TWEM Vol. 5 Chapter 9 Part 1
Chapter 9 – Fierce Battle Between a Devil and a Dragon
As his first action, the devil appeared above the building where he was summoned.
“Fufuu, what a nice view…To be on the safe side, let’s make sure that no one can escape from this holy city or whatever it’s called—Eternal Prison!” he chanted, erecting a barrier around the holy city, making it impossible for anyone to leave.
“That should do it…ooh, looks like there’s another existence besides humans in that place.”
The devil, probing the area while looking around the holy city, noticed Zero’s presence.
“He seems pretty strong, but not as strong as I am…only that man poses a threat. But I’ll let that man serve as the main dish. Before that, how shall I go about destroying the holy city?”
Muttering these words, the devil landed in front of a building.
“What can I do for you?” he suddenly spoke out loud, seemingly to no one.
“…And here I’d thought I’d concealed my presence so well. That ominous magic power. You’re a devil?”
“Yes, that’s right. And who might you be?”
“I am Gawain Hazark, Captain of the Holy Knights of the Holy State of Belifaire.”
Gawain undid his concealment, appearing in front of the devil.
His subordinates, the Holy Knights, had already gathered near the building and surrounded the devil.
The devil politely introduced himself to Gawain and the others.
“How very kind of you. I don’t have a name, but let’s see…you may call me Schwartz.”
“Schwartz, huh… I have a question.”
“Sure, go ahead. But only one, alright?”
Gawain opened his mouth, breaking out in a cold sweat at the unusual presence emanating from the handsome devil.
“What happened to the people who summoned you?”
“Oh, those people?”
Schwartz smiled and answered.
“—I took their souls in exchange for granting their wish.”
Gawain fell into deep thoughts before Schwartz, who licked his tongue happily.
(Could it be that his full manifestation means that Haruto failed to rescue Lady Ilmina… No, it could just be that he didn’t make it in time to stop the summoning but managed to save Lady Ilmina successfully. I genuinely hope that to be the case.)
Gawain’s prayer, or rather, his speculation, was spot on.
Haruto was currently trying to figure out how to get Ilmina out of there.
Schwartz smiled at Gawain, who was looking impatient.
“Now that I’ve answered your question, let me give you some advice.”
When Gawain asked that question, Schwartz released an immensely oppressive aura.
“You’re all going to die if you try to take me on! It was already over for you all the moment you got caught within my barrier.”
“…What are you talking about?”
“When you die in this Eternal Prison, your soul becomes mine.”
Schwartz added in front of the astonished Gawain and his subordinates.
“Plus it has the added effect of weakening my opponents at will.”
Gawain and his men instantly felt their strength draining.
Schwartz had reduced the magic power and strength of the holy knights by a third, causing them to stagger.
But they remained standing, swords readied to face the devil in front of them.
“Even in your weakened state, you still want to fight?”
“…It goes without saying. It is our duty as knights to protect the country!”
Hearing Gawain’s words, Schwartz’s smile quickly faded.
“How boring. Die and become my nourishment—Darkness Line.” he said, swiping his hand in an arc in front of him, leaving a purple line in its trail.
Gawain, having a bad feeling about it, shouted as he crouched down.
“Put up a barrier or crouch!”
At the sound of Gawain’s voice, each knight tried to react.
Most of the holy knights’ torsos slid off, cleanly split in two.
Then, a ball of light emerged from the crumpling holy knights’ bodies.
And the true nature of that ball of light was—
“Is that… their souls?”
Schwartz nodded at Gawain’s muttered words.
Gawain and the surviving holy knights recoiled in fear as they saw their comrades’ souls being consumed by Schwartz one by one. Some terrified to point of dropping their swords.
“Pull yourselves together! We are knights who protect this land! Ready yourselves for battle!”
Gawain’s words reignited their will to fight.
There were only eight survivors, including Gawain. Even so, they could not protect their country if they did not vanquish the devil in front of them. Well, not quite, they themselves would not survive.
The holy knights’ eyesfilled with determination.
“Ahh, what exquisite souls. I’ll relish them with pleasure.”
“Silence, fiend! Attack!”
The holy knights surrounded Schwartz as Gawain began to chant.
“I pray to thee o god. With thy holy power, seal all evil! —Holy Octagon!” Gawain chanted alongside the holy knights. A geometric magic circle formed on the ground around Schwartz’s feet and light rose from the edges of the circle, trapping Schwartz within a dome barrier.
Unperturbed, Schwartz extended his hands, clenching and unclenching them to test the sensation. “I see, a holy barrier indeed… Though it’s rather weak, rendering it useless.” With a casual swing of his arm, Schwartz effortlessly shattered the barrier in an instant.
“What…? He destroyed the barrier?” Schwartz turned his gaze to a wide-eyed Gawain. “Now, how about I take your souls as payment for such an invaluable lesson?” As he finished speaking, Schwartz’s body blurred. As soon as he finished, Schwartz’s body blurred.
“Watch out!” Gawain’s warning came a moment too late.
“Gahaa!” One of the knights coughed up blood as a clawed arm protruded from his back. When Schwartz withdrew his arm that had impaled the knight’s abdomen, the knight crumpled to the ground.
“Such flimsy armor,” Schwartz scoffed, absorbing the fallen knight’s soul. Gawain’s voice trembled with rage as he witnessed the scene.
“—You wretched fiend! How dare you desecrate the dead!”
“Desecrate the dead? This is standard practice for devils, though?”
Gawain angrily slashed at Schwartz, but was easily blocked by his claws.
“You lot have absolutely no chance of defeating me in your weakened states…even if you weren’t weakened, you’ll still be out of your depths.”
“I know that already!”
“Then why keep it up?”
“To protect our people!”
“What a trivial reason. Wagering your lives on such a hogwash…what a bunch of fools!”
Schwarz said and kicked Gawain away.
“Then go to hell. O proud knight.”
Schwartz moved instantly in front of Gawain and raised his sharp claws.
At the very moment when Gawain’s life was about to be cut short——
“Don’t you dare lay your filthy hand on our captain!!”
One of the holy knights shouted and leaped in front of Gawain, and caught the slash with his body tearing through his armor.
Gawain shouted the name of the knight who had been brutally slashed, and Jen collapsed helplessly on the floor.
“Jen, why did you do that…”
“Captain, no, Gawain. Please protect, our country——…”
Jen left those last words to Gawain as he embraced the man who had been his friend and comrade in arms, and then gave up the ghost.
Then, seeing Jen’s action, the other holy knights also stepped forward to protect Gawain.
“Is that guy you’re desperately trying to protect really worth all this trouble?”
Schwarz asked, in genuine wonder.
“Don’t do it! No need for you guys to die in vain!”
Gawain exclaimed, but the Holy Knights replied without looking back.
“If you were to die first, what would become of the holy city, this country?”
“That’s right. So please do your best to protect the holy city and the people!”
“You are the strongest holy knight in this country. So——we’ll leave the rest to you!”
With these words, the holy knights all attacked Schwartz simultaneously.
If there had been spectators it would have been an extremely touching scene.
To Schwartz, however, it was just an unimportant conversation.
“These small fries are in the way——Darkness Line!”
As Schwartz flicked his hand, the knights charging towards him were simultaneously cleaved in two. Souls emerged from the lifeless bodies of the holy knights, streaming into Schwartz’s form. Gawain, witnessing the gruesome scene, seethed with fury.
Gripping his sword tightly, Gawain was about to act when a voice called out to him.
“Gawain, it’s best you cease this futility.” Both Gawain and Schwartz quickly halted their actions, looking up to locate the source of the voice—a short distance away, hovering in the air. And there he was—
Gawain uttered in disbelief as they beheld the mightiest of the dragon species—Zero. He questioned Zero about the meaning of his words, recalling that the dragon had been absent for some time.
“Sir Zero, what do you mean by that?”
“You cannot hope to defeat this devil. My master will arrive soon. Until then, I shall deal with him.” Zero declared, landing beside Gawain.
“I can’t let that one slide now, can I? You, deal with me?” Schwartz’s tone of voice conveying more irritation than discontent.
“Dissatisfied, are we?”
“Well, that’s all right. I’m sure you’ll be more fun than that knight over there.”
Zero and Schwartz faced each other, air beginning to tremble as their magical power surged.
But then Gawain interrupted.
“Is there something else?” Zero inquired, without turning around.
Gawain knew that he stood no chance whatsoever against Schwartz and he knew that, even if he wanted to fight alongside Zero, he would be nothing more than a liability.
Yet, his knightly pride wouldn’t allow him to abandon the battle.
“I’m aware of my inadequacy! Still, I must continue fighting for those who have fallen!”
Gawain’s desperate plea undoubtedly moved Zero. However, Zero also couldn’t bear to witness Gawain’s demise.
“…I’m afraid I can’t allow that. This is no place for you. A man like you should not die here. Leave this place to me and do what you’re capable of doing.”
Zero was telling him, in a roundabout way, to evacuate his people.
Gawain, perhaps understanding what he meant, hesitated for a moment, but then bowed to Zero, and dashed off.