Chapter 53:

The Showdown #4

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


A heavy fist collided with the wooden desk, the thick wood used in its creation cracking under the powerful blow. The boom shocked the official messenger, a man in his forties, dressed in clothes used only in times to address royalty.

This time, however, he was addressing two Royal Families instead of only one– his uniform was a beautiful fusion of both cultures. It is unfortunate to say that under the Earlshide Monarchy, his undergarments have been slightly soiled. Luckily, none seeped out.

“Kindly repeat that report.” King Vonn demanded, his voice booming throughout the large, newly constructed building.

Set in between their kingdoms, directly on the border and equidistant from both their capitals, the royal families sat at a crescent-shaped table on their respective sides, a messenger fearfully kneeling in their midst.

Two months, it had been two months since the Heroes had returned. They were incredibly powerful, and now– were –comparable to that of each of their Kingdom’s most powerful officers. They grew exponentially compared to the first three months, enough to become useful assets.

Ironically, the two King Vonn thought would have been obsolete were by far the most powerful ones. It was quite unfortunate that one of them was a double-edged dagger.

“There is no need for anger, Vonn.” King Stephen cut in, almost too sharply, looking at his copy of the lengthy document. Each of the monarchs was given, but in case of fatigue or other factors, they were read out by experienced orators. “The messenger is innocent, as for him, I am not sure. A shame, truly.”

His wife, the Scavian Queen, also nodded. “Let’s not be too hasty. There may have been other factors at play. A Demon, a great general of the seventh army at that.” She explained, enunciating her words to further drive the point, “No matter how strong they are, or how useful their otherworldly knowledge may be to the prosperity of both our kingdoms– they are still children.”

In her words, the Queen of Earlshide scoffed, “Let us not pretend to be good, Kaguya. Not only did we respectively go through three generation’s worth of work, laid by our forefathers, but we have succeeded in deluding them with naive ideas— chaining them here.”

King Stephen nodded, somewhat regretfully, but the emotion was squashed almost immediately. “Yes, yes, yes–” He pinched the bridge of his nose, “Now all we have to do is to keep it that way.”

“Very good then, we are all in agreement. Now, onto more pragmatic matters.” King Vonn grinned, his hands coming together. His eyes trailed the long red carpet, the great doors opening to allow a cart to be pushed in.

A brigade of men and women in priestly robes entered, approaching the two royal families with grace and discipline. Each of them was assigned one templar knight, a great man of tall stature armed to the teeth. Both of these forces combined were to guard only one prisoner, held down by straps, heavy chains, magical seals, and nails hammered through his limbs.

King Vonn’s eyebrows twitched at the prickling gaze through the covering of his head. “What do we do with you?”

Priest Sebastian revealed himself from the squadron of keepers, reaching to the face guard that caged the prisoner’s mouth shut.

Clack! Click!

He twisted the key, unlatching the heavy lock placed on his mouth. King Stephen winced at the cracked lips that smiled back.

“I…get…a…say?” A hoarse voice replied, strained from overuse– the aftereffects of not speaking for too long. “Gee…in that case—


Great pillars made of marble, reinforced by steel, cracked into pieces. The templar knights jumped back to draw their swords, their respective priests hiding behind them. Guards rushed to the sides of the monarchs, drawing their weapons to protect them.

The chains frosted over, shattering like fragile popsicles, and the magical engravings crumbled into dust. Servants rushed to the doors, intending to open them, only for their hands to break the frozen metal handlebars– locking them inside.

The guards communicated through nods and glances with the servants, and they learned that the only way outside of this room was now through the prisoner. The captured man pried his arms from the metal cross they had crucified him in, the regeneration of his injuries leaving only faint scars.

No one dared to move a muscle, especially after he had removed the covering cloth. Slightly malnourished, perhaps tired, or hurting– they did not know, but one would assume that he was calmly irate.

Akiro grinned at them, a canine tooth flashing from a cut that did not properly heal on his lip. Through crystal blue eyes he stared down at the gathered forces, the air crackling with frost. Queen Kaguya, King Stephen, King Vonn–” Akiro nodded, bowing his head slightly in courtesy, “You have one chance– Tell my fri… tell my classmates the whole truth, and I will spare your lives.”

“You dare demand–” Earlshide’s queen cut in, irritated at his lack of acknowledgment, but her sentences were cut short by a spire of ice slicing her head clean of her shoulders. King Vonn gasped, the corner of his eyes seeing as his wife’s body dropped limp, her head, frozen amidst her sentence.

“You have three days, make them count. In the meantime, you’re all free to go.” Akiro continued to speak as if her interruption did not happen. “You’re all able-bodied, so I do not doubt in my mind that you’ll make it back. In the meantime…”

The assassin’s eyes scan the room, locking onto a man much older than he remembered. “I have a score to settle.”

The priest froze in place, his mind racing as a figure seemingly grew from the boy’s shadow. “What monster have we created—”

The boy’s finger flickered, only for a second, but Sebastian’s neck felt cold. He tried to reach for his neck, but his body didn’t listen, and only when he tried to warm himself did he realize–

“Ah…I’m dead, aren’t I?” He thought, the world falling sharply to the side, his head tumbling against the carpet. His life flashed before his eyes but instead of happy memories, Sebastian struggled to recall why Akiro was in that state. His mind had been clouded as of late, but suddenly—

“I remember…”

The battle ended, and the demon fell as it ran away from Akiro in the distance, angrily avenging Ayama, who had fallen just a minute before. Sebastian was haggardly breathing, his hands weakly trembling. He could feel his lifespan shortening, his magical circuits being wrung dry of all it could.

His eyes darted from the fallen demon to the Ice-Mage of the company, the same mage who had made an effort to save them from the earlier floors’ drying heat. Takumi channeled the last of his power into an arrow, effectively killing the last water-based entity with the shot.

“It's…over…” When the priest heard the shout of celebration, his body gave out on its own despite his mind willing otherwise.

He was caught by Akiko, who sweetly smiled at him. His falling form was held up by Akiko, her bloodied armor smearing his clean clothes, “It’s okay, old man…we did it. You can rest now.” She said reassuringly.

He felt a well of joy and relief spring from within himself, his tired eyes closing to rest, only for his entire being to be blown back by an incapacitating shockwave.




“Where am I…” As if he was separated from his physical body, The priest floated in an empty dark space. He spun around in wonder, the pains of his joints or failing back completely alleviated. Sebastian was free, weightless; but for a moment, he felt that he was alone.


The wind blew past and around him, but there was no wind in that void. The priest’s eyes widened as his spirit trembled under the gaze of something. He frantically turned and searched, trying to speak, but it was just silence that greeted him.

He felt something sigh disappointedly, leaving him in that space to wonder, what that exactly was. He couldn’t ponder on the subject for too long, and soon, Sebastian awoke. He was not sure what to expect, but he had hoped to wake in a medical facility, not the deepest bowels of the dungeon.

The priest turned his head to the sides, the heroes all unconscious and on the ground. For some reason, he was able to recover faster than they did, despite being physically older than them by over six decades. Sebastain’s eyes rolled around, looking at his feet, witnessing something he shouldn’t have.

“W-Wait! Are you crazy!?” Tsukiko gasped, stumbling back, and falling on the ground. She recovered, pushing back as Akiro slowly walked closer, his complexion cold, tired, grimly resolved. Just behind his heels were the corpses of three others, Toshio, Ryuta, and Matsuko.

“A-Are you going to kill y-your friend!?” She almost screamed the question, her eyes displaying true fear. “Just like t-that!?”

Akiro stopped in his steps, almost hesitating, but he still answered. “Friend?...You? You’re no longer my friend. You’re not my friend.”

Tsukiko realized that she no longer had a choice, and so she fought back instead. She raised her hand, channeling magic power into a sphere from her palm, directly aiming at Akiro’s head. The unarmed assassin only looked at her, not wavering in his stance at all, and with a flick of his hand, a slim spire of Ice ascended from the ground– impaling her head.


“What did I just see?” He questioned himself, the shock of the scene weakened Sebastian’s neck, causing his head to fall back on the sandy floor. His fatigue eventually overcame him, but as he faded back into unconsciousness, the scene remained fresh in his mind and the conclusion Sebastian came to was very grim.

“Akiro killed Tsukiko…He must’ve killed the others too!”

“I must warn his majesty!”

“He’s dangerous!”