Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Charging was something the army of berserk demons that may possess horned beetle bloodline did best.
They had shells thick and heavy like armor, muscles that could casually push ten tons of boulders, weight like horses as well as horns that could shatter iron, all of which made them an unstoppable war machine when they launch collective onslaught. They were equal to human cavalry when they launch charges on foot—perhaps even surpassing them, crashing through the enemy’s lines easily without any fine equipment.
In Kalo the Rotfiend’s long history, it had led that same berserk demon army under the leadership of its Abyssal Lord to invade other worlds or Abyss, robbing souls through slaughter and destruction. It had faced many sticky situations—staunch native troops, sturdy fortresses, fearsome, horrifying leviathans and colossal war machine the size of castles. Such things had made it felt multiple immeasurable headaches, but it had always found a solution in the end.
And that was by charging. At worst it would enter the battlefield personally, casting buff spells and dash into the fray with his own army.
Nothing could hold back the onslaught launched by thousands of berserk demons—not even steel citadels. If it did not break on the first charge, they’ll turn back and launch a second charge. That was their tactic.
But now, that tactic probably was not that useful.
Because the berserk demons, known to be fearless, had stopped in their tracks, shuddering.
Under their collective stares, that powerful and overweening balrog that made their lord so nervous it got them to encircle them was up in the air, wailing as its form changed bit by bit and turned into a curved black great sword before dropping into the hand of the being standing atop the black dragon’s head.
Before they could think when that fellow appears and what ability it had, every demon that saw the sight paused subconsciously, astonished by the other side’s cruelty.
It was not as if demons never perform such extremely evil acts of forging living weapons with intelligent life as raw materials. They even enjoyed the cruel tone of it, and were entertained with the anguished howls of their victims. However, never had there been a demon could so easily make a weapon out of a balrog like the being that wore a dark armor with a dragon helmet. The process was without emphasis yet immaculate, not taking much strength as if it was perfectly normal.
Horror, savagery, demon amongst demons.
But before they could recover from their shock, the black dragon had already launched itself towards them in the very next moment.
Dust kicked up as the land reverberated. Over the decayed earth of this dark world, the dragon started to accelerate, causing the soil beneath its feet to trembled like ripples. It shot out against the opposite direction where the demon armies were advancing before its eyes, like an arrow, like a falling star, pressing forward against the four armies that amounted to tens of thousands!
Without hesitation, its pace confident and heavy, the black dragon tread upon blazes, blowing up incredible explosions of smoke and dust each time its talons touched the ground. Under those incessant blasts, its figure sped up to its limit, and there was no fear in the black dragon’s vertical pupils as it ran. Indeed, when the might of both sides was compared, it would appear that it was not the one encircled but the demons!
To Black, that was precisely the truth.
Spreading its wings that could not lift off, it blew out a carefree draconic roar unleashed an invisible presence. At the vanguard of the army, the cannon fodder and Imps began to scatter uncontrollably—but there was not one demon commander that would punish those little playthings that lacked function. Facing such a being that could so swiftly subjugate and archdemon, they all sensed that things were extraordinarily discouraging, while some berserk demons and gargoyles had begun to retreat too. Still, it was not that useful because the dragon that exceeded the speed of sound that was carrying the terrifying existence had darted into one of the armies amidst the thunder.
How scary was a behemoth over thirty meters tall and sixty meters long carrying its own near-thousand-ton weight as it drove forward? The demons did not know before, but they do now. Each time the dynamite-like reverberations resounded, circles of white haze would appear over the floor and clusters of dust rose to the sky, scattered over the earth. Soon, amidst dismal demonic shrieks, the white circular haze changed into pungent black-red color, with demons being trampled and crushed into dust, as if they would be destroyed anyway even if that being did not make a move.
It was in that very moment that the demon lord—a six-armed abyssal snake demon sitting in the center of the army, became unable to stand it and leaped from its seat with a raging roar. Its upper body resembled an enchanted saurok that possessed six arms, with a giant serpent tail acting as its lower body. The tail, whirling just a while ago like a coil that was storing energy, violently sprung—the tremendous force breaking the body of the warbeast beneath it, even as the snake demon that held six sabers transformed into a storm of blades that could tear everything apart, streaking towards the black dragon!
At the same time, three other powerful monsters that were either huge or ferocious leaped out towards the black dragon from the center of the three armies!
The snake demon was not aware why its own army became so immensely fearful so abruptly, losing their will to fight like gnomes and thinking only about retreating and fleeing. Even so, it definitely could not accept that its forces were wiped out like a trampled cookie, since every berserk demon was a heritage lord accumulated over time—they could die in battle but not meaninglessly like they did now!
That was why snake demon acted personally. It would first kill that dragon, and combine with the other lords to slay that armored demon that could easily kill a balrog!
Whatever the case, their opponent amounted to just one. Their victory was assured!
On the other hand, that ‘armored demon’ that held the huge balrog sword in his hand was never once concerned by their surprise attack. He allowed his own mount to freely stomp those demons that dispersed everywhere due to the domain of terror while he scanned the rear of the armies, as if searching for something.
But he found nothing, which seemed to disappoint him. It was only then that he turned, and looked around—within the hundredth of a second—at the Supreme-tier archdemons that were either ferocious, calm or ragingly vicious, his gaze indifferent.
He raised the fiery greatsword in his hand.
Boom! The blaze became even more searing, the terrifying heat causing the black dragon beneath it to bellow in discomfort. The edge of the black sword melted, as the balrog cried out loudly in anguish, into orange liquid—or actual gas.
In the very next moment, the ‘armored demon’ swung his blade.
As the sword moved, a sharp ring that was almost surreal echoed. A streak of orange flames shot out like a whip at a supersonic speed towards three archdemons as if it was a real ray, covering a two hundred and seventy angle from his left to his right. Just as the sound rang out, the gold orange flames had struck its target, detonating and booming tremendously in the sky.
Amidst the balrog’s already dispirited wails.
Even so, no person or demon pay attention to its sound. Immediately after the explosion, the golden orange flames kept spreading into the distance and, after traversing thousands of meters, struck a hill that was almost a hundred meters high and a thousand meters thick. Made out of damp dust and decayed soil, it had unimaginable ability to absorb impact and should have been quite difficult to shatter even with Supreme-tier magic. At most, its crust would be shredded, but now–
Boooom! The hill slowly crumbled as if cut apart by a giant that was several-hundred tall and holding a giant sword that was about his own same height from its very middle. At the center of gigantic breach where it was slit, huge surfaces of golden magma spread visibly over the edges.
If a summit ended up as such, what else would happen to mere demons?
Splat. A chunk of a snake’s tail that shriveled due to the blazing heat dropped to the ground, along with a Supreme-tier archdemon’s arm that resembled a primate’s, and half the length of a skull that grew with goat horns as well as sporadic pieces of minced flesh. The demon with giant arms and the goat demon had been monster with tremendous strength and agility respectively, but this time both the power to uproot hills or the agility to dodge lightning was meaningless. Against the heavy metal blade that vibrated its surroundings with heightened oscillation and gaseous emission at a dozen times the speed of sound, even a fully armored war fortress might not be able to withstand it, much less a demon of flesh and blood.
Behind the warrior, Kalo the Rotfiend that had sneaked around and intended to launch an ambush from the back stopped in its tracks, its body of indeterminate form trembling as if a cascading water surface after a boulder was thrown within. Even before it could feel the fear, three other arch-rivals that it had struggled against for dominance over centuries were killed so easily, leaving it in a complete loss as it stared blankly where it was.
As things unfolded to his point, how would Kalo not know that the armored demon before them held ability that was not archdemon-pinnacle as they had thought, instead being the rarest ‘Monarch’ that was rare even amongst the endless Abyss?
Could it be a probe from another Abyssal Level before invading! Before the rotfiend could even think, he could see that the armored figure had turned, and two specks of scarlet radiance stared at itself.
In an instant, Kalo felt the world quake, with noises alike to thunders ringing right beside its ears. No longer able to maintain its jellyfish-like offensive form, it dropped, prone on the ground, turning in to a blob of slime-like living acid. Such was the rotfiend’s initial form—a powerful abyssal sludge monster. Even the Black Sea Plains that had been that, soaked by acid rain for millennia could not withstand its extraordinary corrosive acid that had been altered by mana as it steamed with large pillars of rising by black fog.
The black dragon reluctantly stopped its trampling and charging since the demons around it had lost the lust for combat. Those berserk demons that was commonly known for its ferocity and alleged to never retreat from a fight was suddenly tearing up in torment—if those acid welling from their eyes were tears—and fled erratically, while other diverse species of demon also displayed their own various ability in the thick of panic, doing whatever they could to distance themselves from the incomparably threatening armored demon.
Then, Kalo, still prone on the ground, saw the ‘Monarch’ swing his second slash.
While the balrog murmured without any strength as if a croak before death, another streak of gold-orange gaseous metallic blade swept through, evoking another explosive reverberation as it stabbed through the air. Facing such a blow, the demons that at most were Silver tier were as fragile as dry weeds against such a level of attack and were harvested with relative ease, the shockwave on the ground sending them flying up in the air, turning into fiery molten rain as it poured over the surface.
In an instant, almost all the demons were cleared just like that, vaporized instantly by blazing calefaction over ten thousand degrees even before the decaying odor of their acid blood could spread, freshening the air around significantly.
Kalo itself was lifted by the Monarch over thin air, its loose body condensing into a sphere and floated into the air before him.
It’s… gravity? The archdemon thought, having slightly recovered its will. Is this Monarch capable of manipulating gravity?
But before it could keep thinking, a low, rumbling and cold voice rang from within the slits of the helmet.
“Tell the other lords, tell your ruler.”
Joshua said thus, and unlike the combusting great sword in his hand, the warrior’s voice had not a hint of warmth.
“Tell them, I’m here.”
Without waiting for the rotfiend to understand his words, he flung his hand simply, and the rotfiend that was restrained into a sphere hence shot towards the distance, crying shrilly as it broke through the black cloud layers with a crimson flame trail behind it and vanishing outside the visible horizon of the atmosphere.
Under five minutes, the four demon armies were wiped out altogether with all demon lords within the Black Sea Plains virtually extinguished. Just a few seeds were left behind by the warrior that would in turn spread the news.
However, Joshua did not look too happy. Although the helmet kept his expression concealed, an invisible but oppressive boundary of air made it evident.
Is there no Legendary-tier demon general? Joshua frowned within the helmet. It was rather different from what he expected.
The warrior’s original plan was so—he would use the balrog as vanguard and strike within the closest demon settlement in an ostentatious, even overweening manner before launching a huge massacre. That way, the local demon lord or even monarchs would have to fight him personally. No matter how things would end up, the news that he was here would unfurl throughout the Abyss, and with that, those two Legendary mages that were not playing isolated hermit in the deep Abyssal forests would definitely learn about the fact and come to meet him.
In a nutshell, it was essentially a flawless plan! But against expectations, problems appeared from the start—he had been so high-profile, so why was there not a single Legendary demon general here? It was very unlike the Abyss he had gone to in the pre-existence!
Even if demon-slaying was enjoyable, what meaning was there in squashing ants!
Suddenly, a weak, faint voice came out of that pained face over the greatsword.
“… Your Majesty, the Sixth Abyss is currently invading other worlds and fighting against other Abyssal Levels…” the balrog spoke with a voice as if on its last gasp. “A great many demons had been diverted away. Even if there were other generals still remaining in the Lava Inferno, they would definitely not stay at such a remote area like the Black Sea Plains…”
“Sounds about right.” Joshua nodded, agreeing with the demon. Looks like it was certainly unfortunate for him… Or maybe it was. Naturally, although it was regrettable since his last battle against a demon general had been quite a while ago and now for naught, he still remembered that he was here to search for two missing persons.
Furthermore, according to the outcome in the later pre-existence, the battle and invasion of the Sixth Abyss against the other Abyss should end up as a huge success for them. The Abyssal Lord Goliath even managed to became a power over several Abyssal sovereigns—it was precisely the demon that led the forces of several Abyssal planes to invade the Mycroft Continent.
The balrog Syndicate could see that the warrior agreed with its opinion. “Then… Your Majesty, the fight is finished…” it started tentatively.
“Alright, Syndicate. There’s no need to talk that much even if you’re a demon,” Joshua said. How could he not discern the other’s thoughts? “I’m no demon after all; I would never do anything contrary to my principles.”
“You’ve assisted me in this fight—I naturally wouldn’t treat you unfairly.”
And I would rather not have helped! And you’re clearly more demonic than demons!Syndicate, having evaporated over one-fourth of its original form by helping ‘personally’ with two swings of the sword, almost said those words.
It rejoiced extraordinarily that it did not in the very next moment, because the warrior had raised his hand and swept at the large piles of demon corpses around them. “All these are yours,” he said easily. “So many demons—as well as three Supreme-tier archdemons’ remains—should be enough for you to recover your strength.”
Since I still have some use for you next time, he thought.
Meanwhile, in another corner in the Sixth Abyss.
Supreme-class archdemon Raldan Asth was being held within a red-white crystal ball that was the size of a man’s fist. It watched in utter dejection as the two thrilled human mages searched for traces and clues that was unusual to the archdemon at the Squirming Forest which was situated northwest of the Sixth Abyss.
Could I have been spurned by the Great Abyss? It thought, but got no answer.
Still, there was no other explanation beyond that—if the Abyss had not spurned it, how would two Legendary mages find it immediately after finally toiling to slip into its target region?
Not only did it not complete the mission given by its sovereign, its life looked under threat too. The best-case scenario for it now was none other than being kept on its last legs in the crystal ball prison.
As for the two Legendary mages, they naturally could not hear the heartfelt wishes of the demon they had captured and were chattering away excitedly.
“Look, Barnil! This trace is left behind two hundred years before!”
“It’s a thicker scent than any other found on the Mycroft Continent! And the tracks are still fresh! Just look at this Squirming Forest—it likely wasn’t Abyssal Erosion, but the erosion from… one of them!”
William, the wandering poet’s face that was as young as a teenager swelled in a red hue—the sign of extreme excitement. “That’s right, our hypothesis is correct!” he exclaimed in irrepressible delight.
“They… could have long departed the Mycroft Continent and wandered the Multiverse instead!”
“The Abyss was part of their journey!”
In front of the two Legendary mages and one Supreme-tier archdemon, a huge blanket of forest that grew with tightly arranged serpent scales and shells squirmed forward little by little into the distance, stretching its thick and slippery roots.
If seen from the sky above, it was quite noticeable that the valley where the forest was appeared immeasurably steep, whereas its edges were so sharp… as if it had been clawed out by some incomparably titanic creature.