V2 Chapter 152: “Void”

The sword that slays dragons, a feat as daunting as the creatures themselves.

Witnessing the technique imbued with such force, I was captivated by the beauty of the swordsmanship, an artistry that stole my gaze.

It bore no flames or thunder as the secrets of the Eight Trigrams, nor did it manifest mythical beasts like the mysteries of the Four Symbols, nor did it shake the heavens and earth as the teachings of the Dual Extremes.

It was merely a slash.

A stroke devised by mere mortals to slay dragons, honed and passed down through generations. It was the epitome of what human swords could aspire to, a flash of insight that suggested the ultimate sword might take this form, an image that lingered in my vision.

Even if I had seen it before venturing into the realm of demons, I doubt I could have grasped the true essence of this powerful technique.

The dragon’s lair, burrowed into the reddish-brown gravelly earth, and from it, a serpentine body with a human face stretching towards the heavens. Only having seen that could I comprehend the extensive dedication the founder of the Phantom Blade Style had poured into developing this technique.

Understanding, however, does not equate to being able to stop the slash.

Bound by chains from the heavens and thorns from the earth, defense or evasion was impossible. All I could do was fix my gaze on the approaching sword, tracing its trajectory until the moment it cleaved through my body. That was my only option.


I couldn’t help but think so. The dragon-slaying sword was beautiful, nearly the ideal blade I sought, but it wasn’t the ideal itself.

Because my ideal is a sword that can defeat a sword saint. A sword meant for slaying dragons could never be my ideal blade.

As I pondered this, a spark of realization flashed through my mind—only to be shattered in the next instant by a gust of sword wind.

With a slash, the sword saint’s strike, running from my right shoulder to my left waist, bisected me diagonally, along with the chains and thorns that bound me.

And with a swift return stroke, the sword also cleaved through the dark blade of my Soul Equipment, Soul Eater.


The intense pain of being split diagonally through my torso, along with the shock of my Soul Equipment being shattered, was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Unable to swallow the surge rising from the depths of my throat, I vomited a copious amount of blood.

Simultaneously, my body, previously suspended in air, was released from its restraints, plummeting towards the ground.

Under normal circumstances, the fall would have been trivial, but for me, in that moment, it was deadly. With the Soul Equipment shattered, any hope of restoring Soul Eater was lost.

In the moments before my head was about to crash into the ground, I mustered the last of my force to deploy a thin layer of energy, akin to a sheet of thin ice, to mitigate the impact of the fall. Right after lessening the blow, my body slammed into the earth with a jolt that shook my skull.


The tremendous impact further tormented my already excruciatingly pained body. It was almost entirely by luck that I didn’t lose consciousness.

Lying on my back, the sky above Demon Island came into view, along with the sight of my father looking down on me from a higher vantage point.

Due to my hazy vision, my father’s face appeared blurred.

Instead, what emerged in my mind was the face of a young boy with horns on his forehead and memories of the last day of my training in the demon realm.


“What is necessary to master ‘Void’?”

Seated on the western capital’s city wall, Kagari faced my question with a look of difficulty.

At that time, I had mastered three of the four calamities but was still at a loss on how to begin with the last, “Void.”

Originally, the martial art of the four calamities, including the forceful strike, was a secret among the Kijin clan and not intended to be taught to a human like me. Even for the other three, I had learned them on my own during duels with the four brothers, without any advice from Kagari and the others.

I hadn’t sought advice from Kagari and the others. Yet, on a whim after the last duel, I asked Kagari about “Void.”

Honestly, I won’t deny I was hoping the good-natured youngest brother might offer a hint as a parting gift, though I wasn’t serious about it. If Kagari had refused, I was ready to drop the subject.

Kagari appeared to be pondering deeply in response to my inquiry.

“Umm, Hakuro-nii told me not to give more advice than necessary… Especially since you’ve already mastered ‘Sei,’ ‘Reside,’ and ‘Destruction’ in just a month, making Doga-nii and me suspect he’s been secretly advising you. If you also master ‘Sora,’ I can’t imagine what Hakuro-nii would say.”

Despite his words, Kagari seemed torn, twisting his head in hesitation.

Seeing an opportunity, I added casually.

“Of course, I won’t force you, but if I could master the four calamities, our duels would become even more intense.”

“Gu… That’s true! Just thinking about a showdown with ‘Void’ makes me shiver with excitement.”

Kagari shuddered visibly. The youngest of the Nakayama brothers was not a battle maniac, but his spirited nature was undeniable.

After a moment, Kagari looked at me determinedly.

“Alright, I understand. I’ll tell you what you need to know to master ‘Void’!”


Encouraged, I looked at Kagari with anticipation.

“What you need for ‘Void’ is just one thing: to know yourself.”

“To know myself? Is that something philosophical?”

“No, no, it’s not as complicated as that.”

Kagari waved his hand lightly and laughed.

But then, he quickly became serious and looked at me.

“As I mentioned before, even though we talk about the four calamities in one breath, ‘Void’ and the other three are fundamentally different. ‘Sei,’ ‘Reside,’ and ‘Destruction’ each have their forms, but ‘Void’ doesn’t. After all, ‘Void’ is a mystery that shapes the wielder’s desires through Anima, the essence of existence. So, there are as many ‘Voids’ as there are users.”

Saying this, Kagari raised his index finger like a teacher.

“For example, imagine two users who wish to become stronger. Their wish to be strong is the same. However, the way this strength manifests depends on why they want to be strong. Someone who wants to be strong to defeat enemies will master a ‘Void’ specialized in offense. Conversely, someone who wants to be strong to protect allies will master a ‘Void’ specialized in defense.”

Even if two people share the same wish, the power they acquire can be completely opposite. That’s why, to master ‘Void,’ you must accurately know yourself. A vague wish won’t be shaped by the user or Anima.

After explaining this, Kagari changed his tone and shrugged lightly.

“Well, there are Anima that might understand that part.”


“Yeah. Among the Kijin, there are those who haven’t mastered the four calamities but have acquired Void Armor. Rather, they are the majority. If you have a good compatibility with Anima, such things happen. However, those who acquire Void Armor this way often have it in an incomplete form.”

Hearing about incomplete Void Armor, I reflexively thought of Ursula. Ursula can use Void Armor, but she herself admitted that her power is incomplete.

Ursula thought it was due to her own lack of ability, but perhaps there were other reasons.

Thinking this, I chewed over what Kagari told me again in my mind.

I understand what Kagari is trying to say, and I intuitively feel it’s correct. However, despite having a clear wish to “defeat my father,” I have not yet acquired Void Armor. My Anima has consistently refused my requests for Void Armor until today.

What does this mean? As I was furrowing my brows in thought, Kagari suddenly spoke up.

“I think you’re overcomplicating ‘Void.'”


“I told you at the beginning. What you need is to know ‘Void’ itself. Neither Anima nor your father’s matters. Just focus squarely on yourself.”

Kagari says.

Anima is the other self living within the heart, the soul’s depths. No deceit, no trickery, no pretense can fool this naked essence.

Therefore, when the user harbors a true wish, it will always align with Anima’s wish.

If it doesn’t align, something is distorting the user’s wish. To know oneself is to reveal this distortion.

With a sly smile, Kagari said that.

Having said so much, he implied that I must master ‘Void’ and duel him again. His broad smile conveyed as much.


“To know oneself, huh.”

In my hazed consciousness, I recalled Kagari’s advice from days past.

Afterward, despite much contemplation, I never managed to master Void Armor. Only now do I begin to grasp why.

My desire to defeat my father was clear. But “defeat” can mean many things. Is it enough to best him with a sword? Do I want to beat him down and make him kneel? Or do I wish to behead him and end his life?

My feelings towards my father are complex. As a child, I admired him; as I grew, I feared him; after being exiled, I vowed to prove myself against him. And now, I wish to surpass him.

Respect, fear, resentment, challenge—if I were to shape my feelings towards my father, it would form a grotesquely twisted figure.

What I can say for certain is that from the moment I became aware, my father’s presence has always been in Mitsurugi Sora’s heart—respect, fear, resentment, surpassing—all genuine. My wish is to be acknowledged by my father, to prove myself against him, to cut him down, and to surpass him.

Such a convoluted wish, even for Soul Eater, was impossible to fulfill. I myself couldn’t give a clear form to my desires. Thus, I have been unable to master Void Armor to this day.

Yet, I have indeed seen it—the sword that slays dragons, the ideal blade that comes incredibly close to my own desires.

The dragon-slaying sword was developed to hunt dragons, a righteous blade passed down through the Mitsurugi family lineage. To transform that sword into one that could defeat my father. For me, dragons were secondary; my priority has always been to defeat my father. Recalling past events and figures shown by Soul Eater doesn’t change this sentiment.

Currently, the only swordsman who can wield the dragon-slaying blade is probably my father alone. If I fight my father and the conflict between the Kijin and the Mitsurugi leads to the dragon’s revival, it could potentially doom the continent.

But what of it?

If I truly cared for the peace of the continent, there were countless actions I could have taken before confronting my father. I could have urged restraint upon the Kijin, earnestly appealed to the Mitsurugi for the truth of the past, and mediated between both parties for a peaceful resolution. At the very least, I could have attempted it.

However, I chose not to take those measures—or more accurately, I didn’t even consider them. I prepared to fight my father, justified the conflict, and initiated this battle. What happens to the world or the dragons is of no concern to me. I only wanted to fight my father, without hesitation, even if it meant incurring the wrath of Lady Emma or showing mercy to her son Ragna.

Such is the exceedingly twisted nature of my spirit.

This battle is born of my selfish desires, a private war. I acknowledge this clearly.

At the same time, I’m aware that fighting and defeating my father, filled with personal desires as it may be, is my true wish.

“To acknowledge my warped desires and envision the ideal sword that fulfills them.”

At this moment, “it” finally took a complete form within me.

My force is depleted, my Soul Equipment broken, and my body near death. But what of it? My being has always been empty, a hollow void. Thinking of returning to the beginning feels almost nostalgic.


Lying sprawled on the ground, I scolded my body and clenched my teeth as I forced myself to stand. Then, with a body that seemed likely to collapse at any moment, I firmly planted my feet on the ground and looked up at the sky.

My eyes met my father’s, who was looking down at me. Unlike before, when my vision was blurred, this time our eyes clearly met.

His gaze wasn’t indifferent, like one would give to a pebble on the roadside. It was the gaze of a swordsman filled with a firm resolve to fight, clearly recognizing me as an adversary. Unwittingly, my body—my heart—quivered at this realization.

I gritted my teeth harder, swallowed whatever was rising in my throat, and met my father’s eyes head-on.

Then, I tightened my grip on the handle of my broken Soul Equipment. A heartbeat, not my own, throbbed through the grip and into my palm.

“Father, now is the time—I will surpass you.”

With strong determination and a trace of sentiment, I declared, holding the halved blade of my Soul Equipment.

And then, I uttered the words.

—Activate Void Armor.

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