The morning of the decisive battle had arrived.
The moment sunlight shined softly upon the << Village >> at the first sign of morning, Basara was already a fair distance away from the Toujou household.
Before dawn – Basara had left alone, leaving the sleeping Mio in the bedroom and headed to the corner of the mountain. This was where time had stopped during that day.
A deep, massive crater that was created in the wake of << Banishing Shift >> that had run amok bore into the ground of that vicinity, a symbol of the tragedy that had occurred.
…No, that’s not it.
Standing at the rim of the crater, he took in the sight of where he had once stood.
The scene before him wasn’t going to be the last of the remains — even now, and from here on out, it was only going to be a place where the tragedy that occurred.
Looking at it, the crater washed over in morning light, flickering as if it were polished like a mirror. This was likely the state brought about the substance that could stop time, as Shuuya had previously mentioned.
It had been six years since then. Despite that, not a single tree had managed to sprout in this place. “A dead land” was one of the most apt descriptions for the venue set out before him.
It had been almost an hour from the time Basara had arrived here; he had not uttered even a single word since.
Coming here, Toujou Basara did not carry with him any words that were worth saying. Coming here, Toujou Basara did not hold any expectations that anything could be changed.
And least of all, coming here, he held not even the hope of the illusion that he could be forgiven. Toujou Basara would not allow for any of that.
— The heroes of Japan, from now on too would continue to live in the << Village >>.
Together with this place, forever scarred by the tragedy of that day.
Moreover—Basara too would live carrying the memory and truth of it. Remembering the crime, he had committed and couldn’t take back. Even so, he won’t look away from this truth—it was decided that on this day that he will fight Celis.
The very reason he had arrived here—was so he could reaffirm things once more.
To reaffirm what he, in the past, had done to this place; and to reaffirm what he would do from here on out.
And the answers were all right here. That’s why, facing it one by one, Basara thought of what he must do from here on. Closing his eyes quietly, staying there like that for a while.
And when he reopened his eyes, filled with determination, he turned his heels and began to walk.
On the mountain road with cool early morning wind, he walked alone. And then, “—Letting your sentimentality get the better of you, I see?”
An unknown voice from the side, and Toujou Basara halted his footsteps. Looking towards the row of trees there was one — at the giant bark, a young man rested his back while standing still. It was Shiba.
“You know that letting your past losses get to your head and carelessly regretting them was more disgustingly narcissistic than feeling complacent about it all, right?”
“…That’s not my intention.”
Despite Shiba’s mocking words, and his vigilance being one-on-one with Shiba, Basara stated without being agitated, to that, Shiba,
“So, you’re thinking about what you lost yesterday, was it?” I heard the news, said Shiba.
“I can’t believe Yuki-chan and Kurumi-chan are leaving the clan… and going as far as to cut their familial ties as to not trouble Shuuya-san and the others. While this escaped the condition I layed down, I can’t believe those girls picked such a reckless move.”
Basara, saying nothing, walked away, ignoring Shiba. The talk was going in a bad direction. It’s dangerous to keep on being here if he’s careless. However, Shiba did not let him escape with his cold words.
“Say…What hurts more, Basara? was it the bond that Yuki and Kurumi lost with their family this time round, or-”
There was a brief pause.
“Or was the scene before you? Where everything was ravaged as such that even the corpses of your comrades were reduced to nothing but dust.”
Those words stopped Basara in his path, he turned slowly towards Shiba.
“Purposely taunting me with your words as I’m about to fight Celis… Do you want me to lose?” “Not at all. I don’t have any intention like that at all. Rather, you can say I’m cheering for you.” Because, said Shiba
“If Celis wins against you, she at least shows she can act as your deterrent. In that case, then the << Vatican >> would close in. Even if the << Village >> has lower fighting power overall, they could decide on how my existence was a threat and winning they’ll put me as a loyalist.”
Which was why—
“If you happen to lose to Celis-chan, and if the << Village >> and << Vatican >> end up fighting —I’ll have to gut Celis-chan in retaliation.”
At Shiba’s unbelievable words, Basara shouted out without thinking.
“You’re being loud, aren’t you, Basara…. You’re going to turn me into Yamahiko*, you know?”
*T/N: Yamahiko was a Japanese spirit of sorts? And there’s some myth regarding their name and calling out in mountains which was where Shiba and Basara are at
Shiba said those words as if he felt troubled, but his smile deepened.
“Yuki-chan and Kurumi-chan left the clan, after making it so Shuuya-san and the others aren’t blamed… Surely you have thought of losing on purpose and let Celis take credit for the victory? It would take some time to evaluate the strength of the << Village >> and << Vatican >>. With that, there was time to hurry and contact the Demons to negotiate peace and have it, so you’re not taken to the << Vatican >> through that. Other than what that special envoy brought, surely, they would be able to prepare other documents for you. At that too, it would excuse Celis’ responsibilities. In fact, I’d imagine she’d get a great evaluation from that should she win against you.”
As Shiba rambled on his reasoning,
…This person’s really seen through me, hasn’t he? Basara thought, clicking his tongue.
“But after you lose to Celis, and I kill her, the Vatican would surely follow on. I’ll be doubly sure to kill others they send after that properly too. It’s fine if I give up after that but, on their honour, their pride as the center of the heroes, they will definitely take you with them to the << Vatican >>… I wonder what tricks they’d shell out by then.”
Shiba continued, appearing to enjoy the conversation.
“You do understand that I’m not all bark and no bite, don’t you, Basara? I’m sure your life surrounded by the holy knights and officers in a new land would be truly exciting. After all, it was because of you that a number of their precious comrades would be killed. Their ill will would surely extend to you more so than to me, who would mean far beyond the seas. Under the name of surveillance and deterrence, pretenses like that are easily degraded.”
“If you recklessly kill Celis like that, don’t you know what’ll happen to yourself?”
“But of course. Even if I do kill Celis-chan, nothing would change as to how they would treat me. I’d simply end up being imprisoned just like before.”
After all, said Shiba,
“Neither of them can’t kill me—be it the << Village >> or the << Vatican >>.” “What does that…?”
Shiba’s words, laced with a dark smile, had a ring of truth to it; and in response to Basara’s puzzled question,
“In any case, that’s all I really wanted to say, so good luck with your duel.” Shiba said, avoiding the subject that Basara had proposed.
“Celis-chan generally has her strength acknowledged by the << Vatican >>, coming here bearing the role of hearing officer and holy knight. By my diagnosis, her holy sword and your affinity was definitely not good.”
Furthermore, said Shiba, eyeing him through narrowed eyes.
“In addition to that, the << Village >> was a place where your spiritual power was easily felt” Good luck… Saying that, Shiba stepped down the mountain.
Leaving Basara alone at that place, who forced unsaid words back within his stomach.
And then—as the sun appeared in the perfectly clear sky, rising as high as it could go.
The time of Basara and Celis’ duel had finally arrived.
In an area of the mountain outside the << Village >> used for real battle training – in the middle of that, a large basin much like caldela. There was wild grass growing within the depth of the crater, as well as on the surrounding slope, separating out the soil from the flatness.
—It was much like a natural arena.
And then, on top of the slope from this site of battle are those who came as audience, having already gathered to watch Basara and the others, belonging to various factions.
The eastern clan of heroes – together with the three leaders, others of the << Village >> are seen in all directions. There are those who come from houses of influence like Shuuya and Kaoru, as well as those with considerable battle skills such as Takashi. And then, those who are related to the sacrifices of the tragedy and wished to watch were also present. And then Shiba, who had instigated this battle, was right at the elders side with a thin smile on his face. Among the varied members of the village, Cleo Anzels, who was dispatched from Vatican was present.
And on the west side are those who came with Basara to << Village >>. Naruse Mio, Nonaka Yuki, Nonaka Kurumi. That was, the girls who live together with Basara, deciding his future. Yuki and Kurumi, who should be standing on the heroes’ side till yesterday happened, are now
there – existing on Basara’s side. The envoy from the demons, Takigawa, was also seen near them,
Those who gathered there all came to watch, for their own future. The result of this battle would decide each of their destiny.
And the two who would fight and carried their respective, precious futures on their backs— Toujou Basara and Celis Reinhardt’s figures, were already standing in the midst of the field in full view of the audience.
They stayed silent, however, not exchanging so much as a single word.
Basara closed his eyes, concentrating on his spiritually, while Celis gazed down, regulating her breath.
Their respective actions were their individual preparations, physically and mentally, for them to unleash their full strength.
Childhood friends who are reunited after seven years, forced to fight due to Shiba’s schemes – it’s easy to imagine how Basara and Celis both lament over this situation.
“Why must things come to this?” “Why did it have to be this way?” …Thinking of saying that, there are many words that could be said.
— But neither Basara nor Celis said anything.
A peaceful method — a path that could end without any fighting, surely that exists.
However, the situation was as they could see it now. There, they have not even the slightest allowance for sentimentality or presumptions of kindness. Basara who holds the demon sword Brynhild, Celis with her holy sword Georgius. That was the indisputable truth of this reality.
And then, at the apex of this anxiety — the air surrounding them twisted for a second. At that moment, the figures of those who watched them from the slopes disappeared.
The boundary had been set up. With that, a booming voice, an announcement using magic came from somewhere.
“This fight, was to the end between us the << Village >> and << Vatican >> to establish our effectiveness in being able to suppress Basara and his group.”
It was the voice of one of the three elders – Fuji.
“To prevent any major damage as a result of this fight, the space within the barrier will be recovered to its original state afterwards.”
It was the same barrier as the one that appeared during the time, they had fought Takashi and “Byakko”.
“That was not just to do with the surrounding. Of course, to prevent you from losing your lives… And any huge damage to your bodies would be contrary to our goals to evaluate properly, and hence this barrier was akin to a training space that would convert damage to your bodies to one of stamina and spiritual damage. It was fine for both of you to not hold back.”
It was a popular boundary for training matches between heroes.
—That’s right; this battle was not one where they would fight to the death.
And yet—the end of this battle holds the future and destiny of Basara and Mio and the other girls who live with him, of the Hero clan in Japan, the << Village >>; and also, that of the Hero clan in Europe, << Vatican >>.
This practice barrier has both its merit and demerit. With the no death safety, they can go out with their full strength — what kind of moves and attacks would that hold would really grow to be sublime. It’s also not for themselves but for the << Village >>, and it’ll be accomplished earnestly.
And then, though they will not sustain physical damage there are other factors. Changing it to spiritual damage, and in that losing out stamina — in other words there was still pain involved in the process.
The death that was possible in a fight, while at times cruel and ghastly, also could be a saving grace that ends it. With gaps in power, to avoid useless suffering it could lead to another choice.
—Given that it would be a battle between two with equal strength, a fight without casualties, what would happen?
A fight whose combatants aimed to destroy each others’ spirit was one that would become gruesome and intense extremely easily.
And then Basara and Celis both have things they do not want to lose, with that they pierce through with their resolve… And then in a bit, they can no longer avoid the intensity of battle.
Even if their actions would be aligned with what Shiba had planned. And then, “—”
Toujou Basara slowly unsheathed his blade. At that directly in front of him, Celis who no longer looked down stood. She looked at him with clear eyes, composed and beautiful—her emerald eyes brimming with the same determination as Basara’s. So,
…Yes, that’s right.
Basara reflected on the meaning of this battle once more. Perhaps he was truly being swayed by Shiba’s threats that aimed to shake his resolve; and yet he couldn’t deny the possibility that he would see his words to the letter. He couldn’t lose—he couldn’t let Shiba kill his precious childhood friend Celis.
If Basara were to lose, it was likely that the battle that would inevitably unfold to prove the power between << Vatican >> and << Village >> would utilize such a boundary as well.
Basara had no doubt that Shiba would find a way to kill his opponent regardless.
And then, Basara had not forgotten the words of his childhood friend Takashi last night. —Takashi had asked of Basara’s resolve.
It had been half a year since he fought Takashi and the spear “Byakko”—as to how much had he had been able to change since then, Toujou Basara couldn’t put his finger on in particular. Furthermore, he had yet to find a way to come to terms with the tragedy of that day. Almost greedily, however, the number of things he wanted to protect had simply increased, and to protect that all he could do was to fight to his utmost. Still, the strength and power he needed to protect all of that was not something he currently possessed.
It was okay for him to not know his place now. He would not give anything up in spite of everything that had happened—and so…
The moment Fuji announced for the battle to commence—
Toujou Basara immediately stepped off from the ground, charging forward.
Under the blue sky, the battle between two warriors—each holding their own wishes which they can not give up on—unfolds.
There was a vibration. Yet it wasn’t just a single thing that shivered from it— At the clashing of their swords with loud, metallic echoes, the waves that came from the attacks they unleashed made the ground shake in its destruction.
—The source of all that being Toujou Basara and Celis Reinhardt.
With the slopes of the large crater serving as a wall, the sounds of their fight reverberated. The echoing sounds had a complex resounding due to the continuous movement of sound waves — a wave would immediately overlap and offset a new one that would be generated.
Such a phenomenon was due to the extremely high speed as the battle unfolded. Basara and Celis attacked with exchanges faster than the wind—the curtain lifting on the clashes of their respective swords.
In response to the demon sword “Brynhildr” that Basara used, Celis unleashed her holy sword “Georgius”. Though he didn’t understand this from the time Celis had unsheathed the blade against Shiba the day before, now he knows it as she unsheathed the blade and called out the name “Georgius”. That was the name of the famous dragon killing saint – and the sword that bore that name was one of the prided weapons of the << Vatican >>. In this storm of swords which didn’t allow for even a breath or a blink.
…I’m sure of it.
Basara thought of the Georgius Celis wields. The sword meeting his demon sword that can control all four elements fire, wind, water and earth — was that “Georgius”. A name that meant “farmer”, its name originated from the dragon-slaying saint who protected the common people.
For farms, it was important to be blessed with land that was blessed by the heavens. In short, the plentiful earth would contain an earth element, the rain that falls upon it, water element, the clouds that brought rain would have the wind element, and the sun that shone bright upon that land would be a fire element, all these are needed, the sword Georgius would then be able to wield all these elements. The namesake, Georgius had slain a dragon using a spear, so for it to be a sword, it must be because it was decided that this was a more effective fighting style for the four elements.
That being said, Basara’s Brynhildr was also considered the strongest of demon swords. Therefore, there was no lethal difference between their weapons’ potential. The victor of this battle, as such, would be decided by the skill of the person who wields those weapons. However, as he crossed swords with Celis, Basara realised the difference between Celis and himself. He had no doubt that he was physically the stronger of the two. However,
…In terms of swordsmanship, Celis was unmistakably the better fighter…
She took the blows he dealt out — and then, the sharpness and break in how she attacked was beyond his skills. While there was still a way to climb up to bridge these differences, the sensation he felt was similar to the fight with Zolgear or Leohart.
— Once, when Celis had came to the village for the visit when they were young, Basara had a practice match against her. Due to her skill even then being amazing, of the Village children only Basara could square off with her.
And then, as Celis grew older, to compensate for the physical gap between men and women, she surely had focused on her swordsmanship.
However, back then Basara had managed to somehow win against Celis.
The aspect that broke their match at the time — was what Basara has that remained unchanged. What he trusted on, even during the match with Zolgear and Leohart.
It was speed. And in light of that—
“—Here I come.”
Putting strength in how he stepped off the ground, — As a result, Basara brought out his fastest.
During the time he was away from Celis, she continued to hone her swordsmanship — Basara too, with the battles up to now and his contract with Mio and the others, continued to hone his speed.
During the time against Zolgear and Leohart, he didn’t win with just speed, there are other aspects of his swordsmanship too. But his opponent now was Celis,
Hence, Basara brought his speed and physical strength to surpass Celis’ swordsmanship. “….!”
Instantly, a pained expression on her face. Basara’s speed and strength began to pressure down on Celis’ sword. The clashing was a one-way attack from Basara. With this he pushed down all at once – with that thought, Basara continued on his relentless attack, breaking Celis’ posture,
Celis, who unknowingly gulped down, her posture shaken at the exchange —At a small moment of opening.
The piercing scream that Basara let out came with a lunging, sweeping attack at her with all his might.
It wasn’t possible for Celis to dodge by moving back. That being said, taking this carelessly would cause her to be overpowered, she leaped to the side and moved up to meet his attack.
Hence, Brynhildr moved down in one swing – yet it didn’t manage to do as it intended to the end.
What Brynhildr cut through was just air. Celis surpassed Basara’s attack. She had moved back to dodge, again, then flew up. That seemed like it was impossible physically. Celis’ figure completely disappeared from Basara’s sight – which was why Basara looked up. There, around 20m from the ground, Celis’ figure could be seen with her white cape fluttering behind her. The sword she held in her right hand had brought her up in an instant – the Holy Sword “Georgius”, the magic blade with four layers configured in its blade, was lit up as it was surrounded by green-coloured particles.
“I see, that’s-”
Basara understood as he gazed up – at the end of his gaze, was the power of one of four elements within Georgius. And then,
“I have received reports but… You’ve really grown strong Basara, you truly have.” Celis said, looking down to the ground.
“If that was the strength you’ve cultivated since we were away then—”
There was a pause.
“—This time, it’s my turn to show you mine.”
Her eyes glinted coldly. Celis who’s unleashing Georgius’ power has the same long range as Mio and Kurumi, as a long-range mage. However, from how she had dodged his attack in an instant, she must not have a need for any special arrangements or incantations. Hence,
“—I won’t let you!”
In an Instant, Basara moved. With an opponent who can wield the four elements, having an opening here was fatal.
Hence Basara lashed out Brynhildr, swinging it to the side from his posture starting at his hips. With that, he’s releasing Brynhildr from its dimensional shaft, unleashing “Jigenzan”.* However Celis was now, completely out of Brynhildr’s reach — Hence, Basara’s goal in unleashing his demon sword and dropping his spiritual energy was to respond to her. From its base to its tip, the sword trembled as its unsheathed, with a high-pitched shrill noise, it shook the air around it, as well as the unclear dimensional space as it launched. With that, with Brynhildr ahead of him — Basara launched himself up to Celis. While Basara could launch himself up at high speed, cutting through the air, there’s a high chance Celis would counter it. However,
*T/N: Basically this move literally means ‘Dimensional Cut’
If he could take on the sword, Basara who knows magic would be able to cut it off. And then, this should be the first time Celis sees this move — with it, there’s a large enough chance he would be able to respond to her.
Basara chose to come flying with “Jigenzan” and met with Celis’ brandished Georgius. Just as he aimed — Basara thought as Celis swung her sword in the opposite direction. There was a clang however, it was Basara’s “Jigenzan”.
Basara let out his surprise without thinking. He was not surprised at how Jigenzan was stopped – but rather, in the method of which Celis had chosen to do so. What blocked Jigenzan was not Georgius itself — but rather, a Basara made of air that was produced by it. And that also means that it met him at equal force. Though he’s stunned at this as was,
…So, the opposite swing was…!?
The way Basara had cut upwards, has set his course with how he had unleashed it. However, Celis had come down to meet him with a swing with force. With that, “-What are you so surprised about?”
A calm voice said from above him.
“An unsheathing using the dimensional barrier… That kind of move was truly sharp but, but to say simply, it was in the end a sword of air. It was inevitable as it cuts up to here that it will have its strength decreased by friction, won’t it?”
“Even as I unsheathe it, my Georgius can sharpen past the air and cloak it. Repelling it was a simple manoeuvrer.”
Celis said casually as she looked down upon Basara – And Georgius in her hand, had somehow changed from the colour of wind to that of red flame, the blade surrounded with a super high temperature, blazes flickering.
“— Could it be, what was meant by using it ‘at will’ was that, you can use the elements at the same time—?”
“That’s obvious. There are many others who can use the four elements, and many types of magic that does that. When I said at will, this was what I meant”
Celis who said that, readied Georgius to her side.
“And then, with this I will cut through again — haaaaah!” “—!”
Celis took the same stance as Basara as she came down with her attack again, Basara took a large leap back — Right after, the basin they were in had all its wild grass cut down in one stroke. Even so, there was not a single noise or strike. It was all in the aftershock. The move Celis unleashed far exceeded Basara’s “Jigenzan”, and like a polished mirror it spread over the crater and to the area around it – and continued on further.
“…What’s this power…”
With the careless words, Basara’s impression of it was wrung out.
“That speed… Indeed, you’re indeed quite difficult”
So then, Celis said that, but she brandished a single sideways sweep. Basara responded by moving back. However, this time, she did not cut through the area. Instead, in its place, when Basara was about to land,
The ground beneath him shook strangely, catching down Basara’s feet as he landed – and then, as he looked.
Celis’ Georgius was no longer air or fire, but shone with the colour of water and earth, with that, the trembling of the ground increased
“It can’t be –”
In that instant, Basara saw the route of Celis’ swing go upstream. With that, it included the slope up north — As he just thought of that, in the next moment he saw an avalanche of earth and stones moving much like a tsunami.
Basara had a moment to decide his initial response to it, and on the shaking ground he began running to the south.
The area sanctioned for the fight between Basara and Celis wasn’t just this crater. It spreads in the valley of the mountains for this training space. As such, there’s no reason to stay in this crater facing an opponent like Celis, who wields Georgius. Perhaps he could move somewhere that’s at least a little better to fight on. Yet — seeing Basara’s plan to run to the forest to the south to fight.
“—Did you think I’d let you go so easily?”
Celis’ next attack quickly smashed through. The attack she just unleashed, this time hit the slope of the south to go down on Basara.
Even with the path closed off, Basara continued to run south. Switching to east or west, would simply cause Celis to do the same to those sides.
“In that case, then it’s better to just keep on like this— Uoooogh!”
As Basara kept running on ahead, he used Brynhildr’s tip to dig into the ground, swinging it upwards. With that impact which thrust up the earth, Celis’ avalanche which blocked his path flew off for a few meters, opening up a path.
“Tch, with this – Gah!?”
However, right as he leaped on forward — Basara went upwards from below. The earth that rose up with Celis’ Georgius, hit up Basara’s torso.
In one moment to the sky—Basara’s body which was brought up to the same height as Celis was completely defenseless.
“I told you, didn’t I? …I won’t let you go that easily.”
Celis let out a cold voice, which Basara could hear from right behind him. With that, “Guh…. Ooooooooooooooooooh!”
Basara forced his body to twist back, attacking to his back.
As Celis’ voice could just be heard – Basara received a direct attack to his side. Georgius used the air around it, unleashing the air it wrapped around itself on him.
It was inevitable for Basara, who received the brunt of Celis’ attack to come flying off.
Tossed off to the corner west side – and soon after, a thundering came from the far-off forests.
Basara had crashed into the forested area. And then, a rumbling impact came from the forest. It was not just Basara that fell to the ground as he was blown off by Celis, the impact also hit the floor of the forest and some of the trees fell. Mio, who watched as that was shown outside the barrier,
She let out a pained voice without thinking. She had never thought that Celis would be an easy opponent but, even so Basara was able to fight the present demon lord Leohart and succeed in facing off against the demon god Chaos. Of course, in general, one can’t say if Celis was
stronger than Leohart or Chaos. In the demon realm, where demon particles are stronger, Celis of the hero clan and the sword Georgius would be considerably weakened. If so,
“What’s with, that sword… that’s just cheating, wasn’t it!”
As a demon magic user herself, Mio finds herself growing irritated with Celis’ all-purpose fighting style. The High Wizard Mio and the Element Master Kurumi too, can wield all four elements – but something like using them at the same time, as well as without incantation was preposterous. Though that magic usage itself was plenty overwhelming, Celis also had amazing sword skills. There are those magic sword users that did not fully excel in either magic nor swordsmanship, but combined them together, but Celis was on an exceptional level for both her magic and swordsmanship. Furthermore, there was another reason why it’s one-sided in her favor. That was,
“As expected, Basara was—”
The words spilled from Yuki, who’s beside Mio – something that Basara had been in distress about.
From the beginning of the fight, Basara had not been using Banishing Shift.
If he had used that or a similar move, he surely would be able to go against Celis’ rock avalanche.
However, Basara did not opt to use it—rather, he couldn’t use it.
He’s surely hesitating in using the ability that had caused the tragedy once, in this place where it happened. However, Celis didn’t have any hesitation and doesn’t feel lost about it.
With a cold expression, she used Georgius’ air to fly over, following after Basara who had flown to the forest in the west. Yes… The fight was not over.
And then—Mio can do nothing but watch on in this situation.
Basara, who fell to the west forest, now lay amidst the earth and trees that were as such, still being slashed down.
“Guh… Gah… Ah… Guh…!”
Though he frantically moved Brynhildr to counter the rocks and large trees, there’s no break in the rocks and trees from all directions.
—But there was something that stopped Basara from moving back. However, it wasn’t any of the ruins. It was a large opening on the ground he couldn’t see the bottom of – a ten-meter-wide cliff.
Furthermore, the cliff on the opposite side was a rock wall so tall he would have to look up to see the top of it, moving hard towards it, Basara would have to get to the rocky wall without falling.
Releasing all the oxygen he had taken in, he let himself fall into the valley of unknown depths as he took in and held another breath. He was flown off to the forest to the west of the field. With the geography of this in mind, Basara had a grasp of the bottom of the valley. As he heard the sound of water flowing under him, he could ascertain there was indeed a stream below him,
He moved Brynhildr, previously thrust towards the rocky walls of the opposite cliff, choosing to escape to the waters below.
He thrust at the water not due to the possibility of attack. As Celis was compatible with all elements, falling into water could be a decisive moment when not careful. With that,
“—I can’t say you made the wrong decision.”
Celis’ voice could be heard from right over him. She had surely chased him here with her flight magic.
“And yet you’re still so naïve… Did you forget the attack that sent you flying at the field?” “—!”
At once, Basara kicked off the stone walls to soar into the sky. With that, the stone wall he had thrust Brynhildr into had pillars shooting up with a loud sound.
It was a close call. Yet, Basara’s mind was already on the next move. In the field earlier, he was trapped by the stones Celis sent at him from both north and south. Hence — the moment he thought of that, the stones he had flown off then had a pillar of stones as well,
“So that’s how it was…!”
At the condition he successfully read, Basara arranged his body towards the sky, and as the stone pillars rose up, he was able to rush away from the way it leaned upwards, in the opposite way of that. With how Celis’ next attack runs up to him, he let his body fly into the thickly growing forest.
…Even when they fight like this, Celis won’t win…
As he ran through the line of trees, Basara gritted his teeth.
Firstly by hiding he will gather himself – he will challenge Celis after that.
Celis lost track of Basara’s figure as he ran into the forest.
Even as she surveyed the area carefully, she could not feel an indication of Basara.
Wordlessly, Celis used Georgius to descend to the ground from the sky.
If she were to attack from above with wind too, the surrounding trees and other obstacles would hinder its effectiveness, and it would not be of considerable strength.
Maintaining her airborne condition would be inviting Basara to attack her from the cover of the forest; She could respond in her earlier dimension wrapping as she drew her sword.
She wasn’t sure if Basara really does not have something to be able to respond from a further distance with greater power. If she wasn’t able to escape from an attack coming from a blind spot properly, there was a chance that it could end up being an immediate victory for Basara. And that was besides the fact that—
…I don’t have a lot of strength left.
With a light dizziness on her, Celis thought of her own condition. The sword Celis carries, Georgius could be called all purpose in how it fights but, it has one weakness – in that it was exhausting to both the user’s physical and magical strength. With how it has no need for an incantation, and its ability to wield more than one element at the same time, it takes up four times more the magical and spiritual energy of a regular magic sword. With how she’s fighting right now, she would most likely be able to last for another hour. There’s also a chance Basara
who’s hiding himself was trying to fight on terms of exhausting energy. Here too, she may have to soon suppress Georgius’ power and use regular swordsmanship.
Basara had that godly speed. He was running through the line of trees at top speed but, that means that her visibility was further lowered. Though he was exiled from it, this forest was once akin to a backyard to Basara. There’s a possibility he was able to move effectively through it without wasting energy. This condition could be of risk to her later.
That’s why, Celis Reinhardt has to make her launch with preparation of exhaustion on her. “—”
Concentrating her will, on a single magic as wielded by Georgius.
The result of that was from the sky – rain began to fall.
With Celis’ movement, Toujou Basara who’s hidden in the shade of trees nearby began to be unclear.
What kind of attack type was coming — and with that too, …What was she aiming at?
The sound of rain erases all presence. Of course, the wet ground would betray his footsteps, but by the time she caught up with that sound he would’ve been at a different location. With the fog and mist too, the low visibility of the forest would simply be lowered.
Thinking about it, it could be a way to reduce his speed and movement with how muddy the ground was. If that was the case, then she was definitely taking away his greatest weapon. However, Basara will not sit still and be cornered. Though he wasn’t sure what Celis’ aim was, if he goes on it’ll be clearer.
Thinking of that—Basara began his movement with a shout.
He will flip this from a defensive fight on his side to an offensive one. As he flew out from the shadow of the trees, Basara was already at his top speed. Using the rustling sounds of thick trees to mask and fake himself, Basara aimed to confuse Celis from outside her field of vision – angling himself to her weak point, he planned to cut Celis from there. With the single stroke, it’s best to go straight for her neck — and that’s what he did. Basara comes with his all from the side, swinging the back of his sword
But Basara’s attack did not touch even a single hair on Celis. It wasn’t a close dodge — he completely missed her.
Celis Reinhardt heard Basara’s surprised voice as she slightly opened her eyes.
—Celis was presently able to completely read Basara’s movements as if they were pages in a book.
As Basara moved within the forest at his top speed, she could not completely follow him using her sight of movement and she solved it by a surveying attack from outside it. That’s why she chose to use Georgius to completely cover the area. She was using water, wind and earth all at the same time. The raindrops that fall upon Basara sense the flow of Basara’s movement, the earth he stepped on – feeling that movement, with that Celis could see Basara’s movement. And then,
Without balking at the strain on her body and spirit, Celis further rose Georgius’ responses.
With that she has complete view of the spiritual levels of the area — from understanding Basara’s movement it rose to being able to predict it.
With a certain shout Celis shouted and swung Georgius with a water magic.
The water that came from the tip of her sword, in a second it enveloped in Basara.
“Guh… Koh…. Nnh…”
Basara frantically struggled to be able to escape what captures him, enveloping his body but, the water transformed to a whip, wrapping itself around him and not letting go. With that,
“I won’t let you go now—”
Celis said, this time changing to attack.
She waved Georgius as if it were a conductor’s stick.
Right after—she sent a shock wave right through the forest and Basara within that space.
Celis moved at a speed which made her hands blurry to the eye, swinging Georgius and cutting through with it, a 8 beat super speed. In a normal space, he would not escape death as it would break all the bones in his body and rupture all his organs and vessels. But here within the barrier—he wasn’t going to die.
In exchange, however, Basara was quickly losing both stamina and spiritual power. At the start Basara was able to escape effectively, but due to how Georgius’ water whips catching to him and him feeling that, his body had been weakened.
And then – after three minutes passed, he began to no longer feel all the resistance. The trees, the ground, the rocks all came to attack Basara, the shock on his body had exceeded over a thousand hits. The trees falling around Basara that’s cut by him, it began to form a clear space.
…It’s about time.
Celis stepped light to the left-front, like she’s thrusting forward her hips, and she swung Georgius — With that, the tip of the sword which she had been releasing the water whips from, mince forward to Basara with a wind cutting vooon sound. It was a bedrock, high enough you could look up to it crashing into Basara’s back—with the intense vibration came the loud sound, a large spider nest ran up. With that,
It topped Basara, letting him fall on his backside. By then, Brynhildr and its surrounding armour were both gone—their physical manifestation having broke off during Celis’ attack.
Basara was expressionless as he leaned against the bedrock; his gaze was hidden as he hung his head down, his face covered by his long bangs. Though there was no damage on his actual body, his clothes were torn up, stained too by the dirt that clung on as trees and earth attacked him —almost completely destroyed.
“—Basara, what are you doing?”
Celis Reinhardt asked, Georgius in hand, as she began to shoot another. That question was, “That attack just now—You could’ve escaped it with Banishing Shift, couldn’t you?”
Toujou Basara heard the question Celis asked.
The damage he had taken due to Celis’ water whip was considerable, he was in no place to waste energy with just any answer —but he heard her. With that,
“There’s no doubt you’re going to lose to me at this rate… Even so, do you still plan to refrain from using your strength until the very end?”
Could it be? asked Celis.
“To begin with, the risk that was seen in you was how your power could run wild like the time of that tragedy. Even if I’m to win against you like this, it still does not prove that the Vatican has enough power to act as a deterrent against you…are you intending to face me in battle with such foolish intentions?”
Her cruel words lunged at Basara as if they were daggers. And upon hearing Celis’ words,
Basara didn’t understand the situation; He didn’t understand why Celis said those words.
She’s thick skinned even though she knows of the tragedy Basara had caused here — he wasn’t planning to say that. It’s more on how her duty as an officer of << Vatican >> was to win. She could go on without thinking much of it and should aim to do so quickly — and yet she didn’t do so.
Perhaps Celis, too, had found herself caught by her own newly formed conjecture.
She now believed that defeating Basara without him using Banishing Shift would not garner anything significant politically.
— But there’s a reason Toujou Basara wasn’t using Banishing Shift in this battle.
It’s due to the balance that’s tipped within his body. As he tied the contract with Hasegawa and received great strength, a negative side effect of adding the power of a heavenly being was he’s imbalanced and wasn’t able to quite use Banishing Shift without the activation condition. Although he cannot disappear completely, it was still possible to have it forcefully in burst, as well as work out Shoumetsukensen*, (*literally Extinction Sword*) as per his training with Jin in the demon world. As Celis said, it was possible for him to use this to escape from her water whips earlier. With that,
“Or was this—your atonement for that tragedy?”
Basara did not move at Celis’ words — however, atonement was not his intention. If it was, then it would just not be in this village, but he would refrain from ever using Banishing Shift ever again anywhere, and, it would be meaningless otherwise. Yet since he’s met Mio, in all the
fights since he repeatedly used Banishing Shift. To do so holding back on it as he goes to the village would not be atonement – it would just be deception.
But, it was the truth that in the Village, in that site of the tragedy, using Banishing Shift or Shoumetsukensen* (*Extinction Sword*) was something he hesitates to do, feeling the obligation of that much.
There’s a reason why Basara cannot use Banishing Shift or Shoumetsukensen* (*Extinction Sword*). But it wasn’t a reason he has to say to Celis. Finally, at Basara’s silence,
“—So be it; bear witness, then!”
With that Celis put energy into Georgius in her hand, it shone with the four colours of her magic. That means it holds Fire, Water, Earth and Wind.
In that condition Celis swung down Georgius, it happened.
The bedrock behind Basara – it had disappeared without a trace.
The spectators outside the barriers witnessed Celis make the bedrock behind Basara disappear as well.
There was only one person who managed to speak upon bearing witness to such a display, whereas everyone else was so surprised that they were at a loss for words.
“Could it be that… Celis can use Banishing Shift as well?”
It was Takashi who spoke in a way that signified that he could not believe his own eyes, and in response-
“No, that’s something else.”
Came a voice with a smile lacing it — it was Shiba. They did not realise when the thin-eyed young man who should be standing a distance away closed in nearby. However, Takashi was not surprised by Shiba’s sudden appearance by him – Shiba Kyouichi after all, was a man of such powers.
“…What do you mean, Shiba-san?”
Only questioning the words Shiba said, Shiba nodded with a noncommittal reply,
“The material of this world was configured in three dimensions. But, that was all to do with the shape of the material and the existence of a material also has two more factors to it that can be moved. The first was the weight… The other, was the flow of time. The material could simply disappear there… However using the passage of time, the material could also disappear from the place and it could be counted like that. In short, using the power of the four elements, an item that would be erased when it hit with it will disappear – And hence, that’s the role it can play”
“So, it’s through the circumstance of “Georgius”, which can wield the four elements…” Takashi murmured, being convinced of this argument.
“Yes, that was indeed so. Well, from a while ago Celis has been using a lot of energy as she attacked using the five powers but, there was a necessary vector to release this from a distance. Oh dear, this was truly the holy sword the Vatican took so much pride in.”
“Anyway, being able to utilise the power of Georgius in this way, and on top of it completely showing us its capabilities… Celis-chan was really something. Well, even so as Celis-chan was able to do so with Georgius, it’s still dependent largely on external factors.”
However, said Shiba.
“Her opponent Basara’s Banishing Shift, even before he held Brynhild he had always been able to do it. In short, it was entirely an internal power — a power Basara himself possesses. Furthermore, regarding the bedrock Celis erased within the barrier that could recover, Basara could erase it, as was using his magic sort of super power.”
Shiba opened his eyes slightly at this.
“If the target was a something with a sort of magical power — a being with some sort of spiritual energy, it has to be erased alongside that. Further, the internal spiritual energy and, the external energy that comes with the relating surrounding goes both ways. And in that flow of time, all of it exist. If that was sent to the Zero Dimension where time does not exist, all the axis of time too must also cease to exist… There won’t even be a miniscule amount of twist to it. Furthermore, as it completely ceases to exist, it also causes friction with the small details regarding the surrounding of the materials and that must be calculated for.”
Do you understand?
“Basara’s Banishing Shift erases it completely… At the worst it intervenes to the ninth dimension, it’s an ability that consist of unleashing out the perfect balance. It’s completely twisted.”
At Shiba’s words, Takashi found himself at a loss for words. It was true that Banishing Shift was an ability unique to Basara alone, so they had thought of the mysteries and logic of it among themselves. Even asking Basara himself, they would not be able to get roughly what it was, but not the full gist of it. If what Shiba says was true,
…Basara, what are you…?
Just as Takashi thought of his childhood friend who held incomprehensible power. “—This was the power I’ve developed during our time apart.”
Celis’ voice could be heard, alongside the image for what’s inside the barrier.
Toujou Basara raised his head to meet Celis’ gaze.
Thereupon he could only see Celis’ eyes filled with nothing but coldness.
“I understand how you feel, fearing your own power and trying to avoid using it… However, even if you look away from it, your regrets will not disappear. That power exists within you. You cannot escape from it.”
“Those girls who you wish to protect—even now, at the very moment, as you remain trapped by the tragedy of your irreversible past, they want to stand by your side. They want you to rely on them and support you. They try to understand the pain that you hold. But Basara… The way you are right now, aren’t you simply taking advantage of their kindness and dragging them into the pain of your own tragedy?”
Something slid down Celis’ left cheek as she said those words.
Basara, who called out her name dumbfoundedly, now understood Celis’ true aim.
All of the harsh words and attacks she’d dealt to him—she’d done all of that out of consideration for Basara. With that,
“Please don’t misunderstand me. Of course, you should not forget your past. It’s most likely that you have to resolve yourself to carrying the burden of that tragedy as you live on, for the rest of your life. I do not mind that being the case… But, you are due to give your ‘answer’”
Do you understand now?
“Atonement wasn’t something you can find in the past — It’s only in the present and the future. So, the answer should be from what you hold dear now, as it should be of those who currently hold you dear to them. For you live on into the future”
“Should your power now endanger those you love, as well as endanger this world… It was in that time I will stop you, Basara”
“I would stop you—even I have to kill you with my own hands.”
Her answer spoke firmly of her answer and resolve, and she wiped away her tears with her left hand.
“—I’ll decide this match with this next move.”
Saying that, she raised Georgius up high, holding it with both her hands. At the same time, at the tip of that, a large magic formation could be seen. It grew bigger gradually — at that, the surroundings grew dark. When you look, over the large amount of magic forming, a large blazing rock floats, and then Celis swung down her Georgius – At that moment,
Basara clenched his fist tightly, Celis’ resolve resounding at the back of his mind, it was precisely because of that he thought of those he cannot let go of, and then he remembered.
Last night, what Takashi said to him — that Basara has to show his resolve now.
— That time, Takashi was asking him what Basara was.
Is it alright for the answer to be someone that was trapped in the past, as he lost to Celis? …How could I even…
That’s why he had no time for hesitation. Finally, Toujou Basara will play his trump card. The power he received from Hasegawa Chisato – he will unleash the power of Brynhildr.
— And then, as Basara who seemed like he was deliberately about to move.
The blazing rock Celis had for him, akin to a small sun, was already closing in on him.
At that time, Celis Reidhart’s figure could be seen in the sky.
So she was not hit by the effect of an explosion, she had used her magic to fly up to the sky. Celis waited for the decisive moment around 1 km away from the place.
—Just now, she had used Georgius’ all four elements for the Banishing move.
But now Celis had water and wind turned off, and in turn she now possessed a forceful earth and fire element with each other—releasing a ball of extreme heat and letting a meteorite descend down.
The intense force combined with the exceedingly intense heat of the flame would easily scorch Basara’s surroundings.
If he were to perform an incomplete Banishing Shift, it’d be the same as it splintering out into the surrounding. In this condition, it shouldn’t be possible for him to completely make it disappear. Hence,
…It would end with this.
She would win against Basara—And then, she would be able to take him to the Vatican. — When she heard about the tragedy at << Village >> when she’s overseas.
Basara was already expelled, Yuki and Kurumi, and Takashi and others too had changed, and more of their friends lost their lives, these were the people Celis befriended when she could visit Japan.
All that Celis Reinhardt held dear was completely lost. But as she watched Yuki and the others grit their teeth and eagerly grow stronger, Celis gained a new resolve.
That she too would grow stronger. That she would achieve power where she could protect those, she held dear.
And then, she finally came this far, a Vatican Holy Knight, chosen to wield Georgius – she’s now in a place where she could protect Basara and the others.
Among her comrades in Vatican, there are those who saw Basara’s group as an enemy, and her superiors may use them for their political advantage. But in anticipation of such a situation, Celis and those she trusted would protect them from it. Besides, expelling Basara was decided by the Village in Japan alone. The Vatican could refute that, and restore Basara to the hero clan, for him to be a holy knight like Celis then, would not just be a dream. In that case, Yuki and Kurumi who had left the clan could return too. While Mio and the other two demons may be more difficult, as their contract with Basara was recognised, surely something could be managed somehow.
And after establishing his place in Vatican, surely, he could return to Japan on a transfer or dispatch in the future as well.
Celis, who envisioned that future, watched the moment as she flew in the sky. As the large meteorite she cast fell to the ground.
She gulped down with her surprise. No explosion happened. The large meteorite was dispersed by an attack — it’s different from an incomplete Banishing Shift, as it flew in a completely different way. What happened… The shocked Celis realised that.
That in front of her was Basara, cloaked with a crimson aura.
Toujou Basara had used a certain power to guard against the large meteor.
It was the power of one of his two mothers, his demonic lineage—Sapphire’s power.
When he faced Leohart and the demon Chaos, he had fought in a similar way.
— But now, Basara had used the power in a different way than at that time.
The soul inside Brynhildr—using the soul of that man.
That was the power of the high-ranking demon that long supported the demon world in the background.
The magic of the cardinal sin Belphegor. Basara was controlling and amplifying the power of the highest reigning power of the demon world type.
To turn over the magic that was already there and further amplify it, then opening it fixed to anti gravity—With that, in all nature of things it’s difficult to pull, a snapping power.
Creating a space that should be said as infinite, it holds a power that expands to all that, it was the exact opposite of Banishing Shift which deletes everything to the zero dimension.
It was << Banyuusekiryoku >>. In other words, it was an absolute defense against all physical and magical attacks.
(( T/N: The move name was literally ‘Universal Rejection Power’?)
With that he’s able to repel Celis’ attack – but it didn’t delete the effect. As such, Mio, the others, the elders who are outside presently that were affected by the sight-related magic, should not be able to see how Basara was now. As such, this was his chance to use his utmost power. Then, the moment was coming up
The Banyuusekiryoku he used for defense earlier, Toujou Basara will use it to attack.
Celis Reinhardt’s Georgius was currently using absolute zone.
Basara was away from that right now and knows the exact moment to make his decisive strike. Further, if she knew Basara had escaped her attack, he could turn it around on her in an instant.
And then — Celis could feel Basara planning to attack her.
But then, right after she let out a surprised noise, when she realised it, Basara was already right in front of her. The magic blade of Georgius in her hand was cut off as a result of that, the magic she’s using to fly was rendered as negated, and she inevitably began falling from the sky.
When she gulped down, Basara’s already made her drop down from the sky. However, even just a little the blade of Georgius remained – hence-
At once, Celis recovered her concentration. She put all her power into the element wind, creating wind that helped carry her to the ground, but still, Celis fell on both her thighs to the ground. Due to the large amount of magic used for the meteorite and absolute defense, then to
muster in magic into the wind to help her land, her magical and spiritual power had been significantly depleted.
And then—There in front of her, Basara stood.
He did not descend after Celis. He was there before Celis had even landed. Surely, he had been there before Celis even prepared her wind.
It was an unbelievable—no, it was an unthinkable speed.
…She guessed as much.
The power which he used to attack Celis, it too gave his own body and heels godly speed — one that exceeded the sound wave barrier without making waves, much like scattering it. She could guess that much of a theory and think of it as such.
However, that would mean that it was no longer a speed that was of human capability—it was that of the strength of a god, was it not?
Celis had never once thought of Basara as a threat up until now.
The only ones who thought that way were the upper echelons of the << Vatican>> and
To Celis, Basara had always been a childhood friend of hers in Japan, and even as he was assigned an S-class assignment, that did not change for her.
However, who could possibly stop such an overwhelming power? As the thought crossed Celis’ mind, she felt something resembling fear rise in her heart. Yet,
“Hey… Celis, do you still want to go on?”
Basara’s voice spoke softly, tainted with the colours of hesitation —a closer look and one would see the reddening of his cheeks as he averted his gaze away from Celis.
“? Why are you looking awa-”
As she said that, Celis suddenly realized the state she was in. The clothes she wore were torn apart, and her white skin was mostly exposed.
“…Kyaaaaah!! When did this happen to-”
With a screech, Celis covered her chest and her private part, and at that,
“Umm… It was scattered about around the time you fell down from the sky using your wind, I think”
Basara said awkwardly.
While their physical bodies are preserved within the barrier, their clothes were not within that limit.
And then, to be able to overtake the strength of the Vatican’s holy knight battle armour, Basara must’ve overwhelmed it earlier with great speed and rendered it useless—And the moment it reached its limit was likely the last bit before she landed with the wind.
In other words—her clothes came flying off right in front of Basara’s eyes.
In response to Celis, who was obviously embarrassed for good reason,
“…In any case, if it’s alright with you, please put this on for the time being.”
Basara stripped off his own top and passed it to her, then he turned around facing away from her.
He left his back guarded. Hence,
Celis immersed herself in thought. She’d yet to give a response to who Basara when he’d asked her if she’d still want to continue fighting earlier, and thus the battle had yet to be decided. If she were to use all her remaining strength, she would be able to recall Georgius again—and she could attack his unguarded back right there and then. And yet-
Celis Reinhardt sighed, and a bitter smile followed it.
To think that Basara, who could not be stopped by Georgius, was vulnerable to her naked body…it was something that relieved her, even if a little. As much as Basara’s dreadful strength was a threat, however, it would seem that stopping him did not necessarily lie with only a greater power.
—To begin with, that tragedy had occurred when Basara’s power ran berserk while he wanted to protect Yuki in the past.
It happened because Basara was—is—kind; the very reason that horrible tragedy had transpired. To that, what was necessary was not a power that would bring Basara to his knees, but instead a way for what’s precious to him to be protected. With that said and done, thinking of the proposition suggested by the demons—that Basara and the others were to be given the sanctuary status— perhaps it was the best solution in the end after all.
And although the feeling of not being able to forgive the village for making the decision to expel Basara without consulting the others still burned within Celis,
…This means that I too, am being trapped by the past, aren’t I?
In order to protect the things that are important to him, Basara had acquired the power to defeat Celis.
Even while bearing the burden of the past, Basara kept moving forward—and he’d held on to his kindness that remained unchanged from that time.
“I admit it… I have lost.”
And with those words—Celis Reinhardt lowered the curtain on this fight.