Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume14 Chapter10
Chapter 10 - The Awakening of Darkness
"...Tsk, security is definitely tight inside the palace!"
As soon as Kamito stepped into the palace, spirits in the form of hounds instantly attacked.
These were guardian spirits that automatically eliminated intruders. Capable of sensing Kamito's divine power, they would pursue relentlessly to the very end. Confronted with such a pack of well-trained hound spirits, Kamito was not confident he could shake them off.
However, he had to overcome this trial if he were to rush to Fianna's side in the shortest time possible.
"I guess I have to fight—"
Kamito poured divine power into the Demon Slayer while he ran. In the next instant, he took care of a pouncing hound with a slash executed with a turn of his body.
"I won't show mercy. Don't blame me—"
The hounds surrounded him and bared their fangs.
(—Est, Mode Shift!)
Obeying Kamito's will, the Demon Slayer in his hand instantly changed in form.
What appeared in his left and right hands was a pair of daggers, one black and one white. In a situation against multiple enemies, with hounds unversed in martial arts to boot, it was easier to handle them this way.
"Assassination technique—Round Dance of the Twin Snakes!"
Holding one of the daggers in a reverse grip, Kamito lunged into the pack of hounds.
Fast as lightning. With every slash of black and white, a hound would turn back into spirit form, disappearing as particles of light. His figure was like a tornado. Dozens of hounds were beginning to thin in numbers within the blink of an eye.
Chopping down three hounds with one strike, Kamito then dashed forward.
(...Wait for me, Fianna!)
Breaking past the pack of hounds, he charged through a large garden.
"An intruder, take him down immediately!" "The guardian spirits have failed to hold him off, please send reinforcements to the south gate quickly!"
(...Tsk, they're mobilizing huh—)
Kamito clicked his tongue mentally.
The Imperial Knights guarding the palace seemed to have noticed Kamito.
"Est, I'm counting on you—"
Kamito kicked the ground and jumped, bringing his twin daggers together. Immediately, the daggers vanished and the Demon Slayer reappeared in his hand.
Knights in armor came flying from the air. Probably a wind elementalist, one of them extended her palm in midair and released wind spirit magic.
"How could that puny attack work—"
Kamito swept the Demon Slayer horizontally, deflecting the wind blade.
Then he accelerated in one breath.
"Damn it—Take this!"
The wind blades kept attacking, but Kamito dodged them all by the slimmest of margins.
"—Stop getting in my way!"
Kamito poured his entire body's divine power in the Demon Slayer. The silver-white blade instantly turned black. The erupting jet-black lightning then swept away the flying knights.
This was the Vorpal Blast, the prided technique of Ren Ashbell, the Strongest Blade Dancer in the past.
Without looking at the downed knights, Kamito charged on ahead.
His heart was pounding. Refined in his body, divine power was being released explosively.
"Bastard, how dare you—"
Three knights appeared in front of a door. They were all holding melee elemental waffen. They would be hard to take care of if they fought as a combination. The true strength of military knights lay in their group tactics.
(...I have to crush them quickly before they get a chance to work together!)
Kamito kicked the ground hard and accelerated again.
"Absolute Blade Arts, First Form—Purple Lightning!"
Kamito unleashed an explosive thrust with god-like speed.
From the knights' perspective, Kamito must have vanished for an instant. An attack as fast as lightning, destroying the knights' elemental waffen accurately, instantly robbing them of their combat ability.
While taking down the palace knights in front of him, one by one—
Kamito noticed that his heart was beating abnormally fast.
(...What's going on?)
He was clearly swinging the Demon Slayer and even using Absolute Blade Arts—
Yet he could not feel any depletion in divine power.
It was almost like there was an inexhaustible supply of divine power, surging out nonstop from the depths of his body.
(Could this be...)
Kamito recalled what Rubia Elstein had said.
—Do not use divine power recklessly unless you want to be devoured by the power of darkness.
Instantly, Kamito sensed killing intent and jumped.
A flame arrow instantly flew past his shoulder.
Kamito looked at where the arrow had come from.
Six knights were on a palace wall with bow-shaped elemental waffen readied.
"Stop the intruder, dead or alive!"
In the next instant, a rain of flame arrows fell.
"...Ah, guh, ooh... Oooooh...!"
While Fianna endured heavy pressure that seemed to crush all her bones, a scream was forced out from her throat.
An invisible force was pinning Fianna to the ground while two strange spinning spheres were hovering over her head.
"Dame Leschkir Hirschkilt...!"
"Oh dear, you're still able to speak, Your Highness."
Leschkir laughed and snapped her fingers.
Instantly, the gravity spheres rotated even faster, increasing the pressure further.
Fianna coughed a mouthful of blood. With her respiratory system under pressure, she had difficulty even catching her breath.
Seeing Fianna panting, seeking air, Dame Leschkir stepped on her head from above.
"What a bad princess. Not only did you attempt to assassinate His Majesty but you even broke out of prison."
"...No, that's wrong... I didn't know, of any... assassination... plan..."
Fianna mustered all her strength to force out an explanation.
Dame Leschkir was an elite Numbers knight, charged with defending the Empire. Perhaps she might understand if Fianna were to reveal the Holy Kingdom's conspiracy. There was a shred of hope.
Dame Leschkir smiled and nodded simply.
Greatly surprised, Fianna exclaimed in shock.
...She was hit by an intense sense of dissonance.
A chill rose up along her spine—
"After all, I am the one who located that Dusk Witch's demon spirit."
Fianna widened her dusk-colored eyes.
"...What is... the meaning of this...?"
"Everything is for a certain exalted one. In order to let this world start all over again."
"...W-What are you talking, about—"
It took Fianna a few seconds to comprehend what her words meant.
—Then she finally noticed.
The woman before her eyes was—
"Dame Leschkir... Don't tell me, you're the Holy Kingdom's—"
"Hmph, what a clever little princess. You are far more worthy of the throne than that stupid brother of yours."
The Numbers woman licked her lips and smiled seductively.
"That is why I must ask you to disappear, Your Highness."
Increasing in pressure again, the gravity field exerted heavy force on Fianna's limbs together with the space. Her bones cracked audibly. Astounding agony made her consciousness almost about to fade away—
"A lovely sound, Princess. However, how much longer can you endure?"
The color of sadism surfaced in Leschkir Hirschkilt's eyes.
She was taking twisted pleasure in abusing Fianna, a member of royalty.
"Although Prince Arneus wants to keep you alive for now—"
She licked her lips.
"Accidents aren't always avoidable."
Wielding the Demon King's Sword, shining with black light, Kamito dashed into the rain of flaming arrows.
Deflecting the downpour of arrows, he charged all at once.
"Stop him! How can he be allowed to invade the imperial palace!?"
The captain of the royal guard shouted sharply.
The flame arrows kept firing. Seeing his cloak shot by an arrow and catching fire, Kamito took it off with one hand.
In that instant, the knights on the tower all exclaimed in surprise.
"No way, the victorious team of the Blade Dance—"
"I can't believe it's a male elementalist!?"
Kamito's feats during the Blade Dance tournament had already reached all the elementalists across the entire continent. This included defeating Dracunia's Leonora during the final round as well as that Strongest Blade Dancer, Ren Ashbell...
"S-Surround him and attack in unison!"
The captain gave orders and the knights attacked methodically with their elemental waffen.
(...Exactly what I wanted!)
Holding the Demon Slayer in a reverse grip, Kamito charged ahead.
"Absolute Blade Arts, Third Form—Shadowmoon Waltz!"
Amidst flying sand and dust, an instant dance of countless slashes.
Accustomed to orthodox sword styles, the knights were completely helpless when confronted with the Absolute Blade Arts' myriad changing and flowing forms.
"Impossible, my steel spirit couldn't even take one blow!" "W-What, that elemental waffe is...!"
The knights were instantly plunged into panic and the encirclement fell into disarray.
Seizing this chance, Kamito rushed into the knights.
—Throb. Throb. Throb.
With every swing of the sword, power would pulsate intensely, surging from the depths of his body. Despite using the Demon King's Sword, notorious for its high consumption, his divine power showed no signs of depletion at all.
(...Gah, damn, it...!)
'—Kamito, watch out. At this rate, your body will not endure.'
Est's warning sounded in his mind but Kamito—
(—Don't worry. Keep going.)
While chopping down knights in front of him, Kamito mentally shook his head.
'No, Kamito, you are not the usual Kamito—'
(...Yeah, I know... But—)
If he were to stop here now, he would never reach Fianna's side in time.
Once he focused his entire attention on battle, even Est's voice could no longer be heard.
—Throb. Throb. Throb. Throb.
(...Is this the Darkness Elemental Lord's power?)
Faced with impulses of brutality, he felt as though his entire body was devoured—
(...In that case, I'll absorb it instead!)
The knights' encirclement net collapsed completely. Kamito could see the entrance leading to the north corridor.
Fianna should be in that direction.
Flame arrows were shot at Kamito nonstop while he released divine power to accelerate.
However, the downpour of arrows was all deflected and disappeared before they could strike Kamito.
"Why... Why, why can't we stop him!?"
The captain of the knights yelled in a fluster.
"Demon King..." "That's the Demon King...!"
Panic spread throughout the palace knights.
If someone with outstanding talent as a princess maiden were present, they would probably be able to see it.
They would see black miasma enveloping Kamito's entire body as though eating away at him—
"Focus everyone's fire to stop him!"
Realizing where Kamito was charging towards, the captain shouted.
The knights arranged themselves before the entrance, entering a defensive formation.
This was the Imperial Knights' famed "iron wall" formation.
"Although the old lady ordered me not to use this against third-rate opponents—"
Kamito poured divine power into the Demon King's Sword, forcing a Mode Shift into twin blades.
"—Sorry, I'm not holding back!"
Absolute Blade Arts, Destructive Form—Bursting Blossom Spiral Blade Dance - Sixteen Consecutive Strikes・Lightning Flare!
While silver-white slashes flew in all directions, jet-black lightning erupted at the same time.
"Fufu, I will crush that adorable face of yours for you, Princess—"
"...Ah... Guh, ooh...!"
The spinning gravity sphere overhead descended slowly. With the slightest touch, Fianna's body would surely be torn apart effortlessly.
With her entire body in abject agony, Fianna gritted her teeth.
Four years prior, Fianna had failed to stop her best friend, Rubia, and lost the power of the spirit contract.
—In the days after that, she had lost all hope.
But at the Blade Dance three years ago, she found light.
Drawn to Ren Ashbell's blade dancing, admiration grew in her heart.
Hence, she had sworn to become as strong as Ren Ashbell.
Then three years passed. Fianna encountered "her" again and advanced through the Blade Dance triumphantly together with her teammates.
This irreplaceable glory was earned by her only power.
However, if things were to end in such a place—
—Even when she had yet to convey to him the words she wanted to say.
"Farewell, Your Highness—"
Leschkir closed her palm as though crushing a fruit.
"...Ah, guh... Ahhhhhhhhhh!"
Instantly, Fianna's throat emitted a scream of sorrow.
"Ahaha, yes, yes, please scream better, Lost Queen."
While her consciousness was gradually fading, she heard Leschkir's mocking laughter.
In a barely audible voice, Fianna spoke that name. In that very instant...
A flash of light raced past.
The sphere over her head exploded. The barrier of gravity was gone.
Leschkir widened her eyes in surprise. Let alone Fianna, even she had failed to react, third ranked of the Numbers as she were.
The slicing attack had flashed past like a bolt of purple lightning.
A jet-black dagger appeared before Fianna's eyes.
Fianna looked behind her from her collapsed posture on the ground.
—Only to see that he was there.
While walking towards her, he spoke quietly.
"—You've waited long enough, Fianna."
"You've waited long enough, Fianna—"
Fianna squeezed out a feeble voice, whispering that name.
—The name of him whom she had been waiting for the whole time.
Leschkir widened her eyes and exclaimed.
"W-Why are you here!?"
However, Kamito ignored her and knelt down next to Fianna.
He touched her shoulder lightly. Her leg seemed to have a fracture and she could not stand up on her own.
"You, arrived... Kamito, -kun..."
"No need to speak. You've done well, Fianna."
Kamito gently stroked her head while she spoke in fragments.
Her pure-white dress was tattered beyond recognition, exposing her tender skin.
Kamito took off his uniform jacket and draped it over Fianna's back. With healing prayers woven into the uniform, it should offer some level of relief.
"I heard your voice, Fianna. That's why I hurried over—"
"...I always believed you'd come."
Still collapsed on the ground, she smiled.
"...Listen up, conversation is over, okay?"
Leschkir spoke coldly.
Hearing that, Kamito slowly looked up and glared at her.
Instantly, Leschkir's entire body shuddered.
Kamito's aura of fury, carrying fierce divine power, was shaking the air.
"...So it's you who harmed Fianna huh?"
Kamito whispered then pulled out the Vorpal Blade, one of the Twin Daggers of Darkness, that had embedded itself in the ground.
"...Tsk, what are the knights doing?"
In response, Leschkir looked around her in a fluster.
"I've already defeated all of your Imperial Knights in the palace on my way here."
Leschkir was dumbstruck.
"W-What a funny joke. How could that be possible—"
"You think it's funny? Then why is no one coming here?"
Kamito brought together the two daggers in his hands and poured in divine power. The white and black blades instantly glowed, transforming into the Demon King's Sword—Terminus Est Zwei.
Maintaining his posture as though drawing a sword naturally, Kamito took a step in Leschkir's direction.
Faced with his movement, Leschkir took a step back.
It was an involuntary action prompted by fear.
He took a step closer. She stepped back.
Another step forward. Another step back.
"What's the matter? You're tarnishing the name of the Empire's strongest, the Numbers."
Another step forward—This time, she did not step back. But rather than her pride as a Numbers knight, it was merely because she had her back against a mountain of rubble.
Another step forward...
Leschkir extended one hand and released a gravity sphere.
This offensive magic was supposed to be able to instantly turn a building of stone into a mountain of rubble.
Kamito simply swatted it away with one hand.
Leschkir groaned in shock. The phenomenon of deflecting an attack of spirit magic without using an elemental waffe was completely beyond the realm of common sense.
"...What is this!? What the hell are you!?"
Leschkir continued to fire magical attacks.
However, Kamito brushed off all attacks with his bare hands without even dodging.
Fianna widened her dusk-colored eyes. Although Leschkir could not see it, Fianna witnessed it clearly. The miasma of darkness shrouding Kamito's entire body was erasing her magic completely.
"...I won't forgive you for hurting Fianna like that."
One step, another step—As Kamito gradually approached, she unleashed gravity spheres like torrential rain.
"Like I said, it's useless—"
Kamito said in boredom while stepping on debris.
Possibly because Kamito's calm attitude was hurting her pride, Leschkir suddenly changed her expression.
"F-Fine, in that case, I'll tear you apart together with the entire space—!"
Leschkir's deployed elemental waffe began to spin at high speed in the air.
Instantly, a powerful gravitational field was produced, distorting the surrounding space.
Kamito's feet sank into the ground, creating depressions where he stepped.
(...Tsk, this is a bit of a pain.)
Kamito clicked his tongue.
Although he had his miasma of darkness to defend his body, if this continued, he would be immobilized, only taking hits one-sidedly.
"F-Fufu... Now you can't even take another step!"
Caught in the gravitational field, Fianna panted in pain.
"Ahaha, be crushed together with the princess like this!"
Leschkir laughed noisily.
Kamito reached out to Fianna and embraced her protectively.
The miasma of darkness immediately enveloped Fianna's entire body, protecting her from the gravitational field.
"Kamito-kun... I am fine now... So... run away—"
"—Idiot, I already promised. To take you back."
The gravitational field grew stronger, pinning the two of them firmly to the ground.
"...Gah, ugh, ugh...!"
"...So it's not that easy to escape after all."
Continuing to hold Fianna in his embrace, Kamito whispered in her ear.
"Fianna, can your elemental waffe break this gravitational field?"
After some contemplation—
"...Yes, I think so."
Fianna's Save the Queen was an elemental waffe that constructed a barrier in the area surrounding the user. It should be possible to erase this gravitational field by using that.
"But in my current state, I..."
Fianna's divine power was depleted. Let alone deploying an elemental waffe, even summoning the knight spirit would be difficult.
—However, Kamito had an idea.
Although it was a risky gamble, current circumstances did not allow for hesitation.
"Fianna, can you trust me?"
Fianna showed puzzlement in response to Kamito's question.
"I'll ask again, can you trust me?"
Kamito looked Fianna straight in the eye.
"Do you even need to ask?"
"Then close your eyes—"
Driven by the violent impulse surging from the depths of his being—
Kamito embraced Fianna and took her lips.
Fianna widened her dusk-colored eyes.
However, she soon closed them again. Relaxing herself, she leaned against him.
In this manner, their tongues naturally tangled together as though licking.
"...Mmm, huff, mmmm..."
The feeling of lips brought together. Fianna sought Kamito single-mindedly while Kamito greedily hugged her shoulders tight.
"...Mmm... Yah... Mmm..."
Enormous divine power flowed into Fianna.
This unruly and violent divine power seemed to trample her entire being.
Through her intuition as a princess maiden, Fianna understood. This was a taboo power.
A dark power that elementalists, who were supposed to be pure maidens, were absolutely forbidden to touch.
However, she did not resist. Like a howling storm, the violent divine power circulated within her body—
"Mmm... Smooch, huff..."
—Finally, their lips separated.
Swooning, Fianna looked at Kamito in rapture.
"Are you okay?"
Holding Kamito's hand, she used the miasma of darkness to repel the gravity barrier and slowly stood up straight.
Then she raised her right hand vertically and began to chant words of summoning.
—Thou, servant of the king of the child of man, knight and master swordsman!
—By the contract of the old blood, become the sword that protects me, come forth and do my bidding!
Her adorable voice sounded inside the distorted space.
The raging divine power within her instantly overflowed and was released in one breath. That feeling was like when she summoned Georgios at the abandoned mine city several months earlier.
—Its appellation reads thus, Save the Queen.
Appearing in Fianna's hand was a rapier with intricate engravings.
Then she stabbed its tip into the ground, producing a surge of pure light, neutralizing the gravity barrier.
Leschkir cried out in surprise.
"I can't believe you countered my gravity cage—?"
Fianna extended the rapier towards her and declared:
"Dame Leschkir Hirschkilt, in light of your alleged treason in conspiring with the Holy Kingdom, I, Fianna Ray Ordesia, Second Princess of the Empire, hereby condemn you!"
"...Damn you, Lost Queeeeeeeen!"
In a panic, Leschkir shot out her gravity sphere elemental waffe.
But it was too late. Kamito had already sprung into action.
"Take your punishment, Leschkir Hirschkilt—"
He poured the amplifying elemental waffe's power into the Demon King's Sword.
"Absolute Blade Arts, First Form—Purple Lightning!"
The jet-black slash pierced Leschkir's body and the gravity sphere alike.