V2 Chapter 126: Warrior of the Phantom Burial

With every clash of sword and scythe, a deafening metallic sound reverberated.

The number of sword strikes had long surpassed forty and was nearing fifty, yet the intensity of the battle did not wane. Instead, with each exchange, it grew fiercer.

Pope Sofia, now transformed into a winged aberration adorned with numerous eyes, ears, and mouths, was an immortal king who had lived for three hundred years. Moreover, she had invoked divinity to gain the power of Mythical Creatures. Naturally, I was fully alert.

Yet, even so, I was taken aback by this foe. I had not anticipated that the Pope would engage in a head-on fight as a “warrior” without using any spells.

Her movements, wielding the pitch-black scythe reminiscent of the Grim Reaper and leaping off the ground, were comparable to an upper-tier warrior.

Of course, I was not merely on the defensive. I parried the enemy’s attacks and counterattacked, but the Pope effortlessly caught the full force of my Soul Equipment’s strikes without faltering. It felt like hitting a thick castle wall with my sword.

If brute force didn’t work, I tried speed, but even my sharpest attacks were gracefully dodged, and I found myself on the receiving end of her counterattacks. The Pope’s fighting style, combining strength, speed, and elegance, seemed almost like a dance.

― Difficult to deal with.

I growled inwardly.

Each of her movements was strong, fast, and skillful, and every strike laid the groundwork for her next action. Whether in offense or defense, there was no delay. Her seamless coordination lent a fluid grace to the typically blunt act of combat, captivating any observer.

Her style, elevating martial combat to a dance, reminded me of a warrior I once knew. The face of my former fiancée, renowned as a dance princess, flashed in my mind.

In the next instant…


The chillingly sharp sound of the blade broke through my untimely reverie.

I narrowly avoided the swung scythe and leaped backward, trying to create distance. However, seizing the momentary lapse in my concentration, the Pope immediately pursued, closing the gap.

Her rapid assault resembled the high-speed footwork of the Phantom Blade Style.

Raising my Soul Equipment in haste to catch the incoming scythe, I felt a shock like being struck by a mass of iron. Realizing it was impossible to deflect, I clenched my back teeth and resisted the overwhelming pressure.



Our unspoken battle cries surged as my gaze and the Pope’s locked at close range.

The Pope, perhaps sensing a critical moment, surged with magical power and forcefully pushed her scythe forward. I resisted with equal force, but suddenly slackened my grip, breaking the balance.

The Pope lurched forward, unbalanced by the abrupt shift.

I seized the opportunity, swiftly moving behind her, replacing her position. I then delivered a slashing blow to her back.

A strike from a blind spot at such close range would have been fatal for an ordinary enemy. However, the countless eyes adorning the Pope’s body accurately tracked my movements. Without even looking at me, she deflected my fatal strike with her scythe.

Furthermore, she turned her defensive move into a counterattack, swinging her scythe in a powerful lateral cut.

I ducked down just in time, narrowly avoiding the deadly blade that whooshed overhead. After dodging her counterattack, I leaped back, creating distance between me and the Pope.

― Difficult to deal with.

As I measured the distance between me and the enemy, I thought the same thing, only more intensely than before.

While I maintained a stern expression, the Pope spoke with a somewhat amused tone.

“Fufu, I see surprise in your eyes. You didn’t expect a cleric like me to fight this well, did you?”

“…Exactly. Is this the power of the Mythical Creatures, or the so-called dragon’s authority?”

“Neither. This is the skill I, Sofia Azurite, cultivated when I was human. As a warrior of the Phantom Funeral, fighting against Mythical Creatures, I had to step forward and wield my weapon, even as a cleric.”

Saying this, Sofia smiled slightly, as if recalling something.

“The founders of the Mitsurugi family, who developed the Phantom Blade Style, were the ones who taught me. In a way, you could be considered my junior disciple.”

“If you’re going to act like a senior disciple, I’d like to see one of those secret techniques handed down directly from the founders.”

While making seemingly pointless remarks, I kept a vigilant eye on her movements.

A deep sense of caution towards the Pope had taken root in my mind. Even now, her intentions remained unclear.

Initially, I thought she intended to kill me or use some divine artifact to sever my connection with the Soul Eater. However, I couldn’t sense any malice or murderous intent from her.

Perhaps she was fighting with a clear mind, but someone completely focused on the battle wouldn’t casually joke about being a senior disciple.

Her graceful combat style, captivating enough to steal one’s focus, coupled with an inscrutable mind, reminded me of my former fiancée, and I twisted my lips in wry acknowledgment.

― Difficult, but it makes sense. The Azurite lineage and I have always been a poor match.

While holding my sword and contemplating this, the Pope’s lips curled up in amusement.

“If you desire to see a secret technique, I am not averse to showing you one. But first, a warning.”

“A warning?”

“When I was receiving instruction, the Phantom Blade Style was not yet complete. What I learned was the prototype of the style. Crafted solely for slaying Mythical Creatures, it’s more unrefined than the later-developed Phantom Blade Style, intended to be passed down through generations.”

Be careful, she seemed to say.

With that, the Pope, who had been fighting without any distinct stance, finally assumed a clear one.

It was a side stance typical in swordsmanship. She pulled her right foot back half a step, angling her body diagonally towards me while bringing her scythe close to her right hip.

It vaguely resembled a swordsman about to unleash an Iai strike. In my terms, it was similar to the stance I took when executing Flying Strike or Void Consumption.

― My analysis could only go so far.


The air itself seemed to vibrate. The pulse of the Pope’s power made my skin tingle.

Instinctively, I crouched, adopting a defensive posture with all my might. My instincts screamed that I would be overpowered if I didn’t.

The Pope’s calm voice trembled in my ears.

“Phantom Burial Blade Style, Son of the Wind, Mad Gale.”

― A thunderous roar.

It felt like such a sound exploded right next to my ear.

In the next instant, I was soaring high into the air. Defense, warnings – none of it mattered. Torn from the ground without even a sensation of resistance, I was tossed into the sky.

Unable to create a foothold with Kei, I was tossed about like a leaf in a tornado, utterly at the mercy of the wind. Every bone in my body creaked, feeling as though my limbs might be torn off at any moment. In fact, they might already be torn off – the wind pressure torturing my body was that intense.

Amidst the relentless thundering in my ears, my vision whirled chaotically, leaving me disoriented and unsure of my own orientation. In this vertiginous confusion, threatening to snatch away my consciousness, that voice rang out strangely clear.

“Phantom Burial Blade Style―”

Suddenly, the Pope, her scythe raised high, appeared in my blurred vision.

As I instinctively raised my Soul Equipment, the Pope unleashed her next technique simultaneously.

“Tremor Style – Thunderclap.”

A piercing flash of lightning whitened my entire field of view.

Immediately after, an immense force slammed me into the ground, the impact staggering.

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