V2 Chapter 95: Suppressing the Rebellion

Kagari’s Anima, Taotie, is a being remarkably similar to the Demon God, Chiyou. Judging by the stature of Anima alone, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the pinnacle of the demon world.1

The power it emits is tremendous. Lan, who was nearby, was directly exposed to the Kei energy overflowing from Kagari, almost fainting on the spot. If not for her determination to protect her brother and Klimt, she might not have held on. She might have even lost her life.

Through Lan’s struggling consciousness, she could see Kagari and Utsrui engaged in a fierce battle. Being unskilled in martial arts, the movements of the two combatants appeared to Lan as mere mirages, their precise actions indistinguishable. Still, the palpable force of their Kei and the deafening roars of their engagement spoke to the ferocity of their battle.

What was unfolding before her eyes was a battle at a godly level. If she got involved, she would be reduced to mere fragments in a blink of an eye. Knowing this, Lan decided not to intervene in Kagari’s fight.

After all, there was no need. The one who tried to kill her, Utsrui, goes without saying, but even Kagari, the younger brother of the King of Nakayama, was an enemy in Lan’s eyes. Although Kagari defended her from Utsrui, to Lan, it seemed like a mere act to prevent his prey from being snatched away.

It would be a blessing if both ended up taking each other down. However, clinging to such a slim chance and wasting time wasn’t an option. While the two were fighting, she needed to distance himself from the scene. That’s what Lan thought.


Hearing a low, brief call, Lan turned to see Yamato kneeling near Klimt, whose arm had been severed. Whether it was Yamato’s doing or Klimt’s own, a tourniquet was tightly wrapped around Klimt’s right arm to stop the bleeding.

While Klimt appeared conscious, he was breathing heavily, and his expression was fierce. It didn’t seem like he could move on his own.

Lan lent Klimt her shoulder to move away from Kagari. Klimt’s blood stained both her clothes and body, but Lan didn’t mind. Yamato, still too small to offer a shoulder, supported Klimt’s waist to prevent him from falling.

“… Leave… me…”

“I refuse!”

Despite Klimt’s raspy plea, Lan firmly refused. Klimt tried to push Lan away, but his movements were so feeble that she easily restrained him.

Feeling the extent of Klimt’s decline, anxiety tightened Lan’s face. Even if they managed to escape from here, Klimt might still die. The overwhelming scent of blood affirmed this grim speculation.

The option of shouting for help crossed Lan’s mind. If she did, the soldiers of Mount Ganzan, led by Kasasagi, might come to their aid.

But if she shouted out loud, it would undoubtedly attract Kagari and Utsrui’s attention. If they teamed up to confront the Mount Ganzan soldiers, it would be the worst-case scenario. This thought made Lan hesitate.

At the core of her hesitation was her distrust towards Kasasagi and the others. Even if she called for help, would they come to their rescue? Even if they did, could they fend off Kagari and Utsrui and save Klimt? Such distrust held her back.

Yet, it was also true that they lacked the strength to escape their predicament on their own. Caught in doubt and turmoil, Lan missed the chance to change their situation.

A particularly sharp metallic sound echoed from behind them.

What flashed into Lan’s eyes as she instinctively turned around was Utsrui’s sword, reflecting the fortress’s bonfire as it danced through the night sky.

The Nanashiki technique was a swordsmanship developed for humans to fight against Soul Equipment. However, in a state where the Gero technique was ineffective, meaning when the opponent has their Soul Equipment out, even for someone like Utsrui, the battle becomes exceedingly difficult.

More so when the opponent is the Black Wolf Kagari, one of the foremost users of Soul Equipment in the demon realm.

The amount of time Utsrui could hold his ground against Kagari was only a matter of moments. Even for Utsrui, renowned as the best practitioner of the Nanashiki technique, this was the limit when fighting Kagari barehanded.

Yet, even after losing his sword, there wasn’t a hint of perturbation in Utsrui. Utsrui, now unarmed, leapt backward anticipating Kagari’s pursuit, but his movements hinted at a certain intent to bait his opponent.

Kagari, too, wasn’t planning on letting his guard down just because he’d knocked away his enemy’s weapon. As with Kagari himself, it wasn’t uncommon for one to master both armed and unarmed combat. Utsrui might possess a secret technique to seal Kagari’s Kei, or possibly launch a self-destructive attack.

Had it been the usual Kagari, he wouldn’t have overthought things in the heat of the battle. Yet, the enigmatic aura the enemy before him exuded forced the prince of Nakayama to make more cautious judgments.

From Lan’s perspective, the intentions of the two fighters were unreadable. She could only watch silently, without uttering a word, as Kagari and Utsrui glared at each other from a distance.

Then, suddenly, a dull metallic sound filled the area. Utsrui’s sword, which had been suspended in mid-air, fell to the ground.

As if taking it as a cue, Utsrui’s figure began to fade into the dark night. Whether he had retreated or was preparing for another strike was unknown.

Lan discovered the answer after silently counting to ten. Kagari audibly exhaled, displaying a gesture lacking in tension, unmistakably signifying relief.

“Good grief, what was that guy? A grim reaper or a devil? I wasn’t informed that the rebel army had someone like that, Brother Hakuro.”

While grumbling to his absent sibling and sheathing his Soul Equipment, Kagari abruptly turned to face Lan and the others.

Noticing this, Lan tensed up. Whether she tried to flee or shout for help, it was clearly too late. Even if Lan were to scream now, Kagari could close the distance in an instant and crush her throat. The same would be true if she tried to flee.

She should have acted while Kagari was still fighting, but lamenting over missed opportunities now was pointless. Consumed by regret, Lan silently stared at the approaching Kagari.

At that moment, a small figure stepped forward, as if to shield Lan.

“Lord Kagari of Nakayama, I presume.”

Saying so, Yamato stepped forward. Kagari blinked, momentarily looking baffled, but soon recognized the boy’s identity and nodded with an amused expression.

“Indeed, I am Kagari of Nakayama. You must be Yamato of Mount Ganzan, am I right?”

“Yes. It’s rude to make a request upon our first meeting, but I have a favor to ask of you.”

“Please,” he began. “Well, whether I’ll accept or not is another story, but I’ll listen to what you have to say.”

Kagari, noticing Yamato’s intelligence at a glance, displayed an interest in what the boy had to say.

From the beginning, Kagari had no intention of killing the siblings. He had been thinking of letting them go if they pleaded. However, he had a few things he needed to clarify first.

With such thoughts in mind, Kagari widened his eyes at Yamato’s next words.

“Mount Ganzan surrenders to Nakayama. In return, I’ll entrust my life to you. But in exchange, I want you to save my sister, Kurt, and the other soldiers.”

“Hmm? Just to check, you understand the implications of entrusting yourself to me… looking at your face, it seems you do.”


Yamato nodded silently.

Yamato was the sole male heir of the Mount Ganzan royal lineage, and if he died, the resurgence of Mount Ganzan would be virtually impossible.

Naturally, Nakayama would likely execute the captured Yamato. Yamato was fully aware of this. Yet, he communicated his surrender to Kagari and requested the safety of everyone else, except himself.

Evaluating his worth and coming to terms with his potential death, he pleaded for the lives of those around him.

Did I possess such wisdom when I was eight? Such were Kagari’s thoughts when Lan shouted out.

“Yamato, you’re doing this again…!”

The elder sister, her eyes narrowed, glared at her younger brother. From the way she said “again”, it seemed there had been similar exchanges in the past.

Kagari chuckled deep in his throat. He had no intention of killing them from the outset, and hearing these words made him even less inclined.

“Understood. Nakayama accepts Mount Ganzan’s surrender. I promise not to mistreat Lord Yamato.”

With that, Kagari, primarily addressing Lan, reached into his pocket and took out a small gourd, which he then tossed to Lan.

Lan, catching it in surprise, shifted her gaze between the gourd and Kagari, puzzled.

“…What is this?”

“It’s filled with medicinal liquid. Let that man Kurt hold it in his mouth, and also apply it to his wounds.”

The medicinal liquid, crafted by Hakuro, the bishop of the Light God Templw, was effective both when consumed and applied externally. Responding to Lan’s query, Kagari approached Kurt’s severed right arm. Picking it up and examining the cut, he was impressed by how clean it was. Given the state, there was a possibility the arm could be reattached.

Kagari glanced at the arm’s owner and then looked closely at the distinctive silver hair.

— That guy is definitely one of the gatekeepers. I recall seeing him on the island. As Brother Hakuro had anticipated, were the gatekeepers indeed behind the rebels? But Hakuro had speculated that the Light God Temple was the connection between the two. Why would the Light God Temple try to kill the gatekeeper and the princess of Mount Ganzan?

The simplest reason might be to silence them. If the Light God Temple deemed the Mount Ganzan rebellion a failure, they might have moved to eliminate anyone who knew their secrets to prevent it from getting out to Nakayama. This would tie up all the loose ends.

However, Kagari’s instincts told him there was more to it.

As such, he needed to learn more from the Mount Ganzan siblings. The quickest way to get them to talk was to accept their surrender. There was the option of hurting one sibling to make the other talk, but Kagari wasn’t the type to torture children.

It was better to save their lives and use that favor to make them speak. This would go against Hakuro’s directive to crush the rebellion thoroughly, but Kagari would chalk it up to on-the-spot judgment. Considering the significance of what he’d learned here, he believed Hakuro would concur. Kagari secretly thought so.

Just then, some latecomers from the Mount Ganzan army, having realized the situation, rushed over, shouting Lan and the others’ names.

There were less than ten of them. Kagari could have easily dispatched them on his own, but he observed Yamato and the others, just in case.

He wondered if they might recant their previous statements and command their soldiers to attack the Prince of Nakayama.

But, to conclude, these were baseless suspicions of Kagari. Lan and Yamato informed the flustered soldiers about the betrayal of the Light God Temple and their intent to surrender to Nakayama. Considering the uncertainty of future supplies given the Temple’s betrayal, their decision was met with turmoil.

Most importantly, having experienced Kagari’s immense power firsthand, the Mount Ganzan soldiers didn’t have the courage or spirit to confront him.

Thus, the rebellion that took place in Mount Ganzan was suppressed faster than anyone had anticipated.

On the other hand, the battle between Sora and Doga was still ongoing.

From the beginning of their confrontation, the sun had completed its cycle thrice. Throughout, they hadn’t rested, continuing their full-power combat.

Of course, this was not something an ordinary person could do. This was a demon realm, a purgatory that drains one’s energy just by standing. To sustain their utmost power for three days and nights here was beyond madness. Their objective had long vanished from their minds. They couldn’t afford to be distracted in such an intense battle.

Both channeled their fatigue, pain, and overflowing energy into the combat. If they didn’t, they would be decapitated in an instant, just like a watermelon being split open. Both Sora and Doga believed this and were acting on this very reality.

If either of them paused or got distracted, they would die.

Therefore, they kept attacking their immediate enemy without stopping or getting distracted. It was less like a human and demon battling, and more like two beasts fighting to the death. With battle instincts sharpened to their core, they continued until one of them could move no more.

The anomaly of the situation was evident to those observing from the outside. Claira, Ursula, and the generals of the Nakayama army were all struggling to find a way to assist their ally.

Even if they couldn’t directly assist, at the very least they needed to give the combatants a moment to breathe. While using their energy or Kei could compensate for some of the physical strain, the intensity of the ongoing battle had long exceeded any normal limits. If this continued, one could literally suffer a heart rupture even before being defeated by the opponent.

However, even with this understanding, no one dared to intervene. Any interference would likely be met with instantaneous death at the hands of both Sora and Doga, who seemed to only perceive each other. Any intruders would be seen as nuisances by both fighters and would be swiftly eradicated.

Unless such intervention could bring both fighters back to their senses, intervention was deemed too risky. And so, everyone remained on standby.

However, the situation was about to change.

The first to notice the appearance of that Kijin were the generals of Nakayama.

Dressed in a flowing robe, the figure looked more like a scholar than a warrior, making him conspicuously out of place on a battlefield. Claira and the others quickly took note.

Both Claira and Ursula recognized that this Kijin was a formidable practitioner. However, they didn’t feel threatened because they didn’t sense from him the same level of power as Doga. They naturally concluded that he wasn’t someone who could intervene in this duel.

But the other Kijin present showed deep respect for this new arrival, even going as far as to kneel in his presence. This gesture hinted that he was a significant figure among the Kijin.

If he was specifically summoned by the Kijin, then he might possess a trump card to change the current situation. Believing this, just as Claira and the others were preparing their soul equipment they heard a voice, presumably that of the new Kijin.

With a voice that was soft yet carried a strong will, the Kijin loudly invoked the name of the Anima.

“Soul Equipment Activation— Laugh, Chaos.”

The moment they heard that, the vision of both Claira and Ursula was enveloped in darkness. They were blinded.

The anomaly didn’t stop there. All sounds vanished. All scents disappeared. The sensation of holding their soul equipment was gone. Had they been eating something at that moment, they would not have tasted anything.

It was a deprivation of the five senses.

The phenomenon rapidly expanded, enveloping the entire area and even consuming the two fierce combatants, Sora and Doga.

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  1. 饕餮 Taotie is a mythical beast from Chinese mythology that is said to be very greedy and voracious. It is also related to another mythical being called 蚩尤 Chiyou, who was a war god and an enemy of the Yellow Emperor. The word 饕餮 is often used as a metaphor for a brutal or covetous person.