“Impudent… ‘Living Dead’!”
Man-Eater roars as if trying to intimidate me. His fighting spirit doesn’t waver even slightly despite having his trump card, the poisoned needles, repelled.
No, it’s not like he’s not wavering. I can understand his thoughts well. He can’t afford to waver.
The reason why ‘Man-eater’ maintained his place as the number 2 of this Demon Lord’s army despite using cowardly means was because he was strong.
‘Man-Eater’ is a coward and therefore he cannot retreat. If he moves aside now, he will lose his authority.
On the other hand, I don’t have as much strength to spare as I appear to.
Still, my reach has become longer since I’ve changed my arm into a blade and I have a strong regeneration ability, giving me enough leeway.
Man-Eater stomps on the ground and rushes towards me.
He has a large build. His strength is probably equal or greater than mine. It will be hard to block his ramming attack that has all his body weight behind it. He has sharp claws too, and the tail that he uses as his third arm.
But, his charge is less scary than Albertus’, who didn’t care about the damage he would receive at all.
I step back and wave the blade on my hand. The thick, sharp and pointed blade that extends from my right arm is the only one I have unlike the ‘Sharp Claw’, but it’s very thick. I’m sure it can even pierce a Manticore’s sturdy fur.
Man-Eater gets closer. Hatred and slight fear is rippling in his crimson eyes. His slightly opened jaw is lined with sharp fangs that can easily crush human bones.
The bone blade and the claws collide with great impact. A heavy impact is being transmitted to me. Man-Eater opens his mouth wide before me.
The next moment, the black flames that burnt my body the first time blaze up before my eyes. The Cursed Flames lick my body. The pitch black flames, as dark as the night, completely hide Man-Eater.
A meaningless roar shakes the world.
“Are you… that scared of me?”
―― However, by that time, I had already jumped sideways.
Cursed Flame didn’t do any harm to me, it just grazed my nose.
I lived as a dog for a long while until just recently. I have personally experienced the weakness of four-legged animals.
Before me is Man-Eater’s defenseless body.
Man-Eater’s weakness is his inability to make small turns. In addition, his field of vision is also considerably smaller than humans.
His charge is powerful, but if you avoid it, he greatly exposes his weakness. He could have made a turn if he stepped in with force, but this is something that you can’t do without starting moving with that course of action in mind.
Looks like Man-Eater didn’t intend to trample me. No, maybe the Cursed Flame is also harmful for him?
I dive in before he realizes that he had been evaded. I skillfully use my right arm to properly repel the tail and the poisoned needles that are swung down on me from the upper right side and I kick his torso with all my might.
Man-Eater’s giant body, several times larger than me, flies in the air.
I feel the sensation as if I have hit something hard. A hard impact rises from the tips of my toes and runs up my spine. I feel incomprehensible pleasure, but I ignore it and kick off the ground for a follow up attack.
While in mid-air, Man-Eater’s eyes take in my figure. He adjusts his posture greatly and gets ready to land on the ground.
He’s sturdy. My regeneration ability is better, but Man-Eater wins in defensive power. Even a kick that would rupture an ordinary magical beast’s body doesn’t do much damage to him. Everything – his skin, flesh and bones – is just built differently.
But it’s not like he takes no damage. Every living being has a weak point… my aim is his head. If the head doesn’t work, I’ll aim for his neck. If the neck doesn’t work ―― I’ll kill him until he dies.
I aim for his landing. The power has turned into heat and is circulating my body. Right now my body temperature must be as high as a human’s.
Poisoned needles fly at me. I use the blade on my right arm to completely fend off those thick and long needles that are scattered widely.
What a one trick pony. It might have worked if I were a human, but with vampire’s kinetic vision, as long as I know that they’re coming, I won’t miss them.
Oh, right. I’ll cut off his troublesome tail just as I declared earlier.
The moment I swung the blade with all my might ―― I lost all strength in my body.
It was a far too sudden change. I lost strength in my limbs and fell forward.
It was a sensation I had felt before. I looked at the ground. And at the same time, shock, as if I was dismembered, ran through my whole body.
My body flew high up in the sky and I slammed into the ground head first. The bones in my neck broke and my point of view turned in a strange direction. Man-Eater’s voice echoed from the sky.
“Oh… Did you think that you, a mere Dead, who has only died once, can beat me, who has eaten ten thousand people?!”
The damage is not a problem. But still, what a troublesome beast. Strong, intelligent, cowardly and cautious.
I can’t let him go against Senri even if by chance. Now I want to kill him more than before.
I already understand the ‘trick’ of why I suddenly lost all strength. It’s actually something that I already thought was somehow a possibility.
The thing that entered my field of vision right before I was blown away. It was ―― water flowing on the ground.
Vampires can’t cross flowing water. They lose strength if they’re on it and their various vampire abilities are nullified.
My neck is already healed. I get up and once again change my regenerated right hand into a blade.
“Still… Still, you plan to fight. You do not seem stupid enough to not see the difference in our strengths… foolish Dead.”
The place where Man-Eater is standing.
The ground is shining brightly with him in the center. It’s so small that it’s very hard to see in the dark, but it is flowing water. It’s spreading more and more little by little.
It’s magic. He’s creating flowing water with magic. It must be much easier than changing water into arrows and shooting them towards me.
I did think that something would definitely appear after he experienced a hit on his weak spot, but I see, this is a pretty effective anti-vampire strategy.
Although… Something of this scale is just a stopgap.
This is exactly why I wanted to learn magic. In the end, I didn’t have an aptitude for any element, but it was still sufficient.
Man-Eater was waiting for me to enter his territory. I kick the ground without reservation and chant a spell I haven’t mastered yet.
I can only use everyday magic that was written in the basic Grimoire Senri found.
I can’t really use it for attack. It only gives me some drinking water, creates some fuel, dries wet things… originally, as its name suggests, it is magic that slightly improves livelihood, but everything depends on how you use it.
Perhaps caught off-guard, Man-Eater’s eyes are wide open. But it’s already too late.
I pass the Kill Zone without any difficulty and swing the blade with all my might. Man-Eater immediately sets afloat his body and tries to block me with his forelegs, but my long bone blade digs in the middle of his leg, avoiding his sharp claws.
I can feel the sensation of having cut something hard.
Man-Eater rages and flips his body to move back, but I can see a small, dark red pool of blood forming on the ground.
It’s shallow but I hurt him. I swing my sword with force and send the blood flying.
What I used was one of the basic everyday magic, ‘Dry’. It’s magic that’s usually used for drying wet laundry.
Its target is myself. Magic that was activated extremely efficiently by pouring a vampire’s enormous magic power into it, instantly vaporized the small amount of water that was flowing under my feet. It was my first time trying it in real combat, but looks like things went well.
It might be better to use this a lot during combat so I don’t experience the same thing again.
The horror of Man-Eater’s face has grown so much that it could easily be seen even from a distance. I can see it well exactly because he has a somewhat human face.
“Well, do you have any more plans? Do you want to try creating garlic with your magic next?”
As my lips naturally pull into a smile, I lunge at Man-Eater.
☠ ☠ ☠
The one-sided battle had left everybody speechless. Before they knew it, the fight had completely reversed.
Leaving ‘Man-Eater’s’ personality aside, his combat abilities were very high, as expected from a phantom beast. Physical abilities of course, he also possessed many other abilities and his power was equal to a single army.
But Manticore, feared as a horrifying beast, was now being completely pushed back.
After breaking through the cursed flames, that wouldn’t burn out until its target was completely charred, from the front of all places, End’s right arm, that had changed into a blade, shallowly cut into Man-Eater’s crimson body.
Man-Eater’s face, that was usually arrogant, was right now distorted with fear and despair. Everybody might have hated Man-Eater, but nobody would laugh at his current pathetic appearance.
His one-shot knockout poisoned needles definitely melted End’s body and the cursed flames burnt his flesh. Man-Eater even broke End’s neck bones. However, neither of those turned out to be effective.
Oliver shrank down his big body and started to tremble. But, Monica right now couldn’t even feel displeasure at that.
He should have dealt the finishing blow when he could. When Man-Eater melted End’s body, he should have followed it up with more attacks instead of showing off his might.
The abilities that End was showing right now were different from what Monica had observed until now. She didn’t know if he already had them before or if he acquired them in the midst of the combat.
Man-Eater might have been smart, but whenever the opponent exceeded his expectations, his movements became slower.
The needles already no longer hit their target and the flames didn’t work either. While no one couldn’t call them serious injuries, his body was still covered all over in wounds. And unlike the vampire, his wounds wouldn’t heal right away. Man-Eater most likely didn’t have any chances to win.
But End’s attacks didn’t show any sign of stopping.
His blood red eyes were shining brightly. He had cornered Man-eater, who was barely fighting back, and was merrily carving away at his body. His attacks were full of strong murderous intent at its max.
She did think that he was a bit strange. It was undeniable that she had underestimated him. But, the vampire… turned out to be more frightening beyond her expectations… he was a monster.
She shouldn’t have set him up with Man-Eater. Even if the fight against Man-Eater was inevitable, she should have done everything in her powers to postpone it.
Man-Eater is one of the executives of Rainel’s army, an indispensable persona because of his combat abilities. He couldn’t be allowed to be killed for nothing at this kind of place.
But the current End looked like if somebody got in to stop him, he’d kill that mediator too.
“Oliver, go stop him.”
“Tsk… asking for… impossible… I stopped him. Didn’t I stop him!? I’ll be killed… if I step in now, I’ll be killed…”
Oliver shook his head at Monica’s pleading words. This man was useless when he was actually needed.
Now that things had come to this, Monica had no choice but to stop End herself. After all, it was her who had suggested the current fight.
Having made up her mind, she waited for the right chance. Unlike Man-Eater, Monica’s flesh was soft and unlike the vampire, her regeneration ability wasn’t very high either. If she was careless, she’d be killed with Man-Eater before she even had a chance to stop anybody.
Finally, Man-Eater staggered and kneeled. End didn’t get overconfident about his power, he silently stepped towards Man-Eater and raised his blade high.
Here it is!
The moment Monica tried to run out and shout, a voice suddenly came from the sky.
“That’s enough. The match has been settled. Both participants, stop.”
Her heart skipped a beat. All the commotion was stopped by this magnificent voice that almost urged everybody to naturally prostrate themselves.
End’s blade that was swung down stopped perfectly just before beheading Man-Eater.
A black mass crossed the moonless dark sky for a moment
It was one of the great Demon Kings and the strongest warrior in this army. Demon King Rainel. Monica was so relieved by the appearance of her king that all power left her legs and she sank on the spot.