V2 Chapter 129: The Showdown

Noticing the change in my expression, the Pope quietly said while looking directly into my eyes, “As long as that curse binds you, you are essentially shackled in iron chains, unable to unleash your true potential. Conversely—”

Pausing for effect, she then smirked slyly, “If I were to defeat you, now would be the opportune time while you are still bound by this curse.”

With the time for talking apparently over, her eyes gleamed sharply, the affable demeanor of a senior sister long gone.

Her transformation was abrupt, but I had never let my guard down against her. I readied my Soul Equipment without showing any opening, attentively watching her every move.

The attack came immediately after.


A deafening roar thundered, vibrating the air with a piercing intensity.

A crushing pressure gripped my heart, and a sharp pain, like thick drills being driven into my ears, shot through me.

“Guuh!?” I let out a groan of agony.

It was an unexpected assault, yet one I remembered.

Once unleashed, this roar could pierce ears, bore through skulls, and wound the soul—the Dragon’s Roar. Memories of Hydra’s appearance and Lunamaria’s words flashed through my mind.

This roar shared the same effect as Hydra’s, but not the same intensity. In terms of sheer power, this one was far greater. Even if Hydra’s multiple roars were combined into one, it would not match the force of this current roar.

There was no need to confirm who had unleashed it.

“Is this also called the Dragon’s Roar?” I muttered, staring at the Pope and the human-faced serpent-bodied dragon behind her, its vast wings spread across the sky.

Then I snorted in derision. Behind me was the main temple, home to many followers of the Light God Religion. The Pope’s actions would undoubtedly have severe consequences.

The Pope’s response to my challenge was cold and calculated, showing her unwavering devotion to the dragon and her cause. The inconsistency in her behavior – from revealing the truth of 300 years ago, seeking cooperation for the purification of the world, to suddenly attacking, and then switching to a caring sisterly figure – was unsettling.

It was dangerous to attempt understanding her – whether this was the original Pope, Sophia Azurite, or if her personality was eroded over three hundred years in the demon realm.

The only choice left was clear. As I gripped my Soul Equipment, readying for battle, the Pope leaped into action.

The second battle with the Pope was intense but brief. Despite her powerful and relentless assaults, I was able to withstand them, never feeling completely outmatched.

Her scythe, a divine artifact capable of severing the soul, was a formidable weapon, but not fatal in a single strike.

I realized avoiding her Kei techniques was key. If I could interrupt them, I could prevent a fatal outcome.

The Pope’s earlier words about self-confidence and underestimating oneself rang true. I had made the battle harder by overestimating her.

Now, facing her again, I understood the curse of confidence.

Her words about a curse may have struck a chord, but resolving it wasn’t possible at the moment. To refute my father’s words, I had to surpass him, something I was already intent on doing.

So, whether my growth was hindered by his words or not, my goal remained unchanged. My only objective now was to defeat the enemy before me. Nothing else mattered.

I deflected the Pope’s scythe and kept an eye on the dragon behind her. Though it hadn’t made any significant movements since its last roar, I couldn’t discern if this was due to biding its time or some other reason.

If the dragon still retained enough power, it would have shattered Atori’s barrier and appeared on Demon Island by now. Its inability to do so revealed the depth of the wound it sustained 300 years ago – a testament to the severity of the injuries inflicted by the Phantom Blade Warriors.

The dragon’s reluctance to act, despite commanding the Pope to kill me, suggested it was in a state too weakened to fight. It was practically a dying creature, and its last roar was akin to the final desperate act of a cornered animal.

I smirked, imitating the Pope’s earlier behavior. A thought crossed my mind about underestimating her, but my prior experience of being caught off-guard due to overcaution spurred me on.

Noticing my change in demeanor, the Pope leaped back to create distance. Seizing the opportunity, I adopted a stance for my Kei technique. It seemed only fair to display one of my Kei techniques in return for the Pope’s earlier demonstrations.

In my mind, I visualized the piercing Kei technique I used in the Behemoth battle – sharp like a spear, spiraling forward to drill and penetrate through the enemy.

The Pope couldn’t dodge this attack without risking hitting the dragon behind her. She had no choice but to face it head-on.

“Phantom Blade Style – Strong Spiral!”

I released the refined Kei, directing it at the Pope. The technique spiraled ferociously, tearing through the air and shattering the ground in its path, surpassing the Behemoth’s Breath in power. Feeling a perfect connection through my Soul Equipment, I let out a satisfied grunt.

Our attacks collided head-on. While the Pope raised her Kei to deflect mine with brute force, the fierce clash of energies shook the earth but lasted only a few short moments.

When the Pope swept her scythe, my Strong Spiral diverted, barely missing her and crashing into the ground behind her. The explosion that followed was massive.

The Pope appeared unharmed, and the dragon remained untouched. It was clear my Strong Spiral had failed to reach its target, but that didn’t concern me. The few seconds of struggle against the Pope’s scythe were enough for my next move.

Charging my entire body’s Kei into my legs, I closed the distance with the Pope in an instant. Taking advantage of a momentary gap just after she deflected my technique, I thrust the tip of my Soul Equipment directly into her chest with all my might.

The moment I realized my attack had reached the Pope, a strange feeling washed over me. The unmistakable sensation of my Soul Equipment piercing through flesh and the overwhelming influx of soul energy confirmed a direct hit.

However, as I attempted to follow through with my attack, the Pope’s hands suddenly grasped mine, halting my movement. Her grip was surprisingly firm, defying the grave wound I had just inflicted.

Caught off guard by her unexpected resistance, I momentarily paused, reassessing the situation. The Pope’s eyes met mine, revealing a depth of resolve that belied her critical condition.

This unexpected turn of events required a swift response. With the Pope’s hands still gripping mine, I had to quickly decide my next course of action. The battle was far from over, and every second counted.

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