I don’t feel anything in my whole body.
I was caught in the pouring shockwave, and my consciousness flew away for an instant.
The only thing I can barely move are my eyelids.
I sent my faint vision to my brain and retrace my memories as if trying to get moisture from a soggy cotton in order to understand my current situation.
There’s nothing around me.
Everything has been blown up without leaving a trace.
That’s right, this is the magic attack unleashed by the Scarlet Demon Lord. I was caught in that.
(I can’t…speak… Kutou…tell me the situation…)
I tried to communicate with Kutou, but there’s no response.
I have been injured to this degree, so Kutou, who had been ordered to protect me, must have used most of its strength in order to protect me.
That’s how much power that attack just now packed.
Ilias was hit directly by that… Right, what happened to Ilias?!
My eyes were taken away by the dreadful state of the surroundings, but with my vision clearing up, I managed to notice Ilias who was on one knee in front of me.
Judging from how the ground behind Ilias all the way to where I am is comparatively fine, Ilias must have protected me from his attack.
I can tell she is still alive even from afar from the fact that her shoulders are going up and down.
The Scarlet Demon Lord is standing imposingly further away. I don’t see any fatigue from him despite having unleashed an attack that big.
On top of that, there’s Wolfe lying on the floor behind him, trying to get up but unable to.
It seems like that attack just now was only directed at the front. Wolfe wasn’t caught in it.
(This isn’t…the time to be…relieved…)
I have seen Ilias fight countless times before, but this is my first time seeing her pushed back this much. The true strength of the Scarlet Demon Lord isn’t the strongest body he got from Strife -it is the plethora of battle experience that allows him to utilize all aspects of this strength.
He acts haughty, but he saw through the special traits of the weapons of those two, and also has the technique to land his attacks with precision.
That Colorless bastard, what’s that about them being able to put up a good fight if it is those two at the same time.
This is completely my mistake. I had gauged the strength of the Scarlet Demon Lord wrongly.
I expected him to be injured if a direct hit landed since he was defending against the attacks of Ilias and Wolfe, so I was trying to think of a way to create an opening which was a mistake to begin with.
I should have put my everything in running away the moment we regrouped with Wolfe.
If we are to believe the words of the Scarlet Demon Lord, he is far stronger than the humans who live in the laws of the world.
We needed to win by using the transcendental power of Gold against him. Or negotiate with him and have him take only me…
No, he is not someone you can pull that off with.
A negotiation only holds ground when both parties are on the same standing.
In his eyes, the result would have been the same no matter where the dice rolled.
“Pure mana emission can’t be sealed by magic seal stones. But mine attack that I aimed to drag the resident of Yugura’s planet…you managed to protect him with your own body and survive it, too, huh. I will give you a passing mark.” (Scarlet)
“I am…still…” (Ilias)
A giant axe came at Ilias when she tried to get up.
The body of Ilias bounced on the ground as if she were a ball.
Judging from the metallic sound, she managed to block it, but it is clear that Ilias already doesn’t have the energy to block the attacks of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
The Scarlet Demon Lord seems to have already lost interest in the two, he walked my way despite being aware that they are still alive.
“The devil that was wrapped around your body ran out of its mana from the shockwave of it, huh. It would be easy to bring you with me, but I can’t just leave you here until I accomplish mine objective.” (Scarlet)
I don’t want to be dragged around and be shown how he destroys everything.
But I don’t have any way at all to resist.
You could even say there’s the possibility of me being treated roughly on the way and dying.
No, what I don’t like the most is…the leisure face he has -this man that injured Ilias and Wolfe, looked down on them, and thinks that’s a given. Most of all, the reason he fights in itself annoys me.
“—You make odd eyes. You can direct eyes like that despite not having the power to fight? It has been a while since my interest has been piqued in this fashion. Just how do I look in your eyes?” (Scarlet)
A hand bigger than my head approached. I could tell the temperature around increasing just from that.
There’s no way I would be able to shake his heart no matter how much I glare at him, but even so, I don’t let my eyes wander.
I am of course scared.
Even so, there’s emotions that surpass fear leaking from my body bit by bit…
“That’s as far as you go.”
The Scarlet Demon Lord must have sensed something, he moved half a step back, and a single spear came down right in front of me.
This familiar form and spear…
“…Even more reinforcements have come, huh. But this is a kill-joy.” (Scarlet)
“Don’t say something so cold.”
I went in between the lad and the Scarlet Demon Lord, and retrieved the spear I threw.
I don’t know if to say I made it in time or didn’t.
Ilias and Wolfe seem to be barely alive, but they have been beaten up terribly. As for the lad…he can’t even stand up to begin with.
“A single old soldier is standing in front of me, huh. Your act of not worrying about your life is befitting of a warrior, but there should be a limit to a lacking opponent.” (Scarlet)
“I would like you to say that stuff after you have crushed me by yourself.”
“Then, I shall do just that.” (Scarlet)
The Scarlet Demon Lord swings his axe.
I can tell with my very skin that I wouldn’t come out unscathed if I were to take that on stupidly upfront.
I deflect the attack with the bare minimum moves of my spear. At the same time as I did, I emit mana to avoid the effects of Strife.
“…Moves that tell me you have been watching from afar.” (Scarlet)
“The two that you defeated are like my grandchildren. I wouldn’t be able to do something like watching while biting my fingers. But everyone already knows the secret of your power -thanks to the lad.”
I take the communication crystal I borrowed from the Yugura Church out of my pocket.
Right now it is picking up the sounds around the crystal that’s inside the pocket of Ilias.
It is not like Ilias activated it on the moment. In the occasion when danger occurs within a certain range of Ilias and the lad, it was set beforehand that the devil would automatically send a call to the surroundings.
We soon received this call once the explosion happened, and we were listening to the whole battle.
Wolfe and Ilias were not simply defeated. They drew out the powers of the Scarlet Demon Lord, and gave us the time to make countermeasures.
“I see. So the conversations I had with the female knight just now were all heard by you guys. But what about it? Your movements, amount of mana; every single aspect is below that of my opponents just before.” (Scarlet)
The axe came at me again.
But you are not the only one who can measure the skills of someone after one exchange.
I deflect it again and use the remaining motions to aim for his eye.
The Scarlet Demon Lord tilted his head slightly to the side to avoid that.
“Your movements are not bad, but—” (Scarlet)
“You really talk a lot despite not having avoided it completely.”
Red blood flowed out from the cheek of the Scarlet Demon Lord. He must have thought that he could avoid it completely after seeing my initial actions.
You can just increase the speed in the middle of the thrust.
“…So you managed to injure mine body.” (Scarlet)
“The technique of an old soldier ain’t bad, right?”
“…Let’s hear your name.” (Scarlet)
“Aah, right. To think the day would come that I would introduce myself to a Demon Lord. It pays to live long.”
I hit my spear on the ground and took a deep breath.
If I don’t show the results of my restless training in Taizu every morning here, when will I?
“My name is Caragyugujesta Domitorkofucon! One of the Ragudo Division in Taizu!” (Cara)
Alright, I said it without biting my tongue.
I don’t have any regrets anymore. No, it is not like I am fine with dying already though.
“Caragyugujesta… I will remember that name -as the very first human to have injured this Scarlet Demon Lord.” (Scarlet)
“That’s an honor. But it seems like there’s no leeway to talk for too long here.” (Cara)
I am the only one who managed to arrive at this place, but there’s most likely a lot who are already on their way here.
Those two are within those people.
My duty is to continue protecting this lad without dying.
But it is not like I am such a cold person that I would be able to keep on the defensive when the people I love have been injured.
“I have no intention of buying time. I shall take your head with this spear!” (Cara)
“That’s a good spirit. But you should not hold desires that don’t match your mettle.” (Scarlet)
I will attack before the Scarlet Demon Lord does.
My opinion after taking on two of his attacks was that the Demon Lord has more physical strength than even Ilias without doubt.
It wouldn’t be strange for my body to break if I were to maintain a defensive fighting style.
In that case, I have to attack too in order to reduce the number of moves he can make.
I won’t be able to pierce that thick skin with an attack that doesn’t pack strength. I put my heart and soul in every single thrust I make.
But as expected of a Demon Lord. He has already seen through the movements of my spear.
There’s no negligence anymore and he is blocking my attacks carefully.
“Don’t tell me this is all.” (Scarlet)
“Obviously. It is not like I call myself this, but I have to show you that my God Spear nickname isn’t just for show…right?!” (Cara)
My thrust pierced the shoulder of the Scarlet Demon Lord faster than he could defend.
I tried to follow up the attack, but the Scarlet Demon Lord moved back swiftly and created distance.
It is great to see that the technique I didn’t use within my allies worked on the Demon Lord, too.
“Magic…or not. An attack that can get through even my defense… This is technique too, huh. I see, you can unleash thrusts with differing speeds with motions that are barely any different.” (Scarlet)
“What, you already discovered the trick? That’s right. It is been decades since I have continued swinging my spear. It is the little trick I learned.” (Cara)
“Not bad. Exquisite technique.” (Scarlet)
“To think I would be able to display the techniques I have polished in preparation for threats coming to the world against a Demon Lord. It was worth polishing.” (Cara)
The strong ones don’t avoid or defend the moment they see the attack, they reflexively take the optimal action after grasping the breathing, pulse, and presence of the enemy in order to predict their attacks.
My technique throws those signs into disarray.
I have trained in front of a mirror in order to unleash all the speeds of my thrusts with the same motions.
If it is faster than what you grasped, you won’t be able to make it in time for defense or evasion; if it is slower, it will disturb their breathing.
The Scarlet Demon Lord is throwing away defense at precise timings and defending in advance at the place where the spear should be coming to.
But that’s exactly what I want.
“Too soft!” (Cara)
I thrust my spear at the spot that’s not protected by his axe.
Even if I can’t aim at his vital spots because of the giant axe, it is not possible to protect all of his giant body.
The Scarlet Demon Lord brushed away the pierced spear as if finding it annoying and went out of his range by his own volition.
“It is not only the speed, you are even changing the angle, huh.” (Scarlet)
“That’s right. If you defend beforehand, my spear can stab somewhere else.” (Cara)
I don’t have the godly speed of Lord Ragudo, and don’t have the superhuman physical strength of Ilias and Boru.
The only thing I can do is thrust with my spear.
In that case, I can only stand by their side by mastering that one point.
“God Spear…huh. It is true that I have not seen someone that excels in the spear to this degree in the past.” (Scarlet)
“Being acknowledged by a Demon Lord that has lived longer than me makes me happy.” (Cara)
“But if you are the God Spear, mine axe is the Demonic Axe. The pinnacle of strife that can mow down mastered techniques with a single hit.” (Scarlet)
“I don’t know about giving yourself a nickname.” (Cara)
That said, there’s no lie in those words.
If I let just one hit in, the situation will be turned completely on its head.
The pressure is more fearsome than any powerhouse I have sparred with, but…
I direct my gaze at the lad for an instant.
—Don’t make such worried eyes. I know even if you don’t tell me.
If you were able to speak, I am sure you would say: Please take Ilias and Wolfe, and run away’.
I am sure he would have led on the Scarlet Demon Lord with his silver tongue and offered his own body.
The Scarlet Demon Lord has already lost interest in Ilias and Wolfe.
It should be possible for me to bring those two and run away if I were to do it as if my life depended on it.
But, Lad, you are also an important person I must protect.
Ilias is the memento of my proud junior, Lord Ratzel, who died an early death for the sake of the country.
I wanted to respect the wishes of him and her, and support Ilias. But I couldn’t protect Ilias completely.
I ended up allowing her to walk a life filled with shame, looked down upon by knights and nobles.
You managed to save Ilias without any difficulties; the thing that I wanted to accomplish even if it cost me my whole life.
Thanks to you, Ilias has grown into a wonderful knight that wouldn’t bring shame even if brought out anywhere.
That’s the same for Wolfie.
I didn’t know even at such an old age that there was such an oppressed pure girl like her inside the country I protected.
You gave me the opportunity to swing my spear with pride -the spear that I vowed to use to protect the people.
You buried the loneliness of the isolated king that’s called the Wise King, and brought light to my family. Even though it hasn’t even been a year, there’s no end to the things you have accomplished.
That’s how many big and numerous blessings you have given us.
“And most of all, you called me the most trustworthy knight, so I can’t show you an uncool sight!” (Cara)
For the sake of protecting the country and the people, for honor, to repay the debts; no matter the reasons lined up, there’s no doubt this battle is for the sake of my own pride.
A vain old man that simply wants to show how cool he is in front of the young man that admires him.
This is questionable as a knight, but following the knight’s code is simply one of my ways to get through my own way of living.
In that case, I will pierce through, together with this spear of mine.
I roared and unleashed my spear.
The defense of the Scarlet Demon Lord is becoming tougher and more precise. But if he is conscious about defending, the surplus he has to attack certainly decreases.
It is possible to grasp the timings in which he will attack.
I purposely create opportunities to attack and make the Scarlet Demon Lord retaliate.
I predict his attack and evade by changing my stance.
And then, I thrust my spear into the opening of the spear that cut through air, and pierced his stomach deeply.
It is not the cheek or the shoulder, but the stomach.
I managed to deal clear damage.
But I don’t think I have defeated him with this at all.
I will spread his wound even further—
“Caragyugujesta, your spearmanship is truly wonderful. But as I thought, it is truly a shame. If you had strength on the level of that female knight just now, if you had the mana amount matching an Illegitimate, I would have had an even harder time.” (Scarlet)
“My spear…I can’t take it out?!” (Cara)
This man, he is grabbing my spear with the muscles of his abdomen?! So he purposely let my attack land in order to do this?!
The swung axe landed directly on me and my body was sent flying like an arrow.
“You slipped in the handle in between your body to avoid your trunk from getting sliced in two, huh. But from the feeling just now, your bones must have been broken, your muscles torn, and your meat crushed. I doubt your entrails are fine either.” (Scarlet)
Blood pours out from my mouth at the same time as I coughed.
The scenery warped and darkness began to cloud my vision.
My spear came out with the impact of the attack just now, but the handle is bend, and the bones in the spot where I was hit are in a tragic state.
The Scarlet Demon Lord approached me without any hurries.
“But be proud. Your spear certainly reached mine body. You have been promoted from an old man that isn’t worth cutting down to a life that must be sublimated by mine hand. You were a lively one.” (Scarlet)
“…Aren’t you…jumping to conclusions…way too much?” (Cara)
I use my bent spear as a cane to get up.
I am not in a state where I can even get my legs stretched out, but a bent spear works just fine.
I spit out the blood accumulated in my throat and fix my breathing.
Healing magic… I doubt he is going to give me time to recover. Then, there’s no need to use my mana for something like that.
“You can still get up, huh. But you won’t be able to swing your spear satisfactorily with that body.” (Scarlet)
“You praised me…despite this old body of mine… I can keep up…even if wounded.” (Cara)
“…Right, just like how a wounded beast doesn’t forget to bare its claws and fangs. I shall enjoy your exquisite spearmanship until the very end.” (Scarlet)
The Scarlet Demon Lord takes a stance again with his lowered axe.
I would be able to do something if he were to lower his guard a ti~ny bit, but…it might be impossible.