It was when 『Spirit’s Guidance』 was wiped out and 『Dragon’s Pawn』 was engaging the unfamiliar demonic being that Ardis and Nicole noticed the irregularity.
After all, the atmosphere of having victory in sight just a while ago had all but vanished, prompting Ardis to reconfirm the battle situation.
「What’s that? 」
Nicole noticed the change as well, and saw the demonic being that was likely the reason.
「That’s one unfamiliar demonic being……」
Ardis saw what Nicole was seeing, it was a demonic being with a strange shape that was over three meters in height.
Standing on two feet, the thick and long tail that balanced its body, it seemed to be a reptile modeled demonic being like a Despair. But different than Despairs, it didn’t have front limbs, its body could probably easily pass five meters if it was stretching out.
The body is in a bluish grey color. Mane-like hair grew from its head till its spine, ending at its tail.
Even though it had a huge body, it was agile. While keeping the mercenaries in check with its tail, the long neck extended at the 『Dragon’s Pawn』. Every time the demonic being took a step, someone would get blown away, every time the demonic being’s neck reached out, there would be blood scattered.
「That looks bad. Doesn’t seem like it’s any normal demonic being. 」
The mercenaries who lost their numerical advantage looked anxious.
Ardis advanced with the intention to help but it was already too late. By the time when Ardis arrived in front of the abomination, everyone from 『Dragon’s Pawn』 had already crumbled under the demonic being.
「Uheee. This is……quite horrible. 」
Nicole who came a beat later exclaimed after seeing the surroundings. Standing amidst a pool of human blood was the demonic being. The surrounding mercenaries had gathered around, spectating the demonic being from afar.
That can’t be helped. 『Spirit’s Guidance』 and 『Dragon’s Pawn』, the two mercenary party that was said to be the strongest in the subjugation army were slaughtered one-sidedly. With that, anyone can comprehend that the demonic being’s strength was abnormal.
「So? Are you intending to fight with that? 」
The demonic being that Nicole pointed towards was looking for its next prey while its head turned left and right.
Attached to the demonic being’s neck was an object Ardis didn’t expect to see. It was a skin-colored small egg-shaped spherical object. There was two holes on its side, the middle had a protrusion, and under that was a slit.
It was as if imitating a human’s face.
On top of that, there was two limbs that was slightly further away from the face. The limbs were skin colored too unlike the demonic being’s bluish grey body, and there were five fingers on the disproportionate thin arms compared to the demonic being’s body.
Those are probably the demonic being’s front limbs, that was why they couldn’t see them before. It was a figure best described when a human who was eaten by the demonic being witnessing his final moments.
The pupils on the human face was glaring at Ardis. It seems like the eyes on the face aren’t just for shows. From the fact that there aren’t any eyes on its body, the human face is probably the demonic being’s real face.
Ardis raised 『Springtime Mist』 and 『Moon’s Blizzard』 with his mana, and spoke to the green-haired swordsman beside him.
「You can refrain if you don’t feel well. I can do it by myself. 」
「Well, I can’t do exactly that right. Excuse me from opposing it frontally but, if it’s just restraining it, then……」
「Do as you like. 」
Ardis left a cold reply as he headed towards the demonic being.
With the two swords ripping through the air, they flew with the intentions of severing the demonic beings two feet.
However, the demonic being showed agility unbefitting of its size. Leaping sideways to avoid 『Springtime Mist』, it used its tail and struck down 『Moon’s Blizzard』 like a whip. There was a small amount of frost on the formed on the surface of its tail, but it melted a moment later.
Ardis who closed the distance during that swung his sword horizontally together with momentum of his rush.
「Tch, unexpectedly――! 」
The demonic being which had even avoided the swift strike of 『Skies of Myriad Colors』 moved its neck in an attempt to attack Ardis.
The demonic being let out some kind of noise from the mouth of its human face, and reached out with its limbs. While avoiding that, Ardis went on another attack as he aimed at the human face with 『Skies of Myriad Colors』.
It was at that time when the human face that was almost stabbed tore into three pieces, and behind that revealed an oral cavity.
Ardis lost the feedback of his sword that he was expecting, an unrest expression formed on Ardis’s face. The blade of『Skies of Myriad Colors』 was swallowed by the mouth that appeared behind the human face, and the countless teeth inside that didn’t let go of the sword.
Ardis quickly let go of the handle and leaped backwards, the next moment, the gigantic tail of the demonic being swiped past where he was at a moment ago.
「Don’t forget, I’m here too! 」
Nicole let out an attack from the sides at the demonic being which was chasing after Ardis. The sword magnificently landed on the demonic being’s torso but, what was dealt was only a slight cut.
「Hey, that’s cheatingly tough! 」
Nicole retreated in a hurry as the demonic being seemed like it was about to change its target. Although the attack wasn’t effective, it helped Ardis to get a breather and correct his stance when the demonic being paused for a moment.
To let go of your weapon in the middle of a fight, it would be preposterous normally. But if Ardis chose to grasp onto the sword, he would’ve definitely received an attack front on from the demonic being while he didn’t move.
Any normal mercenary would be in a pinch losing their weapons but, Ardis still had the two swords in the air.
「So it isn’t what it seems like huh. 」
Recalling 『Moon’s Blizzard』 to his hands, Ardis started chanting without letting his alert down. With his hands outstretched towards the demonic being, Ardis manifested hardened rock by wrapping his arm in mana.
「The penetrating pebble of the unwavering heroism of the knight ――― Dessel! 」(Earth)
Conforming to Ardis’s will, several tens of rocks flew towards the demonic being.
It was similar to the 『Earth』 spell which normally only forms a single rock, but it was a totally different magic. The demonic being tried to avoid it but, as expected it wasn’t able to dodge all of them, several of the rocks impacted in the bluish grey body, causing it considerable damage.
The demonic being spat back out 『Skies of Myriad Colors』, before raising a cry.
「I will have you return that. 」
Ardis swiftly retrieved the lost 『Skies of Myriad Colors』. Then he immediately switched back to it with his right hand, and returned 『Moon’s Blizzard』 into the sky.
Although the two swords flew towards the demonic beings again, Ardis was still lacking power. He had enough power to bisect any normal demonic beings in half, but it was only enough to deal scratches to the demonic being ahead of him. The demonic being is in a totally different league than the others, as Ardis judged and heightened his caution.
「The radiance that pierces through the abyssal darkness, marble path that leads to the world within, invisible domain that blocks the way that is the curtain of the sage who had forgotten his roots――」
While keeping the demonic being at bay with the flying swords, Ardis started chanting. A dazzling ball of light manifested at the end of his outstretched palm.
「Pierce through, the empty space. Unleash thyself, fallen one who lost thine wings. To the foolish us who struggle for the unreachable, grant us the sliver of hope ―― Teill ・ Sele ・ Kvois! 」(Dazzling Light)
The glowing ball continued to grow in size, when it grew to about fifty centimeters, it shrunk in a few moments and started spinning. It was as if the expanding power was forcibly suppressed and compressed into a single spot.
Eventually, when the ball of light shrunk to about fist-sized, it paused there for a moment, before getting shot out towards the demonic being at a speed that can’t be seen by eyes. The shockwave from its speed came in the next moment, causing an intense gale to blow in the surrounding.
「Zu……! Ho……shi………! 」
The demonic being’s body shook with its anguished cry. The light shot out penetrated the demonic being’s body, causing critical damage.
Ardis was aiming for that gap as he closed the distance with 『Skies of Myriad Colors』 in his hand.
「Mi……! Shi……ii……! 」
The pupils on the human face glared at Ardis with killing intent as the demonic being raised its neck. Ardis had closed in under the demonic being, and dealt another blow following the Dazzling Light’s damage.
It seemed like it was effective as the demonic being screamed and twisted around. Even while doing so, the demonic being’s attack didn’t stop, the thin arms attached on the two sides of the human face reached out to Ardis as if to catch him.
Severing one of its arms with 『Skies of Myriad Colors』, Ardis continued dishing out attack onto the human face while avoiding the other arm.
Just like what happened before, the human face split into three and the mouth of the demonic being was revealed.
「If you know the trick, then it’s just a show――! 」
The next moment, the sword that was caught in the demonic being’s mouth wasn’t 『Skies of Myriad Colors』 in Ardis’s hand but 『Springtime Mist』 that flew in.
He was making a feint to attack and used 『Springtime Mist』 as a decoy.
「It’ll be the same! 」
Ardis who turned around in an instant leaped upwards from the ground and used 『Moon’s Blizzard』 which was beside him as another foothold as he leaped once again higher in the sky. Ardis who performed a double jump into the air aimed his sword at the neck of the demonic being as the blade flashed.
「As long as I reinforce it with mana! 」
A half-assed slash would only give a shallow wound. Ardis coated 『Skies of Myriad Colors』 with his mana to reinforce its sharpness and swung it with his all.
As expected, the demonic being couldn’t stand the sword strike that Ardis put his all into, the thick neck was severed from its body. The head that had the human face attached on it fell onto the ground with a dull sound.
Silence came after that.
The mercenaries who was overseeing the fight eventually regained themselves and the surrounding became noisy all of a sudden.
「Oi……, it was done in. 」
「Seriously? That kind of monster……? 」
「Even though the people from 『Spirit’s Guidance』 and 『Dragon’s Pawn』 couldn’t do anything to it……! 」
「By himself……, he subjugated it by himself! 」
「Amazing! Who’s that guy!? 」
Eventually, the voices turned into celebratory ones, yells from all around rejoiced at the end of the subjugation and victory started to be heard.
「Oi oi, you. You really did kill it by yourself. 」
Walking to Ardis who was about ten steps away from the fallen demonic being, it was Nicole who seemed to be both in shock and impressed that praised Ardis.
「I knew you are strong the first time we met but……. Iyaa, really glad I’m not your enemy. 」
But Ardis didn’t turn around, he continued staring at the demonic being.
「Nn? What’s the matter? It’s a hard-fought victory after all, why not be happy and celebrate? If the victor is so tense, the others would get awkward too? 」
Almost all of the demonic beings around were hunted, the subjugation battle had already gone into the final stage of cleaning up the remaining monsters. Without the signs of any new demonic beings and beasts appearing, there wasn’t anyone who doubted the victory of the subjugation army around.
「The neck was certainly severed. But, why is that body still standing straight up? 」
At Ardis words, Nicole looked at the demonic being’s giant body. The body that had lost its head was still standing on its two feet.
It was the truth that the body was standing straight. Even though the head was severed, the two feet had stood on the ground firmly.
「Couldn’t it be the body stiff……? 」
Nicole’s conjecture which was made with common sense was proven to be false the next moment.
Zshin, a heavy sound reverberated. With the heavy weight of its entire body on its two feet, the two feet that looked like it belonged to a reptile’s moved.
「The head was severed though……! 」
An unfamiliar mercenary that was near Ardis let out a yell.