|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3159 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1423 words|
Having defeated the spirit chimera, Mira spent some time spoiling Isenfald as much as he wished, then left Gregorious tied up for the second unit to handle later, and went deeper into Chimera Clauzen’s main base together with Sero.
When they reached the end of the stairs, they found Kagura, embracing a young naked girl.
「It seems you’re done here too.」
Looking around, the traces of a violent fight were evident, telling of the fierce battle that had gone on until just recently there. Mira observed the rubble as she walked up to Kagura, and looked down at the girl in her arms.
White skin and slender limbs. Her frail body showed no signs of possessing a great amount of strength, but the marks of battle were clear.
「Well, I guess. At least a half.」
「A half? What do you mean?」
Mira guessed that was Chimera Clauzen’s boss, but frowned upon hearing Kagura’s reserved reply, asking what she meant by that.
「I managed to get her out of the body, but after that…」
Kagura sighed as she said that, and looked further inside the room. There was a diamond shaped fragment on the ground.
「A black mist stone? No, this one looks different, and quite sturdy…」
「Well, whatever it is, I don’t like it.」
Just looking at it made one feel a cold sweat. Mira and Sero kept a distance from it, voicing their thoughts. The fragment was slightly longer than an index finger, and was surrounded by black mist just like the regular stones, but the mist looked far more concentrated than usual.
「That’s the horn that was stuck to this girl’s forehead.」
Kagura said that to the two observing the horn cautiously, and sighed again. The girl had merely been controlled by it. Chimera Clauzen’s actual boss was a vengeful ghost that formed as many curses piled on top of each other, and then it took over the girl.
That ghost had been extracted with Kagura’s skills, leaving the girl’s body intact. How that was accomplished, was with a secret onmyoji Art, Ursa Astigma – Alkaid. It had the effect of amplifying one’s weapon to its utmost limits, making it tens of times more powerful. When used on a low level fire sword, the Art would make it as powerful as a legendary magic sword. Kagura had used it to elevate the Anti-Demon Silver’s properties to the maximum, allowing her to exorcize the vengeful ghost born from the curse.
Thanks to that, the ghost had been erased from existence, and the two horns growing on the girl’s had fallen off cleanly, and joined into the fragment that lay on the ground now.
「I don’t know how to put it… This is just my guess, but I think that’s the crystallized demon’s curse. With the vengeful ghost gone, it’s just in a dormant state, away from the girl. Maybe?」
The diamond-shaped black fragment, small, but somehow intimidating. Not even Kagura fully understood what it was, and the more she spoke the less sure she sounded of herself. But one thing was certain, they could not just leave it like that.
「The demon’s curse, huh. We should find a way to get rid of it then.」
Mira pondered what to do as she looked at the fragment. Sero took a few steps forward.
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「It devours spirits after all. Who knows when someone might abuse its power again, so I’d like to destroy it as well…」
As he spoke, Sero unsheathed his Anti-Demon Silver sword, and swung it at the fragment.
「But this really is on a whole new level.」
Sero’s sword traveled with ease, but when it touched the mist surrounding the fragment, it lost all momentum. Though Sero had already guessed he would be unable to destroy it. He carefully put his sword away as he watched attentively at the fragment’s reaction to the hit.
「I know. Earlier I tried to hit it with another Alkaid, but it was completely useless.」
As she said that, Kagura turned to look at her staff, which was greatly bent and crushed. While Alkaid could enhance a weapon’s properties to their limit, that also meant the weapon would need to resist a far greater load when used.
But even after all that, their attempts to destroy the black fragment were unsuccessful.
「Hmm… I suppose it’s my turn to try next.」
When Kagura sighed for the third time wondering what to do, Mira finally decided to say that.
「Gra- Mira, where did you get that?」
Kagura exclaimed in surprise, watching Mira approach the fragment. Sero turned to look at her as well, and muttered 「what the…」 with his eyes open wide. They both had reason to react that way. The marks of the Spirit King’s Divine Protection on Mira’s body seemed to pulsate with glowing energy.
「I told you about my encounter with the Spirit King before, yes? This is the blessing he gave me that time. It’s gotten like this since Sero tried to hit it with his sword.」
Saying that, she walked up to the black fragment, and summoned the Holy Sword Sanctia like she was accustomed to.
「I think he said something like this. If I combine his power with the true strength of the Holy Sword, I can eradicate the demon’s curse.」
Mira could feel the power of the Spirit King seeping from the marks that stretched over her entire body. She understood what that meant, and pointed the tip of the blade at the black fragment.
「You called it the crystallization of the demon’s curse, I guess that’s halfway correct. I don’t know how to explain it, but I can feel the Spirit King’s wisdom passing onto me through the Divine Protection. Apparently this thing is the demon’s power itself.」
「Their power itself? How is that different from the curse?」
Kagura tilted her head hearing Mira’s words. But Mira was struggling keeping up with all the new information passing onto her that she just said 「I wouldn’t really know…」 like it was someone else’s problem.
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「Oh well, regardless of that, I think this is my role to fulfill.」
Mira raised the Holy Sword while focusing on the power flowing into her from the Spirit King’s blessing. It was odd, but somehow she knew how to use that power.
The Holy Sword began to glow as well, reacting to the Spirit King’s mark. It was bright like a lighthouse, tearing darkness apart, and giving anyone who looked at it a sense of safety and guidance.
Mira then lowered the sword, without grace or skill, simply swinging it down the way she saw fit. But it drew a perfect arc as if a master swordsman had swung it, closing in straight onto the black fragment.
A bright flash of light followed. There was no sound, no shockwave, just white light that illuminated everything in the room.
The excessive brightness made Kagura and Sero close their eyes, but only for a moment, as the light quickly faded away, as well as the marks on Mira’s body, and the glow from the Holy Sword. As if they had nothing else to accomplish.
The black fragment was gone as well, not leaving a single speck of dust behind.
「Did it work?」
With care, Kagura gently placed the girl on the ground before running to the place where the black fragment had been. When she paid more attention, she realized the uncomfortable and eerie presence was gone as well.
「I felt like it worked, and as you can see, the Divine Protection’s marks also faded away. I’d say that was a success.」
While she was not fully used to it, Mira had started getting the hang of the effect the Spirit King’s blessing had on her. That feeling had told her right then, that the culprit, the demon’s power, had been erased. That gave Mira the confidence to reply affirmatively with a smile.
「So this really means it’s all over then…」
「I believe so. Our efforts paid off.」
Kagura felt relieved seeing Mira’s attitude and hearing her voice. Her complexion relaxed, as if a thread that had been pulling on her had been cut, her eyes focused on some distant spot. It was a transient expression, like a flower sprouting in a battlefield, a promise for the future showing that life would go on.1