V2 Chapter 55: Breath of the Stars

“Oh, how tragic it is, the light of life fading away.”

Feeling the deaths of countless children, “it” released a sigh as loud as a cannon shot.

The exhaled sigh turned into a gust of wind, blowing away the demon-children that were hanging from its nostrils, sending them soaring into the sky.

The bodies of the demons that were launched into the sky were twisted and crushed by the wind pressure. At this point, they were already dead. Their corpses were then slammed down onto the dry sand.

“Oh, how sorrowful it is, why is life so fragile?”

A gigantic foot, resembling a castle, crushed the scattered remains of its children on the sand.

It was not intentional. Its body was just too massive, not nimble enough. From “its” perspective, it was impossible to perform the feat of avoiding the corpses of its children, as tiny as the eye of a needle, while walking.

“Do not mourn, for life is a cycle. Do not grieve, for life is fleeting.”

This is a rule set by the world, and it’s not something that can be disputed.

That’s why “it” tries its utmost to protect and nurture life. Feeding on the enemies that defy the world to grow, and using its own grown self as sustenance to fill the bellies of its children who obey the world, it adheres to such a role.

Until today, “it” has faithfully fulfilled its role. “It” sighs with satisfaction at the pleasantness of wanting to do and having to do being in alignment.

However, it could not always indulge in the feeling of satisfaction.

There’s a smell. The stench that those foolish creatures rebelling against the world emit, it’s so foul that it twists one’s nose.

“This body is the fang of the providence. A comet to purify the world. I will destroy the insolent fellows who defy the great order.”

The next moment, “it” opened its mouth wide.


“I didn’t expect it to be this powerful.”

While keeping a distance from the raging ice storm, I was pondering that in my mind.

Well, crushing the horde of demons with the pressure of the cold was as expected. However, the subsequent ice storm was completely unexpected. Indeed, I used the wind to move the cold, but the storm in front of me is clearly an unrelated phenomenon.

As proof of this, no matter how many demons fall, their souls don’t come in at all.

When devouring souls with the Soul Equipment, the most efficient way is to directly cut the enemy with the blade. And although it’s not as efficient as when you cut directly, you can also consume souls when attacking with Kei techniques from a distance.

In fact, the souls of the demons that I finished off with the earlier Blaze attack have come in.

But that’s not happening now. To put it more accurately, even when I crushed the horde of enemies with cold before the ice storm, I barely felt any influx of souls.

It seems that I can only devour souls up to the point where I finish off the enemy with a Kei technique. If I cause a natural phenomenon with a Kei technique, as I did this time, it seems that I can’t eat the souls of the enemies that fell due to that phenomenon.

…The problem is that I have no idea what kind of natural phenomenon the ice storm in front of me is. I’ll ask Lunamaria about it later.

However, if this storm always happens when I use the Ice Hammer, I can’t use this technique unless it’s absolutely necessary. Well, the value of it as a technique has significantly decreased now that I know I can’t devour souls with it, so it’s not a problem per se.

I feel Wisteria’s gaze on my cheek as if it has something to say, but I pretend not to notice. I can’t let her realize that I’m breaking out in a cold sweat because this destruction is beyond my expectations, after causing such destruction. I’ll just smile confidently.

In any case, this should have almost completely wiped out the demons that attacked Aluet Oasis.

There might still be some stragglers, but the ice storm doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. It looks like it’ll buy us some time.

Alright, let’s go back to Reero Oasis for a moment and report the situation. Then, wait for the storm to settle and do another aerial reconnaissance once again– That’s what I was thinking when…

I shivered.

I felt like I was being watched.

The moment I felt it, I shouted.

“Clau Soras!”

I called out to the Indigo Wyvern, who was avoiding the cold and flying in the sky. I didn’t have the time to give specific instructions, but it seems like Clau Soras understood my intentions correctly. He hastily descended to the ground.

Maybe he didn’t understand my intentions, and misunderstood that I was telling him to “get down quickly”, but if so, that’s fine. It’s a blessing in disguise.

There’s no problem with Wisteria, as she was already nearby.

As I hurriedly built up my Kei, I thought I saw a small light twinkling on the other side of the still-raging ice storm, beyond the horizon.

—It’s coming.

A pressure that dries up my throat. Chills running up my spine. The scent of death that I hadn’t felt in a long time since mastering the Soul Equipment.

Being kicked by all these, I deployed the Kei I had built up in front of me. Not for attack, but for defense.

I didn’t have time to think of a name for the technique, and it didn’t have any finesse worthy of a technique in the first place. An ugly barrier like this was created. It was just when I was thinking, too late, that I should have honed a defensive technique.


A sound, somehow light, like a cork being pulled, vibrated my eardrums.

Right after that, all the scenery in my field of vision disappeared.

It was a torrent of light.

It was a muddy flow of silver.

If someone had been looking down at the Cataran desert from the zenith at this moment, they would have seen a shooting star running across the ground.

Even the ice storm that had earlier wiped out a huge horde of monsters is blown away by the Star Breath. An incredible amount of heat and destructive power. This one blow, which reduces all life to nothing in an instant, must surely bring death not only to people and cities, but also to the earth itself.

Yes, no matter how verdant a forest is, no matter how fertile the land is, if it is bathed in this Breath, it will become a barren wasteland where no grass grows.

Perhaps the Cataran desert, which still doesn’t show its end to humans, was created in this way.

While pouring all of the surging Kei into defense, I think about such things.

And there was an answer to the question I hadn’t even voiced.


The unfamiliar, yet unmistakable voice belonged to the Soul Eater, an entity of the same origin, Anima.

This was the first time I had heard the Soul Eater’s voice so clearly since I had mastered the Soul equipment in the nest of the King of Flies.

While I was surprised at the sudden event, a strange scene came to my mind the next moment.

A horde of Behemoths, akin to artillery platforms, covering the horizon. And countless lives being wiped out by the starfire they spew.

Strong city walls, strong barriers, are of no use. A thousand years of history piled up, a golden culture built up, is trampled on by divine beasts that suddenly appear.

A scene I’ve never seen, a memory that shouldn’t exist.

And yet, I know it for sure. This is a scene from the past. The divine era war that led to the emergence of the Catalan Desert.

“…Are these your memories, Soul Eater?”

This time there was no answer. But the sign of affirmation was conveyed.

Why did you show me this? I was about to ask such a question, but I stopped.

I don’t need to ask. The Soul Eater is telling me to fight. To devour the king of beasts.

Of course, there’s no objection.

My target was the Behemoth from the beginning. On top of that, I have been welcomed so grandly, there is no other choice but to fight.

Unlike Hydra, which had probably just materialized, Behemoth had been in existence for quite a long time. It’s like comparing an infant to an adult in human terms; the same kind of Mythical Creature, but the degree of difficulty is drastically different.

But even so, that’s not a problem at all. Rather, it’s more than welcome. I’ll completely devour its soul along with its horns, and I’ll ascend even higher.

“Ah, that’s right. Why don’t you take this opportunity to lead me to the realm of the void, or whatever it’s called?”

When I cheekily say something like that, a sense of negation is conveyed.

Gozu had said that the realm of the void is the essence of the Phantom Blade Style, a state in which the power of Animas is drawn out. In other words, I thought that if the Soul Eater felt like it, even I could reach that state now, but the response was a light impact on my forehead. It felt like being poked by something invisible.

It seems to be saying, “That’s that, this is this.” Tsk.

“Well, it’s fine. Knowing that the opponent is a cumbersome artillery platform, there are plenty of ways to fight.”

Saying that, I turn my gaze to Behemoth, which is still spewing forth its breath from afar.

The heat was as intense as ever, and it even seemed to be gradually increasing in power — but I no longer felt the pressure or the chills.

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