V2 Chapter 147: Disenchantment

As Sora unsheathed his soul equipment, what the flag bearers felt was not a ravaging storm, but a gentle breeze, reminiscent of a fragrant wind.

There was no splitting of the earth, nor creaking of the atmosphere, only the sound of a quiet, clear wind accompanying the unsheathing.

Yet, the immense and rough pressure of Sora’s overwhelming Kei seemed almost crushing to the flag bearers.

Witnessing such a disparity between the external display and the internal power of the unsheathing, the flag bearers rustled like reeds in a gust.



The pressure of Sora’s Kei was far beyond mere ‘physical oppression,’ akin to being struck on the head with an invisible hammer.

From the mouths of the flag bearers surrounding the combat area, groans of agony and cries of astonishment leaked out.

These were the upper echelons of the green wood’s Eight Banners. Only they could endure such pressure with mere vocal expressions. Had an average flag bearer faced Sora’s pressure head-on, they might have lost consciousness on the spot. Non-flag bearer soldiers would be even less likely to withstand it.

In the battlefield, just Sora drawing his blade could dominate an entire army.

The Sword Saint Mitsurugi Shikibu, facing Sora, was preparing his response.

Silently and soundlessly, Shikibu drew his blade Sasayuki, stepping half a pace forward with his right foot, sword positioned in the middle stance.

The most fundamental stance, without deploying soul equipment, hence the smaller Kei. Even so, his Kei was significantly more than what an average flag bearer could muster when unsheathing. The Sword Saint lived up to his reputation.

However, compared to the overwhelming Kei of Sora, Shikibu’s seemed modest.

Whether Shikibu’s refusal to deploy soul equipment was due to confidence, caution, or some other reason, no flag bearer could discern his inner thoughts. This included Sora, who wasn’t even attempting to fathom his father’s mind, believing it impossible to know what his father was thinking.

Sora positioned his soul equipment at his left hip, blade pointed backward, adopting a stance reminiscent of quick-draw. The next moment, his eyes widened fiercely —


With a powerful step forward, Sora launched a strike from his soul equipment to the side with a spirited yell.

Considering the distance between the two, Sora’s slash should have been out of reach. In reality, it was a deadly Kei technique filled with lethal power.

Phantom Blade Style, Void Devourer. This refined technique of the Flying Strike, where Kei is projected to slash the enemy, drastically reduces the time needed for the strike to reach its target.

The moment Sora swung his soul equipment outside his opponent’s range, Void Devourer had already captured his target.

This Kei technique, effectively nullifying the distance between him and his opponent, was one of Sora’s trump cards.

Against Sora’s initial strike using his trump card, Mitsurugi Shikibu’s response was simple.

He casually swung his sword, Sasayuki, as if checking its weight – just that and nothing more.

With that single motion, Sora’s trump card, capable of cutting even a demon god, was nullified. There was no shock of impact or residual effects when receiving the Kei technique, such was the perfection of the defense.

Sasayuki is a famous sword but not a magical sword with enchantments. It’s an ordinary sword forged from iron.

Shikibu received – no, dispersed the Kei technique with this ordinary sword, literally scattering it like mist.

The extent of this extraordinary skill could be inferred from the simultaneous gasps of the flag bearers, who were well aware of Shikibu’s prowess as a Sword Saint.

However, the person whose trump card was blocked, Sora, did not share in their surprise.

His face, lifted in a playful smile, showed no shock or perturbation.

It wasn’t that Sora had held back. He understood that Shikibu’s defense was in the realm of divine technique. He fully grasped the significance of his all-out trump card being perfectly blocked by Shikibu, who hadn’t even deployed his soul equipment.

Yet, Sora remained utterly unfazed, having anticipated such an outcome from the outset. In fact, he would have been truly astonished if his attack had managed to inflict even a minor wound on Shikibu.

Unperturbed by his trump card being blocked, Sora didn’t delay in launching his next attack. He executed Void Devourer again and again, two, three, four times in succession.

Becoming capable of continuously unleashing such a trump Kei technique was a gift from his training in the demon realm – a testament to his repeated life-or-death battles with the Nakayama brothers.

And Shikibu, facing the onslaught of successive Void Devourers, smoothly parried each attack.

Father and son, easily handling an intense exchange of blows that would have been insurmountable for an average flag bearer, as if it were a choreographed fight scene, both wore smiles on their lips.

Their smiles were like those of carnivorous beasts who, after enduring hunger, finally found their prey – fierce and voracious.

The intense sounds of clashing swords echoed throughout the Mitsurugi family’s combat area.

Soul Eater and Sasayuki. The scorching friction sound produced by the two clashing blades continuously rattled the eardrums of the flag bearers.

The sword fight between father and son had already surpassed thirty rounds, turning what initially was a quiet battle into a thunderous clash that shook the entire Mitsurugi residence, each striking their Kei techniques against each other.

The fact that there was minimal damage around them despite the intensity was because both were expertly controlling their Kei, focusing the power of their Kei techniques solely on their opponent. Otherwise, the combat area, and probably the Mitsurugi residence itself, would have been half in ruins by now.

The gathered flag bearers watched the endless battle in silence.

The head of the family had ordered that there be absolutely no interference in this fight. No interference meant no intervention. It was not a fight they could, or should, get involved in. All the flag bearers understood this.

However, understanding it and being content to just watch were two different things. Gilmore Berch, like the other flag bearers, initially watched the father-son duel intently, but as time passed, concern became evident on his face.

His concern soon turned into a frown, hardening Gilmore’s expression. When the sword fight surpassed fifty rounds, the Mitsurugi family’s Steward, trying not to draw attention, called out sharply yet briefly to his son.


Hearing his father’s voice, Dialt responded calmly.

“Steward, what is it?”

“Do whatever it takes to take down that foolish one. You can do it without anyone noticing.”

However, Dialt immediately shook his head without consideration.

“I cannot. That would go against the lord’s orders.”

“That’s why I’m saying do it without being noticed…!”

Gilmore’s voice, rebuking his son, was filled with urgency. His gaze was fixed on Sora.

Sora’s movements grew sharper with time, and his swordplay more intense. The initial balance had now clearly tipped in Sora’s favor.

Gilmore had never seen Mitsurugi Shikibu so pressured. The fact that Shikibu had not drawn his soul equipment was not a valid excuse. Even when training against the strongest opponents, Shikibu would win without deploying his soul equipment while allowing his opponent to use theirs.

Yet, against Sora, Shikibu was clearly being outmatched.

―― Why does the lord not draw his soul equipment?

It was clear from the battle so far that Sora is not an opponent to be taken lightly. Additionally, Shikibu’s words to Gozu Seema earlier indicated his high regard for Sora.

Despite this, why did Shikibu not draw his soul equipment?

Could it be, not that he chose not to, but that he was unable to?

Such a doubt even crossed the minds of those present.

Gilmore Berch, who had long served the Mitsurugi family, had only seen Shikibu draw his soul equipment a handful of times. In the last ten years, perhaps not even once. The memory of Shikibu’s full-power combat had become distant even to Gilmore.

He had never questioned it. Given the existence of green wood’s Eight Banners, there were rarely any monsters that required the Sword Saint to personally intervene. Even if there were, Shikibu would easily defeat them without using his soul equipment.

Thus, it seemed natural to Gilmore that Shikibu didn’t draw his soul equipment. But could it be that Shikibu had become a flag bearer who was unable to draw it?

It’s known that some flag bearers, due to physical or mental reasons, lose their synchrony with their Anima. If Shikibu had become such, standing by idly was not an option.

If the head of the Mitsurugi family were to be defeated by someone allied with the Kijin, it would be the end of the Mitsurugi. As the Steward of the Mitsurugi family, as the head of the Berch family, and as a flag bearer of green wood, Gilmore knew he had to nip such a possibility in the bud.

Thinking this, Gilmore was about to issue another command to Dialt.

But then, a murmur among the flag bearers stopped him.

Turning to see, the tip of Sora’s soul equipment had sliced through the sleeve of Shikibu’s battle dress.

Until now, even while being pushed back by Sora, Shikibu had managed to prevent the blade from touching his clothes. But Sora’s fierce attack had finally penetrated Shikibu’s defense.

Empowered by this, Sora’s swordplay grew even more vigorous, its swift and thunderous onslaught too fast for even the upper flag bearers to follow. The intensity of the battle was so extreme that the initial movements at the start of the fight seemed clumsy in comparison.

Why was there such a difference in Sora’s movements before and after fighting the Sword Saint?

“Mitsurugi Sora, what kind of curse afflicts you?”

“Unless you break that curse, you are as good as bound by iron chains, unable to unleash your true strength.”

Those were the words conveyed to Sora by Sophia Azurite.

The curse that bound Sora was the farewell words passed down from his father, and even more so, the very existence of his father, who had deemed him an unnecessary weakling.

If that’s the case, it’s clear that his father’s presence is the key to breaking the curse.

There’s no need for anything complicated.

For Sora, who had greatly feared his father, merely confronting him head-on – the fact that he could face his father without fear – was enough to gain immense confidence.

Especially after exchanging swords directly with his father for thirty, then fifty rounds, one can easily imagine how greatly Sora’s confidence must have swelled.

The moment the tip of his soul equipment sliced through his father’s battle dress, the chains of the curse binding Sora were halfway undone.

The black edge of his sword, unleashed with a roar, became like countless shooting stars assaulting the Sword Saint, gradually but surely cornering him.

And then, the moment arrived.

Sora’s soul equipment thrust fiercely, passing dangerously close to Shikibu’s face. Shikibu tilted his head at the last moment, seemingly evading the blade.

But just barely. Just barely, the tip of the soul equipment grazed Shikibu.

A small red line appeared on the Sword Saint’s cheek.

It was a minor wound, so shallow that not even blood flowed. But it was, without a doubt, a wound. A wound that Mitsurugi Sora had inflicted on Mitsurugi Shikibu.

Sora’s eyes widened, a triumphant smile forming on his lips.

At that moment…


A fierce roar burst from Shikibu’s mouth, and Sora was blasted backward by an invisible force.

It was a basic Kei technique called Kei Blast, unleashed by Shikibu at close range on Sora.

However, being basic did not mean it was a threat to the current Sora.

Indeed, when Sora landed, his body bore not a single injury. It’s unlikely that Shikibu expected a basic Kei technique to inflict any damage on Sora at this point.

Shikibu simply wanted to create distance from Sora.

Gripping the handle of Sasayuki with his right hand, Mitsurugi Shikibu placed his left hand on his cheek. He traced the recent wound inflicted by Sora, staring intently at the trace of blood on his fingertip.

After a moment, Shikibu began to laugh, starting with a low chuckle that gradually grew louder. His laughter escalated, oblivious to the astonished Sora and the surrounding retainers, into a thunderous roar that seemed to shake the heavens.

“Hahaha! Hahahaha! Hahahahaha!!”

Casting aside his usual impassive, mask-like expression, Shikibu laughed heartily.

For Sora, seeing his father laugh like this was a first. He was bewildered, surprised, and cautious.

He thought his father, having received even a slight wound from his son, might be enraged and launch into a fierce attack.

However, this assumption was incorrect. At that moment, there was no anger in Shikibu’s heart, only an irresistible joy and admiration for the one who had managed to wound him.

Having subdued his laughter, Shikibu offered Sora sincere praise.

“How many years has it been since someone could inflict a wound upon me? Magnificent, Sora. You have honed your swordsmanship to this level. I hereby revoke your disinheritance, granting you the right to bear the Mitsurugi name again. You, who have wounded me, the Sword Saint, are indeed worthy of it.”

“…You expect me to thank you for this?”

“No, you won’t. Nor is there any need to. Either way, you will soon sink into the mire under the weight of my sword. I grant you the Mitsurugi name so that in the underworld, when you face the King of Enma, you won’t be inconvenienced by not having a family name.”

Shikibu said this with a sly grin.

For Shikibu, who usually spoke only the bare minimum, this was a remarkably provocative and verbose statement. Yet, there seemed to be no malice in it. Perhaps, in his way, this was Shikibu’s attempt at light-hearted banter.

Before the silent Sora, Shikibu, filled with joy, declared without any reservation,

“Awaken, Soul Equipment!”

In that moment, the Kei pressure that shook the combat area, the Mitsurugi residence, Shuuto, and even Demon Island, was something Sora had never felt before.

It was not merely immense or profound.

It was a divine presence, awe-inspiring, pure, and sublime – the embodiment of divine might.

“Break the Evil, Reveal the Truth – Light God Riosvaldur.”

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