|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2237 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1012 words|
“Lapis! Everyone stay calm!”
“I’ll restrain him! Use any opening you can!”
Diaria continued shooting more arrows, while Ciel carefully shot spells to cripple the emperor’s movements.
“So annoying! You’ll be the first ones to die then!”
The emperor pointed his palm at them, and a large amount of mana began gathering in front of him. That was…
“Take cover, you two! Focus on defense!”
“Make a barrier!”
An enormous fireball was shot from the emperor’s hand. Ciel’s barrier managed to stop it, but that was not the only spell used by him. A second one followed, and then yet another one, which was more than Ciel could stop.
Ciel groaned as her barrier shattered, the flames seemed about to reach her, but then a beast jumped in, dispelling the fireballs.
“Oh? One of the Four Great Spirits, huh.”
The emperor sounded impressed, but not bothered. Sol charged forward, swinging his terrifying fangs to tear the emperor apart, but a swing of the emperor’s sword was all it needed to make Sol vanish.
“H-he just…took out Sol…”
“Snap out of it, Diaria!”
Diaria seemed to be in a daze seeing Sol be dispatched so easily, and the emperor charged at her in her confusion. I somehow managed to throw myself at Diaria, pushing her away from danger and taking the emperor’s attack myself.
“You can still stop my blade in that state? Impressive, but not enough.”
He began slashing multiple times. I could clearly see the path of his sword, I could have dodged it all if I was in a better shape, but I could not do anything now. I blocked an attack that was headed for my head, but then his blade went into my shoulder and dug deep through my chest before stopping at my stomach.
Blood splattered from the cut. I coughed up blood when I tried screaming too.
“Time to die.”
I could see Karin and Luvias running, trying to save my life even if it cost them theirs. But I knew they would not make it here from that distance. As I felt my death nearing, I prayed once again.
(God of Abundance Fertila! Grant me your power!)
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The instant I prayed, the emperor’s sword was blocked by a spherical barrier. My body started healing at the same time, fully recovering to its earlier state, except for my clothes. That also meant I went past my mana limit though, and a headache that felt like my brain was falling apart assaulted me.
Just blocking one attack would not make any difference. I had to overturn this situation somehow, so I prayed to another god.
“God of Light Lumiere! Grant me your power!”
The moment I shouted that, my fist was enveloped by a dazzling glow. My headache got even worse, feeling like someone had put their hand inside my skull and was stirring my brain around. Tears blurred my vision, while I had a strong urge to throw up. Still, that would not stop me.
My fist, carrying the power of Lumiere, smashed through the emperor’s sword and continued traveling towards him.
“What are you doing?!”
The emperor looked shocked, he had not expected I would be able to fight back barehanded. Without wasting any time, my fist dug itself into his face.
I put the full weight of my body into my fist. Such a punch was able to lift Tiamat into the air. A human skull would shatter without trace from such an impact. The emperor’s body was sent flying back, tumbling and bouncing many times before stopping. I also had reached my limit, my body would no longer listen to me, while a cold sweat and chills took over me.
The two supported my body before I fell on the ground. That was way too close. If that last attack had not been enough, I would have been left helpless. But managed to snatch a victory.
“You really should limit yourself more, Master. Fighting after spending all your mana is a bad idea.”
“But…at least we were able to win that way.”
Luvias grimaced watching me struggle to form a smile, but her face seemed to freeze over soon after. A terrifying voice rang from behind her.
“Hmm…that was quite a blow, I have to admit. I actually felt it.”
It was the emperor, who I thought I had just defeated. But he stood there, like nothing had ever happened. I had used everything I had, but he looked like he had not taken any damage at all. I was lost for words, feeling like I was in a nightmare.
“I guess that’s the power of the old hero, having this much strength even after using all your mana.”
“Wh-what?! Old hero..?!”
“You really thought I didn’t know? I made sure to investigate you thoroughly. Though I only found that out recently.”
The feeling of dread emanating from his body became much thicker than before. A normal person would probably die from a heart attack if subjected to that feeling. I could hear Karin and Luvias’ teeth chattering as they supported my body. They had undergone very rigorous training to get here, but even they were this scared… However, that was not all I could feel from him, there was dense miasma too.
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“That’s…not something humans produce. Are you a demon?”
“That’s not quite right, but also not wrong. I’m not someone you can categorize as human or demon. You fought Barbaros before, he was a failure, but not me.”
Saying that, the emperor’s body began to change. From a human body, to that of a demon. The power I could feel from him trumped over that of an average demon. My body was shouting at me to run away. His power was the same as that of the Demon King I fought before, or maybe even greater.
Faced with such a hopeless situation, we all lost all will to fight.