Within half a day, eleven dojo buildings of various swordsmanship schools in Imperial Japan’s Tokyo were annihilated. In each case, the same individual forcibly entered the dojo, ruthlessly killing the masters and all the sword disciples, before setting the foundation of the schools ablaze.
At each site, a Devil Card was left behind, announcing the identity of the intruder – The “Demon,” Kyle!
He seemed like a demon in human form, crushing and eradicating the representative swordsmanship schools that were the pillars of the samurai spirit. The people of Imperial Japan were once again shocked, realizing for the first time how fragile their exceptional swordsmen were in the face of such a threat.
Nearly a hundred thousand armed soldiers were dispatched to search for Kyle, but Tokyo was too vast. It could be divided into four or five major cities, and the dozens of famous swordsmanship schools were scattered across different regions, making it impossible to deploy military forces to defend them all.
Unbeknownst to them, the Blue Falcon was conducting reconnaissance from kilometers above them, making it nearly impossible for Kyle to be surrounded by large armies.
After all, he was not a machine. Even in battle mode, Kyle’s stamina consumption was much higher than an ordinary person’s. However, with his superhuman physique and healing factor, his body quickly recovered.
But if he were to be trapped in the midst of a large army prepared for him, even though he was powerful, he couldn’t possibly annihilate the entire enemy force. He would exhaust his energy in a prolonged stalemate, and without any time to relax, the continuous barrage of firepower could surpass Venom’s protection and his evolved body’s resilience. The healing factor might not be able to keep up with the newly added injuries, leading to the possibility of death.
Kyle was well aware of his abilities and would never put himself in such a life-threatening situation.
During the cat-and-mouse game with the large army in Tokyo, he managed to eliminate five more swordsmanship schools that were not well-defended, bringing the total to sixteen schools!
Imperial Japan had lost so many schools of martial heritage all at once, the last time that happened was during the Edo period, more than a hundred years ago. The blow to the pride of the samurai was unimaginable.
Commander Sasaki, stationed at the command headquarters, became anxious. He dispatched messengers to the remaining schools, urging them to abandon their main dojo and seek refuge in safer areas.
Yes, seeking refuge. In the eyes of the nation, Kyle’s threat was akin to a natural disaster.
However, as representatives of the samurai spirit, all the schools unanimously rejected Commander Sasaki’s persuasion. For them, facing a powerful enemy who challenged them directly, dying in battle was not frightening; what was truly dreadful was succumbing to fear without even fighting!
If they were to abandon their main dojo out of fear, wouldn’t they be forsaking their warrior spirit?
“The sword is in the person, and the person is in the dojo.”
This was the unified response from the remaining dojo members, a statement filled with pride and determination.
Commander Sasaki, upon learning this in the military command headquarters, almost burst out cursing. For the first time, he sighed inwardly: The samurai spirit is causing way too much harm to us! It’s ways are too stubborn and foolish! They don’t understand flexibility!
The enemy was different; if there was a chance to defeat them, it would be fine. But this was Kyle, and in less than two days, the name of the Demon shrouded all of Imperial Japan’s Tokyo.
“Do we really have to wait until the remaining dojo buildings in Tokyo are destroyed before we can concentrate our military forces for defense?” Commander Sasaki had a headache as he contemplated how to proceed when suddenly, a communication soldier rushed in with excitement.
“Reporting, sir! We just received the latest news: The Ninja Organization guarding the Emperor has left the Imperial Palace and is conducting operations in secret. They request our cooperation!”
“Ninjas?” Commander Sasaki was taken aback but quickly wore a smile, laughing heartily. “It seems the Emperor can’t hold back any longer. He has even dispatched the ninja organization, which usually only guards the Imperial Palace.”
Ninjas were the elites among elites, the warriors among warriors. Each member possessed powers surpassing ordinary people. Unfortunately, the organization was under the direct command of the Emperor and did not fall under the jurisdiction of the military.
Commander Sasaki said coldly, “Cooperate, of course! For this operation, we will use all of our firepower, disregarding public property and civilian casualties. No matter what the cost, we must eliminate that man in one battle!”
Tokyo, Kanagawa District, Imperial Japan.
This area could be considered the border of Tokyo city, and the street buildings were far from the bustling city center. Due to the recent invasion by the American Demon, the number of pedestrians on the streets was scarce.
However, this place was home to one of the top ten renowned swordsmanship schools, the Hojo Itto-ryu, rumored to be in possession of the cursed sword “Murakumo.”
Kyle arrived at the entrance of the dojo and was surprised to find that there were no guards posted outside, and the main gate of the dojo was wide open.
Have the people inside evacuated?
Kyle wasn’t concerned. Whether the people in the dojo stayed to defend it or evacuated made no difference to him. His objective was to destroy the dojo and wipe out the supposed foundation of the samurai spirit.
With an expressionless look on his face, Kyle reverted to his original black night battlesuit appearance and coldly stepped into the main dojo.
As he reached the courtyard, he noticed that the people in the dojo had not evacuated; instead, they were sitting neatly in the main hall. A middle-aged man in a black robe-style kimono sat at the front, with around fifty black-clad sword disciples sitting behind him, all meditating with their eyes closed.
“You’ve finally come; we have been waiting for you.” The middle-aged man opened his eyes and looked at Kyle, who stood tall at the entrance of the main hall.
“I am Kyle and I am here to challenge you,” Kyle smiled and delivered his usual opening line.
“I am Hojo Maru, the twenty-first head of the Hojo Itto-ryu,” The middle-aged man said, picking up the sheathed Imperial Japan sword beside him and standing up slowly. With determination, he continued, “I represent the Hojo Itto-ryu and accept your challenge!”
As he finished speaking, the fifty sword disciples behind him also stood up in unison, gripping their swords, prepared for the impending battle.
Hojo Maru said with dignity, “I know that facing you alone, there is no chance of victory. So, we will confront you together.”
“That’s the way it should be,” Kyle nodded in satisfaction. His gaze fell on the Imperial Japan sword Hojo Maru held in his hand, and he asked with some interest, “Is that the rumored cursed sword ‘Murakumo’?”
“Yes, it is. Murakumo should not have been unsheathed, but at the critical moment of Hojo Itto-ryu’s survival, we had no choice but to go against our ancestors’ will,” Hojo Maru explained. With his left hand on the sword sheath and his right hand gripping the intricately engraved hilt, he slowly unsheathed the slender blade of Murakumo.
Kyle observed the so-called cursed sword.
The hilt was masterfully engraved with artistic designs, and the blade gleamed like ice, displaying a brilliant radiance. The presentation was impressive, almost on par with Howard’s Carbonadium Sword crafted with advanced technological methods.
However, in reality, there seemed to be no significant difference between this sword and other Imperial Japan swords…
(End of this chapter)
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