Campione! / Campione! Vol 2 Chapter 5


Chapter 5 – Time of the Hunt
Part 1
The sun had already set, and night was falling.
Rain drops were falling rhythmically from the sky.
Godou supported Yuri and left the library with Erica, meeting Amakasu at
the parking lot.
“It really did develop into this kind of situation… Anyway, let’s get out of
here for now, and plan as we move. Just sitting here is not going to solve
anything.”
Amakasu heard what happened, and urged Godou and the rest.
Developments have reached an emergency situation, will these actions
turn out to be rash or foresighted?
Godou had yet to decide on a plan, so he went with Amakasu’s
suggestion.
“No matter what, things have gotten more and more troublesome…”
The domestic car aimlessly ran towards the Minato ward on the Shuto
Expressway.
Godou sat in the front passenger seat and grumbled.
Obviously, Amakasu was in the driver’s seat, while Erica and Yuri sat in
the back.
“Let me make this clear, I only wanted to sum up the conversation quickly,
and had no intention of putting Godou in danger. This matter should have
been originally prepared for the battle against the Marquis Voban.”
Erica said in a calm manner.
She was probably in a bad mood because Godou chose to sit in front
instead of next to her.
“I know that, but there must be some slightly safer way to resist!”
Godou tried to change his mood as he spoke, as there was no point in
regretting something that had already happened
Try to think of a constructive way to minimize damage to the surroundings.
“Sigh, grumbling is meaningless, let’s consider our direction from this point
on — how many authorities does that old gramps have in total?”
“…Is it seven or eight?”
“There are also reports of nine, or even ten and above.”
Godou frowned at Amakasu and Erica’s vague responses.
“Can you answer clearly? Aren’t there magic associations investigating our
abilities and making reports? That name is something like…”
“The Greenwich Assembly.”
Amakasu answered while gripping the steering wheel.
“However, that group only started their activities in the latter half of the
nineteenth century. That is why they don’t have information on people who
became Campiones earlier like the Marquis Voban. Thus, detailed
information is only available on those who became [Kings] in the twentieth
century or later, like Salvatore Doni and the Black Prince Alec.”
“Information on Marquis Voban aside, even the god he first defeated is
completely unknown. Some say that it is a god associated with
wolves — probably a god with earth attributes.”
Erica’s supplementary explanation reminded Godou of the information he
received from that phone call.
“Come to think of it, that fellow Doni also has all sorts of disparate
authorities. It feels like there is no sense of unity.”
Godou frankly injected his comment.
The other two became silent in the middle of their explanations, and turned
their gazes towards Godou as if they had something to say.
“Wha-what is it?”
“No… if you say so, then nothing.”
“I think that the embodiment of Verethragna is also a bunch of random
abilities.”
True, that was something not really worth comparing, so Godou decided to
cut back on the unnecessary comments.
“Then let’s return to the topic just now, and decide on how to proceed from
here. If we cannot avoid fighting against that old gramps, I want to do it
somewhere to minimize collateral damage.”
“I see. If helping Yuri-san is the first priority, then there is no other way.”
Amakasu spoke as he looked ahead.
The rain splattering on the windshield had intensified, and it was raining
quite heavily.
“However, do note that handing Yuri-san over as a sacrifice is a possible
solution. From a personal standpoint I think it is a tragic option, but in the
interests of public welfare, it is the best choice.”
“Please don’t say something so stupid in front of the person being
discussed. There’s no way I’ll pick that method.”
Godou immediately rejected Amakasu’s irrelevant words.
This young man always put on frivolous airs, but made shockingly cruel
suggestions.
“But if we really do that, Marquis Voban will be satisfied and will leave
Tokyo immediately. There won’t be any other innocent victims, isn’t that
appropriate?”
“I understand your reasoning. But I refuse!”
However, the one who opposed Godou was not the originator of the plan.
“Kusanagi-san, Amakasu-san’s suggestion is correct.”
Yuri, who had been silent all along, finally spoke.
Bowing her head down depressed, however, she suddenly looked up and
entered the conversation.
“If you don’t hand me over, Kusanagi-san and the Marquis’ battle — will
bring severe tragedy to Tokyo. Did you know? There are legends about the
Marquis summoning great storms to destroy cities, and releasing wolves to
level villages.”
Yuri’s stern voice carried determination.
She was no longer afraid, and quietly spoke with an expression of sorrow.
“The only one the Marquis insists on having is me. Fortunately, the
Marquis only intends for me to help him finish the ritual, so he should not
do anything else to mistreat me. It will be fine.”
Yuri was smiling as if trying to comfort the others.
An illusory smile which showed great strength. Godou lightly sighed. Such
acting skills must have been difficult for her who lacked competence in
either sports or technology.
“Will there be any danger?”
“Four years ago, there were about thirty miko participating in the Marquis’
[Heretical God] summoning. After the ritual, roughly two thirds of them
suffered severe mental trauma, and most went mad and lost their sanity.”
In the instant he heard Erica’s fluent answer, Godou made his decision.
— Ok, let’s do it this way.
“In the battle against Athena, Yuri risked her life to use her power to
provide assistance, and took on a dangerous and irreplaceable role in
order to force the goddess to retreat from Tokyo.”
Kusanagi Godou owed Mariya Yuri an extremely great favor.
“That ritual is very famous for summoning [Heretical Gods] with that level
of sacrifice. Honestly speaking, I was quite surprised to find out that Yuri
had participated in that ritual before. I suspect Yuri was only safe because
she was the most capable out of the many miko, but she is unlikely to be
so lucky next time.”
“In that case no, not allowed. Mariya’s proposal is rejected.”
Feeling his battle spirit fired up, Godou quietly said.
Campiones — just because one was the [King], can one do as one
pleased? No way! Towards Voban’s tyranny, Godou’s sense of resistance
gradually grew.
It was completely unacceptable to let this girl be involved in such dangers
due to that old man’s personal whims.
“So, Mariya, did you consider carefully before deciding to follow that old
gramps? Really seriously considered from the depths of your heart?”
“…Seriously considered.”
Yuri answered curtly, but with her head bowed.
Godou turned around and looked at her straight in the face.
“You are lying. This is Mariya’s benevolent lie.”
“Nothing like that, I did consider carefully — !”
“Just like the time with Athena, you thought that it would be fine if you were
the only sacrifice, right? I decided then, if anything like that ever happens
again, Mariya will definitely try to sacrifice herself — but that is something I
definitely will not allow.”
His body became hot.
A Campione’s body will easily enter an optimal state during times of crises.
This is the power supporting Godou’s battle ability.
“If you fight with the Marquis, another cruel disaster will occur, so please
calm down!”
“I am calm, don’t worry. Even if the opponent is a horrific Campione, he is
not a god and cannot create a world of darkness like Athena. There should
be ways to deal with him.”
“But then, in that case Kusanagi-san will… please consider yourself.”
Her shoulders dropping, Yuri murmured weakly.
“If-if anything happens to you — no, in a fight against the Marquis,
something will definitely happen. If Kusanagi-san gets killed because of
me, I…”
Her words lost form and were no longer distinguishable from one another.
Yuri completely lowered her head, her shoulders shaking, and tears
streamed down her face, moistening the dress of her Japanese outfit.
— This strong-willed girl was crying.
Yuri who had once faced Athena alone without regard for her own safety,
was now clearly crying. It was most likely due to Godou’s risking his life for
her.
If it was simply her own matter, Yuri could definitely hold back her tears.
Nevertheless, this only made Godou strengthen his determination. No
matter what, he must protect this girl, Mariya Yuri, and stop the willful
actions of that unsavory old man!
“Yuri you should just give up. This is the decision of the [King]. Saying any
more will be futile. Don’t forget, this man is [King], and a very stubborn,
violent person.”
In direct contrast with the Hime-Miko who cried audibly, Erica beside her
was very calm and collected.
She smiled calmly and asked.
“Of course, the Marquis you requested to follow is also a king, so which
side you pick is your freedom. Which will it be? The Marquis or Godou,
who do you choose?”
“But Kusanagi-san has no chance of winning the Marquis. Though both are
Campiones, the Marquis has a clear advantage in both the strength and
number of authorities. Kusanagi-san is too optimistic!”
Yuri lifted her tear-stained face and scolded.
But Godou’s determination could not be shaken, and Erica simply
shrugged.
“What are we going to do, my master?”
“If we talk about chances of victory, my authorities from Verethragna
shouldn’t be able to win against Athena either. Anyway, we have no other
choice at this point.”
Godou turned to face Amakasu on the driver’s seat.
“So that’s it, Mariya’s person will be handled by me. I will never hand her
over to that old gramps, so please, drive to somewhere with fewer people.
A battle scene here would bring even more trouble.”
“Understood. To be kidnapped by two Campiones one after the other,
Yuri-san sure is an important person.”
“Ah, Amakasu-san, what are you talking about!”
Yuri reprimanded the gloating Amakasu.
However, the frivolous representative continued to man the steering wheel
unaffected.
“But regrettably, I am a member of the History Compilation Committee. As
someone involved in this field, I cannot oppose the will of the great Devil
King, oh… It’s like running away on a stolen bike, a kind of guilty
excitement.”
“You! Always taking things so lightly!”
Yuri finally was angered, but it totally swept away her sorrow and tears.
Godou nodded at her new condition.
Once everything was settled, she would probably scold him like last time
after the Athena incident. But that’s fine. Compared to letting this girl be
taken away out of sight to a distant location, it was ten thousand times
better.
Purely by chance, his gaze met with Erica’s.
His companion calmly made a look, as if saying she had no objections.
“Unfortunately, I will be troubling you.”
“Don’t worry, didn’t I already say? Having offered you my [Sword], I already
prepared myself for situations like this. And that old [King]’s history is not
something you can comprehend alone, let me fill you in later.”
Erica casually spoke, and then turned her jeering gaze forwards — to the
young man in the driver’s seat.
“…Well, I feel like it is correct to predict this kind of possibility, but I’m just a
little concerned about the speaker telling Godou that.”
“Don’t talk like I have ulterior motives.”
As they were about to continue, the sound of rolling thunder was heard.
The location of the thunderstrike seemed quite near. Looking out the
window, the night sky was filled with dark clouds, and the rain was
increasing continually.
“…In other words, thirty minutes have passed.”
As Amakasu glanced at his watch, gray shadows immediately appeared.
Part 2
Running.
Under the intense thunder and rain, groups of gray shadows were running.
Shadows — no, if one looked carefully, those were the silhouettes of
wolves. They numbered about thirty or forty.
A pack of wolves colored gray like a rat’s fur.
But the wolves’ sizes were abnormal, for their tall and well-built bodies
could easily be mistaken for a horse’s.
A pack of giant wolves was galloping down the Shuto Expressway with
horrific speed, chasing Godou’s car from behind.
…Surprisingly, the distance between them was shrinking.
There was still about thirty meters, but they would catch up soon.
“So these are the [Wolves] called by that old gramps? These are complete
monsters.”
“I am also seeing them for the first time. The Marquis is able to call forth
hundreds of these [Wolves] and can easily eradicate ten to twenty villages
or towns with them.”
Watching the ferocity of the wolf pack from the rear window of the car,
Godou and Erica exchanged opinions.
Extremely ravenous wild beasts as if they had discovered their prey.
Perhaps one could understand with the following description. A pack of
wolves whose eyeballs raged with the color of blood as they drooled and
chased violently.
“Come to think of it, there seems to be a lack of cars in the approaching
direction. What could be the reason…”
Godou muttered as he realized his carelessness.
Though traffic was not heavy today, the number of cars on the Shuto
Expressway could not be zero. In fact, there should be cars in front and
cars from behind trying to pass.
But starting five minutes ago, the number of cars around them became
very few.
This wasn’t strange. If a normal driver saw those kinds of monsters running
on the roads, they would definitely make way for them. This wasn’t hard to
imagine.
“Let’s hope those wolves haven’t caused any serious incidents…”
Godou could only pray to the heavens.
The gray wolves were probably only targeting Godou and Yuri and should
be ignoring the other cars. Hence, that worry seemed unlikely. But still,
they should prepare for the worst.
…In a car collision, those wolves would probably send the car flying
instead.
“Amakasu-san, please stop the car! Don’t involve unrelated people!”
“I refuse to stop, but we should definitely avoid a chase in a place like this.”
After being told by Yuri, Amakasu turned the steering wheel.
It was at the Kokuchou interchange on Route 3 of the Shuto Expressway.
Amakasu directed the car into the lane towards the exit leading to street
level.
“Are you planning on driving on the streets? That is very dangerous!”
“If we get attacked by those monsters while driving at such a speed, the
result will be tragic! Since they will catch up sooner or later, it will be easier
to escape at ground level.”
Of course, this reasoning had its merits, so Godou immediately responded
to Amakasu’s suggestion.
“Then please let us off at a suitable spot, and then try to think of a
solution!”
— Ten minutes later, Amakasu had driven the car into the streets in the
neighborhood of Roppongi district.
This was the city center containing high-rise buildings, luxury hotels and
television stations, with shrines, monasteries and embassies slightly further
away.
“…Could you stop the car over there?”
Due to the intense rain beating down on the windows, it was difficult to see
outside clearly. Godou still managed to find a good spot and proceeded to
alert Amakasu.
Turning at an intersection, they stopped before a primary school.
A city center primary school. Neither the playground nor its overall area
were very big, but it should be enough to rampage a bit. Since it was night,
there will not be any children.
Godou had Amakasu stop the car and got out onto the road.
The storm was very fierce.
As the raindrops blown by the wind struck his body sideways, his clothes
were rapidly soaked with rainwater. The rain also filled his shoes with
water.
An umbrella under such situations would most likely be blown away
immediately.
“Why don’t you come along as well, Mariya. Though the weather is terrible,
please endure.”
Godou opened the door to the backseat and hastened Yuri to get off.
However, the Hime-Miko of Musashino appeared to have no intention of
following. She only stared at Godou, pleading with sincere eyes.
“Kusanagi-san, you should have seen it right? Those [Wolves] and [Dead
Servants] are only a part of the Marquis Voban’s powers. You cannot
defeat him. And if you went all out, it will definitely bring destruction to the
surroundings.”
And so, please hand me over. To this plea, Godou shook his head.
“I am not very smart, and cannot understand the reasons to do that. All I
know is this: you are my friend who once helped me. If I abandoned such a
girl, I will regret it — as I have said just now, this is my stubbornness.”
Godou offered his hand to the persistent Hime-Miko.
Hoping that she would accept this hand. That was what Godou hoped for
from the bottom of his heart.
“I don’t want to hand you over to some old gramps like that. And I am not
the only one who thinks that. Letting a courageous and compassionate girl
suffer such cruelty from that stubborn old man, if anyone else heard about
such an atrocity, I’m sure nine out often people will agree with my
decision.”
Godou felt that his oratory skills were very poor.
As he cursed his own uselessness at such a crucial time, Godou continued
to speak.
“So, let’s consider this… Of course I know that fighting against that old
gramps will bring trouble to many people. But if things were properly
explained, they should be able to endure for a while. I apologize for
deciding without consultation, but it is something that cannot be helped.”
Godou wondered if he could find the words to persuade Yuri who was the
most serious person he knew.
Feeling that he had no other appeals to reason, Godou prayed as hard as
he could while attempting to convey his wishes for her safety instead.
“I understand that you’re worried about many things, but please just come
with me. I beg you, Mariya.”
“Your power, you do understand you cannot defeat the Marquis, right?”
“I have no intention of overextending myself for a win, but it is fine as long
as losing is avoided. As long as I am able to protect Mariya I am satisfied.
Even if my opponent is powerful, it is not farfetched to aim for a draw.
Definitely, something can be done.”
An optimistic speech devoid of worry, almost sounding like something
Salvatore Doni would say.
Partially for the sake of giving Yuri confidence, Godou forced himself to
speak in this manner.
It was a speech with stupid reasons and was completely lacking in
credibility. Yuri finally sighed after listening.
“Really, enough… You give me no choice. You usually speak sensibly but
why are you so sloppy now…”
Yuri looked up and gazed directly into Godou’s eyes.
“No matter how righteous it is to oppose that kind of person, I still know
you cannot succeed. So enough, your words of persuasion are like those
of a fool.”
Inconsistent with her sharp tone, she was not staring at Godou sternly.
Yuri timidly held out her hand.
The delicate hand slowly reached out towards Godou’s outstretched hand.
“It is not like I believe in Kusanagi-san’s words or anything like that. Don’t
misunderstand. It is not like I want you to risk your life or anything like that.
After all, I am just a victim of your kidnapping. I suppose resistance is
futile… In truth, this is all there is to it, so do not misunderstand.”
“Yes, I understand. This is sufficient, Mariya.”
Mariya took Godou’s hand and gripped it tightly.
Like a lost child who finally found his father.
Godou nodded gladly. Yuri’s face blushed and she lowered her head.
Yuri stood up and left the car, walking in the rain.
Her white Japanese attire was immediately drenched by the rain, and
clung closely to the exceedingly feminine form of her body.
“I will face the Marquis together with Kusanagi-san — so, I am in your care.”
“We will do our best.”
Though it seemed like he had yet to fully gain the other’s trust, Godou
guaranteed with a smiling face.
Yuri also responded with a shy smile akin to falling cherry blossoms.
“Now that it’s been decided, let’s prepare the grounds… Mariya you should
first cross through that door…”
As Godou pointed at the school entrance, Yuri sighed.
“I understand, it really is trespassing, how unlawful…”
“Umm, please don’t scold me for now. Even I don’t feel comfortable about
this. Erica, please.”
“Yeah yeah. Though you speak of reflection, but your true actions
completely betray them — that is one of Godou’s worst points. Well in this
case, we have no other choice but to count on you.”
Erica made an evil smile and also got off the car.
Bending forward, she grabbed one side of the skirt of her uniform.
And then she tore it and did the same for the other side, creating torn slits
on both sides of the skirt. Of course, it was done to facilitate movement.
“The lion of steel, shield of the [Diavolo Rosso], may my spell words
respond to my will!”
Disregarding the rain, Erica used the magic of summoning.
The magical sword of the lion, Cuore di Leone, appeared in her right hand.
Preparing her battle stance, Erica swung her beloved sword in a V-shape.
The primary school’s entrance was cut open by the slashing attack.
“Ah, this is something beyond my abilities to handle, so I will provide
support from a distance. Sorry I can’t be of much help. I wish you all luck in
your struggle.”
Amakasu said.
At this desperate time, he was still sitting casually at the driver’s seat.
“Hmph. Unfamiliar with battle, really — but I don’t think you are
incompetent.”
“Yes, Erica-san. If I had to fight you, I would lose utterly in thirty seconds.”
“Is that so? From my estimates, you could last about three hundred
seconds. Since it’s rare to find an opportunity, would you like to try it now?”
To the smile appearing on Erica’s face like a poisonous flower, Amakasu
acted dumb and made a fawning smile.
After the parting pleasantries, the three of them slipped into the school
under the cover of night.
It was after 8pm in the evening. Perhaps there might be staff on overtime.
Godou prayed for them not to exit the building if that was the case.
Godou aimed for the playground which should prove to be advantageous.
To [Wolves] who possessed a keen sense of smell, hiding was probably
useless so it would be better to choose a location with a clear view of the
opponents.
They waited at the playground for about five minutes.
Finally, the pack of giant wolves appeared. Unexpected for their massive
bodies, the wolves jumped over the school fence with ease and entered
the playground.
The slowly approaching [Wolves] numbered roughly thirty or forty at least.
“I will take care of them. After all, you shouldn’t use the [White Stallion] or
the [Raptor] in such a place. Save the forms of Verethragna for the
Marquis.”
“Then I’ll leave it to you.”
Godou nodded generously to Erica’s proposal.
Of the ten forms usurped from Verethragna, most of them gave no
advantage in handling grouped enemies.
The [White Stallion] which summoned solar fire from the sky was one of
the few exceptions, but it was too powerful to be used rashly.
On the other hand, the [Raptor] was comparatively more normal, but there
were repercussions after its use.
” — Come, savior of the gentiles. Promised lord born from the virgin!”
Erica spoke softly to the silver sword and chanted the spell words.
Cuore di Leone floated into the air as if led by an invisible thread.
“By the holy name, O God of countless armies. God be praised! Hallowed
be thy name!”
One sword, two swords, three swords. Cuore di Leone was multiplying into
similarly shaped swords which appeared in the air in front of Erica.
In ten seconds, the magic silver sword had multiplied to thirteen.
“Then it is time to decide the victor, Cuore di Leone!”
This spell word became the trigger signal.
The thirteen swords became thirteen arrows and flew at the speed of
lightning.
Aiming between the eyes of the incoming [Wolves], they stabbed forwards.
The gray wolves cried wretchedly.
Yet blood did not seep out from their wounds. Instead, a blue black liquid
flowed from their foreheads. The giant wolves’ corpses melted into the
darkness and vanished.
Like those death knights, they appeared to be abnormal creatures.
Eliminating thirteen of the pack in one motion, Cuore di Leone flew and
returned to Erica’s hand.
At some unknown instant, it had returned to the one original sword.
“My hunting hounds seem to be ineffective against the [Diavolo Rosso], a
pity.”
A familiar voice echoed.
The embodiment of tyranny disguised by airs of intellectuality, the old Devil
King spoke softly.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting, brats. Are you prepared to be beaten
down by me?”
Thunder crashed. Violent winds screamed. Raindrops crashed repeatedly
into the ground. Voban’s voice carried over, completely unaffected by
those noises.
Arrogant as ever, the Devil King casually strolled to the center of the
playground.
Part 3
“I love stormy nights. Wind, rain and lightning, these all make me feel
mighty. You are probably the same, brat. Even though you are immature, I
am sure you and I are one of a kind.”
Wearing a jet black coat over his suit, Voban spoke joyfully as the rain
splattered against him.
Godou immediately frowned in anger.
In fact, from a very long time ago he did have a strange habit of having a
good mood when there was a typhoon. Be that as it may, Godou did not
feel like answering.
“So what? Are you just saying you like stormy nights?”
“No, I felt like it so I summoned it, and so it became like that. I believe it
also suits your tastes. You don’t mind, right?”
Dejanstahl Voban had the ability to call forth storms.
Simply witnessing a part of that power troubled Godou.
“Don’t decide so casually, on what basis do you judge that?”
“After all, someone will not fight a deity unless they are disposed to going
with the flow and rising to the occasion. People who become Campiones
all have pretty much the same tendencies.”
Erica and Yuri listened on the side and simultaneously said “ah ah, I see”
while showing an understanding expression. As both of them looked at him
at the same time, Godou felt greatly uncomfortable for some reason.
“You really are a ridiculous old gramps. Then shall we start the first
round?”
“If you fall now, there is no first or second. Struggle well and amuse me.”
Voban waved his hand.
Immediately, ten [Wolves] appeared out of the darkness like foaming
bubbles.
“Increasing the numbers so easily could get troublesome. But an opponent
who relies on numbers is so unrefined. It’s most displeasing.”
“In terms of numbers, they have already won — stand back Mariya.”
Godou spoke as he nodded to his companion’s comments.
This was the beginning of a messy battle.
Erica threw Cuore di Leone into the air towards the distance.
“O Lion of steel, accept thy mission, transform into seven tacni^, guard
the imprisoned king, sing Blondel, and respond with the lion-hearted king.”
The silver magic sword became seven fragments and scattered on the
ground. And then, the fragments expanded and transformed into steel
lions.
Seven lion sculptures were infused with life by magic.
Their fluid motions completely unrestrained by the normal properties of
steel, the lions surrounded Godou and Yuri.
The steel lions blocked the approaching pack of [Wolves]. Erica created
guards in response to Voban’s ever increasing hunting hounds.
The wolves cried out!!
The [Wolf] pack all jumped.
In a rare moment, Erica was not using her usual Cuore di Leone but
instead had summoned a very heavy looking sword. She faced the attack
without any signs of fear.
Glamorously swinging her sword in a free flowing manner.
Erica repeatedly sliced through the onslaught of the wolf pack. Just as
Voban said, hounds as big as horses were no match for her.
With one or two attacks from her sword, every wolf was either sliced into
sections or pierced right through.
But even for Erica, the lone efforts of a single person had limits.
With absolute advantage in numbers, the [Wolves] only needed to keep up
the attacks. Besides, the other wolves did not have an enemy as
troublesome as Erica.
The [Wolves] targeting Yuri and Godou.
The lions born from Cuore di Leone faced off against those wolves.
Vanquishing the wolves with their bodies, fangs and claws of steel, the
lions’ battle power far exceeded the [Wolves].
Overwhelming victory.
However, the only problem was the numbers.
In order to handle the [Wolves] which got past their defense line, Godou
had to activate Verethragna’s authority at last.
Imagining the strength of the [Bull], Godou spoke the spell words.
“As the one who holds all victory in my hands, I am the strongest. Man and
devil — all enemies, all who harbor enmity will be vanquished. Hence I shall
smash through all enemies in my way!”
When fighting an inhumanly strong opponent, Verethragna’s second form,
the [Bull], granted overwhelming strength. Voban’s summoned wolf pack
completely satisfied this condition.
Speeding forward like an arrow, Godou aimed at an attacking wolf’s snout
and sent it flying with a powerful kick.
Godou avoided messy unarmed combat to prevent unnecessary injuries. If
he got bitten, those jaws might crush his bones.
He sent them flying into the distance with as little contact as possible.
Godou’s forward kick punted the [Wolves] high into the air like a football, all
the things attacking himself and Yuri could be seen clearly.
However, the powers of the [Bull] form were definitely unsuitable for a
disorganized fight against multiple opponents.
“These things just keep on coming, there really is no end in sight…! Mariya,
can I ask you something?”
Sending the sixth [Wolf] on a tour to the sky, Godou asked.
Though the guarding lions kept going without pause, the wolf pack also
continued to increase. If this went on, they would run out of options soon.
“W-What is it, Kusanagi-san?”
“Last time, that move I used against Athena, do you think it would work
against that old gramps?”
The old Devil King, who was continually summoning [Wolves] from a
distance, simply watched the battle silently.
Godou tried to show a smile of confidence and preparedness.
From the start, the pace of battle had been fully controlled by Voban.
Unless Godou found a way to regain initiative and counterattack there
would be no chance of victory.
“…Probably not. I doubt those flames can defeat the Marquis. I cannot give
a reason, but that is what I feel.”
The miko, who possessed spirit vision, spoke with a very disquieted
expression.
However, this opinion only made Godou more determined — if that was the
case, why not try it?
“Got it. In that case, perhaps it’s just as well.”
“Eh? Kusanagi-san, what are you planning on doing?”
“Mariya, please do not leave my side for any reason.”
Letting this continue would be meaningless, so Godou decided to bring
about a conclusion to the battle.
“For victory, hasten forth before me! O immortal sun, please grant radiance
to the stallion. O stallion that moves godlike with wondrous grace, bring
forth the halo of thy master!”
The incantation to summon from the sky the white stallion which
represented the sun, the third form of Verethragna.
Godou shouted sonorously.
Voban’s face showed tension for the first time.
Finally sensing the coming of danger, he watched as the stormy night
turned into a morning sky tinted by the color of dawn.
“The sun — the flames of heaven?”
Almost like the first light of dawn, the sun was rising out of the eastern sky.
— The power of judgement which could only be used against great sinners
who brought great suffering to the populace. As expected of a
three-hundred-year-old great Devil King, it looked like he had committed
more than the minimum number of atrocities required to fulfill the
conditions required.
White flames descended from the sky.
High temperature flames hot enough to vaporize steel with ease were
approaching the ground.
At that instant, the [Wolves] that were causing so much trouble for Godou
and Erica all vanished.
“Eh?”
Godou was struck by surprise.
Voban’s figure transformed. From a human into an upright wolf with silver
fur — a werewolf and it was completely the stance of a wolf.
Voban’s body which had taken the form of a silver wolf, expanded in size
instantly.
Roughly thirty meters in length, the massive body stopped expanding at an
impossible size.
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!!
Massive roars reverberated in the stormy atmosphere.
The gigantic silver wolf leaped at the huge white flames which held the
concentrated energy of the sun, bared its fangs and bit the flames with its
massive jaws.
“…What the, that, there should be limits to such unreasonable power.”
The unbelievable sight gave Godou a great shock.
Swallowed.
Just like that, the giant wolf completely swallowed the intense fires of the
sun.
“To absorb… no, devour the flames of the [White Stallion], what kind of
monster is this?”
Erica who had returned to Godou’s side also exclaimed with surprise.
Having lost their opponents, the steel lions recombined to form Cuore di
Leone once more, and returned to the form of her beloved sword.
“What… was that about?”
Yuri murmured with a shocked expression. Perhaps the sight before them
was too hard to believe.
“Swallowing the fire that even Athena had difficulty resisting, should there
not be a limit to such lack of reason!”
“To render useless the attack which defeated the deity of darkness as well
as the earth, the goddess Athena of the highest level, what kind of god did
that [Wolf] usurp his authority from!?”
Standing beside the speechless girl, Godou renewed his spirits. His goal of
changing the flow of battle had been accomplished. That was enough.
1 — Hahahahahahaha! Is this it? This is one of the abilities used to battle
Salvatore, and defeated Athena! Very satisfying! This really makes me feel
satisfied!’
— Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!!
Massive roars of a wolf sounded simultaneously with Voban’s voice. It was
truly an incredible phenomenon.
‘I feel I must properly reward such a rare banquet. If I don’t do this
carefully, I might crush you along with the miko — come, listen to my
bidding, my servants!’
Entities possessing dark demonic characteristics flowed out once again.
This time, they were not [Wolves] but death knights previously met in the
library — dead people were appearing out of the darkness carrying the
same aura.
In their hands were swords, spears, axes and other classical weapons.
Many of them were wearing armor decorated with engraved crests from
knight organizations.
There were about forty of them. From their anachronistic attire, they
seemed to be summoned from five or six centuries ago.
‘My followers who have already died, you were all carefully selected
warriors. Now, go hunt like dogs!’
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!!
The Devil King’s laughter sounded at the same time as the fierce roars.
In addition, the death knight army began to step forward, wielding their
weapons, and attacked with determination.
The word ‘slow’ would be the wrong description for these zombies.
Bearing dead faces and engaging in close quarter combat, they displayed
great intelligence and strength, just like a fierce and experienced army of
knights.
“Godou, be careful everyone. I fear that they may very well be Great
Knights when alive — warriors of the same rank as me. To be honest, I
have no confidence in protecting you all this time.”
Erica’s gaze which had switched to the death knights, was completely
different from when she was facing fodder.
There was not a hint of playful attitude, and she was rather alert.
“The girl at the library — was she your friend, Erica? How did she describe
it, what were those colleagues of hers really? Aren’t they just zombies??”
“Kusanagi-san, becoming a [Dead Servant] is the tragic fate suffered by
those who were killed by the Marquis’ hand.”
The one who answered Godou’s question was Yuri.
“The ability to make loyal obedient servants out of those that died directly
by his hand. This was the authority that the Marquis usurped from the
Egyptian god Osiris. Those people seem to fully recall their skills from
when they were alive, and will be tougher enemies than the wolves.”
“We may very well turn out like them in the end, so watch out!”
At the unimaginably tragic fate of these death knights, Godou frowned.
“To have performed so many acts of evil, that damn old man really pisses
me off.”
Godou looked up to the stern face of the old Devil King who had taken the
form of a giant wolf.
After turning into that form, strong wind and rain from the storm was
nothing to him. Completely arrogant, it was also a very detestable form.
— And then, the death knights swarmed in.
Erica swung her sword and engaged one of them. One, two, three, four.
Their strikes clashed intensely. Even a layman could tell that those skills
displayed were extremely powerful.
Of course, the death knights also approached Godou and Yuri.
(Are we going to lose now?)
Godou silently talked to himself. He was too naive. He did not prepare
enough to fight such a difficult enemy as the Marquis Voban.
If one did not acquire knowledge of the opponent’s abilities, personality
and goals, defeat was certain.
This was the inevitable outcome. Since his loss was due to his insufficient
power and his taking things too lightly, there was no room for regret. Be
that as it may —
“Kusanagi-san…”
“Don’t worry, Mariya, just watch as I penetrate the barricade for you. Follow
me closely.”
Godou will definitely protect the trembling girl behind his back.
That was his responsibility. Determined, Godou took a deep breath.
— He exchanged a quick glance with Erica as she brandished her sword
nearby. They immediately understood each other.
In the instant it took for their gazes to meet, several death knights had
rushed over.
The massive axe was lifted high before Godou’s eyes. This wasn’t fast
enough. Speed up!
Godou took another deep breath.
Standing behind him, Yuri asked worriedly: “Kusanagi-san, you seem to be
a little strange, what is going on?” Her voice felt very distant, no, it wasn’t
distant, but slowed down, it was due to my senses becoming extraordinary.
Faster, ever faster, imagining in my mind, birds that fly higher than anyone
else, the form of the bird of prey that flew higher, faster, further than all
others.
As Godou stood motionless, the battle axe was fiercely swung down upon
his head.
Yuri cried out plaintively.
There were many bothersome aspects to the [Raptor] incarnation, but this
was the worst moment in particular.
Unless attacked by a quick strike exceeding normal parameters, this form
could not be used. Examples included bullets, ambushed by crazed wild
beasts, or an attack from an accomplished martial artist.
At these thoughts crossed his mind, Godou whispered.
“Fear of the winged, both the evil and the powerful, all shall fear I who hold
these feathered wings. My wings will bring you curse and just deserts!”
Acceleration, and slowing down.
Accelerating Godou’s own body, while slowing down everything else.
About to have his head split in half, Godou casually dodged the battle axe
with millimeters to spare.
Too slow.
The death knights who Erica had regarded as equal to her.
To Godou now, they were far too slow. Sword, axe, spear, sword,
sword — five weapons were attacking Godou simultaneously.
These were also too slow. All could be seen clearly, and all were evaded.
Finally, one of the death knights was sent flying. An amateurish
counterattack spectacularly knocked the knight onto the ground. Probably,
the knight failed to evade due to Godou’s exceptional speed.
Godou grabbed Yuri’s hand.
Without saying a word, he carried Yuri in his arms. “Ah!?
Ku-kusanagi-san — !?” What she said wasn’t very clear, I’ll ask her some
other time.
Godou pushed hard against the ground and leaped with Yuri in his arms.
The trajectory of the jump followed a massive curve.
Easily jumping over ten meters, Godou easily cleared the death knights
who surrounded him.
— Super acceleration, as well as the body becoming extremely light.
That was the power of Verethragna’s [Raptor] form. As long as it was
something that could be held in two hands, it was very convenient to use
this ability to carry things.
Since its speed was something that Godou could not fully control, it was
impossible to move with precision.
If one wanted to move just twenty centimeters, he would often go one
meter or beyond. But other than that, it was a horrifyingly effective ability.
On the flip side, it also carried a great price.
Enduring the pain reaching towards his heart, Godou leaped once more.
In an instant, he had reached the edge of the playground. He looked back
at the battlefield he had left behind in the distance.
Even from there he could clearly see the monstrously tall and well-built
body of Voban. Not only could he summon wolves, but what kind of
monster could also transform itself into a wolf?
Roughly two thirds of the death knights were rushing to pursue the
escaped him.
Erica was alone, moving in the opposite direction.
Fighting by herself, she swung Cuore di Leone and began to flee.
Godou wanted to help, but if he went over with Yuri, they would only
become burdens. By herself, Erica could probably bring out her power
better without restraint.
It was probably better to lure even more death knights over to this
direction.
…The exchange of glances prior to using the [Raptor] communicated each
other’s plans. The battle here was sure to have ended in defeat, so in that
case, they had to retreat from this location with all their strength.
Godou prayed for his companion’s safety as he jumped once again.
Easily clearing the wall around the school, Godou paid attention to his
pursuers as he decided to speed up and shake them off his trail.
Of course, Voban will be using those [Wolves] again.
Nevertheless, escaping from this place will prevent the worst outcome.
“Ah…! Truly exhausting, this…”
His chest pain gradually intensified.
In the arms of the frowning Godou, Yuri’s face was full of concern.
“Are you okay? Kusanagi-san? Your face looks like you are suffering…”
“Ah, it’s nothing. No, if this continues I won’t be able to lose those guys.
We have no choice but to find a place to hide — ”
In the stormy night, visibility was poor, and his body was getting cold.
Godou and Yuri in her miko outfit continued their escape.
References
1 . t Tachi (AJJ) is a type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the
samurai class of feudal Japan.

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