Chapter 192 – Demon King (7)
[It seems I’m the main character that’ll move onto the next stage!]
As expected, Artpe had guessed correctly on what the Demon King had wanted to do. The Demon King was trying to get rid of the collar around his neck. He was trying to use Artpe’s Reclamation magic for his own end. He was trying to shed the body of a Demon! After he shed his Demonhood, he planned on defeating Artpe’s party and the previous Demon King. He probably wanted to become the ruler of the new world.
“No. I’m sending you off from this place.”
Of course, Artpe didn’t care what the Demon King intended to do. He just shut his eyes as he swung his staff.
Mana rose from Artpe, and he used the magic tome to complete a massive spell. The Reclamation magic was turning the Demonic energy within the Demon King into Mana! The spell was drawn deep within the Demon King’s body, and Artpe instantly took ahold of the spell. He used the Materialization magic on top of the Reclamation spell.
The Reclamation magic had already been completed, but it started to change. The spell, which had been changing the Demon King’s soul and Mana, stopped in its progress. It started to let out a light so bright that it could be described as being harsh. The light started to resonate with Artpe.
This was none other than the light spell called Hero’s Flash! It was a spell that only the hero was allowed to use!
It was akin to being poisoned after taking a potion. The Demon King took on the attack head on as he coughed out black blood from his mouth. Up until now, the Demon King hadn’t shown any outward sign of pain when he was attacked. This was the first time he had received a critical wound.
It was to be expected. The Demon King had willingly accepted the Mana into his body, and at that moment, the Mana had turned against him. How could one prepare for such an eventuality? How was he supposed to heal from this? The Demon King realized that what he had aimed for had turned out to be the ultimate trap. For the first time, the Demon King had to admit that he had lost in a battle of wits and craftiness.
[Artpe, are you perhaps······!]
[Ah. You don’t have to go through the trouble of finishing that sentence. You probably want to say, ‘Are you perhaps able to change the nature of the spell on top of changing its structure?‘ and ‘What do you gain by taking control of a magic that I’ve already absorbed into my body?’ I’m fed up with you speaking.]
The Demon King didn’t even have the time to point out anything since Artpe had already said everything the Demon King wanted to say. Artpe twisted his hand, and the power of the Hero’s Flash condensed within the Demon King’s body. The staff let out a fierce light as it heightened the energy of the spell.
In layman’s terms, the Demon King was an ice that had been swallowed up by fire.
[You acquired····· A very dangerous power······!]
The Demon King spoke as he tried to expel the fatal and poisonous energy through his mouth. This was not the Reclamation magic where the Demonic energy was purified into Mana. The Demonic energy was treated as an absolute evil, and the Hero’s Flash started extinguishing it in its entirety. The quality of his Demonic energy degraded significantly.
Moreover, the Reclamation magic was stopped in mid-process. The Demonic energy, which was in the midst of being purified into Mana, was torn between becoming Demonic energy and Mana. It started to eat away at its owner from the inside. The Demon King was being destroyed so suddenly and thoroughly that he almost laughed.
According to the knowledge and the power he possessed, he had no idea how to recover from this wound.
Artpe continued to look at the Demon King.
The Demon King spoke.
[Magic is nature. You guys tried to change magic at a fundamental level. You changed a blooming flower into a rock, and a cloud into a volcano. Soon, you will realize this. You started walking down the road traversed by gods…. Are you able to handle that truth?]
[That is none of my business.]
[You still don’t realize the weight of the power you have gained. If I had such power….. Ha ha. I was always prideful of the fact that I was the strongest. I’ve fallen so far, and it happened when the new world is about to arrive. If I told this to my past self, he would have burst out laughing!]
The Demon King was still verbose. Artpe and Etna knew what that meant.
The Demon King still had something up his sleeve.
[All the Demonic energy… Obey me.]
The Demon King had realized that his plan had gone awry. He spoke those words quietly, and the entire Dungeon started to shake. Artpe’s party tried to regain their balance, so they lost sight of the Demon King for a brief moment. The Demon King took out an Artifact from a pocket, and he stabbed it into his heart. It was an Artifact that changed Mana into Demonic energy.
The Artifact quickly stuck to his heart as it sucked in all the Demon King’s Demonic energy. A dark light was emitted each time his heart beat, and it was a frightening sight.
[However, it isn’t enough, Artpe. You were found lacking. You weren’t able to optimize the use of your ability, and it’ll be the reason for your loss. It’ll be an albatross that’ll hang around your neck.]
Overwhelming Demonic energy kept overlapping each other! Hero’s Flash and the Reclamation magic needed Mana as a foundation for it to work. As the Demon King synced with the Artifact, everything became dyed with Demonic energy. In the end, Artpe’s spells lost their power.
If the Demon King’s power took shape again, this might really be the end. Artpe firmly bit his lips as he had this thought. It seemed he couldn’t overcome the Demon King by himself. Of course, Artpe couldn’t hide his disgust at this fact.
In the end, a cool smile appeared on his lips.
[When are you going to realize that this isn’t a one on one fight between the two of us?]
The Demon King was speaking when he staggered on his feet. The Demonic energy had been under his control as it swelled up, yet it suddenly withered away. Even his consciousness was turning dim.
Someone was behind the Demon King. He had stabbed his dual daggers into the Demon King’s chest from the back. In one fell swoop, the Demon King’s heart and the Artifact fused to it was destroyed. The young man moved his daggers back and forth as he destroyed the Demon King’s internal organs.
He was decisive and merciless. It was to be expected of someone that had stabbed Artpe to death in his past life. However, Silpennon’s cold-blooded daggers were on Artpe’s side now.
“As expected, you still didn’t notice me. That is why you are a loser, you son of a bitch.”
Technically, it was all thanks to Silpennon’s Innate ability called Plunder. For a short amount of time, he had stolen Aria’s Assimilation ability. He had been completely hidden, and he had ambushed the Demon King at the perfect moment. Silpennon unloaded the words he had wanted to drop on the Demon King. He was similar to Artpe in that aspect. He was a vicious person that wanted his enemies to feel bad.
[You were able to hide even from from my eyes. You are merely a minor character, yet…. Koohk, koo-koohk. Koo-ha-ha-ha-ha!]
In the midst of his speech, the Demon King fell to ground. There was laughter on his lips as he rolled around on the ground.
This made him feel much better. Their attacks hadn’t been flashy, but it had been very effective. In the end, the Demon King accepted the result. When he accepted this fact, he could accept someone else being the main character of this stage.
He raised his head with difficulty. He met Artpe’s challenging gaze.
Ah ah. It seemed being a Demon had been a shackle in itself. Artpe had shed this shackle, and he was glowing brighter than ever. He opened his mouth to speak.
[This was truly fun. I’m satisfied.]
At this moment, Artpe sensed that something was wrong. The Demon King’s body was a mess, yet a hidden reservoir of Demonic energy arose from within him. It quickly started to rev up.
“You fight dirty until the end!”
“No, Silpennon! Damn it······ Come back! Hurry!”
Silpennon had been trying to apply additional attacks to the Demon King. Artpe desperately called him back with a sharp voice.
[You are the Demon King, yet you are thinking about blowing yourself up!?]
[I’m not going to do that. Both of us didn’t subject ourselves to the restriction of time. Either you or I have to advance from this place.]
The Demon King had been hit with the Hero’s Flash, Reclamation spell and Silpennon’s strike. The Demon King’s Demonic energy had been extinguished. He had suffered a critical wound where he could no longer maintain his body and soul. Either he had to choose to accept his death or he had to consume the rest of his Demonic energy to attack Artpe’s party.
He chose to do neither. He expelled both Demonic energy and Mana from his body. He pushed out the Hero’s Flash, and the Artifact piercing his heart. Blood poured out from his body. His blood started to create symbols. He was trying to activate a spell by using his body as a magic circle!
“Artpe, we have to attack now!”
“No. He’ll really blow up if you disturb him. That magic is something we can’t interrupt until it is finished. You guys should retreat for now! Recover your health!”
A bigger mess would be created if the spell was intentionally shut down! This was a spell that couldn’t be disturbed! As expected of the Demon King, he used a spell that was befitting his station. Artpe firmly bit into his lips as he gripped his magic tome.
The Demon King continued to speak.
[Listen to me, Artpe. You were one of my Four Heavenly Kings. You succeeded in being a traitor. You are the new god chosen by this era.]
[I won’t go easy on you, because you are suddenly talking about me in such high terms.]
[It is time for me to go, yet I am like a bug that refuses to get off stage. I acknowledge my defeat.]
When Artpe heard those words, he felt a truly odd feeling.
How should he describe what he was feeling?
Was it a sense of accomplishment he was feeling? Or was it a an empty feeling?
For most of his life, Artpe had been beneath the Demon King. Now he was truly free from the Demon King’s shadow. This might be a feeling of freedom.
[However, you cannot properly fight them in your current state.]
The Demon King immediately poured cold water over the feeling of freedom he was feeling.
[The magic you showcased against me won’t work too well against them. Above all else, the level difference is too large. That is why you have to become much stronger.]
[Are you perhaps trying to give me advice?]
The Demon King was giving advice to a hero? It was truly ironic. Artpe just laughed.
Artpe thought he had known everything there was to know about the Demon King, but he had to admit it now. The Demon King was a psycho that no one could understand!
[I love seeing good fall in front of evil. They want to get rid of the distinction between good and evil. I cannot allow that. There is no evil unless there is good. Good without evil isn’t good at all. The humans don’t need Demons, but Demons need humans. That is why you have to stop them. Then we will be blessed with the birth of a new evil!]
In that moment, he truly was the Demon King. He was trying to help the hero for such a baffling reason. It was unpleasant, but Artpe couldn’t reject the help.
At this point, Artpe was flustered, yet the Demon King threw in another shocking piece of information towards him.
[You should be aware of this, Artpe. The Demonic god exists.]
[Do you know about the source that changes Mana into Demonic energy? Humans are not capable of creating such an item. They don’t have the required ability. They were only successful in summoning it.]
It felt as if Artpe had take a huge blow to his head.
Why hadn’t he figured this out?
How did the humans create a rare item like the Evil Heart? Why hadn’t he focused on this line of inquiry? Artpe was at a loss for words at his own actions. He kept his mouth shut. The Demon King continued his explanation.
[There is a source that changes Mana into Demonic energy. It is a monster called the Demonic god. Everything in regards to the Demonic race arose from the Demonic god. Your goal isn’t to overcome the Demons and humans that returned through time. You have to overcome the god that have always existed.]
It would be easy to call this a tactic used by the Demon King to confuse Artpe. However, Artpe couldn’t easily dismiss the Demon King’s words.
He thought about what had occurred in the holy nation of Paladia.
He thought about the horrors created by the Demon Jeriet.
Was Jeriet so weak that he preemptively joined the previous Demon King’s faction? Why did he make the humans believe in the Demonic god? Was it a ploy to shake the faith of the humans?
What if the Demonic god really existed, and the previous Demonic King had a specific goal in mind in regards to Paladia….?
[You have enough power to contend with them. However, the quality of your power is still low. That is why you should see it and experience it. Then you have to overcome it.]
The Demon King’s body swelled. Artpe was finally able to discern the identity of the magic circle using his Read All Creation ability.
[You have to overcome a part of the Demonic god.]
Afterward, the Demon King’s body exploded. The world acknowledged that the Demon King had fallen. The Demon King’s Record and Mana was assigned to Artpe’s party. Artpe felt his level explode upwards, yet he couldn’t smile.
The flesh, blood and bones of the Demon King created an enormous circle in the air.
A magic circle was completed.
The door to hell was opened.