Erik chuckled as he watched the hundreds of greater demons charge through their own army, maddened by his draconic voice. “Power doesn’t matter when you’ve lost your bloody minds.” He said, watching his outnumbered Slayer equipped Xilfir charge out to meet the Demon Lords.
They were barely half the greater demons’ numbers but they held their own, even Erik was surprised at the affinity for the draconic shown, by these dark elves. Noting to himself to mess around with draconic infusion more later, “Start assembling the magic circles, just as I’ve instructed!” He ordered at the nearby Xilfir, who rushed around with blood-red crystals, sacks of magically preserved organs and other things.
Drawing the circle around him as blood poured out of their glowing magic crystals, these were storage crystals filled to the brim with blood absorbed from several corpses and animals. Out of the sacks the dark elves took out different things, from livers, hearts, brains, full limbs and even some pottery, monster cores, bones and herbs.
“The rest of you, assist those fools up on their wall.” Erik told the several hundred other Xilfir that stood around at attention, watching the dozen tasked with constructing the magic circles.
The legion unsheathed their weapons and broke off into two groups, losing form and turning into waves of shadows before zooming away and around the fight that broke out between the Demon Lords and Dragon Knights.
Erik calmly watched, observing the battlefield while correcting any mistakes on his magic circle. “This is an extremely complex cast, make no mistakes!” he would shout at them. “These vermin of chaos and spreaders of miasma shall not be tolerated upon this world…” He hissed in annoyance, glancing around at the sheer destruction and death the demons had brought to the terrain.
“These filth…They are everything I stand against!”
“Go my Dragon Knights, remove these hell-shat excrements from my sight!” Erik exclaimed and Makaela did as told.
Pouring mana into her emerald armour and long jade whip, she felt a response within. The equipment felt alive within her grasp, mana flowing out of her and into it, before a different energy flowed back into her body.
Makaela never felt more alive, the sheer strength that filled her body sending her senses way past exhilaration. “Drakon Xilfir, charge!” She ordered her fellow Dragon Knights in elven, and alongside them she burst forwards in an explosion of movement.
The wind struggled to part out of her way as she almost flew forwards with each step, the ground quaking and the air rebounding with every time she leapt.
Makaela laughed out in excitement as she spun mid-leap, dragging her elongating whip behind her, as fiery emerald flames blazed alive across its length. She struck out at the nearest Demon Lord, a quick serpentine creature with black and gold scales.
Her whip, as if having a will of its own, lashed out at the creature several times. Slashing scales off and splashing out violet blood with each strike before suddenly entangling itself around the demon’s neck.
Makaela pulled back while the demon screeched in agony once the flames reached it, sending its entire body ablaze while being pulled off the ground. She whipped it about before crashing it into another, lighting that one aflame too.
Sensing danger off her left, she turned and lashed out with her whip. “Emerald Buckler!” Makaela quickly chanted, the words seemingly appearing in her mind as the flames blasted out from her whip and formed a small barrier of emerald before her.
Just then, a breath of pitch black flames collided with her green ablaze wall. The black fire flowed aside and around her barrier, missing her completely.
Makaela retrieved her whip as the two flames dissipated, revealing a Demon Lord pouncing towards her. “Surge Step” She quickly chanted, her body seemingly teleporting out of the way as the three-headed canine slashed its claws where she once stood.
The demon growled hungrily, turning towards her, opening its middle maw wide.
Makaela didn’t defend, instead she surged forwards. Leaning back while flying low, she passed right under the demon as it breathed out a ray of black flames. Tumbling over she turned around, Makaela landed into a kneel behind the creature, her whip elongated ahead of her. Having entangled itself around the demon’s middle neck after being dragged with her charge.
“Emerald Burst.” She chanted, grasping the whip’s handle with both hands as the emerald flames blazed alive once more. Quickly flowing down the whip’s length as the demon struggled and spun about to face her, its crimson eyes widening as the flames reached its body.
The emerald flames made a complete circle around its neck, before suddenly the demon exploded upwards in a pillar of bright green, spiralling fire.
Makaela retrieved her whip, the weapon shortening to its original two-meter length. She glanced about herself, the two demons she burned earlier plus another standing to surround her.
“You’re in our way, corrupted Alf. Our master wishes these lands burned! Die you measly being!” One demon lord exclaimed, a floating black torso with dozens of long tentacles for arms.
“Who cares about your master?” Makaela responded with a cold snort, “Before my master, for my master! I shall eradicate your very existence~” she giggled in excitement, lashing out her whip at the speaker.
Thea gazed off in amazement at the clash of monsters behind the demonic army, as did many others. Watching, baffled by the powers being shown. Raw strength and speed that compared to the greater demon’s bodies, something even the Slayers couldn’t produce out of their Draconic equipment.
The Dragon Knights were outnumbered far more than two to one, yet they did more than just hold their own. They slew Demon Lords left and right, monsters that alone would decimate hundreds of common soldiers. Greater demons that took several Slayers to slay a single one, with causalities to boot.
But their amazement was cut short, as more fiends and hellhounds reached the battlements, furies swooping back into the fight with a frenzy.
“Reform!” Thea shouted, “It’s far from over! Retake your formations! Stop gawking and pick up your weapons!” she ordered everyone nearby, mercenary or otherwise they listened. Her voice imbued with power, reaching further than before and seemingly empowering all those that heard it.
She herself felt stronger, the rush of energy that she felt during her fight with Jekozom had returned. A flame burning within her, its heat rushing through her veins like surging lightning. She felt changed, Thea felt reborn as she turned to face a loose fiend.
Taking aim with her gunblade she chanted, “Draconic Burst!” the words appearing in her mind as blue electricity converged at the tip of her cannon. The blue energy quickly formed into a ball, as the fiend sensing the powerful magic turned to face its adversary.
Only to be engulfed in a sudden blaze of white hot flames, it got instantly incinerated along with dozens of furies that flew about it. The very battlements before her flames burning away into ash, her own weapon trembling under the power flowing through it.
The weapon’s core couldn’t take it, shattering midway through the spell, its pieces falling off the weapon and to the floor.
“Damn,” Thea cursed, throwing the now useless weapon aside. “What you all staring at!?” She shouted at the mages behind her, giving them a gaze fearsome enough to snap them out of their dazes. “Get back to work! Deal with the damn winged pests!” She told them before turning to the forming shields and gunlances ahead of her, “Shields hold those fiends off! Spears turn back and deal with the hellhounds up here!” she continued shouting orders.
An aura of sizzling blue electricity was forming around her body as she ushered warriors about, her every word imbued with that same power, connecting her aura with each mercenary, soldier, mage and adventurer within earshot. Auras formed around their own bodies too, suddenly flowing a strange warmth within them, not as empowering as Thea felt it but enough to exhilarate any fighter back into action.
Thea narrowed her eyes briefly at the auras, chalking it up to another question to add to her very long list, she really needed to ask Erik. Then hearing an ear-piercing bellow, her face paled as she turn to look off the wall.
The Daemons had reached them.
Massive goliaths of molten earth, tall enough to look over the wall. There were dozens of them, carelessly stepping over any thrall that hadn’t moved out of their way. The thralls just now forming at the wall’s edge, the pit fiends whipping hellhounds and fiends from continuing to climb the walls.
Each Daemon planted their feet steadily into the ground, and arching back while clenching both fists over their heads. Their raised arms lit ablaze, violet flames shining brightly with demonic energy as it travelled up to their fists where it converged into a miniature violet sun.
Many above the wall who stood before the towering Daemons, Nerick included, rushed to the wall’s edge and jumped off. While many others lost all will, falling to their knees as they abandoned themselves to this cruel fate.
Each Deamon roared out in anger, ballistae, cannons and catapults assaulting them, mages and archers focusing entirely on them. Some mad adventurers even started to climb their molten bodies, their own imbued with a magical aura to resist the heat as they stabbed and hacked away at the molten rock-like make of these demons.
But none of that stopped the goliaths of flame, roaring out once more before starting crash their imbued fists down upon the wall.
Each miniature star of condensed demonic energy, barely stopped from landing.
Long chains of blue lightning suddenly entangled themselves around the Daemon’s necks and shoulders, pulling them back and away from the wall. Some even pulled with so much force that they were dropped upon the army of thralls behind them, their glowing fists exploding in a torrent of violet flames and miasma upon contact with any surface.
Thea finally took a long breath in, her heart almost having stopped after seeing the massive goliath standing before her with arms raised above her head. She glanced to either side of herself, rushing to her left before pushing through the formations of army men.
Thea looked off the wall’s edge and down at the hordes of thralls below, there she saw them.
Some massacring thralls, hellhounds and pit-fiends while others held the chains of lighting. They were Dark Elves wearing their signature snow white armour, several hundreds of them per Deamon. Outnumbered, surrounded and having to defend their comrades. The Dark Elves still showed more resolve than even her, smiling in maddened abandon as they bathed themselves in demon blood and entrails.
But they couldn’t last, the entire army of demons now turning on them.
Thea immediately took action, “The Dark Elves fight for our city! Are we just going to stand here and watch them die in vain!?” She shouted at all that would hear, her voice resounding throughout the wall. “Do you call yourselves Druvians!?” She asked, gaining herself an echoing roar in response. “Then follow me to the pits of hell!”
Thea leaped off the wall, her aura suddenly surging with sparking energy, travelling back and imbuing all that heard her bellow.
“Draconic Quake!” Thea chanted, putting her two hands together over her head as she descended the surely deadly fall. Yet instead she touched ground without any sort of damage to her legs or otherwise, kneeling lower before slamming her fists down into the ground while she lay surrounded by demons.
The ground quaked beneath her, as white molten energy shattered through it and spread across the wall’s border. A looming calm followed, as she rose to her feet and stepped back. The ground that lay rumbling before her and across the entire wall, suddenly rose then exploded upwards, turning into white pillars of flame that incinerated all in their path.
She watched, caring not for how or where this power came from, too exhilarated by the energy flowing within her to question it. Too excited by the gazes of fear the demons sent her way after the pillars of flame dissipated, several rows of charred demonic bodies lying between her and them.
Seeing this, all those above the wall felt strangely encouraged. Crying out their own bellows for action, as hundreds of thousands of soldiers, mercenaries and adventurers leapt off the wall. Their bodies surging with blue lightning, the same aura that covered Thea’s body.
Each of them landed without a scratch, broken bone or sore foot. The aura that permeated the air around them seemingly taking the brunt of the fall as it dissipated on landing.
“Show these perversions of creation, who owns these lands! No! This entire world!” Thea cried out once again, and once again each who heard her bellow felt the energy refill them once more. Auras of blue mist with lightning surging through, covering the Druvian armada in its entirety as it charged headlong into the faltering demons.
The clash of metal meeting claw, armour clattering as bodies bashed with one another. The screaming and shouting met with snarling and hissing.
The melody reached its climax point, as the battle truly began.
The tides of war started turning as the demons became surrounded, their numbers useless when fighting on every front, faced with beings imbued with power beyond their own. Magic countering the fiends’ bull-like charges, expert rangers shooting down any leaping hellhound or pit fiend, furies being massacred by the hundreds by lone casters.
All the while siege weaponry fired away relentlessly into the demon’s condensing numbers, cannons and ballistae focusing on keeping the Daemons down while dwarven made catapults fired with just as great accuracy at this short range, causing utter havoc.
The Xilfir at the back felt their surroundings lighten as the horde of thralls became confused from fighting on two fronts, erratic even as catapults incinerated dozens of them with a single lob, the large vials of crystal flying almost straight up before raining down upon the demons.
The dwarven engineering incomparable to human machinery, a truly fearsome thing.
And Thea was in the very thick of it, unarmed, she used her knowledge of martial arts instead. Magic flaring within her fists and legs as she literally tore through hellhound carapace and fiend hides, sending out wide arcs of white flames with each punch and kick that would light many more thralls aflame.
Hellhounds would claw at her, tearing her armour yet somehow not even scratching her skin as veins of blue lightning visibly surged through her. Fiends would bash down their entire strength upon her smaller form, yet she’d meet them with even more physical prowess, that she as a human shouldn’t even be capable of.
She fought in a frenzy, the demonic blood that showered her only clinging to her hair as the rest evaporated off her flaring skin. Her armour torn and broken all over, her clothing ripped from the fighting, yet not a bruise was on her body.
Thea felt connected with each fighter, archer and mage, she sensed their resolve, their excitement and anger. But above all she felt the Xilfir’s flaring pride and zeal, fearlessly they fought, almost demon-like from their animalistic eyes yet their movements were smooth and elegant.
Hope was no longer a word worthy to explain how she felt. No Thea wasn’t hopeful of victory anymore.
Thea knew they were winning, filling her with pride and joy as she cried out in challenge. “For Druvia!”
A resounding response coming back, the Druvians repeating her words and turning them into a battle cry.
They were winning…
That is, until the sky ripped open.
Erik’s smile faltered as he witnessed the sky tear open, a crimson rift pulling reality apart and connecting it to elsewhere. “So you finally show yourself.” He grumbled, “Vile devil!” Erik exclaimed with hatred filling his tone.
Through the rift a storm of miasma poured out, a black fog sparking with violet energy. With it the being descended, three times larger than even a daemon it stood proud while staring down at Erik.
Fiery violet flames and black molten rock making up its skin, the creature was humanoid with massive dark wings of thick black leather wrapped around it. Its head, dozens of crimson horns growing out the top like a hellish crown. Its eyes a void of pitch black darkness. The devil’s features where sharp, its body lanky but muscled.
“You, drakeling. You dare interfere? Your race is gone, your people fell to their own foolishness. Yet you still dare stand in our way!?” Azruxan bellowed, its voice enough to make the ground shudder beneath its massive feet.
“Hell claims this world; its people are ours to toy with as we please! And you! You’re nothing more than a reborn child, forcefully shoved into a hueman body with no true power.” Azruxan chuckled wickedly, “This is what the Gods send to defy us? You make a mockery of your fallen brethren!”
Lightning surged out of Erik’s body as his eyes blazed gold, “You talk too much. Xilfir, get out of my way.” He told his dark elves who scattered into bursts of shadow. Erik raised his hands forward, the dozens thick magic circle around him, completed. “It is true, I am merely a drake forced into a human body. It is also true, I cannot compare to my elder’s strength and wisdom.”
The blood that made up each circle lit ablaze, white flames lightning up all around Erik, following the formation. Each item that was set on the circle was incinerated, the flames briefly bursting out with different colours for each sacrifice.
“But you shall not look down upon me.” Erik exclaimed, clenching his fists hard, his morphed claws for fingers digging into his flesh and leaking down blood onto the white flames. “For I am the true dark lord of these lands! You who make a mockery of strength through the use of numbers! It is I who brought this world to its knees! It was I who made each race tremble in fear at the mention of my name!”
Erik’s voice suddenly exploded with power, matching even the devil’s in intensity. “You are merely a sad replacement.” He mocked, “It took seven heroes, seven champions of Findri to defeat me. Yet you retreated because of two unbound mortals? Do not make me laugh!”
Erik’s entire body shone a bright white light, blinding anyone from looking at him directly. Even Azruxan was forced to glance away, as suddenly the light began to grow.
“Spirits of nature accept my sacrifice, for I promise this draconic soul of mine in return for my body!” Erik chanted, “Reap my very being, but allow me back my power just for tonight! God School; Higher Resurgence!”
The bright ball of light expanded several millions of times, as it took form while dimming out, it even grew larger than the monstrous Devil. Standing on four legs, bright white scales and a long thick tail. Wingless, yet the drake’s form was unmistakable.
“You think me weak? Then what are you? Know my name, foolish hell king. I am Erikathyr, the guardian of this world, and its sole destroyer. I shall show you, the strength that made this world my bitch.” He bellowed while stomping his front feet down, his sheer weight sending a violent earthquake throughout the city and its surroundings.
Erikathyr lunged at the devil, opening its maw full of massive golden fangs. Azruxan unwrapped his wings, revealing four long arms, a crooked blade within each clawed hand. Having to use each blade the devil clashed with the drake’s maw, parrying the longer fangs with his swords and keeping the larger Erikathyr from taking a big bite out of him.
But the drake was physically stronger, opening its jaws wider, unhindered by the devil’s struggle. Erik bit down upon Azruxan’s left wing, pulling him back and over before suddenly letting go. He threw the devil over the forest, the large being crashing back down off in the distance.
Erikathyr turned around with a swiftness that should have eluded his size, he charged after the devil as Azruxan stood back up. His left wing now laying torn and limp by his side, he met the drake’s hungry eyes with his own enraged expression.
The devil too charged forward, “Devil Script; Hell’s Breath!” he chanted, suddenly opening his jaws unrealistically wide as a beam of condensed violet flames shot out towards the incoming drake.
The beam exploded with enough force to rip apart any tree off the ground, send all stones and boulders flying in all directions within hundreds of meters outside its blast range. The drake who took the blast head on though, charged right through it as white energy covered its body like a flexible barrier.
Again, the two beings clashed, ripples and sparks of energy lashing out at their surroundings with each collision. Over and over they lunged, slashed and breathed out at each other. Azruxan’s blades clashing with Erikathyr’s claws, the devil’s hellish beam of miasma met with the drake’s breath of fiery white lightning.
The two attacks exploded on collision, sending each combatant tumbling back along the ground from the blast that ensued. Both chanting as they moved to rise back to their feet.
“Rip and tear, break and shatter. Bend and reform reality to my command! Devil Script; Chaos Chapter; Ragnarok!” Azruxan chanted as he dropped his blades and raised all four arms forwards, violet energy formed at the tips of his claws, converging at the centre of all four arms and taking the shape of a sizzling, constantly deforming sphere of black.
“The roar that defies thunder, the breath that mocks lightning. Fear my element, be blinded by my light and incinerated by my power! Draconic School; Erikathyr!” The drake opened his jaws wide while digging his feet into the ground, blue lightning sparked along his fangs as a surge began from the tip of his tail. The energy flowed up his body in a wave.
Azruxan crushed the sphere of black between all four hands as it suddenly exploded outwards into a large beam of dark purple flames. Laughing maniacally as he outpaced the drake in chanting.
The energy reached Erikathyr’s maw, flowing through his fangs then converging ahead of his mouth. A beam of blue light surged out of the drake’s mouth, piercing through the purple flames and dispersing the devil’s attack. Further, the light went even further until it seared right into Azruxan’s chest.
The Devil screamed out in agony as the beam of light burned through its molten carapace and then flesh, not strong enough to burn all the way through by the time Erikathyr ended the beam. Yet enough to leave a massive scorched crater in the Devil’s chest.
Azruxan fell to his knees, clutching his chest in pain while wrapping his one good wing around his form. “T-This doesn’t end here!” The devil exclaimed in a stutter, as a rift tore open to its left.
“Oh you shall.” Erikathyr exclaimed as he rushed after the devil, Azruxan pulled himself into the rift with a fearful grimace as the drake leaped inside after him. The rift closing behind them both.
They both began to fall, searing flames forming tendrils all around them while the two fell.
Azruxan opened his one wing to soften the fall but then Erikathyr dive bombed directly into him, grabbing the devil with both claws as he bit down onto his good wing. The drake looked the devil straight in the eye before tearing the wing off, spitting the disgusting flesh out before they suddenly splashed down into a pool of violet lava.
Azruxan chuckled, “You’re mad! Your body cannot withstand molten hellfire but mine wo-”
Cut off mid-sentence as Erikathyr’s maw closed around his head, his fangs crunching down on the devil’s horns and face as they floated in molten miasma. “I care not for my life, for if I slay you then I am redeemed!” The drake exclaimed with new resolve, biting down harder even as his body melted in the lava, his scales peeling off from the corruption before it touched his flesh.
Erikathyr felt immense pain flooding throughout his entire body, but he directed it all towards his jaws, strengthening his grip on the screaming and struggling devil’s head. He bit down, harder and harder until the horns shattered beneath the pressure, until his fangs sunk through the skull and cracked it open.
Azruxan’s head exploded inside the drake’s mouth, turning to mush as he ripped it all off the devil’s neck.
Now he lay in the lava, agonized and out of breath.
(“Do you see? Mother? Is this…Is this enough?”) Erikathyr asked in his mind, having no strength remaining to spit out the vile flesh that lay within his jaws let alone speak as he sunk deeper into the molten miasma.
(“Have I redeemed my name?”) He asked once more, the God tier spell he cast starting to lose its effect and beginning to reap what was promised. Before the miasma or the heat killed the drake, his soul was ripped out of his body and absorbed into the afterlife.
The cost of casting such magic.
Once again, Erikathyr lay within death’s hall. Before Grim he stood tall and proud, expecting, hoping.
But Grim sighed in annoyance, “Do you just like to make more work for me? Is this going to be a thing from now on?” the death god asked with an unhinged, bony jaw and wide hollow eyes.
The drake tilted its head in confusion, “But…I killed the Devil? Did I not?”
Grim breathed out a long, drawn out sigh as it burrowed its head into its bony hands. “Yes, that was the only good thing you did. Self-sacrifice would’ve redeemed you but…” Grim looked back up at Erikathyr, “What was your reason for going that far? To save Druvian lives was it?…”
“To redeem my name as a white drake! To gain my wings! To expunge that vile creature from existence!” Erikathyr bellowed in response, annoyed by the God’s tone.
Again, Grim gave a long sigh. “Yet you haven’t learned a single damn thing, which was the entire point of this punishment…Erikathyr, you were supposed to learn from humans, not meddle with history!” Grim exclaimed in bafflement.
“You stopped a revolution that would’ve changed Druvia forever! Fjorn had connections with both Sinbeni and Half-beasts! Both armies were on their way to aid but your meddling ended in his death and therefore they fell back! You even massacred the entirety of the Slayers Order! During the battle, the Slayers could’ve fought the Demon Lords and barely defeated them! During this battle, the Dark Elves could’ve made a pact with the new King Fjorn Selene and joined the fighting on their behalf!” Grim went on and on, “Removing their titles as slaves and freeing their people! Creating a bond between them and the Druvians” the God seemingly agitated by everything Erik changed.
Until it finally moved back to holding its face, rubbing its forehead while groaning in frustration. “You just had to go and f*** it all up…”
Erikathyr had no words, he just stared up at Grim in utter confusion.