Vampires are demons of the night. Even if it were a darkest cave into which not a shred of light seeps into, they still would not be able to exert their full strength.
However, that is not so for their archenemies, the Death Knights. The reason they hunt down undead during the day is because the undead are weak to sunlight and not because their strength weakens at night.
The day the plan was to be executed. An almost perfectly round moon shone in the night sky.
Senri and the mercenaries stood around a roaring fire, fully-armed.
Half of them along with Senri were to attack and the other half to defend. Most of the mages were part of the former.
The scent of powerful beasts, the likes of which I have never come across, wafted through the air. And their number was likely more than any that had attacked us so far.
Among them clearly, was the scent of that woman mixed in. It spoke of her strong fighting spirit.
We were almost at our destination, Romberg. I am sure our enemies were getting impatient as well.
“We are going to take the fight to them.”
“Oh… wouldn’t it be better to attack during the day rather than at night?”
A tough, veteren mercenary inquired with a frown on his face.
Demons are creatures of the night. Contrary to humans, beasts can see better at night. Unless there are special reasons, it was normal practice to eliminate beasts during the day.
“Our enemy… would be on guard in daylight and wouldn’t come near us. I could chase them down if it were just me…”
“We can’t have you be the only one to fight, Miss. Senri. Since the enemy is probably not just the undead.”
Uttered the second-in-command of the group (Laurel, seems to be his name), all-importantly.
He wasn’t wrong. If Senri attacked them by herself and ended up losing, then this group would face the risk of getting wiped out. The only reason that woman had not attacked the group with all of her entourage was because it had someone as skilled as Senri protecting it.
Moreover, there was only one reason Senri chose to fight at night. It was because I cannot join the fight during the day.
I am a pacifistic vampire, but I would not let Senri fight alone. I was even able to defeat Albertus somehow.
The moon is almost full. I can feel the power welling up inside me. I displayed my rising will to fight by howling into the night. Senri kneeled down, and (as usual) looked at me with her cold eyes and patted my head.
“Baron… will be staying back.”
“Be a good boy.”
This is absurd… I was so thoroughly taken aback that I stood baffled.
I grew stiff and a tough-looking mercenary laughed as he tousled my head.
“Don’t worry, kiddo. Your master is strong and we’re there to help too.”
This is preposterous… I am Senri’s partner? We even have the seal of approval from my father.
While it is true that I would not be of much help in this form and since we are not that far away from the enemy, Senri’s detection skill might just be sufficient but it is simply too mean of her to not take me with her….
I feel myself being picked up from behind. It was Katerina, one of the merchants’ kids I always played with.
She was around fifteen years old, had blonde hair and a delicious scent always wafted from her body.
I turned around to see her look at me with affection in her eyes.
“Baron, it’s okay. Don’t be afraid… I’ll protect you.”
“There are a lot of mercenaries staying behind to guard us. As long as we stay put, it’ll all soon be over. Stay with me, please?”
I have no reason to listen to a girl, who would not give me any blood but it does not look like I have any other choice.
She takes me to the children sitting around the bonfire. I send off Senri and the others with a sorry look on my face.
☠ ☠ ☠
At the head of the group tracking the monsters was Senri.
Demon King is the term used to refer to the King of all other kinds of creatures that display hostility towards the entirety of mankind.
Any monster can be the King irrespective of its species. There have been dragons, intelligent monsters and even “King of the dead”. The only thing connecting them all was that they were no simple monsters.
The primary duty of the Death Knights is to hunt down the undead. However, they also have experience fighting the Demon King.
Once in a while, a strong and intelligent undead would take a number of monsters under its wing and transform into a Demon King. Conversely, it is also possible for the Demon King to have undead under its command. The Death Knights need to fight all kinds of enemies in all kinds of circumstances.
Senri has fought many such hard battles with monsters of every kind.
Rex, a mercenary, who was walking alongside Senri, struck up a conversation with her.
“Senri… if we make it back safely, would you like to join our band of mercenaries? We’d certainly be more than happy to welcome an ex-Death Knight. Baron’s ability would also be of great help. You seem to have your own reasons but there are a lot of people like you with us. It must surely be a better prospect than travelling alone.”
“… I’m grateful for the offer, but I have things I need to do.”
Rex smiled bitterly at Senri’s prompt reply.
End was certainly in a tough spot. Senri’s “reason” was probably more grave than Rex could imagine.
Mercenaries also battle with undead at times. There may also be among them, people who hold grudges against vampires. Senri and End could not just easily join any group.
End cannot forever live in the form of a dog either….
Even with the battle with the Demon King ahead of them, there was no fear among Senri and the others. That was because Senri was with them. That is the weight the title of Death Knight carries.
The Death Knights are not particularly skilled at defending. There have been quite a few normal citizens or hired mercenaries, whom they have let die.
However, it was much better than being frozen in fear, unable to take any action.
The enemy seemed to have sensed them getting closer. And has made the decision to fight back.
The opponents were pretty spread out. Their intention being to surround Senri and the rest. Maybe they were being wary of the mages.
However, that would only serve to help Senri. That woman must be the leader of their group, so once she is defeated, the pack of beasts would soon scatter.
It would be no issue if a few beasts were to escape. There are more than enough people guarding the base camp.
Senri cannot very well hunt them all down herself. Senri’s main role was to crush the leader.
“They’re coming. Be alert.”
A look of nervousness swept across the mercenaries’ faces at Senri’s curt words.
A tepid breeze blew past. They already had a spell for night vision cast on them. Even if it were the dead of the night, no beast would escape their sight.
… And thus, Senri intercepted a sudden dark mass that swooped in on them.
The dark sword and the silver sword exchanged fierce blows which sent sparks flying. The intense dark energy made Senri’s hair stand on end. The one who attacked was a woman with huge, dark wings.
Contrary to her previous appearance, her skin was inky black and her largely exposed body was covered with some strange red lines forming a pattern.
She was barely clothed, except for her private parts hidden from view. Her eyes glinted gold.
A long tail stretched from her back. The mercenaries felt a little shaken, but Senri did not stir in the least.
There are only a handful of demons that are humanoid and capable of shapeshifting into humans. If anything, the non-human woman looked a little shaken instead.
The dark longsword clutched in both her hands clashed with Senri’s silver sword.
However, Senri was the stronger of the two. There was but a moment of contention. Senri made use of the momentum she had gained to push back the woman who came swooping down. The woman spread her wings wide open and took to the night sky.
She was a creature akin to demons and different from undead. Her lascivious appearance was proof of her depravity.
Demons. Paranormal creatures that are said to rule the underworld. Incarnation of evil. Fearsome beings that wield the power of countless evil spirits and are capable of pushing humans into the path of darkness.
To the Death Knights, they are beings on the list to hunt down next to the undead. Senri licked her lips and uttered.
“Demon… this is a pain.”
“Don’t look down on me, Death Knight.”
The demon grew furious with rage and a magic circle levitated above her arms. Demons, which could very well be said to be the personification of magic, do not need any complicated procedures to wield it.
It is likely that the demon has never crossed swords with a Death Knight. No, she surely must have not. If she had, there was no way she would be alive now.
So, their decision to fight back must also have been a poorly informed one.
A little later, the howls of beasts echoed through the forest. The pack of beasts under her command were closing in. Senri turned around to Rex, who had become stiff.
“We proceed as planned. I’ll kill that demon. I’ll also ward off her attacks. Just as we planned.”
“Oh, ah, aah… let’s go! Keep up with Senri! We carry the fate of the merchants in our hands!”
The mercenaries screamed out hearts trembling with excitement.
And thus, Senri with her sword clad in blessing, intercepted the dark lightning the demon let loose at them.
Silavin: Sorry for the wait. The translator had issues with covid so she had to take a week (and a few days) off. This chapter is split into two and from now, scheduled day for posting would be on Wednesday.