Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume11 Chapter8
Chapter 8 - The Freed Elemental Lord
After bringing Iseria out from the underground ruins, Kamito's group immediately made their way to the flying ship.
When they converged, Claire and Ellis seemed quite exhausted.
While Kamito's group was fighting Sjora Kahn's side underground, they had defended against ceaseless attacks from Forsaken Spirits above ground.
Even so, the two girls still succeeded in keeping the flying ship safe.
"...Sorry, we returned a bit late. Are you two okay?"
Seeing them collapsed on the deck, Kamito asked.
"Well, I suppose..."
"...I really want to take a hot water bath for a ritual purification."
They answered with exhausted smiles.
Although they did not seem to have suffered any major injuries, they looked quite tired. Scarlet was lying on the floor while Simorgh was resting by the ship in its demon bird form.
"I'll go prepare some nutritious food!"
Rinslet quickly rushed towards the kitchen.
"I'll go get some healing crystals."
Fianna followed closely behind her.
"—The way it looks, we can't take off immediately huh."
Restia leaned against the railing and grumbled.
Indeed, asking Ellis to activate the wind spirit mechanism in her current condition would be pushing it.
"Don't mind it. I'll stay on watch. You two should rest properly."
Holding the Demon Slayer, Kamito looked down below the railing.
The abandoned city's shadowy ghosts kept swarming under the ship.
"This will be quite tricky..."
At this moment.
"—All we need is to help those two recover their divine power, right?"
Emerging from the cabin, a girl spoke.
Everyone present was stunned.
Iseria walked over to Claire and Ellis, extending her hand lightly.
"—O water, heal the souls of pure maidens."
She chanted a short incantation.
Gentle light enveloped the two girls, healing their injuries within the blink of an eye.
"Our divine power recovered!?"
Ellis and Claire stared in wide-eyed amazement.
Kamito also stared with his eyes wide open. Even Fianna's healing magic could not recover divine power rapidly. Yet this sort of thing was easily achieved by this girl.
"...I see. It appears that I can still use this level of magic as usual despite having lost my power."
Iseria murmured softly as though confirming her power.
She looked at Ellis' dumbfounded face.
"Have you recovered?"
"Yes. I can feel my body filled with divine power."
"Wonderful. Then let's start the flying ship—"
Iseria turned over to Kamito:
"—I have things to say to you all."
"...Th-This child is the Water Elemental Lord!?"
The first to speak and cry out in astonishment was Claire.
In the ship's most spacious room, Kamito's group had gathered at a long table to hold a conference. On the table were snacks and tea that Rinslet had specially prepared, giving off an elegant fragrance.
"...We have no choice but to accept this."
Fianna sighed and nodded.
"The seal-breaking ritual is ritual magic that involves unsealing a spirit's true name. This is Iseria Seaward-sama without a doubt."
The ship had already entered a stable course and did not require fine control.
Hence, since the driving mechanism's spirit crystal was successfully activated, Fianna and Ellis could temporarily join them in this gathering.
The task of staying vigilant of the surroundings was entrusted to Restia.
Claire still found it difficult to believe.
The one in question, Iseria, stayed by Rinslet's side and drank tea.
Whenever she popped a snack in her mouth, her shimmering watery hair would quiver. She looked absolutely adorable.
She quietly put down her teacup.
"Despite being an Elemental Lord, I am currently just a manifested avatar."
"Yes. My memories are still incomplete while virtually all of my power resides in the main body. Although simple spirit magic can be used, it's a far cry from my original power."
"...Similar to the current Est."
Casting his gaze to the spirit seal on his right hand, Kamito muttered... That said, her power to instantly heal Claire and Ellis still surpassed ordinary spirits by far.
"...However, why were you sealed in that kind of place, Your Majesty the Elemental Lord?"
Ellis voiced her puzzlement.
"...I don't quite remember."
The girl shook her head.
"But three years ago, something definitely happened. Someone rescued the insane me, imprisoned in the darkness—"
Kamito almost spurted tea from his mouth.
Iseria looked over at him with surprise.
Luckily, she did not seem to have noticed—
(The insane Elemental Lords huh...)
The existence that had swallowed Restia and contaminated the Darkness Elemental Lord Ren Ashdoll inside her.
—The Darkness Beyond This World.
"That darkness made the Elemental Lords insane?"
As Iseria nodded, her fingers trembled slightly.
"Nee-sama was speaking the truth..."
"But what is it actually? The darkness parasitizing the Elemental Lords—"
"—It is an otherworldly existence impossible to put into words."
Everyone present was shocked.
"Uh, umm, what..."
"Exactly as the words imply, a third realm that is neither the human world or Astral Zero. Why this thing was summoned, and when and by whom, I do not know—"
"Neither the human world or Astral Zero, a third..."
Completely absurd. The Divine Ritual Institute and the Spirit Investigation Association both denied the existence of other worlds.
Kamito had seen that darkness with his own eyes.
The root source of the miraculous power granting all Wishes.
The existence that devoured even the Elemental Lords ruling over Astral Zero—
"...Hard to believe. But even though it's hard to believe..."
Claire's lips trembled.
"But Nee-sama did call it 'something beyond this world'—"
The scene was plunged into silence. The truth recounted by the Elemental Lord herself had made everyone speechless.
"...From this point, the main topic begins."
Iseria brought up a new topic.
The room instantly entered a tense state.
"I have one question for you all. Why do you think that this Blade Dance festival was held, continuing all this time, over the past few centuries?"
Faced with this sudden question, Kamito's group looked at one another.
"Isn't it for pleasing the Elemental Lords?"
"Yes, but that is simply one side of the festival."
Saying that, Iseria shook her head.
"The Blade Dance is the system that we Elemental Lords devised to keep our madness in check. Over the past few centuries, only by using the miraculous power beyond this world, imparted upon humans, were we able to stabilize our minds—"
"A system to calm the Elemental Lords..."
Fianna murmured in shock.
"Whenever the darkness' corrosion deepened, we would inform the human realm to hold a Blade Dance, hoping that one day, the darkness eating away at us could be completely purified. In fact, the system proved to be very effective—Until now."
The meaning of the Blade Dance. This truth caused everyone to hold their breath.
The Blade Dance system was established several centuries ago.
—In other words, at least a few centuries earlier, the otherworldly darkness had already corrupted the Elemental Lords, gradually sending their minds into disarray.
"Yes. The recent Blade Dance festivals failed to function completely. It is unknown whether it's due to a flaw in the original design or if it had been tampered with. But undoubtedly, it resulted in the Elemental Lords going out of control."
...This finally began to make sense.
Indeed, there were far too many irregularities in the latest Blade Dance.
A mere three-year interval since the previous festival. The participation of a monster like Nepenthes Lore. Choosing the abandoned city as the match grounds—
It all implied that the Blade Dance system was showing flaws.
"We can no longer count on the Blade Dance festival's purifying effects. If we Elemental Lords continue to be eaten away by the otherworldly darkness, we will surely destroy the world ourselves in the end. Whether this Astral Zero or the human realm—"
"How could this...!"
Claire could not help but stand up from her chair.
—The world's destruction.
Suddenly confronted with this kind of thing, no wonder she was unable to remain calm.
"In other words, the otherworldly darkness will destroy Astral Zero?"
Kamito had not expected the darkness itself to possess a will—
"It has nothing to do with the darkness' will. But our madness will eventually bring about destruction."
...Indeed, this was not idle talk.
There was the tragedy of Dylus which led to Rubia Elstein's betrayal.
If those kinds of incidents happened repeatedly—
"—So, I have one request."
Iseria brought it up slowly.
"In the meeting tomorrow, you all will have a chance to have a direct audience with the Elemental Lords."
(Could it be...!)
Kamito suddenly held his breath.
"—Using that opportunity, liberate the Elemental Lords who are imprisoned by the otherworld's darkness."
Everyone looked at one another.
"...C-Can that kind of thing be done?"
"Impossible. That kind of thing—"
"After all, we're just students..."
"I will assist."
"Otherwise, the world will be swallowed by that darkness—"
"Meeting you all at that abandoned city was perhaps not coincidence. I can only entrust this world's fate to you all—"
The Water Elemental Lord spoke with an extremely critical expression.
(Assassinating the elemental lords huh...)
Kamito recalled in his mind the memories from that day, three years ago.
(...Back then, I failed once.)
The will of Ren Ashdoll inside her had been contaminated.
Kamito looked over at each of the girls in turn in their shaken state.
"...Let us think about this for a bit first."
Finally, he spoke.
"No problem. But I hope you can give an answer before having an audience tomorrow."
The Water Elemental Lord's eyes gazed straight at Kamito.