“It will be that man who will become the Holy Sword that will defeat you.”
A man appeared and walked next to Shannon on the carpet, not looking at Ain or Majolica.
Shannon gently kissed the cheek of the approaching man and took a few steps back to give up her place. The man followed her lead, drew his sword, and looked at Ain with cold eyes.
One thing that concerns Ain is the man’s appearance. After Shannon kissed him, he was covered with a dazzling white light.
“A parricide who did as you please with our Heim, and in the end, took the life of my great father. How dare you come this far?”
The man who came to Ain──Grint called him a parricide.
“Not only you. My holy power can destroy even Ishtalika.”
As soon as he said this, Grint’s entire body lit up with a silvery white light. And the sword he held in his hand was also covered with light.
“Grint-sama… please don’t force yourself.”
“Sorry, Shannon. I can’t promise that.”
Shannon must have had something on her mind. When she heard Grint’s answer, she put her hand on Grint’s shoulder in a panicked manner. Then, although his voice did not reach Ain, Grint hugged Shannon and soothed her by whispering in her ear.
──Is Grint not being manipulated?
It bothered Ain when Grint rejected Shannon’s words.
(I don’t have time to worry about that)
He no longer needed to hold back.
Concerned about Chris’s situation as well, Ain unleashed six illusory hands from his back. He put strength into his hand that gripped the black sword, took a few steps forward, and extended his illusory hands to Grint.
“Not satisfied with killing your father, you’ve turned into a real monster!”
Ain was shocked.
The six illusory hands were obliterated by Grint’s sword, which turned them into particles of light.
On the other hand, Grint opened his mouth with hatred yet somewhat proudly.
“Haha… hahaha! Brother… Ain…! Didn’t you see that! This is the great holy power that does not exist, even in Ishtalika!”
As if lacking shade, the dazzling aura around Grint reached Ain. The pain that gives the illusion of a strong sunburn was felt on Ain’s skin.
“We’re all fine! It’s thanks to Your Highness that we’re safe!”
The aura emitted by Grint should have reached Majolica and the others, but why?
Of course, since Ain was unable to purify them, they should feel the pain equally under normal circumstances.
“No, you mean it worked because it was me.”
That means for Ain, who has evolved into the existence of a demon king.
“I really feel like a villain… really.”
In addition to the word “parricide,” he sneered to himself at the thought of the phenomenon that had just occurred.
Ain then regained his composure and spoke to Grint.
“Grint. What happened to your power?”
“It is obvious! I’ve been elevated to a Heavenly Knight with Shannon’s blessing.”
It made sense, he thought.
Perhaps the power of this heavenly knight is purifying the demon king’s power. Not only the aura he wore but also Grint himself could be a natural enemy of Ain.
It has been a long time since he heard the term “Heavenly Knight,” but perhaps it is a higher level occupation of the holy knight.
Although he was concerned about the authenticity of the blessing skill, the absolute special attack against Ain was even more problematic.
“Do I have to defeat you first?”
He never had any direct killing intent against Grint, so he couldn’t honestly accept the idea of cutting him down.
“I don’t like the fact that you’re so calm when you hear the name “Heavenly Knight,” but you’ll soon be just like that man.”
That man? Ain, who wondered, turned his sharply polished pairs of eyes on Grint.
The pressure was so strong that Grint almost took a step back, something he had never felt even from Logas, whom he had always loved and respected, but the presence of the woman he loved at his side stopped him in his tracks, and the corners of his mouth lifted in a triumphant smile.
“I’m talking about the man who used to be your bodyguard.”
“…What did you do to Dill?”
“Not really. I’m just trying to compensate for the humiliation I suffered before.”
The atmosphere around Ain was a bit tense. Then Majolica and the others who were listening in the rear changed their complexion.
“The man was killed by my holy sword. Now, all that’s left is you──Ain.”
The holy sword.
At first glance, it was just a longsword, but it seemed to have something to do with the power of its wielder, Grint.
Although he did not know the nature of the sword, the radiance emitted by the sword held by Grint ate away at Ain’s entire body, making his skin feel as if it had been strongly sanded.
But there was something more important than that.
“Did you… kill Dill…?”
Looking at Grint with an appalled expression, Ain reached out his hand to speak to him languidly.
Then, Grint lowered his voice somewhat in a muddle at the sight.
“Haha. If you’re going to be in so much pain, it will make Father’s regret a lot easier to bear.”
Lies. He was lying.
Desperately denying it in his heart, Ain took another step forward.
His chest beat uncomfortably fast, and his whole body felt an extreme hunger for magic power.
“Enough. Shut your mouth.”
“…What did you say?”
“I don’t have time to fight you. I have to get to the others as soon as possible.”
He had never had a clear intent to kill until a moment ago, but he did not expect to feel anything like it so soon.
Ain again brought out the illusory hand and readied his black sword.
Compared to the previous hand, the joints of the illusory hand were more muscular, and it was clear that it had been made with even more power. Six swords appeared, and they spread out in a fan shape.
“Father was right to give up on you. You’ve become nothing but a monster!”
“Grint-sama! Please don’t use too much power!”
Shannon’s worried voice came from right behind Grint.
“That power will exorcise evil beings. It’s a power only you are allowed to use, but please don’t overdo it and let it affect your body!”
“I’ll be fine. It is also in the legend, isn’t it? The Heavenly Knight can’t have any trouble dealing with monsters.”
“Y-yeah…! I am already well aware of that, as I have seen similar forces before. But you absolutely must not push yourself too hard!”
“Hmm? Before? A power similar to this…”
Grint had a question pop up in his mind.
“Can we start now? Grint.”
The pressure of Ain’s presence distracted him as he stepped forward.
“Yeah, I’m going to avenge my father’s death.”
──The sound of swords clashing echoed through the audience chamber took the breath away of even the royal knights of Ishtalika.
Among them was a knight who had gone to Euro with Ain in the past as a representative, but Grint’s strength in fighting Ain was incomparable to his previous strength.
At the very least, he would just as likely be a standout talent if he came to Ishtalika.
“Haha… What is it, hey!”
After a few rounds of fighting, Grint raised his eyebrows and spoke to Ain with a proud expression on his face.
“Your attacks don’t work at all!”
“You’re so bullish, aren’t you? Grint.”
Grint was bullish. This was because he had been able to prevent Ain’s attacks, and he had not run out of breath yet.
“Naturally! I can avenge my father’s death by defeating you, who have always irritated me. I’ve never felt so clear in my life!”
Ain then took a few steps back and moved away.
As Majolica and the others watch with bated breath, they ponder the strength of the boy, Grint.
(His skill is not so great. He can beat the royal knights, but he is inferior to Lloyd, Chris, and even Edward and Logas.)
Then why was Grint thus able to compete with Ain?
“Zeaaaah! Look, don’t think that you can retreat so easily!”
Grint’s blow, filled with spirit, comes at Ain and grazes his cheek.
(──Yes, there is something wrong with this attack…!)
Ain lightly clicked his tongue, and his face was distorted by the seeping pain that entered through the wound. The aura emitted by Grint continued to eat away at his body even when he was nearby.
“What’s wrong? Did you really defeat my father?”
His swordsmanship was sharp, but not spectacularly so.
──Grint’s physical strength is out of the ordinary.
Not to be conceited, but Ain had even won a duel with a strong man called Marco in the past, and now he had a track record of raising his seed as a Demon King.
But, he felt strange about Grint, who had become too strong too quickly.
“It is strange. Your skill is as if you are a different person…”
“It’s obvious! I’m the chosen one, and because of her blessing, I reached the Heavenly Knight!”
“That is exactly what I’m saying is wrong!”
While throwing words of ridiculousness at Grint, Ain suppresses the bothersome pain and blocks Grint’s sword.
It was still a heavy, quick-swinging sword fight, but…
(If it’s only this.)
It’s not that his eyes could never catch up with him, and even with his current physical strength, he was able to handle it well.
In the unlikely event that there had been even a glance of skill mixed in here, Ain might have been outmatched, but that was not the case.
(And──it feels a little like it.)
There was a sense of deja vu in the silvery white light that Grint wore. That, too, was recent.
While avoiding the oncoming sword fights, his mind was filled with memories of the sanctuary he had visited in Sith Mill. The phantom of Gail who crossed swords with him at that place was also clad in white silver.
Ain suddenly looked at Shannon as if remembering.
(She said she had seen a similar power before…?)
Ain stopped and looked at her.
In contrast, Grint noticed the presence that his abhorrent brother was looking at.
“You… Shannon, with your eyes──.”
“Have you ever seen this sword?”
“Shannon! You don’t need to listen to his voice!”
But she certainly had it in sight when Ain arrived here.
She finally saw the appearance of Ain’s black sword, which she had never particularly paid attention to up to this point, and gasped.
She covered her mouth with one hand, causing her whole body to tremble weakly.