Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha:Volume 7 Chapter 1
Chapter 1: Facing One's Reality and True Feelings
In the home of the Moderates Faction, is the former royal capital Wildart.
From within the Oldora that was near it, there was a certain place where the sounds of swords clashing rang out continuously.
Those sounds were created by the reunited Toujou father and son, from live battle training.
Amidst the sounds of swords clashing, there were also the sounds of foliage being disturbed as they moved through the forest.
However – Basara and Jin were not on the forest floor.
They were in mid-air.
Along with a fired up yell, Toujou Basara swung out the demonic sword Brynhildr.
The target was the one in his line of sight -- Jin who was holding a mock sword while in mid-air.
Jin casually brushed away Basara’s sword.
Yet – his first attack being dispelled, was within Basara’s expectations.
He then linked together countless number of slashes with a single breath, trying to use his speed to break through Jin’s defence.
“Hey hey, attacking is fine, but won’t you at least think about the situation first?”
Jin forcefully swept his mock sword to push aside Brynhildr and break Basara’s linked attack – when Basara realized it, it was already too late.
Basara whose posture was broken, received a horizontal slash taking advantage of the opportunity from Jin.
With the impact from the heavy blow, his option of landing with his feet was taken – he then slammed into the ground. Zzdon
Although he had managed to cushion some of the impact of landing, the remaining force from hitting the ground slammed the air from his lungs.
But Basara still used all his energy to stand up. On his clothes were the scars left by the forest from that impact just now, and on his face and hands were many many minor scrapes and bruises.
As to the spots in his body that were screaming in pain, were even more countless.
The dirt on his clothes showed that this has already happened numerous times, like how the pain in his body showed the same thing.
Just then, Jin landed lightly on the ground after him.
“It’s already not easy to dodge in mid-air, so your openings would become wider. And yet you, the speed-type who lost in terms of power, still chose to remain in a single place – is something wrong with you?”
Jin said while lightly tapping the mock sword on his shoulder:
“Since you’ve fought Zolgear, you should already understand that when facing an enemy with higher power, you have to maximise your usage of your weapons to even out the odds, no? It goes without saying that you must be creative with your attacks, but if you can’t exceed your opponent’s expectations or imagination—
Before Jin finished his words, Basara already started his attacks again. Keeping his body low, he accelerated suddenly, and at the same time Jin entered Brynhildr’s attack range he forcefully twisted his shoulders towards the back, sending out a horizontal sweep.
“Making such a big swing right after I said that – Ooh!?”
Seeing this, Jin raised his mock sword while saying that, but Basara cancelled Brynhildr’s materialization before Jin made contact with it.
After eliminating the counterforce he would receive with the attack originally – Basara dug his left foot into the ground, utilizing the forces on his body due to the sudden change in motion to swing his right hand that was raised up.
If he materialized Brynhildr from that position, he could use lai with Banishing Shift – the [Banishing Shift] that had severed even the arm of the high-class demon Gardo. Yet—
“ ! ————?”
This attack of Basara’s was made useless. The movements of his right arm was stopped.
As if saying he wouldn’t fall for it, the floor of Jin’s right foot had intercepted it.
“Thinking of using this move was not bad, but just like how it’s easy for the opponent to make a move when you’re this close, the opponent can also easily defend or counterattack. If you really want to use something like this, remember to always break the pacing of the opponent when misleading them, if not… it’ll be bad if the attack is blocked!”
Basara’s collar was grabbed before he could react, and he then flew through the air before finally landing on his back on the ground.
“Gaa… uh… gu—!?”
He immediately sucked back the air that was knocked form his lungs. The mock sword in Jin’s hand, is now pointed at his throat.
“—and, this is what will happen then.”
Jin said with a smile, and pulled his mock sword away.
“So… do you want to continue?”
“ ! …Of course I do!”
Despite grimacing, Basara’s fighting spirit was still unquenched.
“I see. Rest for a while first then. If you continue in the state where it can’t really move, the training will have a reverse effect.
Seeing Basara nod, Jin gave a slight smile, and lighted a cigarette.
Jin right now was very different from Basara, with his clothes being completely clean and no sign of any injuries on him, or not even being short of breath. After leaving the [Village] for five years… Jin also had a blank period of [Five Years] just like Basara, this man that was known as the strongest Hero, it doesn’t feel like there was any regression in him at all. From when Basara against Takigawa, and then against Takashi and the others, then against Zolgear, and then against Gardo and the giant spirits after coming to the Demon Realm, he had gained quite a lot of real battle experience. Of course, if Jin who came to the Demon Realm wanted to, he could take part in a few warm-up rounds first; but if he did something like that, the news that he was in the Demo Realm would spread, creating a large crisis or trouble in the Demon realm by now.
…In other words
The reason was simple, and it was that there was already a large gap between his and Jin’s strength. Back when they were still in the [Village], Basara and sparred with jin a few times, so he personally knew that there was a big gap between him and Jin, but—
The gap between him and Jin’s strength is not important now, the problem is—
While sitting on the ground, he lightly raised his head and asked:
“You have met the current demon lord… Leohart, right?”
“Yes. Now’s not the right time to say this, but he seems really young and very promising.”
“…What are my chances of winning?”
Jin had already fought with both Basara and Leohart, so Basara directed a question about the power difference between the two.
Jin gave a prelude, and continued:
“Firstly, you are bothered by your blank period, and feel that you haven’t really regained back your battle senses… but the current you, is already stronger than five years ago in the [village]; and in these five years, your physical body base had grown, and with the strengthening from the Master-Servant Contract with Mio and the rest, those girls are probably like that too.
“You will once again go into a difficult battle, but that’s only because your opponent is just that strong, not because you’re weak.”
“You guys are strong. But unfortunately, the one called Leohart is stronger than the current you by two… no, three times. If I fight against him head-on, I’ll probably can’t win against him.”
“Even dad can’t…?”
Basara’s heart was shocked. Being stronger than him by three times was already enough, but to think that Leohart would be even stronger than Jin…? In Basara’s heart, his image of [No one can win against Jin] was very strong; when he heard that Leohart was even stronger, he couldn’t even feel that he had a fighting chance.
“No, not really. I didn’t say that I’ll lose… it’ll depend on the situation.”
Seeing Basara’s face become stunned, Jin said with a wry smile:
It’s the same with you... Basara, you still haven’t completely brought out your own and your weapon's power yet, right?”
To the point Jin brought up, Basara confirmed it with silence. While he was indeed recognized by Brynhildr as its user, he still haven’t reached the anywhere near [Sakuya] recognizing Yuki as its user.
“And also, you still don’t really know where your biggest talents are… although that’s partly my fault.”
“ ? What do you mean?”
“nothing… In short, once we solve that part of the problem, you’ll probably be able to fight against Leohart for a while/
Jin then said:
“I really would like to slowly spend time teach you until you can use it freely, but since the deadline the other party set is not far away, we don’t have that much time.”
“…Nn, I know.”
“If I tell you the reason, it might make you overthink it and not be able to grasp it…”
After Basara expressed his understanding, Jin stopped there for a while and asked:
“—you’ve rested enough already?”
“Eh? Ah, yes…”
Despite feeling Jin’s tone dropping, Basara still nodded.
At that moment, all sound around Basara and Jin suddenly disappeared – someone had put up a barrier. After that—
“I see – then I get a little more rough now.”
Jin said to the stunned Basara.
In the next moment, the aura emitted by Jin suddenly changed. Basara who received the brunt of the sudden change, had stopped breathing.
Basara’s whole body tensed up, frightened, and instinctively raised Brynhildr. If he didn’t take up his stance to fight, he wouldn’t be able to face the current Jin at all.
However, the body couldn’t lie. His whole body was trembling non-stop.
At the same time, a certain feeling appeared in his heart.
It was something he had not felt when facing Zolgear or Gardo – fear.
“—previously, I have said that I’ll clean up after you, remember?”
Jin slowly said in a heavy tone:
“Next, I will not be holding back at all. If you really want to resolve this matter with your own hands, struggle through it with your life. Not only just strength from risking your life on it, if you can’t appreciate it, can you really leave your life to it when in a pinch?”
“If you really can’t, when the time comes – I will do it for you.”
At that moment, Jin’s mock sword released a dazzling green aura.
“If I make you only able to barely move, you’ll continue relying on me and become a hindrance… So that’s why I beat you until there’s only a single breath left in you, to make you throw that thinking away. If you feel that you can’t handle it, then give up.”
You hear me?
“If you make any bad moves.. making me clean up your corpse is not filial, okay?”
In the moment he finished saying that, his sword was swung – the green aura instantly gathered to become a wave of attack, going towards Basara.
The Basara right now was stunned by the oppressive feeling from Jin, so although his mind could keep up with the pace of the wave, his body couldn’t react. Forget about using [Banishing Shift] to eliminate it, he couldn’t even meet the attack with even half of his power.
Hence – Basara’s mind flashed, thinking about how it would develop from here on.
--Jin had said, he had a chance of being able to defeat Leohart.
If things were left to Jin, it might end more beautifully than if he were to deal with it.
If he placed Mio’s matter as his first priority, he should just take Jin’s attack just like that and then lie down – this assessment, Basara could understand.
Yet Basara’s hands, still held on to Brynhildr tightly.
His promise to Mio, as well as to the girls that were important to him like his family, has to be protected by his own hands. He can’t leave it to someone else – he can’t abandon his beliefs just because he’s faced with a life-or-death situation.
Basara remembered, that even if he did not have the unparalleled power like Jin, he had vowed to protect everyone, just like how Jin protected him.
He can’t be like five years ago anymore, he had to control himself – he’ll decide if he’s weak and powerless after things end; he can’t do nothing and expect to be saved.
The attack wave Jin released swallowed him whole – at the moment before it happened,
Toujou Basara took action.
While Basara was in Oldora Forest receiving training from Jin.
At the girls’ group where Mio was at, they were undergoing special training in the courtyard in Wildart City under the supervision of the mother-daughter pair Sheera and Lucia. Close ranged fighters who primarily uses weapons or martial arts like Yuki and Maria were instructed by Lucia; mage-type fighters like Mio, Kurumi and Zest were instructed by Sheera. What they were doing here, is something that is not special training like for Basara. Sheera and Lucia who had the role of instructors held tactical workshops on the ways of fighting coordinated for Mio and the others, studying old match ups, or planning new moves.
The focus is on bringing out as much of their power as quickly as possible, and raising the strength or effectiveness of their base stats. By strengthening their foundation, it brings about more possible moves to use, thus making their strengths more valuable and effective; however – exactly because of that, this kind of training is very draining.
Thus, before they put in effort that surpasses their physical abilities, they have to continuously put in all their strength, and there was also no guarantee that they can break through their barriers holding them back. To grow beyond the limits, requires a reforming of the consciousness on a completely different level – in other words, an awakening is needed.
Something like that, is not something that can be accomplished in a single night. Since they started around two hours ago, Mio and the others were already out of breath, and were already staggering.
“Ara ara, how surprisingly meaningless… no other choice, let’s all take a break first.”
Seeing their physical states, Sheera sighed while saying.
“Everyone, here. This is a magic water that can help in recovering from fatigue.”
The maid Noel who was waiting nearby then came and handed long water bottles into the hands of Mio and the others one by one. After feeling the slightly sweet and sour water moistening their throats and the thirst leaving their bodies, only then did the girls seemingly come back to life.
The training had not gone on for long, so naturally no one has gotten some new power yet, but everyone seemed to have gotten a vague feeling on what they should do. The reason was, that they had already found the direction and path they should go towards to take their fighting strength to the next step.
Kurumi’s goal is be able to borrow more power through the dark elements received from Lucia; Yuki’s is to be able to utilize [Sakuya]’s power in the Demon Realm by establishing a connection to the Human Realm through the dimensional boundary.
For cases of emergencies like in the battle against Zolgear, Maria could overload the central circuit of her spirit to turn into her [Adult Form]. In order to be able to use it in tight situations, Maria needed to enhance the condition of her body and mind for her spirit to remain in an ‘activated’ state, to make it easier to recover the energy required for refining the ‘Key’ required.
While Zest’s originally high combat prowess was raised even more after being subjugated during the establishing of the Master-Servant Contract with Basara, she was still a new comrade of theirs. Thus to fill in for her weaker points, she quickly learnt about the fighting styles and abilities of Basara, Mio, Yuki, Kurumi, and Maria, to build up more rapport and fighting combinations.
Everyone who had set down their goals, were still actively seeking advice or an exchange of opinions from either Lucia or Sheera even during the break. Except—
Only Mio was sitting silently, looking down at the ground with a glum look. The other four has already begun their own training methods to become stronger, and Mio was the only one who has yet to find a direction.
Even if she had inherited her own father’s power – Demon Lord Wilbert’s power was really great, but the backlash from using it will cause her to lose consciousness, just like what had happened before in Wildart City when the Current Demon Lord Faction sent out giant spirits and the high-class Demon. While she could use that power… the price is the loss of consciousness, which could cause herself to become a burden in the decisive match with the Current Demon Lord Faction.
…Just what should I do?
Unable to find a specific solution, Mio clenched her fist. During today’s special training, she had also tried controlling Wilbert’s power, but no matter how many times she tried, she would always lose consciousness just after activating it a little. The power that Wilbert could use effortlessly, cannot do anything in Mio’s hands.
The base reason is that her power was too little, since—
…Even that person could use gravity magic very well…
Mio had heard that after she had lost consciousness in the previous skirmish with the Current Demon Lord Faction, Ramsas and Jin had resolved their crisis; and just like Mio, Ramsas had used a gravity magic attack that eliminated a spirit by itself and he could safely maintain his consciousness, showing that it was not a power that only Wilbert could use. As long as she could find a way, the more easily she could use it at will.
“—um, Mio-chan. That power is not something that can be controlled just so quickly, you know?”
As Mio became frustrated over her own helplessness with it showing up on her face, someone suddenly said that as if seeing through her thoughts. When she looked up, she realised that Sheera was already standing beside her.
“That power was given to you unilaterally to protect you, his only daughter; from the beginning, he was not even considering that you would master using it. Well, Wilbert aside, it doesn’t mean that Ramsas has mastered it yet.
“Eh… But he…”
Mio couldn’t help but ask.
“That is not a power that he has. He only knows about the theory to activate it, and had forced himself force it out; so compared to you who would lose consciousness, his burden is a lot more… if he overuses it, he might just lose his life.”
“Really. He might appear to be fine, but from my point of view, he is just not letting it show.”
Sheera said with a bitter smile.
“From the start, Wilbert did not want you to inherit the throne of the Demon lord… that’s why he asked his subordinates to bring you to the Human realm to raise you; him choosing to give you the power before dying, is for you to protect yourself from danger after his death. Although it might seem contradictory, to him, that was his duty as a father.”
As if recalling those times, Sheera looked at a faraway place.
“That power is like a defense mechanism, activating when you are at your extreme limits when in a life-threatening situation or when your stress is too much. I can understand that since you have got such a powerful power, of course you would want to use it to help Basara-kun and everyone else; but you shouldn’t focus on that too much for now, and focus on raising your own power… While you may feel that this is simply just taking a detour, but if you really want to make use of Wilbert’s power, I think that this is the shortest route.”
As Sheera’s encouragement sunk Mio into silence—
“Nfufu, that’s right – Mio-sama”
“Ya! W-Wha… Ma-Maria!?”
Someone suddenly hugged Mio from behind and started fondling her breasts and Mio immediately turned around to deliver her scolding, but the culprit Maria ignored her and carried on with her actions.
“Forget about Wilbert-sama’s power for now, think about how to stretch your own strengths first.”
Wouldn’t that be fine?
“It’s exactly because you often spend time on these worries or you think that you can slack off and relax just because you are the first to do the Master-Servant Contract with Basara, that allowed Kurumi and Zest to catch up.”
Maria suddenly dropped a bomb.
“W-W-What are you talking about…!?”
Kurumi dropped her bottle to the ground from the shock, and her face grew red.
…W-Why does Maria…?!
Originally, Kurumi did not approve of the Master-Servant Contract between Zest and Maria, but after some unspeakable intimate interactions, a profound feeling was developed deep within her. That event, was also known to Mio, Maria and Yuki who had rushed to that room the next morning; but since Basara nor Zest revealed the slightest detail about it, Kurumi naturally chose not to reveal any of it too.
“? Catch up… What do you mean?”
“……Kurumi, I won’t get angry, so tell me all about it.”
Putting aside Mio who asked Maria in confusion, Yuki pressed for an explanation with an expressionless expression that carried great pressure and scary eyes staring at her target.
“You’re just too obtuse. While Mio-sama and Yuki-san had to be subjugated by Basara-san for their bond to deepen, Zest has already done many many things the moment she did her Master-Servant Contract – things like using her breasts and mouth to service Basara-san’s male organ.”
Hearing what Maria said, Mio and Yuki turned to look at Zest, dumbfounded.
“…My deepest apologies. Even though I knew that it would be shameless of me, I was unable to supress my desire to serve Basara-sama.”
Zest apologised frankly, confirming that what Maria just said was the truth at the same time.
“The Zest-chan back then, really is a feast for the eyes~”
Sheera who pushed forward the Master-Servant Contract between Basara and Zest, joined in with the comments after everyone found out about it—
“When Basara-dono and her helped straighten out Kurumi-dono’s feelings not long ago, her actions were even more aggressive, right?” 
Even Lucia joined in in saying things as if like she knew what Kurumi and the others had done.
The cause of that incident was that baby doll negligee with the『Charm』effect that Sheera had put on her, and though it was merely just speculation, Maria and Lucia probably didn’t know about it. Just then, Zest seemed to recall the scene back then, and said with her face red:
“I brought shame to you… I’m very sorry for my silly clumsy service to Basara-sama.”
Lucia who had brought this up shook her head lightly.
“Please don’t say that. From the recording mother had showed me, I could see that you were leading the still stubborn Kurumi-dono while making Basara-dono very happy, which is already excellent.”
“Not only that, Lucia-oneesama, Kurumi-san also did well. Putting her mouth and hands aside, as her breasts are not that impressive, she sandwiched Basara-san in her most sensitive place armpit while saying『Hurry up and move, Basara-niichan….♥』, it really just scored a succubus’s super ultra-moe point, right!?”
“Why are you saying that you damned idiot!! No, why did you even show them that Sheera-san!!?”
Finding out that her own shameful acts had been shown caused Kurumi to push away Yuki who had pushed herself up against her and ask her that, forgetting about the issue of secretly recording her.
“I’m sorry~, it’s because Lucia-chan had not forgiven me for sneaking into her room, and Maria was angry at me for throwing her at Lucia while I ran away… Other than showing them your recording, I could not think of any other way for the three of us to make up.”
After Sheera gave a flippant reply with no remorse at all—
“Choosing an ero video that was specially set aside together after a quarrel… is a standard way of patching things up in a succubus family after all.”
Like her mother, Maria also proudly puffed her chest outwards.
“That’s why, Kurumi, in order for us daughters and mother to make up quickly after a quarrel, please continue to provide such interesting videos that’s really stimulating~”
“Are you crazy!? Of course not!!”
“Oya? Are you saying that you will no longer do any ecchi stuff with Basara-san anymore?”
“A-About that… I-It’s because…”
Kurumi glanced at Lucia. After spending a lascivious night with Zest and Basara and awakening the dark elements, Lucia had done some supplementary to the elements. The dark elements could absorb the user’s pleasure and excitement and turn it into magic power, and Lucia had them as it had the most efficient energy absorption of pleasure and excitement of that of succubi. Of course, with the elementals awoken, Kurumi no longer needs to contact the spirits of the Human Realm; however, lasciviousness stimulates the liveliness of the elemental and strengthens its power.
In other words, it was not just Basara, Mio, Yuki, or Zest the four of them that can strengthen their battle power through being subjugated as master and servant – it too would have the same effectiveness on Kurumi; compared to the succubus Maria who becomes stronger through absorbing pleasure and excitement of others, Kurumi can get stronger through the special ability of the dark elemental but needs to achieve it by herself.
Nonaka Kurumi is not excluded from it. She herself wished to be treated like Yuki, Mio and Zest who had did a Master-Servant Contract and receive Basara’s commitment; even though she was not under a Master-Servant Contract, Toujou Basara was already Nonaka Kurumi’s master.
As Kurumi repeated that to herself—
“Ara ara, this is troublesome~…”
When Sheera said that with a smile, Kurumi looked up—
“Nn… Ah…!” “Haa….Nu…”
And saw Mio and Yuki hotly panting heavily with some difficulty, writhing about sweetly.
Nonaka Yuki suddenly felt a sweet and sour feeling welling up within her and growing quickly.
It caused her knees to lose strength, and Lucia quickly rushed in to hold her up.
Raising her sights, she found that Mio was also in the same state as her, and is being held up by Maria.
Seeing a significant collar marking appear on Mio’s neck, Yuki then understood what had just happened. She and Mio right now – are under the aphrodisiac effects of the Master-Servant Contract curse.
“To be surrounded by so many girls… Basara-kun is a really lucky fellow~”
Seeing Yuki and the others, Sheera gave a strained laugh:
“Although, it’s a really huge risk rushing into the stronghold of the Current Demon Lord Faction… Nice timing, the two of you, swallow this.”
And she put a red colour heart-shaped tablet into Yuki and Mio’s mouths. In that moment, a burst of sweetness spread within their mouths, and the tablet dissolved quickly just like a sugar confectionery.
They then immediately swallowed the tablet that has already become a sweet liquid—
“Eh--…” “No way… Why?”
Yuki and Mio let out their surprise simultaneously. The sweet and sour feeling expanding in their bodies disappeared – yet the collar-like markings remained. Being freed from the aphrodisiac effects while the curse was still activated, caused Yuki and the others to look at Sheera with shocked eyes.
“That was a medicine that can suppress the effects of the curse of the Master-Servant Contract… As the effects of your curses are that of a succubus’ aphrodisiacs, I had put in some effort in creating these tablets that can control the curses according to everyone’s spirit structures. It looks like the effects are quite good. Then Zest-chan, you take one too… you don’t want to become a burden to Basara-kun at this timing, right?”
“Yes. Thank you Sheera-sama…”
While looking at Zest immediately swallowing it the moment she received it, Yuki couldn’t help but to voice out a doubt within her.
“Since there is something like that, then why up till now…?”
“Although this tablet could be made as I am a succubus… for it to have any effect you’ll need to have your allegiance towards Basara-kun cross a threshold. As you’ve heard—“
Sheera continued her explanation:
“To release the curse of the Master-Servant Contract, there’s basically two ways to go about it; first is to dissolve the Master-Servant Contract, the other is have the Contract’s『Pledge turn into Vow』. To possess complete loyalty to the master and never do anything that will betray or cause guilt towards the master, will never cause the curse to ever trigger – take a look.”
Sheera snapped her fingers, and a large mirror appeared before Yuki and the others. As Yuki and Mio looked at themselves in the mirror, as well as the markings that appeared on their neck, Sheera continued:
“The degree of change each time is very small, which probably the reason you had not noticed it, but have you noticed that the colour of the collar is now quite red. When you reach a hundred percent, it’ll be deep crimson, which means that your relationships with Basara-kun right now has progressed to a point very close to that. That tablet, is able to temporarily fill up the needed amount to achieve having the『Pledge turn into Vow』… Zest-chan, go stand beside the two of them.”
Zest nodded and moved, as if affected by some special magic. Despite Zest’s curse not activated right now, her collar marking still showed up within the mirror.
After looking at the colours of the markings of the three of them, Sheera said:
“Uun… Your loyalty towards Basara-kun from highest to lower, are Zest-chan, Yuki-chan, and then Mio-chan.”
With these words, Mio who was beside Yuki suddenly raised a stunned voice. She had never thought, that she who was the first one to have the Master-Servant Contract done with Basara would have her loyalty being the lowest.
“No need to be so bothered, the difference isn’t really big.”
Sheera said while comforting Mio:
“Well, loyalty is something that’ll be affected by the personality… probably with you all, the difference is with how candid you can be towards Basara-kun.:
“I-I’m not really…”
Mio tried to refute quickly, but Sheera stopped her with ‘Don’t worry…’ and a wave of her hand.
“I already said that the difference isn’t really that big, everyone’s loyalty is already really high… Rather, it deserves praise. There are not many who are as dedicated towards raising loyalty like you. The reason is that after reaching this point, although the battle potential has been raised a lot, there’ll be restrictions on the ability to sense positions.”
“What you girls have is the 『Master-Servant Contract』… From the wording, you should be able to understand its meaning?”
Seeing a crease in Yuki’s brow, Lucia explained:
“The master of course will have the right to sense the subordinate’s position, but for the subordinate’s position, it is not one that has the right to be able to sense the master’s position with just a thought… If your master Basara is not willing to reveal it, you girls won’t be able to sense his position.”
Sheera heaved a sigh, seeing Mio become anxious.
“Well, if you’re really worried, it’s probably because you’ve served Basarsa-kun to that extent in such a short time. Who knows what might happen in the future. If it continues, then—“
“…Forget it, it’s nothing. I’m probably thinking too much into it.”
Sheera then resumed her warm gentle smile.
“…Don’t worry, Kurumi-chan.”
She then said to Kurumi whose face had imperceptibly turned pale:
“The reason why Mio and Yuki would get jealous and activate their curse, is not you. It’s because they had not serviced Basara-kun properly that they would occasionally blame themselves for it.”
Those words caused Kurumi to collapse onto the ground on her butt. Yuki saw Sheera lightly pat Kurumi’s head, and thought that what she had just said was the truth.
The reason behind Yuki activating the Master-Servant Contract curse, was not jealousy or ill-feelings towards Kurumi, and Mio also had the same thoughts.
However, just as Yuki was about to say something to comfort Kurumi and help her up—
A tremendous boom from Oldora Forest resounded out.
It was probably from around the same location where Jin was busy giving special training to Basara.
Thus – everything that happened next, happened in an instant.
Kurumi activated spirit magic which sent everyone flying through the sky, and they landed at the entrance of Oldora Forest in the turn of an eye. However, before they could rush into the forest, the silhouette of a person appeared.
It was Jin. Basara who was carried on his shoulder was not moving, probably unconscious.
“Help me treat his injuries… Although I held back a little, I still went a bit too far.”
After saying that to Yuki and the others who was standing still, Jin showed a bitter smile.
While watching Mio immediately tending to Basara in a hurry, Jin lighted up a cigarette he took out from his chest area.
“—so, is Basara-kun any closer?”
Sheera came to beside him and asked lightly.
“Probably… though death nearly claimed a life.”
As Jin said that, the smoke that filled his lungs was then blown into the empty sky.
“Fufu~… and whose life might that be?”
Thus, Sheera asked with a smile filled with certainty, which was directed at Jin who was gazing at a faraway place.
At Basara and Jin’s special training location, where the scar was carved.
A part of Oldora Forest’s trees and earth, was wiped out in a fan shape – the dust in the sky has still not settled down, a testament to how severe the impact of that attack was.
After Basara lost consciousness during Jin’s special training, he only regained consciousness after night had fallen.
After realising that he awoke on the bed in the guest room the Moderates Faction had assigned to him—
“Yo… you awake?”
Someone said to him suddenly. Turning around to look, he saw Jin smoking a cigarette by the window, calmly gazing at him.
Basara sat upright. But his face suddenly twisted in pain.
“Treatment for your injuries just finished, so don’t force it… The maid who tended to your injuries said that you need to recuperate for now.”
“Recuperate for now…? Then, doesn’t that mean…!?”
“Don’t worry, you’ll recover before you arrive at the Current Demon Lord Faction’s city.”
Saying that, Jin suddenly stopped smiling, and turned solemn.
“Let me ask you… do you still remember that during the last moments?”
That question, made Basara recall that last attack he released during the last moments from his training with Jin.
“……Nn, I still remember.”
After muttering that, he lowered his vision to look at his right hand.
Back then – Basara had released an attack that destroyed a large portion of Oldora Forest. Normally, Basara who is a speed-type fighter should be unable to release an attack with such great power and magnitude.
“Then, you better remember that feeling well and recall it constantly in your heart, until you can release that attack at will. When in a pinch, you can’t leave your life to ad-libbed moves.”
“I understand…but, what…”
“That, is part of [Banishing Shift]’s potential… Originally, it can only be activated when counterattacking, snuffing out the target by completely eliminating it or as an indirect attack; but that attack took it a step further to release the eliminating power, turning the counterattack into an attack.”
“Releasing the eliminating power… Wait, could it be!?”
Jin looked at Basara with solemn eyes and said to the stunned Basara:
“That’s right… Just like during the tragedy in the [Village], the principle is very similar to when you lost control of your power.”
“ ! ———— “
When he understood what Jin meant by that, Basara’s heartbeat suddenly went wild, causing him to grip his chest in pain. His heart twisted in pain, and his breaths became shallow, and his vision became blurry.
On that day five years ago, that scene before him – replayed itself again in his mind. As Basara’s consciousness was fading away—
Jin shouted at him while gripping his shoulders, pulling him back into reality. When he noticed that Basara regained himself, Jin gently said while focusing on Basara’s eyes that were looking into his:
“Calm down, breath slowly… you okay now?”
“ ! …Aahh…”
Basara nodded while stabilizing his breathing, slowly taking deeper and deeper breaths. After a while, he managed to calm himself down.
“You’re still blaming yourself over it, so asking you to do this is a somewhat cruel, but…”
Jin’s consideration, caused Basara to say while shaking his head:
“This is a problem that I must face and accept… something that I can’t leave alone. You said, from your point of view, the current demon lord against me…when fighting against the one called Leohart, I won’t have a chance if I don’t use that power?”
“No, that’s not it.”
“Currently, you’re still regretting that incident from five years ago, so you’re suppressing your strength with your surface consciousness, and had set an upper cap with your sub-consciousness; when you were able to release that power before, it was Brynhildr that helped you dispel those reasons limiting you.”
“Yes. However, although you see Brynhildr as a weapon, you care about Brynhildr a lot somewhere in your heart… as the cause of that tragedy was from Brynhildr being drawn out from the ground.”
Basara showed affirmation with silence to the question Jin raised.
Fighting poison with poison – to fight against evil spirits with the demonic sword Brynhildr, the [Village] used it to seal ancient evil spirits. But they had not expected it to be drawn out from the ground, and thus causing that tragedy.
“Compared to spirit weapons like a spirit sword that has the『Holy attribute』, demonic weapons like a demonic sword are much more troublesome. If used too indulgently, the user’s consciousness can be disrupted and eroded.”
Jin continued to explain:
“And your concern for Brynhildr’s sin to this day, coincidently prevented the demonic sword from eroding… but similarly, it also limited Brynhildr’s strength.
Do you understand?
“To put it simply, right now you have placed three limiters on yourself… but when you were pushed to death’s door during daytime, you forgot about Brynhildr’s sin and your strength exploded. To be able to match up against Leohart, you need to release at least one limiter, best would be two, otherwise your chances aren’t’ that great.”
Jin’s assessment, caused Basara’s reply to be naturally downcast.
To protect Mio, he must win against Leohart. Yet, he didn’t think he could just leave the tragedy five years ago behind him with just merely a nod – that unforgivable painful past, is something he thinks he should not leave behind. The knot in his heart made him look downwards, and tightly grip his right fist. At that moment, Jin said in a tone that held a double meaning:
“Don’t be so pessimistic… I never said you have no choice but to defeat Leohart.”
“ ? What do you mean?”
“The problem is with where your final aim lies. The power struggle within the Demon Realm has been going on for countless years, and is simply just an entangled mess, a bottomless swamp; but your goal, is to end the situation with Mio being used as a negotiation tool, right? If you use methods that are too rough against the Current Demon Lord Faction, the Moderates Faction’s cries for Mio to be the new Demon lord would get louder.”
“If you lose, there’s no guarantee of withdrawing safely; even if you manage to protect everyone’s lives, the title of [Daughter of the Former Demon Lord] will be a source of trouble. To quell their minds, the Current Demon Lord Faction will definitely hunt her to the ends of the words.”
“Then… you want me to get a draw against the Current Demon Lord Faction?”
Basara thought about Jin’s words for a while, and tried to understand the underlying meaning, but—
“Not exactly… Fighting a draw, wouldn’t change the antagonistic situation between the Current Demon Lord Faction and the Moderates Faction; the Current Demon Lord Faction would continue trying to kill Mio, and the Moderates Faction would still want her to be the new Demon Lord. Listen closely—“
Jin then said out the summary:
“In other words… your final goal, lies outside of the victory of the Moderates and the Current Demon Lord Faction, understand?”
“I know what you mean… but, just how…”
He can’t simply win, yet he can’t lose, and a draw would be meaningless – he had to find a clever way to victory, including cutting off the Current Demon Lord Faction’s grudge against Mio, when the opponent’s strength is above his. Basara don’t really think, that such a beautiful way exists. Seeing his expression became solemn, Jin said while smiling:
“Don’t worry… I have a way. At least, I thought of a few ways already.”
“ ! –really!?”
Basara couldn’t hold back his surprise and shouted.
“Really… But the opponent has got their own plans too, so two parties pulling the strings, things may not go as I planned; pursuing too much perfection would only tighten the knot around the neck, so be careful. To raise the chances of success, the minimum is a draw against Leohart, and I hope that you can push him into a corner.”
“To push Leohart…”
Jin already said that unless he can release one, or two, of his self-imposed limiters, his chances are slim. Could he really do it? Just then—
“Actually… You still have an insurance that can be used in an emergency.”
“Insurance? What insurance do I have…”
Jin's puzzling sentence, confused Basara again.
“As it would only just shift the focus of the problem away, I would try to not use it… but to let you out into battle without a trump card, you’ll easily lose your life if you’re too nervous… Nevermind, looks like I have no other choice.”
“What is it…? You seem to like speaking to yourself a lot today, dad. Forget about that trump card, I still can’t make sense of what you said just now.”
“Indeed… but before I tell you what the insurance is, and how to win, there is something that I must tell you first. To tell the truth, I would really like to tell you at a later date… After all, it involves too many complications, but… since thing have come to this, there are things that I must make clear to you right now.”
“…Just what would that be?”
Jin gave a bitter smile, and said something to the doubtful Basara.
As if he was revealing a hidden secret.
“Actually… it has to do with your mothers.”
Translator's Notes and References
- Volume 5 Chapter 3
- Volume 6 Chapter 3
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