Once she had fired off about ten more her body was bathed in sweat as she breathed roughly. She finally realized something was wrong.
She asked with true confusion as she tilted her head. But I didn’t bother answering. Instead I plunged towards her and attacked.
She was tired and she let down her guard allowing my knife to stab into her without reacting.
If she had been using 【Body Enhancement】 at full power like usual her skin would have stopped my strike. But my blade stabbed her and blood poured out.
「What’s wrong? Your defenses are getting weak.」
After wasting so much magic power with a barrage of lightning she had unknowingly whittled away at the very magic that fueled her 【Body Enhancement】 which protected her.
「T-this…why…you’re weak…but why is this…?」
「I see, so this is your first time fighting someone stronger than you? Remember it well. I have several more methods to defeat enemies even stronger than you are.」
「Shut up and die!」
She focused on providing more power for her 【Body Hardening】 but her usage of 【Body Enhancement】 became sloppy and slowed her own movements.
I moved around her like a snake cutting at her lightly and only striking with full power when her 【Body Hardening】 wavered.
I was holding down my magic consumption to speed up my recovery while she was using her full power to activate 【Body Hardening】 and 【Body Enhancement】.
Her magic shortage became more sever as time wore on and she began to look pale. But even so she desperately held her fighting stance so that I wouldn’t knock her off her feet again.
At that moment I took a step back.
With her extreme caution this simple movement caused her to stiffen.
That moment was what I was aiming for.
My true trump card for this situation. To use it I required an opportunity. It was something that was impossible to achieve when she was one-sidedly attacking me.
I dumped the water out of the flask on my hip and gathered it into my hand with magic before pressurizing it.
Elves had the highest compatibility with wind with a rating of 90, but our affinity with water was still 70 which was plenty.
Then I mixed the water with the metal powder I had produced when I stabbed her with the high oscillation knife. The victory at that time had only been one part of a three part plan I had prepared.
I used water magic to build up the pressure to the absolute peak. Then I further increased it by using wind magic to push further.
Then what was born in the fusion of two magics was…
「Combo Magic 【Water Blade】」
The water that had been pressured to the utmost limit by wind and water magic shot out a blade traveling at three times the speed of sound.
Rather than a blade it was practically a laser beam that could pierce through a single point.
Water that was compressed to such a degree would transform into a deadly weapon. Mixing in metal powder would increase the violent cutting power exponentially.
As Cyril this was currently my fastest and strongest magic spell.
It was a composite magic so I had to stop casting one of the spells I usually kept active like 【Body Enhancement】, 【Program】, or 【Perception Expansion】. But it was worth the risk for the absolute increase in power.
The 【Water Blade】 sliced through her skin and dyed her with blood.
A huge gash that went down to the bone opened up on her body. No matter how you looked at it it should be fatal. However, Heroes were creatures you couldn’t neglect.
I aimed to cut her from head to crotch. She had already been fatally wounded, and her body was now unprotected by 【Body Hardening】…so the blade passed through her completely and cut her in half.
The Hero died.
However, a desire for survival was ingrained in creatures from birth. Even split in half as long as the cells in her body survived, the most basic survival instinct within her may cause her magic to automatically begin healing her back and reviving her.
「Kuu, burn it.」
Even with this I couldn’t be completely at ease so I had Kuu burn her to ash.
Burn her until not even a single cell remained.
It was only after this that I could say 【Now we should be fine】. That was the kind of existence a Hero was.
「Kuu, I’m sorry.」
「What are you apologizing for?」
「I kicked you and I was unable to protect them.」
「That…wasn’t your fault Cyril-kun.」
Kuu hid her face and denied my words.
In truth she was probably thinking “If we had come here on the way to the city instead of on the way back wouldn’t they have been saved?”
Even I was wondering as much, so it was certain that Kuu would be thinking it.
「Cyril-kun, I have a request.」
Kuu said with a meek face.
「Go ahead and ask.」
「The Fire Fox tails that that girl cut off…please don’t sell them. I’d like to bury them properly.」
Kuu desperately plead.
「Certainly our tails are worth money. Our tails and magic stones are so valuable that people appear every year to attack us. I even know that Erucy needs money more than ever! But…tails are special to us. To be laid to rest without them is pitiful and hateful. We can do whatever is needed of us, we’ll do whatever you want, but please don’t sell these.」
「I understand. I wasn’t going to sell them. But…the Empire soldiers will be here soon so we should bring them back to Erucy for burial. Is that okay?」
「Thank you very much. Our dead friends will be able to rest at ease.」
I hugged Kuu as she spoke with tears in her eyes.
「Hey Kuu….do you hate the Empire?」
「……I hate them. My village, my family, and my friends…they stole all of them from me. I hate them.」
「I see…I don’t think anyone has said it properly but…when the snow melts we’ll be going to war. The Empire will attack us with over 3,000 soldiers.」
Lucy and Kuu gasped at my words.
It was a number 10 times that of our total population. Once it would be an unbeatable number.
「I have a plan to ensure our victory. However, that plan needs the Fire Foxes and your magic stones. It will deal them a serious wound. It will be filled with danger and by using magic stones it will be as if I were using the lives of the Fire Foxes to kill them. Can you forgive that Kuu?」
「Forgive it? No…it makes me happy. Our power will be what defeats them……also」
Kuu looked among the tails and magic stones piled up and pulled out one of the stones that was clearly a deeper red than the others.
「I can fight together with my brother and the others.」
「I’ll believe in you then.」
I smiled wryly.
In the first place I had thought of this plan a while ago, but if I brought it up now it would give Kuu a reason to move forward.
Not to be swallowed up by her sorrow, but to continue walking.
「Let’s leave before the Imperial Soldiers get here. We’ll only be bringing the Fire Fox tails and magic stones. We have to give up on burying their bodies. Could you two search the village for any survivors? It’s a bit dangerous so I’d like the both of you to go.」
「Understood I’ll be off.」
「We’ll be back quickly.」
The two set off running.
After seeing them off I slowly opened my mouth.
「Even with this you won’t die?」
The girl’s presence still lingered here.
Even though it was a Hero, it had been a long time since I’d seen such a tenacious creature.
It was only a matter of time before she revived.
「You must have been thinking…that one such as myself could not possibly kill you.」
After all, even after being burnt to ash she still hadn’t been extinguished.
That nothing could be done anymore.
「However, there is a me…who is not me that can do it.」
It was for that reason that I drove them away.
Who gives a damn about some soul injury? Letting this monster escape from me at this point is much scarier.
「Liberate me my soul. Let a miracle beyond time descend upon me here.」
I began the chant to draw my power from within me.
My soul warped and screamed.
I ignored the pain and the screaming as I imagined the me of the past.
「I desire the Greedy King from the World of Darkest Night, his name is…..」
A name from my past. I called a nostalgic name with a sonorous voice.
「Gramdeal! 【Samsara Recursion】!」
Light enveloped my body.
My inherent magic activated.
The light subsided and my body was wrapped in a jet black coat with eyes and hair the same color of black.
Inside my mouth were long fangs.
「Now then, shall I eat? 【Predation】」
My current form was that of a vampire that I had once lived as.
Vampires had the image that they sucked blood, but the essence of their being was plundering and devouring.
The ability to devour magic, souls, and anything in between and at times to rule over it. That was the core of a vampire.
「I will steal your everything.」
Once activated my vampire magic 【Predation】 would begin to devour the remains of the Hero. Her magical power, her soul, and any residual thoughts would be consumed.
It would mean complete annihilation.
My power began to overflow. It was an overwhelming feeling slightly different to how it felt when I had killed the mobs as Deet.
Finally, her existence weakened before finally being extinguished.
As expected…a complete extinction.
No…there was a slight discomfort. As if I was having indigestion…like something within me was still living…..
To confirm my suspicions I undid 【Samsara Recursion】.
Suddenly I clutched at my chest in pain. The rebound of overusing 【Samsara Recursion】 was tormenting my mind, body, and soul with pain.
I couldn’t remain standing and collapsed to the ground.
I coughed up blood.
For a while I would be unable to stand or use magic.
Thankfully it would end with this much because I only used it once after having a few hours of rest.
If the time in between using 【Samsara Recursion】 had been shorter or my time as Gramdeal had been longer I might have suffered memory loss or a grave injury to my magical circuits.
I felt sorry for Lucy and Kuu who were doing their best right now, but I needed to rest for now.
Then I simply remained staring at the sky as I waited for them to come back.
By the time they returned I had barely managed to recover somewhat and the three of us left the village.