V2 Chapter 165: The Fifth

“He is doing well against Sora. Just as I thought, Shukuya is exceptional even among humans.”

Watching the battle between Mitsurugi Sora and Kumon Shukuya from a distance, Kagari’s lips curled into a smile of amusement. Seated on the city walls of Shuuto, which he had once breached with his own hands, the youngest of the Nakayama siblings had been observing the fight closely, nodding in satisfaction.

For Kagari, finding an opponent worthy of battling, even if it was a human, was a cause for joy.

Shukuya had been on the defensive against Sora, and to an onlooker, the difference in their abilities might seem vast. However, Kagari did not underestimate Shukuya’s strength.

To Kagari, Shukuya’s true prowess lay in his defense. He would block the enemy’s attacks with perfect defense and strike with a deadly thrust at an opportune moment. Against an opponent without openings, he would continue the fight until one appeared.

That seemed to be what he was doing against Sora right now. For Shukuya, who wielded a soul equipment in the form of a venomous spear, this was probably the most efficient way to fight.

Indeed, even though Shukuya was being pushed back, he hadn’t been hit by Sora’s attacks even once. His defense was practically impregnable.

“Well, if Sora was in perfect condition, that impregnable defense would probably be shattered.”

Kagari mused internally.

He did not know how the humans saw it, but to Kagari, it was clear that Sora was not at his best today. He believed this was due to the fight with his father yesterday.

This was likely due to the effects of using ‘Sei,’ one of the Four Calamities. Kagari had experienced it himself; a body overused by “Sei” does not recover with just a day or two of rest.

In fact, Sora’s movements lacked their usual sharpness, and his control of Kei was sloppy. The fact that he hadn’t used Kei techniques against Shukuya suggested he was aware of his own condition.

Kagari thought that by the time he finished his duty of inspecting Titis Forest and reported back to his elder brother, Sora would be back in perfect condition. The thought of a fight to the death with a fully recovered Sora brought a smile to his face.

Then, someone called out to Kagari from the side.

“Lord Kagari.”

Claira Berch was the one who called out Kagari’s name.

Like Kagari, Claira had been watching the battle between Sora and Shukuya from nearby. Something about Kagari’s mutterings had caught her interest.

Concluding that Sora’s advantage over Shukuya was undeniable, Claira decided to address her curiosity immediately.

“When you said ‘Just as I thought’ earlier, did you already know of Lord Shukuya?”

Kagari responded casually to the question.

“Yes. When the Nakayama attacked this place before, I infiltrated as a scout. At that time, I marked five humans as notable. ‘These are the ones to watch out for,’ I thought. Shukuya was among them.”

Claira nodded in understanding upon hearing this.

While Kagari had been infiltrating Demon Island, Claira had been confined in the Berch family’s dungeon. As a result, she was not well-informed about the circumstances at that time.

Had she talked to Sora, he would have surely told her about Kagari. However, Claira, who had been desperate to rescue Klimt, did not concern herself with the details of the battles with the Kijin that took place during her imprisonment.

Naturally, even after rescuing Klimt, she did not go out of her way to ask Sora about it.

Now, hearing about Kagari’s actions for the first time, Claira, placing a hand on her chin, said,

“Five people, you say. Does that include Lord Sora?”

“Yes, Sora is one of the five.”

Hearing this, Claira exchanged a glance with Ursula.

Given that Kagari had marked them as individuals of note, they must possess exceptional martial prowess even by Demon Island’s standards. If Shukuya was included, it was natural to assume that Dialt, the other half of the duo, and the family head, were also on the list.

With these three and Sora, that makes four. So, who is the fifth?

Considering the Mitsurugi family’s hierarchy, it would likely be Gozu Seema, holding the rank of third banner, third position.

However, there is a noticeable gap in strength between the duo and Gozu. If Gozu was considered noteworthy, then Zenon Quintos, the commander of the third banner, should also be included. Their abilities were closely matched, making it unlikely for Kagari to consider Gozu a threat while overlooking Zenon.

This was why Claira had asked if Sora was included among the five. If Sora wasn’t included, then the five would undoubtedly be the chief administrator, Dialt, Shukuya, Gozu, and Zenon.

However, if Sora is included, it likely means Gozu and Zenon aren’t considered among the five. In that case, who could be the fifth person Kagari considered notable?

When Claira asked about this, Kagari glanced briefly at the higher-ranking officers nearby before replying in a light tone.

“It seems she’s not here right now, but it was a female banner officer with long black hair. People around here called her ‘Azurite’.”


Claira and Ursula’s voices overlapped perfectly, and they exchanged looks of surprise.

Claira was the first to speak.

“Ayaka, you say. Indeed, she was a standout talent among our golden generation, so I can understand Lord Kagari’s assessment, but…”

“Yeah, I agree with Claira. I just hadn’t thought she was on par with the duo. Not yet, at least.”

Ayaka, holding the rank of third in the second banner, was closest to becoming a general among her generation. It was said that she would be promoted to vice-general soon and would assume the position of general within a few years.

Both Claira and Ursula, as her contemporaries, had closely observed Ayaka’s talent and efforts, naturally thinking that Ayaka Azurite would eventually reach the level of the duo and might even attain the title of Sword Saint.

However, that was a “someday” notion, not applicable at the current moment. Hearing Kagari suggest that Ayaka was already at a level comparable to the duo, Claira and Ursula couldn’t hide their surprise.

Of course, there was a chance Kagari was mistaken.

But having witnessed Kagari’s skills and talents firsthand over a month in the demon world, when comparing their own assessments with Kagari’s, they couldn’t help but give more weight to the latter.

If Kagari’s assessment was accurate, it meant Ayaka had been hiding her true capabilities from those around her. Why would she need to do that?

It was also peculiar that they hadn’t seen Ayaka at all today.

As they pondered this, a chilling and immense Kei reminiscent of a blizzard surged forth. Shukuya, realizing he could not defend any longer against Sora, decided to go for a final gambit.

“Void Armor, invigorate.”

Holding his soul equipment on his shoulder in a spear-throwing stance, Shukuya’s eyes widened fiercely.

And then,

“Be smitten, Shadow Queen, Scary.”

With a speed too fast for the eye to catch, he launched his soul equipment.

The black spear, Scary, turned into a bolt of lightning, aiming to deliver a fatal strike to Sora’s body.

Even Kagari couldn’t help but widen his eyes at the ferocity of the throw, and Sora, in turn, mustered a speed that could only be described as divine to concentrate his Kei.

“Phantom Blade Style – Barrier.”

In the next moment, the cylindrical barrier deployed by Sora collided with the black spear, Scary, emitting a roar as it fiercely attempted to penetrate the wall of Kei.

The spearhead spun at high speed, clashing against the barrier trying to prevent its entry. A grating noise that could pierce one’s ears resounded throughout the area, as the two forces of Kei engaged in a brief yet intense battle.

The momentum of the black spear, Scary, was tremendous, likely capable of piercing through more than three meters of the barrier if measured. Any ordinary Kei technique would have been overwhelmed by the power of Scary and shattered to pieces long ago.

However, the barrier Sora had crafted was as solid as a city wall, allowing neither penetration nor destruction by the enemy.

Still, Scary came incredibly close to reaching Sora’s body, but ultimately lost its momentum and halted in mid-air.

Immediately after, the black spear, Scary, returned to Shukuya’s hand with a bursting force, as if propelled.

Shukuya, gently stroking the handle of the returned Anima as if to comfort it, declared his defeat to Sora and to those watching the battle with a clear voice.

Thus, the battle between Mitsurugi Sora and Kumon Shukuya concluded with Sora’s victory.

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