A spacious room.
It was a square shape the size of a baseball field, its ceiling the height of a regular building.
It was covered by strange, pure-white materials.
It closely resembled the space that Taiyou had been trapped in, but it was even more spacious than that one.
That was where Taiyou and Ruri were facing each other.
Taiyou was wearing casual clothes with a jacket coordinating with his brides, while Ruri looked the same as she did when they first met, with a black-laced dress and holding her beloved sword, ‘Heaven Reversal’.
“We’re gonna do this for real, then?”
Taiyou asked, and then he heard a voice from the ceiling.
“Yes, please fight with all your strength if you can.”
He heard Sakura’s voice.
He heard her loud and clear despite the fact that there were no speakers, which was the same as last time. Taiyou felt nostalgic and a little weird at the same time.
“The byproduct of Blood Soul. This material absorbs the blood and soul from a heated clash and changes its properties. That’s what we found through our research.”
“And for some reason it shifts into something that Hera can touch.”
“But wouldn’t Hera end up going berserk again?”
“This time we’re using it in order to allow her to wear other clothing, right? It isn’t a weapon in this case, so if she does rampage then all we need do is stop her.”
This time Youran’s voice came through the ceiling.
“C’mon, we can easily stop her if she goes out of control. Just zap her clothes off.”
“T-That sounds like a criminal offense…”
Aoba’s voice came through too.
There were also other people Taiyou heard breathing on the other side.
Apparently all his brides were there.
“Welp, I guess that’s true.”
Taiyou nodded after some thinking.
Logic dictated that this was the best course of action, even if some risk accompanied it.
“It’s fine…even if that somehow happens…”
Ruri opened her mouth in front of him.
“I’ll strip her…and hand her to you, Darling.”
“No, no, you don’t need to hand her to me.”
He waved his hands in a karate chop motion.
“Now, let’s begin.”
The minute he said that, everyone in the vicinity felt bloodlust.
“Freestyle. ‘Heaven Reversal’, come forth.”
A cool voice accompanied by an ancient name.
The next moment, Ruri disappeared with a poof.
Taiyou dealt with this calmly. He was accustomed to her moving at high speeds from the outset in order to strike his blind spots.
“I see you!”
Taiyou spun around with a backhand.
His fists ripped through the air with a roar, revealing Ruri.
Right before he hit her, she had taken a step back, dodging with the skin of her teeth.
Cold air assailed the tip of his nose, enveloping his face.
A thrust of pure light.
Taiyou reacted instinctively with his fist.
They sliced through the air with a force enough to distort the environment.
After their head-on clash, would you believe it—-Ruri took a step back.
Pushed back for once, Ruri had a look of surprise on her face.
Taiyou clenched his fists, taking in a breath and narrowing his eyes.
He sharpened his senses, and the already-bare room further lost its scenery.
He swooped down on Ruri, pulling back his fist like a bow on a bow string and releasing it.
Ruri dodged. Anticipating her dodge, Taiyou had already moved ahead of her and unleashed a deadly attack.
The sound of air being ripped apart echoed again, and this time Ruri leaped backward.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
Ruri nodded, narrowing her eyes as well.
“Then…I will also, begin.”
Ruri spoke in a familiar tone, but this wasn’t the time to be indulging in reminiscence.
She was headed this way—-his instincts, not his head, were ringing alarm bells.
The next moment, something hot stabbed him through the flank.
“Uwawa, Taiyou-chan’s hurt!”
The girls continued keeping watch in the monitor room. Hera was the first to cry out.
“Uwaa, no mercy at all, Master. Is Taiyou gonna be okay after something like that?”
“It will be fine. It has been instilled in her after all.”
“Ruri is a girl who knows when to differentiate between objective and method.”
The two Juunishimas said in placid tones.
But upon closer inspection, they were tightly clenching their fists, gazing at the screen.
Their hands seemed to be sweating, showing that even they were nervous and a bit worked up.
Compared to that, Kohaku, being the eldest one there, was completely and utterly calm.
“But looking closer, it seems that Ruri has been using discretion as of late, ja.”
“It’s felt that way the whole time.”
“It was like…a super soft atmosphere or something.”
The three sisters agreed with Kohaku. They were also nervous, but not as much as the Juunishima sisters.
“Aye. From what I see, Ruri is completely in the lead. I wonder when Danna-sama will finally be able to beat her, eh.”
“””I’m sure it won’t be much longer.”””
The three sisters said in unison. Kohaku merely replied, “Aye”.
“Alright—-one two, one two.”
“Akiha? What are you trying to do?”
Akiha had suddenly begun to stretch, and Aoba inquired in a surprised voice.
“Mm? I was just thinking I should get out there.”
“Out there? You mean where they are?”
Aoba said in a shocked voice, and everyone else in the vicinity turned to look at her.
“Wait, are you for real, Akiha?”
“Sure, why not.”
Akia nodded, looking at Sakura.
“It’d be best if there were more fighters, right?”
“…In theory, yes.”
Sakura nodded heavily.
“Then I’m going out there for a bit.”
Akiha smiled, leaving the monitor room.
Aoba tried to chase after her. Kohaku stopped her by grabbing the cuff of her clothing.
“If ye be her friend, ye’d best let her fight till she’s satisfied. Unless ye want to take her place.”
“That’s right, let those who want to go in. Plus the more the merrier in Master’s case.”
“He might get angry, ja. Might say something like ‘But I wanted to do it!’”
“I’m fairly new here, but isn’t that when you’re supposed to persuade him otherwise?”
Kohaku purred at Sakura’s question.
“Now then. Is there any weapon that Blood Soul originated from? Like that dagger, for instance, ja.”
“Aren’t ye adjusting it based on the Eternal Little? I should be able to handle it better than Hera, ja.”
“…Alright, I will bring it over here.”
Sakura nodded, immediately leaving the room.
“Well I’m glad SOME people have things they can do.”
“And ye will too when the time comes.”
Youran nodded. There was no trace of frustration on her face.
After some time, Kohaku took the dagger from Sakura when she returned, chasing after Akiha to enter the battle room.