|Author: Rina Shito
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Oniichanyamete
|Editor(s): Silva, Liomad
Mountain upon mountains of corpses… It was the very picture of Hell. The mercenaries had all been cut to pieces by that vampire’s sudden blade of blood. When she roared I had the guards close in to let Lord Gordon escape.
But her attack was even more powerful than expected, and had cut through them like they were nothing at all. My own blood-soaked body was wounded all over, and I was having trouble moving now.
Another hit would kill me. That I was sure of. Instead, I dulled my sense of pain and played dead.
After a while, the vampire girl began stumbling across the room, examining corpses here and there. She was looking for Lord Gordon. He had already left using an emergency teleportation circle.
It was a close thing. If I had been any slower to react then he would have been slaughtered without a doubt.
When she realized he was missing, she shrieked in frustration and collapsed, unconscious.
Vampire girl. Your power and magic were superb, but you can’t deny that you lacked experience. Mistaking me for death was naive. Humans don’t die so easily. You should have finished the job.
I’m about to attack you because you didn’t.
I dragged my pulverized right leg behind me as I approached her. A lovely face, and the build of a young girl. It was hard to imagine that she was the demon that had engendered this massacre.
I was going to end her here. It wouldn’t do if she came back later.
With a surge of mana I produced a few magical bullets, raising my hand at her. I survived thanks to your inexperience. Of course, had you been less exhausted the result might still have been different. But you only have yourself to blame for challenging us in that condition.
I almost felt apologetic as I attacked.
In reflex, I turned around to face the new voice. Standing there was a girl, smiling faintly as she crossed her arms. Her hair was silver, and her eyes were scarlet in color.
An ally of the vampire girl? She had probably made use of the previous mana wave to teleport here. I hadn’t noticed her at all. Even taking my injuries into account, for her to have snuck up so closely to me was…
She had teleported here without allowing any mana to leak from her body. It was a very high level skill. There was no doubt. This girl was a demon. Things were not looking good.
I was in no shape or form capable of battle… But I suppose that didn’t matter. In skill, in bearing, in presence, this girl was different to the vampire in every way. The two of them couldn’t be compared. She was overwhelming.
Finally, it all clicked. True, the vampire girl had been strong, yes, but something had felt strange. For all the magical power that she wielded, she was wet behind the ears which was strange for a true demon.
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Not this girl. The silver-haired girl in front of me was a true demon. An avatar of slaughter and destruction.
“…You are powerful.”
“Ku ku, you’re not bad for a human. Frail, true, but you broke my toy over there,” she said, before walking over to the vampire girl.
Her gait was relaxed, and full of openings, inviting an attack. But her majesty and power suppressed me. Moving carelessly would cost me.
“Broken after just this…? If you hadn’t been bestowed by elder sister I’d have discarded you long ago.”
She held a hand out over the vampire. In a matter of seconds, the wounds faded into nothing under the light of a shining crystal of magic.
H-Healing magic!? A demon who could use healing magic!? It was supposed to be the branch of magic that they struggled the most with. And with such skill.
Even after overcoming her own difficulties with the element, the girl with silver hair had done a better job than a team of a hundred average priests. Before long, the vampire girl was healed entirely.
The silver-haired girl turned back to me and smiled fearlessly.
“What’s the matter? You could have attacked me.”
“Heh. I have a rule about useless endeavors. It would have made no difference whether I surprised you with an attack or fought you head on. If that’s the case then I wish to die in a fair fight.”
“Ahahaha! I like you. Somehow you remind me of Nielsen, my right-hand-man.”
“Such praise is unmerited.”
“Not at all. You are skilled, and of noble spirit. It would be a shame to waste even a human like you. How about joining me?”
“I am humbled by the offer, but I must decline. I only have one master, and that is Lord Gordon.”
“Hmm? I don’t understand. I’ve been watching the whole time, and I find it hard to believe that you’d follow a man like that. What keeps you so loyal?”
“The Sam family took me in. Even if they hadn’t, I am loyal to my lord. That is what it means to be a soldier.”
“Ku ku, a soldier to the core. I want you even more now. Nyger, was it? You should have more than paid back your debt to that family. Don’t you think it’s about time to wash your hands of them?”
“I cannot abandon Lord Gordon.”
“Abandoning scum like that would hardly stain your honor.”
“…Once, I had decided to leave. His conduct had become too much for me. But when I tried to, he screamed that he would kill himself if I did. Lord Gordon is the only heir to the Sam family. The line must not die out!”
“Heh, in my experience the ones that clamour about suicide the loudest are the most desperate in clinging to live.”
“Huhu, perhaps that is so. But my conviction will not change.”
I raised my fists and covered them in fighting spirit to signify that the talking was over. She laughed in good humor. And then she raised her palm at me.
T-This… Healing magic…?
It washed over me. The open wounds closed in an instant. What power. I was close to peak form.
“Pity for an enemy? You demons are surprisingly kind.”
“I did not heal you out of benevolence. You will still die here. I simply wanted to see you at your best. This is nothing more than satisfying my curiosity,” she declared dismissively.
Interesting. I was already a dead man. Lord Gordon had escaped. I had done my duty as a soldier. In that case I would live my final moments as the warrior instead!
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All the mana in my body was concentrated in my fist. I had no need for defense! With the intention of living, I forced my life force into it as well. This one attack would be fuelled by everything I had.
“Ultimate technique, Ghost Rider!!”
My life would literally ride on this one attack. All of my life force and vitality to be expended in this one punch. There was no need for boasts or words at this point. When my attack was ready, I charged.
I wouldn’t be capable of a second punch. This would be the most powerful attack of my life. But… My fist was stopped by her magic barrier.
W-, What a massive wall of mana…
Its density seemed endless. I didn’t think anything in this world could break through it. My fist was pulverized against the wall, and the force spread back into my body. Muscles snapped, bones turned to dust, my body turned to tatters.
“That was splendid, Nyger. Your attack had spirit, technique, and power. It makes it all the more regretful. Truly. You were born to the wrong species…”
After those words of praise, she fired magic bullets at me. Clumps of darkness magic, even denser than the wall. I would truly be dust.
Heh, how splendid. And such beauty. The zenith of darkness magic was before my eyes, and I could not help but be mesmerized.
Slaughter and destruction condensed, slamming into me… What incredible fortune. To think that at the very end, I had the honor of crossing fists with what was surely the most powerful being in the world.
And beyond that, I was allowed to die by their hand. As a warrior I had no regrets.
Lord Gordon, I apologize for being unable to guard you to the end. I will be waiting ahead in Hell. I am in your service even there, so please forgive me…
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