Chapter 1 – The Winds of Home
The Sword Academy—-
Is located in Tokyo Swordia Specialized Central Region. Outstanding Swordie children study at this famous school.
The school grounds were originally a military base, hence it was unusually expansive. Even the courtyard was very vast.
There were two girls who came here for a match after school.
Both were wearing the Sword Academy’s uniform, a white short sleeved shirt with a tie, cream-colored vest, and a skirt that exposed one’s legs. The summer attire looked cool and refreshing.
One of the girls, who wielded a long blade, had short hair.
The other person had blonde hair knotted on the left side of her head. She easily controlled the massive double-edged sword that was the size of her body.
The blonde girl was obviously talented. The short-haired girl could only stay on defense.
The blonde girl swung her massive sword down and right as she was about to hit the short-haired girl in the head she stopped. Controlling a sword that was basically akin to a chunk of metal was a skill that humans could never hope to achieve.
Correct, the blonde girl was not human.
Swordies possessed physical abilities far beyond what a human was capable of. They can carry boulders and run faster than the wind. Plus, they were naturally gifted in swordsmanship. As long as they had a sword in hand they could even easily slice through metal.
“…I admit defeat Sefi-sama.”
The short-haired girl took a step back and lowered her head.
“Lima is also incredibly strong. I had some nervous moments.”
The blonde-haired girl, Sefi, replied as she put away her sword. With a fluid motion she put the sword back in the sheath and smiled.
“No, the distance between me and Sefi-sama is only getting further and further…sigh”
The girl named Lima was crestfallen.
“However, there’s no use being discouraged. I’m going to go buy us a drink!”
Lima appeared to be depressed. Who have thought she would immediately stand back up and energetically departed in a hurry.
Lima changed back to her normal ways—-Sefi exhaled with relief.
One month ago, Sefi had taken someone’s life with her sword for the first time. Furthermore, that girl was Lima’s and Sefi’s former friend.
It was an appropriate result of a decisive struggle. Sefi could have been the one to perish as well.
Lima also understands that so she does not blame Sefi. Sefi also had a lot of thoughts on the matter. If she was to continue as a swordsman, it would be a barrier she must overcome.
Sefi and Lima slowly returned to their normal state.
Sefi gently sighed.
She used one hand to lift up the Starbreaker and placed her personalized sword in the sheath.
A Swordie’s body contains [Light], a type of energy that cannot be seen. Moreover, females have extraordinarily strong [Light]. That was why a girl as small as Sefi could use a large sword like the Starbreaker.
“However, I am still lacking!”
From spring to summer in that short period of time, Sefi’s swordsmanship capabilities have clearly risen.
Her [Light] for some reason rapidly increased and she had learned plenty from countless battles with strong swordsmen.
Despite that, Sefi was not satisfied. In these couple of months, she had encountered swordsmen who were overwhelmingly strong. How many times would she have to wield her sword to catch up to them—-
“Sefi? You rarely become immersed in your thoughts.”
“…It happens from time to time.”
Leisurely walking towards her was Sakurai Hinako.
To not interfere with their practice, she spectated from a distance.
Hinako was a human girl. Through various means she was under protection at the Sword Academy. To Sefi, Hinako was her friend and she took responsibility as Hinako’s bodyguard.
Hinako was also wearing the Sword Academy’s summer attire. She was not a student at the academy but in order to fit in she wore the uniform.
“Oh yeah, summer is basically here Sefi.”
“It’s the season Sefi is liberated.”
“Why is it just me!?”
“It is finally summer but Kurou is not around you—-perhaps you are unhappy?”
“…Come on, where do I even start.”
Sefi displayed her frustration and clasped her head.
Hinako was always been doing whatever she wants. However, recently she particularly liked to crack jokes about Sefi being with Kurou.
It was something that could never happen. In this country, Sefi and Hinako’s relationship would never hold water.
The Great War happened seventy years ago. The raging fires of a hellish battle spread. The so-called portal, a strange gateway, opened and the Swordie military poured through.
The Swordies pushed forward encountering the armies of numerous countries. Once the portal suddenly closed, they lost their way to return.
At that time, the Swordies decided that Japan would be their new homeland. The Swordies enacted a new government and governed humans.
Sefi was the daughter of the four generals who stood at the top of the Swordie government.
Joking with Sefi was not something a human could do. If the Swordies, who paid attention to status, overheard what Hinako was saying they would slice her up with their swords.
Nevertheless, Sefi did not care about her position. She considered Hinako’s joke as just casual conversation between friends.
As for Hinako, she was through and through a sheltered flower. In addition, she did not quite understand the status system so she did not care at all.
Just like that, the astonishing relationship between the Swordie princess and a human girl was born.
“Kurou isn’t here today either. He and Lars were off in a hurry in the morning.”
“Nothing we can do there.”
Sefi shrugged her shoulders.
“Since they became Onee-chan’s subordinates and received some important mission…well, being excluded makes me feel a bit unhappy.”
“What are they doing? Can’t we ask them?”
“They can’t just freely talk about the contents of their mission. Onee-chan is very strict about that.”
Kurou’s boss in the Sabers group was Sefi’s older sister Sylphy. She was directly from the government giving orders. Those matters cannot be publicly spoken so easily.
Sefi clearly understood that.
“Having not been harassed, Sefi is having a breakdown.”
“Who would breakdown.”
Though she says that, her heart was indeed filled with turmoil.
Sefi also wanted to join the Sabers and fight together along with Kurou and others.
However, Sefi’s abilities were far from Kurou so she had no leverage.
“W-Whatever, I don’t care about what they are doing!”
Saying one thing and mean another, Sefi was a girl who was never honest with herself.
“And with Rou out of the picture I do not have to worry about being harassed!”
Hinako did not seem to agree.
Kurou was Sefi’s childhood friend. When they were young Kurou would always feel up Sefi beyond what romantic partners would do. Despite that, Hinako believed she liked it.
“I have to make that clear to you Hinako.”
“The more you speak the more you expose your yourself Sefi.”
“You’re too blunt!”
Sefi yelled back.
“I do not think someone should freely do that to others!”
“I really want to harass Sefi!”
“What the heck are you shouting about.”
Being stared down by Lars’s stunned gaze, Kurou felt unsatisfied.
“You see, lately we are always together working. Life is lacking its appeal.”
Kurou spoke of his frustrations and scratched his head.
The two of them were at Tokyo Swordia’s east—-walking along a certain street in the Outer Human Region.
The old village was full of single-story houses that were decades old. The place was full intricate narrow paths.
The two of them were in Sabers uniform today. As a result, their attire made them stand out so they took off the black outer jacket. Still, anyone could tell that Lars was Swordie. They were still conspicuous when factoring in both were carrying a sword.
“It’s been about a month since we became Sylphy’s underlings right? In that time we’ve been constantly pursuing the cult leader. I can’t even find time to properly sexually harass!”
“Even if you have time, that’s not something you should do…”
“This cult leader vanished from the face of the earth. Even if it wasn’t a mission, I’m starting to want to capture him for myself!”
Kurou tighten his fist stressing a silly matter.
Tokyo Swordia’s public security force, the Sabers, had always been around.
The Sabers group within that past month had fought the Blazes, an insurgent group against the government. During that battle the core of the Sabers’ fighting force was wiped out and the group was disbanded.
Kurou and Lars were former members. Right as they lost their jobs Sylphy, a government official tasked with investigating the Blaze, hired them into an investigation group.
The reason for naming them the Sabers was because Sylphy did not care how it related to the purpose of the group.
“Is it really here?”
Kurou nonchalantly surveyed his surroundings.
The new Sabers current objective was to apprehend the Sun Cult leader.
The Sun Cult and the Blazes formed an alliance. It was very likely the cult leader had information on the Blazes.
A couple days ago some captured cadres confessed that a couple of the leader’s trusted confidants were living in the village.
Normally speaking, the followers would stay at a cult organized set up. Living in a small village seemed abnormal. Kurou was skeptical of the authenticity of the information.
“The captain didn’t come either…does she also think the information is false?”
“I heard today she’s with Sylphy-san again. Seems they discovered something.”
Discovered—-meaning a person related to the incident.
Sylphy did not throw the entire investigation regarding the Blazes to Kurou and company. She ordered her information network to thoroughly look into the matter.
“Kurou’s report probably triggered everything. The discarded Blazes living area actually has electricity coming through. The hunch seems to be right that there was someone with power among the Swordies secretly communicating with the Blazes.”
“Yeah, that’s to be expected. Sylphy-sama probably predicted as such.”
Although the Blazes started a rebellion, they are the type of people who would immediately complicate matters when something interesting comes up without a care for the aftermath.
Even so the Blazes were basically going against a nation’s government. Using some underhanded tricks was to be expected. They likely inserted some collaborators within Swordie society.
“Today they are probably capturing some big shot Swordie so that’s why the captain is also participating.”
“It’s probably not some interesting suspect. Speaking of which, is that why the captain become Sylphy-sama’s subordinate lately?”
“Does it really matter? For our so-called leader, if something were to happen here, the captain would take responsibility is all.”
“Jeez, speaking about a dark matter in such a trivial tone.”
From childhood, Kurou and Lars had known each other for eight years. That was why he understood Lars’s nefarious nature.
“Eh? That’s a bullet hole.”
Lars suddenly pointed to the wall of a nearby house. The old cement wall was riddled with black holes.
“They are bullet holes…they just left them there.”
Kurou muttered in a soft tone.
“Do you feel nostalgic Kurou? It’s been about eight years since you’ve been here?”
The village the cult leader’s confidants were living in was also Kurou’s hometown.
Furthermore, eight years ago the Swordie elite troops fought a fierce battle with thousands of insurgents here.
“It’s been over eight years hasn’t it.”
Around when the Swordie elite troops moved out to apprehend the insurgent group, the insurgent group had just smuggled a huge quantity of firearms and the battle quickly exploded into civilian public and residential areas.
Along the streets that was transformed into a battlefield, the insurgency eyed a certain man.
He was a Swordie researcher. He had close ties to the Swordies and was Kurou’s father.
Due to his connections with Swordies—-an example was to be made of him. His father was stabbed in the head and was brutally killed in front of Kurou.
“Why is it this village.”
“Once we capture these confidants we’ll ask. It’s not because it’s this village why I’m saying this, but my past memories here are practically gone from master’s intense training.”
“Kurou…stop saying such scary things ok?”
Although their races were different, Kurou and Lars grew up together as disciples. Kurou had already shaken off the past and Lars also likely understood that fact.
“Well, it’s about time to start scouting around,”
Kurou nodded in response.
The information from the captured cultists was very crude. The trusted confidants resided in this small village—-that was all there was to it. Not even the specific address or names were provided.
“Let’s split up. This village isn’t that big and there are two churches. Set out in that direction first.”
If something were to go wrong then they can communicate using cellphones—-after confirming with each other, Lars left.
Looking up to the sky with the midsummer sun shining brightly, Kurou sighed.
“It’s hot. Jeez, if that cult leader guy would behave and stay at the cult’s main headquarters there would be no need to expend so much energy.”
The Sun Cult was an armed group rebelling against the Swordie government.
However Swordies have an odd tendency. They are tolerant to those without weapons. Furthermore, not everyone within the Sun Cult took up arms to go against the government. In fact, quite a few were unarmed.
For that reason the Swordie government never thoroughly crushed the Sun Cult and their churches still exist normally.
Having said that, the Sun Cult had smuggled firearms that are forbidden in Japan. The cult organization was therefore heavily searched numerous times by the Sabers and police.
Of course the cult leader was also an important search target but nothing resulted from their searches.
It has been over ten years since the Sun Cult leader last appeared in front the cult devotees.
“Is the cult leader even alive? Maybe he’s been dead for a while—-That better not be the case.”
Kurou used the smartphone Sylphy provided for them to confirm the cult’s position as he walked along the road in his hometown.
“Gaaah, I can’t take it anymore!”
Kurou made a troubled expression at the sound of a sudden cry.
A nun-like looking girl with a white veil was running from the other side of the street towards him. Behind her was what appeared to be a barking dog.
“…So much commotion.”
Should he lend a hand—-Kurou was hesitating as he walked. At that moment…
Kurou stopped in his tracks. The oncoming sight of the girl and dog gave him an agitated feeling.
What is this feeling…?
Kurou had a strong inkling that something was not right. The girl and dog, this village, and everything in his surroundings seemed to be troubling him.
The nun suddenly tripped over a crack in the concrete and fell over. The dog rushed over to the fallen nun who was unable to move.
The dog did not want to bite the nun. It just wanted to play around so there was no need to help.
When the nun fell, the uneasy feeling in Kurou’s mind dissipated. What was that just now—-although he was mindful of that feeling, for now he ought to help the nun up.
“Hey, are you ok…hmm?”
The nun who suddenly lifted her head was someone Kurou recognized.
It was Kido Akari—-a nun whose fate was oddly linked to him.
Things are about to get complicated—-Kurou wryly smiled and walked towards Akari.
Tokyo Swordia Central Region.
Manaka stepped into the first special electrical tower—-also known as the Tokyo Tower’s observation deck.
It was a regular morning with the interior full of people.
Manaka had blue hair flowing to her shoulders as usual, but she was wearing sunglasses. Though her sleeveless blouse plus tight-fitting miniskirt was slightly revealing, it was a simple getup.
Manaka previously held the title of the Sword General among the elite Seven Swords.
Furthermore, her real identity was a Blaze who was going against the Swordie Government.
Now that she was a target for capture by the Swordie Government, she needed to somewhat disguise herself out in public.
Her personalized sword, the Dancer, was also well-known so Manaka rolled it up in a cloth to conceal its shape. However, even if she was discovered she could easily escape.
“Ah, over here.”
Suddenly someone spoke to her.
Standing on the observation deck in front of her was a girl who waved at Manaka.
Manaka muttered in dissatisfaction and then stood next to the girl. On the other side of the glass was the scenery of Tokyo Swordia.
“What were you thinking, calling me out to a place with so many people.”
“We are a tree in a forest. Plus, in a tourist attraction no one really pays attention to other people.
“…I wish your action were not based on such wishful thinking.”
Manaka thought she herself was quite daring. However, she was nothing compared to the girl in front of her.
She had fiery red hair draped along her back and she was wearing a blue sports jacket and a gray miniskirt.
She only looked to be in her teens, but Manaka was not really clear on her age. Manaka was twenty-four this year but she had the appearance of a teenager. Under the influence of [Light], Swordies could delay the speed of aging so it was difficult to judge a woman’s age from their appearance.
“Well then, what do you want Suisara?”
“Didn’t I tell you just Sara is fine?”
Sara said in a relaxed tone.
Manaka was not pleased in her response to Sara.
Sara was a Death Sword, a special type of Blaze. Even among the Blazes you could call them an oddity.
Among the Blazes who specialized in combat, the Death Sword possessed incredible strength. Their recovery ability could instantly heal injuries and they possessed unique artes.
Manaka knows the Death Sword known as Rinne. Her unique arte was clairvoyance. As for Sara’s unique arte, perhaps she had kept it a secret, but practically no one among the Blazes knew what it was.
“Oh right, before we discuss matters let me express my condolences. It’s unfortunate what happened to Neena.”
Manaka responded in a stoic manner.
Neena called Manaka “Onee-sama” and adored her. Neena was basically a little sister to her.
About a month ago before Manaka was called forth by Sara, Neena and Sefi battled and Neena lost her life.
Apart from that, the battle would involve death of many Blazes and only Rinne survived. Neena’s death was reported by her and Manaka had verified it within her Blaze information network. Manaka also confirmed Sefi had took Neena’s corpse and buried her with full honors.
Manaka had a lot of thoughts on Neena’s death so she could not help but express her thoughts.
“It’s quite sad. Neena had a bright future as a swordsman.”
“Yeah I thought so too.”
Was this Death Sword really saddened by Neena’s death? It seemed doubtful. This Death Sword just goes about her business only minding herself for better or worse.
“Well, the grieving is done. So how are things on your end?”
“Couldn’t we have just discussed over phone? Plus you know things over here are a bit complicated right?”
Manaka shrugged her shoulders as she gazed down towards the streets from the observation deck.
“I will definitely see it through.”
Manaka had received an order from Sara the Death Sword.
The task that Manaka received was—-to slaughter the Seven Swords.
“Speaking of which, the only ones where I am certain of their location are the Kingsbrand and the Sword of Heaven. Even if it’s me, the two of them would already give me trouble.”
“What about the Absolute Blade? I heard you said she stays within the Sword Academy?”
“No not Shunaku, I can’t deal with her.”
“You can’t deal with her? Well, instead of rushing to failure, I would prefer a steady success. If I were to lose Manaka I wouldn’t know what I would do.”
“Are you still at that sword captivation age?”
Manaka helplessly said.
The Swordies have a habit of being captivated by strong swordsmen and the reason why they are referred to as a sword-loving race. This tendency was the strongest for adolescent girls.
“Nah, I’m past that. I just really want to have some fun with the Seven Swords.”
“That’s not allowed.”
Manaka concluded as such.
Right now Sara is the commander of the Blazes so being on the front lines was not her responsibility.
“Haha, oh and about Rinne—-“
“Rinne? She’s no longer by my side.”
One month ago she was inflicted a big blow when battling Kurou. However, after that no one knew where she ended up disappearing to.
Due to Rinne’s rampage, Manaka basically told her to behave a bit. However, Manaka was unable to shutdown Rinne who was a Death Sword.
Manaka reported the situation to Sara but did not really search for Rinne in earnest.
“Whatever makes her happy. Rinne changed after participating in a real battle. That’s a good thing.”
“…Speaking of which, why are we having Rinne enter battles? Doesn’t she need to be properly protected due to her important clairvoyance ability?”
“There’s a simple explanation.”
Sara gave a meaningful look towards Manaka.
“Although I’m not sure how reliable she is, that person is an important part of our combat capabilities. Furthermore, she disappeared a year ago and hasn’t been seen since. Our numbers have always been meager so we have no room to have a Death Blade sitting around.”
An important battle force, she was likely referring to Manaka’s older sister Hyouka.
According to Manaka’s conjecture, Hyouka was already slain by Kurou.
She had no proof, but it was not even certain there was evidence considering Hyouka basically vanished without a trace. That was why it was understandable that the Blazes needed people to supplement the hole Hyouka left.
“Moreover, seeing Rinne she…”
“What? There’s more to it?”
Manaka asked Sara who wryly smiled.
“No, it’s nothing. Even though I don’t know how it will turn out, at the very least I think Rinne will still fight for the Blazes. She’s definitely easier to understand than Hyouka.”
“I can’t refute that logic…”
Hyouka was Manaka’s older sister and she was an overly loose cannon of a swordsman.
Basically Hyouka had the responsibilities from being a Blaze, but did not care and went hiding in the mountains raising some disciples.
“Oh oh, Hyouka’s disciples—-particularly that human boy, I’m very interested in him.”
Sara gently smiled.
From Manaka’s words, Kurou was her enemy who killed her sister. Manaka felt a sense of wrath towards Kurou that was impossible to restrain.
She was unable to overlook Sara’s interest in Kurou.
If Sara were to fight against Kurou—-perhaps it would end in an instant.
Sara suppressed her [Light] and was full of openings. However, if she were to get serious it would only take her one second to kill the hundreds of people on this observation deck.
Manaka did not believe she was inferior to Sara and thought Kurou had no chance to win against her.
“Things have gotten quite interesting. Ah, it’s great to have started this uprising.”
Even though the observation deck was rowdy, Sara said some shocking words.
For some reason Manaka began to feel a bit uneasy about the future.
“Alright, that should take care of it.
Kurou gently applied the gauze on Akari’s right knee.
“…I’m not going to thank you.”
Akari said with a grin. After returning her upturned nun dress back to its original state, she forcefully tilted her head away.
The place next to where Kurou encountered Akari was her house. It was an old wooden cottage and the two of them sat in the gallery facing the courtyard.
“That said, you’re quite skilled at this.”
“I learned some emergency bandaging before.”
Kurou bandaged up Akari’s knee that had gotten scraped when she fell due to being chased by the dog.
Truthfully speaking, it was Kurou who forced Akari to return home even though she did not want to. He even decided to go into inside someone else’s home.
“You aren’t a little kid anymore yet look at you still being chased by a dog.”
“C-Come on! That’s like the only thing I’ve been afraid of!”
Akari gazed at Kurou with her face flushed red.
The Special Central Region should not have any stray dogs. On the other hand, in the Outer Human Region—-especially in these small villages you will see quite a few.
After closing the first aid box, Kurou surveyed his surroundings. The courtyard was untrimmed and across the gallery was what appeared to be an empty living room with only a small table a few cabinets.
“Not a bad house you got here.”
“Are you mocking me?”
“No, before I lived in a house that felt like this. Overall it gives me a peaceful feeling.”
An old tatami smell, wooden pillars full of scratches, even the cabinets with glass doors made him feel nostalgic.
“When I was a child I lived near here. Even now this village still has these old-fashioned houses.”
“Well sorry for this old house. A nun can’t afford such a luxurious home.”
“Speaking of which, why would a nun stay in a normal house like this? Shouldn’t you be at the cult compound?”
“…I have mine own issues to deal with. Enough with the trivial matters.”
After her cold words, Akari stood up and left the living room. Who knows where she was headed off to.
She probably intends on calling over some of her fellow cultists. Kurou leisurely surmised as such.
No matter how many people she called over they would pose no threat to Kurou. However, Akari should have recognized that. No need for this to involve senseless sacrifices.
After a few minutes Akari returned with two cups on a tray.
“Here, have some.”
Akari brought over some iced tea and Kurou took some.
“Who knew you would make me some tea.”
“You’re already here so it’s only normal. I’m already being doubted for having secret communications with a certain Sabers member so it’s awkward at headquarters.”
“…Ah, is that so.”
About a month ago, Kurou and Akari happened to meet up and for some reason she acted to protect Kurou. To the Sun Cult, Kurou was an enemy who had killed many cultists.
During that time, Kurou had beaten up numerous cultists. Suspicions against Akari should not be surprising.
“That’s why the elder nuns told me to go out and calm myself.”
“Sorry about that.”
“Apologizing now solves nothing.”
From Akari’s point of view, no matter how much Kurou apologizes it would not be enough due to all the tragedies caused by him.
“Also what are you doing? A trip down memory lane?”
“No way. Certain matters have led me here. Plus I don’t know anyone here.”
Akari nonchalantly said.
Kurou’s father was involved in the turmoil and lost his life. Afterwards, Kurou pleaded to the Sword Saint, the one who suppressed the chaos, to be his tutor. As a result he left the village. Under the arrangement of the Sword Saint he retrieved his father’s corpse and buried him.
He had already forgotten what had happened to the house where he had lived with his father. Not that he really cares since he had no intentions of going back.
“If you are going to do something leave us out of it. After the Sabers disbanded, you seem to be capturing our people left and right.”
“Eh? Some of the cadres were captured and you don’t seem to really care.”
“The ones you guys captured deal with matters outside of the cult. In other words, they are peripheral members. As opposed to calling them devotees, they are more like negotiators who deal with other organizations.”
“The guy I caught before was staying in the presidential suite of a hotel drinking some fancy wine.”
“Those are people who steal from the public funds of the cult. The devotees hate them.”
With one after another being captured, the Sun Cult has yet to do anything. Kurou thought the violence inducing group would secretly engage in some sort of activity in response. As it turned out, normal cultists were just docile people.
“Of course they aren’t as unbearable as Kurou.”
“You’re so harsh. It’s not like I hate the Sun Cult.”
Kurou smiled as he laid flat on the ground. The wooden composition was very cool which made lying down very comfortable. The Sun Cult—-had employed Swordie mercenaries to kill numerous of his old Sabers coworkers. In the old Sabers, Kurou was the only human so he was looked down upon by the other members. He never really recognized them as partners which was why he did not detest the Sun Cult’s reasoning.
“…Must be nice to take it easy. Don’t forget I’m a Sun Cult member.”
“You’re not scary.”
Kurou unwittingly said something that made Akari bite down on her lip in dissatisfaction.
That was not a swordsman’s intuition, but rather this nun could never launch a sneak attack.
Kurou suddenly looked up into Akari’s eyes while lying down.
“It’s just you and me all alone.”
“Eh…! Although we are alone, but you…!”
“What about me?”
Against Akari, who was becoming red faced, Kurou continued his onslaught.
“I…I am not afraid of you either!”
“That’s an odd thing to say, I’m the type of guy that can pacify a crying kid.”
Kurou gently laughed. He had no intention of being rude to Akari. Though he had been at odds with Akari countless times during his missions, he had never hurt her. It was not because Kurou thought a nun was sacred but rather he felt it was difficult for him to do anything to her.
“Anyways I won’t do anything…hmm, now is not the time to be resting!”
Kurou suddenly stood up which surprised Akari.
He had almost forgotten that today’s objective was to capture the Sun Cult confidants.
He drank his tea in one go, even the ice cubes were eaten with a crunch.
“Hold on Kurou! Where do you think you are going!?”
Akari swiftly stood up and blocked Kurou’s path.
“What is it Akari, are you worried for me?”
“Idiot, I’m only concerned about what you are doing.”
Akari responded seriously to Kurou’s joke.
“I heard from sources that there are some Sun Cult cadres in this small village. They are high ranking individuals and not just some outside employed people. I’m supposed to be capturing them and getting information from them.”
“Sun Cult cadres…”
Kurou planned on visiting the church to ask the Sun Cult devotees. Although his intentions would be known by visiting them and the cultists might escape, but without more information his objective will have reached an impasse.
“None of them are here though.”
Akari gave a straightforward answer. She did not seem like she was lying.
“Why would they be in a village like this? We may have many followers here, but no one here is even capable of being a bodyguard. With people as dangerous as Kurou around, why would anyone purposefully live outside of the cult headquarters?”
“I guess that would make sense…”
The cadres are also part of the religious group so perhaps there might be special reason for them to venture outside of the Sun Cult base where it would be a more dangerous environment. However if Akari was speaking the truth, then there was no opportunity to be had being here.
“Mmhmm…so it seems you received some false information?”
It was not surprising that the information received was false. Coming back to his hometown that he had not visited in years and coming up empty-handed made Kurou feel disappointed.
“That bastard made up something about a top confidant being here. Why I oughta…”
“A top confidant? You don’t mean…”
Akari’s eyes were wide open.
“Your dad? Wait, your dad is among the Sun Cult cadres?”
“…I thought you guys would already have discovered that. Kido Yuji, many years ago his name appeared on the cult’s handbook. Recently he hasn’t made an appearance though.”
Kurou always thought it was weird that Akari’s attitude was particularly arrogant among the devotees. Looks like it was because her father was a high ranking member.
“So it wasn’t the father living here but the daughter instead…what a huge error. So, where’s your dad then?”
“I have no reason to tell you. No matter how I’m treated I will not confess.”
“Unfortunately torturing is not my hobby.”
The Sabers had used torture before but Kurou had nothing to do with it.
“What a waste of time…darn, nothing we can do if he isn’t here.”
Kurou suddenly noticed something and rushed past Akari to enter the living room.
There were several books on the cabinet. Kurou was familiar with one of them.
“This is…my dad’s book.”
Kurou picked up the book. The author was Katsuragi Yoshitomo. No doubt it was his dad’s work.
“T-This is…why would this be mixed in there!”
“Why? Eh, that book seems to be quite popular…shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s here.”
Kurou lost his father when he was seven. He was not familiar with his dad’s job, however he heard his father published a few studies done on the Swordie integration. Plus he was quite popular.
“It’s because the Swordies are our enemy! Knowing your enemy is the key to victory so that’s why I have a copy!”
“Haha you don’t have to be so anxious.”
Why did Akari feel the need to justify why she has the book?
“If you want it you can have it! I already read it anyways.”
Kurou shook his head.
Kurou did not really mind. Nevertheless, in his father’s research on Swordies, his compilations of the Japanese samurai and Swordie battles resulted in the Olden Style that was firmly engrave in Kurou’s body. That was why Kurou did not care to retrieve other relics left behind by his father.
Kurou suddenly noticed something and his body shuddered. Akari looked over with a surprised expression.
“Hey is anyone home!?”
A coarse voice resonated in the house.
Following a loud knock on the front door, the sound of footsteps could be heard coming from the courtyard.
He went back to the gallery.
“Hmm what is this, someone is here…eh, there’s a guest too.”
Coming from the courtyard was a person wearing the attire of a cultist.
The man appeared to be in his twenties. However, his short hair was white.
He was wearing glasses and his left arm was covered in crudely wrapped bandages.
His right hand was holding a large watermelon. Was it a gift?
“…What an unexpected guest.”
Upon seeing Kurou, the corners of the man’s lips were greatly distorted. Was it supposed to be a smile or the expression of encountering a headache.
Kurou did not know how to react. He remembered this man when they crossed paths a month ago.
Akari did not say anything and stood still. She clenched her fists, seemingly to be in full alert.
“Hey, so what should we do Snow White?”
A petite girl appeared behind the man. Kurou had also met the girl called Snow White a month ago.
The girl looked like a middle schooler. Her lovely gray hair neatly rested on her shoulders. Although she wore nun attire like Akari, her shirt had no sleeves and her dress was short to limit interference in battle.
The burly man with white hair and the girl wearing comfortable nun attire, after seeing these two there were alarm bells going off in Kurou’s head.
Kurou’s cellphone was vibrating in his pocket.
It was likely Lars calling him. Based on the timing, he was certainly about to report his findings at the first church.
However, right now Kurou could not spare time for his call.
“What’s wrong? Your phone is ringing, you’re not going to pick it up?”
“Taking a call while talking to others is a bit impolite isn’t it?”
The guy was joking around while Kurou calmly responded.
“Eh, who would’ve thought you’d be so polite. I had investigated you a bit and heard Kurou of the Sabers was a pathetic brat.”
“There’s no such thing. I only like to lick a girl’s armpits is all.”
Akari cried out and quickly shifted away from Kurou’s side. She seemed to be tightly covering her armpits from being over paranoid.
“You’re so young, yet you’ve already gone off the deep end.”
The burly man also seemed to be keeping his distance.
Kurou was messing around while watching the burly man cautiously.
When Kurou first encountered him, his soul was writhing with a sense of danger. Was it because it was his second time meeting him? Kurou felt that the level of danger was not as strong this time around.
Nevertheless, Kurou could not afford to be negligent still. That was because Rinne, the Death Sword who pushed Kurou to the brink—-even she was wary of the burly man.
“Anyways, this is quite unusual. Who would’ve thought that Akari would have illicit communications with the Sabers.”
“Eh…? Hold on sec, that’s not!”
“Can’t find any excuses now can we?”
The burly man smoothly replied to the panicking Akari.
His firm belief was to be expected. After all, he saw Akari let Kurou come into her house and conversed with him.
Goodness gracious, Kurou shook his head.
“Come on. Illicit communications? Enough nonsense. How can someone who immediately shows such a reaction be meticulous enough for that.”
“Kurou, are you trying to defend me or ridicule me!?”
“Both of course.”
Akari stared at him while tearing up. She has a habit of crying easily.
“Uh…hmm, then let’s leave it at that. It’d be troublesome if Akari lost influence hahaha!”
The burly man boldly laughed.
He gives of a strong threat level but there does not appear to be any hostilities.
“In that case, what are you doing over here!?”
“It’s not in season quite yet but I managed to pick out an excellent watermelon…plus I have some matters to discuss with you.”
“Discuss? You just come here to mess around first before getting serious again!”
Akari gazed at the burly man while complaining.
They both seemed to be part of the Sun Cult yet the two were not on friendly terms.
“Now now let’s tone down the hostilities. How about you try telling me what is the cause of the conflict?”
Kurou smiled as he butted in their conversation.
“Why would I tell an enemy? You think I’m stupid?”
“Right now the Sun Cult is divided into two faction. What a pain.”
Akari and the burly man had different reactions.
“Huh!? What did you just say?”
“It’s nothing worth hiding. You not knowing about this is quite strange. You’re part of the Sabers…well more like you’re Sylphy’s dog at the moment right?”
“Sorry for being so ignorant.”
Kurou was not aware of the matter. Kurou did not really absorb all the information in detail. Outside of what was required for his mission, he did know much else.
“It’s pretty simple. The Sabers have already disintegrated so the armed faction decided to work with the Blazes to forth a magnificent firework show in revolting against the Swordies. However, the moderates want to leave the revolt to the Blazes. They would prefer to concentrate on religion as Sun Cult devotees. That is the conflict between the two factions.”
“So you are the leader of the armed faction?”
The burly man grinned at Kurou’s deduction.
“Exactly. During this past year or so I had to take a small leave from the cult to take care of some matters. Now I am back though so the cult is faced with a choice.”
Kurou nodded in response.
If he was the armed faction’s leader, even Kurou would know about his existence. Since he left the front lines for a while, Kurou being unaware of the situation was not surprising.
“Kido Akari has inherited Kido Yuji’s position.
The burly man pointed to Akari and said.
“Even without that, this girl is a top figure in the cult. From youth she was doted on to the highest degree and she really takes care of her subordinates. Frankly speaking, whatever Kido Akari decides on will have a large impact on what the cult will trend towards.”
“Wow…You’re much bigger than I thought.”
“Don’t touch my head!”
Akari swiped at Kurou’s hand as she shouted.
“Aren’t you saying too much! This guy is an enemy!”
The burly man suddenly moved. He flung the watermelon at Kurou with his left hand.
Kurou stood motionless and smiled. Then in one swift motion he drew his blade and beautifully sliced the watermelon in half. The neatly cut watermelon fell on the gallery floor.
“Watermelons are not meant to be thrown. Rather they should be cut and enjoyed.”
“In a moment I’ll take good care of you after I beat you up. You killed many of our members so there’s no way I’ll let you escape!”
“I’m so scared!”
It was like he was treated as a hooligan. Kurou was quite stunned at himself. Although his upbringing was bad so perhaps it was to be expected.
At that moment—-
Thud—-a heavy sound could be heard. The courtyard’s enclosed wall fell towards the street.
Despite being a wooden wall, it was not something that could be easily taken down. A girl wearing a clean cut nun outfit was standing by the fallen wall.
“Haha, this courtyard serving as our arena felt small. Thanks Snow White.”
Snow White did not say anything. That said, Kurou had never heard her speak. It was not as if she was not able to right?
Actually if tearing down the wall was Snow White’s doing, that girl could not be any ordinary girl. In the past she had single-handedly carry the cultists that Kurou had beat up. However, Kurou noticed she was not a Swordie so where was her strength coming from?
“What are you contemplating over? Come at me already!”
Kurou put on his shoes and walked towards the courtyard.
With him being the Sun Cult’s armed faction leader, then their relationship was predestined. His position of capturing the cultists mean he could not just let the burly man go.
Kurou focused his attention on him.
The Sun Cult devotee uniform was blue, similar to the religious attire of a priest. The outer wear was tailored to conceal weapons within.
“Since you are a Swordie beater…could you possibly be…”
“How could that even cross your mind. We are the Sun Cult, an organization that rebels against the Swordies. I am the group’s leader, how could I be a Swordie? Honestly I’m quite against employing Swordies too.”
“Is that so? Thanks for answering honestly.”
Even without confirmation, Kurou could tell he was human. Kurou was a human living in Swordie society so all it would take was a glance for him to tell between the two.
Kurou pulled out his katana and put it at a middle stance, his normal positioning.
“You can have the first move. Consider it my thanks for answering many of my questions.”
“What are you going on about? Who said going first has any advantage? Well whatever I may as well accept…”
The burly dashed at him like a bullet.
After immediately closing in on Kurou, the burly man tightened his right fist and swiftly punched towards him. The fist ripped through the air but Kurou dodged it by a hair.
So fast! However, it was not difficult to evade.
Kurou calmly assessed the burly man’s attack as he took a step back. The burly man did not stop in his onslaught continued his pursuit.
The burly man grabbed Kurou’s left wrist. It could have easily been snapped—-but right before that could happen, Kurou pulled out his wrist as he kneed the burly man at his side.
Kurou heard the burly man’s groan as he raised his sword using his right hand. However, the burly had already begun to move. He quickly approached and caught Kurou right leg with his left leg. Having almost gotten tripped up by his maneuver, Kurou managed to stay up and free himself from the lock step the burly man put on him.
Kurou then connected with his left fist at the burly man’s chest and then backed off.
The burly man clicked his tongue and kept his distance. The knee and punch did not seem to cause him any damage.
Kurou flexed his left elbow which was slightly twisted and began to speak.
“A very simple method of fighting. Wrestling…no, judging by the techniques of the joints that should not be the case. It’s not from the police either…so are you from the Self-Defense Forces’ airborne division?”
“You’re right. You’re sixth sense is really quite something.”
The burly man was really quite surprised.
5/26/2019: Hi Everyone, sorry to keep you all waiting. With my first update I think it would be a good idea to leave a small intro. Expect updates of this size (20%) going forward every week or so. Please keep an eye on the main page as I update the percentage to see if I uploaded more. Since the wait was so long for my first update, I will be updating chapter 1 rather quickly and it should all uploaded by the end of next week. I am a very busy person and only translating on a whim. I don’t take money of any sort so I can maintain my freedom. I would greatly appreciate it if you comment to show your support for this series. That would motivate me to continue, maybe make some bigger updates! At this point I am not sure if I see myself translating all the remaining volumes, it’s a lot. Also if you see any terminology inconsistencies with past chapters please let me know in the comments. It has been a while since I read through this series. I will overwrite past translator notes and delete this section (or link to another page) when the chapter is done so this area doesn’t build up. Future notes probably won’t be as wordy. Thank you for reading.
6/11/2019: Sorry caught in a busy two weeks, shouldn’t have made that promise earlier lol. I will have free time this weekend.