The ritual began around 10 am.
It was already past 1 am, long past bedtime. The ritual kept progressing. They didn’t do something like roll calls, so there was nothing really to worry about.
Meanwhile, Olivia Lanze continued to fully concentrate without even drinking a drop of water.
I didn’t have to, but I stayed with her as well. My hunger wasn’t that great.
I couldn’t tell how hard it was or how tired she was, so I felt rather restless watching her from the sidelines.
What could I do for her? Should I wipe off her sweat? To be honest, no one would have cared if I just went to sleep, but I didn’t have such shameless thoughts.
So I just kept watching.
She was focusing on a single task for 12 hours straight without even trembling.
However, it certainly seemed to be working.
Over a long period of time, at an incredibly slow pace, her progress was visible to the naked eye.
The appearance of the cursed sword was changing as if it was shedding its outer skin.
The corrupted Tiamata was slowly returning to its original form—the darkened sword was gradually regaining its milky white color.
Olivia Lanze’s purification ceremony was clearly working.
It didn’t just return to being a Holy Sword in a tremendous brilliant white flash.
It was a gradual process.
However, like scales coming off one by one, as if the curse was getting burned away by the divine power, the cursed sword’s layers came off one after the other, gradually getting dyed red and disappearing.
Slowly but surely, the Holy Sword was getting restored.
It wasn’t a dramatic change, but it was a constant one.
Olivia silently sat in my shower room and continued to pray in the same posture in which she started.
I was watching that scene as if I had to witness it, leaning against one of my room’s walls, the lights turned off.
Like Olivia Lanze, I didn’t change my posture either, staying completely silent.
In that silence, the only thing that changed over that long period of time that felt like an eternity was the cursed sword.
When the last scale of the cursed sword had been peeled off…
“You worked hard.”
With the first light of dawn, the ceremony had concluded.
“Get some rest. Thank you.”
“Yeah… I should do that.”
I helped Olivia Lanze, who didn’t have the energy to stand up properly, up and led her to my bed. She fell asleep right away as if she had forced herself to stay conscious up until then.
I raised my hand towards the sword lying on the shower room floor.
The sword disappeared from the shower room floor and, before I knew it, appeared in my hand again.
With Tiamata’s restoration, it seemed like its spirit bond with me had become complete. Olivia Lanze seemed to have taken over and finished what Dettomolian started.
The ivory-colored blade seemed to have a warmer texture than ordinary iron. The sword, which looked as if layers of it had come off, still didn’t have a crossguard, but like on other Divine Relics, there were letters engraved in the Bo-Hi/blood groove cut in the middle of its milky white body.
I could read them.
[I shall purify the world with wrath.]
It was quite the ominous phrase to be engraved on a Holy Sword.
The Holy Sword Tiamata’s restoration had been completed.
[Quest completed – Holy Sword Tiamata]
I was able to complete the reward that was given to me in a corrupted state.
[An additional reward shall be given]
[You were able to become Tiamata’s owner as an effect of ‘Sacred Spirit’, a trait you share with Olivia Lanze.]
[Reward : You are able to share the Holy Sword Tiamata with Olivia Lanze.]
And it also came with an unexpected reward.
* * *
When I sent Tiamata back, it went into my desk drawer. It would move to the place I wanted to keep it. If I wanted to sense where the sword itself was, I could naturally grasp its location.
It was what one called true soul-bonding.
And I shared it with Olivia—it was an item under joint possession.
Olivia Lanze had fallen asleep as if she had fainted, and I was very tired as well.
Of course, I couldn’t just sleep next to her, so I put Tiamata in a drawer, locked it, and went out into the hallway.
It wasn’t time to wake up yet, so there was not a single soul in the hallway around early dawn.
I had planned on lying down on something like a sofa in the lobby to take a nap. I was dead tired. After fasting for a bit, I felt rather hungry as well.
It didn’t matter if people found out about Tiamata in its purified state.
No matter if people could believe that the cursed sword was Tiamata or not, it was still the truth. What could they say when the results were like that?
The world was such a consequential thing. I was convinced that the cursed sword was a Holy Sword, so I managed to purify it and returned it to its original holy state. Temple just mistook the Relic as a demon god’s Relic and had tried to discard or seal it.
No one could say anything against me because I was right.
The stress I received those past two days because of the corrupted Tiamata was no joke. It was to the point where I thought that my head might actually turn bald.
As I staggered into the lobby, I saw that someone was languidly sitting on the sofa.
It was Ellen.
“…What are you doing here?”
Ellen was just blankly sitting on the sofa, and when she noticed that I was around, she looked at me. It also didn’t seem like she was going out to do her early morning training, either.
Ellen seemed hesitant, so I asked her cautiously.
“Are you going out to train?”
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I sat opposite Ellen. I hadn’t slept yet, but she didn’t seem to intend to sleep at all.
Ellen didn’t say anything.
I didn’t say anything either.
It would be rather strange if I started explaining things to someone who didn’t even ask.
It would seem like I was making up excuses out of nowhere for something she didn’t even ask about. Well, I wouldn’t know what to say either if she actually asked.
Still, I was able to fix everything somehow.
‘Let’s talk about it.’
‘Let’s just comfortably talk about it.’
‘Even if it’s a bit much…’
“Promise me something.”
“Promise you what?”
Ellen tilted her head at my sudden words.
“Don’t beat me up before you listen to everything I want to say.”
I don’t care if you want to hit me after you’re done listening, but don’t hit me while I’m explaining.
Just beat me up after I’m done…
Ellen looked bewildered because she didn’t know what I was talking about. I took Ellen to the quiet training room.
Even if we made a lot of noise, no one would be able to hear us while we were in there.
“Well… Actually, you know. About the demon god’s Relic. See, uhm. The thing is…I had it with me.”
“Wha… What? What did you say?”
Ellen didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to say for a bit.
“To be precise, it kept coming back to me, maybe because it thought of me as its owner… So it’s not like I stole it. It just kept coming back to me. Even after I threw it away, it would still re-appear in my room… That’s what happened. That’s all.”
Her expression got worse by the minute, so I didn’t even know what I was talking about anymore.
Ellen’s expression turned cold. The atmosphere seemed to freeze up around us as I continued to talk.
Ellen was silently staring at me. She wasn’t shouting at me or punching me…
She was just staring.
However, she obviously looked very angry.
Okay, tell me more.
That was what she seemed to try to tell me.
“Well… Do you want me to continue?“
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I felt like she would kill me if she noticed anything wrong.
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
Confronted with Ellen’s cold eyes, I felt nervous as I finally managed to explain everything.
From the cursed sword suddenly appearing before me, to me requesting Olivia Lanze to help solve the problem somehow. And also how Olivia helped me by performing a purifying ceremony all night long after she found out that the cursed sword was Tiamata.
I hurriedly summoned TIamata to show it to Ellen.
“It can’t be… It really was Tiamata…”
Ellen couldn’t believe that the cursed sword had been transformed into Towan’s divine Relic as if it shed its skin. However, even if she couldn’t believe it, the truth was right in front of her.
What was presumed to be a demon god’s Divine Relic was Tiamata in a corrupted state. She had the facts presented right in front of her, so there was no point in trying to say anything more.
In the end, she only told me to leave it be because she thought it was a dangerous object, as we had witnessed in action, but that was the result of my actions.
We had actually recovered Towan’s divine Relic from the Darklands, not a demon god’s Relic. It would have been great enough to find a demon god’s divine Relic, but recovering Towan’s Relic, which had been lost 300 years ago, was bound to be treated as a huge achievement.
And I actually soul-bonded with the Holy Sword of Towan.
That meant that I was the god of Purity, Towan’s champion as well.
“Ultimately… You were destined to have it… Was it something like that?”
The cursed sword didn’t have an effect on me. Ellen seemed to think that it was inevitable for me to become Tiamata’s owner in the end.
“It’s just a coincidence. Senior didn’t fall under its curse either.”
I also explained to her that Olivia Lanze helped me purify the sword.
I sent back Tiamata, then glanced at Ellen.
“Uhm… I’m sorry. I didn’t listen to you.”
Now should be the time for her to get angry.
Just how many times did she tell me to throw that thing away. I had no words. No matter how good the result turned out to be, I landed in a dangerous situation because I had continued to act stubborn.
Ellen glanced at me with her mouth pulled in a slight pout.
“…Don’t mention it. Just don’t do something like that again.”
She clearly looked a little upset and shocked at first, but now her mood seemed to be a bit better. I was ready to take a hard beating. Ellen looked fine, if a little bit upset.
Did she… buy that?
“As you said, I won’t be uselessly greedy anymore. Until I die.”
I was being sincere.
Although the results were good, if I just made one wrong move, I would have to run away from Temple at best, and at worst, my head would have gone flying.
Of course, without going through that ordeal, I wouldn’t have obtained the great weapon called the Holy Sword Tiamata, however, things couldn’t always end well.
Ellen took a deep breath as she sat down on the training room’s floor.
“So, what are you going to do now?”
“Are you going to report to Temple that the cursed sword was actually Tiamata?”
Temple was still in chaos. All those people were probably still struggling to find that lost demon god’s Divine Relic.
Hiding Tiamata wasn’t difficult for me anymore. I could just summon and send it back from any place. It wasn’t necessary anymore to hide it in my room. I could even just throw it into the Irene River and call it whenever I needed it.
“I think it would be the right thing to report it, but…”
“It’ll get annoying. Very.”
There was a reason why Ellen was hiding the fact that she was Artorius’ sister and the owner of the Holy Sword Lament.
The people’s high expectations as well as that useless popularity would pose a great annoyance to Ellen.
And people would implicitly exert a lot of pressure on her during her school time, naming her the next Hero.
“Don’t tell them, this incident will soon be forgotten. As Tiamata, it won’t cause any more major problems.”
It would be a huge problem if it was a true Relic of a demon god, but as it returned to being Tiamata, there wouldn’t be any more problems, so Ellen seemed to think that it would be better to just hide that I had become Tiamata’s owner.
“Yeah, that would be for the best.”
They would make a huge fuss to find the lost demon god’s divine Relic, but in the end, if nothing more happened for a certain period of time, like with the terrorist attack on the Capital last time, things would eventually quiet down.
* * *
The cursed sword problem had been solved, and the Holy Sword Tiamata had been restored again.
And, prepared to take a beating from Ellen, I told her the whole truth about the incident.
Ellen seemed upset but also relieved that all the problems had been solved in the end.
Ellen and I sat with our backs against the training room’s wall.
“Did you not sleep at all?”
Ellen noticed that I didn’t look so good as asked me.
“…Yeah. I couldn’t just sleep comfortably while someone was working through the night because of me.”
She wouldn’t have cared if I slept or not, but I had just kept watching her perform the ritual until the very end out of a sense of guilt, regret, and gratitude.
“I left her sleeping in my bed, so I tried to sleep in the lobby. But then I met you… Well, and we ended up talking like this.”
Ellen’s eyes widened slightly, as she realized that I was on the verge of dying from exhaustion and that I actually couldn’t sleep because of her.
“I’ll do just that.”
I lay down on the training room’s floor.
The floor was pretty hard, but I was dead tired, so it didn’t really feel uncomfortable
* * *
Ellen looked at Reinhardt, who was lying on his back, sleeping.
The bug that had been crawling on her heart was gone.
She was angry. She felt so upset when she heard what had happened.
She was beside herself with rage. She told him so many times, but he eventually gave in to his greed and got himself into a dangerous situation.
Still, she held it in, thinking that she should listen to his whole story first.
However, as she listened to his story, Ellen found herself unnoticeably freed of her anger. She thought that she should be angry because Reinhardt obviously got himself into danger because he did something stupid.
However, her anger had already dissipated, so she couldn’t hold on to that rage anymore.
She only had one thought in her mind:
She didn’t really care much about the Holy Sword Tiamata. She was only slightly surprised by the sudden appearance of something as important as a divine Relic of the five gods.
That’s how it was.
That’s what happened.
It couldn’t have been anything like that.
There was a reason for everything.
Her thoughts were filled with such a strange feeling that all her feelings of relief, slight disappointment, and that unknown feeling immediately disappeared.
The recovery of the Holy Sword Tiamata…
The world would most certainly be surprised by it, but Ellen wasn’t really.
Rather, it seemed something else was of much more importance to her.
Ellen hugged her knees as she stared at Reinhardt, who had fallen asleep as soon as he closed his eyes.
She seemed like a child looking closely at some animal she had seen for the first time out of pure curiosity.
She had looked at him so many times, but it felt like she was looking at him for the first time.
At that moment, Ellen seemed as if she was looking at Reinhardt for the first time in her life.
She thought that it should be quite uncomfortable for him to sleep like that.
Ellen loosened her arms around her knees and stretched out her legs.
Then she lifted Reinhardt’s head slightly and placed it on her thighs.
I’m doing this because sleeping on the floor like that should be rather uncomfortable.
That’s the only reason.
Just because he’d feel uncomfortable.
And I’m sorry…
Sorry for misunderstanding.
I’m sorry for being suspicious of you and getting angry.
I’m just doing this because I feel sorry..
I chose not to think about these things anymore.
Just what is wrong with me?
I decided not to think about it.
Ellen carefully ran her fingers through the sleeping Reinhardt’s hair.
She then started to smile slightly without realizing.