Chapter 40 – The Sword of Hunger Seeks Fertility
The red-haired young man chopped off the girl’s head as it was engulfed in flames.
At that moment, both the girl’s head and her severed torso burst into flames and turned to ashes in a matter of seconds. When Keith saw the scene, he grunted and muttered.
“A body that doesn’t die even after she kills herself…. What’s really going on with her….”
She looked younger than than himself.
But she was clearly used to fighting.
Even Keith, who had had hand-to-hand combat with a blond general with out-of-the-ordinary power and an unconventional, unfathomable blue-haired boy, was reminded that he would never be able to compete with Toto’s sword.
The only reason he was still able to win was because the girl was still overconfident in her own strength, even though she had wounds all over her body.
If she was in perfect shape, he wouldn’t have even been able to compete in the first place.
Even though he didn’t know about her immortal power, that Roka and Shaula were defeated in a two-man challenge. Even those beastkin girls, who were supposed to be extremely powerful among the prophet, could not win.
An unearthly creature in the shape of a girl. That was all Keith could say about Toto.
Keith looked at the divine sword the girl was holding in her hand.
When he reached out to touch it, he felt a pain as if he had been electrified.
The divine sword is said to be untouchable except by those who choose to touch it. There are many anecdotes about divine swords, but only a few of them are real.
No, it’s not.
The divine sword Revisistra, which is possessed by the great hero Claude Duras, is the best example of this. But, this sword, called the Mare Viper, is probably the real deal.
Unlike the girl who had a brutal personality, there was no sign of evil in it.
He knew that it was skilled in manipulating water, but why did Mea Viper choose such an evil person as its master?
The gods are fickle.
Anyone who is given a share of that power is called a prophet.
However, even divinely empowered prophets are not always good people. A case of a murderer who kept killing innocent people was a prophet are real, though few in number.
Good and evil are just things that the species that lives in this world decides for themselves.
This may be a trivial matter for the gods who are said to be watching over it from above.
However, it’s a different story when it comes to handling the divine sword.
In all of history, there has never been a time when a divine sword has been used for evil.
All of them are wielded only to protect their own country, and none of them are used by anyone else.
It was a hero who was considered sacred by many – Keith had learned that in his classroom.
Is this divine sword the only exception?
Or – since ancient times, have there been evil people even among those who wield the divine sword?
No matter how much he thinks about it, he can’t find the answer. Keith wiped the greasy sweat from his forehead and switched his thoughts. Now was not the time to be thinking about unnecessary things.
As he pondered what should he does next, the Mere Viper below him moved as if it were shaking.
The divine sword has a will.
But what the hell is that behavior?
While he was unable to grasp the true meaning of the situation, Mare Viper intensified its trembling and unleashed a blinding light.
He felt as if his retinas were being burned by the strong stimulus and hurriedly covered his eyes with his arms.
The only sound was the shaking of the sword.
Eventually, he saw that the noise had died down and looked at the spot.
“What the hell is ……?”
There was a girl with braided purple hair.
She crawled on the ground, but got up sluggishly, moaning in pain.
The body that was supposed to have been burned to a crisp had not even a scratch on it, let alone a burn.
On the contrary, her clothes and robes looked as if they were freshly made.
Faced with this all-too-impossible reality, Keith tightened his grip on Fire Giza.
Toto got up, looking exhausted, and glared at Keith, breathing hard.
“…. You…. Little shit of Lermit family…”
“You …… what the hell is going on?”
Toto looked as if she was going to snatch the divine sword and slash at Keith at any moment, but that quickly turned into a look of bitterness.
“…. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck……! I want to kill you, I want to kill you and tear you into eight pieces …….. but now it’s no good…. fuck…”
Toto kept muttering to herself as if she was muttering a curse. Eventually, she clicked her tongue and scratched her head.
“…. I’ll kill you…… I’ll kill you… yeah, I’ll definitely kill you….!!”
“Come, if you want still fight me…”
“Not now…. When you forget this day, even for a moment. When you’re off guard and look like a fool, I’ll tear you to pieces….!”
Keith immediately wielded his Fire Giza.
At the same time, Toto shouted.
“Mare Viper! Do it!”
A large amount of water gushed out from the divine sword and attacked Keith.
Keith’s reaction was delayed by the exhaustion that was gnawing at his entire body, and he was consumed by it.
However, unlike before, the water of the divine sword did not have an aggressive nature. Keith’s body was unharmed, just dislocated by the water pressure.
He only caught a glimpse of Toto picking up hee divine sword in the gap, but the force of the water current was too strong for him to keep his eyes open.
Expecting the girl to slash at him right now, he immediately use his magic.
He pent up his energy. There was only a little strength left in him. This would be no match for him, but he couldn’t stop himself from trying.
Keith’s whole body erupted in flames, and he readied his Fire Giza. However, right after that. The water that emanated from the divine sword disappeared as if nothing had happened – even the figure of the girl had disappeared.
There was no sign of people around.
Did she escape? Keith gripped his holy sword so tightly that it trembled before he could make decision.
There is no more danger here.
Did Toto mean exactly what she said in her last discarded words?
It’s possible she’s also attacking people somewhere in the city, and while it’s true that the ghosts are still wandering around, the threat of his own life is gone.
As soon as he felt relieved by this fact, Keith fell down weakly.
Despite his strong desire to protect the city from an unknown malevolence, his body had already reached its limit.
Just as he was about to lose consciousness, he saw something pouring down from above.
Countless green arrows rained down one after another, hitting Keith’s body before he could even avoid them.
No matter how much he receives it, it won’t hurt. On the contrary, he felt the wounds inflicted in the battle healed and the feeling of comfort filled his whole body.
“It’s Liz healing technique….”
The young man muttered to himself and looked at the night sky for a while.
The man in black stared at me with his sword propped up on the ground and his breathing ragged.
For a human, he’s pretty stubborn.
But the wounds I’ve cut up are taking longer to heal. I’m almost there, I guess.
Just as I was thinking that, I felt the magic from the strong magic that I had just felt.
This feeling is a little different from the usual technique.
And, instead of being hurt even if an arrow sprinkling like a meteor pierces the body, this warmth that heals a slightly tired body.
It would definitely be Liz’s healing technique.
And from the magic that cut through that technique with a blade of wind, there was a strong hint of the dragon race.
–Well, you’re a little late getting here, Julian. If you had come a little earlier, you would have had more fun too.
With that in mind, I look at the man in front of me. Bleeding from all over his body, breathing laboriously, the man’s wounds and fatigue did not seem to heal.
How could he not benefit from the elven healing technique that is supposed to heal all races in this world?
I’m no longer interested in his power, but I am endlessly curious about his identity.
What on earth could have made this man into such a body? What is the point of eating people? Why did he want to attack the temple?
Torturing him to get him to talk is probably not an option.
Even if I skinned him alive, even if I stuck needles between his fingernails and skin, even if I poured water into his mouth until he drowned, this man would not be bothered by it.
However, if I capture the body, the story may change. If I dismantle the body, we may find something different from ordinary humans. Then..
It was at that moment that I felt something coming at me with tremendous speed. As I quickly jumped away, I saw a sword on the spot where I had been standing.
It swings down.
As I landed, I looked at my opponent and felt amused.
“…. This monster!!!”
“I knew you were on that side, too. Toto.”
The girl with purple hair glared at me resentfully, but quickly made her way to the man in black.
“Hain. Mission complete, returning immediately.”
“…… If we let this man live, he will surely become our obstacle.” (Hain)
“This is not the time. Hurry up!”
Hain stared into Toto’s eyes and did not answer. The girl, annoyed by this, shouted.
“Don’t you see the power differential yet? …… Hain, how many times have you died? I can’t take much more of this.”
What is Toto so impatient about?
I could feel the slightest hint of Keith’s magic coming from her. Perhaps that flame had been shot at Toto.
She didn’t have a single scratch on ger, but I could see that fatigue was seeping into her.
There would be little strength left to fight.
“…… Toto, did you use ‘that power’?” (Hain)
“Yes. I used the power of that person who is more important than Toto’s life. I have no more power to do anything. If you die here, Toto will die too. I can’t let that happen.”
Hain. The man who called me that showed a hint of hesitation.
The man who seemed to have only thought about fighting up until that point was unable to decipher Toto’s words and make a decision.
“….. He is the only thing that needs to be taken care of right now.”
“Don’t be so stubborn! What’s our goal, Hain? It’s an ideal world, isn’t it? A true utopia where no one will atarve and everyone will laugh and live! Are you going to abandon that dream?”
The girl’s words caused Hain to close his eyes. I call out to them.
“An utopia where no one starves? There is no such thing, Toto.”
“It’s certainly not …… right now, but Toto and her friends have the power to make it happen.”
“No. There’s no way an odd woman like you can create something like that. Even the great wizard Diruna, who loved everything and wanted a world without strife and hunger, could not reach that point.”
Toto reacted sensitively to the words.
“There’s no mention of it in Diruna’s anecdotes. But I heard that ‘he wanted to do so’. How could a mere mortal know such a thing?”
“I just know a little more about things than most people do.”
“Oh, so what about the fertility god?”
I don’t know about that, unfortunately.
Even with the combined knowledge of the Demon King, I had never heard of him.
However, Diruna, the founder of the magic powerhouse, has various aliases. One of them was “The Fertility Giving Princess”? That brings back memories.
“From the looks of it, you don’t know. There is a fertility god, you know.”
“Heh, interesting. I’d like to see that in person – well, I have more important things to do than that right now. Toto, I’m not letting you go either.”
“Fufu. I can feel that there is no way I can trick Theodore if I don’t play my cards right…. Hain, are you ready?”
At these words, Hein opened his eyes, which had been meditating, and said.
“….Understood. I’ll let the guy go this time.”
“That’s what I say…. Let’s have Theodore experience the hell that will happen after this.”
Toto took Hain’s hand in her as she protected him.
There are so many gaps. And from Toto’s words, I knew she wasn’t going to fight anymore.
Then cut it straightforwardly.
I readied my sword and jumped from my spot to approach them.
At that moment, the evil sword in Hein’s hand took the form of a tentacle. And then.
With a thud, a tentacle pierced Hain’s chest deeply.
At the same time, the technique was activated. A dazzling light enveloped Hein and Toto’s bodies, and their figures instantly vanished from the scene.
It’s similar to the transference technique I just felt.
If the only way to trigger it is to die, it would have been triggered when I killed him.
Then, they have to kill themselves.
Hain and Toto probably can’t handle magic.
Even so, the price for handling the transference technique, which requires powerful magic power, must be their lives.
And what was the existence that had imprinted the formula on those two and given them the power of immortality, albeit imperfectly? Does it have something to do with the fertility god that Toto was talking about?
There are many things to be concerned about, but the most alarming issue right now is–.
I turned my attention to the cracks in the sky in the territory near the Tenebrae Demon Kingdom, west of Granden.
That is exactly what the dimensional rift is.
The source of the sound of something creaking that has been echoing since a while ago. How long has it been since I’ve seen it with my own eyes? ……
At that moment, I suddenly became aware of the girls behind me and turned around. There was an unbelievable scene unfolding.
A little further away from Charlotte, lying on the cobblestones, was a mass of disfigured flesh, clad in a tattered maid’s uniform, soggy beyond recognitions.
The flesh and blood, bones, and organs of the body slowly writhe and squirm, and gradually return to their original form.
The creepy lump of flesh returns to its original beautiful maid form.
She looked up at me languidly, stained with her own flesh and blood
“I apologize for the inconvenience …….”
Elsa got up on her feet as if nothing had happened, and took care of herself.
After confirming that there was nothing wrong with Charlotte, who was still lost, she let out a breath of relief.
I looked at her legs.
The ankles, glimpsed through the torn skirt, showed no damage whatsoever.
As a result of regeneration after her body had been destroyed so messily, she no longer had a single scratch on her body. But what bothered me more was caused it.
There can be only one cause.
“You’ve been damaged by the elves’ healing techniques to the point of physical collapse. Elsa, could it be that you are not human? No, you were once a human, but now… I’m surprised. So you’re undead? Moreover, it is a very high-ranking existence.”
“…… Please don’t tell anyone about this. The only person who knows what’s going on now is Claude …… my master.”
Even though my senses have been dulled by my human form, I hadn’t been able to notice it until now.
…… Deaths that reach this point are very rare.
Even under Levy, who rules all the dead, there are few such gems.
I’m curious, but I’m also not sure I want to probe. Besides, I have other priorities right now.
So, I decided to tell her first.
“Okay, but on one condition. I want you to answer my question.”
“Very well. You can ask me anything,” Elsa said, her eyes full of certainty and determination.
“Does General Duras have any other servants besides you in his service?”
What does he expect from that question?
Elsa, who had been bracing herself, showed some confusion, though her expression did not falter.
“No one but me. Everything about Lady Charlotte and the mansion is also left to me.”
“Let me put it a little differently. It doesn’t have to be a servant. Do you know anyone who would be loyal to him? It doesn’t have to be a mere human, like you. It doesn’t matter what race they are.”
“I don’t know,…… Why do you ask that?”
From the looks of it, Elsa really doesn’t know anything about who or what is serving beside General Duras.
Something unidentified, and a non-human maid. His surroundings seem to be quite interesting.
“No, I’m just curious. He seems to have a lot of secrets.
That’s what I thought.”
“….. Is that, so?”
“Now, what we’re going to talk about is small talk. You may or may not answer,” I said, and Elsa silently urged me to continue.
“You told me that you were a wounded soldier, that you left the military because of an injury to your leg, and that you served in his family because of your relationship with General Duras. I don’t even have an idea how much of this is true if I look at you. If you don’t mind, I’d like to hear your reasons for serving the Duke of Duras.”
“It’s for Lady Charlotte’s sake.”
It was a quick answer.
“My only reason for being is to watch over this person. There is nothing else for me to do.”
At that moment, Charlotte moaned as if she had a fever.
Elsa looked at the girl with concern and let out a sigh of relief when she realized that she was just talking in her sleep.
“You mean your real master is Charlotte, not General Duras?”
“I hope you can understand.”
“I wonder if the reason has anything to do with his late wife – a woman named Nastasya.”
“I can’t answer that.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at his overly frank attitude.
“In that case, it’s okay to be silent, Elsa. I told you that earlier.
Didn’t I? You don’t have to answer. …… You and General Duras are a lot alike, aren’t you? You’re not very good at lying or making excuses.”
“…… I am unfriendly and uncommunicative, and I have never spoken at such length with anyone but the Duke of Duras, even recently. It is a terrible blunder.”
“You’d better be careful next time. Now, there’s a lot more I want to talk about, but let’s get it all over with first.”
I was lost in thought as I stared at the dimensional rift that had appeared in the sky west of Granden.
What the hell is that phenomenon? Right now it just looks like cracks, but that can’t be the end of it.
Toto was talking about “hell”. I’m very curious to know what it means.
It’s really interesting, isn’t it?
Continually laying waste to Hain in a one-sided fashion was not enough to satisfy my urge for destruction.
Boredom and the urge to destroy can kill a demon. At the very least, let’s hope that there will be an event that I can enjoy.