V2 Chapter 90: Shinto’s Calculations

“What are you saying, Yamato!? There’s no way such a thing can be accepted!”

It was Yamato’s sister, Lan, who raised her voice in opposition to Yamato’s proposal of surrender, her tone akin to a cry of despair.

Kasasagi quickly voiced his agreement with her.

“Exactly as Lady Lan has stated, Lord Yamato. You are now the sole male heir of the Mount Ganzan royal family. It’s unbecoming of you to speak of such cowardice. Stand tall as the one who carries the blood of the great Gien,” Kasasagi said, his tone commanding respect.

Upon hearing Kasasagi’s reasonable words, Kurt sneered internally, thinking that making a child say such things must be due to your own incompetence. Yet, he was careful not to let his feelings show.

The last to speak was Shinto of the Light God Temple. However, his words weren’t addressed to Yamato but to everyone present.

“Lady Lan, Lord Kasasagi, and everyone else. Lord Yamato must be overwhelmed, having been attacked by monsters just recently. I believe it would be best if we disband for now and reconvene after taking some rest,” Shinto suggested with a gentle demeanor.

Although Shinto displayed arrogance towards Kurt, he always acted with utmost courtesy within the ranks of the Mount Ganzan army. His affable nature was very much like that of a clergyman, and given that he was responsible for most of their supplies, his reputation amongst the Mount Ganzan soldiers was commendable.

Upon hearing Shinto’s words, Yamato began to open his mouth to respond, but Kasasagi preemptively slapped his knee, interrupting him.

“Indeed! Wise words, Shinto! The monsters won’t attack immediately. Let everyone drink and eat to regain their spirits. Our supplies might be limited, but I’m sure Shinto will procure more for us shortly!” Kasasagi declared, laughing heartily.

Responding to Kasasagi’s confident proclamation, Shinto respectfully replied, “Leave it to me.”

With that, no one was inclined to heed the words of an eight-year-old anymore. The council broke up in an informal manner, and the officers and soldiers began returning to their respective posts.

Yamato, shoulders slightly slumped, was led out of the room by his sister. Kurt, who was assigned as their guard, began to follow them but was stopped by a call from Shinto.

“Kurt,” Shinto beckoned, motioning with his chin for Kurt to follow him. Kurt, suppressing his irritation, nodded.

Leading Kurt to a secluded area, Shinto quickly lowered his voice and spoke.

“Kill Lan, Kurt.”


“I said, kill Lan. After doing so, gruesomely sever her limbs and let her body roll around like a Daruma doll. If you can make it look like the work of the Nakayama, that boy won’t ever consider surrendering again.”

To instill hatred for Nakayama in Yamato by brutally murdering his sister, Lan. Pleased with his own sinister idea, Shinto laughed with a twisted sense of delight.

Kurt, on the other hand, shot Shinto a sidelong glare, his face contorted as though he was about to spit.

“If you want to do it, do it yourself. Don’t bother me with your dirty work.”

“Oh? You’re not suggesting that you won’t kill women or children, are you? After all, the code of the Mitsurugi family, ‘The Exorcist Oath’, is to exterminate demons. What would Shikibu say if he knew you showed mercy to a Kijin?”

“Lord Shikibu did tell me to kill Kijin, but he never said to torture them needlessly or to desecrate their corpses.”

If Shikibu had ordered him to kill Lan, Kurt — or rather, Klimt — would have obeyed without any hesitation. Just as he didn’t hesitate to kill Suzume in Ishka, the fact that the Kijin were women or children wouldn’t stop Klimt’s blade.

However, he had no interest in torturing his targets needlessly or playing with their remains. The reason Green Woods soldiers kill Kijin isn’t out of hatred or revenge. If the Kijin, connected to demon gods by their horns, were left unchecked, the entire continent would eventually become a wasteland like the Underworld.

To Klimt, Shinto’s words were nothing more than the ignorant ramblings of a fool who didn’t understand their code. And he had no intention of obeying such a fool.

More importantly, Klimt had a goal: to obtain the divine artifact of invisibility. The reason he reluctantly served Shinto and lived among the Kijin was for this very purpose. Killing Lan here wouldn’t get him the artifact, so there was even less reason to follow Shinto’s command.

An idea then crossed Klimt’s mind: what if he saved Lan when Shinto tried to kill her, then killed Shinto himself? He could then curry favor with Lan and Yamato to gather information about the artifact. Being descendants of the Mount Ganzan royal family, they must have some knowledge about it.

Although it was a mere thought, once it sprouted in his mind, it rapidly took root. Klimt realized just how frustrated he had been with his current situation.

He didn’t have much of the mana-replenishing potion given by Dialt left. It was about time for him to make a move. While Shinto continued speaking, Klimt’s mind was occupied weighing the feasibility of his plan, so he hardly paid any attention.

“How insolent of you, Kurt! You’re just a subordinate of Shikibu, yet you dare to talk back to me!”

After Klimt left, Shinto kicked the wooden floor in frustration.

In Shinto’s eyes, the Mitsurugi family was but a lower-ranking house under the Fangxiang clan, and Kurt, being a servant of the Mitsurugi, was like a servant to a servant. In Shinto’s view, Kurt should be groveling and obeying his commands.

Yet, Kurt didn’t seem to recognize this hierarchy and showed no respect to Shinto. Even when Shinto had drawn his blade to remind him of his place, Kurt’s attitude hadn’t changed. It infuriated Shinto, making him wonder what kind of teachings Shikibu imparted to his underlings.

Regardless, Shinto felt the urgency to change the current situation. If anything, he might be the one feeling it the most in the entire Mount Ganzan camp.

The reason Shinto and, by extension, the Light God Temple had assisted the remnants of Mount Ganzan was to curb the momentum of Nakayama, who had unified the Underworld.

The emergence of a power that unifies the Underworld is not a welcome development for the Light God Temple. If the warring Kijin were to unite under one banner, the influence of the Light God Temple would wane. The newly crowned Kijin king might even demand submission from the Temple.

Thus, the Light God Temple had been covertly maneuvering to prevent the birth of a unified dynasty in the Underworld. Whenever one force gained power, they would support a rival force. Indeed, when the Mount Ganzan faction was dominant, the Light God Temple had aided Nakayama. Now that Nakayama had unexpectedly risen to supremacy, the Temple sided with Mount Ganzan. Shinto was the one in charge of implementing this strategy.

However, what Shinto hadn’t anticipated was the sheer strength and cunning of Nakayama. His plan to incite a rebellion with Kasasagi and make Yamato its figurehead initially worked, but no other factions rallied to their cause, and the rebellion quickly stagnated.

In this manner, rather than halting Nakayama’s momentum, Shinto seemed to be merely drawing out the dissenters for Nakayama to crush. Shinto’s responsibility for this flawed strategy was undeniable.

It was at this juncture that Shinto thought of employing the Mitsurugi family.

The rebellion’s headquarters would be based in Mount Taikouzan, which Nakayama’s forces would attack and likely win. As they victoriously retreated to the western capital, the Mitsurugi family would ambush them from behind.

If Azuma, the leader of Nakayama, could be killed, the Underworld would once again plunge into chaos. Even if this wasn’t achieved, Nakayama’s momentum could be halted, thus justifying the resources Shinto had invested in the rebellion.

Unlike Shinto’s followers of the Light God Temple, the Mitsurugi warriors had operational limits within the Underworld. Still, Mount Taikouzan was just within their range, as proven by a battle fifty years prior when the Mitsurugi family defeated the reigning Kijin king.

Shinto had already proposed this plan to Shikibu, essentially commanding him to send troops in support. Though no response came, Klimt’s timely arrival made Shinto believe he was the vanguard sent by Shikibu, with more troops to follow when Nakayama’s army arrived. Of course, this was a misconception. Still, Klimt, despite his confusion, played along, ensuring Shinto remained in the dark.

Because of these reasons, Shinto needed to maintain the Mount Ganzan rebellion until Nakayama’s forces arrived. Any sign of submission from Mount Ganzan would signify the failure of Shinto’s plan.

If that happened, the upper echelons of the Light God Temple would doubt Shinto’s competence. The current head of the clan was known for his strictness and cold-heartedness. Even a rare practitioner of the Nanashiki style like Shinto would be ruthlessly executed if deemed inept.

Preventing Yamato’s surrender was also about Shinto’s self-preservation. If Klimt wouldn’t act, Shinto would have to take matters into his own hands.

After all, the clan has always been warriors against demons. Hesitating to strike down Kijin wasn’t in their nature.

Liked it? Take a second to support WordyCrown on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!