Chapter 53:

Late Arrival

How I (Accidently) Became a Demon Lord

Percival hadn't planned to be where he was. He was outside the castle when the enemy attacked, now he stood in the entryway deciding where to head. The sound of crashing glass sounded nearby, that would be the direction of Ezek’s fight. Mosti would be alright, and Osir was strong enough. What was the move?

He decided to just pick a hall at random and began making his way. Of course they couldn't have waited another hour, no they had to attack while he was picking up his saber from being sharpened. Now he was behind on the fights, no fair.

Rath stood facing the older mage. Nekra hovered, watching for any movement. The old mage simply sat there, waiting. The mages eyes were wide with shock, like he was piecing something together in his head.

“Rath, he uses water magic.” Nekra yelled out. “Dont get too close.”

Rath nodded, lowering his hand to Freesia, but did not draw her yet.

“You are the Demon Lord the king fears so much.” The mage said.

“That is correct.” Rath confirmed.

The mage nodded. “I was not to be your opponent, however if I must fight you I shall.”

“We do not need to fight.” Rath stated. “Simply allow us to pass. The king is our only target, If possible I wish to try for peace once more.”

The mage hesitated. “I cannot simply let you pass. I will be viewed as a traitor of my people if I were to do so.”

“Then we shall not kill you.” Rath stated. “We have no objection to take any lives we do not need to.”

The man gave Rath a look, he was looking him up and down. “I would like to ask you something.”

“What is that?” Rath asked. Nekra still hovered in the air, holding his dragon soul at the ready.

The man pulled free two mana batteries from under his shirt. “Do you recognize these?”

Rath looked them over, they were familiar. His eyes widened in realization. “Do you know Tivis!”

Pure shock and horror covered the old man's face. “It cannot be.” tears swelled in his eyes. “You are the Rath that she wrote of. You, a Demon Lord, how, what trickery did you use to fool her.”

Rath relaxed for a moment. “I did not trick her, at the time I was just a human.”

The man sighed. “You say that, and based on her opinions of you it would seem you were human, it would explain the sudden appearance of a Demon Lord.”

“Have you heard from Tivis? Is she well?” Rath asked.

The man raised his head to Rath. “Tivis is dead. She and her party died at Kyrit Depths.”

Rath was caught suddenly. “No way, dammit! I should have turned back to help them. I should have gone to find them.”

The man sat on the ground, tears pouring from his face. “I cannot face you. Tivis would not allow it. She spoke so highly of you, I cannot fight you. Please, leave me.”

Rath didn't move. “Will you join us?” Rath asked.

The man raised his head.

“We can offer you sanctuary at Criss should abide by our laws. You were Tivis' master, Osir, weren't you? We could use a man like you on our side. I understand the loyalty, however I was the one who asked for peace, your king is the one who denied me without giving me a chance.”

Osir got to his feet. He walked towards Rath, and passed right by him. “I do not know what I shall do, but I know that I cannot stand to you, and I know that I cannot betray my king. I shall let the fates decide my course of action. For now, I will withdraw.” and with that, Osir left.

“Rath.” Nekra said, landing next to him. “Should we trust that he won't just find someone else? Fight others because he knew he couldn't defeat the two of us together?”

“Lords only know.” Rath said, walking forward. “Let's go, I got a king to find, and you gotta go support the others.”

Fenrin felt tired. It was a side effect of Breaking, it caused slight fatigue after it was fired off. It would take a moment for his body to adjust to the lack of shielding, once that happened he would be fine. He expected to take this man down, but he made the sacrifice of his own leg. Now the man Ezek floated with wings of air behind him, and he looked pissed.

Pelone laid flat on the window, her quick thinking confirmed his strike to hit, but she was exhausted, she couldn't go on much longer. Fenrin had to be the one to end this.

“Come now, the great Fenrin will take you!” Fenrin taunted. He wanted him to focus on Fenrin, not Pelone.

Ezek took the bait. He tilted his body forward and launched himself at Fenrin. Instead of dodging, Fenrin decided to catch the man. He wasn't the most lean, so he needed to block. However, the wind around Ezek began to rip at Fenrin’s flesh. Pain shot up Fenrin’s body as he held the man firmly in place, his arms getting cut from the gale force.

Another spear came down, the last of Pelone’s spears, but it flew back from the pressure of the wind. If not for Fenrin’s size he too would have been flung back. This was not good, he could not hold him like this. No, he would hold him, he would defeat him.

Fenrin summoned up his strength, he was holding the man's arms, stopping him from pulling any weapons. He would crush this archer's body, he would defeat him. Then, Ezek reversed and flew back into the air, high up. He had slipped from Fenrin’s grip so easily, how?

Blood, Fenrin’s hands were shredded, the padding torn. The blood served as a lubricant to let the man escape the grip. Fenrin swore, he was so far that Fenrin’s chain couldn't reach. Pelone couldn't get close, she would be torn apart like his hands were. This was not a match up that favored either of them.

As if to answer Fenrin’s prayers, a bolt of black energy shot up into Ezek. It wasn't pushed back like the spear was, it simply struck hard. Ezek, Pelone, and Fenrin all followed the trail the bolt took, spotting Malphis standing, charging another blast. Ezek wasn't given a moment to react before another black blast hit him. It exploded on impact, sending Ezek floundering in the air.

Fenrin was surprised, could Darkness magic cause explosions? Malphis held up two hands, another casting bar appearing from overhead. Ezek didnt give him the chance and began to zig zag in the air, drawing back his bow.

Malphis let the spell fizzle, instead darting backwards. He was drawing Ezek away from Fenrin and Pelone. Ezek chased after the Goliath, firing a barrage of arrows at him. It was as if he could now fire more than one arrow at once. Fenrin didn't like that. Malphis hid under trees, forcing Ezek to get lower to hit. Fenrin realized then what was happening.

When Ezek had lowered himself to shot at Malphis, Fenrin struck. He swung the chain overhead, disrupting Ezek’s spell. This moment was all Malphis needed to cast his own. The explosion hit the man’s shoulder, causing it to burst with blood. Fenrin’s weapon had missed, but it had been enough to allow Malphis to hit. The wind around Ezek was beginning to dissipate, he wasn't holding the spell like he needed to. Fenrin took the chance, he swung his axe up with every ounce of strength he could manage.

The weapon was falling as the force that Fenrin applied suddenly lurched it upwards, the axe slamming into the unexpecting face of Ezek. Stillness followed as the body and chain dropped to the ground, connected by flesh.

“Rath said we should avoid killing.” Malphis explained.

Fenrin panted. “Wasn't happening.”

“Dude was a jerk.” Pelone yelled out from the window. She flapped her arms hard to come down to them. She couldn't stand, as soon as she was close to the ground she allowed herself to fall. She laid on the grass with a smile. “This feels so nice right now.”

“Fenrin, take care of her.” Malphis explained.

“What! Why me!” Fenrin yelled out.

“You still have a little strength, she doesn't, I have about full strength still.” Malphis began. “You two withdraw from this fight till you get your energy back. I will head inside and assist where I can.” He threw a bag to them. “Bandages, treat her wounds, then yours.”

Fenrin begrudgingly accepted the bag and began to treat her. He didn't fight Malphis, he knew his body was hurting from the wind. Fenrin was unaware as he treated Pelone that she was squealing inside.

Nasui and Yaki pressed Mosti back hard, but were not able to deal any damage outside of Yaki’s strike. Yaki would vanish, but Mosti would switch to wild low swings to try and catch her legs. Yaki had to give up that strategy or else take a very painful attack.

Nasui kept the pressure, Mosti was reaching the end of the hall. This would be fine, once his back was to a corner they would have the advantage. Yaki stepped back, throwing a tiny dagger that struck a joint of Mosti’s armor. The dagger planted itself into the mans sword arm as he was getting ready to swing. The sudden effect left the man’s arm locked up, giving Nasui the chance to press forward.

Suddenly, light surrounded Nasui. Nasui swore then backed away. He spotted his enemy then, a man with a saber. Around his neck was the symbol of Orize, he was a cleric.

“I owe you Percival!” Mosti yelled out.

“You can repay me by killing them!” The man, Percival yelled out.

Nasui swore under his breath, what effects did Orize give to his clerics? Secis gave the blessing of Curse magic. Orize was the Lord of Justice, he was about smiting his enemies. Whatever he could do, Nasui knew he couldn't let that magic hit him.

Rath ran alone, he sent Nekra in an opposite direction to meet with the others. He hoped that Nekra would find someone before it was too late, though he was unsure. The halls were a maze, it seemed designed in that way. Rath threw open a door at the end of the hall to find a large open space, and a king. 

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