Side Story: Claira Berch ③

“If you can’t say it, that’s fine, but I’ll remember that you chose to remain silent.”


Upon hearing Sora’s declaration, Claira couldn’t help but let out a pained groan. She understood that she had been caught in her own words.

The Heijin—the Fourth Banner Warrior she met earlier—would undoubtedly attack Sora. Knowing about the plot and keeping silent about it would be the same as cooperating with them.

After everything was over, Sora would likely use this logic to corner Claira, and she wouldn’t be able to resist.

To avoid this, she could reveal the Heijin’s plans now; however, doing so, which would be tantamount to betraying the Mitsurugi family, was also an option Claira couldn’t choose.

Claira was cornered into a dead end.

In such a situation, Claira chose the third option.

“Lord Sora, let’s practice together!”


As Claira determinedly made her proposal, Sora’s face looked like a pigeon that had been hit by a pea shooter. The way he blinked his eyes was reminiscent of the old Sora.

After a moment, Sora came to his senses and furrowed his brows in confusion.

“Practice, you said? Right now?”



Sora narrowed his eyes, as if trying to gauge Claira’s intentions.

Claira faced his gaze head-on and slowly began to speak her words.

“Seriously—practice using our soul equipment.”

Upon hearing this, Sora widened his eyes in surprise. Afterward, understanding Claira’s intentions, he chuckled in amusement.

“I see, so that’s what this is about.”

Claira stared at the happily laughing Sora with a serious expression.

Until today, Claira had practiced with Sora several times without ever removing their soul equipment. Well, to be precise, Claira had removed her soul equipment at Sora’s insistence, but Sora himself had never done so even once.

Sora’s soul equipment devours the power of others. When they fought before, Claira had learned about it.

Claira was not oblivious. Knowing that, she could surmise the reason why Sora had never removed his soul equipment. As long as Claira was obeying as a hostage, Sora must have decided not to cause her any more harm than necessary.

Now, Claira has voluntarily removed that constraint.

For someone who knows they are no match in terms of strength, saying that is almost equivalent to asking Sora to consume her power.

Still, it’s better than being attacked and devoured after breaking the agreement.

Above all, if Claira clashes with Sora in a serious practice session, there is no doubt that the intensity of their battle will reach the knowledge of the Fourth Banner.

The fourth flag, especially the warriors who primarily undertake missions outside the island, are considered dropouts among the eight flags of Green Woods. The difference in strength between them and Claira, who is one of the golden generation, is like heaven and earth.

And the difference between Claira and Sora, who overwhelms even her, is indescribable.

If Heijin and his men knew about Claira and Sora’s clash, they would tremble at the overwhelming kei pressure. They would realize who they were up against and give up on defeating Sora. No, it would make them give up.

That’s why I’m asking Sora for practice like this.

However, I was worried. If Sora refused to practice, there was nothing I could do as Claira. I couldn’t just attack him with my soul equipment.

“How about it? I’m a captive. I can’t force you, but…”

“Sure, if I wanted to do whatever I wanted with you, I could refuse here too.”

Claira bit her lip when she heard that. She understood exactly what it meant to be caught in her words.

But Sora immediately added with a smile.

“But well, it would be uncool to refuse here. Honestly, you got one over me, Claira. You thought of a good way.”


“Fine, let’s practice with soul equipment. Anyway, my ability is known through Gozu. There’s no need to hide it――soul equipment activation.”

With that word, a black sword appeared, darker than night.

Even without drawing his sword, her whole body felt crushed.

“Soul equipment activation.”

Claira squeezed out her voice from the bottom of her stomach and summoned her jade longsword.

The practice that was about to begin was a great nuisance for Claira’s anima. It seemed like an illusion, but the longsword in her hand was trembling as if to protest.

Claira apologized to it in her mind but still drew her sword without hesitation.

“Come out, Kusanagi!”

“Devour everything, Soul Eater!”

Two soul equipment were released at the same time.

Black and green, two flashes of light sparkled in Ishka’s sky.

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