Chapter 9: Heir

The sound of a huge bell ringing like thunder echoed inside and outside the capital city of Shuuto.

In my thirteen years of living on this island, I had never heard such a frantic alarm bell.

It was obvious that the cause was the huge release of Kei that had just occurred. Even now, from the west direction, thunderous noises and tremors mixed with the alarm bell sound intermittently.

It was possible that the entire western part of the capital city of Shuuto had been wiped out. That’s how huge the Kei explosion was.

Naturally, all the attention of the warriors who had surrounded the arena was directed to the anomaly in the west.

For me, who had been monopolizing the eyes of the warriors until just now, it felt like I had suddenly changed from a protagonist to an extra.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed. It was quite fun to get the attention of the guys who used to ignore me. That was one of the reasons why I didn’t finish off the earth spider right away.

“Well, it’s just right, I suppose.”

I smiled bitterly and looked at the mass of miasma that was writhing in front of me.

The earth spider was already dying. The frenzy that followed after I pierced its red eyes with my sword was literally its last struggle. Its body had already lost its original shape and turned into a black sphere.

I silently stabbed the tip of my sword into the sphere, and a scream like metal scraping came from the part that looked like a mouth – and suddenly stopped.

That was the end of the earth spider.

At this moment, I had surpassed the trial of the Phantom Blade Style.

It took me some time to suppress the sense of accomplishment that welled up from my chest.

As I clearly stated in the great hall, I have no intention of joining the Phantom Blade Style now. I don’t, but I still have memories of five years ago in me.

The despair that filled my chest when I looked down at my empty hand after being knocked down by a single sword by a dragon tooth warrior in this place is still stuck in my chest.

How many times have I woken up in the middle of the night remembering that moment?

I was finally able to exorcise that nightmare.

If there were no warriors around me, I might have raised my fist and shouted with joy.

Of course, I have no intention of doing such a thing here. I made a small sound in my throat, and that was all the emotion I showed.

While I was doing this, a warrior who seemed to have gone to check on the situation in the west came running in. He knelt down in front of the lord, panting, and reported loudly.

“I report! The western wall has collapsed!”

At that report, the warriors gathered here shook.

Gilmore Berch opened his mouth to speak on behalf of their questions.

“What do you mean by collapse? Do you mean that part of it has collapsed?”

“It has completely collapsed! You can see the outside of the wall from the tower of this mansion!”


“We must hurry and strengthen our defenses, or we may invite monsters into the capital city of Shuuto! Lord, your instructions -”

As the warrior was about to ask for the lord’s instructions, that’s when it happened.


A voice of astonishment escaped from the mouths of the warriors, including Gilmore.

They had sensed the same intense release of Kei from the north direction as before. The explosion and the tremor that followed were also the same as before.

The same phenomenon occurred in the east direction as well.

It was clear what they meant. In this short time, three huge holes had been drilled into the capital city of Shuuto.

A hole so big that you can see the outside of the wall from the tower of this mansion. It’s not something that can be blocked in a day or two.

Before that, it was obvious that this anomaly was not a natural phenomenon, which meant that there was someone who had intentionally created this situation.

Would that person be satisfied with just making a hole in the wall? Of course not.

From the west, from the north, from the east. It was not long before reports came in that a horde of monsters was approaching from each direction.

In response, the flag generals and vice generals of the second to eighth flags who had gathered here literally flew back to their respective positions. The upper-ranking warriors of the single-digit ranks followed suit.

They were all soul equipment users. Even if the wall collapsed, they would not be at a disadvantage against the monsters. Besides, the real elite ones were still staying with the lord.

In the midst of a great anomaly that could be said to be the first in three hundred years, the Mitsurugi family still had plenty of leeway.

――After seeing them all off, I finally moved.

That is to say, I just put my sword back in its sheath on my waist.

It is the duty of the Green Woods Eight Flags to protect the capital city of Hiiragi. I have no need or intention to interfere.

Now that I had defeated the earth spider and proved my strength, I had no reason to stay here. I’ll go back to Ishka as soon as possible.

There’s no point in worrying about my mother’s grave. No matter who the attacker is, there is no defeat for the Mitsurugi family as long as there is a sword saint here. My mother’s grave will be protected.

What if the enemy is so powerful that they can defeat the sword saint? There’s nothing I can do against such a monster. Whether I leave or stay, the result will not change.

If I have time to think about such “what ifs”, it would be more constructive to worry about the way back. I don’t think the contact ship will leave in this situation, so I’ll have to cross the sea by myself on the way back. It’s my first time to run across the ocean with Kei… well, this is also an experience. I should be able to do it with my current strength.

Thinking that, I tried to leave the arena, and someone called out to me.

“-Don’t move, Sora.”

I understood at a glance who that person was, with his blond hair showing his noble blood blowing in the wind and his blue eyes shining with intense light.

His appearance had changed a lot from five years ago. He used to have shorter hair, and he had grown a lot taller. His face had also changed from a boy to a young man. There were very few similarities to five years ago. But his distinctive hair and eye color, and above all, the blade-like gaze that stared at me, were unmistakable.

Mitsurugi Ragna. He was my brother who shared the same father.

Of course, he probably doesn’t think of me as his brother. The fact that he had no intention of celebrating our reunion after five years was proven by his harsh gaze and arrogant call.

Next to Ragna, I could also see Ayaka. She had hardly changed her appearance from five years ago, so I didn’t even have to think about it.

Looking at them like this, they looked like a painting of a pair standing side by side, and they were very well matched. It was good for the Mitsurugi family, and for those who served the Mitsurugi family, that they had no worries about their heir.

I honestly thought so. I felt no pain in thinking so.

Now that I think about it, what did I expect from this island, this house, and the people who live here?

As I thought about such things, I answered Ragna, who was a nobleman of the empire, with courtesy.

“With all due respect, I must decline, My Lord.”

I said that and didn’t actually stop my feet.

Ragna added more words to me.

“I told you not to move – soul equipment activation.”

A splendid golden greatsword appeared in Ragna’s right hand. He used to wield it with both hands, but now he could probably handle it with one hand.

I stared intently at Ragna’s soul equipment. It was the first time in five years that I had seen this glow. I used to feel miserable every time I saw this sword, as it reminded me of the difference between Ragna and me.

So I wondered. How would I feel when I saw this sword now that I had mastered soul equipment?

The answer was – I didn’t feel anything in particular.

I didn’t fear or flinch like before. Nor did I look down on or despise him.

Indeed, Ragna’s soul equipment was still splendid and powerful, and I could tell that it had accumulated much more power than five years ago. It was a proof that Ragna’s soul, as the heir of the Mitsurugi family, had grown properly and healthily in these five years.

But that was all.

I didn’t need to be wary or hostile to someone who couldn’t even reach the sword saint, let alone the twin peaks. I didn’t need to mock him either.

If I had to express those feelings in one word, it would be this.

――I didn’t even want to eat him.

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