Chapter 11: Code

“Okay, that’s enough.”

When Ayaka said that and stepped in between me and Ragna, I reflexively frowned.

She was fast, I thought. I had caught Ragna’s previous move, but I couldn’t catch Ayaka’s move.

The dancer seemed to have polished her speed even more in the past five years.

As I was thinking about that, I heard Ayaka’s voice from behind me. It wasn’t directed at me, but at Ragna.

“Ragna, put your sword away.”

“Let go of me, Ayaka. This guy insulted the honor of a warrior. I need to give him his due.”

“That doesn’t mean you have to draw your sword. I didn’t want to interfere with your brotherly quarrel after five years, but if you’re going to kill each other, I’ll stop you.”

“Nonsense. I don’t have a brother.”

Ragna spat out in a dismissive voice. But contrary to his voice, the blade of the soul equipment that I was holding lost its heat in an instant and disappeared into the air as if it had melted. Ragna had put away his soul equipment in accordance with Ayaka’s words.

I was planning to break his soul equipment like I did with Gozu’s, but it didn’t work out.

I don’t know if Ayaka’s action was calculated to that extent, but as a result, I felt like she had cleverly disrupted my mood.

As I was at a loss for what to do with my indigestion-like emotions, I turned to face the two of them.

My former brother and fiancée, especially the latter, I looked at her. Her well-shaped cherry-colored lips moved, and she was about to say something to me.

And then, as if he hated my gaze on Ayaka, Ragna stepped forward. He stood in between me and Ayaka and opened his mouth with a grim face.

“Sora, you are–”

Ragna spoke in a heated tone. But his voice was only a sound that shook my ears, and it didn’t reach my brain as meaningful words.

That’s because my attention was focused on Ayaka, who was behind Ragna.

At first glance, Ayaka seemed to leave the conversation to Ragna and stay quiet. But her eye movements, mouth movements, and hand movements that brushed away the hair on her forehead were all based on one rule that spun meaning.

I was the only one in this place who noticed that.

Ayaka and I had been playmates since we were young. Our position as fiancés also helped us to act together a lot, and until we became aware of each other’s gender, we were probably best friends.

We did a lot of things together.

The Serpent King Sword that Ibuki, Gozu’s nephew, had mentioned earlier was one of the techniques that Ayaka and I had devised together. There were also many other things that only the two of us knew, such as secret passages and secret bases.

As children, we had so much fun sharing secrets that only the two of us knew.

And one of those secrets was “a code that only the two of us could understand”.

Of course, since it was a code devised by children, it couldn’t convey complex content. But as a result of Ayaka, who was obsessed with this kind of thing, getting unnecessarily excited, we completed a code that could convey short content without being noticed by the sharp adults around us.

Ayaka is using it now.

Of course, I’m not going to be swayed by the memories of my childhood. If Ayaka had told me something about herself, I would have sneered and ignored her.

But what Ayaka told me was not about herself. And it wasn’t something I could ignore by saying I didn’t care about the island.

It seems that my former fiancée still has a good grasp of my weak points.

I naturally clicked my tongue at that fact.


“Shall we capture him, my lord?”

Dialt Berch, the flag general of the First Flag, asked his lord briefly when Sora, who had been exchanging words with Ragna Mitsurugi and Ayaka Azurite, disappeared.

It was a high-speed movement by the footwork of the Phantom Blade Style. It would be a quick trick that most warriors couldn’t catch with their eyes, but Dialt could capture Sora without moving a step from this place.

Ragna’s argument earlier was rough, but Dialt felt the same way about not wanting to have outsiders wandering around in this emergency situation. In that sense, Dialt approved of Ragna’s actions.

In response to that, the answer of the lord, Shikibu Mitsurugi, was short.

“Leave him alone.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Yes, sir.”

Then, Shukuya Kumon, the vice-general, raised his voice.

“My lord, what shall we do with the one who made a hole in the city wall? I suspect he is a formidable expert from his kei earlier. In addition, there is also the concern of the separate unit that led the monsters from outside the island to Shuuto. Shouldn’t we send reinforcements from the First Flag?”

Shikibu did not say “leave him alone” to this suggestion from Shukuya.

“Dialt to the west, Shukuya to the north, Gozu to the east. Exterminate the monsters that enter Shuuto.”


At the same time, the three nodded and Shikibu continued.

“You only need to pay attention to the monsters outside. Don’t worry about the inside.”

“Is that… do you mean to leave the one who made a hole alone?”

Shukuya asked hesitantly, and Shikibu nodded casually.

“He broke the city wall in a flashy way and made us look outside, and then he attacked the inside. It’s a common tactic of warfare. The enemy’s target must be this mansion.”

“Do you intend to confront the enemy yourself, my lord? As your vassal, I would like you to reconsider…”

“It doesn’t matter, it’s not certain that the enemy will make it this far. You should go quickly.”

No one objected to the second order.

Dialt quickly to the west, Shukuya quietly to the north, Gozu powerfully to the east. The three strongest people on Demon Island disappeared from their lord’s sight with their distinctive footwork.

The only one left, Shikibu, his face that did not allow anyone’s insight.

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