The battle of Cara-jii was the most outstanding I have seen until now.
He displayed every single bit of his training results, and injured the Scarlet Demon Lord who far exceeds him in individual strength.
But getting hit once spells the end. The effects of Strife will go through your whole body, and you won’t be able to mana strengthen yourself properly.
The battle turned one-sided after that. No, it couldn’t be called a battle.
It was a sight where avoiding or deflecting was not allowed, and he was simply getting pummeled by the Scarlet Demon Lord.
His armor dented and there’s no spot that’s not dyed in red.
The spear that could be called the symbol of Cara-jii had received several attacks, unable to even maintain its original shape anymore.
Even so, Cara-jii continued standing up.
He continued evading fatal attacks with precise movements as if passing a string through a needle, and continued standing in front of the Scarlet Demon Lord with deeper wounds than me.
“Caragyugujesta, I have certainly witnessed the pinnacle of technique humans can reach.” (Scarlet)
But that valor was reaching its end.
The body of Cara-jii had been sent flying over and over, and wasn’t moving anymore.
The Scarlet Demon Lord grabbed the head of Cara-jii and picked him up. His body shook powerlessly, not showing any resistance.
The Scarlet Demon Lord felt the battle had ended, let go, and observed Cara-jii who collapsed on the ground.
And then, his eyes were directed at him.
His state is also pretty bad. He may not have been hit directly, but I doubt that body will come out fine after receiving the shockwave of Strife.
And most of all, if he is taken away from here by the Scarlet Demon Lord, we will most likely not see him again ever.
The damage I received from the direct hit of the mana emission wasn’t that high.
What’s troublesome is that I can’t control the mana in my whole body after getting that direct hit.
I fixed my breathing in the time Cara-jii was fighting bravely and continued concentrating on the mana in my whole body, and I finally managed to detect the mana lying deep in my body.
I should be able to move like before if I continued picturing myself slowly pushing it out, but I don’t have the time for that.
I condense the mana deep in me and release it inside my body in one go. My whole body is burning. I can tell the inside of my body is being wounded by my own mana emission.
But I managed to push out the Strife eroding my body.
I confirm the freedom of my body and get up.
The Scarlet Demon Lord noticed me getting up and directed his gaze at me.
“That was brute. You being able to recover this fast after being hit by that attack is impressive, but…I have no interest in you anymore.” (Scarlet)
“Scarlet…Demon Lord!” (Ilias)
I ignore my pain and rush at him while bringing out my highest output mana strengthening.
But the result was the same. The Scarlet Demon Lord blocked my attack perfectly without any difficulties.
“It is true that you surpass Caragyugujesta when it comes to your individual strength, but your technique is deplorable. It is not worth taking on the sword of a child that has barely learned how to move her body.” (Scarlet)
The Scarlet Demon Lord retaliates. My body already remembers the power, and I don’t have any issues dealing with the moment of erosion.
Thinking this, I used my sword as a shield and braced myself for impact.
But what came at my sword was far weaker than I thought, and the metallic sound reaching my ears was like a light tap of metals—
A strong blow went across my sword as if taking advantage of my confusion.
I couldn’t defend properly because I was caught off-guard, and my body was sent flying.
“You are concentrating way too much in taking on the attacks. That’s why you crumble easily with a single unprepared strike like mere child’s play.” (Scarlet)
I missed the timing to emit mana and the mana of the Scarlet Demon Lord was poured into my whole body again.
My body became heavy like lead again, and the mana strengthening in my whole body melted away.
He took advantage of me concentrating on blocking his attacks.
Am I an idiot? I got caught in such a simple feint…!
“No matter how much you enhance your body, mine body will surpass it all. I feel no threat at all from you compared to Caragyugujesta who faced me with technique.” (Scarlet)
There’s no mistake in the words of the Scarlet Demon Lord. I have won against my opponents until now with attack power higher than my opponents’.
Even if it is an enemy with technique, there should be an opening against a thoroughly polished attack.
But I am lacking in technique to get advantages against the Scarlet Demon Lord who surpasses me in all base specs.
I don’t have the technique to match an opponent who surpasses me in strength, speed, and technique.
“Even so, it is no reason to lower my sword…!” (Ilias)
Cara-jii is down and Wolfe is not in a state where she can move.
I am the only one who can fight here. I am the only one who can protect him.
Even if I can’t create victory, I wouldn’t be a knight if I were to drop my sword in the face of the one I must protect.
Cara-jii proved it to me right in front of my face just now!
“—Makes sense. If you could throw away the path of battle against an opponent you couldn’t win against, Demon Lords wouldn’t have been born. Humans…warriors are such creatures.” (Scarlet)
The Demon Lord readied his axe and approached me.
I can tell from his eyes that he is trying to finish me with certainty.
I can understand what it means by ‘approaching death’ now. Even so… Even so, I must hold my sword.
I won’t defend anymore.
I will lose even the strength to move if I were to block any more attacks.
Striking each other at the same time… What I should aim for is his heart…!
“It is cool~, but it is too soon for a young knight with a bright future ahead to pull off something like that, you know~?”
My body floated suddenly.
In a flipped over world, I see the Scarlet Demon Lord being pushed to the back with a defensive stance.
I could only watch this scene dumbstruck in the time I was trying to understand what happened.
My body eventually didn’t feel like it was floating and began to fall.
That’s when I finally noticed I was thrown and landed on the ground.
The one who was there was the master of Wolfe and one of the adventurers that made his name resonate in the world.
No, that’s not all. Right by my side there’s the captain of the Ragudo Division, Lord Ragudo, standing there silently.
“You managed to mitigate the fall, huh. Good job hanging on, Ilias.” (Ragudo)
Lord Ragudo glanced at Cara-jii lying on the ground and didn’t say anything more.
He placed a hand on my shoulder and stepped to the front.
That alone made the tension assailing me loosen up in one go without being able to stop it.
Strength left my body regardless of Strife and my legs gave out.
“Reinforcements, huh. That technique just now was pretty weird.” (Scarlet)
“You say that after you properly guarded it despite having been caught off-guard. Also, you really give off the vibe of a soldier despite being a Demon Lord. Salvet, don’t you think you would get along with him?” (Gradona)
“What a bad joke. He is someone I won’t be able to understand right after you.” (Ragudo)
“Seriously? I am worst than a Demon Lord? I am going to feel proud about that, you know?” (Gradona)
“Be ashamed.” (Ragudo)
The casual tone of Gradona didn’t change even in front of the Scarlet Demon Lord, and Lord Ragudo is also throwing snarks.
It is not like they have leeway, but it is more like they are unshaken.
“That won’t do. I consider my way of life the best one and I am proud of it. Actually, I would want to fight him alone though. This will be my last chance to fight a Demon Lord after all.” (Gradona)
“I won’t stop you if you can win with certainty -is what I want to say, but as long as I have the order of His Majesty, I can’t accept that request.” (Ragudo)
“This is why workers are just… In the first place, Salvet, wouldn’t teamwork with you be impossible?” (Gradona)
“Gradona, I have no expectations at all for you. I will just be matching you.” (Ragudo)
“Kay kay~. Then, try to match me!” (Gradona)
Gradona dashed off and the Scarlet Demon Lord matched his movements, facing him with his axe.
But the trajectory of the axe changed right before it reached Gradona and ended up with simply cutting right above him.
That technique is close to the one he used when he threw Wolfe before.
Gradona grabbed the axe clad in the mana of the Scarlet Demon Lord, and diverted its trajectory.
Gradona took advantage of that missed attack and landed a fore fist on the Scarlet Demon Lord’s body.
But the body of the Scarlet Demon Lord didn’t budge an inch.
“That technique could even be called acrobatic, but there’s barely any power to it.” (Scarlet)
“It is not a fist for the sake of punching after all. See, caught you.” (Gradona)
The moment Gradona was pulling back his fore fist, the body of the Scarlet Demon Lord was pulled along.
Gradona grabbed the mana of the Scarlet Demon Lord in the middle of his attack.
The Scarlet Demon Lord tried to prevent himself from falling to the front by bringing one leg to the front and standing his ground.
The moment the Scarlet Demon Lord tried to do that, a slash came, aiming to lob his head off.
Lord Ragudo had rushed in as well without delay as if he had predicted that Gradona would drop his waist and pull the Scarlet Demon Lord.
The Scarlet Demon Lord swiftly bent his knees and avoided the sword by lowering his posture.
But the fore fist of Gradona landed square in the face of the Scarlet Demon Lord at the same time as he avoided.
The big body of the Scarlet Demon Lord that didn’t budge at all no matter how strongly I slashed at him was sent flying to the back and was smashed into a mountain of rubble.
“HARD! Isn’t he sturdier than Garan?” (Gradona)
“Don’t put a Unique and a Demon Lord on the same level.” (Ragudo)
“What about you, Salvet? You failed to slice off his head. Nail it properly~.” (Gradona)
The Scarlet Demon Lord gets up silently.
It doesn’t look like it was too effective on him, but he is bleeding a bit around his lip.
The Scarlet Demon Lord wiped the blood with his arm and Lord Ragudo and Gradona.
“Those were impressive attacks. Let’s hear your names.” (Scarlet)
“Captain of the Ragudo Division of Taizu, Salvet Ragudo.” (Ragudo)
“Name’s Gradona. Nice to meet’cha.” (Gradona)
“Ragudo… I see, the captain of the knight division that Caragyugujesta is in, huh. And also, Gradona… I think I have heard that name before. If I remember correctly, you are the man called the Holy Fist.” (Scarlet)
“Uhyo~, did you hear that? My name has resonated all the way to a Demon Lord.” (Gradona)
“Hope your alcoholic tendencies haven’t resonated, too. Scarlet Demon Lord, I normally would like to settle this in a fair one-on-one fight, but this is a war. Don’t question the difference in numbers.” (Ragudo)
Lord Ragudo pointed his sword at the Scarlet Demon Lord.
Despite their speed and strength not being that different from mine, those two have the technique to land their attacks.
They may have heard about the countermeasures to deal with Strife, but they are dealing with it with the bare minimum process as if they are used to it.
“I came here alone to fight anyone that came at me to begin with. I have no intention of calling a two against one underhanded.” (Scarlet)
“That’s good to hear. It wouldn’t be cool if you were to scream ‘that’s unfair!’…when we win!” (Gradona)
Gradona dashes off again.
The Scarlet Demon Lord takes a deeper stance than before and tries to see through those movements.
But the sword of Lord Ragudo, who caught up with the charging Gradona, approached.
The Scarlet Demon Lord stopped the sword with his axe and readied himself against the attack of Gradona, but his vision was taken away by Lord Ragudo’s sword onslaught.
Even if the weight of one of my attacks is higher, the speed of that sword dance while maintaining high concentration mana strengthening was overwhelmingly superior to mine.
Full power attacks were being unleashed as if they were arrows raining down in a battlefield.
And then, a powerful blow was unleashed on the Scarlet Demon Lord by Gradona as if slipping through that rain of sword slashes.
“Caught you! Now!” (Gradona)
Gradona grabbed the mana of the Scarlet Demon Lord like before and tried to break his posture.
Lord Ragudo did a thrust at the same time as this happened.
But the Scarlet Demon Lord blocked this thrust as if he had predicted this development.
His posture that was on the verge of breaking was kept with powerful footing.
“Doing the same technique again, huh.” (Scarlet)
“The development is not the same though.” (Gradona)
The gaze of the Scarlet Demon Lord was directed somewhere aside from those two.
The one there was Mix-sama stabbing a knife deep into the right arm holding the axe.
She managed to approach the Scarlet Demon Lord without being noticed by using magic to hide her presence?
Even though I was looking from afar, I didn’t notice the approach of Mix-sama.
“To think the arm I used to stab you with would be the one going numb. That’s some tough meat.” (Mix)
“…So there were still reinforcements, huh.” (Scarlet)
“We didn’t say there’s only two.” (Gradona)
“Not a bad surprise attack. But it is an attack that succeeded because of minute actions. There’s a limit to the results an attack of a thin dagger like that can achieve.” (Scarlet)
“I would like you to say that after tasting the power of this knife!” (Mix)
The meat that was stabbed by the knife began to pulse unnaturally. It swelled and moved as if rampaging, and his right arm exploded.
That knife…there’s no doubt about it. It is the Demonic Tool that the Purple Demon Lord gave to Mix.
The Scarlet Demon Lord swiftly took distance and looked at his own wound, and his arm and axe on the ground.
“I see, a Demonic Tool, huh. It seems like you pour mana into the body of the opponent and make it explode, but…the mana you poured wasn’t your mana. So it is something that has both the mana of Purple and Blue.” (Scarlet)
“The mana of a Demon Lord is incompatible with each other. And so, it seems like the effects are tremendous when poured directly into your body and make it swell. That said, the ideas of Mister Friend are always wonderful and nasty-ssu na!” (Mix)
“I was also taken aback for an instant. But couldn’t you have aimed for a vital point?” (Gradona)
“There was no opening anywhere else, you see… I could only aim for the right arm that was stiffened from the attack of Lord Ragudo.” (Mix)
The expression of Mix-sama is grim.
The number of uses of the Demonic Tool of Mix-sama are limited due to functioning by pouring the mana of two Demon Lords, and the Purple Demon Lord said it can only be used two times.
They will only be able to land certain damage one more time.
But the attack just now must have increased the wariness of the Scarlet Demon Lord quite a lot.
Even if an opening can be created from the coordination of Lord Ragudo and Gradona, the chances of Mix-sama being able to aim at a vital point with precision when she is below those two is low.
“It was still a good job. He has dropped one arm and his weapon. It is beginning to get advantageous for us.” (Ragudo)
“Hope that’s the case…” (Mix)
“I will accept the disadvantage of one arm, but I shall retrieve my weapon.” (Scarlet)
“Oi oi, do you think we will allow that?” (Gradona)
“—Come back, Laxios.” (Scarlet)
The moment the Scarlet Demon Lord said the name of the axe, the axe that was lying on the ground began to spin at high speed and launched towards the Scarlet Demon Lord.
And then, he caught it with his remaining left arm.
Lord Ragudo and the others had no choice but to take distance at the unbelievable movements of the axe.
“So that axe is also a Demonic Tool.” (Ragudo)
“This axe was smithed with mine flesh and bones as materials -a demonic axe. It has taken in my Strife completely, and I can control it by my will. —Just like this.” (Scarlet)
The Scarlet Demon Lord held his axe aloft and threw it towards the 3.
Gradona ducked, Ragudo went to the side, and Mix-sama jumped to avoid it.
But the trajectory of the axe suddenly changed in mid-flight and went towards Mix-sama who is in the air.
“So that’s the trick. Hoi.” (Gradona)
The crouching Gradona pulled his arm down and Mix-sama fell to the ground faster than the pull of gravity.
The axe passed by above Mix-sama’s head, changed its trajectory in midair, and returned to the Scarlet Demon Lord.
As expected of Gradona, he grabbed onto the mana of Mix-sama in that instant.
“Are you okay, Mix-sama?!” (Ragudo)
“Y-Yesh… Gradona-sama, thank you very much.” (Mix)
“Don’t worry about it. I have a habit of touching the mana of cute girls. It makes me excited on the same level as fondling boobs and butts when you get on my level.” (Gradona)
“T-That’s pretty maniac…” (Mix)
“Gradona, you will be put on trial after this. But he can change the trajectory freely, huh… That’s a troublesome attack.” (Ragudo)
If I remember correctly, he often touched mine and Wolfe’s mana… No, let’s leave that aside for now.
It is just as Lord Ragudo said. That axe is problematic.
He throws it at long range, so they should be able to deal with projectiles to a certain degree.
But what if he were to change the trajectory when he swings it directly? It would turn into a technique that is as difficult to avoid as the exquisite skill of Cara-jii.
“To think the day would come when I would wield the power of Laxios. But that’s good. It means I can leave mine mark even deeper. It makes it worth getting serious.” (Scarlet)
“You are slow in getting serious. Or more like, can you just die without getting serious? My waist is in pain from the age~.” (Gradona)
Gradona was talking all casually, but now that I look closely, there’s buckets of sweat coming down from his back.
Lord Ragudo is looking calm here, but he is holding his sword tighter than normal.
As for Mix-sama, her body is trembling.
It can’t be helped. It is because they are strong that they understand correctly how strong the Scarlet Demon Lord is.
They know that if an attack were to land properly, they wouldn’t be able to get up from there.
On the other hand, the Scarlet Demon Lord may have lost an arm, but I can’t see any exhaustion at all like the first time when I faced him.
I can’t see those 3 winning against the Scarlet Demon Lord.
“Now, let’s enjoy the moment of Strife—” (Scarlet)
“It should be enough, Scarlet.”
I look back at the voice that rang from behind me, and the ones standing there were His Majesty and the Gold Demon Lord.
No, it is not only those two.
There’s the Ragudo Division with the other knights, and Dyuvuleori and his subordinate devils surrounding the place, moreover, there’s also a lot of Gahne soldiers at the back.
“Gold…huh. The one by your side is…the current king of Taizu.” (Scarlet)
“It has been several centuries since we have faced each other like this. That’s an unfriendly face as always. How about learning from this one and practice in front of a mirror to make a soft expression?” (Gold)
The Scarlet Demon Lord’s eyes were completely directed at the Gold Demon Lord.
His Majesty was watching the development silently, but he must have seen the state of him and Cara-jii, I can tell there’s anger deep in those eyes.
“I have only seen my own appearance once when I was reborn as a Demon Lord.” (Scarlet)
“Right, ya were that kind of man. But this war is over. Leave already. You are just being unsightly here. Or what? Ya want to fight me too? I don’t think it will even be a fight though.” (Gold)
“You think you can win?” (Scarlet)
“I don’t. This one’s body would be sliced in two along with my barrier against yer axe. However, I can touch ya before dying. I plan on not letting you come back to this world ever again at that moment.” (Gold)
The Ruling of the Gold Demon Lord creates simulated worlds and allows her to do trial and error in the same conditions as the real world.
Its combat capabilities are close to nill, but she can immediately send the soul of the person she touches into a simulated world.
Even if he were to kill the Gold Demon Lord, if his soul were to be sent to a simulated world, he would be killed by a 3rd party by the time he wakes up or has been sealed.
“…True. Swinging my axe at you would be far from strife. Also, there’s one who is outside the logic of the world. Fine, let’s leave the strife this time around to this much.” (Scarlet)
The Scarlet Demon Lord lowered his axe, turned his back at the Gold Demon Lord, and jumped.
He jumped far higher than even the gate he destroyed just before, and the soldiers who had their bows ready could only watch dumbstruck as he jumped away.
Silence came down for a while and the first one to break it was the Gold Demon Lord.
“Puhaah. Being in the same space as that man makes the air so tense it is displeasing. Everyone, remove the debris and search for survivors. Prioritize the injured.” (Gold)
The Gahne soldiers around move at the order of the Gold Demon Lord. His Majesty also matched this and gave the same order to the knights.
The disastrous scene covered in silence turned noisy in the blink of an eye.
His Majesty approached me while I was still unable to move.
His expression was calm, but I didn’t have the surplus to read what he was feeling.
But I ended up speaking out what I thought.
“I am…very…sorry…” (Ilias)
“Don’t worry. He is alive and wasn’t taken away by the Scarlet Demon Lord. You have achieved the bare minimum duty of a bodyguard.” (Marito)
Right, I have to confirm his state.
I get up with my unsteady body and head towards him.
Mix-sama was already leading the knights around to ready the procedures to carry him.
Mix-sama runs towards me when she noticed me approaching.
“Mister Friend’s injuries are pretty bad, but there doesn’t seem to be any risk to his life-desu zo! Wolfe-chan is not in a bad state either. Rather, Lady Ratzel is in a worse state, so don’t push yourself!” (Mix)
“I am okay… More importantly, he…” (Ilias)
“Of course, we will treat Mister Friend with utmost priority! But Lady Ratzel, your treatment is also important-desu zo! It is possible the Scarlet Demon Lord will just pop up again!” (Mix)
He has lost consciousness and his injuries are bad, but his breathing is comparatively peaceful and it certainly doesn’t seem like there’s any danger to his life.
On the other hand, watching his injured state stabbed at my heart, reminding me of how powerless I was in protecting him. That was unbelievably painful, so painful…and vexing…
“L-Lady Ratzel, are you okay?! Does it hurt somewhere?!” (Mix)
I finally noticed my own state when Mix-sama pointed it out.
Tears were flowing incessantly from my eyes at some point in time.