Campione! / Campione! Vol 6 Chapter 6


Chapter 6 – Encounter in the Netherworld
Part 1
Godou found himself in a mountain at some unknown location.
After being swallowed by the suspicious darkness, he came to find himself
in this place.
It was deep in the mountains, with lush greenery.
Heavy was the smell of soil and trees. There was also a small stream
flowing beside him.
Were it a sunny day, taking a walk here would have been very comfortable.
Regrettably, it was raining with massive droplets splattering all over him.
Howling winds filled the sky and mercilessly stole warmth from his
drenched body.
In addition, Godou’s bodily condition was not very well at this time.
A strong feeling of nausea, terrible cold, and headache made Godou worry
if he had caught a flu.
Though it would have been best to get moving to find shelter from this
storm, he did not have the strength. Squatting down for about three
minutes and enduring the sense of nausea, he felt much better.
“This feeling is almost like carsickness…”
The headache was still present but was not a problem. Godou got up and
looked around. The water in the stream beside him was very turbid and
flowing rapidly due to the drainage of the rainwater. From the way the
stream ran, this place must be quite remote in the deep mountains.
Godou discovered a little house upstream, and started making his way
towards it.
He should first find shelter from the rain. Though a wooden house on the
riverbank in such pouring rain did not seem particularly safe, it would still
be better than standing outside.
Then again, the safety of Erica and Seishuuin Ena still worried him very
much.
While worrying about them, Godou reached the door of the little house.
It resembled a rustic wooden house from some historical drama. A simple
glance was sufficient to assert that modern amenities such as electricity,
gas, and running water were alien concepts.
The sliding door at the entrance was open, and Godou peered inside.
An old man, who appeared to be the owner, sat cross-legged in front of the
stove.
His towering physique would stand over 180cm tall. His coarse kimono
exposed a strongly built body that did not match his age and bulging
musculature that would put most bodybuilders to shame.
The old man’s obstinate expression matched his solid build quite well.
“Kusanagi Godou, please enter. My apologies for suddenly summoning
you to this place.”
To be named so abruptly.
By this point, Godou knew who he was.
Godou’s body, charged full of energy to fight, had already given him the
answer — the old man before him was a god.
“My miko made trouble for you, but please endure for a little while longer. I
had no choice but to bring you here because that girl said she wanted a
duel with the barbaric little lady. After all, they are both female and human,
so why don’t you let them fight to their hearts’ content?”
“…Who are you? And what kind of god are you?”
Hearing the questions, the old man smiled.
Though he appeared to be very strict, he unexpectedly gave off a sense of
kindliness and intimacy.
“I am the god known as Haya Susanoo no Mikoto. You may call me the
Old One or simply old man, but do not use grampsy. Having one brat Ena
calling me such an idiotic nickname is more than enough.”
Jumping into the darkness that Godou disappeared into —
Erica finally reached the end to find herself at an unknown riverside.
The distance across the river was not very wide, but the flow was quite
rapid and swimming across would be very difficult. However, the water in
this river was beautiful and crystal clear.
It gave off a feeling that could not possibly come from a river in the
twenty-three wards of Tokyo.
“This really is the Astral Plane… right? Could I have entered the Boundary
of Life and Immortality?”
Erica knelt on the ground panting.
The air was very turbid and felt lacking in oxygen no matter how hard you
breathed. Very likely, her body was not yet accustomed to this world.
But it could not be helped.
Moving from the surface world to the Astral Plane was [Plane Walking], a
type of ultimate, high-difficulty magic that required drinking a precious
potion beforehand.
This was medication to activate spirit capabilities and help the body adapt
to this otherworldly realm.
This was a world where spirit ranked higher than flesh, and ectoplasm
ranked higher than matter.
Magi who had stepped foot in the Astral Plane were extremely rare,
because neither the magical ritual to transfer to another world nor the
required potion were easy to obtain.
Though it was her first time here, Erica already discerned the truth of this
world and started responding accordingly.
First, she raised the magical power in her body to the limit.
Despite the risk of depleting her magical energy, there was no time to
hesitate. After dozens of seconds, her symptoms disappeared, and Erica
stood up, her breathing back to normal. Then came a voice.
“Erica-san, you are amazing. Already moving about in the Netherworld.”
Seishuuin Ena walked over, holding the Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi in
her hand.
The Hime-Miko also seemed to be protecting her body in the same way
and did not show any signs of suffering.
“You’re really annoying, and I was about to catch up to Godou. Could you
kindly step aside?”
“If that’s the case, you must first defeat Ena by force. Come, we must hurry
and fight.”
Erica drew Cuore di Leone for she had harbored the same intentions all
along.
Then she advanced to attack Ena who was wielding Ama no Murakumo no
Tsurugi in its jet-black curved blade form.
The magic sword and the divine blade clashed once again.
The moment the two blades met, Cuore di Leone was split into two! With
split second decisiveness, Erica promptly jumped to the side and evaded
the follow up attack.
“Steel of the lion, the symbol of indestructible authority!”
Responding to Erica’s spell words, the broken segment of the magic sword
flew through the air and returned.
Then combined and welded back together again.
Cuore di Leone restored itself through its attribute of indestructibility, but
Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi’s power was also increasing.
Or rather, it was simply retrieving its original power?
“Susanoo — by filling her body with the blade’s original user’s divine
protection, she is able to wield a divine artifact that humans cannot use…
To think that such a technique existed!”
Erica exclaimed softly.
Ena’s body was inhabited by some unknown divine power. A tiny fraction
of Susanoo’s divinity — probably around two hundred parts per million — was
being lent to her.
Even though the amount of power a human body could contain was this
small, its nature was still the power of a god.
Which is why Ena could freely wield Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi using
her own will and sword skills.
“Not just grampsy’s power, but this Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi is also
similar to a demigod. Its spirit flows within me. Susanoo’s attribute as the
conquering god was also obtained from the Ama no Murakumo no
Tsurugi.”
The steel sword symbolizing the conqueror… Since this description was
bestowed after he obtained the sword, Susanoo must have acquired his
divinity of the conquering god at the same time, Erica deduced.
“Tell me, that grampsy of yours called Susanoo — where is he? Then again,
what is he? Could he be a [Heretic God]?”
“According to his own description, he is no longer the same brash and
mischievous god in his youth.”
Provoked by Ena’s laughter, Erica could not help but glare at her. But she
was right, were he still a [Heretic God], he would be wandering on earth
and causing mass destruction instead. Then what kind of existence was he
actually?
“Explaining it will take very long… And there’s no time left, right?”
Ena felt deeply apologetic.
“Normally, I should be more leisurely. But maybe because we’re in the
Netherworld, the divine power in my body has increased? The spirit of
grampsy and Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi is truly amazing, even talking
properly is becoming impossible… So Ena would like to apologize to you
first.”
“You want to apologize?”
“Yes, because Ena is now too strong, so strong that even I feel
despicable…”
As she made such a declaration, Ena’s body began to shake.
Her movements were very stiff, like those of a puppet, and completely
different from her agile moves up to this point.
“Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi, I pledge this body as a sacrifice, pray calm
your wild spirit!”
The spell words were chanted from the miko’s mouth.
Whispered words that carried piety and nihility. And inhabiting her pupils
was a ferocious fighting spirit and murderous intent.
It was not the eyes of a swordsman who gambled with life to enjoy battle,
but those of an evil spirit that swore to defeat all enemies and annihilate
them completely.
With her changed expression, Ena raised her jet-black divine sword high
using stiff movements.
“Thousand leaves breaking, Iwaki of god, surpassing possible, I now name
it, unfortunate nothingness.”^
The instant the spell song was chanted, Erica received a shocking
surprise.
The magical power that protected her and allowed her to adjust to the
Netherworld suddenly left her body.
That magical power was being sucked into Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi!
— The ability to assimilate the power of rebellious barbarians. It turned out
it could be used in this way.
Speechless, Erica sank to her knees, her entire body losing strength and
her breathing quickening. She had returned to the state when she first
arrived in this world.
In front of Ena, who was under divine possession, it was truly a hopeless
and desperate situation.
Part 2
To have the gall to call a god “grampsy” to his face, Ena’s courage was
beyond imagination.
Godou sighed as he asked:
“I’d like to ask, are you actually a [Heretic God]?”
“No, I’m no longer rebelling. I’ve tired of that kind of game a long time ago.”
“Gods who have escaped the restrictions of their myths, aren’t they all
[Heretic Gods]?”
Scraps of knowledge that he picked up from Erica before.
But the god who introduced himself as Susanoo(!) simply scoffed in
disdain.
“That kind of sloppy categorization is wrong. Normal gods only exist in
myths, while only those who escape from legends and walk the earth can
be called [Heretic Gods].”
[Heretic God] caused unprecedented disasters simply by existing on earth.
This was why the only ones who could oppose them, the Campiones, were
revered as devil kings. That was what Godou knew.
“As for me, I was a [Heretic God] once.”
Susanoo exhaled deeply, and showed an expression as if reading Godou’s
mind.
“I wandered the earth for over a thousand years, then got bored and
decided to live in seclusion. I suppose I used to be very violent and
unreasonable, but personalities tend to mellow with age.”
His delinquent-like declaration aside, who could have thought Susanoo
was an elderly former [Heretic God]?
This self-introduction stunned Godou with surprise. He had been
wondering for quite a while what kind of end existed for gods like Athena,
but he never thought a retirement solution like this existed.
“You mentioned living in seclusion, what is that about?”
“Since [Heretic Gods] will not die without a serious cause, they will not
return to the myths either. Without any other recourse, they either go to
sleep or live secluded in the Netherworld like me.”
“Netherworld?”
“Oh? That’s this place right here. You didn’t know that? I heard you’ve
been summoned here by your adoptive mother Pandora before.”
“No, I had no idea at all.”
Godou had some kind of subtle feeling as he shook his head.
The headache that appeared after he arrived at this mountain. An
annoying headache that suddenly intensified.
“Hahaha, sorry, it’s because I brought you here through abnormal means,
so you have been unable to retrieve the memories in the Netherworld.
You’ve probably been having a headache all along, right?”
“Then summing up all that was said just now… Everything happened
because of you!”
Godou made an indignant accusation, but the elderly hero god laughed
“hoho.”
“Yes, I used to do many bad things like locking old sis in a cave, so tricks
like hiding or concealing are a piece of cake for me.”
What did he mean? Godou felt greatly suspicious.
Whenever he tried to ponder about the true visage of Susanoo, his
headache would intensify.
Susanoo was originally a god of the earth from Izumo.
However due to repeatedly amalgamating numerous myths, he
transformed into a typical hero god. Storms. Using his divine body that
controlled storms as a foundation, he obtained the iron sword from slaying
the snake.
The iron sword was the Kusanagi sword, the key to his becoming the
conquering god of steel.
At the same time, Susanoo also had the hero attribute of craftily making
use of deception, and a great example was the story of forcing his elder
sister, the great sun goddess Amaterasu, into a stone cave. The legend of
‘hiding/stealing the sun’, was a common trickster myth in the Asian Pacific
region.
All sorts of knowledge about Susanoo flowed into Godou’s mind.
Then Godou felt in his right hand, the reaction of the [Sword] being
prepared. He fell silent.
“Ha! As expected of the fellow who obtained the sword of wisdom, just by
listening to my story, you were able to forge a weapon!”
All he wanted was to know, but why did it turn out like this?
The spell words to slay Susanoo have been obtained, but his head was
hurting like it was about to explode. It was probably impossible to win if he
had to fight with this god before him in such conditions.
Godou felt doubt at the unexpected occurrence.
He felt that he was exactly like Verethragna — the original user of this
sword.
“W-why is this happening…”
“Because this is the Netherworld, which is different from the reality where
you live. This is where everything is recorded, from the birth of the universe
to all possible future outcomes. Those who possess the ability can obtain
some of these records from this place.”
The old god seemed to be undertaking an explanation role.
Godou thought about what he heard before, that the power of spirit vision
was the ability to extract [Memories of the Void] from the Boundary of Life
and Immortality. So the Netherworld was that kind of territory.
So that was the reason why the environment and the [Warrior]’s power
produced some kind of chemical reaction…?
However, his headache was getting worse, and his brain felt like it was
burning up.
Very likely, it was the price of performing something similar to spirit vision.
This kind of task was probably best left to Yuri, Godou painfully realized.
“Anyway, I must leave this place. Something bad is about to happen to my
companion — Erica and your miko Seishuuin Ena, and I must go to them.”
“What are you talking about? I called you here precisely to stop you from
interfering.”
Godou endured his headache as he tried to make a sincere request. The
former [Heretic God] laughed heartily.
“Just wait a while longer, why the rush? Should I bring out the alcohol?”
This old bastard, why is he making me wait?
As Godou frowned, he heard another voice.
“Looking for your girlfriends? Hahaha, you really are as lecherous as the
rumors.”
Unlike Susanoo’s steady voice, it was a hoarse sound.
Godou frantically looked in the voice’s direction. In a corner of the little
house, another character had started sitting there at some unknown point
in time.
The one dressed in a monk’s black habit did not look human at all. With
dry, parched skin and no real flesh, it was as if everything had peeled off.
Resembling the body of a living Buddha or a mummified corpse, the sight
made Godou swallow hard.
“To treasure her to such a degree, looks like our efforts to send you a
concubine have not gone to waste. Since Susanoo-san’s miko was a
peculiar person, I originally worried if she might not suit your tastes… Or
perhaps, you worry more about that barbarian little lady?”
The black clad figure spoke in tones that hid subtle sarcasm.
Simply bearing superficial politeness, he was clearly a very rebellious
person.
“Your Majesty the Rakshasa King^ would like to see the girls, yes?
Please wait a moment.”
A third voice. This time it was female.
Godou shifted his gaze towards the voice, opposite to the dried out monk’s
position.
An otherworldly beauty was sitting in seiza, dressed like a noble princess
from the Heian era in a brilliantly colorful juunihitoe^ style kimono. But
where did she come from?
Those pupils of hers were crystal clear like the color of glass. Her hair was
a deep flaxen color while her smooth delicate skin resembled polished
ivory.
This adorable beauty of hers, resembling a sculpture, surpassed the looks
of any modern Japanese.
The princess with pupils of glass was sitting before a basin.
When did this basin, filled with water, appear along with the princess —
“W-Who are you people?”
Godou asked frantically.
Unlike Susanoo, the mummified monk and the princess did not provoke his
battle spirit, so they should not be gods… Then the old hero god said to the
unsettled Godou:
“This is the Netherworld, a gathering place for those who are neither
human nor gods. Especially those gathered here: obsessed fools unable to
relinquish their feelings for the real world. We have been dealing with the
other side for quite a long time, and have been involved in many affairs.”
“Simply put, a bunch of old people watching over the young ones.”
The dried out monk in black chimed in.
Though most of the teeth in his mouth had already fallen out, his words
were surprisingly clear.
“The wizards in charge of this country are too busy with mundane worldly
affairs. So in order to prevent them from becoming sleeping tigers, our duty
is to give them reminders from time to time. Sometimes when existences
like you pop up, we will also make a few comments.”
“…Sleeping tigers?”
As Godou asked, the princess spoke once more.
“Please look this way, Rakshasa King. Your majesty’s concubine is here.”
Images were appearing in the basin of water before her.
Godou hurried over for a look. The image on the surface of the water
showed two girls fighting. Erica Blandelli was wielding Cuore di Leone
while Seishuuin Ena swung her great blade.
Ena’s sword had changed in appearance. The originally straight blade was
now curved and its color had become black.
The duel ended dismally.
Facing Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi, Erica suddenly collapsed.
“To think that naughty brat Ena has come to the Netherworld. Fool, if she
performs divine possession in such a place, her body will surely be taken
by me and Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi.”
“Divine possession?”
Godou questioned Susanoo’s scolding of Ena.
“Correct, that is her power as a Hime-Miko. The ability to turn her body into
a vessel for containing a god’s divine spirit. But with a single mistake, she
will lose her mind and body. Looking at her like this… most likely she has
been taken over by our divine spirit.”
“A miko with that kind of ability is almost like a demigod. It’s too unfortunate
for the little lady who battled against her.”
Susanoo and the monk in black delivered their commentary without any
sense of culpability.
Seeing their attitudes, Godou stood up. It was no longer time for gentle
requests.
“Send me there. The faster the better, hurry!”
There was no time to tend to the splitting headache.
Godou forced himself to endure the pain and raised his right arm — the one
carrying the [Sword], pointing at Susanoo.
Making clear that he would show no mercy if refused.
Despite Godou’s threat, Susanoo simply ignored him and looked bored
while the monk in black mocked him and went ‘hoho, how amazing.’
“Hahaha, good good. Those little ladies would be delighted if they heard
your words. You have not shamed the name of the [King], I am deeply
impressed!”
Hearing such insincere praise, Godou glared at the monk.
Godou gnashed his teeth, but currently he did not have an incarnation to
defeat this mummified monk.
“Rakshasa King, if Your Majesty imagines the place shown here and
makes a wish to be there, it will be done. In a place like the Netherworld,
methods of travel are different from the real world.”
The princess with the pupils of glass explained humbly.
Godou could not help gazing at her beauty.
Unsure where this beauty came from, Godou lowered his head.
“May Your Majesty’s merciful virtues help those girls. That is my humble
wish.”
“That goes without saying! Thank you very much, it’s been a great help!”
Godou immediately thanked her politely.
Strangely enough, it did not feel like she was lying.
It was as if the Campione’s supernatural sense of danger informed him…
the exact same feeling.
Godou did as she described and imagined the scenery shown on the water
surface. The place where the two girls were, where did such a beautiful
river flow in the Netherworld?
In the next instant, Godou vanished from the little house.
Because of that, the young Campione did not hear the following
conversation.
“That person loves women too much. All it took was the sight of his
concubines in a desperate plight to make him lose all composure. Hahaha,
looks like he is unlikely to perform above expectations.”
“Yes, it’s all that brat Ena’s fault for coming here and making him believe
there was a crisis.”
The desiccated monk could not stop laughing to himself, while Susanoo
scolded with displeasure.
“It’s time we stop using those girls to test the Rakshasa King’s disposition. I
am starting to feel displeased, Enlightened Master, Old One.”
Admonished by the princess with eyes of glass, the two men continued
unfazed.
Part 3
Erica watched as Seishuuin Ena slowly approached with Ama no
Murakumo no Tsurugi. If this continued, she would be slain. Given her
current frail body, what other measures could she take —
Searching in vain with no solution in sight, was it really hopeless?
“Wait, Seishuuin, put your sword away!”
A familiar voice. The figure of the familiar youth appeared between Erica
and the Hime-Miko.
Kusanagi Godou. The youth she was determined to save.
“Godou, you’re okay…?”
“Well enough, I will handle this. You should rest for a while.”
With barely enough strength to ask, she could only watch the back of the
youth who answered.
For whose sake did I, Erica Blandelli, come to be caught in this desperate
situation? Though she wanted to call him an idiot, her depleted stamina
caused Erica to abandon the notion. She substituted her displeasure with a
relieved sigh.
1 — Godslayer, I cannot follow your orders.’
Ena’s lips did not move, and a robotic voice was heard.
Speaking to Godou who stood in front of the weakened Erica, she
continued.
‘ — As the enemy of gods, you are also the enemy of me, the divine sword.
To listen to your orders will be my greatest shame.’
“You… are not Seishuuin.”
The calm and penetrating voice once again replied.
‘Correct, my master and the miko call me Ama no Murakumo, good that
you know.’
“Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi! That’s Susanoo’s weapon, and the
Kusanagi sword!”
Godou yelled at the Hime-Miko controlled by the divine blade, the one who
looked like Ena but was not Ena.
Seeing him surrounded by countless flashes of light, Erica got a big shock.
These were the spell words of the [Sword]!
“Susanoo is a god who shares a long history with [Steel]! His territory Susa
is well known for producing iron ore, and he is the god of storms. In ancient
times, strong wind provided the greatest assistance to forging iron by
fanning the flames to make them stronger, and that intense fire can melt
iron!”
The brilliant light of the [Sword] started moving like a stream of meteors,
and flew to attack Ena.
Targeted, she silently kicked at the ground, and began running like the
wind at superhuman levels, intending to escape the onslaught of the
[Sword].
However, it still caught up to her.
Wielding the divine sword with movements like a puppet, she tried to
deflect the [Sword] in vain. Steel that should have cut through the spheres
of light was pushed back by the light instead.
Erica was certain, these were the spell words that can defeat Ama no
Murakumo no Tsurugi.
‘…Spell words that can conquer a god and his belongings. True to the
status of a godslayer, a most troublesome weapon indeed.’
It was still that robotic voice.
Ena admitted her disadvantage. Ena — no, Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi
controlled the Hime-Miko to jump backwards.
Such a jump would probably require a human-sized cricket or grasshopper,
to instantly create a distance of dozens of meters.
‘ — Continuing to stay in the Netherworld will cause damage to my miko’s
body. It would be wise to repeat this duel another time. Godslayer, I shall
return to the real world, and wait for you there.’
Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi manipulated Ena’s body and buried her into
the ground.
Darkness consumed the ground beneath her legs and spread out into a
great patch of jet-blackness.
This was probably the [Door] that pulled the two of them into the
Netherworld. Erica watched in surprise as the darkness gradually
swallowed Ena and the divine blade until they disappeared.
“How could that girl do such a thing…?”
“The current Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi is just like a cheap copy of
Susanoo. With that smelly old bastard’s power, of course it’s possible, and
because of that, the [Sword] was effective against her.”
Godou explained as he massaged his temples.
He was struck with intense pain once again, and the worried Erica hurried
over before him.
“Godou, how are you?”
“Perhaps because I forced myself too much to create the [Sword] to defeat
Susanoo, using it gives me a great headache. I’m afraid I can’t continue…”
Evidently, a lot had happened to Godou and he was reaching his limits.
Erica sighed deeply. Though she was concerned about Ena, who had
escaped back to earth, their current biggest problem was being stranded in
the Astral Plane. Was there a way for them to leave…?
It was around six in the evening when Amakasu’s phone call was received.
“Ena-san disappeared? So has Godou-san and Erica-san?”
At the Nanao Shrine, Mariya Yuri was greatly surprised to receive such
news.
‘That’s right. We have been keeping Ena-san under surveillance, actually.’
Hearing this unsettling news, Yuri frowned. The Committee must have
some reason for doing that.
‘During the weekend, Ena-san had visited your school and then suddenly
ran into Erica-san and Kusanagi-san, and the three of them vanished
together… What an unbelievable development.’
Amakasu began to recount in detail everything that happened in order.
His tone of voice suggested that he was the one in charge of the
surveillance mission. After all, tailing the highly alert premier Hime-Miko
would not be possible except for a master of concealment like Amakasu.
“There was an inside story after all.”
‘It’s the elders, there can be no other. What are they planning?’
The elders who even the History Compilation Committee members have to
please.
They were inhuman, supernatural existences. Fairies, demigods, holy
monks, ascended ascetics, great magi, vengeful spirits… With all sorts of
different legends, they were a group that surpassed humanity and
approached immortality. It was said that they had freed themselves from
the natural order of reality and chose to live in the Netherworld.
Yuri recalled the Old One watching over Ena, the frightening god who was
also known as a [Heretic God] once.
The ancient deity who possessed the Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi.
Kidnapping a Campione was something that no one but the elders could
do.
However, Yuri could not understand why they were acting so rashly.
This could not be allowed to continue. If she did not learn by trying, she
would not be able to improve her powers of deduction. She wanted
intelligence and wisdom rivaling Erica and initiative that did not require
being led by Ena.
Yuri made a resolute decision as she requested.
“I will now go to school and see if I can discern where Godou-san and the
rest have gone.”
‘Actually I was going to ask you to do that, much appreciated. My
apologies.’
The Committee’s top investigator seemed a bit happy.
But then he seemed troubled by the condition Yuri proposed next.
‘Hmm, I don’t think it’s a good idea, it’s too early for that.’
“No, I believe it is a necessary measure, Amakasu-san. Though it pains
me to put it this way, but please regard it as the price and condition for my
cooperation.”
The “Hime” part of the term Hime-Miko, was not simply for show.
Indeed, the Hime-Miko organization was ranked beneath the History
Compilation Committee. On the other hand, the reverence and respect for
the bloodline of the Hime-Miko was a tradition passed down over a
thousand years.
Amakasu and the members of the Committee did not have the authority to
give a Hime-Miko orders on whim.
Yuri decided to take advantage of her status for the first time.
After about an hour, three people gathered on the sports ground of Jounan
Academy.
Mariya Yuri, Amakasu Touma, and Liliana Kranjcar.
Though the sky was darkening, the sun had yet to set entirely, which is to
say, it was dusk.
In these ambiguous, dimly lit conditions, the silver-haired knight glared at
Amakasu Touma.
“I heard that Kusanagi Godou was kidnapped by the one backing
Seishuuin Ena.”
“Please don’t be mad, this time we are also victims… That is why I
suggested not bringing her along.”
Yuri shook her head at the complaining History Compilation Committee
member.
“The magic and knowledge that Liliana-san possesses will definitely come
in handy in this situation. Besides, there is no one else with a witch’s
powers…”
She was one who was outstanding in witchcraft.
Actually, this was also Liliana Kranjcar’s most valuable disposition.
In terms of martial ability, she was equal to Erica, while Yuri was vastly
superior in spirit vision.
However, Liliana was the only one who could use witchcraft.
Understanding the thoughts of birds and beasts and be able to command
them, flying like a bird in the sky, swimming freely like a fish in water,
gathering forest herbs to make potions, these were all classified under the
most talented domain of witches.
“Since Yuri-san insists, I will not object. So please participate together,
Liliana-san… So, let’s start immediately?”
Prompted by Amakasu, Yuri surveyed the “crime scene” once again.
Godou, Erica, and Ena disappeared from a corner of the school, and in
front of her was a wall of the school building.
— Shivering, she felt even her back shaking.
Terrifying magical traces were discovered.
Liliana also seemed to have felt it, and she narrowed her eyes, focusing on
the school wall.
“Mariya Yuri, can you see the problem here? Regrettably, a great power
was applied here, and I cannot gather any clues…”
Liliana spoke with great dismay, and Yuri closed her eyes.
Not sight, but “vision” that focused spiritual disposition surpassing the five
senses. At this instant, the vision appeared.
— The sun, which dominated the sky, completely darkened like in a solar
eclipse.
— Holding the great sword of steel, the storm god appeared, causing the
land with the bountiful harvest to wither into a gray wilderness.
“It was Susanoo after all…”
Ever since the Marquis Voban incident, she had not experienced any
visions for months.
From the images shown before her eyes, Yuri seemed to have found out
what happened.
“I know the method used to take Godou-san and the rest away and also
saw where they went.”
Yuri explained as she endured her over exhausted body.
Liliana displayed great interest, but Amakasu looked tired for some reason.
“Perhaps you already have an idea, Amakasu-san?”
“Amongst the ones capable of kidnapping a Campione, I already have a
very good idea. Requesting your spirit vision was just to obtain concrete
proof. Since this is an internal affair, I still hope the outsider can be
dismissed.”
“No, Liliana-san’s wisdom is truly needed for what comes after.”
Yuri cast an apologetic gaze at Amakasu.
Then she turned towards and bowed her head at Liliana who had been
excluded from the conversation and was showing signs of displeasure.
“I beg you, please tell me the method to save Godou-san, Erica-san and
Ena-san from the Netherworld — the Boundary of Life and Immortality.”
After listening to the gist of the situation, the witch and Great Knight
showed a troubled expression.
“A deity who used to be a [Heretic God]? This country is harboring such a
monster!”
“If possible, I also wish he would hurry up and pass on, but that’s not going
to happen. He’s been hanging around for over a thousand years. To be
honest, we are also very troubled too.”
“Amakasu-san, your description is a bit…”
Yuri scolded Amakasu for his imprudent comment as she waited for the
witch’s response.
Since they were now aware that Godou and Erica were trapped in the
Netherworld, they had to go over to bring them back. Now the only one
capable of using that kind of spell was the silver-haired witch.
“In order to transfer to the Astral Plane, the magical ritual and the required
medication are needed. I already know the ritual, but the problem is the
potion…”
□liana’s expression darkened as she continued to speak.
“I know the recipe, but I don’t have the ingredients. A few precious herbs
are essential, but I don’t have them on hand and must send for them from
back home.”
“Then what if we go buy them right now? I’ve heard that shops selling
those kinds of things exist in Tokyo.”
Yuri had heard from Amakasu and others at the History Compilation
Committee.
They occasionally monitored shops that secretly sold wizardry tools and
catalysts.
However, Liliana showed an ‘oh no’ kind of stiff expression.
“Actually… I have no idea where those shops are located.”
“Eh?”
“Because… I have been busy taking care of Kusanagi Godou, so I have
not spent the time to familiarize myself with people and places in that field
in Tokyo…”
Liliana bowed her head and confessed, embarrassed.
Her fingers twiddling, the blush on her face was especially cute. It was
completely different from Liliana’s usual awe-inspiring appearance. Then
Yuri suddenly thought of the adage “putting the cart before the horse.”
“No, no, just ask Amakasu-san to lead the way.”
Tentatively, she first tried a relatively safe solution. Unfortunately, reality
was cruel.
“Uh, no can do, I’m afraid. Any ingredient or catalyst required by high level
magic, above rank E in difficulty, has to be ordered in advance. Using
online shopping parlance, it’s under the category of ‘delivery time
unknown.’ Even if we rushed over right away, we won’t get it.”
“T-Then they must have logistics problems!”
“Actually, I think it’s even stranger for the Kranjcar family to keep those
items lying around the house!”
Liliana felt furious at Amakasu’s tactless honesty.
There was no time to wait for a delivery from Italy. In that time span, the
worst situation could develop.
Just as Yuri was about to consider other options.
A suspicious presence could be felt… from Amakasu’s body.
She once read a mystery novel that someone recommended to her as
guaranteed to be interesting.
She had the exact same feeling of suspicion towards a character that
appeared around the tenth page or so. As she paid attention to that
character and continued reading, it turned out the person was the final
culprit.
Henceforth, Yuri avoided the genre as much as possible. Very calmly, she
said:
“Amakasu-san, what are you trying to hide?”
“Uh… I don’t know what you’re talking about. Could it be your imagination?”
The History Compilation Committee special operative was subtly averting
eye contact.
Undeterred, Yuri continued to ask, determined to speak her mind.
“Since the name Sayanomiya suddenly appeared in my mind, could it be…
that family is involved?”
“Sayanomiya? What is that?”
“The History Compilation Committee is an organization run under the
direction of the Sayanomiya family. They are steeped in the traditions of
wizardry, and several generations ago, their family head had gone to study
in Europe and learned knowledge about magic over there–”
As she explained to Liliana who interrupted with a question, Yuri recalled a
certain incident.
During the Marquis Voban incident, at the time when she visited the secret
library at Aobadai.
That facility stored grimoires collected and confiscated from all over Japan
by special operatives like Amakasu. Come to think of it, the Committee
surely must collect more than books.
“Perhaps, amongst the various items Amakasu-san and your colleagues
confiscate, there are the items that Liliana called ingredients? Those are
probably kept in the Sayanomiya residence…”
“Hahaha, how can that be possible, please don’t guess randomly.”
“Whether or not it is a random guess, everything will be cleared up by an
investigation.”
Liliana drew her beloved sword in front of Amakasu who was playing
dumb.
The magic sword II Maestro was personally forged by a top blacksmith and
mage.
“I will go directly into that residence and search. If it is not there, then I will
search all the facilities belonging to your Committee.”
Discerning Yuri’s thoughts from the dialogue just now, Liliana declared with
great awe-inspiring impact.
Although from an ethical standpoint, this kind of behavior was not very
appropriate. However, she still made her declaration openly.
Yuri was very impressed. Threats should be made in such a manner? A
lesson learnt.
“Sigh… As expected, calling her here was trouble. Fine, I confess, I know
how the required ingredients can be obtained. The Sayanomiya residence
does have these things, but due to various reasons, they cannot be moved
arbitrarily, so it would be best not to go there.”
Amakasu finally spoke the truth amidst sighing tones.
Knowing she was now able to save her dear friends, Yuri could not help
but feel excitement in her heart.
Part 4
Netherworld, Astral Plane, Boundary of Life and Immortality.
In this space with many different names, Godou was caught in a dilemma.
Ena, under Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi’s control, had escaped a while
ago. Though his body felt like an hour has passed, Godou knew such
impressions were unreliable because the flow of time in this place was
unlikely to be the same as on earth. After some rest, Godou’s headache
had also recovered almost completely. However —
Erica’s condition was taking a turn for the worse.
Her face in pain, she was breathing irregularly and sweating profusely.
Godou tried to touch her and found her body temperature unusually
elevated as if under high fever. She also had no strength left and could not
even turn herself over.
Completely drained, she was lying in the shade of a tree beside the river.
“Given the current situation, I guess the only way is to return to the
mountain just now…”
Godou muttered to himself. Since he did not have the knowledge or skills
to help Erica, he must ask for help. And in this mysterious space, he only
knew three “people,” if they could be called that. Susanoo and the
mummified monk aside, perhaps the benevolent princess might extend a
helping hand.
“May I ask: how is this world structured?”
Worrying about Erica’s condition, Godou asked.
In order to save her and leave, he needed information.
There was a beautiful river here that flowed somewhere.
As well as a seemingly limitless plain.
This scenery extended to the horizon without any change.
The little house in the mountain where Susanoo was located seemed to be
in one direction, or perhaps not. To have suddenly jumped out here in an
instant, even Godou could not believe his eyes.
“…Susanoo’s location is a different space from here. If I’m not mistaken,
the Astral Plane is composed of many disconnected worlds and spaces.
You must have performed a spatial transfer between them…”
Erica quoted from what she had read in books and explained to Godou.
Without her usual flair when speaking, it seemed like her stamina had been
draining continuously, and Godou nodded to her, frantic for a solution to
the situation.
“In other words, this is very similar to an apartment building, you know?
Though you live under the same roof, homes are separated by walls and
floors, but you can still move about using corridors and stairs.”
A broad world that contained countless independent spaces and linked
together like a spider’s web.
Even for the storm god Susanoo, no matter how much he summons violent
storms, the only affected area was the “room” he occupied.
Which explained why [Heretic Gods], whose mere existence brought
disaster to the world, could live secluded in this realm.
“…But you just used the [Warrior] form so the [Sword] is no longer
available for now. If we’re going to Susanoo’s place, shouldn’t you wait
first?”
“No, if this continues, your body will not last.”
Verethragna’s ten incarnations.
Godou’s authority, usurped from the ancient Persian Warlord, had many
restrictions.
After each use, an incarnation could only be reused after the passage of
one day.
The [Sword] was already invoked when he met the old god. As much as
possible, Godou should avoid direct conflict against Susanoo without a
trump card. However, Godou shook his head at Erica’s suggestion.
“I will find a way. Even though there are a few distasteful fellows, someone
nice is also there.”
Godou quietly picked up Erica in his arms and laid her on his back.
Attempting the method just now, his mind imagined the little house in the
mountain and the surrounding beautiful scenery, and then wished to go
there.
— And then, Godou and Erica were suddenly transferred to a beach.
Before their eyes was a beautiful deep, blue sea. Waves quietly broke
against them.
“H-How could this happen!”
“Looks like your imagination is lacking… Though Godou is a Campione,
you never received special training… Perhaps without a certain level of
magical competence, the transfer will not succeed…”
“But I just went to where you were without any issues!”
“…That was surely because you could see the scenery… A scene before
your eyes compared to one recalled purely from memory, there is a huge
difference in difficulty.”
Erica explained from his back.
However, she spoke slowly and paused many times. Godou began to enter
a state of panic. If this continued, her life will be threatened, the next
attempt must succeed!
Once again, he secured the scenery in his mind. It is a mountain. He must
reach Susanoo’s mountain this time.
But where Godou and Erica arrived was a totally bare and barren
mountain.
Brown rocks, dry wind, blue sky. It would not be surprising to find eagles
and vultures circling in the air. It was a completely opposite scene from the
lush green mountain.
“Damn it, one more time!”
The third attempt at imagination and third transfer, but this was not even a
natural habitat.
It was a white space. The surroundings were entirely white.
A space where the whiteness extended from one horizon to another.
Ticktock, ticktock. There was also a strange sound, the sound of clocks
running.
Carrying Erica on his back, Godou looked around him.
Very soon, an ancient clock appeared in his sight, but then the clock
ticking was also heard from behind him. Turning around, he found a silver
pocket watch. As the left side sounded as well, a massive clock tower
could be seen in that direction…
As soon as the clock ticking was heard, a new clock would appear. This
repeated dozens of times.
“Godou… this isn’t working, you are completely lost…”
Erica protested in a barely audible voice.
Godou let out a huge sigh. Looks like he is running into dead ends. One
more time, try again, a steady image. This time he must transfer to the
place in his heart.
“…Not working after all…”
Hearing Erica’s tired voice, Godou was speechless.
The two of them had arrived at a stone paved street.
A simple gothic street, one could have mistaken it for the Italian
countryside.
Little houses linked by the eaves of their roofs, roads and squares paved
with brick. If this place was Earth, the scenery would most likely be
classified as a world heritage site.
But there was not a single soul here. Looking around, no other person
could be spotted. It was an empty street.
He could feel Erica’s breathing quicken as she lay on his back.
Her breaths spaced apart by shortening intervals, it appeared that the
multiple transfers had taken their toll on her body.
Finding a little park nearby, Godou laid Erica on the grass and sat down
beside her. He felt so bad about things that he would have kicked a
trashcan had there been one.
“Damn, I am out of ideas. If this continues, then this really is the end.”
“By the way… Godou, I have a request.”
Godou jumped in surprise. Erica was speaking in rare innocent tones.
She essentially never used this voice except in the mornings when she just
woke up. Currently, she was in an even more vulnerable state.
“I feel like death is near, could you give me a final passionate kiss or
embrace…?”
“Y-you stop saying such foolish words! Don’t say something so unlucky!”
Neither half of the statement was acceptable, so Godou immediately
scolded her.
But Erica shook her head lightly.
“This future is very likely… I am already unable to heal this body with my
own power, and I have no method to leave the Astral Plane. Furthermore, I
have no way to reach a third party who can rescue us from here… This is
the end.”
Godou swallowed words of denial.
His own stupidity was the reason why they could not return to Susanoo’s
place.
“So, let’s start preparing for the future. If I am no longer here, you must
follow my instructions…”
“Come on! Stop joking as if you’re leaving final words!”
“I am not joking. Weren’t you the one who just said this was the end?”
His words picked apart, Godou fell silent.
Just as she said, he understood very well that he was powerless to do
anything unless they returned to Susanoo’s location. Even if Erica did not
spell it out, he knew.
“T-Then I will ask one more time, kiss me, embrace me tightly… If possible,
treat this as a continuation of that time in Sicily, no? You still can’t decide?”
She asked with a mischievous tone of voice.
Erica placed her hand over Godou’s hand, but did not use the usual
unnatural strength. She no longer had spare strength or magic to increase
her arm strength.
However, her sincere expression was adorable to a heartbreaking degree.
“At least tell me, how do you really feel about me… Do not dodge the issue
like usual, you have to be clear…?”
How he felt about Erica? Wasn’t this already obvious!
Perhaps death really was near as she said. But Godou did not want to
admit it. How could he let something like that happen? Still, Godou’s
rationality told him it was true.
Godou’s heart was invaded by fury and anxiety, as well as terror at the
thought of losing her.
Godou tightly held Erica’s hand.
Then he drew his face near, his lips slowly approaching her thin yet
seductive lips. Then pressed upon them —
Kissing each other.
They repeated this motion for quite a while.
“Godou… This is your first time kissing me on your own initiative.”
Tens of seconds later, their lips separated, and Erica spoke softly.
Despite the crisis they were trapped in, her face was filled with satisfaction
and happiness.
Seeing her expression, Godou’s heart was greatly shaken.
The feelings of tender affection for her, the fear of losing her, the anxiety
over finding a solution, the agitation and anger. All sorts of emotions
assaulted Godou simultaneously.
But the most intense emotion was anger.
Anger at the circumstances taking her away from him, and anger at his
own incompetence.
“Ah… it hurts. Godou, please be a bit softer…”
Unwittingly he had held her even tighter, causing Erica to plead.
Instead Godou held Erica’s weak and slender hand, not lightly but gripping
harder. Erica accepted this action without any rejection.
Instead, she happily closed her eyes, smiling as she leaned closer to
Godou, pressing her body weight against him.
At that moment, this girl entrusted her heart and body entirely to Godou.
Understanding that, the anger in Godou’s heart reached new heights. He
let go of Erica’s hand and stood up to glare at the sky. Perhaps far away
on the other side, gods really existed and yet they still dared to create this
tragic fate as if toying with humanity.
Glaring at those supernatural existences, his anger continued to burn.
Crying because someone precious will be leaving him forever? Impossible.
Mourning for a period of time, and then using the rest of his existence to
live life fully and sing praises of love? Impossible. Living a life of regret and
anger with despair and a broken heart because his lover passed away?
Completely rubbish!
These were not actions fit for a [King]. A god-slaying Devil King was not
going to act this way.
Most importantly, he himself could not accept living in such a manner!
Godou’s savage eyes gave off light. Previously, this happened only when
his heart was fired up and he smiled with the joy of battle during his
struggles against gods or other Campiones, but he was not in that kind of
mood this time.
No matter what comes along, be it god or Buddha, he will slay them all!
If fate was unacceptable, he will use his will and authority to crush fate
beneath his feet.
If he could not even do something like that, then how could he call himself
the Devil King? Who dares to take Erica away? Whose woman do you
think you are taking!
“…Godou? What is going on with you? Why is your expression so horrible?
Why are you different from usual?”
Next to him, Erica felt intimidated and questioned.
However, he ignored her. Comforting and showering this girl with affection
was something to be done later.
What needed to be done now was to intercept unreasonable Fate and
anything else trying to take her life! Where to go? Who needs to be
beaten?
Where is the opponent I need to defeat? I will absolutely not let him out of
my grasp — !!
In that instant, he was struck with pain.
His brain suddenly felt like it was burning, and was hurting intensely.
This was the same pain as when he obtained knowledge of Susanoo, the
burden brought by spirit vision.
Why was it appearing now? The previous time was because of using the
[Warrior] — activating Verethragna’s incarnation and injecting knowledge of
the god into the [Sword], right?
But at this time there should not be an incarnation that he could make use
of. No…
Or perhaps there actually existed an incarnation that could save Erica and
protect her?
The instant he thought that, the change occurred.
He saw it. Replacing his headache was spirit vision, which showed him
how to use the new power.
The feeling he felt when fighting Voban resurfaced, an incomparable sense
of omnipotence that filled his body and mind. Now I hold everything in my
hands and have obtained everything!
“Erica… I absolutely will never let you go, so please swear to me.”
Having mastered Verethragna’s fifth incarnation, Godou spoke the spell
words.
“Hurry up and swear! Stay by my side no matter what… Even if life is
coming to an end, even if the world itself is coming to an end, even if it
means battling all the gods, stay by my side forever.”
This was not ordinary speech but holy words infused with power usurped
from the gods.
At the same time, this was an arrogant king’s sacred decree that
demanded an everlasting oath.
Gazing at his majestic splendor from beside him, Erica’s beautiful
expression turned joyous and trance-like.
“Could you have awakened that incarnation? You finally mastered the
entirety of Verethragna!?”
“Quit the useless words. Do you want to make an oath? Now hurry and
decide!”
“Of course I swear! Until the day the world is destroyed, I will always stay
by your side, giving everything I’ve got!”
Erica immediately yelled in response to the stern scolding.
Accompanied by the most beautiful and most obedient smile from the
bottom of her heart that she had ever shown.
Hearing her oath, Godou nodded deeply.
The fifteen-year-old youth who shone with light.
This was the appearance chosen by the war god they met on Sardinia.
As the hero and the saint, Verethragna’s fifth incarnation that leads the
people and watches over them.
Mastering this power, Godou definitely could protect this girl. Thus, Erica
must now obtain the mark of the protector, Godou, and receive his
protection and blessing.
Godou pushed Erica’s slender body down upon the grass.
Though it was done roughly, neither of them minded. The two of them were
now the king and the protected, the dominator and the dominated.
Godou laid himself over the girl’s body, and once again took her lips.
” — Mmm, mmm — ”
He greedily savored the lips of the panting Erica.
It would have been more appropriate if he showed concern for her weak
body and treated her gently instead —
However, it was too late to stop, Godou advanced without resistance, his
lips pressed upon Erica’s, his tongue licking her thin lips and then reaching
deep into her mouth.
His tongue probed for Erica’s tongue, finding it and entangling together.
She responded in turn and yielded to his entanglement, and the two of
them tangled together without pause.
…The sound of mucous membranes harmoniously engaged in exchange
could be heard.
Pressed under Godou’s weight, Erica’s body breathed heavily. Though her
build was very delicate, her body was extremely voluptuous in all the right
places.
Warm and full of elasticity, her body gave an incredible tactile feeling, and
felt hotter than anything.
The pleasure of intimate contact with her, as well as the feeling of
intoxication produced by an uncountable repetition of kisses.
The intense heavy breathing of both sides gave Erica an intense feeling of
being alive.
Seeing Erica’s state of disarray, hearing her delicate breathing, smelling
her fragrance, tasting the flavor of her tongue and saliva, feeling Erica’s
warm skin —
The five senses, the mind, and the entire body were overcome with
pleasure as if drowned in honey.
However, Godou’s intention was not to seek such intoxication.
“Erica, starting now I will transmit my power — Verethragna’s to you. You
will likely suffer, but you must endure. Can you do it? Will you bear it?”
“Yes, I know, I will definitely endure… Please, Godou.”
She struggled to nod and affirm her oath despite her weak condition, and
Godou kissed her lips once again.
Lips and tongue, saliva and teeth, Godou left nothing untouched.
As he did so, Godou felt as if a channel opened up between Erica and him.
An invisible wizardry channel through which the strongest [Protection]
could be transmitted from one to the other.
Godou’s consciousness transmitted to his lower abdomen.
It was the energy center termed by Chinese medicine as the dantian^, in
other words, the deepest part of the body.
From there he began to raise his magical power and in the process distilled
pure magical power into [Protection].
From the lower abdomen to the abdomen, then to the chest, and finally
through the throat and transmitted to the mouth.
Magical power which rose up as if following the backbone was poured into
Erica’s mouth through the lips.
What converted this power into [Protection] was his feelings for her — the
wish to protect her and the hope to grant her power. Kusanagi Godou
prayed so in his heart.
“Godou… I can feel what you are giving to me.”
Fascinated, Erica murmured with her eyes closed.
Speaking as they kissed, each vibration of the lips, soft and sweet,
everything could be experienced.
However, this was simply the opening, and the climax had yet to be
reached.
In order to hasten the pouring of distilled [Protection] into her body, Godou
increased the flow rate.
” — !?”
Erica briefly moaned in discomfort.
Letting go of her lips for an instant, tears could be seen in the corner of her
eyes as she gasped for breath.
“Erica, if you cannot bear it…”
“No, it’s fine. Continue. It was the sudden increase in speed that gave me a
fright. This time I will endure; hurry up with the next step…?”
She was clearly putting up a front, but Godou pretended not to notice.
Erica Blandelli’s affections and body were all Godou’s possessions.
Forcing actions of pain and tolerance upon this girl was his exclusive right
and privilege.
He will not permit anyone else to cause any pain and suffering to Erica.
Now in direct proportion to the pain she received was the strongest
[Protection].
Godou looked at her once again, and Erica returned with a passionate
gaze. The two of them nodded in assent, and began another deep kiss…
“Mmmm — ! No problem, continue..!”
Erica painfully tensed her body.
Godou embraced her body tightly as support, holding her hand to provide
encouragement, and Erica gripped his hand in return. From the strength of
her grip, one could imagine the level of pain she was feeling.
Godou was no longer able to attend to her, and could only continue the
outpour of Verethragna’s [Protection] in one breath.
“Ah, aaaaaaaah!”
Erica cried out, but Godou did not stop. He could not hesitate.
Finally, the [Protection] reached the deepest part of her body, the
important energy center in the lower abdomen.
Erica’s cries became hoarse and unrecognizable.
As she tightly gripped Godou’s hand, her other hand that was embracing
him had left deep and bloody scratches along Godou’s back. While
enduring the pain, Godou continued to press his lips upon Erica’s.
She should be in much greater pain than me, so this is nothing.
The holy war god’s protection.
The seal of the victor bestowed by the glorious hero.
The pulse of magical energy delivered by Godou had temporarily
strengthened Erica’s body and mind.
A Campione had the tenacity to adapt to the environment of the Astral
Plane in a short time, the boundless life force to heal immediately from any
damage within a certain level, and the battle instincts to enter their
strongest condition during battle. All these qualities were now infused into
Erica’s body.
Erica’s body went limp.
Her entire body drenched with sweat, but no signs of pain could be seen
on her beautiful face any more.
She tightly held Godou’s hand and smiled quietly.
Her smile carried a sliver of fatigue, but it was a very agreeable sense of
tiredness.
Godou separated from her, though he felt a slight reluctance to leave
Erica’s burning hot and lithe body. However, if this posture continued it
could get problematic…
Erica also got up immediately.
Her face full of smiles, she pounced upon the unwary Godou. Her weight
felt rather comfortable.
However, Godou’s rationality told him, this cannot continue.
“W-Wait a minute! The ritual’s over, and Verethragna’s protection is
already within your body, so it doesn’t need to continue…”
“Of course I am aware of that. This is my return gift to Godou’s love.
Accept it obediently.”
This time it was Godou’s turn to be pushed down by Erica.
Looks like once she recovered, she immediately reversed their top-down
positions.
“l-lt wasn’t love, more like friendship and concern — ”
“No, it’s love, I understand.”
Her lips drawing near, it had been quite a while since he last experienced a
kiss initiated by Erica.
In order to escape the situation, Godou was going to resist with force, but
before he finished his thought, he gave up… For some unknown reason,
he suddenly lost that compulsion. Might as well continue with this position
for now.
Eventually letting go of his lips, Erica showed a smile that said, “Pass.”
References
1. t Man’youshuu: the “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”(77 5jtll) is
the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry. Ena’s incantation
here comes from poem #2663 in the Man’youshuu.
2. t Rakshasa: a race of mythological humanoid beings or unrighteous
spirits in Hinduism and Buddhism, also called
man-eaters. http://en.wi kipedia.org/wiki/Rakshasa
3. t Juunihitoe(-h— #-^): literally “twelve-layer robe”, the juunihitoe is
an extremely elegant and highly complex kimono that was worn only
by court-ladies in Japan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%ABnihitoe
4. t Dantian(^-BS): located below the navel (about three finger widths
down and two finger widths deep), a point associated with cultivating
life energy (qi) and vital essence.

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