his
plans.
Godou had no idea whether it was on purpose or unintentional. However,
he was beginning to harbor certain suspicions at this point. Could she be
the “most difficult” opponent he had met so far?
No matter how bad they were, all of his past foes had upfront personalities.
The kingly warriors, Melqart and Athena. Heroic Perseus. The Great Sage
Equaling Heaven who simply loved being the center of attention. Lancelot’s
cool charging spirit.
Drawing a clear line between herself and those warriors, this goddess’
behavior often made a display of femininity.
“Oh yeah, it was mentioned she is a witch goddess.”
‘Come, please let me treat you as a guest this time, Kusanagi-sama.’
While Godou could not help but mutter, the goddess’ voice resounded in
the sky.
‘Fufufufu. I have prepared valuable assassins. After all, the power of divine
beasts seems unable to capture you!’
A glorious sacred beast descended from the sky amidst the dark clouds.
It was a white and unruly stallion, its entire body shrouded in golden
flames. Unlike the previous divine beasts, its body size was not abnormally
large. Although its build was robust, the size was still within common sense
for a horse.
Kicking its hooves in the air, the stallion flew nimbly through the sky. As
soon as he saw that sacred majesty, Godou instantly realized.
“Godou-san! That is Verethragna’s incarnation — the [White Stallion] stolen
by the goddess!”
Yuri also knew from spirit vision. This confirmed Godou’s instincts.
Not only did she steal, she could also make use of them…
‘Due to a lack of time, I was unable to make all of them my servants…
Kusanagi-sama, please enjoy a battle with your own kindred!’
Informed by the goddess, Godou frowned.
The girls also looked up at the [White Stallion] with grim stares.
They too must have noticed the powerful godly powers residing in the
flying divine horse. A troublesome foe had appeared, one vastly
surpassing the “firebird” that had received the goddess’ protection.
Part 3
“Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.
And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman,
young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
Erica chanted the spell words of smiting in order to wield the [Sacred
Privilege of Extermination].
In response to her spell words, Cuore di Leone transformed from a slender
longsword into a barbed lance. Simultaneously, an oval shield also
manifested in the red knight’s left hand.
“They warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and
they slew all the males! And they slew the kings of Midian!”^ ^
It went without saying, this was Liliana’s smiting.
Her magic saber, II Maestro, transformed into a silver crafted longbow, a
deadly weapon for firing sacred arrows of extermination.
These were the secret arts of combat magic that stood as the trump cards
of European knights.
Nevertheless, their target was Kusanagi Godou’s oft-used [White Stallion],
the symbol of Verethragna as the heaven-sent child of the sun.
‘Very well, Kusanagi-sama, the heavenly horse that transports the
sun — Savor its power well. Fufu, even if its hooves of scorching flame
happen to incinerate you completely, my secret drugs can still revive you
from the ashes!’
“This is going beyond twisting my arms and legs off!”
Godou angrily retorted from the ground in response to the assertions made
by the goddess’ silhouette.
From the ashes — Godou was suddenly struck with a thought; immortal
deities did indeed exist. In that case, gods capable of reviving the dead
might actually exist.
Hopefully not to prove this point, the [White Stallion] charged straight
towards him from the sky.
“Everyone, please do as we decided earlier. Hurry and run!”
Godou instantly yelled.
In his current condition, only one incarnation was actually available. In
order to fight the most effectively under such restrictions, Godou had
already discussed with the girls their battle plan for today.
Although contrary to expectations was the enemy’s use of existences
surpassing divine beasts as her servants —
But the fact remained unchanged that their plan was the best and only
solution. Only that the risk of the “bait” role had vastly increased…
Erica, Yuri, Liliana and Ena all scattered according to plan.
This was to distance themselves from Godou. Just before she left, Erica
seemed to be yelling something but Godou could not catch her words
clearly.
The incoming [White Stallion] from the sky kicked Godou using its front
legs. To him, it felt like being sent flying by a collision with a giant dump
truck.
Godou felt pain from his body as if it was broken all over. He was blown
high up into the air. In addition, the burning flames enveloping the [White
Stallion] had spread over to his body.
Turned into a tumbler toy on fire, Godou flew through the sky.
The kicking attack did not kill him instantly, probably because he crossed
his arms at the last moment to protect his head. In that case…
His remaining move could now be unleashed — !
“All evil-doers, tremble before my strength…”
Now awakened in Godou’s body was combat power and endurance
obtained in exchange for heavy injuries.
“Upon my mighty self, I shall bear the symbol of the raging camel!”
Falling down on the sand, Godou felt pain all over, but the [Camel] was the
ferocious and stalwart incarnation with immense pain toleration. Thanks to
this blessing, Godou could endure and stood up immediately.
Increasing his magical power at the same time, he dispelled the [White
Stallion]’s flames on his body.
The golden flames he received had been scorching Godou’s body until
now.
An ordinary human probably would have burned completely, without even
a bone remaining. However, these flames were not powerful enough to
overcome a Campione’s magical resistance and hence disappeared
instantly.
Despite suffering burns all over his body, Godou was able to endure the
current level of pain.
However, an ominous voice descended from the sky above.
‘Fufufu. The show has only just begun, Kusanagi-sama. — O guardian of
the righteous, I offer sacrifice and invite you. The one who grants victory
and grace, I will perform justice, please direct me towards the light and the
righteous path!’
Godou was greatly stunned. To think she was capable of using these spell
words!?
Ignoring Godou in his state of shock, the [White Stallion] galloped through
the sky once more. In the next instant, the white bronco transformed and
expanded in the air.
Unbelievably, it became a gigantic beast measuring ten meters long!
A goat with jet black fur. As if swimming freely in the water, it flew leisurely
through the air.
“It changed form…!?”
As Godou watched in shock, the black goat overhead — the [Goat]
incarnation began to bleat.
BAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Instantly, the goat’s giant body released an extra large bolt of lightning,
striking mercilessly at Godou on the ground and his surroundings.
Fortunately, Godou had already raised his magical power just now.
Even divine lightning should not be able to defeat a Campione so easily.
“Gun— huh!?”
Suffering the terrifying lightning strike, Godou found himself sprawling
paralyzed on the beach.
Although pain was only natural, his entire body felt numb. During winter,
one’s fingertip often suffered pain from the shock of static electricity. The
current feeling was now a thousand times more intense than that.
And the numbing pain was experienced throughout his body.
Godou surmised he had been bathed in quite a powerful electrical current.
A throbbing pain now attacked his heart.
Incredibly, the lightning breached both a Campione’s magical resistance
and the [Camel]’s endurance, wrecking Godou’s body to such an extent.
The lightning’s power had completely surpassed expectations.
However, the [Goat] flying in the sky had also exhausted almost all of its
magical power.
The lightning just now should have depleted the majority of its usable
power. In that case, a second strike was not coming— just as Godou
concluded, yet another transformation took place.
The black goat turned back to the form of the [White Stallion].
Enveloped in golden flames, the white bronco flying in the sky — Fiercely
kicking the air as it flew, the horse swiftly rose in height. Its figure vanished
amidst the dark clouds covering the sky.
Immediately afterwards.
Wrapped in a golden explosion of flames, the [White Stallion] was crashing
down like a burning meteorite.
The target was obviously Kusanagi Godou on the ground. Without any
remaining strength to evade, Godou was currently lying collapsed on the
beach. Furthermore, the [Ram] that had saved him numerous times from
the verge of death was already stolen!
An unprecedented crisis. The two paladinos intervened at this very
moment.
“Midian’s destruction, hereby effected!”
Accompanied by spell words of destruction, Liliana shot an arrow of light.
Sniping at the [White Stallion] that was crashing towards the earth’s
surface like a meteor, the sacred silver bow shot an arrow that instantly
split into eight, tracing out separate trajectories towards their prey. Since
the [White Horse] was galloping towards Godou in a straight line, there
was no way for it to evade the arrows.
All eight arrows found their mark.
The pure white body of the horse, beautiful and strong, was tragically
pierced in eight separate locations, two each on its forehead, neck, chest
and torso respectively. But in spite of that, the white stallion’s descent did
not slow down.
Enduring the severe injuries, it galloped towards Godou, bringing its flames
along!
Just as the horse’s fiery hooves were mere meters away from shattering
Godou’s with their kicks, Erica struck the horse of flame from the side.
“O horns, collapse the walls of Jericho!”
Sacred exterminators were briefly granted the ability to fly.
Using this power, Erica flew in a straight line, charging decisively. Striking
the airborne [White Stallion] from the side, she stabbed with the tip of her
lance.
A full-powered thrust with the lance. Even the [White Stallion] was blown
away by this attack.
NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIGH!!
The white bronco fell and rolled on the beach, bringing Erica along with it
as it neighed shrilly. It was a cry of pain. The blade of sacred extermination
had buried itself into the [White Stallion]’s body, inflicting heavy injuries.
Erica swiftly stood up and brandished the lance.
She intended to make a final decisive thrust. However, another
transformation took place.
First of all, the flames enveloping the pure white horse turned black in
color.
Next, the slender face of the horse transformed into a sturdy bull’s head.
However, its torso was human — a human body covered with bulging
muscles. Moreover, its size was expanding.
Immediately, the white horse had completely transformed into a five meter
tall giant.
With a stalwart bull’s head, this was a bull-headed giant. Furthermore, a
layer of short, dense, black fur covered its entire body.
“— ! This is the [Bull] incarnation!?”
Erica wielded her lance to thrust at the bull-headed giant.
But at the same time, the giant went “moo” and boldly swung its long, thick,
black, right arm, easily sending the incoming lance flying together with
Erica’s slender body.
“Yaaaaaaaaah!”
Struck by the [Bull] renowned for its strength, Erica was blown away almost
a hundred meters.
With that, she fell into the emerald-green sea. Even so, she still managed
to block the mighty arm with her shield, thereby avoiding a critical injury. In
spite of all that, she did not loose grip of her weapons. Rather
commendable in fact.
“Erica!”
Seeing her longtime friend and rival sent flying, Liliana shot an arrow of
light.
The arrow was aimed straight towards the [Bull]’s incarnation of the
bull-headed giant. A flash of silver flew towards the black bull’s head, but
the giant nimbly avoided the arrow.
Make no mistake, nimbly indeed. With agile motions one could not imagine
from its gigantic body, the giant leaped up high.
Then the [Bull] landed before Godou’s eyes.
It had made its way towards Kusanagi Godou who was lying collapsed on
the ground all this time, paralyzed from the electrical attack from earlier!
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM The bull roared ferociously,
lifting its foot up high.
It was planning to crush Godou beneath the sole of its massive foot.
“…My body, please endure a while longer!”
A crisis of desperate proportions. Nevertheless, this was actually a rare
and perfect opportunity.
Godou shouted at his sprawling painful body and started rolling on the
sand. Two seconds later, the [Bull]’s foot crushed the spot where Godou
was lying earlier!
“I am the strongest, All enemies, all who harbor enmity will be
vanquished !”
Chanting Verethragna’s scripture during this time, Godou increased the
[Camel]’s power.
The pain consuming his entire body subsided slightly. The sense of
paralysis also dissipated gradually. The rest would rely on tenacity and
fighting spirit. Godou gritted his teeth and yelled:
“Daaah!”
Standing up through sheer willpower, Godou took a leap —
The bull-headed giant was five meters tall. Owing to the mighty leap, the
ferocious bull’s black fur-covered face was now right in front of Godou.
Next, using the [Camel]’s leg strength, he unleashed a spinning kick at the
[Bull]’s cheeks.
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM
The [Bull] cried hoarsely, its giant body falling over backwards.
The attack was effective, for it succeeded in inflicting substantial pain. But
this was nowhere near fatal — With a glint of light flashing across its eyes,
the [Bull] reached out with its stout right arm and caught Godou!
“Gwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
Gripped in the black giant’s hand, Godou screamed tragically.
All the bones in his body were creaking. Very soon, they were all going to
be snapped, crushed and shattered.
The [Camel] incarnation possessed even better resilience than a
Campione’s illogically sturdy body. Nevertheless, no matter how stalwart,
this body would surely reach its limits within a minute or two!
Even so, Godou still smiled with joy.
As guerrilla fighters, the girls on standby surely would not let this
opportunity go to waste.
“O imperial blade Ama no Murakumo, in your best interests which I
shoulder, grant power unto me!”
Arriving as expected, Seishuuin Ena was sprinting from the distance, her
“partner” in hand!
Filling herself with the divine sword’s spirit, divine possession was
achieved.
“Yaaaaaaah!”
Ena jumped up high and swung Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi overhead
using the hassou-no-kamae stance.^
Amplified by the might of divine possession, this full-powered slash
appeared to spew flames as it made a deep cut on the bull-headed giant’s
humanoid back. Unable to withstand the attack, the [Bull] fell upon its
knees and released its grip on Godou.
“Gun…”
Tossed onto the sand, Godou groaned. His injuries were very severe
indeed.
Godou vomited blood but the [Bull]’s heavy injuries were equally serious.
Furthermore, ten-odd arrows of light flew in approach immediately. These
were the arrows of extermination shot by Liliana.
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!?
Struck by the arrows, the bull giant roared in pain.
Lying sprawled on the ground and helpless, it had apparently exhausted its
strength.
“Your Majesty, are you okay!?”
Having made display worthy of a mighty general, Ena called out with worry.
Godou nodded in response as he panted heavily. This was the best
possible battle plan achievable with only the [Camel] incarnation currently
at his disposal. At least he pulled it off successfully.
Oh well, as a battle plan it was actually quite simple.
More injury resistant than anyone else, Godou was to attract the divine
beasts’ attention. At the same time, Ena’s role was to perform guerilla
attacks using Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi whenever enemies showed
openings while busy with the “bait.” As for Erica and Liliana, they were
tasked with supporting Godou and Ena as appropriate.
Simple as that.
That said, given their current battle potential, there was no other way to
fight.
In actual fact, were the enemies of divine beast class, the [Camel]
incarnation could have lasted for surprisingly long durations. In that event,
breaking through using these foolhardy tactics could very well have
succeeded.
But unexpectedly, the goddess was capable of using Verethragna’s
incarnations as her pawns —
“Wha— !?”
“This time, it’s… The [Wind] incarnation!?”
Faced with shock and surprise, Godou and Ena were swept into the
suddenly manifesting whirlwind. The bull-headed humanoid giant, in other
words, the [Bull] that was just defeated, had lost physical form and
transformed into a tornado.
Normally, Kusanagi Godou was the one switching between combat powers
in a diverse display.
But this time, the side suffering at the hands of these transformations was
Godou himself.
Part 4
The wind strengthened all at once and became a tornado by the time one
could notice.
It started out as a small whirlwind only ten-odd meters in diameter. But
now, it had become a violent vortex of wind swirling everything up into the
sky, baring its fangs towards Godou and Ena.
This was likely working on the same principle as the lightning released by
the [Goat] just now.
Elevating its power to the maximum possible in exchange for
instantaneous depletion of the majority of magical power. In this manner,
the Campione and the divine-possessed sword user were devoured by the
tornado and swept up into the air.
It felt like being thrown into a massive washing machine…
Caught in the tornado, Godou and Ena were spun dozens of rotations at
high speed.
“Gun… Your Majesty! Use Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi together with
Ena— Please!”
Ena yelled as she tumbled around in the vortex of the storm.
Her voice should have been drowned out by the roaring wind.
Nevertheless, Godou heard her loud and clear. Her thoughts were being
transmitted through Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi which they shared.
Thanks to that, Godou was able to know the Hime-Miko of the Sword’s
wishes without even asking.
“Okay, Seishuuin! Let’s go!”
He imagined the two of them swinging Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi
together.
This was what Godou and Ena had shared that night at Kisarazu when the
divine sword’s power was truly mastered. Taking this opportunity when
their thoughts were relayed to each other through Ama no Murakumo no
Tsurugi as the medium, the same could be achieved without resorting to
wizardry.
Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi possessed the trait of absorbing magical
and divine powers.
Ena currently planned to use this trait to absorb the [Wind]’s power.
Naturally, even a user of divine possession would be incapable of fully
absorbing a tempest sent by a heretic goddess.
However, were Godou to simultaneously infuse the divine sword with a
Campione’s magical power, then in that case —
“Strong is the name that shall stand across subsequent
generations — handed down by all who hears of his exploits!”
In concert with Ena’s chanted spell words, Godou poured magical power
into Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi.
Even the impossible could become possible through bonds of wizardry.
Then the divine sword in Ena’s hand released pitch black light, absorbing
the vortex of [Wind]!
— The tornado spinning the pair weakened progressively.
Although they had already lost count how many revolutions they had been
spun, the wind was suppressed all at once, finally dissipating the force that
had swept Godou and Ena into the air.
They fell down towards the beach from a height of seven or eight meters or
so.
Ena landed with monkey-like motions. Despite having no training in
acrobatics, Godou accomplished the same, thanks to the agility conferred
by the [Camel].
However, the spinning from just now had destroyed their sense of balance,
causing great discomfort.
Greatly exhausted, the pair instantly collapsed and sat on the ground. That
said, they were at least liberated from the [Wind].
“Godou, Ena-san!”
“You two, are you okay!?”
Erica and Liliana ran towards them, the former from the sea and the latter
from inland respectively.
The red knight was unhurt. The [Bull]’s hit that sent her flying had
apparently not caused any injuries. Although she was dressed lightly in a
swimsuit, the sacred privilege of extermination must have protected her.
Wielding the barbed lance and shield, Erica bore a stern and imposing
countenance.
Liliana was also carrying her sacred bow of silver.
Godou nodded at the two of them. He could not answer because he was
desperately enduring the sense of nausea. Ena was completely
exhausted.
“The [Wind] just now, it felt like it escaped just before it was completely
destroyed…”
□liana’s power of spirit vision allowed to her to see things beyond the
naked eye.
She was looking towards the sea. Prompted by her, everyone turned their
gaze to follow suit. A solemn expression surfaced on all their faces, for a
new incarnation was manifesting.
Upon the emerald-green sea. At this cove serving as the island’s
entrance…
Over on the sea, black flames were burning. These were also flames that
Godou had summoned many times before.
‘So says Lord Mithra. The sinful shall be met with justice…’
The goddess’ voice came from the sky above.
These spell words that Godou had always chanted, were now spoken
softly by the goddess.
‘The one unblunted and unapproachable, oath-breaking sinners be purged
by the iron hammer of justice — !’
The black flames over the sea started transforming into a pitch-black divine
beast.
Body length estimated to be twenty meters. A pitch-black gigantic beast of
a [Boar] bearing a stalwart appearance. However, only the majestic head
alone had manifested so far. Below the neck, the rest of the body had yet
to form from the black flames.
Apparently, the goddess could not summon and manifest the [Boar] as
quickly as Godou.
‘Fufufu. Despite the number of strong children among Kusanagi-sama’s
kindred, I have bestowed special care upon this one as my servant in
particular! It does take quite a while longer to summon… But only this child
is worthy of the wait!’
Despite clearly in the middle of the summoning process, the goddess
spoke as if victory was certain.
But one could not disagree. The incarnations she had sent out one after
another were all extremely strong. It would be apt to call them the simple
arrangement version of Godou’s powers.
However, the divine beast being born over the sea was different. Were it to
manifest completely, it could very well possess size, appearance and
power no different from Verethragna’s fifth incarnation as summoned by
Godou.
Just through a single glance at its face, once could tell the ferocity of this
monster.
Hovering over the sea were the black flames and the gigantic boar head.
Grunting as it exhaled violently, the [Boar] glared condescendingly at the
beach, roaring from its grotesque mouth.
oooooooooooooooooooooooo. . .
Soon to be liberated on the ground to bring destruction to all, it seemed to
be expressing its joy of anticipation.
“This must be something she held in reserve. What a troublesome trump
card.”
“Weaker than under Kusanagi Godou’s control — as much as one would
hope for that, we cannot tell without a fight…”
Erica and Liliana nodded at each other, their expressions tense from the
will to fight.
On the other hand, Godou and Ena’s states were far from ready.
Already heavily injured, Godou felt as if his body was made of lead. His
movements were also very sluggish. Were it not for the [Camel]’s
exceptional trauma endurance, Godou would have fainted a long time ago.
Then there was Ena who had used divine possession thrice already in
three days.
Moreover, using a Campione’s magical power, she had just drawn out Ama
no Murakumo’s powers at a level beyond human limits. The tough child of
nature was clearly approaching her limits, her body shaking unsteadily.
“Don’t force yourself, Seishuuin. Rest for a while!”
“Nonsense, Your Majesty. How could I remain idle at a time like this…”
Ena remained stubborn. In a rare moment, her voice lacked her usual
cheerfulness. Using Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi as a crutch, she
supported herself.
“You cannot, Ena-san!”
The one who reprimanded the Hime-Miko of the Sword was Yuri who was
supposed to have retreated to the rear.
“Your life will surely be endangered if you continue like this! I absolutely
forbid you to act recklessly!”
Yuri spoke with a terrifying and intimidating expression.
However, she walked over to the weakened Ena’s side and caressed her
back gently like a mother.
A spell of caressing — she was applying recovery wizardry to heal Ena’s
painful body.
Ena’s trump card, divine possession, was said to require a week’s interval
between successive usage. Exceeding this frequency would mercilessly
wear away her mind and body —
Indeed. Godou nodded.
Yuri must have run over to heal and restrain Ena because she knew her
childhood friend was at her limits.
“But everyone could very well be taken out, so having Ena rest by herself
is meaningless. This is the time for a last stand. Don’t worry, I’ll just force
myself a little and still be fine.”
“How absurdly driven by emotion you are, Ena-san. I now understand the
reason why you get along with Godou so well.”
Erica commented with a frown.
Also, the tone of her voice sounded more “deeply impressed” than
surprised.
“But no, denied. Please stay still obediently. Verethragna’s [Boar] is
nowhere lacking as an opponent for knights. Please leave this for us to
handle.”
“Indeed, it has come to this.”
Liliana spoke up.
“Ever since we came to this island, you have been the one protecting
Kusanagi Godou all this time. It is about time you let us have an
opportunity to take the stage.”
Godou nodded vigorously in agreement.
However, the silver-haired knight frowned in response, expressing her
regrets to him.
“Allow me to add to that, Kusanagi Godou. You too should also rest, right?”
“Eh?”
In the instant Godou asked in response, he suffered an unexpected attack.
Liliana performed a sweeping kick. Although Godou intended to evade, his
legs were unable to move. Swept off balance splendidly, he fell over on his
bottom.
Seeing him like that, Liliana and Erica both sighed.
“I knew it… Only your sense of pain is numbed, but your body is already at
its limits.”
“You have accumulated extraordinary injuries starting from earlier. I had a
feeling this would happen if you lost your incarnation of immortality.”
“I-I’m fine. My wounds are healing at an incredible rate.”
“Well. Using healing magic combined with the [Camel]’s recovery abilities,
perhaps you could force your body a little more.”
In response to Godou’s protests, Erica replied with deep thought.
“Honestly, it is impossible to fight that [Boar] barehanded.”
Everyone turned their gaze towards the cove.
What was just a [Boar]’s head a while ago had now manifested to its chest
area. Once the flames formed the gigantic beast’s body completely, the
pitch-black destroyer was probably going to rush onto the beach with
terrifying vigor…
For the [Camel] which offered no other means of attack apart from
“kicking,” it was a most difficult opponent indeed.
“I’m not barehanded. One could still say I have a weapon.”
Godou threw his “partner” a glance. Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi that
Ena had stabbed into the sand to use as a crutch.
Walking over with unsteady steps, Godou grabbed the sword’s hilt.
Despite his reluctance to get close to dangerous tools like swords, it was
the time to put pacifism aside for now.
“Are you able to use it without Seishuuin Ena?”
“I should be. I managed it during the Kisarazu battle against Lancelot…”
While thinking about how careless he was, Godou replied to Liliana’s
question.
Indeed, Kusanagi Godou only truly used Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi for
the first time back then, in a clash with Lancelot who wielded the Divine
Sword of Salvation.
“Besides, relying on you two, Liliana and Erica, to do something like
fighting the [Boar], that’s not gonna work. Unless that guy gets struck by
firepower on the [White Stallion]’s level, there’s no hope for victory…”
Well, the question was whether Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi had that
level of destructive power.
The “partner” had exhibited its highest level of destructive power during the
Kisarazu battle. In order to oppose the Divine Sword of Salvation used by
the “King of the End,” the silver-haired goddess had powered up Ama no
Murakumo no Tsurugi.
The mortal enemy in the form of a pubescent girl with silver hair and eyes
of night.
The goddess bound to him by a strange twist of fate. How nostalgic to
recall the opponent who vexed him by escaping after her victory, it was a
lonely feeling. Heretic Athena —
‘Farewell is unneeded. One day, this goddess shall return, reincarnated, to
seek you for revenge. Because no matter when, the only one allowed to
defeat Kusanagi Godou is this goddess!’
The bold declaration uttered at the point of farewell.
Her fighting spirit was completely opposite to the “femininity” displayed by
the current goddess Godou was fighting. Rather than bold, one would
prefer to describe her as noble. And there were her words.
The one and only parting gift she had given…
— the [Gate] had opened for but an instant.
Creation of heaven and earth. The death and birth of stars. The blade
forged through the goddess’ wisdom.
That was it. They had also banked on Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi back
then. The steel that greedily devoured the enemy’s power to assimilate as
its own. That characteristic was essential for a drastic move.
If you are in need of strength at this time, why not infuse me, the divine
sword, with the most powerful wisdom — ?
“Godou, what’s with you?” “Kusanagi Godou!?” “Your Majesty…?”
The voices of his companions sounded distant.
However, what occupied Godou’s field of view was neither the sight of the
girls in their swimsuits nor the emerald-green sea. It was a pair of eyes.
Owl eyes shining amidst darkness.
Godou also sensed it. He sensed a “certain secret technique” dormant
within his body.
“Godou-san… Please pull yourself together!”
Suddenly, he felt someone touch his hand. The tactile sensation caused
Godou to return to himself.
Brought back to his senses, Godou found Yuri by his side. She had placed
her hands over Godou’s hands that were holding Ama no Murakumo no
Tsurugi.
Erica, Liliana and Ena watched with a face of wonderment.
Godou shook his head hazily. He seemed to have caught a glimpse just
now. Heaven and earth’s creation, the technique embodying destruction
and creation. The wisdom of the universe left behind by the goddess of
earth and darkness —
“…Ugh. What on earth is this…”
Carved into the depths of his heart and mind, a powerful secret technique
in the abyss.
A relic left behind by the deceased rival. The gate was currently opening.
However, this wisdom was far too colossal. Given Godou’s capacity
instead of a goddess’, comprehension should be impossible regardless.
No good. It was impossible to control no matter what.
Precious long-awaited power was obtained yet it was going to be wasted…
Just at this moment.
“Godou-san. Please look at me. Do not worry.”
Once again reminded by Yuri’s voice, Godou jumped in surprise.
The Hime-Miko was staring directly into Godou’s eyes. Her adorable and
beautiful face was pressed rather near. It was almost like past times when
she transmitted knowledge about gods.
Finding himself at this type of close separation, Godou began to panic. But
thanks to that, his sense of self returned.
He was also greatly surprised by Yuri’s murmuring whispers.
“Steel embodying the birth and death of stars… The dark blade of heaven
and earth’s creation. The flames of the scorching jet-black divine sword… I
saw them too.”
Yuri spoke solemnly. She was having a spirit vision.
The other girls were staring at the Hime-Miko with amazement. Moreover,
Yuri’s eyes had changed to the color of glass at some point in time.
Godou realized at this time.
Eyes the color of glass. Radiant flaxen-colored hair. These characteristics
belonged to the Princess of Glass residing in the Netherworld.
Yuri’s current appearance was the splitting image of the Netherworld’s
noble one. Speaking of which, Yuri’s hair color was heavily shaded brown
for a Yamato Nadeshiko.
Godou began to wonder for no apparent reason. Suppose the Princess of
Glass was the root of the Hime-Miko bloodline.
Then the Hime who most strongly displayed the inherited blood and
spiritual powers of the distant ancestor — wouldn’t that happen to be Mariya
Yuri?
“The secret technique the goddess left behind in Godou-san’s body… I
think it is probably through the opened gate that I am able to see it… Let us
forge it together.”
Godou was rendered dumbfounded by Yuri’s resolute proposal.
“Let us forge. To forge the sword of the beginning and the end. I shall
guide you.”
Part 5
Over the sea in the cove, the [Boar] finally finished materializing.
A stalwart black boar’s head, chest, front legs, torso, rear end and even
hind legs were already manifested, surfacing on the sea like a giant whale.
The only remaining body part still shrouded in flames was the tail.
“Let us take this opportunity to make an attempt.”
Liliana suggested softly and drew her sacred bow of silver.
Injecting the privilege of extermination, she shot an arrow of light.
Although the beach where she stood was roughly two hundred meters from
the [Boar]’s location on the sea, the arrow from a paladino’s arsenal flew
straight across this distance instantly.
The target was the [Boar]’s eyeball. But the instant before the splendid
shot would meet its mark…

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