Book 8: The Third: Chapter of the Final Battle: The Game of the Demon King—Role Play, Part Two
When he heard me, Illu gestured in the adventurers’ direction. From among the five undead creatures, two of them — the witch and the werewolf — immediately dashed out.
Seeing the situation, Taylen, who had originally intended to head back to provide assistance, got stopped by Michel. “Don’t leave. There are still four of them here!”
Taylen nodded his head, and turned back on high alert. He also gave me a glance, probably wanting me to assist them when I had the chance to!
I looked at the three remaining subordinates of Illu’s. One of them looked like a mage, but the other two were harder to identify. So, I decided to simply ask Illu directly.
“What profession is your subordinate, the skeleton wearing leather armor?”
“Platinum skeleton. He can also wield swords.”
“Let him go and deal with Michel, the guy holding the bow and arrows. How about the other fellow wearing armor?”
“He is a dark warrior. He uses a sword and dark elemental magic, quite similar to Awaitsun.”
“Then let him deal with Taylen.”
“Then what about me?” Illu asked, a little puzzled.
“Stand there and don’t move. Make sure your posture is more arrogant. If you can go and flirt a bit with the female mage subordinate, that’s even better!”
Though the female mage was actually a female mage corpse with a face and body that weren’t bad, her eyes were merely bone and eye sockets. You could even see the entire eyeball. Flirting with her simply required quite a bit of courage. That said, Illu himself is also a corpse, so he shouldn’t be that picky, right?
“She is a dark witch, and not a female. Undead creatures like us don’t have any sexes to speak of.”
Although he said that, once the dark warrior and the platinum skeleton archer rushed out to deal with Taylen and Michel, Illu still pulled the dark witch into an embrace and started smooching her!
The dark witch froze for a moment. I’m not sure whether she was really drunk with the kiss, or if Illu had commanded her using psychic magic. In any case, she also returned the kiss.
Originally, I had only wanted him to embrace her a bit. I didn’t think that I could even witness a kissing scene. This is really the first time in my life that I’ve seen undead creatures embrace and kiss each other!
I watched with great interest, almost losing complete interest in Taylen and Michel’s fight against the undead creatures. As expected, breaking both of Illu’s wings yesterday was a pretty good warning.
Charlotte anxiously asked, “Grisia, why aren’t you going to help already? Why are you in a daze?”
Hearing this, I reluctantly returned to my senses from the kissing scene between the undead creatures. I lowered my voice. “Quiet. Don’t attract their attention to us. Otherwise we can’t launch a sneak attack.”
Hearing the last line, Charlotte instantly shut her mouth. Her eyes widened, and she nodded her head desperately. It was both funny and kind of cute…
Hearing the continuous sounds of battle and even a few groans of pain, I quickly turned my attention to Taylen and Michel. The former had two additional sword injuries on his body, and the latter had a long trickle of blood on his face. However, he had not drawn close to the platinum skeleton archer for a short-range battle. Instead, he was running around, dodging the other’s arrows while firing his own arrows. One of the arrows had probably brushed against his face.
Michel was currently in a disadvantageous position, but this had nothing to do with his strength. It was more of the fact that his arrows had no effect at all on skeletons, which have no blood and flesh. Even if his arrows hit the position of the heart of a skeleton, it would only hit the leather armor and the ribs, and couldn’t hurt it at all.
Why isn’t he closing in with a knife? Michel shouldn’t be that stupid, right? Just as I was feeling bewildered, I saw Michel wink at me. This was not an easy task for someone avoiding arrows.
Does he want me to seize the chance to do a sneak attack? Fine, looking at this situation, if I don’t make a move, Taylen and Michel really might not be able to defeat Illu…’s subordinates. This difference in strength seems to be a bit huge!
Sigh, I guess I shouldn’t be too picky about my first hero.
Zeroing in on my target, I casually recited aloud an incantation, making it really fast and unclear so that Charlotte would not be able to hear that it was actually just “A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked… Freeze!”
The platinum skeleton archer fell as soon as I finished. That’s because I had frozen his kneecaps while he was in the middle of running. With his joints frozen so suddenly, he fell to the ground, the sound of his fall as shocking as a boulder landing on the ground. This made me really curious. Is his skeleton truly made of metal?
Seeing a golden opportunity not to be missed, Michel immediately followed up by rushing forward with his knife and going into a frenzy of wild slicing. However, once he hit the skeleton, there was actually a clanking sound of metal clashing. After the platinum skeleton had been struck a few times, he raised his blade to trade blows with Michel. But he could not stand up, so he could only deal with the attacks while kneeling, sitting down, or even rolling.
“Don’t kill my subordinates!” Illu roared at me angrily with psychic magic. This physic magic was so strong that it was practically an attack instead of a message.
“If I wanted to kill him, he would already be a pile of bone dust by now!” I snarled back. Only after seeing Illu give a groan, and how he couldn’t fly properly in the air without the dark witch’s swift support, did I feel that I had gotten even.
“It’s just for appearance’s sake, don’t be nervous!” I added on, so as to prevent Illu from disrupting my game in a fit of anger. If that happened, then I might be so angry, I’d destroy him. If I did so, wouldn’t I only be left with Awaitsun as my subordinate? As a powerful demon king, if I ended up without any subordinates, that would be way too unimpressive.
However, even now, the only underlings I have are Awaitsun and Illu… No, Illu is basically Roland’s subordinate, and Awaitsun isn’t loyal either, damn!
In a burst of fury, I offhandedly made a dozen or so ice bolts and threw them towards Illu, who was in the air.
Illu dodged past five, six ice bolts, and then stopped for a moment. Following that, he actually let one of the ice bolts brush across his calf. Though there was not much damage caused, he should have been able to dodge it too… Was it on purpose?
“Am I supposed to pretend to be defeated by you?”
As expected, it was on purpose! I considered it for a while, and replied, “No, rush down and strike Taylen in the chest. Then, let him stab you with his sword. Once that happens, pretend to be injured and escape.”
Hearing that, Illu did not waste a single moment and immediately came rushing down.
Taylen was currently battling the dark warrior. However, swordplay was something that I didn’t understand at all. I simply could not tell who was stronger between the two. I could only use Taylen’s expression as reference. Seeing how he was sweating profusely, he seemed to have a hard time dealing with his opponent. On the other hand, the dark warrior’s face… was emotionless. Since the start of the battle until now, it had not changed even once, and hence had no reference value.
In other words, Taylen didn’t have any time to notice Illu’s actions. Even after Illu rushed in front of him and gave him a strike, causing his entire person to fly out and land flat on the ground, he was still unaware of the situation.
This might be a little too pathetic…
Illu too seemed to be a little at a loss as to what to do. Though he had finished his mission of giving him a strike, the mission of letting himself get stabbed was a lot harder.
When Taylen crawled back up, Illu’s taut expression relaxed quite a lot. Like me, it seemed that he had been a bit nervous that Taylen would not be able to crawl back up to his feet anymore.
This time, it was evident that both of us had looked down on him too much. Taylen had not only gotten back on his feet, apparently without serious injuries, he even immediately went to pick his sword back up – his sword had been sent flying as well — and charged toward Illu.
The dark warrior diligently stood in front of his superior, blocking him.
“Stand down!” Illu ordered away the dark warrior, and looked at Taylen as he said, “Let me deal with him!”
Taylen froze, his expression looking a bit bewildered. Though I was not a mind reader, it was not hard to guess the reason for his bewilderment. I remember when I had first seen the undead creatures beside Illu, I too had been astonished at how human-like they actually were, completely different from the descriptions given in the Basic Knowledge of Undead Creatures textbook. The book actually claimed that undead creatures were unfeeling and didn’t have much intelligence!
In this kind of era where the demon king has appeared and undead creatures run rampant, if I were to still believe that book, I would really die without even knowing how I died!
Facing the powerful Illu, Taylen actually raised his sword and initiated an attack! This fellow is really the standard “hero who doesn’t even know how he died.” As expected, I hadn’t picked the wrong person!
Taylen and Illu started fighting with a massive clash of swords. Just as I have said before, I couldn’t understand a thing of it. However, seeing how Taylen was just barely dealing with the dark warrior before, he couldn’t possibly clash swords with Illu so much. Illu is probably going easy on him?
I should confirm it! “Illu, you are stronger than the dark warrior, right?”
“Of course. Otherwise, how would I make him my subordinate?”
There are many ways! In the past, although I was the head of the Holy Temple, there probably wasn’t anyone among the Twelve Holy Knights who couldn’t defeat me.
“I’m getting bored of your fighting. Quickly settle this and leave!”
Hearing that, Illu simply decided not to dodge Taylen’s next slice, allowing the blade to inflict a large gash on his chest. Normally, if not injured by a normal sword to the point that his legs and arms were chopped off, it should not affect Illu much. However, he actually gave off a cry of pain.
Seeing his success, Taylen seemed inspired to try again and wanted to give another slice. Illu even retreated a few steps, spread his wings, and flew into the air.
With how realistic Illu’s expression is, it shouldn’t be an act, right? I looked at Taylen’s sword. I hadn’t noticed anything special about the sword. Yet it can actually hurt Illu?
Taylen felt around on his belt and opened a water container that was about the size of his palm. Then, he actually poured the water that was inside onto the blade of his sword. His entire sequence of actions was rather discreet, and he was even staring at Illu who was flying in mid-air while doing so. If it weren’t for the fact that I was using sensing, my vision would probably also be blocked by his coat, and I would not be able to see the small bottle of water by his waist.
So that’s how he hurt Illu. The water inside the bottle contained a high amount of the holy element. Making use of the blade to stab Illu, the holy elemental water on the blade would be sent straight into the wound. No wonder Illu had been in enough pain to shout out.
Taylen shouted loudly at Illu, “As the general under the Demon King, do you actually plan to desert in the eve of the battle? Or perhaps you only know how to bully the weak, and do not dare to face an opponent who is wielding a sword just like you!”
Illu only gave a “hmph” and said in disapproval, “You are but a greedy and insatiable adventurer, why reproach me for bullying the weak. It’s not like you are crusading against the Demon King for protecting the weak anyways. You’re only doing so for the reward.”
Taylen’s face froze, and he growled, “I-I… You are also but a lackey! Previously, you were even serving under the Death Monarch. Yet you immediately switched sides to work under the Demon King. How simply shameless!”
I gave a frown. This Taylen seems to know quite a lot.
After being stabbed in his sore spot, Illu gave an inhuman roar, “I, Illu, will always be loyal towards the monarch!” And following that, he once again flew towards Taylen.
With a teleport, I stood in front of Taylen and blocked him. Illu wasn’t able to stop his assault in time, or perhaps he didn’t want to stop at all. He hit me directly in the chest with one blow. Though I had used dark element to protect my vitals in time, I was still sent flying by the punch with so much force that I knocked down Taylen and even tumbled further after that. I could only lie on the ground, in so much pain that I nearly couldn’t catch my breath.
“My apologies, I wasn’t able to stop in time.” Illu flew back into the air. He too seemed to understand that he had made a mistake, and gave a simple apology.
Your tone couldn’t be lacking any further in sincerity! “I’m going to give Roland a punch later! Finish reciting your announcement, and then scram back to the Demon King’s Castle!”
Illu obstinately insisted, “It is my mistake, don’t go and make things hard for the monarch!”
“Once you finish, scram!”
Awaitsun, Illu… They’re all disloyal bastards!
Illu stalled for a while, and surveyed all of the adventurers around. He loudly shouted, “Count yourselves lucky. The Demon King has beckoned me to return immediately, so I have no time to defeat all of you. However, listen well, for I have already memorized all of your faces. Not a single one of you will be able to escape. In the future, I will send my subordinates over to defeat all of you!”
After shouting that, Illu and his subordinates immediately teleported away in a hurry.
“Grisia, are you okay? Hold on, I’ll immediately heal you!”
It was only when her anxious voice rang out that I noticed that Charlotte was currently squatting by my side. She even placed her hands on my chest, and then started to recite aloud the incantation for healing. By this time, Michel and Taylen had also run over swiftly. On the latter’s face, other than worry, I could see deep guilt as well.
Faced with three deeply worried people, I plastered on a faint smile and said, “Don’t worry, this can’t kill me.”
“That would be great if it’s true.” The three of them evidently became much more relaxed.
Charlotte’s healing was actually not bad. She consecutively executed a Moderate Heal and an Advanced Heal. If it was the previous me, I would even be able to stand up and dance after this. However, as for the current me, I could only just barely sit up. My constitution was really terrible. I’m really not used to this.
Just as I sat up, I discovered that Woodrow was still present. Moreover, his bearing was strange. His entire body was completely rigid, and once I used my farsight, I even saw that his face was pale. It seemed like he was about to turn around and leave, his body already halfway turned. However, he suddenly stopped, and forced himself to turn back and say, “If we’re done here, then I’ll be leaving first.”
“Wait, we’re not going to discuss anything?” Michel said in astonishment, “Like what the undead creature said just now?”
Woodrow forcefully managed to put up a trace of a smile, and said, “You should all deal with your injured companion first. You can come talk to me afterward.”
“That’s true.” Michel agreed and nodded his head.
Woodrow shot a glance at me, and seeing no reaction, immediately turned to leave.
Has he recognized me? Should I kill him, or perhaps…
“If you dare say a single word, I will make sure you die a horrible death!”
Woodrow stumbled for a step and nodded his head. Then, he left at lightning speed.
“Grisia.” Taylen suddenly called. When I turned my head to look at him, he was incomparably earnest as he said, “I owe you my life.”
The hero owes the demon king his life. Taylen, just obediently use your life to accompany me in playing this game.
The Kingdom of Kissinger increased the bounty for the Demon King and the undead creatures again. On top of that, Taylen and I both wanted to continue the crusade against the Demon King. Michel didn’t know what to do with us, and could only continue with us on our journey to fight against the Demon King.
Due to Illu occasionally sending a few undead creatures of relatively high levels for us to fight, our party collected much more reward money than others. Attracted by our fame, many people even came from other places, wanting to join the adventurers’ party. Thus, our party expanded more and more, really starting to resemble an army fighting against the Demon King.
Because Taylen had “fought off” Illu and saved all of the people at the scene, Taylen, Michel, Charlotte, and I also “logically and naturally” became the key figures within the group.
Following the consecutive waves of undead creatures, Taylen’s swordsmanship too became better and better. His improvement could simply be said to have advanced at a tremendous pace. Not bad, not bad. If he were to not even have the strength to trade blows with Illu, then how would he be qualified to be my first hero?
The game was progressing very smoothly. Now, the only thing that concerned me a little was that the Church of the God of Light was dispatching troops to crusade against the Demon King. However, no matter how I thought about it, I didn’t think that Lesus could possibly succeed in doing so. Now, when the Demon King had just come into existence, the amount of dark element had not been used up much. If I were to run into trouble and even die, the world would probably be swallowed up by the lands of darkness again.
Therefore, for Lesus to dispatch troops to fight against me, he would have to go through all the various royal families. Just the matter of whether the Kingdom of Forgotten Sound would let him send troops was already a big problem. The Pope could not possibly allow him to mess around, and moreover the holy knights under the “good, warm-hearted” faction were regardless still people who were under my command. If he wanted to use them to attack me, it couldn’t possibly go that smoothly… No matter how I thought about it, Lesus would not be able to dispatch troops easily.
Even if I were the one sending troops, I would also have to settle a large number of problems first. Though in theory, all of the holy knights have to obey me, in order to dispatch troops, one does not only require soldiers. I would also have to make arrangements for food, water, and equipment. Without the Pope or even the king’s support, we would have to return home in merely a week after the dispatch. A starving army can’t fight!
Without sufficient reason, it really is impossible to dispatch troops. Moreover, Lesus is merely the Judgment Knight. He is not the head of the Holy Temple, and hence it would be even more difficult for him to do so.
Because I didn’t believe that Lesus had really sent troops, I had set aside the matter and hadn’t bothered to deal with it for an entire month. It was only until the recent two days, while I was bored because Taylen was busy fighting undead creatures to raise his level, and there was nothing going on in the adventurers’ party, that I decided to use my farsight to sneak a peek at the situation within the Church of the God of Light.
Because it was far away and I was unfamiliar with the direction, I spent some time letting my senses go all the way to the Church of the God of Light. However, once I reached the Church, I nearly thought that I had entered the wrong place. That was because all around the Church, the holy knights were wearing foreign uniforms. If it weren’t for the unchanged symbol of the God of Light on top, I really wouldn’t have recognized them.
The uniform that everyone was wearing looked very new. It seemed that they had gotten new uniforms. This wasn’t much, for in the past, they had indeed taken our measurements, saying that they would be making new uniforms. However, I just didn’t think that even the style would change this much. Moreover, the quality of the material seemed to be better than the old uniform’s, and the thickness of the cloth had increased by quite a bit. Crucial points like the solar plexus and such even had leather sewn in-between the cloth, to increase defense… Since when has the Pope become this generous?
Didn’t he say that since holy knights are not afraid to take a beating, the uniforms only have to look good in appearance? They just have to look grand, with the added benefit of deceiving followers. As for the material, the thinner, the better. If it weren’t for the rain, he would have even wanted to use paper mache!
I continued spying with curiosity. Some holy knights were wearing armor, which also looked new. The armor seemed to be extremely sturdy, unlike the conventional ones from before. The old armor looked luxurious and beautiful, and one would immediately look twice as handsome wearing it. Moreover, it was fitting to the body and comfortable, and the weight was also pretty light!
Basically, the old armor can be said to have a thousand advantages combined in one, save for one disadvantage – the lack of defense. Who knows, it might even break if a cleric used her staff to poke it a little.
In any case, rather than depending on armor for defense, holy knights depended on holy light protecting their bodies, was what the Pope used to say in the past.
The holy knights too seemed to be interested in their own new armor. Occasionally, they would knock and hit the armor, and then show astonishment that the armor had not caved in.
“This armor is really good,” One of the holy knights said, touched.
“I know, right? It’s much better than the armor from before that could only be admired but not used.”
“I finally don’t have to be cautious with it anymore, fearing that I’ll damage the armor and have to spend my own money to fix it again.”
“Fix what? If you make a dent, just use your finger to push it back from the inside to its original shape!”
“But I accidentally tore it completely last time…”
“Then that really is unsalvageable…”
Just listening to them made me feel sad. But the Pope only gave me this much money for making the uniforms, so what else could I do?
The holy knight sighed as he said, “If it weren’t that we’re going to attack the Demon King, we would probably never get to wear this kind of armor in our entire lifetime!”
Attack the Demon King? I gritted my teeth. They really are going to come and attack me? Moreover, they even made armor of this quality. Pope, what the heck are you doing? Last time, you stubbornly didn’t give me any more money for the uniforms. Now that they are coming to attack me, you’re then willing to distribute money. Do you have some kind of deep grudge against me?
Hmph! I don’t need to answer my own questions. I’m going to go find the Pope right now. If he can’t speak of a reason, then it’s my turn to bear a deep grudge against him!
But before I found the Pope, I spied someone else in the corridors first. His face really looked very familiar, but I couldn’t remember who he was on the spot – Leaf?
After taking another look, I couldn’t be more certain. It really is Elmairy!
I stared at him, frozen. A year ago, he had still had an egg-shaped baby face. There simply weren’t many men over twenty that could still be described as “cute,” but Elmairy was one of them!
However, now, his chin had become quite a lot sharper, and he no longer had an egg-shaped face. At most, it could be considered an oval face. I wasn’t sure what he was pondering about, to be able to have such a sharp gaze. Together with that brand new light armor for archers, he simply looked very imposing!
As expected, sensing could never completely substitute vision. Previously, I had not discovered at all that Elmairy’s looks had changed this much!
“Captain.” The holy knight at his side, if I’m not wrong, should be his vice-captain. He said, “The excess money after replenishing our arrows and buying armor, should we use it to purchase a batch of arrows with strong penetrating power?”
The holy knights that the Leaf Knight led were all skilled in archery. They were top horsemen who could shoot arrows at their foes while on horseback, and swing a sword to chop their foes once off their horse. They were also the most important ranged attackers of the Holy Temple.
Elmairy received a shock, and the imposing aura he had momentarily decreased by half. He muttered with some disbelief, “After buying equipment, there are actually funds left over? The Pope is really spending a lot this time!”
“It is indeed very incredible.” His vice-captain gazed into the horizon as he said, “I remember one time I had requested for a batch of arrows, and the Pope’s reply was for me to just buy the arrowheads. As for the shafts, lead the platoon to the forest to cut wood, and then pare it thin…”
Hearing that, Elmairy too revealed a forced smile. However, he stopped in his tracks all of a sudden and looked left and right, but he didn’t see anything.
“Captain, what’s wrong?”
Elmairy seemed a bit confused as he answered, “No, it’s nothing. It was just that I suddenly felt like someone was watching me. It’s probably my imagination.”
As expected of an archer trained in sensing, Elmairy had probably sensed my presence. Although he concluded that it was just his imagination, that was already pretty remarkable…
“Over there.” His vice-captain pointed toward a corner.
Both Elmairy and I looked over. Two female clerics-in-training, aged about ten or so, were looking at him secretly while hiding behind the pillar. Once they saw Elmairy looking at them, they immediately ran away bashfully.
“Huh?” Elmairy’s expression was yet another confused one, and his imposing aura had disappeared without a trace. He looked more like the Elmairy in my memories. “I thought that the matter of Ann and I was already known by the entire Church.”
His vice-captain shrugged his shoulders as he said, “That’s right, the entire Church knows it. However, the things that you can’t acquire are more precious! Captain, your value has instead become higher than before!”
This world has changed! The golden singles are unwanted; the fellows who are tied down are instead fought over by everyone. What the heck?
“Captain, does the Church still intend to attack the Demon King?” His vice-captain asked softly, “The plan to dispatch troops seems to have met with many obstacles?”
Elmairy shook his head and said, “It doesn’t matter how many obstacles there are. Just dispatch the troops according to Judgment Knight’s plan. As for the arrows you mentioned, go order them. If the arrows aren’t good enough, dealing with undead creatures would be difficult.”
“Understood!” His vice-captain muttered, “We’ll have to hasten our progress if we want to be able to dispatch troops in time. I will immediately go and request the craftsmen to hasten their pace. I will take my leave now.”
What the, you guys really intend to obey Lesus and attack the Demon King — attack me?
Elmairy, have you forgotten that I am the one who is your direct superior, and I am the one who is the head of the Holy Temple…
I froze. Who is calling me? I looked at Elmairy who was in front of me. Ever since his vice-captain had left in a hurry, he had been walking at a leisurely speed that was neither too quick nor slow. Looking at the direction he was heading, it seemed that he was planning to return to his room. He didn’t look like he had opened his mouth to speak.
“Grisia, what kind of daze are you in?”
This is… Charlotte’s voice!