Campione! / Campione! Vol 7 Chapter 3


Chapter 3 – Kusanagi Godou Enters the Monkey
King’s Territory
Part 1
Every year in October, the surroundings of Lake Chuuzenji became
encircled by the red-shaded mountains.
Concentrated on the lake front were eateries, shops selling souvenirs and
other things, as well as many facilities such as hotels and travel agencies.
This was the hot springs resort area called Chuuzenji Hot Springs.
These lands were now undergoing a cataclysmic change. Monkeys were
appearing, and not just one or two.
The pedestrian walkways, souvenir shops and restaurants catering to
tourists were filled with monkeys; big and small monkeys casually strolled
about as a family; there was also a monkey that apparently stole
something and was being chased by a group of monkeys wielding clubs.
Monkeys were everywhere.
“They were all originally humans after all… Were they transformed into
monkeys by the Great Sage’s power?”
Seishuuin Ena looked down upon the monkey kingdom and murmured to
herself.
She had infiltrated the forest near Lake Chuuzenji, and was now observing
the situation from a position high up in the branches.
Traveling without using any sort of transportation like a car, Ena traversed
mountains and forests with her monkey-like agility and physical abilities.
Thirty minutes ago, she had just passed the Iroha-saku Route when she
suddenly got chased by violent giant monkeys that seemed to be divine
beasts.
Through her martial arts and natural instincts, she was able to fight her
way out and lose them.
“Looks like I’d better report to Kaoru first.”
This sort of sensible idea was a rare moment for Ena. She took out her
cellphone.
Oops, no batteries. Shrugging her shoulders, Ena put the phone away.
“Well, since it’s them anyway, they wouldn’t expect me to report regularly
in the first place. Putting that aside, Ena should find out more about the
situation here before His Majesty’s group arrives.”
Slung over her shoulder was a long slender bag made of cloth, carrying a
two-foot-three-inch Japanese tachi blade. ^
Compared to her beloved Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi, it was much
shorter. But as a normal weapon, this size was more appropriate. In many
different ways, the divine blade was a cheating existence.
Ena felt herself getting naturally excited as she looked forward to seeing
that youth very soon, the one who had taken away her former partner.
On the morning after the whole incident began, Sayanomiya Kaoru drove
her car towards the camping grounds where Godou and his group were
temporarily staying. After one or two hours she reached the petrified
Nikkou Toushouguu. Under the bright sunlight overlooking the strange
sight, the areas surrounding Toushouguu, Rinnouji and Futarasan Shrine
were all under high alert.
Sealing off the area using crime scene tape, policemen dressed in
smart-looking uniforms stood on guard, preventing any unauthorized entry.
“Detailed reports are still being prepared, but due to various reasons,
Toushouguu and other places are undergoing emergency repairs… We
had the area sealed first using this pretext.”
The one explaining was Sayanomiya Kaoru who was there to welcome
Godou’s group.
“The Great Sage Equaling Heaven seems to have transformed all the
tourists and local residents here into monkeys yesterday. Checking out the
nearby shops in the area, there was not a single soul in sight. However,
just the fact that people vanished en masse instead of being massacred
could be considered rather fortunate amidst this crisis.”
As Sayanomiya Kaoru led the way, Godou walked beside her. Following
behind them were Yuri, Erica and Liliana.
Following the western visiting path from Futarasan Shrine, rows of
souvenir shops could be seen. They were also sealed by police, and the
feeling was unusually quiet.
“By the way, I didn’t think the Committee had the power to even mobilize
police forces…”
Godou felt somewhat uncomfortable.
There was a group wearing imposing-looking uniforms, as well as others
who looked suspicious despite wearing suits, all running about very busily.
“Of course. Dating back to the Meiji period, the History Compilation
Committee has maintained intimate ties with the Japanese Self-Defense
Force and the police, as well as various bureaucracies such as the current
Association of Shinto Shrines, the MEXT [2] , the MLIT [3] and the Ministry of
the Environment. Speaking of stories dating back to the honeymoon period
of our predecessors, the Manchurian railway and the Imperial Japanese
Army, one could probably write a great historical treatise. It certainly would
be a very interesting research project.”
Kaoru cheerfully conversed about these topics of interest.
“Amakasu-san also counts as a civil servant, but he operates under an
official identity as someone who does phony shrine duties at various
shrines, a person with all sorts of suspicious past experiences.”
” — By the way, Kaoru-san, has there been any news of Amakasu-san?”
Hearing the familiar name, Yuri entered the conversation.
Godou also waited for Kaoru’s answer. From the news last night, Amakasu
was currently missing.
“Sorry, Yuri, we haven’t mentioned it to you all yet, but he was already
saved by someone this morning. It’s a very interesting development, I’ll
explain to you all later.”
For some reason, Kaoru made a wry smile faintly.
For the purpose of a private discussion, Godou separated from Erica and
the others, and with Kaoru, the two of them walked towards Futarasan
Shrine.
It was a world entirely turned into stone.
Whether the wooden buildings, the lush cedar forest, the soil, the springs,
everything had transformed completely into stone.
“Amakasu-san’s report mentioned, that Cult Leader Luo Hao was
apparently sealed within these rocks… So she was buried alive? Who
knows if she will be fine.”
Kaoru lightly kicked the solid rock surface of the ground with the tip of her
foot as she murmured quietly.
“Hahahahaha! Being buried alive for merely half a day, how could that
possibly kill Master! For someone like her, this kind of method would take
three years to work!”
The one laughing out loud was Lu Yinghua who jumped down from a
petrified cedar tree.
Holding his left fist in his right hand, he bowed his head and saluted to
Godou using the martial arts way.
“Lu Yinghua apologizes for his lateness. Kusanagi Godou-sama, the
revered king worshiped by the masses, may your longevity rival the
heavens, and your might bring peace and order to this world!”
Godou felt shocked and flattered by his fluent and elegant greeting.
“Lu-kun… Please use a more normal choice of words.”
“Sorry, due to Master’s teaching, I have a habit of greeting all Campiones
in a solemn manner. If I ever displease that person, I risk ending up on the
verge of death.”
Revealing the painful memories of his everyday life, Lu Yinghua continued:
“Then I will obediently speak without reservation. By the way,
Kusanagi-sama, please call me directly by name. Or if you prefer, do as
Master and use a nickname. I don’t mind.”
“OK, then I’ll call you Yinghua.”
Perhaps because Lu Yinghua was male and younger than him, Godou
found it easy to accept his suggestion.
Once again, Godou was reminded of the fact that getting along with men
was much easier.
“Sayanomiya-san, this is Cult Leader Luo Hao’s disciple.”
“I know, you’re the famed young hero Lu. Though this is our first meeting,
you are quite famous in our circles. I believe people on your side have also
heard of me.”
As introductions were made, Kaoru signaled with her eyes.
“Kusanagi-san and I… were planning on having a conference of leaders
between the two of us. However… I can allow Mr. Lu to join in as the
Chinese representative. Let me first explain the situation. The Great Sage
is currently moving from Nikkou City Street to Okunikkou.”
Kaoru took out a map of Nikkou from her shirt pocket.
“This area from Lake Chuuzenji to Okuyumoto is called Okunikkou.
Currently, any ordinary person who steps into this territory will immediately
transform into a monkey.”
The beautiful Committee leader traced her finger along the map as she
explained to the other two.
“The routes going into Okunikkou by car are the First and Second
Iroha-saku Routes, the Konsei Mountain Pass on the border of Gunma
Prefecture, as well as the Nishizawa side. I have already sealed off the
region with mobile teams.”
“When we go there, will they let us pass?”
“Of course, but no matter which route you pick, please be careful of the
giant apes our spies have encountered… Come to think of it, Mr. Lu, you
should have been chased all night by a divine beast yesterday, right?”
“Actually that big monkey gave up on pursuing me after a while, so I
followed it instead.”
Lu Yinghua smiled with satisfaction.
His outstanding qinggong^ and superhuman mobility allowed him to
perform tracking missions of this sort.
“Despite their immense size, they move quite nimbly, giving me a bit of a
hard time last night. But thanks to penetrating deep into enemy territory, I
was able to witness something extraordinary on my way back. This
morning around daybreak, there were some unusual presences gathering
on the sacred mountain on Okunikkou, so I investigated a little.”
Lu Yinghua recounted everything he witnessed on Nantaisan.
Godou learned that new enemies had appeared, and his formidable foe
had removed the binding spell.
“Even Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing have appeared… Looks like the situation
has become rather troublesome.”
“Yinghua, how is Hikari — the girl whose body was taken by the Great
Sage, what is her condition like?”
As Kaoru commented with a worried expression, Godou took the
opportunity to inquire about Hikari.
Since the binding spell was removed, Hikari’s disaster purification shouldn’t
be needed any more.
“What’s strange is the Great Sage went to sleep using her body… But from
what I overheard from a distance, it sounded like he wasn’t able to leave
the body of the miko.”
Hearing Lu Yinghua’s report, Godou felt relieved.
Since little had changed in Hikari’s condition, the worst case scenario had
not happened.
“Kusanagi-san… Hikari’s role as a hostage has not changed. When fighting
the Great Sage, I fear that child may become a hindrance — ”
“Sayanomiya-san, please do not waste any more words on this matter.”
Godou quickly interrupted her. He had already been warned by Erica once
last night and there was no need for him to hear it again.
“I will surely bring Hikari back from that monkey. I will definitely save her.
All other matters, like defeating the [Heretic God] or saving the poor
distraught people will be considered afterwards. There is no need to
explain to me what you are trying to say.”
“I see… So this is your decision?”
For some reason, Kaoru sounded greatly interested.
Her manner of speaking usually carried subtle tones, and seldom revealed
her interest so openly without pretense.
“Only I can defeat these gods who bring trouble to people, so asking me to
fight is fine. I don’t mind that. However, my power is my own. I will not
allow anyone to use me for their own purposes. I will neither use my power
in areas I hate, nor will I entertain any complaints about my preferences.”
Though Godou knew he was making a very unreasonable declaration, he
finished his statement in one breath. He understood that saving the world
required being impartial to private concerns, but at this time all he wanted
to do was follow the answer in his mind.
“If someone thinks that abandoning a girl could save even more people,
then let that person go fight a god alone. It doesn’t concern me. However,
if I am the one who is fighting, then things have to be done my way.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, if you are going to rely on someone, then
just shut up with the nagging!”
“Well said, Kusanagi-sama, you are now acting as befitting your stature as
a devil king.”
Praised by the demonic cult leader’s direct disciple, Godou felt a little
embarrassed.
His current proposal was identical to all the other Campiones who always
did as they wished, and no different from the philosophies of Cult Leader
Luo Hao and Marquis Voban.
“You’re really hopeless, but actually no matter what Kusanagi-san decided,
I was prepared to take full responsibility… Though things seem to have
taken a most interesting turn. Anyway, I never expected you to say
something like ‘It is fine to sacrifice Hikari. I will defeat the Great Sage
Equaling Heaven!’ That would have been quite off-putting.”
How could I possibly say something like that! Even Kaoru smiled.
“Despite how I may appear to others, I really like people who like to act
cool or follow their whimsical ideals. By the way, I like cute girls too, but as
the leader of an organization, there are times when my hand is forced.
However… this time it’s the orders of His Majesty the Devil King, so I have
no choice but to obey.”
The Committee Branch Chief smiled mischievously.
The way she and Lu Yinghua were supporting my decision, made them
look like unscrupulous businessmen conspiring with corrupt officials, or
rather, should they be described as followers of the devil king and enemies
of the world?
As a Campione, looks like I am advancing in a most questionable
direction…
While Godou lowered his head in thought, Kaoru took out her cellphone.
Apparently someone was calling.
“Kusanagi-san, the missing fellow will be arriving soon. Do you want to
meet him? There’s also a very interesting visitor coming with him.”
After conversing for a while, Kaoru hung up the phone and asked Godou.
The missing fellow was probably Amakasu, but who was the interesting
visitor? Godou tried to guess as he followed after Kaoru.
In a most matter-of-fact manner, Lu Yinghua went along with them. The
three of them came to the main visiting road before Toushouguu.
Erica, Liliana and Yuri, the three of them were chatting with the
suit-wearing youth. As expected, he was Amakasu of course.
“Kusanagi-san, how embarrassing… But I finally got back.”
Noticing Godou’s arrival, Amakasu hurried to greet him.
His voice sounded drained of energy. Looking closely, his face seemed a
bit sick, and his suit was filthier than usual.
It was the first time for Godou to see him in such a weakened state.
At this time, Godou noticed the Caucasian lady standing behind him. Her
short hair was a brilliant shade of red like a burning fire. Her elegant face
was highly intellectual and extremely strong-willed, and she was wearing a
leather jacket with leather pants.
A completely flawless, cool and ethereal beauty. Such was the initial
impression that this woman gave.
“T-This is Miss Annie Charlton. S-She is the one who fortuitously saved me
when I was unconscious and completely drenched. 1-1 owe my life to her,
my savior.”
Amakasu’s body trembled incessantly, and he kept wiping his nose as he
introduced the one who brought him here.
The ethereal beauty greeted with impeccable Japanese.
“My name is Annie, pleased to meet you.”
Part 2
Amakasu Touma and Annie Charlton.
The people standing around these two were Kusanagi Godou and Mariya
Yuri, Erica Blandelli, Liliana Kranjcar, as well as Sayanomiya Kaoru and Lu
Yinghua.
A most unexpected gathering of influential people.
Amakasu continued to shiver as he recounted the circumstances of
Vaisravana’s appearance.
“Are you still hurt from that time? You don’t look too well.”
“N-No, that’s not it, my injuries have already been healed by magic.
However, I’ve caught a severe flu from lying wet and unconscious for a
good many hours, and I currently have a high fever.”
In other words, healing magic’s effects against disease was much less
effective than for physical injuries.
Godou recalled the magic trivia he once heard from Erica.
“If I didn’t receive Miss Annie’s aid, p-perhaps I would have gotten
pneumonia. Miss Annie seems to be from Los Angeles, a-and a mage from
over there.”
“Let me be direct. I came to Japan to track down the divine ancestor
Asherah.”
Annie followed up Amakasu’s explanation with a clear voice that matched
her ice cold demeanor closely.
“Could you be… a benevolent mage?”
“That is correct, I have never joined the sorcerers’ faction.”
The red-haired ethereal beauty nodded at Erica’s question.
Benevolent mage. Godou felt intrigued by this term he had never heard
before.
“Due to many historical reasons, there are not too many magi present in
North America. As for the villains who gathered there after being driven out
by the righteous magic associations in Europe, they are called ‘sorcerers.’
All magi who oppose them are labeled ‘benevolent’ in distinction.”
Liliana contributed her explanation.
“I have heard that Asherah was being used by the Chinese Campione and
has become Leviathan once again. I also know about the Great Sage
Equaling Heaven manifesting by possessing a young girl’s body, and that
you are the team formed to resolve this incident.”
Annie swept her gaze across everyone present and declared:
“Since secrecy is not essential for this incident, let me begin by revealing
my mission. I was sent here by Los Angeles’ king to confirm Asherah’s
death. My mission ends once the witch is dead. However, I think it would
be rude to leave without greeting everyone here at the site of this
cataclysmic event, so let me assist you all.”
“Los Angeles’ king? Then you must be…?”
“John Pluto Smith’s subordinate?”
Yuri and Liliana were greatly surprised, but Annie quietly corrected them.
“Please do not call me his subordinate, but refer to me as his collaborator
instead. Though he does lord over Los Angeles like a king, the thought of
building his own kingdom has never been his plan. That is the personal
style of John Pluto Smith, please remember that.”
“This is exactly why I was so intent on introducing her to Kusanagi-san.
Perhaps this is an excellent opportunity to sign a friendship treaty between
Japan and America.”
As Kaoru mischievously made her request, Godou gave her a quick
glance.
“One must possess substantial magical power in order to pass through
Okunikkou without being transformed into a monkey. I have already
confirmed with her guarantors — the Three Sages of North America, that
Annie Charlton is completely above suspicion and has no problems in
ability either.”
Kaoru turned towards Annie to introduce Godou.
“Miss Charlton, this is the leader of our crisis team, Kusanagi Godou-san.”
The History Compilation Committee core member did not reveal Godou
was the Campione of Japan. This was clearly a deliberate move to give
Kusanagi Godou the choice to disclose his identity or not.
In this current situation where there was a severe shortage of manpower,
Annie’s suggestion was most gratifying.
However, if things had worsened so much over a single night, was it really
appropriate to get her involved?
“Anyway… Before we decide whether we accept Miss Annie or not, let me
report the latest findings.”
Sayanomiya Kaoru provided news from the scouting personnel at the
scene. Then Lu Yinghua summarized his eyewitness account of the three
deities gathering on the peak of Nantaisan, as well as the disappearance
of the [Keeper of the Horses] enchantment.
Finally, Godou mentioned the latest developments. After hearing all the
current information at hand, Erica nodded intently while Liliana shook her
head in distress. Realizing the situation made it even harder to rescue her
younger sister, Yuri had a frozen expression. As for Amakasu, his already
sickly demeanor became slightly worse.
On the other hand, Annie Charlton —
“Is that so? The situation truly is severe. In that case, we must hurry to the
scene and try our hardest to resolve the incident. Godoh, do you agree?”
Speaking without changing her expression, Annie’s calm tone of voice
made clear her sincerity and strength of will.
Could he trust this person? This woman was the collaborator of the North
American Campione, and she seemed to give off a kind of incredible
presence. Godou nodded to her in agreement.
One hour later.
Godou and the rest were riding a police car summoned by the History
Compilation Committee, and had arrived at the entrance to Iroha-saku
Route.
Never expecting himself to be sitting in this sort of black and white public
vehicle in such a manner —
Godou had rather mixed feelings.
Just as Kaoru had mentioned, Iroha-saku Route was being sealed by a
mobile team of policemen and their vehicles. They did not obstruct
Godou’s group who called themselves members of the History Compilation
Committee. At this point, they switched to a smooth-running silver SUV
specially prepared by the Committee.
Annie Charlton was in the driver’s seat while Godou sat beside her with
Erica, Liliana and Yuri in the back.
The ones who stayed behind in Nikkou City Street were Lu Yinghua,
Amakasu because of his flu, and Kaoru as the highest decision maker of
the Committee here. The other two aside, Godou really wished that the
martial artist from Hong Kong could accompany him as a major
combatant —
“I have something complicated to handle, so I must stay here.”
“I see… But if you could come along, it’d be a great help.”
Godou was greatly disappointed by the rejection. In a group with his usual
team mates plus Annie, he really wanted another male companion.
“My most sincere apologies, but since Master is buried alive at this place, I
have to show effort in trying to rescue her or else there will be all sorts of
horrifying consequences.”
“Yinghua, I never knew you missed your master so much, are you worrying
about Luo Hao?”
Just as Godou thought he had discovered a caring and thoughtful side to
him, Lu Yinghua shook his head.
“Nope, I am completely not worried about her. If it’s Master, it is definitely
possible for her to smash the stone prison and escape with her own power.
However as her disciple, if I don’t make it evident I spent three days
carrying out rescue operations, she may throw a fit going ‘You should be
treating Master like family, what a cold and merciless child you are!’ Thus,
before I secure proof of presence at the scene, I can’t come over.”
To be able to make this dauntless youth so wary…
Godou silently mourned for him, imagining the kind of trauma he had
received from Luo Hao.
” — As feared, the [Eyes] I sent out have all been repelled, just as
Sayanomiya Kaoru mentioned. Unless we cross this mountain pass,
magical investigation cannot be used.”
Just as the car was about to start, Liliana explained as she sat in the back
seat with her eyes closed.
“What do you mean by eyes?”
“Lily has the ability to use the [Witch’s Eye], didn’t she use it yesterday?”
Erica explained. The vision-augmenting witchcraft technique of the [Witch’s
Eye] was said to create a third eye out of the void, and could be used to
perform reconnaissance from afar.
“I heard the Committee members who could use investigative spells
mention that they were unable to send [Eyes] to Okunikkou. Just as seen
from spirit vision earlier, the Great Sage’s divine power has saturated the
air in this vicinity. This divine power likely produces effects similar to a
barrier.”
Yuri reported the results of spirit vision.
“Godoh, you must be an amazing person despite your young age. For your
team to consist of the [Diavolo Rosso] of the Copper Black Cross, the witch
of the Bronze Black Cross, as well as a Japanese spirit vision specialist…
What are your own talents?”
“Umm… Regarding this, let me explain a little later.”
Godou tried to dodge the question from the impressed Annie. It was very
likely he would need to reveal the truth soon, but there was no hurry. At
this time, the car started to move.
Iroha-saku Route was a winding road that twisted and turned just like the
characters used to write its name.
The mountain path sloped greatly and there were a series of sharp turns.
This was a scenic route that went up and down the mountain of Nantaisan
and provided a great view of the natural mountain scenery.
Annie drove the car with great seriousness and caution, safely crossing the
first difficult section.
Soon after, they could see the mountain forest dyed in the autumn colors
of red and yellow. During this time, the car finally reached an easily
congested portion of the mountain road. After about ten or so turns, they
arrived at a sharply winding U-turn. In that very instant, a giant monkey
pushed apart the trees and appeared before the car!
“It’s the divine beast from yesterday!”
The moment Erica shouted, Annie had already taken action. Slamming on
the brakes, she opened the car window on the driver’s side, and extended
her arm, a slender revolver in her hand.
BANG! Annie fired her gun without any hesitation.
As silver sparks scattered, the bullet struck the giant ape’s fur, tracing out a
silver trajectory. It probably carried some kind of magical effect.
However, the giant ape seemed to be completely unaffected, and reached
out with its long and thick arms.
“Annie Charlton, that level of magical attack will not affect a divine beast!”
Liliana warned.
Godou noticed another silhouette being reflected in the rear-view mirror,
but Yuri had already cried out before he could give a warning.
“F-From behind as well, everyone be careful!”
A giant ape had also appeared from behind, and they were now stuck in an
attack from both sides. Encountering two divine beasts on a mountain road
like this would normally be a hopeless situation.
In spite of all this, Annie remained completely calm, and her eyes, full of
fighting spirit, glared at the two divine beasts, as befitting the collaborator
chosen by the American Campione.
At this time, Godou became aware of a certain feeling and signaled to the
girls in the back seat with his eyes.
The first to react was Erica who gestured to give orders to the silver-haired
girl. Liliana immediately opened the car door and the two knights jumped
off the vehicle.
“What are you intending to do? Hurry and come back!”
“Annie-san, please rest assured! Leave it to Godou-san and the rest to
handle this.”
Yuri explained to the puzzled American.
As Yuri spoke, the spell words recited by the three outside the car could be
heard.
“The one unblunted and unapproachable! Oath-breaking sinners be
purged by the iron hammer of justice!”
“Eli Eli lama sabachthani? Oh Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?”
“People, listen to David’s song of mourning! How are the mighty fallen, and
the weapons of war perished!”
Godou first summoned the [Boar].
A day had already passed since the battle with Luo Hao, and Godou
discovered he could summon the enormous black beast when the two
giant apes came attacking from both sides.
Given a good foothold, the [Boar] alone was probably enough to finish
them off. But on a mountain path like this, even the vigorous and
enthusiastic boar would find it hard to go all out, which was why the knights
were using the spell words of David and Golgotha to halt the monkeys’
advance.
Erica summoned Cuore di Leone, shaping it into an arrow of steel and
infusing the spell words into it. She then conjured a bow of steel and
readied the arrow on it.
Liliana created the Bow of Jonathan and prepared the blue arrows of light.
The [Boar] charged at the giant ape in front while the red and blue knights
pinned down the one in the rear.
The black divine beast rolled down the mountainside together with the
giant ape, leaving the menacing giant ape in the rear who warily watched
the bows and arrows of the two knights. A clear path had been opened.
The knights returned to the car, but just as Godou was about to follow, his
legs lost strength and he collapsed.
“W-What is going on? My body…”
His body could not move and felt very exhausted. Godou was terrified by
this feeling he had never experienced before.
This happened immediately after using the [Boar], could it be the result of
the injuries from yesterday!? Come to think of it, the pain this morning was
quite intense, but after moving his body for a bit, he had forgotten about
it…
Realizing something was wrong with Godou, the apprehensive giant
monkey in the back began to show an increasingly dangerous gaze.
— No. Danger was not limited to the rear.
A new giant ape appeared from the front; an unexpected third monkey.
They were once again caught in a crisis with attacks from both sides!
” — Godou-san!” “Godou!” “Kusanagi Godou!” “Godoh, hurry and come
back!”
The newly appeared giant ape approached, looking down on the
defenseless Godou and silver SUV, and vigorously waved its arms.
At that very instant, spell words were heard.
“The many-fenced place of Izumo / Of the many clouds rising — To dwell
there with my spouse / Do I build a many-fenced palace: Ah, that
many-fenced palace! Seishuuin Ena has arrived!”
“Ena-san— !”
Hearing the one who announced her name fearlessly, Yuri’s face
brightened with happiness.
From amongst the leaves that were turning red, out jumped the uniformed
girl. Carrying a Japanese sword, surrounded by strong gales swirling
around her, the Hime-Miko of the Sword made her appearance.
Ena blocked the path of the gigantic ape from the front.
Around her, the wind’s strength was increasing like a small-scale tornado.
Though it was small-scale, it was clearly infused with divine power, for Ena
had the ability to use the technique of divine possession. As her guardian
deity, Susanoo — the storm god’s authority was hers to command!
This tornado pushed back the arm of the giant ape.
What an embarrassment for a divine beast. The giant ape roared savagely,
baring the sharp fangs in its mouth and started to spit crimson fire as if
intending to incinerate Godou together with Ena.
But the storm god’s tornado guarded the Hime-Miko of the Sword and
repelled the flames.
“Across the fields and mountains / Setaria in a storm… The sounding gates
of Awa / Whom shall determine their fate — !”
Ena leaped as if her body was as light as wind, and reached the giant
ape’s shoulder with one jump.
With a flash, her sword was embedded deeply in the giant ape’s left eye.
ROOOOOAAAAAR!
Painful roars came from the giant ape’s mouth.
During this time, Erica ran out, picked up Godou’s body and pulled him
back into the car. At the same time, Liliana prepared to fire a second arrow
from the Bow of Jonathan to pin down the giant ape which had resumed its
advance from the rear.
The giant ape with one eye destroyed by Ena angrily waved its arms and
legs around randomly, but the loss of depth perception made it impossible
to hit its target.
Landing on the ground with leisurely grace, Ena ran towards the car.
“Annie-san, please hurry and go!”
Once her fellow Hime-Miko got in, Yuri hurriedly gave instructions.
Annie Charlton stepped hard on the accelerator, and the silver SUV shot
forward, leaving the giant apes behind.
In his faint consciousness, the rescued Godou was vaguely aware of the
voices of his female companions.
“Your Majesty, are you ok! Luckily Ena felt like it was about time for you to
arrive, so I had been guarding this side of the mountain pass.”
“Could it be… No, for sure he must be the king. In other words, one known
as a Campione…! Are you one of his team members?”
“Team member? No, that’s not the kind of relationship Ena has with him.
Ena is His Majesty’s woman. Well, I haven’t been officially recognized yet,
so maybe something like an underground lover? But I’m not the only one
oh, everyone here is His Majesty’s woman.”
“U-Underground lover!? Everyone here is his woman!? N-Now that it is
mentioned, I have heard that Japan’s king is a terrible young sexual
predator — l-l now understand.”
Annie-san, you are mistaken, please don’t misunderstand. Godou really
wanted to get up and defend himself.
But before he could speak, Godou had already lost consciousness.
Part 3
It feels really hot. That was Godou’s first thought as he woke up from a
daze.
He could hear the sounds of girls in the surroundings. They seemed to be
saying something. His mind still fuzzy, he opened his eyes and found some
kind of mist or smoke hanging in the air. Could there be a fire?
No, it’s steam. After blinking who knows how many times, his brain finally
became fully awake.
“Ah, His Majesty is up.”
“Godou, are you ok? Even though your body has already been treated,
how do you feel now?”
From the left came Ena’s voice while Erica could be heard from the right.
As the mist drifted apart, Godou’s brain and five senses began to recover
their normal functions, and he was struck with utter shock.
“W-What the heck is going on! How did this happen?”
He immediately yelled. And no wonder it was so hot, he was currently
immersed in an open air hot spring.
Hot water reached up to Godou’s shoulders while his back was against the
volcanic rock used to enclose outdoor baths. Naturally, Godou was
completely naked except for the large towel wrapped around his waist.
And then, there were the two beauties right in front of him.
The blonde-haired blue-eyed Erica Blandelli. Seishuuin Ena with her black
hair and black irises. Even though both of them covered their bosoms with
a bath towel, their excellent figures were still clearly visible through the thin
fabric.
Erica’s bust and hip measurements appeared to be even bigger than the
numbers on record.
However, Erica’s impressive figure was not enough to overshadow the
voluptuousness of Ena’s body.
Perhaps due to the bath towels tightly wrapped around their bodies, the
cleavage of the two girls was greatly emphasized. If only the water was
from one of those murky hot springs, but unfortunately the water here was
far too pristine and transparent.
The only object separating Godou from the naked bodies of the two girls
was simply a bath towel.
It would be bad to keep staring, so Godou forcefully shifted his gaze to the
distance. However, this only achieved the result of alerting him to the
presence of the other two beauties in the bath.
“l-lt is great that you have revived without issue.”
“P-Please do not look over here, Godou-san!”
These two were Liliana Kranjcar and Mariya Yuri of course. Similarly, these
girls’ bodies were only obscured by a single bath towel each.
Liliana acted with great calmness.
However, her pale body had turned bright red from embarrassment. Even
so, she maintained her usual awe-inspiring posture and did not try to avoid
Godou’s gaze.
Though her body lacked exaggerated curves, it made the subtle convexity
even more conspicuous.
This was a mysterious fairy-like attractiveness that was possessed only by
slender young Caucasian beauties.
Like a piece of artwork made of glass, there was a heightened sense of
preciousness due to the fragility.
In complete contrast, Yuri was trying her hardest to shrink away and hide
her body.
Though her posture did succeed in concealing her frontal view from others,
her motions were not very elegant and one could still peek at her
wonderful figure from the side.
Yuri’s figure was not as voluptuous as Ena or Erica, but her body still had
an abundance of feminine charm.
The curves were just right and one could only exclaim in wonderment at
the two beautiful mounds that stood out as the only area capable of
supporting the bath towel — the only fabric covering her body. The round
and full curve from the small of the back to the buttocks was like an artistic
masterpiece. Despite their slender nature, her thighs seemed particularly
supple with a sense of lively beauty. Yuri’s entire body was very perfect.
There was a subtle balance between beautiful curves and a sense of
substance; in this regard, Yuri’s body ranked amongst the highest levels.
“Hahaha, I see. I get it now!” Faced with this completely unreal scenery,
Godou laughed as he muttered to himself.
“This has to be a dream. I must be so repressed during normal life for me
to finally dream such a scene! No mistake about it!”
“What are you talking about, Godou? There can’t be anything more real
than this?”
“Yes yes. Look, doesn’t this hurt? This is all happening in reality.”
At the same time as Erica was speaking, Ena pinched Godou’s cheek.
Ouch!
“I see. This is actually reality… Then may I ask, where is this place?”
“A hot spring at Lake Chuuzenji. The area has become a mess due to the
Great Sage Equaling Heaven, and the impact has forced many hot spring
spas to be abandoned, so we slipped into one of them.”
Ena answered fluently, but Godou still had more questions.
“Then why am I immersed in the hot spring?”
“Your Majesty, please recall, didn’t you collapse? Ena thought that bathing
in a hot spring would be an excellent way to get rested.”
“Ena told me about a folk remedy called hot water therapy, so this is a
perfect opportunity to test it out.”
Hearing the answers from the Hime-Miko of the Sword and the blonde
knight, Godou looked up at the sky. It was almost dusk and the sun was
gradually sinking west.
“And so I was immersed in this bath unconscious, is that right…”
“It’s ok, in order to prevent Your Majesty from drowning, Yuri and Ena
intended to enter the bath with you right from the very beginning — in fact,
Ena often bathes in hot springs while in the mountains… And then
Erica-san also came in, and following her was Liliana-san over there.”
“Think about it, yesterday I said I wanted to have a dip in an outdoor hot
spring, right? This is a great opportunity.”
“1-1 believe this is a meaningless act, which is why I tried to stop them! But
Erica and Seishuuin Ena would not listen to my entreaties. With no other
choice, as your knight I must supervise this suspicious folk remedy, and so
I had to come.”
“I-L. Because Ena-san said I must come along and forced me to enter! Do
not misunderstand! I… I only came in here to stop Ena from going too far!”
The girls gave their various reasons for coming in here.
There were too many things to object and Godou couldn’t respond to them
one by one. However, the most pressing concern that needed to be
addressed was —
“Fine, I have another question. Who took off my clothes?”
“As I am the one who proposed the idea, of course Ena has to bear
responsibility.”
“I also helped, oh? As Godou’s lover, it is only natural.”
“W-What the heck did you two do! If that is the case…”
Godou glared sharply at them. In a rare moment, these two fearless
fellows averted their gaze.
“Hmm… Yes. Your Majesty, I am sorry… Ena saw it. At that time, I was
thinking if you’re dipping in the hot spring, then of course you have to be
naked, so along the way I took it off.”
“That’s right, since it all came off, of course it’s impossible not to see.”
After Ena confessed, Erica also chimed in, a little embarrassed.
“But Your Majesty sure trained your body well, it is really cool with so many
distinct ab muscles.”
“Besides, Godou has already seen my naked body before, right? This is
called equivalent exchange. It’s just mutual admiration of our naked
bodies, that’s all.”
Godou cursed the various reasons that led to this predicament.
Erica showed a proud expression that Godou hadn’t seen for quite some
time, whereas Ena looked rather apologetic.
“Then… As an apology, I don’t mind if Your Majesty looks at Ena’s naked
body, oh?”
Her words had an explosive effect. Eh? Godou’s brain froze from the shock
for quite a few seconds.
“Since Erica says that things can even out this way, Ena will do the same.
Sorry, this is Ena’s apology. On further thought, since it’s Your Majesty, I
should have done this from the start. T-Though I’m still a little scared, but
in the future I will have to carry your bloodline, and do this and that…”
Ena loosened the white bath towel around her body, and a thin piece of
cloth began floating in the hot spring.
With a solid sense of weight, yet carrying an incomparable impression of
gentle softness, the twin peaks looked elastic enough to bounce back
quickly if one were to poke them with a finger. The most prominent
positions in front were adorned by a faint color of pink.
Beneath the seductive and slender waist, the nether regions needed no
further mention.
“Ah, Ena sure is unexpectedly bold. Everyday situations aside, I was
suspicious what was going on when she had been acting so passively until
now.”
Erica threw out this comment coldly. The barbs contained in it lacked her
usual elegance.
Possessing so many unconventional factors, it was very likely that
Seishuuin Ena had already been classified by Erica as a dangerous
contender she had to be wary of.
“Hmm, after all, Ena has had very few opportunities to build close relations
with boys, so I don’t really know how to talk to them… But no matter, I will
not let this deter me!”
“Yes… Ena has come up with a great idea, actually I should have done this
from the start. I must be a little slow not to have realized it earlier.”
Even Erica’s bath towel had been removed. Why do they have to get
oppositionally defiant in a place like this!?
As Godou screamed for help in his mind, the body of a goddess was
completely laid bare in full view.
The bosom that always declared its existence intensely in spite of clothing,
now floated openly in the hot spring. It was impossible not to look. On the
front of these breasts the size of small cantaloupes, there was a pair of
flower buds attached like some sort of faintly red fruit; the waist was
amazingly slender especially in contrast with the richness of the other two
measurements — an extremely attractive tight and slim waist; finally
beginning near the hips, the full and luscious buttocks were both seductive
and adorable —
“Come, Yuri, take your bath towel off as well.”
“No, hands off! Ena-san, please let go of me!”
“Seishuuin Ena! Stop this rude behavior immediately! I will not permit you
to continue such unruliness!”
The naked Ena grabbed Yuri tightly.
As her childhood friend, the Hime-Miko, attempted to remove the bath
towel on her body, Yuri looked like she was about to cry as she tried to
escape. However, a corner of the towel had been caught, and her jade-like
beautiful skin was revealed. In her efforts to stop these actions, Liliana’s
bath towel also loosened slightly.
Godou could not bear to watch any longer.
Immediately, he jumped out of the water and ran back to the changing
room as fast as he could.
I can’t stay in this kind of place! Run away! In order to preserve the
integrity of his male dignity, Godou suppressed his desires and ran out
impulsively.
Part 4
Fortunately, Godou’s clothes were still in the changing room.
Drying himself off in a hurry with a towel he found, Godou frantically put on
his clothes and walked out the corridor to the entrance. Ena was right; the
hot spring really was a part of the hotel facilities.
Stepping outside the building, he discovered it was a small traditional hot
spring resort.
Anyway, Godou’s first goal was to calm down, so a brief stroll outside
should suffice.
The resort was situated along the spectacular shore of Lake Chuuzenji.
The leaves adorning the surrounding mountain range were colored in
shades of red and yellow, and combined with the clear water of the lake,
the wonderfully beautiful autumn scenery was difficult to describe.
There were many different shops and hotels along the shore of Lake
Chuuzenji, such as western style hotels, stylistically distinct western
restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Shops were also spaced out quite
generously.
At this moment, Godou noticed a monkey walking in front.
Based on its approximate height of 80cm and the red face, it seemed to be
a Japanese monkey.
Their gazes met. The monkey repeated a series of brief cries of “kiii —
kiii — ” as if making a greeting, and then carried on in its original direction.
That direction was towards a crossroad.
Anyway, Godou had already been informed beforehand that the ordinary
citizens of Okunikkou City had all turned into monkeys. With an uneasy
feeling, Godou began to run.
Chasing the monkey just now, Godou reached the intersection. Even
though it was just a normal road, there was a massive red torii situated
there. Compared to the traffic lights at the crossroad, it was roughly double
in height.
This was one of Lake Chuuzenji’s sights, the Red Torii. ^ Clearly a road
like any other, except with a huge red torii over it, facing the tourist
souvenir shops, eateries and all sorts of stores lined up on the main road.
Looking into the distance at such a scene, Godou sighed. It really was like
a monkey kingdom.
— kii! kiikii. kikikii, kii — !
— ki? kikiikikii, ki! ki!
The cries of monkeys came from all directions, and Lake Chuuzenji’s hot
spring street was full of people who had transformed into monkeys.
Furthermore, there was a great abundance of species including Japanese
monkeys, macaques, gibbons, baboons, chimpanzees, orangutans,
mountain gorillas, etc.
There were even some that Godou couldn’t tell what type they were. Like
city pigeons that were accustomed to humans, they did not make loud
noises or scatter when they saw Godou.
The monkeys dominated the shore of Lake Chuuzenji, and behaved very
much like humans.
Some were taking photos with digital cameras (except holding them upside
down with the lens facing the wrong direction). Some were working in
shops doing something similar to what the staff did (except taking fistful of
bills from the cash register and stuffing them in their mouths to chew).
Some were ordering food (but poking their fingers into the soba noodles in
the bowl, and eating directly with their hands), sort of.
The monkeys imitated humans, like a scene from a satirical play.
It might be considered interesting for a circus act, but Godou became
angrier and angrier as he watched. As soon as the thought that they were
originally humans entered his mind, it was no longer funny at all.
“It is possible that they retain memories from when they were human.”
A voice came from behind.
It was Annie Charlton, who was walking over.
“Looks like you have recovered, Godoh…”
“Yes, after a good nap, I’m fine now.”
Godou nodded. His body felt very light and free without any sense of
discomfort.
But how did this happen? Annie’s eyes showed a vicious expression of
extreme disgust.
“That cannot be the only reason… Just now, your girlfriends were
competing to apply healing magic to you. In order to determine who was
going to kiss you, they even broke out in argument. In the end, it was Ena
who seized an opening, kissed you in your sleep, and applied the magic — ”
“Something like that happened?”
Godou felt embarrassed that Annie witnessed what had happened.
“With magical power that can defeat divine beasts with ease… I can at
least acknowledge your power as a king. But Godoh, for you to use the
authority you usurped from a god to make so many girls into your
candidate partners — no, treating them as playthings to satisfy your lust…
It is truly shameless!”
Playthings!? Such unilateral thinking was too biased in perspective. Godou
immediately objected:
“Please don’t take Seishuuin Ena’s words as the truth! They are just my
companions and my friends. We are not in some kind of inappropriate
mess of relationships.”
“That sounds exactly like the explanation of politicians when scandals
break out.”
Annie’s gaze and expression were as cold as ice.
“Although you have been in denial all this time, please bear in mind I
already witnessed what happened at the resort just now. Your attempts to
find weak excuses are futile.”
“W-What are you talking about!?”
“W-Who could have thought such orgiastic gatherings existed in this world,
I used to think they were simply rumors… I never expected someone I
know to engage in such behavior. I was so shocked that I was driven away
from the resort. To think there were five young adults, male and female,
gathered in a bath, doing things completely naked…”
Oh my god. To think that Annie was aware of the commotion in the open
air bath.
She knew about the shameless mixed bath and the inexcusable licentious
behavior.
“P-Perhaps it was a bit noisy just now. But please, you must believe me!
There is nothing inappropriate between us and we have never done
anything crossing the line!”
“You dare say you have not done anything? Please give me a break. For
you to engage in prurience all the time and offer such ridiculous excuses
now, you are truly terrifying! T-That sort of ridiculously licentious behavior
was something that I thought only existed in television drama series!”
The ethereal beauty was clearly shaken — Annie Charlton turned out to
have surprisingly low immunity in such an area.
In the end, Godou had to wait for almost five minutes before she calmed
down.
“There are still many things I must admonish you for such immoral acts,
but I will put it aside for now. By the way, Godoh, I am very surprised that
you are a king who acts quickly to handle situations.”
Annie’s tone of voice returned to the usual coldness, though the feeling of
icy sharpness exuded from her beautiful face was still gone. It was
apparent that she was still recovering from the shock just now.
“Ordinarily, do you Campiones not delay until the crux of the matter comes
into play? All the devil kings in Europe do things in that manner.”
It seemed like Annie’s true nature was a clumsy person in contrast to her
capable appearance.
Godou pretended not to see her efforts to recover her composure. This
was the so-called grace of the warrior.
“It was just coincidence that an incident occurred right next to me this time.
I’m not going to risk my life and throw myself at a situation without
understanding the cause and circumstance. If the opponent is a god,
caution is essential, which is why I don’t want to be slacking off.”
Godou continued to feign ignorance and clarified his principles.
Come to think of it, that fellow Doni really did nothing but fight gods.
Compared to that idiot, Kusanagi Godou was truly industrious.
“What about Annie-san’s companion? If he only sent his collaborator over
here, then he must be a lazy and willful fellow too?”
“Pretty much… Though I believe he can still be considered hardworking.”
Annie shrugged.
“He is a man who always says things like ‘As long as I appear at the right
time’ or ‘As long as there is a good end result.’ But no other way around it,
that is John Pluto Smith’s style.”
“Looks like his personality isn’t very compatible with mine…”
“Who knows? You are very alike in your lack of common sense. You might
get along very well after all. Anyway, rather than worrying about such
issues of American-Japanese diplomatic relations, you should be
concerned with the future of these people.”
Annie complained as she nonchalantly chastised both devil kings of Japan
and America.
Her gaze was directed at the group of monkeys that used to be humans,
the ones now engaged in crazy acts.
“The population in this area is roughly a thousand. These people, along
with the tourists from outside, have all been turned into monkeys. In fact,
similar incidents have occurred in the past.”
“Incidents caused by gods?”
“Yes, a few years ago in a national park at Los Angeles, there was an
incident with the appearance of Artemis, the goddess of the moon and
beasts. At the time, the goddess transformed hundreds of people into deer,
bears, boars, wolves and birds, but Smith finally prevailed over her.”
At this point, Annie lowered her gaze and she whispered in a worried
voice.
“But the people that transformed were unable to return to normal. They
had no choice but to give up their human identities and continue living as
wild beasts. I fear such a possibility might exist this time as well.”
Discovering a new potential issue, Godou became speechless.
He had believed all along that the monkeys would turn back into humans
once he defeats the Great Sage Equaling Heaven. Was this only wishful
optimism?
References
1 . t Tachi(^ZI): a type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai cl
2. t MEXT: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
3. t MLIT: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
4. t Qinggong($£5b): literally “technique of lightness”, a Chinese martial arts :
of superhuman speed and even flight. Equivalent to [Leap] magic of western i
5. t Red Torii(# HM): picture can be viewed
here.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%E4%B8%AD%E7%A6%85%E5%AF%

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