Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume20 Chapter7
Chapter 7 - Two Sacred Swords
Listening to the rumbling wind behind him, Kamito dashed towards the Holy Lord Palace.
His entire body was hurting intensely from the injuries sustained when breaking through the wind barrier. Without Est's protection of steel, he probably would have been carved into pieces by the wind blades.
(...I need to hurry—)
The Otherworldly void in the sky above the Holy Lord Palace was slowly expanding.
Despite his worries, Kamito did not look back.
The girls trusted in Kamito.
Hence, Kamito must trust them too and continue forward.
He kicked the ground hard, exploding the divine power gathered at the soles of his feet. While crushing stone tiles underfoot, Kamito kept sprinting towards the Holy Lord Palace.
Sensing massive divine power, guardian spirits appeared one after another to block his path.
"Get out of my way!"
However, Kamito cut down each and every one of them with a single blow without getting slowed down at all.
Every time Kamito swung his two swords, spirits turned into particles of light and vanished.
After taking care of dozens of guardian spirits—
Kamito arrived at the bottom of a tower of pure white, towering over a vast courtyard.
The Holy Lord Palace.
This was the great shrine built for worshiping Holy Lord Alexandros.
The final enemy was on this tower.
(...No elementalists guarding this tower, huh?)
Kamito searched the surroundings for presences, but could not find any tracde of the Sacred Knights.
There did not seem to be any militarized spirits deployed in the area either.
Going closer to take a look, he still could not find anything like an entrance.
In front of him was just a smooth polished wall of white.
Kamito swung the Demon Slayer.
Sliced open by the sword, the wall collapsed with a loud crash.
Stepping inside, Kamito instantly had a strange feeling.
Sound vanished. The howling storm sounded very far away now. Even battle noises from Greyworth's group and the Earth Elemental Lord could no longer be heard—
It felt as though the entire space was isolated.
He looked back, only to see that the white wall had been restored without any signs of destruction.
"...What? Did I get teleported?"
Kamito checked out his surroundings with suspicion—
In front of him was a familiar-looking corridor.
'—Due to Astral Shift's influence, it looks like the Holy Lord Palace's interior space has overlapped with the Elemental Lords' shrine.'
His left hand's spirit seal glowed. He heard Restia's voice.
Muttering, Kamito walked towards the corridor.
On two separate occasions, Kamito had walked through the corridor leading to the Elemental Lords' shrine.
The first time was with Restia.
The second time was with his Team Scarlet companions—
After walking along the corridor for some time, that strange feeling surrounded his body again.
Appearing before his eyes was a grand set of stairs.
—Stairs leading to the thrones of the Elemental Lords.
Last time, that was where he had personally stabbed Restia.
Kamito readied his two swords and stepped on the stairs.
Looking up, he could see three pillars of light reaching to the top of the sky.
After getting on the stairs—
What appeared before his eyes was not the shrine of the Elemental Lords but a wide open hall made of stone.
It was even bigger than the circular training ground at the Academy.
There was no roof over the great hall, only the void crack pierced by pillars of light. At the base of the light pillars, he could see the thrones of the Elemental Lords corrupted by the Otherworldly Darkness.
And at the center of the five thrones, on the throne that used to be empty—
"—Perfect timing, Ren Ashdoll's successor. Welcome."
The Sacred Maiden wielding the sacred sword—Areishia, i.e. Alexandros—smiled.
"—Holy Lord Alexandros."
With the sound of footsteps, Kamito advanced through the great hall.
Keeping his two swords ready in a stance, he faced off against the Holy Lord who was wearing the Sacred Maiden's appearance.
Shiny blonde hair. Ancient armor glistening with silver-white luster.
Held in her hand was a sacred sword in the same style as Est. The only difference was that her sacred sword was double-edged, while Kamito's Demon Slayer had a single-edged blade.
Previously, Kamito had seen Sacred Maiden Areishia's sword in Est's dreams.
Spirit Weapon—Terminus Est.
(So that's Est's main body, huh...)
Kamito gripped the Demon Slayer in his hand.
The ultimate sword spirit whom the Five Great Elemental Lords used to fear.
Simply facing off was enough to make Kamito feel an oppressive presence that made his hair stand on end.
To resist, Kamito released divine power of darkness.
Oh? Seeing this, Alexandros seemed quite amused.
"Is this power of darkness inherited from her?"
"Frankly speaking, I am surprised. I expected you to be devoured by her darkness—"
Alexandros got up from the throne and looked down at Kamito.
"Even with the Otherworldly Darkness corrupting her, Ren Ashdoll managed to pass along her last hope. Her wish was that eventually someone inheriting her power would appear from among the human race."
"So that is you, huh? Demon King—Ren Ashbell."
"Yes. I am the assassin's blade, here to kill you."
"I see. So that is her will."
Facing the shrugging Holy Lord, Kamito shook his head and spoke.
"She simply entrusted her power to me. I am seeking to destroy you out of my own will. You should not exist in this world."
Kamito pointed the brightly glowing Demon Slayer at the Holy Lord.
"—Ah, well said. From this world's perspective, I am indeed the enemy."
The Holy Lord smiled. There was not the slightest malice in that pure smile.
The Sacred Maiden looked up at the crack to the Otherworld, penetrating the sky and reached out lightly.
"—Consequently, I must become the world itself."
She spoke with anticipation.
"So that's why you're going to absorb the power of the Angels from the Otherworld, to refashion this world according to the image in your mind?"
The Holy Lord denied Kamito's accusation.
"What I want is not merely the power of Angels, but something behind the Gate."
"...Something behind the gate, you say?"
So Angels were not the only things behind the Gate to the Otherworld?
"Indeed. So-called Angels are nothing more than beings guarding a certain something. In that case, when you saw those countless Angels while you were devoured by the Otherworldly Darkness, what exactly were they guarding?"
Kamito gasped in surprise. Cold sweat dripped down his forehead.
—So-called Angels, were as implied by their name, messengers of heaven.
In that case, who was the one who had sent those Angels?
"Behind that Gate is the origin that had created us Elemental Lords as well as this Astral Zero. The origin of all power, all existence. In other words—"
The Holy Lord giggled with a young maiden's face.
"—An omnipotent being. One you could call God."
Just an empty concept, something that did not exist in this Astral Zero.
The origin of everything, an omnipotent being.
(No way, can something like that...)
Kamito looked up at the Gate to the Otherworld, swirling in the sky.
Rather than taking the authority of Angels to recreate the world, the Holy Lord wanted to merge with what the Angels were protecting, the origin of the world.
—Wanted to become God himself.
"...! Is that even possible?"
Kamito stared unerringly at the Holy Lord, demanding an answer.
"Yes, I—no, we—set the plan in motion for this very purpose."
Hearing the Holy Lord use that self-reference, Kamito instantly felt there was something odd.
Was he referring to Holy Lord Alexandros together with Sacred Maiden Areishia who had become his vessel? Or perhaps—
"...Who exactly are you?"
—Why did the Holy Lord know about what existed behind that Gate?
Suppose Kamito's hunch was correct, then—
"Yes, it is as you think."
The Holy Lord shrugged and nodded.
"I am both the Holy Lord and the Sacred Maiden—and simultaneously, an Angel of the Otherworld."
—I knew it, Kamito muttered in his thoughts.
"Just as you know, Angels once descended six thousand years ago, attempting to retrieve the Darkness stolen by the Elemental Lords. It was a war between the Angels and Astral Zero. The Elemental Lords deployed numerous spirit weapons to fight the army of Angels. Naturally, I was no exception."
The Holy Lord smiled.
"During that war, I began to think. I wanted to eat that."
"...! W-What are you saying...?"
Kamito was speechless.
"I secretly captured an Angel to study. It was then that I found out. That Angel was the Light element with its form altered—"
"Angels, the light element..."
"Indeed. I was delighted. Just as Ren Ashdoll desired Darkness of the origin, I hungered for the Light of that world's. Using our mutual affinity for the light element, I absorbed the captured Angel into myself. And then—"
Saying that, the Holy Lord laughed.
"Merged with an Angel, the Light Elemental Lord was assimilated by True Light to become the Holy Lord. Did you know? I did not start out as the Holy Lord. Instead, I used to be known as the Lord of Light."
Lord of Light—Alexandros.
The being opposite to the Darkness Elemental Lord.
"...I see. So that's what happened."
—Everything finally made sense.
Merging with an Angel was equivalent to merging with Otherworldly Light.
Precisely because he had already been assimilated by the Light, the Holy Lord alone did not get corrupted by the Otherworldly Darkness like the other Elemental Lords.
Also, there was the scene seen in the dream of Greyworth, who had contracted with the Holy Lord.
The scene of the giant of light devouring an Angel—
It was actually something that had happened for real.
The result of an Angel merging with a spirit. That reminded him of a certain spirit.
"The same nature as Millennia Sanctus, huh?"
—Yes, that cardinal. The spirit born from fragments of Terminus Est. In her eye resided Otherworldly Darkness, which finally turned into a Gate to summon Angels.
"Indeed, she was the experiment created in this manner. Although the results were less than ideal, she and Lurie both performed to the limit of their capabilities. Their sacrifices were not in vain."
"Sacred Maiden, Angel, Lord of Light. Within me are three consciousnesses mixed together. I have even forgotten what exactly is the nature of my existence. All that is left is a desire to merge with that origin, nothing more. To this end, I have waited a thousand years in full."
The Holy Lord's eyes were filled with mad desire for the origin.
—To overturn the world and begin anew, to become the world itself.
"—You can think whatever you want."
Kamito readied his two swords and spoke.
"But we're the ones living in this world. Even if you guys were the creators of this world, you have no right to take it away from us."
"Yes, you have the right to resist. Just as in the past, the Elemental Lords rose in rebellion against that world that had created us."
The sacred sword in the Holy Lord's hand glowed.
That excessively blinding light filled the entire hall.
"—Unlike the incomplete specimen that you hold, this is the light of the true Terminus Est."
The torrent of light instantly erased the divine power of darkness on Kamito's body.
However, Kamito glared intently at the Holy Lord, holding his ground.
He had no intention of being ignored.
"—How dare you call her incomplete?"
Kamito poured divine power into the Demon Slayer.
It was at that temple in the Academy's surroundings that he had contracted with Est.
That contract was admittedly incomplete.
Its power was only a tenth or so of the original.
However, that was what had allowed him to fight throughout the whole Blade Dance, winning to the end.
The sacred sword that had grown together with Kamito, overcoming countless trials and tribulations.
"My Est is the strongest sword spirit. Right, Est?"
Est's voice sounded in his mind.
My Terminus Est will not lose against the Sacred Maiden's sacred sword.
"—Come, Holy Lord Alexandros. Let me show you my blade dance."
The Demon Slayer neutralized the light of Terminus Est.
—And so, the blade dance between the Demon King and the Sacred Maiden began.
The Earth Elemental Lord's roar caused the surrounding air to shake.
Covered with trees, the gigantic arm swung down, crashing upon the urban terrain beneath.
Greyworth and Leonora both jumped at the same time.
Next, a shockwave cracked open the ground.
Accompanied by a great noise, a blast blew a huge amount of debris towards the horizon, spreading radially.
Dug up, the ground turned into a tidal wave, swallowing the city's buildings in its path.
"—O spirit Juggernaut, turn thyself into a secure fortress!"
Velsaria extended both arms.
Countless fortification walls appeared out of thin air to block the giant wave of debris.
A great cloud of dust blew up from the stone-tiled ground, pouring down on Velsaria's head.
While maintaining a great quantity of fortification walls, she glanced behind her.
Seeing the Queens' receding forms as they ran away from the battlefield, she breathed a slight sigh of relief.
...It looked like she had defended successfully.
(...That being said, what monstrous strength is this...)
With a terrified expression, Velsaria muttered to herself.
On the other side of the dust cloud, a giant's silhouette gradually appeared.
Centered on the Earth Elemental Lord, a bowl-shaped piece of the Holy Capital's urban area had been destroyed.
"...! This much from just a destructive impact..."
An elemental waffe with mediocre defensive power would definitely have failed to hold.
Just then, she heard a voice from nearby.
Leonora was standing on a fortification wall.
"Can your Fortress block that?"
Saying that, Leonora pointed her great sword's tip at the giant.
That was referring to the Elemental Lord's fist, presumably.
"I cannot promise anything. Even with Dreadnought's full power released, I expect it to block two hits at most."
"Is that so? In that case, having you continue to defend as our shield is out of the question."
"A protracted battle was never possible to begin with."
Holding a blood-colored demon sword, Greyworth appeared from a void that opened up from thin air.
"The Earth Elemental Lord is capable of absorbing the ground's power to become stronger. Suppose this avatar possesses the same ability, then the only solution is to use our full power and defeat it in one go—"
Just then, three blinding flashes exploded from the restless giant shadow.
"Heed my call, spirits Garuda, Gigas, Ladon!"
Three militarized spirits appeared at the Earth Elemental Lord's feet.
A bird-shaped spirit, a humanoid spirit wielding a club, and a giant coiled serpent spirit.
They were Muir Alenstarl's militarized spirits, each one capable of subjugating a stronghold singlehandedly, but they were abandoned due to the inability of ordinary elementalists to control them, thus relegated to become relics of a past age. However, Muir possessed the special ability Jester's Vise which could force spirits to go berserk, thus rendering that disadvantage completely irrelevant.
Muir's voice rang out.
At her orders, the giant bird spirit Garuda flapped its wings hard, scattering the dust cloud.
The serpent spirit Ladon used its body to entangle the Earth Elemental Lord's giant legs.
While Garuda attacked from the air, Gigas rammed the gigantic torso.
"Coordinate with Muir Alenstarl and defeat it in one go!"
Holding Vlad Dracul, Greyworth raced along the ground.
With a kick against the fortress wall underfoot, Leonora jumped into the air.
"Dracunia Style Blade Arts—Flying Dragon Fierce Slash!"
With a great roar, she swung her great sword from the air for a heavy blow against the Earth Elemental Lord's shoulder.
A full power attack executed while Dragon Blood was active, it ripped through the giant's shoulder.
The Earth Elemental Lord's gigantic body shook.
"Aha, Dragon-oneechan's monstrous strength is unbelievale!"
Seizing this opening, Muir Alenstarl silently rushed forward.
From the chest of her pitch-black assassin uniform, she took out a handful of spirit crystals and swiftly tossed them out.
A flash of light erupted, attacking the Earth Elemental Lord.
Five bolts of lightning exploded at the giant's feet at the same time.
This was Flare Balloon—a special militarized spirit for destroying strongholds.
They were fire-type militarized spirits that automatically tracked their targets to execute suicide bombing.
The Earth Elemental Lord roared. One could not be sure if it was out of pain or anger—
Boom! Boom boom boom boom!
Aimed at the roaring giant, artillery fire attacked.
This was Velsaria's Dreadnought firing all cannons at once.
Just then, a figure swiftly weaved through the continuous hail of projectiles.
Gray hair fluttered in the wind. The demon sword's blade left a crimson afterimage trail.
Greyworth Ciel Mais—The Dusk Witch bearing the title of the continent's strongest.
Releasing divine power, she jumped, rushing up along the Earth Elemental Lord's arm.
"Absolute Blade Arts, Destructive Form—Bursting Blossom Spiral Blade Dance, Sixteen Consecutive Strikes!"
Countless flashes of the sword ripped through the rock constituting the Earth Elemental Lord.
Facing against the Absolute Blade Arts move for annihilating archdemon-class spirits, no spirit could escape the fate of destruction.
With a roar that shook the ground, the Earth Elemental Lord stood up.
The trees covering his body repaired the broken rock layer within the blink of an eye.
The Earth Elemental Lord crushed Gigas underfoot and used both hands to rip off the head of Ladon, which was entangling his feet.
"...It can regenerate, huh? What a bother."
Greyworth whispered with annoyance.
With the Holy Capital suspended in midair, the divine power in the ground was not limitless, but still enough to sustain the Earth Elemental Lord's avatar to repair a certain level of damage.
"—No problem. We just have to destroy faster than it can regenerate."
Wielding the Dragon Slayer, Leonora smiled fearlessly.
"What, that's pretty simple."
Muir landed softly on the ground and said.
Greyworth laughed wryly in response.
"But that thing is really sturdy."
"It is the Earth Elemental Lord after all, even though it's just an avatar—"
Trees gradually covered the Earth Elemental Lord's upright gigantic body.
The surface, previously like a mountain of rock, had turned into a dense forest.
"So that's Lode Gear's original appearance, huh—"
Greyworth's forehead dripped with cold sweat.
She could sense the power of the ground that was accumulating in the Earth Elemental Lord's interior.
Just as she whispered, the forest shook.
A violent gale blew Claire's petite body, smashing her against the ground.
A strong impact. Without Einherjar's protection, her body probably would have been crushed.
Rinslet shot a Freezing Arrow to pin down the approaching Belphal.
However, the Lord of Wind swung her magic spear in the air, easily blowing away and scattering the ice projectiles. She landed softly on the ground and made a thrust at the panting Claire with her magic spear.
In the nick of time, Einherjar's wings deployed in response to Claire's voice.
A spurt of flame pushed Claire's body backwards.
Missing its target, the magic spear left a huge hole in the ground.
"...! Scarlet, thanks..."
Claire stood up and licked her parched lips.
Inside the roaring barrier of wind—
Team Scarlet had surrounded Belphal, facing off against her.
With a magic weapon of wind in her hand, the emerald-haired girl looked calmly at her four opponents.
Her sky-blue eyes showed terrifying blood lust.
With a low rumble, wind left faint scratches on the skin of Claire and her teammates.
"...What a monster, as expected."
Gripping Flametongue tightly, Claire said.
"Yes, to be honest, I really want to retreat."
Ellis groaned with a pained face.
Naturally, she understood that was out of the question.
The deployed wind barrier surrounded the entire plaza.
One would probably get ripped to pieces simply from touching it.
"...Our only choice is to go all out and take a gamble. Let's go."
Raising Ray Hawk, Ellis nodded.
At the back, Rinslet also readied her magic bow of ice. Deployed by Fianna, Save the Queen was providing the whole team with reinforced protection. This was Team Scarlet's standard formation for fighting powerful spirits. However—
(...I don't know if this will work against a high-level humanoid spirit.)
The Lord of Wind raised her magic spear.
"Spirit Weapon—magic spear Brionac, exhibit thy power!"
Rumble rumble rumble rumble rumble!
Violent wind was generated from the magic spear's tip, forming a gigantic tornado.
Counless streaks of blue-white lightning could be seen inside the tornado.
"Disappear, Ren Ashdoll's minions—"
"...! It's coming!"
Claire warned shrilly.
With electrified tornado swept up surrounding debris and went straight for them.
The wind barrier could be heard behind them. There was no way to retreat.
"—Stand down, everyone! I will block it."
Fianna swiftly swung down her elemental waffe rapier.
A holy light barrier immediately appeared, blocking in front of the tornado.
Luminous Wall. This was high-level holy magic strengthened by Save the Queen.
When the tornado made contact with the barrier of light, blue-white lightning instantly exploded.
"...! It's not going to be able to stop it!?"
"O wind, turn into a sturdy barrier—Wind Wall!"
On top of the barrier of light, Ellis added an extra layer, a wind barrier, to deflect the tornado.
"Foolish. I cannot believe you are trying to use wind of that level to block the wind of I—"
Belphal swung the magic spear Brionac.
Centered on the tornadao, another tornado appeared, erasing the magic barrier in an instant.
A storm of violent wind and lightning rampaged.
The four girls were swept into the sky, torn by wind blades, then thrown hard to the ground.
The violent impact caused Ellis to cough blood.
Rumbling wind was incessant. Fianna's barrier was probably erased too.
"...! Your Highness!"
Picking up Ray Hawk, Ellis tried to reach Fianna's side.
But right in front of her, the emerald-haired girl appeared.
Belphal coldly stared at Ellis and swung the magic spear.
The Sylphid Knight pauldron was shattered. Ellis felt a sharp pain in her right shoulder.
Had she reacted any slower, the spear tip probably would have pierced her chest.
Blood flowed like a spring. Ellis fell on the ground and rolled.
Standing up, Claire swung Flametongue.
Confronted with a crimson slash that flew everywhere, the Lord of Wind nonchalantly dodged.
"Oh? A spirit weapon, a survivor of the Scarlet Valkyries, huh...?"
"Scarlet is my good partner, not a weapon!"
Flametongue blazed intensely.
Belphal frowned slightly and exited the whip's attack range.
"...! Do not think you can escape, Freezing Arrow!"
Ellis fired ice projectiles, raining down.
One of the countless arrows struck the leg of the Lord of Wind, freezing her to the spot.
Seeing that, Rinslet could not help but cheer, but...
Belphal's figure disappeared.
In the next instant, the girl appeared behind Fianna's back.
"—Fianna, behind you!"
Hearing Claire's voice, Fianna turned her head back quickly.
The appearing Lord of Wind made a thrust of her magic spear against the unguarded Fianna—
The sound of steel clashing resounded across the plaza that was under a whirlwind.
The out-thrust spear was blocked by a great shield shining with silver-white light.
A low roar was coming from inside empty armor.
Fianna widened her dusk-colored eyes.
Her knight spirit had responded to his liege's crisis, turning back into spirit form on his own accord.
"—Please escape, my lord."
"...!? Y-You can talk!?"
Fianna cried out in surprise.
Georgios kicked the ground hard, forcing Belphal back with his massive shield.
"Imperial Ancient Blade Arts—Shield Smash!"
A sideways strike from the great shield knocked the Lord of Wind's magic spear aside.
Seizing the moment with the opponent off-balance—
Georgios performed sword skills.
"Imperial Ancient Blade Arts—Meteor Slicer!"
His massive body stepped forward powerfully, executing five consecutive thrusts with his great sword that were like meteors.
"—A mere knight spirit, how dare you act with such insolence!"
Showing emotion for the first time, the Lord of Wind yelled.
She dodged the sword's consecutive strikes and gathered wind at the tip of the magic spear Brionac.
"Don't forget me!"
Manipulating Flametongue skillfully, Claire covered Georgios.
The Lord of Wind disappeared again.
"...! Another wind afterimage!?"
Surprised, Claire immediately began to search for surrounding presences.
She sensed a faint flutter in the space behind Rinslet.
Claire kicked the ground hard.
Einherjar spewed out intense flames and flew over there like a red flash of light.
She could see Belphal behind Rinslet now, about to thrust the magic spear.
In that instant, Claire hugged Rinslet and went for the ground.
Brionac's spear tip had smashed Einherjar, piercing Claire's flank.
"C-Claire, are you alright!?"
Held in Rinslet's arms, Claire groaned in pain.
"—Be gone, Ren Ashdoll's princess maidens."
The Lord of Wind looked down coldly at the two girls and raised her magic spear.
—At that very moment...
A mass of brilliant flame appeared in front of the collapsed Claire and Rinslet.
Claire could not help but exclaim in surprise.
The flames burned intensely.
In the center of the flames was a beautiful woman with crimson hair.
Held in her hand was a blazing great sword.
After glancing at the blood-covered Claire, she showed wrath in her eyes.
This terrifying intent to kill instantly turned into a violent conflagration that kept growing stronger.
"—You have waited long enough, Claire."
The Calamity Queen—Rubia Elstein—had arrived.
In the great hall of the Holy Lord Palace, one could hear blades clashing violently.
The Holy Maiden and the Demon King—two kindred who had both inherited the power of the Elemental Lords were locked in a final battle.
Two Demon Slayers glowed with silver-white light.
Every time the blades crossed each other, blue-white sparks flew.
Rather than sparks produced by friction between steel, these came from the large amount of divine power flowing through the two swords.
(So this the power of the Holy Lord's Terminus Est, huh!?)
From just a few rounds of crossing blades, Kamito could feel the opponent's immense power.
Both sides had access to limitless divine power, but Kamito had a time limit against him.
—He must finish the battle before the Water Elemental Lord turned into a Gate to the Otherworld.
(Fancy tricks are pointless. I have to pour in every ounce fromn the essence of my swordsmanship and defeat her with my full power!)
With a mighty shout, Kamito took a big step forward.
Using the Demon Slayer to seize initiative as a first attack, he then executed a slash swiftly with the Vorpal Sword.
"Absolute Blade Arts, Third Form—Shadowmoon Waltz, Furious Thunder!"
Emanating light that was blacker than the color of night, the blade traced out a curved trajectory.
This was a continuous slash executed with one hand. The jet-black lightning released from the blade swept across the ground, heading straight to the Holy Lord.
"Light of mine, erase the dark night—Sanctum Guard!"
While deflecting the incoming demon blade, the Holy Lord recited spirit magic.
Instantly, her golden armor was enveloped in blinding holy light, neutralizing the jet-black demon lightning.
(I can't believe he used spirit magic to defend against lightning that's the level of the Vorpal Blast—)
Kamito clicked his tongue and jumped to the side. With a simple swing of Terminus Est, the Holy Lord proceeded to smash the hall's floor.
Having evaded the danger, Kamito immediately regained his stance and used the Demon Slayer to block the next sword strike. The sound of steel clashing.
The swordsmanship exhibited by the Holy Lord was probably what the container, Sacred Maiden Areishia, had trained.
It was unlike the orthodox knightly swordsmanship used by Luminaris. Of course, it was also different from the assassination combat skills that Kamito specialized in. Instead, this was ancient swordsmanship from a thousand years ago that had been lost long ago.
Her moves were not exactly ingenious, but powered with overwhelming divine power, the blade was extremely dangerous in each swing. If Kamito were not holding two swords of the strongest class, he would not be able to hold his own, even with the power of the Darkness Elemental Lord.
(—So this is the Sacred Maiden's blade dance, huh?)
Contrasting with Kamito whose every move was an ultimate technique, they were two opposite extremes.
"Is this all you can do, successor of Ren Ashdoll?"
With the two swords locked between them, two gazes crossed.
"Or should I say, the impostor Demon Slayer amounts to nothing more than this?"
"...! What did you say?"
This could be a taunt, or a simple expression of disappointment.
However, the Holy Lord's words really pissed Kamito off.
"—I can't pretend I didn't hear that."
Glaring at those clear eyes, Kamito answered slowly.
"Don't insult my partner!"
Pitch-black divine power poured out from all over Kamito's body.
"—Let's do this, Est and Restia!"
Responding to Kamito's vigor, the two spirit seals on his hands glowed brightly.
"Absolute Blade Arts, Sixth Form—Crushing Fang, Partner Dance!"
The two swords' blades struck Terminus Est hard.
This was an anti-personnel Absolute Blade Art for destroying elemental waffen.
Of course, this move was not enough to break the ultimate sacred sword.
However, the impact managed to make the Holy Lord lose balance slightly.
In that instant, Kamito vanished. He lowered his stance and swept his swords to attack the enemy's lower body.
This was Flying Snake, an assassination skill from the Instructional School.
The sound of metallic impact. The sword's tip was deflected by greaves.
However, this was merely a diversion.
With his posture practically lying against the ground, Kamito released divine power all at once, crushing stone tiles underfoot—!
"Absolute Blade Arts, Seventh Form—Biting Dragon, Swift Lightning!"
Altered and derived from the First Form, Purple Lightning, this form was an anti-air Absolute Blade Art executed with an upward slash with divine speed.
The two swords ripped through the light enveloping the Holy Lord, leaving a cross-shaped crack on his armor.
"—O demonslaying light, purify ancient darkness!"
The Holy Lord created countless swords of light, firing them at Kamito who had flown into the sky.
Seeing that, Kamito released divine power in the air. With afterimages tracing out a curve, he landed behind the Holy Lord.
"Absolute Blade Arts, First Form—Purple Lightning, Dual Flash Dance!"
Quick as lightning, he swung his blades to attack.
Surpassing the speed of sound, the swords flashed—
While turning around, the Holy Lord used the blade of Terminus Est to deflect the Absolute Blade Art.
(...! Given the timing, I can't believe he saw through Purple Lightning just like that!?)
Though he showed nothing on his face, Kamito was quite shocked inside.
His movements had been read thoroughly.
"Allow me to enlighten you, the reason why my vessel, Sacred Maiden Areishia Idriss, was known as the strongest elementalist—"
The Earth Elemental Lord's roars sounded in the distance, shaking the air.
Noise of explosions and intense fighting even reached a shrine that was protected by a secure barrier.
Having retreated from the battlefield, four worried Queens were gathered in front of an altar.
One could hardly blame them. After all, unlike students of Areishia Spirit Academy, Queens hailing from the Divine Ritual Institute had never received blade dance training.
With earthquakes happening again and again, the small shrine that served as their shelter seemed like it would collapse any time.
"O Elemental Lord—"
Fire Queen Reicha moved her pale lips, praying quietly.
The Queens, who served the Five Great Elemental Lords directly, knew better than anyone the terrifying power of the Elemental Lords.
The Elemental Lords were beings who ruled over Astral Zero and the human realm.
They were the embodiment of supreme power over the elements.
They were absolutely not beings that could be opposed by mere mortals.
Those girls were fighting. For the sake of protecting this world, they challenged the absolute rulers.
However, was trembling in fear here the only thing the Queens could do?
Was praying to the heavens, lamenting their own powerlessness the only thing they could do?
There was a loud noise, shaking the shrine. Stone fragments chipped off and fell from the ceiling, scattering on the ground.
Huddled together, the Queens could not help but cringe.
(Is there anything... anything within our power—)
Reicha mustered her fortitude and raised her head.
Just then, the spirit crystal embedded in the front of the altar entered her view.
This was a device for broadcasting the prayers of princess maidens across the city.
The instant she saw that device, Reicha suddenly had an idea.
"—Nia, Feilei, Sylpha, could you listen to my idea?"
Looking at each of the other three in turn, Reicha asked timidly.
Among the Queens, she was the most junior.
"...What is it, Reicha?"
Earth Queen Nia asked.
"Using that voice transmission device, can we convey our voices to the princess maidens in the human realm?"
Puzzled, the three girls looked at one another.
"I am thinking of asking all the princess maidens across the entire continent to offer their prayers, to pacify the souls of the Elemental Lords."
"The entire continent?"
Water Queen Feilei widened her eyes slightly.
"Yes. The entire continent, indeed."
Reicha spoke firmly.
Back in the human realm, thousands of princess maidens were paying close attention to the fate of the world. If they were to offer their prayers, perhaps they might succeed in rousing the Elemental Lords' original, noble souls.
"...That is impossible."
However, the older Sylpha shook her head.
"The purpose of this device is only for transmitting prayers to the city. Getting our voices across the whole continent would really be—"
The Queens were able to convey the Elemental Lord's oracles to the human realm. However, expanding the range to cover all princess maidens across the continent would be too unrealistic. The Queen who had remained confined to bed after transmitting the Holy Lord's oracle was a vivid example.
"It does not need to be long. If all of us work together here—"
With great sincerity in her eyes, Reicha gazed at the other three.
At her insistence—
"...Fine. Let us give it a try."
The Wind Queen nodded.