Chapter 117: Absolute Being (2)
The carpet-lined space was wider than the King’s room in Tarmine. It created a gloomy and decadent atmosphere. However, something odd happened the moment we entered the Devil’s room. What caught my eyes was…
「A…A corpse!? There’s one here too!! 」
There were countless of monster corpses inside the vast space just as we saw outside of the castle. Moreover, beyond the dead bodies…I noticed that someone stood at the distance. It looked like that person was looking at the outside from the window.
Seiya raised his hand to stop us from going forward, and gave the following instructions.
「Everyone, stop walking. Go hide behind the golems. 」
「O…Okay. I won’t get in your way for this fight. But, you can call me whenever you need me, all right?」
I stared fixedly at the person who was near the window. It had a slender body wrapped in a black cloak. It held a cane in one hand. It began to speak without looking at us.
「It seems that many of your golems surround this castle now. I, Artemaeus, have given myself a long time to prepare. At first, I built a strong Demon King’s Castle, and then, I created powerful subordinates such as the Beast Emperor, the Machine Emperor, the Curse Emperor, and the Death Emperor…」
It was a cold voice with a mixture of intellectual input. Eventually, this being slowly turned to Seiya as he continued to speak.
「It’s such a strange feeling. I never thought that I’d meet you again, the opponent which I killed before. That said, you seem to have no memory of that time.」
…Tha…That being was…the Demon King Artemaeus…?
Artemaeus was an ugly eight-limbed monster with green skin and a torn mouth. I clearly remember his appearance from the video shown in the Great Goddess Isister’s crystal ball. However, his current appearance was totally different from before. Although the skin color was pale green, he had a similar figure of a person. He actually looked like a slim man.
「I knew that if I had absolute strength, I wouldn’t need any of my subordinates. Therefore, I submitted myself as an experiment to gain personal power. I did that not only to myself, but to test it on different types of sources. I don’t know if they were happy to die or not.」
「Ah, so you were the one who killed the monsters in the Demon King’s Castle!?」
When I screamed, the Demon King Artemaeus snarled 「Yes. 」, in a very dry voice.
「I praise you for reaching this far. Unfortunately, this won’t be a decent fight for you.」
And then, Demon King Artemaeus began to walk towards us.
…He…He was coming!!
「I know that self-praise can lead to defeat. Nevertheless, this is not self-praise. It’s impossible for an adult to lose to a baby…」
The Demon King approached while talking. Seiya, who was next to me, also took a step towards the Demon King.
Finally, the last battle had started…The moment I was nervous, an impossible sight was reflected in my eyes! A red orbit ran towards Artemaeus’ left side! Somehow, and at the same time, I felt the aura of Seiya’s Crazy Warrior state at the right edge of my vision!
Two…Two Seiyas!? No!! The red orbit headed for the Demon King had no aura unlike the one that passed through the edge of my vision!!
The Demon King outsmarted us when he substituted a doll with his figure when he was looking from the window. Yet, Seiya noticed it! Seiya attacked him with a surprise strike so that he could hit the enemy from a blind spot! However, I heard a high-pitched sound and an invisible barrier deflecting Seiya’s sword!
「*wicked grin* I’ve already dedicated my life to the evil god. 」
The Demon King turned his cloak while laughing wickedly with a muffled voice.
「Stage One…“Formed Wizard”. 」
「Formed…Wha…What the hell is that!? 」
「Only magic can pass through my body now. 」
「Only magic works, you say!? 」
I activated my clairvoyance ability to see if it was true. Nonetheless, only a sandstorm appeared in my sight. I couldn’t confirm Artemaeus’ status.
「Okay then. Let’s call this a magic showdown. Hero. Show me your magic.」
After speaking happily, the enemy raised his cane and the space around us got distorted.
「…Dark Wind. 」
Soon, something that resembled a black obstacle came out of that diffused cane and charged against Seiya! I felt extreme fear running throughout my whole body! I was sure that it had the Chain Destruction power attached to it!
However, Seiya didn’t feel intimidated as always.
「Job Change. To Wind Magic Warrior. 」
When Seiya changed his profession, he held his right hand in front of himself…
「Wind Shield. 」
He activated a technique that he obtained from the training with Frala, the Goddess of Wind! A wind barrier covered Seiya and all of us behind him! The menacing Black Wind spread backwards, avoiding us! My spine froze when I saw the Demon King’s magic turning the golems into dust in an instant!
「Oh. I remember that you only used fire magic when we fought previously. Did you learn wind magic? So, how about this?」
Artemaeus rotated his cane.
「Dark Lightning. 」
A jet-black thunder was immediately released from the cane! It charged against Seiya like a black orbit in the air!
…The…The enemy used two types of magic, wind and thunder, at the same time!? Exfolia was a world where the magic system was almost inexistent!! Even so, he could manipulate a variety of magic types!?
Seiya couldn’t use another type of magic unless he changed his profession. It looked like an overwhelming disadvantage for Seiya…
「Job Change. To Thunder Magic Warrior. 」
Seiya immediately changed his profession to Magic Warrior with thunder attributes! The thundering magic Seiya fired against the impeding attack managed to cancel the effects of the jet-thunder strike! It seemed that Seiya learnt this skill from the extensive training with Orlando, the God of Thunder! Still, the Demon King charged again and released a wind magic attack towards Seiya!
I yelled with tension…
「…Job Change. Wind Shield. 」
Once again, Seiya changed his profession and defended himself from the Demon King’s magic with a shield.
「How…How can you change your professions so fast!? 」
「Yeah. I learnt the “Quick Job Change” skill from the training with the God of Business Negotiations.」
「So, that futile training wasn’t a waste after all!! 」
Artemaeus sounded impressed despite his magic attacks failures against Seiya.
「You’re a tough opponent. Well then, can you survive the icy magic that is the opposite pole of your favorite fire magic? …Dark Icicle.」
Instantly, dozens of black icicles were formed in the high ceiling of the Demon King’s room!
「So…So many of them! They’re going to skewer you! 」
「Mister Seiya! 」
John Dae and Kiriko shouted aloud, but…
「Job Change. Fire Magic Warrior. 」
Seiya hit the floor with his feet without hesitation. Then, fire pillars raised from every corner of the floor! The fire pillars, which were dozens of them just like the icicles on the ceiling, transformed into sharp weapons!
…They…They looked like spears…! This was a combination of fire magic with spear training!
Artemaeus waved his cane! Instantly, countless of icicles dropped from the ceiling! However…
「Phoenix Spear. 」
At the same time that Seiya muttered, the spears of flame were fired like missiles and intercepted the Black Icicles in the air! Many icicles were wiped out before reaching Seiya!
「Oh. Still, the numbers are scarce, aren’t they? 」
Artemaeus laughed. Before long, I noticed that Seiya’s Phoenix Spear had fired all shots. On the other hand, there were still many icicles in the air!
「Take this…Dark Icicle. 」
Several black icicles flew towards Seiya after increasing their speed! Those icicles pierced Seiya’s body!
I screamed! Nevertheless, Seiya’s body pierced by the icicles became sand!
「It’s all right, Miss Lista! That was a clay doll! 」
「I…I see. I’m relieved…eh, EHHHHHHHH!? 」
I screamed once again! Before I realized it, there were many Seiyas around us! One, two, three…there were more than 10 Seiyas!
「Are all of them clay dolls!? But, how did he make clay dolls without changing his profession to Earth Magic Warrior!?」
「Probably, these dolls are the golems that came with us here! It seems that he disguised the dolls with the power of the art of change!」
That made sense! As one could tell, the golems that were around us certainly decreased in number!
「Have you made replicas of yourself with the power of earth magic? Then, I’ll just have to destroy everything that stands in my way.」
The remaining icicles of darkness fell down towards Seiya’s clay dolls! The clay dolls were destroyed one after another!
Under Artemaeus’ foot, there was a dead monster with no legs nor internal organs. Despite that awful appearance, the corpse grabbed Artemaeus’ ankle with a firm grip. The corpse opened its mouth faster than Artemaeus moved its cane.
「…Thunder Strike. 」
Immediately, Artemaeus’ body made a shock sound as if he were struck by a lightning. In the meantime, the decayed monster raised up and became Seiya.
「Did…Did you turn into a corpse!? 」
「Yeah. I wanted to paralyze him temporarily with the power of lightning. That’s why I didn’t want to miss this opportunity and disguised myself as a fallen monster.」
Next, Seiya, as a Fire Magic Warrior, released the Maximum Inferno as the “Bombing Crimson Prison” on Artemaeus! After swamping the Demon King in a hell fire that never ended, Seiya raised both hands to the heavens!
「Phoenix Spear. 」
Just like the Demon King’s icicles, this time Seiya’s fire spears appeared on the ceiling! Countless of fire spears fell on the Demon King! The spears pierced through his body and ignited at the same time! The area around Artemaeus was a sea of fire burning with heat!
「Did…Did you defeat him!? 」
John Dae whispered while he covered his face with his arms because of the overwhelming heat. Even so…Artemaeus laughed while engulfed in burning flames!
「*giggles* Your attack inflicted fatal wounds on this body. What a great magic power.」
Amidst fierce burning flames, Artemaeus’ body gradually decayed to charcoal. He laughed happily although he said “fatal wounds”.
「Well then. Now, I shall devote my two lives to the evil god. 」
As soon as he declared those words, the decayed body, which almost transformed into charcoal, grew and expanded tremendously!
「Impossible…! Is he immortal? 」
「A…Again…His form has changed! 」
John Dae and Kiriko spoke with trembling voices. When the flames disappeared, Artemaeus had transformed into a muscular and giant cyclops in armor.
「Stage Two…“Formed Fighter”. No magical attacks will work this time. Show me your physical strength and tactics.」
Why is it that I feel things are not going to go that smoothly…
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