V2 Chapter 156: Choices

The position of the head of the Mitsurugi family is to be passed on to the one who defeats me.

This phrase left by my father suddenly propelled me into the position of a candidate for the head of the Mitsurugi family. It’s an utterly troublesome situation—no, for someone like me, who has absolutely no interest in the position of head, it’s not just a ‘troublesome favor’ but simply ‘trouble.’

Naturally, I would have liked to say I just snorted in disdain and ignored it—but, putting personal feelings aside, the position of head of the Mitsurugi family could prove useful in solving the current issues.

Simply put, if I became the head and opened the demon gate, it would allow the Kijin race to escape from the demon realm. With that in mind, I couldn’t outright dismiss the option of taking up the position without considering it.

As I realized during the battle with my father, this whole affair began from my personal desire to fight against my real father. Issues regarding the Kijin or the demon realm were nothing more than excuses to justify my battle with him.

However—or perhaps I should say, therefore—having achieved my goal, I can’t afford to be indifferent about what follows. That would be utterly irresponsible. If becoming the head could help stabilize the situation, I should put in as much effort as possible to clean up the mess I’ve made.

Well, as much as they are my father’s words, it’s unlikely the banner bearers would silently accept my ascension to head or the opening of the demon gate. Far from stabilizing the situation, it might even exacerbate it. But if that’s the case, I might as well stick to the original plan and beat everyone down to open the demon gate myself.

It was when I had reached this point in my thoughts.

“Don’t be ridiculous!!”

Gilmore Berch, his aged face flushed deep red, screamed as if to reach the heavens.

His eyes, glaring sharply at me like needles, seemed to convey he would kill me with his gaze if possible.

“To place such a fool as the head of the Mitsurugi family is unthinkable! It would be like throwing three hundred years of the Mitsurugi family’s history, passed down continuously from the founder, into the gutter!”

Watching Gilmore barking furiously, I shrugged lightly in response.

“If you have objections, why not go find a head instead of barking here? Well, it’s a welcome proposition for me. Becoming the head would practically give me the authority to open the demon gate.”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying is unthinkable! Not one of the four lords or eight banners would consider acknowledging a weakling who succumbs to the Kijin as their head!”

“If that’s the case, fine by me. I’ll just have to crush you all and take the demon gate. I’ll sink the three hundred years of history into the gutter along with the Mitsurugi family.”

As I twisted my mouth into a sneer, it felt as though something snapped with a ‘snap.’

Gilmore, with his white eyebrows raised at a sharp angle, widened his eyes as if they were about to burst. The blood-red hue in his eyes, as if filled with intense passion, was probably due to the rupture of blood vessels in his eyeballs.

“I can no longer bear it! I’ll cut off that filthy tongue of yours right here and feed it to the livestock! Dialt, cover me! Soul equipment activation—Tear apart, divine insects!”

With a roar, Gilmore unleashed his soul equipment, and a screeching noise that seemed to scratch at the eardrums followed as a gray-brown mist surged towards me.

Upon closer inspection, each particle making up the mist was a crustacean with eight legs.

I had learned about Gilmore’s soul equipment from Claira and Klimt. Those particle-like divine insects are highly flexible, and Gilmore prefers to shrink the divine insects to infiltrate the enemy’s body.

Once the divine insects have infiltrated someone’s body, Gilmore virtually holds the power of life and death over them. He can either devour their organs or split their belly open at will.

It’s a distasteful tale, Gilmore enforcing loyalty by implanting divine insects into his adopted children. Naturally, Claira and Klimt were no exceptions, but after Claira drank a potion with my blood in it, the divine insects vanished, and Klimt had himself pierced by sacred blade to remove the divine insects.

—Now, could the divine insects that disappeared with just a bit of my blood in a healing potion infiltrate my body?

Well, I’m not exactly keen on letting bugs swarm me just to find out.

I opened my mouth wide, aiming at the approaching mist.


I struck with a basic Kei Blast technique, and the swarm of insects screeching in the air scattered with a thunderous noise.

Seeing this, Gilmore stood frozen in astonishment. Even if he was distraught over the defeat of the sword saint, I wish he’d understand that a human’s soul equipment of his caliber wouldn’t affect me now.

I snorted through my nose and said,

“Are you satisfied, Steward?”

“You… bastard…”

“I’ll return to the demon realm for today. I’ll come back another day, so gather your household’s opinions by then. As I said earlier, I don’t mind either way.”

Saying so, I kicked off the ground and headed towards Shuuto with high-speed movement.

I thought maybe the twin peaks might follow, but there was no sign of them. Probably, Gilmore wasn’t the only one distraught.

Looking down at Shuuto from the sky, it was in complete chaos. Well, up until a moment ago, my father and I were unleashing secret techniques and Void Armor. To those unaware of the circumstances, it must have seemed no different from a natural disaster.

While internally apologizing for involving them in a private battle, I didn’t slow down and slipped through the demon gate.

Enduring an unpleasant sensation as if my brain was being forcibly shaken, I opened my eyes to find the familiar rust-red sky spread out before me.

It seems the news of the Sword Saint’s defeat had already reached Southern Heaven Fortress, and the banner bearers were running around in a panic, likely thinking that the Kijin might seize this opportunity to launch a full-scale attack.

If I showed myself in such a situation, it would only add fuel to the chaos. Worse, the banner bearers of Southern Heaven Fortress might attack me, seeing me as the enemy of their lord.

With that thought, I moved stealthily, trying not to attract attention, heading to the room where Kagari was supposed to be waiting. Passing by two banner bearers standing grim-faced in front of the room, I entered.

Considering Kagari, he might have used a divine artifact to conceal himself, watching the battle between my father and me from the shadows. That’s what I had thought, but contrary to my expectations, Kagari was inside.

Seeing me return, Kagari, sitting in a chair, opened his mouth with a sly smile.

“It seems you were able to defeat your Father, Sora.”

“Yeah, thanks to you. Have you been here the whole time? I thought for sure you’d have slipped out of the fortress to come there.”

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about escaping. But I knew if I was nearby, I’d definitely end up intervening.”

Kagari said this and laughed wryly, hands behind his head.

“Brother Dooga said, ‘A man must face battles that he can win with his own strength alone. For Sora, that battle is with his father.’ Remembering that, I somehow managed to restrain myself. Well, looking at you now, it seems my patience was worth it.”

“Hm? What do you mean?”

As I tilted my head and asked, Kagari sprang up from the chair with a nimble movement and slowly approached me.

Then, he peered closely at my face and lightly tapped my chest with his right fist.

“The current Sora, you’ve got a really good look on your face. This must be what they mean by ‘having a weight lifted off your shoulders.'”

“Hmm? Was my face that bad before?”

“I didn’t notice until yesterday, but seeing you now, the difference is clear. Probably others would say the same. Let’s see, to put it simply…”

Kagari crossed his arms, hummed thoughtfully, then suddenly clapped his hands together.

“When I thought about fighting the Sora of yesterday, I was excited.”


“Thinking about fighting the current Sora gives me chills. That’s how different it is.”

“I see, I don’t understand.”

Though I didn’t quite grasp the nuance of Kagari’s comparison, it seemed I had changed for the better, so I decided not to dwell on it.

More importantly, I had to explain to Kagari what had happened and then leave Southern Heaven Fortress immediately to join up with Azuma and the others.

Determined, I briefly explained to Kagari about the battle with my father and what followed.

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