Campione! / Campione! Vol 7 Chapter 2


Chapter 2 – The Three Spirits, Reunited on
Wakoku’s^ Sacred Mountain
Part 1
Kirifuri Plateau was about a few dozens of minutes away from the streets
of Nikkou City by car.
These highlands were blessed with natural scenery such as Mount
Akanagi and Mount Maru, as well as the beautiful Kirifuri River. Other than
hiking routes, there were also ski resorts, ranches, golf courses and other
facilities.
Godou and his group had escaped to camping grounds in the area of
Kirifuri Plateau.
“Ouch. It still hurts a lot…”
Godou complained as he sat on a wooden chair on the porch of a little
wooden cabin.
This was a camp site on the plateau. The aroma of nearby outdoor cooking
wafted over. Almost all the tourists who came traveling as a family, as well
as Liliana and Yuri, were making dinner.
Gazing up, one could see the beautiful autumn constellations twinkling in
the night sky.
Despite the beauty of the scenery, Godou was still in a bad mood.
He had taken a great deal of damage during the fight against Luo Hao. A
normal person would have died instantly from several dozen instances of
broken bones and a couple cases of ruptured internal organs. Godou’s
entire body was hurting like crazy, and he felt nauseous a couple of times.
Most of all, he worried about Mariya Hikari.
Being possessed by the Great Sage made her a hostage. He really wanted
to go save her straight away, however —
“With my current grave injuries, there’s probably no way…”
Godou sighed.
His earlier self would have rushed in recklessly to save Hikari without a
second thought.
But Godou had already become accustomed to these kinds of crises.
Anyway, how could he prove that Mariya Hikari was currently the Great
Sage Equaling Heaven? What could he do to drive the deity out from
inside her body? How should he handle the terrifying divine power he had
just witnessed?
There were too many problems. What he had to do now was to find
answers to them.
Since Luo Hao was not present, the only one here who could save Hikari
was Kusanagi Godou. As a man in this situation, if he were to lose control
to his emotions, that would be unforgivable stupidity.
Warned by his sense of reason and responsibility… Godou was determined
to adhere to those principles.
However, he hated his current self who was weighing trade-offs rationally,
and would rather act according to his emotions. If he was just an ordinary
person living a peaceful life, panicking should be the normal reaction to a
situation like this…
“Right, let me call Sayanomiya-san and see.”
Godou suppressed his self-revulsion, and took out his cellphone.
What he needed the most right now was information. Dialing the number
recorded in his contacts, the call immediately connected.
‘Wonderful, I was just about to contact you first. By the way, I already know
all about the outcome of your battle with that Cult Leader, as well as what
happened afterwards, so you don’t need to explain.’
“Could it be Amakasu-san who told you?”
Godou made his deduction from Sayanomiya’s words.
That ninja descendant would definitely report important news like this, so
there was nothing to be surprised about.
‘You are correct… But I lost contact with him an hour ago. I am currently
discussing with my subordinates whether to list him as Missing In Action.’
The History Compilation Committee Tokyo Branch Chief, who was also a
Hime-Miko, spoke softly in a slightly gloomy tone.
Thanks to him, I’ll have to come personally to Nikkou. So, Kusanagi-san,
we will meet tomorrow morning. Please rest properly and conserve your
energy for now. Whenever a god makes an appearance, Campiones are
mankind’s only saviors.’
“Sayanomiya-san will be coming here as well?”
‘If Amakasu was around, I would have him on standby near Utsunomiya so
that I can make decisions based on his reports about the developing
situation. After all, with regard to news from the scene, the more accurate
the better.’
It seemed like Amakasu was greatly trusted by his boss.
Rather than listen to the report of someone else apart from him, Kaoru
preferred going to the scene herself.
‘I am now summoning the personnel for the expedition to Nikkou. Oh by
the way, Ena will be arriving at the scene first, so she will be meeting
Kusanagi-san over there.’
“It’s Seishuuin!”
‘Yes. I suspect she will likely wander around first rather than show up at
your place immediately. However, she is a girl with very strong instincts, so
she will surely make her appearance at a suitable time. Also, the handling
of Hikari will be up to your decision. Whatever choice you make, I will bear
complete responsibility.’
“What you mean is… It’s fine even if I give up on her?”
Godou could not stop himself from uttering such cold words.
At this particular moment, he felt the same revulsion for Kaoru as he felt
towards himself just now.
‘Put it another way… If you were to ignore the plights of innocent citizens
whose only wish is to live peacefully, or even sacrifice them to save Hikari,
we will follow your orders… Kusanagi-san, this is a special right and
responsibility that only you are entitled to.’
“Special right and responsibility?”
‘Yes, perhaps you can call it a king’s job, in other words, the right to make
decisions.’
Godou finally understood what Kaoru wanted to tell him.
The manner in which the incident should be resolved was entirely up to
Godou’s decision, because a Campione was not only a warrior, but also a
[King] whose power lorded over the world.
Entrusted with the heavy responsibility of the right to make decisions,
Godou ended the phone call.
“Godou-san, dinner is ready.”
Yuri had returned to the porch to call for Godou.
She had changed out of her miko outfit into a long-sleeved shirt and a
flounced skirt. With goodness knows what kind of magic, the girls had
somehow managed to retrieve the luggage they had left in Amakasu’s car.
“Got it, Mariya. About the matter of Hikari…”
“Regarding that matter, actually I discussed it with Erica-san and
Liliana-san just now. Since Hikari was using the power of disaster
purification to neutralize the Great Sage’s [Keeper of the Horses] spell, she
should be very safe. After all, it is the Great Sage himself who is protecting
her now…”
Yuri replied in a resolute and clear manner.
“Therefore, Erica-san and Liliana-san both agree that Godou-san should
not anxiously make a rash decision. As a Hime-Miko, I also approve of
their opinions.”
Her words were full of righteous awe and responsibility, as befitting Yuri’s
title of “Hime.”
Yuri was not the least shaken by her younger sister’s crisis. Wait a
minute… Was she really completely unmoved? It was possible she was
only pretending to be composed.
“Now that you mention it, where is that fellow Erica?”
“Chatting with the people who provided the camping grounds for us to
use… She has already become very popular with them. It is very amazing
of her, right? As soon as I mentioned to her we needed to prepare dinner,
she helped me obtain the fish and meat we needed, and even got us
dessert and fruit as well.”
Unlike the area around Toushouguu, it was very peaceful here. Erica was
apparently flexing her skillful diplomacy as usual.
“I see… That fellow’s wounds are pretty much healed by now? I’m glad to
know that.”
Erica’s injuries were definitely not light, but the healing magic had
apparently worked its effect.
However, Yuri frowned at this moment.
“By ‘that fellow’ you must be referring to Erica-san? Does that mean
Godou-san you still have not fully recovered?”
“Ah? No, I’m almost fine, you don’t have to worry.”
Noticing his mistake, Godou frantically tried to tide things over.
“No lying. Why are you trying to pretend you are well?”
“This question… How should I put it…”
Yuri’s lips were shimmering with a colorful hue of pink as she questioned.
Godou’s vivid memories began to reawaken. He recalled the healing she
had provided during the Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi incident, as well as
just now when she transferred knowledge for him to defeat Luo Hao.
If Godou revealed the present poor condition of his body, she would likely
use “that method” to heal him!
“K-Kusanagi-san! A-As a Hime-Miko, though I have the duty to assist
you…”
Yuri was apparently thinking of the same thing, and her highly respectable
face turned bright red.
“However… My indulgence in those actions multiple times, still feels
repulsive to a certain extent, making me hesitant in a number of areas…”
“You are completely right. Yes, I understand!”
Wonderful, it looked like that could be avoided… Just as Godou felt
relieved, Yuri immediately declared rather problematically.
“However… If you are really in pain… I would still like to offer my power to
assist you. All things considered, you were hurt for the sake of my younger
sister, and for the both of us. If I can help you after all, I will still…”
Yuri shyly lowered her gaze, but she was actually trying to convince
herself.
Though she was so embarrassed that even her neck was red, Yuri still said
it out loud.
“After all, I… still want to.. .with you…”
Godou swallowed hard. Yuri’s stuttering made her even more charming
than her angry appearance earlier.
Of course he wanted to accept treatment if possible, but Godou couldn’t let
himself force her to do that sort of thing. Absolutely not. With mixed
feelings, Godou fell silent.
How did Yuri interpret Godou’s silence?
Yuri’s expression went through agonizing, doubt and hesitation. Then she
spoke softly:
“We… We will be seen here, but I will not mind if we go over there…”
Yuri whispered softly as she glanced into the wooden cabin.
Hmm!? The meaning of her words turned out to be — Godou was
completely speechless.
“Please wait a minute? How can you keep burdening poor Yuri with such
tasks, it’s a bit unfair, oh? It is now time to assign areas of responsibility
properly in a fair manner.”
“Erica-san!?”
Unbeknownst to them, the [Diavolo Rosso] had begun standing outside the
porch.
Erica’s red-tinged brilliant blonde hair was like a crown. As Godou stared
back at her usual glamor, he somehow felt a sense of fright with a guilty
conscience.
“I believe that whether I or Yuri, both of us need to evenly proportion the
time to enjoy our love with Godou. After all, if unfairness is not corrected, it
could very well affect the harmony of the group. Say, Yuri, you’ve already
done a lot of things with Godou today, right?”
” — !? Erica-san, why are you suddenly asking such a thing?”
Forthcoming and inexperienced in the ways of the world, Yuri was a
terrible liar. She did not even attempt a perfunctory answer, and easily
admitted to the accusation.
“This is an equation that even a primary school student can solve. Since
Godou used the [Sword] in the fight against Luo Hao, who gave him the
knowledge? There was only one person with the opportunity to do so
today.”
“Y-Yes that is very true…”
“So it should be enough for today, right? Please let me have this rare
opportunity to affirm my love with Godou. As for next time, no question
about it, I will let Yuri have first priority — ”
What on earth was she saying in front of the primary subject!?
Godou frantically jumped up from his chair, intending to escape.
Silently, Erica drew near and pressed down on his shoulder. Though it
seemed like she was simply resting her arm gracefully, the weight applied
was terrifying. As usual, she was using her monstrous strength.
“Godou, sorry you had to wait for so long. Now that the conclusion is clear,
let us enjoy our passionate moment together? Hoho, it’s been quite a while
since I last affirmed your tactile sensations like this.”
A seductive smile appeared on Erica’s face as she sat on Godou’s knees.
The soft and gentle sensation from his knees delivered to Godou a very
comfortable sense of weight and pressure.
“Come, relax. I will help heal your injuries right away.”
Erica whispered softly as she leaned against him. Of course, her body also
pressed against Godou’s chest, and Erica’s voluptuous bosom felt like
elastic balls being squeezed between them.
“Hey, could you actually be intending to do that here!? Mariya is watching
right over there!”
“You are correct. Strike while the iron is hot. Before you change your
mind…”
“That issue never existed! I had no mood to do these things from the very
beginning — wan!”
In the end, Erica’s cherry lips sealed his mouth.
Perhaps due to the lipstick she wore today, Erica’s lips had a smooth and
shiny feeling to them, and the taste was accompanied with much viscosity.
The blonde beauty bit and licked Godou’s lips and their tongues began to
tangle. The two of them exchanged saliva naturally, which mixed within
their mouths. The sticky lipstick also began to be rubbed off.
“By the way, Godou, I hope you take more initiative in kissing me in the
future. Though this is nice, I still love your unruliness last time. Hoho…
Actually, every time I recall what happened then, my heart begins to race, I
beg you, please…”
As her kissing descended without pause like rain with great playfulness,
Erica begged Godou as if wanting to be spoiled.
Her eyes were relaxed as if intoxicated, unlike their usual sharp and
intelligent appearance. This rare facial expression, full of vulnerability,
carried an unbearable sense of loveliness. However, this meant Godou
was failing in his original goal —
Catching Yuri in the corner of his eye, Godou found her mournfully
lowering her gaze.
No! Godou forcefully shoved Erica away, escaping from the confines of her
sweet embrace.
“Godou, the healing spell is not complete, what are you doing!?”
“l-lt is not necessary. I still feel this is not very appropriate. For the sake of
battle, to engage in these activities so many times, that’s… Kissing is not
good.”
“How could you still say that at this point? Didn’t you ask me to swear
eternal loyalty to you last time?”
Erica’s reproach made Godou lower his gaze. Having said those words in
the heat of the moment that time… It was a painful memory that continued
to trouble him. Worst of all was Yuri’s current shock at the matter.
“Eh? Eternal loyalty? What on earth is that about…?”
“Come to think of it, I don’t think I mentioned it to Yuri yet.”
Chuckling “hoho” to herself, Erica smiled triumphantly and answered Yuri
with an intoxicated expression in her eyes:
“Godou was really a piece of work. He made me say something like this.
Even if the world was about to be destroyed, I had to swear to stay by his
side through life and death. Godou that time was very rough, very gallant,
but also very charming. Even though I like the usual Godou very much,
that kind of aggression is great once in a while.”
“G-Godou-san! When did you and Erica-san…!”
“You people are so noisy… What on earth are you arguing about?”
Just as the troubled expression Yuri made a few days ago at Nanao Shrine
appeared on her face once again, an awe-inspiring voice and the
fragrance of spices drifted over.
Liliana had appeared, carrying the newly prepared curry.
“Nothing, umm… Actually, it’s no big deal…”
Erica turned her face away, while Yuri became frantic, and only Godou
was left to attempt an explanation.
After hearing the gist of the situation, Liliana couldn’t help but sigh.
“Really… The matter of women entering into conflict over your affections,
was exactly what I have been worrying about. As expected, it is imperative
for me to stay by your side as your premier knight and assist you.”
Liliana warned Godou with the same kind of tone as a wife would reproach
an unfaithful husband.
“So, I have a great idea to solve this dispute here. Would you all like to
listen?”
“Yes, please tell me, thanks.”
Godou nodded.
Perhaps the witch Liliana could have some other method to apply magic to
a Campione without needing mouth to mouth contact. Godou was filled
with anticipation.
“I believe in situations like this, I should be the one kissing you to apply the
healing magic. If you do not wish to see your lovers engaging in a quarrel
over such a task, then let me do it as your premier knight. This is the one
and only, and at the same time, best solution.”
“That totally doesn’t solve anything!”
Godou resolutely refused the loyal and capable, but frequently
unpredictable knight.
Part 2
In the end, Godou went directly to dinner without accepting anyone’s
healing.
Godou decided to just endure it, since he should be fine after a good
night’s rest as usual.
The night’s dishes included typical outdoor campsite cooking such as curry
rice and barbecued meat. There was also fish that Erica brought back
which were made into salt roasted salmon and rainbow trout. Along with
boiled mountain vegetables, the assortment of dishes was quite a varied
offering. They decided to have dinner outside instead of inside the wooden
cabin.
Though they did not pick this place for the fun of eating outdoors, it turned
out to be a way to increase the enjoyment of the meal.
Despite the delicious cooking, Godou’s spirits remained low.
All would be well if he could handle things alone and put in all his effort.
However, in a battle against the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Sun
Wukong, there was the problem of whom he should kiss to obtain the
knowledge required for the godslaying [Sword].
Previous incidents were all sudden emergencies that left him no choice but
to take the lips of young girls by force.
This time was different. In the near future, a battle with the Great Sage was
imminent, and preparations had to be made in advance. Should he ask
Erica, Yuri or Liliana? What words could he say to allow them to act
without being forced…?
Perhaps infected by Godou’s melancholy, the dinner atmosphere was very
quiet.
“Everyone should be full now, so let’s begin discussing the real issue?”
At such a time, the only one capable of actively changing the mood was
Erica.
“Victory could likely be very simple against the Great Sage… I believe so.
What does everyone think?”
“Is it because of the fact that he suddenly stopped when he could have
given me a finishing blow?”
Realizing what Erica was getting at, Godou offered his input.
“Yes, for the Great Sage, it was a rare opportunity to kill a Campione
without breaking a sweat. But he suddenly gave up.”
“It was definitely unnatural. He had no reason to show mercy at that time.”
Recalling her memories from a few hours ago, Liliana could not help
frowning.
“The first possibility that comes to mind, is that he is having trouble with his
body. It bears mentioning that the Great Sage chose to steal Hikari’s body
in order to neutralize the [Keeper of the Horses]’s binding spell.”
The one who presented her opinion was Mariya Yuri, the older sister of the
possessed Hikari.
“In this case, Hikari’s spirit powers have limits. Since she does not have
the ability to completely dispel the great wizardry that seals the deity, her
power is steadily consumed to maintain the effect. Once her body
becomes too tired and unable to use disaster purification, would the Great
Sage not be affected by the [Keeper of the Horses] once again?”
“That’s right, which is why he avoided a battle with Godou. I don’t think this
speculation is over optimistic. It is a sound theory.”
Erica spoke to sum up Yuri’s speculation.
“But no matter how the situation develops, if Godou wants to defeat the
Great Sage, the [Sword]’s spell words will be essential. Here lies the
problem. Liliana and I are both unclear on the details of the divinity of the
Great Sage as a Chinese deity. How about you, Yuri?”
“I too, only know the basics and none of the details…”
“If that’s the case, then Mariya Yuri’s spirit vision is our only hope to
discern the true nature of that war god?”
Liliana pondered deeply with a troubled expression.
It was said that whether spirit vision succeeds in receiving divine insight
was entirely up to fate. However, Yuri did possess outstanding spirit vision
powers, and had great success rates in seeing through the true nature of
gods. On the other hand, there was no guarantee in the timing of visions,
which could be five minutes or even five years later.
“In all instances so far when I was able to discern a deity’s true nature, it
was always in the presence of a god or a Campione. Like the battles with
Marquis Voban or Her Eminence Luo Hao, so this time I should be able
to…”
Yuri spoke quietly with great resolution.
She usually did not employ her spirit vision with such fervor and initiative,
but this time was different. Obviously it was because she was trying hard to
save her sister. Godou also felt that he had to help her with all his strength.
However, Godou was still agonizing about the required ritual to receive
knowledge about the Great Sage’s divinity.
“By the way… Why can a monkey become [Steel]?”
In order to steer his thoughts away from the magical union, Godou raised
the question that had occupied his mind since the day time.
…With an inevitable confrontation against a deity, he no longer had the
luxury of indulging his little wish of avoiding learning trivia about gods.
Troublesome things sure had no end to them.
“Well… In Europe when wild beasts with the deepest connections to [Steel]
are mentioned, dragons and snakes inevitably come up.”
Liliana answered thoughtfully, and Erica nodded and agreed.
“That’s right, it was quite clear from the case of Perseus. A hero of [Steel]
is a warrior god who subdues a dragon or a snake, taking its power. But
there shouldn’t be any examples related to monkeys.”
“Precisely because he subdued dragons and snakes, the Great Sage
Equaling Heaven became the monkey god.”
The one who spoke was the Japanese Hime-Miko Yuri.
“During the daytime at Toushouguu’s divine stable, it was already
mentioned that Japan and China had ancient legends about monkeys
keeping watch over horses. Dragons and horses are actually extremely
related existences, as evidenced by the ancient practice of calling
exceptional stallions ‘Dragon Horses.’ Hence there is a saying that ‘the
heavenly horse and the divine dragon are one of a kind. Now that the
horse has come today, a dragon’s visit is imminent.’^”
In other words, there was the possibility that dragons and horses were
interchangeable. Liliana interrupted.
“Though in different forms, dragons existed in both the east and the west.
Do you all know why? It is because this sacred beast originated in Central
Asia and the original prototypes were virtually the same in appearance.
The European dragon’s prototype is the ancient Sumerian dragon; that one
is a classic. If we trace back the origins of the Chinese dragon, its
appearance should also resemble the Sumerian dragon.”
“Could it be… similar to a horse?”
“Yes, back in ancient times, the dragon’s appearance was once described
as ‘a horse with horns.’ As time went on, its image assimilated the [Snake],
a symbol of mother earth deities, thus obtaining the scaly and slender body
along with the shortened limbs. In the west, the dragon further received
wings while its limbs became extremely short in the east, resulting in the
current appearances.”
Dragons and snakes were originally unrelated species. Perhaps it was
their shared fate of being vanquished by heroes of [Steel] that caused
them to somehow evolve into close relatives. Thus Liliana concluded.
“Speaking of the Great Sage, Journey to the West bears mentioning… You
all might think that he is just a character that appears in the story, but in
reality, he was a deity with a long history that is an amalgamation of all
sorts of faiths and heritages. The legend of his journey accompanying the
monk Sanzang 1 J to bring back Buddhist scriptures, had spread to Japan at
a very early age, and can even be found in Noh^ plays.”
Godou was very surprised by the things Yuri mentioned.
“Noh plays? You mean the likes of Kanami^ and Zeami^?”
“Correct. The plays Great Prajha^ and Sanzou the Monk are thought to
have existed during Zeami’s time.”
Just as Godou began to feel that Sun Wukong was very troublesome,
Erica also began to speak.
“Anyway, let’s end the optimistic speculation here. It’s time we discuss the
pessimistic scenario? Regarding Hikari who has been possessed by the
Great Sage.”
“You mean the case where she cannot be saved?”
The meaning exactly described by the label of “pessimistic.” This was the
question Sayanomiya Kaoru hinted at earlier.
Hikari’s physical body was under complete control of the Great Sage.
Could she be rescued by defeating that monkey god? Was this solution
actually feasible…
“Yes. Admittedly, she is adorable, and I really look forward to her future
possibilities. Personally I would want to rescue her no matter what, but the
History Compilation Committee doesn’t think so, right?”
“Yes, Sayanomiya-san did mention that in the worst case scenario, I can
choose to abandon that child.”
“That’s right, I would have made the same decision if I were a core leader
in the Committee. If Godou insists on rescuing Mariya Hikari, he cannot
fight the Great Sage seriously, and this has severe consequences. Put it
another way, if sacrificing just one girl allowed the defeat of a [Heretic
God], it is actually a very cheap price to pay.”
Erica’s expression was very solemn. She likely brought up this issue to
make sure priorities were straight even in the direst of situations. At the
same time, she wanted to confirm the preparedness of Godou’s
determination.
Liliana frowned while Yuri listened with a worried expression. Erica’s
wording was an argument that Liliana could not possibly accept as a noble
knight. For Mariya Yuri, it was like saying abandoning her younger sister
was the best course of action.
As Godou entered into deep thought, Erica relaxed her shoulders and
smiled.
“Relax, everyone. That was just the worst case scenario. We haven’t even
begun the battle against Great Sage, so worrying at this point is
meaningless. Let’s all rest for today. Our first priority is to save enough
energy for the fight tomorrow.”
Part 3
The area of Lake Chuuzenji was located across the Iroha-zaka route.
The mountain of Nantaisan was on the north shore, and had an altitude of
2486m above sea level.
Legends had it that the first person to reach the summit was Great Monk
Shoudou, the founder of Nikkou. During the second year of the Tenou
period, i.e. the year 782 CE, Great Monk Shoudou failed his second
consecutive attempt to reach the summit. On the third time, he resolved
himself, declaring that “I will not enter enlightenment unless I reach the
summit,” and finally fulfilled his wish.
This place was actually a volcano. Due to the high concentration of iron,
the soil and rocks in the area had a reddish brown color. The Nikkou
mountain range was both a volcano and a treasure trove of minerals, as
well as a famous volcanic zone in Japan.
For a war god of [Steel], volcanoes and minerals were like the hot water
used to bathe and cleanse a newborn child.
“For the purpose of increasing my power, there is no better place than
this…”
The Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Sun Wukong muttered to himself on the
mountaintop.
The body and the voice belonged to Mariya Hikari, but the personality and
divine power were that of the heretical monkey god’s. He sat on a reddish
brown rock, muttering to himself.
Embedded in a giant rock at this high altitude, was a rusted divine sword.
The portion of the sword sticking out of the rock was around 3m in length,
and was reminiscent of the sword in the stone from the story of King
Arthur.
“Lil’ Bro, you’re finally here. But you should have appeared a while ago,
what took you this long? What happened?”
The Great Sage asked with incredulity.
His eyes focused their gaze upon the strange person walking up the
mountain path before him.
The newcomer had pitch black skin, stiff spiky hair as bright red as a
burning flame, sharply shaped eyes, a wide gaping mouth, a necklace of
nine small skulls strung together hanging around his neck, and he was
wearing a simple and modest monk’s habit.
His name was Vaisravana^, the deity whom Amakasu Touma last
identified as the “General of the Deep Sands.”
“Big Bro, apologies for my lateness.”
In spite of his vicious appearance like an evil spirit’s, Vaisravana spoke
very calmly, though his voice carried a sense of melancholy, like a person
who suffered so much torment that he wanted to commit suicide.
“I met Middle Bro along the way and came together with him.”
“Oh? That guy also appeared.”
“Yes. The two of us walked a long way, but just as we approached this
place, Middle Bro suddenly said: ‘Lil’ Bro, it has been a long time since we
returned to the mortal realm. It’d be nice to take a break here.’ I told him
‘Isn’t that a bad idea?’ But Middle Bro replied: ‘Stupid! The precepts of
Buddhism may emphasize the Three Treasures^ of Buddha, Dharma and
Sangha, but the world is much bigger than that. Booze, gambling, and
women — boobs, butts, and lovely legs. In the mortal realm, these Three
Treasures are waiting for us instead.’ That was what he said.”
Vaisravana recounted gloomily, but he took on a cheerful voice whenever
he quoted the Middle Brother’s lines. In contrast to his usual deathly
gloomy demeanor, he apparently possessed a side highly talented in
acting as well.
Hearing these words, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Sun Wukong
whispered softly in amazement.
“Is that so? How ridiculous, his Three Treasures! So you guys are delayed
for so long because you were seeking those frivolous Three Treasures?”
“Yes, Big Bro. That is why I left him halfway and hurried over instead.”
“Come on! Just like before, he is completely failing to consider the
situation. Out with you, god of the mountain, transmit my voice to my silly
little brother!”
The Great Sage Equaling Heaven performed a mudra with one hand and
summoned a tree spirit. It was an extremely fragile divinity that could not
take physical form in the mortal realm, and only possessed a spirit body
with neither shape nor color, and no outstanding powers.
However, it was able to seek out targeted deities, and transmit voices
across distances like the echoes of a Yama-bikoJ 10 ^
The results appeared a while after the instructions were given.
” — Big Bro, Big Bro! You’re so mean!”
The third divine spirit finally arrived, flying on a black cloud.
Despite his chubby appearance and plump build, extraordinary muscles
were hidden beneath the layer of fat. Furthermore, this person had a [Pig]’s
face.
The face with a long snout was densely covered by short black fur.
He had round and shiny eyes, short and triangular ears that stood up
stiffly, and two short but sharp tusks that protruded out on both sides of his
snout.
“It’s been so long since I last came to the mortal realm, and just as I
happened to find a lively village, and was going to enjoy myself, Big Bro
summons me over — that’s so mean!”
The one who kept complaining was the black pig spirit, Zhu GanglieJ 11 ^
“Enough, you talk too much! You were never able to cease your obsession
with the pleasures of the mundane world…”
“This is so wrong. Without good wine, good food, women and wealth, life in
this world would be meaningless. Big Bro, you really must change your
monkey-like but totally unfun lifestyle. Let the smell of cosmetics hang all
over you… By the way, Big Bro…”
“What is it, Middle Bro?”
“I just wanted to say that Big Bro’s appearance is really cute this time… A
face like white jade, it’s so pretty. Kukuku, those lips are just like cherries.
This tiny little body fascinates me oh so very much…”
Zhu Ganglie jumped down to the surface from the black cloud.
Standing on the reddish brown rock, he kept staring at Mariya Hikari’s face
nonstop. And so, the Great Sage kicked a little stone by his feet.
“Hah — ”
The little stone flew into the air and smashed into Zhu Ganglie’s forehead.
“Ouch! Big Bro, why are you so mean!”
“Nothing much, I just wanted to remind you that staring at this body with
eyes of lust could be dangerous. Don’t be too concerned.”
“I am very concerned!”
“By the way, Big Bro only possessed this little girl in order to release the
binding spell of the [Keeper of the Horses]… But you don’t look too well.”
Vaisravana spoke in a gloomy tone, and the Great Sage nodded in
agreement.
“Yes, the [Keeper of the Horses] took away my divine power and mettle of
the Handsome Monkey King, turning me into a harmless monkey. I
originally thought that I could dispel the binding spell by possessing this
miko’s body… But the fellow’s power suffers from frequent interruptions.”
“What do you mean by interruptions?”
“The reason why I can maintain the consciousness of the Great Sage
Equaling Heaven, is because of this Hime-Miko’s disaster purification. But
no matter what, this little girl is just a human. Using spirit techniques
consumes stamina, making rest necessary and I cannot move freely
whenever the miko’s body is resting. It is already quite fortunate for me to
be able to summon forth you two helpers.”
If this challenge was not overcome soon enough, it would become a fatal
weakness.
Thus the Great Sage chanted the dharani, and summoned two gods as
allies.
These two were the junior disciples who shared the same master with Sun
Wukong. Through the effects of the Great Sage’s powerful spell, Zhu
Wuneng^ and Sha Wujing^ — these two gods had heavenly origins
and were summoned as [Heretic Gods] with the identities Zhu Ganglie and
Vaisravana.
As a side note, their Buddhist names bearing the common character of
“Wu”^ were only bestowed after they were subdued and became the
disciples of Monk Sanzang, hence the difference in names.
Zhu Ganglie and Vaisravana were their original names before being
subdued.
“Lend me your divine powers, so that I can break through the [Keeper of
the Horses]. Simply weakening the binding spell is not enough. I must
utterly destroy the main culprit that prevents the recovery of my freedom.”
“I see, that’s right.”
“Yes, acknowledged.”
Hearing the orders of their Big Bro, Zhu Ganglie smiled proudly while
Vaisravana nodded.
The Great Sage Equaling Heaven walked next to the divine sword
embedded vertically in the rock.
“Qian is strength; Kun, of docility; Zhen, of stimulus to movement; Xun, of
penetration; Kan, of what is precipitous and perilous; Li, of what is bright
and what is catching; Zhen, of stoppage or arrest; and Dui, of pleasure and
satisfaction.”^ 5]
The Great Sage grabbed the blade of the divine sword with his hands and
began to chant the spell words.
The divine sword, which resembled a rusted stick of iron, instantly
disappeared and was absorbed by the Great Sage who had possessed the
body of Hikari Mariya.
Using this opportunity, the spiritual and divine energies buried in Nantaisan
were drawn out and concentrated into the monkey king warlord of steel.
“O Wisdom of steel originating from the Far West, and divine might of iron!
Using the pedigree of this divine sword as the foundation, I, Great Sage
Equaling Heaven, Sun Wukong enacts the spell to lift curses!”
Absorbing the immense divine powers of Nantaisan and the divine sword,
the Great Sage bellowed loudly.
Flames appeared from behind his back. Like the intense burning fires at an
iron forge, the pillars of flame gave off great heat.
“Namah samanta vajranam canda maharosana sphotaya hum trat ham
mam namah samanta vajranam canda maharosana sphotaya hum trat
ham.” [16]
As the Great Sage recited the spell words, Zhu Ganglie and Vaisravana
joined in as well.
“Namah samanta vajranam, namah samanta vajranam.”
“Om vaisravanaye svaha. Om vaisravanaye svaha. Om vaisravanaye
svaha.” [17]
Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing — the three divine spirits chanted
spell words with their hearts united as one.
They were chaotic divinities that originated from the Daoist realm but also
became adherents of Buddhism. These are the complicated origins of the
many different spell words they currently chanted.
The chanting continued for several hours, and the sun began to rise over
the eastern horizon.
Paying respect to the rising sun, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven
combined the volcano’s spiritual energy with the divine might of the sword,
with assistance from the divine power of his two juniors. Finally, he
succeeded in the [Swordj’s forging, and the flaming divine sword
manifested in his right hand majestically.
This was the Kulikaa Sword^, the sword of wisdom that severs the Three
Poisons of Ignorance, Attachment and Aversion.^
Superficially similar to Verethragna’s [Sword] that Kusanagi Godou used, it
was fundamentally different. The Kulikaa Sword currently embedded in the
giant rock was a symbol of Acala and a divine sword that vanquished evil
and lifted curses.
“Big Bro, you sure made something rare here.”
“This is a sword of [Steel] that hails from foreign lands just like me. I
borrowed it from the monk that has intimate ties with this piece of land.”
The Great Sage answered Zhu Ganglie’s query briefly. The worship of
Acala^ was brought to Japan from China by Grand Master KuukaiJ 21 ^ It
is said that he was the one who came up with the name of Nikkou for this
place, and also the one who left behind the Futarasan Stone Tablet in the
biography of the pioneering Great Monk Shoudou.
“Exorcising sword of justice that vanquishes all disasters — infinitely
incomparable to a human miko’s disaster purification, sever the spell of the
[Keeper of the Horses], and return to me my freedom!”
As the Great Sage raised Kulikaa Sword high towards the eastern sky,
flames burst out from the blade and shot out.
The flames produced by the sword of wisdom were the weapons to lift the
binding spell of the [Keeper of the Horses].
“But Big Bro, is this really OK?”
“Lil’ Bro, what’s the problem? I am just about to make a cool decisive pose,
be quick with it.”
Vaisravana spoke gloomily to the Great Sage who responded as he
manipulated the flames.
“Very well, I will be frank. The great wizardry spell has been deeply rooted
in these lands for the past three hundred years. Furthermore, it was put
into place not only by ordinary mortals but also with participation from the
gods and wizards living in the Netherworld. If you suddenly dispel it,
wouldn’t the results be rather unpredictable?”
“You love worrying too much, my Lil’ Bro. How could something like that be
possible — ”
The words had scarcely left his mouth when the Great Sage — Mariya
Hikari’s adorable face became enshrouded by a layer of worry.
“In other words, such a possibility does exist?”
“Don’t talk like it’s for certain! We are gods, even if the sky falls down, we’ll
just prop it back up!”
“Ah, Big Bro, please take a look. There seems to be something over there.”
Zhu Ganglie pointed to the east. The peaks of the Nikkou mountain range
were shrouded by morning mist. Down below, Lake Chuuzenji and the
streets of the humans were illuminated by the hues of dawn.
“Oh, he came here just to suppress me!”
From between the clouds of dawn, a spirit appeared in the form of a
handsome youth and descended with splendor.
Wearing the traditional armor of ancient Chinese generals, he wielded a
three-pronged spear. In addition to a pair of elegant and slender eyes, he
also possessed a third [Eye] on his forehead.
The handsome three-eyed divine general was the visible manifestation of
the [Keeper of the Horses] binding spell.
“Haha, how thoughtful of them to reproduce the divine appearance of the
True Lord Erlang^ to such a degree.”
“Big Bro, please hold back for now. The two of us will protect you here.”
Zhu Ganglie and Vaisravana did as they spoke and stood in front of the
Great Sage.
In the past when the Great Sage came out to the surface world, he had
always been taken back to Saitenguu by this spirit. Would the past be
repeated again? This time he had the protection of his two sworn brothers.
Facing the [Keeper of the Horses] spirit brandishing the three-pronged
spear, Zhu Ganglie wielded his Nine-Toothed Rake while Vaisravana
attacked head on with a treasure staff that had a core of steel.
As his sworn brothers guarded him, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven
vigorously waved the Kulikaa Sword and threw it towards the eastern sky
with a sound like slicing wind.
Like a falling meteor, the flaming sword flew across the sky. Soon after, it
fell and landed, embedding its blade into the surface of the ground, ripping
apart the [Keeper of the Horses] wizardry cast on the lands of Nikkou. The
manifested spirit immediately vanished without a trace.
With the disappearance of the three-eyed divine general, the Great Sage
immediately yelled:
“Excellent, the interloper has vanished! From now on, we three brothers
will work together and build our kingdom of paradise on this vast land!
First, let’s gather my people and bestow upon them the blessing of
immortality just like what I did in the past at the Water Curtain Cave in the
Mountain of Fruit and Flowers!”
“Hmm, I want boobs, butts and thighs. A place without women cannot be
called a kingdom of paradise!”
“Ah… I don’t really have any particular desires, but I will give my all to
assist you.”
With the collapse of the great wizardry spell, the imposing presence of the
three divine spirits greatly increased.
“By the way, Big Bro, now that the [Keeper of the Horses]’s cursed bonds
have been broken, you don’t have to stay in that miko any more, right? Are
you going to leave her body?”
“That’s right, I should recover my original form — Hmm, why can’t I change
back?”
Hearing the Little Brother’s suggestion, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven
shook his body.
However, there was no effect and the Great Sage was unable to leave
Mariya Hikari’s body.
“Looks like you’ve accustomed yourself to this miko’s body more than
expected.”
“Well, I guess there’s no real problem to stay like this for now.”
The sworn younger brothers commented casually. Like the Great Sage,
they were all very spontaneous in character and lacking in long term
planning.
“Yes, in time it’d probably peel off like a scab.”
As the Great Sage replied frivolously, an unexpected change occurred.
Vaisravana and Zhu Ganglie’s movements suddenly stopped and the two
of them petrified and turned into stone. Faced with two stone statues of
divine spirits, the Great Sage became a bit displeased.
“The manifestation spell lost effect? Looks like not everything can go
smoothly after all.”
No matter, when necessary he will simply cast the spell again.
Shrugging his shoulders, the Great Sage chanted a mantra and shrunk the
stone statues of his brothers to the size of little fingers and placed them in
his pocket.
“Great, the preparations are now complete. Now for some fun!”
From the mountain top of Nantaisan, the view overlooking the lands below
was superb, just as recorded on Kuukai’s Futarasan Stone Tablet.
‘Looking down there was a great lake. Not very wide in the east-west
direction / But stretching far along north-south. Silver snow covered the
land / Golden flowers bloomed in the trees. The lake surface was a
generous mirror / Reflecting all scenery and colors. The mountain and the
lakes complemented each other / The view was breath-taking.’
The great lake mentioned was Lake Chuuzenji, but since winter had yet to
arrive, the silver-white snow covering the scenery was not present.
As the Great Sage used Hikari’s eyes to survey the majestic scenery, he
released divine power, spreading the dominating power of transformation
from the surroundings of Nantaisan.
On the nearby volcanic rocks, monkeys were continuously being created.
Like the divine messengers released in the Netherworld stable yesterday,
these monkeys’ bodies were covered with golden fur that approached a
shade of reddish brown with a metallic luster.
The number of these sacred monkeys born from rocks reached several
hundred.
“My underlings, come here and serve Old Sun well! Gather your talents
and offer them to me! Look up high and witness the Great Sage’s might
which once threatened the heavenly armies!”
With one order from the Great Sage, the little monkeys squeezed close
together and began colliding with one another. Their bodies merged into
giant bodies that grew larger and larger.
When a hundred small monkeys came together, they became a single
giant monkey about ten-odd meters in height.
The appearance was the same as the giant ape divine beasts that
descended at the Nikkou Toushouguu.
A total of six giant monkeys were born, with arms longer than legs, and
their bodies built like gorillas.
“Yes, go forth! If any enemies try to invade my territory, you guys will be
the vanguard for intercepting them!”
The six giant monkeys descended down the mountain with great speed
and agility in spite of their massive bodies.
Having completed this, the Great Sage casually lied down on the ground.
He was tired out from the various tasks and now needed to rest and
recover his energy.
…While all this was unfolding, trivial things were happening behind the
Great Sage’s back without him noticing.
A certain youth had hidden himself in the middle of the mountain a couple
hundred meters from the top, and had been observing the events at the
peak.
As a rare martial arts genius, he saw everything clearly despite the great
distance.
Unnoticed from beginning to end, he quietly began to descend from the
mountain.
Of course, this youth was Lu Yinghua.
Part 4
That night, Kusanagi Godou had difficulty sleeping.
He needed adequate rest in order to prepare for battle, but how did it end
up like this? The reason was the scene that happened just before bed
time.
After deciding everyone’s rooms in the cabin, Erica followed Godou into
the same room.
“H-How much longer are you going to follow me for? I’m about to go to
bed!”
“It’s been so long since the last time we shared the night under one roof.
Of course I have to make the most of this opportunity. Don’t you think it’d
be nice for us to share a bed tonight?”
Erica responded to Godou’s questioning with a pure and innocent smile.
Just as Godou was about to drive her out of his room, even Liliana and
Yuri entered. After understanding the situation, the silver-haired knight
made the following suggestion.
“Erica sure is a pain, Kusanagi Godou. I suspect such a noisy presence
will prevent you from resting properly. Thus I too, shall sleep in this room,
and guard you while you rest!”
“E-Everyone please be mindful of the situation! For young men and women
to sleep in the same room, how improper!”
Yuri yelled with her face all red.
Godou was about to agree with her completely, but Yuri’s next words
silenced him.
“I shall sleep here too, in order to prevent you all from doing anything
indecent!”
Thus the beautiful Hime-Miko also made her declaration. In this room
which only had a single bed, three sets of futons were brought over.
“Mariya, how could you say something like that too?”
“l-lt cannot be helped… If you all stay in the same room, who knows what
could happen, s-so I must come along.”
Godou questioned the girl who was supposed to be the most normal, but
ended up getting such an answer.
Thus the sleepless night began. With four people packed in this tiny room,
it would not be exaggerating to use the term ‘overpopulated.’ Although
Godou was the only person lying on the only bed, he was unable to close
his eyes.
No matter how hard he tried, he could not stop noticing the other three
people in the room.
Before sleeping, the three of them had changed in their own respective
rooms. Liliana and Yuri were wearing common pajamas which looked like
they were brought from home, but it was still a look that Godou never had
a chance to witness under normal conditions. On the other hand, Godou
found it incredible that he found himself unable to look at them straight
despite the simple thin fabric without fancy decoration. Besides, there was
the problem of Erica.
As usual, she went to sleep under the covers in just her underwear.
A Campione’s vision allowed him to see clearly even in the dark. With just
a simple glance, he could see portions of Erica’s bare skin as white as
snow where they stuck out from under the blanket, as well as her blonde
hair that had been messed up by sleep. Godou frantically pulled up his
cotton blanket and tried his hardest to close his eyes and sleep.
The breathing noises of the girls and their occasional dream talk troubled
Godou immensely.
Despite his excited state of mind, Godou’s exhausted body still needed
sleep. As his consciousness began to fade, he was able to doze lightly for
about two or three hours worth of sleep.
When he regained his senses again, it was early in the morning, and the
rosy rays of dawn came in from the window.
“— W-What is going on? My body…”
On the bed, Godou was greatly taken aback.
His entire body ached exceptionally, and all major and minor joints
throbbed with pain. There was also a sense of nausea. It was the first time
he ever felt pain like this.
“Perhaps… it’s the injuries from the beating yesterday!?”
Come to think of it, every time his body was struck by Luo Hao, he felt like
his body was accumulating serious internal injuries. Now it was evident it
was not simply his imagination. Once again, Godou was reminded of Luo
Hao’s terrifying existence.
“Mariya… Where did she go?”
Preparing to go back to sleep, Godou discovered that Yuri was no longer
in the room.
Erica and Liliana were sound asleep but only the Hime-Miko was absent.
Her pajamas were neatly folded and placed on the blanket she had been
using.
If she had gone for an early morning walk, the current time would be a little
too early…
Deciding it was a bit strange, Godou quietly slipped out of the room.
Leaving the wooden cabin, he took a deep breath of the fresh morning air.
With the rising sun revealing itself from the backbone of the mountain
range, it was an excellent view of dawn.
However, this meant that the battle against the Great Sage was drawing
ever closer.
In spite of that, Kusanagi Godou was still full of hesitation.
“In the end I still can’t be decisive… What a failure of a king.”
As he muttered to himself, Godou felt a person’s presence.
The Hime-Miko dressed in white garments and a red hakama was
approaching him.
“You have woken up — King.”
“Where did you go? Mariya…”
Godou was in the middle of his question when he noticed something
wasn’t quite right with Yuri.
There was a lost expression on her face, and her eyes were out of focus,
furthermore, her eyes were now — the color of glass!
“Let me offer an answer to the King’s worries. The sword of wisdom in your
arm can be of use in this battle. Its power not only slays gods but also
severs a god’s spiritual might, which is why it is called the sword of
exorcism. Even the monkey king’s spell that imprisons the young little miko
can be severed.”
Yuri’s glass-colored pupils wavered in a bizarre manner.
In the past battle against Marquis Voban, Yuri also received divine
guidance through spirit vision.
However, her current eye color was exactly the same as the glass princess
in the Netherworld. Come to think of it, she also mentioned once that the
Hime-Miko were distant descendants with the same bloodline as hers.
“Please do not forget, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven’s martial prowess
is beyond equal. Whether your sharp blade can strike the Great Sage or
not, is up to your courage and determination. It will be a dire and desperate
battle. Oh my? Did I just say something?”
Yuri’s eyes returned to normal with their usual black pupils. She was back.
“You just told me… an answer to a question that had been troubling me.”
Godou exclaimed as he answered.
Compared to Erica and Liliana, Yuri was not a very conspicuous person
but she held amazing powers.
She was often able to give clear directions during times when they were
stuck, and sometimes it even led to strategies that solved the root of
problems.
“Really? If that is the case, then getting up early to meditate was not
wasted for me.”
“Eh? Why did you do such a thing?”
“Since yesterday, I have noticed Godou-san worrying over many things… I
was wondering if I could give you some advice, so I came out here to clear
my thoughts, and was hoping it would be great if I could receive divine
guidance.”
Smiling gently beneath the rosy clouds of dawn, there was nothing more
beautiful than Yuri at this time.
Spirit vision was a spell that only had a tiny chance of obtaining divine
inspiration. To hope for divine guidance to descend actively in response
was very wishful thinking. That was what Yuri explained in the past, so it
was quite unbelievable to see her being so proactive now.
Godou felt very grateful to her, and he became strongly determined. This
girl’s younger sister, Hikari who has grown closer to him as well, will
definitely be saved by his hand!
As Godou endured the impulse rising from deep within him, Yuri suddenly
whispered softly.
“Actually I had been worrying since last night, whether I should mention
this matter to Godou-san?”
“What is this matter?”
“Yes, even though Hikari is an apprentice, she is also one of Musashino’s
Hime-Miko just like me. When a [Heretic God] brings disaster to the world,
we must protect the people from being harmed by the gods, and put our
lives on the line. Therefore, if Hikari was completely possessed, I must give
up the notion of saving her.”
Sorrowfully averting her gaze, Yuri continued softly:
“In truth, I know very well that I should not say such things — but still, no
matter what, I hope Godou-san can listen to my opinion…”
Yuri was not being very forthcoming and meandered without getting into
the main topic.
But her current attitude made her intentions even clearer. For Yuri who
was serious, honest and intelligent, she was hesitating because she knew
very well how irresponsible her request was.
It’s enough, I already understand. Godou wanted to make this girl more
relaxed.
“Mariya… I will definitely save Hikari. No matter what Sayanomiya Kaoru
and the members of the Committee say, my top priority is to take back
Mariya Hikari from that monkey bastard. This is already decided. I will
worry about the involvement of Nikkou City and the local residents some
other time.”
Somehow, Godou felt a burden lifted from his heart once he openly
declared his decision.
Perhaps he was making an important conclusion right now. That was what
he suspected.
“G-Godou-san… Thank you… I…”
Yuri lowered her head as tears streamed down.
I beg you, and hope you can save my younger sister. This was the
expression of her gratitude to Godou for accepting her request conveyed
without words.
“You don’t have to thank me, you know. I haven’t even fought the Great
Sage yet. Perhaps when pressured by him and backed into a corner, I
might forget everything I just said, and defeat the monkey along with
Hikari, eh?”
“No you will not. Godou-san will definitely not do something like that. I
know very well.”
Yuri spoke quietly but firmly.
Those were the words full of confidence, spoken by the Hime-Miko whose
spirit vision saw through everything.
“Is it because of spirit vision?”
“Possibly. I am not too certain of the reason myself, but I know Godou-san
definitely will not abandon Hikari — a girl who has gotten close to you.
Even if this is the result of spirit vision, I would say it only contributes half to
my certainty.”
Half? Godou felt intrigued by this strange indirect way of describing things.
What did she actually mean?
“The other half is my trust in Godou-san. Not as a Hime-Miko but as
Mariya Yuri begging you to save my sister.”
Bowing her head with propriety to make her request, Yuri spoke resolutely.
“Since this is a rare opportunity, let me clarify at this time. No matter how
the current incident comes to an end, I will follow you for a lifetime, until
your path as a Campione reaches its conclusion, or the end of my life — ”
“Y-You mean until one of us dies?”
This exaggerated description shocked Godou as the beautiful Hime-Miko
quietly nodded her head.
“Yes, just like the way your life has been till now, the prospects of a
peaceful life will be slim. No matter what the final ending is, I hope that you
will allow me to stay by your side until the very end. Will you agree to this
request of mine?”
It was quite a sudden and unexpected request. As Godou watched in
shock, Yuri showed a faint smile as beautiful as a budding cherry blossom.
“You do not have to answer immediately, because I shall wait for you
forever…”
Bowing elegantly, she returned to the wooden cabin.
It was three days ago when Annie Charlton finally received news that
Asherah was alive.
Her elderly friend and collaborator, Joe West passed along the news as “a
certain noble person providing important information.”
She wasn’t sure where the news came from, but since her mortal enemy
the witch was still alive, plus the additional fact that the most vicious
Campione had been summoned from China and was planning something
in Japan, Annie decided to book a flight immediately. Getting things done
quickly and decisively was one of her qualities.
She arrived at Narita airport around evening yesterday. Her destination
was apparently a famous tourist attraction full of exotic allure.
Afterwards, Annie called a taxi and headed to Tokyo. Her original plan was
to spend the night at a hotel for a good night’s rest to relieve her body from
the exhaustion of the long flight, then head over to the scene in question.
However, once she received the emergency news from Professor West
through her cellphone, she immediately changed her plans.
A certain noble person (most likely the former spokesperson of the
Witenagemot)^ 2 ^ had sent a series of reports. A [Heretic God] had been
sighted in the little city of Nikkou. Hence, Annie revised her plan to rest at a
hotel, and decided to drive instead and rush to the scene, struggling with
the unfamiliar roads and adjusting to the steering wheel on the right.
Even though she was tired and jet lagged, there was no time to take things
easy any more.
Annie Charlton was a woman with a great sense of justice and
responsibility. After driving a good many hours on the streets throughout
the night, it was morning the next day when she arrived at the scene.
“I remember there is an organization in Japan equivalent to the SSI^. It
would be best to get into contact with them to gather more intelligence.
However — ”
Annie spoke to herself as she drove.
A few years ago, she had the chance to visit Japan and managed to gain
some understanding of the country. She needed to get hold of the details
of the current situation as quickly as possible so that she can defeat the
culprit.
Come to think of it, a Campione had also been born in Japan recently.
Should she leave things for him to handle? But typical Campiones take
days or even weeks to arrive on scene to battle a [Heretic God]. If she
could resolve the incident before that happens, there should not be too
much trouble.
“It would be best if this guy wakes up soon, for he seems like he can
provide a lot of information.”
Through the rear-view mirror, Annie glanced at the condition of the young
man lying on the back seat.
Not too long ago, she had discovered someone unconscious near the river
of Daiyagawa. After examining the items carried on his body, she
confirmed that many of them were related to wizardry.
He could very well be a member of Japan’s SSI (which seemed to be
called something like the History Compilation Committee).
Annie Charlton did not know at the time, but this youth was Amakasu
Touma and also the missing member of the History Compilation
Committee.
References
1 . t Wakoku(#tS): the ancient term for the islands of Japan before it
was recognized as a country.
2. t Book of Han, Treatise on Rites and
Music. http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Han
3. t Sanzang(HjJl): pronounced Sanzou in Japanese, the central
character who Sun Wukong has to escort in the Journey to the West to
retrieve Buddhist
scripture, http://en.wi kipedia.org/wiki/Xuanzang_(fictional_character)
4. t Noh: a form of Japanese classical musical
drama. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noh
5. t Kanami: Kan’ami Kiyotsugu (UPRlijft mfc) was a Japanese Noh
actor, author, and musician in the 14th
century. http://en.wi kipedia.org/wiki/Kanami
6. t Zeami: Zeami Motokiyo (“ffirPRl^ 7tm) was a Japanese actor and
playwright, the son of
Kanami. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeami_Motokiyo
7. t Prajha: one of the three divisions of the Noble Eightfold Path in
Buddhism, meaning
wisdom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_in_Buddhism
8. t Vaisravana: one of the four cardinal protector gods of Buddhism.
Equated with Sha Wujing (Sha Gojou in Japanese) from the Chinese
classic novel Journey to the
West. http://en.wikipedia.Org/wiki/Sha_Wujing#Character_origins
9. t Three Treasures: the three things that Buddhists seek guidance
from — Buddha (can be interpreted as the historical figure, or to seek
the highest spiritual potential in all things); Dharma, the teachings of
Buddha; and Sangha, the community of those who have reached
enlightenment.http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Jewels
10. t Yama-biko: an echoing spirit in Japanese folklore, often heard but
rarely seen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yama-biko
11. t Zhu Ganglie(?i!li]it): one of the names of Zhu Bajie (Cho Hakkai
in Japanese), the infamous pig spirit who was apprenticed to the monk

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