Chapter 20: Emerging from the Illusion

The towering body is muscular. The figure holding a huge sword is majestic.

The horns that extend from the forehead pierce the sky majestically, and the red eyes are shining with a fierce battle spirit, revealing countless fangs from the large slit mouth.

It is not human, nor is it a kijin. Yet it is too dignified to be called a monster.

Demon god–I was convinced that the being in front of me was called that.

The next moment, the demon god moved.

When the giant kicked the ground, a thunderous roar echoed around. The figure that approached by tearing the wind and shaking the ground reminded me of a charging elephant.

The demon god holds a great sword that is as tall as I am. It is not a mere weapon, as the red magic that covers the blade like a heat haze proves. If hit by this, a human body would not retain its original shape and would be shattered.

In an instant, the demon god closed the distance between us, and a suffocating smell of blood blew at me. Looking closely, the demon god’s body was covered with a huge amount of bloodstains. It was obvious that this was the result of the battle at the Mitsurugi mansion.

The demon god, who was trying to add me to that result, raised his great sword. Immediately after, the great sword was swung down with enough force to split the space itself.


The moment I caught the blow with Soul Eater, a tremendous shock ran through my whole body.

Heavy. Heavy. Just heavy. The weight of the great sword, the weight of the slash, and the pressure of the demon god all pressed down on me, and every bone in my body creaked.

The other side is a giant that reaches almost three meters in height. I have no chance in terms of physique, and I can’t help but be at a disadvantage in a head-on contest.

The demon god seemed to be aware of that, and tried to push me over with brute force, pushing his great sword into me in a posture that covered me. The black blade of Soul Eater and the red great sword of the demon god clashed violently, and a burning metal sound tore at my eardrums.

If I relax my strength even a little, I will be cut in half in that instant.

“Ku, ku…!”

A voice leaked from my lips naturally as I pushed back the great sword with all my might. I haven’t squeezed out my strength so desperately since I ate the Hydra in Titis Forest.

Ten seconds, twenty seconds, thirty seconds–the power struggle that bet on death did not end.

The simple physical strength is superior to the other side. The only thing I can rely on is the body enhancement by kei, but after all, the opponent is a mythical creature. The amount of kei is enormous, and the efficiency of enhancement is better because it surpasses me in physical strength.

I looked at the demon god in front of me again.

The strange giant who emits a kei pressure that seems to crush me, and a demonic aura that makes my hair stand on end.

There is no way to misjudge the power if I face it so close. This guy definitely has a power worthy of being called a mythical creature.


Ah, no good. I’ve been holding back since I caught the first attack, but I can’t help but let out a voice.

A voice of joy.

It’s been less than three months since I ate the mythical creature Hydra in the Titis Forest. I never expected to have another chance to eat a mythical creature in such a short period of time.

The kijin attack this time seems to involve a lot of motives, but whoever is pulling the strings behind the scenes, I’m grateful that they started things on this day. If it had been delayed by even a day, I wouldn’t have had a chance to fight the demon god.

“Well, now that it’s decided, let’s go for real.”

Until now, I’ve been watching the situation to gauge the demon god’s strength, but if I take too much time, other warriors will come to this place. Especially if the Sword Saint or the Twin Peaks show up, they will surely slay the demon god by themselves. I need to finish off the demon god before they show up.

…Well, the fact that the demon god who attacked the Mitsurugi mansion is still alive means that the Sword Saint has no intention of fighting. Why? Because if the head of the Mitsurugi family had any intention of fighting, the demon god would have been chopped up long ago.

As long as that hasn’t happened, I can assert that the Sword Saint has no will to fight.

For the Phantom Blade Style, which upholds the law of exterminating demons and sealing gods, the demon god is an enemy that cannot be tolerated. Moreover, this individual has undoubtedly killed the Green Woods warriors. I don’t know why the Sword Saint let go of the demon god who killed his subordinates, but I don’t need to think too deeply about it if it benefits me.

Or rather, I wouldn’t understand even if I thought about it. What’s in that person’s mind?


I let out a roar as if to shake off the stagnation in my heart. The kei that erupted ran through my body like a torrent, boiling my flesh and blood down to every cell.

A change occurred in the power struggle that had been at a stalemate. Little by little, but surely, the black sword pushed back the great sword.

The huge eyes of the demon god widened, and the red eyeballs moved wildly in them. He peeled his eyes in astonishment–or so it seemed.

And, the next moment, the heavy pressure that was weighing on my whole body suddenly disappeared. The demon god pulled his sword and took some distance from me.

The demon god retreated here because he judged that he could not overpower me by force. And also, because he noticed that the other warriors here had started to move.

While I was competing with the demon god, Sidney, Sai, and Cecil were changing their positions to surround the demon god.

I clicked my tongue slightly at that.

“Stay out of it. You guys protect the women and children.”

“We can’t do that, Sora. We’re going to fight too.”

The one who answered me was not Sai, but Sidney Skyship. The most gentle person in the golden generation.

Of course, Sidney is not just a gentle swordsman. Once he draws his sword, his blade sparkles like dew, and his enemies fall in a cloud of blood. He was not in good shape earlier because his grandfather was taken hostage, but now that his grandfather has been released, he can fight with all his might.

Sidney’s face was sharp and tense, and he had a piercing gaze at the demon god. His profile was dignified and beautiful, and some of the female warriors would have cheered if they saw it.

As I was thinking about such absurd things, Sidney’s words continued.

“That demon, no, demon god is strong. No matter how strong Sora has become, it’s dangerous for you to fight alone. Cooperate with us until reinforcements arrive-”

“I refuse.”


Sidney raised a puzzled voice as his words were cut off in the middle.

I told Sidney my honest request without hesitation.

“I don’t trust you guys to watch my back. I’ll say it one more time. Don’t interfere.”

They were not trustworthy, both emotionally and in terms of ability. Besides, if Sidney and his men were to take the final blow from the demon god by mistake, I would miss out on a huge amount of experience points.

Sidney and his men were in my way in every sense of the word.

If they still intended to butt in after I said that much, I would take care of the nuisances in front of the demon god.

I didn’t say it in words. But if I glared at them with hostility, they should have understood my intention without fail.

“Sora… you’re going that far…”

Sidney’s beautiful face crumpled. He seemed to have grasped my intention accurately.

Just to be sure, I glanced at Sai and Cecil and restrained them, and Sai smiled sarcastically, while Cecil looked down sadly, and they both retreated.

Having eliminated the worries behind me, I faced the demon god again.

The demon god had not moved a step from where he had retreated earlier, and was watching my every move. Judging from the fact that he didn’t even look at Sidney and his men, he must have decided that the only threat in this place was me alone.

Immediately after, the demon god roared.


From a mouth big enough to swallow a human head whole, a roar that pierced the sky burst forth. The towering figure, which seemed to soar like a bird, leaped straight towards me.

What began was a barrage of furious attacks.

The greatsword, as tall as a person, swung around as lightly as a rapier, delivering powerful slashes from right and left. Each time the greatsword flashed, the blade wind roared and struck my ears, leaving a numbness in the arm that caught it.

Earth-shattering blows and wind-splitting sharp blades. Roars constantly rose from the demon god’s mouth, and its eyes were burning with overwhelming fighting spirit and murderous intent.

Raising it. Swinging it down. Thrusting it. Sweeping it away. Slashing diagonally, then connecting in a reverse diagonal. Each one was a continuous attack with lethal power hidden within. There was no other way to describe the terrifying storm of death.

This was different from a brute force monster like an orc swinging its weapon around relying on its physical strength.

It was swordsmanship. It was elegant swordsmanship supported by precise techniques.



The voices of me and the demon god, two of them, overlapped by chance.

A high-pitched metallic sound that burned my ears. The black sword and the red sword collided and scattered sparks in the air. How many times had we exchanged slashing attacks?

I stopped the demon god’s fierce slash at the last moment. Another metallic sound. A heavy impact ran through both of our hands, and an unpleasant reverberation hit our ears.

I returned a slash to the demon god as a counterattack. I attacked him head-on with brute force, or with skill from left and right.

A fierce exchange of blows, switching between offense and defense. The sound of sword strikes continued endlessly.

――As I crossed swords with the demon god, I felt something strange about his movements.

Me and the demon god were not staying in one place, but fighting while changing places from right to left. At this time, the demon god’s movements looked oddly cramped.

I had already confirmed that the demon god had an agility that did not match his huge body. His swordsmanship was needless to say, but his teleport-like movement from the Mitsurugi mansion to this place reminded me of the high-speed walking technique of the Phantom Blade Style.

The demon god was not only strong, but also fast. If I were the demon god, I would use that advantage to move around more and harass my opponent. I would leave this place once, attack from a distance, and leave this place again – that’s how I would fight with a hit-and-run strategy.

But the demon god didn’t do that, and kept fighting in this place.

If I were fighting a monster that lived on instinct alone, I wouldn’t have doubted it. But the one in front of me now was a being with intelligence that had mastered swordsmanship – a technique. If such a being was deliberately sealing his strengths and fighting, there must have been some reason for it.

And once I noticed the unnaturalness, it was not difficult to find out the reason.

――The demon god was protecting the Kijin behind him.

As proof of that, the demon god always stood on the straight line that connected me and the Kijin, and never changed his position. When Sidney and his men came out earlier, I thought the demon god had retreated because he didn’t want to be surrounded by the warriors, but it seemed that he was thinking about the possibility of Sidney and his men attacking the Kijin.

I didn’t notice that until now because I didn’t care about the Kijin’s existence. Since the demon god appeared here, I only saw the demon god. Besides, I couldn’t imagine that a mythical creature would protect a dying Kijin.

But looking back calmly, I think the demon god appeared here when the Kijin screamed for help.

The demon god seemed to have a different nature from the Hydra, even though they were both mythical creatures, in terms of his swordsmanship and his way of fighting to protect the Kijin. Maybe it was the influence of the Kijin who gave his life to the demon god, but I didn’t care about the details.

As long as I didn’t intend to let the Kijin go, the fact that the demon god was my enemy wouldn’t change.

As I was thinking about that, I opened my mouth wide in a gap of intense swordplay.



The basic Kei technique, Kei Blast. The basic is only in name, and my Kei Blast now has the power to blow away even the Hydra’s head.

I hadn’t used any Kei techniques until now, of course, on purpose.

The demon god’s huge body flew in the air as he was attacked from close range.

Just before he was slammed into the ground, the demon god cut a dragonfly in the air and landed lightly. He didn’t even have a scratch on him, which was admirable, but this was within my expectations. I fired the Kei Blast to get some distance from the demon god.

The demon god didn’t try to close the distance with me right away after he regained his posture. He knew that I had a long-range attack and was looking for a distance where he could reliably protect the Kijin.

This was also as I expected.

――Phantom Blade Style.

I increased my Kei, increased it, and increased it. I packed my soul equipment with Kei to the limit, ready to pull out my trump card.

The trump card – a single blade that devours even the distance between me and him, the Flying Strike of gluttony.

As I increased my Kei further, the giant with red eyes narrowed his eyes and dug his feet into the ground, ready to protect the Kijin from my Kei technique. Because of the burden of the Kijin, the demon god could neither go on the offensive nor evade, and had no choice but to defend.

And if the demon god was going to defend, I could squeeze out my Kei without hesitation.

A roaring Kei pressure cracked the ground and a swirling wind kicked up dust. The wives behind me screamed at the pulse of power that surpassed even Oukin’s magic. And mixed with their screams, I heard Ibuki’s voice saying “Mother!”

I didn’t look at them, but I had a sudden idea when I heard that voice.

I had declared that I had no intention of returning to the Mitsurugi family or joining the Phantom Blade Style when I came home this time. It would be inconsistent for me to keep calling myself the Phantom Blade Style.

I decided to break from the Phantom Blade Style on this day.

At that moment, as if it had been prepared, a substitute name came to my mind.

A sword that comes out of fantasy and buries fantasy. That is,

“Phantom Burial Style – Void Eater.”

With the new name, I unleashed my Kei technique with maximum power.

No matter how mythical a creature he was, he had no way of blocking a slash that closed the distance to zero. The invisible slash caught the demon god’s body without fail.


From the demon god’s mouth, a scream of astonishment and pain erupted. The slash I unleashed tore through the demon god’s defenses, strengthened by its Kei, like thin paper and deeply cut its body.

From the left shoulder to the right waist, the sharp blade tore through the skin, cleaved the flesh, shattered the bone, and gouged the organs – a fatal strike.

The demon god’s body was almost completely bisected. It was a massive slash that would have undoubtedly killed a human instantly. Even for a mythical creature, it was a matchless technique from which there was no escape from death.


As if to prove it, the demon god’s roar gradually weakened.

The towering figure that had stood as tall as a giant tree began to sway back and forth, losing its strength. It appeared as if it was hesitating which way to fall.

I cautiously approached the demon god, keeping my eyes on it. The flow of souls coming in conveyed the demon god’s impending death, but there was also the example of the Hydra. As long as there was a possibility that the demon god was feigning death and plotting escape or a counterattack, I couldn’t let my guard down for a moment.

But it seemed that this caution was unnecessary, as the light had gone out of the red eyes that reminded me of a lantern. Whether he was fleeing or counterattacking, it was clear to anyone that the demon god had no more strength.

The only thing that didn’t stop was his voice, but it was a hoarse voice that was nothing like his roar before.

It was when I judged that the demon god’s life had run out.



I frowned as I felt a sudden change in the sound of the demon god’s voice.

But before I could confirm it, the demon god’s upper body tilted and fell forward to the ground.

The ground shook with a thud and dust flew up.

When I approached him cautiously, all of his vital signs had stopped.

The souls that flowed in like a torrent. The sensation that welled up from the depths of my body was unmistakably that of leveling up.

However, at that moment, I felt more confusion than joy.

–––– I found it.

The last words that came from the demon god’s mouth – or so it seemed – lingered in my consciousness for a while and wouldn’t let go.

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