V2 Chapter 66: The Seventh of the Golden Generation

“My nose feels like it’s going to twist… The last time I was here, the miasma wasn’t as strong.”

Ursula Utgarza frowned slightly as she said this.

In the first squad, made up of handpicked warriors even among the elite of the Green Woods, this young woman who had quickly risen to the rank of ten bore witness to the tragic sight inside the Demon Gate.

The soil exposed for a long time to the demon gods’ magic — the demonic energy — had halfway rotted, giving an uncomfortable, squishy sensation through the metal boots. The heavy, humid air carried the stench of decay, and miasma was continuously spewing out of the holes that were scattered all over the ground. The crimson-purple toxins spread like a mist, covering the area and rejecting the existence of all living creatures, animals, and plants alike.

The interior of the Demon Gate was a barren land where not even buckwheat could grow properly, but this place was even worse. Even a Kijin might not be able to approach this area.

With that judgment, Ursula took out a handmade map from her pocket and quickly began to record the newly acquired information. Ursula’s mission was to investigate the interior of the Demon Gate, and for that purpose, she was exceptionally allowed to act alone.

Once Ursula finished recording the necessary information, she turned on her heel and left the land swallowed by the miasma.

The poison itself could be blocked by Kei, but not the foul smell. Staying in this place too long would mess up her nose, and it would be disastrous if the smell stuck to her body. She vowed to herself to take a proper bath when she returned to the fort.

The warriors of the first squad, full of eccentrics or rather ruffians, probably wouldn’t mind the smell, but that didn’t mean she wanted to become one of them. She didn’t want to be teased by Ayaka and Claira when she returned to Shuuto.

“…Even so, that’s the fifth one at that place. It’s too many to be a coincidence.”

Ursula furrowed her brows and muttered. What was the fifth thing? It was the land that had mutated due to the miasma.

The demonic energy filling the interior of the Demon Gate was much denser compared to what leaked out to Demon Island. Naturally, everything inside the Demon Gate was affected, the soil rotted, the water was muddied, the air stagnated, presenting a hellish sight.

However, the area inside the Demon Gate was vast, and not all land and water were contaminated with demonic energy. Ursula was currently scouting the northern part of the fort – a base built by the Mitsurugi family inside the Demon Gate – and this area used to be a relatively demonic-energy-free land. At least, it wasn’t spewing out such dense miasma when she came here a month ago.

But it had significantly mutated in such a short time. Ursula felt the ominous rumbling of distant thunder at this fact.

The emergence of dense miasma meant an increase in demonic energy. And the intensification of demonic energy hinted at the activation of the power of the demon gods.

The fact that a demon god had descended on Shuuto recently flashed through her mind. She couldn’t deny the possibility that this event had triggered the activation of the demon god — as Ursula was thinking this.

“Kyoo! Kyoo! Kyoo!”

A metallic roar echoed around, and several monsters blocked Ursula’s path.

Eight red eyes that glowed ominously. Eight legs reminiscent of a spider. The monsters with demon faces and beast bodies, known as Earth Spiders, had the wisdom to ambush their prey in groups and even the technique to erase their presence.

Four of these man-eating beasts, which Sora had once faced on Demon Island, now surrounded Ursula.

The ‘Novice Slayer’ Earth Spider is an opponent that even the Green Woods Warriors cannot afford to neglect. The situation is even more precarious if one has to face multiple spiders at once.

However, there was no sign of tension on Ursula’s face. In her hand, she was already holding a sword. There was no decoration on the hilt or guard, only the blade itself was red, as if soaked in blood.

“Let’s go, thunder flower.”

Responding to Ursula’s voice, the soul equipment made the red blade glow faintly.

The ensuing battle was closer to a massacre than a combat.

The godspeed blade that won’t stop once unsheathed until it has shredded its enemies. Countless demons were torn apart by the blade that shimmered like a lightning bolt, and it is said that wherever Ursula Utgarza treads on the battlefield, all grass and trees bow down in a crimson hue.

In terms of ranking within the Green Woods Eight Banners, she may not reach Ayaka or Ragna, but her actual combat achievements are no less superior than those two.

Her nicknames include the ‘Crimson Princess’ or ‘Grim Reaper Utgarza’.

That these aliases are in no way a display of false bravado was proven by the four Earth Spiders, which were torn to pieces.

Having repelled the monster’s attack, Ursula returns to the fort to report the facts discovered during this investigation.

It was then that she learned the fact that her friend, Claira Berch, had escaped the island.


Ursula strides into the fort, the sharp click of her heels echoing through the stone corridors. She passes several warriors along the way, but none dare to speak to her, a woman of striking beauty with cold fury etched on her face.

Ursula pays no heed to the reactions around her, and makes her way straight towards the heart of the fort — the room of Flag General Dialt Berch.

Echoing in Ursula’s mind were the details she’d just heard about Claira’s escape from the island.

Apparently, Claira had fled the Berch house despite still being under suspension, fought and killed several warriors of the Berch house after being discovered just outside the mansion, then fled. She’d tried to hide in Demon Island after determining she wouldn’t be able to escape within the city of Shuuto, but the attempt had failed due to the island’s heightened security after a recent attack by Kijin. Finally, in desperation, she’d escaped the island entirely.

Hearing the whole sequence of events, Ursula murmured, “It’s impossible.”

The act of fleeing the island, committed by a Green Woods warrior without permission, was invariably punishable by death. In these past three hundred years, not a single person had succeeded in fleeing the island.

Claira would surely know this. That thoughtful friend of hers wouldn’t commit such a rash act without reason. If, indeed, Claira’s actions were true, there must’ve been some compelling reason behind them. The fact that she’d first tried to head to Demon Island suggested that something related to the island had forced her into this rash action.

Ursula had no idea what that could possibly be. The only people likely to know would be those in the Berch household. That was why Ursula was headed to the Flag General.

Her fury didn’t abate as she headed to Dialt’s room.

After all, it was strange that Claira’s suspension was still in place. Indeed, she’d slipped up when off the island, but Gozu and Klimt, who’d made the same mistake, had been forgiven long ago. Why did only Claira have to continue her suspension?

And another thing that didn’t make sense was that Claira, trying to pass through Demon Island without permission, was let go by the warriors of the First Flag.

Certainly, Claira had excellent skills as a warrior, but it would be an extraordinary feat for her to take on multiple warriors of the First Flag, the elite of the Green Woods, at once. She would’ve been weakened from the ongoing suspension, and from the fact that she’d just fought the Berch warriors, she must’ve been heavily worn out.

Those guarding Demon Island should’ve been able to easily apprehend Claira. If they’d stopped her then, at the very least, they could’ve prevented the crime of fleeing the island.

What on earth were the present warriors doing? Ursula seethed with misdirected anger at her nameless peers.

Then, a deep male voice resonated in her ear.

“Your eyes are on fire. Where are you going with that look on your face, Ursula?”

The one who calmly blocked Ursula’s path with his words was Shukuya Kumon, the vice commander of the First Flag.

Before Ursula could respond to his greeting with a bow, Shukuya preempted her.

“You heard about Claira’s incident, and you’ve come to question the Flag General about what happened. Is that right?”

“Just as you say,” she answered.

When Ursula responded in a stern voice, Shukuya said, “If that’s the case,” and invited her to his office.

Shukuya was the older brother of Sai Kumon, who was in the same class as Ursula, and had known Ursula before becoming a Warrior. Of course, he knew Claira too. This matter was not unrelated to him.

The mild-mannered Shukuya had the admiration of his fellow Warriors, and Ursula was no exception. However, she hesitated to accompany Shukuya, as she also wanted to hear the circumstances directly from Dialt.

In response to this, Shukuya tipped the scales of her decision by telling her the facts.

The chief warrior has returned to the Berch residence in Shuuto, he said.

Upon entering Shukuya’s office, Ursula unabashedly presented her thoughts to the Deputy Chief before her.

In response to this, Shukuya nodded to each point and slowly opened his mouth.

“Your thinking is largely the same as mine. That being said, I’ll clear up a few questions. First, the reason why the Warrior of the First Flag couldn’t restrain Claira at Demon Island is because of me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I let Claira escape. At that time, it was clear that Claira had lost her calm. Additionally, she had an abundance of Kei, something unexpected after a long period of caution.”

It was as if she had consumed an Elixir — that’s how Shukuya described it.

Of course, no matter how powerful Claira might have been, she was no match for the peerless Shukuya. If he had intended to, he could have subdued her. However, knowing Claira well and expecting her to be a pillar of the Mitsurugi family in the future, Shukuya chose not to, aiming to capture her unharmed.

He held back his subordinate Warriors and tried to capture Claira himself. In response to this, Claira launched a desperate attack.

“She unleashed her Kei in a self-destructive strike, similar to a suicide attack. To be honest, it gave me a chill.”

“Claira went that far…?”

“Yes. I was caught off guard and let her escape.”

Even for Shukuya, he hadn’t anticipated that Claira would desert the island. He prioritized confirming the circumstances over pursuing Claira. Like Ursula, he believed that there must have been a significant reason for Claira’s extreme actions.

Even if he pursued Claira without knowing the reason, Claira would continue to resist. In that case, there would be no option left but to kill her.

Although it could be said to be too late — after going through Demon Island without permission and crossing blades with Shukuya — there was some room for defense as she was the one involved. With this thought in mind, Shukuya sent a messenger to the Berch residence and directly met with Dialt and Gilmore to clarify the situation.

As a result, the head of the Kumon family was astounded by the revealed truth.

“Klimt is dead.”


“It seems that Klimt repeatedly pleaded with Chief Gilmore to release his sister from confinement. In response, it appears that the chief set the condition of defeating a Kijin king named Azuma for pardon. Accepting this, Klimt set off for the Demon Gate and lost his life. Chief said that Claira must have been confused by the knowledge of this.”

“Wa, wait a moment. Klimt is dead? He entered the Demon Gate alone? I’ve never heard of a plan to defeat the king of the Kijin!”

“Of course. Even I, as the vice-captain, was not informed.”

“……Is this the unilateral decision of the Berch family?”

Ursula asked with a chilling voice.

Sending Klimt to his death with the condition of saving his sister, then instigating Claira to break the law by blowing in the news of Klimt’s death, and then also getting rid of her.

In Ursula’s eyes, the series of events could only be seen as a conspiracy by the Berch family to get rid of the nuisances.

However, the next words that came out of Shukuya’s mouth cast doubt on Ursula’s speculation.

“It was not a unilateral decision. The lord of the mansion also knew about it.”


To the surprised Ursula, Shukuya said in a low voice.

“To be honest, at first, I thought the same as you. I thought that the Berch family was trying to get rid of the two adopted children who had become unnecessary. However, if the lord of the mansion knew about this series of actions, the story changes.”

If the aim of the Berch family was to get rid of the two, and Shikibu, the lord, had acknowledged it, there would be no need for any petty tricks. They could simply order Dialt to kill the two, and then attach a suitable crime to them later. They could even say that they died in battle inside the Demon Gate.

However, the Berch family sent Klimt to the Demon Gate in secret with the approval of Shikibu. What was the meaning behind this?

It is hard to believe that they expected Klimt to defeat the king of the Kijin. They must have anticipated Klimt’s failure.

In that case, there is a high possibility that Claira’s subsequent actions were also included in the plan.

Perhaps the fact that I was in the Demon Gate at that time was also part of the planner’s calculations – Shukuya thought. The mastermind might have thought that I wouldn’t carelessly kill Claira.

If this speculation is accurate, the mastermind probably predicted that Claira would escape from the island.

When she ran away from Shukuya, Claira must have thought.

 ――To save my brother, I have to go through the Demon Gate. But I can’t break through the Demon Gate’s defense alone. I can’t rely on my friends. The path I choose is to make an enemy of the Mitsurugi family. It’s the worst choice that no one has been able to live through for the past three hundred years. How can I possibly drag my friends into this?

But still, I want to save my brother. I have to save him.

So. So, I have to ask for help.

Someone who has the power to surpass the Warrior of the Green Woods, is not afraid to make an enemy of the Mitsurugi family, and can even repel the Demon gods…

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