Campione! / Campione! Vol 3 Chapter 2


Chapter 2 – Fated Encounters
Part 1
The Sardinia autonomous region consists of the island of Sardinia and the
surrounding islands.
The capital city Cagliari is a port located on the south of the island, and
was first constructed by Phoenicians in the eighth century BCE.
Even in Europe which had incomparably many ancient capitals relative to
Japan, ancient streets dating back to such historical origins were very rare.
This was a relaxing street in the countryside, near the calm Mediterranean.
This was also Godou’s first impression of Cagliari.
“…I’ll have a stroll in this little town for today, then take the train tomorrow
to the town where Lucretia-san lives.”
Godou was at the hotel room booked by his grandfather in Japan.
Though it was just a little three-story inn, its facilities were well-provided,
and extremely clean though not very luxurious.
Godou sat on the bed, browsing webpages for maps and travel guides
about Sardinia, making his plans for the next few days.
The town where his grandfather’s ‘friend’ lived was located in the center of
the island. Godou decided to take a break here for today, since his body
needed time to recover from the jet lag and the fatigue from air travel.
Having thus decided, Godou looked out the window.
It was slightly after one in the afternoon, and the Mediterranean sun gave
off bright rays. The clear blue sky had not a single cloud. This kind of wide
unrestricted view was not something that can be found in Japanese
scenery.
If he didn’t go out to enjoy the scenery, it would be too much of a shame.
As excited as if he was witnessing a sunrise, Godou decided to walk out
the door and leave the room to have a look.
If he wanted to rest, he could do that in the evening. After all, he already
came all this way, why not go outside and have a look?
Leaving his luggage in the room, Godou left the inn.
In order to dispel the sleepiness, let’s first find a coffee shop (the Italians
seemed to call them cafes) and get a coffee and some snacks. Thinking
that, Godou surveyed the surroundings, but all the shops in view had their
doors shut.
Just as Godou was feeling puzzled, he suddenly remembered.
Now was the time for siesta — the afternoon nap. Though the practice was
no longer common in cities like Rome and Milan, it wasn’t so in a place like
this.
Still, not all shops were on break.
After walking a little more, a coffee shop open for business was found on a
little street.
Godou’s Italian consisted of the basics he learnt from the tourist guide he
read on the plane, or rather, the vague impressions he retained from that.
But Godou was not a person who fretted the small details, and it was
pointless to be scared in this place. Besides, staff in this vacation spot
should be used to travelers, so Godou boldly stepped into the shop.
…It happened once before, at a little stall in Thailand. Godou had
unwittingly ordered and eaten some super spicy fried noodles. It served as
a memory of his travels.
The decor of the shop was rather plain.
There were only six or seven customers, all middle aged men or older.
No one dressed fashionably and they all had casual attire and looked very
relaxed.
They were gathered in the interior of the shop, watching a broadcasted
football match on an old CRT television.
Godou walked towards the bar.
The bartender who greeted him was a twenty-something-year-old youth.
Godou felt a little relieved, for no matter what country, the likelihood of
someone being competent in English was highest amongst the younger
generation… Of course, there were also many exceptions.
Godou used his broken Italian, aided by appropriate English to converse.
It was exceedingly simple to order a cup of Espresso, but ordering food
was very difficult, because even if you looked at the menu, it was
impossible to imagine what the food looked like.
Godou looked towards those elderly men, and pointed to the Italian panini
sandwich one of them was eating.
Give me the same thing — that was how he ordered. The friendly Italian
youth only repeated the words ‘OK’ throughout the entire process.
Godou poured two packets of sugar into the fresh coffee.
This was because he once heard that pouring a large amount of sugar was
the Italian way. The rich and sweet flavor was quite agreeable after all.
As he pondered over this ordinary taste, Godou was shocked as he bit into
the panini.
In between the two pieces of bread were prosciutto ham, cheese, as well
as a kind of lettuce called rucola. However, the bread, the ham and the
cheese were all particularly rich in flavor. This was absolutely delicious!
After he finished, Godou thanked the youth, settled his bill and left the
coffee shop.
Then Godou began taking a casual walk around town.
Sometimes he would take out the map and ask passersby for directions.
In Japan, European and American tourists were unafraid of asking the
locals for directions, so Godou decided to imitate them. He tried to ask
those who looked leisurely, so as to minimize the chances of hindering
someone.
Even though the local language wasn’t English, communicating through
gestures on the map was enough for Godou to understand other people.
Wanting to see the ocean, Godou walked towards Cagliari bay.
Hanging throughout the narrow streets were fresh laundry.
Seeing these peaceful scenes, Godou’s mood was very relaxed as he
reached a giant church — the plaza of a Duomo cathedral. He took a short
stroll there, and then left the beautiful plaza.
Starting from there, he could see Cagliari bay.
Looking into the distance, the sea stretched from one end of the horizon to
another, beautiful as an emerald. This kind of beautiful ocean was
impossible to see in Tokyo, and Godou felt his heart getting excited and
his footsteps quickened.
Walking down a street called Via Roma, he hurried towards the sea.
Part 2
It was while Godou was taking a stroll along the sea side when he
encountered the youth.
A youth was leaning against the wall of a building that resembled a
warehouse, looking towards the ocean that he faced.
He gave off a strangely wonderful feeling.
It would be rude to call his attire unkempt, but that was the impression
given by his coat. What was probably once a white coat, was now a dirty
brown in color. The clothing itself was a bit tattered. Rather than something
one would wear on this street on the sea side, it was more like something
you’d find at a desert oasis.
Without any doubt, he was about the same age as Godou.
Around fourteen or fifteen years in age, with jet black hair to his shoulders,
skin the color of ivory, and most important of all, he was extremely
handsome.
Godou could not help but feel drawn to him. There was a kind of
androgyny to his facial features, and even among celebrities, Godou has
never seen a handsome youth like the one before him.
— Suddenly, the youth’s gaze began to shift.
As if noticing Godou staring at him, he also looked straight back.
And then he smiled.
It was very common for Europeans and Americans to greet others with a
smile the first time they meet someone and exchange glances, so Godou
presumed the youth was saying hello to him.
“xxxx, xx, xxxxxx… xxxxxx.”
He was using a language Godou had never heard before.
It shouldn’t be English, but Godou did not have the confidence to be
certain of that. Though Italian was easily understood once the vowels were
emphasized, but there were many sounds which were difficult for
Japanese ears to discern.
“I’m sorry, I can’t understand what you are saying.”
Hence Godou could only use Japanese, shrugging his shoulders in
response.
In the situation of communicating as a foreigner, if gestures and facial
expressions failed to communicate, then it was better to give up.
“Oh, my apologies, then I shall use thy way of speaking.”
Suddenly, he was answering Godou with fluent Japanese.
Godou was speechless but could only stare at the youth’s face.
“Well, hardly of significance, but a strange taste — no, dare I say
smell — hangeth around thee, catching my attention, thus I spoke to thee.”
The youth’s voice was slightly lower than a tenor and was probably in the
baritone range.
“A taste… I don’t think I’m that dirty, does it smell bad?”
“Payest no heed to it, I assume I have made a fool of myself, to have
asked such a strange question.”
The youth spoke openly as he watched Godou checking himself out.
To ask such an embarrassing question right from the start, but then the
youth did not seem to be malicious. Those words could have angered the
other person, but somehow the youth did not cause a sense of
displeasure, was it a question of character?
“Boy, acceptest mine apology for my misspoken words. Pray forgivest me,
I mean thee no offense.”
The youth smiled lightly.
His narrow eyes became even more so, and his lips curved.
A very classical smile. Rather it should be described as a smile as subtle
as mist.
“You really don’t sound like you’re apologizing, and why are you calling me
‘boy’?”
His features were very handsome, but his tone was rather arrogant, and
felt like a superior talking to someone beneath his station. He was clearly
about the same age, but he was calling me ‘boy.’
Godou felt incredulous at this sense of imbalance.
Clearly he could speak Japanese fluently. Was it possible that his
Japanese usage was not learned through regular methods?
“Though I think it’s amazing how well you can speak Japanese, your usage
is a little bit strange.”
“Worriest not these little things. As long as communication is accomplished
by speaking, it is agreeable.”
He replied with a calm tone.
The strange youth’s explanation made Godou smile wryly, but Godou was
extremely concerned about his irregular Japanese.
“So, did you learn Japanese from watching stuff like dramas in ancient
settings?”
“Never have I heard of that. This language, when was the time I learned it?
No matter, it is of no consequence, as long as we can communicate.”
“Then what is your name? My name is Kusanagi Godou. I think you
already know, but I’m from Japan.”
“Of course I remember, my name, my birthplace… Eh, what is it?”
The youth spoke very casually.
But to this sudden unexpected answer, Godou was speechless.
“…Umm, may I ask, was your amnesia just now a joke?”
“Of course it is amnesia. Correct, I have lost all memories of the past. A
troublesome condition, and most vexing.”
Though Godou still felt the youth was joking, he still made a suggestion.
“If you really lost your memory, let me accompany you to the police or a
hospital.”
“Unnecessary, though I have neither knowledge of my name nor origin,
there is no immediate problem. All I need to know is the most important
thing about myself.”
“The most important thing?”
This was a strange person. Confirming this in his heart, Godou continued
to question.
Whether or not he was speaking the truth all along, this youth definitely
counted as a ‘super’ strange person. How expected of foreign lands, with
vastly increased chances of meeting weirdos.
“Yes, I am the victor. Victory is always in my hands. That is my nature.
Facing any kind of conflict or enemy, unchangeable and unshakeable is
my victory.”
“…Really.”
This extremely arrogant declaration was uttered from the youth’s mouth
calmly and simply.
This guy’s speech is completely unpredictable. Though Godou was slightly
taken aback, he also felt a little impressed.
“It is true, I have long sought the taste of defeat for all this time, but none
hath ever prevailed against me. By the way, whenever I start fighting I lose
myself, and cannot avoid getting all serious…”
Sighing as he gazed into the distance, the youth suddenly made a
suggestion to Godou:
“How about it? Art thou interested in competing against me? Canst thou
amuse me for a while?”
“Anything, as long as thou art good at it. Games, martial arts, a battle of
wits, horse riding, anything. By the way, this place seemeth to be near
Greece, I remember that country hath a kind of competition that made use
of the entire body, rather interesting. Dost thou have something thou art
good at?”
Issued a challenge like that, of course one couldn’t back down.
And so Godou and the youth began to search for a place that could be
used for them to compete.
Walking near the port, the two of them soon reached a corner of an empty
field. Gathered there were about ten-odd youngsters who worked at the
pier. They were playing street football, probably during a break or after
work.
This was probably their playground.
Fishing nets were hung everywhere, and seemed to be used as football
goals.
Right now there were two nets in use, and two teams were competing. At
one of the temporary goals, Godou found a set of rather familiar
equipment.
A baseball and a metal bat, as well as several baseball gloves.
“…Come to think of it, professional baseball also exists in Italy.”
Recalling this, Godou began to mutter to himself.
Compared to the overwhelming popularity of football, baseball was like a
flickering candle in the wind. The level of professionals was also rather
dismal, but at least the sport existed.
“Oh, thy talent lieth yonder, I look forward to it.”
“Ah, no, that’s…”
Taking notice, the youth walked towards the equipment.
Though for an instant Godou wanted to stop him, but he quickly gave up.
After all what was to follow was a low level competition. It was unlikely to
worsen the condition of his shoulder.
During this time, the youth had already started conversing with the group of
youngsters in fluent Italian.
Probably negotiating with the youngsters to borrow the equipment. Not
long after, the youth made a thumbs-up sign and smiled. Negotiation
successful.
“Good, preparations are complete. Pray tellest me, how is this played?”
“Oh, one side pitches the ball while the other strikes it with the bat.”
Catching the ball thrown by the youth, Godou explained.
…This feeling from so many months ago.
Godou looked at the baseball clutched in his right hand.
The powerful shoulder which denied base stealing even from relatively
formidable runners… Godou had already lost it.
“…Yes, it appeareth thou art more suited for this side.”
Watching the hesitating Godou, the youth tossed the bat over.
“It is fine to sigh over an old injury, but treatest it not as a mark of shame.
Getting injured is a natural part of the warrior’s path. Only those who doth
not fight remaineth uninjured. This is proof of thy past battles. ”
How does this guy know about my injury?
Godou stared at the youth’s face, shocked, but his opponent was not
showing any pity in his expression.
Pity… Faced with a constant barrage these past few months, all he could
do was act troubled and thankful with a superficial response like ‘what a
disaster…’ It felt terrible, but somehow this youth did not make him feel that
way.
Those extremely cool eyes carried an intense sense of pride.
What kind of person would have eyes like those?
Solemn and majestic. This was a warrior — as described by the youth
himself.
“Hoho, actest not surprised. I am the one embodying battle and victory. As
long as thou hast obtained results through battle, be they good or bad, I
can discern it. Boy, there exist warriors who continueth fighting in spite of
wounds or over exhaustion. There was once this person who judged it time
to throw down their weapon, but that fellow choseth not to run. A true
warrior.”
The youth smiled, but not in the faint and distant manner just now, but
rather grotesquely. It was the first time for Godou to see such a smile.
Silently he accepted the bat. Who is going to lose to you? For some
reason, his heart kept repeating that line.
“Excellent! Good boy, good warrior! Quick, makest haste and beginest the
match!”
Once again, he returned to a child-like demeanor.
It was also the first time for Godou to meet an opponent who went through
so many facial expressions so quickly.
Godou gradually began to take an interest in him.
“OK, then I will hit the balls you pitch. If the ball is thrown somewhere
beyond my reach it’s invalid. If I swing the bat and either miss or hit a ball
rolling on the ground, then I lose for that pitch. How’s that?”
“Soundeth disadvantageous for you, wilt thou be fine? I am very strong.”
The two gazed at each other and smiled happily.
Who would have predicted one day I would pick up a baseball bat again in
this foreign land?
The unexpected match gradually made Godou excited.
Part 3
The result of the match was very surprising.
Godou was able to hit the first few balls and was winning in the beginning,
but he began to lose, all the way to the end.
The youth was throwing the white ball with a very sloppy posture.
However, the balls flew hard and fast. In terms of control, their trajectories
could also be described as no less than perfect.
Even amongst those of Godou’s generation, no other pitcher could throw
such balls. Middle school’s Miura who greatly surpassed Godou in natural
talent, as well as the monstrous pitchers he met on trips to Korea and
Taiwan, none of them were able to hold a candle to this youth on the island
of Sardinia.
His height not quite 170cm, the youth also had a very slim build.
However, the strength of his pitches cannot be matched.
“Are you sure you’ve never played baseball before?”
“Yes, today is the first time, and it seemeth rather amusing.”
With over thirty balls pitched, the vast majority ended in missed swings.
The youth’s pitching posture was without a doubt improvised, and he did
not appear to have any prior training. However, his actions looked so
natural.
Clearly so random, but his motions were very elegant, and the result were
straight fastballs with substantial power.
After the bat missed, the balls continued with momentum that seemed as if
it would break the fishing net.
“Damn it, it’s no good, can we have a break? Let me come up with a
strategy.”
Beginning to pant, Godou asked for a time out.
Genius? Was this what one called a real genius? No, Godou felt it wasn’t.
The youth before him who claimed amnesia was not someone who could
be described so easily with a simple noun — there was a feeling of
something out of the ordinary here.
But no matter how fast the balls flew, they weren’t completely impossible to
hit.
The first step is to get the eyes used to that level of speed. That said, even
when he was the fourth hitter, Godou was unable to hit straight fastballs
thrown with such power. What should he do?
“Hohoho, panickest not. I am the one who is strongest and defeats all
opponents. I merely wish to have a good battle, so please takest as much
time to think as thou needst.”
Clearly words of such arrogance, but Godou could not find a retort.
In addition, the youth looked as if he wasn’t even trying — Godou could not
accept losing like this, he must find a way to turn things around!
…Though the nearby youngsters were playing football some distance
away, the youth’s pitches were too amazing, and very soon, all of them
had gathered beside him to watch.
Seeing Godou taking a break, they slowly surrounded him.
And then the youngsters of Cagliari also took part in the competition.
Still, no one could beat the youth. Let alone scoring a good hit, even
touching the ball was impossible for them.
“Who the heck was that guy…? If someone described him as inhuman, it’s
believable.”
After pitching over a hundred powerful fastballs, the youth’s breathing
remained regular.
Neither did the power of control of the pitches waver.
Watching the youth defeat the local youngsters so easily, Godou was very
shocked.
Soon after, it looked like they were preparing to play football. The Italian
young men put their arms around Godou and the youth’s shoulders and
walked towards the football.
“Hey, could you ask them a question for me. Is this OK for them not to go
to work? It looks like they are playing too much.”
“Freteth not such minor matters… This couldeth be their way of doing
things, is there not a saying ‘do as the Romans do’? Thou goest and
enjoyest thyself.”
Seeing Godou worry, the youth smiled candidly.
“Fine, whatever.” Feeling that brisk Latin atmosphere, Godou gave up on
the answer.
Perhaps it was because he had grown accustomed to the ridiculous
personalities of his grandfather and mother, as well as the influence of their
friends. Though Godou thought himself to have a very serious character,
he found himself possessing rather generous tolerance to meeting such a
frivolous and strange character.
If so, just do as the youth suggests and don’t over think things, go have fun
without worry.
Wearing either t-shirts or vests, the Italian young men were most likely
laborers. In other words, the majority of them were strongly built with arms,
heads and backs akin to the statue of David. For an instant, Godou felt
intimidated but he immediately got used to it.
Godou and the youth joined the same team, and started playing street
football.
Even in football, no one could defeat the youth.
Nimbly weaving the ball through his opponents, assisting his teammates
near the goal by passing the ball through the narrowest of openings, and
personally scoring spectacular goals. Though he called it ‘my first time’ let’s
just ignore that. Anyway, that was the kind of performance he gave.
In the endgame, the youth took the ball past five defenders and ended the
match with a perfect curve ball shot at goal. His figure was like a god’s.
“Fantastico! Fantastico! Figlio Del Sole!” [1]
A most emotional youth cried out.
Ending the match without any regrets, the group surrounded the youth,
cheering with smiling faces and emotional tears. Lavishing him with Latin
style praise such as calling him a genius and born of the sun.
Soon, the sky gradually darkened.
The slowly setting sun gave the harbor a shade of orange, and the two of
them bid the Italian youths farewell. (In the end, they showed no signs of
getting back to work, so it was pointless to ask.)
The youth traded glances with Godou, and they smiled at each other.
“…Though it was a strange day, but I was very happy. How about you?”
“I too am happy. Such games are not bad once in a while.”
Godou who never thought himself the sociable type, was surprised to find
himself getting so familiar with the youth in such a short time, without even
knowing his name.
However, it was not an unpleasant feeling.
It felt like the days when he was still playing baseball and getting along
with this team mates…
That was the kind of friendly feeling he got from this youth.
“I will be travelling inland tomorrow. What are you going to do next? If you
plan on staying here for a while, let’s meet again when I come back.”
“Yes, I too have things that I must do…”
“Didn’t you say you lost your memory, what are you planning on doing?
What’s the matter, just play football with those people just now. Or maybe
even a proper baseball game with nine players on each side, but a much
wider space than this pier would be needed.”
“Oh? Thou hast lost the match, yet thou hast not learnt thy lesson?”
The two chatted and laughed together.
Sunset on a harbor street.
A little sea side road illuminated a bright shade of orange.
The day was about to end. If possible, Godou really wanted to spend more
time with this youth. Consumed with that thought, he became even more
talkative.
Which was why he failed to notice the shadow in the road ahead.
This shadow was in the shape of a beautiful young lady.
By the time Godou noticed her, she had already begun the conversation.
“Excuse me, the person who is walking there — I’m very sorry for the
sudden intrusion, but I have something to ask.”
It was being said in Italian.
Of course, Godou completely failed to understand, but at that moment his
attention was completely drawn by the girl who appeared before him.
Just barely over 160cm, her height was not especially tall for European
standards. However, there was a certain sense of dignity, how should one
put it? Proud like a queen, standing there with such an imposing presence.
Her long blonde hair fluttered against the sea breeze.
Dressed in red, under the glow of the orange sunset and in contrast to her
long blonde hair, the impression of the red color was especially intensified.
Red like a burning flame and hair the color of gold, it was like the crown of
a warrior, majestically perched upon her head.
However, all this aside — the most important feature was the girl’s beauty,
from which Godou could not tear his eyes away.
Beautiful features as if the result of delicate craftsmanship, better
proportioned than any doll, livelier than any model or actress, and
completely saturated with nobility and self-confidence, it was a face one
could never forget after seeing once.
“Please tell me all about the god that has appeared on this island. My
name is Erica Blandelli. Consider it a return gift, as there is no need for you
two to report your names.”
After a few days, it finally occurred to Godou.
If he knew she would say something so arrogant, he would never have let
himself be attracted to her.
Part 4
“…Hey, what is that girl saying? She looks very serious.”
“She wanteth us to confess everything we know. Simply put, it is a threat.”
“Threat?”
This dialogue between Godou and the youth, took place in Japanese of
course.
Hearing that, the blonde young beauty frowned with displeasure.
For even this kind of expression to be beautiful as a painting, this girl was
very amazing.
Wearing a red top with black shorts, her clothing was a little ordinary
despite her great beauty. However, due to the tasteful combination it felt
very natural and unfettered, perhaps it was her unparalleled beauty and
figure that caused one’s opinion of her attire to improve.
“…All roads lead to Rome. Do as the Romans do. What regrettable
sayings. You are too foolish to come here with clearly no knowledge of
Italian.”
The girl spoke again, a little furious.
Ignoring the rather rude content, this time she spoke with very fluent
Japanese. Perhaps she was in a bad mood because her cool entrance
was spoiled.
“I would like to ask you about the [Heretic God] incidents that appeared all
over the island of Sardinia about three days ago. Bosa, Orgosolo,
Barumini… You were sighted in all the places where divine presences were
confirmed. This cannot be coincidence, right?”
The girl finished speaking and looked at the youth beside Godou.
The places she mentioned were most likely locations on the island of
Sardinia. Then that ‘you’ she was referring to must be that youth.
Then again, what did she mean by [God]? Completely baffling.
“I am Erica Blandelli, Great Knight of the magic association Copper Black
Cross of Milan. Even in this remote place in the south, there are members
of our association, and the person sighted I mentioned just now is him.”
Magic association and god. Hearing these strange terms, Godou felt
troubled.
However, her tone of voice was too natural, and surprisingly there was no
sense of dissonance.
” — Who on earth are you? Though it isn’t apparent, could you be a mage?
A priest or deacon of some religion? If that’s the case, there is nothing
unusual about successfully summoning a [Heretic God] by chance.
Anything wrong with my speculation?”
Erica Blandelli was smiling with great arrogance.
This was the first time Godou ever saw such a conceited smile on a
woman. How could she be so haughty, yet so glamorous at the same
time? Godou couldn’t help but sigh at those two points.
“Ah, I’ve waited for you for so long, and yet you respond with silence? No
other way then, peaceful negotiations end here and it’s time for battle.
Trying to talk sense into people who cannot communicate is like casting
pearls before swine.”
With such instigating tones, how was it ever peaceful in the first place?
And then Erica continued:
“Come, lion of steel. The one carrying the spirit of the lion, the steel that
carries the essence of battle! Respond to my hand and voice! Your name
is Cuore di Leone… The warrior inheriting the name of the lion-hearted
king!”
What happened in the next instant, completely overturned Godou’s
common sense.
“The knight Erica Blandelli swears thus, I will return your loyalty with my
valor and chivalry!”
The sword that suddenly appeared.
The silver body of the blade was slender and elegant, like a beam of clear
light bathed in the rays of the setting sun.
“If you are someone involved with gods, you must have heard of the
mighty names of Erica Blandelli and Cuore di Leone? I have no wish to
use the red and black techniques against a nobody. Hurry up and tell me
all you know with efficiency, swiftly and obediently.”
And then, Erica thrust forward before her the sword that was like a piece of
art.
Of course, it was targeting Godou and the youth who showed a faint smile.
“…What was that just now? Is that a parlor trick?”
“Thou mayst consider that level of magic a parlor trick. It is not a
particularly amazing spell.”
Sword, god, knight, magic, mage — ! Come on, what were all these terms.
Godou was very surprised. This was twenty-first century Italy, not medieval
Europe during the dark ages. How could all these unreal terms appear?
“Thou art an unruly little lady. To point a sword at me, even for warriors in
the past, none have dared such barbaric acts towards me. The ignorant
are truly terrifying.”
“Ah, so confident in your own abilities?”
Towards the wryly smiling youth, Erica proudly puffed her chest.
The tip of the sword was waving about like the tail of an animal. Even
someone like Godou who knew nothing about swordsmanship could tell
that it was the motions of an impending attack.
“If you’d like, I can prepare a sword for you. I, Erica Blandelli, will never let
anyone escape from a duel of the sword. What do you say?”
Hearing her conceited words, Godou swallowed a mouthful of air.
From the sword stance of this beautiful girl, she should be very skilled.
Only someone who had reached a certain level of mastery could have
such elegant poise, a functional beauty resulting from eschewing all of the
unnecessary. Godou could feel that this level of cool and imposing
presence could not be simply the result of a beautiful appearance.
“Thy proposal interests me, but sadly enough, I have no leisure to spare.”
“I see. There has never been a person who refused my invitation. To think
I would have a first experience of rejection in such a place, how insulting.”
“Hoho, thou shouldst not say it so, I shall play with thee one day. But
now — ”
The youth said to the elegant but regrettable Erica:
“A more troublesome fellow is coming!”
A sudden development occurred immediately afterwards.
BOOOOM!!
An extremely loud explosion was heard.
To Godou who was already greatly shocked by the events so far —
He was now doubting his own sanity, but who could blame him?
A gigantic [Boar] roughly fifty meters in body length had suddenly
appeared in the sea, and was landing on the coast in a very strenuous
manner, knocking over the surrounding buildings.
This kind of scene was appearing before his eyes.
Not only Godou, but the sword-wielding Erica was also frozen.
What was this? Could a scene seemingly from a monster movie be reality?
Totally at loss, Godou found his hand being grabbed at that instant.
“Hey, boy, runnest! Makest haste and escapest!”
The youth yelled as he ran, pulling Godou by the hand.
In order to numb his thoughts, Godou followed and ran without thinking. So
when he finally became aware of the dreadful conditions they were running
towards, he broke out in cold sweat.
“W-Wait! That direction you’re running towards is too dangerous!”
“No matter what, our escape route was blocked by the sword. This is the
so-called tiger at the front door, and something at the back. Makest thy
decision quickly! Only by charging into danger can there be chances of
survival.”
Even under these circumstances, the youth was yelling joyfully.
The place where Godou was being led to was exactly where the [Boar]
was rampaging.
Probably the most dangerous place in Cagliari at the moment.
“W-Wait up! I have unfinished business — ”
“If fate allows it, we will meet again! Goodbye!”
Miss Erica seemed to be yelling something, but the youth continued pulling
Godou’s hand as they ran.
The fur and hide of the gigantic [Boar], was as jet black as darkness itself.
Whenever the black giant beast stepped upon the ground of the harbor,
the earth shook violently.
“Roar!” Every time it howled, windows in buildings vibrated, and then
shattered.
Whenever it charged, multiple buildings or warehouses were demolished
like small scale miniature models.
From somewhere a fire started.
Probably flammable oil kept in some storage.
The disastrous fire gradually spread, and the harbor looked as if it was
being licked by crimson tongues, then swallowed. Slowly the fire grew to a
point where it looked like everything was going to be burned down.
“…Thanks to this great fire, that troublesome woman probably gave up.”
Godou stared at the burning blaze as he spoke with a bitter face.
The girl called Erica had disappeared in the smoke about ten minutes ago.
Seeing that she has not followed, perhaps it was time to head towards a
safe direction.
Currently, Godou and the youth’s location was at a corner in the harbor
surrounded by fire.
Though there was no immediate danger, the fire was gradually spreading.
Furthermore, a couple hundred meters forward was the most terrifying
[Boar].
All surrounding buildings that could be destroyed were already gone, but
the beast did not charge over here. If it were to do so, Godou and the
youth would probably have their lives snuffed out like candles in the wind.
“If this continues, we are going to be burned to death. How could we have
escaped to such a place?”
“If we escape before the flames devour us, there is no problem — that is the
truth.”
Retorting against Godou’s complaints, the youth was surveying the
surroundings.
Annoyingly, the guy’s handsome face still carried a relaxed expression.
Despite the massive fire burning away so near, the youth did not have
single drop of sweat. In contrast to Godou who was soiled by sweat and
ash, the youth maintained his pure and pristine look.
“Starting from just now, what are you doing? It looks very strange, did
something happen?”
“Yes. Actually I heard cries for help, it should not be my imagination.”
Godou perked his ears but could not hear anything similar.
“I can’t hear anything like that. You must be mistaken.”
“No, impossible — I see!”
Suddenly the youth began to take action.
The direction he was heading towards, was exactly the place the giant
[Boar] was destroying.
“Where are you going? That place is dangerous.”
“Haha, if thou art afraid, pray returnest first. Forcest thyself not!”
The youth smiled as he charged forward.
Godou hesitated for an instant, and then ran in pursuit.
If they separated now, very likely he would not see him again. Most
importantly, he had to carefully witness the reckless actions of this youth,
thus Godou decided.
Running after the youth, Godou strove to move his footsteps.
Weaving through debris, kicking away stones, avoiding the scorching
flames, coughing and tearful from smoke inhalation, and overcoming many
difficulties, they ran for about five minutes.
The youth finally stopped.
His path ahead was blocked by many collapsed piles of construction
materials.
About an hour ago, these construction materials were piled in neat stacks
up to roof height along the rows of warehouses.
However, it was now a mountain of debris, and the intense fire was
devouring the surroundings. The present challenge was most difficult to
overcome.
Without appropriate equipment, there was no way to advance.
At this time, Godou noticed there were human voices on the opposite side,
crying and calling for help.
From the sound, it was probably not just one person, but several or even a
couple dozen.
“Hey, boy. Thou recallest this location? This was the place where we were
playing.”
The youth’s sudden question made Godou instantly remember.
It was just as he said, this was the empty field where they had been
playing football with the young men near the pier several tens of minutes
ago. The warehouse had collapsed, mostly due to the [Boarj’s rampage.
Then it later caught fire, resulting in the current situation.
“Those fellows likely failed to escape in time, and could only cry for help in
sorrowful voices.”
“Those fellows? …Could it be the ones we were just playing with at the
pier!?”
“Yes, the same. The ones we met are crying for help, and their voices
have reached mine ears. This is one of my abilities, no mistake about it.”
Beyond the massive pile of debris, something like Italian voices could be
heard.
Of course, the meanings were unknown, but it was easy to imagine them
as cries for help.
Godou tried to find an alternate path around the debris, but was
unsuccessful.
Godou tried to find a path through the debris, but was unsuccessful.
Godou tried to find a way to avoid the burning heat, but was unsuccessful.
Complete failure!
“What should I do?! How can they be saved?!”
He couldn’t help roaring in anger.
Disregarding the burning fire, there was also the [Boar] several dozens of
metres ahead, engaged in destruction. Godou felt indignant. Due to that
monster, how many people have been sacrificed?
Thinking that, his heart lit up in anger.
Watching Godou, the youth smiled smoothly.
“Thou seekest to save others before securing thy own safe escape. Thou
art a boy with admirable qualities. Thy sense of justice is worthy of ten
poems of praise bestowed by me.”
“Idiot, is this the time and place for something like that? Don’t joke with
me!”
“I jest not. I shall save those fellows, restest assured… Boy, though the
duration was short, but I am happy. Thou hath my thanks.”
The red flames illuminated the handsome face of the youth.
Noticing a sense of solemnity, Godou was silent. What on earth, what was
going on with this guy? Why was there such a sudden feeling of
greatness? — It was very strange.
“Hoho, to have amused myself so much with a brat amongst the mortals,
was truly unexpected. On a whim, I could not help but lead him around for
fun, but it is almost the end. I must finish my mission. If fate willeth, let us
meet again. May peace be with thee.”
The youth who should be shorter than Godou, was somehow looking
downwards at Godou.
However, there was no sense of dissonance.
The youth before him currently gave off a very admirable and blindingly
brilliant feeling, and it was impossible to think he was an ordinary human.
He must be a very special existence.
“Thou mayst leave now, boy. The direction thou followest hath no vortex of
flame, only stable mortal life. Righteous character will not lose the light’s
blessing, thou shouldst go straight ahead. ”
And then he walked towards the debris where the people crying for help
were.
His finger pointed in the opposite direction, and then Godou felt his body
turn and walk there by itself, and then began to run! What was going on!?
Shocked, Godou desperately tried to stop his own footsteps.
I can’t leave just like that, Godou strove to resist.
“What a stubborn brat, thou resistest my spell words.”
“W-Wait a minute, give me a second. How can I run away alone? If I’m
escaping you must come along, as well as the people on the other side.
So—”
“Thy thoughts are sufficient. I do not need thy assistance, because thou
wilt only get in my way. Makest haste, escapest.”
The youth pleaded in gentle tones.
“Such a shame to have lost my name. If my name was called during times
of crisis, my blessing will be obtained. If I were my past self, I would never
leave this holy phrase as parting words! So friend, I shall gift these words
to thee — farewell! Makest haste and run!”
The result was, this was the end.
As the youth finished bidding farewell, Godou’s legs ran automatically.
Impossible to stop, impossible to resist.
Fleeing from the threat of the fire and the [Boar], running at full speed in a
direction where there was no road.
Unable to save the youth, or those people trapped at the fire — these
thoughts made Godou very depressed, but he could not stop his footsteps.
Soon after, not knowing how he ran, Godou escaped from the fire. For a
moment he forgot his guilt for escaping by himself, and deeply exhaled in
relief.
— What followed immediately was despair.
At some point in time, Godou had arrived at the Duomo cathedral he
passed by in the afternoon.
The great cathedral standing there.
The place of worship to pay respects to the divine, and offer one’s prayers.
Beside the quiet and pious structure, a massive beast stood there, several
dozens of meters tall, just as big as the Duomo cathedral — the giant black
[Boar].
So well-built that it looked slightly fat, with a strong and vigorous body.
The unexpectedly slim limbs, and a mouth containing frighteningly large
tusks.
A creature completely unlike the related animals that Godou knew about.
No matter how lively a boar, none were as ferocious or grotesque as this
one. Its brutality made one think of a god, Godou had never met anything
so frightful in his life!
Compared to this stone built church, this [Boar] was the true divine
existence.
God of fury, god of destruction, god of jet black darkness.
Shock and awe and fear, this time Godou’s body was entirely frozen.
ROAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!
ROAAAAAAR!
After several roars which made the earth shake and the air tremble, the
[Boar] pulverized the Duomo cathedral like an art piece made of paper.
Godou stared at the scene stupefied.
Pieces of stone debris fell from the sky like hail.
This was far too dangerous! Just as Godou thought that, a gust of wind
blew.
At first it was a light refreshing breeze, but then it immediately
strengthened into a gale, soon turning into a tornado.
“…Wind? — Now wasn’t the time to be so casual!”
Yelling, Godou immediately left the scene from the [Boar] and the church.
The strange thing that happened afterwards, probably won’t be forgotten
for a lifetime.
It was a duel between the tornado and the black [Boar].
In the area around the plaza of the Duomo cathedral, there were many of
Cagliari’s historic buildings.
Like the Torre dell’Elefante^, Torre di San Pancrazio^ and others…
There were also many Gothic and Baroque churches from the Middle
Ages.
At the location of these historical buildings, the tornado formed just now
had swept the giant [Boar] into the air. How strong were the winds in this
tornado?
Devoured by the spiraling storm, the [Boar] was suspended in midair.
Surrounding it, Godou witnessed the sudden arrival of golden flashes of
light. Swiftly and sharply, golden arcs sliced the [Boar]’s body into pieces.
Gaaaaaaaah!
The [Boar]’s roars filled the air, sounding like final death cries.
Losing support, the massive black body fell onto the ground, resulting in an
extremely terrifying crash, collapsing a tower in the process, scattering
stone pieces everywhere, and demolishing many houses.
And then the [Boar]’s body slowly turned into grains of sand and collapsed.
The one that swept these grains of sand was the murderer — the tornado. It
gradually subsided, turning into a strong gust of wind, taking away with it
the sand which the [Boar] had turned into.
What remained were the streets which had turned into hell.
Seriously damaged streets, the fire still raging at the pier, as well as people
in chaos.
People who only cared to escape. People who stood frozen. People
praying to God. Crying, angry, terrified, hurt, sighing people.
Amongst these crowds, Godou walked by himself shakily.
At some point in time, the sky had turned black. In the broken streets at
night, Godou wandered aimlessly alone.
What happened to that youth and the young men at the pier? He really
wanted to know they were safe. He wanted to know their current condition.
Propelled by these thoughts, Godou searched and wandered everywhere.
In the end, he failed to meet any of them.
Part 5
The next morning, the newspapers at the inn gave Godou a complete
shock.
It was a newspaper based in southern Sardinia with Cagliari as its central
focus, but yesterday’s incident was not reported.
There was a report and picture about a fire at the harbor, but after asking
the innkeeper who knew English, all Godou got was an answer like
‘Yesterday there seemed to be a fire at the harbor area. You got caught up
in it, right? How unfortunate!” And then a pat on Godou’s shoulder.
Asking the others, no one in the inn knew about the [Boar] or the tornado.
Godou wanted to ask them in detail, but his verbal expression skills were
not enough. Filled with doubt, Godou settled his bill at the inn and left.
Everything that happened yesterday should have been real.
Anyway, let’s go to the site of the incident, so Godou left for the Duomo
cathedral plaza.
The demolished church, the destroyed streets.
Construction workers were silently hard at work performing repairs. Who
knows how long it would take to restore everything to their former
appearance.
“It really wasn’t a dream…”
Godou muttered as he looked at the disastrous scene.
Next it was time to check out the pier, but just as he made that decision a
voice called him.
“How casual of you to continue staying in this city. Where’s the person who
was with you back then? I am looking for his whereabouts, can you assist
me?”
Cagliari, damaged and destroyed everywhere last night.
The one who appeared here was the blonde girl dressed in red — the owner
of that unforgettably beautiful face.
“…What, it’s you.”
Her name was something like Erica Blandelli.
Having a poor impression of her, Godou responded very coldly.
“Ah, where’s the greeting? I’ve heard that the Japanese are very big on
manners, could I be wrong? Or perhaps, it’s you who is ignorant?”
Erica spoke scathing words in an elegant tone.
Even for someone like Godou who was unaccustomed to handling girls, he
could not stop himself from retorting. Frowning, and using as malicious a
tone as possible, he counterattacked:
“I’ve also heard that Italians were very amiable, but you don’t seem to have
that kind of gentleness.”
Silently they stared at each other for a moment.
Very obviously, Erica’s mood turned for the worse, but it was the same with
Godou.
“If you were a gentleman, then I can lavish as much gentleness as you
want. However, for you to act with such an attitude towards a lady,
unacceptable, completely unacceptable, you fail.”
“At least in the place I was born, girls who threaten others with swords are
not considered ladies. This is due to your own brutality, do not blame
others.”
And so, this was Kusanagi Godou and Erica Blandelli’s first conversation,
which took place in the worst of conditions. Though neither of them were
actually the type to say such offensive words on a first meeting, but the
current situation was the worst.
“Just an underling of a mage who summoned a [Heretic God], how dare
you speak to me in such a manner?”
“Mentioning that again? You’ve been going on and on about gods since
yesterday, what are those? Could you please communicate with words that
normal people like me can understand? You’ve been saying
incomprehensible things all this time, and it’s making my mind very
confused!”
Godou furiously said those words.
Hearing those complaints, Erica simply smiled, and then held out her hand.
Clutched in her hand, was the travel bag on Godou’s shoulder.
Directly pulling it over to her, Godou completely could not resist her
monstrous strength. Godou was very surprised that he would lose to such
a slender girl in strength.
“Look, what is this? A holy relic giving off divine power — even for us magi
of the Copper Black Cross, rarely will we possess specimens of this high
caliber.”
What Erica took out from the back pack, was the stone tablet.
B5 in size, wrapped in purple cloth, on it was carved a rather childish
drawing that left one with deep impression. The object that some female
friend of grandfather had brought to Japan —
“Ah, hey! Give it back! That’s not mine. I came specifically from Japan to
return it to the original owner.”
“The original owner? This person is on the island of Sardinia?”
“Yes. Speaking with such arrogance starting yesterday, you don’t seem
normal no matter how I look at it!”
“…Such harsh criticism aimed towards me, I shall punish you in a little
while. But first, I have a question for you, please tell me the name of the
original owner.”
Like an owl having sighted its prey in the middle of the night, Erica’s eyes
were flashing with light.
“A divine artifact belonging to a group who summons [Heretic Gods], I am
very interested in this owner… Quickly, or would you like to be threatened
by a sword again? While I’m still feeling generous, it would be wise for you
to confess everything, yes?”
Erica’s eyes were as sharp as swords, though her tone was full of false
gentleness.
Godou was about to act in defiance when he suddenly realized.
Gods, magic, the mysterious youth, Erica Blandelli.
There were so many inexplicable things happening to him yesterday and
he needed to obtain more information in this area.
In the absence of that youth, the only source of information was this girl.
“…She seems to be called Lucretia Zola, and is currently living at a place
inland called Oliena. I was preparing to head there myself.”
Making his decision, Godou explained directly.
Hearing that, Erica frowned and stared at Godou.
‘Lucretia Zola? The Witch of Sardinia? An evil mage underling like you,
going to meet her? …How suspicious.”
Kusanagi Godou and the mysterious youth.
And now it was Kusanagi Godou and Erica Blandelli.
These two encounters, who could have expected them to develop into an
event that would rock the world and the gods — but at this moment it was
only the southern Italian countryside — just a scene on the island of
Sardinia.
References
1. t Fantastico! Fantastico! Figlio Del Sole!: Italian for “Fantastic!
Fantastic! Son of the sun!”
2. t Torre dell’Elefante: Tower of the Elephant, a medieval tower built
in 1307.
3. t Torre di San Pancrazio: another medieval tower in Cagliari.

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