V2 Chapter 103: Reunion (Part 2)


As Claira stepped into the room, her cry almost resembled a scream. She dashed toward the figure of Klimt, who lay on a bed of grass.

By Klimt’s side, there seemed to be a pair resembling siblings of the Kijin, but they probably hadn’t caught Claira’s eye.

The siblings, taken aback by Claira’s sudden entrance, showed signs of caution. However, Kagari called out their names, stopping their wary actions. Apparently, the sister’s name was Lan, and the brother’s name was Yamato.

“Klimt… Oh, Klimt!”

Joy overflowed in Claira’s voice as she called out his name. Yet, it was paired with an equally profound sorrow.

The joy was, of course, for realizing that Klimt, whom she was told was dead, was still alive.

The sorrow was for seeing Klimt so emaciated that he seemed on the brink of death.

“…What has happened?”

Ursula frowned deeply, groaning. I probably had a similar expression on my face.

Klimt’s complexion had gone beyond pale to an earthy hue. His right arm, which appeared to have been severed by someone, was festering, emitting a foul, putrid stench.

Due to his injuries, his cheeks were sunken, and the flesh from his neck, arms, and legs seemed to have wasted away. A faint, wheezing breath escaped his slightly open mouth, the only sign indicating that Klimt was still alive.

“No, this is dire! Master Kagari, please prepare a large amount of water and clean cloth immediately!”

The one who shouted was the Kijin doctor, Sozai. He approached Klimt briskly and began administering first aid with swift, precise movements. Claira immediately assisted him, and shortly after, Lan joined in.

As for me, I simply stood there, silently watching the three of them.

I figured three people were more than enough for emergency care. However, I never placed much emphasis on Klimt’s life or death, and that indifference made my actions seem passive.

Considering Claira’s feelings, it would be best if Klimt survived. However, that doesn’t mean I’m obliged to devoutly assist. Klimt probably wouldn’t wish to be meticulously cared for by me either!

For the record, I had already handed over the “Blood Spraying Sword” special potion to Claira and told her that its use for Klimt was at her discretion.

To demand anything more from me felt unwarranted, and that was my genuine sentiment.

To state the conclusion upfront: Klimt survived.

Though he wasn’t fully healed, at best he was in a stable condition. At the very least, he had moved away from the dire state where he could perish at any moment.

My potion played a part, but Sozai’s medical skills were evidently outstanding. Indeed, had Sozai not been present, whether Klimt could have been saved by the potion alone remained uncertain.

The cause of Klimt’s drastic decline was not only the loss of his right arm but also his unconscious state preventing him from erecting defenses using Kei. Consequently, Klimt’s body was consumed by the miasma of the demon realm, causing him to weaken rapidly.

As mentioned before, the dragon-blood infused potion is potent. While powerful, it can also harm the user. The potion I brought to the demon realm was adjusted by Miroslav. Still, it inevitably imposed a strain on Klimt’s already weakened body.

Indeed, it was even possible that giving him the potion might have caused his demise.

To aid Klimt, it was essential first to remove the cause of his decline – the miasma – and then restore him enough to withstand the potion.

Of course, I lack such medical knowledge. I did possess a healing method called Soul Donor that once saved Claudia Dragnaut from a curse, but I had no intention of using it on Klimt. In this sense, Sozai’s presence was invaluable.

The medicinal baths and salves Sozai used were all made from leaves, roots, stems, bark, and even animal parts, with no magical elements involved. The festering right arm was treated entirely manually by Sozai.

The incense – effective against miasma – that was burned in the room during treatment was also personally concocted by Sozai.

In any case, Klimt was out of danger. Once his strength returns, we can take him back to Demon Island, fulfilling Claira’s wish to save her brother.

All’s well that ends well.

However, not quite.

While I knew why Klimt came to the demon realm, I was unaware why he was in the mountain region. It’s presumed that Klimt placed himself against the Nakayama to overthrow its king, but how did he learn of the relations between the Nakayama and mount Ganzan? And why did the mount Ganzan folks accept him? Lan and Yamato seemed fond of Klimt, a sentiment hard to imagine from the Klimt I knew.

To find out more, I’d want to hear from those who know, like the siblings and Kagari. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t care about Klimt or the Mitsurugi family’s movements, but the emperor’s mention of the “three hundred-year grudge” made me curious.

But we’re humans. While we’re currently allowed to move about the Nakayama region, now that we’ve found Klimt, we might be asked to leave. Doga likely feels this way, and the request for our departure isn’t far off. They probably wouldn’t share the secrets of the Kijin race.

I was left pondering how to navigate this. Fortunately or not, I wouldn’t be left pondering for long.


“Kagari, is that true?”

In a secluded room within the fortress, a room once used by the general of Mount Ganzan, Doga and Kagari faced each other, their tension evident as they exchanged words.

Kagari gave a clear nod in response to his brother’s question.

“Yes, even I wouldn’t make such a distasteful joke, Brother Doga. The Light God Temple was behind the rebels of Mount Ganzan. They were the ones supplying the mountain with money and resources. It seems that Shinto admitted it openly in front of Lan and the others.”

“Hmm… Kagari, just for the sake of asking, could it be a ruse to sever ties between Mount Nakayama and the Light God Temple? Even if they are young, they still bear the royal bloodline of Mount Ganzan. They might be capable of such deception.”

“While they might have royal blood, I believe those two haven’t received much royal education. To put it bluntly, they’re rather average as a prince and princess. Now that Mount Ganzan has fallen and the rebellion is crushed, I can’t imagine they’d have the ambition or resentment to sever the bond between Mount Nakayama and the Temple.”

Doga nodded silently to Kagari’s words. He hadn’t genuinely believed the siblings’ tale from the outset.

Doga, visibly irritated, slapped his knee.

“When the demon realm is unified, the Kijin clan will grow stronger. As they gain strength, the influence of the Light God Temple will wane. So, to prevent that, they weighed Mount Nakayama against Mount Ganzan.”

“Something like that. I don’t know if the entire Temple is moving with one purpose or if it’s just a faction thinking that way.”

“Those parasites within the lion! We won’t let them get away without making them pay for their treachery.”

With those words, Doga, suddenly changing his expression, stood up.

“This is bad! If they realize we know about their betrayal, they might target Hakuro in the main temple. My brother in the western capital might also be at risk!”

“Yeah, that’s probably fine. At the very least, Brother Azuma already knows.”

“What? Oh, you used the cipher in your earlier report?”

A cipher is a code, essentially a passphrase. As Doga suggested, Kagari had embedded a cipher in his message to inform Azuma of the situation.

This was a secret known only to the royalty of Mount Nakayama, the four brothers. Even if someone else intercepted the message, they wouldn’t recognize it.

Considering the possibility that Utsurui, who had left Mount Ganzan, might ambush the messenger, Kagari had demonstrated careful planning, making various subordinates take different routes.

“Given that he sent Brother Doga here, Brother Azuma must have some plan. Brother Hakuro probably still doesn’t know about the betrayal…”

With that, Kagari gave a slight shrug.

“Regardless of the opponent, I can’t imagine Brother Hakuro being caught off guard. After all, wasn’t it Brother Hakuro who first suggested the connection between Mount Ganzan, the gatekeepers, and the possibility of the Light God Temple’s involvement? You remember that, right, Brother Doga?”

“Hmm, indeed.”

Recalling the discussions held in the western capital before they set out, Doga slowly nodded.

It wasn’t so long ago that he would forget the content of the discussion. However, the fact that Doga didn’t immediately remember Hakuro’s statement probably indicated his considerable disturbance at the Temple’s betrayal.

Doga dislikes humans and isn’t a follower of the Light God Temple. He’s aware of the recent suspicious activities of the Temple. Yet, there’s a sense of kinship for those who have survived the harsh demon realm together for three hundred years.

Stubborn, yet kind-hearted, Kagari considered the future as he watched his brother.

To be honest, Doga’s arrival at Mount Ganzan was unexpected for Kagari. He had naturally assumed that Doga was still at the gate.

Yet, Doga had come to Mount Ganzan, and without any communication from Azuma.

Azuma probably planned to use himself as bait to draw out the Temple’s movements. If he had informed Doga, Doga would undoubtedly have stayed in the western capital. Thus, Azuma must’ve intentionally kept Doga in the dark and sent him to Mount Ganzan.

If that’s the case, rushing back to the western capital might jeopardize Azuma’s plans. That was Kagari’s line of thought.

However, having faced Utsurui directly, Kagari was concerned for Azuma. Although he had conveyed the threat of the Nanashi style in the letter, Azuma isn’t as strong as Doga or Kagari.

Plus, there are followers of the Temple within the royal palace. The risk of assassination is everywhere. Just as Kagari was thinking, there was a sudden clamor.

CLANG CLANG CLANG!! A sharp alarm bell echoed throughout the fortress.

Soon after, cries of “Enemy attack!” reached Kagari’s room. The defeated soldiers of Mount Ganzan were already in custody, and the gatekeepers stayed at the gates. Thus, the only possible enemies were monsters or demon beasts.

As Kagari suspected, the foes that now approached Mount Ganzan were a horde of monsters. Their appearances, reminiscent of giant wasps, were of the ferocious flying species called Dark bees.

Chased—or perhaps led by—these Dark bees was a figure wearing a demon mask, heading straight for Mount Ganzan. However, the guards’ focus was on the airborne monsters. At this point, no one had noticed the masked figure’s presence.

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