Siblings VS 『Blood Spraying Sword』(⅔)


  When the young beastkin girl prevented her first strike, Claira Berch instinctively opened her eyes wide.


  The shock from having her attack prevented was showing in her left eye and the question of “how did that girl manage to do that?” was showing in her right.


  After she covered her entire body in kei and jumped over the wall fence, Claira swung her sword horizontally at the two who were trying to run inside the mansion from behind.


  It was an attack to cut off the kijin’s head with a single strike.
A painless death was the mercy she could give her at the very least.


  The attack was by no means her full strength, but it still shouldn’t be something that the adventurers here can block.


  In fact, Ciel didn’t notice it coming――she didn’t even realize that Claira was near her.


  But since she just threw herself in front of Claira’s blade to shield Suzume out of nowhere, Claira’s reaction was delayed as well.
There are beastkins who have wild animal-like instincts, so perhaps Ciel is also one of those types.


  When Claira pulled her sword back right away, there was already a deep cut on Ciel’s back, and the sound of a painful scream filled her ears.


  Shoot, Claira regretted deeply.
She had no intention to injure anyone other than the kijin.


  After getting slashed, Ciel staggered for a few steps, but she turned around to face Claira without falling down.
Seeing that, Claira chose the option to fall back immediately.


  In front of Claira, who moved exactly just two steps back, Suzume finally understood the situation and let out a short shriek. 


  「……Eeek?! Ciel, you’re injured……!」


  「……Su-Suzume, go back in the house, hurry…」


  Ciel’s voice was low and faint, probably because of the pain coming from her injury.
But she still did not stop shielding Suzume who was behind her.
In her hand, she held a sharp dagger that she pulled out before anyone realized it.


  Since Claira’s attacks have also come to a halt, if Suzume tried to escape right now she could have probably done so.


  However, Suzume didn’t move.
She’s not mentally strong enough to run away by herself without hesitation, abandoning Ciel who has blood overflowing from her back.


  Hearing the two’s exchange, Claira knitted her brows slightly.
As she looked at the young beastkin girl who is glaring at her and the young kijin girl who looks like she is about to cry, Claira could understand clearly what they were feeling inside.


  Both Ciel’s self-sacrifice to put her life on the line to protect her companion and Suzume’s struggle as she hesitates to abandon her and run away were reflected nobly in Claira’s eyes.
If she was here as an outsider, she would probably assist them with pleasure. 


  But right now, she was the enemy who was pursuing them.
The fact of that earnestly pains her.


  ――Still, she could not retreat here.


  The scenery she had once witnessed at her birthplace resurfaced in Claira’s head. 


  A red-colored sky, ash clouds with unending lightning, and barren land that did not have an inch of grass.


  The scenery that didn’t have any presence of life, let alone nature’s blessings was what it was like inside the demon gate.


  The sealed demon god’s power affects the terrain and even the living creatures that are outside of the demon gate.
It’s obvious that it would have an even larger effect inside.


  What Claira saw was a ruined world that was deformed by the demonic aura of the demon god.



  If the demon god gets released, both the demon island and the main continent will turn into wastelands.
The grass will wither, the water will rot, and the bugs and animals will be corrupted by the demonic aura and turn into monsters. 


  The crazed ecosystem will disrupt and probably destroy the human world’s order.
With countless monsters roaming free, humans and demi-humans will kill each other for the remaining food and safe lands.


  A world called hell.


  The warriors in the Flags of Green Woods fight so that the world won’t turn into hell.
And the reason they bear constant hostility towards the kijins is for that reason exactly. 


  ――Kijins are beings that have the demon god as their anima.


  Claira, Klimt, and of course, Gozu as well- warriors who have entered the demon gate at least once were told that truth by the head of the Mitsurugi family.


  And that’s not all.


  The phantom blade style that brings out immense power by controlling anima- The first-generation sword saint who created it learned the secret art of anima from the kijins.
That is also a fact told to the people who had passed the demon gate as well.


  A kijin’s horns that are their source of power are linked to the demon god on a root level, and they will continue to emit a demonic aura.
To put it another way, the demon god interferes with the world constantly through the kijins’ horns.


  It has nothing to do with the kijin’s nature or personality.
It doesn’t matter even if she’s a kijin who doesn’t revere the demon god.
The kijins distort the world by just existing. 


  That’s not all.
As an anima, the demon god needs a spirit vessel to manifest into this world.
And kijins who are linked to him by their horns are suitable to be one.


  The demon gate doesn’t have to break.
As long as kijins exist, the demon god can come into this world.
It can be done.


  That is the truth that set the humans and kijins against each other three hundred years ago.


  The reason the Ad-Astera Empire and the Mitsurugi family are keeping this information a secret is to prevent unnecessary victims.


  If this truth spreads, people will probably try to hunt the rest of the kijins with rage. 


  And then, they will be the ones who will be killed instead.
Kijins who control anima sometimes display strength that surpasses phantom blade-style users.
The soldiers and adventurers of the continent will be no match for them, and in the worst situation, they could become the trigger for the demon god to manifest.


  In order to prevent that from happening, the empire and the Mitsurugi family take on the task of eradicating the kijins themselves.
They also take out the kijin hunting organizations that go against their will by going after the kijins for their horns.


  Also, if other countries find out about kijins and the secret of anima, they might try to secretly capture kijins to use that power.
Another reason the empire hides the information is to not give anyone such an idea.


  However, just hiding the information alone might leave the kijins in other countries uncontrolled.


  But if the empire was to mobilize its military forces, it will turn into a dispute between countries. 


  One of the Mitsurugi family’s jobs is to prevent such conflict.
The Mitsurugi family would sometimes provide other countries with their manpower to subjugate monsters, and the emperor wouldn’t blame them for doing that either.
They accumulate those achievements so that they could smoothly go into those countries if any kijins were discovered.
Such circumstances exist in the shadows of their unique lord and vassals relationship.


  Of course, there is the self-interest of protecting the interest of their own family and country by monopolizing the secrets as well.
And as the Mitsurugi family’s vassal, Claira Berch was in a position to uphold her lord’s rules and interests.


  「Get away from here.
If you get in the way any more than this, you will be considered the same bunch as the kijin」




  Towards Claira who cut her with her blade, Ciel responded by giving her an intense glare.


  She doesn’t have any intention to retreat.
Especially now that she knows Suzume is who the enemy is after.


  She is aware that she has no chance of victory against the opponent in front of her eyes, but strangely, she did not feel afraid.
It can be said that she did not have the time to think about such unnecessary things.



  With her keen ears, Ciel sensed from her opponent’s words that she was no longer hesitating.
She will no longer hold back as she put it.
Ciel can’t have any naive expectations of being able to stop the next lethal strike anymore.


  All the hair on her body bristled up as she focused on her opponent’s movement.


  ――In her vision, the blade of Claira’s sword swayed slightly.


  Here it comes- the moment Ciel judged that and tried to leap away, she felt a sharp pain coming from the injury on her back. 


  Her movement was only stopped for a second, but to Claira, taking advantage of that opening is easier than taking candy from a baby.


  With her pleated red skirt’s sudden fluttering, a spear-like kick was thrusted at Ciel’s abdominal area. 


  *Ughh*, a puff of air was spat out from her mouth.
The beastkin’s body went in the air like a ball, and then it slammed to the ground.
But the momentum didn’t stop there, as her body rolled a few times.


  …Even after the rolling stopped, Ciel did not get back up.
Despite her wanting to get back up, her body wouldn’t listen.
She thrashed around on the ground from the pain that came from just breathing.


  Suzume tried to rush up to Ciel, but she was blocked by a shimmering dark-gray-colored blade.

  Her pink-colored eyes that were looking at Claira flared up like hellfire. 




  The flame that was created after she extended her small hand out swelled up to the size of a child’s head.


  A simple exchange of mana without a chant.
It was one of the things that Miroslav taught her.


  Suzume tried to hit Claira with that fire from the closest distance.
If that were to land, Claira would probably suffer reasonable damage.
Then, the aftermath of the explosion would undoubtedly engulf the caster, Suzume, giving her heavy injuries. 


  That’s how powerful Suzume’s spell was after she lost her cool.


  However, Claira was completely aware, of course.
She wrapped around to Suzume’s side so fast that it looked like she just disappeared from Suzume’s point of view.


  ―― Kijins are terrifying after all.
She’s that young yet she can already use magic this well.


  Claira thought in her head as she put strength into the hand that was holding the hilt of her sword.
She tried to behead her in one strike, but that was blocked as well.


  「『Take flight, unseen bird of prey――Invisible eagle!』」


  Suddenly, wind magic was unleashed from within the mansion.


 It was an advanced spell technique that was on a whole different level in terms of both chant speed and preciseness compared to Suzume’s spell which was packed with a kijin’s mana.


  「……They still have more allies huh」


  Claira muttered to herself and dodged the spell quickly.
A normal person would have surely received a direct hit and some damage, but since she had her body’s capabilities enhanced by kei, it was not hard for her to avoid a spell.
She just kicked off the ground and leaped back.


  That was what my opponent was aiming for――she realized that when the next spell was unleashed on her.


  The red-haired magician who came out from the mansion fired magic in rapid succession to let Claira decide whether she wants to get away from Suzume or not. 


  It was a barrage of magic spells with parts of the chant skipped.
However, each of those spells had the power of full chants. 


  It looks like the magician is using magic stones to raise the destructive power of her spells, Claira judged.


  If this were a normal fight, she can just stall until the other side runs out of magic stones and mana, but in the current situation, the kijin might get away.
In fact, under the magician’s instruction, the kijin had lent the beastkin her shoulders and began to disappear into the mansion.


  Also, Claira predicts that the reason she keeps on using magic that makes loud sounds is to alert the neighboring area that something was going on. 


  If this keeps up over time, innocent citizens and guards are probably going to rush here.


  Gozu is in control outside the gate so it’s fine, but she still doesn’t want to make a big deal out of things.


  She should use kei to force her way through the rain of magic here and put the magician under control at once――With that thought in mind, Claira began to make it happen. 


  But even Claira did not expect her thought process to be seen through as well.


  The red-haired magician who had completely baited Claira in smiled at her enemy who was about to try to slit her throat.


  「I thought you would do that――『Discharge』」


  It was just a one-word incantation.


  The next moment, everything in Claira’s sight was dyed in white.




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