Campione! / Campione! Vol 2 Chapter 2


Chapter 2 – Calm Before the Storm
Part 1
In the high school section of Jounan Academy, the boys and girls had gym
class separately.
Students from the same grade were mixed together but segregated by
gender. Godou’s 5th Class was placed with the 6th Class.
Today, the boys’ lesson was baseball.
The girls were doing softball, but since it was being carried out alongside
the boys, they used the same field. Hence, it was a rare occasion when
both the boys and girls of the 5th and 6th Classes had gym lessons
together in the same location.
— The boy from the 6th Class pitched the baseball from the mound.
The ball failed to reach the catcher’s glove, but instead flew between the
right and center fielders as the blonde batter swung rapidly.
As the outfielder returned the ball, the batter had already reached third
base splendidly.
Lessons within the school were only for beginners. In terms of level, they
were even worse than amateur leagues, so any active performance here
was nothing to be proud of.
This person obtained four hits with four turns at bat, and as pitcher struck
out all the batters of the opposing team.
Mixed among the boys, the only active participant was Erica Blandelli who
was totally amazing despite being a girl without a doubt.
Swinging her bat with splendor and the same ease as her sword.
“Godou! I want to pitch an even faster ball, you have to catch it! If it’s
Godou, you definitely can catch it!”
“Don’t be stupid! We’re not even on the same team!”
As the teams switched roles at the half-inning, Erica spoke nonsense at
the pitcher’s mound. Godou, whose own match had already ended, sat
down to watch and coldly replied.
Starting a short while ago, Erica’s fast balls began to slip from the catcher’s
glove.
It was to be expected. To demand a beginner catcher to receive that kind
of fast ball was very unreasonable.
“The girls have one person extra, so may I join the boys? Of course, I won’t
let any of you boys flee from competing against me, how’s that?”
The situation was created by Erica’s proposal not long after class started.
Erica Blandelli’s athletic prowess was already well known throughout the
school.
Since her capability was fully acknowledged by the boys in the class, and
even the gym teacher, she was placed into the A team of the 5th Class.
From that moment, the nightmare began to crush the boys’ self-esteem.
When Erica pitched. Strikes were usually called. At best, the batter might
hit an infield grounder.
When Erica pitched. The catcher would get hurt because the balls were too
fast.
When Erica batted. Singles. Doubles. Triples. Home runs.
Those situations repeated themselves as if being copy and pasted. Not
long after that, even the girls, who were having a softball match, stopped to
gather round and watch Erica’s performance.
Every time the blonde young lady gave a super performance, all the girls
cheered.
“That fellow is truly doing as she pleases… She should really hold back a
little.”
Rather than surprised, it would be better to say Godou was impressed.
As someone who already knew her extraordinary athleticism, this level of
performance was completely unsurprising. Even if her baseball experience
was zero, she was a monster who could give a performance exceeding
professionals.
“So, Kusanagi-san, how are you?”
Yuri had left the girls’ team and came over to greet Godou.
Come to think of it, gym class was the only time when the 6th Class’ Yuri
shared lessons with Erica.
“Is Erica-san using some kind of strange magic? If that is the case, she
must be stopped. To be performing at this level against boys is completely
abnormal.”
“I don’t think so. Since this is a competition, she is achieving victory entirely
on her own bodily strength.”
Godou responded with a simple answer to Yuri who was questioning with a
worried expression.
“She is a knight after all, but please don’t cheat so much during times of
jest… If only she insisted on fairness when I’m busy with things…”
Usually, Erica would use magic to enhance her abilities when messing
around with Godou, but she insisted on fair competition when it came to
gym class. Personally, Godou would prefer it if she did the opposite.
Sigh, he truly could not believe he became friends with someone like that.
“Erica’s athletic abilities are extraordinary, and would cause one to suspect
the use of magic because her bodily capability and stamina are beyond
imagination.”
Middle school was the time when Godou stood out as the cleanup hitter
and catcher of the baseball team.
But because of that, he completely understood how unreasonable Erica’s
abilities were. If she actually played baseball, she would be the type to be
the fourth bat, the cleanup hitter for sure.
“Though it feels like she’s going too far, but it should still be within
acceptable limits, right?”
“I see… Kusanagi-san, you trust Erica-san very much.”
Yuri spoke with a slightly stiff expression on her face.
“When I saw that kind of performance, the first thing I thought was she
must have used some kind of magic. I feel a bit ashamed for doubting
someone due to prior bias.”
“In this case she wasn’t acting unreasonably. As long as she keeps it to
this level of doing as she pleases.”
While she completely destroyed the self-esteem of the opposing boys as
well as her own catcher, Erica stood on the pitcher’s mound with a smile as
radiant as the sun. As if she was enjoying things from the bottom of her
heart.
“Anyway, though she is a sly fellow usually, her character is unbelievably
straightforward, so don’t worry, it’ll be ok.”
“…Understood. However, that actually makes one feel a bit envious.”
Yuri relaxed her expression and smiled as she murmured.
A faint elegant smile, she seemed rather reserved with her smiles.
“Envious? Mariya?”
“Uh, yes… To be honest, I am actually not good with sports.”
“Ah, I see.”
Although a little surprised, Godou found it understandable.
Unlike her usual miko outfit, Yuri was currently wearing her sports uniform.
Her slim body — clearly revealed how slender her limbs were.
…Furthermore, her excellent figure was also visible.
Although not to the same level as Erica, it was still a figure full of
characteristically feminine curves. Feeling embarrassed, Godou frantically
redirected his gaze to the match.
“Yes. My physical stamina is less than a normal person’s. From birth, I
have never had a happy memory related to sports.”
Yuri’s countenance seemed a little wistful as she shyly watched Godou
while she opened up to him.
“Actually, that time when I fled from Athena, I felt muscle pain afterwards.”
Godou felt apologetic since he felt like he did something bad during that
incident.
However, he also noticed.
“I am very sorry about all those different troubles. But last time that
rendezvous point shouldn’t have been that far away from Mariya’s shrine.
Maybe a distance of two kilometers or so?”
Around that area, as he spoke, Godou recalled the map of the
surroundings near Shiba Park.
However, Yuri was showing a harsh gaze indicative of slight anger.
“To me, that is quite a long distance! Kusanagi-san may be someone who
has plenty of energy to waste, but do not look down on those who do not
have physical stamina!”
For some strange reason, the angry Yuri seemed especially cute.
Of course, Godou did not dare reveal his inner thought. At that time,
Godou only wanted to be as low key as possible.
“Uh, I’m truly sorry, if something like that ever happens again, please call
me earlier and I will immediately come to your aid. Definitely, I promise.”
Using Verethragna’s authorities would allow one to literally “fly” to help
those in a crisis.
Hence, it shouldn’t be a false promise, probably… Godou wondered as he
thought ‘is it really ok?’ Yuri nodded with a forced smile.
“Kusanagi-san, did you not warn that the power is a little uncertain and that
you have yet to master it? It is not good to rely on such a power… please
keep that in mind carefully.”
Under the influence of Yuri’s words and gentle smile, Godou also smiled.
Part 2
“So, Yuri-san, how do you feel after interacting with Kusanagi Godou?”
Sitting at the driver’s seat and gripping the steering wheel was Amakasu,
who suddenly asked a question.
Unable to discern his true intentions, Yuri who was sitting on the
passenger side, gave a questioning expression and replied “Ah?”
“What I want to ask is how is the great Devil King and Yuri-san’s personal
relationship going? One that began with the two of you overcoming a
deadly crisis together. Does he have some kind of heart racing feeling
beyond pure friendship, and will progress into happy yet embarrassing
developments?”
“Amakasu-san, I do not understand at all what you are trying to confirm.”
And didn’t state clearly.
By the way, Yuri was dressed as a Japanese miko with her white robe.
She had just been working at the Nanao Shrine and stopped when
Amakasu dropped by to visit as agreed yesterday.
“We need to constantly review and adapt our relationship with him from
this point onwards, so this is just for reference.”
“Will the personal relationship between Kusanagi-san and I influence the
plans of the Committee?”
“Of course, greatly.”
Amakasu steered the car into the Shuto Expressway and drove towards
Shibuya.
As a side note, traffic was still restricted on this same Shuto Expressway in
the direction of dawn. This was due to the fact that repairs were still
underway for the damage caused by the battle between Godou and
Athena half a month ago.
“Honestly, we have no intention of making Kusanagi Godou an enemy.
Before, he was just a senseless person who was not even [King] but now
he has obtained a completely unreasonable power. Prior to that, it would
have been impossible to even imagine him becoming a monster of some
place.”
“Why are you talking like that… Don’t use words like ‘monster.’ He is still a
normal person at heart…”
Without any pretense, Yuri tried to defend Godou.
However, if one simply looked at Godou’s abilities, Amakasu’s words were
impossible to deny. Amakasu simply forced a smile and nodded.
“His future — to see what kind of Devil King he will develop into. As long as
we maintain intimacy with him all along there will be room for establishing
an ultimate relationship. If it weren’t for that, we would not have prepared
such a troublesome plan.”
The caution displayed by Amakasu and the History Compilation Committee
was understandable.
European countries already had a history of coexistence with a number of
Campiones, and so the magic associations there were experienced with
[King] dealings.
However, it was still the first time for the Committee to come into contact
with a locally born Campione.
“Thus, in case of emergencies, it is necessary to establish a close friendly
relationship with him. …This was well played by the Copper Black Cross
that first discovered the importance of Kusanagi Godou.”
“The association Erica-san belongs to?”
“Yes. To send as a lover one of their candidates for core leadership, and to
make as much use of his abilities in areas unrelated to the public, a truly
shrewd and excellent strategy.”
—Lover!?
Finally understanding Amakasu’s words, Yuri’s eyebrows shot up in anger.
“Is your side planning on adding someone like Erica!”
“After all, he is a young man despite being the great Devil King possessing
divine authority — to manipulate him with a woman is a most practical
solution. A classic strategy, wasn’t there the story of Samson who was
bewitched by Delilah in the Old Testament of the Bible?
“Please do not mix the Bible into this discussion!”
Yuri sternly reprimanded Amakasu who was chattering away.
The thought of some unknown beauty using her charms on Godou for such
purposes made Yuri raise her voice without conscious intent.
“Kusanagi-san is currently at his limits resisting the seduction of Erica-san!
This kind of behavior testing a person’s self-control is completely
unacceptable. Imprudent, unhealthy! What kind of woman do you actually
want to put up to this task!?”
“Aya, we’re finally back to the original topic, as for our female candidate…”
Amakasu sneered in a proud manner.
Yuri felt her body shake, and felt the coming of some unpleasant words, an
unwelcoming premonition.
“I think that if Yuri would take on this role, you would be a perfect
candidate. …Even as a competitor against that Erica. I believe that
Yuri-san is on the same level and certainly not inferior, isn’t that great — ”
“What, what are you talking about. I do not think I have any need to
compete with Erica-san!”
The image formed in her mind was the brilliant blonde beauty, whose looks
and outgoing personality were like the bright Mediterranean sun.
To compete against that kind of opponent for a boy’s attentions.
Just the thought of it made Yuri feel like her hair was becoming white.
Impossible and she completely refused to do it. What kind of joke was this?
“No no, it’s possible. Though the opponent is strong, but on the other hand,
Yuri-san also has substantial chances of success. Believe in yourself!”
“…Amakasu-san, please stop with these stupid jokes. Enough.”
Whenever Yuri was truly furious, she always seemed like she was smiling
for some reason.
Her lips slightly curled, and speaking with a cold tone.
“Oui, mademoiselle. My apologies, anyway, the plan just discussed was
just one of many. If possible, please forget it.”
With an exaggerated motion, Amakasu shrugged his shoulder then
continued to drive without saying another word.
The two of them sat in the domestic car which exited the Shudo
Expressway at the Shibuya exit, and continued towards the direction of
Meguro.
Part 3
Located in a quiet corner of Aobadai was a certain building.
A public library managed and run by the History Compilation Committee.
All unrelated persons were prohibited. Even the residents from the
surrounding area were unaware of what kind of public facility it actually
was.
Yuri, led by Amakasu, stepped into this library.
As a library, its structure was exceedingly simple.
Throughout this clean and quiet library were shelves full of books.
However, there were very few people. The occasional person either
belonged to the History Compilation Committee or was someone related.
In addition, there were the books being collected.
Reference books recording all types of magic and wizardry — most of them
were either grimoires or books about incantations.
Ordinary people could not comprehend these things. These were the
distilled essence of danger and wisdom, forbidden books about magic.
The library existed precisely to house and isolate these precious hidden
books from the world.
“Aobadai’s book repository… Can you tell me? This is the first time for me
to come here.”
“Unless it was necessary to tell you, there was no need to come here. No,
please wait for a moment? There are still some issues.”
Leaving those words behind, Amakasu continued leading Yuri forward.
— There was a spacious reading room on the second floor of the library.
Yuri looked at her surroundings as she waited.
Though there was not a single other person, it looked very much like a
normal library. However, the neat rows of books on the shelves gave off a
strange presence which Yuri’s spirit sense picked up.
This was not a simple book repository after all.
These books were born from the circulating records of the profound
secrets of magic and wizardry.
These grimoires accumulated ancient and profound magic. It was said that
some of the rare ones are classified as [Special Items].
The books collected here felt like masterpieces.
It was said that powerful mages and users of spirit powers wrote down
numerous books by hand, and there have even been confirmed reports of
books mass produced from printing presses suddenly obtaining magical
properties.
…Yuri turned her curiosity to the book shelves.
The titles of these books varied, but most were written in western script.
Those written in Japanese only took up less than 30%.
The activities of the History Compilation Committee only began after the
Second World War.
Committee members played a large role in restricting the spread of
magical knowledge from foreign sources. The numerous books contained
in this library were surely the result of decades of their efforts to collect
grimoires.
“Sorry to have you waiting, but what we wanted you to look at was this.
Since it is guarded by powerful spells, forcefully reading ahead will
definitely cause something bad to occur, and no one can predict what may
happen.”
Amakasu returned, and in his hands was a leather-bound foreign text that
was not very thick.
“…Something bad may occur?”
“Yes. Probably something like placing yourself in a corner of the room,
talking to angels that no one else can see, then making sounds like ‘ah
papapa’ and going on a mental journey around the world.”
“A common person cannot appraise such a dangerous book!”
You should have given me such an important warning earlier. Yuri spoke
with an unyielding tone.
“Probably, if it is being guarded by such a strong spell, then it must be a
powerful grimoire without a doubt! I see no point in further appraisal…”
“Ah yes, this is why human desire is so terrifying. Why do these grimoires
need to be enchanted with such strong spells of protection? It feels similar
to the way that prices are raised for rare books. …However, if it’s Yuri-san
then it should be safe to appraise the book without reading the contents.
It’ll be fine.”
Making a harmless expression, Amakasu spoke as he smiled, and placed
the book on one of the larger tables in the reading room.
[ Homo homini lupus f
This was the title written on the cover.
From the paper quality and damage to the bindings, it appeared to be an
ancient tome over a century old. Lupus — meant wolf in Latin, recalled Yuri.
“If this is authentic, it should be a grimoire privately published in Romania
around the earlier half of the nineteenth century. Past legends tell of an
Ephesian secret cult worshipping the [Dark Virgin Mother of God, Queen of
Wild Beasts] and holding covert rituals where people who tried to read the
books would be ‘turned into inhuman servants covered with fur.’ Inhuman
and covered with fur — generally refers to things like wolves and bears.”
Amakasu’s casual example revealed the depth of his knowledge.
Yuri felt that his words felt a bit fantastical.
“In terms of changes, what is well known is that people’s bodies will
undergo complete transformations after reading. Rather than a grimoire, a
cursed book would be a better description — ”
“Ah ah, you’re right. Those magic books will continue to increase the
werewolves’ curse. Due to this, if it’s the real thing it is an extremely rare
and precious treasure.”
“Please don’t talk about that in such a happy manner!”
Yuri reprimanded Amakasu’s impropriety with a stare and faced the
ancient book once again.
— Concentrating her gaze and calming her heart.
Her spirit vision was not a power that could be used at will freely.
Melting the heart into the sky, entrusting it to guidance from the divinities,
and making use of eyes and instinct. This would allow one to see
something or notice something. Depending on the situation, one
sometimes found important clues, but they might not be what one was
expecting. Furthermore, there was always an issue of accuracy in
divination.
…However, a wise historical existence could be felt from this book.
There was some truth to Amakasu’s words.
Once upon a time, there was a witch who lived in the depths of the forest,
and many of the animals respected her — in particular the stronger
existences of wolves, bears and birds. This book recorded the difficult and
powerful points of the ritual. The only ones able to read the book were
either servants or people related to the witch, and the book would reject all
common magi.
“This is not a cursed book… as long as the one reading it had sufficient
experience and capability, then one would not be harmed by the hidden
mysterious powers of this book, and would obtain knowledge instead.”
Yuri vaguely felt the properties of the book and muttered.
“I think it is a device meant to prevent the unqualified from reading it — it is
a test for resisting the curse rather than an intention to transform the
reader’s body.”
“Ah yes, so to sum up, this is the real thing. As expected of Yuri-san, you
saw through everything.”
“This is all I know for now. I can’t guarantee for the rest, so don’t count too
much on this kind of ability.”
Amakasu agreed with Yuri’s deductions. — And then
The werewolf-controlling grimoire of the witch, as well as Amakasu Touma.
The library.
All these vanished suddenly. Yuri and the space around her was
enveloped in darkness. She felt like she was standing in the dark
surrounded by a gloomy atmosphere.
“Is this a hallucination? Due to the grimoire?”
Yuri tried to raise her spirit vision and see the truth behind these illusions.
This was a rare occurrence but it does happen occasionally when contact
was made with an object hiding strong magical powers. Hence, there was
no feeling of panic at the time —
The hallucination persisted.
There was something in the depths of the darkness. Focusing her gaze, it
seemed to resemble something like a rat. The rat slowly transformed,
gradually increasing in body mass. In addition, it changed its posture. This
was a dog… no, a wolf. From its ferocious and sharp appearance, Yuri
made such an identification.
From its four legs the wolf stood up onto two. Rather than a wolf, this was
a werewolf’s posture.
Was it due to contact with that grimoire? A hallucination as a result of that?
As Yuri puzzled, the werewolf slowly walked in the darkness — from the
dark hole walking up to the surface of the ground. From there, dancing
serpents could be seen. The werewolf stepped upon and slaughtered them
all.
And then the werewolf reached out with its arms towards the bright sun in
the sky.
Caught it. The werewolf caught the glowing sphere with its bare hands.
In the end, the werewolf swallowed the ball of light, and gradually took on
the form of an elderly human. It was the person who Yuri met before.
A tall thin body, wise-looking face — and emerald green eyes.
The ancient Campione ruling over eastern and southern Europe. The
ancient Devil King cast the light from his evil eyes at Yuri and smiled
hideously.
” — Marquis Voban!? How, why are you here!?”
As the most intense terror attacked Yuri and she wailed, consciousness
was soon lost.
Part 4
It was around 10pm at night when that phone call reached the Kusanagi
residence.
“Yes, I am Kusanagi.”
This voice, is it Godou? It’s been a while, how are you, my friend?’
It was a slightly familiar voice heard from before, in fact it was a voice
Godou didn’t want to hear coming from the receiver.
A complete waste of a voice with such depth. Godou immediately put down
the receiver and hung up the phone.
“…Ch. That brat finally revived!”
Godou who usually did not pray for the misfortune of others, felt like this
was one of those exceptions.
Just to be safe, he unplugged the telephone wire from the base of the
phone. Temporarily avoiding phone calls was an acceptable sacrifice for
this cause.
However, his cellphone began to ring when he returned to his own room.
Godou glanced at the display, the caller’s name was “Unknown.”
Furthermore, a foreign phone call? Should he just ignore it? But then there
was a huge risk. Perhaps one day he might open the door to his home to
find that fellow appearing and saying ‘I came over because you didn’t pick
up the phone.’ That would be the worst scenario.
Godou prepared himself and pressed the button to pick up the call.
‘Suddenly hanging up the phone, that’s too cruel!’
“You bastard. Anyway, why do you know my home and cellphone
numbers?”
‘You’re such a fool. Isn’t it natural to know a good friend’s phone number?’
If this was a face to face conversation, then he’d probably be doing things
like winking as well.
Blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and handsome. A bright expression on his
proper face, and extremely friendly. The appearance of an elegant
gentleman, but in reality, the strongest warrior possessing a body of
steel —
Godou recalled the image of the one who called himself his ‘good friend.’
“Hey Salvatore Doni, we don’t really count as friends you know, and I don’t
remember ever telling you my phone numbers.”
‘Hmph, you’re the fellow who didn’t even want to exchange phone numbers
or mailing addresses. Thanks to you, I had to order my subordinates to
investigate. And from now on, please do not use “don’t really count” to
describe our relationship. Didn’t I say already, that we are great friends?’
“If that’s what you think, please look up the dictionary definition for the
word ‘friend’ one thousand times before you call again.”
Salvatore Doni.
The twenty-four-year-old Italian, as well as the Sixth Campione.
He possessed massive influence centered around southern Europe, and
had defeated four pillar gods. In terms of age and experience, he would
count as Godou’s senior.
However, Godou had no intention of using honorifics with this guy.
Godou himself found it unbelievable, since he would usually interact with
elders with the appropriate attitude and word choice.
However, it was entirely different when facing this man. From the depths of
his heart, a certain subtle feeling of opposition prevented it.
‘Hey hey, the one who doesn’t understand friendship is you. That is totally
shameful for a Japanese.’
“What does nationality have to do with it?”
‘Of course it does. I remember that “write letters to enemies, and predict
the thoughts of friends” is a Japanese saying. It was written clearly in some
Japanese literature I read before.”
“Uh… is that really so?”
Godou felt that there must be some mistake in Doni’s words. In reality,
Godou did recall something similar lost in the depths of his memories. If it
was really true, could this guy actually be correct?
‘It’s possible, after all our relationship is not the type which improves after a
fight to the death. — At that time, how many times did our fists pummel
each other, and how many rounds did our blades clash together violently?’
“What blade clashing? I only got stabbed by you… No, I just got sliced by
you.”
To Doni’s enthusiastic words, Godou simply responded coldly.
This man is full of exaggerated delusions and a total medieval chivalry
romantic, better stay away from him.
‘You were truly great that time. Overcoming unavoidable death and fighting
me with fierce burning battle spirit — I responded with all my strength.’
“Going all out on a lower level opponent like me, you really lack the
magnanimity of an adult.”
‘We both felt it during that battle right? Ufu, that this man before me will be
a worthy rival for eternity. — As fated opponents to battle to the death
repeatedly. How could you not have felt that?’
“Didn’t feel a thing! Not even for an instant!”
‘ — And thus, my eternal rival. With love and respect please call me
Salvatore. How about it, you can even call me by my pet name [Toto].’
Though it was extremely tiring to talk to this guy who was impossible to
argue against, Godou still forced himself to respond in the negative.
“I’d rather die than use your pet name!”
‘Hoho, you’re still such a shy boy. You know you want me, but still treating
me so coldly… I know, this must be what they call tsundere in Japan.’
“You have seriously misunderstood Japanese culture! If that’s all you’re
going to talk about, I’ll be hanging up now?”
Godou totally felt that he had already wasted too many words with this
idiot, and was about to hang up.
‘Please wait, my friend. Today I just wanted to give you a warning. Do you
know of the one named “Sasha Dejanstahl”?’
“Just in name only. Isn’t it the strange old Devil King who lives near you?”
‘Well, it’s actually the Italian peninsula and the Balkans respectively. If you
look at the map, I guess you could say it’s close by. That old gramps really
doesn’t have a personality that one could easily live with, but recently it
seems like he’s no longer there.’
“I don’t even know if it’s a castle or a dungeon located in some place!”
Godou casually imagined the great elder Devil King and how he would
speak, but somehow it didn’t fit.
‘Oh, that’s called classical style. I don’t think that kind of life is bad actually,
but old Mr. Voban doesn’t agree, that person has very few desires other
than gluttony, and doesn’t care much about things like land or architecture.’
Another unexpected character commentary.
…Come to think of it, whether Kusanagi Godou or Salvatore Doni, both
were [Devil Kings] and fearful existences to others. However, both had
idiosyncrasies that were rather unbecoming for a [Devil King], so perhaps it
wasn’t too surprising after all.
‘Before he became king he lived as a vagabond, and led a tough life
always short on food for almost two decades. His life was turned around
when he defeated either the monstrous wolf Fenrir or Garm.’
“Isn’t Garm the hellhound in Norse mythology?”
‘You are correct. In some places he is also known as Garmr.’
— These were definitely things that fellow Erica would know.
Godou gathered his thoughts as he listened and answered briefly, but if he
went over to ask that girl, it would only turn into a situation where she
would force unnecessary knowledge into him.
Apparently before Doni became a Campione, he was an unsuccessful
Templar Knight. Completely opposite to Erica’s genius talent in both magic
and swords, Doni’s only asset was his unsurpassed skill with the sword,
but his talent in magic was zero. To a Templar Knight who required skill in
both swords and magic, it was equivalent to a mark of failure.
‘Well, this probability is higher. Though the god he defeated first is
unknown, it is known that the Marquis Voban’s first authority could
summon several hundred wolves to do his bidding with the power of the
[Legion of Hungry Wolves]. Due to this, he must have killed some kind of
wolf god.’
“Several hundred of them, that number is really…”
‘Subsequent authorities included transforming people into salt with a stare,
calling forth storms to blow away towns and roads, and turning the people
he killed into something like zombies or ghosts to be used as obedient
slaves.’
Truly Campiones are the worst. Godou sighed.
Both Doni and himself were the same — people who possessed
unreasonable special abilities.
“Anyway, so what does this troublesome old gramps have to do with me?”
‘Aya, sorry, I almost forgot. Since this old gramps should now be in Tokyo,
there was something about shopping, and also something about staying
out of his territory…’
“Who would do something like that! So why did he come to Japan!?”
Godou yelled loudly, and really felt like scratching his head.
…Heading towards troublesome developments again. Give me a break.
‘Hohoho, I can tell you, but there’s a condition — if you beg for assistance
from me who is your friend, older brother, as well as the hero Salvatore,
then I will immediately…’
“I definitely refuse! I don’t need you to tell me!”
After refusing, Godou tried some other questions.
“That old gramps has defeated quite a few gods, right? Also, you’ve killed
Irish and Norse gods before, right? How many are there in total?”
‘If you add up both our kills, probably over ten. Is there a problem?’
“No, for each god you’ve defeated, it means one less for me to fight.”
Who knows how many gods there were all over the world. The fewer left to
fight the better. Godou spoke as he worried about his own situation.
‘Haha, what are you talking about? Even if the other Campiones and I
defeat all the other gods, battle will come when it comes. This kind of
calculation is pointless.’
“Why? If you guys kill them all, then they can’t fight any more, right?”
‘ — Even if we kill gods, they are not erased entirely. As long as mankind
exists, and myths perpetuate, killed gods can resurrect. Never forget that.’
Doni was speaking in a rare serious tone.
Dark battle spirit and joyful feelings were quietly stored in his heart.
Though he looked outgoing and frivolous in appearance, he was a man
with a warrior spirit, living for the sword and dying for battle.
‘After all, only part of a god appears on earth for us to fight. Their true
nature are myths. Even if their bodies are destroyed, as long as myths
continued to exist, they will be able to rematerialize and resurrect countless
times. Furthermore, it is impossible to make myths disappear unless all of
mankind is eliminated.’
“As long as myths exist, no matter how many times they will…”
‘That’s the way it is. So perhaps there may come a day for you to battle
Verethragna again. That god is rather famous in western Asia, and it won’t
be surprising for him to resurrect somewhere.’
This was all there was to the conversation with Salvatore.
Disconnecting the call on his cellphone, Godou felt troubled. — Let’s hope it
won’t turn into a battle against the oldest Campione…
Part 5
Yuri woke up to find herself at Nanao Shrine.
Yuri had been sleeping on some blankets in a traditional Japanese-style
room of the shamusho.^
She felt very dry in her mouth.
Adjusting her kimono and hair, Yuri walked out of the room.
The kitchen was also located in the same building and had a well-stocked
fridge. Wanting to get a drink, Yuri walked towards the kitchen.
“Ah, Yuri-san, that’s great, you finally regained consciousness. …Is your
body feeling ok?”
Amakasu Touma was in the kitchen.
He was in the middle of browsing through dozens of documents laid out on
the table.
“Did anything strange happen — what happened to me afterwards?”
“You were looking at that grimoire with your spirit vision as usual, and
suddenly lost consciousness, so I hastily brought you back to the shrine.
Aya, and the shrine leaders scolded me, sorry for bringing you trouble.”
Bowing his head, Amakasu seemed to continue with great interest.
“And then Yuri-san’s expression became very strange, did you see
something?”
“No, not at all. I guess I was just a little tired that time, and then just lost
consciousness. Nothing strange happened.”
Yuri explained immediately.
Why would a hallucination of Sasha Dejanstahl occur? This was
completely impossible to understand. Meeting that old man was over four
years ago. Could it really be due to contact with the grimoire from eastern
Europe that the memories of the Campione were awakened? Or, or was
there another reason?
Anyway, one must not rashly jump to conclusions.
Yuri decided to change the subject, and glanced towards the documents
Amakasu was reading.
“What are these? …Resumes?”
If these were meant to be private, then they should not be spread out in
such a place. It would be unthinkable for a representative of the History
Compilation Committee to be so imprudent.
Having thus decided, Yuri took a look at the pile of documents.
They all seemed to be resumes with L-size^ photos clipped on.
…It looked like all the photos were of teenaged girls, and every one of
them had a cute appearance. Some of the girls had a more mature and
adult feel, while others were cute and innocent. There were also some girls
who looked very outgoing, and others that looked quite sincere. There was
a great variety of them.
“Ah ah, this is the matter we were talking about. To pick someone qualified
to be the lover of Kusanagi Godou. Truly the elite of this nation, they are all
extremely talented individuals.”
Amakasu talked with quite a joyful appearance.
Yuri casually glanced at the resumes which resembled job recruitment
profiles.
“Perhaps in order to defeat an opponent of Erica Blandelli’s caliber, it
would take a combination of elegance, adolescent adorability, and the
friend route character. Sounds about right. However, there is also the
possibility that he prefers other types. This is quite a difficult decision.”
“Amakasu-san! Is your side really planning on putting that plan into
motion!”
The History Compilation Committee member simply retracted his head
slightly in response to Yuri’s scolding.
“These are necessary human resources. Unless Yuri-san has a better
suggestion?”
“Umm, ummm… If it is explained clearly to Kusanagi-san, and an
opportunity is created for practical negotiations, he should be able to
understand where he stands — ”
“Haha, that’s not going to work. He is a teenaged boy after all.”
Amakasu laughed condescendingly with sounds of “hehe” as if trying to
provoke Yuri’s anger.
“No matter how honest he claims to be, he cannot refuse if he is begged
by the girl he is going out with. That’s what males are like… For a boy of
that age, dreams or aspirations to higher morals can never compare to the
value of girls.”
“Precisely, that is why you cannot ignore the wishes of a girl and force her
to play the role of a lover or anything like that!”
What Yuri feared was the History Compilation Committee using its
authority to force this mission upon a hapless young girl or miko from some
wizardry family.
That kind of tyranny was definitely unacceptable. To the excited Yuri,
Amakasu calmly replied.
“How could that be? Don’t worry about the will of the person being
selected. They will be carefully chosen from volunteers. Relax.”
“Ah!?”
“After all, the title of the Campione is very effective. Whether personally or
the interests of the clan, there are numerous advantages to becoming the
lover of the first Devil King of Japan. Lack of volunteers is simply not a
concern.”
Amakasu smiled in an extremely satisfied manner.
Yuri was shocked. Could there really be so many selfish volunteers
appearing one after another —
The Latin beauty Erica Blandelli who called herself the lover of Kusanagi
Godou and passionately approached him completely unabashed.
Strangely enough, Yuri did not feel repulsed by Erica’s presence.
At most it made her feel awkward at times. Though Erica could be very
calculating, she was always open and straightforward — perhaps due to
that relaxed and candid personality.
No matter what, Erica could place herself in danger without hesitation for
the sake of Godou.
After the battle with Athena, Yuri understood that perfectly. However, what
about the other girls planning on approaching Godou in order to make use
of his power and status?
“Still, still not allowed! If he gets close to girls with those kinds of intentions,
what kind of bad influence will they bring? It’s not easy for Kusanagi-san to
have an opportunity to start a new life, what is going to happen!”
Yuri could not help yelling, feeling that this was a dirty matter.
“However, there will be a ton of people trying to use him for his powers
anyway. If we don’t do it, someone else will. Unless Yuri-san yourself will
keep watch over this young man by his side.”
“But, but, if that’s the case… However for me, I don’t think Kusanagi-san
has a good opinion of me.”
He probably did not have a good impression from all that nagging from me.
Though Yuri was a complete stranger to the subtleties of the male heart,
however, she felt that her conclusions were correct. Since she had always
been distancing herself from others in an obvious manner, it was natural to
think that others thought the same.
Shyly, Yuri bowed her head.
Probably, my face was blushing all red, the color of a fully ripened
persimmon.
“On the other hand, perhaps it is Yuri-san who dislikes Kusanagi Godou?”
“Dislike!? Not at all. Though Kusanagi-san and Erica’s actions are
inappropriate, I do feel that he is friendly, generous and a person of good
character. He is not arrogant despite possessing that level of power, and
being humble is one of his virtues … So, I don’t dislike him at all.”
“Hoho, it really is like that. Then please maintain current relations for now.
Blushing shyly, your head bowed down, yes yes, very good. Extremely
cute.”
“Ah, Amakasu-san, what are you talking about?”
Amakasu suddenly took out his cellphone and snapped a picture of Yuri
with the camera.
Yuri could not understand the intentions behind his actions.
“Reference material. The other Committee members will definitely approve
at the next meeting. Anyway, the power of Yuri-san’s photo will surely blow
away the competition.”
“Uh? What do you mean?”
“Isn’t it true that Yuri-san doesn’t wish for unscrupulous girls to approach
Kusanagi Godou? In that case you must develop good relations with him,
isn’t that right?”
“That’s why I said, I am not…”
“Nothing to worry about. We the History Compilation Committee will lend
you our full support, and so, please win over Kusanagi Godou with full
confidence!”
The declaration shocked Yuri like a clap of thunder.
“Win, win over!? I don’t intend to have that kind of relationship with
Kusanagi-san!”
“Hohoho, still not being honest. Whatever, this will be a perfect ingredient
to flavor the dish, let’s just leave it at that.”
Amakasu gave a fearless smile as he spoke with incomprehensible words.
“Let’s put it this way. We wish to massively increase Yuri-san’s influence
over Kusanagi Godou. Our hope is that whenever he is tempted by Erica
Blandelli, or when he is falling into darkness drunk on the power of his
authority, you can persuade him and guide him down the right path.”
“I can guide that person towards the right path?”
“Yes. Just become closer to him starting with normal situations, and have a
better relationship with him than Erica Blandelli. Do your best. It’s a
promise. If you can do that, we will terminate that plan.”
Amakasu’s tone of voice was akin to the serpent who tricked Eve into
eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, but Yuri was completely
oblivious.
“…No, but even now, all I’ve been doing is nagging at Kusanagi-san, and
leaving him with a bad impression. It’s probably fruitless to try to improve
relations at this point — ”
To become even more intimate with him than that Erica, it was completely
unthinkable.
Amakasu answered the insecure Yuri with a naughty smile.
“Please don’t worry. I have a secret plan — and it works precisely because
the current relationship is distant. Up to now, it only counts as the tsun
phase, so if you start going dere as much as possible from this point on,
boys will definitely fall for you without fail!”
“—Ah? What… is that?”
“First why don’t you try making a lunchbox personally? Then say ‘This is
extra, it’s not like I made it specially for you, but it would be a shame for it
to go to waste, so here you go’ when you hand it over to him. Isn’t that the
best tactic?”
“Ah!?”
“Pardon my forwardness, but if you lack information in this area, I can
provide some from my personal collection. I’ll send them over in a short
while; do you prefer DVDs or games?”
“Ah, umm, Amakasu-san? Please don’t continue the conversation so
casually.”
In reality, this event would end up having a great influence in Godou and
Yuri’s future life.
Of course, Yuri at that time had no idea at all.
Part 6
It was a beautiful Japanese garden of a hotel.
To Liliana Kranjcar who was born and grew up in Milan and whose
grandfather was Croatian, the spacious garden in a former nobleman’s
antiquated mansion was a very interesting space.
There was plenty of natural scenery in the grounds which covered tens of
thousands of square meters.
Lush green trees were neatly trimmed, while water flowed into pools
through small rivers. There were also ancient pagodas and sacrificial altars
in the depths of the waterfall.
However, this garden full of foreign allure seemed to have no effect on her
companion.
Upon deciding on the accommodations in Tokyo, Sasha Dejanstahl Voban
immediately arrived there. As if shaken by the compact style of the garden,
Liliana also became subservient.
Voban’s bedroom was located in a separate building within the hotel’s
garden.
A tiny traditional Japanese house.
However, its interiors were very modern in contrast to the traditional outer
appearance.
In it contained western style rooms that a European like Liliana could
quickly get accustomed to. There were also a few Japanese style rooms
with tatami and ornamental screens.
“So Kranjcar, is there any news of the miko?”
Voban suddenly asked.
Voban spoke with perfect Japanese as he downed the cup of sake by
himself, looking over the typical but undistinguished menu listing items like
tempura and sashimi.
Until the previous day, this old man had no knowledge of the Japanese
language.
However, both Campiones and accomplished magi possessed exceptional
language learning ability. As a result, it was not surprising that Voban had
mastered the language simply by conversing with Liliana who excelled in
Japanese.
Furthermore, it only took him about fifty to sixty minutes.
Learning an unknown language in such a short time would not have been
possible for Liliana. Likewise, even other Campiones and Great Knights
would probably fail to match such a feat.
“No, not yet. My apologies.”
Liliana bowed her head in penance.
— Mariya Yuri, fifteen years of age, lived in the bay area of Tokyo.
Possessing exceptional spirit vision, she was a special religious leader
called the Hime-Miko.
In reality, this level of information was extremely easy for her organization
the Bronze Black Cross to investigate.
Even so, Liliana did not report with honesty.
She recalled the things done to the girls in the Austrian villa four years ago.
Amongst all the miko there, Yuri had been the most silent and the one with
the most conservative personality. Furthermore, she looked the weakest
and most delicate.
However, who was the first to arrive at Voban’s ritual site?
Everyone there had been very frightened, but she was the first to enter.
She understood the fear in the other girls, and decided to go ahead
herself.
“…Hmph, is that so. Anyway, it’s fine. If it so happens, what should one do
if a little bird jumped into a cage? If you tie a rope to it, no matter where it
went, you can find the cage easily enough.”
Voban gloated as he moved his fingers over the cup.
— A birdcage? Liliana frowned at the strange analogy.
“About what I just said, I wonder who was it that hallucinated the image of
I, Voban? Perhaps some kind of chance occurrence, where they mistook a
prophetic ability as spirit vision — it’s not some kind of powerful wizardry
ability, right?”
Of course, whether the person who hallucinated was Yuri or not, Liliana
could not have known.
However, it was said that Campiones possessed extraordinary instincts.
There have been several rumors that Campiones can sense when they are
in danger, and have an animal-like instinct to detect the presence of
gods — their fated rivals. However, this was the first time Liliana heard that
they could see through spirit vision.
What kind of extraordinary powers does this old man possess!
“I don’t know if that fellow is the miko we need to find. However, I am
positive it will be of great use to capture that person.”
Voban smiled and finished the alcohol as if drinking water.
After several days together, Liliana could tell that he was not a picky eater.
He ate and drank everything and anything, consuming not for taste but
only to satisfy hunger and thirst.
“You don’t seem to be very good at finding things. Then how about we find
someone else to take the job? Or perhaps, this should be a job for a
witch — Maria Teresa, come here.”
Voban called the name of a woman.
In response, a dead woman with deeply sunken eyes appeared out of
space, wearing a large black hat — a member of the [Dead Servants].
“This deceased was once a witch, and shouldn’t find it too hard to find the
spirit vision user who saw me in a hallucination. Find that person using
those skills you possessed when alive!”
The Dead Servant witch nodded to acknowledge the tyrannical order and
disappeared once again.
Mariya Yuri will be caught sooner or later. Liliana had no doubts about it,
and deeply sighed.
References
1 . t Homo homini lupus est is a Latin phrase meaning “man is a
to [his fellow] man.”
2. t Shamusho: The building used as the administrative office of
shrine
3. t L-size: Also known as 3R, or 9 x 13 cm.

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