Chapter 01 – An Oldie Like Me with an Arrow to the Knee
I came at the Demon Lord with some really flashy magic, because I wanted the guy to pay attention to me. The amount of magic you throw at someone is sometimes more important than raw strength.
No real damage. But…I was purposely faking it, so that was fine.
As I was tossing the magic at him, I looked at our hero Cruz, who was being healed.
The hero had jumped at the Demon Lord too quickly and now he was caught in a trap and was injured.
I had no time to stop.
Cruz was a strong kid, though.
Way stronger than 15 years – It’s obvious now, but way stronger than I was at 15.
Still, you have to say the kid is still really naive when it comes to battle.
Because of that, in order to help him out, they needed a veteran like me as support.
「Hey, hero! Are you still stuck?!」
I asked the kid, pouring more magical force into my attack so the Demon Lord wouldn’t come after him.
「Just a little more!」
Our party’s healer Yureena shouted, and Cruz finally responded,
「Thank you! I’m okay.」
It was admirable seeing that kid standing up again.
「You’re pretty tough!」
I shouted…Yureena’s healing spells work wonders.
However, even with all of that healing magic, the hero’s recovery speed too was phenomenal.
I sped up my magic attacks even more.
I had attacked the Demon Lord previously just to distract him – now it was time to do some real damage.
The Demon Lord was now being wounded…over and over.
The Demon Lord shouted at us, as I blew his right arm off.
Then the force knocked him to the ground.
Our little party was humming.
Without even saying a word, the hero ran in with perfect timing.
The Demon Lord was totally focused on me. The hero made a hole right through the enemy’s heart with a holy sword.
The Demon Lord growled with a final gurgle; his scream reverberated through the room.
His breath was fading in gasps, but our enemy glared not at the hero that stabbed him…he fixed his eyes on me.
「If only youuuu neverrr…」
「Nah, if you’re pissed at someone, you have to be pissed at the hero. The hero stabbed you, right?」
I said with a smirk at the hero.
No matter how strong the warriors and magicians were previously that faced him, no one could kill this Demon Lord.
I just needed a hero to stab this guy for me, as he was a Demon Lord – no one could kill him with normal means.
Even after blowing the guy’s arm off, it would regenerate in less than five minutes.
The only person that could cut through this Demon Lord’s cursed protection was a hero that had divine protection of holiness.
Since this hero could beat the Demon Lord, well, Cruz is worthy of being called one.
But the enemy still kept glaring at me.
The Demon Lord’s disconnected right arm suddenly awakened with a light and shot a dozen magic arrows at me.
I heard the hero scream at me, so I reacted.
I was too late.
We had eased up too much…after thinking that we had crushed this difficult enemy at the end of a long journey.
I quickly cast a magic barrier and knocked down all the arrows flung at me.
But one arrow…I couldn’t dodge.
My left knee! The magic arrow plunged deep into my kneecap.
I looked at the Demon Lord after enduring this freshly new yet severe pain.
I saw the Demon Lord make something like an awkward smile at me.
In the same instant, the hero chopped his head off, and said,
「Alfred, I’m sorry! If I had just killed him faster!」
The hero was almost ready to cry.
「No, I’m the fool here, I eased up too much.」
The hero made a distressed face, even more so than when in the Demon Lord’s trap, being injured.
A nice kid. That must be why God chose the kid as a hero.
One of the warriors in the party, Luka, jumped back when she saw my knee.
「Whoa! Look at all that blood, did it break your kneecap in half?!」
「Don’t say stuff like that! Can’t you see he’s in pain?!」
The warriors laughed in their own sarcastic way. No bad intentions. She was just trying to make scene…less tense.
「Alfred, I’ll use some healing magic on it.」
The healer ran up as fast as she could next to me.
She was what you could call a holy woman. A super-restorer.
「Yeah, sorry for letting myself get messed up. Please.」
The healer used the strongest healing magic she had on my knee.
Normally the blood would instantly stop and the pain with it.
But…it was still painful. And the blood kept pouring.
「What? That’s strange.」
The healer looked lost.
When a healer says something like “that’s strange,” it scares the hell out of you…so better not to say it at all.
As a result, the hero started freaking out.
「What the hell happened?!」
「My magic spell didn’t work!」
The hero turned pale.
All the warriors looked at my injury silently.
I looked at the most veteran of the warriors and asked.
「What do you think?」
「Well, that Demon Lord looked like he had quite some power left.」
「What does that mean?」
「Well, it’s got to be an arrow around as strong as an immortal-killer arrow. I mean, you do see people shoot stuff like this when they’re about to die. Since it was shot just as he was dying, it has a curse almost like one of those immortal-killer arrows.」
「Immortal-killer? But I’m not immortal.」
「I mean it’s so strong it could kill an immortal.」
「It will never heal. It can’t be healed with magic. That’s what the immortal-killer curse does.」
Well, that sucks. It cut the artery on the back side of my knee. If I can’t stop the blood, I’ll die quickly.
「Wahaaa, Alfred, noooo!」
The hero looked as me with tears and was shaking.
「Ow, oww, now I’ll die quicker than I thought I would.」
I smiled and said sarcastically. Best to put grin and bear it.
Well, it was right before tax time, so better to die now. Also, it’s nice to die right after you beat that damn Demon Lord.
But, at the same time, I didn’t want to die.
As soon as I was getting ready to accept it,
「I…I’m going to try something!」
The healer whispered with a resolved look. I and all the others looked at her.
「But…she just said healing magic…wouldn’t work.」
「Even if normal healing magic doesn’t work, I’ve got to try something. We healers aren’t pushovers!」
She said with a smile.
I had no idea what she would do, but if I did nothing, I’d die. Best to try.
The healer nodded strongly. She held her staff aloft, a magic sphere grew into a ball, and suddenly shone.
The blood stopped. The pain became bearable.
「…phew, that went okay.」
The healer almost toppled over at the huge amount of magic she expended and was caught as she fell by the hero.
「It was close to immortal-killer strength, but luckily it wasn’t that strong. I used my strongest healing magic and mixed it with purifying magic…and used it all on you.」
Even though the healer was completely spent, she still smiled proudly. The other warriors all looked at her with eyes of respect.
I had to respect the woman too.
「Thanks, you saved me.」
「But, because of the injury, you still will take time to heal. Be careful, okay?」
The exhausted healer again smiled.
As we returned,
「Are you okay?」
The warrior whispered to me.
「Why are you asking if I’m okay?」
「Your knee, right?」
It hurt like crazy, but you can’t just say that in front of a healer that just healed you.
「Thanks to her, the blood stopped.」
I chose words that wouldn’t be seem like a lie.
「…that’s not what I’m asking about.」
「What does that mean?」
「She healed the blood and almost all the broken kneecap, but there’s still the immortal-killer effect…it’s not gone.」
「So it hurts, right?」
「…yeah. Like crazy.」
Luka’s warrior pokerface seemed to be a bit troubled by my response.
「If it’s so bad and you can’t go on, just tell us, okay?」
So like that, the killing of the Demon Lord was finished with no one hurt.
Well…one thing hurt…my knee.
「…ah…guys, a little help, my knee is killing me…」