V2 Chapter 157: At the Mitsurugi Residence

That night, in the grand hall of the Mitsurugi residence, the Four Lords, the generals of the Eight Banners, and the top banner warriors gathered, deliberating on future actions amidst a tense atmosphere.

The defeat of Shikibu Mitsurugi, the head of the Mitsurugi family and a Sword Saint, was a catastrophe equivalent to the world turning upside down for the Mitsurugi family. To make matters worse, the one to whom the fallen Shikibu entrusted his legacy was none other than Sora Mitsurugi, the former heir who had sided with the Kijin race.

For the banner warriors, who had continued to fight under the law of exterminating demons and sealing gods, accepting him as their lord was unthinkable.

Fortunately, or perhaps it is better to say, only those present—the twin pillars, a few generals, and Steward Gilmore—knew of Shikibu’s last words. Gilmore and his associates kept this information limited to the other top banner warriors, sparing the common soldiers and the public from the details. They understood that divulging such information would plunge Shuuto and the entire region into uncontrollable chaos.

However, the fierce battle between Shikibu and Sora had shaken the entire Demon Island, so even the common banner warriors and residents of Shuuto, who were not privy to the details, sensed that something significant had occurred within the Mitsurugi family.

Thus, even after nightfall, the chaos enveloping Shuuto did not subside. Those unaware of the circumstances were tormented by an indescribable mix of anxiety and excitement, leading to sleepless nights.

Those gathered in the leaderless grand hall shared a similar sentiment. Being more informed of the situation and closer to the truth, they vividly felt that they stood at a pivotal moment in the three-hundred-year history of the Mitsurugi family.

This very reason made them hesitant to speak carelessly.

Amidst the heavy silence that hung like sediment, it was, perhaps predictably, Steward Gilmore Berch who first broke the quiet.

“―As many of you may already be aware, but let me reiterate. The head of our house is safe. Though still unconscious, his life is not in danger. This is indeed a relief,” Gilmore began, receiving nods of agreement from the banner warriors.

Then, with a hint of sarcasm in his eyes, Gilmore commended the one who discovered Shikibu.

“The merit of Sima Gozu in rescuing our lord is recognized by all. Even I am deeply impressed,” he said.

“It was merely my duty as a subject,” came the reply.

“Indeed, a Sima, your dignified attitude is truly a model for all subjects,” Gilmore continued, his lips curling slightly as he spoke further.

“Although it might be highly impertinent to inquire this of such a paragon of a subject under these circumstances, I must ask out of necessity. What are your intentions regarding Sora, the renegade who sided with the Kijin and sought our lord’s life? Just as it is a subject’s duty to save their lord, so too is it their duty to avenge him. As a Sima, leading the banner warriors to exact vengeance upon this traitor would seem appropriate, but what are your thoughts?”

Though phrased as a question, it was clear that Gilmore’s intention was to castigate Gozu Sima, who had been close to Sora.

Witnessing Gilmore’s effort to undermine a political rival even in such times, many banner warriors flashed expressions of frustration. However, none dared to interrupt the exchange between the two.

Despite Gilmore’s intentions, there was significant interest among the Mitsurugi clan about how Gozu, the one closest to Sora, intended to act.

Gathering the gaze of the banner warriors, Gozu responded with composure.

“First, I intend to hear Lord Sora’s side of the story. Why he sided with the Kijin, why he crossed blades with the lord. There must be profound reasons for his actions. Deciding whether to welcome Lord Sora as our leader can wait until after we understand these matters.”

“Ah, this is a surprise. So, if there are reasons, siding with the Kijin is acceptable? If there are reasons, striking down one’s own father is permissible? If there are reasons, it’s fine to trample on the law of exterminating demons and sealing gods and open the demon gate—Is that what you think, Sima? Excuse my frankness, but such lack of discernment is unbefitting of one of the Four Lords. If our lord knew that a loyal Sima harbors such disloyal thoughts, he would surely lament. Don’t you think so, Zenon-dono?”

Gilmore had called upon Zenon Quintus, the general of the Third Banner.

Zenon, who had been silently brooding in his seat among the generals since being repelled by Sora alongside his son Lucius and Mitsurugi Ragna, belonged to the Quintus family, which, along with the Berch family, was maneuvering to install Ragna as the next head. Already diminished in prestige among the generals for being defeated by Sora, who had yielded to the Kijin, Zenon’s standing would inevitably plummet if Sora became the head, marking the decline of the Quintus family.

Therefore, Gilmore expected Zenon to agree with him.


“Steward. Now is not the time to discuss such trivial matters.”

“…What did you say?”

Zenon’s response was dry, showing no hint of camaraderie with the Berch family.

As Gilmore furrowed his brows and asked again, Zenon continued calmly.

“To speak plainly, I believe the Mitsurugi family stands on the brink of existence and non-existence. The situation is extremely dangerous, with the Sword Saint, our lord, fallen and the one who defeated him siding with the Kijin.”

“Such matters are already known to me, even without your words. That’s precisely why we are deliberating over someone who might collude with the renegade, all to bring him down.”

“It’s those matters I deem trivial. Before we proceed with such actions, there’s something we must clarify here.”

Gilmore frowned unpleasantly upon hearing Zenon’s words.

“At this juncture, I can’t imagine anything more urgent than defeating the renegade, but let’s hear it. What is this “something we must clarify here” that you speak of, Zenon-dono?”

“It’s simple. We need to clarify when exactly our lord entrusted a letter to Lord Dialt.”

Zenon stated.

Shikibu had sealed his will in a scroll, placed it in a tube, and entrusted it to Dialt with strict instructions. The responsibility of opening it, however, was not Dialt’s but was left to Shukuya, who was to ensure there were no anomalies with the tube before announcing the contents of the scroll.

By delegating the disclosure of the scroll to the twin pillars, Shikibu demonstrated to those around him that the contents were unaltered by anyone.

From this, it is clear that the words written in the scroll, “The one who defeats me shall inherit the position of head of the family,” undeniably represent Shikibu’s own will. Zenon did not doubt this.

The question was whether Shikibu had entrusted the scroll to Dialt before or after knowing of Sora’s alliance with the Kijin.

If Shikibu had entrusted the scroll before knowing about Sora’s actions, the interpretation that “The lord had no intention of passing the leadership to Sora, who allied with the Kijin” could stand. Gilmore’s argument for executing Sora as a traitor was based on this interpretation.

However, if Shikibu had entrusted the scroll after becoming aware of Sora’s actions, then this interpretation could not stand. If Sora had the strength to defeat the Sword Saint, then, even if he had allied with the Kijin, there would be no issue with him becoming the head of the Mitsurugi family—implying that Shikibu had made such a judgment.

“In summary, what we must decide in this council is whether we, as retainers, shall accept Lord Sora as our head. To make this decision, we need to understand the lord’s thoughts in more detail. If the lord left his will knowing everything, then rejecting Lord Sora simply because he allied with the Kijin would be equivalent to denying the lord’s own will.”

Hearing this, Gilmore’s eyes widened in surprise.

Not because he was struck in a sore spot—but because he was caught off guard.

Regaining his composure, Gilmore looked at Zenon with utter disbelief.

“What nonsense… The lord is the embodiment of the Mitsurugi family’s principle of demon extermination and sealing gods. There’s no way the lord would acknowledge someone who allied with the Kijin as the head. Even discussing such a possibility is an insult to the lord!”

“Then let this Zenon bear the lord’s wrath. I would ask Lord Dialt once more,”

Zenon said, shifting his gaze from Gilmore to Dialt, and asked with a serious tone.

“When exactly did you receive the scroll from the lord?”

Hearing this, Gilmore tapped his knee irritably and glared at Zenon.

Then, mockingly said,

“What a farce. It seems Lord Zenon has become spineless after a single defeat. Twisting logic to escape from avenging the lord. What a reliable tutor Lord Ragna has. Lord Dialt, there’s no need to bother. Just enlighten Lord Zenon.”

Convinced that there was not even one in ten thousand chances that Shikibu would acknowledge Sora, who had sided with the Kijin, Gilmore urged his own son Dialt with a voice full of confidence.

Internally, Gilmore had already written off Zenon, planning to demote him from his position as a general once Shikibu awoke, thereby replacing the Quintus family’s influence in the Third Banner with that of the Berch family.

Then, the calm voice of Dialt reached Gilmore’s ears.

Dialt revealed that the scroll had been entrusted to him by the lord just before the latter engaged in combat with that person, with Simon-dono also present as a witness.

When Dialt mentioned Simon Gauss, one of the Four Lords and the Minister of Public Works, the eyes of all the banner warriors turned to Simon.

Simon, looking somewhat bewildered, nodded affirmatively to confirm Dialt’s statement.

“Indeed, just before our lord fought Lord Sora, I was present when the scroll was handed over to Lord Dialt, sealed within the tube.”

Having Simon present was likely for the purpose of having a witness.

Gilmore, being the Steward, was too close to Dialt. They could collude to falsify the timing of the scroll’s transfer. The same could be said for anyone from the Berch family.

Conversely, Gozu, being seen as a political enemy of the Berch family, was not suitable as a witness due to a different kind of bias.

Simon, as the Minister of Public Works, was neither too close nor too distant from the Berch family. His upright and honest character was well-known among many banner warriors. Being on the verge of retirement also attested to his impartiality, making him the most suitable witness.

Indeed, Simon’s testimony confirmed that Dialt’s words were truthful. Shikibu left those words knowing that Sora had allied with the Kijin.

To borrow Zenon’s words, “Even if he had allied with the Kijin, there is no inconvenience in Sora becoming the head,” was Shikibu’s judgment.

This significantly changed the atmosphere of the council.

Those present had witnessed the battle between Sora and Shikibu firsthand. They had felt Sora’s strength as he fought and won against the Sword Saint.

Of course, this doesn’t mean there was no dissatisfaction with Sora becoming the head. In fact, most banner warriors were likely dissatisfied, with Gilmore’s perspective being closer to the consensus of the Green Woods banner warriors.

However, rejecting Sora’s accession based on sentiment would lead to an unavoidable conflict. A battle against Sora, who defeated the Sword Saint, would be challenging even for the twin pillars, likely requiring the collective effort of the top banner warriors.

Considering Sora’s resilience, seen as he continued to fight despite facing the Sword Saint’s secret techniques, even a victory would come with significant casualties.

If the Kijin, unscathed, took advantage of this situation, the Mitsurugi family could lose not just the demon gate but also Shuuto.

This clearly indicates that outright rejecting Sora’s accession based on emotion is a poor strategy.

Many top banner warriors concluded, “While we may not agree with welcoming Sora as the head, considering the current situation and the lord’s will, we hesitate to oppose him rashly.”

However, there were naturally those who could not accept this.

“Absurd!? It’s unthinkable for the lord to acknowledge a fool who has succumbed to the Kijin!”

Hearing the words of Dialt and Simon, Gilmore, who had been stunned, suddenly regained his composure and raised his voice in anger. Then, slamming his fist on the floor, he looked around.

“There’s no room for debate about striking down a traitor who has become an enemy of our lord! If the Eight Banners, led by my son Dialt, unite their full strength, it should be no trouble to defeat that fool! Afterward, it will be proper for our lord to return to his position as head!”

Hearing this, Zenon frowned and countered.

“Fighting against Lord Sora would not leave the Eight Banners unscathed. We must not forget that unharmed Kijin stand behind Lord Sora. If the Kijin attack while the Eight Banners are weakened, we could lose not just the demon gate but even Shuuto. I believe the lord’s decision to leave his position to Lord Sora is a deep and far-sighted plan to bring Lord Sora back to the Mitsurugi family, even after defeating him.”

“Hold your tongue, coward! If the Kijin attack, we shall simply defeat them! That is precisely the duty of the Green Woods banner warriors who uphold the law of demon extermination and sealing gods! What is a general doing, thinking of defeat at the hands of the Kijin before the battle even begins!? If you are so afraid of fighting against Lord Sora, then resign from your position as a general and leave this place at once!”

As Gilmore vehemently berated Zenon, lightning seemed to flash in Zenon’s eyes.

The head of the Quintus family was aware of his own defeat and had endeavored to remain calm regardless of what Gilmore said. But he could not let this last remark go unchallenged.

“I do not deny that I find the idea of fighting Lord Sora fearsome. However, my fear stems from the concern that fighting the current Lord Sora would inflict irreparable damage on the Mitsurugi family. If you call this cowardice, then I expect you, as the Steward, to present a solid plan for victory against Lord Sora here and now.”

With that, Zenon twisted his cheek in sarcasm.

“I hear that, despite relying on numbers and bluster against Lord Sora, when you finally showed your true mettle and engaged, you were dismissed with a single Kei Blast. During that time, neither Lord Dialt nor Lord Shukuya, nor any of the other banner warriors moved an inch. It’s understood by everyone that Lord Sora is not an opponent who can be defeated by sheer numbers. The only one who has yet to grasp this is you, Steward.”

“…Hmph, quite the smooth talker, aren’t you, Zenon? No matter how much you exaggerate Lord Sora’s strength, it won’t erase your and your son’s defeat.”

“Appreciate your profound insights. So, when will you share your strategy for victory against Lord Sora?”

With Zenon’s words laced with heavy sarcasm, Gilmore clenched his back teeth tightly.

He glanced at Dialt, but his son did not raise his voice in agreement with Gilmore, which infuriated him further.

There was never any familial affection between Gilmore and Dialt. Gilmore valued Dialt, but only as a pawn to fulfill his ambitions, ready to sacrifice his son without hesitation if necessary.

Dialt was well aware of this.

Yet, no discord arose within the Berch family because Dialt dutifully followed his father’s commands.

This continued even after Dialt became the general of the First Banner, with the father and son of the Berch family supporting the Mitsurugi family as the pillars of literature and martial arts, thereby enhancing their own power and prestige.

Now, Dialt has become indispensable to Gilmore’s ambitions.

And now, to have a change of heart?

Upon reflection, Dialt’s demeanor had been odd ever since his confrontation with Sora. Gilmore regretted not questioning him about it before the council meeting, but it was too late for regrets now.

Moreover, Gilmore had been preoccupied with calming the household’s turmoil as the Steward up until just before the council began. There had been no chance to discuss matters with his son beforehand.

—Dialt’s true feelings could be ascertained after the council. If things continued as they were, Sora might indeed become the head of the family. That was something Gilmore had to prevent at all costs!

If Sora became the head, it would be the end for the Berch family. It meant the end of Gilmore’s ambitions.

With his face flushed with indignation, the head of the Berch family continued to desperately ponder how to salvage the situation.

The noisy discussions in the grand hall continued late into the night. Many high-ranking banner warriors expressed their opinions, listened to others, and spoke up in turn, repeating this cycle.

Some, tired of the endless debate, left their seats, but they were in the minority. Most banner warriors remained in the grand hall, though they occasionally stepped out for water, food, or to use the restroom.

Thus, when Ayaka Azurite stood up to leave the grand hall, no one paid her departure much mind.

Until yesterday, her fiancé, Mitsurugi Ragna, might have noticed, but he was deeply engrossed in a serious conversation with Zenon and did not perceive Ayaka’s movements.

Seeing the earnest profile of her fiancé, now seemingly refreshed by having made some resolve, Ayaka allowed herself a slight smile.

Then, as if deciding she no longer needed to be concerned about others, she briskly turned on her heel and left the grand hall.

Ayaka headed towards the back of the mansion, to the lord’s quarters where Shikibu, having lost consciousness, was resting.

For Ayaka, who was once engaged to Sora and now to Ragna, the Mitsurugi residence was as good as her own home, and she had no hesitation or doubts as she made her way to the lord’s quarters.

She passed several security banner warriors along the way, but none reprimanded her. Instead, they respectfully made way and allowed her to pass.

Upon reaching the lord’s quarters, Ayaka found a few banner warriors, maids, and the Mitsurugi family’s physician and a high priest of the Law God Church on standby in case of any sudden changes in Shikibu’s condition.

All present were followers of the Law God Church, but no one in the household found this suspicious. The Law God Church was the state religion of the Adoastera Empire, and a grand temple of the Law God existed in Shuuto. Naturally, many in the Mitsurugi household were followers.

Even if everyone present were followers of the Law God Church, it was merely coincidental and nothing to be suspicious of.

The fact that they were allowed to serve around the lord in this situation showed that everyone present had long served the Mitsurugi family loyally, with both credibility and a track record. Thus, no one present was suspected of any wrongdoing.


As soon as Ayaka appeared, the loyal servants silently bowed their heads in unison. They did not attempt to stop Ayaka, who was about to enter the room with her sword still on her, and let her pass without any precaution.

“—Everyone, please leave.”

Ayaka spoke in a whisper, and the followers of the Law God Church obediently complied, silently and smoothly withdrawing from the lord’s quarters.

Alone now, Ayaka stepped into the lord’s quarters and gazed at Shikibu, who lay on a futon in the center of the room.

Then, with slow, deliberate steps, as if to assure herself, she moved closer to the resting Shikibu…

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well. Just a quick update on our translation work for “Revenge of the Soul Eater.” We’ve nearly caught up with the author, who has published up to Chapter 14 in Arc 3. I’ll be publishing up to Chapter 167, the conclusion of Arc 2, on our website. Subsequent chapters will be shared first on Patreon as they’re released by the author, and then made available here.

While we wait for new chapters, I’m open to translating other works. Should you have any suggestions or favorite titles you’d like to see translated, please let me know. Your input is always valued and appreciated.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Liked it? Take a second to support WordyCrown on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!