V2 Chapter 45: Wisteria


A roar not of my own bursts forth from my mouth.


Laughter not of my own wells up from within me.

I understand the cause. A malevolent spirit, a Demon, crawling out from the bottom of hell, driving the forest, the spirits, the people, into madness. “It”, the entity that has latched onto me, is trying to usurp my body.

How disgraceful, for me, the top swordsman of Andra, to be in such a state.

Wisteria chides himself, desperately holding onto his consciousness that seems to be fading away. She tries to resist the control of the evil Demon, but the adversary’s power is immense, she can’t even move a single finger of her hand properly.

As if to ridicule this tiny resistance, more laughter from the evil spirit echoes around. Whether it’s trying to vent its repressed resentment, the evil spirit continues to raise its voice. At the same time, the mutation of the body accelerates.

Arms, legs, back, and face, everything changes into something not human. I’m being changed.

The mutation comes with severe pain. If one were to have their arm ripped off alive, their leg torn off, their back pierced, and their face burned, they would probably experience this kind of torment. If my mouth could move, I would undoubtedly be screaming.

But Wisteria had no freedom to scream in her current state. She had no choice but to endure the pain that seemed to have no end – even though she knew it was meaningless to endure.

If she had to compare her situation to something, it would be a siege without reinforcements. No matter how much she resisted, she could not avoid falling, she was only delaying her doom.

She would be better off giving up. But giving up meant giving the evil spirit complete freedom. If that happened, this human city would be easily wiped out.

She had to get out of the city somehow, but her body still wouldn’t move.

――Why did this happen to me?

Wisteria asked no one in particular. As if to answer her question, the evil spirit let out a particularly loud laugh.


The forest kingdom of Andra.

Wisteria’s homeland, a land of water and greenery in the middle of the vast Catalan desert.

Most of its territory is occupied by a dense forest, and most of its inhabitants are elves like Wisteria.

The Golden Empire Imperium – there is no city covered with gold and silver as the humans say. Gold and silver are unnecessary for the forest life. The people of Andra have been living peacefully in the forest, protected by multiple layers of barriers.

However, Andra was not without threats.

The name of that threat was “Abyss”. A bottomless hole located in the center of Andra, at the deepest part of the forest.

From the Abyss, a large amount of mana was constantly spewing out, and that mana was what allowed the vast forest to exist in the middle of the desert. In that sense, the existence of the Abyss was inseparable from Andra.

On the other hand, the mana that spewed out from the Abyss was too dense, and it easily drove the spirits mad. Wisteria belonged to the royal swordsmen, directly under the king, and their main mission was to subjugate the mad spirits around the Abyss.

For elves, spirits were like friends. It was heartbreaking to kill their friends, but if they neglected to subjugate them, the mad spirits would spread throughout Andra and cause a disaster. They were far more troublesome than the beasts that occasionally invaded from outside the barrier.

Wisteria was the youngest generation among Andra’s elves, and a newcomer among the swordsmen, but she surpassed the old elves in swordsmanship and spirit handling, and often achieved merits in spirit subjugation.

Especially what made Wisteria’s name famous was the subjugation of the highest-ranking mad spirit Phoenix. The calamity that was thought to turn half of Andra into ashes was settled with less than a tenth of the expected damage thanks to Wisteria’s efforts.

The Andra king praised Wisteria’s achievements and gave her the title of Gladius, the chief swordsman. The chief of the country’s most elite swordsmen. In other words, Wisteria was recognized as Andra’s best swordsman.

She couldn’t be happy about the honor she gained by killing her friends, the spirits, but still, being recognized by the great king was Wisteria’s pride. It was also a recognition for her deceased father who taught her the sword and her deceased mother who taught her how to deal with spirits.

With that pride in her chest, Wisteria continued to devote herself to her missions, and the name of the new Gladius became known to the people of Andra.

But those days of smooth sailing came to an abrupt end.

She was possessed by an evil spirit demon.

She didn’t know the exact nature of the evil spirit. It was said to be a demon that came out from the bottom of the Abyss, or a grudge of the slain spirits. Wisteria thought it was the former, but many people favored the latter theory because most of the people who were possessed by evil spirits belonged to the swordsmen.

The symptoms of those who were possessed by evil spirits varied, but one thing they had in common was that someone who was not themselves lived inside them.

Wisteria was no exception, and she was tormented by an unknown voice day and night. Resistance and prayer were meaningless.

However, if that was all there was to it, it wouldn’t have been a big problem. There were some people who lived their lives as usual even though they were possessed by evil spirits.

But some people’s symptoms worsened. They lost control of their bodies, and then their bodies mutated into something that was not human, and finally they became evil spirit demons in body and mind, and attacked their former comrades.

That worst case scenario happened to Wisteria.

In the middle of a battle, Wisteria squeezed out more power than her limit to save her allies – and as a result, she lost her body to the evil spirit.

This caused her body’s mutation to accelerate, and it became obvious to everyone that Wisteria was possessed by an evil spirit.

Wisteria, the leading swordsman known as Gladius, and a powerful evil spirit that even she cannot resist. If these two bare their fangs at Andra, they could pose a threat comparable to a frenzied high-ranking spirit, the Phoenix.

The conclusion drawn by the King of Andra was execution. There is no means to restore an Elf that has progressed to this state, and there are no examples of natural recovery either. Just as they subdue the frenzied spirits to protect the forest, they must execute those possessed along with the evil spirits to protect the country.

However, merely beheading them would not resolve the issue. The moment the host dies, the evil spirit manifests in this world, using the corpse as a catalyst.

The power of an evil spirit that has incarnated is incomparable to a frenzied spirit. In the past, they tried to prevent it by commanding a high-ranking spirit to either shred the corpse or turn it to ashes, but neither method could prevent the evil spirit from manifesting.

As a result, a method was devised for the execution of those possessed by evil spirits.

To throw oneself into a great beast that devours even the evil spirits.

This beast, also known as the Divine Beast, slowly circles outside the barrier of Andra, as if protecting Andra, or perhaps watching over it.

The Elf possessed by an evil spirit offers their body to the Divine Beast. The Divine Beast devours the Elf, scattering and devouring the evil spirit that manifests upon the Elf’s death, and then as if nothing has happened, begins to circle around Andra once again.

The same method was used for Wisteria’s execution as had been used for past cases of possession. She was exiled outside the barrier with just enough water and food for survival, left to find the Divine Beast on her own, and then to leap into its mouth. This was the final command imposed on Wisteria.

At this point, the evil spirit possessed could also choose to flee, but no one had ever chosen this option in the past. For the elves, who were fairies of the forest, the desert climate was more terrifying than any monster, and stepping into the desert without a destination was more frightening than being eaten by the divine beast.

To add to that, Andra’s elves didn’t know that there was a human world outside the desert. They believed that the world of hot sand continued forever. In that sense, there was no one who had the intention to escape.

In fact, Wisteria didn’t think of running away either. She had no regrets since her parents were already dead and she had no siblings. She had the pride of being Gladius, the chief swordsman, in her chest, and she intended to put an end to her life by offering herself to the divine beast.

But what could she do? She couldn’t find the divine beast. No matter how much she searched, she couldn’t even see its shadow.

Wisteria was puzzled. If she died in the desert like this, the evil spirit that would manifest might attack Andra. There was no such case in the past, but Wisteria felt an indescribable fear towards the thing that lived inside her, and she couldn’t be optimistic.

Maybe it was simply because she didn’t want to die that she acted like this, but anyway, Wisteria expanded her range of action to find the divine beast – and then she discovered one of the oases that dotted the Catalan desert.

For Wisteria, who had only thought that outside the barrier was a world of death and sand, meeting humans was a shock that was hard to describe.

However, that didn’t change her purpose. Wisteria replenished her water at the oasis, hunted the desert monsters for food, and repeatedly challenged what the humans called “unexplored areas” to find the divine beast.

Some of the adventurers who saw Wisteria became interested in her, and Wisteria also wanted information about the divine beast and contacted them. She struggled with the language, but she managed to get some information. She learned that the humans called the divine beast Behemoth at this time.

But the information she got from the humans didn’t lead to finding the divine beast.

She couldn’t find the divine beast no matter what. Her mind and body were being eaten away by the second. After thinking and thinking, Wisteria headed to a human city called Berka. She hoped that she could get information about Behemoth in Berka, where information from all over the desert gathered – that’s what an adventurer told her.

…And this was the result. The hope she entrusted was crushed in the worst way possible, involving others.

She couldn’t stop the evil spirit’s invasion anymore. Her consciousness as Wisteria was already dim, and she felt the evil spirit’s joy of being freed from the long yoke as if it was her own.

She was melting, her existence as Wisteria.

Melting, crumbling, mixing with the evil spirit. Being devoured.

At that moment, she shivered. She felt a horrible yet pleasant sensation as if her soul was licked directly, and her last remaining consciousness screamed.

――――――It’s over.

The words she had desperately kept away from flashed through her mind. A tear fell from her right eye that still had a trace of an elf’s appearance.

And then, as she was about to close her eyes in front of the inevitable catastrophe, she heard a voice.

A voice that was filled with such power that it made her tremble.

“- Soul equipment activation.”

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