V2 Chapter 146: Alone

“It’s unwise, My Lord! Engaging in conversation with such a fool is eccentric enough, let alone crossing swords with him. It is far too reckless for the head of the Mitsurugi family!”

In the deathly quiet grand hall, the words of protest from Shito Gilmore Berch echoed.

I thought Gilmore would welcome the idea of me being cut down, but it seemed he believed it was excessive for my father to handle it personally.

It wasn’t that he feared my father might be defeated – far from it. It was more of a sentiment that ‘one need not use a butcher’s knife to kill a chicken.’ In other words, he argued that there was no need for the Sword Saint to personally deal with someone like me.

Given that I had already defeated Zenon and Gozu, who were fourth and third in the Mitsurugi family’s hierarchy, I might not be considered merely a chicken. However, with both members of the Twin Pillars, Shukuya Kumon and Dialt Berch, still remaining, it was a reasonable opinion from a vassal’s standpoint that the Sword Saint need not involve himself.

Gilmore is also Dialt’s father. He might have been scheming to elevate the Berch family’s influence by having his son defeat me.

Now, I wondered how my father would respond to this suggestion.

Fighting the Twin Pillars before my father wouldn’t be a bad scenario for me. However, I wasn’t so conceited as to think I could defeat them and then win against the Sword Saint. So, depending on my father’s response, I might need to devise a strategy.

As these thoughts crossed my mind, my father slowly opened his mouth.

“Gilmore. As the head of the Mitsurugi family, it is my duty to deal with those who side with the Kijin, especially if they are of my own blood.”


“No objections. This matter is not open for discussion. All of you, understand this.”

With those words, my father silenced Gilmore and the rest of his subordinates, then stood up with a fluid motion.

Brushing off his clothes, he walked out of the grand hall after saying simply, “Follow me,” to me. As the assembled flag warriors exchanged stunned glances, I followed my father’s back.

Walking down the corridors of the Mitsurugi residence, memories of my childhood came flooding back. My heart back then was always a mix of admiration and impatience towards my father. The longing to be like him one day, and the anxiety that I might never be able to.

Recalling these bittersweet memories, I continued following my father without pause.

Eventually, I arrived at a circular arena following him. It was the place where I fought the Dragon Fang soldiers during the trial ceremony and where I battled the Earth Spiders upon my recent return.

There were no walls or fences around this arena, nor any magical barriers deployed. A full-on battle using soul equipment here would likely cause extensive damage to the surroundings. Still, my father bringing me here suggested either he didn’t care about the damage or was confident he could subdue me without causing any.

As I pondered this, I couldn’t help but inwardly smirk.

――I’ll understand once the fight begins.

There was no doubt that my father intended to face me. It was pointless to speculate about his intentions now.

My inclination to keep pondering, despite realizing this, was probably because I lacked calmness.

I had long awaited this battle with my father. I wasn’t afraid, nor was I faltering. But to say I felt as usual would also be incorrect.

While I eagerly anticipated the upcoming battle, part of me regretted that it was about to begin.

Regretting the start of a battle might sound strange, but that was genuinely how I felt.

If I lost to my father, I would lose my life. If I won, I would lose the object of my transcendence. Either way, the battle that started with my exile from Demon Island would end today. It would be the conclusion of the most intense five years of my eighteen-year life.

In essence, what I regretted was the past five years leading up to today.

To be honest, they weren’t days enjoyable enough to warrant such regret. Looking back, they were years that would make me want to clutch my head in frustration.

Yet, now that they were ending, a sense of sentimentality inevitably welled up within me. Such is the nature of humans.

With these thoughts, I stepped into the center of the arena and faced my father.

The area around us was gradually filling up with flag warriors who had rushed from the grand hall.

Five years ago, when I stood here, I was met with scorn, disdain, and pity. Many were indifferent, as if I wasn’t even worth their attention.

Now, five years later, their gazes had shifted to hostility, hatred, and caution. There were still plenty of scorn and disdain, but at least there was no one pitying or indifferent towards me.

I didn’t care what the Mitsurugi family thought of me, but realizing that I had moved beyond being pitied and ignored in these five years naturally brought a smile to my lips.

Then, at that moment, Gozu Sheema stepped forward from the crowd of flag warriors.

“Lord Mitsurugi. Lord Sora. I would like to serve as the mediator for this match.”

Gozu, in his role, likely hoped that by intervening as a referee, he could prevent the worst possible outcome.

However, I had no intention of allowing a mediator or referee to interfere in this battle, and it seemed my father felt the same.

“Not necessary.”

Unexpectedly, we both uttered the same words simultaneously. In contrast to my involuntary frown, my father remained utterly unflustered.

Seeing us like this, Gozu desperately tried to persuade his lord.

“Lord Mitsurugi! I won’t stop the two of you from fighting. However, for a father to raise his hand against his son is the height of odiousness. Please, allow me to serve as a mediator!”

Gozu pleaded earnestly, his expression intense. He didn’t even glance at me, the other party involved.

In Gozu’s eyes, it was a foregone conclusion that my father would defeat me. Therefore, he wanted to be granted the right to intervene and declare the end of the match when I lost.

His continued underestimation was irksome, but I had no expectations of Gozu anymore, so it didn’t anger me. Besides, not just Gozu, probably no one here believed I could defeat the Sword Saint.

As I thought this, my father’s calm words echoed in my ears.

“Hold back, Gozu. I said no intervention is needed in this matter.”


“I will forgive your fault for repeating the same thing twice, considering your past loyalty. But I will not tolerate it a third time.”

Gozu, unable to add another word in front of my father’s cold declaration, quietly dropped his shoulders in resignation.

I thought it was over, but my father continued speaking with a slight smile.

“Besides, anyone who looks at Sora now and can only see my victory is unfit to be a mediator.”

“Lord Mitsurugi?”

Gozu looked back at my father with a face mixed with surprise and confusion, but my father didn’t say anything more.

Gozu’s gaze turned to me, but having nothing to say, I simply ignored him with a cold indifference.

With that, the unwelcome mediator was compelled to leave the arena.

Now, only my father and I remained.

Facing me again, my father placed his hand on the hilt of the sword at his waist. It was Sasayuki, the treasured sword passed down through generations of the Mitsurugi family leaders.

In contrast, the sword I chose was not Sasatsuyu, which forms a pair with Sasayuki. Sasatsuyu had been given to Shukuya Kumon before the negotiations, so it wasn’t with me. Even if it were, I had no intention of using an unfamiliar sword.

I also didn’t plan to use the nameless black sword at my waist. I wasn’t arrogant enough to hold back my power and observe my opponent when facing the Sword Saint. I was determined to go all out from the very beginning, as that was the only way to truly gauge the situation.

Then there were my father’s recent words.

“Anyone who looks at Sora now and can only see my victory is unfit to be a mediator.”

Essentially, this meant that my father himself acknowledged the possibility of his defeat. More so, it meant that he chose to fight me because he saw that possibility in me.

I had thought no one here believed I could defeat the Sword Saint, but it seemed there was at least one who did.

I couldn’t let that person down.

“Soul equipment, activate.”

Soul equipment manifested in my outstretched right hand.

With a grin, ready to lay bare everything from these past five years to my father―

“Devour everything, Soul Eater!”

I roared the words to unsheathe my sword.

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