V2 Chapter 123: The Reason for Seeking the Truth

“That was the Rebellious Sword instilled by Atori. Three hundred years ago, the dragon that resurrected on the island of Green Woods was sealed by Atori.”

The shrine maiden of the village of Kamuna, calm and kind, yet with a mischievous streak, displayed the strength of a demon god in battle. Her power, honed through battles with Mythical Creatures, eventually allowed a mortal to seal the dragon – this is what the pope stated.

As a result, the demon realm was created, with its entrance being the demon gate. That’s probably the case.

However, there was no need to create an entry point in the spatial barrier meant to seal the dragon. I thought that the formation of the demon gate was an unforeseen consequence for Atori.

Was it because Atori lacked the power to create a perfect barrier, or was it that her efforts were thwarted by someone else’s interference?

If it was the latter, then that someone must have been a witness to the battle between the dragon and Atori.

Naturally, my gaze turned to the pope.

The pope, too, was staring intently back. Gazing into her eyes, which held a subtle darkness despite their calmness, was like looking at the surface of water in an ancient well. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t see the depths, nor discern the clarity or murkiness of the water, or how deep it went.

I reconsidered the pope.

Considering the objectives of the Light God religion, it would be natural for them to obstruct anyone trying to subjugate the dragon. Sophia, who infiltrated the warriors of Phantom burial, betrayed them in the final battle, preventing the complete sealing of the dragon.

Originally, they would have wanted to release the dragon immediately, but they couldn’t because of the strong seal Atori had applied. Thus, they waited three hundred years as the immortal king for the seal’s power to wane – this explanation seemed to fit.

All of this was speculation, but I was confident it wasn’t far off.

Yet, something was bothering me.

For example, the Mitsurugi name had not come up at all in the pope’s story so far.

According to the continent’s history, it was the first Sword Saint, Mitsurugi Kazuma, who sealed the demon god, the cause of the war, three hundred years ago. The Mitsurugi family rose to fame for this deed and were entrusted by the emperor with guarding the demon gate.

However, in reality, the demon gate sealed not a demon god but a dragon, and it wasn’t Kazuma but Atori who had sealed it.

At face value, it seemed as if Kazuma had stolen Atori’s achievements to claim the hero’s seat. But at that time, the Mitsurugi family was nothing more than a lower branch of the Fangxian family. Even if the head of such a small force had schemed, it would be impossible to steal Atori’s achievements.

Probably, someone had validated Kazuma’s achievements. They proclaimed him as the hero who sealed the demon god and saved the world.

And then, the “someone” who corresponds to this must be none other than the pope. If the Mitsurugi family and the Light God religion were secretly connected, the beginning of their relationship must have been this scheme.

While elevating the Mitsurugi family’s name, the pope herself moved to the demon realm and coexisted with the Kijin tribe.

What I don’t understand is this last move.

For the pope, who desired the dragon’s resurrection, the Mitsurugi family, wielders of the Phantom Blade Style, should have been a nuisance. I wondered why she made moves that seemed to bolster the Mitsurugi family. Also, by getting close to the Kijin tribe, the risk of Atori’s deeds being exposed increased. The Mitsurugi family was not the only one who gained fame through false achievements.

Yet, the pope dared to do so. Probably, the existence of Mitsurugi Jin was involved in this aspect.

I hesitated whether to question this or not.

The pope had been consistently calm and cooperative since earlier, but occasionally she showed an unfathomable power. The name of Mitsurugi Jin felt like it could drag out something hidden deep within the pope.

If that happened, the opportunity to talk with the living witness from three hundred years ago would be forever lost. To avoid that, I needed to prolong the conversation without mentioning Jin’s name.

“Why are you seeking the truth of what happened three hundred years ago to such an extent?”

Originally, I wasn’t particularly interested in the events of three hundred years ago.

Through interactions with Lascaris, Pope Noah, and Amadeus II, I had been made aware of the dangers of ignorance, so it was true that I sought knowledge to compensate for that.

However, it was more a matter of “I’d like to know if possible.”

My purpose in coming all the way to the demon realm was primarily to secure a new supplier, Claira, and to consume monsters said to be on par with Mythical Creatures, not necessarily to uncover the truth of what happened three hundred years ago.

But now, I wanted as much information as possible about three hundred years ago, and for that, I wanted to draw out the pope’s words.

Because doing so would allow me to more clearly grasp the actions taken by the Mitsurugi family three hundred years ago. That meant exposing the truth of the Mitsurugi family, which was coated in fabrications.

My father’s words when I was banished from Demon Island came back to me.

“The Mitsurugi family, three hundred years ago, was a martial house descended from a Sword Saint who sealed a demon god. The Phantom Blade Style was a sword of exorcism developed by our founder at the cost of his life. A sword of protection for the human world that even buries Dragons, giants, demon gods and even Mythical Creatures akin to natural disasters. Because of this, our family was entrusted by the emperor with the great responsibility of guarding the demon gate.”

It was nonsense at its finest.

The first Sword Saint didn’t seal any demon god.

The Mitsurugi family was not a sword of protection for the human world.

From a young age, the absolute nature of the Mitsurugi family, repeatedly drilled into me, ingrained not just in my flesh but even in my soul, was nothing more than a product of lies and schemes.

Thinking of this, I couldn’t help but smirk.

It wasn’t just anger at being fed lies. Yes, that was part of it, but more than that, I felt a sense of liberation enveloping me. It was the freedom of no longer having to be considerate towards the Mitsurigi family.

I clearly saw the peak and the way to get there when I came to visit my mother’s grave before. The thought that I will eventually reach it, even if I can’t yet, is always in my heart, and I have been greedily seeking strength according to that desire.

I had felt myself getting stronger, but at the same time, I had my hesitations.

For whatever reason, if the Sword Saint, the head of the family, were defeated, the Mitsurugi family would be shaken. And if the Mitsurugi family wavered, so would the defense of the demon gate. If as a result, demons and evil spirits overflowed from the demon gate and ran rampant over Demon Island and the continent, it would be more than just a distasteful outcome.

I had no intention of pretending to be a good person at this point, but neither did I intend to become a villain who disrupts the peace of other nations through personal vendettas.

Knowing the distance between us, I understood that the moment was definitely drawing closer. I needed to make a decision soon.

However, this recent incident rendered that decision meaningless. Even if the Mitsurugi family were to be shaken, the situation I feared could not occur.

With a shake of my throat, I chuckled lightly.

Liked it? Take a second to support WordyCrown on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!