V2 Chapter 131: The Last Will



Two urgent voices shook my eardrums. As I looked in the direction of the voices, as expected from their tones, I saw Claira and Ursula.

“We’re sorry for being late!” Claira, who ran up to me in one breath, apologized with a pale face, bowing her head. Next to her, Ursula also expressed regret with a remorseful expression.

The Pope’s body had already vanished into dust, and the dragon’s massive body had been swallowed by the dragon’s lair. However, from the recent roars, tremors, and the vast, crater-like holes spread around, it was easy to infer that an intense battle had taken place here.

Both Claira and Ursula deeply regretted not being able to make it in time for the fight.

Of course, I had no intention of blaming them. In fact, I was inwardly relieved that they hadn’t made it in time. I didn’t underestimate their abilities, but I didn’t want them to face the Pope and, by extension, the dragon. It likely wouldn’t have ended well.

Naturally, I couldn’t tell them that. As flag-bearers of the Green Woods, they might have lost their chance to fight, but not their warrior’s pride. Had they known they were being treated as maidens unable to fight, they would’ve bristled with indignation.

“Don’t worry about it. The Pope must have set something up, right?”

That was a shot in the dark, but it turned out to be correct.

As I heard, the entrance to the passage the Pope and I had used was sealed with magical power, unmovable like a wall of stone. This magical barrier had only disappeared a short while ago, allowing them to finally reach this place.

Probably, the seal was lifted with the Pope’s demise. If the Pope had linked the seal to her life, it made sense why Claira and Ursula struggled to break it. That was my thought, but according to them, there was another reason that hindered their movement.

That “reason” revealed itself shortly after.

What entered my view was a pair of a boy and a girl. The boy was a familiar-looking Kijin – basically, Kagari. His slightly awkward expression was likely due to the unexpected situation.

On the other hand, the girl appeared calm and composed, showing no signs of feeling out of place.

The girl – who introduced herself as Suomi – had her silver hair tied back in a single knot and looked directly at me with her golden eyes. She wore the garb of a Light God Temple priest and held a long sword in both hands.

As Suomi approached silently, I watched her approach without protest. Partly because I was confident I could handle any hostile action from her, and partly because the long sword she carried was familiar to me.

Noticing my gaze fixated on the long sword, Suomi quietly spoke.

“This is a message from Her Holiness, for the Mitsurugi family. ‘I am returning the heirloom that was in my care,'” she said.

The longsword extended to me was “Sasanotsuyu,” the Mitsurugi family heirloom, which I had once glimpsed in the memories of the Soul Eater.

After receiving Sasanotsuyu, I exchanged a few words with Suomi. It was clear from her priestly attire and her use of the honorific “Her Holiness” that Suomi was a member of the Light God Temple, not just a follower, but a close aide to Sofia Azurite, and seemingly in a position akin to a successor to the Pope. Sofia had told her, “Should anything happen to me, you are to become the next Pope and guide everyone.”

“The next Pope… But Her Holiness is supposed to live forever. I was never meant to step in, but…”

At that moment, the girl, who had until then maintained a mask-like expression, briefly revealed a glimpse of inner resentment. To Suomi, I was the culprit who had led her revered Pope to death, and I had also defeated the dragon, an object of worship for the Light God Cult. It would not be surprising if she harbored deep-seated resentment towards me.

Yet, Suomi did not show any hostility towards me, either because she understood there was no chance of victory, or perhaps to honor Sofia’s last wish.

In any case, as long as she did not attack, I had no intention of being hostile.

With these thoughts, I turned to Kagari.

“So, from the current situation, it seems like Prince Kagari was conspiring with the Light God Temple to hold back Claira and the others. What’s your intention?”

Neither Kagari nor Claira and her group showed signs of having engaged in actual combat.

However, it seemed certain that Kagari, along with Suomi, had indeed interfered with Claira and the others. His apologetic expression was enough to guess that.

Staring intently at Prince Kagari for an explanation, he eventually gave in as if defeated and raised his hands.

“Err… Sorry! Actually, Suomi is the granddaughter of Sozai Jiisan. I had no intention of helping the Light God Temple, who betrayed Nakayama, but I couldn’t just stand by and watch Suomi get hurt.”

“Sozai’s granddaughter? I see.”

I glanced at Claira and the others and nodded.

Sozai was the royal physician of Nakayama and had helped Klimt in Mount Taikouzan. For Claira, he was the savior of her brother’s life. Ursula also owed him a lot, as she had collapsed from the effects of using the Void Armor.

Given that Suomi was his granddaughter, it would have been difficult for both Claira and Ursula to act against her. It seemed likely that Suomi herself was unarmed, making it even more challenging for them.

And the same was true for me.

I owed a lot to Old Man Sozai, and Suomi herself had only followed her superior Sofia’s orders. Now that Sofia and the dragon were defeated, the Light God Temple was no longer a threat to me, and there was no need to make an enemy of Kagari.

Moreover, antagonizing Kagari would automatically make Nakayama an enemy. Both Nakayama and I were in the same position, having been plotted against by the Light God Temple, and it would be foolish to deliberately make an enemy out of a potential ally for future conflicts with the Mitsurugi family, I thought, discarding the option to strike down Suomi at the moment. Naturally, if Suomi ever sought revenge for the Pope, I would show no mercy and cut her down without hesitation.

As if sensing my inner thoughts, Suomi then spoke up to clear any misunderstanding.

“To avoid any misunderstanding, I should clarify. As Kagari brother mentioned, I am the granddaughter of Sozai, but I am also the granddaughter of Utsurui. I deeply revered Her Holiness, but I cannot forgive her for purging my other grandfather, Utsurui. Please be aware of this fact.”

Hearing this, I was greatly surprised internally. Ursula also slightly changed her expression.

Utsurui – a skilled swordsman we fought in Mount Taikouzan, and for Ursula, the man responsible for her father’s death. He was executed by the Pope for his failure in Mount Taikouzan, and his salt-preserved head was sent to the western capital. This girl was the granddaughter of that Utsurui.

The granddaughter of Sozai and Utsurui, and the prospective Pope of the Light God Temple.

She harbored resentment against me for defeating the Pope, but she also couldn’t forgive the Pope for purging her grandfather. It seemed she was indicating that she had no intention of seeking revenge.

There was a possibility she was saying this to make me let my guard down, but if I doubted her, it would negate the purpose of forgoing the option of elimination. With this thought, I nodded to Suomi in acknowledgment.

The girl with golden eyes looked at me, maintaining her expressionless face, and gave a slight bow.

Afterward, we quickly left the temple while the city was in chaos from the Dragon’s Roar.

To put it bluntly, we escaped, but it wasn’t just about turning our backs on the chaos. There was a legitimate reason for our departure.

Firstly, we had no obligations or responsibilities towards the Light God Temple. We were lured under the pretense of an apology and then ambushed. Thus, no one could rightly blame us for leaving amidst the confusion at the temple.

However, that aside, we had a pressing reason to hurry to the western capital.

It wasn’t just the heirloom Sasanotsuyu that was passed on to us through Suomi from the Pope. There was another piece of critical information regarding the Demon Realm left by her.

With the dragon’s demise at my hands, its influence in the Demon Realm had drastically diminished. The miasma originating from the dragon was curtailed, undoubtedly making the Demon Realm more habitable than before. Lands previously plagued by miasma would eventually become fertile for cultivation.

While this might seem like a cause for celebration for the Kijin and the followers of the Light God Temple, the real issue lies in the lifespan of the Demon Realm itself.

The Demon Realm is a spatial barrier created by Atori. Its purpose was to contain the dragon.

Now, with the dragon’s destruction by my hand, the dragon that was meant to be sealed within the barrier is gone. When considering what happens to a barrier that has lost its purpose, the possibility of its disappearance cannot be dismissed.

Atori’s barrier, a miraculous creation achieved through the power of the Demon God, has no precedent. Thus, it cannot be definitively said that it will disappear. However, even if the dragon’s eradication doesn’t affect the barrier, the Demon Realm is likely to vanish eventually. The barrier, after three hundred years, was already weakening.

Even if the dragon’s demise doesn’t immediately impact the barrier, the Demon Realm will disappear sooner or later. It won’t happen today or tomorrow, and it might be stable for another year or two. But in ten or twenty years, it’s prudent not to expect the Demon Realm to still exist.

That was the other last will left by Sofia Azurite.

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