Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume6 Chapter9
Chapter 9 - All-Out War
Amidst intensely burning flames, Team Scarlet's blade dance was starting.
With a furious howl, Nepenthes Lore released dark tentacles in all directions.
"Freezing fangs of ice, go forth and pierce -- Freezing Arrow!"
However, Rinslet's freezing arrows froze the countless tentacles, turning them into ice blocks that shattered upon falling to the ground.
"Leave those tentacles to me!"
"Yeah, I'll rely on you for support, Rinslet!"
Kamito readied his sword in a stance and walked side by side with Ellis.
"I will handle frontline defenses while you attack, Kamito."
Her ponytail was blowing haphazardly in the wind. Those stern brown eyes of hers, adorned by her eyebrows, glared straight at the enemy before them.
Kamito had fought in unison with Ellis numerous times on missions of the Sylphid Knights. She was a teammate he could entrust to protect his back with great assurance.
With Ellis and Kamito as the vanguard, Rinslet providing long range support fire, Claire commanded the team while she engaged in guerilla and disruption tactics. This was Team Scarlet's basic tactical formation.
--This is what you meant by the power you have obtained?
Restia's impatient voice resounded in Kamito's mind.
--How disappointing. Clearly no matter how many more people you gather, none of them can even hold a candle to you alone.
(--Well then, let's see, shall we?)
Kamito declared to her in his heart.
Then he whispered to Ellis beside him.
"Don't touch that thing's demon sword. Most spirits cannot withstand it. The only one who can clash blades directly is my Est."
"Also, beware of that black mud. As soon as you touch it, your divine power will be stolen."
Ellis' brown eyes stared wide.
The dark mud was continuing to spread. It had already invaded the majority of the ground. As a result, they could not even approach the immediate surroundings of Nepenthes Lore.
"Ellis, can you open up a path?"
"Yes, leave it to me."
Ellis agreed and readied Ray Hawk in a horizontal stance.
Rumbling, tempestuous magical wind gathered a the tip of the spear -- then she softly chanted the words of release.
"Evil winds -- Go and rampage!"
Instantly, innumerable blades of wind sliced the ground, blowing the mud of darkness away.
While the blades of wind were released, Kamito sprinted like wind across the torn open ground.
Nepenthes Lore's repulsive gaze seemed to pierce Kamito.
Such astounding killing intent, enough to make an average person lose consciousness, yet Kamito endured it head on.
He could not back down from fear now. Even when the opponent was a terrifying monster--
(...After all, the young ladies are watching me!)
The onslaught of raging blades of wind approached, but Nepenthes Lore easily deflected them with a flash of the demon sword of darkness.
(--Now is the moment!)
The instant before the mud of darkness invaded the ground again after being blown away...
Maintaining his forward leaning posture, he closed in instantly, riding upon the roaring wind. These coordinated tactics were learned through training together with Ellis.
As the Demon Slayer flashed with silver-white brilliance, Kamito chopped straight down.
The astounding shockwave shook the atmosphere.
Wielding the demon sword of darkness, Nepenthes Lore blocked this full powered attack.
However, Kamito's movements did not end there. Using the sword hilt as a pivot, he changed postures in midair, taking advantage of the deflection of Nepenthes Lore's blade to land a solid slash on the shoulder.
With a splatter of viscous dark matter, Nepenthes Lore's massive body shook slightly.
Landing on the ground, Kamito mercilessly followed up on his attack.
Chopping, thrusting, sweeping -- the sword flashed in the dark night.
A spectacular flowing blade dance worthy of the strongest blade dancer, Ren Ashbell, at peak performance.
The everchanging motions of Kamito's movements overwhelmed Nepenthes Lore's reaction speed.
Widening its great gaping jaws, Nepenthes Lore let loose a roar of pain.
Corrupted divine power spewed out in vast amounts, tainting the surrounding ground instantly.
Kamito smacked his lips in midair.
As soon as he landed on the mud, his divine power would be immediately robbed from him.
But just before he touched the ground--
"--May your pure white sighs give form to eternal frozen ice -- Frost Prison!"
A massive freezing arrow flew like a shooting star and struck the ground beneath Kamito's feet.
Instantly, rainbow-colored magical ice spread and froze the mud of darkness.
Kamito's boot soles landed on the magical ice. Then with the slimmest of margins, he dodged the sweeping demon sword of darkness using a sliding motion.
"Thanks for your great help. Great job, Rinslet!"
Rinslet proudly swept her hand through her hair.
Kamito jumped from the ice and attacked Nepenthes Lore with godlike speed in a triple combo.
"--Still not enough!"
Double, then triple -- a five-hit combo delivered with thrusts mixed in.
Taking advantage of openings in the demon sword of darkness, Kamito attacked in rapid succession as if performing a dance.
As numerous dark tentacles attacked from behind, they were all struck down by Claire's Flametongue.
Kamito's skill with the sword was completely dominating.
Nevertheless, his face displayed anxiety.
(--This won't end if this continues!)
Like a mass of shape-shifting darkness, Nepenthes Lore's body immediately regenerated as soon as it was damaged.
(Furthermore, my divine power is reaching its limits--)
Terminus Est's brilliance was weakening as it flashed in the dark.
Even as an elemental waffe of the strongest class, her true worth could not produce effect without the contractor's infused divine power.
In a moment of distraction, Kamito's sword was deflected by the demon sword of darkness.
Just as Kamito was sent off balance--
The tip of the demon sword released the Vorpal Blast --
With a crimson slash, Flametongue coiled around Nepenthes Lore's arm.
With the trajectory of the sword's fall diverted slightly, the jet black lightning flew past Kamito.
The resulting lightning strike vaporized a fan-shaped segment of the forest.
"--That was really close... Yah!"
Claire found herself flying through the air. Nepenthes Lore had grabbed Flametongue and flung sideways in a horizontal sweeping motion.
Kamito was about to hurry over--
But suddenly halted his steps.
Without him noticing, the viscous darkness was approaching before him.
The repulsive darkness that stole divine power as soon as contact was made, was spreading with astounding speed.
This massive amount did not come simply from the elementalists Nepenthes Lore stole divine power from.
Rather, the monster had amplified its power after making contact with the leylines flowing in the ground.
Kamito's surroundings had turned into a swamp of darkness. As things stood, Kamito's foothold would soon be engulfed as well.
(Even the stronghold...)
Kamito gnashed his teeth.
Crushing despair loomed over him as if materialized tangibly.
Terminus Est's brightness had weakened greatly.
In his current state, Kamito did not even have the strength to slash apart the darkness and break through by force.
--This is the end, Kamito. You cannot defeat this sort of power.
As the spirit seal on his left hand stung with pain, Kamito heard the transmission of Restia's sweet and beautiful voice.
The approaching darkness surrounded Kamito.
Ellis and Rinslet screamed.
Completely cut off from any escape route, Kamito's feet were just about to make contact with the darkness--
At this moment--
Suddenly, dazzling brightness erupted from the ground beneath.
The ground that was covered by the viscous darkness began to rumble and heave as if boiling. Down below, numerous shining magic circles appeared one after another -- !
The darkness cornering Kamito from all sides receded like a tide.
"What on earth happened...?"
"--Flowing through the leylines of the stronghold, holy power is pouring out nonstop!"
"Leylines... Then it's Fianna?"
The stronghold constructed by Fianna was specially designed to be able to adjust the flow of leylines from the central hub, thereby allowing support effects to be delivered from the blessing of spirits.
But this overwhelming power carrying the holy attribute, what was supplying it--
"Could it be...!?"
"...How amazing. Is this the power of the spirit sealed in your eye?"
"No, this is simply the release of a fraction of its power..."
The location was the central hub which controlled the leylines.
Kneeling before the tiny shrine established before a sacred tree, Milla shook her head.
Her expression was distorted from pain while her forehead sweated profusely.
"Only a fraction..."
Fianna murmured with a terrified expression.
As an outstanding princess maiden, she could keenly sense the spirit's power through her skin.
The tactical class militarized spirit -- Crusaders. The spirit summoned by Milla Bassett was definitely a norm-defying existence.
"Milla, what do you see?"
As Milla knelt with her eyes closed, Fianna asked.
Currently, Fianna had transferred the stronghold's control to Milla.
This was for the purpose of using the stronghold's leylines to release the power of the spirit residing in her Demon Sealing Eye.
Once the Demon Sealing Eye's power was connected to the stronghold, perhaps the powerful tactical-class militarized spirit's power could be drawn out -- that was what Milla considered.
However, the transfer of a stronghold's control rights was normally not possible. The only reason why the connection succeeded was due to the merits of the former Queen candidate, Fianna.
"--There are four flashing lights. They are about to be devoured by the repulsive darkness."
"It must be Kamito-kun and the rest. Concentrate your consciousness there."
Milla nodded as she pressed her hand against the amber left eye that was dripping blood.
The control of the multiple complicated barriers comprising a stronghold was a massive burden both physically and mentally. Furthermore, Milla was not a princess maiden trained at the Divine Ritual Institute. Even with Fianna's support, simply enduring the intense pain from the backlash was consuming all of Milla's efforts.
"Ah... Guh... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
"Milla, don't overdo it!"
"...No prob... lem... Guh..."
Milla's tiny hand gave off the light of blue-white lightning.
Transmitting a militarized spirit's power through leylines was already an outrageous notion. If this continued, her Demon Sealing Eye was at risk of damage.
"...Guh... N-Noble-minded knights of the sacred king--"
Accompanying the reverse current of divine power, intense pain tormented the young girl's body.
But paying it no heed, Milla released the power of the spirit sealed within the Eye.
"--Your sword... Exists to vanquish the strong and protect the weak--"
--Even if it breaks, I don't mind.
(Only at this moment, so long as Kamito is protected...)
With a crisp shattering sound, a crack appeared on Milla's left eye.
"Gather upon my battlefield, to swing that sword without reservation -- Crusaders!"
Then Milla hoarsely expelled this spirit releasing incantation from her throat.
The sight before him made Kamito widen his eyes in surprise.
Pure and serene brightness was emitted from numerous magic circles extending all across the ground.
The power released from the leylines, carrying the holy attribute, was purifying the filthy darkness.
No, not only that.
From the innumerable magic circles, something was coming out--
Namely, innumerable swords. Innumerable spears. Innumerable shields.
An army composed of a great number of knights of light.
"W-What the heck, this is...!"
"Unbelievable, a legion type tactical-class militarized spirit...!"
Seeing the massive number of knights filling the surroundings, Kamito muttered in amazement.
The ranks of these various knights were all vastly inferior to Fianna's Georgios.
However, their numbers were greatly inflated.
Several dozen -- no, there were probably hundreds of them.
The manifested knights held shining swords and chopped apart the darkness invading the ground.
Great numbers of knights disappeared continually as they were devoured by the darkness or cut down by Nepenthes Lore's demon sword, but due to the power of their expanding numbers, the dark mud was blocked from advancing.
"Is it Milla...?"
Kamito looked up as he muttered softly.
--Suddenly at this time, the Demon Slayer stabbed into the ground shone with brilliance once more.
The body of the blade was instantly enveloped in dazzling light, illuminating the darkness of the night.
Kamito could feel the rushing flow of power in his body.
Via the leylines flowing underground, pure and sacred divine power was continuously poured into him.
Although the stronghold built by Fianna already carried the function of refilling the divine power of elementalists, the amount flowing into Kamito from the ground was massive divine power several dozen times that of normal.
The Crusaders who had trampled the darkness with their overwhelming numbers, turned into particles of light and dissipated in the air.
The mud of darkness that had turned the ground into a swamp was banished in a mere period of a minute or two.
"--Are you ready, Est?"
Kamito asked the sword in his hand.
As if answering, Terminus Est shone with maximum brightness.
Wielding the shining Demon Slayer in both hands, Kamito--
"--Let's finish this, go!"
He shouted at the young ladies, his teammates.
"Right." "Yes." "Understood."
Claire, Ellis and Rinslet nodded simultaneously.
Kamito rushed towards Nepenthes Lore who was swinging the demon sword of darkness.
In that instant, the dark demon sword sounded as the Vorpal Blast flashed.
A merciless lightning strike at maximum power, this was without a doubt a red herring intending to pin down Kamito's movements.
Dodging it would be easy -- However, Kamito advanced directly instead.
"Wait a minute, Kamito!?"
Claire cried out in surprise.
Kamito smiled fearlessly and swung the sacred sword in his hand.
"--Don't worry. Given the Est and I currently, we can slice it apart!"
As the Demon Slayer flashed with brilliance, the dark lightning was easily sliced in half.
Just like that, Kamito kicked the ground to gain speed.
His body felt exceptionally light. Every time he stepped on the ground, divine power coursed through his entire body, delivered from the leylines.
Before him, Nepenthes Lore seemed to be displaying fear slightly. However, the opponent in Kamito's eyes was not the dark monster but the elemental waffe held in its hand -- the Vorpal Sword.
"--I have arrived, Restia!"
As he yelled, Kamito performed an astounding series of strikes.
With an intense showering of sparks, the Demon Slayer clashed against the Vorpal Sword.
Kamito's high speed attacks overwhelmed Nepenthes Lore's regeneration rate, causing the humanoid dark matter to begin collapsing.
(...This is the end!)
Gripping Terminus Est tightly, Kamito entered a low attack stance.
This was a purely offensive stance, full of openings, that sacrificed all defenses.
Nepenthes Lore's arm regressed into an ugly dark mass as it approached Kamito head on.
However, Kamito had absolute confidence.
He trusted his most precious comrades.
"Freezing fangs of ice, go forth and pierce -- Freezing Arrow!"
Numerous freezing arrows rained down, shot from afar.
The arm reaching out was frozen by the magical ice and nailed to the ground.
Nepenthes Lore roared as it prepared to crush Kamito beneath its massive body--
"Keeper of the burning furnace, release your wrath -- Flame Chain!"
The spiral burning Flametongue restrained Nepenthes Lore's entire body.
Just as the dark masses stopped moving -- in that instant, Kamito seized the opportunity to press near.
Lightly lowering his posture, he leaped -- !
"Courageous wind, grant your blessing to the brave warrior -- Sylphid Feathers!"
Having leapt, Kamito was pushed by the wind released by Ellis' spirit magic.
(...The way I am now, will I be able to perform the sixteen hit combo?)
Slashing at Nepenthes Lore's massive body, Kamito smiled fearlessly.
Not intended to be used against elementalists, this was a destructive sword technique for destroying massive spirits.
Three years ago, taught by the Dusk Witch Greyworth, an ultimate secret technique.
It was originally a dual wielding sword skill -- nevertheless, Kamito in his current state was able to imitate it.
(I was only able to master this technique thanks to you, Restia...)
The Demon Slayer in Kamito's hand gave off light which overwhelmed darkness--
Instantly, Kamito's figure disappeared.
"--Bursting Blossom Spiral Blade Dance - Sixteen Consecutive Strikes!"
Numerous slashes streaked brightly against the darkness of the night.
Dancing in midair, Kamito unleashed a furious wave of sixteen consecutive attacks.
Reduced to a dark mass, Nepenthes Lore's body was being sliced and chopped, gradually collapsing.
"That sword skill--"
"Could it be, Ren Ashbell's!?"
Watching from the ground, Claire and Ellis exclaimed in surprise.
This was precisely the sword technique displayed three years ago at the Blade Dance festival by Ren Ashbell, the strongest blade dancer.
With a thunderous boom, Nepenthes Lore fell upon the ground as black mud. Even though it barely maintained humanoid form, its movements were rather sluggish now.
Still possessing one remaining arm, it swung the demon sword of darkness--
"--You, dispassionate Queen of Steel, the demon slaying sacred sword!"
A spirit language incantation could be heard coming from above.
"--By the sacred light of punishment, may my enemies be crushed!"
Descending, Kamito pierced the dark mass with the Demon Slayer in his hand.
A bright and intense explosion occurred, instantly filling his view.
In that instant, Nepenthes Lore's material body was completely destroyed.
Restia's elemental waffe, the Vorpal Sword, was embedded in the ground like a tombstone.
The demon sword of darkness then started dissipating into the air as particles of light--
Before she fully disappeared, Kamito grabbed the demon sword's hilt.
"...Guh, ah... Ahhhhhhhhhh!"
The leather glove started melting with a sizzling sound as Kamito felt the searing pain of burns.
Kamito's spirit seal was displaying a rejection reaction.
"Kamito, what are you doing!?"
Claire cried out with shock.
Even so, Kamito did not let go. Enduring the pain, he infused divine power into the sword.
--Don't do this, Kamito. You can no longer touch me.
Starting from the tip of the black blade, the demon sword of darkness was gradually disappearing as if melting.
Restia's voice sounded mournful as it resounded in Kamito's mind.
"Shut up... I'm not going to let go. I will absolutely never let you go!"
--What a fool. Clearly I am no longer the same me that you knew.
"Is that really true?"
"Have you really become a totally different existence from the Restia in the very beginning?"
Despite the frighteningly intense pain, Kamito embraced the gradually disappearing demon sword.
...Three years ago on that day, something happened.
Then she changed -- that was indisputable.
--He could feel it without a doubt.
The existence of her who had brought Kamito light when he was young.
A faint trembling voice.
Kamito felt warmth embraced in his arms.
By the time he noticed, Kamito found himself embracing a girl instead of a demon sword.
The darkness spirit, a girl in a dark dress.
"...I'm sorry, Kamito. The me you know is no longer."
Her dusk-colored eyes wavered as she made a lonely smile.
Her body gradually disappeared.
"...Let me tell you. Three years ago on that day, what wish you tried to make."
Restia's soft lips lightly touched Kamito's lips.
Plunged into the paralyzing sweetness--
Kamito's mind was swept into the memories of that day.
--Those were lost memories.
The final memories of their happy days together.
The final day of the Blade Dance festival when the strongest blade dancer, Ren Ashbell, obtained victory.
Just before gaining an audience with the Elemental Lords--
"--Hey Kamito, I hope you can realize my Wish."
"Yeah, I only won for your sake, Restia."
The boy answered innocently.
Replying to the most important girl in the world to him.
"However, once you make that wish, you will make the world your enemy, you know?"
"...I don't care. As long as it is for your sake, Restia."
The boy did not waver.
Even with the world as his enemy--
As long as this girl stayed by his side, that was enough.
"So, what is the wish?"
The darkness spirit girl lightly brought her lips close to the boy's ear.