V2 Chapter 166: To the Kingdom of Canaria

After accepting Shukuya’s defeat, I did not impose any punishment on him.

I was the one who declared to the banner man, “Anyone who cannot accept me as their leader is welcome to challenge me at any time.” Therefore, challenging in itself is not a crime, and without a crime, there is no reason to deliver punishment.

Of course, I couldn’t say the same for those who attempted ambushes or poisonings. However, Shukuya had challenged me openly. Punishing Shukuya would deter the bannerets from challenging me in the future, even if they had grievances.

his would only allow grievances to fester in the shadows, becoming even more troublesome. It’s better to maintain an environment where they can challenge me openly.

The me of the past might have been obsessed with consuming the soul of Shukuya, one of the two great warriors. But now that I have fulfilled my grand ambition of surpassing my father, I have no reason to cling to the consumption of souls.

The Anima, somewhat discontent with my decision, growled at me, but a battle against the “Calamity of this Era” is certain to come soon. This means a battle where I can consume Mythical Creatures to my heart’s content is near. I told the Soul Eater that we could then feast on souls to our heart’s content.

Afterward, no banneret came forward to challenge me, not even from Dialt, which I had half expected. The other half of the duo remained silent, and his father, Gilmore, also holed up in his silent fortress.

They must each have their own schemes, but if they choose not to act, that’s fine by me. As I’ve said repeatedly, all I ask of the bannerets is not to interfere with the migration, nothing more.

I ordered the bannerets not to sortie from the Southern Fortress and to fulfill the duties passed down from the previous generation.

Then, I took Ursula to see my father.

This was to uncover the truth behind the death of Ursula’s father, the previous Commander Ulrich Utgarza.

This was the first time my father and I faced each other since our life-threatening duel. It was a fight where a step wrong could have led to death for either of us, and I was the victor.

Given that, it was easy to predict my father’s attitude would be rigid. However, the discussion was not cold or awkward at all. Instead, my father welcomed us with his usual expressionless demeanor and answered our questions straightforwardly.

It was anti-climactic for me, but somewhere deep down, I had anticipated this outcome. To my father, defeat was simply that, and there was no need to hide it. Hence, he did not become sullen due to defeat or bear ill will towards the victor.

Reflecting on it, my father’s attitude towards me has always been dry, but equally free from malice.

Regardless, since he was willing to respond candidly, it was best to quickly ask what we wanted to know.

When I brought up Ulrich, my father readily admitted to his involvement with the Order of the Light God. The connection between the Mitsurugi family and the demon realm was supposed to be a secret passed down only through direct lineage, but it seemed there was no longer any need to hide it.

The reason my father came to this decision must have been related to the disappearance of Pope Sophia and the dragons.

—Just how involved was he, and what had he anticipated?

As I internally sighed, Ursula, with a tense expression, inquired about the truth behind her father Ulrich’s death.

My father’s response was as follows:

At one time, Ulrich discovered a suspicious swordsman who had infiltrated the Mitsurugi residence in disguise. This swordsman, a practitioner of the mysterious Nanashi technique, had come from the demon realm to communicate with my father but was detected by Ulrich, whose perception was unnaturally sharp.

Ulrich immediately captured the intruder. Although the Nanashi practitioner tried to resist, being caught off-guard while believing himself hidden left him no chance to escape.

As a skilled interrogator, Ulrich, in his role as the commander, extracted information from the reticent intruder through harsh methods and learned the truth about the Mitsurugi family’s secret connections with the demon realm, despite their public vows to annihilate demons and seal gods.

Afterward, Ulrich confronted my father directly. He asked whether the information he had learned was true and argued that if it was, the ties with the demon realm should be severed immediately.

In response, my father acknowledged the connection to the demon realm and presented Ulrich with a condition for cutting off that connection. The condition was that Ulrich must defeat an assassin sent from the demon realm soon.

This assassin was undoubtedly Utsuroi. This meant that Ulrich was aware of Utsuroi’s impending attack and was probably fully prepared to counterattack.

Ultimately, Ulrich was defeated by Utsuroi, and the Mitsurugi family’s secret remained safe. Had Ulrich managed to defeat Utsuroi, one wonders if my father would have honored their agreement and severed ties with the demon realm.

…Probably he would have. I can’t imagine my father reneging on an agreement. If he were to break his word, he’d likely have chosen to silence Ulrich from the beginning.

This implies that for my father, the connection with the demon realm wasn’t a “secret that must be protected at all costs,” but rather a “secret that wouldn’t matter if it became public.”

Of course, this calculation included the movements of Pope Sophia and the dragons.

Earlier, I thought my father readily admitted the connection with the demon realm because Sophia and the dragons had vanished. However, it seems he didn’t place much importance on their existence after all.

What kind of plan is my father really envisioning?

I considered asking about my father’s true intentions during this opportunity—but I immediately shook my head, dismissing the thought.

Understanding my father’s true intentions would likely be beyond me, and even if I could comprehend them, it wouldn’t change anything now. More than anything, I feared that learning his true intentions might influence me.

I had finally freed myself from the curse that “the weak are unnecessary” by defeating my father. I would decline any new curse here.

I kept silent and observed Ursula, who was sitting with us.

I had learned almost everything I wanted to know. What remained to be seen was how Ursula would act towards my father.

From the conversation, it was clear that my father had not conspired with Utsuroi to ambush Ulrich in the shadows. In fact, he had even informed Ulrich about the existence of an assassin that he should not have divulged.

On the other hand, it was also true that my father remained silent about knowing the identity of the person who killed Ulrich. For Ursula, who had spent years searching for “The Four-Eyed Kijin,” her father’s killer, feeling deceived by her lord was unavoidable.

Had Ursula wished to seek revenge against my father, seeing him as part of her father’s enemies, I was prepared to support her.

The gaze of both my father and I concentrated on Ursula.

In response, Ursula quietly bowed her head to my father, thanking him for his answers, and then gave me a small nod.

There was nothing more for her to say in this place. Sensing Ursula’s intention, I announced our departure to my father and attempted to leave the room with her— or so I tried.

Just before exiting, a voice calling my name from behind made me stop.

Naturally, it was my father’s voice. Turning around, he spoke in his usual dry tone.

“Ayaka Azurite resigned from the Green Woods bannerets and left the island last night. Be aware.”


I was surprised to hear Ayaka’s name suddenly from my father.

Indeed, I hadn’t seen Ayaka today, but I hadn’t expected she had already left the island by yesterday. Her rush to leave must undoubtedly involve me.

Ayaka must have wanted to leave the island before I became the head. Resigning as a banneret and leaving meant she had undergone the sealing ceremony, effectively crippling her martial prowess. If she went to such lengths to avoid serving under me, she must really despise me.

Regardless of how Ayaka feels or acts now, it wasn’t my concern. However, I was curious why my father went out of his way to inform me about Ayaka’s movements.

Opening my mouth as if to say something, I eventually found myself at a loss for words and simply responded with, “Understood.”

Exiting the room, Ursula and I walked the corridor in silence for a while. Once we were sufficiently far from my father’s room, I finally spoke to Ursula.

“Was that okay for you?”

“Yes. I never considered Lord Shikibu an enemy to begin with. Just understanding why my father was killed is enough for me.”

Responding in a soft voice, Ursula let out a heavy sigh as if releasing a burden.

Though unspoken, had Ursula chosen to confront my father as an enemy, it would have reignited conflict between my father and me. This could have caused unpredictable actions from the bannerets who showed loyalty to me, potentially harming the migration plan.

Ursula likely had that in mind. She must have thought it wasn’t right to interfere with my affairs for personal reasons.

Even if I pointed that out and told her not to worry about me, Ursula would probably just laugh it off and deny it.

Knowing this, I couldn’t continue discussing Ulrich any further.

In that case, all I could do was change the subject to help Ursula shift her mood.

“Then, is it alright if we head to Ishka today?”

“There’s no problem, my lord.”

Ursula responded, and, sensing my utmost concern for her, she smiled softly at me.

However, her smile didn’t last long, and with a concerned look, she peered into my face.

“My lord, what will you do about Ayaka?”

“What to do, you say…”

I shrugged with a wry smile.

“There’s nothing much to be done now that she’s already left the island. If Ayaka has returned to her family, we might encounter each other during negotiations with the empire.”

Dealing with Ayaka, who knows me well, as a negotiator could prove to be quite troublesome, but that’s a problem for another time.

Ursula seemed to be concerned about my relationship with Ayaka, but I had no intention of reaching out to Ayaka, and I doubt she had any intention either.

If I had any regrets about Ayaka, it would only be that “I wanted to have a serious battle with that dancer at least once.”

Sensing something in my response, Ursula did not press further with her questions.

After that, without encountering any notable problems, we quickly prepared for our journey.

A significant amount of time has passed since I left Ishka. Those who remained must be quite worried. I wondered whether the barrier to protect against the Hydra’s poison, which I had asked Pope Noah to arrange, was completed among other concerns.

Although it was somewhat late, there was a need to hurry back to the Kingdom of Canaria.

I had thought about greeting Lady Emma at least once, but I decided against it. Showing that I value Lady Emma might invite those with ill intentions to use her.

Besides, I had just beaten up Lady Emma’s son and had a spectacular fight with her husband. Considering that my father was missing for a while, Lady Emma must have been quite worried. Showing up would probably just discomfort her, being the cause of her worries.

With that in mind, I chose to leave Demon Island without meeting Lady Emma.

Accompanying me were Ursula, Claira, and Kagari—three people in total. Counting the time, nearly two months had passed since Claira and I set off for the Imperial Capital of Adoastera.

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