Sep 6, 2016

Volume 12 Chapter 7

Part 1

「Adamantine Forge」 - Day of finals.

There was a giant barrier for projecting the performance and the seats for spectators.

Going up on stage, Kuro Usagi smiled and waved towards the audience.

"Finally, just half an hour is left before the start of finals of 「Adamantine Forge」! The judge this time would be Kuro Usagi from 「No Name」! Mikado Tokuteru-sama from the three digit community 「Tōiriten」 that is here as the guest judge will be commenting on it!"


With the Kuro Usagi on stage, the whole mine was filled with cheerful shouts.

She wasn't here as an official judge of the 「Thousand Eyes」 but that was no concern to the fans. The usual banner was also swaying.

As she returned back to the place for reporters, she was greeted by broadly grinning Sakamaki Izayoi from the wing of the stage.

"As popular as ever, eh? Aren't 70% of the audience males? This is that huh? The gift produced by Shiroyasha?"

"Ugh........ It is frustrating to say but YES." Clothing of Shiroyasha-sama can't be taken off because of the demands from fans. Since it brought the opportunity to get money for our food, I couldn't deny it."

"Right? I have no choice but to honestly recognize the ability of the one who made this skirt."

Yahaha, Izayoi laughed while catching and raising her skirt while Kuro Usagi knocked his hand off. This skirt that was made with gift of  ‘can't see what should be seen', firmly grasped the hearts of male customers and didn't let them go.

Shiroyasha's achievements were countless. If she hadn't invented this skirt it's possible that 「No Name」 could have fallen long ago, and the problem children would never been summoned.

After exchanging the usual things two or three times, Izayoi got down to business.

"But that masked knight sure surprised me. Who would have thought that she was a blood relative of Ojō-sama that was supposed to have died."

What's more, it was not just normal blood relative. The face that was hidden under the mask, gave off the intimate feel to anyone who looked at it. Thinking back about her face, Izayoi remembered Asuka's speech.

"’Should have sister’......was it? Remembering it now, I now understand what made me anxious. When you talk about sisters, usually, you say it differently.

─── "I should have an older sister."

─── "I should have a little sister."

.........or something like that. Despite this, Ojō-sama said that she should have sister."

That's right. Kudō Asuka was not able to talk about the fact that she was deprived of a sister. In other words, the meaning behind that was that her sister died before being born and determining which was older and which younger.

Meaning – Kudō Asuka had a twin.

"With this, one of the mysteries about Ojō-sama has been solved. The Gift and body of Divine Spirit..... Does that mean that those two spirit levels became twins and got split?"

"Yes. Perhaps if we think about the historical influence, I think we can conclude that Faceless-sama who had a strong corporeal capabilities died."

Kuro Usagi made a docile face as well and folded her arms.

「Halloween」 is a festival when the boundary of stars is weakened because of season changes, and deceased return from the land of the dead. Some time ago, she herself presumed, that due to some circumstances, the spirit level of Faceless ended up in Queen's hands.

If Asuka ended up not getting summoned in Little Garden, then she should have headed towards the Great Britain – the place where Halloween originated from. And it was expected that some kind of Paradigm would be caused at that land.

"Then regardless the existence of 「No Name」, 「Kudō Asuka」 would definitely repeat that action. Or perhaps like the death of Nobunaga, fit the history in the form of a convergence point. Looks like we were right when we thought that she appeared with the 「Ningen-sengen」 (Humanity Declaration) that was issued at the end of World War 2."

"Yes. However, for Asuka-san to manifest as a living God of Imperial household, there is one thing that is essential by all means."

"........The blood of direct descendant of Imperial household, right?"

Descendant of former 「No Name」.

Paradigm shift of WWII.

Blood of the Imperial descendant and 「Ningen-sengen」.

Perhaps there's just one place in history of Japan where the chronicle of all these events advances without contradictions. And if that chronicle becomes clear, It might also be possible to go save the former members of 「No Name」.

"...But if our hypothesis is correct, then could the actual form of the Gift that Faceless seems to be hiding actually be that outrageous divine sword?"

"YES. Even in the divine sword category, there might only be 3 swords that exceeds it. At any rate, it's a divine sword that travelled from the oldest till the latest times on a single cosmology. The density of the spirit level of the existence that holds this sword has no equal. If it ends up in hands of the Imperial member that carries divinity, then it's hard to imagine just how powerful it will grow. As a matter of fact, it can even exceed Yō-san's 「Genome Tree」"

To that degree? – Izayoi put a hand on his chin and honestly pondered.

"...Well, the audience is big here. I want to believe that masked knight-sama won't do anything unreasonable in this game where murder is strictly forbidden."

"Well, who knows. We won't know that unless we confirm the contents of the trial that Queen assigned to her."

In contrast to serious Izayoi, Kuro Usagi answered with slightly lighter tone.

......It was a bit unexpected.

After all's said and done, she seems unusually composed. Usually, It would be Kuro Usagi who would panic and Izayoi would be calming her down, but this time it was totally opposite of that.

"Hmm… That's too optimistic. If perchance, that masked knight-sama decides to kill Ojō-sama, then even I might not be able to protect her."

"Ayaya, that's sounds different from usual Izayoi-san. If you talk like that, you might miss the victory you know?"

Usausa! – shaking her usamimi, Kuro Usagi showed a satisfied smile.

Izayoi narrowed his eyes and asked again.

".....Eeh. That implying talk. In that case, what would be the usual me?"

"I can answer that without fail! If it's usual Izayoi-san, he would say something like ‘Divine sword of divinity holder Imperial member you say? HA! Good, good, that's more like it! I'll take care of that bout of Ojō-sama and her sister!!!’

...And with that, you would surely stand before the two with the intentions to make them reconcile or something like that."

At that point, she was already grinning with enjoyment.

The head of the strongest problem children would surely have raged from the current tension.

At the very least, if it was Izayoi from before the fight with Aži Dakāha, then there's no way he would be satisfied from just looking at such amusing quarrel among sisters.

But the current Izayoi was not able to get heated up like that.

"......Well, it would be thrilling if that could be done. But, seeing their faces, there was no atmosphere to be able to do that."

"Fufu, I understand."

Usausa! – Kuro Usagi shook her usamimi. Even Izayoi could not clearly describe the changes that were happening within him at the moment.

This was because in the past 17 years of his life, such changes never happened before.

And Kuro Usagi began to notice the changes in the heart of Izayoi –in the hearts of all three problem children.

(After overcoming a great battle, everyone ended up at the crossroads of life. However, becoming an adult and becoming wiser are two completely different things.)

At this rate, the three of them who are at the pinnacle of talents of the whole world might decay. That alone is one thing that's must not happen. Especially because they have such emotional period, they must acquire as much experience as possible.

Hence Kuro Usagi understood.

That the time to accomplish the final responsibility as the summoned ones in this Little Garden of Fighting Gods and Buddhas.

Part 2

After finishing preparing for the fight, Kasukabe Yō had a meal and was now quietly waiting for the start in the waiting room. Having not taken anyone as a second, there was no one in the room aside from her.

As she quietly stared at the clear sky, she released a small sigh.

".........It's no good. So much has happened at once that my head is not working properly."

Yō hanged her head. Becoming the leader of 「No Name」 and Great Alliance was unbelievable talk alone, and yet, Asuka who she considered as one of the closest friends talked about leaving 「No Name」 and acting independently.

She said she'd return one day, but surely they would be parted for a very long time.

For Yō who was thinking of challenging Gift Games together every day from now on, after they overcame this death struggle that talk was out of her expectations.

After all, even if someone from the three decided to go on a journey, she surely thought that it would've been anyone but Asuka.

(I understood that matters concerning Izayoi were strange. Therefore, I thought that he might go for a little journey to gain combat skills.)

It was obvious that something happened in battle with Aži Dakāha.

Even Yō who was indifferent about others has realized that something happened. That's why, if by any chance Izayoi would decide to leave 「No Name」, she was determined to protect the community herself at that time. And yet, who would have thought that It would be Asuka who would leave for journey before him.

(.........Rather I also want to accompany her)

Journey in outside world, and what's more, between various parts of history. There would also be many dangers. And it would be better to have more comrades. The state of world also seems to have stabilized, so even without me alone, wouldn't 「No Name」 be safe....?

At the moment she was thinking that, there was a knock on the door of waiting room.

"Yō-san. Do you have a minute?"

"Kuro Usagi...? Yes, come in."

Kasukabe Yō got puzzled from the sudden visit.

Kuro Usagi entered the waiting room and asked about her condition with a slight smile.

"How are you? Your condition is perfect right?"

"Who knows. The body condition is good, but my head is spinning around."

Haahh, she released a sigh. She probably didn't think that she'd be worrying over this so much. Kuro Usagi also showed a strained smile.

"I’m worried in my heart. But Kuro Usagi recommended Yō-san as the leader because I truly think you are suited for it, you know?"

"........Why? Even if Asuka is going on a journey, Izayoi is staying right? Then, I think it would be good to entrust it to him."

"Of course not. From the three of you, Izayoi-san is the only person who is not cut out to be a leader."

She declared it with a smile. With this, even Yō was surprised.

"W-Why? There's no way Izayoi can't do what I can do......"

"That right. Ability wise, there's potential. Surely, after 10 years, Izayoi-san would undoubtedly be called a wise leader. ...However, having a potential and becoming one are two separate things. After all, Izayoi-san has the freest spirit among you problem children."

What supported 「No Name」 until now was solely Izayoi-san's kindness. If they depended on him even after this, then someday their paths might part.

"Truthfully speaking, even though he is the one who can live freely the most...... Izayoi-san has big troubles now. But if he speaks about them, then feels that he would end up hurting many people. Truly, after defeating Aži Dakāha, he seems to have screamed:

『I didn't want to win like this –!』"


Yō's eyes were dyed from surprise. She probably never thought that Izayoi was worried about that. It was a reason unthinkable for the usual Izayoi.

But it was not a simple matter for the person in question. Thanks to the fact that Kuro Usagi's usamimi, and along with it, her 「Authority of Judge Master」 also returned, she clearly understood what exactly happened inside the game. Hence she knew. That for Sakamaki Izayoi, that final attack was nothing but disgrace.

"Disgraceful victory… Isn't it? For example, Yō-san, you are aware of the great hero who obtained the sun armor and the spear of certain victory, right?"

"By sun armor you mean the Gift that Kuro Usagi has right?"

"YES. I heard that the great duel of Sun God's son Karṇa and Indra's son Arjuna was very similar to that."

Yes – Once, Indra granted a disgraceful victory to his own son. Oddly, the cause of it was the Divine Spear and Sun Armor that Kuro Usagi possessed.
It was the battle of two great heroes among the legends of India that boasted from its popularity.

That was the legend about the son of War God Arjuna[1] and the son of Sun God Karṇa[2].

"Indra stole the Sun Armor with trickery[3], but it would be fine it it was just that. Both Izayoi-san and Yō-san would find it unacceptable to hold back even if Aži Dakāha was not in perfect condition right?"


She assented with a small nod. Naturally, Indra himself regretted about the matter.

Because the from the overprotectiveness towards his son, the Divine Spirit disgraced a great hero.

Because that was the act unworthy for a War God, he was criticized for doing something so cowardly. But, if it was just that, then his son might not have ended up detesting him to that point.

But the reason he thought this victory was disgraceful, was the fact that it was a victory assured from the start as a result of the curses of his half-siblings and father Gods.

Arjuna who became aware of this after the fight, tightly held the head of his sibling Karṇa and shouted:

"───Indra! O Great Father of mine! Are you satisfied now that you protected your dignity?"

He roared towards the sky as he shed tears while embracing the freshly severed head of his sibling.

Undoubtedly, both of them hated each other. They shared all the honor and dishonor they had. And in their entire lives, they spirits burned for the sake of not losing only to each other.

Against such dreadful and powerful opponent, they could only clash after betting their lives on the line.

The fated siblings clearly understood this.

Loading numerous resentments, respects in the duel that they held, they understood each other better and better with every clash. And sadly, perhaps both of them understood in which way the scales of victory was inclining.

Because the abilities of Sun God's son Karṇa exceeded that of War God's son Arjuna's.

Therefore, it was strange that at the end, it was not Arjuna's head that was severed. Heaven did not allow such absurdity. It couldn't afford to allow it. The duel of those two great heroes that was observed by millions of warriors ─ In the end, was stained by the Gods.

Although the result of the duel was determined, Arjuna didn't raise the shouts of victory. Instead he quietly hugged the head of his half-brother, and glared towards the sky with ghastly expression.

"......I wanted to kill him. Even if it was not allowed. Certainly, I swore to raise his severed head, however, I never! Never wanted to win like this!!!"

After the end of the death match, he who was one of the greatest hero from the Indian legends, cried for the half-brother who he should have detested. Throughout the battle, he was well aware of the curses that Karṇa received for his various deeds.

From the beautiful brightness of his sword, spear and bow, he clearly understood Karṇa's true character.

And exactly because of that purity of his soul, he discarded the Sun Armor, and used the Divine Spear that could only be used once because of some stranger.

Despite the fact that if not for his curses, he surely was a nice guy, just like a sun.

Perhaps, he could even share the same glory while standing shoulder to shoulder with the similar comrades.

But that future was the one thing that was not destined for the siblings that were dragged into the war of the Gods[4].

"Izayoi-san knew. .......He knew that Izayoi Sakamaki was no match for Aži Dakāha. Yes, even though he was no match for him, he ended up killing him. Surely, that act brought sadness."

At the time of final attack against Aži Dakāha – The Divine Spear couldn't pierce Izayoi thanks to the Gift of Leo that was bestowed to him by His Highness. But Izayoi was determined to follow the same strategy regardless of existence of that Gift. He probably thought that this great Demon Lord had to be taken down by the hands of a true hero.

Use every power.

Use up your resourcefulness.

Show me your courage, and become a bright sword that would pierce my heart.

Pierce the heart with a blow that had all the courage and wisdom put into it. He embraced the conviction that he became a hero worthy for taking down this great Demon Lord.

And Aži Dakāha himself should have been holding to that wish. If he didn't, he wouldn't not have told such oracle in his dying moments.

『.........There is no need to be ashamed. If you don't know, then learn it now. That trembling is called fear』

Putting his life on the line, he caught the spear thrown by the comrade and attacked the Demon Lord. If he attained that victory with unmeasured bravery, than at that time, that fear itself would've been a reward.

But, for Izayoi, it was different.

『That is so. And do not forget. Even while shivering with fear, the leg moves forward. — That is called courage!』

It's wrong………!!!

............It's wrong, Aži Dakāha............!!!

Believing he was defeated by a true hero, the Demon Lord vanished satisfied. But the real reason Izayoi was shaking was not that. It was not fear that made him shiver.

No matter how much he thought about that battle, Izayoi was supposed to die from that spear throw.

He couldn't remember just how many times he saw his figure in mind, scattering apart after accepting that challenge with his body. Because in truth, Izayoi who challenged him with brute courage was supposed to lose to the Demon Lord and die.

At that time, His Highness lend him the strength. And Jack created a change for victory while betting his life.

These factors didn't exist in the make-up of the game that Izayoi assumed.

All of that was nothing but interruptions from the wheel of fate for the sake of making Izayoi attain victory.

Hence, that shivering… was from shame. Izayoi shivered from the shame that he bore after gaining victory against the true Demon Lord with underhanded methods.

And he cried out of frustration. The guilt towards the allies and enemy was intolerable.

If there were heroes worthy to be called victors there, they were no other than the ones who put their lives on the line, and changed the gears of fate creating that situation.

It was Kudō Asuka, Kasukabe Yō, Saurian Demon King, Roc Demon King, Jack, Mandra and many comrades who lost their lives – They were the true heroes.

Izayoi Sakamaki...was just an outsider. He was just a thief that stole the achievement from the safety zone in that final decisive battle.

He was just a spectator, witnessing the shouts of victory that resounded far across the distance.

The one who killed the Demon Lord was Izayoi, but… The one who was defeated by the Demon Lord was Izayoi alone.

"......In order for Izayoi-san to win, something has changed. Because of that extraordinarily powerful will, he was made to be a hero. Izayoi-san himself understands that, albeit unconsciously."


"He needs time to think about it. Whether he lives as a hero he was made out to be, or chooses a different path from the legend that was imposed on him. Kuro Usagi thinks that this problem is surely not something that would be solved by him staying with the 「No Name」. I wish for him to experience the vast world that is Little Garden, to better understand his troubles and his own self, and then turn all his regrets into the source of encouragement... But for that, it's necessary to do a ceremony. And the one who can do it, is no one but Yō-san."

"No one but me?"

Kuro Usagi looked at Kasukabe Yō with earnest eyes.

Taking her hand, Kuro Usagi began to tell her the details that were loaded with all her anxiety and expectations.

Part 3

— And, the time has come to raise the curtains.

The audience seats were full without even a single empty space.

This is what would be called a flood of customers.

As usual the fox girl Lily was running around as a saleswoman, and selling goods while her kitsunemimi were twitching. This time the other children from the senior group were also selling along with her.

From now on the games hosted by 「No Name」 themselves would increase. And Kuro Usagi wanted for them to get even a bit of experience.

(Witnessing the fight of Izayoi-sama and others, kids who might decide to become players might appear in future. For that to happen, I have to give my best!)

Hyokon! - Lily's kitsunemimi jumped up as she made a fist.

At the moment she had about half of the goods sold.

A single gong reverberated, marking the start of the game.

『Thank you for waiting! Before starting the final game of 「Adamantine Forge」, the new leader of us 「No Name」,  Player Kasukabe Yō will do an opening speech!』


In the middle of loud cheers, Kasukabe Yō stepped forward. Getting on stage Kasukabe Yō took up the microphone, and faced the audience with unusually tensed expression.

Looking at the audience Kasukabe Yō, albeit hesitantly, looked at the place where flags of the hosts were hanging.

「Six Scars」, 「Perseus」, and also the red flag that had the traces of name of the old 「      」.

Although her father was the leader of 「No Name」, becoming their new leader didn't feel real.


The heart of Kasukabe Yō began to throb from a different matter. The condition that Kuro Usagi proposed to her cleared up her currently messed up head, and more than anything… It was the most interesting proposal.

Under the weight of her throbbing chest, Yō took the microphone and started her speech:

『I.......... am not the strongest person among the 「No Name」. Even now, I'm not confident that I was truly useful in the fight against Aži Dakāha. I believe that this victory was possible only because of people other than us, who put their lives on the line.』


It's not like that – from the audience voices were raised. Everyone who fought along with her knew very well just how bravely Kasukabe Yō fought.

『Originally, the person who should have become a leader should be from the other two. But one of them is going on a journey alone to save comrades, and another one who is stronger than me, lost sight of his own self, doesn't know what to do and didn't take the leader's position.』


Turbulent atmosphere that drifted even reached the audience.

Yō frantically continued the awkward speech.

『If I, whose ability is not recognized become the leader of 「No Name」, then who knows what kinds of grudges will pile up after this when we create The Great Alliance. That's why, I want to clear everything right here.』

The final words were unmistakably directed towards Izayoi.

Just once, Yō looked back at Kuro Usagi.

『Kuro Usagi. There might not be a way turn back after this, so… you sure this is alright?』

"YES! Now go and say it loudly!"

Kuro Usagi answered with a wink. Lately, she has become very reliable. Surely that has to be because she gained more self-confidence, after receiving the divine protection from Indra.

Attracted to that smile, Yō also smiled back.

Perhaps this could be the final prank that three of them would do together.

Then they should give their all. To stand tall without any regrets.

For Kudō Asuka to depart for journey.

For Kasukabe Yō to become a new leader.

And for Sakamaki Izayoi to break his shackles once more.

In order to reach their souls, Kasukabe Yō shouted with all she had.

『Let's have a match, Sakamaki Izayoi!!! If I win in this Gift Game, then until you fix that face that lost all energy from defeat...! You would not return under the flag of 「No Name」!!!』

1 Arjuna (अर्जुन) is the son of Indra. He is the considered as the best archer of his time, Karṇa being his rival. He was the third of the Pandava (पाण्‍डव) brothers.
2 Karṇa (कर्ण) was the king of Anga, and was the only one as strong as Arjuna (अर्जुन). He was the son of Sūrya (सूर्य) a solar deity in Hinduism. He was the best friend of Duryodhana (दुर्योधन), and so fought with the Kaurava (कौरव) side.
3 It's part of the Mahābhārata, in the Karna Parva (कर्ण पर्व). Karṇa had the Kavach (armour) and Kundal (ear-rings) which made him invulnerable against enemies. Knowing that Indra made a plan to take that: he disguised as a poor Brahmin. Sūrya (सूर्य) warned Karṇa, but he said that he had to respect the host custom. Indra asked for the Kavach and Kundal as alms. Karṇa said he recognize Indra, and Indra took his normal form ashamed. Karṇa however gave them to him. See Prelude to war on Wikipedia.
4 FYI this is the Author-sama, as usual, changing a bit the myth. In the story the most important point was that Arjuna won in a "disgraceful" manner: he killed him from the back while he was unarmed.
About the curses: 1) He will "lose the knowledge when he needed it most when fighting against an equal warrior" 2) (because he killed a cow) "he would become helpless and die in the same way the innocent cow had become, by his chariot wheels getting stuck in the ground" 3) "at a very crucial moment in battle, his chariot wheel would be trapped". See Quora & Wikipedia for more.
He was indeed killed that way. His chariot wheel was trapped in mud, Arjuna tried to kill him failed and was unconscious, Karṇa tried to extract his wheel, Arjuna woke up and killed him in the back.