Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume20 Prologue
A spirit in the form of a gigantic white whale was flying in the air over Astral Zero's forest.
Dire Whale was a super massive spirit under the Water Elemental Lord's command.
Within the internal dimension of the Dire Whale's stomach—
The trio of Fianna, Ellis and Rinslet were sitting around a small table.
"Kamito and the others still aren't found yet?"
"No, they fell into the forest in Astral Zero. Locating them will be very difficult."
To Ellis' inquiry, the young girl with hair the color of shimmering water shook her head.
The girl was Iseria Seaward, the avatar of the Water Elemental Lord whom Ren Ashbell had liberated three years earlier. Sensing that Kamito's team had entered Astral Zero, she had come over to aid them.
"Claire should have prepared a Levitation spirit crystal. They will surely be fine."
"Well said, Your Highness."
"Hmm, I hope so..."
With a worried expression, Ellis watched the outside world through a crystal ball on the table.
Seen through the Dire Whale's eyes was a vast forest and the Astral Zero sky that was raining. Also—
The remains of the shattered floating island of Ragna Ys, slowly falling to the ground.
—Not too long ago, it was still a sturdy piece of land.
To seal away the Gate to the Otherworld that the Holy Lord had opened, Kamito's team had taken the four Queens together to teleport to the Holy Capital of Alexandria.
But along the way, the ship had crashed due to Cardinal Millennia Sanctus' attack. Kamito and Claire were forced to fight the angel summoned by Millennia whereas Ellis and the others had to contend with another Millennia that was armed with the ultimate flame sword Ragnarok.
Towards the end of the battle, Rubia had to face off against the Fire Elemental Lord after defeating Millennia.
However, in that instant, gigantic blades of light released from the four corners of the Holy Capital had shattered the ground of Ragna Ys.
Kamito and Claire, as well as Rubia with the Fire Elemental Lord, had all fallen to the ground below. Ellis, Fianna, Rinslet and the four Queens had been found by Iseria's Dire Whale while they were falling and rescued without harm.
"...Those blades of light, what were they?"
Fianna wondered quietly.
With just a single strike, that light had shattered the land of Ragna Ys.
To think that such a terrifying power existed in this world—
"That is the light of Terminus Est, a spirit weapon from the Spirit War era."
Iseria Seaward answered.
"...Miss Sword Spirit?"
Rinslet asked with incredulity on her face.
"The Demon Slayer contracted with Kazehaya Kamito only has one tenth of the original's power. Most likely, the Holy Lord used Sacred Maiden Areishia's body as the vessel and successfully summoned the principal body of Terminus Est."
Holy Lord Alexandros had obtained the most powerful spirit weapon too, huh?
"...We cannot recklessly approach the Holy Capital."
Fianna stared at the Holy Capital shown on the crystal ball.
From the central zone of the Holy Capital, three pillars of light rose, piercing gigantic holes in the sky.
It was most likely the Gate connecting to the Otherworld.
"No matter what, we must find Kamito and the others first."
Saying that, Ellis quietly stood up.
"Captain, where are you going?"
"I will search the forest. If I go alone, the Holy Kingdom will probably not discover me."
"Going alone is dangerous!"
"There are many violent spirits in the forest."
"In that case, I must find them sooner."
Ellis looked very determined.
"...Very well. Take care."
"Yes, Your Highness—"
Fianna nodded lightly and Ellis summoned her demon wind spirit.
The Dire Whale opened its mouth, bringing a strong gust of wind surging inside.
"—Let us go, Simorgh."
Mounting the giant demon bird's back, she flew into the Astral Zero sky.
Rumble rumble rumble rumble!
A military ship landed inside the vast premises of Areishia Spirit Academy.
The rumbling of its drive reactor shook the atmosphere violently.
The students in the school building were drawn to the windows by curiosity, looking in surprise at the slowly descending military ship.
This ship was the Revenant belonging to Team Inferno.
Originally moored at the Imperial Capital of Ostdakia, it had been called over to the Academy.
"Now that was fast. My unworthy disciple evidently fears me quite a lot."
Greyworth remarked, looking up at the ship from the training ground down below.
Previously, her body had temporarily returned to prime condition thanks to effects of the Otherworldly Darkness invading her body, but after Est removed the darkness, she had turned back to her original age. Her power in her youth was far greater than now, but unfortunately that was no longer accessible.
"Headmistress, preparations for Teleport are complete."
"Is that so? Thank you."
Hearing Ms. Freya's report, she turned to the trio behind her.
Gathered on the plaza were—
Leonora Lancaster, Dracunia's dragon knight.
Muir Alenstarl, the Instructional School's "Monster."
Velsaria Eva Fahrengart, the Silent Fortress.
These three powerful elementalists were far beyond the Academy's students in capability.
"Are you prepared?"
"How foolish a question, Dusk Witch. A dragon warrior knows no fear."
"Onii-sama is waiting. Of course I have to go."
"Upon the name of House Fahrengart, a knight never goes back on her word."
The trio answered very decisively.
"—Indeed, I asked you a foolish question."
Smiling wryly, Greyworth shrugged.
Kamito's team had headed to Astral Zero to thwart the Holy Lord's plan.
Learning of this, Greyworth had immediately ordered Vivian Melosa to summon the Revenant and make preparations to head to Astral Zero.
At the same time, she assembled the most powerful combat team to set off for Astral Zero.
"Velsaria, about linking up with the Revenant—"
"Yes, my Dreadnought shall surely link up without problems."
Greyworth acknowledged with a brief "I see" after Velsaria nodded.
In the center of the training ground, the Revenant's giant hull landed.
"Then let us depart—"
With a flip of her gray overcoat, Greyworth stepped towards the ship.
Surrounded by infinite darkness without boundary—
Kamito was facing a maiden who had outspread wings of jet black.
The girl's shining golden eye was like a bright full moon in the darkness.
Her beautiful face was identical to Restia's.
With the two of them were placed together, one would definitely see them as sisters.
The Darkness Elemental Lord—Ren Ashdoll.
The renegade Elemental Lord. She was both Restia's creator and the source of the Demon King's power—
"Do not be nervous, my adorable child—"
The Lord of Darkness smiled at Kamito who was glaring seriously at her.
Her expression and demeanor were quite similar to Restia's.
Nevertheless, Kamito was suspicious.
Was this girl truly the owner of the voice enticing Kamito to become the Demon King?
Every time the power of darkness was drawn out, that voice had sounded in Kamito's mind.
Corrupted by the Otherworldly Darkness, she ought to be speaking with greater madness.
However, there was not the slightest sign of insanity in the maiden in front of him.
Originally, that power was so strong that he could feel it palpably.
Visiting Dracunia previously, in an audience with the legendary dragon spirit, he had also sensed considerably strong power—
This girl was undoubtedly on the same level of power as that dragon king, at least.
"No need to be wary. I am simply the avatar of part of her darkness power."
"You must have met the Water Elemental Lord's avatar, yes? I am the same as her."
Kamito had met Iseria Seaward in Astral Zero, the avatar of the Water Elemental Lord's will that Ren Ashbell had liberated three years earlier. Although she was quite powerful compared to ordinary spirits, her original power had actually been weakened greatly.
(...I see now, an avatar, huh?)
Kamito understood for now.
Why was the Darkness Elemental Lord's avatar here? Although Kamito wanted to ask this, there were more urgent questions.
"...Say, where am I? What happened to me?"
All Kamito could remember last was the angel summoned by Millennia Sanctus.
After the battle, devoured by the power of darkness, he had lost consciousness. Speaking of which, was he inside his own consciousness, devoured by darkness, or inside her consciousness?
"It is as you think, adorable child."
As though reading Kamito's thoughts, the Darkness Elemental Lord's avatar spoke.
"This is inside your own soul, devoured by her darkness."
Even if told he was inside his own soul, to be honest, it did not feel real at all. But there was a weird sense of deja vu in this space, which indirectly supported the truth of her answer.
"So what exactly do you want me to do?"
"Fufu, I am very glad that you understand—"
The avatar girl flapped her jet black wings, looking quite happy.
...Restia often did that too when she was in a good mood.
"I hope you will inherit Ren Ashdoll's power next."
"What did you say?"
Kamito could not help but ask.
"What do you mean? If I inherit her power, that power will swallow me, right?"
"Indeed, but that is part of her plan too—"
The Darkness Elemental Lord's avatar pointed into the air, summoning a gigantic orb of darkness.
Kamito entered a stance, putting his hands on hilts of his two swords.
"Do not misunderstand. I simply wish to chat with you about the past."
"Yes, it is necessary for you to know. Where the Otherworldly Darkness corrupting the Elemental Lords came from, and the reason she had her power reincarnated in a human—"
The surface of the orb of darkness began to distort, then projected an image.