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Chapter 46 – The Grand Priest part 4
Despite the pain throughout his body, Alonso ignored it. He had to. There was no room for pain at the moment. Or he would die.
Instead, he had to use every bit of concentration he possessed to receive and react to Tetsuko’s shared senses and stay alive. The moment the soul in the sword felt the demonic arm coming towards them, the swordsman jumped out of the way.
However, even if they escaped the direct blow, the debris from the impact flew everywhere, and Alonso had no way of defending that.
Even when there was an opened, it made no difference if the swordsman attacked or not; the black and red leathery fur was hard as metal, and enough to stop the sword’s sharpened blade.
I need to become sharper, Tetsuko thought. Just like her wielder, she was ignoring the pain in order to fight. I don’t want to rust inside this mine until someone finds me. If that monster doesn’t destroy me, that is.
However, even if Tetsuko tried to sharp her edge even more, she couldn’t. Not with half of her focusing on sharing her senses with Alonso. It’s the only way for him to fight in this complete darkness…
But if I don’t do something, he’ll die anyway…
Alonso rolled on the ground to avoid being crushed by the demonic arm. His wounded and unprotected arm hit a sharp stone. Tetsuko felt part of the pain. It was enough to make anyone scream. Even so, the swordsman gritted his teeth and stabbed the sword at the worshiper.
It was the same as the edge; the tip barely pierced the skin.
Shit! It’s much harder than the solidified energy claw the high priests had!
Alonso realized it was useless. When he dodged the next attack, he didn’t swing Tetsuko at the demonic arm. Instead, he shortened the distance, aiming at the worshiper and the rest of her human body.
The Grand priest leapt back before the blade touched her.
Even after using most of the energy to make that arm, she still fast enough to dodge my wielder. What a monster… And she’s pouring more energy into that monstrosity…
What is she planning…?
Whatever it was, Tetsuko had a bad feeling.
Even without saying anything, Alonso put some distance between them and the Grand priest.
With a deafening and inhuman screech from the woman, the arm that was too big and could stretch grew smaller until it was the size of a human.
It was still the demonic arm, with the black and red leathery fur. It still had the same energy as the demon’s mark on their chest, evil, ancient, and deep.
The Grand priest closed and opened the fist, testing it. Then she picked up a stone.
Alonso obeyed the instant the worshiper threw it at them.
The stone flew past above his head and smashed on the wall on the other side of the atrium. It buried itself deep before becoming dust.
That will crush your bones, Tetsuko projected to her wielder.
“Thanks for the warning,” he whispered, not taking his eyes from the worshiper’s direction.
If I could sense the stone like I can sense her…
Even with Tetsuko’s help, Alonso had trouble dodging. When he couldn’t, he listened to her and swung the sword to save his life.
Shit… If I could only slice that demonic arm like these stones… But at this rate…
Alonso, there’s only one way to defeat her. You need to get close.
“But you can’t cut that arm,” he whispered, panting harder and harder as he dodged.
I’ll find a way.
There was no answer from the swordsman.
Do you trust me?
Even in the darkness, Alonso looked at her. Then, even if made no difference, he closed his eyes and charged.
Thank you, the soul in the sword projected to her wielder.
Hope I can answer his trust, Tetsuko thought to herself.
Her plan was simple; zeroing the distance to the Grand priest and fight her in close quarters. If we’re close, I won’t have to concentrate half of me in sharing my senses. Then I can focus on sharpening my blade!
When the worshiper was within his reach, Alonso swung the sword with a soul.
Even without seeing her face, Tetsuko knew the woman was smiling as she stopped the blade with the demon hand as if nothing.
The swordsman listened to his sword and attacked any way he could.
The Grand priest blocked it all with ease.
With only part of her mind on sensing the woman and sharing that with her wielder, Tetsuko used the rest of her on flowing her energy.
As it circled her metal body, she folded and sharpened and gathered on the edge.
The result was visible at once. The Grand priest was still blocking her, but now she avoided the edge.
It’s working but it’s not enough. I might be making shallow cuts, but I have yet to pierce her skin! I need more!
Alonso didn’t stop swinging the sword at the woman.
Keep going! She’s tired from that demonic transformation!
That was true to Alonso as well. His breathing was heavy. The sweaty drenched the leather and armor he wore. His blood from the wound on his arm was all over them. Even so, the swordsman listened to her.
I need to become sharper!
With the image of her former human body hammering the metal relentless in her heart, she focused on her folding energy, folding her soul.
My body is a sword. I have over a thousand blades. Now I have to make the same with my soul!
When her soul was a katana, she had become sharper than she ever. And then, for the first time, her blade finally broke the demonic skin, cutting flesh and hitting bone.
The Grand priest screeched. She was so in pain she couldn’t flow her energy.
No… She can’t do that! She’s exhausted too!
Alonso realized and put more strength in his arm, pushing Tetsuko until her edge sliced through the demonic arm.
The Grand priest’s scream was so loud it seemed to reach even the surface of the mountain mine.
However, it wasn’t a beautiful song as before. Tetsuko realized one thing; her voice was in pain, but the horror was bigger.
“How dare you cut the arm that belonged to the True Gods!?”
Using Alonso’s moment of surprise, she punched him with her remaining, and human, arm. The swordsman flew and rolled on the ground. Before he stopped, the woman leapt in his direction.
Get up! Get up, Alonso!
Despite the urgency in Tetsuko’s voice, her wielder couldn’t move.
The Grand priest landed with her foot on his left elbow, breaking it, the sound of bone snapping echoing.
As the scream left Alonso’s mouth, the worshiper grabbed him by the neck and raised him. Despite being smaller, she lifted the noble as if he weighed nothing.
“You’re the worst kind of human, my lord,” she said, trying to keep a calm voice despite the pain and horror coursing through her. “Not only you choose to be Ignorant, you destroy those who want to bring the Truth. All because you wish to keep that fake power you have. All because you wish to be above others!”
Alonso said nothing. He couldn’t. Not with the hand crushing his throat.
Tetsuko felt her whole body trembling. It wasn’t because of the fear of death though.
He hasn’t given up, the soul in the sword realized. The trembling was because her wielder was trying to move the cold arm still holding on to her.
Tetsuko knew, however, it was impossible. Holding me all he can. And even that’s reaching the limit… She could feel as her handle was slipping from his fingers. At any moment now, she would fall on the ground.
Think, Tetsuko. Think! If she doesn’t die here, this woman will invade the kingdom. Everyone will focus on stopping her. How long will it take until someone finds me again in this dark mine?
If Alonso could at least raise his wrist, then my tip would be aimed at her heart…
She knew her wielder couldn’t do that. Even if his life wasn’t ending by the woman’s grasp, the arm was past its limit.
Alonso was gasping for air.
“You’ll die, my lord, because of your greed.”
Tetsuko flowed her energy into him. If I at least ease his pain a little…
The hand reacted and twitched. The soul in the sword flowed more energy.
As the swordsman fought to breathe, the Grand priest didn’t even notice.
C’mon. Move me! Just raise the wrist. Like this, Alonso! That’s all you need to do!
When she sent the image through her energy, her body moved. Alonso’s wrist had raised. Even though it was only a little, it was all Tetsuko needed.
Her tip was aimed directly at the Grand priest’s heart.
“Even you, my lord, must recognize your defeat,” the worshiper said in an almost sad voice.
It’s your defeat, you monster!
Tetsuko flowed the energy into her tip, extending her reach, just like she had done in her wielder’s bedroom. The energy blade pierced the Grand priest heart.
With the surprised on her face, she let go of Alonso and touched her chest, her fingers closing on the invisible blade. Blood spilled from the wound and came down on Tetsuko’s extended reach.
Alonso took in deep breaths, sounds of gasps filling in the mine, staring at the worshiper.
“You’re amazing, my lord. Weak and ignorant as you are, you have gotten your hands on the wretched king’s sword. It enrages me that I failed in my mission given by the True Gods. But I’ll tell you one thing.” Despite the blood coming out from her mouth, she flashed a smile. A joyful smile. “You’ll wish I had freed you from your Ignorance here. Even if all of the Worshipers of the True Gods give their lives here, those who’ll spread the Truth are already in your lands.”
With those words, the Grand priest died.
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