949: Alpha's Power and Price
「All of those names are divine swords?」
「Yes. The Blade of Origin, Alpha. The Blade of Madness, Berserk. The Warmount Blade, Chariot. The Golden Dragonblade, El Dorado. The Grand Earthblade, Gaia. The Brilliant Flameblade, Ignis. The Water Spiritblade, Krystalos. The Sanctum Blade, Sanctuary. The Roaring Stormblade, Tempest. The Sagacity Blade, Wisdom. I can tell you a portion of their abilities, though these are merely the results of my observations.」
「I want to know!」
But this wasn’t the place for a long discussion.
『Fran. Let’s get back to town first. Then we can talk in peace.』
「Nn. Can we go into town?」
There’s practically no screening process to get into the towns on this continent. The place was full of ex-criminals, so everyone stopped caring about your identity. As long as you aren’t an antidemon, they let you through.
The antidemons were pretty much wiped out, and Izario looked healthy. The “lazy middle-aged guy” act might be his default state, so it’s hard to tell if he’s actually tired or not.
Maybe he was just putting on a facade, but I’m sure he’s at least better off than Adol. After all, he only activated Divine Sword Release for a brief period of time.
He’s been fighting on this continent for several years now, so he must have learned the best ways to mitigate fatigue.
（Izario is looking at us.）
He’s managed to notice Fran at this distance. Making it look easy, he gave us a light wave of the hand.
Also without much care about the burns he almost gave us. Well, it’s our fault in the first place and it’s not like there was any risk of death.
Izario seemed to be fine on his own, so we decided to head back without greeting him. It’s apparently important for him to be alone the entire time, so we weren’t needed here.
We went back to Bultori ahead of him and headed straight to the inn. We considered going to the bar instead, but this might be a long conversation. It would be better to go somewhere where we won’t get any interruptions.
Fran offered the Silver Lady her chair, before jumping down to sit on her bed.
「Tell me about the divine swords.」
Fran couldn’t wait to ask the question. It was rare to see her with such an excited expression, aside from right before a battle or a meal.
I completely understood how she felt. After all, we’re getting the chance to hear about the divine swords from someone directly associated with a divine blacksmith.
「Well then, may I start with the Blade of Origin, Alpha?」
「Nn. Please do.」
There was always the possibility that Alpha might be used against us in the future. We should learn as much about it as possible.
「The Blade of Origin, Alpha, is currently operated by the Holy Nation of Silard. Its wielder is known as the Divine Sword Knight, a role who is replaced every five to ten years.」
Five to ten years……? I can’t imagine your average divine sword wielder losing that often.
Maybe in the blade’s long history, they would have some losses here and there. However, the Divine Sword Knight getting defeated every ten years? Impossible.
If such dangerous entities popped up that often, their country, no, the entire world would have been annihilated several times over.
「Each divine sword has a price to pay for its usage. The rapid turnover of Alpha’s wielders due to this price.」
「Do all divine swords have a price?」
「Yes. Every divine sword has its own price and limitations.」
The Silver Lady’s explanation was very convincing. The divine swords were weapons of mass destruction. In a short period of time, one could reshape the land to their will or commit a genocide. If anyone could use them whenever they wanted for personal gain, they could easily cause more atrocities than the Evil God.
Therefore, various restrictions were placed on them. The first restriction was a limit on the number of divine swords in existence, which the gods set at 26. Upon reaching this limit, not even a divine blacksmith would be capable of forging an additional divine sword.
The second limitation was on the selection of wielders. Only those who meet the requirement can wield the blade. In many cases, the divine sword itself chooses the wielder.
「What are the limitations on Alpha?」
「In order to use Alpha, the wearer must be authorized by a special magical tool. This tool is currently being managed by Silard’s royal family.」
If the royal family gets to choose who wields Alpha, then they’ll of course pick someone willing to work for the country. That said, Adol didn’t seem to be royalty. Did they go out of their way to pick a commoner?
「In order to wield Alpha, you must not be blood related to the authorizer. Also, you must have high compatibility with certain skills.」
「Not blood related? Really?」
「Yes, the wielder and authorizer must not share blood. However, it seems Silard’s noble families had complicated blood ties in multiple places, so the vast majority of them can be considered related to each other.」
So that’s probably why they chose to use commoners, while giving them a brainwash-like education. Since I’ve seen the overall arrogance of the holy knights, I knew there had to be a reason for willingly handing over such power to a commoner.
The third limitation was the price paid by the user. This price was always heavy, and sometimes even resulted in death.
「The price of Alpha is the inability to gain experience and loss of levels.」
「……Using it lowers your level?」
「Yes. My calculations show that while Alpha is activated, experience cannot be gained and the user’s level is gradually drained away. This means the active duration would depend on the user’s original level. Based on the story of the knight who wielded Alpha for half a day to repel the Evil God Fragment’s revival in the northern continent, I hypothesize the rate to be one level every ten minutes.」
So that means six levels for an hour, and 72 levels for 12 hours or half a day. The higher your original level, the longer you can activate Alpha?
Moreover, this level drain contained a trap. Right as you deactivate the blade, you’ll feel the full brunt of the recoil at your reduced level.
The recoil was separate from the price of usage. It’s only natural for there to be some physical damage to your body caused by forcibly using a power beyond human control.
Of course, the recoil of using a divine sword was so severe that it would outright kill anyone not strong enough to endure it. As a result, if the Divine Sword Knight loses too many levels from Alpha’s price, he would lose the rest of his life to the recoil.
Judging by Adol’s exhaustion, I could see him being close to the edge there. If they wanted a safety margin, I think he’d need to stay above level 25~30 just to avoid dying from Alpha’s recoil.
「I have learned that Alpha grants a significant increase to physical capabilities. However, as the user’s level continues to decrease, so does Alpha’s potency.」
So the more you keep using it, the more your stats decrease.
「In addition, all skills are maximized to the highest level, but they do not evolve. Instead, there are further skills given to the user when active. At minimum, these include Swordking Mastery, Swordking Arts, Bodily Control, Divine Power Regulation, Instant Regeneration, Complete Status Nullification, and Air Step.」
So that’s why he’s so good with the sword. It would be weird if only had max level in the base skill, Sword Mastery, but him gaining Swordking Mastery explains it.
Physical stats multiplied by ten, free Swordking Mastery, and max level in all other skills. Sure, that’s really damn strong, but when you consider the price…
The more you fight and the more enemies you defeat, the weaker you become. It’s frightening to think about the same thing happening to us.
Fran also considered what would happen if she used it, frowning slightly.
（Master is best as usual. I don’t want Alpha.）
『If you put it like that, it’s like all my hard work paid off.』
（Nn. You’re all I need.）
『Hahaha. I’m blushing.』