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Chapter 19: The Sage Confronts the Hero
The royal capital, just before sunset.
The Demon Lord’s army was gathered in the square.
We were now heading out to suppress the Hero.
The royal capital’s defense was left to the remaining demons.
With the multiple layers of defensive magic applied, there would be no problems.
There were hundreds of thousands of undead roaming this land alone.
It would be nearly impossible to capture.
Thanks to the work of the scouts, we already knew the Hero’s exact location.
He was resting in the fief army’s fortress.
The fortress was right in the middle of the territory.
They must be prepared to launch an attack in whichever direction we appeared.
The repeated battles with the undead seem to have left the fief’s army considerably exhausted.
The number of casualties could not simply be ignored.
Even though there was a Hero, he was still, after all, only a single person.
If you look at it as a whole, there were probably many narrow victories.
That fortress was where we were planning to launch our surprise attack.
At long last…
I felt the keepsake sword that hung at my waist.
My mind was calm.
I was already prepared.
I will not waver.
The new Demon Lord will eliminate the Hero.
I took a glance at the lined up soldiers of the Demon Lord’s army.
Everyone was silent, waiting for the time to begin the attack.
I can see that they were suppressing their surging excitement.
I deployed my transfer magic.
While doing so, I felt a faint sense of resistance.
It seemed that there was a barrier to prevent transfer at the destination after all.
However, it was terribly fragile.
I could see that it was deployed with haste.
Most of the kingdom had already been turned into the Demon Lord’s territory.
Maybe they couldn’t afford to gather sorcerers.
I increased the output of my magic and destroyed the functionality of the barrier with brute force.
Immediately after, I felt a momentary sense of floating as the scene around me changed.
It was a grassy field, where the red glow of the setting sun intermingled with the faint darkness of the night.
Ahead, a fortress loomed atop the rolling hills.
Countless bonfires were set up around it to keep the light from growing faint.
A few soldiers looked at us, panicked, and made a commotion.
The shrill sound of metal clanging rang out.
It was an alarm, alerting of an enemy attack.
A clamor could be heard from within the fortress.
They seem to be preparing for a battle.
Is there a Hero in there?
I’m sure he’s resting up in preparation for the next battle.
I have to show him that such behavior is now unnecessary.
This is where he dies.
I call out my subordinate’s name.
The man with the dragon’s bow stepped forward, brimming with confidence.
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
Henry nocked his arrow with a serious figure, and set his aim on the fortress.
He muttered, showing a fearless smile.
“Let me give you a wake-up call.”
A shot whistled through the wind and pierced through the solid fortress.
A part of the fortress collapsed around the puncture point.
I could hear screams and angry voices.
They belonged to the soldiers who were unlucky enough to be caught up in the collapse.
It was unimaginable damage to have been caused by a single arrow.
For a first strike, that was a good one.
Our opponent was a Hero with a holy sword.
It’s best to reduce his strength without approaching him as much as possible.
If we continue to attack one-sidedly like this, the other side should make a move of his own accord.
We awaited it with a watchful eye.
When the collapse of the fortress had settled, the soldiers fired flaming arrows at us.
Countless arrows fell down on us from above, like rain.
Fire is an effective attack against the undead.
It’s easier than holy magic, and it also ensures a light source.
However, it was a common method that had been overused in the invasions so far.
There was no way that I, the leader of an army of undead, would not have taken countermeasures against it.
I held out my hand and generated a gust of wind.
I gave instructions as I scattered the fire arrows.
“Hah! Yes, sir!”
Grom responded immediately and stepped forward in place of Henry.
A black haze began to drift through the air, as if crawling up from the ground.
It was concentrated miasma.
The miasma under Grom’s control quickly flowed into the fortress.
The bonfires, engulfed by the miasma, went out one by one.
The entire fortress was plunged into darkness.
The soldiers inside must also be inhaling the poisonous miasma.
With this, they would no longer be able to fight properly.
“That’s enough. Good job.”
“It’s my honour!”
Grom placed his hand over his chest.
The flames in his eye sockets erupted in joy, covering his head.
“Demon Lord, should we proceed with the sabotage?”
“That’s right. Proceed according to plan.”
Just as I answered back to Luciana, a white light emitted from within the fortress.
In the blink of an eye, the widespread miasma was drowned out.
It was impossible to achieve that kind of effect with ordinary holy magic.
Gradually, a second magic light ignited.
It must be a bonfire that was set up by the sorcerers to replace the extinguished bonfires.
That light just now…
As we watched, a figure appeared from the fortress.
He looked down at us, holding a sword clad in holy light.
“You’re here, huh.”
I stared at him.
Was he older than twenty?
Perhaps he was only in his late teens.
He was younger than I expected.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed young man wore armor that seemed to be of higher quality than that of an ordinary soldier.
His gaze, full of determination and a sense of justice, burned with persistent rage.
His face, carrying a sense of duty, reminded me vividly of her.
He was a Hero.
A Hero chosen by the world to defeat the great scourge that was me.
The Hero raised his holy sword high.
Common sense dictated that the blade could not reach me at this distance.
However, in reality, he was prepared.
It was obvious what he intended to do.
The Hero swung his holy sword down.
A slash of white light was released from the blade.
It flew towards the Demon Lord’s army, hollowing out the ground.
I deployed a defensive magic that contained miasma in front of us, at an angle rather than perpendicular to the ground.
There was a risk of it being destroyed if the barrier received the attack head on.
Soon, the slash of light collided with my defensive magic.
After a few moments of struggle, the slash was swept up into the sky.
It exploded far overhead, brightening the twilit sky.
The light quickly disappeared and darkness returned.
After confirming this, I turned around and told Grom.
“I will draw the Hero away. You guys concentrate on conquering the fortress. I’ll call you if I need you.”
“Yes, sir! I wish you luck!”
I located a point within my sight, and transferred in front of the Hero.
The Hero looked at me in shock.
“You’re the Hero, huh. I have something I need you for.”
I exercised my magic.
I stretched out an immaterial hand from my torso, and picked the Hero up, restraining him with all my strength.
The Hero began to struggle and sent power into his holy sword.
He intended to wipe me out with a slash of light.
Receiving it at this close range would indeed be unpleasant.
Therefore, I told him plainly.
“If we fight here, there will be a lot of damage. Let us change locations.”
Before the slash could be unleashed, I flung the Hero away.
It was in a direction away from both the Demon Lord’s army and the fortress camp, an empty grassland.
Flying through the air, the Hero swung his holy sword as he fell.
The slash of light he launched was aimed precisely at me.
That was good for a spur-of-the-moment action. He seems used to fighting.
I diverted the slash with my defensive magic.
The slash of light, now off trajectory, pierced right through the ground beside me.
The aftermath created a deep crack in the earth.
“I-Is that the Demon Lord…!?”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!”
“We’re done for!”
A group of soldiers came out of the fortress and tried to attack me.
But I didn’t have the leisure to deal with them.
I had to fight the Hero.
I couldn’t take my eyes off him for a single moment.
“You’re in the way.”
With a wave of one hand, I invoked a spell.
A spear woven from miasma impaled more than a dozen soldiers.
The soldiers rotted away from the point where they were stabbed, leaving only their bones.
The skeletons clacked their jaws and began to move into the fortress, with spears of miasma in their hands.
At the foot of the hill, the Demon Lord’s army had begun to advance.
The rest can be left to them.
The fortress will fall before long.
In other words, it’s up to me to do the rest.
I cannot fail.
I will defy fate to the utmost of my ability.
With that firm vow, I headed for the Hero who had fallen onto the grassy field.
Hasr: Sorry for the late update, this was 100% my bad planning at fault here