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Chapter 44 – The Grand Priest part 2
Even Alonso couldn’t stop trembling as the Grand priest stared at him. With the left hand on the handle of the sword, he clutched the wrist as hard as he could. It wasn’t enough to stop the shaking.
There’s no human… in the world… who wouldn’t fear… facing that monster… Even Yasuhiro-sama… would hesitate… for a moment…
But even if you’re afraid… you have to fight her… Or you’ll die, she projected her thoughts to her wielder.
The swordsman breathed through his mouth, trying to control it, as he placed the right hand on the handle. Slowly, the trembling grew weaker until it stopped and his breathing was steady.
The Grand priest showed no sign of concern as she got closer. “It’s sad you cannot accept the Truth, my Lord.” Despite the massacre she had just caused, her voice was calm, almost dreamy.
Even with the fear on his face, Alonso snorted. “When your truth means death, it’s hard to for people to get on board with that.”
The worshiper shook her head. “You still don’t understand, my Lord. That’s why is sad. I wanted to make you understand the Truth, but I guess it’s impossible…”
The moment she finished speaking, she charged, covering the distance between them in the blink of an eye. Before Alonso realized, she swung her naginata at him.
Alonso! Tetsuko shouted in her mind, but at once she knew her wielder couldn’t react in time.
Despite the pain caused by the worshiper, the soul in the sword forced all her energy to the side, moving her body to block the Grand priest’s blade.
As metal collided, the sparks flew, the sound resonating and echoing in the tunnels of the mines as if it were a loud drum.
The impact shook throughout Alonso’s body. Only then he seemed to realize what was happening. But it was too late.
The grand priest was already attacking again, striking the lord on the chest with her open palm.
Alonso tensed his muscles and braced for the impact.
It made no difference. When the palm hit him, he lost all the air in his lungs and flew, smashing against a wall. And he had no time to recover.
The worshiper shortened the distance again, stabbing at him with the naginata.
Even out of air, out of reflex, the swordsman swung the sword to deflect the blade.
Despite the pain from the poisonous energy from the worshiper, Tetsuko flowed her energy and helped to resist the attack.
Though barely, the plan had worked. Alonso was safe and the naginata’s blade buried deep on the wall of the mine.
However, the Grand priest didn’t seem bothered by that. Almost casually, she used both hands to swing the weapon. The blade sliced stone as if nothing, leaving a deep gash in the wall.
Thanks to Tetsuko’s metal, Alonso wasn’t cut in half but was sent flying again. He hit the ground and rolled down a little hill until he stopped.
Even with her senses impaired due to the pain and all the raw living metal around them, Tetsuko could tell they were in a wider area, almost like an atrium in the middle of the mine. Around them were carts, pickaxes, remnants of old and also unused torches.
This might be the center of the mine, Tetsuko thought. If we could at least lit some of those torches…
Though to her it made little difference, her wielder couldn’t see anything in that complete darkness.
“My Lord, you don’t remember me, do you?” the Grad priest asked, her voice echoing everywhere, making it was hard to tell where she was.
“You’re the one trying to destroy our kingdom!” Alonso shouted, standing up and turning around in every direction, the sword raised.
The woman’s low laugh echoed as much as her voice.
“I knew it. We’ve been talking for a while now and you haven’t shown any sign of recognizing me.”
Alonso… she’s getting closer… Tetsuko had trouble sensing her energy, but she knew that deep and terrifying energy was drawing nearer them.
The swordsman stopped turning around and remained still, trying to find the source of the sound.
“Yes. Years ago, just like today, you came to our lands to exterminate us all.” There was a note of rage in her voice for the first time.
Alonso froze, his grip on Tetsuko loosening a little. “So you’re the survivor… The one we couldn’t find…”
“Yes, my Lord. But you did find me. And we even met in the past. I was one of the villagers you rescued from the worshipers. At the time, I hadn’t accepted the Truth yet, so my body wasn’t a receptacle for the True Gods and I didn’t have their mark on my chest. Because of that, you saved me. Thanks to you, I survived, and so did the Truth. Thanks to you, I’m here today.”
Tetsuko felt as her wielder’s grip got so loose she almost slipped off his fingers.
“This is all my fault… All the deaths today… Diogo… Because I saved you…”
Alonso! Don’t let her fool you!
“You mean it’s thanks to you, my Lord. No matter how much you try to bury, the Truth will come out one day. If it wasn’t me, it could be someone else. Another person, someone more prone to violence, could be trying to spread the Truth and bring back the Old Era through force. Wouldn’t that be worse than now?”
“You’re crazy… It’s pretty terrible right now… the number of dead today alone…”
“I cannot say otherwise. Sacrifices are a terrible ordeal. But if they serve for the greater good and save this world, those who died today and in all the other fights will be happy. Because a greater world will be born!”
Those words made Alonso clutch the handle with more strength again.
“Happy to die? You worshipers are too fanatic. Everyone here wanted to live! Wanted to save their families and loved ones from ever seeing the terror you bring!” he shouted. “The only way they’ll ever be happy for dying is if we can stop you and your damn truth!”
His words echoed for a while until they died. Then there was only silence.
There was no response from the Grand priest, making the profound darkness even more disturbing.
She’s stopped moving… Tetsuko ignored the pain and calmed her energy. I need every bit of concentration I have.
As her energy slowed down, her impaired senses expanded. It was as if she could see ripples on the air around her. Then, in the midst of all the rippled, something came disturbing everything.
On your right!
She shouted in her heart to her wielder.
Alonso was concentrating and answered as fast as a seasoned swordsman could. Even so, he wasn’t fast enough. Though he blocked the naginata with his sword, the enemy’s blade still hit him. And before he could even think of striking back, the worshiper had moved back into the complete darkness.
“Damn it!” Alonso cursed at the same time.
“Indeed, my lord. Ignorance should be damn. On that, we agree,” the Grand priest said, her voice echoing and coming from every side again.
Then everything was back the eerie silence again.
Tetsuko concentrated her entire self in sensing the ripples and the disturbance.
From the back!
Alonso whirled around, swinging Tetsuko in the next instant.
When the metal met metal, the sparks illuminated the darkness for a moment. The Grand priest’s expression was serene as she tried to kill the noble.
Alonso had struck the naginata with enough force to change the trajectory of the deadly attack. But the blade still hit him on the right arm.
Tetsuko felt as her wielder’s grip loosened around her again.
Damn it! Even if I warn him, he can’t react fast enough! That monster is too fast!
If I at least didn’t have to say where the attack is coming from… Tetsuko stopped seeing. She stopped listening. She focused only on her energy.
However, instead of circling inside her like always, she flowed part of it into Alonso’s hand, into those fingers around her handle.
Don’t tell him… Don’t waste an instant telling him… Show him… Show him where the attack is coming from… Making him sense too… as if we are one…
One sword, one mind… Ittou Isshin!
Once again Tetsuko felt something slicing the ripples like a blade slicing water. And she flowed that information to her wielder. Not with words, but with her senses.
See it, she prayed in her heart.
Without her projecting her thoughts, Alonso swung her in the right direction, once again blocking the naginata.
But for the first time, he was unharmed as the blade past by his side without touching him.
Yes! We can fight!
Tetsuko felt the blood she no longer had boiling with excitement.
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