Campione! / Campione! Vol 11 Chapter 2


Chapter 2 – On the Island of Storms
Part 1
It was roughly ten in the morning when Godou reached the Cagliari harbor
this morning.
A mere five hours had passed. Nevertheless, “god-slayer” Kusanagi
Godou’s surrounding environment had already undergone dramatic
upheaval even before then.
“Gentlemen, I apologize deeply for summoning everyone here on such
short notice. We have gathered here for but one purpose, to announce the
birth of the seventh god-slayer.”
The announcement was being made in a private function room of Cagliari’s
best high-class restaurant. The current speaker was Erica Blandelli. As
everyone’s gaze was drawn to the one she pointed to, Godou felt rather
uncomfortable.
Three other people were present, all middle aged or elderly men.
Apparently they were the commanders-in-chief of magic associations in the
Cagliari region.
“A fortnight ago, two gods had descended upon Sardinia — the ancient
Persian Warlord Verethragna and the Phoenician’s god of the sky, Melqart.
Of the two, Verethragna was vanquished personally by Kusanagi Godou.
Erica Blandelli hereby presents this report, having borne witness to the
fact.”
Erica explained the result directly, omitting the entire process.
But no one pursued the matter. The three commanders-in-chief had
received reports of the “black monster” appearing in the Cagliari harbor
and that the summoner was apparently a Japanese youth. As a result, they
listened quietly to Erica while casting doubtful and fearful gazes at Godou.
Being stared at, Godou turned his attention to the room.
This was a private function room in a high-class restaurant. Even though
there was no chandelier on the ceiling, there shouldn’t be a sense of
dissonance, right? Godou examined the meticulously crafted chair he was
sitting on, concluding that anyone could tell its high-class origins without
being an expert.
(I never expected I would one day visit a place like this…)
Godou sighed at the surprising direction his life was taking.
During this time, Erica issued orders as the [King]’s representative.
“Gentlemen, Kusanagi Godou’s demands are few in number. His only
wishes are for you all to handle the Cagliari harbor incident’s aftermath and
information control, punish the instigator David Bianchi, and at the same
time, provide full support in tracking down King Melqart. That’s all.”
After the Cagliari harbor commotion, Erica had proposed:
“Given the current state of affairs, it’s best to handle the aftermath using
the name of the king, announcing to the magi of the world the birth of the
seventh Devil King. This will make further action more expedient.”
Godou made a few amendments and agreed to the plan after some
consideration. After that, Erica began making calls and the current meeting
was prepared in one hour.
“Completely understood. Everything shall be done according to the king’s
wishes.”
“The birth of a new king is truly an astounding and joyous occasion. To
issue a challenge to the ancient god Melqart before official assumption of
the throne, such mettle truly foretells a promising future.”
Summoned to this emergency meeting, the association leaders remarked
one after another.
They were not entirely convinced the Japanese youth before their eyes
was really a god-slayer, but they kept their composure and maintained a
solemn expression.
“Oh right, there’s one more request. Please do not leak news of his birth
and the Sardinia incident to the magical world apart from those in Sicily.
This is very important.”
This was Godou’s amendment to Erica’s proposal of “announcing to the
magi of the world.”
One of the commanders-in-chief nodded.
“That is not a problem… But why?”
“I don’t want unnecessary attention because I plan to continue living an
ordinary life.”
Before Erica could say anything, Godou answered the question himself.
The commanders-in-chief showed incredulous expressions as if they had
heard something unexpected, but they quickly recovered. They probably
thought that rudeness to the [King] would bring dire consequences.
Godou’s sense of discomfort deepened.
He felt rather apologetic that he was forcing elders to treat him in this
manner.
“If you’re going to the island of Sicily, you’ll need a plane. Let me make the
arrangements.”
One of the commanders-in-chief spoke up but Godou refused frantically.
“Ah, there’s no need for special preparations. Any kind of transportation is
fine. Either plane or ship will do.”
Erica glanced out the window and signaled to Godou with her eyes.
The seaside restaurant offered a Mediterranean view outside the window.
Erica’s expression seemed to be saying “I like ships better.”
But as soon as Godou recalled a certain incident, he rejected Erica’s
suggestion(?).
“But then again, taking a ship should be impossible, right? What with all
the chaos in the harbor right now.”
Godou slumped his shoulders apologetically due to the monster appearing
in the harbor a few hours ago.
If this had happened at a Japanese train station, it would not be surprising
for operations to shut down for an entire day. However-
“If you wish to take the sea route, it can be arranged.”
“Eh? But setting sail is impossible today, right?”
“Possibly. But if the king wishes, it is a different matter.”
“Let us contact ship operators to charter a ship.”
“Eh?!”
A plane trip from Sardinia to Sicily would take about an hour or so.
Crossing the same distance overnight, enjoying a comfortable and elegant
journey over the sea as embodied by the night ferry concept — the night
cruise progressed as the massive ship and hotel rocked across the sea.
After enjoying the distant night scenery of the Mediterranean Sea, Godou
was going to return to his single room to sleep-
“I never thought we would really set sail… Just how far can rules be
broken?”
Godou secretly muttered to himself.
In the restaurant of the massive ferry, Godou was sitting opposite Erica.
Back at the harbor, his first impression had been “So huge!” The deck had
six stories of living quarters and was equipped with restaurants, bar
lounges and movie theater rooms.
The massive ferry seemed to have been built to accommodate a hotel.
“Today happens to be the weekend, so the weekend-only ship ride from
Sardinia to Sicily’s port of Palermo is apparently available.”
Erica explained as she brought the appetizer apple cider to her lips.
As a side note, the night’s menu included octopus carpaccio, fish soup,
botargo pasta and roasted crab. A very marine-centric selection.
“It gives me a slightly guilty conscience to think they prepared this
unscheduled route for us expressly.”
“It’s too late for guilty consciences!”
“Isn’t this nice? The ship operators had been troubled over today’s
commotion, and we come along asking them to set sail, allowing this ship
to go out to sea.”
Erica smiled as she spoke.
Other than Godou and Erica, there were a few other groups of passengers.
Enjoying the Mediterranean night scenery over dinner was quite a unique
experience.
Godou could not help but think arranging a ship went rather smoothly.
“As long as it is the request of the Devil King Campione, all the powerful
associations of Europe will put forth all effort in fulfilling it. Due to wealth
and political power accumulated over hundreds or even a thousand years,
plus the assistance of local authorities, this is nothing difficult. I don’t think
you need to be that thankful.”
“Even if it’s an unreasonable request…”
“Yes, but they do this only because of the Campiones’ power, as well as
the existences that only this power can defeat.”
“Gods?”
“The so-called Campiones are warriors fighting on humanity’s behalf
against the [Heretic Gods] who manifest. They possess the rights and
privileges of kings, lording over the world as tyrants and devil kings.”
In other words, I have to fight Melqart — Godou looked up at the ceiling.
“I have no idea at all how to fight a god…”
“Just treat it as the real version of your battle this morning. Godou’s body
should already be prepared for battle.”
“Prepared?”
“Think about it, half-baked training isn’t going to do you any good in a fight
with tigers and bears! Campiones are the same. To you guys, fighting is as
instinctual as breathing, otherwise what happened this morning cannot be
explained.”
“Isn’t it more wholesome to think that strength is gained through effort?”
“That only applies to humans, in a limited sense.”
Erica’s words sliced to the core of the matter.
“In the natural world, humans were never powerful existences.
Nevertheless, combat strength could be raised through the use of
weapons and the blood and sweat of martial arts training — but that
method is neither wholesome nor natural. ‘The strong are born strong’ is
the very natural and animalistic truth.”
That’s the way things went?
Faced with Godou’s doubtful gaze, Erica said: “If you wish, I can analyze
Godou’s combat ability even more rationally.”
“…Try me.”
“First of all, Godou possesses vitality far surpassing humans. Bitten by that
kind of magical beast, one would usually die after losing their shoulder and
arm, but Godou could fight as if it was normal.”
“Ah… It felt like my body is more sturdy than I thought.”
After the battle with Bianchi, Erica had given Godou a mysterious pill.
Said to be a magical drug for speeding the recovery of injuries. After
Godou took the pill, Erica helped disinfect and bandage the shoulder that
had been bitten by the man-eating tiger.
The wounds completely healed after being left alone for a while after
treatment. It was truly amazing, this unbelievable power of recovery.
“Godou’s bones are now harder than iron, perhaps even stronger than any
metal alloy in existence. Rather than dense, it would be better to say your
muscle fibers are now so tough as to be impossible to tear. Furthermore,
you have an ability even more powerful than adrenalin which instantly
stops bleeding and dulls pain.”
Erica brought up the conclusions she had observed at her leisure.
“Now that it’s mentioned, the shoulder injury I suffered a few months ago
seems to have healed.”
After the battle in the morning, Godou had tried throwing stones at sea as
a result of recalling his shoulder injury.
Godou had lost his prided powerful shoulder to the injury — that was the
original situation. But his stone throws now flew farther and harder than
before the injury.
“Even injuries suffered months ago were healed along with the rebirth as a
Campione, right? The recent injuries were definitely healed together as a
result.”
“My body seems so beyond common logic now…”
“Have you noticed? You’re currently speaking in Italian.”
“Eh? That’s strange. When did this start? And why?”
Godou was shocked by Erica’s observation. Without knowing it, he had
started using Italian as if it were his mother tongue. Now that he thought
about it, the commanders-in-chief earlier had also been speaking in Italian.
“We magi train in a special language sense when we are young, allowing
us to acquire all sorts of languages in short time. See, haven’t you met
people who learn foreign languages easily?”
“That’s right, Erica, your Japanese is indeed quite excellent…”
“A mage’s education includes courses on training this type of trait.
Campiones too, are also imbued with this disposition. It’s not particularly
flashy, but it turns out to be a rather practical ability.”
“Last but not least, Campiones’ greatest weapons are their ‘authorities.’
Considering what’s happened so far, it is likely that Godou has usurped
Verethragna’s power of the ten incarnations.”
The ship had set sail at 7:30pm. Due to the abundance of time, Erica
recounted everything she had discovered during the battle that day.
“I can get ten abilities from a god?”
“Most certainly. North America’s Devil King, John Pluto-sama, usurped the
authority of [Metamorphosis] from the demonic deity Tezcatlipoca, thereby
obtaining five different forms.”
“It’s like that?”
“England’s Black Prince Alec possesses the authority of [Black Lightning],
which not only allows him to move as fast as lightning, but turn himself into
lightning and even use lightning as a weapon.”
“In other words, it’s only fitting…”
Looks like Campione authorities were rather flexible.
Godou began to gain a rudimentary understanding of his body.
“Since Godou’s authority includes ten abilities, perhaps there will be
various strict conditions governing their use.”
“That sounds plausible somehow, but not entirely correct… By the way,
Erica.”
A thought suddenly occurred to Godou, so he brought it up.
“You tricked me that time before I summoned the boar, what was with that
‘my chest hurts’!”
“Outrageous. Accusing me of tricking you. You were using your powers
rather passively so I decided to give a final push, that’s all.”
“There was no need to give me a push. Deceiving a comrade is the worst.
Do you know how angry and worried I was at the time!?”
“I never relied on you!”
“Relying or not, it is only natural to be worried!”
“I, Erica Blandelli, would never be caught in a crisis because of a spell of
that level. If you are clearly unaware of this fact, please do not call yourself
my comrade so easily!”
A crash of thunder suddenly brought an end to this fruitless argument.
Part 2
Earlier during the daylight hours, the Mediterranean sky had been clear
and sunny.
Although it was still March, the sunlight felt more like early summer. Even
at night, the sky was completely devoid of clouds. Illuminated by the moon
and the stars, the sea at night offered a wondrous sight.
Nevertheless, the crash of thunder just now-
Godou felt something strange from the sound of thunder rumbling up in the
sky.
He felt turmoil in his heart, and inexplicably, he knew that a formidable foe
was drawing near.
His body brimmed with power and felt hot all over. Including his limbs,
down to every digit and even each capillary, all parts of his body were
infused with power and heat, as if announcing they had adjusted
themselves to a battle-ready stance.
“What is going on with this feeling…”
Muttering to himself, Godou noticed something about the thunder just now.
That. Now that was a real enemy indeed. The mage encountered this
morning was totally insignificant in the face of a god-slayer.
Completely worthless as an opponent. Even if the enemy was the genius
Erica or an ultimate master who surpassed her, it would make no
difference. Humans could not offer meaningful resistance against a
god-slayer.
A god-slayer’s opponent must be a god — this was absolute.
The instant he realized that, Godou got up from his seat in the restaurant.
Walking outside without a word, he climbed the stairs and arrived at the top
deck of the ferry.
Erica soon followed. The two stopped quarreling and walked along the top
deck. There were no other people in sight.
Looking up, one could see the sky had filled with dark clouds at some
unknown point in time.
For some reason, Godou knew there was a “god” within the clouds. Or at
least, a portion of one was inside there. Otherwise, his body would not be
reacting so strongly.
Crash! A flash of lightning streaked past, lighting the dark sky blue-white as
thunder erupted.
‘It’s been a while, boy. In a matter of days, you have already started to look
a little like a god-slayer.’
The deep, rich male voice descended from the heavens.
“You are Melqart… Right?”
‘Of course. To think you would be unable to recognize the voice of the
great divine king. How immature.”
Cautiously confirming the speaker’s name only earned him mockery and
derision. Godou shrugged.
It was the first time to converse in this manner. Playing it safe was only
natural.
Godou turned towards Erica beside him, hoping she had something to say.
However, she shook her head as if saying “you should be the one talking.”
Whenever the enemy was a god, it was Kusanagi Godou’s domain…
Perhaps that was what she thought?
‘Very well. Fate must have brought me to witness a brat like you slay
Verethragna. Brat, you and I both awakened on the island I used for
temporary shelter. Hence, I shall take up the duty of punishing your sin of
god-slaying. Brat, any objections?’
“Absolutely! I have no intentions of fighting you.”
‘How unlike a god-slayer! There is no need for unnecessary concerns, after
all, it’s simply the next step.’
“The next step!?”
‘This sea was once the territory of the people who served me, but look at
what it has become. The people here have the insolence to forget the
name of Melqart, and are polluting my sacred domain. As the stately divine
king, I cannot allow such foolish behavior of the people to persist.’
Every time Melqart spoke, a flash of lightning streaked across the sky.
Even though it was only a hunch, [Heretic God] Melqart was probably
absent and simply communicating through the lightning. But then again,
there was this strange feeling. Puzzling about gods, Godou spoke to the
sky.
“By the way, last time you said you were going to submerge the island.”
‘Hmm, first I shall sink the island where Verethagna met you, brat, and
then it will be the island where I am sleeping now. After that, I shall
submerge all my ancient territories.’
Melqart declared calmly, causing Godou to tremble in fear.
‘I’ve considered it, I shall execute you, brat, before carrying out divine
punishment. But we will not fight here right now. Sinking these islands
requires the accumulation of power. I shall end things in one or two days.’
“Did you come all the way here just to tell me this?”
‘No truer words. There is still time before the ancient divine king’s
summons arrive. You may relax for now, and take your time to figure out
how to sharpen your sword while you wait. Then I shall send you, brat, on
a journey to paradise…’
Journey to paradise? It was at this time that Godou realized, Erica once
mentioned Melqart as the god of storms. The current thundercloud should
be due to his authority, which meant-
“If you wish, go on and cause a storm in this sky and over the sea!”
If that happened, neither ships nor planes could leave the island.
People would lose all means of escape to find sanctuary. Godou suddenly
thought, if storms were summoned right at this moment, all the people on
the ship would meet a watery grave…
‘Hmph, it looks like you have noticed it, brat. Very well, I shall look forward
to the amusement you will offer as a warrior. Well then, wait patiently for
your punishment!’
The surrounding sky reverberated with divine king Melqart’s hearty
laughter.
The thunder and lightning swiftly vanished and the night sky instantly
became clear once more.
Hoo… Godou exhaled deeply. Though the conversation with Melqart was
short, it was rather taxing mentally. The ancient divine king of the
Phoenicians. Even fragments of his voice were enough to cause serious
pressure.
Godou originally planned on returning to his room to sleep.
“I don’t know what to do yet, but let’s replenish my energy first. Now back
to the restaurant. This time I will enjoy my dinner properly.”
“…Wow, you seem pretty well-adjusted to the current situation.”
Erica exclaimed, causing Godou to feel a bit displeased.
Adjusting had nothing to do with it.
After that, Godou and Erica returned to their own rooms for the night.
Morning arrived the next day.
Around 9am or so, they once again returned to the top deck.
The sky was bright and sunny, allowing a clear view of the morning
Mediterranean Sea. The marine-blue sea and white waves glistened
beneath the bright sunlight, and even a harbor was coming into view!
The ship’s destination was the port city of Palermo on the island of Sicily.
Sicily was the largest island in the Mediterranean. Like Sardinia, it was an
autonomous region of Italy and a major producer of wine and olive oil. Also
a major exporter of fresh fish and gelater 1 ^; advertisements for these kinds
of goods could be seen everywhere.
Palermo was a city that acted as the gateway to Sicily.
Historically, it had been the ancient capital famed for its harbor on the
northwest part of Sicily. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily, it was
now the capital of the autonomous region of Sicily.
“Hey, where are we going once we arrive?”
Godou asked Erica who still seemed sleepy.
Glamorous on all other occasions, mornings were the only times when she
seemed a little slow. It was quite amusing indeed.
“First let’s make a visit to the Palermo magic association, [Panormus]. This
is the largest association on the island of Sicily. We have already
contacted them yesterday through the commanders-in-chief we met at
Cagliari. Palermo is also a city with intimate ties to the ancient
Phoenicians.”
“Like Cagliari, could it be a city built by the ancient Phoenicians as well?”
“Yes, that’s right. Though the rulers have changed hands many times, its
Phoenician origin remains historical fact. Since Sicily is the territory Melqart
is most concerned about, let’s start our operations with Palermo as our
base.”
Saying that, Erica’s face recovered her usual domineering airs.
“Once we reach the harbor, members of [Panormus] should be there to
welcome us.”
“Having people to receive us would really be a great help.”
At this time, a silver-haired elderly man approached.
Godou was reminded of the famous movie, “The Godfather.” Set in
America during 1920s, it told the story of bloody struggles between violent
gangs of Italian immigrants.
The old man gave off an aura that clearly belonged to no respectable man.
He was wearing what seemed to be a high-class suit. The cigar in his right
hand also looked very high class. There was a unified sense of solemnity
and criminality. Come to think of it, the mafia apparently operated on the
island of Sicily… Just as these thoughts crossed Godou’s mind, the man
had already arrived.
“Uncle Zamparini, were you traveling on this ship too?”
“Ah yes. I remember we only met once, but what a great memory you
have. Paolo Blandelli’s niece is indeed as clever as rumored.”
He appeared to be an acquaintance of Erica’s. But Old Man Zamparini’s
gaze soon shifted away from her.
“My name is Walter Zamparini. Perhaps you may have heard of my name
as the commander-in-chief of [Panormus]. We of [Panormus] are honored
to welcome the youngest king. We humbly pledge our lives at your
command.”
“Eh? But how did you get here? The ship hasn’t even reached the harbor
yet.”
“A trivial matter, it’s actually very simple. After receiving news from Cagliari
that Your Highness was coming to Sicily, I first took a plane to Cagliari and
then boarded this ship.”
It only took an hour’s flight from Palermo to Cagliari, so it was entirely
plausible. However, why did the old man have to do that?
“Thanks to that, I was able to witness Your Highness and Melqart in a
conversation between a devil king and a god. I, Zamparini, am willing to lay
down this life in service to Your Highness — Kusanagi Godou.”
I see. Godou figured it out.
Old Man Zamparini had boarded the same ship for the purpose of
observing Godou. In order to discern with his own two eyes whether
Godou was a god-slayer and whether he could duel a god or not. Having
witnessed the events last night, he had confirmed that Godou was a real
god-slayer…
“There is no need to go that far for my sake. As long as you help handle
Melqart’s aftermath, I’ll be really grateful.”
“Not at all. It is a mage’s duty to serve a Campione. Please accept our
assistance as much as possible… Ah, and Blandelli.”
Old Man Zamparini suddenly called to Erica by her family name.
“Thank you for your efforts in serving the young king till now. However,
your legal guardian, the [Copper Black Cross]’ commander-in-chief Paolo
Blandelli, has issued an order for your return. I shall serve in your place
from this point onward, so please drop everything and hurry back to Milan.”
This announcement struck Godou and Erica like a bolt from the blue.
Part 3
Thirty minutes or so after meeting Old Man Zamparini, the ship reached
the harbor of Palermo.
Following the old man who looked and dressed exactly like a mafia boss,
Godou and Erica got off the ship.
“Automobiles have already been prepared. There, that one.”
Gazing into the distance at the harbor, one could see two BMWs in front of
Zamparini.
Gazing at the sturdy-looking exteriors of the luxury vehicles, Godou
thought to himself. That’s definitely bullet-proof glass in case of a shootout,
right…
One of the cars was white while the other was black. Either way you look
at it, they did not seem like cars which normal people would ride.
“The [King] and I shall ride this one. Blandelli, the other one will take you to
the airport.”
Zamparini made his way towards the black BMW.
Both cars had chauffeurs who were wearing sloppy looking clothes. They
did not look like “professionals” but these men did have sharp glares…
Before Godou could object to the old man’s orders, Erica had already lit
the powder keg.
“I’m sorry, but I cannot return to Uncle Paolo yet.”
“Such willfulness. Your legal guardian has already requested that you, a
minor and a girl, be sent home. Besides, the organization you belong to
has also issued orders for your return. Hence, Blandelli, you have no
options left.”
Igniting the cigar on one end and placing the other end in his mouth, the
old man spoke. Even though he looked very solemn as he puffed out blue
smoke, Godou still felt compelled to speak.
“Excuse me, Zamparini-san. Although Erica really should return, I will be
very troubled if she’s no longer here. At least let her accompany me until
the duel with Melqart. It would be a great help to me.”
“I understand. Though Your Highness may be king, you are still young and
inexperienced as a god-slayer.”
Exhaling blue smoke, Zamparini said.
“I admit a capable person is needed to fill that role, but there’s no reason it
has to be Erica Blandelli, right?”
“Eh?”
“There is no need for a young girl like her to serve Your Highness who is
about to duel a god… Though you may feel I am putting this cruelly, it is a
risky and difficult mission after all.”
Risky? Godou realized his stupidity. Indeed, bringing Erica along would
mean getting her involved with a dangerous god.
However, he still had great need of Erica’s support-
“Hence, allow me to take over the role of serving the king as Erica
Blandelli’s substitute.”
“Eh? What are you talking about?”
Hearing something unexpected made Godou pose a stupid question.
“I, Zamparini, shall support you during battle. Hohoho, despite how I may
look, I did survive many dangerous situations in my youth… So please, let
me offer my utmost efforts.”
Zamparini’s words were full of confidence.
Godou imagined a scene with Zamparini dressed in a white suit, wearing a
Borsalino hat, his neck wrapped in a stylish muffler, puffing away on a
cigar, holding a machine-gun in one hand and dynamite in the other-
Perhaps the truth might be unexpectedly close to his imagination.
In actual fact, he could sense that the old man was far stronger than Erica.
However.
“No, even someone like you, Uncle Zamparini, cannot replace me. Fighting
beside Kusanagi Godou and advising him is my job, Erica Blandelli’s.”
Erica made a “partners” declaration.
That’s right, no matter how dangerous the situation, the only one who
stood by his side in the face of gods was Erica. Due to her declaration,
Godou realized once again.
Just as Godou was about to request for Erica to stay — at that very
moment.
“Let’s put it this way, it is because I am already Kusanagi Godou’s
‘woman’… We are lovers. Capable as you are, Uncle Zamparini, you
cannot pursue a romantic relationship with him, right? So please give up.”
What? Godou suddenly heard words he never expected.
In any case, the issue of Erica’s return was thus cast aside for now.
Godou and the rest rode Zamparini’s car and traveled across the city of
Palermo. Even though Godou and Erica had the rear seats all to
themselves, Erica stuck to Godou the whole time like lovers. Sometimes
she would lean over, while on other occasions she embraced him, her
body tightly pressed against him the whole time.
Godou felt really dizzy.
Though Palermo was an Italian city, it was heavily influenced by Islamic
culture. Consequently, virtually all buildings in the streets had no windows
visible.
Godou was concerned about Erica’s lie, but the sensation of her body
tightly pressed against him felt really unsettling.
That soft, supple skin of hers, gave off a sweet fragrance akin to perfume,
making him feel warm and comfortable. The sensations of the beautiful
young blonde sent Godou’s mind into a daze.
“Hmm, Blandelli… In other words, you and Kusanagi Godou are engaged
in a relationship as a couple?”
“Yes, exactly, Uncle Zamparini. So please don’t do anything so
inconsiderate as to try to separate us. It would certainly taint the name of
Walter Zamparini, once renowned as the Hero of Sicily.”
“Well since it’s been spelled out to this extent, my hands are tied…”
Sitting on the passenger seat beside the driver, Zamparini conversed with
Erica as she sat beside Godou.
“I guess it can’t be helped. As an elder of an association, I really should do
as your uncle, Paolo Blandelli, requested. But as a man, I can’t stubbornly
refuse to think outside the box. Very well then, I will make things
convenient for you and the young [King].”
“Wow, I’m really grateful! Come, Godou, you thank him as well.”
“A-Ah yes, l-I’m really thankful.”
Erica suddenly dragged him into the conversation, causing Godou to offer
his thanks frantically.
“Not at all. As long as you’re a man, who wouldn’t want to enjoy
themselves once or twice?”
Zamparini’s words made Godou freeze.
If a guy like him could really become lovers with a beauty like Erica, it
would certainly be worthy of celebration.
“And Kusanagi Godou, it is rather good news to us magi that Your
Highness holds a healthy interest in beautiful girls. After all, the current
Devil Kings are all rather rigid in their thinking, with nothing to do with the
pleasures of life.”
Just as Godou was surprised by this sudden topic, the car stopped in front
of a seaside park.
“Hmm… Let us take a break here for now.”
At Zamparini’s orders, the car stopped. Presumably to dispel the awkward
atmosphere.
Given this unexpected free time, Erica and Godou took a walk in the park,
holding hands.
“What do you mean by this!?”
“I couldn’t help it. There was no other choice.”
The two whispered to each other as they watched the sea, hand in hand.
Zamparini and his subordinates kept away tactfully, allowing them privacy
to speak their mind.
“Listen Godou, I will now explain in order. First, Zamparini holds you in
high regard, probably because he eavesdropped on your conversation with
Melqart.”
“Really? But I didn’t really say much that time.”
“Are you stupid? Simply talking to a [Heretic God] as equals is already an
accomplishment. Furthermore, you are a completely neutral king in the
world of magic, with neither supporters, subordinates nor backing.
Zamparini wishes to establish amicable ties with you right now.”
“I don’t really mind if all he wants are amicable ties…”
“If that’s all he wants, fine. But supposing Zamparini wishes to become an
adviser akin to being the ‘right hand man’ of the seventh Devil King, then
it’s not hard to understand. At least, I believe he is aiming for the lofty
power and influence held by kings.”
Other than the fact that she was holding Godou’s hand as she leaned
against him, Erica acted identically as before.
“Hence, Erica Blandelli by your side is an obtrusive existence to him, which
is why he preemptively contacted the [Copper Black Cross] beforehand.”
“But what does becoming the ‘right hand man’ have to do with sending you
back?”
“You finally noticed the key point. Hmm, that’s the issue.”
Erica seemed to have reached a conclusion, as she murmured towards
empty space.
“Although [Panormus] is the largest association on the island of Sicily, it
only counts as mid to small scale on the entire European stage. But if
[Panormus] obtains a Campione’s protection, or even becomes his direct
subordinate organization, then it can stand toe to toe with bigger and more
prestigious associations.”
“On the other hand, prestigious associations, like the [Copper Black Cross]
which I belong to, will avoid developing intimate ties with individual [Kings]
as much as possible. Of course, they will still offer their services with the
greatest reverence, but they will not approve of acts such as having their
commander-in-chief’s niece and future commander-in-chief candidate
become an immature Devil King’s ‘right hand man.’ ”
“So why do you have to call yourself my ‘lover?’ ”
Godou exclaimed emphatically, for there must be other ways, right?
“T-This couldn’t be helped either. Apart from using the name of an
association’s mage, supporting you on a personal basis would be most
ideal. Once a Campione declares ‘I will not permit my woman to be taken
away,’ no one will dare drive me away.”
Indeed, as soon as she made the lovers declaration, Zamparini became
understanding and accommodating.
As befitted the passionate Latin nation, perhaps they were more lenient
when it came to matters of love. However, Godou was a bona fide member
of the Yamato nation!
“Wouldn’t it work if you said we are good friends?”
“Idiot, that would only work to Zamparini’s advantage!”
As their argument escalated as they leaned their bodies close together,
their voices grew louder and louder.
“…Besides, I believe that a declaration of lovers would better protect my
safety.”
“Why is that?”
“You must have felt it to some extent. Zamparini and his [Panormus]
association are not just a real magic association, but also authentic Sicilian
mafia.”
“He really is a Godfather!?”
“If he deemed me serving by Godou’s side to be a hindrance, ordering an
assassination would just be everyday business for them. Particularly during
a battle with Melqart, a bullet to the back followed by a cover up would not
be surprising.”
“What a bunch of people…”
“If you have the leisure to panic, why don’t you put some effort into looking
more passionate…”
Erica finally concluded.
“That is why I called myself your lover. As the girl upon whom the
Campione bestows his full affections, I will be safe from their foolhardy
attempts. Consequently, please treat me as your most beloved woman,
understood?”
And thus the secret conversation ended.
The pair tried their best to look like “lovers” as they walked back to the car.
Thereafter, Zamparini took them sightseeing to various attractions.
Ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire, Arabs, Normans and various tribes
had conquered Palermo in the past. Its history carried a certain exotic flair
that distinguished the city from many others. Along the old city streets
along the shore, there were many ancient buildings.
Churches and chapels flashed into view. Then they were taken to the
Palazzo dei Normanni — a palace that was constructed by Arabs in the
ninth century then later rebuilt as the Norman king’s residence in the
twelfth century.
“Very well, time to go.”
It was 5pm when Zamparini declared in the car. Exhausted from all the
sightseeing, Godou asked lifelessly:
“…Where are we going this time?”
“To my home, Kusanagi Godou. It’s about time for Your Highness to rest.
Tonight, please accept my invitation to be a guest at my home.”
Godou was shocked. Going around acting like lovers with Erica all day had
completely drained him and he wished to have a good rest in a room by
himself…
Soon after, they arrived at Zamparini’s home located in a high-class
residential neighborhood within the city of Palermo.
Numerous servants were hard at work in this spacious and luxurious
mansion. All over the premises were people who appeared rather
disreputable. They were most likely mafia as well as magi belonging to the
[Panormus] magic association.
Godou and Erica were taken to the most grand and luxurious room in the
house. That in itself was certainly nice, but Godou’s problem was that he
was not the only one sleeping there.
With a matter-of-fact tone of voice, Erica informed Godou they will be
sleeping in the same room.
Part 4
Night had fallen and dinner time had arrived. But the only occupants of the
stately and magnificent dining room were the master Zamparini, Godou
and Erica. Three people.
It was not yet time to start eating, but the table was already piled full of
high-class dishes and sumptuous offerings.
Due to Erica’s public declaration of a “lovers’ relationship,” Godou could
only eat mechanically despite facing the most luxurious feast he
encountered to this date. Thanks to that, Godou completely failed to
register what he ate or what anything tasted like.
Then Godou was taken to the bedroom.
Naturally, Erica accompanied him. Willing or not, they could not tear their
gazes away from the massive canopy bed. Obviously, there was no other
bed either.
“I-I’m gonna sleep on the couch over there.”
“T-That’s right. Even if I declared ourselves to be lovers, there is no need
to go so far.”
Just as they reached consensus, the telephone in the room started to ring.
“This happens to be one of my hobbies.”
A massive bath was located in a corner of Zamparini’s home. Thus
declared Godou and Erica’s host and master of the house, with great pride
over the phone.
“Often I feel that modern Europeans over neglect the customs of the bath…
Hence, I decided to have craftsmen recreate an ancient Roman bath right
here.”
Mesmerized by the sight of the bathing facilities, Godou answered with a
simple “Huh.”
Inside were three massive bathing areas, each wider than any swimming
pool Godou had ever seen. Two were filled with hot water while the third
was cold. The place was filled with giant columns like the Parthenon
temple in Greece, giving a serene sense of solemnity.
Naturally, the facilities were also equipped with sauna rooms and a smaller
Jacuzzi tub. Indeed, this massive bathing facility did feel like Roman baths
from the times at the height of their popularity.
“It must have been fate that allowed me the chance to entertain the young
king and his lover. Surely, Your Highness and your lover over there should
take the time to enjoy yourselves here.”
” “Eh?” ”
Zamparini’s sudden proposal left Godou and Erica dumbfounded.
“Hoho, it’s only natural for two young lovers to indulge themselves in
pleasure at a place like this. I apologize for my boldness, but I have taken
upon myself to make preparations for the two of you. –Come.”
The old man smiled knowingly and clapped his hands to summon.
With the sound of voices asking “Are you calling us, Master?” coming from
inside, ten-odd women emerged. Godou was stunned by their appearance.
All the women were merely clad in sheer fabric. The level of skin exposure
was virtually equivalent to full nudity.
Amongst the young women were Caucasians, Negros, as well as girls of
oriental descent. Every girl was outstanding in face and figure. All were
young beauties without exception.
“These are my maids. They are here to serve your every command.”
“N-N-No such thing! This is not my cup of tea, spare me please! I-I-I’m
going to the ordinary bathroom–”
“Well, Uncle Zamparini, thank you very much for your kind offer.”
As Godou refused on reflex, Erica restrained him with a look from her eyes
and proceeded to express thanks.
“Fufufu, isn’t this marvelous, Godou? Don’t be shy, you should properly
accept Uncle Zamparini’s generosity at a time like this.”
Erica leaned herself against Godou as if on purpose.
Seeing this amusing scene, Zamparini respectfully took a bow and exited
the bathing facility.
“Young master and mistress, please come over here.”
A couple of highly exposed maids approached.
Do I have to get naked right now? Just as Godou stood stunned ~ Erica
immediately stepped forward between them.
“Hoho, wait a second. I have no intention of robbing you of your job, but
the privilege of undressing him belongs to no one but me alone. Excuse
me, but please give us some private time alone for now.”
Then she gently and elegantly led Godou away by the hand.
Undress? His mind in a state of suspension, Godou was thus pulled
towards the changing room.
Along the way, Erica released Godou’s hand.
“What’s going on?”
“Quiet. Those maids are here to investigate. They must have been sent on
Zamparini’s commands to verify if we are lovers or not.”
Erica spoke softly and Godou whispered back.
(Investigate?)
(He is probably suspicious about our relationship. Think about it, Zamparini
must have been observing us since last night.)
(Now that you mentioned it, we were having an argument… Damn it, what
should we do now?)
What could we do now to resemble lovers even more? Hating himself for
knowing nothing of romance, Godou racked his brains to no avail.
(No other way, Godou, we must prepare ourselves.)
(Prepare ourselves?)
(Ah yes, even though I said “give us some private time alone for now,” the
maids will run after us immediately and Zamparini’s doubt would only
increase. We must switch over to offense starting now.)
Erica declared like a knight with decisive valor.
I see, I get it now. Godou nodded. In the world of duels, running away from
risk would only lead to greater danger.
(I got it. So what should I do specifically?)
(W-Well then ~ first undress, both of us need to take off all our clothes, and
then walk out there in front of those girls.)
Her earlier valor seemingly a lie, Erica’s face had gone all red.
“Eh?” asked Godou foolishly.
(T-This is the plan for breaking out of our predicament, and it’s the only
plan! So Godou, you must suppress your lustful thoughts and focus on
carrying out the plan. Swear that you will erase from your memory
everything you see starting this moment! Swear you’ll forget it all, do you
understand!?)
Returning from the changing room, Godou was wearing nothing but a
towel wrapped around his waist.
Likewise, Erica was naked aside from the large bath towel she used to
cover everything from her hips up to her bust.
“Let me help you wash.”
Just like before, several girls stepped forward.
“Sure… But limit your efforts to washing me alone.”
Erica replied elegantly to the beautiful girl who appeared to be the maids’
representative.
“What about the young master?”
“Hoho, perhaps he does want to be washed by you girls… Hohoho,
nevertheless, I will be driven mad by jealousy if I see him touched by any
woman apart from myself. Perhaps I might even be driven to murder him
and the women around him.”
“Fufu, that would be terrible, wouldn’t it? I understand.”
Erica’s mischievous expression and tone of voice stood in stark contrast to
her dangerous declaration.
Smiling in response, the maid representative gestured to the others with
her eyes. Thereafter, the highly stimulating girls, clad in sheer fabric,
distanced themselves from Godou.
Godou recalled Erica’s instructions.
‘Act casual. If you panic and lose composure, it won’t work!’
Consequently, Godou had no choice but to desperately pretend to act
natural.
Like some sort of incantation, he repeatedly chanted “mind over body,
mind over body” to himself.
As the maids laid their hands on Erica’s bath towel, the piece of cloth was
taken away to reveal a young maiden’s magnificent nude body, the most
alluring and seductive that Godou had ever known.
Then Godou saw.
Appearing before Godou like a queen surrounded by maids, Erica’s body
was as bare as the day she was born. Godou already knew her figure was
outstanding, but that notion was simply too naive. She was more beautiful
than he could ever imagine.
Her gracefully shaped breasts, voluminous yet perky, did not show any
impression of sagging.
On the other hand, those rosy flower buds, on the front of her breasts,
exuded such purity and loveliness.
Her waist was extremely taut and without the slightest fat. Furthermore,
that round voluptuous body part below the waist traced out a most
wondrous curve-
In addition, Erica’s pale complexion was unparalleled. Immersed in the
steam of the bath, her alabaster skin showed a tint of redness against its
pristine paleness. The mere sight of her skin was enough to deal a
devastating blow to Godou’s rational sense of mind.
“Hoho, Godou is so… You’ve clearly seen me so many times and yet you
still gaze upon me with such crazed and intense eyes. This passion of
yours is what I find truly adorable.”
Erica spoke, smiling as she endured Godou’s gaze. Crap, I forgot all about
Erica’s earlier instructions to “Watch me as if you were admiring a familiar
work of art.”
Godou concurred with Erica’s words and said:
“T-That’s only because you are so full of charm.”
Godou recited the line that was prepared beforehand.
Due to Erica’s strict orders of “Speak as little as possible to avoid blowing
our cover,” Godou immediately kept his mouth shut.
During this time, the maids poured water over Erica’s body. Instead of
using a shower head, they carried water directly using wooden buckets.
After being washed, that perfect skin of hers seemed even smoother than
before.
As if trying not to harm a beautiful yet fragile work of art, the maids washed
cautiously with reverent motion.
Guided by the maids, Erica, with her beautiful silky skin, entered the hot
water bath. Like a mistress of the house enjoying her exclusive bath, she
stretched her legs out with an air of satisfaction.
The bath was filled with floating flowers of red camellia that the maids
poured into the bathwater along with scented oil. This filled the entire
bathing facility with a rich sense of fragrance.
“Godou, when are you going to stop staring at me? Lacking patience is
one of your shortcomings. Please hurry over then.”
“Ah, uh yeah.”
At Erica’s behest, Godou responded immediately and stood up to enter the
bath, wading over to beside Erica.
Erica leaned her back against Godou’s chest. The blonde female knight
was not only a master of the sword but also the owner of a magnificent
body with a slender figure and skin that felt as soft and smooth as silk.
Godou now entered a posture of embracing Erica.
–Hmm, my entire body feels so hot, it must be due to the hot water.
–Hmm, I feel kind of like I’m drunk. This too, must be due to the hot water.
“Really… Are you still peeping at me? Godou sure is a bad boy, or is it
because I am too attractive…”
Under the hot water, Erica turned herself around, coming face to face with
Godou.
Of course, Godou maintained his posture of embrace. Feeling Erica’s
bouncy bosom pressed against him, Godou could not help but scream
“Mind over body!” over and over to himself.
But Erica continued to press the offense.
She lightly kissed Godou everywhere across his face, chin and neck
except for his lips, then stared at him with eyes of craving.
Godou could feel his sanity flying away to the heavens, but he desperately
held on. In the predetermined manner they had agreed on earlier, Godou
stared at the maids and began whispering with Erica.
As the mastermind of the farce, the beautiful maiden went “Ah, I see” and
smiled.
Like a princess accustomed to issuing orders, Erica proceeded to turn her
gaze to the maid representative.
“Isn’t it about time for you all to be dismissed?”
“May we?”
“He tells me he feels self-conscious in front of other women, so leave us
alone for now, we… will ‘enjoy’ ourselves a bit, understood?”
“Understood. Very well then, we shall be dismissed.”
The maid representative immediately smiled and bowed her head
reverently.
With great swiftness the maids all made an exit. Most likely, they did not
fail to understand the behavior Erica meant by the word “enjoy.”
Of course, all this was achieved without any merit on Godou’s part. It was
clearly such an embarrassing situation and yet Erica’s acting was so
natural and convincing. Godou once again recognized Erica’s skill in
performing on the public stage.
Even though the maids had left, the two of them remained in tight
embrace.
Several minutes later, Erica slowly chanted spell words softly to use
investigative magic.
“How are things?”
“There’s no one around the bath, and no one hiding in here using magic
either.”
Having confirmed it was safe, they both exhaled deeply out of relief.
Erica immediately separated herself from Godou’s body and distanced
herself away from him. Soaked in the water for so long, both of them were
almost about to faint.
That night, Godou and Erica spent the night in one bedroom.
Furthermore, they were sleeping in such outrageous conditions — on the
same bed under the same blanket.
Hearing from Erica that the bedroom was free of investigative magic she
had used in the bath, as well as non-mechanical but magical means of
voyeurism and eavesdropping, Godou originally intended to sleep alone on
the couch. However…
“How can we sleep separately while we are under suspicions? There are
servants outside the room. If we sleep apart, our cover will be blown
immediately!”
Erica snarled angrily. Indeed, it would be most unnatural for a pair of lovers
who had displayed such passion in the bath to sleep separately.
Thus the two of them marked an “invisible boundary line” across the
spacious bed.
Having established a treaty of absolute inviolable territory, the two of them
laid themselves on the same bed under the same blanket, becoming
bedfellows. Godou slept on the left side while Erica slept on the right.
In order to avoid trespassing into Erica’s territory, Godou slept with his
back towards her. Likewise, Erica slept in the same posture, both of them
keeping their distance with their backs towards each other.
In any case, let’s sleep first. Fall asleep quickly. Trying to dispel
unnecessary thoughts of temptation, Godou kept his eyes tightly shut,
desperately summoning the arrival of sleep. Suddenly, he heard sounds of
sobbing.
With great surprise, Godou found himself hearing extremely quiet sobbing
noises.
“…Erica, are you crying?”
“…l-lmpossible, I’m just a little sad over my loss of purity, that’s all.”
Erica whispered in a domineering yet exhausted voice.
“W-What loss of purity, in actual fact, we didn’t really do anything…”
“You’re such an idiot! For me, my completely naked body was seen by you.
Acts that no virgin should engage in have taken place, and even now, I am
sharing a bed with you ~ furthermore, the things we’ve done are known to
many others.”
“K-Known to many others?”
“The Campione and his lover who happens to be the daughter of the
prestigious Blandelli family. In our world, this is sensational news whether
politically or as gossip. Very soon, it will propagate everywhere.”
“Is that how it works…”
“Anyone who hears of such rumors will never believe me to have remained
untainted in body. Apart from myself, no one will think I am a pure virgin.”
Sobbing noises. Faint sobbing was heard once more.
“Anyway, it’s okay, I have no regrets.”
“Really?”
“Certainly. I, Erica Blandelli, will never ever do anything I regret afterwards,
absolutely never. Please do not misunderstand, I did this for other reasons
and not because I liked Godou.”
Godou fell silent. The fact that he did misunderstand for an instant must be
kept secret.
“Listen carefully, this was simply assistance offered by the heroic knight
who pitied and took mercy on the man who suddenly became king. Doing
things to such an extent was simply part of my perfectionism, make no
mistake about that.”
“I see… Thank you, Erica, it is impossible for me to properly express my
gratitude to you.”
This was a time when proper thanks were necessary.
Thinking that, Godou suddenly spoke up. His back having crossed the
boundary, he could feel Erica squirming awkwardly, most likely due to
embarrassment.
“N-Not at all. If you and I had never met, the current situation would never
have happened, so pay it no mind.”
“But I mind. Yes, about the matter of your purity.”
Feeling embarrassed, Godou asked:
“If you don’t mind, l-l really have to take responsibility, right?”
“Idiot, there’s no need to take responsibility. After all, I did everything under
my own will. But you have to keep your promise and forget everything that
happened in the bath, got that!?”
Due to sleeping in the same bed, the two of them continued to chat
throughout the night for a very long time.
Even though he was utterly drained in mind and body, Godou could not
close his eyes, unable to sleep because he was overly conscious of the
person sleeping beside him.
The next morning, Godou immediately got up and looked out the window
as soon as he woke up.
Heavy rain poured down, accompanied by strong gusts of wind and
occasional roars of thunder. Truly, a storm was coming.
From the rumbles of thunder, Godou heard a voice.
‘–Long you have waited, god-slayer! Come! In the real battle, I shall
demonstrate clearly to you with lightning the ancient king’s magnificence
as the hunter of dragons. Head east, and I shall await you in the ruins of
the eastern decayed city!’
As the raging winds and roars of thunder passed on this message, this was
a voice which Godou alone could hear, because the divine king Melqart
recognized no one but Godou.
“…Could this be Melqart?”
“Yeah, he’s calling me.”
Erica asked from bed with a sleepy voice and Godou answered.
Not even seven in the morning, this was far earlier than Erica’s usual time
to rise given her morning feebleness. Nevertheless, the roars of the violent
wind together with the divine presence filling the atmosphere must have
woken her up.
“Finally time for a proper battle… Right.”
“What?”
“Nothing major. Just as I thought, it’s better to wear less while I sleep, or
else it feels too stuffy…”
“What is with you girl, how do you sleep normally?”
Without leaving the room, Erica began to change into lighter sleepwear.
Due to Erica’s strange behavior in her sleepy state, Godou continued to
stare outside the window.
“Melqart said he’s waiting for me in the ruins of the decayed city to the
east. Where on earth is that?”
“Probably Soluntum, seventeen kilometers east of Palermo. It was once a
front line outpost of the ancient Phoenicians and now a district of ruins…”
Hearing the approximate location described by the divine king, Erica
whispered softly.
“Go ask Zamparini to send out [Panormus] magi to scout it out. Once the
[Heretic God]’s presence is detected, start moving out in that direction.”
Hearing the answer of his “partner,” back to her usual reliable form, Godou
nodded.
Part 5
“An image is appearing in my mind… A weapon of light.”
Godou answered in the car en route to Soluntum.
Sitting beside him, Erica had asked “Try imagining what power would be
effective in a battle against Melqart the god of storms?”
Godou had pondered for a while but came up with nothing.
After further contemplation, he still had no idea.
This was only natural. A week ago, Godou was just an ordinary person
completely uninvolved with the world of magic and gods. After three
minutes of thought, Godou gave up, certain in the futility of further thought.
Then suddenly, inspiration struck his mind.
“Hmm, I get the feeling I need to use a bright and shiny weapon.”
“Could your hint get any more ambiguous…”
Godou shrugged at Erica’s sarcasm.
“As expected, in a fight against a [Heretic God], all one can do is make a
proper entrance to the stage.”
Zamparini spoke from the driver’s seat.
He was driving the white BMW. Due to the storm, they were taking an
eastbound national route which had lower traffic.
-Three hours after Godou got out of bed, a massive spiritual presence was
confirmed near the Soluntum Archaeological Park, just as Erica predicted.
After receiving the report, Erica had said:
“We are going to battle Melqart now, please lend us a car and driver.”
“No problem, it will be ready right away.”
After hearing Zamparini’s polite reply, Godou and Erica headed to the
entrance of the mansion. The old man, both Sicilian mafia boss and magic
association commander-in-chief, made his reappearance driving the white
BMW.
“Hoho, excuse me for saying so, but I’m quite confident in my skills.”
Godou listened to Zamparini’s boast with an annoyed expression as he sat
in the rear seat.
As a side note, there was a black attache case on the passenger seat next
to the driver.
“…Can I look at what’s inside?”
With an ominous premonition, Godou opened the case to confirm.
Inside was a sleek black submachine gun. The Thompson M1921 ,
commonly known as the “Tommy Gun.” Even for someone unfamiliar with
firearms, Godou recognized it as one of the world’s earliest submachine
guns, and one that had been favored by assassins in the movie “The
Godfather.”
Furthermore, it was fully ready to fire, with a drum magazine attached to
the gunbarrel…
“Uncle Zamparini is active as a mage in various militant factions across
Europe and America. While I use swords to manipulate ‘iron,’ Uncle uses
guns and ammunition to manipulate ‘flames,’ you see.”
“So… So that’s why I had that kind of feeling.”
Godou nodded at Erica’s explanation.
The trip from Palermo to the Soluntum ruins required roughly thirty
minutes.
Soluntum was a town constructed in the fourth century BCE by the
Phoenicians in the mountains along the shore. It fell into decline after
coming under Greek and Roman rule, and was eventually destroyed by
Islamic Arabs. In modern times, the site was being run as the Soluntum
Archaeological Park and Museum.
Thanks to Zamparini’s preparations, the park and the museum were
immediately shut down as part of emergency measures.
But under such weather conditions of roaring wind and torrential rain along
with lightning descending from dark clouds, it was unlikely there would be
any visitors to the museum anyway.
Nevertheless, Godou was gratified to know that park staff were helping
with evacuating visitors.
“Godou, I will leave for a moment to remain on standby somewhere else.
Leave the role of support to me.”
Getting off the BMW, Erica yelled out over the roars of the wind.
“Okay! I am relying on you!”
Before Zamparini could get a word in, Godou swiftly gave his permission.
Godou recalled Erica mentioning the night before that “Fighting together in
one place will pose certain difficulties…” Although it could be unnecessary
worry, it was better to be safe than sorry.
“Hold onto this, it might come in handy.”
Godou held out his hand to receive the object Erica gave to him.
The object was a lion-shaped ornament that felt quite heavy despite being
palm-sized. After putting it away carefully, Godou entered the
archaeological park together with Old Man Zamparini.
Umbrellas were pointless in such weather since they would be instantly
blown away.
Whether Godou, Zamparini, or Erica who had just taken off, all of them
were wearing raincoats. But to little effect, for Godou found his lower torso
almost completely drenched.
Feeling that the hood obscured his vision too much, Godou simply took it
off instead.
The strong wind, heavy rain, loud thunder and various noises made it
impossible to speak to each other. Without saying a word, Godou and
Zamparini made their way towards the interior of the park silently.
Then Godou felt his entire body filling with power.
It had happened before back when he heard Melqart’s “voice” on the ship.
This was power surging forth for the sake of battle. In order to fight a god,
this power was produced instinctively by a god-slayer. The five senses of
the body as well as a sixth sense, down to his fingertips and every
capillary, all were filled with heat and power.
After that, Godou finally arrived at the deepest part of the ruins.
This was a little hill on the seaside, with two columns erected like deer or
goat horns. Other than these upright columns, there were no other
structures.
However, this lack of structures was not due to the ravages of time.
Even eons ago in the distant past, only two columns existed here.
As taught by Erica previously, Godou knew these two columns were the
symbols of the Phoenician sky god Melqart. Then Godou felt it — his
presence!
Melqart was located directly above the two columns!
Manifesting tangibly as violent winds, fierce rain, and scorching lightning
and thunder in the air, the sky god Melqart was making his appearance in
the form of the storm.
‘Huhahaha! We finally meet again, young god-slayer!’
“On the contrary, I am not only a civilized person but also a pacifist. Even if
my opponent is a prestigious god, I have no wish to accept a dangerous
fight.”
‘What god-slayer is this, to make such a weak statement? No matter,
whether a brat like you agrees to fight or not, there is no problem. To me, it
is entirely irrelevant. But are you sure? There are only six days left, eh?’
“Six days? What do you mean?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *