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.”