Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume19 Chapter6
Chapter 6 - Disappearance of the Holy Capital
Disappearance of the Holy Capital of Alexandria instantly spread throughout the palace.
For a massive capital city to vanish all of a sudden, residents and all, that was unprecedented in the entire history of the continent.
Receiving the report, Fianna instantly summoned the nobles to hold an emergency meeting of the imperial council.
"Unbelievable, Alexandria has vanished?"
Inside the circular hall of the imperial council, an aristocrat exclaimed.
"It is certainly hard to believe. Is the report reliable?"
"Confirmation is in progress. However, according to reports from our border, the news is quite likely to be true."
Standing in the center of the hall, Fianna spoke.
"Vanished, rather than destroyed...?"
"That is what our sources say."
"B-But is that even possible...?"
The imperial council was plunged into confusion.
(...Oh well, I can hardly blame them.)
Leaning against the wall at the back of the imperial council hall, Kamito muttered to himself with his arms crossed.
There were no detailed reports at the current stage, only a disorganized mess of rumors. Added to the fact that the Empire had been in turmoil not too long ago, one could forgive the nobles for losing their calm.
"Is it true? News of the Holy Capital disappearing—"
"...Unconfirmed for now."
"For a city to vanish in an instant, that is unheard of."
"The Sylphid Knights had a training excursion which included a stay at the Holy Capital. The city was roughly the same size as the Academy town. To think it could vanish—"
Ellis had her head tilted in puzzlement.
"Suppose it met the same kind of calamity that destroyed my homeland?"
Thinking of something, Claire rested her chin on her hand.
"Claire, do you have some kind of idea?"
"Yes, the Fire Elemental Lord's avatar is at that city."
Hearing Claire's whispers, Kamito groaned.
Victorious in the Blade Dance, Kamito and his team had succeeded in liberating the Fire Elemental Lord.
But according to Rubia, the freed Fire Elemental Lord's soul apparently teleported to the Holy Capital.
The Holy Kingdom must have planned to take possession of the Fire Elemental Lord a long time ago.
In fact, the Fire Elemental Lord was traveling with the Sacred Spirit Knights at the Demon King City.
"Did the Holy Kingdom screw up, causing the Fire Elemental Lord to go on a rampage?"
"That is possible. If the Fire Elemental Lord's power was released, destroying a city would be effortless."
Even the pyramid of the Demon King's Tomb had melted within the blink of an eye by the Fire Elemental Lord.
Obliterating the Holy Capital in an instant would not be impossible.
"But according to Lily, the city had vanished suddenly without any signs of destruction."
"...Yes, that is quite unbelievable."
Claire looked down again, lost in deep thought.
Just as the council continued to remain in a state of chaos, a princess maiden arrived at the center of the hall.
"Who is that?"
"Oh, it is Lady Rosamia Ashel!"
Rinslet exclaimed quietly.
"Eh, that's the famous Heavenly Eyes—"
With great interest, Kamito looked upon the princess maiden with beautiful black hair.
"Heavenly Eyes" Rosamia Ashel.
Kamito had heard of her name back in his Instructional School days.
She was second of the Numbers, as well as being the top-ranked special operative knight.
At the age of twenty-five, she was the oldest of the Numbers.
Rosamia Ashel bowed to the nobles before chanting ritual magic.
"What is she planning to do?"
"This is the spirit magic of Clairvoyance. The ability to observe situations from afar."
"Like the magic used by Princess Linfa of the Four Gods, huh?"
"Yes, but just on an even higher level—"
After a while, a translucent sphere appeared in the center of the hall.
Projected on the sphere's surface was a clear image. The hall instantly filled with clamor.
The image was projected from a spirit's eyes.
"W-What is that!?"
Claire and the girls were fixating their gazes upon the image on the sphere too.
The massive Londinia mountain range was gouged out.
Nothing remained to prove that a magnificent city once stood there.
Not even the slightest trace of destruction.
Left behind was a dark and hollow space where even light did not reflect.
"What the heck happened?"
Just as Kamito asked in shock...
"—Signs of Astral Shift."
A calm voice spoke from behind him.
Kamito and Claire looked back, only to see Rubia standing there wearing a scarlet mask.
"Did you say Astral Shift?"
"Yes, indeed. According to reports, when the human realm and Astral Zero overlap, this sort of void space is left behind at the location of where the Astral Shift occurred. However, previous reports were all concerned with small-scale shifts that happened naturally in places like the Spirit Forest—"
"Don't tell me the entire city went through an Astral Shift..."
"Then the Holy Capital has been transported to Astral Zero?"
"Yes, it appears so."
Rubia nodded slightly.
"Could it be that the Astral Shift at the Academy was a trial run for this?"
"...Possibly. But what is the purpose...?"
The eerie image shown on the sphere had plunged the imperial council into deeper chaos.
The entire hall was full of noise.
Fianna spoke sternly. Just then...
The image on the sphere shook violently.
The mountain range became covered by blinding light. Soon, nothing could be seen.
"Dame Rosamia, what exactly is this!?"
Fianna looked back to ask Rosamia Ashel.
Only to see—
"...Ah, ah, ahhh, ah... Ooh, ahhhhhhhhh!"
The princess maiden of Heavenly Eyes clutched her head and began to moan in pain.
"Dame Rosamia!? A-Are you alright?"
"...Ah, ooh... Ahhh, has been... issued..."
"...An oracle... has been, issued... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
Rosamia's eyes rolled up and she screamed, losing consciousness on the spot, collapsed on the ground.
The hall was instantly in commotion.
"Spirit interference! Deploy a barrier immediately!"
THe first to notice this possibility, Fianna issued orders to the Numbers serving as bodyguards.
Someone had hijacked Rosamia's contracted spirit.
(...To think someone interfered with the spirit of one of the Empire's Numbers from outside?)
With his hands on the hilts of his two swords, Kamito secretly jumped in surprise.
How many elementalists capable of such a feat existed on the continent?
Two knights standing by in the corners of the hall immediately deployed an isolation barrier.
This ought to break the interference afflicting Rosamia—
Just then, the sphere hovering in the air changed.
The blinding brightness went away and an image seemed to surface.
"H-Hey, don't tell me that's...!?"
Claire pointed at the sphere and shouted.
Seeing that figure shown in the sphere, Kamito gasped too.
It was a blonde young maiden, clad in pure white holy armor.
Appearing there was—
The legendary Sacred Maiden who had revived in the Demon King City.
"Sacred Maiden Areishia..."
The Sacred Maiden in the sphere looked down at the nobles with her blue eyes.
'—I am Holy Lord Alexandros. I am issuing my final oracle to you.'
Thus she spoke.
Holy Lord Alexandros.
That was whom she, the one with Sacred Maiden Areishia's appearance, called herself.
The maiden's pure and sacred glow inspired viewers with absolute fear and reverence.
The nobles in the council all held their breath, staring at her in mesmerization.
"Th-That sacred appearance—" "The Holy Lord?" "Unbelievable..."
No one in this world had witnessed the Elemental Lords' appearances first hand.
Even Sacred Maiden Areishia was known to later generations only through surviving portraits.
However, everyone present believed they were looking at the genuine Holy Lord.
That absolute majesty awakened primal fear in humans.
Even Kamito and his friends were rendered speechless, flooded by the imposing presence.
"I never expected, to show up here—"
Claire wiped sweat off her brow.
"...What the heck is going to happen?"
"Loyal servants of the Elemental Lords, people of the human realm—"
Inside the otherwise silent hall, the Sacred Maiden's transparent voice echoed.
"—I issue to you the final oracle."
(...Final oracle, come again?)
Kamito's thoughts were puzzled.
Confusion arose among the nobles in the hall, subdued by majestic light.
In all of history, the Elemental Lords had never issued an oracle in such a manner.
(She said final—)
"—Three days later, this world shall disappear."
Thus declared the Holy Lord with a young girl's appearance.
"...! W-What!?" "What was that just now...?" "...Disappear?"
The hall was instantly in chaos.
"W-What is the meaning of this!?" "What?"
The totally one-sided declaration made even Claire and the girls, who already knew the Holy Lord's goal, unable to hide their surprise.
It was neither prophetic verse, a riddle or a parable.
—It was truly an oracle.
Conveyed was clear intent to erase the current world.
"I shall be the one to reconstruct this world that has gone down the wrong path. The human realm and Astral Zero shall be completely erased, to create correct world—"
A peaceful voice filled with tender affection was heard.
All the nobles present could not speak, listening to the oracle in shock.
Humans could not say no to an Elemental Lord's oracle.
All they could respond to a powerful Elemental Lord were offering rituals.
Even when the Fire Elemental Lord destroyed the Elstein lands and took away the power of flames—
The people of Ordesia were powerless, left with no choice but to obediently endure that wrath.
"—Until the gate of termination opens, I grant you the chance to enjoy your final moments. This is a gift to the human race who has served loyally."
Claire struck the floor with Flametongue.
Her clear eyes, like rubies, glared at the Sacred Maiden shown in the sphere.
"What gift? I'm not gonna let you do as you like!
The Sacred Maiden looked down coldly at Claire.
"—You are not at fault. It is the world itself that has erred."
"...! What did you say!?"
"I hope you will all enjoy your final happiness—"
After making a gesture of rest in peace with her hand in front of her chest, the Sacred Maiden—
She vanished amid blinding light.
The imperial council was forced to end amid chaos.
First there was the Holy Capital's disappearance, followed by the Holy Lord's oracle to erase the world.
One could hardly blame them for panicking.
"The Holy Lord's oracle just now has apparently reached all the shrines across the continent."
While traveling through a corridor to her room, Fianna spoke.
"In other words, every nation is in chaos too."
Fianna answered gravely to Claire's whispers. Having sent away her bodyguard knights, she only had Claire and the rest of Team Scarlet by her side.
"A one-side declaration to erase the world, who could accept that!?"
Ellis and Rinslet protested in anger.
Wearing a mask, Rubia remained silent.
"By the way, I didn't think they'd work this fast."
Opening the gate to the Otherworld, seizing the power of angels, recreating the world.
Was the Holy Lord's plan finally going to be implemented?
(She mentioned some kind of gate of termination. Where the heck is that gate...?)
—Just as Kamito was lost in deep thought...
Fianna suddenly halted in her steps.
"What's the matter, Fianna?"
"—A spirit sent by the Divine Ritual Institute."
Fianna pointed into the air.
Small dots of light were gathering there, forming a spirit in the shape of a three-legged bird.
"—Yatagarasu, huh? Among messenger spirits, it is considered the highest ranked."
Rubia instantly discerned its identity.
The black bird with three legs flapped its wings and landed on Fianna's left arm.
"Uh, who sent this?"
Just as Fianna wondered in puzzlement...
'It has been a while, Senpai.'
(Hmm, where have I heard this voice before...)
Kamito found the voice a bit familiar.
Fianna widened her eyes slightly.
The voice belonged to Fire Queen Reicha Alminas.
She was junior to Fianna and Rubia. Before the Blade Dance tournament, this princess maiden had helped out Kamito.
With a serious expression, Fianna looked at the spirit on the left arm.
"—The Sacred Maiden's oracle, right?"
Hearing that, the Yatagarasu with Reicha's voice nodded. Sending a messenger spirit at this point in time could only be because of that incident.
"About the oracle just now, what is the Divine Ritual Institute's interpretation?"
"It is unmistakably the Holy Lord's oracle. However—"
Saying that, Reicha paused.
"The Divine Ritual Institute cannot accept such an oracle."
"I am relieved to hear that."
She had been worrying whether the Divine Ritual Institute would end up mired in disagreement over the oracle.
'Uh, there is one thing I must tell you, Senpai.'
"What is it?"
Hearing Reicha's nervous voice, everyone present paid extra attention.
Apart from the Holy Lord's oracle, did something else happen at the Divine Ritual Institute...?
'The Holy Capital of Alexandria has appeared on Ragna Ys.'
"What did you say!?"
Even Kamito could not help but shout after hearing the shocking report.
(The Holy Capital is at Ragna Ys...?)
Ragna Ys was the stage where the Blade Dance had been held.
For Team Scarlet, it was a place filled with special memories.
Of all places, who could have thought the Holy Capital would appear there—
"Wait a sec. Ragna Ys is quite large, you know. Where exactly is it?"
'Well—the location where the Holy Capital appeared is the shrine of the Five Great Elemental Lords.'
Kamito and the others stared at one another.
The shrine of the Five Great Elemental Lords.
It was a place where only victors of the Blade Dance were eligible to enter.
"...Why is it there?"
'No idea. It is hard to believe it is mere coincidence—'
The Yatagarasu conveying Reicha's voice shook its head.
—Naturally, it could not be coincidence.
"Is there anything happening on Ragna Ys?"
'No, not at the moment. But—'
After a pause, Reicha continued.
'I have an extremely bad feeling.'
—It was no mere feeling.
This was the instinct of a Queen, a supreme princess maiden of the continent.
"So the plan is to open the gate at the Holy Capital that is superimposed with the Elemental Lords' shrine, huh..."
Although it was unknown how the Holy Lord was going to open the gate to the Otherworld—
After a brief silence, Claire spoke.
"Let's go, to Astral Zero—"
"Alright." "Yes." "...I agree."
The trio of Fianna, Ellis and Rinslet nodded at the same time.
Once the Holy Lord opened the gate, whether the human realm or Astral Zero, both would probably disappear as a result.
If not that, the army of angels would surely crush everything.
...No matter which outcome, neither was acceptable.
Even if this was a flawed world that had erred—
(...This is the world where we live in.)