Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume2 Chapter9 Draft
Chapter 9: Team Scarlet
Fianna finished preparing her ritual outfit and began the arrangement for the resealing.
Then violent sounds of clashing weapons were heard from outside the true shine.
"It seems that he came."
Claire summoned Flame Tongue and glared at the door.
"Kamito and I will protect the entrance till our last breath. Fianna, wait here."
"Are you saying you're going to hide me in a safe place alone!?"
"Yes, he isn't an opponent that will fall for the same petty trick many times and you no longer have any Blood Stones."
"Don't underestimate me, Claire Rouge. I'm not a princess, who only needs to be protected. Now, I'm an equal member of the team."
Fianna thrust her iron-ribbed fan, used for performing the ritual dance, towards Claire.
"I am the second rank princess maiden of the «Divine Ritual Institute»— As Rubia Elstein's sister, you should know that no frail woman could perform the dance, well, do you?"
It was as though the princess was challenging her. Claire gulped nervously under the intense gaze of her teammate.
Certainly, the princess maidens of the «Divine Ritual Institute» were not trained for battles.
However, by no means did it mean that they were powerless. On the contrary, as long as they chose the time and place, there were cases where they managed to surpass even high-ranking elementalists.
And this very shrine was exactly the most suited place for her to exhibit her strength.
"...I get it."
Claire brushed her red twin-tails up.
"I'll protect you. Perform the greatest Kagura!"
—There was no sight that signaled the beginning of the blade dance.
Just shrilling metallic sounds that broke the silence. A silver sword flashed through the darkness, intense sparks scattered inside the cave.
Terminus Est swung down and was immediately repelled by Jio.
Kamito stepped closer and tried to slash him again. Jio slightly shifted his center of gravity and evaded by a paper-thin margin. He then laughed shrilly and jumped straight up.
Like a spider, he clung onto the ceiling as—
"Huh, there's no foreplay?! Let me enjoy a little conversation, Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer!"
"My bad, I don't have anything like a chivalrous spirit— just like you!"
Jio’s red eyes widened as Kamito kicked off the wall and jumped up.
Terminus Est swung in midair and struck his sword.
A shriek that came from two blades grinding against each other resounded and Jio's sword spirit was broken into many small pieces.
Kamito did not stop. He kicked off the wall again, changed his direction and hit his adversary in the face. The boy then pushed off the ceiling and chased after Jio, who was falling to the ground because of gravity and the strength of the punch.
Like a hawk descending upon its prey Kamito grabbed him by his collar and slammed his head into the ground.
A thick cloud of dust rose up. It was a strike without mercy.
With precision born from long practices Kamito threw another punch, but at that moment…
A seal on Jio's right hand glowed. Sensing danger, Kamito immediately jumped aside.
At that moment, a silver flash came from Jio's palm.
What appeared in his hand was a new elemental waffe.
It was a narrow sword that had some kind of ornament etched on its side. It was a rapier, used exclusively for thrusting.
Kamito decided to put some distance between them. He prepared Terminus Est.
"As expected of the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer. What absurd movements."
"A difficult technique that uses closed environment to attack from many sides. It’s the first technique taught at the «Instructional School». But I wasn't doing it as masterfully as you."
Jio kept silent.
"Just now, I understood it when our swords clashed. You are the same as me, an orphan from the «Instructional School»— A failure of the Demon King."
Instructional School— it was the name of the institution, where Kamito received training as an assassin when he was a child.
It was a secret organization established by some nobles. There, they collected girls who possessed the qualities of an elementalist from orphanages all over the continent in order to raise a group of skilful assassins.
At first, the institute was supposed to be supplying killers for their noble colleagues. However, the teachers of Instructional School became independent of the nobles, and before long the whole place turned into some fanatical faith.
—Namely, the one that predicted the second coming of the Demon King.
The only male elementalist in history.
The man, who used seventy-two spirits and led the continent to ruins.
Creating his successor.
That was the purpose of that faith and the measures they took to accomplish it were very simple.
The Demon King was the only male elementalist in history— If that was the case, it was only natural that his successor would be a boy.
With that thought in mind, they gathered boys who were deemed to have the ability to even slightly exchange feelings with spirits, hypnotized, drugged, let spirits posses them and carried many other experiments on those children. But they had no success.
For this reason, that moment, eight years ago, when Kamito was discovered, those guys felt ecstatic.
Jio Inzagi let an extremely dreadful smile cross his lips.
"The attempt of men to find the Demon King's heir. Its very first success is me."
Twisted his mouth in a cynical smile and shrugged.
"Success? Are you joking?"
"I understand your feelings of not wanting to acknowledge it. Nevertheless, this isn't a joke."
"I didn’t mean it like that."
Kamito shook his head pityingly.
"A male elementalist, who uses seventy-two contracted spirits— if that was considered a success, then you are definitely not one, you know."
Jio's red eyes widened and then his face twisted in hatred.
"I too was fooled at first. About you really using seventy-two contracted spirits. However, I was wrong."
Kamito indifferently informed him.
"They are not contracted spirits. They are all sealed spirits."
That's right— the spirits that Jio Inzagi was using were not ones he had contracts with.
They were sealed inside the marks engraved on his body and treated as equipment.
Kamito realized that because Jio never used the same weapon twice.
(...Besides, he has also utilized elemental waffes of the same type.)
There was no point in contracting a large quantity of sword spirits unless one planned to use and throw them away from the start. In comparison, it would be much more efficient to have just one and allow it to grow in strength.
Besides, no matter how powerful Est's elemental waffe was, Jio’s weapons broke too easily. That was strange because even the weakest spirit was a lot tougher than that.
"...What I mean is that just like Fianna you used spirit crystals that can be easily discharged after serving their purpose."
A spirit could not grow until there was a contract and its true power as an elemental waffe also could not be drawn out.
The divine power that Kamito believed to be inexhaustible was also a mere illusion.
"You are a fake Demon King, Jio Inzagi. No, you're not even an elementalist."
Certainly, the fact he was alive and healthy while having so many spirits sealed inside his body meant that the experiment was at least partially successful. If Jio were an ordinary person he would be driven mad a long time ago.
But calling himself the Demon King while not even being an elementalist…
The fact he was contracted with several spirits was just a deception.
"...Huh, so what?"
Jio's red eyes shone hatefully as he spat those words.
"Even if you know that, there's no changing the fact that you can't beat me!"
Jio kicked off the ground. The rapier became a blur in his hand.
"I'm the Demon King! And I will prove it by killing the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer, you!"
Just before reaching opponent, Jio lowered his body, aimed for the boy’s throat and launched a lightning fast thrust.
Kamito avoided it by leaning slightly to the side. Then he spun around and retaliated with a kick.
His foot connected with Jio's chest. Continuing the rotation, Kamito raised Est over his head.
"Manifest, Barguestflame wolf spirit!"
A seal glowed on Jio's arm before a blazing fanged creature attacked Kamito.
It was a lava hound, clad in black flames. The spirit bit Kamito’s raised, left hand.
Intense pain coursed through his body, as though his blood was boiling. However—
Kamito spun again, swung his arm and smashed the lava hound into a wall.
The flames exploded and scattered. Melted rock flew around. If it were a contracted spirit, it would go back to protect its master— however, a sealed spirit, after being released, vanished without a trace.
"How lukewarm... Claire's flames are much hotter!"
A dreadful smile graced Kamito’s lips as he swung Terminus Est.
The wind pressure broke Jio’s stance, which was immediately used to Kamito’s advantage.
Raising his shining, silver sword up, the boy then brought it down with all his might.
"—Manifest, Aegisshield spirit!"
However, Jio managed to stop it in time.
Sword spirit against shield spirit— even for Est, the chances were extremely poor!
But Kamito did not draw back. Without pause, he just pushed stronger.
"—Let's go Est, show me just how serious you can be!"
In response to Kamito's shout, Teminus Est's glow intensified.
Light flashed and covered the sacred sword—
At that moment, it transformed into gigantic blade that far exceeded its wielder’s stature.
Kamito roared. A crack appeared on the shield.
And then— it broke in half!
"This is absurd...!"
"This is the power of a contracted spirit bound by a seal, Jio Inzagi!"
Kamito held the large sword up again, but at that moment—
"... You bastaarrd!"
Jio stuck out a hand in which he held a shiny red comma-shaped jewel.
The moment Kamito saw that gem an indescribable chill ran down his spine.
Terminus Est shook slightly.
The moment its edge touched the surface of the precious stone—
*Pishi*— a small crack appeared on the blade.
The Demon SlayerDemon King Killing Sacred Sword lost its dazzling brightness.
And from the crack a black stain started spreading.
(Est is being corroded!?)
Kamito tried to draw his sword back, but...
Jio sneered at him.
"I told you once what your weakness is, Ren Ashbell."
The rapier pierced Kamito's abdomen.
As he grasped Est, who was being consumed by the blackness, the boy fell down to his knees.
"You can't accept spirits as tools. Therefore, you are weak."
Jio calmly stood up while playing with the red shiny comma-shaped jewel in his hand.
"That spirit crystal is... don't tell me—"
"Ahh?... That's right. That princess was holding the same thing."
"A Blood Stone...?"
It was a national treasure in which the power of a top-ranking spirit could be sealed.
(Why does he have—)
"That's right. This very thing is the source of my power— the power of the Nebuchadnezzarmad king that rules over many spirits."
With the jewel in his hand, Jio laughed loudly, and the seals engraved on his whole body emitted an ominous glow.
"... I see, so you were able to use that many elemental waffe because of the power of the high-ranking spirit that was sealed in that jewel."
It seemed that unlike Fianna’s Blood Stone, which worked only once, the gem in Jio’s hand manifested its power just by being attached to someone’s body.
"...What a complete fake. What a pathetic Demon King-sama."
"You have the gall to say that, I'll make your sword spirit mine right here and now—"
The black stain continued spreading on Terminus Est. Jio's loud laughter resounded within the cave.
However, a faint smile surfaced on Kamito's lips.
"Jio Inzagi, do you know? This tunnel reflects sounds well."
"Ahh? What are you saying—"
"Why do you think I was spending time listing your magic tricks?"
That's right; Kamito was not having a pointless talk.
He was passing information.
About Jio using not contracted, but just sealed spirits.
"Don't misunderstand. The one you're fighting isn't the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer."
At that moment, Flame Tongue coiled around Jio's right hand.
"—It's Team Scarlet."
The door to the true shrine opened. And there—
Brushing up her red twin-tails and with a whip in hand, Claire Rouge stood proudly.
"You did well, Kamito. As expected of my slave spirit!"
Holding his injured abdomen, Kamito let out a long suffering groan.
Jio shook off Flame Tongue, and glared at Claire.
"Huh, thank you for opening the true shrine's door especially for me."
"Yes, to defeat you."
A voice came from behind Claire.
Fianna, who had put on a solemn ritual costume, was calmly walking towards them.
She didn’t look like the powerless, frightened girl who hid her fear behind a cheerful facade.
Standing there proudly, was a white robed Queen.
"I'll show it to you. The ritual Kagura of the Empire's second princess, Fianna Ray Ordesia."
Four years ago. A girl’s spirit was completely broken.
Being consumed by an overwhelming fear and sense of helplessness, she became unable to use her powers.
That girl’s dream, to become a splendid Queen like the one she admired, Rubia-sama, became impossible for her to achieve.
From that day, her parents, her sisters, and even the court ladies changed their attitude towards her.
Before she knew it, her strictness with herself and others incurred enmity from those who surrounded her.
Therefore, the moment the fact that she lost her power was revealed, everyone started ignoring her.
Before she knew it, the girl closed her heart towards everything.
Without opening her heart to anyone, without embracing any interest, she had been secluding herself inside the castle.
—But then, three years ago, the girl met him.
The Strongest Blade Dancer, who was advancing through the tournament with overwhelming strength.
The girl became engrossed in that person’s performance.
She felt like his blade dance had changed something inside her.
Once again, she was given the strength to stand up.
(Kamito-kun, the real reason that I came to this academy— I feel like I understand it now.)
As long as she was alone, she would not have noticed it.
The «wish» that will be granted to her for the victory in the Blade Dance might be truly inconsequential.
Being with the person she admired was enough for her.
It might be that she just wanted to fight together with the boy from that day.
(...Kamito-kun, you told me that I am your comrade.)
He said that despite knowing that she couldn't use her contracted spirit.
(And Claire... She also came in contact with me without being indifferent.)
Four years ago, that time when she stood against the Calamity Queen, she was all alone.
But now she had comrades that she had to protect.
Holding her iron-ribbed fan in both hands, Fianna Ray Ordesia danced the Kagura.
(Dance, you many spirits, be released from that binding body, and dance wildly together with me!)
She was the second ranked princess maiden of the only Queen training institution on the continent— «Divine Ritual Institute».
That Kagura she was dancing was not a combat, but a support dance that strengthened spirits.
Hearing Kamito and Jio's conversation from the other side of the wall, she knew what to do intuitively.
Kamito had conveyed the things she could do as a Kagura dance expert.
If assumed that Jio Inzagi was using mere sealed spirits—
Time ticked away as she moved with fluid grace.
Those were the perfect movements that maidens at the «Divine Ritual Institute» started training at an early age.
"The seventh dance of the ritual Kagura, the mad banquet, I dedicate it to this shrine!"
"Ga...Aaah, ah, ah... you bastard, what did you do to meeee!"
Suddenly, Jio Inzagi convulsed and fell to the ground.
Both his arms were twisted at impossible angles, and the seals on his whole body flickered violently.
"Your spirits are going on a rampage. They're reacting to Fianna's ritual Kagura."
Kamito slowly stood up.
"Listen, because of what you hold inside yourself, your body became something like a shrine that deifies many spirits."
Kamito shrugged as he told him that.
"Furthermore, those spirits were not bound by a contract. Because of that jewel's power, they are just sealed spirits that were forcefully made to obey you. There's no way that they would not be affected by interference from outside— like Fianna's Kagura."
"Guu... Damn, gaaaa!"
Yelling Jio turned towards Fianna, who was dancing the Kagura at the true shrine, and released some of his spirits.
There were five of them, each of varying attribute, and all rushed towards the dancing princess. That—
Claire, who was standing before the door, knocked each of them down with Flame Tongue.
"I'm sorry but something like a spirit that lost control isn’t a real threat for me."
With his body's freedom stolen by the rampaging sealed spirits, Jio's convulsed violently.
"I'll take you under our custody. And, we'll have you speak about the incident concernig the Jormungandrstrategic-class militarized spirit."
Kamito approached the boy to apprehend him, but at that moment.
"—That'll be troubling, Kamito."
From empty space, a girl's clear voice was heard.
In front of Kamito, who stopped after hearing it, thick darkness started gathering.
It was that pleasant voice, which he would never forget.
Before long, the darkness that didn’t seem to have any source transformed into a beautiful girl.
"Jio is a precious experiment. It would be troubling if you were to take him without permission."
She was his former contracted spirit, and she didn’t change at all, looking as lovely as the last time he saw her, three years ago.
Kamito on the contrary changed a lot.
"You, you're the darkness spirit from that day."
"Long time no see, hell cat ojou-san."
The girl waved at Claire, who was taken aback by her sudden appearance, sweetly.
"...Restia, is it you? The one trying to release the Jormungandrstrategic-class militarized spirit."
He had a premonition— a premonition that she was involved with this incident.
There was also the fact that Jio Inzagi knew Kamito's true identity.
And then, there were the darkness spirits that were holding a ritual at the shrine above ground.
Above all else, the throbbing from the spirit seal, which was engraved on his left hand, was telling him of her presence.
The lovely darkness spirit smiled lonely and nodded.
"That's right. It's my mission to release the spirit sleeping here."
"Why are you doing..."
"Because that's her desire. That's all."
"Kamito, you'll eventually meet her. However, it's not now. You have not awakened yet."
—At that moment, Jio, who was still on the ground, roared.
"Move aside, darkness spirit. I have not lost yet!"
"Give it up. I've said it, haven't I? You can't beat even the current him."
"Shut up, I'm-I'm the one, who will succeed the Demon King! To be beaten at..."
"You are not the Demon King. You're not even an elementalist, you're just a failure."
The darkness spirit girl told him coldly.
"After all, the one, who will succeed the Demon King, is—"
"..., Shut up, shut up shut up shut up, you bratsssssss!"
Suddenly, Jio grabbed the darkness spirit's ankle.
He stood up with Restia hanging upside down.
"Jio, what are you trying to do!?"
"To thank you. I am going to use you, darkness spirit!"
Jio laughed loudly as madness filled his eyes.
A shiny crimson comma-shaped jewel was tightly grasped in his hand before—
He threw it at the ground near his feet.
"Ha, hahahaha, ha! This is the power of the Demon King, who can make even the high ranking darkness spirit obey him!"
The deep crimson Blood Stone made a shrilly noise and exploded.
The power of the Nebuchadnezzarmad king spirit poured out of it, before turning into a feeler made of shadows that wrapped the darkness spirit's body.
Enraged, Kamito swung Terminus Est,
However, that slash, which the boy charged with all his power, failed to cut Jio apart.
The fake Demon King was holding a gargantuan jet-black sword.
It seemed that it was this sword that stopped the attack.
"That's... don't tell me, Restia's—!?"
It was her elemental waffe— Vorpal SwordThe sword that pierces the truth.
Its shape was different, but, without a doubt, that was the blade which the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer once wielded.
The scorching hell cat immediately rushed at the madly laughing Jio.
"Small fry, do not hinder the Demon Kinnggg!"
Losing his composure, the boy swung his sword.
The blade released countless black lightning bolts that managed to force Kamito back.
Claire screamed, as her petite body was blown away.
Kamito roared swinging Terminus Est down.
"You too— Dieeeeee!"
Turning towards Kamito, who was rushing at him from the front, Jio released another attack.
It was larger and had several times the power of the previous one.
It was perfectly aimed at and rapidly converged on Kamito—
"Like such a thing will hit—"
Jio smiled ferociously.
Just before dodging, Kamito realized it.
Fianna was behind him.
The princess was staring at the approaching black lightning dumbfounded.
She could not dodge it. The heavy ritual costume restricted her movements too much.
(...Am I going to die here?)
Calm resignation filled her heart. She reflexively closed her eyes.
She was taken aback by that shout.
The girl opened her eyes just in time to see how Kamito caught the rampaging attack with his sword.
While his whole body was being struck by the lightning, Kamito moved forward.
Ren Ashbell, the one who had performed a splendid blade dance at the previous completion held in the honor of the Elemental Lords.
Despite his tattered condition, this warrior was now protecting Fianna.
Even when covered in blood and barely standing he didn’t fall or step back.
"No, Kamito-kun! You're going to die—"
"I never want to lose them again. My precious comrades."
Looking at his back now, Fianna remembered that day three years ago.
It was just like the time when this boy saved a powerless girl in the forest of Astral Zero.
It was the back of the boy, who she first fell in love with— And it was right in front of her eyes!
(This time I have to protect him—)
*Ba-thump*. Something hot started burning in Fianna's chest.
(—I want to protect him, the one who I love.)
For a long time now, she had always been alone.
Without being needed, without anyone accompanying her, she was the Lost Queen.
Without anything to expect, she had given up on everything.
(—But it's different now.)
She saw Ren Ashbell's blade dance three years ago.
And now she was looking at Kazehaya Kamito's back.
(—I've changed! After all, I have a wish I want granted!)
She wanted to aim for the «Blade Dance» together with Kamito.
(That was— my real wish.)
The black lightning was slowly pushing back the glow that emanated from Terminus Est.
Kamito felt like his body was going to collapse at any moment now. However, he was still standing.
"—Thou, servant of the king of the child of man, knight and master swordsman!"
Words of a majestic summoning flew from Fianna's lips.
"—By the contract of the old blood, become the sword that protects me, come forth and do my bidding!"
A nostalgic feeling rose in her chest.
It was the sensation that she last experienced four years ago— the throbbing of the spirit seal.
The princess' knight, who had not responded no matter how many times it was called, was now—
"Come forth, holy knight spirit «Georgios»— Thou shalt become the sword that protects me!"
A dazzling light blinded her for a moment.
It was the holy light that cleansed all darkness. It was the light that had been always protecting Fianna.
The mailed knight, armed with a silver sword and a large shield, stood before her.
The holy knight spirit that was handed down through the royal family— «Georgios».
There was no need for words. Fianna gently smiled at that nostalgic appearance.
A holy attribute spirit could only be used by a princess maiden possessing an absolutely pure soul.
Fianna, who managed to recover from her painful past…
Was now recognized as its true master.
"I command you in the name of the Ordesia Empire's second princess— Protect Kamito-kun!"
With her hands at her waist and giving orders with ease born of practice, Fianna looked truly majestic.
The holy knight spirit nodded without a word and brandished his large sword, which was approximately as long as he was tall.
Making a rumbling sound that reminded the princess of an earthquake, it rushed right into the wall of raging black lightning.
"—Why you, are you defying the Demon King?!"
Jio Inzagi shouted. His attack then turned into a stream that surged towards the holy spirit.
That however, didn’t stop «Georgios»’ charge.
The black lightning was being repelled by the shield he held aloft.
A high ranking holy spirit was completely unaffected by the darkness attribute.
His large sword cut and cleansed it with ease, clearing the path in front of Kamito!
Jio's was shocked by what he saw; Kamito didn't overlook this opportunity for an attack.
"Let's go, Est!"
Kamito poured all the divine power he had in his sword.
The Demon SlayerDemon King Killing Sacred Sword, which was almost swallowed by the darkness moments ago, shone brightly once more.
Kamito ran as Terminus Est started growing.
"Tch— Manifest, flame spirit!"
Aiming at Kamito, who was quickly closing the distance between them, Jio recited the summoning—
"I won't let you!"
*Hyun*— There was a red flash and something swallowed that fire.
Claire, covered in injuries, was standing with Flame Tongue in her hand.
"—I told you, we are a team."
Kamito told him as he plunged towards Jio's chest.
"Therefore, I'll continue to grow in strength. I’ll become more powerful that when I was called the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer."
And then, with one smooth slash, Kamito cut the fake Demon King's arm.