Chapter 13: Choice

“…Why is Lord Sora here…?”

Claira’s hoarse voice asked for the truth.

“I heard from Ayaka that you were here. I came to see how you were doing.”

Claira blinked her eyes when she heard the name of her classmate.


“Yeah. She seemed worried about you because you hadn’t shown up for a long time.”

The information Ayaka gave me was accurate and it was “Claira” “not there” “Berch family” “underground”.

It’s not like she told me to “help” or “please” or “now that the enemy is attacking, the Berch family’s guard must be loose, so it’s a good opportunity to sneak in” or anything like that.

She had no reason to complain even if I ignored her. If it had been Klimt, I wouldn’t have cared.

However, I couldn’t bring myself to ignore Claira. No matter how it happened, we lived under the same roof, ate from the same pot, and honed our sword skills together. The last one could be rephrased as a soul supplier through the sword, but anyway, with so many relationships overlapping, feelings would also transfer.

Ciel, Suzume, and Miroslav, who were attacked by Claira in Ishka, also ended up talking to Claira in the end. Claira must have had some thoughts too, and she was polite to the people she attacked.

Remembering such things, I asked Claira, who was restrained by both hands and feet.

“So, why are you being treated like a serious criminal, you? As a punishment for losing to me, Gozu and Klimt were walking around with their swords on.”

“…That is…”

Claira hesitated from behind the sturdy iron bars.

But she soon decided that there was no point in hiding it and began to speak in a low voice.

According to her, the punishment that the Mitsurugi family gave to Claira was just a confinement, and the situation that Claira was in now was part of the internal punishment by Gilmore, the head of the Berch family.

Gilmore was furious with his two adopted children who had lost to me and tarnished the name of Berch, but he didn’t give such a harsh punishment to Klimt. He must have valued the siblings who were among the golden generation in his own way.

But he was driven by anger that surpassed his emotions and calculations for Claira and gave her a heavy penalty.

The reason for that was――

“…Well, when I was living with Lord Sora in Ishka, I thought that it was more comfortable than the Berch house. The head of the house was furious when he found out that I was ungrateful…”

Claira looked down in embarrassment.

I couldn’t help but tilt my head.

More comfortable? You were under surveillance all the time, weren’t you? – Oh, maybe it’s about the food?

Claira was aware of her position as a hostage and was cautious about everything, but she couldn’t resist the priestess Sarah’s cooking and often asked for more.

I wondered if that was what made her comfortable, but Claira shook her head slightly.

“I felt that way ever since I was in that big cave before I was taken care of by Lord Sora’s house.”

“…How hard is it to live in this house, huh?”

A house that was more uncomfortable than the nest of the king of flies, how cold and bleak was the Berch house.

I couldn’t help but be disgusted as I continued.

“Well, well, I sympathize with you, but you didn’t have to be so honest about your true feelings, did you?”

“You know about the ‘Lie Detection Sense-Lie’, don’t you, Lord Sora?”

With that one word, I realized everything. I see, it was very Gilmore-like, no, it was Gilmore-like to the utmost.

I grasped the general situation and looked at Claira in front of me again.

She was made to sit on the ground, tied behind her back, and her hands were lifted high. It was as if she was bowing down to me – no, not as if, but that was exactly what the person who forced Claira into this position intended. Every time he visited the prison, he wanted Claira to bow down and greet him.

The scars running vertically and horizontally on her white limbs were also painful. Most of them could be erased by magic or chemicals, but there might be some scars that would remain.

“…Can’t you escape using your soul equipment? No, Gilmore must have taken measures against that too.”

“As you guessed. It’s not that I can’t use it by force, but… I don’t intend to run away. I owe the head of the house for raising me until today. And, I can’t leave Klimt behind.”

“He would be happy to follow you. He’s not the kind of guy who would stay quiet knowing that his sister is in this situation.”

As I said that, Claira smiled faintly.

“Yes, you’re right. But what lies ahead of that choice is a life of fighting with pursuers. There is not a single warrior who has successfully escaped from the island in the three hundred years of history of the Mitsurugi family. I can’t drag my brother into that path.”

“So you can’t run away, huh. I see.”

Saying that, I snorted through my nose.

I came here on Ayaka’s words, thinking that I could help her escape if Claira wanted to.

I know Claira’s loyal personality. I also had the idea of securing a supplier with an anima if things went well.

But if Claira herself didn’t want to, it was a different story.

When I saved Suzume and Claudia, they were gasping in a situation where they couldn’t do anything with their own power. But still, they struggled to do something. That’s why I wanted to help them.

But Claira was different. Claira had power. She had the power to tear off the chains that the Berch family had set up for her, but she accepted her current situation with her own will, considering the gratitude she had for them, her brother’s future, the threat of pursuers, and so on.

Therefore, my intervention would be unnecessary meddling.

To me, the path that Claira chose looked like a dead end, but she must have seen something different.

“I wasted my time. I got in your way.”

Saying that, I turned on my heels without any regrets.

Then, I heard Claira’s voice from behind, sounding panicked.

“Lord Sora!”


“Well… why are you here? You said you heard about me from Ayaka, but you have no reason to worry about me, do you?”

“I was bored because I had no one to fight with head-on since I let you go. I thought I’d help you escape and make you owe me a favor if you wanted to.”

Without hiding anything, I revealed my inner thoughts, and Claira opened and closed her mouth several times, not knowing what to say.

Then, at that moment, a series of loud noises came from the ground. It was too close for the aftermath of the battle on the walls. Maybe someone somewhere nearby was using kei techniques in succession.

The whole underground prison shook and the floor, walls, and ceiling creaked. I brushed off the dust that fell and took out a small medicine bottle from my pocket. It was a long round bottle that adventurers used to put potions in.

And I threw it at Claira through the gap in the iron bars. The medicine bottle hit its mark and rolled to Claira’s knees.

“Lord Sora, this is…?”

“It’s a special healing potion made by the ‘Blood Spraying Sword’. It restores physical and magical power, as well as works well against poison and curses. You said you don’t want to escape from the island, but you don’t want to die buried in the ground here, do you? Use it with your soul equipment when you need to.”

Claira had said earlier that she couldn’t use her soul equipment by force. Gilmore must have put a curse on her or driven a wedge into her to limit her.

If the underground collapsed, Claira would have to use her soul equipment to free herself. But if Gilmore’s trap was activated then, she wouldn’t be able to escape.

The medicine bottle I threw was for that time. If she drank it, she could minimize the effect of Gilmore’s trick. It was a rare item that contained a lot of dragon blood. It should be enough to cut through the collapse and get out to the surface.


“I don’t care if you just hand it over to Gilmore. Well, take care, Claira Berch.”

I cut off Claira’s words that she was about to say and quickly left the place.

Her voice didn’t follow me from behind.

What followed me were two red eyes.

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