Campione! / Campione! Vol 3 Chapter 6


Chapter 6 – His Name is Verethragna
Part 1
Not far from the Nuraghe sa Bastia.
Though there were public infrastructure roads, it was basically an
uninhabited wilderness.
It was after midnight, and after encountering Melqart and the youth god,
Godou and Erica did not return to town.
“Prometheus is a god appearing in Greek myths — the last of the Titans.
His name means ‘one who considers the future,’ in other words, he is a
sage with forethought.”
Godou listened carefully to Erica’s recounting of the myths.
The two of them had made a fire for warmth. Perhaps the surroundings
were too quiet, so the only sound was the cracking sound of wood burning.
“He’s called Prometheus, right, the god who shared fire with humans?”
“Yes, Zeus the king of the gods did not want to give too much wisdom to
humans, but Prometheus felt compassion for their foolishness, and stole
fire from the heavens.”
This god gifted fire to humans. Obtaining fire, human civilization advanced
rapidly.
“As punishment, Prometheus was chained high on the peak on the
Caucasus, and had his liver eaten by an eagle. As an immortal god, his
body restored itself every sunset, and then the eagle came the next day to
eat his liver again. In other words, he must suffer eternal torment.”
“What sick torture…”
“In the end, Prometheus was saved from suffering by Heracles, and then
became the trusted advisor of Zeus, so it looks like he didn’t want any
more hardship.”
Godou seems to have heard this myth before.
“By the way, Heracles is also a god closely linked to Melqart.”
“Why? Isn’t Heracles a Greek god… or should I say hero?”
“Didn’t Lucretia mention before, on this island not far from Greece, Melqart
was depicted as a giant wielding clubs.”
The Greek hero, who completed the twelve tasks, was intimately linked to
the Phoenician divine king.
To elucidate the confused Godou, Erica continued explaining fluently:
“Greeks who knew the myth of Melqart combined their hero with the
guardian god of Tyre. No, more correctly, it was due to the myth of Melqart
and Baal that the legend of the hero Heracles was born. By the way, Baal’s
weapons are the magic clubs named Yagrush the Chaser and Ayamur the
Driver.”
Wearing a lion’s pelt and wielding a club was the great rough hero
Heracles.
Wielding magic clubs with vigorous battle spirit was the hero god Melqart.
Ancient Mediterranean peoples named the promontories flanking the Strait
of Gibraltar as ‘Pillars of Hercules.’ Other than the Phoenicians, there
doesn’t seem to be anyone else who could have reached there…
“That’s so amazing, to think myths were related everywhere.”
Towards Godou’s exclamation, Erica said:
“Well, no matter what, these are just framework stories born from
mankind — fabricated, everything is born from the most primitive stories,
and then stealing or be stolen, taking form from all sorts of influences,
finally crystallizing into myths.”
“I see — then back to the topic of Prometheus, so this stone tablet’s
advantage is the ability to steal a god’s power?”
“He is the god who deceived gods — in other words a master of trickery,
there is also a myth like this.”
Seeing Godou take out the [Secret Tome of Prometheus], Erica quietly
answered.
Dividing a sacrificed ox between gods and humans, Prometheus prepared
two plates. Concealing the meat and the entrails within the stomach on
one plate; masterfully decorating the bones with glistening fat to make it
appealing on the other. He then had Zeus choose —
The result was Zeus chose the bones. After learning he was deceived,
Zeus was very angry.
“So, Godou, when the [White Stallion] disappeared just now, it was clearly
the divine power of Prometheus. In other words, you activated the grimoire
at the time. Do you have any idea how?”
“About that, I think it was just by chance.”
He was able to take the divine power of the [White Stallion] even faster
than the youth god — no, one should say that the one who stole divine
power was [Secret Tome of Prometheus].
The one who doubted Erica’s suggestion was the one who did it himself.
“Fine, then let’s confirm it?”
Erica took out a cellphone from her shirt pocket.
” — Lucretia? I am Erica Blandelli. Can you tell us about the grimoire? Don’t
play dumb any more, Godou has already activated its power. Sigh, why
would I deceive you, why don’t you confirm with him directly?”
Godou was just wondering who she was calling, and never expected the
conversation to be passed to him.
When did she ever ask for Lucretia’s phone number? This made Godou
very surprised, or did she make use of the investigative abilities of the
strange secret associations, obtaining personal information without
consent?
The latter was most likely. Just as Godou imagined rude behaviors, Erica
suddenly handed the phone to him.
No other way. Prepare yourself and pick up the phone.
“I was really shocked. I didn’t expect a Level One newbie to notice how to
use that item.”
“Actually I didn’t notice it. It seems like when I wanted to use it, it
happened, but Lucretia-san, you are clearly a witch, haven’t you been
contaminated by modern civilization?”
“Choosing convenience is human nature, that’s not my fault. In my home I
have a computer to go on the internet, and most of my shopping is done
online. I also use air conditioning and refrigerators. My digital camera is
made in Japan. What else would you like to complain about?”
Though the dialogue content was extremely mundane, Lucretia Zola’s
voice remained aloof.
“I already know it is a stone for stealing divine power. However, I am
completely baffled why I can use it. Can you explain this point in greater
detail to me?”
“Oh that, the reason is nothing special. A grimoire related to deceit and
theft, the only people capable of using it are those who have had longer
contact and frequent conversations with the target god.”
“Deceit?”
“Yes, when I used that grimoire in Japan, I spent a whole night chatting
with the god who was causing trouble. I had to listen to him complain about
his hate and suffering, so I seized the opportunity and stole the guy’s
divine power as soon as possible, turning him into an empty shell.
However that was only possible because he was a comparatively weak
deity. Thereafter, I had the grimoire venerated there, to prevent the god
from reviving.”
“So that’s why…”
The chance to successfully steal divine power from the youth god and
Melqart was extremely small.
Godou nodded in agreement with Lucretia’s words.
“By the way, I wanted to remind you. It’s best if you do not use the stored
divine power. For humans it is far too powerful. If used, it could cause the
brain and the entire body’s blood to boil. An extremely painful death. The
user before me also died like that. I am not deceiving you.”
“Yes… I will definitely not use it. Thank you for your valuable information.”
“Oh, one more thing, opposing gods of Melqart’s caliber is impossible with
just the power absorbed in the grimoire, so do not do anything rash!”
To think this kind of warning would be said.
However, Godou did not thank her for this warning. Perhaps because he
had already made his decision, he could not utter insincere thanks as that
would betray her concern for his safety.
…Lucretia was more sensitive than imagined.
“Young man, are you or both of you considering something? I will repeat
myself, do not act too rashly!”
“To be honest, that is impossible. There will be a great disaster if we let
things develop without taking action. If I didn’t act, my conscience will
definitely hound me.”
“You don’t have to reproach yourself, nor do you have to risk your life
approaching them. That is survival wisdom.”
“I know. Meeting gods repeatedly these two, three days, have left me with
deep impressions. When I encountered Melqart, my legs lost strength.”
“Even so… You still want to take part in this matter? That’s foolish!”
“It’s OK, I am fully aware I am doing something foolish. Neither I nor Erica
will object to such an assessment.”
“You are much more foolish than Erica-san! No matter what, she is a mage
and you are just a powerless commoner. The two cannot be compared.”
Directly criticized.
However, Godou shrugged and accepted it, she was right.
“However, I don’t hate fools. Clever minds will only act according to my
calculations, but a fool will sometimes exceed my expectations. Besides,
there are fools who displease others, and fools who bring joy. Please don’t
become the former.”
“Yes…”
Though Godou didn’t quite get what she meant, it was a sort of
compliment?
“Kusanagi Godou, through this incident, you have made me hold you in
high regard. I feel you will become a most interesting toy, so do not die in
such a place. Same for Erica-san, please do not miss the opportunity for
retreat, hear that?”
Lucretia hung up the phone.
It looked like she was finally acting like an elder, and wasn’t just someone
with a personality problem. Godou felt gratitude towards her, and then
briefly reported the conversation to Erica.
“…So that’s the situation. Looks like it can’t be used as a finishing move.”
“However, this is still the only tool that can affect gods — besides, if a battle
between gods begins, what will happen to this island?”
Melqart who had declared he will sink the island.
The youth god whose fragments of power easily demolished cities all over
the place.
If they had a serious duel, it wasn’t something that could be finished in half
an hour. Using the entire island as a stage for their deathmatch, this place
will likely end up as a wasteland once the match concluded…
As these thoughts entered his mind, Godou clutched his head, feeling a
headache.
“However, even with me plus the [Secret Tome of Prometheus], and all the
magi on the island, nothing can be done… So the only remaining choice is
to stall for time.”
“Stall for time? Isn’t that something you do when there are
reinforcements?”
Seeing Erica’s confidence, Godou was confused.
“Actually there is no problem there. In fact, the magi of Sardinia have
already contacted Sir Salvatore, who will be arriving in a day or two. We
just need to hold out until then.”
“Sir Salvatore…?”
Godou remembered, come to think of it, Lucretia also mentioned this name
before.
“Yes, the great Salvatore Doni, the strongest knight of our Italy, the
Campione possessing the authority of the magic sword. Didn’t I mention
before? When miracle is piled upon miracle, humans have the possibility of
obtaining victory over a god — ”
Campione was the title bestowed upon a god-slayer.
Slaying a god and then usurping the god’s authority, they become the devil
kings of the human world, fighting against gods.
Hearing that, Godou felt greatly surprised.
That youth and Melqart could probably kill a normal person with just a little
finger. To encounter a god and live was already extremely lucky, defeating
a god was absolutely ridiculous.
“Gods are such strong existences, are there really people who have fought
and won!?”
“These people are rare of course. In fact, there was a period over a
century long when no Campiones were born. However during the
nineteenth and latter half of the twentieth centuries, a number of people
emerged, concentrated during this time, and there are now a total of six.
With the increased frequency in the current period, it kind of feels like the
coming of the end of the world.”
“Uh, this isn’t winemaking, to have these kinds of periods…”
Sir Salvatore who was mentioned, was the sixth Campione born a few
years ago.
Since the entire affair was too far removed from common sense, Godou
was stupefied.
“Anyway since that has been prepared, we just need to focus on stalling.
Even for me, I’m not stupid enough to want to become the seventh
Campione.”
Godou nodded at Erica’s words.
Definitely an idiot. Fighting a god was truly stupid behavior, and for a devil
king Campione to win in such a match, how strong a monster could they
be?
“However, buying time is also very difficult, what do you have in mind?”
“The current target is the sword god. Since that deity’s power has
recovered ninety percent, if we can lower it to seventy or eighty, he will be
forced to fight Melqart with caution.”
“How did you get numbers like ninety and eighty?”
“Because the war god has a total of ten incarnations. One of them, the
[White Stallion] is already captured in the grimoire, so it’s ninety percent.
Isn’t that a simple calculation?”
“Right… That guy’s name, can you tell me?”
Godou suddenly raised this question, for he had become very bothered by
it from a while ago.
Erica calmly said a name lightly.
Hearing this incredible name for the first time, Godou could only wonder,
what country does the name come from?
“That’s mostly likely the god’s name. From the strange occurrences on this
island, combined with the information from you, I deduced that, so there
should be no mistake.”
“…The god with that name, I’ve never even heard of him.”
“Well, most people would think that. Though very trivial, he is still a
guardian god of a surviving religion. Amongst the faiths in western Asia, a
powerful god with many strong feats — then next is…”
A sword suddenly appeared in Erica’s hand.
Just as Godou wondered what she was going to do, the sword pointed
directly at him.
“At this stage, you don’t have to carry my luggage any more. Leave the
grimoire here and return to Japan obediently. I don’t need someone to drag
me down any more. If you dare say no, I will take care of you directly with
this sword, hear that?”
Suddenly threatening him, but this was just her show of concern. An act to
protect Godou even if it meant breaking her oath as a knight. Which is why
Godou could not obey.
“A person who hasn’t spent enough time with him cannot use the stone
tablet. Didn’t Lucretia-san say that? I don’t think you will be able to use it
successfully, so it’s best that I stay here.”
“This kind of problem always has a solution, you don’t have to worry.”
“How can it be done?! No matter how I think about it, the next time that guy
returns will be to duel with Melqart. You absolutely have no time to spend
chatting with him.”
“If there’s none, I will create an opportunity. Anyway, I have no need for an
amateur like you to stay and help me.”
No matter what, she would not agree.
If it was the second morning after encountering the [Boar], had she
threatened him like this, Godou who feared swords would likely have given
her the [Secret Tome of Prometheus].
But now was different, he could not do that.
Though Erica was a willful and unreasonable girl, she was also chivalrous,
talented at socializing, and unexpectedly considerate of others. On the
other hand, she was also a girl who despaired when met with setback.
Having understood her, it was impossible for Godou to return alone.
Since there was also a guy straying from the right path and causing great
chaos, Godou cannot leave that guy alone either.
The two of them faced each other silently for quite a while, until Erica
finally shrugged and sighed:
“Fine, if you are prepared to follow me wherever I go, then accompany me.
In return, I will really use you, so be prepared!”
Of course, this was exactly what Godou wanted.
Part 2
The rays of dawn began to appear in the eastern sky.
Bathed under the light, the [Wind] incarnation transformed into the figure of
the [Youth].
The black-haired youth god landed lightly on the ground, at the moment of
dawn just as he promised. He possessed divine qualities with deep ties to
light.
Before his eyes was the green forest surrounding the ancient ruins.
As the rays of sunlight bathed the deep green trees in the forest, a rose
colored glow was given off.
— Belonging to the faction of goodness, having the god of light as his core,
the youth’s divine power was raised to the maximum when bathed under
the rays of dawn. In this state, it was possible to break the forest barrier.
Actually Melqart was also a deity controlling the sun, but his responsibilities
ruled over too many things.
Due to that, he couldn’t raise his divine power even when the sun came
out, so the youth prepared to make use of this advantage.
— Perhaps it was acceptable to make things simple and wait for the divine
king to recover completely.
However, he dispelled this notion as quickly as it surfaced, deeming it too
disrespectful.
As the one who held all victory in his hands, it would be a most special
occasion to fight the great and ancient divine king, and win. With utmost
respect, he will make the most of this opportunity.
The corners of his lips slightly rising, he walked towards the forest with the
youth’s form.
Though he possessed the power of ten incarnations, this was his most
normal state.
Not simply a human, but the form of a fifteen-year-old youth.
Whenever he set forth to correct the wrongs of the world, tasked by his
master to conquer opposing enemy gods, he liked to take on the
appearance of a youth.
A glorious fifteen-year-old youth.
According to the precepts of the religion that he guarded over, it was the
symbol of the ‘hero.’
Just like last night, the branches of the trees distorted themselves like
snakes to block his path.
Faced with such obstructions, he simply gave the command of ‘dismissed.’
The spell words of blessing and domination, this was the authority
possessed by the youth incarnation as the hero. The trees of the forest
instantly returned to normal plants, and opened up a path.
Next was the attack of the locust army.
For one who was a match for the divine king himself, divine beasts or
messengers of god like locusts were no match at all. He instantly used the
spiritual power of the eighth incarnation, the [Goat].
This intelligent divine beast was worshiped by nomadic tribes as the
embodiment of lightning.
Releasing a lightning strike from his hand, the entire locust army was
completely incinerated.
“King Melqart, dost thou believe such obstructions can stop me?”
Roaring towards the sky.
There was an instant reply.
‘Of course! God who slays gods, the great god of the warrior. Those
fellows are merely guards. For that level of guards, how could they halt the
advance of the war god?’
What appeared next was a violent windstorm blowing forth from in front.
Melqart was also a god of storms, even for the powerful [Wind] that could
blow away cities where humans lived, it was a draw. Wind was unable to
blow apart wind.
…After that, they used all sorts of divine power.
Such as an army of the dead summoned from the underworld, violent
waves that could wash everything away like a flood, or thousands of
thunder-strikes that flew like spears in the sky.
The youth god defeated all these attacks, and finally arrived at the
Nuraghe sa Bastia.
‘Ch… Still capably fighting by switching forms. How vexing!’
“By the power of transformation, I hold victory in my hands no matter what
battlefield. Hahaha, King. I can feel thy presence before me. Art thou not
coming out? It seemeth, thy divine power hath yet to fully recover!”
He surveyed the surroundings of the ruins as he conversed with Melqart’s
voice.
The original location of the entrance to the underground temple was now
under a massive rock.
‘Even for your divine power, this rock cannot be easily destroyed. This is
the ultimate palace I ordered the craftsman Kothar-wa-Khasis^ to
construct in the past. In order to stop you, I used this defense. Remember
to thank me!’
“Yes… I see, though very crude, it is not bad!”
The youth god was admiring this sturdy rock. As expected of the ancient
divine king and god of war, he did not take defense lightly.
However, this was the warlord who could defeat any god or demon.
In terms of pure skill of the warrior, he was a deity surpassing Melqart. His
praising of the rock did not imply he couldn’t smash it — just as he made his
decision, he noticed.
It was only a minute presence.
For a powerful god, it felt like the owner of minuscule magical power.
“Thou hast come. I already stated, the next time thou obstructest me, I
shall reward thee accordingly, dost thou remember?”
The youth god turned around and received a smile from her in return.
The beautiful blonde witch wielding Cuore di Leone, the girl was standing
there in her red battle outfit.
“I remember your words clearly, but I am a knight, and cannot let you do as
you please in this world — if I am not moved despite my knowledge, it would
be a taint to my honor.”
Erica retorted quietly.
The youth god had decided on the moment of dawn himself.
In order to pursue him into the forest, Godou and Erica had come to the
ruins. As agreed beforehand, Godou concealed himself, preparing to use
the [Secret Tome of Prometheus].
Waiting for Erica to draw the attention of the youth god.
If the grimoire was used directly, he would likely dodge it. The blue flames
that stole divine power — though it struck the [White Stallion] directly, the
youth god easily evaded. If Godou tried it again, the result will be the
same.
Thus Erica must force him to show an opening.
“Do you still remember our first promise the first time we met?”
Erica asked with a smile as beautiful as spring.
Like a noblewoman happily chatting away at a salon, she had very elegant
smiling expressions and mannerisms.
However, maintaining this state was hard work. Her opponent was a god,
one misstep and it would turn into a repeat of what happened with Melqart.
Erica did not want to suffer that kind of humiliation again.
Wishing to resist a god and counterattack, one definitely could not lose in
spirit. Erica Blandelli will never bow down to an enemy without a fight! She
will put her life on the line to make her opponent listen.
“Hoho, what promise?”
“Didn’t you say, one day you will challenge me to a duel of swords? So, let
me make a gamble — if I obtain victory by the sword, you must leave this
island, please.”
Bowing her head respectfully, Erica made her request. How would the
youth god react?
Accept or ignore? If the latter, then she would be forced to try the next
option. What would be the result?
“Haha! Thou darest to use a sword to challenge me, the war god. Yes,
very well! Thy will is truly courageous, a rare specimen of a witch with a
warrior’s spirit!”
As expected, the war god agreed, just as she heard from Godou.
Erica laughed to herself. I, have long sought defeat. No matter what kind of
opponent, I will never be defeated. From all his grand statements, his
overconfidence was glaring, and the provocation succeeded!
“So, I must prepare a sword… Ah, this will do.”
Looking over the ground, the youth god picked up a tree branch.
The same length as Erica’s Cuore di Leone, but very slender, even a child
would likely snap it in two with ease.
“Yes, perfect in length. This will do.”
The youth god laughed in mockery as he swung the branch.
A simple ten centimeter slash, but the sword-like wind was like a tornado
despite the fact it was such a thin and light branch.
This must be what are known as divine skills. Just from that one attack,
Erica understood the youth god’s skills.
Once martial arts reached the highest pinnacles of skill, the size and
weight of the weapon no longer mattered.
To use a massive weapon perfectly, one must learn the techniques to
wield it with speed and precision. In order to use a small and light weapon
perfectly, one must learn how to make strong and heavy attacks with it.
“Cuore di Leone — steel possessing the name of the lion king. I now
command you. Cast off the disguise I bestowed upon you, and reveal your
true form. Appear before me as the lion, and fight by my side!”
Erica chanted the spell words, unsealing her beloved sword.
The previously slender sword was a temporary form chosen for Erica to
train herself. A self-applied restraint to develop hard hitting attacks with a
light and slender sword.
Cuore di Leone began to expand.
The heavy body of the blade like an anchor, its length was roughly double
compared to before.
A wide single-handed sword that did not match the girl’s slender wrists.
This was the original form of the lion’s magic sword.
Then Erica summoned in her left hand a circular infantry shield made of
steel, its red surface carved with the crest of a black cross.
If Erica did not use magic to enhance her strength and explosive force, she
would be unable to use these heavy armaments.
“Good. It looketh like thou art ready. Let us begin!”
The youth god announced cheerfully with a smile.
Erica charged without hesitation.
Using a light and slender sword all along was to develop a sense of heavy
impact in her sword skills. Then conversely, what was the secret to using a
heavy sword? — Speed as well as steady control.
Erica lightly waved her right arm.
From the shoulder to the elbow, and then combined with the force from the
wrist, she swung that heavy and solid Cuore di Leone, slashing towards
the youth god horizontally.
From her shoulder to the tip of the sword, it was like a whip.
For a human opponent, even a first class swordsman, this sort of move
would be very difficult to figure out when seen for the first time.
It was also extremely powerful. In its true form, Cuore di Leone was sharp
enough to cut through concrete, not to mention the additional impact
produced by the overwhelming weight.
— But even against such an attack, the youth god easily blocked with the
slender branch.
Not only that, he slashed back… Correction, the youth god simply swung
the branch lightly and Erica took the impact with the steel shield on her left,
but the impact of the twig actually made her left hand tremble.
Enduring the pain, she smashed the shield towards the body of the youth
god.
A rough tactic combining offense with defense. Erica aimed at the armor
on the youth god’s feet, stepping hard with her left foot! Her talents were
not limited to the magnificent motions of her skill with the slender sword.
The real techniques of the Copper Black Cross, were not only magnificent
in appearance, but had many practical tactics in real combat.
Driving these moves, Erica rapidly attacked without pause.
But the youth god simply evaded these attacks by stepping left and right.
And sometimes he would use the little branch to make counterattacks to
weaken the momentum of Erica’s offense. He was almost dancing like a
butterfly and stinging like a bee.
“Little lady! Thou hast trained well! If thou continuest, one day thou wilt
become a strong warrior. Amazing!”
He was even able to praise his opponent like that.
Completely treating it as a game, but no matter, Erica had expected he
would act like that from the start.
Erica fought as she waited for the opportunity.
Deliberately choosing a competition of swords, and using Cuore di Leone’s
true form to fight at full strength, these were all in preparation for the next
step.
She prayed that the youth god did not have divine powers of prediction or
mind reading.
And then Erica finally used her ultimate move.
“Magic sword of the lion, abandon your sword body and transform into
binding chains!”
As the sword and the twig clashed repeatedly, Erica suddenly jumped
backwards.
At the same time chanting the short spell words, her beloved sword began
to transform.
Not into knight’s weapons of sword and lance, but an iron chain roughly
three meters in length. This iron chain also had a heavy weight on one
end, and Erica swung it at the youth god’s ankle.
Intending to entangle his two feet and make him fall down.
“Hahaha, to think thou hadst some kind of plan.”
Towards such a move, the youth god only smiled and jumped to evade.
But Erica threw out the second chain, this time transformed from the shield
in her left hand.
It was deflected by the twig.
However, in that instant Erica had closed the distance and approached the
youth god.
The chain in her right turned back into the massive sword — Cuore di
Leone’s original form, and slashed directly. In midair about to land, the
youth god was hit by her full attack.
Fresh blood instantly flew all around.
Previously infused with spell words, the lion’s magic sword had hacked off
the god’s right arm.
— At that very instant, the blue flames of the [Secret Tome of Prometheus]
blew forth, as if devouring Erica along with the youth’s body.
Part 3
Diverting the youth’s attention with a sword challenge.
And then using the [Secret Tome of Prometheus] at this time, was the
battle plan proposed by Erica.
“…In other words, an attack that you will be caught up into? That’s no
longer a fight but suicide tactics.”
Godou felt deeply against it.
“You’re nagging too much. This kind of deception is the only way to battle a
god. Since the [Secret Tome of Prometheus] steals a god’s power, it won’t
have any harmful effects on me. Amongst all the strategies I came up with,
this is the best choice.”
“But, if you lose in about ten seconds, then everything is over.”
“Of course I know that! But there is no other way, aiming the grimoire at
him directly will never hit!”
In the end with no other method, Godou could only follow Erica’s
instructions.
Then she fought with all her might. The youth god underestimated her and
fought with a cavalier attitude, resulting in getting his arm hacked off.
In that instant, Godou had already held the [Secret Tome of Prometheus]
in his hands without thought.
The heat from the stone tablet was already testing the limits of his
endurance. The blue flames shot out all at once, successfully capturing the
youth god.
Rushing forth, as if flying straight to the heavens, the mysterious blue
flames that burned spectacularly.
Erica walked out of the vortex and stood beside Godou.
Asking if she was fine, she immediately answered ‘no problem.’ But from
the pallor of her face, she was clearly forcing herself. The swordfight with
the god must have been more mentally taxing than expected.
“I’m fine here, Godou, you have to watch the flames carefully. Steal power
from that deity quickly, and absorb his divine power to the maximum limits
of the grimoire!”
“Ah, yes.” Hearing Erica’s directions, Godou nodded.
To be honest, he didn’t even know how much divine power could be stored
in this strange tool, and it kept feeling like it could absorb more.
Then Godou began gazing at the flames, but at the instant he noticed the
youth god within them —
“Using the mystic stone of Prometheus, as expected.”
The youth god’s voice sounded, still relaxed and composed.
“You guessed it?”
“Yes, is this not inevitable? The one trump card ye possess, effective
against me, is this mystic stone alone. What remaineth are simply the
questions of how and when.”
“Even if it was expected, it’s too late, unless you have a way to escape that
cluster of flames — ”
Conversing with the youth in the flames, Godou gradually felt unsettled.
If he had a way to escape.
Last night, Erica seemed to have mentioned. He was the war god who
smashed every obstacle.
If that was truly the case, could it be —
“I now decree in my name, ancient sage Prometheus.”
The youth spoke in gentle tones:
“Fearest me, and quickly dismissest thyself, Prometheus. I am the one
who shall defeat all obstacles, whether the mighty or the unjust, neither
can conquer me.”
Suddenly, the number of lights increased.
Shining with golden splendor were ten, twenty spheres of light — close to a
hundred were flying in the surroundings of the flames.
Furthermore, the blue flames began to die down.
The slender youth’s figure appeared once more, illuminated by the golden
light surrounding him.
“Fearest me, Prometheus! Fearest me and my mighty name! My name is
Verethragna! The guardian of light and the holy land! Fearest Verethragna,
Prometheus!”
It was finally said. The name finally appeared.
The name meaning ‘the one who smashed obstacles,’ the sacred name
that could not be uttered carelessly, and the name that Erica and Godou
deliberately avoided as a god’s taboo.
Wind, bull, white stallion, camel, boar, youth, raptor, ram, goat, as well as
the human warrior wielding the golden sword.
The ever victorious war god who possessed ten incarnations — his name is
Verethragna.
“Speech is light. Spell words are light. So light and spell words, become
my sword, form into my blade!”
Before dawn, Erica had mentioned.
The ancient Persian warlord, the protector serving the god of light, Mithra.
Called the protector of the light in western Asia, he had the same origins as
Indra the thunder god in India.
In Japan there was Vajradhara^, and had links to both eastern and
western civilization. Also thought to be Heracles by some, Verethragna’s
current battle against Melqart can be considered the showdown between
ancestor and descendant.
Yes, he was a war god without the distinction of being oriental or
occidental, the ultimate war god descended upon the earth.
Verethragna was surrounded by a vast amount of light, giving off
spectacular radiance.
“I recognize thee, Prometheus. Thy place of punishment, is the summit of
the Caucasus. Thou art the god of fire once; thou art the god of theft once;
thou art a hero once!”
As Verethragna spoke softly, the dancing lights multiplied intensely.
At the same time, the flames disappeared.
“I, Verethragna am the sword — the hero of might. However, thou art the
hero of wisdom, granting fire to the foolish humans — the sage who taught
civilization, the prankster who deceived gods through wisdom, the sun and
shadows watching over the human race, similar to Amirani^ of the
Caucasus and Loki of the far north.”
The golden light seemed to surpass the sun’s brightness.
The grimoire’s flames completely dissipated.
“How could this be… The golden sword’s true form actually consists of the
spell words for severing a god’s power.”
Erica explained beside Godou with a face full of surprise.
“Spell, spell words?”
“Yes, wasn’t Verethragna describing what kind of god Prometheus was just
now? Those are not simply explanations of knowledge, but spell words
carrying magical power — basically a weapon to slash apart another deity
once he understands what kind of god he was up against. In other words, it
is a spell that can be called the sword of wisdom.”
In other words, this was probably the true identity of the shining light that
sliced up the [Boar] at Cagliari, and the golden sword that defeated the
[Goat] and the [Raptor] at Dorgali.
And now if the [Secret Tome of Prometheus]’s power was ineffective
against the youth god —
Then there was nothing left to stop the war god.
Godou looked with fearful eyes at the one whom he had spent a short but
happy time together, the youth war god, and the god named
Verethragna — With his usual rosy dawn-like smile, he gazed down at
Godou.
Yes, though standing on the same ground, he was clearly despising
humans, looking down from the perspective of the absolute power and
victory.
“I have fulfilled one promise, but now there is another — punishing ye
accordingly.”
Declaring this with a haughty attitude, Verethragna’s right arm regrew in an
instant.
Erica took out her sword once more, and prepared her stance.
“What art thou afraid of, I am not going to take both ye lives. But ye resist
with such deceit, most vexing… Ye shall receive my blessing, my might
and authority! Obey my command!”
— What was this! Godou was completely shocked.
His knees bent down by themselves. His body knelt at the youth
automatically and performed the greeting rites of a subject towards a king!
What kind of power was this!?
Looking carefully, Erica beside him was also bending her knees.
It was just their bodies losing control, their expressions and their hearts still
belonged to them, and the two of them looked at each other.
“Godou, pull yourself together! This is the [Youth] — Verethragna’s divine
power as the hero! The spell words were for protecting us humans, but in
return, we become his servants… Resist his command quickly!”
Erica instantly warned.
She seemed to be struggling to resist, preventing herself from kneeling.
Due to her opposition, Erica’s posture returned to normal.
Raising her sword once again, she pointed it at the youth with all her
strength.
“Hohoho, witch, force thyself not. Or else, there will be repercussions.”
The youth was laughing.
Forcing others to serve him, he was very happy, laughing with innocence.
“Aaaaaaaahhhh!”
Erica’s painful screams were suddenly heard, and she fell over.
About to kneel down, Godou noticed the strange state of her ankles. Her
ankles were bent at an unnatural angle. This was not a simple injury, it was
definitely a bone breaking deformation.
What did the youth do? Godou glared with reproach at the smiling youth
god.
“I cannot be blamed, boy, the reason is due to me, but I did not act directly.
It was the girl who was far too stubborn, and broketh her own body. Pain
would be avoided if my commands were obediently obeyed.”
Erica’s slim body had fallen over.
Her ankles bent at an impossible angle. Her beautiful face distorted by
pain. Her blonde hair soiled by dust and earth.
Casually viewing everything, the handsome but inhuman youth — no, it was
the profile of the [Heretic God] Verethragna.
In the instant Godou saw all this, it felt like something broke.
The enemy was a god, but so what?
Gods were impossible to defeat. Was it really true? With so many
openings, taking battle so lightly, treating enemies so severely, was there
really no way to defeat the completely changed guy before Godou’s eyes?
No such thing.
How could there be such a thing!
…Godou slowly but effortlessly stood up. He no longer felt the dominating
power of the hero. Perhaps it was seeing Erica suffering that caused this.
“Boy, how incredible. Is this also the power of Prometheus? How didst thou
escape from the shackles of my spell words?”
“How could I know this kind of thing, but the reasons behind it — I have
some idea.”
Godou glared at Verethragna head on.
He could feel more greatness from the youth he met in Cagliari despite the
fact that becoming the current state of heretic Verethragna should have
better revealed his true power.
“Oh?”
“All you have right now is strong power. Yes, a god stronger than anyone
else, but just a willful monster. You cannot be called a hero in this state. I
don’t consider a guy a hero with just power alone! This is why I don’t want
to obey, and feel no need to kneel. Any objections?”
Incantations, spell words, the power of language.
Godou simply did not believe in the existence of these things, but now,
through clearly articulating his disobedience against Verethragna, Godou’s
terror was gradually disappearing.
“Only the powerful have the disposition to become heroes, this has been
absolute truth since ancient times.”
Verethragna made a humorous smile as if mocking a foolish child.
“Thou truly makest me speechless, to think thy obstinacy has resisted my
spell words! Though strange it is decidedly a great achievement,
praiseworthy.”
“No, this is not my power, it is just the fact that you are a hopeless guy.”
The god before him definitely prided in his absolute power.
A mage like Erica should be able to calculate his power, and so she would
treat as god this monster in the form of a youth, offering her respect to this
great existence.
But Godou was neither a mage nor did he have any knowledge about
gods.
Which was why he would think this way. That guy before — the one who
lost his memory, is the true amazing one. Though he also boasted about
not losing in any competition, he would mix himself amongst the crowd,
and give off sacred charisma as bright as the sun’s brilliance, and would fly
like the wind to help those in need.
But now, the god before him was not like that.
This guy only had great power, nothing to be admired, and no one will
seek his aid.
“The current you only calls himself a hero, but there is nothing about you
that fits that description. So of course, you can’t use a hero’s power!”
“Yes, I understand what thou art trying to say. Even so, the fact remaineth,
I am the undefeated god of victory, dost thou still wish to resist? It is better
to obey honestly.”
“Oh really? That description of absolute victory, also sounds very strange.”
Having started he might as well go all out. With this spirit, Godou clenched
his teeth and spoke words that belittled the god.
Since things have come to this, he will resist to the utter end with twisted
logic.
Hearing these words, Verethragna furrowed his brow.
…The war god who treated everything with aloofness, showed displeasure
for the first time, could this be angering him?
“You have always made light of competition. In your matches against Erica
and me, you deliberately let us choose our talents, and played with us. Did
you really believe you would win without doubt?”
Unfortunately, Godou had never had a competition where he was assured
of victory.
He has always analyzed his enemies, or thought up strategies beforehand
based on the capabilities and habits of his future opponents. When
necessary, for the sake of victory, Godou has even performed strange
tricks that were akin to breaking the rules.
In their junior days, Miura often fell for Godou’s tricks as his opponent.
When he came up to Godou after losing so many times, Godou always
explained it as “that’s not real talent.” But that was just trying to act cool. In
fact, Godou was thinking “though that guy has a bit of talent, he’s just a
simple-minded fool, so I definitely cannot lose to him.” That was the
situation.
Since he didn’t want others to know his obsession with winning, Godou
would never reveal these things.
From the perspective of Godou’s competitive personality, he definitely
cannot approve of Verethragna’s cavalier attitude towards competition.
“Even if you are a god, in a thousand matches, your opponent may very
well snatch up a victory! The next thing to do is how to lure out this chance
of a thousand.”
Of course, Verethragna dismissed Godou’s words with a laugh.
“Boy, that kind of thing is impossible. Before me, a god, what good would
come from hoping for such a rare occurrence? With just a little finger, shall
I burn thee to charcoal?”
He was completely right.
But for this once, things are not that certain.
Actually, the finishing move Godou considered as he watched Erica’s fight
with Verethragna, as well as during his argument with the god, was a
strange trick no different from cheating.
No, Godou thought again.
This was not cheating, rather, it’s called relying on external power.
“Even so, the fact remains. You are overconfident. Just like now — hey,
god! You’ve seen the power possessed by my stone tablet here!? Next you
will take on the role of Erica — the girl just now, and perhaps it will be
successful? So grant me power!”
Godou roared angrily at the sky.
The voice heard from the dialogue when Verethragna breached the forest
barrier, Godou heard it again, that majestic voice.
‘Hahahahahaha! I was expecting some kind of farce and watched quietly!
Who could have expected the victorious warlord to fall for a human’s
tricks!’
The Phoenician divine king Melqart.
His grand laughter reverberated across the sky and the forest.
To speak to the king of the gods in such a manner, your wish is too
impertinent, boy! But your observation is not bad, so let me reward you a
little! Verethragna, your most troublesome ability is that [Sword], but can it
become a weapon that can slay Prometheus and me, two gods at the
same time?’
Suddenly, space distorted.
Out flew two clubs.
‘Yagrush the Chaser! Ayamur the Driver! Pursuers, the pair of weapons
acting on my behalf, chase and drive out the eastern warlord! Show him
the power of my wrath!’
“Ch.JThat King Melqart!”
Verethragna’s handsome face was once again distorted by vexation.
Godou’s eyes had allowed him to strike and send innumerable fastballs
flying in the past. But at a height beyond his sight, two clubs — Chaser and
Driver were rising up in the sky.
One of them approached like lightning from the front, while the other
attacked from behind like a flying bird.
Verethragna jumped high and became [Wind], however, the two clubs
coordinated as if they knew the precise locations, chasing after the strong
wind.
” — Godou! Hurry and use the [Secret Tome of Prometheus]! Before
Verethragna chants the spell words to conquer King Melqart!”
Sprawled on the ground, Erica frantically called out.
Godou hurriedly raised the grimoire high, and the diagram depicting the
bound Prometheus suddenly sent forth grand blue flames. Probably
because it was his third time using it, Godou found it much easier to
operate.
“Ooooooooooh!”
The strong wind prepared to use the [Sword], and returned to the form of
the youth in midair.
As the blue flames approached, they were instantly intercepted by the
golden spheres of light.
However, one of the clubs came flying and directly struck Verethragna on
his thin chest armor.
“Ooh!?” Verethragna gave off a painful grunt, and the brilliance of his light
spheres dimmed.
‘Do you have the power to use the [Sword] simultaneously with other
incarnations? Of course the answer is no! Just as you saw through my
powers, I too, saw through yours! You broke my barrier just now, and your
power is not at full strength! Continuing to consume your divine powers this
way, your existence will become precarious! Just like the brat said, you are
overconfident, Verethragna!’
“No, this has not ended! My defeat has not been sealed, King Melqart!”
Verethragna yelled at the divine king’s thunderous voice.
“The pursuers of Chaser and Driver! These were the weapons given to
thee by the god of craftsmen. Kothar-wa-Khasis! As Baal, thou used them
to lure the dragon king Yanrr * away from his throne, and slew him!
Through this victory, thou ascended to the throne of the divine king!”
Could these also be spell words — incantations produced by the golden
[Sword].
Godou held his breath.
Was Verethragna currently exchanging the [Sword] against Prometheus to
a sword for Melqart? Even if that happens, the situation is unchanged.
There was only one way to reverse the tide of battle, yes.
Dual wielding.
Just as Godou predicted, the golden light gathered upon Verethragna’s two
hands.
The light gradually concentrated, forming long swords with golden blades,
one in each hand.
‘Ha, a desperate attack! Haha, that’s the renowned Verethragna! Rather
than choosing defeat through overconfidence, it is better to fight beyond
one’s limits. This spirit is excellent, now let me have a good fight against
you!’
Melqart’s voice bellowed thunderously with glee.
On the other hand, there was already a deep red trail of fresh blood on
Verethragna’s forehead. His lips still chanting spell words sonorously, the
elegant and handsome face had become pale.
Even so, he was still flying in the air wielding two swords majestically.
The two clubs Chaser and Driver flying back and forth, and the blue flames
of the [Secret Tome of Prometheus] dancing in the air like a comet.
The battle between gods, was still undecided.
Part 4
Verethragna’s twin swords, Melqart’s clubs and Prometheus’ flames
collided in the air.
Down below, Godou hurriedly picked up Erica in his arms as her feet were
injured.
“Can you still walk? Please bear it for now. It’s very dangerous here, so it’d
be best to move to another location.”
“Godou… You managed to trick a [Heretic God], what an amazing
achievement.”
While the gods battled intensely, the two of them entered the forest.
Leaning Erica, who was unable to walk properly, against his shoulder, the
two walked side by side.
At last they reached the foot of a great tree.
Setting Erica down, Godou held the [Secret Tome of Prometheus] once
again.
Verethragna had the advantage in the air battle due to his weapons that
could seal divine power and slay enemies. That should be obvious.
Chaser, Driver and the blue flames were slashed an uncountable number
of times.
The youth god achieving victory was likely just a matter of time. However,
his flying movements in the air as well as sword speed did seem to be
gradually getting sluggish.
“If this continues, it will be very hard for the [Secret Tome of Prometheus]
to steal his power.”
“How about this — Godou, before Verethragna comes, hurry and escape
alone. I’m just a burden to you, abandon me here.”
Resting against the tree, Erica spoke painfully.
The exquisite voice with clarity, and the face whose beauty was unaffected
by the dust, sand and sweat. It was only now that Godou was finally struck
by a real sense of how beautiful this girl was.
“Can you use healing magic? Like those moves commonly seen in
games?”
“I can, but it takes a certain amount of time for the spell to take effect.
Healing these two legs… Probably would take thirty minutes, so it will be
too late.”
A technique that could heal these legs which looked like they were
snapped, was probably a very powerful spell.
However, it was entirely useless in this situation.
Now, there was only one thing that could be used.
Godou looked at Verethragna’s direction with determination, and said to
Erica:
“So, the only trump card is Prometheus’ stone tablet after all. I will think of
a way to be that guy’s opponent. Use that magic quickly. Once your legs
are healed, we’ll run together.”
“Don’t be stupid! You’re going to push Verethragna to that degree! Who
knows what kind of divine retribution you will suffer!?”
“However, that guy can transform into the wind, right? If I run away alone, I
will be caught eventually. So without you coming along, I probably won’t be
able to escape.”
Godou deeply sighed at this time.
“To be frank, there’s no other way other than that move. However — ”
“However?”
“Didn’t Erica mention before? That guy likes me more. I am also very
concerned about him. For a former friend to turn into something like that, it
really feels bad to just leave him alone and do nothing.”
Though their time together was short, Godou felt as a friend that the youth
has strayed from the right path.
What could he do — no idea.
Even with wounds all over his body, the powerful warlord continued to fight
with great spirit.
What could he do — no idea.
Even so Godou had to stay and witness the final moment, this feeling was
very real.
“You really… Are a true idiot?”
“I completely cannot deny that. When you say stuff like that now, I can only
accept them all.”
Faced with the admonishing from the witch and the female knight, Godou
replied with gentleness instead.
Erica stared at the sky as if she had given up, sighing briefly.
“Idiot, also a really big idiot, so stupid that you are a hopeless idiot.”
“Fine… If it makes you happy, say whatever you like, I don’t want to argue
anymore.”
Unable to awaken Godou from his foolishness, Erica smiled. It was neither
a smile of mockery nor pity, but seemed to be mostly carrying the feelings
of giving up.
“But amidst all that foolishness, there’s a little bit of cuteness… I will ask
you one last time, will you change your decision?”
“No, I owe him a favor, so I cannot choose to run.”
“…Favor? If so, then so be it.”
With a few exchanges, Erica had already realized.
Godou felt very surprised and happy at the same time. Finally able to
reach a mutual understanding with this girl, he definitely would never
expect this to happen the first time they met.
“Leaving everything to ‘so be it,’ that is really vexing for us weak humans.
No matter what, we have to give the gods some hardship to suffer.”
Saying that, Erica went silent for a while, deep in thought.
And then she stared at Godou’s face seriously and said:
“We probably forgot, but the [Secret Tome of Prometheus] has stored
within it Verethragna’s divine power — the ability of the [White Stallion]
incarnation, right?”
“Ah yes. I think so. Though it’s a power related to the sun, why is it a
horse?”
“I will explain that to you later. Listen to me carefully? When you go over to
Verethragna, if you feel it is the end, don’t hesitate, just use this power as
quickly as possible.”
Hearing Erica’s advice, Godou suddenly stared with eyes wide open.
Wasn’t this the move that Lucretia warned ‘never to use it.’
“If I do that I will definitely die. Didn’t Lucretia-san warn us?”
“If this continues, we’re all going to die. But if you try that, perhaps it will
become a giant reversal. You know the rules for promotion in chess,
right?”
Godou tilted his head in puzzlement, not knowing what Erica was
considering.
It was something like a rule that allowed pawn pieces reaching the far rank
on the opposite side to be exchanged for a queen or a knight. In terms of
Japanese chess^, there was a similar concept where pieces can promote
in the three rows of the opponent’s territory.
“Unfortunately, not everything can go smoothly… Your chance of dying is
very high, but if successful, the reward is very substantial. Compared to
plain sacrifice, there is value in attempting this.”
She was showing a most gentle smile.
Like the tiny flower bud of the Australian Red Cedar, a smile like a noble
princess. This girl could actually smile like that, how unexpected, Godou
felt like he couldn’t tear his gaze away.
“Kusanagi Godou, you are a very foolish person, but it is precisely this
foolishness that has led you on a path to here. That is the truth. So why
don’t you join the ranks of the most foolish, as well as the greatest people
in the world. I’m not going to ask you to gather your courage, rather, please
stick with your foolishness to the very end — understood?”
“Yes, I almost get it… But being called an idiot or foolish by you all along,
somehow feels complicated.”
“Ah, I was praising you. A most affectionate nickname of ‘idiot’ — can’t you
even feel that? What a slow person.”
“I completely cannot feel that. I’ve never heard of ‘idiot’ carrying such deep
meanings.”
Faced with Godou’s surrendering, Erica laughed.
“Actually I just realized something, ‘Epimetheus’ illegitimate children,’
another name for Campiones which I explained before. But this description
has a strange hidden meaning.”
“Epimetheus. Another deity from Greek mythology? That’s the feeling I get
from the name.”
“Yes, you are correct. If we have a chance to meet again, I will definitely
explain it to you. So don’t hesitate and go for it, Godou, take the path which
even the courageous and clever people cannot pass through. The only
ones capable of walking upon it are the great fools, I believe you have that
disposition.”
“…I don’t really understand, but I get the message. Thanks for taking care
of me. Thank you.”
Godou expressed his gratitude for the profound meaning in her words.
Actually, there was an additional reason for approaching Verethragna’s
side.
If he abandoned this strong yet beautiful girl covered with thorns like a
rose, and ran away by himself, Kusanagi Godou will never forgive himself
for the rest of his life.
Instead, he preferred to have a showdown against a god.
To leave a girl in need, nowhere felt as good as giving up his body to
protect the girl.
Though he had made his decision in his heart, however —
He could not possibly speak out such thoughts. If he said it out, the prideful
Erica Blandelli would definitely fight to the last moment even if it meant
breaking her own legs.
“Right, wait a minute, Godou. Bend down and lean your ear close.”
Was Erica going to give me a new suggestion?
Her elegant poise just now, had become a little bashful — was it something
difficult to put into words?
And it has to be whispered?
Puzzled, Godou did as he was told. Slowly moving towards Erica who
could not stand up from the pain in her legs, he brought his ear to her lips.
Under such conditions, she still seemed to be hesitating.
“What is it, don’t you have something to say?”
“Yes, well… I already said what I wanted to just now…”
“Then why do I have to make this pose?”
“Right, just shut up! I just want to give you a wonderful present!”
The unexpected attack came just at that instant.
After a period of hesitation, as if suddenly making her decision, she
pressed her lips, the color of cherry blossoms, near Godou’s cheek, and
kissed him.
Smooch…
The soft and light sensation was being transmitted.
Godou’s mind suddenly went blank.
A very small, light touch, but the shock was exceedingly great! What was
this girl doing!
“Y-You, why did you do that? What was that about!?”
“S-Shut up! To be surprised by something like this! It’s just… Right, it’s just
a lucky charm! It’s really rushed, but I believe it is the most useful!”
Embarrassed, Erica’s cheeks were bright red.
“The only males I’ve ever kissed till now, were my uncle and father! So it
will definitely be very effective! Show me some gratitude!”
Godou’s cheek — no, his entire face felt hot.
His own face was probably all red as well, it couldn’t be helped. The day
finally came when a beautiful girl would kiss him like this, he never
dreamed it was possible.
It was already impossible to look at Erica’s face properly.
She frantically turned her body, and Godou rushed forth towards the god
who was once his friend.
Nuraghe sa Bastia. At the firmly sealed entrance created by Melqart.
Sliced into halves, Chaser and Driver lied broken embedded in the ground,
while Prometheus’ blue flames had already died out at some point.
Verethragna breathed heavily, his golden swords no longer in his hands.
He was now in a condition where his body was covered with wounds.
In this state, it was his final direct confrontation with Godou who was
wielding the [Secret Tome of Prometheus].
“Boy, I must say thou hast done well. But as thou seest, I have defeated
King Melqart’s weapons, thy flames have been vanquished, and the only
thing that concerns me is Prometheus’ mystic stone. Makest haste, givest
that to me.”
“No way, unless you agree to leave this island. This is the last trump card
of us humans, I cannot casually give it up for my own sake.”
Godou resolutely resisted the hand extended by Verethragna.
Godou’s insistence made the youth sigh audibly.
“A hopeless fellow. To think I, the warlord, would be forced to use divine
power against a mere human brat as an opponent, what a waste of time!”
Muttering, Verethragna slowly approached.
His footsteps were heavy, as if extremely fatigued.
Thus his subsequent actions occurred just as Godou predicted. The god in
the youth’s form suddenly kicked at the ground.
Without divine power, what moves would he make? He could only depend
on his body. In the instant Godou realized that, the impact came.
Hit by Verethragna’s spinning kick, Godou was sent flying.
Still, it had missed his head. Evading the direct attack was thanks to his
well-trained dynamic vision. He also held on to the [Secret Tome of
Prometheus] with all his strength, so he didn’t let go.
“At this point, aren’t you going to use your true capabilities against
someone like me? You are still making light of competition.”
“This is not a competition, only punishment for a foolish human who doth
not know his place.”
It was right, even if it were a competition of martial arts or sports, Godou
had no chances of winning.
However, even though he was at a disadvantage, Godou could not let
himself be looked down upon.
“Erica told me already, what kind of god was Verethragna — the god who
transformed all the time, and could obtain victory no matter the battlefield,
right? Originally a god of the warrior ranks of the royal clan, and with rising
popularity became worshiped and venerated, finally becoming the
protector god of the people and justice, right?”
“Correct, that is my origin!”
This time it was a forward kick that attacked Godou.
Though it did not strike a fatal spot, Verethragna’s attack was very vicious.
Feeling an impact that felt like a car crash, Godou was sent flying again,
and fell on the ground, his consciousness slipping for a moment.
“Obviously such a great god, but playing around with a brat like me, isn’t
that kind of strange? When I met you at the pier, it wasn’t like that eh?
More similar to the sun, worthy of admiration — just as you described.
That’s right, like a hero!”
“Sayest no more, these are things that happened while I had forgotten my
nature as a [Heretic God]. Originally in the myths, I was the son of the sun,
the hero guarding the light.”
This time it was a palm strike, and then a punch, followed by a karate
chop.
Fast attacks that made evasion and defense useless, Godou was being
pummeled like a sandbag, getting tossed around like a ball.
His body ached all over, feeling like scorching heat, and there were severe
bruises everywhere, perhaps even broken bones.
His consciousness was getting fuzzy, and more importantly, his whole
body hurt.
“However, it is all past and gone. Nostalgia will never bring back the past.”
Verethragna left those words.
But Godou didn’t agree, even considering the current situation, his right
hand continued clutching the [Secret Tome of Prometheus]. This was the
result of the grip and determination of the fourth hitter.
“Why did you give this stone tablet back to me? The second time we met,
why did you let me keep it? Wouldn’t it have been better to destroy it back
then?”

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