V2 Chapter 111: Truth and Doubt

When I returned to the sickroom with Claira and the others, Klimt was in the midst of drinking water, sitting up from the waist.

Klimt, who had lost his right arm, was holding a wooden bowl with his left hand. Next to him, Lan was supporting him to prevent water from spilling out of the bowl.

Whether it was from a sense of repulsion toward his sworn enemy, the Kijin, or merely from embarrassment, Klimt’s face was slightly grimacing. Nevertheless, he wasn’t shaking Lan off.

On the other hand, Lan, who most likely had noticed Klimt’s attitude, was showing her joy openly on her face. This Kijin girl had always been very diligent in taking care of Klimt, and she seemed genuinely pleased that her efforts had been rewarded.

Klimt probably sensed that too, which was why he couldn’t treat Lan poorly. Still, he seemed uncomfortable, and when he noticed us, he looked somewhat relieved.

Seeing that, I wondered what words I should use to address him. After all, the last time Klimt and I met face-to-face was in Titis Forest, where I had broken his arm and taken his sister hostage.

I had caught a glimpse of him when I returned to Demon Island, but this was the first proper exchange of words since then. If Klimt had been in full health, a fight could have easily broken out between us right here.

—Well, the fact that he’s not surprised to see me means he probably heard the general circumstances from Claira.

As I was thinking this, Klimt handed the wooden bowl to Lan and slowly opened his mouth.

“… Seems like I owe you… So, I’ll say thanks, at least.”


An absurdly dumbfounded voice escaped my mouth. Who could have predicted that Klimt’s first words to me would be those of gratitude?

Seeing me blink in genuine surprise, Klimt looked at me as if he was about to click his tongue.

“What’s with that dumbfounded look?”

“Ah, sorry. I was just really surprised to hear you thank me,” I said candidly.

Hearing that, Klimt audibly clicked his tongue this time.

“… I have a lot of things to say to you, but… my sister said you saved her… So, I’ll at least thank you for that. Of course, I’ll get back at you for what you did to me… eventually,” he said.

After saying this, Klimt coughed painfully.

Lan hastily held out the wooden bowl to Klimt and brought it to his lips. For a moment, Klimt seemed to want to push it away, but seeing the worry in Lan’s eyes, he reluctantly drank down the remaining water in the bowl.

As I silently watched their exchange, Klimt glared at me with a sharp look in his eyes.

“…What is it?”

“Nothing, never mind.”


Klimt looked like he wanted to say something about my attitude, but he just snorted dismissively and didn’t press any further.

He probably didn’t want to waste energy on trivial matters. He was more aware than anyone that he had not fully recovered his strength yet.

“…I’ve heard a rough account from my sister. While I can, let me tell you what I know…”

Prefacing his statement like this, Klimt began to recount the events that transpired in the demon realm. Given his current condition, he couldn’t speak at length, so the details were somewhat skimmed over. Nevertheless, I was able to roughly grasp what had happened to Klimt.

Some of it I already knew, some of it was new to me. Particularly notable was the fact that the Mitsurugi family was connected behind the scenes to the Temple of the Light God.

The existence of the Fangxiang Clan is also news to me. Apparently, the recent demon-faced swordsman was their leader, and he seemed to be an acquaintance of the Sword Saint. That meant when he muttered “Shikibu” during our confrontation, he must have seen my father’s features in my face.

As I was mentally organizing the information from Klimt, his upper body suddenly swayed.

It seemed that even that brief explanation had drained much of his energy, as the signs of exhaustion were clearly visible on his face.

Since Lan and Claira began to lay Klimt down, Ursula and I decided to leave the sickroom. We had heard most of what we needed to hear.

I’m not overly concerned about Klimt’s condition. In any case, he’s regained consciousness. From here on, I expect his recovery to be swift.

As I was contemplating all of this, the door to the sickroom opened, and Claira stepped out. Spotting us, she walked over.

“Is it alright to leave Klimt?”

“With Lady Lan there, it should be fine.”

Claira responded without much thought. She had been looking after Klimt even before we arrived at Mount Taikouzan. There’s no doubt that she holds no malice towards Klimt, but then again, a demon is a demon.

If it were the old Claira, who blindly attacked the Kijin Suzume in accordance with the Mitsurugi family’s laws, she would never have entrusted her brother to a Kijin. In that sense, it seems that Claira’s values have undergone considerable change.

Meanwhile, Ursula remained silent the entire time Claira and I were talking. More accurately, ever since she heard about Klimt, Ursula has been deep in thought, her head bowed.

Her silence exuded an intensity that neither Claira nor I could break. We could only watch her in silence.

Without a doubt, Ursula’s deep contemplation is about the Temple of the Light God.

Utsurui, the leader of the Fangxiang Clan, was also a member of the Temple of the Light God and was her father’s enemy. Moreover, the Temple of the Light God was secretly connected with the Mitsurugi family.

Even when I say ‘connected,’ the extent of this connection between the two is unknown. Klimt’s information wasn’t detailed enough.

Still, it seems certain that the Temple of the Light God and the Mitsurugi family were in contact fairly often.

The Mitsurugi family must have had more information about the Underworld since they were in contact with the Temple of the Light God, which coexists with the Kijin and resides in the Underworld.

However, this information has not been made public. According to Klimt, Utsurui referred to the connection between the Temple of the Light God and the Mitsurugi family as a ‘secret passed down only to the head of the Mitsurugi,’ meaning it might be a secret known only to my father, Shikibu.

And this is the issue at hand.

I don’t know why the connection between them exists or why it became such a closely guarded secret.

But in the Mitsurugi family, who proclaim the law of ‘Extinguishing Demons and Sealing Gods,’ the act of the family head hiding this connection with the Underworld would be viewed as treason by those not in the know.

Such an act is a grave sin, a crime deserving severe punishment.

Even if the family head is a Sword Saint, he’s still one of the Green Woods knights. And if a crime committed by a Green Woods knight comes to light, it is the job of the Chief Justice to crack down on it.

Exactly. A role once held by Ursula’s late father, who was so devoted to his duties that he became resented by his fellow knights through his genuine investigations.

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