Dec 12, 2017

Rakudai Kishi V8 Chapter 13

Chapter 13 - The Semi-Final Shrouded in Dark Clouds

Under the rain of applause from the audience, Stella left the ring.

As Kanata Toutokubara watched from the audience stand, she let out a sigh that had been held in and exclaimed.

“That was an incredible fight......”

At her side, Touka Toudou nodded and replied.

“Yes. I definitely knew that she had an abnormal level of talent, but I never thought that the Sword Emperor of Wind would not be a match for her after such a short amount of time.”

Touka pondered. She herself probably could not be compared to her at all.

In just one short week......It was an unbelievable rate of growth.

“Ouma-san has touched the dragon’s inverted scale and awakened it.”

Had Ouma not done that, the winner of that match would probably be him.

Ikki’s words interrupted Kanata’s muttering from the side.

“He did it on purpose though.”

“Is that so?”

Ikki nodded.

“Be it himself or his opponent, he is a man that does not compromise. Nii-san has toured the world and knows the height of the summit, so it would probably be meaningless to him if Stella did not exert her full strength. I think that’s why he provoked her......He did not look at the glory of certain victory in the match before his eyes, but he did it for the sake of continuing his goal of becoming the strongest.”

“Certainly......seems like what Ouma-san would do.”

“That’s right. Blatantly assaulting the school, ambushing me so that I would drop out from the Festival, well, not choosing his methods of achieving his dream. As the brother, I also want to complain to him. ──That stoic attitude of his is what I’ve respected since the past.”

He could still remember it if he closed his eyes.

In the dojo basked in the dusk sunlight, despite the instructor and the children of the branch families all gone, the back of Ouma who continued to swing his sword alone.

He learned many things from that back profile.

He stole many techniques from that back profile.

In that sense, Ouma Kurogane could be said to be Ikki Kurogane’s teacher.

And then ── that Ouma was subdued by Stella with an overwhelming difference in strength without any difficulty.

“......Honestly speaking, I never imagined that she would become this strong. The naivety that was in Stella during our mock battle before has disappeared. The difference in power is already beyond a range that I can catch up to, my advantage in speed is also almost gone......How should I face her, my head hurts.”

“Your words and expression are mismatched. You look really happy.”

“......Yeah. Stella is not the only one that became stronger since than that time.”

Stella certainly had a shocking growth, but he also did not just laze around until now.

Even as he was watching Ouma’s match, he was thinking about the way to fight against Stella.

And he had come up with a few tactics.

──Chance of victory was there. It was definitely there.

If he clashed head on with his all like Ouma, there would be no chance of victory of course.

However, that was just the usual.

He did not consider a tiny bit about competing in strength against Stella.

Strength was not the only way to win a fight.

A complete victory without any room for argument was not the only form of victory.

(That’s what Ouma Nii-san would probably call trickery.)

That was only the thought of Ouma from his way of life.

A person without talent like Ikki lived in the way of a person without talent......there was a motive to go through with it.

Even if his brother could not comprehend him, he would walk on his own path that he believed in.

“Work hard and win. I’m cheering for you!”

“Toudou-san will be cheering for me, huh?”

“Since you are someone I lost to. If you don’t properly take responsibility for it...”

So that’s it, Ikki was definitely convinced. However...

“Thank you very much. But......well, that’s something for tomorrow.”

At that moment...

「For the sake of cleaning the ring and repairing the venue, we will commence a thirty-minute break from now.

The contenders for the second match of the semi-finals, please move to the waiting room during the break.」

Such an announcement came from the venue.

That’s right. Before fighting against Stella, there was a wall he had to climb.

There was a guy he had to defeat.

“......I have to clean up this first.”

Saying so, Ikki left the fence and climbed up the stairs along the audience stand.

Towards the waiting room.

Watching the back of that Ikki...


Touka, who was left behind, felt a small doubt.

“He seems to be full of motivation. It’s natural since his sister was humiliated like that.”

“Is it just...that?”


“He doesn’t seem to be thinking of simply avenging Shizuku-san. It’s somehow a greater......”

If it was to be expressed in felt like 「determination」.

And it was unusually heavy──

That’s right. Just like the last day of the selection battle.

Like how he dragged his body that was on the verge of death to appear before her.

That great determination as if betting his whole existence.

Part 2
On his way to the waiting room, Ikki decided to take a detour.

The place the authorized personnel pathway led to was the Medical Room.

He went to see Shizuku and Arisuin who were still resting.

He had a really good timing.

At the same time as Ikki arrived at the corridor of the Medical Room, Shizuku and Arisuin walked out of the Medical Room’s door.



They probably never thought that they would run into each other.

The two of them were also surprised when they saw Ikki who was running towards them.

“My oh my, what a timing. I wonder if you have come to see us before the match.”

“Yes. I see that you two also woke up.”

“Yeah, just now.”

“Are you already well enough to move around? You two were done in quite horribly though.”

“Thank you for worrying. But my body is fine thanks to being treated early. Hey, Shizuku ── eh, what are you doing?”


Shizuku had hidden her head with her clothes. Then peeked out from the collar with her eyes in apology...

“......I am too ashamed to face Onii-sama......”

She murmured as she avoided Ikki’s gaze.

“Not only had I failed to stop that guy, I could not do anything as I was humiliated......I am so weak, it’s embarrassing.”

Shizuku’s voice shook in frustration as she apologized for her powerlessness.

However, towards her, Ikki...

“You don’t have to apologize for that.”

Saying so, he gently hugged Shizuku.

“Eh, o...onii...sama?”

“Thank you. Not just for me, you fought for the pride of all the knights that participated in this Festival......Shizuku is my prided little sister.”


Her regrets probably resurfaced as Shizuku looked up in Ikki’s arms.

Ikki wiped away Shizuku’s warm tears caringly, and spoke.

“Let me carry out Shizuku’s will. I won’t let him do as he pleases anymore in this Festival.”

“Do you have a plan? Amane’s ability is beyond strong, you know?”

However, Ikki shook his head to Arisuin’s question.

“......No. There’s no plan. But, yesterday, I finally understood. Amane-kun’s true identity.”

Currently, he could understand.

The meaning of that disgusting feeling Amane always possessed since their first meeting.

That pair of pupils which harboured negative chaos, annoyingly staring at him from the bottom of the well of his memories.

As well as who that belonged to.

And then, because Ikki understood that, he declared to the two of them.

“Don’t worry. I will not lose to him. Just against him alone ── I will never lose.”

Part 3
It was the thirty minute break time arranged between the first and the second match.

In that short amount of time, the sky greatly changed.

「It suddenly became cloudy. Looks like it’s going to rain.」

The clear blue sky a moment ago was hidden by the low layer of clouds and seemed like it was about to collapse at any moment, a cloudy sky.

And black crows flew down from the cloudy sky, staring at the empty ring without making a sound.

Everyone in that place felt some sort of ominous premonition.

What exactly would happen?

While feeling the sinister atmosphere deep in their hearts, people waited for the time to begin.

「The next match is between Another One and Bad Luck huh......」

「Who do you think will win?」

「I hope that Ikki-kun will win......I don’t really like that Shinomiya guy.」

「More like that’s definitely against the rules. “The ability to grant anything I wish for” was it? It’s a hot topic the students from Kyomon leaked on the net, winning without fighting all the way until now, it’s not possible.」

「But there’s no evidence......Of Contender Shinomiya using that ability.」

「Will Ikki-kun arrive safely......」

Before long, the announcement suppressed the discussions amongst the audience.

「Informing everyone present.

It is time, we are about to commence the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival semi-finals second match.」

And after that announcement, the broadcast changed to the announcer Iida.

「It’s been thirty minutes, everyone! Continuing to the semi-finals second match, the announcer will be me, Iida, and the commentator will be Saikyou-sensei. It was a fine sunny weather until just now, and it became such a humid sky as if the sunny weather was a lie, but please do not worry as the bay dome has a retractable glass roof! No matter what kind of weather it is, as long as the contenders are doing their best, let us cheer for them with spirit!」

With Iida’s lead, the audience raised their cheers and applauded.

The heavy atmosphere in the dome was blown away by the passion.

──Such empty cheers would still be considered cheering.[1]

Clapping to the point of feeling pain in their hands, the anxiety and humidity were dispersed, and the venue started to become hyper. Aiming for that moment...

「Now then! Let’s welcome the contenders of this match who are vying for the remaining spot to reach the finals! Contenders ── enter!」

Iida gave the cue.

In response to that, appearing first was the figure of a black-haired youth from the blue gate.

「Entering from the blue gate, despite possessing weak magic power of F-Rank value, he has made up for it with his body techniques to reach all the way here, this Festival’s attention grabber! Contender Ikki Kurogane!

In the first round, he faced off against Contender Seven Star Sword King, Yuudai Moroboshi, and defeated him...

In the second round, against the runner-up of the previous Festival, Contender Byakuya Jougasaki, it was literally an instant kill!

In the third round that became a consecutive battle, he cut apart Twin-Wings, despite it being a counterfeit, and finally entered the country’s best four! He has made his way into the stage of the semi-finals!

If he wins this battle, he will be in the finals!

Will he be able to grab the ticket to the battle in the finals with his superb swordsmanship!?」

「Ah! He showed up! Ikki-kun properly showed up! He seems to be well!」

「Fuu. I’m really glad. I was thinking of complaining to the Organizing Committee if even Another One lost without a fight.」

「Worst One! Don’t lose to that cheating guy!」

The audience that regained their enthusiasm from Iida’s motivation welcomed Ikki with a round of loud applause.

Amidst that──

“Shizuku! Alice!”

Stella, who had just finished her match, met up with Shizuku and Arisuin in the audience stand.

“Oh my, Stella-chan. You worked hard. It was an incredible match.”

“You watched it?”

“Shizuku and me watched from halfway.”

“I see. Thank you.”

As Stella replied to Arisuin, she turned her gaze to Shizuku.


“Shizuku......erm, are you feeling better?”

Asked in a caring tone.

Stella understood what kind of humiliation she had suffered the most.

That’s why she noticed it.

Towards Stella’s worry ── Shizuku replied with a mischievous smile.

“Yeah. Onii-sama just hugged me gently a moment ago so Shizuku is fully charged.”

“Nah! What were you doing while someone else was fighting!?”

“Are you jealous? Then I don’t mind if you just sniff at the lingering scent, you know?”

“N-No thanks!”

Pushing away Shizuku’s hand that was holding her freshly untied tie, Stella sighed in resignation.

“Seriously......if you can say such nasty things, then you are already fine.”

Shizuku also tied back her tie and showed her usual cold expression...

“That’s how it is......Compared to me, I think that the person behind you is closer to dying.”

Saying so, she directed her gaze to Kurono who had come together with Stella.

A thick layer of fatigue could be seen from Kurono’s face at one glance.

“Why does Director-sensei look so exhausted?”

Kurono answered Arisuin’s question in a tired voice.

“There’s no why or how. Because this idiot over here was inconsiderate of my hardships with her firepower and anyhow destroyed the venue......”

“Ahh......Director-sensei is also doing that repair work.”

“Because it’s done by my student......”

“It can’t be helped. I still haven’t gotten used to controlling my strength in my trance state. It’s the fault of the venue for being too small in the first place.”

“There’s no venue that can encompass a slash that went more than one kilometer into the sea. Hold back a little next time.”

“I will work hard on concentrating but I don’t want to hold back. I will regret if I lose because of that. Also, Nene-sensei also said that there’s no batter who is scared of swinging the bat with full strength just because the homerun ball may hit the audience. Protecting the venue and audience is the job of Mage-Knights, so students should not care and just go for it.”

“She’s saying unnecessary things......”

“But I also heard that Director-sensei was quite mischievous during her student period. Such as the holes caused by sensei destroying the space, there are also prohibited areas people can’t enter, as those holes have yet to close. And various other stories.”


Arisuin stabbed Kurono on the side, and she let out a groan.

Certainly, compared to the wounds she gave to the world that could not be recovered from, Stella’s damage was still cute since it could be repaired over time, making her unable to retort back.

In the end, Kurono could only step down while repeating “I understand, I understand”.

“Rampage as much as you like. I will take care of the loose ends. It’s true that this is my job.”

“Thank you, Director♪”

At the same time Stella was thanking Kurono, the petite blonde boy entered from the gate opposite to Ikki’s.

「And entering from the red gate is Akatsuki Academy First Year. Contender Bad Luck, Amane Shinomiya!

In the first round, his opponent was Contender White-Robed Knight, Kiriko pharmacist, but she forfeited due to her patients’ condition suddenly worsening.

In the second round, his opponent was hospitalized due to poor health and he won without fighting.

Continuing to the third round, Contender Lorelai, Shizuku Kurogane believed that the previous two matches’ results were suspicious and assaulted Contender Amane, who was standing by in the waiting room, causing her to be disqualified for violating the rules, allowing him to win without a single fight all the way to the semi-finals!

In addition, those quick on the news should also know about the existing topic in the net regarding Contender Amane winning continuously without fighting since he was in Kyomon Academy!

However, please don’t be mistaken. There is no evidence to show that Contender Amane used his causality interference ability illegally. All of these are just the results of overlapping coincidences. Wow, there are times when so many coincidences can overlap. As expected of the owner of such fortune to be given the nickname Bad Luck.」

「Ah it’s true. Just a coincidence, a coincidence (monotone)」

“Hey, Saikyou-sensei......!”

Saikyou’s words caused Iida to stop the mic in a hurry and warned her.

“At least, we don’t have any evidence, so please don’t use (monotone)!”

“Eh? Then is it fine to say my real thoughts?”

“It isn’t fine! Please just keep quiet as much as possible then!”

「, ahem. Contender Amane, who has continuously won without fighting, is standing on the ring in this Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival for the first time now! It’s the first match on the official field. What kind of power will he show us? It seems to be an interesting match!」

Glossing over the unnatural pause with coughs, Iida resumed the broadcast.

However, the audience did not care about the unnatural pause, and instead watched the spoken knight who was showing himself on the field for the first time with interest.

「After this and that, it’s the first time he showed up properly. He looks somewhat like a girl.」

「He looks quite cute......」

「Does he? Behaving so flippantly, I don’t know what he’s thinking, he somehow feels eerie.」

“Amane that guy, he doesn’t seem popular.”

“Well, he came here without a single fight, it’s to be expected. There’s no way that kind of weird fight record can be popular.”

“Shinomiya is also a person the Committee side is vigilant against and is under strong surveillance, long as he has the ability of 「Changing the causality to his own advantage」, it’s better to think that it would be impossible to grab hold of any evidence which could be disadvantageous to him......although it’s frustrating.”

Suspicion does not justify punishment.

As long as that remained as the country’s main principle, there was no method to seize Amane in the current situation.

Any and all causality was bent in favor of Amane.

Shizuku, who had experienced the strength of that power first hand, watched her brother standing on the ring, and thought.

What exactly would he do?

He did seem to be quite confident, exactly would he overcome Amane’s Nameless Glory?

However──............Shizuku would soon realize how foolish it was to think about the way to overcome it.

As for the reason why...

「Now then, as both contenders are at the starting line, the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival semi-finals second match will now beg──」

“Ahh, please hold on a moment!”

Amane suddenly spoke loudly on the ring...

“I ── am thinking of forfeiting this match.”

To the referee with such words.

Part 4

It was so sudden that the venue was in commotion due to the unexpected declaration from Amane.

Shizuku reacted the same way.

“W-What is that guy saying......!?”

“ he playing at......”

Be it Stella, Shizuku, or anyone else, none of them could understand what Amane was thinking.

Especially Arisuin and Shizuku, who knew about the strong hatred Amane had towards Ikki, they were even more confused.

Even though they were certain that he would do something to Ikki in that match, what exactly was happening?

「C-Contender Amane! Er..rm, are you forfeiting? Does this mean that you are giving up this semi-final!?」

The announcer was also confused after the sudden request, and asked again to make sure he didn’t hear wrongly.

“Yes. That’s how it is.”

「Why exactly......!?」

“I have to say it, huh?”

For an instant, Amane gave a small bitter smile, and pointed out.

“You see. Everyone is thinking the same thing as Shizuku-san, that I am cheating.”


Amane’s words made everyone present silent.

Just like he said, everyone held strong distrust towards Amane.

Amane took that silence as confirmation...

“Controlling causality is my ability, so being suspected cannot be helped. Of course, I never did such a thing, but I know it’s impossible not to be suspected. And if that guy won, nobody will be convinced. That’s why I want to withdraw from this Festival. Well, basically, I know how to read the mood.”

That was the reason he told for withdrawing from the semi-finals.

And after that, he faced Ikki, who was looking at him quietly from the starting line, and apologized with a sorry looking face──

“......That’s how it is. Sorry, Ikki-kun. I believe that the serious Ikki-kun does not wish to enter the finals in this way, but please forgive me......Honestly speaking, I’m at the limit due to everyone’s painful gazes. This atmosphere feels like a bed of needles. Ah, but, although I have given up as a contender, I will cheer you on until the end! Because I am a big fan of Ikki-kun!

I intend to cheer for you with my all so that Ikki-kun will be victorious! Tomorrow’s final battle as well!”

At that moment...


Shizuku understood the real intention of Amane, and was astonished.

──Oh no.


「If that guy with such a cheat ability cheers for him, wouldn’t Worst One just win?」

Such, was what the audience considered. That was the real intention of Amane.

Amane did not intend to do anything to Ikki in the semi-finals.

He was......intending to interfere the promised battle between Ikki and Stella in the finals the next day.

That impurity that was not allowed.

He intended to trample on Ikki’s most important promise, something he had betted everything on, and bring it to an end.

It would hurt him more than just defeat.

“T-That bastard......! How far is he going to fool around......!”

Amane’s action that was full of malice made Stella grind her molar teeth and she clenched her fist so tightly to the point that the blood vessels congested.

The unusual glitters at the end of her hair indicated her temper that could burst at any time.

On the other hand, Amane on the ring did not seem to notice Stella...

“No no! Everyone misunderstood! It’s only in the range without using my ability!”

He waved his hands and explained it to the audience.

However......there was not a trace of apology in that expression.

What was there

That’s only natural.

The reason being......Half of Amane’s conspiracy had been achieved at that moment.

Forfeit was an individual right of the contender.

There was nobody who could prevent it.

Ikki’s blade would never reach Amane again, and he lost the method to stop Amane’s conspiracy.

Hence Amane turned to Ikki with an ecstasy-filled joyful face...

“Don’t worry, Ikki-kun! I know how important the battle between Ikki-kun and Stella-san is, so I will not interfere! Of course, I also never once did anything like pushing Ikki-kun’s back for the matches until now!”

He spoke proudly as if his conspiracy was achieved.

When he heard those words...

“......I thought so.”

Ikki, who had not spoken a word towards Amane until then, opened his mouth.

“You wishing for my victory is impossible. That isn’t something you can even joke about. Your hatred towards me is not so lukewarm after all. If there is anything you wish for me, then it would be my agony and suffering. Just that. Isn’t that right?”


He was unshaken about Amane’s sudden forfeit.

With his pupils that saw through everything.

Seeing the unusually calm Ikki, Amane was shaken instead.

As if to hide his wavering, Amane pasted his usual nonchalant smile...

“Y-You jest. There’s no such thing! I really like the hardworking Ikki-kun──”

“It’s about time you stop your worthless act. Amane-kun......No, Shion Amamiya-kun.”


In an instant, the nonchalant smile disappeared from Amane Shinomiya’s expression as if the fake mask fell off.

Part 5
(Have you heard? That Shion guy is number one in his school year again.

How nice. That guy can do any and every thing well with just luck.

Yeah yeah. And then I thought, about the fire incident in school recently. Amamiya had rescued us, but couldn’t he have caused that fire in the first place? A self-directed performance.

That’s possible. Even the mayor commended him. He became a hero in one go.

Those of us around him are not some extras. So disgusting.

No matter what he does, he becomes number one with just his luck. A winner in life. So envious.

But we can’t bully him, because we don’t know how he will retaliate against us.

Scary. If we don’t act friendly on the surface like we have been doing until now......

It would be unbearable if he caused another fire.)


Nobody would trust him.

No matter how much effort he put in, whatever he would not be appreciated.

Everything scattered away like sand between his fingers.

──Aah, I also want that. Such an ability.

Such a power......I would have been better without it......

──────── “────......!”

The nostalgic name instantly made Amane recall his old memories and caused him a severe headache that showed on his expression.

A past that he did not want to remember.

The memory of the days when he still believed that effort would be rewarded, and desperately continued putting in effort.

......No, right now, those memories did not matter.

Rather than that...

“......Why does Ikki-kun know that name?”

His past that should have been erased from the world when he joined Rebellion.

Why would Ikki, who was completely unrelated, know?

Amane threw that question at Ikki.

In response, Ikki...

“I heard it from Prime Minister Tsukikage.”

Without hiding, he gave out the name of the man who visited him last night.

“Prime Minister Tsukikage told me this. Amane Shinomiya will forfeit the semi-finals for his personal reason. But that would be troublesome for Akatsuki Academy. That’s why......Using your secret to provoke you, he wished for me to drag you into the battlefield......And he told me about you. About how you, as the boy called Shion Amamiya, have lived your life.”

Briefly speaking, Amane was continuously swung around by his abnormal ability for half of his life.

A power that would grant whatever he wished for.

That had brought everything to Amane, but stole everything away from him at the same time.

No matter how hard he worked, how well he scored in his test, nobody would think that it was his achievement.

No matter how much effort he put in his club activities to leave a good result, nobody would acknowledge that it was his achievement.

Despite mustering up his courage to rescue his classmates from the disaster, he was accused to be the perpetrator for the disaster.

No matter how he stretched out his hands, trying to grab onto something, nothing would remain by his side.

What was there was only the result.

Only Nameless Glory.

Nobody noticed him.

Nobody believed in his potential.

Nobody looked at him in the eyes, only looking at the goddess behind him.

He was that kind of ghost-like, unacknowledged existence.

That was half of the life of Amane, the boy known as Shion Amamiya.


“Aftering hearing the story, some puzzle pieces finally connected. About the true identity of the incomprehensible disgusting feeling you possessed ever since the moment I first encountered you, I finally understood it.”

Seeing Amane’s negative pupils tainted in chaos, he recalled his memories.

The bottom of the well known as memory.

Looking up at him from the darkness, a pitch black silhouette.

Seeing that, Ikki thought that he had met Amane somewhere before, but that was not the case.

Who was that? The current Ikki could clearly comprehend.

──That was...denied of all his potential, without anyone expecting anything from him, without any hopes, treated as a 「non-existent person」, the Ikki Kurogane before meeting Ryouma.

That’s right, Ikki unconsciously saw his own past self in the existence known as Amane.

......Having no courage to believe in his own value, his weak self around the time he just closed off himself.

“I see, that’s why I cannot tolerate you. That’s why I sensed that disgusting feeling......You are what I have continued to deny until today, the 「Resignation」 itself.”


“And that is...Amane-kun. It is also the same for you.”

Just like Prime Minister Tsukikage said. Amane was jealous of Ikki.

The same human who did not mind about not having expectations from anyone, not choosing the path of resignation, and continued to believe in his own potential, Ikki became a powerful person to the point of currently being called Another One.

──Certainly, there was no way he would not be jealous.

The reason was because Ikki had obtained the thing that he in the past......when Amane still believed in his own potential, desperately reached out, but eventually failed to obtain.

That made Amane jealous of Ikki......made him want to destroy his everything.

Like the him in the past, destroyed by the absolute power of Nameless Glory.

That was the raison d'être of the man known as Amane Shinomiya.

That was the motive for Amane Shinomiya taking part in Tsukikage’s plan.

That was so...

“The more I hear the story, the more worthless it is.”

Ikki frankly said without any sugarcoating.

“In other words, you just vented your frustration that had nowhere to go onto me. Grieving over yourself for not being rewarded, and envying the person who was rewarded. Just a sore loser throwing a tantrum......Prime Minister Tsukikage requested me to pull you into the battle, and I also intended to do so before hearing the story for the sake of the match between Stella and me, but honestly speaking, I don’t even feel like becoming your opponent anymore.

If you want to forfeit then do as you like.

If you want to interfere with the promise between Stella and me then just do as you like.

Fortune has nothing to do with me in the first place. It’s just a matter of adding one more misfortune.” (TL: Touma, your bosom friend)

And also──

“More importantly, for me and Stella, a showdown to the extent that can be swayed by the grumbling of a sore loser......we don’t intend to have such a low level fight.”

Ikki’s words did not contain any exaggeration or bluff. There was only certainty.

Ikki, who knew the true essence of the man known as Amane Shinomiya, did not even consider him as an enemy or obstacle.

A small stone on the ring. That was how he viewed him as.

Amane, who felt that intention...


Stifled a few laughter like hiccups, then shook his body like a broken toy and began laughing uncontrollably.

“I see......I never told anyone about my past, but he is a Blazer that can do that kind of things......I never thought that I would be betrayed by him, but I cannot complain since I betrayed first.

Well, in any case, if I am exposed to that extent, then it’s fine to stop this act.

Yes, that’s right, you are totally correct. It’s exactly what Ikki-kun said. You know, I hate those who work hard. I hate those who are rewarded even more. Because isn’t it unfair? I never get rewarded no matter what I do. You should have been the same as me, a worthless person.

That’s why I intended to destroy your wish in the finals. Everything that you obtained. But since the story has been exposed like this, there is no meaning in waiting until the finals......Alright.”

Amane revealed himself without showing any remorse, and manifested his Device, Azure, one in each of his hands.

He stabbed them into the ground vigorously...

“Then I will not forfeit after all. I’m not really interested in Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival, but I’m interested in how Ikki-kun, who has boasted so much, will fight with my Nameless Glory as my opponent. Show me. How far can you struggle under the goddess that destroyed my life!”

Saying so, he retracted the forfeit declaration single-sidedly.

Being so selfish, the referee “You, the forfeit just now──” was distressed as expected, but...

In response to the referee, Ikki manifested Intetsu as he spoke.

“Sure. Please start.”

“Contender it fine?”

Ikki nodded.

“I won’t purposely chase if he wants to escape, but I will take him on if he wants to face me......Because he has taken great care of my little sister.”

“Aha. As expected of Ikki-kun. Even though you are less blessed in talent than others, you are more righteous than others. That aspect of you, although I keep saying like and like, I really hate you to the point of wanting to kill you.”


The evil intention Amane did not even bother to hide anymore caused the referee to feel a chill on his spine.

The crows that settled down on the dome began to raise a commotion altogether.

The sky darkened one degree further, thunder blasted in the distance.

......It was really an unpleasant feeling.

In the end, was it alright for the two of them to fight?

Something, that’s right, something......felt like something that could not be taken back was about to happen.

However, as long as both sides confirmed their fighting spirit, there was no reason to stop the match...

“Let’s GO AHEAD!”

The flame of the semi-finals second match was lit.

Part 6
The moment the announcement of the start was given, Amane dashed out with intensity.

Holding Azure in each hand, he shortened the distance with Ikki.

“AHAHA! I’m coming, Ikki-kun! It’s your favorite Chanbara![2]

「Oioi, is he suddenly challenging Another One in close-range!?」

「Could it be that he is strong in sword fight!?」

Amane’s enthusiastic offensive caused the audience to become noisy.

Amidst the commotion, Amane shortened to the distance of sword range...



And swung his sword.

──It was a swing that could only look like an amateur’s reckless swing.

「Wh-What the heck is that!?」

「What’s with that unstable waist! He’s totally no good!」

「Th-This is terrible! I never thought that this level of sword fight will be in the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival! Th-This is really a Chanbara of a kid!」

That would naturally not reach Ikki, every hit missed.

The terrible disappointment from their expectations caused the tense audience and announcer to lose strength.


「You certainly cannot feel any technique or power......Just that, Kuro-bou’s expression is serious.」

The knights with Saikyou in the lead noticed the abnormality before their eyes.

“What’s with that guy......”

“What’s the matter? Stella-san.”

Shizuku asked Stella for the reason he had a grim expression.

In Shizuku’s eyes, Ikki had completely handled Amane’s attacks and obtained an advantage.

However, in the eyes of Stella who had walked the path of the sword, it was not reflected like that.

“......It’s easy to see from the view of the onlooker. The motion does look amateurish, but the way he exerted power, pulled away, all of those are proficient without any flaw. Every single hit has a clear direction and trajectory, and they all come from the most difficult angles for Ikki to handle......That makes him unable to carelessly counterattack.”

“I-Is that so!?”

“In fact, Ikki cannot counterattack.”

“──Now that you mention it......”

Shizuku finally noticed the abnormality.

That’s right. Ikki did not completely handle Amane’s attacks.

It looked like he did at one glance, but in actual fact, he was pushed to the extent of not being able to counterattack at all.

“......Does that guy have so much talent with the sword!?”

Amane was pushing back Ikki in sword range.

Stella wavered due to the unexpected development.

Kurono at her side explained the reason behind it.

“Most likely, this is also Nameless Glory.”

“What do you mean?”

“Shinomiya himself is just swinging his swords with his feelings. But all of that coincidentally released their most optimum potential in their motions, going to the most difficult angles for Kurogane to handle.”

No matter how low the possibility was, it could happen if it was connected to causality.

Just wishing to overwhelm Ikki in a sword fight would bend the causality to grant said wish.

That was Amane’s Noble Art’s ── Nameless Glory’s power.

Eventually, as their number of moves increased, the audience also began to notice the abnormal situation happening in the ring.

Amane, who was full of openings no matter how one looked, was able to continue attacking that Another One.

No, on the contrary ── he was suppressing him.

「......There are also cases in A-League where a lucky hit can determine the outcome of the match. Ama-chan seems to be able to deal out such lucky hits without limit......The attack that can overturn the match in one hit, he continued hitting for hundreds of times.」

「Truly...Bad Luck......!」

「Aah. It is an ability more vicious than we had imagined.」

And finally, everyone could clearly see the abnormality.

Ikki, who had shown the absolute suppression power in close range in the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival, was pushed out of sword range by Amane’s fierce attacks.

「Contender Kurogane has finally been pushed back! He received Contender Shinomiya’s big swing and retreated back!」

「Y-You gotta be kidding!?」

「Even though I can only see him swinging around recklessly......!」

Receiving a strong strike from Amane, Ikki had no choice but to retreat back.

His posture was currently broken.

It was an early finishing chance for Amane.


“Ah, I’m tired.”

Amane took an unbelievable action at that timing.

Not only did he not pursue, he thrusted Azure in his hands into the ground and let go.

「C-Contender Shinomiya let go of his Device!? What kind of performance is this!?」

The venue buzzed in confusion.

However, Amane ignored the noise and smiled...

“Chanbara is strong after all! As expected of Another One. Continuing like this will never end. ──Therefore.”

His empty hands displayed countless Azure...

“Let’s change the rhythm!”

And threw them straight up.

The countless Azure thrown into the cloudy sky further increased in number in the air and fell down freely after losing momentum.

They stabbed into every place on the ring like grave-markers.

However, not a single one fell towards Ikki.

What exactly was his intention for doing that?

The instant everyone felt such doubt...


Amane threw two new Azure towards the Azure stabbed into the ground ahead.

Soon after, the thrown Device hit a Device on the ground, and bounced like a bunny by using the bent blade.

「Th-This is! The swords Contender Amane had thrown are rushing about on the ring just like pinballs! Wh-What’s with this impossible phenomenon!?」

「......Hitting the swords that are stabbed in the good spots, then continuing to bounce about with good luck......In addition, he isn’t letting them jump around at random.」


It was at the same time the commentator Saikyou muttered that.

From both left and right, the swords that were bouncing about assaulted Ikki.

The silver bullets that closed in on him from left and right at the same time.

Though, it was easy for Ikki to repel something of that degree.

He deflected them with one strike, but──

“AHAHA. Too naive, Ikki-kun!”

Amane showered Ikki with mockery as he flicked away the incoming blades with Intetsu.

The reason immediately came to light.

Azure that were repelled by Intetsu all hit Azure that were nearby ── and once again bounced back to aim at the center of Ikki’s brows.


Ikki dodged those with his outstanding reflex and athletic ability, but the dodged Azure then hit the other Azure with good luck──

「This is...wh-what is going on!? Bounce and bounce, they hit the swords that were stabbed into the ring like grave-markers, and bounced back the blades like bullets! Like that, there will be no end to bouncing around!」

“Ahaha! Isn’t it incredible!? Yes. These are the hunting hounds that will continue to return and aim for your life even if you deflect them as long as I have the intention to pierce you. Their number will not decrease. But......increasing it is easy.”

Saying so, Amane throw countless Azure from his hands once again.

They flew through the air and increased in numbers like clones, and bounced about from colliding with Azure stabbed on the ring.

They all turned into hunting hounds while giving off solid sounds of collision.

That number actually reached over thirty──!

That had exceeded the limit of what Ikki could handle even with his swordsmanship...

“Let me make a prophecy. Ikki-kun will lose without even being able to touch me!”

With Amane’s words as the cue, the fangs of hunting hounds pointed at Ikki in three hundred and sixty degrees from all directions at the same time.

That could not be dodged.

And there was no meaning in deflecting them.

Deflecting them only meant that the same would happen again.

Stuck in that cycle, Amane showed a smile of victory...


Right after that, his eyes turned into dots.[3]

The reason was, in the instant Ikki was about to be pierced by the countless blades, he ripped off his upper uniform and spun one round with it in his hand. He controlled his clothes like they were a dancer’s veil, and used the cloth to catch the Azure that rushed in from all direction at the same time.

If deflecting them would make them bounce back, he just had to stop them.

Ikki, who showed that without needing to say it, remained calm without changing his expression.

And then, he closed in on Amane in the next breath.


Amane, who was certain that Azure would make Ikki into a beehive, was late to react to that counterattack...

──His cheek was slightly cut.

“Looks like you don’t have the talent in fortune telling. Amane-kun.”


It was only a graze, without shedding any blood.

However, the blade of Intetsu definitely reached.

That situation shook Amane so much that he could not rebut the provokation.

(I-Impossible......! Even though it was a graze, to think an attack actually hit me......!)

What exactly had happened?

He could not comprehend it at all, but Ikki would not give him that much free time to think deeply about it.

Chasing after Amane as if not letting him run away while being shaken, he pulled out Azure next to him and switched to two-sword style.

He trampled down Amane’s defense with a combo attack that could be seen as a roaring tide, and aimed at Amane’s carotid artery in a pincer attack with both swords.

The blades missed...


A shallow layer of skin on his neck was slit. In addition, the new wound even showed a trace of blood.

The blade clearly went deeper than before.

Nameless Glory was already activated.

Even though any action that could’ve harmed him should not have been possible.


Amane’s confusion finally erased his nonchalant smile and blood drained from his face.

He could not understand the reason, but at least he was sure that it was closing in on his own life.


Amane cursed as he was forced into a defensive fight.

He wished to the goddess, not to defeat his opponent, not to injure his opponent, but to not get injured himself.

However, rather than stopping, Ikki’s fierce attacks only increased in intensity...

「The attack and defense have turned around here! Contender Kurogane cleverly created a chance in the long range defense, and grasped the pace! Attack and attack! As if the proud Bad Luck was not functioning! Contender Shinomiya can only defend one-sidedlyyy!」

He continued advancing while sparks flew around as the metal blades collided.

Forward, forward, with certainty.

The steps taken were steady, the strikes were strong, it was exactly the usual Ikki.

That situation not only shocked Amane, but also Shizuku, who had experienced his power first-hand.

“Wh-Why? Nameless Glory is a causality interference that forcefully causes the opponent to make an error......! Getting close would cause the feet to slip, using magic would cause the calculations to go haywire. Even though it’s such a cheating power......”

Ikki’s movements in chasing Amane were flawless.

He did not trip and fall onto the ground like she did.


“How is Onii-sama avoiding that influence......!?”

To Shizuku’s doubt, Kurono pointed out “That’s not it. Kurogane-imouto”

“Not it, you mean?”

“Kurogane is not avoiding the error. Amane’s causality interference is definitely working. ──Vermillion. You can see it, right?”

She said so and turned her gaze towards Stella.

In response, Stella’s pupils shook in admiration and envy as she nodded her head.

“Yeah......As expected, Ikki is incredible......!”

“What do you mean?”

“In other words, Kurogane is receiving Nameless Glory directly from the front. The strike just now makes it three times. Before was four times. If you watch carefully, you can see that Kurogane’s posture is collapsing. However, he changed the slip beneath his feet to a circular motion of slash, spreading the burden on his almost snapping muscles to the muscles around them, fixing all the errors in an instant, in less than one tenth of a second.”

“Such a thing can be done!? Even though there’s no telling when an error could happen!?”

“It’s impossible if you think about it. The errors of Nameless Glory happen far faster than the limit of reflex for humans. You will not make it in time if you think about it with your head......However, there exists one exception. In the past, a certain famous swordsman achieved enlightenment at the end of his swordsman career ── into the realm of 「Isshintou」.”

That was combining heart, body and sword into one, the essence of sword and heart as one.

Only those who trained to the extremity and crossed over countless deadly moments could arrive at that epitome.

“The swords of those swordsmen in this realm would slash their enemies faster than the wielders’ will. For any kind of change in their condition, without needing to think, their muscles, marrow and cells, with form and technique carved from the tens and hundreds of thousands of repetitions, would respond to any kind of change in condition, guiding the body into the most optimum action without the interference of mind. What Kurogane is doing is none other than this. No matter how his posture collapses, no matter what kind of unexpected situation happens, that man’s body knows how to fix it.”

Just like the idiom, even Koubou makes mistakes in his calligraphy,[4] the accuracy of a human’s actions was poor.

Even a genius like that sometimes failed.

It was not something that could be prevented.

However, there was an anecdote that continued after the idiom.

After Koubou Daishi hung up his calligraphy, he noticed that he forgot to write a dot, but he did not show a speck of panic for his mistake, and threw the brush in his hand at the hung calligraphy to add in that dot, and completed that magnificent calligraphy.

That’s right. It’s true that even geniuses could make mistakes.

However, geniuses did not fret over them.

No matter what the situation was, they would make the most optimal choice using their skills to fix it.

Hence Ikki was unwavered.

No matter what change in his condition occurred, his blade pointed at Amane’s life in a straight line.

That was no longer a technique. No longer a swordsmanship.

It was pure reality that surpassed everything.

It was 「Cut you down」 ── sharpened into inevitability.

“The power that can control only the extent of coincidences will not be able to escape it forever.”


And then, those words of Kurono truthfully reflected the reality on the ring.


Blood that could been seen from afar bloomed on the ring.

Amane raised a cry of agony as he pressed his cut arm.

However, the blood could not be suppressed and dyed his white sleeve.


The second strike was deeper than the first. The third strike was even deeper than the second──

They were closing in. Absolutely.

He did not think of why anymore.

Even Amane, who was not knowledgeable in martial arts, could comprehend at this point.

Ikki fixed his errors in the most optimal way time and time again as he received Nameless Glory.

“To be able to, do such a thing......!”

And towards the astonished Amane, Ikki pointed his blood-stained Intetsu forward and declared.

“You can understand, right? Next time. The next strike ── I will definitely take your life.”


Amane’s expression turned bitter after hearing Ikki’s KO declaration.

Just like Ikki said, he, who controlled causality, could understand.

The next strike would be the certainty he could not escape from.

──Ikki sank his body.

The final step.

He would surpass Amane’s coincidence with that step.

Before that certainty...

“......Aah, whatever.”

Amane spoke in resignation and threw away Azure in his hands.

At the same time, the Azure stabbed into the ring all disappeared.

Then, he spat out empty praises with a tone that did not hide his frustration.

“Ah, incredible, incredible. You’re incredible, Ikki-kun. I never thought that you could struggle all the way to this point. Honestly speaking, it’s beyond my expectation. What a pity. I intended to make you struggle in vain like Shizuku-chan, and apologize to me for participating, but it seems that it won’t happen. ──So, I will just end it quickly.”


End it quickly.

Feeling an ominous premonition from those words, Ikki’s expression tensed.

He could not understand what exactly that ominous premonition was, but──

He should not let that man speak a single word beyond that.

His instinct yelled so.

Ikki followed it, leapt from the ground, and closed in on Amane.

However ── he did not make it in time.

Before the blade of Intetsu could reach Amane...


The lips of Amane that showed a thin smile weaved his killing intent without hiding.

Part 7

It was a savage word often spoken on the battlefield.

However, it was just a word no matter how violent and savage it was.

It only stopped at provoking the anger of the opponent, and could not reach the opponent’s life.

However ── that word coming out from Amane, who had received the indulgence of the goddess that controlled causality in the world, would not stop at mere words.

The instant that word came out of his mouth, the hand of the goddess bent the causality and pushed on to grant the result he wished for coincidentally──


The fangs of fate sank into Ikki’s life.

Just as Ikki was about to strike Amane, he stopped in his track.

His knees bent to the ground as he vomited.

「Wh-What is this about!? Contender Kurogane, who was one step away from chasing after Contender Shinomiya, suddenly knelt down on the ground!」

「Eh, what? He fell?」

「It can’t be...」

The audience were confused as they were boiling in expectation for Ikki to finish off the match like that.

Amane’s voice was quiet, they could not tell what had happened.

However, on the other hand...

“H-How could it be......!”


Touka, who was a high-level lightning user that could even see the microscopic electrical signals of the human anatomy, immediately realized the situation and paled.

She had never showed a more despairing expression before.

However, it was only natural if she considered what was currently happening to Ikki’s body.

She caught onto the situation. ──The instant Ikki’s heart stopped.

Then, towards the venue that was shaken from the incomprehensible development, Amane’s mockery echoed.

“AHA! 「The next strike, I will definitely take your life」 *Sparkle*! Was it? AHAHA! Could it be that you seriously thought that you could surpass my Nameless Glory? That’s impossi~ble. My Nameless Glory is a power that can make any existing causality happen, you know? In that case, if I feel like it, I can just stop a heart or two of the human body, which has many uncertainties!”


「S-Stopping the heart, you’re joking!?」

The audience stand generated noises of disbelief at Amane’s words.

If he could not stop the swordsmanship, he would stop the life itself.

If there was no meaning in errors of swordsmanship, he would cause an error in the life’s activity itself.

He was even able to do such a thing.

If Amane could do such a thing, there was nothing Ikki could do against it.

Amane’s expression showed joy at the frightened commotion.

“Yes, that’s right. There’s nothing you can do. My Nameless Glory has the absolute enforcement that directly interferes with causality. In other words, fate itself. No effort can be a substitute for it......I know it the best. Because of this power, my life has been wasted.

I can overcome it if I put in effort. You might have thought so, but that’s being optimistic. How is it? Ikki-kun. ‘You cannot win against my Nameless Glory’, if you acknowledge that, you can still make it if you surrender now, you know?”

Amane asked in a teasing tone, Ikki glared back without a word.

Amane snorted at his futile resistance.

“I see. You cannot speak because your heart has stopped. Well, that rebellious glare is a clear answer......In that case, it can’t be helped.”

Then, Amane moved closer to the kneeling Ikki, raised his white blade...

“If you bear a grudge, then blame yourself for not knowing your position.”

And swung down at his nape.




And the blade struck amidst Stella and Shizuku’s cries.

The blade split apart the skin as if licking it, cut the flesh, and severed the bone.

What spilled out was an abundant amount of blood.

The ominous cluster amaryllis bloomed across the white ring. That was...


All of it, from the left side of his abdomen to the right shoulder, came from Amane’s body.

Part 8

After finishing the work of stopping his heart, Amane was about to finish him off.

However, right after everyone thought that it was over, it was Amane and not Ikki, who bled.

In an instant, the unexpected outcome stunned the audience, but...

Seeing the figure of the collapsed Amane on the ground, their comprehension caught up.

Ikki had taken the control of that bout by returning a slash at the last moment.


「C-Counterattack! He cut him down instantly when we thought it was too late! Contender Shinomiya collapsed on his knees! His fresh blood made a puddle on the ring! That’s a lot of bleeding! Deep! That wound is deep!」


Amane fell onto the ground with all his limbs touching.

His expression was dyed in shock ── to the point that he could not even feel the pain.

(Wh-What just happened......!?)

He could not comprehend.

Nameless Glory did not activate?

No, that was impossible.

That had never happened before.

The wheel of fate definitely moved according to his will.

Ikki’s heart unmistakably stopped.

And if the heart stopped, the body could not move.

It was obvious. The heart was the pump that delivered the blood, which contained the oxygen needed throughout the entire body as its energy source.

Without gasoline circling through it, an engine could not operate, if the oxygen and energy in the blood did not circle around, the human body would not move.

Ikki’s body died......──No, he should’ve already been dead at that moment.

He should not have been able to counterattack.

(Even so, how did he move? How did he cut me!?)

“Y-You......what did you do......!?”

The confused Amane seeked that answer from Ikki, who was standing there without any trace of difficulty.

In response, ikki looked down at him...

“I moved my stopped heart myself.”

Said so as if it was nothing.

「Ah! I see, so that’s how it is! Haha, seriously!」

Saikyou, on the commentator seat, applauded at Ikki’s reply.

「S-Saikyou-sensei! What does this mean!?」

「It’s just like what Kuro-bou said. Kuro-bou’s heart definitely stopped once. But Kuro-bou made it move by himself, counterattacked and turned the table around.」

「Wha......!? M-Move you say, is that possible!?」

「AHAHA. No, well, I won’t be able to do it, you know? That’s because the heart is not something you can move with your will. Heart muscles thump according to the automatic orders given by the “Pacemaker cells”. That does not involve human will. It is purely the flesh’s rhythm maker......But if it’s Kuro-bou, he can do it. After all, he has been doing it all the time until now.」


「It’s the swordsmanship of Twin-Wings. A swordsmanship that moves all the muscles in the body together in an instant. The signal that sends orders from the brain is important, but there is something else more important. That is blood. If there isn’t enough energy supplied by the blood, it will not be possible to move all the muscles in the body together. But that amount of energy cannot be supplied by the blood pressure under normal pulsation. That’s natural. A human body is not made with the swordsmanship of Twin-Wings in mind.

Then what to do? There is one answer. You can only greatly increase the standard of life activities, and consciously boost the pulse and blood pressure. In other words, if he could not do something like moving his heart with his mind, there would be nothing to talk about. Kuro-bou is using such a sword technique. And if he could move his heart with his mind, there would not be a problem if the “pacemaker cell” made some irregular movement. It is just something like switching from auto to manual.」

The explanation from Saikyou was right on the mark without any mistakes.

Ikki did just what she pointed out, by delegating the brain to control his heart muscle activity the moment his heart’s autorhythmic beating stopped.

He consciously moved his heart and picked himself up immediately.

And the “pacemaker cell” was equipped with the function of rebooting by itself once stopped using external stimulation such as heart massage or electric shock .

「That means, the “Die” just now did not deal any damage to Kuro-bou. While Ama-chan believed that he had won and closed in without any guard. Closing in on that Another One. It is a big failure that can only be called as carelessness. That is a fatal wound.」

「C-Certainly......You can tell that the wound is very deep from the amount of bleeding.」

「It’s not just that. Ama-chan’s ability is the power to change causality to suit himself......Kuro-bou pretending that his heart stopped and luring him to close in foolishly is not possible normally. That kind of mistake should’ve been prevented by Nameless Glory interfering. was not prevented this time. In short, the moment he overcame the ultimate causality interference of taking one’s life, their power difference had been set in stone.」

Amane Shinomiya could not win against Ikki Kurogane.

That truth was an inevitability that would not be shaken no matter how the causality changed, the goddess that protected Amane yielded.

Amane’s fatal wound was the proof. In that case──

「The outcome has been decided. As long as Nameless Glory does not work, Ama-chan, who is relying solely on that, has no chance of winning.」


Amane’s expression paled from Saikyou’s explanation. Just like what she said, the situation of him getting such a wound should not have been originally possible.

Since that happened, it meant that the Nameless Glory that should be absolutely invincible was suppressed.


However, Amane could not accept it.

“I wished for your death......! And then, that wish was granted! Then obediently die......! Why won’t you give up!?”

Amane opened his eyes as widely as he could and glared at Ikki.

In response, Ikki looked down at him with calm eyes and said.

“It’s not really something unusual. Causality interference ability can only trigger something that can happen. Then having this result is only natural. Amane-kun seems to have a really high evaluation of your own power, but this level of not rare in the world of knights.”


“It’s certainly a versatile and convenient ability, but......that’s all it is.

I know.

There is a knight who has the power to make the arrows he shot undetectable, let alone his own figure.

There is a knight who has the speed to be able to split a descending lightning bolt in half with her swing.

There is a knight who can freely manipulate heat that can rival the sun.

Any one of those is a strong ability that does not lose to your power.

Then these knights, who possess such power, are aiming at the single summit, betting on their own possibilities desperately with the belief of 「I will not lose to anyone」, that is the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival. I have won through such battles and stood on this stage today.”

In that case──

“You are only trying to trip others because you are jealous of them......there is no way I would lose to a guy who can’t even win against himself.”

Right after Ikki pierced Amane with his words like his blade...


Blood sprayed out from Amane’s mouth and wound vigorously, and he collapsed in a puddle of his own blood.

He tried to move his limbs and pull himself up immediately, but was unable to.


He could not rely on his arms or legs, as if they had lost their bones.

His body was rapidly losing strength along with blood.

No matter how much Amane wished to stand, no strength entered his four limbs.

No, it was not only that.


Night fell in his sight.

Darkness fell in his consciousness.

Amane finally understood the unacceptable reality at that point.

──Just like what Saikyou said, the fight was already decided.

And then...

“That’s it! Winner, Ikki Kurogane!!”

The referee’s voice echoed in his ear from afar within his fading consciousness, turning the unacceptable reality into an unshakable past of certainty.

Amane Shinomiya...Nameless Glory, had been defeated right then.

(Like it something at the level that can be easily overcome like that?)

He sank amidst the puddle of blood, unable to believe it even at the moment he was about to lose consciousness.

Because there was no wish that could not be granted if he used Nameless Glory.

To think that just an F-Rank Knight, who did not know when to give up, could overcome it.

And he did it without a single injury, not even using his trump card Ittou Shura.

With such a cool expression.

(Even though it’s only that my everything going to be robbed away?)


The moment he asked himself that...

Please make me happy. Shion-chan.

Even though the cheers for the winner was so far, her voice could be heard so close to his ear.

Part 8
──Amane Shinomiya, or Shion Amamiya, awakened as a Blazer at a very young age.

It was a time when he was loyal to his desires and did not know how to restrain himself.

He activated that unnatural fortune without a care, allowing the surrounding people to know about his power.

That casted a shadow on his elementary school life later on.

No matter how much effort he put in to get a good score in tests, no matter how hard he worked to achieve in sports...

──That guy was cheating.

Such gossips continued.

Students, teachers, everyone hated Amane and were one-sidedly afraid of him......treating him like a non-existing person.

However, that was also something that could not have been helped.

He would call for Nameless Glory whenever he had an impulse of desire from his heart. Was the achievement Amane obtained really the result of his own effort, was it just an interference of the goddess, was it real, it was unclear even to himself.

However, because Amane himself was unclear, he hoped to be acknowledged by a third person.

It was not luck. He wished to be praised that it was his own achievement.

However, that did not come true, nevermind acknowledging him, even saving the students from the fire that broke out in school got him accused for orchestrating the fire incident to stand out......finally, Amane stopped going to school and holed up in his home.

However, Amane’s mother, who was living together with him, did not blame him.

「It’s alright. Mother knows that Shion-chan is a gentle child who would not do such a thing.」

To Amane, his mother, who consoled his crying self like that, was his only ally.

「It’s not only mother. God naturally knows as well. Because the God knows, the gentle Shion-chan was given such an amazing power. Use this power to become happy. That’s why ── please make me happy. Shion-chan.」

Amane still remembered the warmth of that hug even right now.

His mother, who had divorced his father when he was a baby and raised him up all by herself.

He loved his gentle and strong mother very much.

That’s why he always wished for her happiness.

Probably thanks to that, his mother’s job was sailing smoothly, allowing them to live a comfortable life.

──He became happy.

Even if nobody in school acknowledged him, there was a place where he belonged.

There was his mother, who had acknowledged and loved him.

Then, wouldn’t that be enough? He thought so.

──However, on one of those days, Amane suddenly felt a doubt.

Would mother still love him if he did not have such power?

Could it be that what she loved was not himself, but his power that could bring in riches?

──The uncertainty that germinated took root in his heart deeply.

It was hard. So hard that he wanted to cry.

Mother’s smile directed at him was filled with warmth and love.

He could not help detesting himself for doubting that smile. However, no matter how much he tried to convince himself, the uncertainty could not be erased, churning up inside his heart like a centipede crawling around in his stomach.

He could not endure it anymore.

Hence he made up his mind.

For one day, just one day, he would stop using his power, and confirm it.

Everything collapsed in an instant

「Hey, why? Even though mother loves Shion-chan so much, why won’t Shion-chan love mama back?」

On that day, a bank in America bankrupted. A major panic occurred around the world.

That impact directly hit his household as they lived on stock trading, causing them to go into a big debt in one day.

His mother became angry and violently shook Amane.

And that overly intense violence let Amane understand.

It was not only the people in the school.

Even his biological mother did not need the human called Shion Amamiya.

What she loved was his power.

What she seeked was only fortune.

He was not treated as her child without that power.

──Once he realized that, he could not do anything well anymore.

Once Amane realized that his mother did not look at Shion Amamiya, no matter how hard he worked, he could not wish for his mother’s happiness.

Nameless Glory was a power that responded to the wishes from Amane’s heart.

Hence, the wish could not be granted if it did not come from his heart.

As a result, his mother got more and more angry, and the violence called discipline changed from interrogation to abuse.

Beating and kicking became natural. Not being given meals also became an obvious matter.

He was stripped naked, put into a cage for rabbits, and hot water was poured at him.

Of course, the cage was locked so he could not get out.

He could not even dodge in the small rabbit cage, only cries of agony continued.

Amane screamed from the pain of his scalded skin bloating and peeling off, and desperately begged.

‘I’m sorry, please forgive me.’

He believed that one day, his voice would reach his mother if he continued begging like that.

However, his begging was not heard until the end.

His mother’s answer was always decided beforehand.

──If you want me to stop, then make me happy.

Make me happy

Make me happy




──Then, after that hell continued for about half a year...

As always, fate answered Amane’s heart which finally hated his mother.

「Shion, are you alright!? I’m glad, I’m really glad that I made it in time......!」

The person who saved the dying Amane from the cage was a middle-aged man dyed in his mother’s blood.

He vaguely remembered. That was his father.

「It’s already fine. Your scary mother is no more!」

He hugged the skinny and frail Amane while shedding tears...

And spoke with a similar smile as his mother.

「Therefore ──── please love your father from now on.」

In an instant, Shion Amamiya understood.

That world......did not need Shion Amamiya.

And at the same time......he finally gave up on himself.

A power that could grant any wish. The absolute power that could destroy the love between blood-related family members.

If such a thing was behind him, it could not be helped that his own existence did not enter their eyes.

When he gave up, his heart felt a little easier.

Even so, only that......even though that helplessness was his only salvation────

Part 9

“That’s it. Winner, Ikki Kurogane!!”

Seeing the amount of blood the fallen Amane shed on the ring, the main referee immediately announced the end of the match and the winner’s name.

Due to his long years of experience, he decided that it would be impossible to continue anymore.

Cheers of joy erupted from the venue.

「The main referee has judged that Contender Shinomiya is unable to continue the battle anymore! He has declared the end of the match! The Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival semi-finals second match’s winner is Contender Another One, Ikki Kuroganeee!!!!」

「A-Alright! Ikki-kun won!」

「Eh, seriously? Is it already over?」

「It somehow looks boring......such a one-sided match.」

「The venue erupted in cheers! However, I can hear voices of confusion amidst that! That’s also natural! The match began with a declaration of forfeit, the semifinal of Bad Luck vs Another One was filled with extreme confusion!  Once the mystery was unveiled, Contender Kurogane more or less advanced the match one-sidedly, eventually taking down Contender Shinomiya without a single injury!

However, this was only because Contender Kurogane trained his body techniques beyond the limit!

This victory was only “inevitable” because it was him!

And with this victory, Contender Kurogane will be advancing to the finals!

For the first time in history, an F-Rank Knight is reaching for the title of the Seven Stars Sword King!」

“Incredible! Incredible, Ikki! To be able to completely dominate the match against an opponent with that kind of unreasonable power!”

The result of that match made Arisuin at the audience stand applause in joy.

He also witnessed Amane’s out-of-norm power, and was worried that it would not be easy to break out of it in that fight, so he was very happy.

And as he wanted to share his joy of the victory, he turned towards Shizuku at his side.

“Isn’t it great, Shizuku!”

However ── rather than being happy at the victory before her eyes...


With a serious expression, she watched the ring that had already determined the outcome.


Arisuin asked her what was it, but Shizuku did not answer.

No, she could not answer.

(......What is it, this............)

Why was she unable to feel happy for the victory of her own brother, she could not understand.

And that feeling was not something only Shizuku felt.

His lover, Stella, who was watching Ikki’s match together in that place, also felt a strong sense of unease.

They could not understand.

The main referee had declared the end of the match, and announced the winner to be Ikki.

In other words, his victory could not be overturned.

Everything was already set in stone.

Even Amane could not overturn it.

Even so...

(Even though the match has already ended......)

For some reason ── an irritating feeling was expanding in acceleration.

And that reason was...

“Watch ouuut!!!!”

Along with Ikki’s warning, became clear.

Part 10
After announcing the winner’s name, the main referee bent down next to the fallen Amane.

Then he confirmed the his condition.

The wound was pretty deep as the bleeding was severe.

It was a very dangerous situation.

That’s why he used his own magic to stop the bleeding with healing magic before the medical team arrived.



The instant he used healing on Amane.

──He made eye contact.

With the muddy pupils that snapped open.

Right after that...

“────You are in the way.”

Black fog, no, like flames, thick magic power that could be seen by the naked eye blew out from Amane’s entire body.

And then, the flame-like black magic power took the form of a few 「arms」, and reached out for the main referee’s neck.


“Watch out!!!!”

Ikki was the one who reacted to that abnormality earlier.

He pushed the main referee, who was frozen still from the sudden situation, away to protect him from the pursuing arms of black flame.

「W-WWWW-What has happeeeeened!?!? Some things looking like black arms suddenly appeared from Contender Amane’s body and attacked the referee!」

He attacked the referee after the match was over.

Iida raised his voice at the sudden abnormal situation...

「......O-Oi oi , what’s with that power............!」

Saikyou at the side also stood up from the commentator seat with an astonished expression.

However, she was not shocked because Amane attacked the main referee.

──It was the result of coming into contact with the black arm.

(It’s decaying......!)

Ikki’s pupils also shook in shock on the ring.

After protecting the main referee, he looked at the black arm that passed by him from the side, and saw it.

The portion of the ring that the black arm grabbed collapsed as if it had weathered and was blown away by the wind.

And without stopping, it was spreading out slowly to the surrounding.

(This power is......)


Ikki returned his gaze on Amane.

Amane was no longer lying on the ground.

He stood up slowly like a haunted ghost, and murmured with a voice like a curse.

“Don’t...joke......I...will not lose......My Nameless Glory is an invincible power......There is no such thing as impossibility. There is no wish that cannot be granted......It has been like that until now. That’s why...that’s why I even made myself give up............! By now, my house, my family, my friends......even myself, when everything is already gone, telling me that this isn’t how it is......there is no way I can accept it............!”

The blood-shot pupils opened to their limits.

From the two corners, just like blood......tears were falling.

“I won’t acknowledge it......”

He spat out mutterings like agonized cries.

Amane said. ──I will never acknowledge you.

Ikki Kurogane. A failure born in a famous household.

Originally, he should have given up with his worthless F-Rank.

However, that man did not give up on his own worth, and obtained the glory impossible for an F-Rank.

The moment he knew of that existence, he could only feel disgust.

Because when he saw that was like seeing a dream.

He could still do it if he tried.

If he had the courage to believe in himself like that man, he could have a different path than the present.

That kind of thorn-filled dream.

And he almost started to hate his current self.

──No joke.

When he already lost his family, friends and even himself, and finally gave up.

Stop showing him something like a dream......!

“......An eyesore......You are............!”

“────......You are...”

“Kurogane get down! Leave the rest to us!”

When Ikki was about to say something, a sharp voice rang out from the rowdy venue.

It was the voice of Hagun Academy’s Director, Kurono Shinguuji.

She manifested her Device, and leapt off from above the fence.

“Everyone, suppress that guy!”

She instructed the Mage-Knights at the venue.

Receiving that instruction, the Mage-Knights standing by at the audience stand moved out together.

However, to the movement of those knights, Amane...


Raised an angry scream, shooting out hundreds of black arm from his body and stretching them out towards the audience stand. Seeing that situation, Saikyou called out to the Mage-Knights in the venue through the mic.

「All members, open up magic barriers! Don’t let that black flame touch your body!」


The professional staff chosen for the smooth running of the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival immediately reacted.

Every individual erected a barrier with magic to correspond.

The black arms that hit the barrier made from magic and scraped against the invisible barrier like claws scratching a window glass. Fortunately, nobody was hit due to their quick response.



「Wh-What is this......!」

Screams of the audience echoed here and there in the venue.

A portion of the black arms pierced into the ground of the audience stand and the fence, and those places collapsed in the same weathered state Ikki and Saikyou witnessed before. In addition, the collapse spread out from the places where the black arms pierced them like an ink dripped onto a white cloth.

Iida raised a confused voice seeing that scene.

「This is......! Weathering!? The places that magic in the shape of black arms released by Contender Shinomiya touched are collapsing as if they are weathered down! B-But how did this happen!? Causality interference ability is a power that makes phenomenons that exist as possibilities to happen! However, the durability of the reinforced concrete that is used to construct this venue is over hundreds of years! There should be no possibility of it weathering......!」

「He changed the way he used the ability......」


「Ama-chan has not controlled his own power up to now. He mainly used only the spilled out portion. It’s a strong ability that doesn’t need more than that. But......those black arms are different. Nameless Glory’s power is concentrated to the point of being visible to the naked eye. And doing that raised the enforcement power......!」

Saikyou’s examination was correct.

Amane concentrated his causality interference to raise the absoluteness exactly like what she said.

That was really to the point of reaching the 「result」 without the need of 「process」.

And currently, Amane had only one thought imbued in his power.

Killing intent.

In other words──

「Those black arms ignore the method and process, becoming the hands of a reaper that push for the “death” result that all things cannot avoid! Just being grazed by it will send you to the afterlife! There will be casualties if we dawdle around......! Bro! I will leave the evacuation guidance of the audience to you!」

「Wh-What will Saikyou-sensei do!?」

「I will go suppress that kid! Since Ku-chan and the others are having their hands full with protecting the audience!」

Saying so, Saikyou manifested her Device Beniiro Ageha, and blew away the windows of the broadcast stand with a horizontal swing. Then she wrapped her whole body in an armor of magic with such a concentration that could be recognized by sight and leapt out from the window frame.

She intended to fly and land on the ring.


“That isn’t necessary.”

Ikki on the ring stopped Saikyou’s action.


“Sensei, please protect the audience stand. I will stop him.”

Part 11
He would stop Amane himself.

The person who disagreed was Kurono at the audience stand.

“Don’t say stupid things, Kurogane! You have already won! There is no need for you to go any further!”

“No. With the property of Amane-kun’s ability, not a single mistake can be allowed in the protection of the audience stand. Thinning out the defence is dangerous......Also, I saw myself in him.”


“Even though the match has already been decided and he has lost his consciousness and taken plenty of injuries, he is still challenging me like this. Then......I cannot turn my back on such an enemy.”

Saying so, Ikki took his stance against Amane.

He did not intend to leave that place.

It was only natural from Ikki’s perspective.

Not to mention, finally, at that moment...

“You are finally making a better expression. Amane-kun.”

Amane finally showed him his true self after putting on a fake mask ever since their first meeting.

(......I understand them. Those feelings of yours.)

「My Nameless Glory is an invincible power......There is nothing impossible. There is no wish that cannot be granted......It has been like this ever since. That’s why, that’s why I was even able to give up on myself............!」

Finding a reason to give up on himself represented the feeling of not wanting to give up.

Despite living, he had to give up all his potential himself.

Normal people would not have the nerve to do that.

It was more difficulty than suicide in a sense. That’s why a reason was necessary.

He needed a reason that could convince himself no matter how forceful it was.

To Amane, the absoluteness of Nameless Glory was probably it.

......What feelings Amane had poured into his screams, Ikki painfully comprehended them.

(I was also like that.)

A failure born into a powerful famous household.

The value of the human Ikki Kurogane was denied, and nobody expected anything of him since his childhood.

He also used his talentless self as a reason, and was about to give up on his own potential.

He was cornered to the point that he had no choice but to do that.

However, at that time, Ikki had an encounter.

「Are you frustrated, brat? Then, don’t discard that frustration. That’s the proof that you haven’t given up on yourself.」

With a man who gave him the courage to continue believing in his own potential.

Because there was that encounter, he was able to continue fighting to the present.

Ikki was conscious of it.

However......Amane, no, Shion Amamiya did not have that.

He did not have Ryuuma Kurogane, Shizuku Kurogane, Stella......he had nobody.

Be it his friends or family, nobody looked at him, only looking at his power.

His own existence had no place in the world.

He had been wandering like a ghost in the barren world with that kind of ultimate isolation.

He told himself that he had a reason to give up as it couldn’t be helped.

......Ikki knew how harsh that was.


What he should do was already decided.

He had always wished to become a person that could give courage to someone who could not believe in his own potential ── that’s why he walked on the path of knighthood!

“You probably cannot tolerate me. You probably cannot forgive me.

Then bring along all of your hatred and challenge me!

With my weakest, I will defeat your resignation......!”

Telling him strongly that he would accept his challenge, Ikki activated his trump card, Ittou Shura.

He stepped forward towards Amane while clad in blue light.


Amane raised a cry in response and lashed out countless reaper’s arms that manifested his killing intent.

Amane was way stronger in terms of magic power.

Ittou Shura’s level of magic power could not even be considered an armor.

Just a graze from a reaper’s hand would probably take Ikki’s life.

However, Ikki did not escape or show any wavering despite knowing it and moved forward──


With the swordsmanship that could be called the fastest, he cut down the reaper’s hands that pursued him like a wave of spears and moved forward.

He could not be stopped.

Not even a single step.

Not even a single moment.

Like the moonlight splitting apart the darkness of night.

The blue light scattered the pressuring black flame.

The powerful figure of that strength had stopped the feet of the audience that should’ve been escaping from Amane’s rampage, making them focus on the ring.


「Even though he won the match already, does he intend to carry it by himself to the end!?」

Even though Ikki did not have the obligation to do that.

The audience could not understand for what reason was Ikki doing that much.

However, even so──

His side face had conveyed that he had some sort of strong determination.


「Gooo! Don’t lose, Kurogane!」

「Take that cheating bastard down!」

「Do your best! Ikki-kun!」

Despite the fact that the match they should’ve been cheering was already over, the audience sent cheers of support to Ikki.

And as if responding to that, Ikki further increased his speed.

Saikyou understood it after seeing that scene.

「Concentrating has brought out a flaw.」

「A flaw?」

「That’s right. Certainly, if it’s the Nameless Glory that is concentrated to the point of being visible, it will go straight to “death” while ignoring any and all processes. Kuro-bou can’t do anything about it no matter what he tries. But......concentrating the causality power of “death” has killed off the greatest advantage of Nameless Glory.」

「The greatest」

「The coincidence. Since Ama-chan has “only been wishing” until now.

That would be great, I wish it can be like this.

That’s why his “will” cannot be read. What kind of causality change will happen cannot be predicted.

After all, even the person who used the Noble Art does not know what kind of effect there will be.

In fact, Kuro-bou only fixed the errors caused by Nameless Glory and had never avoided it once in the match.

But now is different. The strong power of causality interference that can be seen by the naked eyes are moving according to the clear killing intent of Ama-chan. Ama-chan himself is controlling it. Then ── even thousands of reaper’s hands do not matter.

Reading the intention of opponents. ──That’s the most proficient field of the Worst One......!」

In addition, Amane himself also using that kind of ability for the first time, and could not move proficiently.

That kind of half-baked power would not work on Ikki.

In that case...

「Kuro-bou! You stopped me with such manly words. I will leave this fight to you! Take responsibility and make that idiot behave!」

Saikyou took a posture to fly out at any time and told him through the mic.

And then, at the same time Saikyou spoke those words──


Ikki finally caught Amane in sword range.

Amane’s expression was grim, but he did not retreat.

If he turned tail even once, he would be cut down from behind just like that.

He understood that.

He manifested Azure in his two hands.

His blades, wrapped with the result of 「death」, counterattacked.

That shape was death itself.

That’s only natural. If he lost that fight, his resignation would only be an excuse.

He had already lost too much to accept it by then.

(Just grazing him is fine! Just grazing his skin a bit will be my win!)


With a painful scream, Amane swung his two swords.

However ── the slashes he made drew only weak and coarse tracks.

It was similar to what Amane showed immediately after the match began, but not quite the same.

It was a bonafide amateur Chanbara.

Currently, when Nameless Glory’s power was concentrated towards the vector of 「death」, he was moving without the blessing of fortune, unable to strike at the angles where Ikki’s defence was weak, not even able to properly swing his swords on the right track.

And that kind of slash would not work on Ikki...


He easily guarded the two swords with a flash Amane’s eyes could not even capture.

The impact sent Azure flying far behind.

No matter what he did, he could not stop Ikki’s steps.

Amane painfully felt his own weak self unwillingly through that fact......and ground his teeth.


He resented his weak self.

(......Since when has it been, I wonder. When did I start resenting my own powerlessness so much......)

He had long forgotten that feeling.

A power that could grant any kind of wish.

Amane was born possessing such abnormality, but he was unable to obtain anything.

Everything was snatched away from his hands by the 「Nameless Glory」.

Hence he gave up his desires.

Since no matter how much he wished for, he would not be able to obtain anything with his own hands.


Aah, however──



──Right after, everyone, including Ikki, held their breaths from the shock.

It was the moment when Amane’s resistance was subdued, when everyone believed that Ikki had settled the showdown.

The amateur swordsman Amane manifested his Device in his two hands again, and stepped up to slash back at Ikki.

And that was a slash with proper trajectory and timing that should not be possible for an amateur.

Was it the fortune caused by Nameless Glory?

No. ──The power’s vector was concentrated on 「death」, Amane, who wrapped it around his swords, could not use it.

That counterattack was purely from Amane’s......Amane’s own body technique.

He had traced the sword’s path and posture many times under the control of his fortune, making them his own at the last minute without relying on his ability.

Ikki barely defended Amane’s unexpected counterattack with his blade.

However, at that instant, for certain, he had stopped Ikki, who was unstoppable no matter what he did, for nearly an instant.

At that ──── Amane betted all of himself and increased his counterattacks!

(I want to win......)

His steps were firm, and for the first time in the match ── he advanced.

What pushed his body on was the desire that he could not discard no matter how much he gave up or deceived himself.

(I want to win......!)

──Isn’t it great? That guy can do anything with just luck.

──No matter what he does, he can be number one with just luck.

──Please make me happy. Shion-chan.

──That’s why, please love father from now on.

Nobody would look at him, nothing could be held in his hands.

That kind of dead and yet alive, ghost-like life.

It would be fine no matter how small.

It would be fine no matter how trivial.

Just something that he could confirm to be his, something that he could definitely grab on.

He wanted to shout that he definitely existed in the world by obtaining it.

Currently, it was right before his eyes.

The victory that could not be obtained by the goddess that had been wrecking his life.

In that case──

(I must win!)

If he had managed to obtain it, he would feel like smiling for the first time from the bottom of his heart.


Amane’s scream was no longer cries, but changed to a roar filled with strong determination.

He made a left thrust.

The tip of his sword followed the fastest trail to pursue Ikki.

Intetsu stopped the unexpected counterattack from the right and was in no position to guard that.

It would pierce Ikki’s life unconditionally.

──At that instant...

“Second Secret Sword ── Rekkou.”


Before the thrust with Amane’s full power reached Ikki’s skin, the black blade that suppressed Azure on the right was swung and severed Amane’s final strength.

Part 12

Reverse diagonal, a flash. Amane, who was cut, fell to his knees.

Second Secret Sword Rekkou.

That was a zero distance slash by using only the lower body’s spring power and waist’s twist to dish out a strike when the posture was stiff after receiving the opponent’s sword. A sunkei[5] using sword.

Doing so, Ikki deflected Amane’s right sword and countered his thrust together.

And that strike had definitely finished Amane off for sure.

The 「death」 colored magic power flowing out from his body evaporated like fog.

Ikki did not make any follow-up attacks.

Amane also did not struggle to stand up.

They both understood.

Those fallen knees could not withstand anything further.

(Even though it’s so close, how far it is.)

Exhausting his very best, exhausting all his strength, he could not squeeze out anything more...

......He could not deal a single wound.

Painfully feeling the difference in ability between the two, Amane dropped his waist to sit like seiza on the ground. And...

“............It’ loss......”

Right then for sure, he accepted the reality before his eyes.

“Are you frustrated?”

“..................Yes. That’s right......I’m frustrated.”

Amane kept quiet for a while at the question and replied with a small nod.


The feeling that was more bitter than the blood rushing up his mouth could only be described as such.

To Amane’s reply ── Ikki said.

“Don’t throw away that frustration. That is the proof that Amane-kun has not given up on himself.”


Those words seemed to see through Amane’s struggle in his own heart, making him raise his head to look up.

The reflection in his eyes was like that of a light seeping through from a cloud dispersing unknowingly and...

Ikki, who’s back was facing the light and looking at him, showed a gentle smile that he had not seen before.

“A long time ago, when I was suffering similarly like you, a certain person said that. The feeling known as frustration, no matter how harsh, no matter how bitter, is something you cannot throw away. As long as you hold an indomitable feeling, humans can reach the moon.

......That’s why, this time I will give you those words .

If you feel frustrated, anytime you want, for any number of times, just keep challenging.

What your power, which can grant any wish, could not grant, was a victory against me. If you are able to obtain it, that victory will be something belonging to you that you can be proud of. Something you would win with your own power, your own glory.”


“I will definitely become a man that won’t be ashamed of being your goal ── to receive your challenge.”

Saying so, Ikki turned around and showed his back to Amane.

And he left the ring without turning back.

That steel-like sturdy back seemed to be telling him to catch up.

(Aah, I see......)

Amane was finally enlightened thanks to that back.

The reason Ikki ignored Kurono’s interference and continued the battle after winning.

He had been watching.

The one who even he himself had given up on ── at Shion Amamiya.

(............I can’t win against him.)

Deceiving him, making him suffer, hurting his little sister.

He would even help a guy like that.

How to become so strong like him?

How to become so gentle like him?

Amane could not comprehend it when he could not even tolerate himself.

However, what if......

If he reached the place by chasing after that back...

──That was definitely the target he was aiming for by betting his life’s journey.

Amane squeezed out the last ounce of his strength and stretched out his hand towards that distancing back.

And then, he grabbed strongly.

Of course, that hand would not grasp anything.

It would not reach Ikki’s sleeve.

──For now.

However, someday, someday for sure────

Amane carved that burning frustration into his heart and fell on the spot.

Part 13
「Right now, Contender Shinomiya has been restrained by the medical team and carried away.

Really, what an unexpected commotion happened at the very end, but luckily, the excellent Mage-Knights have followed up and prevented casualties from appearing. As expected of the elites chosen for the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival.

However, the person we should praise the most is, as expected, Contender Ikki Kurogane.

After the end of the match, regardless of the storm-like development, he did not receive a single injury. Showing an overwhelming difference in abilities, he incapacitated the rampaging Contender Bad Luck, Amane Shinomiya.

In tomorrow’s finals, this overly strong F-Rank Knight will be facing against the true absolute powerhouse, Crimson Princess, Stella Vermillion, who possesses the world’s highest magic power. It can’t be helped that we are looking forward to it even now.」

While hearing the voice of the announcer praising Ikki flowing within the dome, Shizuku rushed to where Ikki was.

“Shizuku! You will trip if you rush like that!”

Arisuin cautioned her from behind, but it did not reach her ears.

(Onii-same has won! Onii-sama has finally reached the finals......!)

Because she had lived together with Ikki since young, she was happier than anyone else.

She wanted to celebrate it immediately.

She wanted to congratulate him from the bottom of her heart.

Thinking so, Shizuku could no longer sit around and rushed to the contender waiting room.

And then...


She threw open the door of the waiting room intensively and called out to her brother.



Her brother was certainly in the room, but he was leaning on the gate that connected to the dome and did not respond.

She could see that his eyes were closed, and did not respond when two people entered the waiting room.

“Oh, is he asleep?......Well, although he did not get injured, he still used Ittou Shura. It’s the after effect of it I suppose.”

Seeing the figure of Ikki hanging his head down with his eyes closed, Arisuin, who chased from behind, muttered.

Certainly, Ittou Shura was a technique that used all his strength in one minute.

After using it, Ikki would always sleep to recover his stamina.



Do Ku N.

Shizuku felt an ominous premonition that seemed to freeze her heart after seeing that usual scene.

Cold sweat spilled out from her entire body, her body shook.

What exactly was it? Shizuku touched Ikki to find that answer...


She understood.

Her brother, Ikki Kurogane......was not breathing.

1 空元気も元気の内 - Japanese idiom. An empty cheer is still considered as cheering, meaning that regardless of the meaning behind the cheering, it is still considered cheering. Used in cases to brighten up the mood. Has similar effect to smiling for the sake of smiling will still lighten up the mood.
2 Chanbara -
3 目を点にして固まった - A description in Japanese that usually means stunned from the situation and unable to react.
4 弘法にも筆の誤り - Japanese idiom. 弘法:
5 寸剄 - A martial art that strikes from a short range with explosive power to take down the enemy.


  1. Thank you for the update!

    Man, now I'm excited for what will happen next. I'm guessing that Ikki overexerted himself due to using Twin-Wing's technique for an extended period of time.

  2. .   ∧_∧Thanks!!
     ======== \Merry Christmas!
    /※※※※ゞノ,_)and a
    ⌒~⌒~⌒~⌒~⌒ Happy Nepu Year!

  3. Welp, he's dead. That's the end of the story.

  4. Thanks for the chapter

  5. I won't give spoilers here, but anyone who's actually read the spoiler summaries should know that this isn't the end. Ikki isn't dead.

    Anyway, what exactly happened? It's probably what Kevin Yee said.

    1. Naw, clearly hes dead. Its not like there are 5 other novels after this or anything...

  6. Welp, pack it in, boys. He's dead. Story's over, you can go home now.

  7. I threw money at Frozensama's face, so hopefully we don't have to wait so long for the next chapter! I want to see what happens next.

    1. Thanks for the donation! :) Don't worry, it won't take long.

    2. let this be a secret (there is a place where you can read the next chapter ;) i dont have the bookmark anymore but someone translated it. i read it last month while waiting for this chapter

    3. *correction to my previous comment*
      Only the fight with stella and the aftermath was translated, its missing a part, you can read that on the wiki as a summary tho, its pretty detailed

      also: this is the start of the fight chapter if anyone is feeling restless, the other parts are on the right side of the page

  8. I f-ing love this novel. Every time I read it, I think, best chapter yet! Then I read the next one and i'm like, this one definitely takes the cake. What i'm trying to say it, I F-ING LOVE THIS NOVEL!!!!!!

  9. When your opponent has literal plot armor and can conjure even the most BS of convenient accidents to beat you.

    So you simply make it impossible for you to lose. This is taking Git Gud™ a bit too far there Ikki . . .

    And now for a cliffhanger