The Meaning of “Sora”


I hated the name Sora.


Every time someone called my name, it was as if they were telling me that I was someone who had nothing inside. 

No, someone had actually said that to me at that time.


It was when I had just lost to my younger brother, Raguna, in the dojo.

I would have been able to endure it if it was just him who said something like that to me, but all the other pupils of the same age talked crap about me as well.


“This guy… instead of Sora, you should be Kara.
You are empty.”

 (TLN: Kanji for Sora (空) means sky, but it can also mean empty as in 空っぽ Karappo and the 空 is read as “Kara” )


“I feel sorry for Raguna to have that weakling who got nothing in him as his family’s heir.
No matter how I think about it, Raguna would be a much more fitting heir”


We were seven years old at the time.


That was when the difference between me, Ayaka, Raguna and all the other pupils had become clear, and when everyone around me — especially my father, started to look at me with cold eyes.


“Why did you give me a name like this?!”, I went to my mother and yelled at her.

I was only taking my anger out on her, but she didn’t say anything back to me.

All she did was gently hug me- her pathetic son, and then she took me out to the courtyard.


My mother was someone who was always sick.

Her body had always been weak her whole life, but it became even more apparent after she gave birth to me and she spent most of her days in bed.

Her room, the mansion, and the courtyard.
That was my mother’s entire world.

Maybe it was because of that, she really liked looking at the sky.

She liked the sunny sky.

She liked the cloudy sky.

She liked the sky when the sun rose, she liked the sky when the sun set.

She liked the sky on rainy days…although she would joke that she hated that a little since she couldn’t walk in the courtyard when it rained.
Nevertheless, I understood that she loved to see the rainy clouds just from seeing the look on her face.


No matter where and when, the sky was always there for her when she looked up, showing her all of its different forms.


Even her loved ones who were far away would be looking at the same sky as her.
Everyone was connected under the same sky- She said that if she thought of it like that, she would not feel lonely.

Since she loved watching the sky, Sora was the first name she came up with when I was born.


“I want you to grow up to be a generous man who will have a heart that’s as big as the sky”, it was a wish like that.


“And you know what, Sora?”


My mother smiled as she called out to me, her naughty son who was still crying while listening to her story. 

“There’s nothing bad about being told that you have nothing inside.
If there’s nothing, then you can be anything.
From now on, you can fill yourself up with many things and be who you want to be.
No matter what kind of path you choose, as your mother, I will always support you”




「…Haha, was that what they call seeing your life flash before you?」


I made a forced smile as I lay on the ground like a caterpillar Inside the king of flies’ nest.

In this situation where all hopes of getting saved were lost, of all things, I seemed to have recalled the last conversation I had with my mother before she passed away…how awful.


After being told by my mother that I could be anything I wanted to be, how am I going to tell her in the afterlife that I became bug feed? Ahh, what a disgrace I am.


I moved only my head and looked down at my body.

My right arm that was torn by Miroslav’s magic has been completely bitten off by the maggots around the wound.

The part that fell off has been devoured to the very last drop of blood by a group of maggots.

I had no toes left on either of my feet, and my left hand had already disappeared.

The maggots that have entered my body through the wounds were making a crunching sound as they gnawed on the bones of my limbs.

Under normal circumstances, I would be suffering from the severe pain.
It wouldn’t be strange if I went insane or died from shock.

However, I was still fine.


There was no pain either.
On the contrary, I felt my spine tingling in pleasure whenever they took a bite of me.

Most likely, that was caused by an ability of these maggots.


Just like how a mosquito blocks the sensation of pain by injecting some fluid when they bite, these maggots might be doing something similar as they eat.

As a result, I’m in a situation where I’m dying but it didn’t feel like I was going to die.
While I was being eaten, my fear of dying was also being eaten away.

The next thing I knew, maggots the size of a bean were starting to gather around my face.


「G-get away! GET AWAY FROM ME!!」


I swung and spun my head that I could still freely control to try to keep the maggots in check.

The maggots distanced themselves for a bit in response…But before long, they slowly came closing in on me again.

Were they waiting for me to weaken? Or were they just playing with their food?


In any case, it was clear that the maggots think that “Prey is more delicious when they are alive”.

Otherwise, they would have probably completely devoured me to the bones a long time ago.


There were enough maggots nesting in this cave for me to be sure about that.

Right now, the maggots that I could see around me probably weren’t even ten percent of their whole population.


If all of the larvae here were to hatch into king of flies, then not just the city of Ishka, the entire Canaria Kingdom would most likely perish as well.

And then, the horde of king of flies would multiply even more after that and attack the neighboring Ad-Astera Empire —and then they will surely be annihilated by the emperor’s shields, the Mitsurugi family’s phantom blade users without a doubt.

The man called Sora Mitsurugi, who was made into a king of flies’ live prey, would decompose back into the earth without anyone knowing.
The cheers of the people would echo on this earth along with the cheers of his father and the other users of the phantom blade.

When I thought of that, fear, anger, dissatisfaction and despair; all those ugly emotions gushed out like a water spring.


The wounds on my body were fatal.
Just because I didn’t feel pain it doesn’t mean that I was fine.
There was no doubt that the amount of blood I was losing was reaching the lethal amount.

Even if help arrives this second, the possibility of survival was equal to zero.

I would only be saved in the unlikely event that there’s a priest in the rescue party who could use the spell 『Complete Recovery』  ,or an adventurer who carried a panacea elixir.


However, it would only be my life that’ll be saved.
My lost limbs would never return.
I heard that the pope of the southern holy kingdom could use the miracle 『Restoration』, but such a miracle is not something that a normal adventurer– no, someone who’s not even an adventurer can get him to do.

I will never be able to hold a sword again.
I will never be able to walk again.

With a body that had been emptied out, I will surely die while having nothing in the end…




Unable to endure the despair, I screamed out like a madman.


「Get away!! Get away from me!! Don’t eat anymore than this!! I don’t want to die here!! I DON’T WANT TO DIE!!」


I swung my head like crazy as I screamed to try to drive away the maggots that were still chewing on my body.

However, the paralysis of the king of flies was so strong that I still could not move from the neck down even after all this time.


Has it been three minutes since I started yelling?

My face hit the ground from exhaustion.

I groaned as I felt the cold soil touch my face.


「Damnittttt… Why? What have I done to deserve this….?」


When the guild expelled me, the adventurers all quickly cut their ties with me.
If I had followed Larz’s advice, I wouldn’t have ended up like this.

But that would mean that I would have to ditch all the efforts I’ve put in as an adventurer for the past five years.

Wait, was my decision to become an adventurer five years ago a mistake in the first place?


If I had chosen another path besides an adventurer after I was exiled from the island– If I took Ayaka’s advice and let go of the sword, maybe these last five years wouldn’t be all for naught.


I swore an oath to myself at that time.

When I came home from practice in the dojo and found out that my mother had already passed away.

I swore to myself at the time.

I swore to become a generous man with a heart as big as the sky.
That was the oath I made.

It meant that I will succeed the admirable Mitsurugi family.

It meant that by using the phantom blade style, I will subjugate monsters, protect the people and become a person that they can love.

…I swore that I would become a man who my mother can be proud of, that I would become a man like my father.


I chose to be an adventurer after being exiled from the island in order to fulfill that oath.

Because I, who had nothing, could become anything.

So I became an adventurer.
I tried hard for these five years.


All in order to become a great man like my father.
Then, I would be able to visit my mother’s grave proudly and tell her about it.


Is this how it’ll end? To be eaten by these maggots?

What the hell? Stop fucking with me.
I did not–




It happened when my helplessness and regret exploded with those words.

The movements of the surrounding maggots suddenly changed.

With eerie creaking sounds, the maggots rushed at my face one after another.


「Guhh?! No…STOP- DON’T COME!!」


I desperately moved my face to try to drive them away.

I managed to hold on for this long by doing that up until now.

But the maggots did not flinch this time as they clung onto my face.

I understood clearly that they were invading my ears and my nose.

That momentum was not comparable to their last few attempts.


Surely, it was because they’ve judged that my life was about to end.

So, right now would be the best time to eat me.
The desire to eat to their content, and the desire to greedily devour– I could definitely sense something like that from them.


At last, they seemed to be trying to enter from my mouth so I tried to keep my lips closed with all I had.
I tightly shut my eyes too since it seemed like they were about to be eaten as well.


However, my lips were eaten.
My eyelids were eaten.


「……! ………, ……!!」


I made a sound that wasn’t really a sound.

Was I trying to scream out in anger? Was I trying to ask for help? Or was I trying to beg for mercy?

I continued to scream without even knowing what I was trying to do myself.

I knew that no one was there to answer me, but I kept going.



…Then, I heard a reply…from a voice that should not have been there.

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