Chapter 362: The Ice Queen.
Sounds of metal clashing were heard, and it attracted everyone's attention immediately, and as soon as they looked at the battlefield that was now deserted,
They couldn't help but be shocked.
“Well… That's another level of bullshit… Is that space? Is space cracking?” Victor asked in an incredulous voice as he looked at the nearby crevices and cracks that were appearing in midair around Scathach and Inari.
As the two women were exchanging blows, each time their weapons clashed, a sound reminicent of glass shattering echoed around, and more and more cracks formed around them in midair.
Space cracked and shattered, and in some of these cracks, crevices were made which gave view to the human world outside of this mirrored world. Occasional glimpses of the humans populating Shibuya Crossing would appear.
However, as if someone were protecting the humans, the crevices created by the battle were quickly repaired.
Scathach attacked, Inari defended.
And behind Inari, columns of ice were created.
The same happened with Inari; she attacked, Scathach defended.
And the space around the woman seemed to distort.
Their very struggle was affecting the very reality that surrounded them!
And they were just using martial arts!
“…Is this Scathach's current level?” Jeanne asked with a narrowed look, watching the battle more closely, watching the woman smile as if she were enjoying a leisurely stroll.
Looking at Inari's serious, almost tired face, she understood something:
“She's not really fighting yet.”
“Isn't that obvious? When Vampires fight, they usually assume their ancestral form through the Vampire Count transformation, and she hasn't done that yet.” Anna spoke.
“That's not what I'm talking about.”
“She means my master doesn't need the Vampire Count form. With just her martial arts, she can face most beings, and… She isn't using her strongest martial arts yet.”
“What do you mean?”
“I still haven't seen her use the techniques she taught me and her daughters…. Oh wrong, I've only seen her use the defense technique she taught Ruby, that Ruby had recently improved upon.”
“But other than that… I haven't seen her use the strength technique she'd taught Pepper, the ice manipulation techniques she'd taught Siena, the speed techniques she'd taught Lacus, nor the control she'd taught me.”
“Even that blow that caused all this damage was just a simple lunge.”
“….” The silence around the group was quite impressive after they heard Victor's words.
The only things that were heard were Scathach and Inari's exchange of blows that were intensifying with each passing minute.
“…just how strong has she become…” Jeanne questioned.
“It's hard to say, but once, she said that she could fight Vlad, and at that time, she said she wasn't sure if she could beat him… Maybe, that changed today, but considering how old that old monster is, I can't say…” Victor was the one who understood the most about Vlad.
He wasn't talking about the man himself, he was talking about what he was. As a Progenitor, Victor could understand how that old man got so strong.
Like him, the Progenitors were like an improvement over normal Noble Vampires. They learn more efficiently, they grow stronger at a faster rate, and they have an innate ego, arrogance, and pride.
It was this same arrogance that prevented Victor from talking about his relationship with Scathach. After all, knowing the woman, he knew that she'd ask for a fight to 'decide' who would hold the dominant position in their relationship.
Who will be the boss and the subordinate.
To Scathach, even a relationship was a war, and Victor had a feeling that if he lost that war…
Scathach would stop showing interest in him.
He understood that she only showed interest in him now because he had the potential to give her a good fight and defeat her.
She was looking for someone who could defeat her, and, just like an ancient warrior, when that someone defeats her, they would become her partner.
But if those were the prerequisites, Scathach would have married Vlad a long time ago. Personality mattered, whether or not the two are compatible also mattered… And most of all, Scathach had to like the man.
She was a very selective woman, and her tastes may never be satisfied even after thousands of years.
That's why Victor understood that if he lost, she would stop showing interest in him, in the sense that she would no longer see him as a potential partner but as her daughter's son-in-law, and for Victor that was a big deal.
He would never let her go. Never!… Even if he has to throw himself into Hell to get stronger, she will still become his in the future.
… And because he understood that, he hadn't taken the initiative. His very existence negated that very thought.
After all, he understood that he wasn't strong enough yet.
'Honestly, if she was like Violet, Sasha and Ruby…' Victor felt a headache thinking about it, because unlike his three Wives who just wanted to be with him, and become his companions.
Scathach grew up in an older, more primitive society… She wouldn't be satisfied with that.
'She's also not like Natashia who has evolved over time…' Thinking about the blonde haired woman who, like her daughter, just wanted to be close to Victor, he couldn't help but display a sweet smile.
Looking at Scathach who was battling it out with a big smile on her face, he couldn't help but lust after her.
'Ahh~, she's so beautiful…~'
Seriously, Victor couldn't understand how people feared this woman, she seemed harmless enough to him…
Even if the surrounding destroyed terrain disagreed with Victor, he wouldn't mind.
Victor's sweet smile remained, but his eyes turned as dark as darkness itself, and he looked at Scathach with a look that would strike fear into any normal woman.
Obsession, desire, love, thirst for battle, admiration.
In times like these, Victor truly cursed his weakness.
…Half the Asian continent would spit blood if they heard Victor's thoughts right now.
'If I had a way to break my racial boundary…' Victor really considered kidnapping Alexios and making something like a time chamber for him. After all, the old man could control time, for God's sake. He single-handedly changed Nightingale's perception of time in comparison to Earth.
The man was on another level of bullshit.
But he knew the man wouldn't do that, he was too loyal to his King to do anything to harm him.
'… Just wait… I promise I won't make you wait too long.' Victor looked at Scathach with an intense gaze that couldn't be hidden by his long black hair.
It was because of this woman battling before him that he was so obsessed with strength, even to go so far as to consider learning things related to Demons and Yōkai. If he couldn't improve upon himself because of the obstacle of time, he would try to look for other means, even if those means could kill him.
“…?” Feeling a gaze watching him like a hawk, he looked down, and saw Haruna's black eyes watching him.
“…Nothing.” She turned her face away and looked back at the fight.
“???” Literal question marks appeared around Victor.
Believe it or not, Victor prided himself on understanding women, his mother taught him so well.
As an intelligent woman, she had with her the knowledge of the divine book: '101 ways to woo a lady and understand them.'
And as a faithful disciple, he had the confidence to become a worse playboy than his friend Andrew…
'All that knowledge goes to shit when I deal with someone like her.'
Victor swore that this woman was somehow related to Ophis. After all, even the way they behaved was similar.
She was a woman of few words when she wasn't on the battlefield.
Speaking of a battlefield.
A change suddenly occurred in Scathach's fight with Inari.
The stalemate that had lasted for the past few minutes was suddenly broken by Scathach, the long red haired woman parrying Inari's katana, rendering Inari in an awkward position and creating an perfect opening.
The red runed spear pierced through Inari's chest, causing the woman to cough up a kind of golden liquid onto the floor.
“…Golden Blood…?” Nero looked at it curiously.
“Gods can bleed, huh…” Jeanne felt as if her world had been renewed.
“Yes, but… Unfortunately, that's not your Royal Blood.” Anna spoke.
“For the Gods to bleed your Royal Blood, you need to hit them with a special weapon.”
“A God Slayer, right?” Victor spoke.
“You seem to know a lot about this.”
“Of course I do, I was close to a woman who has a God Slayer as her main weapon.”
“Correct, she's the only being I know who has a God Slayer, the goal of killing the Gods isn't without foundation after all.”
“…” Victor listened in silence as he looked at Scathach.
“And once again, this spear was bathed in the Divine Blood of the Gods.” Scathach laughed scornfully.
“Really, you guys are the best punching bags.” Scathach spun the spear around, and the Golden Blood was dislodged from the blade.
“You don't die, you're strong, and even if you die, you come back a few hundred years later… The best punching bags indeed.”
“…Don't treat the Gods like your toys, Witch!”
“Hmm? Why not?” Scathach asked with legitimate curiosity, she even ignored Inari's insult.
“We are Gods-” Inari was about to say something, but Scathach interrupted her.
“We must be respected-” She looked like she was going to continue again, but she was interrupted by Scathach's amused voice.
“You are weak.”
“I'm a God!”
“A weak God.”
“And a weak God will only become my punching bag. A weak God will only be used by me to improve myself.”
“And the fate of the weak is to lick the boots of the strong. It doesn't matter if you are a God, Vampire, Human, or a Yōkai. If you are weak, you will be stepped on by someone stronger.”
“For knowing this, weakness disgusts me.” She spun her red spear again, and her smile grew:
“Rejoice, at least you've done something other than performing your act of arrogance in front of a decaying mirror.”
“… Act of arrogance…” Inari was petrified, never in all her life had she been so insulted, but she was even more petrified for another reason:
'How does she know that?' Inari was starting to believe that Scathach could read minds now.
The woman's shrill laugh echoed across the battlefield.
“… Whoaa, she and Lilith would definitely get along.” Anna flashed a smile when she saw Inari's petrified state.
“That woman would love that sight.” Anna continued.
“…Hmm?” Victor and Haruna looked to one side at the same time, and in the direction they looked, two men appeared.
They were Ibaraki and Shuten who'd somehow survived.
“…Oh, it's you.”
“Would you think that we would die so easily?” Ibaraki asked.
“Well, yes.” Victor answered for the people around him.
“…I don't know how to feel about your low expectation on us…” Shuten sighed, and when he looked around, he spoke:
“Although I understand your thoughts…” He couldn't help but agree that it was a miracle they survived that outburst.
“That's enough!” Inari suddenly screamed.
Her face had distorted to look like a demon.
“I've had enough of your arrogance, Vampire.” Red tattoos began to appear on her body and face.
“Oh? Will you use your Divine Form here?” Scathach seemed to know what Inari was doing.
“You and your group not only came and caused chaos in a foreign country, you even dared to disrespect the Gods of that country! You destroyed my temple, and my most trusted subordinates! Even we have a limit-.”
“Blah, blah, blah.” Scathach scratched her ear with her little finger: “You talk a lot useless shit, are you menstruating, woman?”
“!!!” Veins bulged even more on Inari's head.
“You know the funny part of this whole story?” Scathach's sneer grew.
“… It seems as though you're the only one who cares about that.”
“Don't you think it's strange? The Gods of this country didn't even try to intervene when my disciple started hunting the Supernatural Beings responsible for the Ophis incident.”
“Their very act of being silent was their permission.”
“They were basically saying, go ahead and annihilate all the Yōkai, you're doing us a favour.”
“…..” Inari thought about the words she heard from Tsukuyomi.
“Look around, see if you find any Tengu Yōkai?”
“Tengu Yōkai, beings who are the eyes and ears of the Gods, where did they go, huh?” Scathach laughed.
“Even your precious fellow Gods are silently watching everything from their comfortable armchairs in the sky.”
“…Oya?” Scathach saw Inari's disbelieving face, and laughed even harder:
“Looks like becoming a God didn't make you any smarter! Hahahaha~!”
“She's as smart as her childlike body looks, hahahaha~”
Veins bulged on Inari's head:
“Shut up!” Inari's power exploded, and a golden pillar shot out of her body towards the heavens.
Night beings, beings that were weak to the Divine Element, these beings could feel the instinctual fear of that pillar.
Beings like Vampires, Yōkai, and Demons.
“I'm not a child!”
“Tell that to the lolicons who would love your figure, HAHAHAHA~.” Each time Scathach chuckled in amusement, her large breasts would sway, and this did more damage to Inari than the fight they'd had before.
“…This bitch…” Inari's power increased with every second she saw Scathach laugh.
“…So this is a God…” Victor felt that his horizons were opening in many ways now…
Inari didn't have any noticeable changes in her appearance, she just acquired strangely shaped tattoos, but that was it.
But… Her power was something completely out of the ordinary than anything he'd seen in his entire existence, his very existence felt uncomfortable from the current Inari.
But he couldn't help but be disappointed by the woman's attitude: 'Looks like being a God isn't anything special after all.'
“….” Scathach stops laughing.
She seemed to think of something, and soon she made a decision.
“Hmm?” Victor looked at Scathach, seeing the woman's neutral face, he heard her saying:
“As I recall, you still haven't been able to unlock my Clan's Vampire Count form, right?”
“Mm.” Victor nodded his head.
Scathach's eyes glowed slightly blood red, and a thought popped into her head:
'This fool knows the Snow Clans, and Fulgers, but not mine? Unforgivable…'
“…I see.” With a new determination shining in her eyes, she spoke:
“In that case, I'll show you.”
Cold air began to leave Scathach's body, and her voice slowly started to get colder and colder.
“I will show you the initial form of my Clan's transformation.” Her hair slowly began to change to snow white.
There was no explosion of power like Victor always had. Compared to him, Scathach's shift was smoother, and more delicate, proving to everyone she had full control of her own power.
Her ears started to grow pointed, her hands turned completely pale, paler than usual, and her hands were covered by some kind of ice gauntlets.
Starting from her thighs to her toes, her legs were completely transformed into pure ice.
A long ice tail came out from behind her body, along with two gigantic bat wings.
A crown of ice grew on her head.
Scathach tossed her long, now snow-white hair back, and Victor could see that her armor had completely changed.
Her red armor changed to a very delicate icy white, and it had several spikes for details.
Even her height grew by a few centimeters. It was quite imperceptible as she was already a tall woman, but to the more attentive eyes, they could see that, she was the same height as Victor now!
“…This is my Clan's basic Vampire Count form.” Scathach's voice was cold.
Cold as ice itself, it was as if she had become apathetic about everything.
She looked so beautiful, so delicate. She was like a snow flower that people could only look at from afar for fear of it breaking at the slightest touch…
She spun her spear which has become completely frozen. She looked at Inari who was looking at her with absolute shock.
“Let's dance, Inari.” A small smile appeared on her face.
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