*clang*, *clang*, *clang*, the sounds echoed as a wooden sword rolled on the ground.
I stared at my own hands that have been emptied in a daze.
At that point, the referee’s voice felt strangely far away.
It was a match that I had to win.
But I had completely lost. The wooden sword was knocked out of my hand in just one round.
Thirteen years old– it was the coming of age trial ceremony for the pupils of the phantom blade.
My opponent was a dragon tooth warrior- a skeletal swordsman that was created from magic.
It wasn’t weak. On the contrary, even a regular soldier of the empire or a single adventurer would have a hard time fighting it one on one. It can be said that it wasn’t an opponent meant for young boys and girls.
However, there was no one in this place who would have any doubts facing an opponent like that.
For the pupils of the phantom blade, an opponent of this level should be a sure win for them. In fact, the other seven people that took the trial before me had won.
There was only one person who lost.
All the hard work that I had accumulated for today. All my efforts that I had put in for this moment over the last many, many years, it had all crumbled to nothing.
When I hung my head down without a single word coming out of my mouth, the voice of my father came from above.
It was a deep, cold, dry voice.
「The Mitsurugi household is a house of ancient warriors, founded by the sword saint who sealed away the demon god three hundred years ago. The phantom blade style is something that our ancestors risked their lives to create. It’s the blade that protects mankind from Legendary creatures such as dragons, giants, and demon gods that were as dangerous as natural disasters. And so, our family held the important task of being the protectors who guard the empire from the demon gate. Were you aware of this? 」
「I-I am aware!」
「The people born in the Mitsurugi house have the obligation to inherit the founder’s sword. And then, they have the responsibility to pass the sword to the next generation. Those who cannot fulfill these two duties have no place in this household」
「The people who can’t pass this trial ceremony do not qualify to keep on learning the phantom blade style. And those who don’t train in the phantom blade are not qualified to carry on the Mitsurugi name. From this day on, I am disowning you. You are no longer allowed to use the name Mitsurugi beyond this point. Finish packing your stuff today and you will leave this island tomorrow. The weak are unnecessary in this place」
He banished his own biological son without a second thought in an indifferent tone.
There was not a single sign of being troubled on father’s– The seventeenth generation sword saint of the Mitsurugi warrior school’s- face. He looked at me the same way he looks at a rock on the ground.
For a father who has devoted his life to the sword, a man who was not a swordsman would be equal to dust to him, even if it was his son.
…I know that.
For as far back as I could remember, he has always looked at me that way. No matter how dense a child is, they would eventually understand.
I have been trying my hardest to have a father like that recognize me.
However, it did not work out in the end.
No matter what I say here, my father’s mind will not change. There was no use in crying, groveling, or begging for mercy.
It wasn’t only my father who felt that way. The many pupils and elders who were lined up on his left and right were also looking at me with cold eyes.
Scorn, contempt, pity, indifference…
It was just as my father said a moment ago. The curse of that demon god continued to encroach upon this world through the demon gate even today.
Apparitions and demonic beasts on a level that’s incomparable to the main continent were roaming free on this island all due to the demon gate as well.
People called this island the demon island.
For those who were living in a place like that, weakness itself is a sin.
The weak who would hold the others back would have to leave the island immediately– that is the consensus of those who live here.
I left the dojo as if I was running away, and then I put together my luggage while in tears.
Then, the next morning, I left the house the same time the sun rose from the east. Strictly speaking, I was kicked out.
「This is my room from now on. Hurry and get out. Oh, right. I’ll be the heir of the Mitsurugi house from today on, so this house is mine now. All of that is father’s orders」
The man who said that with a faint smile on his face was my little brother, Raguna Mitsurugi.
Even though he was my little brother, my hair color is black and his is blonde. As the difference in our appearance tells, we are brothers with different mothers.
He was thirteen years old like me. Even our birthdays were on the same day.
He was undoubtedly better than me at the sword. Physique and brains as well.
Raguna’s mother was the daughter of a great noble, so he was at the top regarding bloodline. But since he wasn’t the child of the legal wife, the position of heir for the Mitsurugi house went to me.
I knew that Raguna did not find that funny. He never tried to hide that fact.
Even at this moment, he stared at me with his blue eyes that were filled with contempt.
「Hm. Finally I’ll be released from this mortification of having to call your incompetent ass my older brother. Sora, you are a son of father but yet you are still an amateur when it comes to soul equipping. You are an embarrassment of the Mitsurugi household. Don’t ever show me your face again. No need to worry though, I’ll properly do the job of the heir. Your fiancee Ayaka too, I’ll take real good care of her」
「Haha, you look like you want to beat me up right now. Good, beat me up if you can. However, in a situation like this I should defend myself as well, right? You, who couldn’t even do a thing to a dragon tooth warrior, you think you can defeat me?!— Come forth, my soul equipment!」
The moment he yelled out, a sword appeared in Raguna’s hand. It was a splendid sword that was brightly glowing golden yellow.
Just how many times have I seen this glow? I was reminded of the overwhelming difference in our abilities every time I saw it.
Why? Because him having that sword is pretty much the same as having to face two Ragunas.
Inside a human’s heart, there lies another inner-self deep within the soul. That being of same origin is called an Anima.
The secret to the phantom blade style was to become aware of this Anima, control it, and materialize it. This is called “soul equipping”, and Raguna, who was thirteen years old, has already mastered the art of that.
It wasn’t just him. Ayaka, who I was engaged with, and the other five classmates have also learned soul equipping.
It was a rare case in the history of the phantom blade.
Talents called on talents, and by training with each other, they polish and grow.
The golden generation. That’s what the people referred to them as.
There was only one person who did not master the art of soul equipping.
「Hmm, your legs are shaking. You still haven’t readied your sword? Haha, whatever. Any more than this would be bullying the weak. The phantom swords are evil-crushing swords that protect the people. As the heir of the Mitsurugi household, I must be kind to the weak. Hora, I’ll give you this」
With that, Raguna threw three gold coins on to the ground.
It’s a great amount of money that would let you live a comfortable three months
「I want to tell you to pick it up– but you still have a little pride in you, right? Or are you going to act like a beggar before me? No worries, I’ll be leaving in a second. After I’m gone, please slowly pick the gold up, my dear brother. Hahahaha!」
After laughing for a while, Raguna left in long strides.
I made a fist as I stared at his back, but my mouth and feet did not move; it was as if they have been frozen.
In the meantime, Raguna’s figure disappeared beyond the gate.
After there was no one else around, I glanced at the ground.
The three coins that he had thrown on the ground were shining dully as they received the morning sunlight from the east.
RANDOM TL THOGUHTS: Their ability reminds me of that one show, guilty crown.