Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume20 Chapter5
Chapter 5 - Chaotic Aerial Battle
Carrying Kamito and Ellis, the flying demon wind spirit let loose a howl that tore through the air.
The thunderous sound turned into a supersonic blade, slashing at the Holy Kingdom's militarized spirits.
Flying through the air while scattering particles of light, Simorgh's gallant form looked like a legendary-class spirit.
"So this is Simorgh's true power!?"
Sitting on the back of the giant sacred bird, Kamito could not help but exclaim.
He knew Ellis' Ray Hawk was a powerful elemental waffe, but he never imagined the spirit form to exhibit such strength too—
"Simorgh, it looks like you can finally bring out your true strength."
With her blue ponytail fluttering in the wind, Ellis stroked Simorgh's strong and thick neck.
Simorgh happily crowed and accelerated with a flap of his wings.
Naturally, the dramatic increase in power of the contracted spirit was inseparable from her own talent.
Ellis was exuding astounding divine power from all over her body.
"Ellis, let's charge in all at once."
Hearing the scream from behind, Kamito and Ellis looked back at the same time.
"...What is she doing?"
Ellis murmured with puzzlement.
Clad in crimson armor, Einherjar, Claire was spinning randomly around the Revenant, leaving a trail of fire behind her.
"Looks like she hasn't gotten used to using her elemental waffe's second release."
"...I see. After all, flying in the air is difficult for someone without an affinity for the wind element."
"Oh well, she will get used to it soon enough. She is a genius after all."
"Yes, that's true."
Kamito decided to ignore the out-of-control Claire for now.
After all, with Leonora present, they should be okay.
"—Let us go, Kamito. Hold on tight."
Facing forward, Ellis spoke sternly.
The elite troops of the Sacred Spirit Knights, in formation in front of the Holy Capital, initiated a charge.
The spirit knights were wearing shining silver-white armor.
They were riding winged military horses—Pegasus, the militarized spirit for aerial combat.
These were second-generation militarized spirits also used by the Ordesia Empire's Airborne Knights.
Although these military horses were not as durable as dragon spirits, their speed made them quite difficult to deal with.
However, there was no hesitation in Ellis' eyes as she controlled Simorgh.
After all, she was now riding the fastest wind spirit in Astral Zero.
"—O legendary demon bird that devours the wind, hunt mine enemy!"
A cyclone was generated. With Ellis pouring divine power into him, Simorgh flapped his wings and swiftly soared, charging straight for the Sacred Spirit Knights' ranks.
The instant they crossed, Simorgh's sharp claws tore apart the winged horses' wings.
The Sacred Spirit Knights' formation was disrupted. Even though the captain issued orders to attack, Simorgh had already disappeared from view.
A sacred knight called out.
Like a blade of wind, Simorgh tore through the clouds and charged at the knights again.
"Kamito, do not fall off!"
Holding onto Kamito's arm, Ellis pushed him to lean further forward for a lower stance.
Her blue hair, which seemed to meld with the sky, was fluttering wildly in the wind.
The Sacred Spirit Knights readied their elemental waffen spears to intercept the charge.
Erecting a formation of spears, they chanted spirit magic.
This was multiple invocation of the supreme holy spell—Last Judgment.
(...! Spell superposition is the Sacred Spirit Knights' specialty.)
Kamito immediately made the call and grabbed Ellis by the sleeve.
In that instant, the sacred knights raised their spears to release blinding brightness, shooting countless blades of light.
Simorgh instantly swerved hard to turn around.
Faced with a rain of light blades, Simorgh weaved through them to evade.
The flashes of light brushed past his wings, causing white feathers to scatter in the air.
"—! The second wave is coming."
Looking down below, Ellis said.
"Leave it to me—"
With one arm securely holding onto Ellis' waist, Kamito used his other hand to draw out the Vorpal Sword.
From the jet-black blade that no light reflected from, Kamito poured in divine power of darkness to produce dim light.
"Let's go, Restia—"
Responding to Kamito's voice, the blade erupted with violent black lightning.
"O demon lightning of annihilation, pierce mine enemy—Vorpal Blast!"
With a flash of black light, jet-black lightning raced through the air, striking the Sacred Spirit Knights who had their spears raised.
A direct hit from the black lightning attack caused several Pegasus spirits to vanish into particles of light, leaving their sacred knight riders to fall. Losing control, the activation of Last Judgment failed.
"Ellis, let's charge again before they regroup their formation!"
The instant Ellis nodded...
A shadow suddenly descended from overhead. Kamito looked up.
"—I found you!"
Emerging from between the clouds was a paladin wielding a silver-white holy sword.
Instead of a Pegasus, she was riding a Griffin, a flying militarized spirit from an older era.
"—Fight me, Ren Ashbell!"
Riding her Griffin, Paladin Luminaris charged downwards at Kamito.
"W-Wait, Scarlet, I can't fly!"
'Calm down, Master... Meow!'
Weaving through the curtain of projectiles fired by the Revanant, Claire was flying haphazardly.
Intense flames were pouring out in the form of wings.
The flames traced out a curve in the air. Just when Claire thought she would stop at last, she accelerated all at once, almost getting shot by Velsaria's full barrage by accident.
The elemental waffe Einherjar's immense power was making her spin in circles.
"Stop, Scarlet! Or else you'll get nothing but dried fish for dinner!"
Although Claire shook her twintails and shouted loudly, the out-of-control flames did not stop.
With an unbalanced posture, she rushed out all at once—
Just as she flew past a sacred knight, she knocked the knight off her Pegasus.
She felt the impact. However, protected by Einherjar, Claire was completely unharmed.
'...Uh, Master, we are surrounded.'
Surprised, Claire looked around her, only to see the Holy Kingdom's knights had encircled her.
Claire instantly readied Flametongue.
However, it was too late. The sacred knights all chanted spirit magic of light at the same time.
'Master, deploy Fire Wall—'
"...! No, there's no time!"
Claire tried firing her back thrusters to evade. However, her elemental waffe did not respond.
Just as the countless spears of light were going to pierce Claire—
In that very instant...
"O freezing fangs of ice, pierce—Freezing Arrow!"
Shining arrows of ice poured down from the clouds, shooting down the spears of light all at once.
Shattered fragments of transparent ice danced in the air like diamond dust.
Surprised, Claire looked behind her.
Rinslet was standing there gallantly with her bow drawn and arrow notched, on the deck of the flying ship.
"No way, I can't believe she shot down everything, from that far away—"
"Hmph, this is my second release—Hróðvitnir!"
Rinslet's platinum blonde hair fluttered in the wind.
Held in her hand, her longbow was glittering like blue ice.
The length of the bow even surpassed her height, allowing her to notch as many as five arrows simultaneously.
"Demon ice spirit Fenrir, demonstrate your power!"
At Rinslet's command, the longbow curved greatly.
With the release of her fingers, the ice projectiles unleashed from the bowstring poured down like a rainstorm.
The rain of arrows accurately pierced the wings of the militarized spirits. Losing their mounts the sacred knights screamed and fell.
Seizing this opportunity, Claire fired her back thrusters and increased her altitude in one go to escape encirclement.
Although Rinslet probably could not hear her, Claire still expressed her gratitude.
On the deck, Rinslet tossed her hair.
—Claire Rouge, my rival, is this the best you can do?
Her lips seemed to be saying that.
"...! I can't lose to her."
Claire bit her lip. Tranquil flames rose up in her ruby-like eyes.
She closed her eyes and focused quietly.
She poured divine power into Flametongue in her hand.
She poured in the Demon King's power that she had received from Kamito.
Instead of trying to control the blazing flame in her heart, she imagined herself as fire itself.
'Master, incoming attack—'
Scarlet's voice sounded in her mind.
Hearing that, Claire immediately opened her eyes and swung Flametongue.
"All of you, turn into charcoal!"
A crimson slash swept across the sky—
The incoming spears of light, as well as the sacred knights behind them, every last one was struck down.
"—Fight me, Ren Ashbell!"
A body of a lion and the wings of an eagle.
Luminaris' mount, the Griffin, launched a surprise attack from overhead.
"...! An ambush!?"
Ellis widened her eyes in surprise.
Simorgh twisted his massive body, trying to evade the attack.
However, Luminaris swung her holy sword, leaving a deep wound on the demon wind spirit's wing.
Feathers of pure white scattered in the air like petals.
Ellis cried out.
Losing balance due to the wounded wing, Simorgh circled while gliding through the air.
The pressure of gravity increased all at once, almost causing Kamito to fall off.
"...! O wind!"
Ellis chanted wind magic to produce a small rising air current, lifting one wing.
"Ellis right above!"
The shadow of a gigantic magic beast appeared silently overhead.
(...She's catching up to Ellis' Simorgh!?)
Sacrificing stability as a trade-off, Luminaris' mount—an older generation militarized spirit, the Griffin—was somewhat faster than the Pegasus. Be that as it may, this speed was too—
(Nothing less expected from the Holy Kingdom's strongest knight, huh?)
It was combat instinct built upon abundant battle experience.
Predicting what Ellis would do after evading the initial attacks, Luminaris had circled around in advance.
"—O Wind, sweep away mine enemies, Wind Bombs!"
Ellis immediately released spirit magic to intercept Luminaris.
However, Luminaris used her holy sword to slice apart the howling gale.
Murgleis glowed with brilliant holy light.
Kamito blocked the potent sword strike.
However, even though he blocked the sword, it was not enough to dissipate the force.
Kamito was not sitting very securely to begin with, and ended up blown away into the air by the impact.
Ellis stretched out her hand but could not reach him.
After leaving the effective range of the wind barrier, he instantly fell with gravity's pull.
(...! I'll fall to my death at this rate... I have to take a gamble!)
Whiling falling, Kamito closed his eyes and concentrated, circulating divine power of darkness throughout his body.
It was possible in theory, but he had never actually tried it.
However, Kamito as he was right now was confident.
Opening all the circulating channels in his body, he released refined divine power in one go.
In that instant, Kamito's body emitted black light and suddenly stopped in midair.
"Ha, only after trying do I realize it's easier than I imagined."
Remaining suspended in midair, Kamito muttered.
Ellis and Luminaris both exclaimed in surprise.
"Impossible. To hover in midair simply by releasing divine power without relying on the power of spirits—!?"
"There is nothing to be surprised about. It's just a physical technique that uses divine power."
Among the assassination techniques learned by Kamito at the Instructional School, there was a move named Water Lily that enabled unfettered movement in water. This counted as a versatile application of it.
Of course, though it was easy for Kamito to say, hovering in the air through the release of divine power was an act requiring high levels of concentration and precise control, and impossible to execute without vast amounts of divine power.
No elementalist could achieve it apart from Kamito who possessed all the necessary requirements.
"Although I still need to put in some work to get used to it, there happens to be some to practice with—"
Readying his black and white swords in a stance, he boasted arrogantly.
"...! Damn you—!"
Luminaris intensified her blood lust.
"Ellis, it looks like she wants a duel with me. Leave this to me."
"Are you going to be okay?"
"Yeah, I'm entrusting the ship to you."
After a moment's hesitation...
Ellis disappeared into the clouds, riding Simorgh.
Her firm trust in Kamito was very evident.
She strongly believed that Kamito would not lose—
Luminaris did not even glance at Ellis as she left the battlefield.
She only had eyes for Kamito—Ren Ashbell, the Strongest Blade Dancer she had crossed swords with three years ago.
From intensity of her gaze, Kamito could feel her determination.
"Sorry, there's not a lot of time. Bring it on, Luminaris."
"Here I come, Ren Ashbell!"
The holy light emitted by the elemental waffe Murgleis turned the sky white.
"Oh dear, my disciple is becoming less and less human."
On the deck of the Revenant, Greyworth smiled wryly.
She was watching Kamito and Luminaris performing an airborne blade dance. Even back in her prime, Greyworth most likely would not have been able to move in the air like Kamito by releasing divine power.
"...! The ship's barrier has been breached!"
Queen Reicha's voice resounded across the deck. Riding military steeds, the sacred knights used their elemental waffen to slice open the barrier, storming into the ship one after another.
Muttering, Greyworth calmly drew out her demon sword, Vlad Dracul.
The bloodstained demon sword glowed ominously.
"Our opponent is the Dusk Witch. Attack, all three of us!"
"Hmph, I'm being underestimated."
The flash of a crimson slash. The sacred knights attacking from three different directions, together with their militarized spirit mounts, were instantly chopped down.
Absolute Blade Arts, Third Form—Shadowmoon Waltz, Asura.
—This was an anti-personnel Absolute Blade Art designed for one-to-many combat.
Greyworth looked down at the unconscious sacred knights.
"I held back too."
She sighed, murmuring to herself.
The Dusk Witch had slain many elementalists during the two Ranbal Wars in the past.
Back then, she would not have offered any mercy to enemies attacking with the intent to kill.
Just as she withdrew her demon sword, she felt a bone-splitting pain in her wrist.
"Sure enough, this body can't execute the Absolute Blade Arts fully, huh?"
Greyworth spoke in self-mockery.
On the eve of the Blade Dance tournament's final round, when she had passed on the ultimate technique, Last Strike, to Kamito, her body had been injured to the point of practically losing all combat ability.
"...! Charge, chop off the witch's head!"
Another two sacred knights breached the barrier and charged at Greyworth.
They showed no fear even when facing the Dusk Witch.
They were not afraid of sacrificing themselves for the Holy Lord.
She whispered, pouring divine power into the demon sword gripped tightly in her hand.
With the sound of thunder akin to a giant dragon's roar, a flash of lightning pierced the sacred knights.
Greyworth frowned and looked up.
"Am I interfering unnecessarily, Dame Greyworth?"
A giant shadow appeared on the deck, accompanied by a strong gust of wind.
It was Leonora Lancaster, riding her jet-black dragon spirit, Nidhogg.
"The dragon lass, huh..."
Greyworth looked surprised.
She was supposed to be responsible for the enemies on the starboard side—
"Enemies on starboard are all annihilated."
Hearing Leonora's swift response. even Greyworth could not help but raise an eyebrow.
The Sacred Spirit Knights were undoubtedly the Holy Kingdom's strongest elite troops.
(And yet singlehandedly, she—)
Leonora's eyes had turned blood-red.
She had activated Dragon Blood, the ability native to dragon elementalists.
"You have improved much, compared to that time, dragon lass."
"Yes, I am much stronger."
Leonora acknowledged it simply.
Previously, the two of them had fought at the Dragon's Canyon in Dracunia.
Although her memories from that time remained unclear, Greyworth remember severely injuring Leonora with one strike of the sword when she tried to defend the Dragon King.
(According to rumors, contractors of dragon spirits would become stronger every time they recovered from near-death—)
But Greyworth never expected that the divine power she was sensing from Leonora would be powerful enough to make the air shake.
"I hope for a chance to have a rematch with you, Dame Greyworth."
"I am ready any time, dragon lass—"
Greyworth stabbed her demon sword into the floor and smiled fearlessly.
"But my disciple is who you really want to fight, right?"
Leonora shrugged and looked out into the distant sky.
Her gaze was directed at Kamito, shrouded in the divine power of darkness, currently in an intense aerial blade dance, fighting Paladin Luminaris who was riding a militarized spirit.
Luminaris Saint Leisched.
The runner up at the Blade Dance three years ago, the Holy Kingdom's strongest elementalist.
Reflected in her ice-blue eyes was the image of Ren Ashbell, superimposed upon Kamito.
Luminaris' mount, the Griffin, dashed downwards all at once.
The elemental waffe Murgleis glowed with blinding light.
Confronted with a heavy sword attack from above, Kamito blocked using the Demon Slayer.
A clash of blades. Metallic noise echoed.
The impact spread throughout the atmosphere, sweeping away the surrounding clouds.
While releasing divine power to maintain his state of flight, Kamito counterattacked in the meantime.
However, the Vorpal Sword, shrouded in dark light, was deflected by her holy sword.
(...She's very strong.)
Kamito admitted in his heart.
Luminaris was using the very pinnacle of knightly swordsmanship. Her performance at the Blade Dance was below par probably because she prioritized executing the Holy Kingdom's mission.
This swordsmanship was Luminaris going all out.
Her true ability, what Ren Ashbell had experienced three years ago.
Of course, compared to three years ago, her swordsmanship had improved substantially.
Most likely, she must have gone through grueling training, for the sake of a rematch against Ren Ashbell on the Blade Dance stage. A single round of combat was enough for Kamito to understand this.
"You have improved, Luminaris."
"Cut the small talk!"
With an angry roar, Luminaris swung her holy sword down.
The brilliant holy light sliced through the divine power of darkness on Kamito's body.
Murgleis was a holy sword with ultimate anti-darkness properties, capable of neutralizing Restia's darkness magic.
While parrying the slash, Kamito released divine power and pulled back to create some distance.
Fighting while releasing divine power in the air was like performing acrobatics.
The divine power that ought to be fully concentrated in the elemental waffen was diverted.
The Griffin spread its wings and roared threateningly.
Faced with the incoming sword strike, Kamito blocked with a sword again.
Sparks flew intensely as the blades clashed.
"Luminaris, the Holy Lord intends to destroy the world, you know?"
Unlike the Sacred Knights following the Holy Lord with blind loyalty, her eyes shone with her own noble light.
"I know, this is me being stubborn—"
Luminaris poked fun at herself.
"Before this world disappears, I wish to leave behind proof that I have lived, as a knight. Namely, a blade dance with you, Ren Ashbell!"
The holy sword in Luminaris' hand glowed with stronger brightness.
(...An elemental waffe's second release!?)
"Crush and pulverize, O light of Carbuncle—Sante Luminus!"
Luminaris attacked with all her might.
Kamito could have evaded, but he chose to take on the sword.
It was a righteous and regal sword.
The clear and pure light was blinding.
"—So this is your sword, Luminaris."
—Her determination. Her pride as a knight. Kamito could feel all of it.
He responded based on what he had felt.
"Absolute Blade Arts, Seventh Form—Biting Dragon!"
The attack flashed, like the ascension of a flying dragon through the sky.
It was an anti-air Absolute Blade Art.
Originally, it was not meant to be executed while one was in midair.
However, Kamito had forcibly performed it, fully releasing the divine power of darkness.
His sacred sword's blade—
Severed Murgleis and penetrated her silver-white armor.
Luminaris smiled faintly.
The final Absolute Blade Art, it was his farewell of sorts.
Luminaris fell towards the Holy Capital.
But given her abilities, she should be fine.
Kamito threw a glance in that direction. Just then...
Instantly, he sensed an astounding power in the center of the Holy Capital, rapidly expanding.
"...! Est! Restia!"
—At the center of Alexandria the Holy Capital...
A flash of light shot out from a pure white tower, severing clouds, tearing the sky apart.
Kamito's figure was swallowed in the sword of light.
On the deck with her elemental waffe deployed, Fianna screamed.
It was the same light from the sacred sword that had shattered the land of Ragna Ys.
The scene was replayed in her mind.
Her emotional turmoil caused cracks in the barrier surrounding the flying ship.
(...No, I must pull myself together!)
He will surely be fine.
Fianna encouraged herself and focused her attention on maintaining Save the Queen.
"Senpai, we are about to make contact with the Holy Capital's barrier! Five, four, three—"
Reicha raised her voice.
The Holy Capital's city gate loomed near.
The Revenant's battering ram struck the transparent barrier covering the Holy Capital, producing sparks.
"Then we will ram it just like that! Raise the barrier to the maximum!"
" " " "Yes!" " " "
The four Queens replied simultaneousluy.
Mocked as the Lost Queen in the past, she was now directing the Queens in battle.
Back in the days when she locked herself away in the castle and refused to come out, she never would have imagined the arrival of such a day.
It was Ren Ashbell's blade dance that had changed her.
It was him who had given her the strength to pull herself together.
She was worried about Kamito, but now was not the time to be distracted.
(Kamito-kun did entrust matters over here to me!)
Sparks flew. The Revenant's hull was being deflected by the barrier.
"...! As expected of the Holy Capital's barrier. It is no pushover—"
"Fianna-senpai, the flying ship's output has dropped!"
Reicha cried out.
The barrier was interfering with the drive reactor's spirit crystals.
Velsaria, in charge for controlling the military ship, was presumably taking on a lot of physical strain too.
(...! I have to take a gamble.)
Fianna drew out her elemental waffe rapier that was stabbed in the floor.
She pointed the tip at the Holy Capital's wall.
Seeing Fianna walking towards the ship's bow, Reicha tried to stop her.
"Do not worry. Reicha, you and the others keep maintaining the barrier—"
However, Fianna remained unfazed and walked over there.
"—Knight spirit Georgios of the royal house, demonstrate your true power!"
The rapier exploded with the light of divine power.
Elemental waffe second release—Crimson Glory.
The protective power of Save the Queen was concentrated on the rapier's tip as the light of destruction.
Released, the holy light pierced the barrier, tearing a huge opening in it.
—However, the barrier did not disappear.
At this rate, it would probably recover soon.
Fianna took out two small jewel fragments from her bosom.
Spirit crystals as red as blood.
(I wanted to use these as ultimate weapons on the Holy Lord himself—)
Blood Stones were top-level spirit crystals that only came from the sacred sanctuary of Astral Zero.
When setting off from the imperial capital, she had secretly taken these ultimate treasures of the Ordesia imperial family.
The last time she released this spirit, it almost destroyed the Gado mine.
"—Protect the ship, everybody!"
"—Thou art the sword of punishment that buries darkness, holy lord of destruction, Magna Carta!"
Aiming at the breach in the barrier, she unleashed the power of the Blood Stone.
The released power of holiness and purity broke the Holy Capital's barrier.
"The barrier has vanished. Charge!"
The Revenant's battering ram smashed through the city wall and entered the capital.
Having exhausted her divine power and collapsed on the floor, Fianna looked up at the sky.
The gigantic sword of light, enough to pierce the sky, swung straight down.
It was the blade of Terminus Est, the ultimate spirit weapon.
The torrent of blinding light swallowed Kamito's bosdy.
Kamito released all of his divine power of darkness to take on the sword of light.
"Est, can you hold!?"
His view turned pure white. In the vicious torrent, Kamito cried out.
'—Yes... Kami... to—'
Est's voice replied in his mind, almost inaudible due to interference from the surrounding noise.
From the blade of the Demon Slayer came the sound of cracks.
Est alone won't hold.
Kamito made a split-second decision and pressed the demon sword of darkness against the sacred sword's blade.
The sword spirit of steel and the darkness spirit. The two crossed swords pushed back the torrent of light.
The erupting holy light tore apart the divine power of darkness on Kamito's body.
He felt the intense pain of scorched skin all over his body. It was unbearable.
However, Kamito could not take even a single step back. If he failed to block, the descending sword of light would probably split the Revenant into two.
'Kamito, wear this—'
Restia summoned a piece of black fabric out from thin air.
Shaped like the dark night, the black garment draped over Kamito's body like an overcoat.
It was the Robe of the Lord, inherited from Solomon himself at the Demon King City. This legendary artifact, possessing top-level magic resistance, emitted dark light that protected Kamito.
(...Restia, you saved me—!)
Clad in the black garment, Kamito entered an Absolute Blade Arts stance in midair.
He focused divine power on both swords, swinging the crossed swords in one go.
"Absolute Blade Arts, Alternate Form—Shadow Mirror Dead Water!"
It was a counterattack sword skill derived from the Last Strike, the ultimate mystic technique.
The flash of the blade was like a mirror, reflecting power back—!
The sound of glass shattering resounded all around,
The sword of light cracked, turning into countless shooting stars pouring down on the forest in the land below.
The sound of explosions kept happening. Massive pillars of fire rose from the forest.
"...! What amazing destructive power...!"
Panting, Kamito groaned.
Turned into a tattered rag, the Robe of the Lord completely vanished into the wind.
This was the power of the legendary spirit weapon, Terminus Est.
Staring at the Holy Lord Palace at the center of the Holy Capital—
Kamito fell just like that.
Having released all of his divine power in one go, he had lost the power to remain in midair.
The instant he fell, someone grabbed his arm.
He looked up, only to see Ellis riding Simorgh.
"Ellis... Sorry, looks like you saved my life—"
"...Yes, I am glad you are fine."
Pulled up by Ellis, Kamito grabbed onto one of Simorgh's wings.
Flying next to them was Claire with her wings of fire.
"Fianna seems to have destroyed the barrier."
Looking down, they could see that the Revenant had broken the city wall and rammed into the city.
"We should head over there too."
Ellis nodded. Just then...
Thunderous rumbling shook the whole surroundings.
"...! What is that!?"