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Chapter 008 – The Meaning of the Duel [A]
A clash between majins.
They collided at speeds exceeding what any ordinary demon could see, and shockwaves spread throughout the region.
Only other majins and the maou could properly perceive the struggle taking place. Others could only desperately attempt to grasp the battle as they endured the shocks produced.
There was a certain lis majin who got blown away by one of the shockwaves, but for other majins, this level was nothing special.
Some had the look of surprise painted on their faces. Majin Gillium was definitely not a weak majin. In fact, if you ranked majin by their strength, it was faster to count down from the top to find his place.
His weapon was his sharp claw. Leonhart repelled the claw that swung toward his throat using the long sword.
However, the one who was most surprised was the very person who did it.
Oioi! how sturdy was your claw to be not cut by this sword?
The demonic sword Orpheil.
Leonhart had confirmed the sharpness of the sword beforehand, so the toughness of Gillium’s claw left him feeling daunted.
Oioi! If this thing couldn’t even cut it, how the hell do you cut your nails when they get too long? You wouldn’t even be able to properly cut your nails!
Were all dragons this absurd of a race? I wished to believe the only people who could actually do that were Camilla and him, both of them were majins, though.
The impacts that transmitted every time the sword clashed had numbed my hands.
In that short exchange, I’ve learned several things.
I lost in terms of strength.
I had expected as much, but even with my strength increasing from becoming a majin, my opponent possessed strength several times greater than my own. At the moment of attack, I instantly drew back to minimize the impact, but I was still pushed back due to the difference in strength.
I would be out by single clean hit… I needed to analyze the situation and recount all the information I learned.
Considering the toughness of his claw, as a whole he should be quite durable as well.
My only saving grace was that I was faster, although it wasn’t by much.
Even now, the claw that I had repelled to the left, now came from above to be swung down.
I was getting faster, for sure. I bet I could have a fun battle with Meglass now.
Another thing that could be considered to be my advantage— if based on my personal opinion instead of objectivity— would be my technique.
I didn’t want to lose against anyone in swordsmanship and close combat… Studying his claw raised above, I discerned that it would come down slanting to the right. I could tell it was aimed toward my neck, to my carotid artery— I could repel that by moving my right foot a single step back, and slashing upward from my lower half of my body. It hurt a lot though.
I regained some composure in my heart as the battle continued. However, if this battle continued on for much longer, it wasn’t going to end well.
Even with my slight advantage of speed, since I couldn’t perfectly parry Gillium’s power, it didn’t make much of a difference. Especially considering that what little time I had gained from my speed, ended up being used to fix my posture.
This was just a little better compared to my battle against Meglass when I was human; I am in good shape now too.
As expected, I have to go for a proper offensive. While I had no such leisure, if this kept up, then my— it came from front, or so it seemed, but it was a feint. He moved to my back and swung his claw toward the back of my head. Hey, that’s dangerous! I barely avoided it by twisting my body— my fatigue was catching up.
Rather, this whole time he totally went for the kill. He only aimed toward a place that would deal a fatal blow. It was a proper tactic, but such tactics weren’t supposed to be used against fellow majins; this only proved how merciless a majin could be.
Even though I was annoyed by that fact, I had no breakthrough solution for the current situation.
I would end up getting killed if this kept up— I was imagining the worst outcome.
And at that time, Gillium took action.
While Gillium was annoyed with Leonhart, the one he was currently fighting against, he acknowledged his mettle from within.
Hmm, you’re quite capable.
Gillium’s expectation that this would end with a single blow was betrayed. Leonhart kept swinging his sword toward his proud claw.
I see, so it’s a named blade. He had no choice but to acknowledge the sword Leonhart might have received from Maou-sama.
That had to have been it, because the sword managed to repel his claws away. Otherwise, it would be broken after a few exchanges.
This claw of his was something he’d kept tempered over generations, since the battle against Kkluf Kkluf until present day. He was proud of it to the point where he didn’t think even Camilla-sama’s claws would exceed his.
He also knew how to use it. His fighting capability didn’t regress once ever since he became a majin. Yet, despite the fact that his opponent was losing in terms of power, the fact that Leonhart still managed to repel his claw was proof of his skill.
Common humans would be split in two within seconds and become corpses. Stopping it was impossible even if the world turned upside down.
I see, so he was a majin. He acknowledged that fact— but could a common majin block his claw so easily?
He had to admit it. Leonhart’s skill was worthy of the title of King of Swords amongst humans. It was no wonder he could even defeat a demon general when he was human.
Dragons were a race that respected the strong. If this was a normal duel, he would’ve recognized his ability and called him his comrade.
However— that won’t be possible.
That alone— won’t happen.
His calm self acknowledged his strength, but at the same time, he loathed him.
This was a duel for a seat as one of the Four Elite Majin on the line. In other words— it was a duel for Camilla.
What would happen if he lost here? Would it be the same as what he and other dragons had experienced when they lost against Magiihoa, when Camilla was kidnapped by Avel? Could he endure watching his beloved female be taken away by another male?
At that moment, Gillium imagined he was taken back to the past and dueling for sake of the rights to Camilla, with Leonhart replacing the opponent of his imagination.
Quietly, his passion welled up inside of him like a strong wind without anyone else noticing.
AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! Camilla!! Camillaa!!!
No way. No Way. NO WAY! NOWAY! I won’t give Camilla. Like hell I would. Only I am worthy of Camilla!
The dragon species’ desire toward the last female dragon exploded.
That hair, that leg, that hip, that bosom, that arm, that finger, that face, those genitals, and that beauty! All of it belonged to me, Me, MEEEE!!!!!
Gillium was a part of the proud dragon race. He wouldn’t act so vulgar as to show off his desire.
However, as his desire toward Camilla increased, so had his hatred toward Leonhart, which made his attacks become more merciless.
Unforgivable. I won’t forgive you, Leonhart. I won’t give Camilla to a newcomer and fragile human like you. You are not worthy of the living crown.
I have to kill him. If he survives and becomes stronger I might be unable to take her back.
In a way, this was the utmost respect Gillium could give to his opponent.
This other male was strong. While he might be weaker than he was now, he will keep growing. He couldn’t guarantee Leonhart wouldn’t surpass him someday.
Gillium kept thinking that Leonhart wanted Camilla. For better or worse, Camilla was the center of his world.
So Gillium thought to quickly kill the male in front of him, and quickly took action.
He struck his proud claw to the ground with all he had, creating a hot explosion of power that blew through the surrounding area.
As smoke rose above, Leonhart let out a sound of surprise.
As Gillium jumped to the sky, he accumulated power, and spat out toward the ground where Leonhart stood.
Breath. That was the reason why the dragon race was known as dragons. Gillium, who continually strengthened himself since he became a majin, spread the tremendous momentum and energy he had accumulated within.
Well then, did this end him? As he questioned himself, he charged in full speed down below.
Gillium managed to accurately spot the shadow of Leonhart within the smoke and aftermath of his Breath attack.
. . . It seems he managed to avoid the direct hit. As Gillium was convinced by that, he went straight toward Leonhart.
“ . . . ?!”
And hit him with his claw.
Leonhart, who was struck by Gillium’s claw, crashed into the castle’s wall; the impact almost robbed away his consciousness and he let out an agonized cry.
…That hurts! Damn, to think I got caught by that simple tactic…
I knew of the existence of the Breath attack. Even though I did know about it, I forgot to be conscious about it. It was a simple smoke screen followed by Breath as decoy, and then bashed me with a claw.
He blocked my view, broke my stance, and struck. Damn, that’s totally a beginner’s move.
I was angry at myself for falling for such a basic tactic.
However, this amount of damage was…
Fortunately it wasn’t fatal. Rather, this majin’s body was way too tough. While my abdomen was wounded and bleeding, there weren’t any fatal wounds that would normally kill a human.
Even so, I was still practically dead.
I needed to move quickly or I would be killed. No, perhaps I was too late.
I kept losing recently.
I was dizzy, but managed to look around. Fortunately, the follow-up attack hasn’t occurred yet.
. . . Wasn’t this enough? Such thoughts began to surface.
I have fought enough. It was quite an achievement to last this long for a newly minted majin. If I gave up, apologized, and begged for my life, I might be spared.
I had no interest in being a part of the Four Elite Majin or having the title of Demon Army Officer. If I told that to Ssulal—
I unconsciously searched for the person I pledged my loyalty to, and I quickly found her.
The expression I saw on Ssulal’s face was shocking enough to stop my beating heart.
Oi… What expression do you have there?
Ssulal was still trying to keep her dignity as maou… but I could tell. She was wearing an expression that showed she was holding back tears to keep them from flowing.
Oi Oi, nobody around noticed that? That was the face that was far from commanding, right? Hurry and return your expression back to normal. At this rate, your charisma would break.
Rather, what was that? I’ve thought this for a while, but was she really a maou? I felt nothing of the sort though? Her appearance just seemed like that of a common girl, and her personality was closer to human. I didn’t think I would have to have a battle of words now that I was an adult, though. This totally looked like a gag from an objective point of view. If you still claim yourself to be a maou, then stop wearing that expression right this moment. You could’ve made other majins anytime anyway, so just abandon this garbage who is unable to properly obey his master’s order—
At that moment, I slammed my left hand to the wall for some reason
Hah, I kept saying all I wanted— I make myself sick.
Who made you wear that nearly crying expression?
It was me, damn it.
Don’t impose your lack of power on your master, Leonhart.
…Hah, to think it affected me this much. How pathetic. How annoying. Since when did I become so weak?
Didn’t I once pledge my loyalty to her while carrying the weight of the settlement on my back?
Even though I haven’t even accomplished a single order of hers yet.
… Ah, that sure cleared my head. That’s right, I’ve decided what I have to do.
When I noticed it, I put a lot of strength into the sword I was holding. Now that I was calm, it made me wonder— what I was doing all this time?
Was it because I kept being betrayed and spent a long time without affection? It hasn’t been long since we spent some time together. Since when did I become such an easy guy? She tried to treat me the best she could, and I didn’t want to betray her expectations, especially because I was her majin.
As I, who had collapsed on the wall, stood up, I could feel that Gillium and those surrounding us were astonished.
“Fuhn, so you’re still alive. But you’re already—“
“Ah, stop there. Shut up.”
“…What did you say?”
I could feel Gillium’s anger permeating the air.
“Let’s drop the act now, okay? I’m so pumped right now that I felt like I could do anything.”
Don’t think about unnecessary things.
What I needed to do was think about how to cut, to kill the enemy before me.
“It’s clear what we have to do right? It’s your fault for emitting killing intent from the start. I will cut you down.”
“Yo-You… What a foolish thing to say! You’re the one who will die!!!”
The second round… nay, the final round begins!