Sure enough, Michizane’s emotions reached a peak, and he wanted nothing more than to charge at the Mask.
But unfortunately for him, Tomoe’s jutsu had pinned him firmly into place.
He flapped his arms and legs in frantic indignation, but he achieved nothing more than to put on a pathetic display that displeased the Mask.
『You can’t even put any effort, so don’t bother flailing around, begging for power. That ‘give me power’ of yours really brings up some bad memories. If you want it so badly, train yourself and use the
It reminded him of the disgusting
But of course, he’d never actually forgotten it, not even for a moment.
Regardless, looking at Michizane was like looking at a distorted mirror, and nothing could be more unbearable.
『Not only are you useless, you’re lazy too… You’re so pathetic I can’t even laugh anymore. When a clown is so pathetic that people can’t laugh at him anymore, you know what he gets? Pity.』
Perhaps it was because of that that the words the Mask spat amidst laughter were even more vicious than usual.
“That’s it! You’re done! You’re done for! I’m gonna rip your limbs and feed them to the monsters! I’m gonna sacrifice your soul and kill you in a way so cruel humanity’s never thought of it! Come on! Scream! Give me more power, you stinky useless sword!!”
No matter how great the power and history it possessed, a demon sword that could not give him power was no different from a broken tool, and he slammed his fists on it repeatedly as though to try and get it to work.
The sword that has existed since the Yayoi period, which has feasted on the blood and malice of countless men, was now being abused by a selfish brat.
It was one thing if Michizane accomplished that with his own ability, but the only reason he could do that was because of the pressure the sword had to endure from Tomoe’s jutsu and the Mask.
But Michizane couldn’t even understand that and just yelled at it.
The Mask could even see that the will in the sword was starting to get mad.
『Sigh… That’s not an old TV, you know… Oh, it’s so disgusting.』
In the face of his hubris and ego, a dangerous light shone on the Mask’s eyes. It was truly a distorted mirror.
It did not reflect him properly but showed only what he didn’t want to see.
──It’s something you do too.
A sense of discomfort he did not feel when looking at people he believed were good.
A fearfully cold thought that surfaced whenever he saw people like this man.
──I know… Since in the end, I’m a human from that side.
Without allowing those worldly thoughts to show, the Mask stepped into the light, and screams resounded all around.
The light of that destruction shone without regard for yin or yang or people or demons.
Despite its bluish-white radiance, it shone just like the sun to the exorcists.
Ryou, who knew nothing, and Tomoe, who knew something, had miscalculated.
Though the appearance of the mask had already overwritten it, their power was indeed beyond the norm.
But to be able to step inside that
A jet-black color darker than even the black of the night moved forward as though the pressure of the sun did not exist.
As expected, only the two people that gave birth to that sun remained unsurprised.
On their face was written their lack of surprise, as though this much was to be expected.
“Stop! Don’t get any closer!”
『In the first place, what is the power that you seek? Is it vast reserves of spiritual power? Superior technique? Or the knowledge of the gods that have been lost in modern times?』
Michizane desperately and fearfully swung his sword unlike anything until now, and beside him could be seen someone else’s visage.
The Mask’s lips rose, and his tongue swam to weave even more words.
『An authority that no one can contest? Wealth that can change the world? The ability to make others submit? Or perhaps────is it the feeble violence that you’ve been wielding until now? 』
With a scornful laugh and a nimble gait, the Mask entered the range of the demon sword.
Was it fury from the Mask’s provocations, or fear toward the black mist, that he yelled out and thrust his sword?
But though his blade pierced something within that darkness void of sight, and Michizane’s lips twisted…
『That thing known as power can only be understood upon wielding several of them. One could master just one power, but… Just one kind of power is just too fragile.』
…But when the Mask continued to talk without minding that nor caring, even Michizane had no choice but to realize that something was off.
He did not feel anything from his sword when he’d thrust it out.
Not the sensation of hitting something with the tip nor the sensation of cutting something, only the strange sensation of the weight of the sword decreasing.
『The effect of violence is indeed most immediate when limited to what is before oneself, but it is also then when the frailty of a single type of power is most exhibited.』
It was curious if the Mask had noticed or understood that, but the Mask laughed as he continued to walk forward.
With Michizane unable to move, the sword naturally buried itself deeper into the black mist, further reducing its weight.
The humanoid black mist remained blurry despite their distance, but the distortion of the mask became clearer.
By this point, Michizane finally realized that he was dealing with something incomprehensible, and he found himself pulling his sword, but…
…There was nothing.
Not a trace of the part of the sword that had entered the black mist was left, yet the remaining body of the sword did not appear broken in any way.
That unnerved Michizane even more, but unfortunately for him, his body refused to move.
Smoke akin to steam rose from the indeterminate form left of his sword.
It was as though he was holding a candle, and it was all too easy to imagine what had happened to the end of the sword.
That sword that did not break no matter how many times it clashed with the Kamunagi, was – upon one contact – vaporized.
『For it is not possible for any power to triumph against its own kind when it is lesser.』
And by instinct, everyone here understood the answer.
Here was a demon that surpassed the ‘demon’ in demon sword, a darkness before which that sword could be nothing but a toy.
An ‘evil’ whose presence alone enlightened them.
『Yes, just like this.』
The arm clad in black raised up high like a death god’s scythe, then it descended and devoured what was left of the demon sword until… It was no more.
The vessel, the spirit, and even the very evil that lay within… All of it was thoroughly destroyed.