708 – Gluttony Ghoul (side: Adofu)
The pack of blood-red demons, the gluttony ghouls, spread out into the city, sweeping through Harenae.
“Why… Why is this happening…? Holy God-sama… we people of Harenae have kept our faith… So why are we being tested like this?”
The priest murmurs.
“Priest-dono! We need to gather people and protect them!”
Adofu yells. The priest looks up at him, but weakly shakes his head.
“What do you plan on doing…? You’re up against such absolute power… More importantly, this ancient Hero was sent to us by the Holy God’s grace, so you can’t point your blade at him…”
“I don’t know if that’s true, but we can’t do nothing. At least gather soldiers and help me protect people…! It’s only fortunate that the continent’s strongest, Volk-dono, happens to be here.”
“…A-are you counting on me? To take on that monster?”
Volk asks, his body trembling.
Interrupting their conversation, one of the blood-red demons appears.
『Gather in front of the king… Those who refuse, death…!』
Volk points his sword at the demon, but it’s clear he’s trying to withdraw. As he backs away, the demon raises its claw and creeps closer.
The demon’s claw slashes at Volk in a flurry of blows. Volk manages to block with his sword, but it’s clear he’s outmatched, as each claw swing pushes him more into a corner.
With the third blow, Volk’s sword is knocked away, and he falls backwards.
Adofu leaps in from the side, blocking the demon’s claw with a one-handed swing.
His blade clashes with the demon’s claws, but the demon is stronger than he is. The demon appears gleeful as it gradually pushes Adofu back.
“I’m… not actually him! I’m sorry! My real name is Dylan… I’m just a no-name swordsman. Borrowing the name of the Dragon Hunter let me get by, so I couldn’t help it…!”
The fake Volk, Dylan, clutches his head and remains on the ground.
Surprised, Adofu’s face turns bitter.
Unable to hold the claw back any longer, Adofu just barely manages to deflect it into the ground. Seeing the claw gouge through the ground, Adofu gulps.
“A single hit would be lethal…!”
“You filthy monster!”
One of the Harenae soldiers stabs his sword at the demon from behind.
The demon growls in annoyance as it blocks the stab with its arm. Blood flows, from the wound but the sword didn’t reach the bone.
“Looks like we need to truce for now, Adofu!”
The Harenae soldier shouts.
“Well done! [Clay]!”
Adofu casts magic. A magic circle appears below the demon, encasing its left foot in earth a moment later
The demon quickly tries to pull its foot free, but too preoccupied by the soldier’s sword in its, it react properly.
Adofu closes his eyes as he swings his sword towards the demon.
Adofu could sense that it was a stronger opponent than him when it so effortlessly blocked the solider’s stab earlier. Should the fight drag on, he would lose for certain. His only hope is to land a heavy hit while he can.
Adofu quickly draws his sword back, then swings it hard.
Adofu’s swing cuts through demon’s neck. The decapitated head tumbles to the ground.
“Th-that did it…!”
As the soldier sighs in relief, the head suddenly jumps up at him.
Adofu’s sword impales the demon’s mouth.
“Ge… gege, ge…”
Adofu swings his sword down, smashing the head into the ground and finally killing it.
“Don’t let your guard down. They’re too far out of the ordinary to take lightly. Besides, we survived against one of them, but there are many more.”
To make matters worse, it only took a little blood to produce so many.
“What bad timing I have… I only just got to this backwaters country, and now something completely nonsensical is going on…”
The fake Volk, Dylan, groans.
“…That fiend said he would create a world empire. If he’s not stopped somewhere, then eventually you’d get wrapped up, no matter where you were.”
Adofu says to Dylan.
Ares spoke of grand ambitions, and his abnormal strength proved it wasn’t an empty dream.
At the same time as Area appeared, Harenae was split in two. If Ares can wield that power freely, then it wouldn’t be strange for him to unify the world in a matter of days.
Ares also declared that the world would only exist to worship him. At first, Adofu had thought the claim too grandiose to be taken literally, but considering his strength, perhaps it wasn’t hyperbole.
“Adofu… No, Knight Commander Adofu-sama! Please, return to leading us once more and save the people!”
The soldier who fought with Adofu drops his sword and prostrates himself.
“As I thought, no one else can lead Harenae… I became a dog of the church and targeted you, so I know it’s hypocritical of me to ask, but please!”
The other soldiers who participated in the attempted arrest gather in front of Adofu and similarly lower their heads.
“Without your power, Harenae will surely perish!”
“I know you refused and left the country! But please, don’t turn your back on Harenae!”
Each soldier begs.
Each soldier begs.
“Raise your heads. I’m not planning on running away now things are this bad. It’s not for you guys, or for the church. It’s for the the people here who can’t escape across the desert by themselves.”
The soldiers shout happily, but the priest looks down.
“…No matter what you do, it’s pointless. Holy God-sama has sent that ancient Hero. No matter where you run, it’ll eventually fall under his control.”
“Even if it’s futile, I’m not going to roll over and accept death. I’m going to struggle with all my strength. Just like when I was framed by you and the Hero… Also, you’re coming with us.”
Adofu grasps the tall shoulders of Dylan as he was trying to slink away.
“Please let me go! I’m escaping this country!”
“Even if fake, you called yourself a legendary swordsman. You have some power then, don’t you? In this situation, we can’t waste any military strength.”
“Please forgive me!”