[Vol 4] Intermission 2: Return of the Demon



Ice King It was a peaceful day back at Pharamville. One night had passed since we left the small farming village. The townspeople continued with their daily activies as usual, the only thing that’s changed due to yesterday’s incident, was that the townspeople started to pay respects to the local deity again.

Iqaos, the Nine-Tailed Fox with snow-white fur, was the local deity of Pharamville. He was currently lying lazily beside the shrine and was bathed in the Faith Power of the townspeople. Naturally, since Iqaos was a Spiritual being to begin with, normal people was unable to perceive him.

As explained previously, Faith Power is an intangible energy that the local deities use to create a domain that keep beings with evil intention away. The more powerful the domain, the more effective it is. Naturally, to strengthen the domain, more Faith Power is needed, and to gather more Faith Power, one has to increase their followers.

Ever since the townspeople started paying their respects at the local shrine, they’ve noticed a visible drop of monsters in the surrounding areas. At first, they were quite doubtful and didn’t really believe that it’d work, but after the townspeople received news from the local adventurers that there were hardly any monsters to be found in the surrounding forest, they started to believe that everything we told them yesterday were true.

Because of that, the village chief made it mandatory for all the villagers to offer their prayers at the local shrine at least once a day. Naturally, the one who benefited most from this was Iqaos. Not only was he able to earn Faith Power from doing almost nothing, he was able to get free food from the villagers as an offering to the deity.

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Setting up the domain was a one time thing, so long as the domain was set up, it would stay active until the deity ran out of Faith Power or it was personally deactivated by the deity. Basically, Iqaos was living the king’s life.

But of course, there were some risks to it as well. Spiritual beings were a race that was easily contaminated by the malevolence. For that very reason, most Spiritual beings do not stay in close proximity to the human soecity, as places with humans tend to have thick miasma. Once a Spiritual being was bathed in too much malevolence, they would lose their mind and turn into a violent creature. That’s why they need a vessel to prevent that from happening. But of course, even that was not hundred percent foolproof.

“Yawn~” Iqaos let out a yawn and curled up on the grassy field just beside the small temple. He just ate his fill and was lazily nestling on the ground. However, just at this time…

*Twitch! Twitch!*

… his ears twitched twice as he raised his head in alert. He could feel something or somebody entering his domain, someone who harbored an undisguised evil intent.

Iqaos frowned and let out a groan, “… Looks like I have an uninvited guest.”

With that, Iqaos stood up from the ground, and with a “swish,” he disappeared from the grassy field in the blink of an eye.

……

In the forest just a few kilometers away from any human civilization, an “unknown” creature had just entered Iqaos’ domain. That creature had humanoid features, but one thing that was different from a human was that he had horns protruding from the side of his head. This was a creature commonly known as demons.

When the “demon” had entered the domain, he could feel some sort of bizarre energy trying to drive him away. However, he was not so weak as to be driven off by something of this level.

“Ugh… so it’s true… I can certainly feel the power of the domain at work here… Seems like the gods are working hard to rebuild people’s faith in them, another god-demon war will be inevitable…” The demon shook his head in grieve as he recalled the god-demon war that took place a few decades ago.

*Rustle! Rustle! Rustle!*

A shadow brushed the thickets as it ran past the demon. “Who’s there?!” The demon could sense an undisguised hostility from the shadow. He raised his guard and turned around to face the rustling shrubs.

“Hoh… I never expected to see a demon still roaming around in broad daylight…” Suddenly, Iqaos appeared from behind the demon. Without giving the demon a chance to turn around, Iqaos had already launched an attack of his own.

“Now, die!” Iqaos pounced over with his sharp claws that could cut through steel as if it was made out of paper. Sure of his victory, Iqaos let his guard down. However, out of his expectation, the demon’s reaction speed was faster than he predicted.

The demon turned around with unspeakable speed and cladded his left arm with battle-qi to block Iqaos’ claws. He clenched his other fist tightly and concentrated the rest of the battle-qi in that fist to prepare for a counterattack. However, when his fist made contact with Iqaos’ body, he didn’t feel any weight behind that body.

Iqaos had moved with lightning fast speed and avoided the attack in the last second, leaving only his afterimage behind. With a “Ksssh!” Iqaos slid sideways and got behind the demon once again.

This time, he didn’t let his guard down and channeled Spiritual Power into his claws, generating Claws of Wind that could rip even the space apart. Sensing the imminent danger, the demon immediately crushed the crystal ball that he was holding.

When the crystal ball was crushed, a thick and murky energy leaked out and immediately, all the plants in the surrounding area wilted. Iqaos immediately froze on the spot and broke out in cold sweat. The aura that leaked out from the crystal ball was undeniably that of the strongest class of demons, the Demon Lord!

“Im-impossible! This… This isn’t possible! The Demon Lords are supposed to be sealed in the dungeons!” Iqaos was in denial, he simply couldn’t believe that the Demon Lords would be making an appearance now, not after some twenty plus odd years.

“Kehehehehehehehe!” The demon felt a sense of supremacy now that he had gained an advantage over Iqaos, he let out a wicked laugh and continued to add fuel to the fire, “Do you really think the demons are doing nothing over the past two decades of confinement? Wrong!! We have been building our forces and hatched many ingenious plans! And this crystal ball is our latest invention, with it, even a low-class Demon like me is able to borrow a portion of the Demon Lord’s power! Behold! The power of “he” who is only second to the Demon God, the power of the Ice King, Lord Joseph!”

Ice King With that, the demon was enveloped by the thick, murky energy as his body started to transform. Before long, the demon had a completely different appearance. From head to toe, he was covered in black, pointy scales. There were four or five pair of horns protruding from his head, and he had two pair of scaly wings.

Iqaos instinctively moved a few steps backward. He remembered this figure very clearly, this was the figure of the Ice King, the leader of the Demon Lords, and the direct subordinate of the Demon God. He is, without a doubt, the strongest of the Demon Lords.

“Kehehehehehe! All hail Lord Joseph!” With words of praise, the demon launched a seemingly unstoppable attack towards Iqaos. At that time, the only thing going through Iqaos’ head was, “Am I going to die?”

His body was completely frozen stiff from fear. Despite the fact that the borrowed power was less than a tenth of the Demon Lord’s actual power, Iqaos was still intimidated by the figure of the Ice King alone. After all, the Ice King was really too terrifying. In order to flaunt its strength, it single-handedly massacred an army of local deities, and even heavily injured one of the gods.

Iqaos could only stare blankly as the enemy’s fist got closer and closer. Just when the fist was right before his face, Iqaos instinctively shut his eyes tightly.

However… one second… two seconds… three seconds later… the fist still haven’t hit him. Iqaos opened his eyes suspiciously and saw a figure covered in black robe currently confronting the demon. That person had a crystal ball about the size of a basketball on his left hand, it was that mysterious Fortune Teller who Tiffania encountered in a certain faraway town. How he got here in matter of seconds was a mystery in itself. Regardless of that, it was true that he did save Iqaos from certain death.

“W-Who are you…?” Iqaos asked the mysterious Fortune Teller with a shaky voice. However, he did not answer the question and replied with dubious words, “Iqaos, it is not time for you to go yet, you still have a role to fulfill.”

“W-What are you…” Before Iqaos could finish his sentence, the demon retaliated. “Kiiii—! You small fry, begone!”

“We will continue this some other time, but now, we have a more urgent business to take care of!” The Fortune Teller reminded Iqaos to stay alert and continued, “I will extract the Demon Lord’s seed from the demon, take the chance when it reverts back to its original form to finish it off.”

*Nods!*

Iqaos only nodded in silence and turned his attention to the demon. With the help of the Fortune Teller, Iqaos was able to finish off the demon smoothly. Before the demon died, he let out a death throes and keep shouting the name of the Ice King.

When Iqaos turned around to continue questioning the mysterious Fortune Teller, he was already gone without a trace.

“Just… who was that… how did he know my name? What did he mean by a role to fulfill?” Iqaos was filled with one question after another. But then, he suddenly realized something, “That aura I felt from him… it feels oddly familiar…… Wait… he couldn’t be… a god?!”


Author’s Note:

This… was supposed to come out a lot earlier… but well, Pokemon Sun and Moon was released recently and I decided to dedicate my time to clear the game first before continue writing. So there you have it…



References

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