Update on Project Gender Bender
When Guang and Lux returned, they found Hikari already asleep. Not wanting to disturb her, they decided that they would leave her to sleep while the two of them and David takes turn keeping watch.
Initially David had offered to take the first shift, but after getting refused by Lux, he took the opportunity to take a rest. He felt like Lux didn’t seem to trust him yet, but after Hikari’s speech and actions earlier, he was fairly confident that Lux wouldn’t actually do anything while he was asleep.
The last thing he saw before he entered the world of dreams was the wilderness around him, lightened up slightly by their small camp fire.
He woke up from the sound of something walking by his ear. It was only an insect. Having the urge to return to sleep, he looked at his watch. It was still ticking, and it seemed like three hours had already passed.
David looked around and saw that Lux, who was still keeping watch, sitting on a large boulder. He called out, “Lux, was it? Take a rest, its my turn to keep watch now.”
Lux looked back at him. She hesitated a bit, before quietly complying by leaving the boulder, and taking up the space David was on. She leaned back onto the tree and closed her eyes.
David looked at her for a while. Although he tried to analyse her a few days prior, this was a different case. She was a beautiful young woman similar to Helaine. She was the type of woman that can easily bewitch any men with a ease. The overall feeling she gave off was rather mature and slightly mysterious. She was the type of cool beauty you would find people looking up to, but often too scared to approach. Helaine used to be like that too before David had convinced her to brighten up and let herself be more approachable.
As his mind drifted back to Helaine, his worries began once more. Why was the demon there? Why did he grab Helaine away? How did he find out about their relationship? Where are they now? Is she alright? Piles of questions surfaced in his mind.
“David, walk slightly further away from them,” Lucifer’s voice resonated in his head. David had gotten used to this sudden intrusion of his thoughts, Lucifer seemed to do this a lot.
David took several steps away from where the exorcists were sleeping and asked, “What is it?”
“There’s several things. One, I can still feel the general direction that the demon and your girl is in, Two..”
“You can feel them? Which way?” David asked desperately, he had assumed that Lucifer had no idea, but since he could then all the more reason to rush to Helaine’s rescue.
“Two, I wouldn’t recommend you to find her yet. Well although you could probably go there rather quickly using several enhancing spells, your secrets would be exposed to the exorcists. And since they seem to be willing to help, use them. Travel along the road, they are in that direction after all.
And lastly, before you go find Helaine. I just want you to know something.”
“What is it? Spit it out?”
“She’s a succubus.”
“… I’m sorry?”
“Your friend Helaine is a succubus.”
“What? You must lying. There is no way Helly would be involved in this insane mess from the start. There’s no way she’s a succubus.”
“Have I ever lied to you so far?”
David could not think of a rebuttal. Indeed it was as Lucifer has said, he had never been lied to. But was that possible? Helly’s a succubus? The Helly that was head over heels for him? The Helly that means more to him than anything else in the world? The same Helly he was trying to save?
“David, I’m not trying to drive you insane or anything. I need you to know what you’re getting into. If you truly want to, there’s a method of returning back and leaving this place behind.
It’s not too difficult. Trust me and let me take over your body for a while. You have the ability to open a portal to return home, but you lack the necessary skill and focus right now.”
“Telling me that right now. Are you trying to convince me to turn back and return?”
“No, I’m just giving you the option.”
“I’m not returning. At the very least I want to save Helly, then I want some answers from her. But before then, I’m not returning.”
“I guessed that’s what you’d say. So for the time being, close your eyes and try to feel the mana flowing around your body. Let it circulate and not move in an erratic manner. Then slowly manipulate the mana around you to do the same. Since you’re here with exorcists, it’s more or less the only way you can train your magic without exposing yourself.”
David complied and did as Lucifer suggested. His mind was still all over the place. Hearing that Helaine was a succubus. That wasn’t something he could even imagine. Sweet beautiful Helaine. He will rescue her. And only then will he find out the truth directly from her.
He felt the mana moving around his body rather erratically. It moved around without a direction, like a torrent of energy without any purpose. He tried to probe through his entire body for mana, but he only felt it on the outer layer, the closer to the middle of his body, the less mana there seemed to be. He treated it as a normal occurrence and imagined the torrent of mana in his body circulating around his body like blood does.
It wasn’t easy.
Focusing his mana and shaping it to cast spells came rather naturally to him, particularly fire and ice spells. But manipulating raw mana and making it circulate around him body was far more difficult than he imagined. Every time he tried to focus on even a small amount of mana in a specific spot of his body, they just seemed to move away instead of circulating like he wished.
No, this wasn’t the time for it. He should think of a way to get to and save Helaine. No, first he has to find her. Lucifer had said follow the path and that he could sense her general location. Where does the road lead to? How long did he have?
Ugh, but he can’t do anything right now, or was there something he could do? “Lucifer, have you manage to think of where that demon might have taken Helly? There’s limited places around here right?”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve even been in this area. I’m still trying to figure out whose territory is it. Even in this world, us Demon Princes of the Seven Sins don’t rule over anything. We hold authority over most of this dimension, while the rest is under the authority of the demon nobles.”
“The more traditional of the demons. Well, the demon nobles that chose to end the demonic civil war that waged between the original demon nobles and us. They are most well known for having the methods of their summons recorded down in the Ars Goetia.”
“Ars Goetia? As in the Lesser Key of Solomon?”
“The Ars Goetia is the original grimoire, while the Lesser Key of Solomon is merely replica of it. But yes. Those demons as well as their descendants. I’ll continue to ponder about our whereabouts, focus on survival and gaining the exorcists trust. In this land, they may become some of the most valuable allies you can get.
You better stop talking, the exorcist girl stirs. She seems to have started to awaken from her slumber.”
David turned around to look at who Lucifer was talking about. It seemed like Hikari was going to wake up soon with her rubbing her eyes.
Lucifer had told him to not think too much about Helaine. But that wasn’t possible. He was determined to find and save her at all cost. That was the most important thing right now. He wasn’t about to let anything deter him from that.
David found himself in a foreign land.
“HELLY! ANSWER ME IF YOU CAN HEAR!” he screamed and frantically looked around. He was unable to see her nor the demon.
“They’re gone,” Lucifer calmly said.
“What? How is that possible? We were seconds…”
“It is possible, the moment the demon pulled through, he most likely used some form of acceleration magic. It’s not that difficult.”
“Then I can too.”
“We don’t even know where they went.”
“Can’t you sense the demon?”
“I could, but the trace is weak and being here, its rather difficult to accurately pinpoint their location. I could do it in my own body, but not like this.”
“Here? Where are we? And what do you mean about your body?” David frantically looked around, hoping to even get a glimpse of where the demon took Helaine.
All he saw was a road surrounded by wilderness… And the three exorcists. The three exorcists were glancing around just like he was. It seemed like they followed him through the portal, but the portal had closed itself behind them.
Noticing his gaze, the European exorcist he had pushed outside Helaine’s home asked him, “Do you know where we are?”
“No,” David replied. At the back of his mind, he heard Lucifer’s chuckle.
The exorcist looked at him for a moment, then seeing he wasn’t going to continue, turned to her fellow exorcists and bowed, “This incident is my fault. It was upon my leadership and judgment that we ended up here. Although we should abide by the Lord’s teachings, there are times that sacrifices should be made. I will do all I can to return us to a familiar place, after that I shall ask for both your’s and our Lord’s forgiveness.”
“There is no need to be overly humble with us, Lux-sama. It was our decision to follow you. Although those old men back at Vatican may feel like its foolish, I agree with the notion of saving everyone,” the Japanese boy glanced down at his hands. “I wish to save everyone with these hands. I share the same feeling as you do. And no matter how little, a life is a life. I do not think this was a wrong decision made by you to try and save this innocent person and the girl grabbed by the demon.”
“I agree, like Guang said. Lux-sama is right. I don’t think any of us could have made a better decision,” the Japanese exorcist girl added.
Hearing this exchange, David started to walk off. He had no interest in the affairs of these exorcists. His priority right now was finding Helaine. Anything else didn’t matter one bit him.
Seeing the young man they had followed through the portal had begun to walk away, Hikari cried out to him, “Hey wait up!”
The young man turned back and gave her a cold stare, “What?”
“Where are you going?” She asked, despite the cold stare, he was still a human, he didn’t seem hostile either.
“Does it matter? I’m going to save Helaine. She’s the girl that was grabbed by the demon,” he answered naturally.
Hikari was rather surprised by this. Although he seemed to know about exorcists and demons, to challenge a demon all of a sudden was too ridiculous, “You need help don’t you? Since we followed you all the way here, we’ll help you.”
She felt Guang’s hand gripping her shoulders, supporting what she was saying, “Exactly. Like us, you don’t even know where we are right? So at the very least let us help you. We are exorcists, so we would be able to protect you. It is, after all, the teaching of our Lord.”
The young man seemed to think for a bit and muttered to himself. Then decided, “Sure, I’ll gladly accept your offer.”
Hikari smiled. It was nice having someone accepting their help. She looked at Lux, who had stayed silent during this exchange. Lux returned her gaze and smiled weakly. From the looks of it, it seems like her mind was still burdened by the seemingly wrong decision she had made, and was still a little wary of the young man in front of them.
“So shall we do a simple introduction about ourselves first? It’ll help since we’re going to be together for the near future,” Hikari suggested with the intention of helping Lux feel at ease. Although it was Lux that had made the call for them to go through the portal, both Guang and her agreed wholeheartedly on that decision, so it couldn’t be said as her fault alone. “I’m Hikari.”
“I’m Guang,” Guang said, while extending out his hand.
“David,” the young man shook Guang’s hand. Then indicating to Lux, he asked, “And this is..?”
“Lux,” Lux replied.
“Hikari, Guang, and Lux huh? I guess its only naturally that you wouldn’t tell me your real name here. But you could have been more creative you know? Your three names practically have the same meaning,” David laughed.
Hikari puffed up her cheeks, “HEY! That’s mean you know?”
“We weren’t lying about our names. The teachings of our Lord does not permit that. This name was given to us by his Holiness. To become the light of the people and guide their path, it is only fitting if you were to be named as such, was what he had said to us,” Guang explained.
“I see. Then I apologise for my rudeness,” David said.
After discussing with each other and scouting their surroundings, they followed the road towards where the sun seemed to be setting. As the sky darkened, David couldn’t help but wonder where exactly they were. Also, unlike what he expected, the exorcists seemed rather nice and they didn’t seem to have noticed that he was Lucifer’s host.
“This is where humans sometimes call Hell, or the Underworld. This is where I was cast down to all those years ago. I suppose it’s about time I say it. Welcome to my realm David,” Lucifer said out of nowhere, as if reading his thought.
Seeing the exorcists in front come to a halt, he asked, “Why are we stopping? Did something occur in front?”
“It’s getting dark. We should make camp, and that clearing under the tree seems to be a good spot,” the one called Guang replied. “You and Hikari go over there first, Lux-sama and I will scout the surroundings.”
“Yeah okay,” it seems like the exorcists didn’t fully trust him, hence why they’re leaving him here with one of their own.
David and Hikari walked over to the clearing. She had tried to make conversation with him earlier, but after expressing the wish to be left alone to think for a while, she gave him some personal space.
When they arrived at the clearing, Hikari skilfully began to set up a camp fire to keep them warm. Although it wasn’t too cold right now, the temperature had already dropped from when they arrived in this land. So setting up a camp fire wasn’t the wrong decision to make.
Since he wasn’t too sure on how he could help, David just quietly watched Hikari work. She gathered dry branches around the shade and stacked them in a little conical structure. After surrounding it with large pieces of rocks, she asked him, “David, can you use fire magic?”
David thought deeply before answering. Should he reveal that he was capable of using fire magic? How much would that reveal about him? Although they seemed to barely know anything about him, perhaps it was just an act? Was it possible that this was a test?
Only after considering various possibilities in his head, he answered, “I can try, but I’m not too confident in spell casting.”
“Let the source of all life take shape. Manifest thyself to create warmth! <Fireball>.”
David casted the most basic fire magic spell he could think of, while also controlling the spell so that the Fireball produced would be quite small. He deliberately chanted out the first “incantation” he thought of in his head. It was better to not reveal what he was capable of right now. Despite the exorcists appearing rather friendly, they could suddenly turn hostile.
“A unique chant huh?” Hikari asked.
“Yeah, that chant is the only way I can focus. Using the regular chant doesn’t allow me to focus my mana enough for the spell to work,” David replied. He had expected Hikari to asked him such and prepared an answer when he chanted. It seems like he wasn’t being overly cautious.
Hikari looked around, and seeing that the others weren’t anywhere close for the time being, she asked, “So, who was that girl that the demon grabbed? She seems important to you for you to dive through something like a portal.”
“She’s.. a childhood friend. We’ve known each other since forever,” David replied coldly. He didn’t really want to talk about it right now. It would have been better if she just stayed silent and falls asleep. That way he would have some time to converse with Lucifer about some stuff before the other exorcists return without being suspicious.
“I see. Guang’s more or less my childhood friend. My parents died when I was really young. It was supposedly due to a demon attack. I was taken in by the local church which runs an orphanage. When I turned six, a Cardinal came to our church to preach and for some reason I caught his attention. Then a lot of things happened, and I ended up meeting Guang. He was really nice to me from the start and took care of me. He’s kind of like an oni-chan, which I never had.”
“So I kind of understand how upset you are. You’re worrying about her and I get that. That’s why I’ll try and help you to get her back. So try cheering up and stop being gloomy?”
“Hmm… I suppose I’ll try.”
“That’s good enough for me,” Hikari giggled. She didn’t expect her words to reach the bottom of David’s heart since they had just met, but since they’re going to be stuck together for the near future, she wanted to him to cheer up somewhat.
“Why exactly did you three follow through the portal? It was of no relevance to you, was it not?”
“We are exorcists, aides of God who helps those in need. Especially when its a supernatural related incident. In your case, the demonic origin of the situation was what caused us to arrive at the scene. But we helped because we wanted to. To become a saviour of the people is what we wish for.”
“Truly naive words you know? The world doesn’t work like that. What we wish for, what we hope to achieve, I don’t think its that simple.”
“But we can still try and strive to work our way towards the goal. If we do, then one day it’ll become reality.”
“I promise you, I’ll do everything in my power to help you save your friend. I’m an exorcist and God must have brought you before us for a reason. I believe that reason is to save you and your friend. So please believe in me!”
Gazing at Hikari who became rather energetic about the situation, David couldn’t help but laugh inside. How was it possible for her to lend him a helping hand? Was it some cruel joke of fate? He was the host of a demon, in fact he was the host of the Devil himself. Exorcists helping him would be the last thing he expected.
“You don’t believe me right?” Hikari asked, sensing David’s doubt. “I’ll prove it to you throughout the next few days that I’ll definitely fulfil my promise!”
She did seem like a nice person. But to David it wasn’t what he was looking for right now. He was looking for a way to save Helaine from the clutches of that vile demon.
Guang and Lux left Hikari alone with the young man called David to scout their surroundings. Well that was only an excuse, the main objective was actually to observe David from afar.
Lux didn’t trust him fully and thought that he had hidden several things. After all, he had stopped her memory altering spell and knocked her off balance at the blink of an eye. Neither of them had realized it until he had ran past them. Then there was also the fact that he seemed to have a weapon, but the next moment they looked, it had disappeared.
This was a good opportunity to see if he would do anything. They were close enough so that they could see what was going on and go to Hikari’s aid if anything happened, but far away enough so that they wouldn’t be easily noticed. They could have left him all alone, but then if he was really innocent, having Hikari there would buy them so time if anything hostile was to approach them in this foreign land.
As they watched, they could see Hikari and David setting up a fire, then chatting away. It didn’t seem like David even attempted to do anything either.
“Lux-sama, should we not return and rest now? That person doesn’t seem that dangerous,” Guang enquired.
“Wait for slightly longer. He doesn’t seem dangerous, but it wouldn’t hurt to be safe. I’m still not very trusting of his intentions as of now. The only thing I can be completely sure of is that he seems to actually care about the girl that was snatched away,” Lux replied with her eyes fixed upon Hikari and David, watching for any minute small movements that he might make.
The two of them continued their observations for twenty odd more minutes, but he didn’t do anything special. All he did was just sit there quietly pondering, occasional making some conversation with Hikari.
Lux raised her eyebrows. She genuinely believed that David would have made some sort of move. She was so sure of it, but yet nothing happened. It seemed like she was at least temporarily proven wrong. Seeing the darkness about to cover the land, she turned to Guang, “Let us return, the perimeters seem safe as well. But make sure that you are vigilant. He is almost definitely hiding something.”
David ran towards Helaine’s home as quickly as he could. He was desperately hoping that he would be on time to save Helaine from whatever could happen.
“David. There are exorcists up ahead,” Lucifer warned him as his mind was going wild.
“WHAT? What are they doing there?” David asked bewildered. It seemed like there was something unexpectedly troublesome up ahead.
“Well, I’m not sure, you can asked them yourself.”
David stopped in his tracks. He saw the three exorcists in front of him. The European one was holding an estoc out and pointing it towards Helaine’s house. She turned towards him, and their gaze crossed each other.
Neither of them made a sound. They only silently glared at each other.
The silent glare lasted around 30 seconds. During that time, no one uttered a sound. It was so quiet that the sound of a piece of leaf falling from a tree onto the ground could be heard clearly.
“Ehhh! Aren’t you that guy that Lux-sama was starting at?” It was the Japanese girl who finally broke the silence.
A fist came crashing down on her head. “Shut up idiot,” the Japanese guy reprimanded her.
Hearing something so out of place and could easily be served as comic relief, David annoying glared at them. Then he looked by at the woman holding the estoc. “Exorcists. What are you trying to do?”
Seeing a potential serious threat in front of him, David calmed down a bit. He realized that he had to remain logical. If he didn’t, he might lose the time he would need to save Helaine from whatever is going on within her home.
“You. Who are you?” the European girl pointed her estoc at him. David could tell that she was wary about him.
He pondered for a moment, then replied, “Excuse me, my friend’s inside the house. Could you let me pass please?” He took a step forward, “That’s a cool cosplay.”
“Answer my question.”
David took another step forward, “I’m the friend of the person living in the house, I came here to see her. Could you please point your blade slightly to the side so I can go past?”
She didn’t bulge and just repeated what she said, “Answer my question.”
The young man and the Japanese girl walked closer to them. The young man placed his hands on the European girl’s shoulder and said, “Lux-sama, please lower your sword. Don’t the issue within the house take priority?”
She looked back at him, then thought for a moment, “Yea you’re right.”
Turning back to David, she lowered her estoc and asked, “I’m sorry, you said your friend was in there?”
Seeing her change in demeanour, instead of being relieved about it, it had the opposite effect. Something fishy was going on, “Yes, so if you were to excuse me.”
He tried to move past her from the side. But she blocked his way, and raised her left hand, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal…” Her hand began to glow
Sensing something bad about the situation, David crouched down and knocked her hand away as she finished her sentence, “proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
Not expecting this, she seemed to lose her balance. Taking this chance, David didn’t look back and rushed forwards, getting to Helaine’s door. A sinister aura stirred behind the closed doors. He could feel it creeping up at him. There was little time. Knowing that, he opted to kick the door open instead of bothering to ring the bell.
The moment the door swung open, pressure overwhelmed him.
“Lucifer, are my intuitions correct?” David asked, he had felt a similar feeling before. The very same feeling had made him feel powerless. But no longer.
“Yeah, its the demon from before,” Lucifer replied as David stepped into the house. He looked around .Nothing seemed out of place, but the aura seemed to surround the entire house, as if it had been trapped here for a long time.
“HELLY! CAN YOU HEAR ME?” David shouted.
The only reply were the echoes of his voice through the large dark house. It wasn’t even night, but the interior of the house was already pitch dark. The light from the open front door did not seem to penetrate through the darkness within.
Having no other ways to gather information, he turned his head towards the exorcists that were coming into the house. “How long have you been here? Do you know what happened?”
Before any of them could answer, a loud crash was heard. All four of them looked up. David’s worries began to show on his face. Did something happen to Helaine? Her room is upstairs… David sincerely wished that nothing happened.
With that thought, David ran up the stairs, with the exorcists a few steps behind him. David couldn’t care less about their purpose right now, it didn’t matter to him at all. What mattered was finding out what the hell was going on.
With each step, the pressure on his body seemed to increase. With each step, the nausea he had grew stronger. He couldn’t push it all away. He was starting to remember the horror of helplessness. Emmet Wayne Gacy… He could still remember that tall demon’s jester-like face. The ways that he was made insignificant, played like an idiot. His mind was beginning to waver.
“Don’t lose focus here. Remember your purpose,” Lucifer’s voice pierced through the mist in his mind. It was a voice of reason, unlike his continuous stream of thoughts.
David once again focused his thoughts as he reached the top of the stairs. Turning right, he saw that the door to Helaine’s room was closed, but it was rather obvious that the sinister aura was leaking from within.
He slowly approached her room. Time seemed to slow down. In a way, David didn’t want to open the door, to see what was inside. He was afraid to see Helaine hurt or harmed. He was afraid to see the truth. But he fought back those fears. Things like that was always a possibility, but if Helaine ended up like that because of him hesitating here, he could not forgive himself.
He turned the door knob and opened the door.
The first thing he noticed was a demon dressed in a suit. The demon had the face of a clown with a large red ball for a nose. Although the angle it was bending at, made the top hat it was wearing cover the upper half of its face, there was no doubt. David was sure of who it was.
He conjured up his blades and leaped towards the demon.
The demon didn’t flinch, but reached out to grab someone beside David. He turned his head, and seeing it was Helaine, he tried to use his blades to slice off the demon’s hand.
But he just wasn’t fast enough. The demon, Emmet Wayne Gacy had already disappeared into a ripple in space that was concealed behind it the entire time.
What David had come to do… He had failed. He let Helaine get dragged into this mess. There was no other choice. If that’s the case, then he had to save Helaine from the clutches of the demon.
He ran towards the portal and leaped through.
The last thing he heard before passing through was from within his head. Lucifer had screamed, “WAIT!”
Hikari was getting impatient. For the past week, Guang, Lux, and herself have been searching around the city for clues about the mysterious people who finished their mission for them. The Vatican didn’t know anything about it, nor does the local church. The only unusual thing that had happened were several areas that had an abnormally high trace of demonic magic. Those were the places they investigated first, and out of the ones that stood out were a mountain beside a school, the art museum, and a back alleyway. These places only stood out because it was unknown who had dealt with these high levels of demonic magic, which usually indicated the existence of a demon in that area. These three places were the only places that did not have their case resolved by someone known. All the other ones were either resolved by local exorcists or were the results of the experiments conducted by local magicians.
However, despite knowing this, it didn’t put them any closer to identifying the mysterious person. They could not connect any dots between these three places, and the traces of demonic magic was also different in each place, so the mysterious person being a demonic being or a person that had access to demonic magic was unlikely.
“Have you found anything yet?” Hikari asked Guang who was on several laptops at once.
He was once again running through the current information they had on multiple databases across several different servers at once. Using Lux’s authority, they also acquired full cooperation from the local church in this man hunt.
“Still nothing,” Guang replied. He was visibly stressed, he seemed thinner than before and his hair was a mess. This was the result of his heavy sense of duty, and wish to uphold his believe of exorcists being the shield of mankind against all kinds of evil.
Although the mysterious people had completed their mission for them, eliminating the threatening feijiang, there was no information on them. If they were to turn the power against the people… Guang dreaded the consequences.
“Lord Guang! Lady Hikari! There’s an incident,” shouted a voice from outside the hotel room door.
Hikari went and opened the door. It was a young priest that they had met several days prior when they went to the local church for more information. They had left instructions for the three of them to be informed of any abnormal incidents going on.
“What is it?” Hikari asked.
“There’s an abnormal level of demonic magic, the precise address is written down here. I have already informed Lady Lux just now and she asked me to inform the two of you,” the young priest frantically replied. “She also asked that you start to prepare.”
“Prepare for wha..?”
“Yes I understand. Thank you for informing us,” Guang covered Hikari’s mouth and took the piece of paper that the priest held out. He nodded with a slight smile on his face and closed the door.
Hikari shook free of his hand and turned annoyingly to him,” What was that for?”
“Start using your brain okay? It’s obvious that Lux-sama had been deliberately vague with the priest. She couldn’t have revealed any information about [Divine Revenant]. Anyways, let’s hurry up and get to the address.”
Lux was standing in front of a civilian house. That was the location which the address the priest had given to her pointed towards. It didn’t seem like the priest was lying. She could clearly feel the tingling of mana in the air. It was something she was familiar with.
There was a demon within the house. Whoever was inside had probably summoned a demon in order to form a contract with it. For what she wasn’t sure. But this had to be stopped.
Demons were not trustworthy beings. They were cruel and vicious. They would often twist the truth in such a way that makes people want to form a contract with them. But the truth was the the contract isn’t going to help the person at all. In fact, it would cause the person to fall into despair without any real gain.
Demons were filthy beings. She firmly believed that. She was only in this situation because of a demon. If that didn’t happen twelve years ago… No she couldn’t let her mind wander. The resolution she has will not waver.
Her [Divine Revenant] was being prepared. It’ll probably be ready when Guang and Hikari arrive. So around ten minutes later. She just continue waiting here.
Although she would love to run into the house and cut down the demon, it was better to play it safe. The contract would probably not be signed too soon. Most demons would take at least several hours to convince their victims to sign the contract. She had enough time to remain patient…
David was taking a break after practice when his phone ran.
He checked the caller. It seems like it was his mom calling.
“Hey mom. What is it?”
“Ahh good. You finally picked up. Anyways, its Easter next week right? I called the school earlier so you don’t need to go this week.”
“Wait what? Why?”
“Well Mike and your dad were talking over the phone the other day, and they decided for both you and Helaine to skip a week of school. We registered you two for a two week long camp thing. Originally Mike was only going to send Helaine there, but its always nice to have company right?” David could hear his mom laughing from the other side of the phone. Mike Papadopoulos was Helaine’s dad, and he was good friends with David’s own dad, both having similar mindsets and interest. It seems like his dad did something unnecessary again.
“Can’t you cancel it?”
“Well we could, but we don’t want to leave you alone for so long. Your dad and I have decided to stay here for another month for a holiday this time. And so yeah, I’ll send you the details later through email. Don’t starve okay?” with that his mother hung up on him.
David sighed. His parents were always like this. They were good parents, but acted on the whim a lot of the times. Just like this time.
“David, something’s amiss, we should hurry,” Lucifer interrupted his thoughts.
“What is it? And where?” David asked. He jolted up from the sofa and walked towards the door, grabbing his jacket on the way.
“A demonic reaction. I may be mistaken, but it seems like its coming from that girl’s place.”
“The one you spend a lot of time with.”
“****!” David ran out the door and didn’t even lock it. Right now, his mind was only worrying about Helaine’s safety. She, who’s been by his side through thick and thin. She, who cared for him and encouraged him when he felt like all was lost. She, who he has shared many important memories with. He sincerely hoped that Lucifer was mistaken. But deep in his heart, he had a sneaky feeling that Lucifer wasn’t, and that Helaine has been dragged into something beyond her imagination. Something that David didn’t want her to become involved in.
Seeing Lux in front of them, Hikari and Guang stopped running. It seems like they arrived at the destination.
“Lux-sama, is this the place?” Guang asked. Although the two of them had ran thirty minutes without stopping at a speed of approximately sixty miles per hour, neither of them were even breathing heavily. This was the effects of <Celestial Blessing> that was applied on their entire squad of exorcists.
“Can you not feel it?” Lux asked absentmindedly.
“Feel what?” Hikari replied, she, not surprisingly did not know what Lux was talking about.
Lux sighed, “It seems like the two of you can’t feel it. The swirling mass of demonic magic inside. The disgusting feeling of a demonic portal.”
She turned towards Guang and Hikari, then summoned out her holy sword. It was an estoc that was radiating holy magic. Although thin, the blade gave of a feeling of being able to cut through anything. The hilt of the estoc was gold and embroidered with a large blue sapphire.
She faced the house once more and pointed her estoc towards the house, “In the name of our Father, our Lord and his Holiness. Let us save the lost lamb and exorcise the snake of temptation.”
But at that moment. She noticed a person at the corner of her eye. A young man with black hair, slightly taller than average. A civilian?
No that was too much of a coincidence. Especially since she remembered that she had seen him once before, when they were going to investigate the mountain beside a school.
The same young man, whose stare she had felt disturbed by, was now standing right in front of them.
David was in the middle of an exam. He had absolutely no time to revise for it at all, having spent Saturday eliminating the undead at the tomb and Sunday resting. The exam was really the last thing on his mind.
He looked around the room, his classmates were all concentrated on the exam, he was the only one that was looking around. He looked at the paper. Mathematics, he was truly thankful that he had looked over the chapter by himself before, and was already relatively proficient in it before the teacher had taught it.
He opened the test paper and started to do it.
After about 45 minutes, he looked up again. People were still focusing on their exam. He was the only one that seemed to have finished. Although there were a few problems here and there, he managed to do most of the questions. Doing a rough calculation, he estimated that he would barely scrap an A for the exam. Not too terrible, and since it wasn’t the real thing, he had plenty of time of improve. The teacher might get annoyed at him for achieving such a ‘low’ grade, but it doesn’t matter.
He noticed Helaine waving at him and returned the greeting with a smile. Seeing that, she turned back to her exam paper. His life hadn’t changed all that much after becoming the host of Lucifer. Sure his schedule each day changed, and his priorities have changed a bit, but the rest were still the same. There wasn’t any drastic changes that took him away from his normal life.
He thought about the ‘exorcists’ that Lucifer had mentioned being there on Saturday. As they were returning, Lucifer talked a bit about the structure of the church and where the exorcists fitted in.
The Christians that were involved in the supernatural were plentiful. The church had the Pope at the very top, followed by Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and Priests. Exorcists are usually Bishops, Priests, or even less than that. From his knowledge, there seemed to be various groups of exorcists just within the Roman Catholic Church. Unsurprisingly, other sects of Christianity also had their own groups of exorcists. Furthermore, exorcists did not even have to be religious in the first place. That was just a stereotype often used nowadays.
Despite that, the ones he had sensed that day seemed to be religious. From which sect he was unsure, but they were most likely Christians. If David wasn’t the host of Lucifer, he doubt anything major would have happened, but being the host of a demon, it wasn’t surprising for him to be targeted.
In the first place, Lucifer had not expected him to run into exorcists there. It was purely coincidental.
“David, the exorcists from before, I can sense them nearby,” Lucifer suddenly said out of nowhere.
“Wait.. What? Are you certain?” David muttered under his breath, he didn’t want to seem crazy and out of place. It was already easy to notice him seemingly talking to himself since the entire classroom was in exam conditions.
“Yeah, I’m positive. They’re close, but they don’t seem to be specifically targeting here. While not using <Possession> you don’t radiate or even leave a demonic aura, so you should be fine here.”
“And times up. Students, please remain seated and quiet while I collect in your exam papers. After I’ve collected them in, you are free to go,” The teacher said.
David looked at the clock. It seems like the exam and subsequently school was now over. He packed up his stuff and walked towards the common room.
“Dae~ How did you do just now?” came a voice beside him as he walked out of the classroom. Helaine had waited for him, probably to leave together.
“I think I did okay. Scrapped an A, but anything more than that is impossible.”
“Ehh, that’s really good already. I think I only got like half of the questions right. I actually had to skip some! “
“You couldn’t have done that bad, and its not like your grades are terrible anyways right? So don’t fret over it.”
“You’re right. Wait for me just a little. I’m going to grab my bag, then let’s go,” Helaine said, before sprinting off to grab her bag from the common room.
Around ten minutes later, they were walking out of the school gate.
“Dae, what do you plan to do in the future?”
“I don’t really know right now. A businessman? To be honest, as long as I can earn lots of money and live comfortably, I’m fine with anything. What about you?”
“Is that so? I want to become a celebrity. Maybe a singer or a dancer?”
“That’ll suit you, you are good at dancing after all,” David said. It was then that he saw three people walking towards them;. Those three people were deep in conversation, and were all wearing crosses somewhere on their body.
“They’re exorcists, probably the same as the ones on Saturday,” Lucifer suddenly said.
Upon hearing this, David took a closer look at them. They were two young women and a young man. The young man looked Japanese and was slightly shorter than him. The young man had a dignified expression. His hair spiked up and coupled with his dark brown eyes and solemn expression, he gave off a cool atmosphere. He wore a white shirt that left the top 3 buttons unbuttoned, revealing the simple cross around his neck, and black jeans. On top of the shirt was a white trench coat embroidered with gold. He was someone who could definitely cause a few heads to turn.
Both of the women were beauties. One of them looked Japanese as well. She was around 160 cm in height, not yet reaching David’s shoulders. Deep brown eyes and clear feature. Her hair was tied in a ponytail, giving her somewhat of a stereotypical look of a Yamato Nadeshiko. She wore a cream coloured cropped sweater alongside with black skirt and knee length socks. She looked rather cute.
The other young woman was a different kind of beauty. She possessed a more mature charm, similar to that of Helaine’s. With long wavy blonde hair and clear emerald eyes, she looked European. Her body was a stark contrast to the other woman’s. While the other woman had a childish charm, this woman had a mature body. Her long fitting dress certainly reflected this, showing off her long legs and small waist. She was wearing two earrings in the shape of a cross.
After burning their image into his head, David turned away. As he was doing this, his gaze met the second woman’s. He nodded his head in greetings, and she nodded back.
When the couple walked past them, Lux revealed a perplexed expression on her face.
“Lux onee-sama, what’s wrong?” asked Hikari. She was quite sensitive to the feelings of people in the team, having know both of them for a long time.
“The guy looked at us for a while. It’s strangely disturbing,” replied Lux. All of the warnings in her body was screaming out at her, but she couldn’t place her finger on the reason.
“Well, he was just entranced by your beauty right?” Hikari half-jokingly asked.
“The girl beside him doesn’t lose out to Lux-sama though…” Guang half-jokingly muttered.
“It wasn’t that sort of look. It was more like… It felt like he was observing us. His gaze seemed to penetrate into the body, as if he was trying to pry out our secrets. It’s like the gaze of a warrior on the battlefield,” Lux replied.
“EHHHH! Did Lux onee-sama start to get interested in someone? That guy was kinda cute, is Lux onee-sama interested in that kind of guy!” Hikari exclaimed loudly. “Ouch!”
The reason for the shout of because Lux hit her on the head, “It’s not that. And you’re too loud. It’s probably nothing, so let’s move on.”
David turned his head back to look at the people that walked past.
“They sure look friendly huh?” commented Lucifer.
“Yeah, isn’t that nice. I hope there’s no need get into a quarrel with them,” replied David.
“Dae, did you say something?” asked Helaine as she suddenly wrapped her arms around him.
“Ahh, no its nothing.”
“You were totally looking at that European. She’s your type. Here here, it’s okay. You can tell me everything,” Helaine whispered in his ear on tip toes.
David lightly pushed Helaine away, “It’s not like that. It’s just rather uncommon for there to be foreigners here.”
“I’m a foreigner though.”
“I meant foreign tourists. They aren’t students at our school and there isn’t much tourist spots here.”
“I suppose, anyways Dae let’s go quickly. Don’t you have to go training today?” asked Helaine as she grabbed David’s hand and ran forwards.
David looked back one last time, but he couldn’t see the exorcists anymore. Somehow, he had a strange feeling that they would meet in the near future…
“<Possession: Lucifer’s Soul>!”
A black flash covered the room. In the place of the human, there should only be a hole in the ground, nothing else remained. That was what the feijiang had expected.
But that wasn’t what he saw. As the smoke began to clear, a figure could clearly be seen through the smoke. The figure was not the same as that of the human before though. Not fully. Large feathered wings the colour of the night extended out from his back, two grey horns grew out from his head. His clothes were in tatters, allowing one to see the runes that seemed to cover his entire body. The entirety of his body was now covered in a dark aura.
“Phew. I can’t believed I was forced into this,” David remarked. With no other choice, he decided to utilise more of Lucifer’s powers to nullify the <Shadow Eradication> sent at him. Although he succeeded, he wasn’t happy about it. After all, this allowed Lucifer to read his thoughts far easier.
“Heh, instead of getting annoyed, you should probably focus on the battle,” Lucifer laughed.
Ignoring Lucifer’s comment, David turned back to the battlefield. The mezuki, gozuki, and manticore seemed to be ready to attack at any time. The feijiang was glaring at him with a surprised look on its face.
“Surprised?” David chuckled.
Hearing that, the feijiang indicated with its right hand for two undead, as well as the manticore around David to attack. The gozuki was the first to attack. It charged towards David like a mindless bull, raising its hammer high up in the air. The manticore flap its wings and rised high up in the air, before taking a dive towards David.
As the hammer smashed down, David focused his mana, causing the black aura around him to thicken. Instead of crushing him, the hammer did not seem to be able to bypass the aura, The gozuki placed more strength into the hammer, but it didn’t seem to have any effect on the aura surrounding David.
David wasn’t even paying attention to the gozuki. Instead he wrapped his blades in the same aura that surrounded his body, then slashed at the manticore coming down at him.
The blade cleanly sliced through the manticore’s stomach. Blood gushed out and splattered over David and the gozuki.
“One down. Three to go,” David muttered.
The mezuki tried to use this chance to put down David, thrusting its halberd out towards his abdomen. Having noticed this, David used the blade in his left hand to parry it, and utilising the motion, he stabbed forward with his other blade. It penetrated the mezuki’s shoulder.
Instead of retreating, the mezuki moved forward, allowing the blade to penetrate into the flesh more. It was determined to hold its enemy in place so that the gozuki could finish him off. The pain in its shoulder was trivial compared to the success of the elimination of the target.
David wasn’t flushed by this at all. Letting go of his blades, he turned around, and did a roundhouse kick on mezuki’s head, knocking it to the side. A ‘crack’ could be heard as parts of the mezuki’s skeleton shattered upon impact. The effects of <Possession> depended upon the powers of the user’s soul. Lucifer’s Soul seemed to increase his physical capabilities further and also granted him a greater mana pool to use.
The mezuki stumbled backwards. Not missing this opportunity, David quickly leaped towards the mezuki with the aid of his wings, and brought his blade down. It sliced cleanly through the neck of the mezuki, beheading it instantly. Blood spurt forth as the body dropped onto the cold floor.
Seeing two of its servants fell, questions began to fill the feijiang’s mind. At first glance, the human before it did not seem to be anything special. In fact, making it here was already enough to raise suspicion about that person’s identity, but the feijiang had disregarded this earlier suspicion after seeing the human’s struggle. Yet, the being in front of him did not seem like a human any longer. It was something far more, nearly resemblance to a demon, yet not being a demon. It was enough to cause the feijiang to actually fear for its own immortal life.
It decided then, instead of watching its servants fight, it would enter the fray. Perhaps through a combination of <Shadow Eradication>, <Darkness Falling> and <Eradicate Life>, the enemy before it would…
But it didn’t even get a chance to finish the thought. It was surrounded by a firestorm. It tried to assemble some form of defence, and tried to cast several advanced and saint ranked water magic to nullify the firestorm surrounding it. <Hydraulic Aegis> and <Tidal Embrace> did not seem to weaken the power of the firestorm. It desperately casted the monarch ranked <Oceanic Typhoon>, but even that had no effect.
Seeing this, the gozuki rushed to the feijiang’s side and started pouring its mana into an attempt to extinguish the firestorm. It was a futile attempt. Instead, the gozuki began to heat up and became engulfed in the expanding firestorm.
The firestorm burned quickly and wildly. The flames seared everything in its surroundings. Some of the flames came close to David, but it didn’t burn him at all. The aura of darkness protected him. As he watched the flames flicker, he let out a sigh, “It’s finally over.”
“Well done. You have performed splendidly,” Lucifer congratulated him.
“Did it all go according to your plan?” David commented, while breaking free of the <Possession>.
“Well, you did defeat all of the undead here. So good job. Now…” Lucifer paused for a moment, as if considering something. “Time to get out of here.”
David walked towards the large metal door that he used to enter the room.
“Not that way. Use <Portal> to get above ground, then leave quickly.”
“Lucifer, is something wrong? <Portal>” Despite being confused about Lucifer’s sudden request, David still listened to it, reasoning that Lucifer must have had a reason to do so.
Casting <Portal> David visualised the place where he entered the entrance of the tomb.
“So, what was it? David asked.
“Exorcists. Right now, you’re not in any condition to deal with them.”
“Would they really attack? I just did their job for them… Unless its because of you?”
“Better safe than sorry right? And these exorcists seemed to radiate a celestial light.”
A loud explosion was heard, startling the three of them. They rushed along the corridor. The trail of bodies seemed never-ending. Every step they took, the ground was covered with puddles of blood, and flood of corpses, it seemed that stepping on them were unavoidable.
“What was that?” Hikari exclaimed. This mission definitely wasn’t going the way she had expected it to. She had presumed that it’d be a breeze in the park, followed by a few nights where she could relax and go out. Perhaps even hit the clubs or something. Instead they seemed to have been just a step behind a potential threat.
“Not sure, but judging from the sound, it definitely seems like a fight might be going on ahead. We should get going,” Guang replied.
“Wait a minute!” Ordered Lux. “Do you have any idea of what enemy you might face? Do you understand the dangers you’re stepping into? Don’t act so carefree! First of all, the target this time is not a normal feijiang, but one that has risen from the body of a powerful mage. Secondly, a lot of the corpses we have seen all seemed to have a pool of water around it. This indicates the use of water or ice based attacks, neither of them are what is commonly associated with the elimination of undead.
Telling you two to prepare [Divine Revenant] was definitely needed. The possibilities that the one responsible of eliminating the undead being hostile is not low. If they were not, they would have likely be local, and that we would have known about them. The fact that we have no idea of what could be ahead suggests heavily the dangers involved. So now stop acting like idiots and act like the exorcists you’re supposed to be!”
Hikari was surprised. To her, Lux had always been the cool older sister type of person that she admired. She believed that with Lux, anything was possible. For such a person to lose their temper and become worried, just how serious was this situation?
“Yes… Understood…” Guang and Hikari answered. Although Hikari had doubts on her mind, she still obediently apologized.
“Let’s hurry up.”
The three of them ran past several doors, but they ignored it. The explosion hadn’t come from behind one of those doors, but further down the corridor. As they went down further and further, they noticed that the atmosphere had changed. The three of them could feel an intimidating and oppressing aura seeping out from the darkness.
It didn’t take them too long to arrive in front of a large black metal door. Yet when they arrived, the oppressing aura had disappeared. Was it a fragment of their imagination? That would be impossible. It was not possible for three strong-minded exorcists to be influenced so easily. This had to mean they truly felt the aura. What was the source of it? Questions filled Hikari’s head.
Lux slowly pushed open the metal gate. The three of them stepped inside the room. The smell of burnt flesh filled their nostrils. Before them, was death. A dead manticore was lying on the floor with its stomach cut wide open. A mezuki had been decapitated. Near the throne-like chair, a badly burnt corpse could be seen. On the throne itself was a charred skeleton. The flesh on its bones seemed to have burnt away.
The scene in front of them contradicted everything else in the corridor before. It was as if a fire magician had arrived and burnt the two figures to dust. This sort of scene would have only been possible if there was a team that had arrived before them.
“Powerful fire magic as well as weaponry…?” Lux muttered. “This can’t be the act of a single person. But the ice before… I suppose being proficient in both ice and fire magic is unlikely but not impossible… Just what is going on here?”
Guang was also dumbfounded at the scene. In no way did he expect to see a scene like this before him. Masses of undead destroyed, a mezuki slain. Even a manticore, a ferocious beast that could endanger a small village as a cub, dead before his eyes. He had expected the person or group before them to be a rather powerful group, but to have slain such dangerous monsters, and then disappeared before they arrived. It was unthinkable.
Hikari was raking her mind to see what she could think of, but nothing. She didn’t know what to say at all. The mission hadn’t just turned serious. It turned completely dangerous as well. An unknown possible threat was loose onto the city, and they had no clue about it.
“Hikari, Lux. Let’s go. We’ll go and report the situation to the headquarters, then pour our efforts into finding whoever did this. They are far too powerful to be able to walk freely without us having any information on them. We need to understand everything in order to keep the people in this city safe. It is our duty. As followers of the almighty God and his angels. As exorcists.”
Hikari, Lux and Guang descended down the dark stairways. From their research beforehand, they already knew about the entrance to the feijiang’s tomb.
Allowing their <Light Sphere> to illuminate the path before them, they soon found themselves in a long corridor. But something was out of place, corpses were scattered along, and the walls seemed to be smeared with fresh blood.
“What… what happened here? Did the feijiang lure that many people in and killed them?!?!” Exclaimed Hikari immediately upon seeing the sight before them.
Guang and Lux both went forward and gave the corpse in front of them a closer look. Initially it had looked like a normal human’s, but after seeing it up close, one could see that the skin of the corpse was wetter than normal, the neck of it was twisted in an unnatural manner and it had a terrifying facial expression on its face. Seeing that parts of its flesh was rotting away, it could be concluded that this wasn’t a body that had been freshly killed. At least not when it first died.
This was more than likely an unanimated ghoul. However, what was interesting was the cause of death of the ghoul. It had died from various holes across its body, each one spanning a radius of 10 cm. It was impossible to imagine what had been used to kill the ghoul. Seeing as the insides of the holes were still wet, it became clear that these holes were what killed the ghoul the second time.
Normally, in order to kill a ghoul, either light magic or fire magic would have to be used. It was possible to kill it by chopping off its head as well, but ghouls getting killed by penetrating its body is unheard of. After all, they are undead which have a particularly high tolerance for pain, and can move even after taking large amount of damage.
“So, what happened to these poor people?” Hikari asked impatiently. Since she didn’t go for a closer look, she hadn’t realised that the corpse was a ghoul.
“Lux-sama, what do you think happened here?” Guang asked, completely ignoring Hikari right now. He was quite concerned about the scene before him. If this corpse was a ghoul, then it wouldn’t be too surprising to assume that the rest of the corpses were some form of undead as well. “It couldn’t be a local exorcist could it? Even though we didn’t confirm with the local church, there shouldn’t be anyone that is capable of doing this from there either.”
“Hikari. Guang. Prepare your [Divine Revenant]. Although the undead has been eliminated here, we have no idea if it was a friend or a foe that did this. It’s better to be more cautious about this.” Lux commanded. Although experienced, she has never experienced a situation like this before. It wasn’t just the unnatural death of the undead, but the fact that some of the undead were bisected, which is most likely what caused the walls to be sprayed with blood.
“Wait what? What happened? Why are we preparing our [Divine Revenant] all of a sudden?” Hikari was confused. Since she wasn’t paying attention, she didn’t really understand what was going on all of a sudden. Being ordered to prepare her [Divine Revenant] is akin to saying that there is a true monster up ahead.
“The corpses here are undead. All killed in an unnatural manner. What’s more is that the death seems to be rather fresh, so whoever did this probably haven’t left yet, or at least haven’t gone too far away yet,” Lux replied impatiently.
Hikari looked hesitantly at Guang. Sure she admired Lux like every other member of their corp, but she still couldn’t believe that she was being asked to prepare her [Divine Revenant]. Only when she saw that Guang had already started to chant the aria for the spell without hesitation did she comply Lux’s orders.
David was standing before the feijiang, who was also the owner of this tomb. The two of them stared at each other silently, trying to measure each other’s capabilities. It was like one of those games where the first person to blink would lose.
On the side of the feijiang were a mezuki and a gozuki, guarding him as bodyguards would.
In the end, it was the feijiang that gave in first, “Human, what reason do you have to be here, disturbing my domain?”
“I came here to exterminate you,” David replied coldly. “Unless you can give me a reason not to?”
He didn’t give out his actual reason to be in the tomb for three reasons. Firstly, he had a sneaky suspicion that the feijiang in front of him was responsible for the horde of undead rushing at him. Secondly, he didn’t want to expose anything about Lucifer. He may not trust Lucifer fully, but there ought to be a reason why he was told to exterminate the feijiang and the rest of the undead, aside from just training. Thirdly, he needed to place himself in a more favourable position where the enemies would be afraid of him. On one side of the feijiang was a mezuki, and a gozuki stood on the other side. Just from the aura and Lucifer’s earlier warnings, he didn’t think he could achieve victory without using <Possession>
. Therefore, he had to buy as much time as possible to come up with a plan, just in case something unexpected happened.
“Exterminate me? You plan to exterminate me? The great me who…” the feijiang stopped there, and began to cough loudly. “The great me who has achieved immortality?! What a joke. Seize this foolish human at once!”
Upon the feijiang’s command. The mezuki and gozuki charged towards David brandishing their weapons. The mezuki swung its halberd around, aiming the tip directly at David, while the gozuki leaped into the air, raising its hammer up high.
In response to this, David jumped backwards, at the same time, conjuring up his blade in his left hand to parry the incoming halberd. He landed just outside of the gozuki’s hammer range as it came crashing down on where he originally stood. If he had reacted a second too late, he would have been smashed into a smear on the floor, unrecognisable by anyone or anything.
Although he had dodged the first attacks of the feijiang’s guards, he wasn’t in any way safe yet. The mezuki and the gozuki took upon an offensive stance and came charging at him once again.
“<Ice Barrier>, <Frost Shell>
A huge wall of ice shot up from the ground, just underneath the feet of the gozuki, knocking it off-balance, while also blocking the path of the mezuki. Seeing the obstacle, the mezuki tried to move around it, but was assaulted by a barrage of that David casted.
While the mezuki was struggling to make an advance towards David, the gozuki got back on its feet. Picking up its hammer, it gave out an earth-shattering roar and glared at David with its eyes full of hatred. Swinging its hammer, it leaped into the air, above the wall of ice, and tried to smash David once again.
This time, David rolled to the side, dodging the gozuki’s attack again. However, this caused him to stop assault on the incoming mezuki, allowing it to charge right at him.
Having been given no time to muster up any manner of defence, David had no choice to take the charge head on, using his blades to guard himself and soften the blow. Even so, he was knocked back several metres. A jolt of pain surged through his forearms, but he gritted his teeth and endured it. Taking this as an opportunity, he took a step backwards.
Just like before, numerous icicles formed beside him. He fired them towards the gozuki and mezuki. Unlike the mindless undead, they did not stand there to be pierced and instead rotated their weapons around to block some of it.
Just as David felt that he was finally safe to go onto the offensive, he instinctively crouched. He saw a stinger swung over his head. Turning around. He saw a manticore behind him. It had snuck up on him while he was fighting the mezuki and gozuki.
David casted <Freezing Icicle>
once more. This time, his target was the manticore. <Firestorm Tempest>
would have been the more appropriate choice, but in this enclosed environment, he had no way of ensuring that he could avoid his own spell.
Since the manticore was close-by, many of the icicles pierced into the manticore’s body. It let out a large roar and took a leap towards David.
David reacted by once again trying to roll out of the way. But this time he did not manage to remain unscathed. A front paw of the manticore managed to scratch his arm.
Seeing David starting to become more and more cornered. The feijiang laughed maniacally. It started to chant, “Oh glorious dark god. Let loose your wrath upon these foolish mortals. Eradicate the living. Blacken the light. Pierce through every obstacle with your darkness!!”
A huge ball of darkness flew towards David on the floor. The mezuki laughed. The gozuki laughed. The manticore howled. The feijiang laughed.
David found himself in a long corridor after the descending down the stairway he had discovered at the grave. Lucifer had detected an area with more dark magic leaking out of the ground than the surroundings, and after further inspection, David had found the dark staircase.
There were no torches on the walls, so it was only after David casted <Light Sphere> that he could finally see. He saw that the corridor seemed un-naturally wide, especially considering it was underneath a graveyard. The walls seemed to be made out of stone, with moss growing in-between the gaps of each stone. There were also some sinister markings on them, which were runes as explained by Lucifer.
Moving along the corridor, he eventually came across identical doors. One on his left and one on his right. He was curious of what laid within. Just as he was thinking about which door he would open, something rushed at him. David barely managed to throw himself against the left wall to dodge it. He turned around and saw a spectre.
David created another <Light Sphere> and made it fly towards the spectre that was about to rush at him once more. When it made contact, the spectre fizzled, then disappeared into nothingness as if it had never existed.
“I suppose the owner of the tomb has detected your presence, there’s a whole swarm of them coming.”
David send his <Light Sphere> down the corridor. Sure enough a horde of undead was swarming over. Even in this rather wide corridor, the undead were bumping into each other as they swarmed towards David.
Seeing the horde of undead headed his way, he casted <Light Pulse>, an intermediate light magic that sends out light in a selected direction. Through injecting more mana into the spell, David was able to increase the damage it was dealing to the undeads. Although it was unable to destroy all of them in one hit, it was able to damage them severely, slowing down their movements. Many of the undeads in the front that took the full brunt of the spell had been destroyed, and the now non-moving corpses blocked the charge of the undeads behind, tripping many of them over.
David conjured his blades into his hands once more and moved forwards to meet the undead horde face on. Seeing this, the undead charged forward with more enthusiasm. Even though they witness first hand that many of their brethren had fell by the human in front of them, to them, a human was just a human. They didn’t expect the human to fight back. This was a poor judgement on their part as they soon found out.
The first undead to actually reach David was an E Gui, thinking that being a ghost made it totally intangible. David slashed down at it, and before the E Gui noticed, it had turned to dust. Normally speaking, it wouldn’t have been possible to actually cut it, but David had already pestered Lucifer a lot about the different types of undead, he knew that the easiest way to deal with ghost-type undeads were actually to fill their weapon with mana and use that as a catalyst to allow the supposedly intangible enemy to be damaged.
“<Light Pulse> <Frost Nova>”
Seeing that his earlier actions had been successful, David casted <Light Pulse> once again to clear more of the swarm, and decided to use <Frost Nova> as well in order to slow down his enemies. After confirming that they were successfully casted and their effects started to show, David run towards the horde himself.
A slice of his right arm bisected a ghoul, a backswing from his left hand knocked a jiangshi away. Three zhiren came at him together, noticing this, he utilised , and covered his blades in fire.
Upon seeing the flames, the zhiren seemed to hesitate a bit, but resumed their charged when they were pushed in the back by the rest of the horde. David easily sliced through them like the paper they are made of.
Confident that he could deal with the rest of the horde just as easily as he did with his initial enemies. David lunged toward, and in a flurry of motion, he was able to exterminate around 30% of the swarm. Although that was an impressive feat by itself, it was by no means enough. If he were to continue at this pace, he would definitely be overwhelmed by the sheer number of enemies.
David smiled wryly. He could tell that using large-scale fire magic in such a small space was definitely a bad idea. That left him with only two options. And on of them was to use <Possession>>.
He ran backwards, pulling a distance of around twenty meters between him and the undead swarm. Only then did he turn around.
The temperature around David dropped. Pieces of ice appeared by his side, shaping into multiple icicles. When the number of icicles formed were numbering too many to count, David flicked his wrist. The icicles fired towards the incoming horde at an incredible speed. Many were impaled. Many were torn apart from the storm of icicles that approached. In a way these undead were pitiful beings. Having stayed in the tomb for a large majority of their “lives” they had never been harmed. Even those that were occasional sent outside of the tomb to hunt had not come across anyone that opposed them.
Now, without understanding. These undead were ripped apart by the brutal magic that David had casted. This <Freezing Icicle> was an advanced magic that David had manage to learn recently. For the current David, this magic alongside <Possession> and <Firestorm Twister>, could be called his trump cards.
Seeing the results of his spell, David was extremely please. The remaining undead were only ones that had used the corpses of multiple undead in front of them as shields. They didn’t numbered more than fifty. He bolted towards them, a gleaming black blade in each hand.
Upon witnessing this sight, a small portion of undead finally noticed the danger to their “lives”. They turned around, away from David and started to run away as fast as they could.
David became the one giving chase. In less than two hours upon arriving in the tomb, David had already exterminated the majority of its inhabitants.
In Lucifer’s point of view, he was very happy. His current host possessed the qualities he had been looking for. Not only that, but he was also someone who had great talent. Just like him. The choice of weaponry, and choice of magic were both the same. Perhaps, just perhaps, he had found who he was looking for.
The three of them approached the tomb. Why did they need to work today out of all days? They had only just arrived in Hong Kong not too long ago. Having been dispatched from the Vatican 2 days ago, and when they reported that they found the location of the feijiang, the higher-ups had screamed at them for even reporting it in.
Hikari couldn’t understand the reason for the higher-ups’ outrage. Even though they were only mobilised for things that seemed to have a higher threat level than B, the so-called threats they had been ordered to deal with had never been overly troublesome. Hikari believed full-heartedly that this time would be the same. Especially considering the fact that Guang and even Lux had been dispatched along with her. With such reliable comrades, nothing will become an issue. It was because of this that she didn’t understand the higher-ups’ outburst.
“Nee, Guang, what do you think the target is like?” Hikari lightly nudged Guang with her elbow.
“It’s a feijiang, so it can probably use magic and fly.” Guang replied. “Hikari, why is it every single time we get sent for a mission, you ask me what the target is like? Don’t you ever read the mission material?”
“Ehhhh, you’re so mean! I do read it, but none of it ever makes sense. The letters are wiggly and weird you know?”
“That’s because you don’t read it properly and scribble on yours before actually reading whatever is on it,” replied Guang. Having been partnered up with Hikari extremely many times, he knew that Hikari never bothered to actually read her mission material, instead constantly relied on himself to explain everything.
“Oops,” Hikari stuck her tongue out at Guang.
The two of them were on good terms with one another, having worked together a lot. Guang was the one who had been taking care of Hikari ever since she was introduced to the team. She was something like a little sister to him. If only she acted a bit… no a lot less like an idiot and used her brain slightly more.
“Guang, you can’t possibly be thinking something bad about me right? Right? RIGHT?” Hikari moved closer to Guang.
“Errr, no I wasn’t thinking anything like that.”
“That’s a lie. You were thinking about something mean!”
“No really I wasn’t.”
“What was it? Split it out you meanie!”
“The two of you. SHUT UP!” Lux glared at them both with an immense killing intent. “We’re on a mission, so act like it. You can mess around in your own time, just don’t do it now. Especially since the tomb is right in front of us, so prepare yourselves.”
David arrived in front of a black metal door. The design on it was the same as the tomb, giving off a western feeling mixed in with an asian one. On it were similar markings to the ones on the wall of the corridor.
A baleful aura seeped out from behind the door. It seemed like this was where the feijiang was.
Over the next two weeks, David resumed his normal life, going at the various trainings with more resolve than ever. He was slowly coming to grasp with exactly what was needed to use magic. By clearly focusing an image of what he want to achieve in his head, then manipulating the mana in his body to help the image take form, he was now able to use a far higher number of spells than he had been able to before.
Going to the dojo with Joseph after school had started to pay off as well. Although not being anywhere close to dominating his teacher, he was now able to keep up with the movements, and very occasionally throw in an attack or two. This was a large improvement from three weeks ago, where he got beaten senseless by his teacher without even a proper chance to defend himself.
David woke up to the sound of his alarm. Even on the weekends, David had started to wake up very early in order to have more time to train himself.
“David, you should be about ready to work again right?” Lucifer asked.
“Yeah, did something come up?”
“I want you to start honing your skills in actual combat, so I want you to spend the next two days hunting.”
“Wait, hunting for what?”
“Not demons, so don’t worry. I want you to start by hunting some undead. Mostly ghouls or zombies.”
“And where would I find those? They don’t really just appear anywhere right? After all, if they did then surely people wouldn’t just regard them as stories.”
“Cases like these are usually handled fairly quickly, mostly by exorcists or ghost hunters that may not may not be related to different religions. I want you to hunt down the preys before they are gone.”
“Hmmm, that sounds rather interesting. So where are they?”
“A cemetery in New Territory.”
“Which one? There are loads.”
“It’s private. The reason that undead are starting to spawn there is because of the owner of the graveyard. Before he died, he researched extensively in the field of undead creation and summoning, and his aptitude for dark attribute magic was also very high.”
“And how do you know this?”
“He was one of the mages that had attempted to summon me in order to make a deal. I never answered his summoning, although I did observe him during his entire life.”
“So you’re saying that these undead are his creation? Why haven’t they attacked anyone yet?”
“It’s because he had respawned into a Lich, or more accurately his body had respawned itself as a Feijiang ⌈1⌋.”
“You mean the kind of Jiangshi ⌈2⌋ that is said to have trained for many years, practicing their spells?”
“Yes, they would also have superior intelligence compared to that of normal Jiangshi. And they can fly. What I want you to do is simple. Eradicate the entire horde of undead as quickly as you can. That’ll give you a good amount of combat experience, something that you lack right now.”
“I suppose I don’t truly have any say in the matter?”
“You’re only fulfilling your side of the contract so…”
“Yeah, okay I get it. Should I go now?”
“Go at the afternoon, there really isn’t a point of arriving there before sundown anyways.”
David arrived at an eerily looking cemetery at 5 o’clock. The sun had started to set, but night hasn’t fallen across the entire land yet. The cemetery he was at is a traditional Chinese one. It was hard to imagine that someone that is buried here would have tried to summon Lucifer, a western demon. It was much more fitting for them in David’s mind to summon someone like the Yanluo Wang, or King Enma.
As he was pondering this, he was preparing himself both physically and mentally for the action that would soon follow.
“<Light Sphere>” David casted one of the most basic Light magic spells to test if it was working. And just as he expected, it was functioning fine. <Light Sphere> did like its name suggested, conjuring up a small sphere of light that could be used to light the area around it or as an offensive magic.
“If you’re worrying whether your magic will fail you or not, then the answer is no. Your magic is fine here,” chuckled Lucifer.
“Yeah I know, I’m just double checking. There isn’t really much else to do until sun down. Or would you not mind if I started before?”
“There isn’t a point of you attacking now right? Let them all be wide awake first.”
“Heh. Oh by the way, is there a reason why this place haven’t been exorcised yet? You said there’s a large amount of undeads here, then shouldn’t they have been discovered already?”
“Like I said before about them being led, generally exorcists and the likes aren’t able to actually find the locations of undeads very easily. It is only through reports from people that are being attacked or from an exceedingly high concentration of dark attribute magic that they can predict the location of undeads. The owner of this graveyard has been smart enough to build up the undeads in secret and the tomb I want you to enter is heavily warded, preventing the magic used inside from leaking out easily.”
“I see. Realistically speaking, what is the possibility that I can actually kill that Feijiang?”
“I would say you have a good chance of doing so. With <Body Strengthening> and <Possession> you should be able to deal with it easily.”
“You’re still convincing me to use <Possession> I’m not falling for that bait. The strain on my body is just too great and unless I have to, I don’t want to use it.”
“Then you may struggle against it. The Feijiang would be relatively skilled in dark attribute magic as well and if you need to deal with the rest of the undead as well, then you’ll be in a tough spot.”
“I suppose… Then I’ll use <Possession> at that time.”
“Do as you will. We should get going,” Lucifer replied. The Sun had set, and the night had fallen across the land. It wasn’t pitch dark, so David could still see the way. He slowly followed Lucifer’s direction to find himself a particular large gravestone.
On the gravestone was written “自作孽, 不可活”, literally translated to “The evil we bring on ourselves is the hardest to bear.”
In a dark room, a Feijiang could be seen sitting calmly on a throne of some sort. In front of it was a swarm of more than 300 undeads. There weren’t just Jiangshi, but also a mix of Zhiren ⌈3⌋, E Gui ⌈4⌋, Difuling ⌈5⌋, ghouls and zombies. At the two sides of the throne stood 2 guards, a Mezuki and a Gozuki ⌈6⌋, both over 3 meters tall, and wielding a long pole arm that was around 2 meters in height. This was a scene out of a horror film with the antagonist evil overlord calmly sitting on a throne in front of his huge army of evil that threatened the existence of the world.
For experts on undead, this could be seen as a rather unusual site. Normally, these lower ranked undead would be all over the place, but at that moment, they were all bowing down in front of the Feijiang. They seemed to obey his every command.
The Feijiang itself gave off an imposing aura. It was dressed in an exquisite qipao, ones that was worn by government officials. Its skin was pale and wrinkled, the flesh was rotten to the point that you could see that some of it are actually about to fall off. However it sat formidably on its throne. It’s eyes glared at the horde in front of it, almost like that of a ruler looking at its people. In its right hand was a long staff decorated with many jewels. At the tip of it was a black ruby that seemed to radiate evil.
A spectre flown over to its side and seemed to have whispered something in the Feijian’s ear. Upon hearing it, a subtle sneer appeared on its face. A foolish human had found its way into the tomb. It was only right for the human to serve as food for its ever hungry undead. It raised its bone-like left arm and pointed towards a large door behind the swarm of undead. It swung open with a gust of wind and the swarm rushed out into the dark hallway.
Soon, only the Feijiang was left in the dark throne room. Isolated. Alone. Undying.
- Feijiang (飞僵) – A type of Jiangshi. Literally translated as Flying Jiangzhi. It is more intelligent and capable of using magic. ↩
- Jiangshi (僵尸) – /wiki/Jiangshi ↩
- Zhiren (纸人) – /wiki/Zhi_ren ↩
- E Gui (饿鬼) – /wiki/E_gui ↩
- Difuling (地缚灵) – Literally translated into Earthbound Spirit. /wiki/Di_fu_ling ↩
- Mezuki and Gozuki (马面 and 牛头) – Horse-face and Ox-head. The names I chose to use are the Japanese ones. /wiki/Ox-Head_and_Horse-Face ↩
“Since many of the beings on the list have never fought against one another, we cannot truly determine the rankings, which is why we classify those within the strongest five hundred beings of the worlds as extremely powerful beings. There are often gods or demons that holds tremendous power and can easily overwhelm an army or two by themselves. The current you wouldn’t be able to even survive a fraction of a second against them,” Lucifer began.
“Hmmmm…” David wasn’t surprised, he didn’t expect himself to be very strong. Certainly he was considered to be somewhat of a prodigy when it came to combat and martial arts, but it was only to a level in comparison to normal people, he wasn’t someone who could fight a martial arts expert and come out on top.
“Above them are the top two hundred, which could be compared to the power levels of entire countries or empires, depending on circumstances, they can be stronger, many of the gods that you know of would be in here: Ares, the Greek God of War; Thor, God of Thunder and Battle; Nergal, God of Plague and War; Seth, God of Chaos, et cetera. Many of them are gods that are related to combat in some way or form.
Stronger than them are those within the strongest hundred, who can essentially wipe out entire continents. Zeus, God of the Sky; Susanoo-no-Mikoto, God of Storms; Indra, God of War; Lilith, the Witch Queen; Duke Astaroth; Huanglong, the Yellow Dragon of the Centre; and Trahern, the Force of the Mountains, essentially beings that possesses nearly unrivaled strength, are all among those who are included within here. Many of them are those who have left their name down in history as supreme heroes, gods or creatures of unimaginable power.
The top fifty would then be a class above them, they are beings that under a very specific circumstance would be able to rival those who are considered the strongest in the world. They are beings that possess powers that could wipe out an entire world. However, these are beings that are generally unwilling or unable to unleash their full powers in order to not destroy the entire world. Ones you may have heard of are Beelzebub, the Prince of Gluttony; Gabriel, the Power of God. Others are ones you probably have never heard of, since among these would be beings that may have never even set foot upon this world, since they see no reason to.
The top twenty could be side to rival those at the pinnacle of the world. They are ones that are considered to be a dimension-wide threat, and could easily be in the strongest 10 in the world given a little advantage. The ones you have heard of would probably be Incubus, the King; Azazel, the Arrogance towards God; and Gadreel, the Wall God.
Finally, there is the strongest ten in the worlds. Among them are the three sons of Death, one dragons, three demons, one angel, one god and one human.”
“Yeah, a human who has reached the pinnacle all by himself. A warrior that is unrivalled among mankind. But let’s not talk about him, as his personality is truly the worst among the worst.”
‘Three sons of Death?”
“Aye, the triplet sons of Death and Andronea, perhaps the strongest dragon to ever live. Their children are truly monsters, although it may not really concern you all that much, since you may never meet them.”
“Where do you reside on the list? From the way you’re speaking, you are probably within the strongest ten aren’t you?”
“You guessed right. But it really isn’t anything to boast about. This list is only a rough list that many use, which is then altered depending on one’s knowledge on them. For us the Seven Princes of Hell, this is what we have categorised, but there may very well be many other beings that would rank highly on the list. Perhaps one day you would too.”
“Heh. What about Death and Andronea, was it? If their children are so strong, surely…”
“Surprising isn’t it? I never saw it happen, but I have full faith in the one who told me. After all, he was one of the sole witnesses of the event.”
“Anyways, now you know about the kind of outrageous monsters out there, listen carefully to my tale.”
David was deep in thought right now, he was trying hard to process all the information that Lucifer had just given him. At least 500 outrageous beings were out there, and from the way Lucifer spoke, it didn’t seem like Emmet was among them either. David didn’t really wanted to believe it, but yet he get like Lucifer wasn’t lying. There was no reason for him to, he would gain no benefits from it.
“The tale is of someone who loved his kingdom more than himself. Let’s call him M. He was born of nobility and was meant to be the next in line for the throne after his father’s death, but it all changed when he decided to secretly visit the village where the one of the kingdom’s treasured swords was kept.
When night fell and everyone was sleeping, he sneaked outside in order to try to lift the sword. The sword was enchanted magically and could not be wielded by anyone that it did not recognise as a true hero. When he tried to lift it, he failed. He was displeased by this, but he accepted it quietly. He didn’t think he had the composition to be a hero in the first place.
On the next day, just as he was about to leave, he saw someone lift the sword up easily, as if it was designed for them. The person in question was A, a young man about the same age as himself. He was surprised at this, and so were the rest of the people that witnessed this. It was a sword that had been left there for almost fifty years, and no-one had been able to wield it. The fact that someone had achieved this feat was astonishing.
He walked up to the A and asked if wanted to become his companion and fight for the kingdom. A instantly agreed, it has always been his dream to fight for his kingdom.
As time passed on, the two grew closer and became more or more like brothers. As A did not know his parents, he was never given a surname. Knowing this, M decided that A should bare the same surname as him, signifying their undying bond.
On the battlefield, A piled on many achievements, and after a few years M could see that he was a true hero for the kingdom. After the King died, at M’s coronation, he made a surprising declaration. He declared that he would abdicate the throne and A would be king. He believed that the kingdom deserved a hero as its king.
Feeling safe that the kingdom was in the right hands, M set out to traverse the world. Several years later, he heard the news that shocked his years. His kingdom was waging war against countries, one after another and were continuously victorious. Unsure of what to make of it, he went back to the kingdom.
It was there that he discovered the tragic lives of the peasants. A had made the country a power to be reckoned with, but at the same time, destroyed the lives of the people. M was furious, and when he attempted to talk with A about this, he was shunned away. In hope for a chance to talk with A, he took away the sword of the kingdom.
The same night, he was attacked by soldiers that were under A’s command. He fought desperately and managed to get away. It was at that moment that A appeared before him and told him to either accept what he was doing was to make the country strong, or leave and never return. He said that this was the task that an angel had charged him with.
M was shocked. He didn’t believe that the angels of his religion would have wanted this. But he had no way to fight against A. When A appeared before him, he could already tell that A wasn’t telling lies. That’s when he decided to turn away from his faith. He sold his soul to a demon who rivalled the angel in order to procure enough power to oppose A.
He stayed quietly in the country, and peasants rose to this side. Soon, even some worthy knights began to support him.
When he had enough of an army, and he was certain that A was going after him, he started the rebellion.
The rebellion waged on for several years, neither side coming any closer to wipe the other out. It was then, M challenged A to a final battle to end the suffering of the people. He knew that the war had caused even more suffering to the people than A’s reign did, and he wanted to end it all.
At the final battle, they went at each other. Sword against sword, magic against magic, until A used an underhand tactic and took a hostage. M was unable to raise a hand against A, and he was defeated. But knowing that A would not rest until he is truly dead, he took a leap into the lake. Upon seeing this, A immediately followed as he believed that there was no way M would die from just that.
After this, the kingdom was in chaos. Nobles rose to power to take over the kingdom, and eventually another king ascended to the throne.
But M’s sacrifice was not in vain, he had managed to end the suffering of his own people, at the cost of his own life…” Lucifer stopped there, and seemed to reminiscent about something.
“He sacrificed his own life for greater good huh? If I was to put in the same position, would I be able to do the same?”
Lucifer silently chuckled upon hearing that, despite only having known David for slightly more than a week, he was sure that David was someone who could have easily been the protagonist of the tale he just told. That was just the kind of person David seemed to be, it was obvious that he would go to all extents to protect someone he cares about, and admitting his own inferiority is exactly what M had done when he chose for A to be king instead.
“Don’t worry about such worrisome things for now. Hone your skills more, both physical and magical. Train yourself so that you would be able to survive in this world. The demon Emmet seems to have somewhat of an interest in you, and similar to any demons, they will come for you eventually. Ensure you are prepared by then. That is your priority isn’t it?”
“I suppose it is. If I want to defy the so-called fate, then I have to be strong enough to stand up on my own two feet!”
It didn’t take long for David to arrive at the back mountains, it was only a 20 minute walk from the school gates, 10 minute since he ran.
At the foot of the mountain, he began to feel something uncanny. It was similar to what he felt on the roof of the Art Museum and it made him want to throw up. He suppressed that feeling and walked up the mountain. Right now, it was of upmost importance to investigate what the source of that feeling was.
“Lucifer, can you tell what kind of magic it is?”
“Most likely some form of necromancy, you can feel it right? Different types of magic gives you a different feeling. In this case, necromancy causes a small tingling in your soul, making you feel unease.”
“Are you saying that creature affected Enzo was an undead?” David asked. From his knowledge, necromancy was a type of magic that mainly dealt with decreased spirits or the undead, and the creature from before definitely felt like it was a parasite of some sort, rather than an actual spirit.
“No, it appears to be a demonic spawn. Either that or a magically created dark-attribute parasite.”
As David ran up the mountain, the feeling of discomfort became stronger, despite being suppressed. David could tell that he was getting closer and closer to the source.
“Stop here, its coming from the right,” Lucifer said, just as David felt something strange. It wasn’t something he had experienced before, nor did he had any idea about what it was, but it was like his body understood that there was an antagonistic source around and he had to prepare for anything that comes his way.
David ran through the forests at a rapid pace, somehow he felt that if he didn’t, then something terrible could easily happen. Not long after, he arrived at an opening. It seemed like the source of his unease was here, but he couldn’t see anything.
“<Frost Shell>” David conjured up a thin layer of ice around him. It was fortunate that he had done so because the moment the spell had been casted, multiple daggers flew towards him, but were blocked by his <Frost Shell>.
David looked around to find the source of the ambush, while also quickly repairing his <Frost Shell> using magic. At that moment, he made a quick decision.
“<Flame Crash>” Fire flew out in all directions. <Flame Crash> was a intermediate tier magic that would envelope the area around the user in fire, while leaving a small space so that the caster would not be scorched. This was a bold move by David. Although it was very likely that the forests would catch fire, he thought that it was the best choice to take despite the risk. From the looks of the ambush, it seems that whoever he was supposed to find here had anticipated his arrival and hid himself. The ambush merely seconds before was a solid proof that it was someone hostile. In this forest, it was unlikely for David to be able to find his enemy before the enemy wore him down, especially since his experience in magic was surely far lower than that of his opponents.
The gambled paid off. A darkness surrounded the area, then as quickly as the fire appeared, David’s <Flame Crash> was nullified. It wasn’t a waste though, because David was lucky to spot the location where the magic came from out of the corner of his eyes.
Without wasting a precious second, he dashed towards the place, conjuring up his blades in the process.
Suddenly, a figure popped into his view. David instinctively sliced his blade. It went straight through, almost too easily. David looked at what he had cut.
“Kakakakakaka. Try again,” was what the box said. More precisely, it was the sound of a recording in a huge jack in the box that he had just sliced apart. This was the reason why the blade had passed through with no resistance, since all he sliced through was the clown.
“Try again,” a voice said behind him.
David turned back, and swung the blade in his right hand. It didn’t make contact.
David saw that on the branch of a tree 10 meter away was a thin man crouching down.The man had painted his face to resemble a clown’s, even going as far as sticking a red nose on himself.
“Kakakakakaka, it seems like you found me,” The man jumped down from the tree, and taking an exaggerated bow, “Emmet Wayne Gacy, at your service.”
Now that he was on the ground, David could see the man more clearly. He was around 190 cm tall and was dressed like a Victorian gentleman with a gothic suit and waistcoat.
“Do you recognise him?” David muttered in a low voice so that only Lucifer could hear him.
“I’m not certain, his aura feels nostalgic, but I’m sure he’s not someone I met before. But I can say with certainty that he’s a demon, that is unmistakable.”
“Kakakakakaka, don’t look at me with those eyes. I’m a clown you see? A harmless funny clown,” said Emmet Wayne Gacy, then took another exaggerated bow.
“A clown? Don’t kid around. You’re clearly a demon aren’t you?” David chuckled.
“Kakakakakaka, to have seen through me so easily. Yes I am a demon, a demon clown. Kakakakakaka.” Emmet laughed, then pulled a handkerchief out of his breast pocket to seemingly wipe away his tears of laughter.
This action puzzled David, and so he focused his eyes. He saw the same type of black parasite that had clung onto Enzo previously, “So you are the perpetrator. There’s no use denying it, you’re holding the parasite in your handkerchief.”
“Kakakakakaka. So you followed this child here? It was fun wasn’t it? That fool tried to beat up someone he couldn’t even touch. Kakakakakaka.”
“So it was you,” David glared at him with eyes full of hostility.
“Kakakakakaka, why are you so angry?”
“What is your purpose?” David was trying hard to ignore the annoying demon in front of him.
“Kakakakakaka,” Emmet suddenly flung the parasite from the handkerchief at him.
“<Gust Sphere>” David blew the parasite away from him. Somehow, it landed perfectly on Emmet’s handkerchief once more.
Seeing this hostility, David took a few steps forward and tried to use his blade to slice Emmet. It passed through cleanly, all too cleanly. Emmet fell onto the floor.
“Kakakakakaka, that was quick human. I didn’t see you for a second. Kakakakakaka.”
David looked towards the source of the voice and found himself facing Emmet once more.
“Kakakakakaka, don’t look so confused. It’s a clone you see? A clone. Anyways, it’s a pleasure meeting you, interesting human. Adieu. Kakakakakaka.” And with that, Emmet disappeared.
“Lucifer… what was that?”
“I’m still thinking, but it seems like he used something akin to <Teleport>. He definitely wasn’t a normal demon, most likely a servant of a demon royal or even an archdemon.”
“Were… were you able to analyse anything else?”
“I never said anything about helping you defeat the ones you’re frustrated with.”
“Just answer the question…”
“Heh, aside from what I said earlier… That was most likely a demon that was created from a mana source. He seemed like an assassin or an observer to me, as opposed to a demon that stand on the front lines. The parasite was definitely not of his magic, despite him showing affinity with it. Furthermore, the clone and the jack-in-a-box you slashed apart both seemed to be some technological items. Either his own or given to him by another servant demon. There is no way this demon was a normal one.”
“How was he able to nullify <Flame Crash>?”
“I would hazard a guess at that being the ability of an item rather than his own magic. It seemed to be a dark-attribute spell that held similar effects to that of <Conversion> which is an alchemic ability. Oh, he also seemed to be conducting an experiment of some sort. Or was monitoring someone.”
“Could it actually be me?”
“I doubt it, you hold traces of my magic, but it is not on a level where demon of that level can detect. Furthermore, your magic don’t hold any trace of my magic either, which although is weird, makes it even less likely for you to be a monitor target.”
“I see…” David thought about what this implied, before going back home.
When he arrived back home, David lied down onto his bed almost straight away.
“Hey Lucifer, tell me about this world.”
“Why the sudden curiosity?”
“I need to be prepared for anything. Today… Even though I got out unscathed, I barely understood what was going on. I was played like a fool, both in terms of fighting capabilities and… in the short conversation. I want to know more, understand more. Then maybe I can react to situations in a different manner, be more calm and analytical about situations. I lost my cool twice, only because I could’t even hazard a guess at what that demon was going to do.”
“You’re an interesting host you know? Fine, I shall entertain you. What do you want to know?”
“Everything. But start by telling me about the strong, someone I can strive to become… Someone who will never lose. Because I understand now, I understand that in this world, losing can mean losing your life. That demon… Emmet could have easily killed me today. I don’t want to be in that predicament again.”
“Then I suppose I shall tell you about those who are said to be the strongest in the worlds, and a tale of one of them who has been recorded down in history as a being, neither a hero nor a saviour, but someone who had the resolution to exchange his life for his people’s.”
A large ball of water shot towards the branch, the impact of which instantly breaking it, causing it to fall towards the ground. Seeing this, David was rather pleased with himself. In just a week’s time, he has already improved the effects of his spells greatly. Initially, he had found that aside from an affinity with ice magic, he was also capable of using fire magic to a decent level, while his water, earth and wind magic usage was quite poor. He found that it was rather difficult to construct a solid image of exactly what he wanted in his mind.
Right now, he has managed to train himself to form a clear image for the basic spells <Aqua Bullet>, <Gust Sphere> and <Rock Bullet>, although not on the level of a prodigy of magic, it does reflect on his affinity for magic.
“Dae! You here?” David could hear Helaine looking for him at the front of the house. It was very fortunate that his family was relatively rich, so they could afford to buy a house on a mountain near the seaside. This offered him the perfect place to practice his magic without anyone seeing him.
“Yeah, I’m in the backyard. Let yourself in, I’m going to take a shower real quick then get changed.”
If anyone that weren’t familiar with them saw this scene, they would surely mistakenly assume that the two of them were an item, but for them, this was already a daily occurrence. If it wasn’t Helaine that came over for David, it would be David going over to her house to find her. They truly treasured each other.
It was lunch time, and David was bored out of his mind in the Common Room. Registration and the first three lesson had passed by quickly for David. It always felt this way considering how he found the topics he was studying quite easy.
“Ya there! Who da **** do ya think ya are?”
“It appears like there was another idiot here.” Was what David thought to himself.
“Listen to moi, ya faggot!” David narrowly dodged a pen stand that was suddenly launched at him. He looked up. The loud idiot shouting was Enzo. He was a relatively new student in David’s year that only enrolled last month, standing at 198 cm, he towered over most of the people in the year.
“Ya listenin’ now?” Enzo glared at him. it was obvious that he was furious for some reason. David had no idea of the reason, he didn’t think they got off the wrong foot, in fact as far as David could recall, they hadn’t interacted much at all, mostly because David thought that Enzo had seemed like a relatively troublesome person.
“What do you want, Enzo?” David asked.
“What’d ya think *****? Get da **** away from her.”
“What?” David was confused, he had completely no idea of what Enzo was talking about. He didn’t think that he was close with girls that was on good terms with Enzo, certainly not his girlfriend or anything.
“You heard the man. You understand punk?” The one who said this was Alessio, one of Enzo’s cronies and one of the students that enrolled with Enzo. Apparently Alessio has been Enzo’s lapdog in his old school, like how his father works for Enzo’s father. There were rumours that Enzo’s father had ties with the Italian mafia, but David couldn’t really care less.
“Get da **** away from moi gal.” Enzo walked closer.
“Can you just answer the damn question? Who are you even talking about? I barely know Cassia.” David was annoyed now, Enzo had come off as a muscle head, but David didn’t expect that he would be so hard to talk to. He and Cassia, who is Enzo’s girlfriend, never even talked to each other despite being in the same school for 3 years.
“Stop acting, I’m talkin’ ‘bout that slutty brunette. Ya lil piece of…”
“Are you talking about Helly?” David glared at him. David thought Enzo was a troublesome person and so avoided him, but he wouldn’t let him go if he insulted Helaine, who had been with him through thick and thin.
“So what?” Enzo reached out his hand towards David, but right before he made contact with the scruff of David’s collar, his arm was grabbed and twisted, then before he knew what was going on he had hit his face onto the table.
“Enzo! Are you okay?” Alessio quickly helped Enzo up.
“YA DARE TO TAKE DIS OUTSIDE?” Enzo’s face flushed red. Being very muscular himself and often intimidated other people with his build, he didn’t expect himself to be humiliated by David, who was a good 18 cm shorter than him.
“Heh, why not?” David agreed. He could tell that this was the best course of action to take, he could tell that Enzo wouldn’t let him off if he just said no.
The other people in the common room started to look at them, and when they heard David’s reply they gasped. Enzo interpreted this as them thinking that David was foolish to agree to this. However, unbeknownst to him, since he was relatively new to the school, David was one of the people you don’t want to pick a fight with. Although he acts calm and civilized, everyone knew that David didn’t have a particularly good temper. Furthermore, it’s also a widespread rumor that David had single handedly beaten up a gang of 5 armed robbers that had targeted him.
David walked out the building to the back of the school. Enzo and Alessio, alongside the crowd, soon followed.
As soon as Enzo reached where David was, the crowd encircled them. In Enzo’s eyes, David seemed vastly unprepared. His hands were hanging by his sides, he seemed to be full of openings. Enzo smirked, during the last few minutes he managed to convince himself that David was just lucky earlier.
He charged towards David, swinging his fist wildly. It didn’t make contact. He swung again, once again it missed.
David easily sidestepped all of Enzo’s punches. The speed of it was nothing compared to the high orc he had fought a few days ago. Additionally, his body had also been strengthened after becoming Lucifer’s host. David was not threatened at all.
After 5 more swings, Enzo took a step back.
“You done?” David asked sarcastically. Enzo hadn’t been able to even graze him a tiny bit, and it was clear that this frustrated Enzo to no end.
This provocation added fuel to the fire in Enzo, “Alessio, give it to moi.”
“Boss, are you sure about it? We’re at…”
“Just ******* give it to moi!” Enzo shouted, causing Alessio to jump up. He reached into his jacket and pulled out something that a normal student shouldn’t have.
It was a black Beretta 90two. When Enzo saw it, his face twisted into a dark smile. It was as if all logic had left him. He grabbed the gun from Alessio and pointed it towards David.
“Just fuc…” Enzo was shocked by David’s actions.
David had lunged towards him and before Enzo had finished his sentence, landed an uppercut below his chin. Then David kicked the side of his head. He attempted to defend himself by raising his arms up instinctively. David grabbed the left hand that held the gun with his own left hand, then used a palm strike towards the back of the elbow.
It was as if everyone heard the shattering of Enzo’s bones alongside his screams. The gun dropped to the floor. Many of the crowd were wide in shock. They didn’t expect the situation to turn like this. They had expected them to go at each other like high school students, but what they saw was David being completely unscathed, Enzo pulling out a gun, and David breaking Enzo’s arm with one palm strike.
Enzo fell down onto the floor. It seemed like he had fainted from the pain.
David glanced down at Enzo, disinterested. It seems like he should have hold himself back just a little bit.
“David, he’s being influenced by something.” Lucifer suddenly said. “It’s trying to escape now.”
David looked down, and true enough a small worm-like creature had crawled out of the back of Enzo’s scruff and was crawling away. Instead of catching it immediately, David decided to keep an eye out of it and silently made a note to capture it once it was out of sight of other people.
“Dae! Are you okay? I just heard about what was going on here!” David immediately raised his head up to see who it was. Expectedly, it was Helaine that rushed towards David, and due to this, he had lost sight of the strange creature.
“Don’t worry too much about it, the aura radiating from its body might be weak, but I can still manage to trace it to where it is.” Lucifer said. It seems like he could tell that David was going to have hard time getting away from this one.
“Thanks.” said Helaine as she nudged David with her shoulder. They were sitting side by side on the roof of the sports hall. It was time for after-school activities, she was supposed to be in cheerleading practice, but she didn’t feel like going right now.
David reached over and caressed her head with his right hand, which she wasn’t leaning on, “Once again I overreacted didn’t I?”
Now that David had time to calm down a bit, he did feel like he might have gone overboard, despite his foe holding a gun in his face. He probably could have held back a bit and subjugated Enzo without breaking his arm, instead knocking him down and disarming him might have been the more appropriate reaction. That would have also allowed him to question him to see if he knows anything about that strange black creature. Right now, Enzo had fainted from pain and was delivered to the hospital, so there was no way David could question him within a suitable time frame.
Helaine looked up at David, “The fact that you got angry for me… It makes me happy you know?”
“I did promise that I’ll protect you from everything.” David replied. It was a cliche line, but when he made the promise to her, both of them were really young.
Helaine quickly turned her head away to hide her face, she was blushing redder than the sun itself, “Stop saying that, people will misunderstand!”
“Heh will they?” David chuckled, he did mean everything he said, but there were times where he just didn’t consider how other people will react upon hearing his conversations with her.
“Humph. I going to practice now.” Helaine stood up and elegantly walked to the stairs of the roof.
“That’s a nice relationship isn’t it?” Lucifer suddenly asked.
“Yeah, she’s one of the few people I would give my life to protect.” David meant everything he said. To him, Helaine was an irreplaceable existence. “But what’s more important here is where the trace of magic leads to.”
“Back mountains, the magic trace seemed to have stopped for a while now, probably with another magician or something.”
“Then let’s go. Although I do wonder what is it with these magicians. And honestly what did Enzo get himself into?”
It’s been a while since we have last met. How are you doing? Don’t worry about me at all, I’ll come back alive. When this is done, I shall hand over to you a brand new world where you shall be free to pursue your dreams. We shall not follow these false leaders, weak and foolish, we will be led to ruin at this rate.
Those of heaven have moved against our race, our leaders are nowhere to be found. We shall use this chance to strike down our foolish kings and build up a new empire.
As I’m writing this, the preparations in the human world have begun. The seeds we have planted several decades ago are ready to harvest. This shall be the place where we shall start to obtain everything.
That was all what I wish I could tell you about. But the truth is, its not going so well. We have made some preparations that seems to be going smoothly, but the whites are not cooperating much. That Zarachiel, who does he think he is? Does he not realize we’re going against someone who could possible be some of the strongest beings in the worlds?
Out of the ten, we have 3 of them as our enemies. That false demon of the fallen, that bewitching ****, and that girl who has looked down on us since forever. I suppose its a good that the whites and the dragons of the ten will not oppose us. The human most likely won’t either, although I still think he’s either lying about being human or he just doesn’t exist. Then there’s the other three.
The red one and the one of shadows never intervened with any of our wars, so I suppose all is well. The problem is the black one. He’s been missing, no one knows where he is and that’s a problem. We’re too afraid to make a big move. You probably think of your older brother as pathetic right? Scared of a myth.
The problem is that he’s all too real. I still remember that dominating power he used to wipe away half of our army and half of the whites. We were truly powerless against him. He had done it just to deter us from affecting him in any way or form. It was only due to that, that we had stopped the war. Then these fools took over and we’re here. I want our race to be strong once again, not under these false prophets.
Even if we have to cooperate with the whites, I shall gladly do so for my dreams and my ideals. I will create a world where you need not worry no more.
“You’re telling me that you didn’t know why you fainted in the first place. Then you got hungry at the hospital, so you rushed out to get some food, and then you went back home because of extreme fatigue?”
“Ehhh…” David didn’t know what to say at this point. He knew it wasn’t a good excuse, but he couldn’t think of a better one, and telling her the truth would only make him seem like he’s lying even more. This was the only possible way, he should be fine if he was to make up a slightly realistic lie, and then confess the “truth” afterwards. This way he doesn’t have to tell the actual truth, which other people will most likely find crazy.
“Just tell me what really happened, Dae. I’m really worried you know?” Helaine was looking at him with tearful eyes, it made David feel quite bad about himself, making such a beautiful girl cry. However, before worrying about that, he needed to get through this first, Helaine wasn’t someone he should mess with. Knowing him as well, or even better than himself did, she would continuously pester him until he eventually give in. If that ever happened, David wasn’t sure how she would react. Being treated as completely crazy was one thing, but if she was somehow dragged into this mess… David didn’t want to think about the circumstances.
“Che, you saw through me like a piece of glass huh?”
“Of course, I have known you for over 10 years.”
“Well, I honestly don’t remember much about what happened when I fainted. But I ran out of the hospital because it was the last day for sending off this research hypothesis to the research organization, since I needed to edit some parts of my proposal, I didn’t have time to talk to you at all. Then I fell asleep, so I didn’t know you came over.”
Helaine stared at him for a bit, her eyes seemed to silently question him before finally relaxing.
“Are you okay then? Wait… You must be hungry, let me make you something, it’s about time for lunch anyways.” Helaine got up from her seat and walked out her room to the kitchen. It seems like David’s plan worked. He felt kinda bad for lying to her, but it can’t be helped. With that thought, he followed her to see what he could help with.
Around an hour later, they managed to finish food preparation. Although it was both of them that worked to cook, David only managed to help by chopping up meat and tomato for the Bolognese sauce. Aside from that, everything else was done by Helaine.
“Mhmm this is great, did you change the Bolognese sauce from usual? It taste somewhat different, a little bit more fresh.”
“Haha, you noticed! Yep, This time I mixed in oregano when making the sauce, do you like it?” Helaine had a huge smile on her face, a pure innocent smile that was completely natural on a teenage girl. She gave off an atmosphere that was completely different from the one David had experienced the previous day.
“Yeah, it’s great.” David felt relieved, it seemed that despite experiencing the surreal situation, he is reminded that it was more or less a one time thing, he was still a high school student, and would still experience a normal highschool life.
A week passed by without any incidents. David had developed a new schedule for himself to prepare for the unexpected. He would now wake up 5 o’clock in the morning, practice magic, get something to eat, then go to school. After school, he would go to the Muay Thai dojo along with Joseph and spar for a few hours before having going home to practice with the pair of blades that he is now able to conjure and dismiss at will. Apparently it was a type of spatial magic called <Equip>, and depending on the user, could allow them to equip different sorts of items stored within their <Dimension Storage> or a set location. For David, it seemed to be the latter, although neither him nor Lucifer could figure out where it was stored.
In addition to all this, David would also listen to Lucifer lecture him about the different races he might encounter whenever he had free time. Generally, they would be classed into groups: humans, demons, angels, demi-humans (i.e. beastmen), Dragons, Reapers, Fairy-kinds, undead and the so-called monsters.
Humans are a group of races that have the least variety among the different races. Aside from different base specs (i.e. speed, agility, strength, stamina, and magic affinity etc.), humans are more or less the same.
Demons are what most people would expect. Many of them have been recorded down in human history and mythology. They are a group of races that resides in their own realms. Within this group, races can differ a lot, some are extremely intelligent beings, others much less so, and would act like mindless beasts. Different from humans is that the majority of them are capable of manipulating magic of one kind or another.
Angels are a race created by gods, in this world, they were created by the Christian god to act out his will. They can be divided further into Grigori (fallen angels) and the ones that did not fall, and also depending on their hierarchy, they would possess different levels of strength. On top of the ones that did not fall would be the seraphim, followed by cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels and normal angels. The Grigori, on the other hand, did not lack such distinctions, but could also be classified like those that did not fall as they lacked no distinction from them outside of having fell from heaven.
Demi-humans are a race similar to humans, both possesses traits that normal humans don’t possess. Lycans and lizardmen are good examples of such races. Since it was a wide classification, demi-humans did vary a lot. Furthermore, orcs, goblins, trolls and ogres also fitted into this category. Due to their various differences, they also possessed a lot of variety in terms of their abilities. Mermen would be also to swim well, but would be at a massive disadvantage outside of water, whereas races like harpies would be helpless underwater despite their advantages against enemies in the air.
Dragons are a dominating race. Commonly speaking, massive amounts of mana circulated within a dragon’s body at any given time. Even the a wyvern hatchling, which would be one of the weakest draconic races, had the mana capacity of ten demi-humans. However, it seems like most dragons liked to keep to themselves, away from the outside world, so it was relatively unlikely for David to encounter one in the near future.
Fairy-kinds incorporated many races, from dwarfs to elves to faeries and pixies. They are a group of races that, like dragons, hold tremendous mana within their bodies and were tied much closer to the existence of magic and mana than anything else. Furthermore, they were tied to nature as well, with dwarfs favouring the mountains and naiads are fond of the rivers.
Undeads are a classification for anything that was “living” yet should be dead. Liches and zombies are two examples of such. Although they could form naturally, undeads are generally summoned or created through the use of magic. Necromancy in particular is able to do this with relative ease. However, most undeads also have the weakness of light, making them relatively easy to defeat as long as one is prepared.
Lastly, it was the classification of races known as monsters. It was like demi-humans, an extremely broad classification that included anything that was not classified elsewhere. Essentially it included races from phoenixes to slimes.
It was David that pestered Lucifer to lecture him on these topics. He wished to be prepared for any situation that could be thrown at him. He was determined to continue to live his normal life, while being Lucifer’s host and surviving the “fate” that Lucifer claimed his host had.
It was the next day. David was back home and not in school. He was glad that the doctor’s note had said that it was recommended for him to rest for a day at home before going back to school. After witnessing what he saw, he had tons of questions piled up, and this time he was determined to have them answered.
“David, I’m sure you have a lot to ask. I did not expect this to occur at all. Although before asking, are you sure that you are sufficiently rested?” Lucifer did not sound like the previous day, he sounded genuinely concerned for David’s health. After the incident, David had been in complete shock, he was barely able to move his body back home before collapsing on his bed. He didn’t utter a single word to anyone. Despite having just contracted with him, Lucifer had watched over David and offered him a contract time and time again, all the while observing his behavior, he could already tell that his actions were clearly out of character. He knew David had a lot to ask, and he wanted David to be in the best physical condition before answering the questions.
“Yeah… I’m fine,” David hesitated, he felt fine physically, but a lot was going through his head. It was truly fortunate that he was still logical enough to know that only by asking Lucifer all of the questions on his head would he be able to relieve himself of his worries. “Who are you?”
“My name is Lucifer Morgenstern. I was once the right hand of god. It was in heaven that I was given the name of Morgenstern, a name meaning morning star. When God had asked us to bow down to men, I refused. Not only that, I convinced others to follow my lead. I did not understand why God would have asked us to bow down to these mortals, so I had hoped to ask God to retract his command with all my companions.
But I was betrayed. Betrayed by the one who I thought was my closest friend and brother. It was Michael that betrayed me, he framed me for rebellion and for this, God had casted the Grigori and I down from heaven. We fell for seven days and seven nights before landing in Hell. It was there that the Grigori left me, many cursed my name. I was left alone.
I had no idea what to do, I had hardly anything left, my wings were black, my soul was hollow. It was in my despair that I lost control of my powers. Perhaps it was always hidden in my subconsciousness, my magic casted a spell which transformed me into a demon.
Following that, Leviathan found me. Despite my looks changing, she recognized me and attacked. Somehow I had fended off her attack. Perhaps it was out of pity that she finally stopped and asked me about my situation, and I spilled it to her. She convinced me to continue living as a demon.
Eventually I grew to become more famous within Hell and fed up with the way the society worked with the hierarchy of the 72 scriptures, we started an actual rebellion. It was through this method that I eventually ascended to the throne, claiming the Throne of Superbia, becoming the Prince of Pride. That’s about it, would it be sufficient?” Lucifer replied.
“As I said before, can you prove it?” David asked, he was more keen to believe Lucifer now after what happened the previous day, but he still held his doubts.
It was then, David’s view turned black, then grey, then finally white. He was surrounded by white, but he wasn’t too surprised. He had been here before in his dreams. It was here that the voice, now Lucifer, had offered a contract to him. Before him stood a dignified man with long blond hair with fair features. On his back was a pair of large bat-like wings that was pitch black, the only thing that gave him away as a demon and not an angel. David could guess who he was. The being standing before him had to be no other than…
“It is the first time you have seen this form of mine. Once again, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lucifer Morgenstern.”
It was like he expected, the being was Lucifer.
“David, is this enough proof?”
“For now. I don’t believe you 100%, but for now it’s good enough. Next question, what happened yesterday?”
“I’ll assume you’re referring to what he was doing and what happened to him right?”
“That and also who that succubus was.”
“Judging by the looks of things, it would appear that the magician yesterday was attempting to summon a succubus, it’s actually quite evident from the magic circle he used that you probably noticed on the ground. The man succeeded, or actually overachieved himself. If it was a weak succubus, the magic circle would have done its job and restrained her.
Oh I should explain about demons first. Demons are split into very many different races, just to name a few of them: imps, succubi, incubi, rakshasas. And unlike popular belief, the term “Archdemon” does not refer to a specific race of demons, but refers to a demon that possesses immense power. I would be one of the Archdemons, but in terms of the demon race, I would be an unique existence, one of the only two demons that was transformed into a demon by a spell casted by themselves.
Going back to the topic of yesterday, the demon that came out of the portal was Asmodeus, not a succubus. Asmosdeus is the Princess of Lust, the one that holds the Throne of Luxuria. Although somewhat akin to a succubus, she is not one herself, but the one who created them in the first place. What she did to the man was merely combust his entire being alongside the spirits of the dead he seems to be using. The magic she used should be <Soul Combustion>. As for why she was here, if I was to actually hazard a guess, it would be because of our contract. It’s been a long time since one of the Seven Princes of Hell formed a contract with anyone, even longer that we have had a host and a meister. My last host was during the Arthurian era.”
“What did Asmodeus’ words mean? She specifically told me to become strong or else I wouldn’t survive what was coming. What exactly is she referring to?”
Lucifer smiled wryly, “She’s referring to fate. My hosts generally did not have a long lifespan. All of them have died before their time came, for one reason or another.”
“For what did they die for? What exactly hunted them down? Fate? That’s too vague.”
“They were all the type of people to live and fight for their ideals. Taking my last host for example. He was a hero among men, and he fought for his country and his people. He died trying to fight for what he believed in. Those are the types of hosts I have had in the past.”
“Then why me? Out of everyone, why take notice of a young man doing his first summoning that he wasn’t sure if it will succeed or not? Why offer me salvation against an orc? What caught your attention?”
“Your affinity with magic, your aura. All of them resembles my last host. In fact, it feels identical to his. That kind of desire, to fight for what you believe in. Even willing to turn against the entire world for the sake of protecting the people important to you. That also resembles him. Among the people that conduct summoning to try and summon me, you are the sole person in the last few hundred years to have this level of resemblance to my past host.”
“Che, your past host huh? Who was he?”
“A man who loved his people more than himself. A truly selfless one, who has been unjustly recorded down as a villain.”
“That I cannot say, out of a promise. It is to honor his memory, for us who are immortal, he will live forever in our memories. My only hope was to find someone like him to be my host and wield my strength as your own. That is the reason why you were chosen.”
David wanted to ask about the name of Lucifer’s past host once again, but he realized that any more, and he would be acting completely insensitively. He didn’t want to be that type of person, even against a demon, he believed that one must maintain a certain level of common courtesy at all time.
“It’s fine if your unwilling to answer me. It’s not like its really relevant to the topic at hand anyways. So essentially you chose me and not anyone else due to my semblance to your past host. I’ll get more out of you later. So right now, tell me about what the magician meant by “Chanting Omission”? I can guess the general gist of it, but I want to hear it from you.”
“Chanting Omission is essentially the ability to cast spells without chanting the incantation. Most magicians require a chant in order to use magic. As a person gets more familiar with casting, they are able to shorten the incantations, omit it all together or cast it silently in their heads. What you did was omit the incantation. However it wasn’t a simple <Water Sphere> or <Fireball>, but intermediate-tier spells, to omit the entire incantation and to just fire off the spell through uttering the name of the magic is something only a very accomplished magician can do. The fact that you were able to show the high levels of aptitude you have for magic, something that is not exactly common.”
“And why am I able to do it so naturally? You told me that to use magic, I would only need to visualise the image in my head and then chant out the name of the magic. Why did you not tell me any of this earlier?”
“I didn’t deem it necessary. You are someone born with an immense amount of mana already, and you are able to host my power without any drawbacks. I simply judged that you were capable of castings spells without chanting.”
“Then to what extent am I able to do it? Is it possible for you to teach me some form of higher-tiered magic?”
“Most things are rather simple. Like I have explained before, magic is separated into a lot of categories: Fire, Water/Ice, Wind, Light, Dark, Earth are some examples of non-unique magic.. Under these categories, they would be further distinct by their usage: offense, defense, enchantments, et cetera. Most mages would learn magic through the use of spells that have been used over and over again. The name of the magic is merely a way for us to focus magic. It doesn’t actually matter if <Fireball> was called <Fireball>, <Storm’s End>, <Magic of Disappearance> or whatever you can think of. It is only a means for the user to focus on the point of the magic. If it was tied to a name, then people with different languages would not be able to cast the same sort of magic. However, it is very common for mages and magicians to stay with the conventional name of a magic, mainly because it would allow them to visualize the effects properly and focus their magic into achieving the target. That is the underlying truth behind magic.
You want to learn of stronger spells to test your limits. For now, I would recommend against it. If you were to strain your body, then it might cause you more harm than good. It will not be difficult for you to learn these magic, so rest yourself for now.”
“Fair enough. Now onto the next question then. What are the exact effects of being a meister? What additional power will I be able to weird in comparison to a normal mage?”
“Being my meister and my host, you should be able to borrow some of my mana to cast spells and use magic unique to me. Generally, contract with a demon also involves the strengthening of one’s body to a greater level.”
“Is that so? Hmmm…” David pondered, even without him asking, Lucifer had answered many of his questions. “Last question. Yesterday you talked about the place having the same trace of magic as the orc. Were you lying? And I’m pretty sure you talked about high orcs?”
“I was being truthful, it did hold the same trace of magic as the high orc you killed. If I were to guess, the magician probably summoned the orc as a test to see if his summoning was working properly. The magician did mention that he recognized you right? Most likely he also wanted to use the orc for something. As for high orc, that was the type of orc you killed. High orcs are orcs that have evolved, gaining a bit more intelligence and improved physical stats. This is the same for most of the races humans refer to as monsters, fairies and demi-humans.”
“I see. Your guess is probably right on target, it does seem to make quite a bit of sense.” David answered. “Is there any job for me to do today?”
“Just take a rest. It’s not like things will continuously happen here everyday. I rather not overwork you.”
“Heh, fine. I suppose this is where I say, please take care of me.”
“Yeah, it’ll be a pleasure to work with you.” Lucifer held out his hand. David took it in his hand and shook. The scene before him started to fade away, and once again returned to the familiar scene in his room.
Now that he thought about it, the situation just now was rather surreal, if the last 2 days didn’t happen, he would have taken what he saw as a dream. Since he had sorted out his emotions through asking Lucifer a bunch of questions, he felt rather calm, only realizing one crucial thing – He had forgotten to get back to Helaine about everything. Knowing her, she was probably quite stressed out about him.
He decided to call her.
“DAE!!! Where have you been? You ran off yesterday and never answered your phone! I went around your house and other places you could be, looking for you! Just what happened?” David could hear Helaine shouting anxiously at him from the the other side of the phone.
“I’ll tell you when I see you? I’ll come over now if it’s alright?” David replied, it would take him a while to get there, especially if he went over to the convenience store to buy something along the way.