Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
I could not complain about being weak when it was painful.
From that day on, he decided to endure, no matter how miserable or abusive the situation was…
The boy did not know if it was a strength or weakness.
Because he was not allowed to have time to think, to know the answer.
The time he spent thinking, the amount of time he spent missing the miracle, the happiness spilling through the cracks of his fingers.
The sand in the wind would mist up in front of his eyes and disappear in an instant.
So―he decides to kill hope.
If he can’t get what he wants or wishes for, he has no choice but to abandon his ideals and look at reality.
Clinging to the heavens was ludicrous.
He told himself that he had no choice but to hold on to his ruthless heart and bring about a miracle with his own strength.
It was not something that can be given, nor was it something that can be received.
He knew that he had to seize it, take it, and win it himself.
There was nothing left for the losers. Only the winner gets everything. It was because he knew it.
He sought strength. Crawling and slurping muddy water, he continued to pursue reality.
Thinking of the beautiful and shining ideals of these people, he continued to struggle with his muddy dream.
And then he found it.
A blackness darker than darkness―A darkness more dazzling than light.
Squinting at the intense light, the boy continued to walk along the invisible path.
“Oh… I’ll find it at last.”
He believed in what lay ahead.
He believed that there was always something that would satisfy him.
Someone said, “There is nothing.” But the boy did not listen.
“There has to be something. The ideal I wanted―”
The boy said, and what came back was a sigh of exasperation.
And then came the words he would never forget.
“You―Do you know despair?”
The world the boy had dreamed of turned jet black.
Chapter 1 – Five Great Generals
The smell of burning filled the area. Brightly illuminating the surroundings were flames spreading in red.
The city walls belched out black smoke, and a creature engulfed in flames rolled out of the entrance, rolling on the ground. It screamed like a beast, but it was drowned out by the sound of angry voices.
Such was the burning fortress in the dark night – it was not the beasts that were milling about in the midst of it.
They were soldiers who made their living by taking lives.
When the enemy in front of them becomes a mute corpse, they rush out of the ground with their swords swinging wildly, their bloodshot eyes glaring at their surroundings as if they wanted to consume more lives.
If they don’t consume, they will be consumed.
Those were the only words in their heads, and they were obsessed only with living.
They had not a shred of conscience or attachment to life. As soon as they saw an enemy, they pounced on him like an animal.
There was no restraint at all for people who had lost all sense of reason. They do not hesitate to reap lives.
With each blow and each kill, their breath was surely choked out, and they let out a cry of joy.
“My heart trembles.”
In the darkness, a word that was inappropriate for this situation was dropped into a whirlpool of screams.
“Just one word, just one command, and hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of lives will be lost.”
The woman’s body trembled as she listened to the unique mixture of screams and shouted around her.
“Wonderful. A world where only the strong survive and the weak are oppressed, just at this very moment, don’t you think this is truly a world of equality?”
The woman asked the question to the person standing in front of her.
To describe this person in one word, “The flowering moon”―just by being there, just by standing there, the word “beauty” appears in mind. She had the mysterious atmosphere of a long-eared race but had the charming face of a beastman. The name of the woman with the beast ears covered with white fur was Weiss, one of the five great generals of the Great Grantz Empire.
Weiss remained vigilant and turned her murderous eyes on the woman while protecting Rosa, the Prime Minister of the Great Grantz Empire, who was standing behind her.
“Did you say Verona…?”
Weiss said, and the woman nodded frankly.
“Yes, that’s my name… and I’ll be honored if you remember it.”
“I’ll forget it soon… and more importantly, are you really so carefree that you came here to take the lives of Rosa-sama and me yourself?”
Weiss looked at the entrance to the fort. Grantz soldiers, who had sensed something unusual, were barraging in from the outside encampment. It was only a matter of time before the courtyard was filled with allies.
In contrast, the cavalry group that seemed to be the Free People, led by Verona, who had attacked them, had lost the advantage of mobility, partly because the entrances and exits were blocked. Because of this, they were abandoning their horses one after another and moving toward the ground battle. It was obvious which side had the advantage, and in such a situation, victory or defeat would be decided by sheer numbers. In addition, the Free People had no escape route―so they would launch a desperate attack. However, no matter how fierce the attack, it would be meaningless in the face of sheer numbers.
However, whether she knew it or not, Verona’s complexion was strangely unchanged. She was listening to the clamor, despite the fact that she is on the receiving end of the attack.
“Only the strong can kill me. I don’t think you have that many men here, or do you have enough ‘power’ to satisfy me?”
“I don’t know if I can satisfy you, but I think I have enough power to kill you.”
Weiss pulled her sword from her waist. The grips had an unusual shape as if the blades were stacked on top of each other, with the seams evenly spaced. Even stranger, the metal emitted a creaking sound, and Verona tilted her head in interest, perhaps noticing the slight noise.
“It’s as if it were a living creature―I see, that explains your bullish attitude.”
“I remember that feeling.”
With her mouth hanging open in glee, Verona, perhaps unable to contain her excitement, steps forward several times to close the distance between her and Weiss and the others. However, she soon came to her senses and stopped where she had begun to go and began to talk excitedly about the rest of the story.
“A thousand years ago, it was common knowledge around the world that the power of the “Black Dragon King” would be more active at this time of the day. However, this king was defeated by a boy a long time ago. If this is the case, then the only remnants left are the relics of the “king,” such as the “Crying Serpent” of the Five Dragon and Phoenix Swords.
“You seem to know a lot about the Black Dragon King, but… there is one strange thing.”
Weiss’ eyes were still colored with caution.
It was true that the sword she is holding was one of the Five Dragon and Phoenix Swords―the “Crying Serpent.”
However, the “world’s five great treasure swords” are extremely rare, and among them, no one in the present day had seen the actual Five Dragon and Phoenix Swords, the “Crying Serpent.” In the past―say at the end of the Great War a thousand years ago, many people knew of them… but most of them were dead now, after a thousand years.
“You said you remember the feeling, but where did you learn about the Five Dragon and Phoenix Swords?”
“I have fought the owner of the Five Dragon and Phoenix Swords before, a person named Skadi, who is the owner of the ‘Mad Claws.'”
“That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m trying to say is――”
Weiss, shaking her head, prepared herself. Behind her, Rosa, who was listening to their conversation, looked doubtful, as if she could not follow the conversation.
“What I want to know is how you know about the Crying Serpent.
Weiss was the only one who possesses the Crying Serpent of the Five Dragon and Phoenix Swords. There were only a limited number of people who know the feeling of it. You’d have to go back to the time when Weiss called herself Meteor a thousand years ago. Then, naturally, the answer becomes clear. Weiss had an idea what kind of person the person in front of her was.
“Even the long-lived long-eared race is… Certainly, it is hard to believe, but are you a survivor of the great war of a thousand years ago?”
“You are half right.”
Verona nodded and placed her hand on the hilt of her sword, her own weapon. Weiss’s attention shifted to the weapon at her waist with that action. The air becomes heavy with a strange presence as if to intimidate Weiss.
“…..Is that why you’re looking for strong people? Or is it because you’re confident that you can escape even in a situation surrounded by enemies like this with your Five Destructive Holy Principle Swords?”
“That is also half correct.”
Verona smiled wryly and tapped her sword hilt with a small tap.
“First, let me correct a mistake. It is often misunderstood, but this is not the Five Destructive Holy Principle Swords!”
Kicking the ground, Verona floated lightly in the air. She gripped the scabbard with her left hand and put her right hand on the hilt, dexterously adjusting her stance in mid-air and coming toward Weiss.
“I am also not a long-eared race, although my appearance may mislead many people.”
Weiss moved her arm, though she was still some distance away from Verona. However, just pointing the tip of the sword at Verona… that is not only not a threat, but of course, it is a distance that cannot even be reached. Yes, it would normally be unreachable―but Weiss’ blade glinted in the darkness, and the next moment, surprisingly, Verona’s body was blown away with a dull thud.
Still, with a light movement, she spun once in midair and landed on the ground as if she had a foothold. A small breeze was created by the beat. Fine sand flew up, and a strange silence fell between the two, but it was Verona who opened her mouth first.
“…..I’m relieved to see that your skills haven’t diminished.”
“I don’t know what you are――”
Weiss looked to Rosa to stay away as she replied.
Rosa, who had been showing her will to fight with her spirit weapon at the ready, took only a few steps backward as if she understood that she was going to be a liability. Weiss, who had confirmed this, began to shake the “Crying Serpent” carelessly, creating a current of air and making the air roar.
“No matter how far away you are, my blade will reach your heart.”
Twisting her hips, Weiss swung her arm horizontally, and with a creaking sound, the blade split into several pieces and began to extend. The speed of the blade was blindingly fast, and the sharp blade headed toward Verona with tremendous force. However, just before the blade pierced Verona, Weiss twisted her wrist, and the blade changed course, undulating like a snake, and rapidly moved away from her.
This was not a good thing for an opponent who was preparing to attack. A move that went against their expectations was a setback, a rush. It disturbed the mind and created a big gap.
The blade that darted in from a blind spot as if to taunt the enemy was impossible for an ordinary person to avoid―but Verona was no ordinary person.
“Even if I can’t see it… I can read its presence.”
Verona smiled fearlessly―at the same time, several sparks flew.
Weiss raised her eyebrows when she saw the sword marks. She was wondering why her own attack had been neutralized. She knew that Verona prevented the attack. But when the sparks flew, there was not the slightest indication that she had moved. Earlier and now, Verona’s hand is only lightly placed on her sword hilt.
“You seem to be using a strange skill.”
As if searching for an answer, Weiss maintained a certain distance and skillfully maneuvered her sword to attack Verona, but all of her attacks were repelled. The “Crying Serpent” was a weapon of such strength that it would be impossible for a normal weapon to block such a slash. The opponent was naturally thought to be in possession of one of the five great treasured swords, but the treasured sword of the long-eared race, she denied that she possessed the Five Destructive Holy Principle Swords.
Weiss knows the characteristics and shapes of all of the other swords, including the “Five Dragon and Phoenix Sword,” which is considered the treasured sword of the beastman. If her memory is correct, she can be sure that Verona’s sword is different from the others.
If so, the only swords that remain are the “Five Emperor of the Spirit Swords,” the treasured sword of the “human race,” the “Five Demon Emperor Swords,” the treasured sword of the “demon race,” and the “Five Daybreak Swords,” the treasured sword of the dwarf race. Then, Weiss suddenly remembered what she had said earlier.
“As I recall, you said that you are not of the long-eared race, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am not a long-eared race. As I said before, people often misunderstand me.”
“If it is a misunderstanding, then you must not be a half-human either.”
“If you are just flaunting your knowledge because I belong to the free people, of which there are many “half-humans,” then I would have to say that you are mistaken as well.”
“Then there is only one answer.”
“Without trying to be presumptuous, I will answer you frankly if you ask me.”
Lifting her shoulders slightly, Verona let out a small sigh.
Weiss’ words twisted wildly in response to her.
“The “demon race” that has been ‘elfinized’?”
“Well done, you’ve arrived at the correct answer. Should I applaud you?”
Verona tilted her head in a silly way and kicked the ground with her toes, making a cloud of dust. Her frustration was evident in her movements.
A strange outburst of emotion, perhaps due to a lack of time or perhaps due to the interruption of the battle.
“Now that I know who you are….. I’m going to give it my all.”
Weiss announced, returning her serpentine sword to its original form and holding it in her opposite hand.
“…..If you didn’t belong to the Black Death Village, I would have killed you with ease.”
“As a reward for getting there, would you be pleased if I told you that I am one of the Twelve Demon Lords?”
Weiss’ body trembled at Verona’s statement.
It was different from the warrior’s tremble when facing a strong person. Nor was it a shiver of fear.
It was simply cold. The absolute zero degrees of murderous intent, cutting through the air and expressing itself, is anger.
“Now that you’ve said those words…”
Weiss thrust the Crying Serpent vigorously into the ground,
“Whether it is true or false, there is no need to keep you alive.”
Weiss turned her eyes to Verona, her eyes filled with a strong desire to kill.
“You will pay for the sin of killing his heart.”