91 Saying goodbye
The demon leader was starting to lose patience.
The battle had already been going on for a while now and he kept watching his forces diminishing by the minute in the hands of the demon slayers and their silver weapons.
He glared at Lilith who had just managed to climb up back to the balcony of the castle and rejoin their side.
"Hey!! How long is your group going to keep me waiting? Go kill the slayers already!!"
Lilith glared at him trying to control her anger.
"I just barely came out alive from a fight against two of them, give me at least a few minutes to catch my breath..."
"Besides... You have no right to demand anything..."
"The deal was... You deal with the mage, and then we deal with the slayers. The mage is still alive and two of the six slayers are already dealt with. Not only that, you're not even doing the job yourself! You're just sending others in your place!"
"My demons are like my arms and legs. Their accomplishments are my accomplishments!"
"... So by that logic... Their failure is also your failure..."
"And considering the mage doesn't seem to be going down anytime soon... I would say you look like a big fat failure right now..."
The demon leader was staring at Lilith with full desire to kill. She was completely damaged from her fight with the two slayers and could barely stand on her own. Not only that, she was mocking the most powerful demon she has ever met, a demon that was also getting his power boosted by a weapon that practically made him invincible. Picking a fight with him was absolute suicide.
However, Lilith was tired. She was tired of demons playing with her and her friends like they were toys. She didn't care if this guy could turn her into a pile of dust with a snap of his fingers. She wasn't afraid of him, and she refused to not let him know that.
"You think I'm a failure...?"
"You're the most powerful thing on this mountain... While my only ability can't even be used properly because of my body's limitations... And yet... I managed to keep my side of the deal much better than you so far... So yeah... I do think you're a failure..."
Daren was shaking in fear watching the scene. He was terrified that the demon leader would lose his temper and blast Lilith into pieces. He wanted to grab her and run as fast as he could to take her away from him. But he knew that if he tried, his arms would just start burning from the contact with her armor.
"...!?" x 2
Lilith and Daren were surprised to see that the leader didn't explode in anger. He simply sighed a little as if thinking "What a pain..." and just stood at the edge of the balcony.
"Dryad!! Let's go!!"
Drya heard her being called and realized that her boss was waiting for her so he could jump out of the castle.
"The red bird is right... It's embarrassing if I keep letting my army get defeated like this... Besides... I'll be getting an even better army later, and will finally have a chance to relax a bit..."
He then leaped out of the balcony with Drya right behind him and the two landed on the snow.
"Let's try going all out one last time!"
Xadi was desperately leaping from rooftop to rooftop trying his best to lose the three demons that continued to chase after him.
Every now and then he would spin around and release a wave of electricity magic to push his enemies back but every time he attempted that, the earth dragon lady jumped in front of the attack and completely nullified it.
"Aaaaarghhh!!! You're so annoying!!!"
Sphinx and his two companions kept trying to land a few hits on the tempest magician with their claws but Xadi managed to easily dodge them thanks to his wind magic being boosted by his silver metal gauntlet.
"This is ridiculous... I need to get rid of these pests soon!"
The moment he tried to make another leap towards a new roof, more monsters appeared out of the ground and started to pounce on him.
Xadi moved by reflex and released a huge wave of electricity towards then and fried every single monster in one move. However, the moment he distracted himself, Sphinx, the dragon lady, and the winged centaur used this opportunity to strike him at the same time.
Xadi landed on the ground after being launched out of the rooftop and buried himself inside of the snow.
His pursuers charged at him to finish the job but Xadi used his wooden gantlet to release some ice magic and created a huge wall to block their attacks.
The demons saw the wall appearing out of nowhere and halted their movements.
"Nice... At least now I'll have some time to breathe..."
Sphinx observed the ice wall and landed his hands on the ground.
"...? What are you doing?"
The golden griffin boy glared at the magician with bloodlust in his eyes and opened his mouth.
A huge beastly sound was released so loud that started to completely shatter the ice wall into pieces. Xadi could only watch as his only defense began to crumble before his eyes.
"Oh, come on!!!"
With the wall destroyed, the beasts charged once again. In a desperate move, Xadi combined all of his spells to release his ultimate attack. He released a huge blast of thunder magic, wind magic, and ice magic, all at once.
The blast was very large and powerful but Sphinx and the centaur quickly moved out of the way thanks to their superior agility.
However, the dragon lady ended up receiving the full force of the blast. She could withstand the thunder magic but the ice and wind power completely blew her away.
Xadi watched as the most troublesome demon was finally dealt with.
"One down... Two to go..."
The white centaur flew towards the sky and began to drop his massive weight on top of Xadi like a meteor. Xadi aimed at the creature's direction and released a blast of wind magic to push him back, but while he was distracted with the white monster, Sphinx used this chance to slash the mage right on his stomach.
He quickly applied healing magic to his wounds, which thanks to the power of his massive wooden gauntlet and his power-boosting silver gauntlet, managed to fix the wound in no time.
But the memory of the pain was still engraved in Xadi's brain. He decided to stop playing the hunted and begin doing the hunting himself.
Xadi charged his whole body with a cloak of lightning and charged towards the demons. He tried to grab Sphinx but the centaur pushed him out of the way at the last second.
"Fine, you go first then!!"
Xadi grabbed the centaur by the throat and blasted him to death with his power. The demon fell lifeless on the ground leaving only Sphinx left to fight.
"Just you and me left boy... I don't even care if you're not the little girl or whoever... I just want to see you dead by this point!"
"... Little... Girl...?"
Something inside Sphinx started to react after hearing Xadi's words. He started to regain some memories of himself engaging in battle with Xadi in the past, running away from his attacks while carrying a red-haired girl on his back.
"... I... Know you...?"
Xadi started to become curious about the current situation. He didn't know how but he was sure this golden monster was somehow related to Evlin.
"Hey, kid... Does the name "Evlin" mean anything to you?"
Sphinx started to hold his head with both hands as if trying to remember something really important that he had forgotten.
He started to recall moments from his past. From when he was being captured by a group of hunters who wanted to cut his wings off. And about a girl that came to rescue him from these same hunters.
He also remembered about how he would combine his body with this same girl to fight many powerful opponents. A man with a huge sword called Boris. A group of people in trench coats carrying silver metal. A kid that could turn his arms into blades.
And lastly, he remembered how this girl would always play with him, cuddle him, sleep on his fur, hug him when she was feeling sad, and always risk her life to protect her close friends.
"Evlin!!! I remember!! I remember!! I-"
But while Sphinx was lost in his memories, Xadi approached him with his lighting-charged fist and smacked the boy into the ground.
"Good for you!"
Sphinx was laying on the snow, filled with immense pain due to his body being struck by a fist of electricity. He could barely move his arms and legs. His whole body was paralyzed.
Xadi then kicked Sphinx while he was shivering with pain and knocked him against a building.
"That's right... Keep saying her name... I'm sure it will help you..."
Xadi used his ice magic to freeze Sphinx on the building and raised himself with wind magic. He was about to release his tempest combination. Immobilize the enemy, get some distance to get out of the attack range, and blast the opponent with a massive thunderbolt from the sky.
"Let's see how big this blast can be when using both of these gauntlets to increase my power..."
Xadi joined his hands as if he was praying and raised both fists towards the sky. The clouds started to lose color and began to circulate around the area. Suddenly a massive blast of energy was released aimed at Sphinx's position.
A huge explosion was created and the entire building was blown to pieces. A huge pile of smoke was raised from the impact completely blindung any possible field of vision.
Xadi looked at the after effect of his attack like an artist enjoying his finished work while holding a big grin on his face.
The pile of smoke started to clear out and suddenly, Xadi saw a small figure on the location where his attack was aimed at.
Sphinx was still frozen inside a block of ice but something had protected him from the giant thunderbolt. A small girl with short messy black hair carrying some kind of weapon on her right hand. She was wearing a pair of wooden bracelets and a wooden necklace.
The girl looked at the frozen griffin with a disappointed look.
"So you only lasted this long huh...?"
Xadi couldn't believe his eyes. He knew who that person was. It was the girl that turned him into a frog and stole his staff after beating him into the ground, Evlin, the recreation magician.
"The little girl?? How did you escape from my spell???"
Evlin looked at Xadi with anger in her eyes and raised her weapon towards him. Xadi assumed a defensive stance while preparing to receive a blast from Evlin's crossbow. However, he soon realized that something was not right.
"What the hell is that...?"
Evlin wasn't carrying her crossbow, she was carrying some kind of black sword. Xadi also realized by taking another glance that she wasn't feeling anger in her eyes, she actually looked bored.
"Are you the tempest magician?"
Xadi had no idea of what was happening anymore. First, he found what he assumed was Evlin, but soon discovered that it was just some weird golden-winged boy who looked like Evlin from the time when the two of them fought.
Now he was looking at the actual Evlin and once again, she was acting as if she had no idea of who he was.
"What's going on here??"
Evlin suddenly dashed towards Xadi with tremendous speed and with one hand, grabbed his entire face and smashed him into the ground.
"I made a question... When someone makes a question, it's polite to answer!"
"Are. You.The tempest. Magician? Yes or no??"
Evlin then raised her black sword and stabbed Xadi in the heart.
"With this... My side of the bargain is dealt with..."
Drya was watching from a safe distance as the leader of demons was just finishing off the storm magician right before her eyes.
Drya herself could only stare at the power her boss could release thanks to the strength of the sword in his hands. But Ashley, who was inside her mind was focusing on something else.
Drya was so terrified of thinking about how she was going to steal that sword that she didn't even pay attention to Ashley who was crying inside her mind.
Ashley had since long ago decided to stop viewing Xadi as her brother, plus, he was an enemy that was trying to kill Evlin, he definitely was someone that needed to be taken down. But even in this situation the scene of him lying dead on the ground was still too much for her.
Despite how much he insulted her, betrayed her, and tried to harm her, he was still her last remaining family member. Yet another family member that she failed to save and had to watch die in front of her. First her parents, then her sister in law, and now finally, her brother, all perishing right before her eyes.
During his final moments, she didn't saw him as Xadi the terrible mage that tried to kill her, she saw him as her little brother who she used to play with when they were toddlers and that deviated from the right path because she made a mistake that prived him from spending his last days by the side of his wife.
She was desperately crying as hard as she could just wondering why did fate continue to force this reality on her.
"Stay quiet Ash... I need to think and you're distracting me..."
[But... But... My brother!! He killed my brother!!]
"Who cares!?? He didn't even like you!! We have bigger problems to deal with. I need to think of a way to get that bloody sword!!"
Ashley understood what Drya was saying. At the end of the day, Xadi was a monster, a horrible person that stopped being human the moment he saw his loved wife die, and he probably deserved to die.
But Ashley didn't care about logic at that moment. The demon leader just caused her worst nightmare to repeat once again, and right now, Ashley wanted to unleash her rage and frustration, she wanted revenge.
[Give me my body back...]
"Huh... Excuse me...?"
[Just for a few minutes... I can get you your stupid sword...]
"...?? Are you... Are you serious??"
[Please... I need to make him pay...]
"You're crazy... You think I'm going to let you go up against my boss??"
[I know you're too much of a coward to go on with your plan yourself... So just let me do it!]
Drya was unsure as to what to do. She needed to get her master's weapon but Ashley was right. She was too terrified to try and steal from him like that. She just saw him defeat Xadi with barely lifting a finger.
But with that said, right now Ashley was buried in suffering thanks to her brother's death and was giving Drya's body an immense boost of power. If they were to move, they had to move now. But she knew she couldn't do it. So if not her...
"I must be losing my mind..."
Drya released her control over Ashley's body and the strategist of Evlin's team was once again in charge of her own arms and legs.
Ashley glared at the demon leader and started to build her plan on how to take him down. Despite how much she wanted to kill him and how much pain she was in right now, she knew she was still no match for him. But someone else might be. She closed her eyes and prayed that her old connection was still working.
[Gustav... Gustav can you hear me??]
[Ashley!!?? Ashley is that you??]
[It's me... I need your help...]
[I need you to give me Marcus's location!]
[I'm going to take the demon leader towards him!]