Chapter 105: Hostages


With a booming sound, Gozu’s huge body crashed onto the ground. A cloud of dust rose as evidence of the power of the kick delivered, sending the ox-headed black armor rolling like a ball across the ground.

Seeing this, I kicked the ground with all my might and leapt towards Gozu.


However, Claira stepped in to stop me.

Holding a vivid emerald soul equipment called Kusanagi, Claira swung it diagonally with a shout to block my path.

If I had taken the strike head-on, I would have been cut diagonally from my left shoulder to the right side of my body in a Surplice Slash style.

However, dodging Claira’s sword strike is now a simple matter for me. With the barest of movements, I avoided the sword’s edge and dove into her guard, seizing the collar of her indigo-dyed or striped kimono with my unarmed left hand.

Using the technique of a shoulder throw, I tucked my waist in and lifted Claira’s feet off the ground. Then, with Claira’s body still in my grasp, I hurled her at Klimt, who was just about to come at me from the side with his sword.

It was a rough move with just one hand, but unlike Gozu who wore heavy armor, Claira’s weight in her kimono was surprisingly light, With my enhanced strength from Kei, she felt as light as cotton batting.

Klimt, surprised that Claira’s body was being used as a weapon, widened his eyes.


To the enemy, it would seem as if his sister’s body was being used as a shield. He couldn’t pierce through both of them, but if he were to dodge, his sister would be slammed onto the ground. Klimt had no choice but to use his own body to protect his sister. However, due to the sudden impact, they both fell to the ground in a tangled heap.

I was about to use kei techniques on the vulnerable pair, but before I could attack, Gozu quickly regained his stance. I had to interrupt my kei technique and face him again.



We clashed head-on with our high fighting spirits turned into shouts.

However, Gozu’s blade had already been shattered, and only the handle remained. It posed no threat. Furthermore, due to my rapid level up from the soul equipment Soul eater, which was apparently increasing its sharpness, Gozu’s robust Void Armor was easily cut like ordinary leather armor.

Moreover, the efficiency of Soul eater’s ability was also increasing, and I could feel that a large amount of souls were flowing in with each slash.

It didn’t take long for the frontal sword fight to turn into a one-sided assault.

“What’s wrong, Gozu! Don’t tell me the likes of the Shiba of the Mitsurugi family can only use their full strength to this extent!?”

However, Gozu did not answer my taunt. Even so, it was clear as day that Gozu was far from being in top condition.

Of course, he had been facing off against Stampede for three days and nights just before this. Claira and Klimt were also in the same boat and were clearly weaker than when they faced each other in Ishka.

On the other hand, although I had been fighting for three days and nights, my strength had increased beyond comparison to three days ago due to my level up with Souleater. Additionally, my source of magical power is the dragon’s soul. Even after three days of being in top form, my energy would not be exhausted.

From the very beginning, there was no chance for Gozu and the others to win.


Supported by the power of the transcendental anima, I continue to slash and cut down my enemies in front of me.

The Berch siblings, who had regained their posture, soon joined the battle, but my advantage was unshaken.

Not only does Soul Eater possess power as a weapon, it also has the ability to restore. Unless a single blow completely severs the head, most wounds can be healed. I calmly parry and scatter their attacks, sometimes even taking them head-on, while focusing my attacks on Gozu.

During one of his attacks, I sharply stepped forward and my thrust hit Gozu’s forehead, breaking his ox-headed helmet with a shattering sound.

Gozu’s face was revealed with blood streaming down from his forehead, and I raised the corners of my lips. Then, with that expression, I flashed my soul equipment and deeply sliced Gozu’s right elbow.

Gozu’s nerves were likely damaged by having his joint cut, causing his right hand to lose strength and droop down, and his crescent-shaped scimitar to fall to the ground. Following it, Gozu himself struggled and knelt down.

It seems that despite losing the use of his joint, Gozu did not lose his fighting spirit. He stretched out his unharmed left hand to retrieve his weapon that had fallen to the ground. But right after his large, rugged hand grasped the handle of the scimitar, I forcefully stepped on his hand with my iron boot.


“How does it feel to kneel to an opponent you’ve been denying so much, Gozu? What were you trying to prove with that attitude?”

To further corner the Gozu who is pale-faced and breathing heavily, I pointed the tip of my Soul Eater at his left hand.

And then, I ruthlessly pierced and pinned down his left hand and the ground with my blade. Gozu couldn’t help but let out a cry of agony.

“Sora, you bastard!”

“You don’t have to yell every time, Klimt.”

With Kei in both legs, I closed the distance to Klimt quickly. Soul Eater still had pierced through Gozu’s hand, meaning it was an unarmed attack. But without the need to hold back, it was actually easier to do.

Even with the maximum fighting force of Gozu, I was able to fight against three opponents at the same time. Now that I had neutralized Gozu, there was no way the remaining two would pose a threat.

I caught the swinging Kurikara with my left hand. Immediately after, a sharp pain pierced my head due to the heat, and a disgusting smell of human flesh burning my nose – but that was all. It was nothing compared to the power of Gozu’s secret technique from earlier.

Observing Klimt’s contorted face up close, I drove my right fist into his vulnerable abdomen. With as much kei as I could muster, I stabbed at his insides in short, sharp jabs two or three times.

The sound of several hard objects breaking together shook my eardrums, and the sensation of breaking several hard objects at once reverberated up my fist.


Klimt doubled over in agony, emitting groans and spewing blood and stomach fluids.

Quickly pulling my fist from his stomach, I elbowed Klimt’s quivering back with all my might. He crashed face first onto the ground and writhed in agony on top of his own vomit.

Looking down at Klimt with a cold gaze, I placed my iron boot on his right arm, which was still clutching his soul equipment.

Seeing my intentions, Claira panicked and spoke up, “Please wait, Sora-dono!”

“Anyone who’s told to wait by someone wielding a weapon wouldn’t be foolish enough to comply,” I retorted.

Implied in my words was the suggestion that she should drop her kasunagi, and Claira hurriedly plunged the emerald longsword into the ground and retreated two or three steps.

If I wanted to, I could pick up the kasunagi before Claira could even reach it—such was the distance between us.

Seeing this, I snorted in disdain.

“Does that mean you surrender?” I asked.

“Yes. I have judged that any further fighting would be pointless.”

“That’s a wise judgment, but your brother still seems to have the intention of fighting. Right, Klimt?”

While Claira and I were conversing, Klimt tried to sweep my feet out from under me. I responded by crushing his right arm underfoot, just as I had done to Gozu earlier.

A dull cracking sound reverberated in the air.


“Klimt, stop it! Sora-dono, I implore you. If you have any demands, I will take care of them. Please put away your sword.”

On the spot, Claira dropped to her knees and bowed deeply to me.

I hadn’t expected her to do this, and I was caught off guard. While I had intended to retaliate against Klimt as payback for what he did in Ishka, Claira must have judged that I might really kill Klimt if she didn’t do something.

“I may have gone a little too far,” I thought to myself.

However, there was nothing to gain by letting my guard down now. Moreover, injuring her brother and making his sister do my bidding was a predictable outcome. So let’s proceed with the plan, by force if necessary.

“You’re quick to agree. Very well, then you’ll be my hostage, Claira Berch.”

“A… a hostage, you say?”


My plan was simple.

Firstly, send Gozu and Klimt back to Demon Island, and convey my demands. My demand, of course, concerns Kijin Suzume. As for the head of the Mitsurugi family, he must entrust Suzume to me and vow that the Mitsurugi family will never again interfere in this matter.

Claira is a hostage until the oath is fulfilled. Of course, if the lord refuses my demands, they should be prepared for the consequences. The same goes if they lay a hand on anyone around me.

When I mentioned this, it was Klimt who reacted first, not Claira.

“H-how dare you… that’s impossible!” Klimt, holding his broken right arm, cried out while crawling on the ground.

I nodded in agreement.

“That’s right. There’s no way he would listen to the words of the son he exiled. Especially if it’s about letting the Kijin go. That’s why I’m keeping you alive, Klimt.”


“If you want to help Claira, then fight for my demands at the risk of your life. Otherwise, your sister will cry and say it’s better if she were dead. I don’t need to explain why I chose Claira as the hostage instead of you, right?”


Understanding what I meant, Klimt lunged towards me. I kicked him away and approached Claira, who was kneeling while biting her lips in pain.

I grabbed her beautiful white hair that flowed down her back and forced her to stand, ignoring her cries of pain.

“Normally, I would cut the tendons in your limbs to prevent you from rebelling, but I’ll let you off since you kneeled. Klimt, just to be clear, if you don’t return to the island and come to help Claira, I’ll kill your sister. Gozu, you got it too.”

Gozu, who had been silent until now, responded in a low voice.

“――Young master.”

“What is it?”

“It was I who suggested entrusting the demon girl to the young master. I will take the responsibility and speak to the lord of the castle. However, the matter of Jijinbou, the mythical creatures, and the soul equipment…we must report them truthfully. Then, the lord of the castle will surely order the young master to return. At that time, what will the young master do?”

“It’s pointless. Who would fight under you now?” Sora responded with a sarcastic tone.

Gozu continued with a serious expression, “The Mitsurugi family is the head of the users of the Phantom Blade Style. The lord of the castle will never allow a skilled swordsman who can defeat mythical creatures single-handedly to be outside of Mitsurugi. While there might be an explanation for protecting the demon girl and killing Jijinbou, this is impossible to excuse no matter how much I or Klimt plead. Sora, can’t you come back no matter what?”

“Don’t make me repeat myself.”

“If things continue like this, Sora will be punished as a rebel. Even Claira, who has been taken as a hostage, will be crushed. Do you still want to stick to your stubbornness?”

“Enough already.”

I said, directly rejecting Gozu’s words and clenching my fists.

“I’ll be punished as a rebel if I stay like this? That’s more convenient for me. After all, they’ll send me food without me asking for it.”

That was my true intention.

However, it’s also true that these people could endanger those around me, so the risk should be avoided if possible.

That’s why I decided to reveal my Soul Equipment ability.

A half-hearted assailant only serves to strengthen me. To kill me, one must aim for a fatal strike in a single attack. The force that can definitely kill me, who kicked away Gozu, a member of the Four Lords, and the two golden generation members, Claira and Klimt, is limited, even if it is the Mitsurugi family. Consequently, the number of attacks is limited.

“Will a higher-level disciple come next? Or will they mobilize the upper seats of the Eight Flags and attack in numbers? Either way, it will require a considerable force, but let me ask you one thing. Does the Mitsurugi family have the luxury of pulling out that much force from their fortress and sending them all the way to Canaria? “


“I thought so. Even if they did, it doesn’t matter to me. At that time, I’ll just devour all the assassins sent my way and invade the island from here. I don’t care either way, Gozu. Make sure to tell him that.”

I’m the one who’s giving him the choice.

The fact that a mere mortal who couldn’t surpass the Trial defeated a Mythical Creature in just five years – you can panic to your heart’s content when faced with that reality.

And then there’s the matter of Jijinbou. The legitimate son of the Mitsurugi family took down a Green Woods warrior carrying the Emperor’s secret orders. Knowing this, the Emperor’s subjects who harbor ill-will towards the Mitsurugi family will be delighted to initiate their schemes. No, it wouldn’t be surprising if even those higher up got involved.

The Mitsurugi family, who monopolizes the power of Phantom Blade Style, is both the Emperor’s sharp blade and thorn in his side.

In this situation, I am a bomb that could shake the Mitsurugi family to its core.

Just imagining how my father would react in this situation fills me with great delight.

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