Chapter 48:

Labyrinth Expedition #19

What Clichés has this World Wrought? [ Volume One: Another World ]


The storm produced by the fighting was intense, the Knight’s sword and shield clashing, smashing against the monster’s claws. The demon was two heads taller than the human, his reach much further than Kaiser’s, yet the human kept close, closer than the distance he emphasized during his lectures.

Like a well-oiled machine, gears lubricated and maintained, Kaiser moved at inhuman speed, the pace they were fighting at comparable to that of Akiro’s top speed. “A-Amazing– Even though I can't maintain that, how are they fighting like that?”

The boy’s thoughts must have been betrayed by his face, because an old hand rested reassuringly on his shoulder, wrinkled and aged, “There’s no need to be so glum, boy.” Sebastian hummed, squeezing lightly, “He is the first man younger than the age of thirty-five to obtain the position of chief knight. Have faith, he’s not one of the strongest men in the kingdom for nothing.”

Clang! Pam! Wham!

Kaiser punched forward with the edge of his shield, the blow stopped by the Demon’s right palm. Since the first minute, the chatty, off-puttingly affectionate antagonist had not spoken a single word, the cocky smile wiped clean from his white face.

For all the eyes present there, the battle was incredibly favorable, the demon obviously on the back foot since the first of their weapons clashed. It gave hope, brimming, expectant hope for the students. The gloomy prospect of probable death had been shrouded by the hope’s light, and so they could only smile and cheer eagerly from the side.

“Go Kaiser-sensei!”

“You can do it!”

“Kick his ass! Send him back to Hell!”

However, Akiro himself couldn't bring himself to cheer, or even smile, for a heavyweight was hanging on his heart. An invisible weight, latched onto his spirit, making it difficult for him to even think positively. Something had been wrong with Kaiser for a long while, not that Akiro ever voiced that opinion, but the cheerful man he called Teacher– sensei— was gone, and he had been gone for a long time.

The assassin shoveled through his thoughts, looking back as far as he could in the four months they had been stuck inside the tower. Since the day the black letter arrived materialized out of thin air in front of the floor. The item was bound to Kaiser, becoming stupidly heavy when in other hands apart from his own.

Not only that, but if anyone tried to read, or look over his shoulder to see the contents of the black letter– they would be afflicted with great illnesses and afflictions: blindness, weakness, vomiting, loose bowel movement, head-splitting aches to name a few. Naturally, such an obscure item only available to one person would seem incredibly suspicious, and they were, for quite a while.

But their fears and concerns were gradually washed away by Kaiser’s constant reassurance, the supplies it allowed, and the occasional useful information provided within– and soon, they began to trust the item, even looking forward to what it held next.

They waited at a distance as Kaiser read it so that they were not affected by it, but what the whole group didn’t know– was that Akiro could read it as well, without being cursed by the punishments for doing so.

“I wasn’t sure what was inside the letter because I only caught a glance when I was looking for Kaiser-sensei in his tent.” Akiro thought, remembering the memory. He looked around as he opened the loose tent entrance, looking inside after calling out to Kaiser three times without an answer.

“Oh whatever, I need to talk,” Akiro grumbled, pushing in carefully, opening the tent flap to see the interior without anyone. “Kaiser was not here the whole time?! Man, now I just feel stupid.”

“Where is he anyway– wait, is that–” The assassin blinked, looking over to the small table by the corner of the tent, right next to the Knight’s and his Fiance’s bedroll. It was open, causing him to instinctively flinch away after catching a peek. “Shit! I’ll be cursed! I already saw something.”

Akiro awaited his punishment grimly, bracing himself in wait for what was to come, but it never came. “H-Huh?” He gasped, holding himself all around, checking his skin for boils, sores, or discoloration, finding none. Instead, he was not plagued by the cursed letter, but by his clumsy tongue. “I’m alright!? Oh yeah! I can’t be affected by curses because—Agh!”

[ By the Laws of Causality, You are prohibited from mentioning, hinting, sharing, and explaining anything about the Creed and Contract. ] [ This is your first warning, you are incapable of carrying the burden of Causality at this time. ] [ If you overstep your boundaries, divine retribution will come. ]

Akiro’s mouth was watered with blood, his internal organs damaged by the penalty. That was when he had discovered that his contract was still in place, and the duty of his silence was deathly serious trouble.

But, even in all that pain, before he collapsed from the shock, Akiro couldn’t forget the letters inscribed in silver and perfumed in blood. Five words rang repeatedly in his mind, echoing in his sleep because it was something he was not supposed to see. “‘...We have an accord, human.’”

Kaiser was speaking, communicating with someone, the being underneath the tower, but that was the least of his worries and Akiro was treated by Kagiwara after Kaiser had found him, nearly drowning in his blood.

Since then, Akiro could never bring up the words inside the letter to Kaiser, who then kept the letter on his person at all times, unless he suffered the penalty of his creed again.

Akiro opened his eyes, laying his eyes back to the battle raging in front of him, his thoughts still hanging on the memory, “What did you do, Kaiser-sensei?”

Jester grinned devilishly, putting both his claws up to block the longsword, Kaiser’s shield edge adding more power to the blow. “My! You’re quite feisty–”


“Shut up!” Kaiser roared, magic power pulsating, reverberating around the room– the source of the magical disturbance being him at its center, three types of magical elements whirring past the bystanders of the cyclone. “And die!”

The blazing fire roared from his sword, coating it with a layer of magic, extending its reach and lethality. Jester blinked, stepping back, the flames thrusting forward through his head. “Oh dear—”


The sword was where the demon’s head was, and from their angle, it was an effective strike, Masashi loudly celebrating from his place. “Yes! Kaiser got him!”

“Really?!” Some chimed in, the buzzing energy growing, but it was promptly squashed by a firm hand of Sebastian.

“Hush Children! The battle is not over!---”


A loud implosion rang out inside the gargantuan circus tent, the shockwave of the small explosion much stronger than it naturally should be, but they only felt the air, not the damaging waves thanks to the barrier erected by Olivia.

A triple-layer Icosahedron, each layer expertly canceling out all three different elemental waves, but even then the attack was so great that each layer had cracked quite significantly. The dust cleared, leaving a crater where Kaiser’s feet should be, the knight standing proudly in the middle of it, the demon still shrouded in steaming fog in front of him.

“Y-You! Curr!” Jester’s loud voice yelled, an ear-grating frequency being produced by the sheer force of his vocal cords– the vocal cords he had stolen from the Kingdom’s first king– and from the strength of it, the quality plummeted, returning his voice quality to when they first heard him. “Insufferable humans! You’ll taste my wrath!--”


The steaming shroud of fog dissipated in an instant, Jester was left in a disheveled state. His clothes were burned, left in tatters by the explosion, shards of earth lodged in his torso; and unlike his smooth skin, his chest was a map of stitches– different pieces of creatures, put together and hidden under great vestments. Jester was no different from the Chimera Ogre in the image, but the power inside of him was even greater than anything Akiro had fought.

Jester’s chest, where a heart probably would be, originally hidden by a silk shirt and tie, revealed a pulsating core– the same core the Ogre had in its head– and his neck was elongated from the rest of his body, not with flesh, but with a smoke-like shroud of pitch black consistency.

“M-My vessel! My favorite– My Magnum Opus!-- H-How could you!?” Jester shrieked, his head returning to his neck, the black shroud dissipating as the stitches stitched him back together. His head, which had been unmoving since the separation, suddenly sprang back to life, eyes bursting with tears of blood, his jaw clenching and grinding, “I-I will kill you! I will kill you! I will desecrate your corpse and inhabit it myself!”

The more he spoke, the worse his voice got, and the better it was conveyed– “I will be your painter! You will be my painting! and The world shall see my art: ‘The Final Moments: The Dying Stars!’” — he was not just deranged, but he was unfathomably strong, unpredictable, and incredibly violent. His words had merit because he could follow through with them.

Clang! Shindig!

The storm of attacks ensued once more, grace and stage-like visage gone and nowhere to be seen. It was no longer a duel, but an execution. Relentless attacks rained down like meteors, the weight and speed akin to that of shooting stars.

Kaiser was now on his back foot, the three-element storm settling on his body. The wind coated his legs, adding speed, power, and maneuverability to his body; while the waters encompassed his shield and torso, glowing with faint light, healing the cuts that began to multiply on his skin; and fires raged on his weapon, giving him an edge— but such a powerful form could not be maintained without cost.

He was the most skilled knight, but no skills or spells had been used since the beginning of the duel, his options for attack were limited only to how fast he could swing his arm. In a sense, like how seasoning was food, skills, and spells are for that of effective and powerful warriors, and without them, they are simply…nothing but masses of power without conduits. It was a powerful trump card, but the wings he gave himself came at the cost of his limbs, and that cost was too much to bear. Or was it?

Maybe perhaps this would have worked on a human, but Jester is no human– he is a Demon. The kind like Jester is what they have been summoned to fight, what they have been summoned to slay and save humanity from. Perhaps Kaiser could have won if he hadn’t sold his soul for the safety of his wife. Why did he do such a foolish thing? Why didn’t he trust the heroes under his wing?


Well, the reason is now lost to time, only available to the Gods and the Demon he pacted with. Silence crushed any sound, the echoes of battle dissipating as quickly as the fight had begun. An hour, Kaiser sensei only lasted an hour, barely scratching the demon, now dead— the five prongs on Jester’s hand skewering his heart, cleanly cleaving it from his body, holding it and him high in the air like trophies.

From the angle of what Akiro could see, he saw Jester’s mouth move, speaking softly, discreetly to Kaiser, who was still alive; and his fears were true, the image of an unbreakable mentor cracking inside his mind.

“The pact is complete: Your death, body, and soul for wife and unborn son. This charade has been a Pleasure, Kaiser.” Jester whispered through smirking teeth. The Knight’s blood dripped from his head, and eyes, mixed with tears of regret– but his face was not that of a suffering man, but a relieved one. “May the scales on the afterlife’s judgment tip against you. You're as much of a monster as I am. Farewell and Thank You.”