Story of The Ancient Demon King! – Chapter 74 [Part – 2]

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PART – 2

 

[TLN : I used ‘’ instead of “” for inner thoughts of the characters.]

 

“…… disgusts me.”

 

Lilia complained blithely atop a tree that had the distinctive snarly shape that most trees in the Cursed Wetlands had.

 

“Hmm? What?”

 

“This humidity. I’m able to cross the tree tops because you taught me how to, but the fog and humidity are making me sick.”

 

The Cursed Wetlands created an environment that even the demonically altered Lilia found uncomfortable, with it’s eerie fog and extreme humidity.

 

Furthermore, they initially had to traverse in the muddy, waterlogged mire, with no idea where the demons were lurking.

 

Thus, they decided to just jump and move on the trees with their physical prowess.

 

“Yes, but we have no choice. We can’t do anything about it because we are dealing with the natural environment of this place… No, if it were up to the Lord, he could solve it, but we can only endure this.”

 

“…… yeah.”

 

The decision that Kageha and Lilia made was to scout the [Swamp Demon] in the Cursed Wetlands before Crono did.

 

That’s why they packed their gear and rushed all the way to this place.

 

“But… the environment of this swamp is indeed too harsh for a normal person. This mist is obviously poisonous.”

 

“All those prospective sword saints would likely die from this alone.”

 

“Mhm…”

 

When she heard Lilia’s reply, Kageha thought not of the three candidates competing for the title of Sword Saint… but of a certain boy who was there at the time.

 

That good-looking boy with white hair.

 

The boy with snow-white hair, just like she once had.

 

A cute, yet somewhat masculine, and charming boy.

 

He seemed to have a lot of potential talent, but he was also clearly weak.

 

I took one look at that boy called ‘hero’ and realized.

 

‘–He said he hated the heroes.’

 

The thought of having to train to serve someone of that caliber made me sick.

 

If I hadn’t met the Lord at that time and escaped, I would have ended up serving that boy, and it would have made me go crazy.

 

I began to gradually understand how lucky I was to be able to serve Chrono-sama.

 

Her thoughts once again strayed to the boy, who didn’t have the ability to make anything happen, nor seemed to have put in any blood-curdling effort.

 

Yet, he so easily seeked answers and guidance from my Lord.

 

The air around Kageha squeaked due to the intense emotions emanating from her.

 

“Kageha…?”

 

Lilia was pressured by Kageha’s sudden yet silent passion.

 

‘I hate that boy….’

 

‘–to the point of wanting to kill him.’

 

“Argh!”

 

“Huh? What…?”

 

She had been spreading her killing intent around, but it was suddenly cut off, after which she screamed, “Argh” with fury.

 

“…please calm down and listen.”

 

“Uh, yeah… I’ll do my best.” Kageha promised.

 

“Calm down, don’t get angry, just listen.”

 

“Okay?”

 

A mysterious addendum was added by Kageha.

 

“Perhaps the enemy knows about the trickery we are up to.”

 

“What?”

 

“Considering the signs of movement of the demons we’ve been seeing, it’s highly likely that we’ve been lured into a trap…”

 

“Huh?”

 

It’s not a big deal.

 

She had jumped into the trap on purpose.

 

Lilia was taken aback, but she quickly recovered.

 

It was not likely that Kageha would jump into the enemy’s trap unless she could get out before it was too late.

 

And… before I knew it, we seemed to have reached a position from which it was impossible to retreat.

 

“…”

 

I felt as if my soul was going to fall out of my mouth and leave me alone.

 

“This situation is as familiar as it can get. I’m sure some kind of sinister force will be unleashed soon.”

 

The sinister force, as expected, came soon after.

 

“You’re right, but… with that kind of bloodlust you’re releasing, wouldn’t it be strange if we didn’t notice?” 

 

The voice came from the lower front of the tree where… Lilia and Kageha were. From the mist, a demon in a butler’s uniform who had a goat’s skull as it’s head, came gliding across the water.

 

“What?”

 

“… you’re here.”

 

“This time, it seems two figures that look like human beings are the visitors. There has been no end to the number of visitors recently, but there is only one thing I must do.”

 

The demon landed on the trunk of a tree that was two trees away from Kageha and Lilia, and held up its hands.

 

“I will not ask the reason for your visit today. My role is to test you – [Kahan’s Two Spheres]!”

 

A silver sphere emerged from the two magic circles created by the goat-headed butler.

 

“My name is Solnada. Please enjoy your conversation with me here at…”

 

“What?!”

 

Two silver balls flew out at the two of them.

 

“!!!”

 

“Shit! They’re heavy!”

 

I used my small sword while Lilia used her cutlass to deflect the silver balls that attacked us with considerable force, but we broke into a cold sweat at the sheer force that seeped into our bones upon contact with the spheres.

 

“Lilia, hold on until I take that thing down. Over and out.”

 

“…Copy that.”

 

Even though he was a demon, he understood the fact that he was being held back by his inability to slay a humanoid that was intelligent enough to talk to him.

 

“Let’s get started on-“

 

Kageha appeared before Solnada’s eyes without a sound in the blink of an eye, emitting a searing killing intent.

 

“Ah!”

 

She then quickly unleashed an uppercut kick to his head.

 

“Oops!”

 

“……”

 

Kageha’s powerful kick is received mirthfully by Solnada. “You think …… demons are martial artists? You cheeky… This is the first time I’ve been spat at so clearly.”

 

“In the past, some of the visitors who reached this point used this kind of martial art, and I have been learning from them through imitation. I’ve heard that it’s a stance that specializes in defense.”

 

Kageha, ignoring Solnada who started to ramble, strained her legs to jump out of the way, but,

 

“Kya!”

 

Lilia’s scream echoed along with the sounds of splashing, behind her.

 

“What?”

 

“Kuuuh, ee!”

 

“Lilia!”

 

“I’m fine!”

 

Lilia fell, but quickly regained her position and resumed producing clangs.

 

“I think it’s time you gave up. Anyway, you’ve reached this far, and this is your limit.” 

 

“….”

 

“Oh, yes, yes. I forgot to tell you. What I’m using right now is called [Kahan’s Two Spheres]. I’m ashamed to say that the only thing I had going for me was my martial arts skills, so my master gave me this magical ability.”

 

The silver sphere followed Lilia around.

 

It attacked in irregular trajectories, and Lilia was barely able to cope with its sheer force and speed.

 

“…Since it seems that the visitor over there can’t keep up with [Kahan’s Two Spheres], I’ve sent two more over to them.”

 

“Aah!”

 

Kageha unleashed a series of kicks.

 

She didn’t have time to waste.

 

She was worried about the durability of Lilia’s cutlass, but her main worry was about how long Lilia, with her poor footing, could continue to defend against [Kahan’s Two Spheres].

 

Judging from the force Kageha had felt through her small sword when she deflected one of the sphere’s attacks, even a modified Lilia would inevitably be incapacitated if she took even one hit.

 

She didn’t know whether the butler was a complete skeleton or not, with his body being purely made out of bones too, but Solnada guarded the head and the torso area without showing any pain, even though something from inside him made a creaking and shattering sound.

 

He used the palms of his hands, elbows, knees, and the soles of his feet to receive the kicks deftly, if not perfectly.

 

‘Some martial arts are hard to do when you’re new to them. It’s… but more importantly… What did you imply?’

 

For some reason, he was always one step short for an effective strike.

 

From the way this demon received and reacted to her attacks, Kageha predicted that it was not Solnada’s own martial prowess that allowed him to fight in such a manner.

 

“It’s the power of my lord.”

 

“Oh, you talk too much! You should only scream “Meh” like the goat you are!”

 

Hold on!

 

Solnada handled Kageha’s kick in a unique way while conversing with her.

 

“…It is the effect of this mist that allows you to move so easily.”

 

“Aah!”

 

Kageha’s leg swung up for a heel drop, but by that time, Solnada had already taken half a step back.

 

“The Fog of Judaica. Anything that moves in this fog is known to the master. We, the servants, share the same ability due to the master’s benevolence.”

 

“……”

 

She slowly lowered her raised leg.

 

‘If that’s the case, it must have been easy to lure us here. But this ability sure is a nuisance…’

 

Every time she heard the deafening clangs behind her, she grew impatient.

 

He had the ability to foresee movements directly from the fog.

 

“Do you understand? This is not a difference in ability, but a difference in the power of our Lords.”

 

Kageha’s killing intent swelled.

 

Solnada couldn’t guess what had triggered her, but it didn’t matter. There have been visitors of this level in the past.

 

So, as usual, he enjoyed chatting with the visitors.

 

“My master Molly is, as they say, a living sorceress. She is the incarnation of magic, handling some of the greatest magic of all time. It’s irreverent for a mortal to reach out to her so lightly. Isn’t that right?”

 

“……”

 

In a place like the rarely visited Cursed Wetlands, opportunities for conversation are very rare. The few opportunities for conversation that I did get were something I greatly enjoyed.

 

“Ho-ho-ho, until that visitor with you runs out of steam, I shall accept only your beautiful legs. Ho-ho-ho… oops, sorry… the gentleman’s mask has slipped. Unless you are so… as to escape this predicament, for which you must be so very, very…. I cannot take you to my master.”

 

“Ugh!”

 

The silver ball that Lilia avoided cleaved down the tree behind Kageha. 

 

Kageha was already approaching the limit of her grasping strength.

 

“Well, well, well, well, well, it appears that you’re going down much faster than I thought–“

 

“– You’ve got a big mouth for a bone.”

 

She cut off Solnada’s speech.

 

“You say it’s the difference of power between our Lords. Then I have no chance of losing. I already have a Lord who is better than God himself. I am not comparable to a mere demon that lives in a swamp.”

 

Kageha spoke with her hands outstretched, a fanatical glint taking over her eyes.

 

“…That’s right–“

 

“His teachings are ordinances! They are the way to victory. They are right and true.” Kageha, who cut off Solnada’s words at every turn, removed her mask. 

 

She threw a small dagger into the center of the butler’s head, into the empty space between his eye sockets.

 

“Well, well, well.”

 

The next thing Solnada witnessed was Kageha bending down and taking an unusual stance, like a beast that was about to run.

 

“–[Zekage]!”

 

Kageha laughed at the fact that she had found a place where she could make use of her master’s teachings.

 

[TLN : Sorry about the slightly late release, editing took a bit longer than I expected.]

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