Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume15 Prologue
In a wilderness under the moonlit night—
"It seems like you still have a bad habit of sticky fingers, lad."
The witch spoke, looking down on the boy crawling on the ground.
"Do you intend to offer such a unspectacular blade dance to the Elemental Lords?"
"...S-Shut... up, witch..."
Coughing up chunks of blood, the young man got up to a crouch. He—Kamito—was holding a sword with a blade the color of darkness.
He had resolved himself to never let go of his sword no matter how many times he was sent sprawling.
"Oh? Looks like you still have enough strength to talk back."
Tilting the corners of her lips in a grin, she mercilessly kicked the collapsed Kamito in the belly.
"—Stand up. One more time."
Kamito stood up unsteadily, glaring at the woman in return.
Greyworth Ciel Mais—formerly the premier knight of the Ordesia Empire's Numbers.
Known by her nickname as the Dusk Witch, she was the strongest elementalist on the continent.
While wiping blood from his mouth, he thought to himself.
There was an elementalist nicknamed the "Monster" back at the Institutional School, but the woman standing with a cold expression before him was the genuine article.
Kamito began to get serious, not daring to take things lightly, not even letting a single gasp escape.
"Wait, no matter what, this is going too far!"
An adorable voice came out of thin air.
The source of this voice was the jet-black sword in Kamito's hand.
...As though expressing the extent of her anger, black lightning was exploding intensely around the blade.
"I won't let him die. Don't coddle the lad too much, darkness spirit."
Ignoring the voice of protest, the witch walked over and pulled out a demon sword stabbed in the wilderness.
"Don't worry, Restia, I can still go on."
Kamito quietly muttered and poured divine power into his jet-black sword.
"You rely on the darkness spirit's power too much. You won't be able to beat the projected winner of the Blade Dance, the Holy Kingdom's Luminaris, like this."
"Doesn't matter. Even if I have to face a holy spirit, there is no one who can win against me and Restia."
Glaring at Greyworth before him, Kamito replied.
This was an expression of absolute trust in his partner, the darkness spirit.
Responding to the boy's thoughts, black lightning exploded in the wilderness.
"Now that's quite some confidence."
Greyworth grinned mercilessly and readied her demon sword.
"First of all, let me shatter that baseless confidence."
Despite her effortless stance, Kamito could not find any opening at all. Compared to the likes of practitioners of assassination skills at the Instructional School whom he had always faced off against, or the Empire's spirit knights, she was seriously in a completely different league.
"What's the matter? Just attack any time you like."
Kamito stepped forward.
Rather than falling for the witch's taunt, Kamito had come to understand that searching for an opening would be futile.
"Assassination technique—Shadow Crossing!"
He closed in instantly to unleash a slash with godlike speed.
No petty tricks, hence this was pure skill in perfect execution. However—
"I see, this skill's speed and accuracy are impeccable."
The witch jeered. The sword of guaranteed death, carrying the entirety of Kamito's thirteen years of experience, could not reach the witch's throat. She had dodged by the slimmest of margins.
"It's not over! Haphazard Dance of the Flying Snake!"
Taking a further step forward, Kamito released countless slashes in succession while his gaze followed her intensely.
"Oh? So the strike of guaranteed death was just a diversion and you're using a who knows how much inferior skill to target my life instead?"
Greyworth spun around and dodged the countless flashes of the sword in the air.
However, that was precisely Kamito's goal.
Given the timing, using defensive magic was impossible.
Kamito concentrated divine power on the blade of his demon sword.
"Go forth and pierce, all-annihilating demon lightning of punishment—Vorpal Blast!"
Erupting from the demon sword's blade, jet-black lightning exploded, cracking the ground in its wake.
With that, having unleashed a decisive strike, he jumped into the cloud of rising dust and smoke, but at that moment...
Instantly, he felt a chill.
(...What the hell!?)
Kamito's feet stopped instantly. No, rather than Kamito's conscious intent, his nerves had forcibly commanded his body to stop moving due to instinctive fear of the unknown.
"Well done, lad—"
From the dust, he heard a voice.
There was something decisively different about the witch's voice from what he was used to hearing.
"Even back in that age, there were only a handful of people capable of soiling me with dust. My goodness, you truly delight me..."
The dust cloud dissipated. Under the bright moonlight, that appearance came into view.
"This is the second time for you to witness this appearance—"