Final Chapter: Let’s show them the willpower of those who crawl on the ground Part 6
The screams and fists clashed with one another. The force of the impact was so strong that the resulting shockwave made cracks in the walls and ceiling of the cave.
Red and white. Two people with identical faces whose speed far surpasses that of normal humans. Whenever their fists made contact, the force of their clash would wreak havoc to the surroundings.
When it came to their fighting strength, they were practically equal. Both Logan and Zaitreed avoided receiving fatal injuries while exchanging blows that would shatter any normal human being to pieces. This made Zaitreed click his tongue. That was undoubtedly his body’s power, but it wasn’t something that he was able to obtain by ignoring the demons within him.
「Demonic filth, state thy name.」
「It is a bad one not worth remembering, not worthy of any little girl!」
Logan rushed at his opponent and used his whole body’s strength to deliver a powerful kick. His attacks were heavier and deadlier than that of a spear, and faster than Zaitreed’s. But he managed to block it, and counter with a straight punch aimed at Logan’s chest.
To avoid it, Logan dashed backwards and bend his body, using the resulting momentum to deliver another hammer-like kick. Zaitreed took it and fell on his knees, only to immediately get up and aim his next few attacks at Logan’s feet.
He then mixed an elbow strike backed by his whole body weight in between those. Logan stopped it using both of his hands, however that was Zaitreed’s chance to punch him in the unprotected stomach with his whole strength.
Shaking from the impact, Logan tried to counter with a knee kick, but Zaitreed dodged it by rolling back.
「Pretty darn good huh?」
Logan gritted his teeth in irritation. As much as he did not want to admit it, Zaitreed was right.
Logan charged off with another kick. But even though it is a fast attack, Zaitreed could just do exactly as he did before in order to avoid it. With minimal movement, he flexed his body and prepared for a counter.
At that moment his whole body suddenly flared up with hellish flames that burned his entire body. He used his ability to quell it before it got too serious, but Logan used that opening to deliver a punch right to his face which send him flying into a wall with a loud cracking noise.
「So this is your power, eh? And you were waiting to use it for such a moment.」
Logan said so, smiling dangerously.
「But you don’t seem to be possessing any magic of your own. Is that the prize you had to pay for becoming the Heroic Spirit? And it seems that you can now extend its effect on others, but that was a mistake. Only those who truly devote themselves to refining their own strength for their own use should be worthy of becoming Heroic Spirits.」
Logan gave Zaitreed a condescending look as he created a ball of flames in his hand and began playing with it.
「As I thought, I just really can’t stand you as you are now. And honestly, I think that back then you were way stronger.」
Logan knew that because he observed humans for a thousand years. And the one before him decided to betray his very nature and change. That made his soul cloudy and weak is his eyes.
「Demonic filth, it is exactly as you say.」
Zaitreed showed a self-deprecating smile and looked straight at Logan.
「I thank you. For meeting you, and also…」
This battle has really opened Zaitreed’s eyes. Up until now, he lived by denying everything to those around him. He denied magic, denied enemies their lives, destroyed everything without looking back and lived on. And even though he hated the Great Father, by whose orders he was forced to kill his sister and wife, he could do nothing to go against him, so he simply resigned himself to his fate. And the result was such that the words of a demon were painfully eating away at him.
「For finally opening my eyes.」
「I won’t deny anymore. I will follow my own path, believing in what only I choose to believe. And I will never doubt myself.」
He appeared next to him, grabbed him by the neck and slammed him into a wall as if he did not weight anything at all.
Then he grabbed him again and tossed him behind like a piece of cloth.
It was difficult, but Logan managed to get up and used his flames to fly near the ceiling to put some distance between the two of them. But Zaitreed followed right behind him, smashing his fist into the cavern’s roof, and then immediately swung it back at the ground to chase after his enemy.
The rocks falling from the ceiling crashed into the floor and destroyed it, sending the fighting two to the next floor. Thanks to the robustness of his body Logan survived the fall, but every bone in his body was broken.
『Hey, what have I told you about destroying the dungeon?!』
『Tell that to him, not me! Just what was that anyway?!』
Logan yelled back at Aur who chastised him through telepathy. This speed and strength were truly inhuman. It was probably due to him invalidating the laws of air resistance and gravity. So he can even do that now, huh? It’s a shame he didn’t know about it until now, but there’s no use worrying about it now.
Zaitreed came rushing straight at Logan from the ceiling of the floor above. Logan thought to himself: this is my own battle here, Aur will surely manage on his own.
「Prepare yourself, Logaaaaaaan!」
「Don’t underestimate me!」
Suddenly Logan took a gutsy pose and stood up. Of course, Zaitreed’s body, which he inhabited up until now, was unable to move anymore, so he did this in his own demonic body.
And then it happened when their fists connected with one another. As a result of their clash, Zaitreed was blown away by his own power.
Of course, Logan’s arm was not completely okay, as it was all torn and burned, but it was much better then in case of Zaitreed, where half of his body ended up being crushed.
In the meantime Logan pushed Zaitreed’s fleeting soul back into its original body, tying it tightly to it. Half of his soul is crushed, the body is all broken and disjointed, so even he will have a hard time weaseling his way out of this!
「And that’s a job well done! I hope MARIIIII is going to give me a rewarding kissssss for it!」
Overjoyed with his loliconistic delusions, the fiery demon cried out.
The slash cut a deep wound in the tree-like, front leg of the dragon. However, not even a second passed, and the wound already healed without a trace.
This is a troublesome opponent, thought Wolfe, called by some the King of Heroes as evade the attack of a razor sharp claw.
Calling this thing a dragon corpse was a massive understatement: it was more akin to a walking, massive chunk of magical power of tremendous density. Claws, scales, eyes, blood and entrails, each and every part of it was an amalgamation of magical power. Even if it was the body of Metus the Fearful, known to be the strongest dragon in existence, it became such a powerful undead when exposed to the influence of this dreadful place.
But even so, Wolfe still considered him to be his fated enemy. Even after becoming the Heroic Spirit, he considered it his personal duty to rid the world of the menace of Metus.
He is much stronger than he was before, even if his body grew older. And his ambition to kill the strongest dragon did not changed at all. Of course he was aware of the fact that now that he became the Heroic Spirit he was at a disadvantage against him, not to mention the fact that he was in the middle of the enemy territory. But nevertheless, his pride as a warrior would not allow him to rest easily as long as Metus breathed. However…
He swung his nails at Wolfe and lashed his tail at him, but he dodged both of them and tried to launch a counterblow.
With one swing of his sword, he managed to cut of Metus’ tail, only for it to regenerate instantly. Thousands of tentacles erupted from the tail’s cross section, enveloping Wolfe in an attempt to crush him. He slashed through them and jumped up to get away from them, only to find himself in front of the dragon’s opened mouth, out of which spew a cloud of breath so poisonous that it melted nearby walls, but he also managed to avoid that by the skin of his teeth without sustaining much damage.
After its revival, it seems that the beast grew even more hateful and atrocious than he was when he was alive. And every wound he received, he regenerated in the blink of an eye.
The virulence of the poisonous breath became much stronger, to the point that even inhaling just a bit of it affected Wolfe.
He had difficulties with how to approach this fight. Never mind the flesh, the bones were probably the source of his strength, his core, so to speak. If all of them were to be crushed, surely even he would be unable to move. That was the theory, but applying it in practice won’t be easy, as he was incredibly aggressive with his wide variety of attacks. But there was something else about him.
To Wolfe, it felt as if he had the soul of some creature, not a human, inside of it. With humans, their movements and patterns could be easy to adapt to and read, and the same could be said about beasts who acted on instincts.
But that Metus also possessed intelligence. When he stopped the attack of his right claw halfway through, the left one aimed for the blind spots. If Wolfe showed even the slightest opening, the tail was coming right at him. Even after he blocked the incoming strike, the next one reached him, leaving bloody scratch marks on his body.
Feinting, intertwining, usage of surprise attacks. Those things were the signs of intelligence, while his movements screamed of bestial instincts. Right now, Metus was displaying two contradictory behaviors.
「I have to admit though… You are the greatest enemy of my life!」
Wolfe raised his sword and declared. Hearing that, Metus smashed the wall next to him with his head.
Two conflicting attitudes. It reminded Wolfe of something he had seen before in his youth: a well-trained war horse and a knight who rides it. If the rider was good, the horse’s capabilities increased drastically. But if the rider was inexperienced…
From Metus’ movements, Wolfe pinpointed the position of its manipulator. Apparently he was hidden in a secret room behind one of the walls and was sending instructions to Metus. For a split second, Wolfe’s sword that was aimed at the dragon’s neck stopped.
That gap proved to be his undoing. Using his moment of hesitation, Metus drove one of his claws into his upper body and pinned him to the ground. From there, Wolfe could see who the beast’s pilot was.
A young girl with her hair tied into a ponytail who looked like just about any girl you could meet in one of the villages in the countryside. Wolfe was truly shocked that someone like that was able to control such a beast as Metus. But perhaps even more shocking thing was…
…Why did that girl looked like Yunis for a moment?
Seeing his puzzled gaze, the girl offered an explanation.
「Just a second. For just a second Lord Aur cast an illusion that would turn me into your daughter.」
Mio instructed Metus to raise his legs so she could touch Wolfe’s body.
「If the King of Heroes hesitates even for a moment, don’t hesitate to call for my help. Otherwise continue as you were, that is what Lord Aur said.」
So you’re saying you could beat me even if I didn’t hesitated just now, the King of Heroes thought while coughing up blood. There was no way for him to continue the fight if he were to be ripped in half now.
Besides, his orders were 「to kill the Demon Lord Aur」, so now that that goal was unattainable to him, there was no point in being hostile to the girl in front of him. Moreover, he wanted to know more about her.
「What is… your name?」
Wolfe asked the girl, who replied happily.
「I am Mio, and she’s Josephine! Usually Firedrake handles stuff like that, but for today you’ll be eaten by this darling here. Ah, both of them are girls, by the way.」
Hearing the new name of his fated enemy, the King of Heroes could not help it but to start laughing.
「Josephine, huh? It certainly suits you way better than 『Metus the Fearful』.」
His laughter echoed throughout the corridors of the dark labyrinth.