Campione! / Campione! Vol 14 Chapter 3


Chapter 3 – A Tumultuous Opening
Part 1
Florence was once known as the city of flowers.
It was currently the capital of the Tuscany region. During the medieval
period, the Medici family ruled the city and led to its development into a
leading center of the Renaissance.
“There are quite a few tourist attractions. The must-see sights includes
palaces, churches, cathedrals, the Ponte Vecchio bridge over the Arno,
and the Piazzale Michelangelo square overlooking the entire city…”
Watching Erica introduce the city like a tour guide, Liliana chimed in.
“Speaking of must-see, visiting the museums is also a good idea. You get
to admire the works of great masters in history such as Leonardo da Vinci
and Michelangelo.”
“But I basically have no chance of seeing all this. Even though it’s my
second time here.”
As the two girls introduced the sights fluently, Godou muttered softly to
himself.
Everyone was currently sitting in the back seats of a black limousine.
The plane had arrived in Florence the previous night. After spending the
night in the city, this car came to receive them in front of the hotel at noon
the next day. Everything was arranged by the hosts.
The car was currently speeding its way across the Florentine countryside.
The destination was supposed to be one hour east of Florence.
Although Godou could have chosen to find some free time to go
sightseeing, he decided against it in the end. It was impossible to predict
what would happen next, so it would be prudent to conserve his energy.
He also worried whether Yuri might collapse from exhaustion.
The limo’s back seats were oriented opposite each other, so everyone was
sitting face to face.
“When it’s time to go home, I really hope to go sightseeing for a day or so.”
“That’s probably wishful thinking.”
Seishuuin Ena was the one who interrupted Godou’s mutterings.
After the trip to Malaysia, this was another overseas expedition.
Consequently, Ena was dressed casually instead of her usual uniform. Her
attire consisted of a checkered shirt, a black flounced skirt and leggings.
“After all, Your Majesty is going to cause another major incident on this
journey. A trip with time to spare is definitely not gonna happen!”
“The future is not set, don’t go asserting so strongly, Seishuuin…”
“Although what’s gonna happen is unknown, don’t forget that Italy’s king is
over there as well. Things cannot possibly end well.”
Casually ignoring Godou’s displeased protests, the Hime-Miko of the
Sword smiled as she spoke.
Even Liliana and Erica nodded in agreement.
“Indeed. When two Campiones meet up, something will definitely happen.”
“Her Eminence Luo Hao and Godou. Prince Alec and Godou. All
encounters so far have followed the same mold. What remains are only the
questions of whether Godou’s presence spells fortune or disaster and who
is going to be affected.”
“W-Wait a minute. I came for the purpose of monitoring that guy Doni,
okay!”
Feeling compelled to object to the girls’ preconceptions, Godou interrupted.
Having said nothing so far, Mariya Yuri cast him a glance as though she
wanted to say something.
“What is it, Mariya?”
“Oh nothing. Of course, precautions against Sir Salvatore goes without
saying, but I believe that the saying, ‘to go for the wool and come back
shorn,’ often applies to you, Godou-san.”
“G-Going for the wool?”
“Yes. In terms of pouring fuel on the fires of conflict, your accomplishments
are no inferior to Sir Salvatore in any way, Godou-san.”
The graceful Hime-Miko expressed her opinion humbly.
“While taking up a monitoring role, Godou-san, you may end up inciting
new commotions instead…”
“Mariya, you’re saying you believe in that possibility!?”
“Yes.”
Hearing her instantly answer in the affirmative, Godou went “Gun” and
could not find words to answer.
Furthermore, the other girls were nodding away vigorously in agreement!
“Wait a minute! Saying that I’m equal to that guy or whatever, I definitely
cannot believe that!”
“Godou. Could you please review everything you’ve done so far and say
that again with a straight face?”
“Ah, uh…”
He tried reviewing the past. Then Godou amended part of his statement.
“Even so, it’s still not to the level of equals. At most maybe three quarters
or so…”
“See, since there is 75%, it means you are confident that you have a
fighting chance of victory.”
“If you round it, the result is a similar number.”
“In terms of problematic behavior during everyday life, Sir Salvatore wins
hands down. But speaking of explosive power in the heat of the moment, I
find Kusanagi Godou to be superior instead… Hence, equals after all.”
Erica jumped on Godou’s slip of the tongue and even Ena and Liliana
followed suit.
“Godou-san, please pay attention and try to prevent this from happening.
We will do our best to help too…”
Seeing as even Yuri, the most rational one, said this, Godou could not
muster any protests.
Dejectedly, he bowed his head.
While they conversed, the car continued to make its way through
Tuscany’s agricultural scenery.
The surroundings were all endless plains and farmland with gently rolling
hills scattered throughout.
During springtime, the grass, leaves and budding shoots of greenery would
bring a dash of vivid color to the lands. However, the current season was
winter. The land’s greenery was drab, mixed with the brown color of many
dead leaves.
Also, the peaks of the mountain range in the distance gradually entered
into view.
They had now entered the mountains. Then there was snow. The color
covering the land switched from mottled green and brown of dead leaves
to the pure whiteness of snow.
After that, the car finished its hour-long journey.
Godou’s group had finally reached their destination, a sturdy castle built
from stone.
This medieval castle had been converted into an old castle hotel. It was
supposedly rented to serve as the headquarters for the “divine beast hunt.”
In the silvery world around the hotel, a great amount of snow had
accumulated.
Although the place was definitely not a land of snow, there had just been
snowfall on the day before. On the other hand, today’s weather was bright
and sunny. The dazzling blue sky stretched endlessly above.
“Hey Godou.”
“It’s been a while.”
The two Devil Kings were reunited in the lobby of the old castle hotel.
However, everything that needed saying had already been covered in the
phone call a few days ago.
Doni laughed cheerfully while Godou gave a simple greeting with a poker
face.
“Well, isn’t this truly delightful? If possible, I really want another duel with
you.”
“Yeah, keep saying that and you’ll find yourself in quite a fix.”
After this brief exchange, Doni headed over towards the corridor while
Godou went to look for another acquaintance.
The one he needed to talk to was not the “King of Swords” but the
organizer. Luckily, Andrea Rivera was present in the lobby and
approached Godou as soon as he saw him.
“We have already sent out several knights. They are currently searching
for the divine beast in question.”
Through a simple conversation, Rivera informed Godou of the incident.
It was said that whenever magi and knights were summoned in the name
of Salvatore Doni the leader of the Southern European world of magic, his
butler, Rivera, managed these organizations on behalf of his irresponsible
master.
Very likely, Rivera was the busiest person in the entire castle.
“Based on the reports so far, we can tell that the target is essentially
mild-mannered. However, its outbursts of violent aggression mean that we
cannot leave it alone.”
“Violent aggression huh? That thing I fought last time seemed quite timid.”
“I have heard of it too. Perhaps because it became used to it — The fear
towards a Campione, already carved deeply in the core of its being.”
In response to Rivera’s ominous news, Godou posed a question.
“By the way, Doni seems to have some kind of motive behind this hunt, do
you happen to know about it?”
“It’s very unfortunate, but I do not know what that idi — my lord is thinking.
He seems to be hiding something from me and secretly making plans… But
just for the sake of caution, I already have surveillance arranged.”
Irreverence and insolence was packaged into serious and sincere words.
Having displayed this amazing skill, Rivera took a light bow.
“Food and drinks have been prepared in the hall over there. Please make
your way there and relax for now.”
He really must be quite busy. Rivera left as soon as he finished speaking.
Nodding to his four companions, Godou headed towards the location
indicated.
The space was once the castle’s great hall. A buffet was already prepared.
Even though it was not even two in the afternoon, the tables were lined
with wine and beer.
In any case, it was a buffet party.
As the chair of the event, “the highest ranking person” was currently
standing on stage.
“Uh, everyone. Thank you all for answering my summons here (rustling) I,
Salvatore Doni, express my sincere thanks to everyone’s courage and
spirit of sacrifice… (rustling).”
On stage, Doni was openly reading out the contents of a piece of notebook
paper.
He was still dressed casually in a long-sleeved, unbuttoned shirt and
cotton pants.
The paper’s rustling was being amplified by the microphone.
“Although there are still many thanks I’d like to express… Let’s end them
right here.”
Doni suddenly threw away the piece of paper and ended his speech.
“Etc etc. I hope everyone can enjoy their brief time here. That’s it!”
Swiftly, he went off the stage and retreated into the depths.
Godou was marveling at the discovery that Doni was capable of delivering
speeches, but seeing this, he understood. “Ah I see.”
“To think he dared do that so openly.”
“For the people present, I’m sure everyone is already used to this type of
behavior from Sir Salvatore.”
Godou turned his gaze towards “the people present” that Erica mentioned.
Roughly twenty people were gathered in the great hall. Their age range
was quite broad, covering people in the twenties up to their forties. All men
without exception. These were reportedly the Great Knights who had
responded to Doni’s summons.
Most of them were wearing suits but a few were dressed casually in
jackets over t-shirts.
“Since this is a gathering of Italian knights, Ena originally expected people
with getups like matadors or that phantom of the op-something or other.
How disappointing.”
“Do not confuse this with the Carnival of Venice, Seishuuin Ena. Besides,
there is probably no need to get dressed up here.”
“Indeed… We are not much better ourselves.”
Looking at the attire of their own group, Yuri nodded.
Yuri was wearing a black, silken one-piece dress, stylistically much more
mature than her usual daily wear. Erica and Liliana were wearing black
leather pants along with the usual capes they used in battle.
Ena had not changed. Godou was also dressed in an ordinary shirt with
jeans.
“Then I shall take my leave, Godou, for I have preparations to make.”
“Yeah, thanks.”
Godou nodded and Erica went through the crowd in the party.
She was making her way to the great hall’s exit. However, she suddenly
stopped because along the way, she ran into someone she knew. After a
brief amiable exchange, she continued on her way.
“Her social circles really are quite broad.”
Godou felt impressed but he also left his seat to call on an acquaintance.
He was the magic association [Capital of Liliesj’s premier knight whom
Godou had met at the Roman Colosseum last time. Godou had been
greeted by him earlier during their reunion in the great hall.
This prompted the successive arrival of Great Knights greeting Godou in
their first encounter.
Naturally, this was not because of the name of Kusanagi Godou but his
Campione title. Once this wave of greetings subsided, someone not in a
suit, a hotel attendant, came to Godou’s side.
His whispers informed Godou that his companion was calling for him.
Erica’s preparations were apparently ready.
Taking his leave from the other girls, Godou followed the attendant.
He was led to a room inside the ancient castle.
As soon as he entered the room, Godou was welcomed by someone he
knew.
“It has truly been quite a while, Godou. I am very happy to see you again.”
For Godou, this was the first greeting he received in this hotel that was
filled with cordial affection.
Reuniting after nine months, the man instantly walked over as soon as he
saw Godou’s face and patted him on the shoulder.
“Or perhaps, in light of your recent leaps and bounds in growth, you may
find this familiar tone of voice disrespectful? Should that be the case,
please allow me to correct myself instantly.”
“No, this is good. More accurately, it’d be a great help if you keep things
this way.”
The one who elicited a wry smile from Godou with a friendly teasing joke
was Paolo Blandelli, dressed in an impeccable suit. Being the busy man he
was, Paolo had made his late arrival only just now.
Naturally, his niece Erica was present as well.
This was the room she had reserved beforehand for Godou and Paolo to
hold a detailed discussion.
There was also another person in the room, a woman whom Godou did not
recognize. Her long black hair tied in a ponytail, she was a beautiful
woman with a lightly tanned complexion.
She was apparently of Latin birth with a strong-minded spirit visible in her
countenance.
“A pleasure to meet you, Your Highness the seventh Campione.”
The Latin beauty spoke with a slightly husky voice and smiled fearlessly.
“My title is much more famous than my real name. Everyone always calls
me with that whatever ‘Raffaello’ name. Let’s get along from now on.”
“This is the esteemed Saint Raffaello. She is one of the Templar Knights
holding the rank of Paladino.”
Erica added as a supplementary explanation.
“Sir Salvatore trained in swordsmanship under her in the past — She is his
master.”
“Eh? That guy actually has a master?”
Godou was dumbfounded by this unexpected revelation.
Part 2
“Master whatever, it only lasted a month actually. The brat simply
disappeared on his own afterwards. He was already an incredible moron
back then, but he’s risen to new heights now.”
Criticizing Doni harshly without reserve, Saint Raffaello conversed with
Godou with much bravado.
She seemed to be a woman who was the polar opposite of serious.
Saint Raffaello, Paolo, Erica and Godou took seats around a table and
began to discuss.
“I am the one who presumptuously invited Saint Raffaello here.”
Presumably planning on leading the conversation, Paolo opened the
discussion.
“This is because, excluding Sir Salvatore, she is Europe’s strongest knight.
At the same time, she is also one of the rare few who knows Madame
Aisha.”
“Aisha? I recall something about her being one of my peers?”
“Yes. The Alexandrian godslayer. The Mysterious Queen of Caves.
Renowned as the Eternal Beauty, Madame Aisha. Indeed, that’s the one.”
Erica swiftly explained to dispel Godou’s confusion.
Despite her eloquence, the Diavolo Rosso seemed to be taking only a
support role in this discussion. That was probably in deference to the
status of her seniors, Saint Raffaello and her uncle.
“Regarding this incident, we of the [Copper Black Cross] have also
undertaken investigations in many directions. For example, why is Sir
Salvatore so obsessed with this particular land?”
Paolo resumed.
“In the end, one thing was made clear. During spring of last year, three
months before you visited Tuscany, a woman resembling Madame Aisha
was allegedly sighted in these lands.”
“So basically, the woman Doni is looking for is — ”
“Yes. He should be looking for Madame Aisha, no mistake about it.”
Hearing Paolo’s answer, Godou tried to imagine.
He tried to imagine what might be going through the mind of Salvatore
Doni.
“So basically, that idiot is hoping for the seeds of conflict to break out in a
land where a divine beast and a Campione are lurking?”
“Fair enough. Perhaps the trick may have been discovered already.”
After making some kind of reference, Saint Raffaello turned to Erica:
“Do you know what kinds of authorities Aisha-neesan possesses?”
“No, like Her Eminence Luo Hao, Madame Aisha is a very mysterious
Campione. I do not have any details of her appearance or powers.
However, she seems to have the kind of authority that preserves eternal
youth and beauty…?”
“It’s an authority nowhere near as simple as eternal youth.”
Saint Raffaello remarked with a sigh.
“Hers is an authority for creating holes. To create ‘holes’ in the ground
which connect to ‘another world.’ However, the holes are left intact until
Nee-san returns.”
“By another world — you mean the Astral Plane?”
This was the name of the otherworld Godou had visited a number of times.
Hearing Godou bringing up that name, Saint Raffaello smiled wryly.
“It’d be wonderful if it were limited to that. But no, in addition to that place,
even more worlds can be reached. More than anyone else, Aisha-neesan
is the most troublesome Campione among the seven.”
“She is number one among us?”
“Yes. Although Voban-niisan and Luo Hao-neesan are very talented at
causing trouble for others, Aisha-neesan is still top class. She is the only
one I absolutely do not wish to hang around.”
Saint Raffaello spoke as if reminiscing past memories with deep feeling.
Come to think of it, Lu Yinghua had given a similar description once. As
Godou recalled Lu Yinghua’s words, Paolo nodded at him and spoke:
“Regarding the Madame, I have only heard rumors and never spoke to her,
which is why I invited Saint Raffaello over specifically.”
“However, I really don’t want to reveal too much about her.”
“Why is that?”
Saint Raffaello answered Godou’s question with a depressed expression.
“Most people would have trouble sleeping peacefully at night ever again if
they heard the full story. This is a dangerous matter that could change the
world completely. In actual fact, it has already started.”
Change the world completely.
Even if these words were an exaggeration, it was still a troubling
description.
“Here’s my opinion on the current situation. One of Aisha-neesan’s holes
must have opened up somewhere in this land. My guess is that the divine
beast came through from there.”
Godou was dumbstruck by Saint Raffaello’s speculation.
“Oh, it’s just you girls? Godou’s not here.”
“Sir Salvatore!”
Yuri jumped with surprise at the sudden voice.
Inside the great hall being used as the venue of the impromptu party, Yuri
was in a corner with Liliana and Ena. Salvatore Doni had walked over with
a glass of beer in his hand.
“Godou-san and Erica-san as well as her uncle are currently talking in
another room…”
Yuri replied in terror.
She had first met Doni on the island of Sardinia. Last time, he had tied her
up on sight with a straw rope. Having exchanged few words, they could not
be described as familiar.
“You still seem quite insistent on Kusanagi Godou as your opponent, Sir
Salvatore.”
Liliana interjected. Among the girls here, she was the one who had had the
most contact with Doni.
Not to the level of rudeness, but with subtle sarcasm, Liliana remarked:
“The Salvatore Doni I know is not someone I would expect to engage in
idle chitchat on this type of occasion.”
“Hey hey, even someone like me would still say hi to people I know.”
As Doni smiled, a lively melody was heard from his pants. A cellphone
ringtone.
Going “Excuse me for a sec,” he took out the cellphone and took the call.
“Yes… Yes. Eh, that’s really huge news. How unexpectedly early. Ah, sorry
sorry. Of course, I’m absolutely serious. Make preparations immediately.”
Salvatore Doni grinned as he conversed happily.
For some reason, Yuri felt uncomfortable and hunched herself tightly.
From the blonde Campione, she could feel something akin to fireworks
about to be fired off.
Meanwhile, Doni hastily ended the call and declared with a wide grin:
“Well then, I’ll be off. Say hi to Godou for me!”
The pace of his departure was unusually swift.
Once Doni was completely out of view, Ena suddenly asked:
“What’s the matter, Yuri?”
“Ah yes. For some reason, I felt an ominous aura from Sir Salvatore’s body
just now…”
Hearing this reply, the Hime-Miko of the Sword went “Hmm” and began to
ponder.
“The person on the other side in that phone call sounded like the man
called Rivera who was talking to His Majesty earlier.”
Seishuuin Ena’s five senses, including hearing, were as sharp as a wild
beast’s.
She was indeed capable of hearing the other speaker’s voice. Yuri nodded
without hesitation.
“So, Rivera-san reported that something was approaching the hotel so be
careful, and something about needing increased security…”
“From the way he looked, Sir Salvatore seemed completely
unconcerned…”
Ena and Yuri murmured. Liliana hugged her shoulders and began to
contemplate.
“Could it be that Sir Salvatore already has some sort of nefarious plan in
motion? Intending to enjoy a chaotic situation once everyone arrived…”
“Does Sir Salvatore play pranks of that level?”
Yuri’s question was answered by Liliana nodding with a serious
expression.
“He probably did not think up a plan ahead of time. However, he would
adapt to the situation and flexibly use whatever is available. Sir Salvatore
is a very cunning man.”
“Is that really so? It is a little surprising…”
“I understand how you feel. In fact, I occasionally feel like calling him an
idiot directly.”
“L-Liliana-san, you cannot use that kind of word…”
“However, he does resemble a slow-witted person.”
“Not you as well, Ena-san, this is unacceptable!”
“No no, because Ena is about the same, so it feels like kinship.”
“On the other hand, Seishuuin Ena, you were inexplicably quiet when Sir
Salvatore approached just now. It felt as though you were avoiding him…”
Liliana wondered incredulously. In fact, Yuri had also felt the same.
The normally fearless premier Hime-Miko had acted as if she were
avoiding Salvatore Doni’s gaze, as if she were trying to hide behind Yuri.
“Ah… Actually, Ena is not very good at dealing with that kind of
‘enlightened’ person.”
“‘Enlightened’!?”
“Speaking of which, King Salvatore has disappeared again.”
This description did not resemble something the carefree child of nature
would say. It was completely shocking to hear her using the word
“enlightened.”
Ignoring Yuri and Liliana’s surprise, Ena surveyed the party venue and
reported.
“He probably left already.”
“Although what he is planning is unclear, we cannot leave him be… Let us
go on a brief search. Come with me, Seishuuin Ena.”
Liliana spoke thoughtfully. Taking over as the leader in times like these,
this was a role reserved for none other but her as Kusanagi Godou’s
adjutant.
“Even if I carelessly release the [Witch’s Eye], Sir Salvatore would probably
dispel it. Let us first find his location then tail him.”
“Sounds very fun. Of course, Ena will come along.”
The witchcraft of projecting sight through the air did not work against
Salvatore Doni apparently.
However, Liliana and Ena were both highly agile with keen sight. Given
these two, they should be able to investigate through tracking and tailing.
“Take care, you two!”
Naturally, given her lack of athleticism, Yuri could only see them off.
After Liliana and Ena left the venue, Yuri waited alone for her friends to
return. She was surrounded by lively people engaged in the party but there
was not a single person she knew.
Taking a break from the party and leaving the great hall, Yuri came to the
corridor.
As soon as she sat down on a sofa against the wall and exhaled —
“Sir Andrea’s report has arrived. A divine beast seems to be approaching.”
“A knight sent out to scout ended up discovered by the divine beast
instead, which is now attacking. The other scouts are currently fleeing back
as fast as they can. Get ready to rescue them and counterattack!”
A number of knights were running along the old castle hotel’s corridor,
yelling reports at the people around them.
Yuri jumped in surprise. In any case, this place was going to turn into a
battlefield soon. This was the report Salvatore Doni had received over the
phone!
Furthermore, was the crisis situation of the divine beast’s arrival going to
be the impetus that sparks things off?
A clear image suddenly surfaced in Yuri’s mind. Naturally, this was an
oracle brought by spirit vision.
However, what it showed was —
“How could this be!? Where did you go, Godou-san!?”
Stunned, Yuri could not help but scream.
Part 3
In the lobby of the old castle hotel, Seishuuin Ena put on a white jacket.
Liliana also put on her usual blue and black cape. Since there was no time
to waste, they limited their winter gear to that and exited the hotel.
Outside, the view was dominated by a world of silver —
Stepping on this thickly piled up snow, one would instantly sink deep into it.
However, Ena was the child of nature capable of running around in the
deep mountains during harsh winters. Furthermore, she had also mastered
the art of Monkey Flight which conferred extraordinary agility in martial
arts.
Using this spell allowed her to walk over snow with great ease, leaving only
a trail of light footprints.
“You’re not one to fear snow, are you, Liliana-san?”
“I am neither used to nor challenged by snow. Never mind me, just hurry.”
Born and raised in Milan, Liliana was not a heaven-favored child of nature
like Ena.
On the other hand, she was a witch whose lightness of body allowed her to
reach the domain of flight. As expected, she only left behind a faint trail of
footprints over the snow as she ran quickly to follow Ena.
“Sir Salvatore doesn’t seem to be in the hotel…”
“He really did go outside, right?”
Ena and Liliana looked out into the distance together.
The hotel was built on a hill at a slightly higher elevation. It offered an
expansive, panoramic view of the surroundings.
If one had to mention man-made structures, there seemed to be a little
town ten-odd kilometers ahead. The sparse vegetation in the surroundings
consisted mainly of scattered cypress trees. Visibility was excellent from
the vantage point of the hotel.
The pure white plain of snow extended all the way to the horizon.
The current time was well into the afternoon, although dusk was still quite
some time away. There was a sunny winter sky without a cloud visible for
miles. Under this clear and bright sky, Ena used the [Eagle Eyes] spell to
enhance her vision.
Although Ena’s eyesight was already excellent, using this wizardry allowed
her to literally see on the level of [Eagle Eyes].
Using a bird of prey’s eyesight, capable of seeking prey from several
kilometers away, Ena carefully searched the snowy plain with its lack of
obstructions — Finally, a figure was found.
“It’d be great if that’s really King Salvatore…”
“Rare is the busybody who likes venturing out in this land of snow. I
believe the chances are more than hopeful.”
Nodding to each other, Ena and Liliana began to run towards the figure’s
direction.
Due to the excellent visibility, it should be quite easy for the target to
discover them as well. For the sake of caution, Liliana invoked the
witchcraft of [Concealment] to hide their figures.
This was a spell for concealing a person like camouflage.
“Come to think of it, you called Sir Salvatore an ‘enlightened’ person just
now?”
While racing over the snow as if flying, Liliana asked.
“I believe that description does not match Sir Salvatore’s personality.”
“It’s like this. That king looks as though he completely lacks desires and
worldly thoughts. Like a baby, his mind feels empty.”
“An empty mind. Is that what you meant by enlightened?”
“That’s right. Enlightenment is attaining the level where one is released
from all doubt and anxiety. The state where great wisdom is masqueraded
as great foolishness. An empty mind without thoughts, as serene and clear
as a polished mirror or still water. Getting rid of all thoughts from the mind,
to be able to live leisurely in any situation. ‘Sticks and stones may break
my bones, but words will never hurt me.'”
“I feel like I sort of get it but not completely…”
Chatting as they sprinted across the snow, the pair suddenly stopped
talking. Voices could be heard, carried by the wind. The two girls halted
simultaneously and listened.
‘What on earth are you thinking, Sir!?’ ‘What’s-your-face, hurry back to the
venue! Report to Sir Andrea— Oof.’ ‘Guh.’ ‘Mhah.’
‘Sorry, guys. I’ve sent you all to sleep painlessly. Forgive me, yo.”
Then there were no more voices. All Liliana and Ena could hear was the
sound of the wind.
“…What’s your take on this, Liliana-san?”
“…Sir Salvatore eliminated the surveillance team using physical force.”
Reaching the same conclusion, the two girls nodded at each other.
Instead of running, the two girls walked towards the direction of the voices.
They did so quietly and cautiously, as if holding their breath. After a brief
walk, they were met with the scene amidst some cypress trees.
Three men lay face down on the snow while Salvatore Doni was standing
around casually.
He was wearing a black coat with leather boots. Slung on his shoulder was
the cylindrical case.
“Well then, I think it’s almost time it arrived. What’s gonna happen?”
Muttering to himself, Doni turned his gaze towards the girls’ direction.
Ena immediately ducked and lay on the snow. Slender enough, Liliana hid
behind a cypress tree.
However, this was worrying for nothing. Rather than looking at the two
girls, Doni was gazing towards the old castle hotel. Then he smiled with
joy. Following his gaze, Ena was surprised by the sight.
A “dinosaur” had appeared before the hotel, roughly seven meters in body
length.
Its body seemed slender and agile. Massive, hooked claw, tough hind legs.
Just as Godou and Erica had described, it was a black, carnivorous
dinosaur.
Recent research had given rise to theories that this type of dinosaur was
actually covered in feathers.
However, the divine beast before them was only covered in sturdy skin.
Pitch-black like a raven, it stood in stark contrast against the background of
pure white snow.
“Goody goody. While Rivera and the others have their hands full, one task
is done.”
Doni smiled with satisfaction and began running over the snow with
movements as agile as a fox.
Towards the old castle — Not. He was going in the completely opposite
direction.
“To think he ignored the divine beast’s arrival. Where is Sir Salvatore going
actually?”
“Let’s pursue him. After all, His Majesty and Erica-san can handle things
there.”
“Indeed. Furthermore, Erica’s uncle and Saint Raffaello are there too.”
Ena quickly suggested and Liliana immediately nodded in agreement.
“That black thing appeared again!?”
“Yes. Pursuing the knights who were out scouting, it’s currently
approaching this place!”
Godou and Erica exited the old castle hotel together.
Just when they were listening to Saint Raffaello’s exposition on Madame
Aisha’s authority that allowed travel to ‘somewhere in another world,’
Paolo’s cellphone suddenly rang.
It was Andrea’s report of the “approaching divine beast.”
Also present, Saint Raffaello and Paolo Blandelli exchanged whispers with
solemn expressions.
“Well, what did the idiot’s chaperone say?”
“He can’t contact the personnel in charge of monitoring Sir Salvatore.
Since he is going to track down Sir Salvatore, he is passing all command
over to me.”
“Tsk. One after another, troublesome things arrive!”
Just as the quartet arrived at the hotel garden, they heard a strange roar.
SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Looking in the direction of the sound, Godou saw the black dinosaur he
had not seen for nine months — Another face off against the agile
seven-meter-long divine beast.
Its hind legs and hooked claws were massive as ever, bearing the
appearance of Deinonychus.
This Deinonychus seemed to be more keen and nimble than its
appearance suggested.
Climbing over the wall surrounding the old castle, it looked down at the
hotel’s confines.
Apparently, it had not yet noticed Kusanagi Godou’s arrival and did not
show any intent to flee. Godou was puzzled. Thanks to the vast amount of
combat experience he had accumulated over the past nine months, he
was able to notice a certain detail.
“That should be the divine beast… But it seems a bit small.”
“Perhaps its true form is still hidden. Maybe it can suddenly enlarge in
size.”
Speaking of accumulating experience, the same went for Erica. The two
nodded at each other.
Apart from Godou’s group, there were also seven or eight Great Knights
gathered in the garden.
They were the elite troops gathered by Doni’s summons. Nevertheless,
their eyes, gazing at the divine beast, were filled with fear and nervous
tension.
Godou recalled what Erica’s colleague had said.
Even for magi of Great Knight class, a battle against a divine beast was
still a life-risking endeavor. Furthermore, their preparations in the current
situation were far too insufficient. Godou immediately commanded.
“Tell them to stand down. I’ll be that thing’s opponent!”
“No. Before we elucidate Sir Salvatore’s intentions, it would be best to
avoid using Verethragna’s incarnations. I’m present here, and so is my
uncle and Saint Raffaello!”
The instant Erica answered, the lower hem of her cape began to flutter.
Next to her, the two Paladino also put on their battle attire as Italian
knights — They summoned the capes known as the bandiera.
Saint Raffaello’s cape was violet. On the other hand, Paolo Blandelli’s cape
in the rossonero colors of red and black, naturally.
The hems of their capes reached down much lower than Erica and
□liana’s.
Then the violet knight summoned a one-meter-long claymore. The red
Paladino conjured an oval shield on his left hand while a barbed lance
appeared in his right.
“Although I have no intention of stealing the spotlight, standing back doing
nothing hurts my pride!”
“Then let us take on the opening scene. Godou, since you’re the main
protagonist, wait until the climactic scene before entering the stage!”
Saint Raffaello glared fearlessly at the Deinonychus.
Delivering elaborate words, Paolo fully displayed his befitting qualities as
Erica’s uncle.
Meanwhile, the dinosaur-shaped divine beast opened its jaws wide and
roared again.
SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Completely unfazed, the two Paladino leapt lightly and landed on the
castle wall. They intended to intercept the ‘Deinonychus there.
“So, Godou, I’m off too!”
Erica also summoned the slender longsword, Cuore di Leone. Following
her uncle, she jumped onto the castle wall.
Godou watched the knights’ battle for now —
While he was staring at the trio’s figures, someone suddenly tugged his
arm. Looking back, Godou found the Hime-Miko standing right before him
in a black dress. Mariya Yuri.
“Godou-san. I have something urgent to tell you…!”
While bearing quite a hesitant expression, Yuri made her appeal to him.
Part 4
The Deinonychus opened its jaws and spewed out multiple beams of
lightning.
Standing on the castle wall, Saint Raffaello was in the direct line of fire.
Normally, one would expect her to be blown away by the impact, dying
instantly with burns covering a high proportion of her total body surface
area.
Nevertheless, Saint Raffaello was protected by the violet light enveloped
around her.
“Gaaaaah! O Saint John, I beseech you to grant me your protection!”
The female Paladino gritted her teeth and chanted spell words with all her
might.
The violet light proceeded to brighten. Under this protection, Saint
Raffaello managed to withstand the lightning attack without receiving any
harm.
The violet light was the force field produced by Saint Raffaello invoking the
secret ritual of [Smiting].
Erica and Liliana were also capable of using it — No, at their current level,
they could only use the sacred privilege of extermination for short
durations.
Next, the Deinonychus suddenly stopped spewing lightning.
Without warning, its deadly jaws aimed a bite at the female Paladino.
However, the instant Saint Raffaello was about to be devoured —
The Deinonychus was struck in the face by a beam of red light.
Armed with his shield and lance, Paolo Blandelli had charged valiantly.
The sacred exterminator was flying at full speed, enveloped in red light.
Protecting himself with the shield in his left hand, he charged straight at the
Deinonychus’ face —
This sudden attack sent the Deinonychus flying as if it had been struck by
a giant’s right straight punch.
Moreover, that was not the end of Paolo’s attack. Aiming at the pitch-black
head of the blown away Deinonychus — at its temples — he flew again to
perform another charge.
This time, a red cross-shaped spell crest appeared on his lance tip as
though poison had been applied onto it.
“O red cross… Turn into a wedge and pierce the enemy!”
Charging at the Deinonychus’ head, Paolo made a thrust with his lance,
accompanied by the chanting of spell words.
The instant the sharp tip of the lance and the red pentagram pierced its
skin, the Deinonychus screamed.
G AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH !
In that instant, sparks shot out from the Deinonychus’ eyes, striking Paolo
mid-charge. The beast was apparently using divine powers.
“Guu!”
Struck down onto the ground, Paolo promptly stood right back up.
The sacred exterminator’s light remained a vivid crimson hue. His standing
posture was a powerful sight. As a human, he also exuded a hero’s mettle
at the same time.
Saint Raffaello ran over to the valiant Paolo’s side. The violet knight
readied her claymore in a stance.
Reportedly, these two were top class masters in all of Europe, not just
Italy.
Watching how the two fought, Godou noticed. Indeed, the stability they
displayed in their usage of [Smiting] was different from that of Erica and
Liliana.
Godou felt that with regard to instantaneous power output, there was an
extremely wide gap in difference.
However, Paolo and Saint Raffaello’s powerful presence and composure
coupled with unshakable stability were things that Godou’s knight
companions did not possess. Although the current situation looked dire, in
actual fact it was not.
Furthermore, Erica was on standby as the third combatant, ready to enter
the fray any moment.
“Judging from the situation, I guess things are okay even if I don’t join in…”
“Yes. For some reason, I feel that there will not be a problem even if you
left this situation for those two to handle. Putting that aside, Godou-san, I
really must hurry and inform you — ”
“Oh sorry, Mariya. Please go on and tell me.”
The old castle hotel was built using a medieval fortress as a base.
Although Godou had brought Yuri to a corner of the hotel garden to speak,
he could not help but cast his attention towards the knights’ battle with the
divine beast.
“Very well. Before you and I part ways, Godou-san, I have things I must
inform you no matter what.”
Godou went “Eh?” and was rendered speechless by Yuri’s words.
Parting ways with Yuri? There was no such plan at the moment. The only
possibility Godou could think of was if Yuri was having health problems.
Back when Erica heard about the Hime-Miko’s fainting collapse, this was
what she said:
‘…Extraordinary spirit vision and aptitude for psychic sensing. Yuri and
Princess Alice are very similar users of spirit powers. Furthermore, the
Princess’ health is exceptionally frail because her body has trouble
withstanding those astounding spirit powers.’
Erica had used London’s bedridden Princess as an example to illustrate.
‘Fortunately, Yuri’s health problems are not that severe. Nevertheless, that
only describes the current situation. I’d like to observe her condition a while
longer, but without allowing her to overstrain herself in the mean time.’
‘Speaking of the Princess, indeed they are quite similar.’
Liliana had also nodded in agreement with her longtime friend and rival.
‘Strangely enough, Mariya Yuri has a similar lack of physical stamina.
Perhaps it is a sign of a person’s strong affinity to the blood of the divine
ancestors they have inherited…”
Although there was no evidence, this theory sounded quite plausible.
In actual fact, before coming to Italy, Godou had agonized over whether to
leave Yuri in Japan.
“Could it be, Mariya, you’re not feeling well…!?”
“N-No. Nothing of that sort.”
Godou could not help but raise his voice, causing Yuri to be taken aback
with surprise.
Since Yuri seemed to be telling the truth, Godou was relieved. In that case,
what did she mean by “parting ways”?
“Actually… I saw it a while earlier. We will be parting ways — Godou-san,
you will be going to a faraway place to start a journey.”
“I will start a journey? Where exactly?”
Yuri had apparently experienced a spirit vision.
Of course, Godou believed her completely but he was still quite baffled.
“I do not know. All I know is that it is a place where one cannot easily
return from… Hence, before you set off, Godou-san, I would like to inform
you first. Regarding the new power you have received, Godou-san.”
“Power?”
“Yes. Recently, I keep getting the feeling that… A power residing in your
body, Godou-san, shall sublime and take on a new form.”
“I originally intended to keep silent until it was absolutely necessary to
reveal it… However, Godou-san, you may come across danger during your
journey. In order to prepare in advance, let me remove the seal here right
now.”
Troubling advice was being offered by Yuri, a prudent member of the
common sense faction.
Surprised, Godou wanted to adhere to passivity and reject the proposal.
“That sounds like something dangerous. I’m fine even if I don’t obtain it.”
“No. I implore you to prepare yourself. In order to take my place because I
can no longer watch over you by your side, I do wish to provide some
assistance to you now at least.”
“Mariya…”
“H-Hence. In order to unseal it, I must cast a spell on you.”
Yuri lowered her gaze and bowed her head, whispering shyly.
However, despite the trouble the Hime-Miko was having in finding the right
words, she still continued to speak in a stuttering manner.
“W-We will be parting ways very soon. If you say ‘maybe next time’ like you
did to Ena-san in the past, you will very likely forget, Godou-san…”
Hearing her bring up the promise between Ena and himself, Godou
groaned in anguish.
But with this, what the Hime-Miko was seeking had become perfectly clear.
“S-So. If you do not mind, it is imperative that we — ”
“Mari— Yuri!”
Godou decided he would never live it down if she was forced to finish her
sentence.
Furthermore, her bold words incited excitement in Godou’s heart.
He immediately embraced Yuri and took her forcefully by the lips.
“Godou-san…!”
“I did say I have no wish for that kind of strange power, however, I — ”
“V-Very well. Let us begin together.”
Gazing into each other’s eyes, exchanging passionate words, the two of
them kissed again.
This time, they both extended their tongues simultaneously and kissed like
a string instrument’s bow and string. Two sets of lips tightly pressed
together, tongues caressing each other, saliva mixing together.
Then in Godou’s mind, the image of a certain goddess surfaced.
“As expected of Uncle Paolo and Saint Raffaello. It looks like there’s no
need for me to enter the stage.”
Erica murmured as she watched the two Paladinos fighting the divine
beast valiantly.
In order to intervene at any opportunity, she had cast magic on Cuore di
Leone, the magic sword of the lion, turning it into a pilum.
But judging from the current state of affairs, her assistance did not seem
necessary.
Taking advantage of the moment when Saint Raffaello held the enemy’s
attention, exterminator Paolo charged, blasting the Deinonychus away
from the old castle hotel where ordinary staff were still present.
Having secured the safety of the other personnel, the two Paladinos
resumed the battle.
Paolo and Saint Raffaello did not attack over aggressively, instead
choosing to dodge the divine beast’s attacks again and again.
However, their blades would stab into the Deinonychus’ vitals as soon as
an opening appeared.
Consequently, the divine beast gradually weakened. Paolo and Saint
Raffaello’s position of advantage was unshakable.
However, they were not simply aiming for the enemy’s defeat but also
information concerning its nature. In case a battle against a similar divine
beast was encountered again, they considered such a possibility —
“Lily, Ena-san and I, none of us are able to fight in this manner… Granted,
these two hold the rank of Paladino, but their difference in level relative to
us is all too clear to see.”
If Erica and the girls were the ones fighting, they would surely be launching
attacks nonstop instead.
In a fight against a divine beast, a single blunder could prove fatal. The risk
of making such mistakes in a protracted battle increased as time dragged
on.
Given that was the case, the best approach was to begin the battle with a
full-out offensive to end things as quickly as possible.
However, such tactics were only possible with the support of her
companions and Kusanagi Godou.
Erica and Liliana had only just grasped the basics of [Smiting]. They were
still in training and could not be said to have truly attained the Paladino
rank.
In any case, Erica observed the two Paladinos battling calmly.
“Eh!?”
Erica was shocked by the sudden transformation of the Deinonychus.
Its front limbs were originally much shorter and more slender than its tough
hind legs. However, these small front limbs suddenly transformed into a
pair of wings.
Covered with a thin membrane, a pair of wings similar to a bat’s —
The Deinonychus had transformed into a black pterosaur. The size and
length of its body remained the same. The beast still seemed rather agile.
“I can’t believe it transformed!?”
“To think it was concealing this sort of power!”
As Saint Raffaello and Paolo watched in surprise, the pterosaur swept its
tail at them.
Due to the protection conferred by the privilege of extermination, the two
did not receive any significant injuries. However, the black pterosaur took
this opportunity to flap its wings, taking to the skies.
Steadily rising in altitude, it flew towards the distant sky. It was trying to
flee.
“Cuore di Leone!”
The instant she realized the enemy was escaping, Erica threw the magic
sword she had already transformed into a pilum.
The pilum was already enchanted with magic for enhancing flight range
and infused with the “spell words of resentment and despair.”
Launched from the ground, the pilum turned into a flash of light, piercing
the pterosaur’s throat.
It worked. Suffering this fatal blow, the already wounded divine beast
crashed back down into the ground.
The fallen black pterosaur turned into a carcass lying on the snow.
But as a supernatural creature, it was probably going to lose its form and
dissipate before long.
“A divine beast capable of transforming between two forms… Indeed, it is
no ordinary dinosaur after all.”
Erica murmured as she looked down at the fallen divine beast.
Not only her but also Paolo and Saint Raffaello, and even Yuri and Godou
were running over. The entire group was watching the divine beast’s
demise.
“If Godou fought it like last time, we probably never would have realized.
Most likely, he would have defeated it immediately.”
“That which was born from bitter waters… The beast following its mother
the serpent — ”
Yuri suddenly whispered.
Judging from the blank tone of her voice, she must have received a spirit
vision.
“Did you see something related to this divine beast? Is it really connected
to a mother earth goddess from somewhere?”
“Impossible to know clearly. Really, I only saw a few things…”
Hearing Erica and Yuri’s exchange, Saint Raffaello shrugged.
“Oh well, gods are not the only ones who can summon divine beasts
anyway. Venerable divine artifacts, hidden sanctuaries, forbidden
high-level magic, and the Campiones themselves are all possible
candidates.”
“Speaking of Campiones, where did Sir Salvatore run off to?”
“— Hmm?”
While listening to Paolo’s wondering, Godou also heard other voices.
They were cries of Kusanagi Godou! Your Majesty!’ Cries for help, carried
by the wind from far away, calling for the protector. Godou listened intently.
Mixed with snowflakes, a gust of powerful wind was sweeping across the
clear and sunny sky.
The voices in the wind was an incantation invoked by those seeking
rescue from a desperate crisis.
“Wind… I can use the the [Wind] incarnation…?”
“Could it be Liliana-san and Ena-san!? They were supposed to be tracking
down Sir Salvatore!”
“Let’s head there immediately, Godou!”
Yuri and Erica were amazing.
As soon as they heard Godou muttering softly to himself, they immediately
understood the situation.
However, Yuri only expended a slight amount of energy for psychic
sensing in the ritual earlier. Was she tired? Her face did not look well.
Godou did not want her to suffer too much strain. He immediately called
out:
“Mariya, go and rest. Let’s go, Erica!”
Picking up Erica in his arms, he invoked Verethragna’s first incarnation.
The air underfoot began to stir, forming a vortex of wind, turning into a
whirlwind. The power of instantaneous travel was manifesting.
Leaving behind Paolo and Saint Raffaello in their amazement, Godou and
Erica flew away, riding upon the wind.
“Please be careful, Godou-san! I shall wait for you all to return safe and
sound!”
The voice of Yuri praying for Kusanagi Godou’s safe return could be heard.
“Should you not come back, I shall go find you! Absolutely without a
doubt!”
Part 5
The forest in Casentino was covered by deep snow.
Since this had always been a mountainous area, the terrain was
undulating with mountains and valleys everywhere.
Running across the snow, weaving through the treacherous terrain,
Salvatore Doni’s movements were as swift and agile as a fox or a snow
leopard.
Apart from swordsmanship, he had also attained extraordinary mastery in
other martial arts and physical techniques.
Given the case, if only his personality could be slightly more normal — That
was a dream that all European magi shared.
“By the way, where is Sir Salvatore going, really?”
“For now, we’ve already passed over two mountains.”
□liana’s fellow partner in pursuit, Seishuuin Ena, answered.
While maintaining a distance so that Doni would not discover them, the two
girls pursued him as he ran swiftly.
This would have been impossible for ordinary people, but Liliana and Ena
barely managed through the use of spells and agile movements. But

actually, there was probably no problem even if they lost sight of Doni.
This was because he himself was following “some kind of trail.”
The divine beast that was just sighted outside the old castle hotel —
The Deinonychus had apparently arrived by passing through these snowy
mountains, leaving footprints on the snow. This trail was what Doni was
currently following.
“He wants to find the divine beast’s lair…?”
“Speaking of which, he does indeed look as though he is searching for
something.”
The dinosaur’s footprints soon led Doni to a ravine.
Although the stream at the bottom of the ravine was tiny, this was actually
the Arno river. Not too far downstream, it would widen into a large river as
it flowed across the vast plains of Tuscany.
Taking a spring or summer stroll here by the side of a beautiful river was
probably one of the greatest pleasures in life.
Doni’s eyes began to shine when he arrived at this place. Liliana
understood the reason behind his reaction, for she too could feel the divine
aura distributed throughout this land, more abundant than most other
places.
“The air here feels like it came from a venerable sacred mountain.
Anyway.”
Ena spoke up. The Hime-Miko who had been calm and composed was
now getting nervous. She watched their target of pursuit with great
wariness.
“There’s an annoying feeling. The king over there looks as though he’s up
to mischief.”
“You are most probably right. Whenever Sir Salvatore makes that kind of
face, he almost always does something absurd.”
Salvatore Doni’s eyes were shining like a child’s.
Ever since Liliana first encountered him when she was twelve, she had
witnessed this look many times.
Starting with his duel against the heroic god Siegfried and continuing until
the time when he sliced apart a mother earth goddess’ stone pillar, each
and every occasion was a troublesome incident without exception.
“We must find a way to stop him.”
Steeling her determination, Liliana began to take action. Until now, she had
been monitoring Doni from above without descending down the ravine. But
now, she jumped down into the ravine with agility like a fairy’s. Ena
followed suit.
Standing face to face with Doni, Liliana spoke up:
“Sir Salvatore! What on earth are you planning to do?”
“Eh? You are Liliana Kranjcar and… Uh, that girl Godou brought along with
the whatever name. You both followed me, huh.”
Seeing Liliana and Ena, Doni began to grin.
“However, this happens to be perfect timing, yes? Could you help deliver a
message to him? Tell him This is the game’s starting point, so come here
later if you want to play.'”
“This is omitting too much. Please explain clearly in proper sequence!”
Directed towards a Devil King, these words were rather rude.
However, Liliana was already quite used to dealing with Doni. It was
imperative to avoid getting caught up in his ridiculous pace by making
demands resolutely.
As expected, the frivolous Devil King went “sorry my bad” in response.
“Oh dear. The divine beast roaming this area looks like it came through a
hole that leads somewhere.”
“Hole — in other words, it is a corridor leading to another world.”
“Yes, well said. I intend to go through that hole. Perhaps the world on the
other side has many divine beasts and gods as their masters. I’d like to go
on a bit of an adventure.”
So this turned out to be the truth? Grinning to himself, Doni revealed his
incredibly ludicrous intentions.
“This is going to be like playing an RPG, very cool, right? But playing by
myself would be no fun at all, so I want Godou to play along with me.”
“Which is why you followed the divine beast’s footprints to this place… And
you say a hole should exist somewhere.”
“Excuse me, Your Majesty. May I interrupt a bit?”
As Liliana summed up in exasperation, Ena interjected from beside her.
“That hole probably isn’t open to passage all the time. It should open only
when certain conditions are met, right? Like on a full moon or at a certain
time. Otherwise, the surrounding area would be filled with divine beasts.”
Even though she was a carefree child of nature, Seishuuin Ena was also a
talented girl well-versed in cultural and martial arts.
Finding her reasoning compelling, Liliana nodded in agreement.
This type of “journey to another world” should only be possible under
specific conditions. This principle could be called common sense in the
world of magic.
However, unfettered by the limitations of common sense, the blonde
Campione laughed with joy.
“This is not a problem. I hold a trump card prepared just for this occasion.”
“Trump card…”
Immediately, powerful divine energy surged out of Doni’s body.
Realizing he was planning on using his authority, Liliana felt her body
shake suddenly. She was informed by an oracle which had descended
through spirit vision.
Perhaps this authority originated from a secret cult in ancient Greece?
“The god of wine and harvests… The god ruling over secret rituals of
madness. Could it be Dionysus!?”^
“Hen. To think you would know this, how expected of you, Kranjcar.”
Doni’s smile changed in nature.
From the frivolous smile of a cheerful Latin man, it transformed into the
smile of a Devil King intent on fulfilling his godslaying arrogance to the very
end —
“Precisely because it’s you, I entrust the message to you without worry.
Help me give Andrea a shout as well. If you screw up, then Godou will
really be in trouble.”
“Seriously, what the heck is wrong with you — !”
Liliana sighed and looked up resolutely.
Even though he was an astoundingly irresponsible man, nothing could
change the fact of his being a godslayer. The only ones capable of
opposing him were gods or other godslayers. In that case — Liliana
communicated to her companion with a glance.
“Ama no Murakumo! Please lend your power to Ena!”
Ena swiftly understood Liliana’s message and immediately summoned the
divine sword Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi to her right hand.
Liliana also called forth the magic sword II Maestro in its saber form and
readied her combat stance.
“Hohohoho. I am not offended by you girls, recklessly drawing your swords
against me here.”
Just as expected, Doni set the cylindrical case down from his shoulder.
Opening it, he took out a steel longsword. He held it with his dangling right
hand, entering an undisciplined but incomparably dangerous stance.
“Don’t worry. I’ll try my best not to hurt you.”
In the instant they faced off against the bragging Campione, Liliana and
Ena cried out:
“Kusanagi Godou! Here is an enemy that only you can handle. Please
come here immediately!”
“Your Majesty! Hurry over and help Ena and Liliana-san!”
In response to their cries, the wind began to stir, strengthening to become
a whirlwind, forming a tornado in no time.
With Erica Blandelli held in his embrace, her arms around his neck,
Kusanagi Godou appeared in the eye of the rampaging storm.
In this manner, Kusanagi Godou and Erica were teleported
instantaneously.
They had arrived at a ravine somewhere. A narrow stream was surrounded
by precipitous cliffs on both sides. Standing at the bottom of the ravine
were the trio, Doni, Liliana and Ena, wielding their swords respectively.
As soon as she saw Godou arrive, the silver-haired knight spoke:
“Kusanagi Godou. As always, Sir Salvatore is the culprit behind the whole
incident. You must stop him as quickly as possible!”
“Yes. Well, it’s already quite clear from this sight. Seriously.”
For an instant, Godou smiled wryly in response to Liliana’s concise report.
Then he tensed his expression and glared at Salvatore Doni.
The handsome man was displaying an acute expression in a rare moment.
This was evidence that the frivolous fool was about to get serious.
“You’re finally doing something stupid again, aren’t you? Salvatore Doni!”
“Your sudden arrival is quite unexpected, Godou. But it’s already too late.”
Powerful divine energy was pouring out of Doni’s body as he stood there
nonchalantly.
He was preparing to use some kind of authority. Was it really going to be
that of the magic sword? — Just as Godou readied his stance, Erica
suddenly cried out in alarm from beside him.
“Godou, look at that!”
The blonde maiden pointed at a precipitous cliff.
On the opposite shore of the Arno river, roughly 40m away from their
current position, a cave had opened up at some indiscernible time
earlier — No.
More accurately, it was an opening that resembled a “cave.” Its interior
was filled with complete darkness.
“I see. This is the ‘hole leading to another realm that is not the current
world.'”
“Leading to another realm…? Could it be one of those things made by that
Aisha person!?”
“Oh, you were investigating the Madame too? Well then, this is perfect. If
you don’t mind, why don’t we set off to the world on the other side
together?”
As Godou watched in horror, Doni winked at him casually.
“I originally intended to leave you a message, asking you to catch up to me
afterwards. Let’s set off together on an adventure, to engage in wars to
conquer kingdoms.”
“Enough with the jokes, as if anyone would want to do that! Seishuuin, lend
me a hand!”
Why would Madame Aisha’s lingering authority suddenly activate?
Casting this question aside for now, Godou called out to the one who
shared ownership of his “partner.”
As expected of Ena, she quickly nodded in understanding and raised Ama
no Murakumo no Tsurugi up high in her hand.
Godou immediately issued orders.
“Ama no Murakumo, go absorb that hole’s energy! Hurry!”
The jet-black divine sword possessed the trait of absorbing magical power
and divine authorities. This was what Godou commanded.
Although he had no idea how much of an effect it would produce, the more
the hole’s power weakened the better. Hence, Godou poured magical

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