Campione! / Campione! Vol 10 Epilogue


Epilogue
Part 1
It was after the deadly battle and Lancelot du Lac had passed away.
On the shore of the conspicuous Floating Island, covered with rocks,
Kusanagi Godou and Alexandre Gascoigne stood facing each other.
“Looks like the curse was lifted.”
“Pretty much.”
Answering Alec’s question without paying attention, Godou began to
ponder.
On this occasion, he had made trouble for this guy. The guy was a rather
problematic character, and their temperaments felt strangely incompatible;
nevertheless, Kusanagi Godou’s behavior was definitely in the wrong…
Playing dumb and not apologizing was a possible option.
But Godou was not shameless enough to pursue such a course of action.
Instead, he apologized properly.
“I’ve really troubled you this time. You told me so clearly to act cautiously
and not take rash action, but I added to your woes instead… How should I
say it, I’m really sorry.”
Godou bowed his head deeply. Seeing that, the Black Prince smiled with a
toothy sneer.
Was he surprised by Godou’s honest apology? Prior to smiling, he had
shown a perplexed expression.
Even though he loved to put on airs, it was very possible that he was quite
a shy person underneath. However-
“Don’t be concerned. As I’ve said, this is all within expectations. I am not
suffering any negative emotions such as anger or the like. But once again,
I have confirmed it, you are truly a Campione.”
His words struck Godou exactly where it hurt.
“When encountering other Devil Kings, I have met many similar incidents
in the past. I’m used to this kind of trouble, so you have nothing in
particular worth apologizing for.”
“I see. But Gascoigne, I don’t consider myself as lacking in common sense
as those guys.”
Deliberately trying to maintain calmness in his voice, Godou spoke up.
“Why are you lumping me together indiscriminately with those unruly
existences?”
“No, after calmly observing, I’ve discovered reasons to group you in the
same category. There’s no problem at all. Kusanagi Godou, you should
start considering the problem rationally.”
“Consider rationally… Then you’re in the same category too.”
Replying, Godou somehow felt extremely annoyed by this pretentious man
before him.
These words brought instant effect. Alec frowned as he tried to suppress
his anger.
“Wait a minute, I cannot tolerate such a statement. Let me make a
correction.”
“No, Gascoigne. Indeed, other Campiones frequently rampage around
without consideration. Unlike them, you plan strategically and set the stage
beforehand. To be honest, the style might be different — but then, there’s
not much difference in outcome between you and those others who
rampage. In any case, you are all enemies of world peace.”
“Shut up. You’re the one who hides behind hypocrisy while causing chaos
in the world!”
What on earth was this feeling?
While he carried out this fruitless conversation with Alec, Godou realized
with heartfelt intensity.
There was a faint sense that they were poking at each other’s
vulnerabilities, exposing ugly truths each was unwilling to face. Even
though their personalities were completely different, the two of them acted
out according to instinct–
Their conversation was terminated by the sudden feeling of massive
magical power in motion.
Godou and Alec cautiously turned to face the same direction. This Floating
Island was covered with solid black rocks everywhere they could see.
Located in the center of the island was a protrusion of rock like a small hill.
That was precisely the direction.
“Alexandre, Kusanagi-sama, we have a situation!”
Princess Alice was literally flying in the sky. Using the advantage of a spirit
body, she hovered lightly in midair. Pointing at the hill of rock, she said:
“Guinevere-sama has invoked upon herself a revival spell, and her body
has recovered!”
The instant he heard the report, Alec transformed into lightning and flew
over.
Godou on the other hand, was carried by Alice’s flight magic. Arriving at
the peak of the hill of rock in this manner, they found a decrepit iron sword
speckled with rust was being thrust.
The sword being thrust towards Alec, was a set of remains known as the
Divine Sword of Salvation.
A young beauty was wielding the rusted steel. That beautiful face,
resembling an antique doll’s, was clouded intensely by a dark shadow
heralding her death.
Even so, or rather, because of this, she was muttering as if in a trance:
“O Master — please watch. Guinevere is about to use the last of her
strength. Sir Knight too, has exhausted his duties as a [Heretic God],
perishing upon the battlefield. We have exhausted all ammunition, our
weapons broken. Hence, we are left with no recourse other than Your
Highness’ mercy!”
Naturally, this was Guinevere.
Dead once already, turned into sandy debris, she had apparently used
magic to revive herself. But now, her pubescent body was crumbling into
sand, like the final moments before a sand sculpture’s collapse.
“I beseech you, please descend before Guinevere. Before my life ends, I
beg you. At least, even if it is only seeing your divine visage, or hearing
your voice, it would be fine — !”
Using the decrepit sword for support, the Divine Ancestor prayed. All this
time, the sand grains continued to collapse.
Guinevere gradually dimmed and lost color, turning transparent.
Immediately after that, she disappeared. Even revival magic, which had the
power to extend a dying patient’s life, could only sustain the spellcaster’s
life for a very limited period of time.
Thus, Alec, Alice and Godou, the three of them gazed at the Divine
Ancestor’s passing.
Guinevere desired neither revenge nor battle, but instead wanted to spend
her final moments speaking to the “King of the End” she had sought all this
time. Consequently, she did not even give her enemy a single glance.
From that sense of despair it was readily apparent she was aware of the
futility of her wishful act.
Alec’s lips moved slightly, but Godou could not catch what he was
muttering.
Immediately, a strong gust of sea breeze blew. Completely collapsed into
grains of sand, Guinevere’s body was scattered across the sky and the sea
as it rode the wind.
Retrieving the decrepit divine sword, Alec walked down the hill of rock.
Godou tried to ask him what he was muttering about.
“Nothing much. ‘Even if you embrace that thing and cry, all will be in vain
so you might as well save the effort’ — was what I was thinking, but I didn’t
say it aloud.”
“Alexandre, I never knew you could actually show some tact on occasion.”
Offering praise in response to Alec’s confession was Alice who had known
him for so long.
“How touching! You’re always saying insensitive things to hurt girls’
feelings. Now that was acting like a gentleman for once!”
“Please refrain from making comments that make me sound like a person
with sensitivity problems.”
Alec responded to the Princess’ praise with a face of suffering.
“But isn’t it so mean to say all will be in vain? Even Divine Ancestors have
feelings. Perhaps the crying pleas of a past companion might actually
summon sympathies?”
Godou tried to defend Guinevere.
Just very slightly, but Godou felt sympathetic to Guinevere. It was true that
she was a dangerous witch but she did have her own tragic wish,
sacrificing everything she had for the sake of the master she had loved
since her previous incarnation. It should not be wrong to view things this
way.
“Perhaps. If the King of the End’ also recognizes Guinevere as his own
companion.”
“What?”
“While immersed in researching the connections between King Arthur and
the Holy Grail, I discovered a number of trails left behind by the ‘King of the
End.’ I began to wonder, why would those Divine Ancestors fail to find
them? That said, I do consider myself more skilled in unraveling mysteries
than Guinevere.”
Alec shrugged at this point.
“Nevertheless, the Divine Ancestors have immense amounts of time and
magic on their side, as well as knowledge beyond humans. Which is why
they should logically have an edge. However, in the search for the King of
the End,’ they have lagged behind us humans instead. The Witch of
Sardinia, Lucretia Zola, also discerned that the King of the End’
transcended oriental-occidental continental boundaries… Or rather, it
would be better to say that he is closer to an oriental god, and Lucretia has
already grasped clues to a certain extent.”
Hearing a familiar name in this unexpected context, Godou was surprised.
“There’s also this hypothesis. The King of the End’ does not actually wish
to be revived. It’s as if he was sleeping somewhere and deliberately
ignoring the Divine Ancestors’ search, preventing them from obtaining
clues.”
“Plausible indeed.”
Alice murmured, half-convinced. Godou thought the same. A [Heretic God]
who did not wish to be revived?
“In fact, the reason why I brought the remains of the divine sword to Japan
here, was based on considerations of that possibility. Even if the location
was correct, if the one she sought didn’t wish to be found, Guinevere was
still doomed to failure.”
“Location was correct? What do you mean?”
Godou questioned Alec’s offhand comment. This caused Alec, who was
walking in front, to turn his head back and answer in a matter-of-fact tone
of voice:
“Regardless, the location where the King of the End’ sleeps definitely
gives rise to legends about warriors and divine swords. Even though this
Floating Island is a trap, it is impossible to believe the legends are false.
Because they are born due to the ‘King of the End.’ In that case, one would
naturally think there was an authentic Floating Island somewhere in Tokyo
Bay.”
Engaged in these conversations, the two Devil Kings and the Princess
reached the foot of the hill of rock.
Receiving them were Kusanagi Godou’s companions.
“From your appearance, looks like you haven’t been injured much, Godou.”
“Safety is more important than anything.”
Erica’s cheerful words came first while Yuri smiled as she supported
herself on Erica’s shoulder.
“What’s wrong, Mariya? Did you actually get hurt somewhere?”
“No, just a little tired. Please do not be worried.”
The Hime-Miko’s face continued to smile as she spoke. Godou felt
concerned because she could not stand up by herself.
Godou gave Erica a quick glance. The blonde girl seemed to saying “She
really is okay” as she laughed to herself. Looks like Mariya really was fine
and not trying to act brave.
As Godou felt reassured, Liliana gave him a subtle smile.
“Congratulations, Kusanagi Godou. You have finally realized your long
time wish.”
Godou was bewildered at the congratulations. Then the silver-haired knight
said:
“Have you not noticed? Even though you messed up in all sorts of ways,
no part of Japan was destroyed this time.”
“…Ah yeah, now that you mentioned it!”
Godou got it. He had always wished to cause as little trouble to the world
as possible. When fighting gods and Campiones, the surroundings always
suffered tragic destruction and even severe incidents of widespread
petrification on occasion.
Perhaps they were so fortunate this time because the battlefield was in the
center of Tokyo Bay.
What a cause for celebration — just as Godou was about to leap with joy,
he felt like he had forgotten something.
“What’s the matter, Kusanagi-sama?”
“Ah, nothing really. It just feels like I forgot something…”
Just as Godou replied to Alice’s puzzlement.
A flash of yellow light approached, flying across the sky. It must be flight
magic. Clearly a witch other than Alice and Liliana. Could it be a Divine
Ancestor?
As Godou signaled through his eyes, Erica and Liliana nodded in
response.
The yellow light landed before the knights on alert. Appearing before them
was a glasses-wearing oriental girl. Even though her face was cute, she
gave off a rather unfashionable impression.
“Alec, what on earth could you be thinking to use that kind of monster…?”
The girl’s first words interrogated the Black Prince with nagging tones.
Apparently she was Alec’s friend.
“What’s the matter, Cecilia?”
“Stop playing dumb. It happened almost ten minutes ago. I, along with
Daoist priests in Chinatown, sensed an object with great magical power
moving underwater near this island. After investigating using the technique
of ghost sight, we discovered a massive gigantic boar monster. Its entire
body is wrapped in black steel…”
Godou was shocked by Cecilia’s report.
“Even though the boar’s body is covered with wounds, it continues to swim
in the sea. Furthermore, it is advancing towards Yokohama and looking
very excited. At the current rate, it will land at Yokohama in twenty minutes
or so to destroy the city. What is going on…?”
“What makes you think it is my doing?”
“No one but you can command that kind of monster. It is a simple fact.”
“Stop with the nonsense. Besides me, there is another person here who is
a candidate as the monster’s owner. And in this particular instance, he is
not simply the candidate but the actual proper owner.”
Alec protested and turned his sardonic gaze towards Godou. Actually,
other than Cecilia, everyone’s gazes had turned to Godou.
Erica went “Well, what an oversight” and shrugged her shoulders.
Yuri was saying “W-What should we do!?” in shock.
As for Liliana, she went “As expected, you really are quite difficult to
manage” and closed her eyes.
“Well, true to form as always, Kusanagi-sama. The future sure feels
exciting!”
For some reason, Alice was the only one who offered praise as if
expressing approval.
“Let me guess, something happened in the following manner?”
Erica began to deduce with an air of superiority.
“Even though you needed the [Boar] in the duel against Sir Lancelot, there
are no massive objects nearby you could target. So Godou began thinking
about things on the shore, to use as a target for destruction in order to
summon the [Boar]. Then the charge began on a trajectory in a collision
course with Sir Lancelot…”
“Well, I was thinking that guy would not have much strength left to go
anywhere after a direct confrontation against Lancelot…”
Godou’s face began to twitch. The [Boar] and the divine sword’s
partnership turned out to be unexpectedly solid.
“S-So Godou-san, where is the target!?”
“Yokohama… Bay Bridge, because I heard Gascoigne had gone to the
Chinatown over there, I couldn’t help but think of that place…”
“Wait a minute, don’t blame things on me just like that!”
“A-Anyway, we must contact the Committee’s Sayanomiya Kaoru as
quickly as possible to warn them. A-At least there are cellphone antennas
here… Damn it, no good. It is not connecting!”
Godou replied to Yuri’s question, Alec grumbled while Liliana frantically
tried to make a call from this remote island far out at sea. The third witch,
Cecilia, muttered “Please seal off the Bay Bridge” as she departed using
flight magic.
“Results show that people do not change their ways so easily. As long as
Godou is involved, extraordinary things will happen.”
Erica exclaimed emphatically, unsympathetic to the surrounding
commotion.
Furthermore, there was still another person who did things as she pleased.
Princess Alice.
“By the way, it is rare that Alexandre’s aura of misfortune did not activate
this time.”
“What aura of misfortune?”
“Whenever he eagerly makes his plans, he easily stumbles over obstacles
due to disputes with women. Unable to understand women’s emotions,
obsessions, unconditional love or anything of that sort, he is left with no
choice but to improvise and adjust his plans. But this time, it did not
happen… Somehow, it feels less amusing.”
Black Prince Alec clicked his tongue in response to Erica and Alice’s
exchange, while Godou did not care.
In any case, the adventure involving Divine Ancestor Guinevere and the
war god Lancelot had finally reached a conclusion.
Part 2
‘Queen Oto Tachibana-Hime, jumped into the sea with sword embosomed.
Sea currents carried her sword to a landless location, whence a floating
island subsequently appeared.’
Even though the Heavenly Reverse Halberd was a red herring, if this
legend turned out to be true-
This vague thought crossed the mind of Guinevere’s dying consciousness.
Her body had already turned into sand and collapsed, carried by the wind
and scattered over Tokyo Bay.
Life had reached its end, slipping away, in preparation for the next rebirth.
However, some time still remained. As Guinevere drifted over land she had
vague thoughts about matters related to the “King of the End.” Having
been through this generation and the previous, both incarnations had
sought the master but had yet to succeed. To one’s surprise, a tragic end?
Just as her heart was filled with lamentation, spirit vision arrived.
Due to being in a near death state, spirit senses had probably attained
maximum clarity.
I see it. The master is sleeping at a place with neither land nor sea. Indeed
the location could be seen.
“Alas… It turns out to be there! O Master, king who manifests at the end of
eras! The one called Artos and predecessor of Arthur!”
Guinevere’s cries should have been transmitted by now.
Transmitted to the true Floating Island, the location of the hero she had
been seeking all along. Mother earth goddesses who had their lives
extracted by his alter ego the divine sword, were transformed into Divine
Ancestors. In other words, Guinevere and the rest of the Divine Ancestors
were his “sisters” or “daughters” in days past.
Surely, their intimate bond will carry these cries over to him. Nevertheless,
there was no response.
Ignored — a new sense of despair eroded Guinevere’s heart. However, this
despair turned into a dark impulse, giving the dying Witch Queen final
strength.
Even though ignored, even though unwanted. The master must be
awakened no matter what!
“Alter ego of my mother, the Holy Grail and the sacred fountain of life. I
entrust everything to you from here on. Awaken the sleeping master, for
you must make him descend and appear once more!”
The Divine Ancestor was about to die, and would one day be reborn.
However, the next rebirth required centuries.
Guinevere’s next life was far away in the future. But in her stead ~ she
entrusted her overflowing feelings of longing to the Magic Holy Grail,
instructing it through prayers to lay low in her stronghold of Brittany.
Fortunately, the vessel was still filled with the goddess’ essence it had
absorbed not too long ago.
If several centuries were to pass, the essence would probably
metamorphose into a new Divine Ancestor and undergo rebirth. However,
there were already seven god-slayers in this world. In order to defeat them
and revive the apathetic master for another coming, a Divine Ancestor’s
power was far too inadequate.
“Hence, O Holy Grail, everything is entrusted to you… Ah yes, you shall
become the new queen.”
Guinevere used her last remnants of magical power to perform a
summoning spell.
This manifested a circular disc, made of an alloy of gold and iron. Patterns
reminiscent of [Swords] were carved on its surface, numbering two… No,
three now. As soon as it was summoned, the count had incremented.
“Sir Knight… Lancelot du Lac’s steel is now stored here. That’s right,
instead of becoming Kusanagi-sama’s authority, be the arrow for the
returning ‘King of the End’… Please go forth.”
Hearing Guinevere’s command, the circular disc flew towards the ends of
the sky.
Thus a conclusion was reached. The Witch Queen’s consciousness
gradually rarefied and disappeared.
“O Master… O King of the End… Guinevere and Your Highness–”
Her final words were interrupted before she could finish.
Soon after Guinevere vanished.
In her stronghold, a forest in Brittany, two objects appeared.
One was a disc of gold and iron. The other was a golden urn — the vessel
known as the Holy Grail.
This was the lakeside where the forest’s owner and her guardian knight
had conversed in the past. More time passed after the two divine artifacts
manifested.
Slowly, the Holy Grail transformed. What had been an urn made of gold till
now, was gradually undergoing change, acquiring supple flesh like a
human’s, taking on human form.
“Yes, to rouse the lethargic hero who sleepeth yonder… That is one’s
mission indeed–”
Viewed as a human, she appeared to be twelve or thirteen years of age,
like a pubescent girl.
Her short hair was silver as if infused with moonlight. Her pupils were pitch
black like condensed darkness. The exquisite beauty of her face seemed
child-like yet sacred, and furthermore, emanated a queen’s solemnity. Her
entire naked body was filled with power no human girl could ever possess.
“Even though one hath been tasked with this mission, how should one
proceed? Other than that man, within this goddess’ heart — there also
seemeth to be a different man, one whom this goddess must defeat.”
Slightly distorting her lips, she bore a smile.
Just by closing her eyes, she could picture the face of the mortal enemy
carved clearly beneath her eyelids. The black-haired youth with black
irises. But surely, he was no ordinary man.
He should possess the ability to make her blood boil with excitement.
Without any grounds, the goddess firmly believed this fact.
“No matter. One still needeth repose for now. In the near future, this
goddess shall begin her journey, to exhibit the queen’s valor and ferocity to
heaven and earth. Now let this newborn body rest fitfully…”
The young girl, born from the grail, murmured as she sank into the lake.
In order to cleanse her body and frolic in the lake water-
Meanwhile, back to Bousou again.
In the sky far above the ocean which had twice become the stage for
intense battles. Even higher than the clouds. Further than the atmosphere.
The celestial realm — or rather, it is a place humans would call a satellite
orbit.
A little island lay there floating.
From the perspective of the ground surface, it appeared motionless all year
round ~ what is known as a geostationary orbit. Humans were unaware of
its existence. Even if they knew, they would simply dismiss it as floating
matter in a satellite orbit.
In the center of this cramped plot of land, an iron sword was embedded.
A mighty sword whose blade measured roughly 100cm in length. The
heavy double-edged blade was rather thick, resembling a woodcutter’s
chopper in structure. However, it was now worn out and corroded, only
covered by rust.
Divine Sword of Salvation-
The personal sword of the Devil King-exterminating hero, the strongest
[Steel].
Afterword
The Campione series has finally reached the milestone of a double-digit
volume count.
In the supplementary booklet “SDMP” that is bundled with the October
issue of Jump Square sold on September 3, there is even a preview of the
upcoming manga adaptation.
These are all thanks to the loving support of the readers. For this I express
my deepest gratitude to all readers.
Furthermore, this volume has taken the challenge of a cherished NETA in
the industry. The one who inspired me was Rodotosu(P K h7v)-sensei,
thank you very much (laugh). Everyone who is going “What?” because
they started reading from the afterword, please continue reading from the
start.
So, this time our protagonist and that certain problematic character have
finally appeared on stage together.
If one were to write about their similarities from an author’s standpoint,
ignoring protests from the perspectives of the characters in question, the
ridiculousness of their personalities and behavior should be even clearer to
understand. After all, since each of the two firmly believes he (and only he)
is serious and proper, so naturally those kinds of ridiculous descriptions
became fewer…
If the page limit allowed it, I would also like to ask that person about the
keyword “Arthur” appearing in this volume and the previous.
“The legends of King Arthur’s origins used Celtic myths as an entry point.
But that is just a perspective that disproportionately magnifies one tiny
facet of the truth. If that man’s prototype is to be demystified, one must
transcend the limitations of the hero Arthur, and turn one’s attention
towards history… Or rather, the formation process of legends or
‘pseudohistory.'”
This is just an opening line of sorts, with much more rambling to follow (wry
laugh).
If one day a foreign drama titled “Alec’s Adventure Series IV Chapter 12,
The Mystery of Fake King Arthur” is realized, perhaps everyone can listen
to his brilliant opinions.
When that time comes, all sorts of “Da Vinci Code” conspiracies related to
the twelfth century English royal family and French nobles, and even the
troubadours of the Knights Templar will be disclosed.
Finally, the next volume’s story should be titled something like “The Story
Continued” or “Second Tale.” If possible, let us meet again in Volume 1 1 .

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