“My Lord, the Demon King has entered the battlefield.”
My subordinate informed me while kneeling.
I see, so she’s finally here, huh. The incarnation of death and destruction has finally come for my life and to reclaim what she thinks is hers.
Alas, her zeal is unfounded.
But just what is happening there? I can’t discern the entire battlefield from my position, but I do know that Regina’s Demon Army had not arrived. She had arrived only with her Commandments. Just what is she aiming for?
As I kept pondering about that, a large hurricane appeared abruptly on the battlefield, thus terrifying the soldiers standing with me.
Just what is that?!
Soon, a thunderous roar shook the air and birthed fear in the hearts of the soldiers. The aura that accompanied that roar was enough make even me stop breathing for a moment.
However, before the report of what was happening could arrive to me, another overwhelming aura descended on the battlefield and the hurricane vanished as abruptly as it had appeared. What made its appearance from inside it was a humongous three headed dragon.
I couldn’t help but gaze at its beautiful majesty as he lorded over us with his terrifying eyes.
Ah, how beautiful. Splendid!
Now I understand why Regina was so full of herself. It was because she had the Dragon Emperor on her side. But I have nothing to fear, for I have my Goddess with me.
Her oracles haven’t failed me till now, and I am sure that they will not fail me this time either. All I have to do is stand back and wait for the right opportunity. Fate favours me, so I will be the victor.
At least, that’s what I wanted to do.
The dragons above us suddenly went berserk after listening to the Dragon Emperor’s battle cry, and started attacking us. One of the stray Dragon Breaths came hurling at me, and I had to cast a magic barrier to protect myself and my soldiers.
This is a war, and I know that casualties are bound to occur. But every human death aches my heart, so I’ll try to save anyone I can.
“S-Sir! What should we do?!”
“Attack the dragons with everything you have got. If we let up here, the dragons would enter the cities and massacre the civilians living there.”
The soldier’s face which was laden with fear and despair lit up with hope. I gave him a purpose to risk his life, so he would give his all for it.
But then, something completely expected occurred. The Dragon Emperor suddenly flew over to where Samuel and the others were supposed to be, but something appeared in front of it. The next instant, the Dragon Emperor was sent flying a great distance. I augmented my eyesight through magic and then saw it, the figure of Jack floating in the air.
The black wings adorning his back as his domineering bloodlust pressed down on us was……. splendid! As I thought, this is how a Hero should be! Undefeatable and overwhelming! Maybe I should give up on Samuel and use him instead.
The remaining dragons shrieked in rage and pounced on Jack, but they were effortlessly cut by Sam’s dragon Drache. But……. the power and mana exuding from her were comparable to the Dragon Emperor. No, in fact her mana was more refined than his.
No wonder her mana seemed familiar! It was her all along! And she had gotten much stronger than her past counterpart. Altering her memories was really the right move.
But just when did Samuel….? Haaah, how fearsome. My decision to use Grand Orfei on this battlefield was the correct one.
Just then, I received a message from Alicia who was overseeing the battlefield from the back.
｢William, Karzark, Reygus and Olivia. You are ordered to kill the dragons! And Azell, command your troops to fire on the dragons with the intentions to kill them!｣
Our intentions were almost the same, so I followed her order.
Sounds of battles entered my ears from around the ritual ground, blood was being spilt and seeping into the ground, dying it crimson. It was all being done as per our Goddess’ wishes, yet their deaths still pained my heart. But I steeled my resolve for I knew that a change in the world is always accompanied by a large number of sacrifices.
But then I received another order from Alicia.
｢Commanders! Have your forces retreat! Protect them from the dragons until their withdrawal is complete, and then proceed to assist the Heroes against the Demon King and her Commandments!｣
Well, if these are the orders I have been given, then it doesn’t seem like I have any other choice. Alicia is using a special magic spell to monitor us after all. But I cannot exit this battlefield yet. And so, I called one of my subordinates.
The man in his mid-thirties genuflected before me. Out of all of subordinates, this man is the only one who has followed my teachings to the letter and is on his path to attain true awakening. That’s why I named this man as my successor.
“Lead the army to retreat.”
“But what about you, sir?”
“I have a small business to take care of. Pray for my success, for if I succeed today, we’ll achieve what we have worked our whole lives for.”
His eyes lit up in glee, and he bowed his head even deeper.
“May success be with you! All hail the Goddess Phiria!”
“Yes, all hail Phiria.”
I left my position with these words, and proceeded to the place where Samuel and Regina’s parties were supposed to be duelling.
Since I couldn’t fly due to the dragons in the air, I had no choice but to travel through the ground. Going against the flow of the retreating soldiers proved to be difficult, and a fair amount of time had passed until I reached my desired place. And the fact that dragon corpses were falling from the sky didn’t really help either. Jack was using his bare hands to rip apart these beasts. But he was using brute strength to bring them down.
The battle of Drache- no, Shiggurath and Dragon Emperor also proceeded high up in the sky. I wasn’t able to see anything due to the distortion in space of the sky above us, but I could still sense the ripples in mana. And that was enough to tell me that their battle was truly out of this world.
After travelling for some more, while slaying some dragons on my way, I reached my destination. And what entered my eyes was the catastrophic scene of Samuel falling at the hands of Regina. He had been impaled by the Devourer, that nasty weapon that devours everything.
I almost screamed his name in despair because he was the final piece I needed to complete my puzzle. I was this close to victory, yet Regina had snatched that chance from me.
My blood boiled with fury, and I almost summoned my Sacred Treasure to kill Regina, but thankfully, I was able to control myself. For I was not strong enough to defeat her. And all was not lost yet: all I had to do was believe in our Goddess.
As it turned out, doing that was the correct choice.
An air of death blew as the world itself prostrated, and Samuel stood once again. But this time, he was not the Hero. He was death itself. I had to give it my all to not lose my sense of self and reason and just prostrate before him. Samuel’s might was almost…… godly. No, it was different. I couldn’t place my finger on it, but there was something, something that made his power different. Just being in his presence was putting an indescribable pressure on my soul.
Regina, perhaps sensing just what she was up against, fell into despair and prostrated before him to beg for her life, but Samuel only gave her an ultimatum. He counted till 10 to let Regina prepare for her struggle against her imminent destruction. She squeezed all of her power and trump cards and got ready to fight.
Yet none of that helped.
Samuel crushed her like an ant. His overwhelming prowess, his majesty, his ruthlessness, all of them made my heart flutter with ecstasy.
But they also invoked fear. That power, was it really something the Goddess had provided him? Did the benevolent Goddess really give him the power of absolute obliteration?
But there is no other possibility. Samuel is from a parallel world, one which is much more peaceful than ours and has no mana. There’s no way he could have possessed that power before being summoned here.
Maybe the Goddess was enraged that I was taking such a long time, so she decided to intervene. So this is what the Hero, the vanguard of the Goddess personally chosen by her, should be like! The past Heroes were all useless: Samuel is what a Hero should aim to be!
But his power is far too great for a single man, not to mention that his power is needed to execute the final stage of my plan.
To execute Grand Orfei.
So when he stood before the now motionless Regina and bid her his last farewell, I summoned my Sacred Treasure Resurgent.
The moment that terrifying power occupying his body left it and he returned to being a normal human, I made my move.
With superhuman speed, I cancelled the illusion spell which was hiding me and lunged at him from behind. My sword, travelling at a speed indiscernible to human eyes, found its target and penetrated the heart of Samuel.
He vomited a massive amount of blood, and tried to raise his mana to escape from his unknown assailant, but Resurgent didn’t give him the opportunity to do so.
He turned his neck to look at me, and his eyes finally met mine.
With surprise, disbelief, despair, and most of all, wrath, he asked me.