V2 Chapter 143: Sora VS Ragna

“Why won’t you draw your Soul Equipment?”

After several exchanges of blows, Zenon Quintos, holding his Void Armor, asked with a piercing gaze.

In response, I shrugged my shoulders lightly.

“It’s funny you say that when you’re the one maneuvering to prevent me from drawing my Soul Equipment.”

“Nonsense. It’s clear to me that you’re not ‘unable’ to draw your Soul Equipment, but rather ‘unwilling’ to do so!”

Watching Zenon break through my argument, I silently curved my lips. What I said was no lie. I had defended myself against Zenon’s crimson blade attacks without using my Soul Equipment. It wasn’t perfect, but I had faced head-on the secret techniques of the Flag-Bearer of the Eight Banners of Green Woods.

This visibly changed the way Zenon looked at me.

Even now, as we exchanged words, Zenon showed no openings, his eyes wide, paying close attention to my every move. If I even hinted at invoking my Soul Equipment, he would leap at me, ready for a mutual strike. Such was the intensity I felt from him.

In these circumstances, it was impossible to casually draw my Soul Equipment. But again, Zenon’s words that I was ‘unwilling,’ not ‘unable,’ to draw my Soul Equipment were also true.

I was choosing not to draw my Soul Equipment.

It wasn’t that I had a fallout with the Soul Eater or that someone had sealed my Soul Equipment.

Nor was it to show off to Ragna and the Quintos father and son, saying “I don’t need my Soul Equipment for the likes of you” — though if asked if I had such thoughts, I’d have to admit there was some truth to it. But that wasn’t the main reason.

The primary reason I didn’t draw my Soul Equipment was to correct my overreliance on it in battle.

A month ago, I would have certainly drawn my Soul Equipment when fighting Lucius. I would have devoured the souls of the Deputy and Flag-Bearer of the Third Banner of Green Woods as an appetizer before heading to my father.

It was Dogga, the royal brother, who pointed out such a way of fighting as bestial.

And there was another thing Dogga pointed out.

Relying on my regenerative abilities, not minding getting hurt, sometimes even intentionally taking hits to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses, was a way of fighting akin to that of a dead man.

Fighting to devour enemies is characteristic of carnivorous beasts. Fighting by recklessly risking one’s life is the way of a berserker. Either way, it’s not the manner of a proper warrior.

Dogga sounded the alarm on this matter.

— It might sound like Dogga was negating my way of fighting, but that’s not the case. In fact, Dogga himself valued highly that I fought him head-on, utilizing these methods.

However, he advised that relying on powerful abilities like “Soul Eater” and “Regeneration” in battle could be significantly disadvantageous when facing an opponent to whom these abilities do not apply. For such situations, it’s better to have a fighting style that does not depend on the power of the Soul Equipment.

I accepted this advice. I thought Dogga’s words were reasonable, and I had received similar advice from Sophia Azurite.

Considering the opponents I might face in the future, it’s quite possible I’ll encounter scenarios where Soul Eater doesn’t work and regeneration is hindered. Or someone might seal the Soul Equipment itself.

In such cases, if I only know how to fight relying on Soul Equipment, I’ll have no strategy. This was a clear weakness of mine.

Therefore, I spent most of the past month in the Demon Realm overcoming this flaw. I honed a fighting style that doesn’t rely on Soul Equipment through battles with Dogga, Kagari, Hakuro, and even Ursula, Claira, and Klimt.

The fight with the Quintos father and son was the final touch to this training. This battle held value greater than the souls of two generals.

With that thought, I was about to step forward to conclude my duel with Zenon.

— Suddenly, a chill ran down my spine.

There was no time to ponder the source of this fear. Instinctively, I leaped away from the spot.

Zenon, too, seemed to have felt the same sensation, retreating backward, his banner of Green Woods fluttering.

Our gazes turned sideways simultaneously.


Standing there was Ragna. My brother, who should have been standing dazed after his defeat to me, was now staring with a piercing gaze.

Just being under that gaze made my skin crawl. Every fiber of my being was alerting me to the danger Ragna posed.

I couldn’t help but frown at this realization.

It hadn’t even been thirty minutes since I effortlessly defeated Ragna without my Soul Equipment. When we first confronted each other, I had thought he had become much stronger, but not to a threatening level. The result of our encounter had proven my assumption was not arrogance.

Since then, I had been fighting Lucius and Zenon, and Ragna showed no signs of intervening. I had put him out of my mind, but—

“Soul Equipment Invocation!”

Without hesitation, I manifested my Soul Equipment. I had intended to save it for a battle with the Sword Saint, at least until I faced the Twin Peaks, but the situation was too urgent for such luxury.

My instinct, or perhaps the Soul Eater itself, was sounding an alarm: facing Ragna now without Soul Equipment would be dangerous.

As I heightened my alertness to its limit, Ragna quietly began his invocation.

“Void Armor Invocation—”

An overwhelming surge of Kei erupted from Ragna with the force of a rising tide. The intensity of his Kei, surpassing that of Zenon’s earlier Void Armor, roared as it enveloped Ragna’s Soul Equipment, forming a blade of golden Kei.

The ground cracked under Ragna’s feet

, unable to withstand the pressure. The Kei pressure bearing down on me surpassed even that of mythical creatures.

Every hair on my body stood on end in the face of this overwhelming aura of death.

This sensation was distinctly different from Zenon’s Void Armor earlier. Likely, Ragna’s Void Armor, similar to Ursula’s, was itself a form of Kei technique.

With this intuition, the next moment Ragna’s eyes snapped open wide, and he unleashed his Void Armor with a roar.

“The blade that cleaves all, Adamantica, Harpe!”

…The first thing I felt was light. Then, silence.

Before my eyes, a golden light shimmered quietly. It was as if time had stopped, with no sound to be heard. For the execution of Void Armor, this was an unusually subtle phenomenon.

— At that very moment, as I thought this, my vision exploded.


A torrent of light burning my eyes, a deafening roar as if tearing my eardrums apart.

The Soul Equipment I reflexively raised faced an immense pressure.

“Nu, gah…!”

The Soul Eater creaked under the strain, just like Lucius’s Soul Equipment, Orthros, when it had caught my Kei strike earlier.

I realized in an instant.

This Void Armor Kei technique was unblockable, unredirectable, unavoidable, and unreflectable.

It was an inescapable slash.

It wasn’t like Ursula’s Void Armor, which reversed phenomena. It was simply strong, simply fast, and for that reason, inescapable. That kind of slash.

Then, from Ragna’s mouth came an even more thunderous roar.


The surging golden light swelled rapidly, and the pressure on both my hands doubled.

The golden slash filling my vision seemed to be splitting not just me, but the entire city of Shuuto behind me in half.

In fact, if I were to be overpowered, Shuuto would not be spared either. Zenon’s earlier secret technique was precisely aimed only at me, but Ragna now seemed to be exerting all his strength just to cut me down, without considering the aftermath.

—I understand you want to defeat me, but think about the consequences!

As I internally rebuked Ragna, an unexpected memory flashed through my mind.

“Brother, next time, I won’t lose!”

“Come, little brother. I’ll beat you again!”

These memories date back to when both our mothers were still alive. A time when our rivalry was not about dominating or being dominated, but an equal competition.

Every time Ragna lost a contest, he’d rise again with the determination of winning the next one. Even after a series of losses, he’d stubbornly ask for ‘one more time,’ particularly when I was his opponent. He was incredibly competitive. Especially so when it came to competing against me.

Such memories surfaced amidst this battle to the death. Or perhaps, it was because we were in the midst of this battle that these memories could surface.

Well, remembering them doesn’t change anything. It’s too late to go back to those times, and I don’t even want to. Ragna probably feels the same.

With these thoughts, for reasons I couldn’t quite understand, I found myself smirking and, not to be outdone by my brother, raised my voice.

“Devour it all, Soul Eater!”

As I drew my weapon, a black radiance swelled, holding back the onrush of golden light.

The blade of the Soul Eater consumes magic, consumes Kei. There’s no better weapon for defending against Kei techniques.

While I couldn’t stop, deflect, or dodge it, I could devour it.

But Ragna’s Void Armor was not like ordinary magic; it wasn’t something that could be devoured in one or two strikes. And while consuming it, the immense pressure and impact had to be endured by my body.

I could feel every bone, every joint in my body screaming in agony.



Our shouts of fighting spirit overlapped unintentionally. Our Kei, our stubbornness, clashed with a roar.

And then, at the end of what seemed like an instant or an eternity of struggle, the moment of decision arrived.

— The last thing remaining was a shimmer of black.

With heavy steps, I approached the fallen Ragna.

My brother, clad in the Green Woods banner cloak, had exhausted all his strength and collapsed on the ground, lying on his back.

His complexion wasn’t great, but he was breathing properly. I sighed in relief internally.

Void Armor, if misused, could claim the user’s life. I had learned this from Ursula. Therefore, I had been worried that Ragna might have died using his Void Armor.

It would have been difficult to face Lady Emma if such a thing had happened. Thankfully, it was just a needless worry.

“What a contented look you have there.”

I gazed down at the unconscious Ragna and snorted through my nose.

True to my words, Ragna’s fallen face bore a strangely satisfied expression. Whether he was basking in the joy of mastering Void Armor, dreaming of his victory, or had found something valuable in this battle, I couldn’t tell.

I scratched my head and shifted my gaze away from Ragna.

There were many things I wanted to say and ask, but waking him up and potentially provoking another battle would be troublesome. Frankly, I didn’t want to fight Ragna again, Void Armor aside.

My main goal was still my father. It was time to move on.

“I’ll be passing through.”

I said this briefly, not to the unconscious Ragna, but to Zenon, who was standing by his side.

Zenon likely still had plenty of energy left, but whatever he saw in the battle between Ragna and me, his eyes no longer held the will to fight.

With Zenon nodding slightly, I turned towards the long staircase leading to the Mitsurugi residence.

Then, I realized something and reached into my pocket. Pulling out two vials of medicine, I tossed them towards Zenon.

“…What’s this?”

Catching the vials skillfully, Zenon looked puzzled.

“They’re healing potions. Use them if you need.”

They were meant for Lucius and Ragna’s treatment. Offering mercy to opponents who fought with their lives might be humiliating for them, but I wasn’t obliged to consider their feelings.

For me, it was enough if I could avoid a situation where I couldn’t face Lady Emma later.

I stepped onto the long staircase again and this time, without looking back, climbed up.

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