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Chapter 360 - Seimeis Legacy (1)

    Chapter 360 - Seimeis Legacy (1)

    Kwarurung! There was the rumble of thunder and a flash of light. However, there were no rain clouds, and the lightning moved in a horizontal rather than vertical direction.

    It was strange to see lightning cross a dry sky, but most people who saw it thought it was just a whim of heaven. Theodore would arrive at Tsuchimikado Castle before the news spread to anyone's ears.

    'There isn't long left.'

    There weren't any landmarks. It was said that mountains and rivers changed after 10 years. Now that it was hundreds of years later, there weren't many parts left that were consistent with Seimei's memories. However, unlike geographical features, spatial coordinates didn't change. Even if the mountains collapsed, the rivers were filled in, and there were no cities, the absolute numbers remained the same.

    He moved forward maybe around 100 kilometers. It only took a few minutes for the lightning mode Theodore to start decelerating.

    "Seimei," Theodore spoke as he split a cloud into two, "I have crossed the border. Are we moving to a secret place? If I enter this way, there might be some friction."

    [I understand, but it doesn't matter,] Seimei spoke in a decisive way. Then he explained why, [The power of space movement is convenient, but you should've understood after you were caught by the wind demon. There are many means to interfere with spatial movement, and there are independent forces with authority over the sky.]

    "Umm..."

    [In the first place, if space movement were a flawless trick, then there would be no need for flying. Do you want to repeat constant short spatial jumps in order to fight?] Seimei said. Then he added a note, which was, in fact, the real reason for the frontal entrance, [My wards include the ability to block spatial movement and will attack any person who tries to go through. If you move through space blindly, you will be a wreck, even with your current power.]

    "...It is overly impressive for a crime prevention function."

    [Just think about the times. At that time, the ability to block space movement was essential. It was an age when famous people appeared in the cities in the double digits.]

    In modern times, there were few people who could use space movements. However, they had been common in Seimei's time. The hard walls hadn't been able to stop anyone. Thus, the shamans had strengthened their wards for the purpose of protecting their valuables. Fortunately, spatial movement was vulnerable, and there were many methods to interfere with it. Moreover, if the obstacle was a transcendent like Seimei, it would be hard for Theodore to break directly through.

    "Sigh, it can't be helped. I will go through the front door." Theodore was convinced and shook off his hesitation.

    Kwarurung...!

    He added a secondary spell as a boost, and the lightning bolt was twice as fast. If a conflict was inevitable, then it was better to take the initiative.

    Theodore might have Seimei in his body, but it was difficult to prove this relationship. How many people would trust Theodore, who had the appearance of an outsider, if he showed up and said he had been given permission by a great man who had been dead for hundreds of years?

    He would be treated as a madman, and they were likely to be hostile.

    'I don't like this trick, but it is for the best...'

    Some emotions were quite rational. Just as people who suffered great damage in a natural disaster didn't harbor hostility, there were people who stayed cool when faced with an absolute power gap. It took a lot to make a cooled down enemy burn with the will to fight. For example, things such as hatred or a sense of duty. Theodore intended to aim for the gap between these.

    'Blow out the spark before the fire of hostility lights up.'

    He would crush it all with strength.

    Kwarururung!

    The momentum of the lightning increased until it was like a lightning dragon. Simultaneously, it fell from the sky and down into Tsuchimikado Castle. It seemed like the sky was collapsing! The ward around Tsuchimikado Castle sensed the approach and immediately created a shield, but there was no collision.

    [Emergency Order, open the way,] Seimei borrowed Gluttony's mouth to cast a spell, and a hole was bored in the middle of the ward.

    Theodore dug in without missing this moment. "I have entered the castle."

    [Turn right 30 degrees and go straight. My shrine is there.]

    The lightning dragon moved following Seimei's guidance. People were shocked by the lightning, but none of them dared to fight him. Lightning had appeared in the clear sky in the shape of a dragon...? Theodore, the only transcendent since the Age of Mythology had ended, was like a god.

    'No, some people are quickly approaching my destination.' Theodore was moving through the castle when he frowned at an overwhelming sensation. It was slower than him, but it was still pretty fast. They were master level, but their reaction speed was hard to understand.

    "Nice move. Their speed suggests they knew about my approach beforehand."

    [······.]

    "Seimei, why do I have a bad feeling?"

    [Well, I think you're mistaken?]

    "I will see."

    Theodore was filled with doubts as he arrived at his destination and landed on the ground. It was precisely the area around the shrine.

    "Is this your work as well?"

    [Yes, it is a moderate seal, but it still remains.]

    There was a different type of ward protecting Tsuchimikado Castle. The Senbon Torii (shrine gates) were the main source blocking unqualified access. It might be a seemingly simple structure, but there were thousands of seals carved on them. Of course, Theodore could break through with his power, but what was the point of breaking down a legacy that contained great historical value?

    "Stop!" A warning called out in a strange language. Based on Seimei's memories, it was hard to learn. Both the word order and pronunciation were different.

    Theodore turned in the direction of the warning.

    'Um.' All of his preconceived thoughts were blown away.

    There were only three master class people. The combination was one shaman and two swordsmen. Among them, the swordsman who gave the warning was the strongest.

    'Well, I will win.'

    It might have been different back when he was in the 8th circle, but it wasn't enough to deal with him now that he had become transcendent. The swordsman also understood this and had cold sweat on his frowning forehead. His gut instincts told him that this unknown person was an existence beyond him.

    They shouldn't fight.  After deciding that, the swordsman said, "...A great person  has come to see us. I am Nobutsuna of Japan. I would like to ask for your indulgence."

    Likewise, the shaman, Toman, acted in a manner similar to the swordsman.  The problem was that his grandson was immature despite being a master and lacked self-control.

    "Grandfather, why are you lowering your posture? Who on earth is this ruffia―"

    As the young master shouted, the faces of two elders paled.

    "You! Don't speak rashly when you don't know anything!"

    "G-Grandfather."

    "If you say one more word, I will cut off your arm."

    The young swordsman shut his mouth with surprise. Meanwhile, Nobutsuna hurriedly bowed to Theodore. "I'm sorry. I educated my grandchild wrongly."

    "I will accept your apology."

    "Thank you for your generosity."

    Did Nobutsuna, a sword master of Japan, normally have such a submissive attitude? No. He was never like this. Neither the powerful nor the rich could compel him. Nobutsuna was able to overthrow thousands of warriors alone. Yet, he was now surrendering to a stronger power. Nobutsuna had built up life experiences over a hundred years and was forced to be careful.

    'I don't think there is any hostility, but if we need to fight...'

    Staring from Tsuchimikado Castle, the whole of Japan would turn into a sea of fire. Nobutsuna and Toman didn't see any future existing after. However, while the two of them were feeling fearful, a clear and gentle voice rang out, "It is nice to meet you."

    Standing on the first threshold of the Senbo Torii, Miko Suzuka greeted them, "I am Suzuka, the miko of Founder Seimei."

    "I am Theodore Miller."

    "Can I call you 'Theodore'?"

    Theodore nodded, and Suzuka licked her dry lips nervously. If the voice was true, then she knew this man's purpose. "Did you come to pick up the three artifacts?"

    The eyes of the three masters widened while Theodore complained to Seimei, 'Hey, did you spread a rumor before I came?'

    [N-No! I only told my miko. Wouldn't it be a mess if you met the miko without her knowing anything?]

    'You didn't need to hide it from me.'

    [Surprise...?]

    'I will talk to you later.' He ignored Seimei and cut off the connection.

    Theodore cleared up his mind and confirmed her words, "Yes, I think you received his message."

    "That... Isn't it a bit rude?"

    "Our relationship isn't a formal one."

    It was a conversation involving only two people, but Suzuka felt like she was being ridiculed. Theodore had omitted the title for Founder Seimei and claimed he didn't have a formal relationship with the Founder... A living person was acting like he had a friendly relationship with the dead.

    In that case, the voice she had heard might be a trick performed by this man.  However, Suzuka hid her doubts, smiled faintly, and clapped her hands.

    "Ah, it is like this. I'm sorry," she spoke in a gentle voice, "But Theodore, if you want to enter the shrine, you have to pass the test that the founder arranged. Outsiders aren't allowed to cross this torii." Apart from the seals on the Senbon Torii, Seimei had set up a test for those who wanted to cross this threshold.

    It was to judge the personality of the strong person who appeared to become the master of the three artifacts. Catastrophic damage could be caused if the wrong person got their hands on the artifacts.

    Suzuka warned Theodore, "If you walk up the stairs, please keep this in mind. Not one person has passed the test so far. "

    The masters' eyes narrowed as they realized the meaning of Suzuka's words.

    The test wasn't that easy to pass, and there had been many cases of mental or physical damage. This was a test, but it didn't mean it was safe. It was why no one had challenged it for over 300 years.

    "Kuk." Why...? Theodore just laughed at her words.

    "I understand," he gave a short reply and stepped on the stone stairs.

    Tak.

    Then he casually took two steps.

    "..."

    "...?"

    "...!"

    "...!!"

    The expressions of the four people, including Suzuka, distorted with surprise, astonishment, dismay, and wonder. The test was terrifying to the soul, so why was this man okay? The reason was simple.

    "I'm sorry but I passed the Heaven and Earth test a long time ago."

    That's right. The identity of the test that Seimei wrapped around this shrine was the Heaven, Earth and Person test. It was something Theodore had experienced in the past after consuming the book, the Art of Yin and Yang Written Treatise.

    Saving lives, keeping your will, bowing to fate-they were the trials that tested these three problems. Two were easy to solve, but Theodore had died hundreds of times in the last part. The same problems couldn't hinder him after he already passed them.

    Then at that moment...

    Huuuuuuong!

    There was an unknown resonance. Theodore and the four other people stiffened. Suzuka knew what was at the epicenter of the resonance. "The three artifacts? Why?"

    The three artifacts sleeping inside the shrine woke up. The oscillation was due to them stretching after having slept for a long time.

    Flash! A light rose from beyond the Senbon Torii, flashing three times.  There was no need to explain the identity of the artifacts again. The Heavenly Sword, Eight Mirrors, and Eight Jade Magatamas-those who possessed only one would gain the power of a hero.  Yet, all three rushed toward Theodore now.

    "Eh?"

    Then they penetrated his body.
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