Chapter 25: The Holy Sword Ceremony
Elle was petrified. At the same time, Mash and I were both speechless.
At first I thought I heard the wrong words, so I asked the Dragon Mother again.
「Excuse me…What did you just say? 」
「Hmm? I just said that this child Elle is destined to become the Egzation. 」
「What do you mean by that!! Egzation is a weapon, am I right!? 」
「Of course. Egzation is a holy sword that has the strongest power to defeat the Demon King. Yet, it was “born” with a human appearance. By forsaking her life, the sword will manifest itself before the whole world. 」
The Dragon Mother spoke indifferently about this horror story as if she was having a normal conversation with us.
「After spending more than ten years in the human world, Elle was more enriched. She was the right vessel to become the Egzation. My dear Elle. I am truly envious of you, my darling. You have the power to save this world. You will become the holy sword Egzation and you will continue to live forever. You are the greatest pride of our Dragon Tribe. 」
The Dragon Mother and all of her followers opened their mouths, displaying their fangs as if they were smiling.
「Well then. My subordinates will prepare for the holy sword ceremony. The upcoming ceremony is going to be hold tonight after the last supper. Listen to me, Elle. Until then, you can relax and spend time with your friends… 」
Afterwards. We came out of the dragon temple in silence as if our souls were pulled out from our bodies.
No one talked for a while. We were perplexed and we just walked around the Dragon Village as if we were wandering around.
Before long, Mash stopped and he opened his mouth.
「Elle…you…what are you going to do? 」
「Going to do what…? 」
「Idiot!! Your fate was decided moments ago!! You’re gonna die and become Egzation!! Are you really okay with that!? 」
Elle looked a little troubled.
「Well…If that’s my true calling, then I guess I have no choice. 」
「“I have no choice” you say…What’s wrong with you!! 」
Elle smiled awkwardly.
「You know that I always wanted to be useful to everybody!! Now that my wish came true, I feel a little happy!! It seems that I can live forever if I become a sword, and that means that I will be able to save the world as well!! The Dragon Mother said that it was great honor after all!! 」
Mash looked devastated while Elle sent me a glance.
「I am right, yes!? It’s really okay, Lisutan!? 」
I answered her as I gritted my teeth.
…I came here as a goddess whose purpose was to save the world Geabrande. But to be suddenly told to sacrifice a comrade’s life in order to save this world…Is it really okay? Should I not worry? However, Elle herself told us that she was willing to give up her life for the greater good. If that’s so, then…
No…This seems off…I wonder….Is this really fine?
No matter how much I thought about it, I could not come up with a clear conclusion. My head was spinning around like crazy.
I could no longer think properly, so I sought some advice from a man in spite of being a goddess myself.
「Seiya…do you have anything to say on this…matter? 」
As I tried to ask for Seiya’s advice, he was not nowhere to be found. When I looked around, I saw that he was talking with a dragon man of a tool shop in a shadowy area.
「Dear customer! This is the “seed of agility”! If you eat this seed, your agility will increase by ten times more! The human towns don’t sell this rarity! 」
「Is it really okay for me to eat that? 」
「No matter how much seeds you eat, you’ll be just fine! 」
「If you’re lying to me, I won’t forgive you. Be forewarned, I will sue you. 」
「You are a very suspicious customer! I said that it is really okay! I swear on the dragon god of my village that it is harmless! 」
「If that’s the case, then give me a little. 」
「Seiya, wait a second!! What are you doing over there!! It’s not the best time to go shopping now!! 」
I was shouting angrily at him, but he did not listen to me. After he took some gold coins from the sachet and bought some items, Seiya turned around at last and asked me.
「Don’t go “what” on me!! You need to say something to Elle as well!! 」
Then, Seiya gazed at Elle with piercing eyes.
「It’s already been decided what will happen her. I don’t have anything else to say on that matter during the day. 」
He spoke emotionless just like the Dragon Mother, however, his second phrasing showed his true cold-hearted characteristics.
Elle’s smile showed loneliness.
「He’s…right! There’s nothing else to add to this matter! *laughs nervously* It’s just as Mister Seiya said! 」
…I know. It’s true that her fate was already decided. It’s all about saving this world, and nothing else. More than anything, she’s prepared to face the ordeals of her destiny…
Before I knew it, the sun began to fade away. In an instant, I noticed that dragons wearing armors stood in front of us and kneeled.
「The last supper is ready now. We will guide you to the Dragon Valley, so please come this way… 」
After the sunset, we climbed a steep highland and we arrived at an area on top of a hill that was lit by the lights of several torches. I noticed numerous wooden tables and chairs lined up. On the tables, there was steaming food and expensive wine placed on the top, and dozens of dragon men were chatting with each other.
There was a particular luxurious table at the center. The Dragon Mother sat on that table as she drank some alcohol from a glass. She noticed us and requested.
「Hello. Goddess, hero and Mash too, please come this way. 」
When Elle tried to come with us, the dragon soldiers stopped her.
「Lady Elle, please change into these clothes… 」
Mash tried to grab Elle’s hand, but he couldn’t reach her. The dragon soldiers took Elle away as she kept looking back at an uneasy Mash.
Suddenly, the Dragon Mother made a big clap with her hands.
「Now everyone. Until Elle changes her clothes, let us enjoy this banquet. 」
A dragon soldier pushed both Mash and I and we were forced to take a seat.
「The villagers prepared all of the food on this banquet. Come on, feel free to taste it and eat as many as you like. 」
I had no appetite at all. Still, I was told to eat some food, so I got my hands on salads and soups. Mash was also eating some soup but he looked unenthusiastic.
However, Seiya did not eat anything from the banquet, and, instead, he drank a preserved water that he had prepared beforehand.
Young dragons came running to Seiya and the rest of us with a plate on their hands.
「Listen! We made some cookies! Please, try them! 」
Those three dragon children had prettier faces than the adult dragons. I felt my heart heal for a brief moment, so I accepted a cookie with a smile.
「I want the Mister to try it too! We did our best to bake them! 」
I was staring closely at Seiya to make sure he would behave properly. Seiya noticed my furiously gaze and he tried not to say terrible things to the innocent children. Seiya reluctantly picked up a cookie and he chew it in silence.
While I ate the cookie, I tried to speak to the Dragon Mother who was drinking right next to me.
「Excuse me…Is it really impossible to prevent Elle from becoming a sword? 」
「It is impossible. If we don’t let Elle become the holy sword, the Demon King will destroy this world. 」
「Yes, that’s true….that’s true… 」
「Don’t worry, goddess. Please enjoy this banquet to your heart’s content. More than anything, this is all for Elle’s well-being. 」
In front of our table, the dragon men performed dances to the rhythm of drums and flutes. When the dance was over, the torches that illuminated the area were extinguished all at once. Suddenly, the surroundings were engulfed in deep darkness. Immediately after that, the path to the deepest part in the Valley was lit in unison.
Accompanied by the dragon soldiers, Elle slowly walked towards us through the illuminated torches. She was wearing a lovely light crimson dress. Her red hair was beautifully tied. She was also using makeup, and I noticed an expensive necklace around her neck, just like the one that the Dragon Mother has been using. Elle was really stunning and dignified as if she was a noble.
The Dragon Mother stood up.
「All right…Let’s finally start the Holy Sword Ceremony. 」
The Dragon Mother pointed towards Elle’s destined walking path, the deepest hole in the Valley.
「At the bottom of this valley, there is an ancient magic enchantment chart written by the Dragon Emperor. If she jumps in there, Elle’s destined blood will be absorbed, and soon, her blood will be transformed into the dazzling holy sword Egzation.」
All of the dragon men surrounding us applauded at the Dragon Mother’s words.
During the strong applause, Elle walked into the abyss.
Mash and I raised our voices to Elle, who kept walking further into the Valley.
「E…Elle!! Wait!! 」
Elle looked back at us with a sad smile on her face.
「Goodbye, Mash, Lisutan, and…Mister Seiya! Please, use me carefully once I become the sword! *laughs timidly* Don’t forget to polish the sword occasionally so it will not rust! 」
The Dragon Mother started to shout vociferously.
「Okay, Elle!! Now is the time to throw your body into the dragon abyss!! 」
The cheers of the dragon men became louder and louder. However, Mash was trembling next to me.
「This is wrong…! This is absolutely wrong…! 」
「This is all wrong after all!! 」
On that instant, Mash tried to run in Elle’s direction. Yet, it was useless since the entire dragon soldiers regiment stopped him from going any further, as if they were anticipating his moves.
「Lord Mash! Please calm down! 」
「Please, don’t try to ruin the long-awaited ceremonial ritual because of your feelings! 」
Mash was prevented from going further.
「Damn it!! 」
Suddenly, Mash yelled desperately at me.
「Lista!! Is this really acceptable!? Is it!? 」
I had no words.
Of course, I didn’t want to see Elle die!! But this world cannot be saved without Egzation!! What…What should I do!?
I did not know what to do to prevent this horrible situation. Then, I turned my teary eyes to Elle and…
「Mash…!! Lisutan…!! I…!! I…!! 」
Elle looked distraught too. Her eyes were tearful, and her determination seemed to be wavering. The Dragon Mother gazed at us with an upset expression.
「Oh my dear. You should not get on her way. Look at what you did to her resolution. I can’t allow this. I really can’t. You’re not helping Elle with your unreasonable actions. Instead, I will call someone who will help her with her fate. 」
A large dragon man, much bigger than the other dragon men, approached Elle.
The Dragon Mother distorted her reptile eyes and spoke as if she did not have any affection for Elle whatsoever.
「Now then, just push Elle into the abyss right now. 」
「It can’t be!! Please, stop!! What you’re trying to do is murder!! 」
Yet, my panicking words overwhelmed the dragon men and their enthusiasm just got higher than expected.
「Ah, I’m so happy, yes happy!! 」
「Come on, just quickly fall into the abyss!! 」
「Die and become the Egzation!! 」
「Lady Elle, that’s your destiny!! 」
「Your sacrifice will save the world!! 」
They were so full of unspeakable excitement. During this crazy turmoil, I realized that it was impossible to save Elle. The dragon men blocked both mash and I. In front of my eyes, I could see that the large dragon man strongly grabbed Elle’s hand. He was trying to push a frightened Elle into the abyss.
But on that moment…
A body of a dragon man suddenly went flying a few meters away and it destroyed the table in front of the Dragon Mother.
「What happened just now!? 」
The Dragon Mother was surprised. The wild cheery noise quickly faded away. In front of everyone, the silhouette of a hero slowly appeared after that strong kick.
Mash and I, as well as Elle, were all stunned by Seiya’s abrupt actions.
Elle opened her quivering mouth.
「Mi…Mister Seiya? Why? 」
「I said that I didn’t had anything to say about this matter during the day …Well…it’s night right now, so that doesn’t count anymore. 」
After a deep sigh, Seiya spoke without fear.
「You have to take my luggage. If you become a sword, you’ll no longer be able to carry my stuff anymore. 」
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