Chapter 191 – Demon King (6)
“What the hell is that······?”
In a flash, Artpe became dumbfounded. He mumbled to himself. He thought his eyes were playing tricks on him, so he rubbed his eyes before he looked at the Demon King again. However, he could still see the shackles around the Demon King’s neck. It was the Absolute Control, which had allowed the Demon King to subjugate his underlings.
[An already completed spell can once again change its shape…. You got me this time. I admit it.]
The Demon King mumbled to himself as he rubbed at his neck. An amazing amount of Demonic energy made the collar turn faint. In the end, the collar was gone. However, Artpe possessed the Read All Creation ability, and he could clearly see the trace left behind by the collar. The collar wasn’t completely gone. It just spoke to the reality that the Demon King was resisting against the shackles placed on him.
As expected, monsters over level 400 were able to resist against the power of Absolute Control. However, it wasn’t the time to have such idle thoughts.
[There are constraints to using Absolute Control. I’m right, aren’t I?]
Even the Read All Creation ability had a tough time seeing through to the true nature of an Innate ability. However, clues had been presented in front of his eyes. If he couldn’t figure this out, Artpe deserved to die.
[If you are able to win against your opponent, you are able to control them. However, if you lose, the opposite happens. You will become subjugated to the winner. You lost to the previous Demon King, so you are subjugated to him.]
[You were able to discern everything in such a short amount of time. However, this is my Innate ability. As you can see, it is merely an ability that I can control.]
The Demon King was lying. The Absolute Control was a peerless skill, but as a price, its owner couldn’t control it. It was a dangerous ability. In short, it was a powerful magic, but it was like a nasty curse that can turn on its user if it wasn’t successfully used against one’s enemy.
The Demon King was using his massive reservoir of Demonic energy to resist against the Innate ability. However, he could only loosen the shackles. He couldn’t escape it. Of course, a huge portion of his power was tied up right now in order to resist against his shackles. The fact that he still had this much Demonic energy left was frightening, but….
‘Did he make this stage to orchestrate his own death?’
Artpe met eyes with the Demon King. Artpe wanted to read the Demon King’s intent, but he once again realized that it was useless. He decided there was no reason to pussyfoot around this. The Read All Creation ability could’t read thoughts. Artpe just had to push a bit harder, and he was sure he’ll be able to find out the Demon King’s intent.
“He is in a weakened state right now. We have to defeat him right now!”
He didn’t bother giving an explanation. He just delivered a correct assessment of an enemy that had to be defeated! The flustered Demon King once again poured out a fierce wave of Demonic energy. However, Maetel and Sienna just shrugged off the Demonic energy. They charged towards the Demon King! Maetel ran through the storm of Demonic energy, and she raised her long sword high into the air.
It was a simple Bash skill, but there was a light encasing her sword. It was the advanced spell form of the Hero’s Aura called the Hero Flash. All of the power within her spell was infused into a normal, yet high quality bastard sword. It became akin to a holy word. The Demon King glared at her as he faced her.
[It seems level isn’t the only thing you’ve improved on!]
“The fight with you······ I can finish it now!”
The light and the Demonic energy ran amok as they covered the nearby premise. Sienna used this opportunity to bring down her hammer. The Demon King quickly teleported, and the Demon King’s chair was destroyed instead.
“The fight will start for real now. I can hear his heartbeat quicken.”
“I remember it······ Hoo-ooooh.”
The only one that had an inherent advantage over the Demon King in terms of attribute was Etna. Aside from ice, her flame could burn everything.
The Demon King’s heart quickened, because it was the source of his existence. A fatally poisonous Demonic energy was pumped out of his heart, and it dispersed from his back. It was as if he had wings made out of poisonous vapor.
[You think too much, my lovely puppet. It seems your magic is no longer as sharp when aiming for my neck. It seems your heart is moving before your hands.]
[What a load of bullshit. If that is true, does your mouth move before your Demonic energy?]
The Reclamation magic was already on the rise. Part of the Demon King’s Demonic energy had already been purified. Artpe’s party just had to push him.
“I’ll block all of his Demonic energy, so you guys should hurry up and just rush him!”
[You can’t defeat me just by rushing me!]
Artpe had slightly slowed down the use of his spell. He was worried about an unexpected situation.
‘What if I purify him? What will happen if I change him back into a human?’
Artpe already had experience of reverting a Demon into a human.
He had done it with the lovely woman, who was using her fire, next to him. Etna was born with a power that was incompatible with her identity as a Demon. It had been akin to her suffering from a disease. However, she was barely able to find her true self, and she had awakened to her Innate ability.
If that was true….
What if he accidentally purified the Demon King? Would the Demon King’s Innate ability evolve in the worst possible direction?
Artpe had this thought when he saw the collar around the Demon King’s neck. He never heard of an ability that gave penalty to its user. That meant the Demon King’s Innate ability wasn’t whole. Basically, the Demon King was in a similar situation as Etna.
It seemed the Demon King had also realized this fact. He probably found out this defect in his ability when he lost to the previous Demon King. Since there was no way he would submit to the previous Demon King, he had to find a different method.
According to Artpe’s bank of knowledge, the only method that could accomplish this was the Reclamation magic.
Of course, the Demon King was currently weakened since he was resisting against his shackles. However, Artpe wonder if the Demon King was purposefully suffering under Artpe’s magic. What if he was trying to escape the body of a Demon?
‘If it is him, it is possible. I have to weigh that possibility. Maybe, he is trying to create something here that’ll allow him to advance to the next stage.’
Artpe took a deep breath as he grabbed his magic tome. The wings made by Demonic energy resolved into a black dragon. It was crawling through the air.
However, this was why the Demon King was crafty. He used a flashy spell to look cool, and at the same time, he stealthily used other spells to put pressure on his enemy. Of course, Artpe knew all of this. This was why he couldn’t let the Demon King escape being the target of the Reclamation magic!
Artpe kept cancelling the Demon King’s spell before it could manifest. It was as if the Demon King was only fighting with his body. This was also true with Arpte, since he was challenging the Demon King with his magic.
The never ending black Demonic energy was being invaded and eaten away by the purple Mana. It was like heat and cold fighting against each other. If one could see the the power being used, one would come away impressed. From the perspective of those that were ignorant, it looked as if they were having a staring contest!
[What are you afraid of? What is stopping you? Look, Artpe. Look at your Mana and my Demonic energy mingling with each other. If you want to see a much more decorated stage, you better take a step back!]
[Don’t worry about that. When I write my autobiography, I’ll set off couple fireworks in the description for you. In the old tales, I hate the stories where the magicians fight each other. They keep boasting about their great magic as if they are passing a baton back and forth between each other. Those scenes annoy me the most.]
Artpe, Etna and Regina played key roles as they fought a fierce magical battle that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. On the other hand, the other close combat party members rallied around Maetel and Sienna. They left behind their fear for the Demon King, and they bravely attacked the Demon King.
[Ha! You are hiding something that I don’t know about..]
“He keeps saying words I don’t understand! It’s scary!”
“He isn’t asking you out on a date. Be at ease and just stab him!”
The lowest leveled party member was Leseti, but she had grown a lot in the Dungeon prepared by the Demon King. She was able to wound him now. However, the thing that helped her the most was the holy priestess’ Blessing and the Hero’s Flash that was infused at the end of her sword. It would have been impossible to seriously injure the Demon King without it.
[It is an ability that is supposed to be granted only to heroes. How is she using it? Interesting. This is getting much more interesting. It almost makes me wish this was the final chapter to this stage. It is regretful that this isn’t the case!]
[In the end, you aren’t able to escape your normal pattern!]
In the regular order of the world, Hero’s Flash was a spell that only heroes could use. However, Artpe and Maetel had bent this rule.
Maetel had evolved her Record Master. In the end, she was able to share the Hero’s Flash with any party members related to Artpe and her!
“Am I going to die here?”
“If you do die, you should wish to be reborn in a world where there is no Demon King or Hero. Moreover, it would be great if there were no kings.”
When Sienna and Maetel created openings, the rest of Artpe’s party members rushed in to injure the Demon King. When the Demon King was about to counter attack, Sienna showed unrivaled bravery by charging the Demon King!
The party was akin to an enormous revolving buzz saw. They were chipping away at the Demon King. In truth, this was possible, because the Demon King wasn’t that talented at close combat. The Demon King realized that he was slowly losing.
[Etna······! You threw away the peerless body of a Demon for that? You reduced yourself to accomplish what? Did you truly gain what you wanted?!]
“Artpe, he is starting to put on that really annoying act. I think he’s about to go into the third phase.”
The two of them had toiled under the Demon King for couple hundred years. Whenever the Demon King said something, they already knew what he was going to do!
Of course, the Demon King knew that he had a habit of saying certain phrases. Despite him knowing this, he refused to change his behavior. He continued to be himself even though his pattern of movement was known by his foes. It truly was a behavior befitting a Demon King.
[I’ve been going easy on you. However, you won’t have the time to relax from now on.]
“Maetel, you have to use Accelerate as much as possible! If possible, I want you to share that ability with the others! Get close to him!”
Demonic energy exploded forth from where the throne had been. It seemed the Demon King had buried a reservoir of Demonic energy beforehand! On top of that, the several traps that hadn’t been activated were triggered all at once. In a flash, the Mana purified by Artpe was turned back into Demonic energy. Artpe could tell this was a technique used by the previous Demon King.
[As expected, you are following his orders!?]
[His intent isn’t the same as mine. However, he believed that he had complete control over me, so he gave a portion of his power to me. He made mistake, and I was able to make this place with that power.]
The Demon King was once again going into a long monologue! This happened only when the Demon King thought his victory was assured!
[There is a limit to how much Mana you can revert in a short amount of time. Well, show me. While you face my spell, will you be able to protect your comrades from the Demonic energy?!]
Artpe had to acknowledge it. Up until now, the Demon King had been measuring his magic against Artpe, and he had found the limit to the Reclamation magic. Afterwards, the Demon King upped his power to a higher level, and he bragged about it! He really was like the traditional Demon King from the old stories! He relished in taking on the position of an absolute being!
In a flash, the Demon King used his magic, and at the same time, the poisonous Demonic energy assaulted Artpe’s party. It was a desperate situation where someone would die by the attack, but Artpe had a biting smile on his lips.
His hand went in and out of his Dimensional Pouch. He brought out a long staff!
“I knew this would happen. This is why I prepared this, Demite staff Pipi!”
“Artpe, that sounded really funny!”
Pipi had been storing Mana up until now. In the next moment, the staff let out a powerful light as it resonated with the magic tome. The Demonic energy and the spells filling the nearby region were all turned into Mana. In a flash, the Demon King was suffocating!
[This is the moment….I’ve been waiting for!]
It happened at that moment.
The Demon King’s eyes flashed as he accepted the Mana into his body.
At that moment, he was trying to become the subject of the Reclamation magic.
On the other hand, it was also the moment that Artpe had been waiting for.