Sword Demon's Battle Ballad (剣鬼戦歌) is a side story featured in Gekkan Comic Alive, which has eight acts in total, plus an epilogue.
Prologue[edit | edit source]
Grimm Fauzen found himself in a battlefield that was devastated by Valgren's dragon fire. He saw The Sword Demon in the distance fighting against Valgren. Grimm steeled himself, and proceeded to move towards where his companion was, so that he would not have to fight Valgren alone.
Act 1[edit | edit source]
After the battle with Kurgan and Wilhelm, and Stride cursing Veltol Astrea in Picouttate, Wilhelm was summoned to an urgent meeting by the leading political figures in the Kingdom of Lugnica to discuss the matters that had happened. Wilhelm delivered his report to the council which was chaired by Bordeaux Zellgef.
The council went into uproar hearing what had happened, outraged by this act of aggression. Immediately, they launched into a discussion of who Stride may have been, and what his purpose had been attacking the people at Wilhelm and Theresia's honeymoon. The members of the council presumed he was a noble of the Vollachian Empire. The meeting concluded with the members deciding to send a letter of correspondence to the Empire, inquiring about whether they knew about these events.
Following this meeting, some time passed, until eventually Wilhelm was summoned to Bordeaux's office. The reasons for this summons was because Bordeaux had finally received a reply from the Empire. The letter from the Empire denied the events that had taken place in Picoutatte. Bordeaux was furious at this, and thought the Empire was trying to gauge their strengths by trying to attack the current Sword Saint. Both of them were quite worried about this, as they were both dubious about whether the covenant with the Divine Dragon was still in effect. They decided to proceed with caution with the matters at hand.
Wilhelm then left the Royal Castle, meeting up with Roswaal J Mathers in a tavern to discuss Stride. Wilhelm had entrusted to her to find information about who Stride was, and what he was doing. Roswaal unfortunately had no information to deliver, but purposely set up a trap to try and lure Stride into. The tavern was attacked by multiple Shinobi which were quickly dispatched by Wilhelm and Clind. They purposely let one of the Shinobis escape so that they could try and use it as a lead to finding Stride. Wilhelm left this matter to Roswaal, as he feared that there could be another attack back at the Astrea mansion.
Wilhelm arrived at the Astrea mansion, finding Stride awaiting him there. He was aware that the Kingdom had been trying to look for him, and decided to show himself on purpose to the people at the Astrea mansion.
Act 2[edit | edit source]
Facing Stride at the Astrea mansion, Wilhelm was suddenly attacked by a Shinobi, which Stride had brought along as his bodyguard. The two of them fought, with Wilhelm emerging victorious. Before Wilhelm delivered the finishing blow, Stride used one of his curse rings to control the Shinobi, and escaped from the mansion along with him.
Wilhelm rushed upstairs, after Stride mentioned to him just before leaving that he had a woman tied up in one of the rooms above, to find Carol Remendis in a coma.
Five days after the attack, Wilhelm visited Bordeaux's office, to give him his report on what had occurred. Bordeaux concluded that there was no more doubt that Stride's goals were related to Wilhelm and his wife, Theresia. Carol still had not woken up from her coma.
Bordeaux and Wilhelm are interrupted by a knock on the door. Orphe who now worked for the Kingdom in providing intelligence walked in and delivered information to the two of them that Stride had been noticed visiting Shamrock Valley several times.
Some time after these events, Roswaal J Mathers visited Cragrel Dawnson, the demihuman that signed the armistice at the end of the Civil War. Roswaal successfully negotiated with Cragrel to obtain a piece of Sphinx's Od sealed in a pyroxene stone, which would allow them passage to the Witch's Refuge in Shamrock Valley.
Straight after that, Roswaal brought them the good news and Wilhelm assembled the Zellgef Corps which he now captained to march towards Shamrock Valley. Their aim was to try and find Stride, or clues that would help them lift Carol out of her coma. The Zellgef corps, along with Roswaal reached the valley and navigated through the deep fog using the pyroxene crystal Cragrel gave to Roswaal.
Finally, Wilhelm found himself in an area that was devoid of fog. Pivot Arnancy waited for him at the end of the clearing. It was during this time that Carol finally woke up from her coma, whilst Theresia was at her bedside.
Act 3[edit | edit source]
After seeing Pivot standing in front of him, Wilhelm was in complete shock, as his former comrade had died back in the demihuman war. Wilhelm quickly figured out that this Pivot was an illusion and that Wilhelm's real self was still wandering in the fog, back at Shamrock Valley. He fought the illusion, defeating it so he could leave this area. This illusion of Pivot left him a remark before he left the area, saying that it was Wilhelm's turn next.
Wilhelm returned to the valley, where Roswaal was trying to snap him back to attention. They had arrived at the Witch's Refuge. Wilhelm, Grimm and Roswaal entered the building, trying to find information about Stride. However, though there were recent footsteps left in the dust, all of the equipment left behind by Sphinx had been destroyed. Roswaal speculated that Stride was probably working with Sphinx to some capacity during the demihuman war. They eventually found something hidden in the refuge: a magic circle hidden behind part of the wall.
They then returned back to the capital, bringing back this information. Roswaal was given the task of trying to decipher the meaning of the magic circle. Meanwhile, Wilhelm and Grimm are caught up to speed with Carol waking up. However, as Grimm went to hug her a strange red mark appeared on Carol's neck, strangling her so long as Grimm was touching her. Carol had been cursed by Stride. They quickly rushed her back to the castle, to Roswaal's office.
At Roswaal's office, Carol is examined by Roswaal. The findings presented confirm that if Carol is touched by a loved one, she will not be able to breathe due to Stride's curse. Roswaal stated that the only way to lift the curse would be to find Stride himself. Along with that bad news, Roswaal also had some good news. She had examined Theresia as well as she had had been at Carol's bedside whilst cursed; Roswaal announced that Theresia was pregnant with Wilhelm's child.
Grimm and Wilhelm were then sent out of the room by Roswaal as she talked with the girls. Grimm was quite upset with Wilhelm due to what was happening with his sweetheart, Carol, and pinned him against the wall. Wilhelm did not resist this, and eventually Grimm let go of him, looking positively dejected. A voice cut in straight after, chiding him, telling him that he was weak in matters that did not require the sword. That voice belonged to a man leaning against a wall. Once again, it was the illusion of Pivot that had spoken out.
Act 4[edit | edit source]
Three months have passed. Theresia is at the Astrea mansion, lying in her bed as a combination of her pregnancy and the troubles that were occurring with Carol were causing her to be quite upset. Her father, Veltol Astrea, tried to comfort her to no avail. Eventually her mother, Tishua Astrea was able to calm her down. We find out that Carol was currently at the castle, being examined by Roswaal again.
Moving to the castle, Roswaal finished her examination of Carol to announce she has good news and bad news. The good news was that Carol's curse was not spreading. And part of the bad news was that they could make no progress until Stride was caught. However, that was not all, after testing something out, Roswaal also announced that there was a further dimension to the curse. She announced that Carol's emotions were being eaten away slowly, and when they faded she'd become like a puppet. Roswaal tried to console Carol, but Carol put on a brave face and asked her to keep this fact a secret from everyone but the two of them until she was ready to tell them herself.
Moving to the city of Abiate, the Zellgef corps had been sent there as there had been reports of some men associated with Stride operating in the vicinity. Grimm and Wilhelm rough up some of the people who were rumoured to be associated with him, in a bar in Abiate, and try to get some information out of them. Unfortunately, the information they received did not help at all. The Zellgef corps discovered another magic circle in the area, which had been popping up all around Lugnica in the past months. Wilhelm entrusts Conwood Melahau to destroy it. Wilhelm was still seeing the illusions of Pivot, and has now come to rely on them, using him as a crutch for advice. Wilhelm was then interrupted by Conwood who had brought him urgent news that Miklotov McMahon's mansion had been attacked.
Wilhelm rushed to the mansion, telling the rest of the Zellgef corps to return to the Royal Capital without him, arriving there after half a day. Wilhelm learned from Miklotov that the mansion had been attacked by a Shinobi and his personal guards had managed to ward the attack off.
Suddenly, a majestic figure appeared from one of the above rooms. It was King Gionis Lugnica who had been staying at the Miklotov mansion, despite the attack. Gionis had come to deliver a report about what the magic circles Stride was placing around Lugnica were for. He and Miklotov told Wilhelm that they were for destroying the covenant the Kingdom had with the Dragon.
Meanwhile, Grimm returned to the Astrea mansion and joined Carol, Theresia and her two parents. But they were interrupted by an intruder. It was none other than Stride himself. He used his curse ring on Carol to make her cut down Grimm, before pointing her sword towards Theresia. Against her will, she raised her sword and tried to cut down Theresia. However, Veltol protected her, giving up his life in exchange for Theresia's and Tishua's.
Act 5[edit | edit source]
In the commercial city of Picoutatte, a guard hastened towards the source of a quarrel. He was charged with mediating quarrels that occurred in the city between various traders and customers. He possessed a Divine Protection called the Divine Protection of Empathy. Before he could use it on the two who were quarreling he was interrupted by Stride, who asserted how despicable he found the guard because of his divine protection. Stride killed the guard as the latter tried to use his Divine Protection to calm Stride down. Kurgan and Melinda then joined him as he proclaimed to the world that his test was complete, and for the audience to look clearly at what the world will decide. His stage was set at Picoutatte.
Whilst this was happening, Wilhelm hastened back to the Astrea mansion in the Royal Capital, having received a message by Earth Dragon that it had been attacked half a day ago. He hastened back and found out that Grimm had been heavily injured, and Theresia had been kidnapped. What's more, Carol was gone too. Bordeaux informed him that it had been Carol, controlled by Stride, who had wounded Grimm. Finally, Boredaux told him in a hushed tone that Veltol had died protecting Theresia and Tishua.
Wilhelm hastened inside to speak with Tishua, who had been grievously affected by the events that had preceded. Wilhelm apologised with all of his heart, prostrating himself beneath her. Tishua accepted his apology and told him to give himself into anger and take revenge for what had happened. She then solemnly informed him that she too had been cursed by one of Stride's rings. She had been turned into a mouthpiece for Stride. She delivered him a message from Stride that sounded as if it came straight from Stride in that moment, which told Wilhelm that he was awaiting him in Picoutatte.
A subjugation force was assembled at blazing speed which was led by Bordeaux himself. They ride towards Picoutatte by dragon carriage convoy. On the way, Wilhelm learned more information about the magic circles from Roswaal J Mathers, who had tagged along once she had heard that her friend Carol was in danger. She mentioned how the magic circles would cut the link between the world and mankind itself, and disrupted the effect of the metaphorical barrier that was wound across the Kingdom of Lugnica so that the dragon's warning system would not activate in this time of need. Just as they arrived at Picoutatte, a shockwave engulfed the dragon carriage convoy.
Meanwhile, a little earlier in the topmost room of the steeple at the centre city, Stride had cursed Theresia with his curse rings so that if she disobeyed him he would snuff the breath out of the baby in her womb. Stride is accompanied by Kurgan, and then Shasuke and Raizo who had returned with two more captives. Stride demanded for the Shinobi to bring him his wife, Melinda. One of the Shinobi obeyed his request and brought her in. Stride asked her if her Evil Eye ability was at its limit, to which Melinda replied with a fervent "no".
Eventually satisfied that Melinda was still fulfilling her part of the plan, Stride turned towards the captives he had in the room. There were 20 in total, not including Theresia. He mentioned that the 20 were sacrifices. He took out a curved dagger and killed one of the captives, looking thoroughly bored as he did so. He declared that killing the rest was not worth the effort, and instead gave the task to his puppet, Carol, whose curse had placed her under his control.
Carol proceeded to kill the remaining 19 captives whilst tears streaked down her face. After doing this deed, Stride led them all upstairs to the rooftop of the steeple. Stride revealed that the dagger used to kill the captives was called the Dragon's Fang and would allow him to summon a blood-crazed dragon. He had waited until Theresia was weak enough with her pregnancy that she wouldn't stand in his way. He summoned the dragon, and a three-headed black dragon, namely Valgren, appeared in the city of Picoutatte. Using his curse rings to bind it to his will, Stride directed its heads towards the approaching dragon carriage convoy and made it exhale its fiery breath straight at the dragon carriages which contained the subjugation force.
Act 6[edit | edit source]
The subjugation force's dragon carriage convoy was obliterated by the dragon fire, killing and wounding about half of the force they had assembled. Wilhelm managed to pick up Roswaal J. Mathers, and escape the attack. They, along with the rest of the survivors then gazed up at the sky, looking at the black dragon that hovered above the city of Picoutatte.
As their injuries had been many, Bordeaux was about to give the order to retreat, but a combination of Wilhelm, Grimm, Roswaal and the surviving forces persuaded him not to, and to continue the attack with their remaining forces.
Bordeaux agreed to continue with the attack, and after putting the injured in some dragon carriages that avoided the dragon fire, he sent them to the nearest city asking for reinforcements. After having done that, he took the remaining forces and started to slowly proceed towards the city.
As soon as they entered the city, the earth dragon's divine protection was torn away. It was quickly confirmed that it wasn't just the earth dragon's divine protection that was gone, but everyone's.
They are then besieged by a mob of the townspeople which are possessed under the influence of Melinda's Evil Eye. They are all unarmed, but as they moved as a crowd, their aim was to trample the subjugation force under their feet. Bordeaux quickly established a defence perimeter which pushed the crowd back.
As the subjugation force was being pushed from the front, one of the Shinobi started to cut down members of the force whilst they had their back turned, causing Wilhelm to be enraged. After a brief fight against the Shinobi, it disappeared into the shadows, before reappearing and trying to seize Wilhelm's foot. Grimm however, pushed Wilhelm away and was taken instead. The Shinobi quickly used its shadow art to also seize Roswaal's foot, and dragged them both into the shadows.
After a split second, the Shinobi reappeared without Grimm or Roswaal present anymore. They had been taken to Stride. Wilhelm was about to fight the Shinobi again, but was interrupted by Pivot's illusion speaking to him again. The reason being, was because Kurgan the Eight Arms was approaching the battlefield. Wilhelm resolved he would defeat Kurgan, whilst Bordeaux would defeat the Shinobi.
Roswaal and Grimm found themselves cast down onto the rooftop where Stride had summoned the dragon. It was then which Stride revealed himself as being a blood relative to the current Vollachian Emperor. Stride was completely unconcerned by the repercussions of revealing this fact to Roswaal and Grimm. Instead, he continued to speak to Roswaal directly, saying he intended to show what he was doing here to Roswaal herself due to an oath with a deranged criminal.
After having realised that Grimm was the wrong person he had invited up to this stage, Stride commanded Carol to kill him. Carol tried to resist, but ultimately could not resist Stride's direct command, and she has Grimm started to duel on the rooftop. Roughly at the same time as this, Roswaal who had been disgusted by what Stride was forcing Carol to do, threw a stone at him to try and injure him. The stone was deflected by Shasuke, and a dual started in parallel to Carol and Grimm's between Roswaal and Shasuke.
Meanwhile, while this was happening, Theresia who had been sent back to the room below was being guarded by Melinda. A brief conversation took place where Theresia tried to find out why Melinda followed Stride so passionately. After it ending with no progress, Theresia tried to escape. However, Melinda confronted her outraged that she would put her unborn child at risk, and used her Evil Eyes on her.
Back at the rooftop, Stride was thoroughly enjoying the duel between two lovers, Grimm and Carol. Grimm fought using just his great shield, whilst Carol wielded her blood-stained blade. Stride eventually took notice that Carol was not giving it her all, and resisting the curse. Thus he reinforced his curse so that she would have no leeway to resist, binding her completely. Grimm however, still managed to parry her blows, even catching her own sword with his bare hands at one point.
Unsatisfied with the display, Stride commanded Shasuke to kill Carol. But just before Shasuke could deliver the finishing blow, Roswaal placed herself in front of the kunai knife, and was stabbed instead, saving Carol's life.
Act 7[edit | edit source]
Having succumbed to the Evil Eye ability, Theresia sunk to the depths of the seas of her own sin. She found herself on top of a stone tower embedded within a rocky crag. Underneath her, the army of the dead stood. The dead were the people she had killed during the demihuman war. Under the effect of the evil eye ability Theresia watched the dead, which numbered around about 10,000, pointing at her and clawing their way up to her.
Meanwhile, Wilhelm was fighting with Kurgan, but he found his mind wandering from the duel due to the illusion of Pivot continuously speaking to him. Kurgan was disappointed with how Wilhelm was approaching the fight, and then realised that Wilhelm was under the influence of the evil eye too. We learn that Wilhelm was put under its influence when he visited Shamrock valley, and it only affected him due to being fragile in the heart.
The fight proceeded with Bordeaux interjecting and attacking Kurgan himself. This left Bordeaux's own back exposed, and he was attacked from behind by the Shinobi he had been fighting up until that point. Wilhelm however saved Bordeaux's life and fatally injured the Shinobi, Raizo. As his last act, Raizo detonated his own body to try and kill everyone in the vicinity, but Bordeaux prevented that by shielding everyone with his own body. This resulted in Bordeaux being heavily injured, but still very much alive. After Wilhelm ensured that Bordeaux was safe, he turned his sword once again to Kurgan, and the two began dueling again.
Returning back to where Roswaal and the others were on the rooftop, Roswaal started to reflect on her actions, wondering what sort of mistake she had made. This was because her death had not been recorded in her gospel, and she knew she was fatally wounded at this point. Despite that, a flurry of emotions went through her heart, contradicting her own thought process, and she thought that even if it was a mistake she had made, she was relieved that she had protected Carol.
After having seen Roswaal stabbed, Grimm kicked his great shield towards Stride, who was standing on the edge of the rooftop, aiming to kill him. Shasuke tried to move to defend his master, but a heavily injured Roswaal grabbed hold of him so he wouldn't reach his master in time. Stride was forced to draw out his Yang Sword to deflect the shield.
However, after drawing out his sword and deflecting the shield, the sword rejected him. His left arm started to burn, and Stride was forced to cut it off so that his whole body wouldn't burn off. In this process, 5 of the gems of his curse rings were turned to ash, thus releasing some of the curses he had cast on people, including the ones on Carol.
Carol, who had now returned to her senses, collapsed by Roswaal's side and held her as she died. Following her death, Carol and Grimm prepared themselves to fight Stride. In their standoff prior to the fight, Stride revealed that he was poisoned by the Emperor of Vollachia. He also revealed that his insides were being used as compensation for the curse rings he used. Each time he casted a curse, part of his insides would be used to pay the price for the curse. He continued with his speech and stated that he did not hate the emperor for poisoning him, but rather he hated the construction of the world, and the cruel viewers who manipulated the world as if it was a miniature garden.
Stride continued with his speech to then pull out his Witch Cult's Gospel. He introduced himself as the Sin Archbishop of Pride, Stride Vollachia to Carol. After hearing him introduce himself as the Sin Archbishop of Pride, Carol and Grimm prepared themselves to attack him and Shasuke. But before they could, Valgren who had broken free from the yoke of the curse let loose its fiery breath towards the rooftop.
Meanwhile, a little while earlier, Theresia still was under the influence of the Evil Eye. The army of the dead caught up to her, and a few of the dead grabbed her, however, the illusions of her dead brothers cut them down from her. Her brothers mounted a defence, protecting Theresia, whilst the illusion of her father, Veltol comforted her. The illusion of the former Sword Saint, Fribal van Astrea joined them as well, telling Theresia not to think of what she did as a sin, and to not wallow in it in the future.
With the illusions of her family comforting her, Theresia managed to break free from Melinda's influence, and returned back to the room she was held captive in. Melinda went into a fit of fury after she realised that Theresia had broken the hold of her powers, which had also restored the townspeople of Picoutatte back to normal.
Act 8[edit | edit source]
Back at the rooftop, Shasuke had managed to grab a hold of Stride, and had jumped up to safety away from the rooftop, straight onto Valgren's back. Carol had also survived by jumping onto the dragon's back, whereas Grimm braved the flames by using his great shield to protect both himself and Roswaal's corpse.
Carol fought the Shinobi on top of the dragon's back, and managed to kill him, leaving only herself to face Stride. Stride was in a bad shape, having lost an arm, and before Carol can cut him down, he lost his footing and fell from the dragon's back.
Going back to where Theresia was, the dragon fire had also hit the room they were in. Melinda had saved Theresia's life by pushing her out from the room and locking the door behind her due to her conscience refusing to allow any harm to come to an unborn baby. After the dragon fire relented, Melinda was badly burned and on the verge of death.
Theresia couldn't enter the room due to the door having fused to the frame, thus she walked up to the rooftop to see if there was any way to help the dying Melinda. When she reached the rooftop, she saw Stride falling from the dragon's back. As Stride fell, Melinda jumped out of the window and managed to embrace him, falling together as husband and wife. Before they could hit the ground, the dragon swooped down and devoured them, tearing them to pieces in the process.
Going back a bit, Wilhelm was still fighting Kurgan. As they fought, Wilhelm realised that Kurgan regarded Stride as his own son. Wilhelm managed to destroy one of Kurgan's Demon Cleavers, but was then met by a counterattack with his remaining three Demon Cleavers.
Wilhelm managed to dodge all three of the cleavers, and counterattacked, defeating Kurgan. However, shortly after, the city was bathed in flames from Valgren's attack. Wilhelm resolved to defeat the dragon before it could cause more harm, rushing up one of the buildings to attack him.
Wilhelm attacked the dragon, wounding one of its wings. Grimm joined up with him, and they both fought the dragon together, with Grimm sustaining an injured knee in the process. Beneath them, the subjugation force and the townspeople had gathered to watch this legendary fight. Valgren pointed his three heads at them and was about to breathe its fire towards them, but Wilhelm managed to prevent it, and caused extensive damage to one of the heads in doing so. However, it was at the cost of plummeting down to the ground. He was fortunately caught by a rejuvenated Bordeaux before he hit the ground.
As things looked dire, Bordeaux delivered him some good news. Gionis Lugnica had stirred, and in accordance to the covenant summoned Volcanica. Up in the skies, Volcanica appeared and put Valgren to rest, obliterating him in a manner which Wilhelm described as being something close to purification. Volcanica also healed everyone in the vicinity, even those described to be on the brink of death, and extinguished all of Valgren's dragon fire.
The act ends with Theresia and Wilhelm hugging and kissing, delighted that they had won with both of them safe and sound.
Curtain's Close[edit | edit source]
After the defeat of Stride and Valgren, several events took place. A state funeral took place for all the victims of Stride's machinations including Roswaal J Mathers. Many attended it, including her son, now already possessed by the original Roswaal. Wilhelm swore to become Karl's strength during the funeral, and Carol who was overwhelmed by regret was given comforting words by Karl.
At some point later, Kurgan was returned back to Vollachia as a political manouver to put Vollachia in debt to Lugnica and force them to admit Stride's involvement. Kurgan mentioned during his transfer that he was surprised that Stride had called a true dragon, and not an evil one, and that it bent reason. He commented that by this Stride had fulfilled his most cherished desire. Valga Cromwell was also visited by Miklotov after he'd begrudgingly helped the Kingdom with information during their battle against Stride. In addition to that, we learn that Razak Gildark assisted with protecting the citizens of Picoutatte after they were turned into the insurgent mob, and that he'd saved the life of a young Rickerts then at the cost of his own.
Following that, various promotions were given to both Wilhelm, who became one of the members of the Royal Guard, eventually becoming its commander, and to Grimm who received a rank tantamount to aristocracy. This allowed Grimm to marry Carol, with the former leaving the Zellgef Corps and serving the Astrea family.
Finally, Wilhelm handed Theresia a letter that Tishua had given him from the deceased Veltol. The letter contained a list of names he wanted to call their unborn child, with only one circled. That name was Heinkel; that led to the couple naming their child Heinkel Astrea.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Grimm Fauzen
- Wilhelm van Astrea
- Miklotov McMahon
- Bordeaux Zellgef
- Stride Vollachia
- Theresia van Astrea
- Carol Remendis
- Conwood Melahau
- Roswaal J Mathers
- Cragrel Dawson
- Galic Fabless
- Veltol Astrea
- Tishua Astrea
- Pivot Arnancy
- Gionis Lugnica
- Carlan Astrea
- Thames Astrea
- Cassiles Astrea
- Fribal van Astrea
- Roswaal K Mathers
- Valga Cromwell
- Razak Gildark