V2 Chapter 160: Yearning

Ursula, cutting through Claira’s giggles with a deliberately exaggerated cough, turned her gaze back to me with a question.

“Lord, what do you plan to do today?”

“Ah, so you’re continuing with that form of address—well, I’m going to meet with Azuma and the others to explain what I just mentioned.”

Regardless of how much I discuss relocation, there’s no guarantee Nakayama will agree. And if Nakayama doesn’t agree, this plan cannot proceed.

intend to discuss my plan with his brothers and then, likely alongside Kagari, head to Titis Forest.

For the Kijin, relocating to Titis Forest is a major decision that will affect the future of their clan. Whether they decide to relocate or not, they cannot make a decision without seeing Titis Forest for themselves.

So, I plan to take a leading figure from Nakayama to the site. After explaining the situation in Titis Forest through their words, they will make a decision on whether to relocate.

As I mentioned before, Titis Forest has dragon veins, is inhabited by many mythical creatures, and contains Hydra’s poison. Normally, it would not be considered a suitable place for relocation, but I am optimistic that Nakayama will not object to the move.

Why? Because all the drawbacks mentioned are “far better compared to the Demon Realm.”

Titis Forest is feared for the potential emergence of Mythical Creatures due to its dragon veins. However, the Demon Realm also has dragon veins, and Mythical Creature-class monsters are a common presence there.

While Titis Forest is home to numerous monsters, in terms of the number and strength of monsters, the Demon Realm is far superior.

The Hydra’s poison is a problem, but then, the Demon Realm is contaminated by the miasma emitted by dragons. Unlike Titis Forest, where only part of the forest is contaminated, nearly the entire Demon Realm is eroded by miasma, which is unquestionably more troublesome.

Above all, the greatest advantage of Titis Forest over the Demon Realm is the presence of blue skies and the sun overhead.

Although the Demon Realm has its sun, referring to that faintly glowing entity as a sun feels reluctant. Even on clear days, the sky is perpetually a rusty red.

For Kijin who have spent their entire lives in the Demon Realm, this might seem normal, but to me, it felt like a scene that significantly induced a sense of confinement. Honestly, the most tiresome aspect of my month in the Demon Realm was this.

However, since my stay lasted only about a month, it was merely tiresome. Had my stay in the Demon Realm extended to half a year or a year, it might have had an undeniable impact on my mental and physical health.

My days in the Demon Realm made me realize that humans need the sun, a realization that likely applies to the Kijin as well. Observing Suzume, it seems there’s no racial weakness to sunlight among the Kijin, and I believe the Kagari, upon seeing Titis Forest, will wholeheartedly agree to the relocation proposal.

For these reasons, I wasn’t worried about Nakayama accepting the relocation.

Surely, there will be those who, out of hatred for humans and the Mitsurugi family, would argue against relocation, insisting on forcibly taking Demon Island. However, coordinating such matters is the job of King Azuma and his brothers.

After explaining this to Ursula and Claira, I added another point.

“Before heading to Titis, we need to settle matters with the Mitsurugi family. I doubt a conclusion on accepting me as the head of the family can be reached overnight, but it would be troublesome if Nakayama attacked while we are on route to Titis. We need to sort out these discussions. Plus, we need to verify what has happened to my father.”

Hearing this, Ursula and Claira’s expressions turned serious, and they leaned in closer.

“Of course, we will—”

“You don’t mind if we accompany you, do you?”

Their faces and voices were filled with an undeniable pressure, making it clear they wouldn’t take no for an answer. I gave a wry smile and nodded.

“Yes, of course. But be aware, by joining me, you’re making a clear stand. There’s no turning back.”

I had already declared my alliance with the Kijin to the Mitsurugi family. However, Ursula, Claira, and Klimt had not yet made their positions clear. They could potentially return to the Mitsurugi family if they chose to.

However, it seemed like a moot point to the two of them now, as they gave me a look of mild exasperation.

Indeed, if they had intended to return, they would have left my side long ago to go back to the Mitsurugi family. Their presence here was their answer.

I raised my hands in a gesture of surrender.

“My apologies for overstepping.”

“As long as you understand. Of course, I will accompany you, Lord.”

“And I will too, Sora.”

“Understood. By the way, do you know what Klimt intends to do?”

When I asked about the absent warrior, Ursula and Claira exchanged glances and smiled amusingly.

Claira, still smiling, spoke.

“While continuing his own training, he’s been teaching swordsmanship to Lord Yamato. ‘Why am I doing this?’ he mutters to himself. He may not intend to follow you, Sora, but I doubt he plans to actively oppose you either.”

“That would be a relief. If Klimt started calling me ‘Lord Sora’ or ‘My Lord,’ I’d definitely get goosebumps all over.”

I said it jokingly, but in reality, having Klimt not turn against us is a big relief.

Considering Claira, it wouldn’t be right to confront him just because he’s an enemy, but leaving him alone would also be problematic.

I’m not the only one who’s gotten stronger through training in the demon world. Additionally, Klimt knows the ins and outs of Nakayama and the soul equipment of the four brothers. It would be extremely troublesome if he sided with the Mitsurugi family and targeted us during the relocation.

The fact that this possibility was nipped in the bud was undoubtedly good news—although, I knew he wouldn’t turn against us as long as Claira was on our side.

When I said this, Claira placed her hand on her cheek with a troubled look.

“Lord Sora. Klimt was grateful to you for saving me and for all your efforts to heal his arm. Even if I weren’t by your side, I don’t think Klimt would have ever turned his blade against you.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, it is.”

Looking at Claira’s bright smile, I scratched my cheek and nodded.

The thought of being thanked by Klimt gives me the chills, but it’s certainly better than being hated or scorned, yeah.

I cleared my throat like Ursula had done before changing the subject.

“If my father is alive, I plan to ask about the Utgarza family. Are you okay with that, Ursula?”

“Of course. In fact, I’d like to ask him myself.”

Ursula’s expression tightened as she nodded.

Ten years ago, Ursula’s father, Ulrich Utgarza, was likely killed by the head of the Fangxiang clan, Utsurui, because Ulrich had discovered the ties between the Mitsurugi family and the demon world forces.

As a result, Ulrich was silenced by the demon world forces, and it’s believed that the Mitsurugi family turned a blind eye to it. Ursula’s choice not to return to the Mitsurugi family and to follow me instead was probably driven by similar thoughts.

However, that’s all speculation, and the truth can only be known by asking the parties involved. Ursula has never asked me to do anything like that, but it’s clear from the look on her face that he has been harboring a desire to confront my father about the truth.

Depending on how things go, Ursula might even draw his blade against my father—but if it comes to that, so be it. I can’t tell Ursula not to seek revenge for his father’s death. Even if my father didn’t personally kill Ulrich, he was the lord who allowed his vassal’s assassination, so he can’t complain if he’s resented for it.

In the end, we’ll have to adapt to the situation as it unfolds. With that thought, I left the two of them and headed towards King Azuma’s tent.

Ah, I forgot to mention that we are currently on a small hill, overlooking the Southern Hevan Fortress from afar.

The four brothers have entrusted the West Capital to Sozai and have come to this place, leading the main force of the Nakayama army.

I left Ursula and Claira in my tent, allowing Claira, who had been on watch duty, to rest a bit. There’s no expectation that the discussion with the four brothers would end quickly, nor is there a need to depart immediately after it concludes.

It’s fine to pass through the demon gate after Claira has had a chance to sleep.

However, if I leave Claira behind, she will undoubtedly start preparing to go to Titis Forest, disregarding sleep entirely. Ursula is there to ensure Claira gets her rest, serving as a guardian for that purpose. I’ve already informed them about this, so they should be able to fulfill their roles without any issue.

Thinking about this, I walked towards the direction where Azuma’s tent is located.


As soon as Sora left the tent, Ursula couldn’t help but let out a big sigh.

Seeing this, Claira chuckled again, prompting a resentful look from her friend.

“Claira, you laugh too much.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just that seeing Ursula, who is always so composed, change her expressions so frequently is somehow funny to me.”

“Well… I guess I’m aware of that too,” Ursula admitted, letting out a deflated sigh.

She knew she was often unsettled, and she knew who was the cause of it.

But knowing didn’t mean she could control it.

As a result, she found herself acting towards Sora in a way that was oddly reverential. But Ursula thought it was necessary. Without forcing herself to not be overly reverent, she wouldn’t have been able to look Sora in the eye and speak properly.

Sora was clearly different after defeating his father.

Of course, his appearance hadn’t changed. But his every action seemed to carry a newfound confidence. Earlier, Sora had naturally referred to his father as “Father,” which was not something he would have done before. Defeating his father must have resolved the lingering resentment Sora had towards him.

And, though he might not have realized it, Sora had started smiling more. Whenever Ursula caught a glimpse of Sora’s carefree smile, her heart would race.

Trying to hide her flushed cheeks, Ursula coughed and turned to Claira with a question.

“How come you can talk so normally with Sora? You must have noticed his increased charm, right?”

“I just used you as a shield to hide behind,” Claira replied.


Ursula glared at her friend with a half-lidded stare, to which Claira responded with a hand over her mouth, smiling.

“Ha, just kidding. Indeed, I too was captivated by Lord Sora, just like Ursula. But—”


“Unlike you, my admiration for Lord Sora started long before he fought with his father—since the moment he agreed to help me with my request to save my brother. That’s the difference between you and me.”

Watching Claira speak so candidly, albeit with a hint of shyness but without hesitation, Ursula blinked rapidly.

Then, with her face blushing as if embarrassed, she said,

“It’s kind of embarrassing for me just listening to this.”

“Love makes a girl bold—that’s what Ayaka would probably say,” Claira remarked.

After saying this, Claira covered her mouth with a hand and yawned quietly, the effects of her vigilance duty seemingly catching up with her at last.

Seeing this, Ursula remembered what Sora had told her and hurriedly laid Claira down on the bedding. They were in Sora’s tent, but Ursula thought Claira would sleep more comfortably here and did not suggest going back to their own tent.

Whether it was Ursula’s decision that did the trick or not, Claira soon began to breathe softly in sleep on Sora’s bedding.

As Ursula watched her classmate’s sleeping face, she let out a small sigh for reasons she couldn’t quite understand herself.

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