V2 Chapter 132: Trembling with Excitement

Klimt Berch asked the question while they were riding in Kagari’s chariot, heading towards the Western Capital.

To be more precise, it was during a break taken to rest their mythical creature, a Kirin.

I had been deep in thought when I replied to Klimt in kind.

“What do you mean by ‘what to do’?”

“Don’t play dumb. I’m asking what your plans are regarding the Kijin and the Mitsurugi family.”

Looking at Klimt’s irritable expression, I slightly narrowed my eyes.

It wasn’t that I was angry. Rather, I was surprised that Klimt was interested in my thoughts.

Humans don’t ask for the opinions of those they deem irrelevant. Whether to follow or resist, one seeks the thoughts of those they consider pivotal to their own actions.

In that sense, Klimt’s interest in my thoughts was a positive sign.

After all, I was a person expelled from the Mitsurugi family. If Klimt had no thoughts of his own and intended to blindly follow the Mitsurugi, he wouldn’t bother asking me such questions.

As I pondered this, I looked around.

Kagari was a bit away, providing water and fodder to the Kirin. The only ones nearby were Klimt, Claira, Ursula, and me. Suomi had stayed back at the temple to settle the chaos.

Including Kagari, everyone sharing the ride knew about the entire exchange with the pope. Claira and Ursula also looked at me earnestly, seemingly curious about my thoughts.

Since there was no need to hide it, I explained my thoughts to the three.

“To put it simply, I intend to ally with the Kijin and negotiate with the Mitsurugi family.”

“Negotiate?” Claira asked, tilting her head in confusion.

I nodded and continued.

“If things continue as they are, Mount Taikouzan will surely attack the Demon Gate, and the Mitsurugi family will fight to the end to defend it. If the Demon Realm faces its demise amidst this chaos, it’ll be a disaster. We need to act before that happens.”

The conjecture that the Demon Realm would soon perish was the pope’s speculation, without concrete evidence.

However, even if it were merely speculation, the possibility of their land’s disappearance suggested by the pope could not be ignored by Mount Taikouzan. The Demon Realm was already a harsh place to live, and liberation from it was a long-held wish of all Kijin. Regardless of the truth about its impending demise, Mount Taikouzan had no choice but to head towards the Demon Gate.

Suppressing this tide was difficult. No one would agree to continue living in hunger and poverty, fearing the land’s disappearance at any moment, especially without proof that my slaying of the dragon had alleviated the miasma. Even if Mount Taikouzan were suppressed by force, it would eventually explode in rebellion.

Therefore, it was the Mitsurugi family, not Mount Taikouzan, that needed to be restrained.

Of course, this wasn’t easy, but knowing the truth about what happened three hundred years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to side with the Mitsurugi family – not that I would have sided with them even if I didn’t know.

Upon sharing my thoughts, excluding the latter part, Klimt openly frowned. Claira put her hand on her cheek in trouble, and Ursula let out a small sigh.

All three, as members of the Green Woods Knights serving the Mitsurugi family, must have had their own thoughts about their lord after this incident. At least, none of them openly criticized me.

Seeing their reactions, I moved my thoughts forward.

The content of the negotiations with the Mitsurugi family would likely be to “hand over the Demon Gate to Mount Taikouzan” or “allow passage through the Demon Gate.”

Needless to say, the Mitsurugi family would never accept such demands, and the negotiations would undoubtedly fail. Revealing the truth about what happened three hundred years ago would be futile. Even if the conflict between the Mitsurugi family and the Kijin was artificially orchestrated, both sides had fought for three hundred years. The hatred and hostility built up were immense.

Claiming now that everything was the work of Pope Sophia, and by extension the dragon, would be unbelievable, especially for the Mitsurigi family, for whom the First Sword Saint, almost a god-like figure, was involved in the conspiracy. They would never admit it.

And that’s precisely why I must be the one to negotiate with the Mitsurugi family.

Although disowned, I am a member of the Mitsurugi family. It is the duty of descendants to rectify the mistakes of their ancestors. It is my natural responsibility to ensure that both the Kijin and the Mitsurugi family do not shed any more blood.

If the current Mitsurugi family intends to obstruct this path, removing them is also the duty of one born into the Mitsurugi family. This is not about settling personal grudges.

Since it’s not a personal vendetta, drawing the sword is, of course, the last resort.

However, as previously mentioned, I doubt the Mitsurugi family will willingly listen to me. Mere words won’t enlighten them. Therefore, I must confront them with harsh truths. For instance:

“The First Sword Saint’s sealing of the Demon God and saving the world was a complete lie!”

“The laws of demon extermination and divine sealing you proudly uphold were nothing but a despicable cover-up for your own misdeeds!”

“The descendants of the traitor who stole the achievements of the Kijin Atori, talking about national salvation, is laughable!”

I was convinced that only by striking them with such painful truths could I awaken the people of the Mitsurugi family.

I certainly wasn’t using the truth I learned recently as a shield to harass those who mocked me as weak and discarded me as unnecessary. No, I definitely wasn’t thinking that at all!

And yet, if even after all this, the Mitsurugi family doesn’t change its stance, then I will have to draw my sword. Everything is to settle the grudge from three hundred years ago. Personal emotions aren’t involved in the slightest. I’m sure Emma-sama and my mother would understand.

—And there’s something else that concerns me.

From my direct confrontation with Sophia Azurite, I believe her speculation about the destruction of the Demon Realm is not a lie. At the same time, I also think she didn’t reveal everything.

I don’t know when Sophia left her will to Suomi, but the dragon must have been alive at that point. Therefore, I can’t deny the possibility that her speculation had a sinister motive.

For example, the grace period before the Demon Realm’s destruction could be much shorter than what Sophia indicated.

While she mentioned a year or two, the actual grace period could be less than six months—such a possibility must be considered.

Moreover, Sophia didn’t specify what would happen if the Demon Realm disappeared. This point also needs attention.

What would happen to the Kijin, the followers of the Light God, and the monsters inside the Demon Realm? Would they disappear along with the realm, or be expelled outside the Demon Gate and end up on Demon Island?

It’s not just the living beings. What about the castles, fortresses, mountains, rivers, and other natural landscapes?

Most importantly—what would happen to the dragon’s lair?

That dragon’s lair was originally on Demon Island. Atori sealed it along with the dragon inside a barrier. Therefore, when the barrier is lost, it wouldn’t be surprising if the dragon’s lair returns to Demon Island.

That is, the moment the Demon Realm disappears, a dragon’s lair could appear right beneath Shuuto.

Considering the size of the dragon’s lair I saw in the temple, if that happens, the entire area of Shuuto would be swallowed. The Green Woods Knights who can walk in the air using Kei might be fine, but the rest of the inhabitants would have no chance of survival.

Emma-sama is in Shuuto, and so is the little swordsman I promised to fight again. Most importantly, my mother’s grave is there. I couldn’t just stand by and watch.

Currently, there’s no way to prevent the destruction of the Demon Realm. The only way to avoid catastrophe is to abandon Shuuto.

Shuuto is the only habitable area on Demon Island, and if its people are to be evacuated, they must be sent to the continent. This would require permission from the continental lords and even the emperor, given the scale of the population movement. Only the head of the Mitsurugi family could make this happen.

Probably, or rather definitely, my father knows everything about what happened three hundred years ago. The incident where Klimt was sent to the Demon Realm, Claira’s escape from the island, and the murder of Ursula’s father—he must be very close to the truth. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the mastermind behind everything.

What will my father do when I appear before him as a negotiator, Carrying a sword? I appointed myself as the negotiator to see my father’s reaction with my own eyes.

I don’t know how Mount Taikouzan will react to my proposal, but even if they refuse to cooperate, my actions will not change. Sooner or later, I will meet my father again.

What will happen then?

Unconsciously trembling, I slightly lifted the corners of my lips, making sure Claira and the others didn’t notice.

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