Well then, what should I do…
As it turns out, an evil ritual was steadily being prepared in the basement of the Demon King’s old castle.
When you think of Demon Kings, you think of rituals. Even in the books I’ve read, demonic beings were creatures that quietly accumulated power.
So, even if the Lord’s words make sense ―― I’d be at a loss if he suddenly sprang it on me.
I am being chased. I can’t ask for anybody’s help. To start with, there’s even a possibility that Dessend itself might be the mastermind.
There’s also an option of Senri reporting it to the Order of Death Knights anonymously, but the Order is dangerous. I’d be also uneasy to ask Mister Lazar and the others.
If I was alone, I’d run away ages ago but since Senri’s with me, that choice is out of the question.
Let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario. Would I be able to win if the Mirage King was hypothetically resurrected?
I was able to come close to Rainel, who was also similarly called the Demon King, but I was only able to live because Sable interrupted.
The Skeleton Lord answered my thoughts.
‘… It would be a disadvantageous match. The power of the King of the Dead, accumulated over many years, is the most troublesome out of all Demon Kings.’
It was an unexpected answer.
A disadvantageous match, huh… it’s not guaranteed that I would lose. Do I unexpectedly have a chance?
I, who have been an undead for only a year, can defeat the undead who has lived for decades, perhaps, even centuries?
The dead have their strengths, just like the living have theirs. If my opponent is the same immortal King, he must have the same level of regeneration ability as me. If the battle of endurance won’t work, I can’t help thinking that I won’t have any chances of winning…
The Lord doesn’t say much. Looking at his remains in the dark, I think to distract myself from the pain.
And I easily reached the answer.
No… I see!
At that moment, Senri, who was deep in thoughts after hearing the information from me, raised her head.
“End, I’ll blow away the castle along with the magic circle from outside. The accumulated power of death wouldn’t be a problem for ‘Photon Delete’.”
… As expected, we’re a match made in heaven.
The Lord’s remains turned his empty eye sockets towards Senri, but she continued with a serious expression so dignified and beautiful that it made my heart tremble.
“I want to avoid the destruction of nature as much as possible. But, the resurrection of the King of the Dead is too dangerous. It should be thoroughly destroyed before the ritual is activated.”
‘You little girl with no understanding of wisdom…! What a simplistic way of thinking. You damn disciple of Destruction, who has no clue about black magic! End, I can’t believe you would fall for such a muscle-brain wench, no matter how delicious her blood is!’
“I’ve thought about that too, but is the area of effect of your ‘Photon Delete’ that wide?”
‘End, you won’t stop her?! You idiot!’
Shut up. If I had to choose which one I had to listen to, I’d obviously choose Senri.
I know that nothing good comes out from lending ears to a wicked creature. It’s not like I’m doing a puzzle. If there’s a simple solution, I’d rather go with that.
‘Photon Delete’ is a secret technique of the Epée the ‘Destroyer’, which transforms the enormous power of the blessing and erases everything in its way.
According to Senri, it’s powerful because of its simplicity, it has no workaround either and it has blown away many powerful undead until now, but at the same time, it also seems to be extremely fuel inefficient.
If you’re wondering how fuel inefficient it is, the number of people who can use it, including Senri and Epée, can be counted on two hands, even though it’s a simple technique.
In addition, blessing is the energy of life.
Since they have to release it, the impact on the caster must be strong too. Senri was shooting it like crazy in the battle against the Lord, but she was only able to do it because she’s special.
I also want to have a big technique that could destroy the castle from far away. Isn’t there anything?
“It won’t be a problem if I rest well later. But I would have to narrow the range, so I’ll need you to tell me the direction of where I’m firing it, End.”
If she means to rest well, I’ll have to give up on blood for a while… It can’t be helped.
I’ve been spoiled by Senri recently, so it’s about time I showed her my patient side too. I’ll be fine with just getting a hug.
The Lord told me hurriedly as I was about to make the decision.
‘Wait, End! The ritual has not been completed yet. There is no need to destroy it now. It is an old spell, you can destroy the array if you follow appropriate procedures!’
…Is that true? Even if it’s true, you should say things like that first.
I hate the mages because they like to put on airs.
‘Look, End. You must take a look at this accumulated power of death. To start with, if you carelessly destroy the core with ‘Photon Delete’, the power of death might end up spreading!’
Is that true? I want to show Senri my cool side, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to show her my uncool side either.
It’s a bit too late for that after being saved by Senri so many times.
‘Feel it. If the power of death accumulates, the array will activate. If the array is not active yet, the power of death is not enough――.’
The Lord talked unusually a lot while I was reluctant.
Either he really hates preventing the ritual with force… or he has some kind of a trauma. After all, the Order of Death Knights seems to be full of muscle-brains…
… It can’t be helped. I’ve put too much burden on Senri recently. It’s better to not use ‘Photon Delete’.
But if you deceived me… I’ll have Senri kill you.
Perhaps reading my thoughts, the Lord looked at me. It’s a pity that I can’t read his expression because he has neither flesh nor skin.
“―― Senri, Photon Delete is fine too, but I have an idea.”
“Hey, what should we do, Lazar? Isn’t this bad?”
A strange door on the ground. Lazar and his group stood dumbfounded in front of the door, which had closed with a loud sound.
The situation was clearly abnormal. The complexion of his comrades looked unwell. And Lazar himself surely had the same expression on his face.
The castle of the former Demon King which was under the attack of the undead at nights.
The door that existed despite having been told in the beginning that there was nothing else here.
Lazar and the guys weren’t adventurers. They were stingy mercenaries who disliked fighting on the frontlines in this time of war and turmoil and earned a small amount of money
They didn’t want to go through the door. To start with, it was already closed and they didn’t have ridiculous power like Baron.
“Should we return to Dessend and report this?”
“… Think about it calmly. They are hiding things from us. Damn it!”
He was careless. That town couldn’t be trusted.
The employment of mercenaries was based on trust. Since they hid the information about the door, the reason why the undead were coming, Dessend was no longer a good client.
To start with, they also didn’t hear that there were Golems behind the door ―― to the holy land where the undead gathered.
There was no way Dessend, that even had the key to the door, didn’t know about the existence of those assailants. If Baron hadn’t gone ahead and Lazar and his group had gone with him, they would have most likely died.
“Hey, let’s just run away.”
“Kh… but Roux and Baron are still inside.”
Dessend hid the danger. At this rate, the matter of no mercenaries until now having died must’ve been a lie too.
It was about time they threw away the commission by all rights and ran away.
But those two were their lifesavers.
They were told to escape in case of emergency, but he wouldn’t be a mercenary if he failed in his duties.
“The wall in front of the door shouldn’t stay like this forever. After all, Dessend should’ve already investigated it.”
The front of the door was completely sealed away by the moving wall. It was hard to imagine that it’d stay like this forever. There should definitely be a way to return it to the previous state.
What was beyond the door seemed to be quite high. In order for Baron and Roux to come back, they needed somebody to secure the exit for them.
Taking a deep breath, he calmed himself down. After Lazar resolved himself for the first time in his life, he said to his teammates.
“Get the explosives and a rope ladder. Prepare to blow up what’s beyond the door.”
“Are you for real?… explosives in a basement like this?”
“It can’t be helped, let’s do what we can do.”
The underpass might collapse, but it was better than being trapped alive in the basement.
He was prepared just in case. His comrades started to move sluggishly, reluctantly.
Then, footsteps suddenly resonated from behind them.
They looked at each other and looked back. What appeared was ―― a duo wrapped in eye-catching silver armor.
The dreary air from the basement instantly turned cleaner.
“What a depressing place…”
“Don’t let your guard down, Neville. There’s Senri’s mark. She’s undoubtedly here.”
“Tsk. I know. We finally found a clue. Let’s quickly bring her back ―― and finish this up.”
The man with a ruthless face smiled ferociously at the thin man’s rebuking words.