The Lost Lord Ch. 26byTheTask©
Note: Apologies for the screw up on last chapter, it should be fixed before this uploads. If not, well... wtf? Either way, about this chapter, I seem to have a lot of impossible existences.
The Lost Lord Ch. 26 - A Deadly Climax
"This... This is not good. This is very bad." Bluntly said Asmodea to her fellow officers.
Nerissa posed a frantic question "Is it true? Did the tenth terrace's wall actually crumble?"
"Not literally. An explosion occurred which destroyed a small portion of the wall on the left side. I do not know how it happened, but we can take solace that it is most likely a one time thing. Even so, it is not like they need to do it again considering how the eleventh terrace's defenses are designed."
"Yes, it is most troublesome and impractical. Why are there no gates? It is as if the previous lord wished there to be an opening to allow invaders to come in easily." Aureal pondered.
Each of the first ten terrace walls consisted of a long, thick wall. Of course there were towers located every now and then for guards to live in. Between every set of towers, there was a gate and a gatehouse. Yet the strange design of the eleventh terrace walls made it so that it was devoid of any gates, instead there were openings for people to simply walk through.
"Yes, even I do not know the reasoning behind this. The capital city was created long before my birth. In fact, the city's age even rivaled the age of the previous lord. No one knows how many years it has been since its construction or how it was made in the first place. There are similar cases in other circles as well as other places in ours."
"Did you not think to ask?"
"I did once and he offered to create gates there, though he preferred there wasn't for some reason. I dropped the issue then."
"Defense will be a problem. We have no choice but to have a final bout between our forces. We will have to hope that Nergal will finally make his way here." Commented Caetorum as he lay down wistfully on a couch.
"Please sit still, you have had barely any time to heal your wounds from Hezazias."
"Fine, though at least let me join in strategizing."
Asmodea sighed and relented, "Very well, you might as well be useful. Though, I do not think there is much to strategize on."
"Yes... All I can see here is a straightforward battle between our both sides. We must simply hope we are strong enough to last."
"We are extremely depleted. Even though he defeated a large amount of both normal troops and abnormal officers, we are still lacking." Nerissa counseled.
"Sasilith, Hezazias, Renning, Xizaen, and Ornias. Such powerful foes are defeated, yet they still have Zazie and Arazra himself left. They are both extremely powerful, and Arazra without a doubt cannot be defeated without us ganging up on him. Zazie will prove an equally large problem."
"Leave her to ME!" Laughed Teras maniacally while sipping a cup of bitter tea. "I cannot stand for an amateur like her to be considered stronger than me when I am obviously her senior by centuries!"
"How petty. Well, if you insist, I have no qualms leaving her to you. If you lose too suddenly and early, we will have little to no chance of victory without a miracle."
"You worry too much, Caetorum."
Asmodea couldn't help but ponder about Emiel's words, 'I cannot be sure if Zazie is truly on our side or not. It would be better to play it safe and hope Teras can defeat her. I hope you are alright, Rainer...'
"Can I trust you on this?"
"...Of course... Rainer. I will leave it in the exact place you told me of." Zazie managed to hold back the redness on her cheeks as she spoke to her beloved through the [Empress].
"Good, I really need the help of that card. Are you sure it's not too much trouble? I mean you need your cards to fight and all."
"...It is not, besides, I cannot use the [Fool] currently anyways. You should be an exception however."
"What do you mean by you can't use the [Fool]?"
Zazie hesitated not a single second in informing her beloved her weakness in combat. "...I can only use each card once a day. For some reason, you are an exception to that rule. As of now, I can only use five cards: [High Priestess], [Justice], [Judgment], [Star], and [Devil]. And out of those five, only two are offensive in nature."
"Won't that be hard to fight then?"
"...Yes... And no. Those two cards are very powerful. The other three are potent defensive cards."
"Good stuff, I guess."
"...What do you plan on using the [Fool] for?" Wondered Zazie.
Just as she woke up from her "relaxing" rest, Zazie found Rainer trying to speak to her through the connection between the [Emperor] and [Empress]. He immediately requested for her to lend him another of her cards, which she saw no problem in doing. They arranged for her to leave it on the second layer of the famous rainbow garden on the ninth terrace.
"Ah, that's a secret. Now, may I make another request?"
Zazie wasn't perturbed by Rainer's secrecy, it actually made him slightly more attractive in her eyes. "...Of course."
"Please forget about the [World.]"
"...What?" Surprise hit Zazie's ears.
"I don't mean that literally. Please allow me to take back the [World] for you. I want you to stop this farce of being Arazra's ally."
"...In other words, switch allegiance to you? Publicly this time... Yes, I can do that. Just for you..." Zazie couldn't stop the cascade of emotions that wracked her mind in the end and her voice nearly cracked.
"Ah, thank you very much! Don't worry, I'll take back the [World] for you. I'll make sure the cards you gave me remain safe until I return them to you. I hope next time we meet, it's as friends... Well, I guess what we did would consider us more than that."
Zazie couldn't understand why Rainer didn't show embarrassment with those words. Normally her stern demeanor could never be altered. Yet that changed whenever she was speaking to Rainer. "...Th...Th...That is too much... But... Thank you, I look forward to our next meeting."
The connection between the [Emperor] and [Empress] ceased.
Zazie stared at her set of cards for several long minutes until she called for one of her personal subordinates. "...Please get everyone ready for battle. I have decided on our final course of action in this war, please relay this message to everyone in secret. Make secrecy your top priority and do not let a hint of these orders to reach Arazra's ears."
"...Arazra, you are beset on all sides by enemies. Reinforcements from the armies of Iris and Nergal are here, in a much larger force than wanted and expected. The defense decimated your troops by more than three fourths. None of your commanders are still able for battle. It is only you and I. Yet I will not help you. Surely you can see the futility behind this war now? Continuation will only mean your ruin..."
"TAKE 'EM DOOOOOOWN!" An unorthodox cry boomed through the scene as the battle commenced. Many other battle cries accompanied each other, turning the scene into a veritable festival of chaos and blood.
Sword clashed against shield. Mace clashed against skull. Spear clashed against flesh. Magic clashed against armor. Not a single second passed where dozens of lives perished, all for the sake of a single title and position. Many of the incubi, succubi, and demons questioned the purpose of this war, why they were risking their lives in a war of selfishness and denial. Yet they never wavered in their loyalty. If asked, they would immediately risk their life in any battle for their leader. That was the strength of demonic emotion.
Angels suppress their emotions via Virtue. Demons immerse themselves in their emotions via Sin.
There were three large openings in the eleventh terrace walls, with two small corridors like openings in between each one for military personnel. The smaller openings were easily blocked off and defending with arrows and magic projectiles. Virtually no one could even get halfway through the opening without several extremely powerful barriers, even then, the sheer amount of projectiles whittled away at their defense.
Logically speaking, the attacking army could only hope to penetrate the eleventh terrace walls through the larger three openings or by the sky. However, the sky was not an option as compared to the other terrace walls.
On the tall palace, there were hundreds of siege weaponry designed for anti-air. And unless Arazra wanted to suffer a large amount of casualties, he had no choice but to go through the three lower openings.
"This is too thick of a battle!"
"So? It just means more people to kill!"
Back and forth banter could be heard between the Sadist of Lust and the Maturity of Lust. They took authority of the right opening, directing troops and slaying every single attacking demon that got past the defensive line.
Even though Caetorum was injured, he managed to convince everyone that he had healed enough to at least be near the battle. If there was one thing he could not stand, failing in his duty as a vassal to The Lord of Lust. The thought had never crossed him that he may one day fail his duties. The previous lord gave him a second chance at life; he would not spurn that offer now.
Since he was wounded, Caetorum could not engage in melee combat too frivolously. If he came up against a strong opponent, he would be hard pressed to win without receiving an even deadlier wound. Even so, Caetorum didn't just know how to fence. He also knew how to fire a bow as well. He pulled a masterfully crafted recurve bow into his hands and knocked an arrow. He promptly released and the arrow found its way directly into a tall demon's windpipe.
Teras on the other hand simply wanted to flaunt her title and slaughter as much as possible until they were overwhelmed or Arazra's forces broke and disintegrated by a hammer and anvil strike from behind by reinforcements.
"Which opening do you think Arazra will show up from?" Caetorum asked calmly over the sounds of war.
"If he shows up here... I'll be more than happy TO give him a good thrashing!" Teras gleefully said while directing a whip of flame into the attacking forces.
"You do realize, that while you are an extremely powerful mage, that you will most likely not be able to stand up to him? He is a black demon. He is a Son of Lust. He managed to gather this massive army and invade to the eleventh terrace, which has never happened before. He surely has something up his sleeve that will not allow him to lose against a single demon."
"Of course, I am not an idiot, I am simply a sadist." Teras acknowledged without regard to her image. She pointed her cane sword into the air, releasing a large bolt of lightning into the air where some demons were trying to sneak over the walls. They fell to the ground and died instantly.
"Basically, you will try to kill him anyways without regard to your life?"
"Caaaaetoruuuuuum... I may not look it, but I AM A very loyal succubus. I serve The Lord of Lust. I will die for The Lord of Lust should he command (as long as if it's for a good reason). I will fight Arazra and attempt to kill him until my final breath, not that I plan to give my final breath today."
Caetorum stroked his forehead several times at Teras and rubbed his eye sockets with his knuckles. He shook his head several times and smacked the side of his head with his palm. He slapped both of his cheeks until a faint red could be seen.
"If you want, I can do that for you!" Teras said. "Anyways, what are you doing?"
Caetorum chuckled and said dryly, "Oh, nothing... I am legitimately astonished that you said something so responsible. I'm just so happy!"
"And I am legitimately astonished to see you making light of a situation for once. Either way, it seems we have company..." Teras smirked and reported to Caetorum as she turned her head towards a familiar demon.
Caetorum swiveled his head towards the direction Teras was facing. Since he couldn't see, he had to sense the presence Teras was talking about. Although Caetorum already had a while ago and that was the reason why he posed that one question to Teras. "Veritably so. It has been a long while, Noble Arazra."
Arazra, the leader of the invasion force and contender to the throne of the Lord of Lust.
A cold, though calm, presence filled the scene. And while both side's common soldiers continued to fight each other, it seemed as if silence purveyed the scene. If this was a movie, ominous music would most definitely had been played in celebration of the introduction of the bad guy to the good guys.
"Caetorum... Maturity of Lust. And Teras, Sadism of Lust. Yes, it had been quite a long time, eighteen years I would say? It's been such a lovely time during my stay here. I look forward to claiming this place as my new home. Hm, I wonder who'll become the new district leaders? I'll have to give someone I trust the tenth district leader position. How about it? Either of you two want to finally join my side, I'll make you tenth district leader-."
"Wretched bastard! Don't make light of what you've done here! You started a war that has ended many lives! You had Azadon and Azodan murdered! You will be stopped and this war will end!" Furiously declared Caetorum.
"Oh? I do suppose that the war would end if I died. However, how will that happen? Will you two test your luck and try to kill me? Don't even think for A SECOND YOU CAN KILL ME!" Arazra yelled, his voice booming over everything and even causing the battle to halt for several seconds.
"Test our luck? Hmm, I do feel pretty lucky today. I think I'll give it a shot and be sure to make good on my title."
"Ah yes, our Land of Lust's little sadist. I've seen you fight before. You're quite a powerful pure elementalist, aren't you? And that lovely little sword you hide in your umbrella, how original. Purple dressed and accessories, it looks like someone has yet to graduate from her child years." Arazra taunted, undaunted by Teras' words.
Teras licked her sword with a demonic purple tongue. "And you're just a selfish little brat who cried every night because his daddy didn't love him enough to give him power he shouldn't have. Oh yes, I love cutting up little brats like you."
"Teras, I'll back you up with my bow. You know you stand a much higher chance of landing a single blow with my help, I'm not letting you not accept it."
Arazra furrowed his brow and ground his teeth on Teras' words, but he remained calm. "Two against one? Yes, obviously that gives you a higher chance of victory. But that means shit when that increase only amounts from a one percent to two percent. Come at me with all you have, and it still won't be enough." Arazra stood proudly among the numerous soldiers fighting each other. A large circle had formed around him. Every lesser demon knew to stay away from a battle of greater demons.
Teras clapped her hands together with her sword in between. She mumbled several sentences which was an incantation for a spell she called "Magmatic Sword". This was a small class of spells reserved for creating swords out of the elements and other natural substances.
Beneath Arazra's feet, the ground rumbled and shifted. The cobble road cracked open as if an earthquake occurred. The crack was just large enough for Arazra to stand still and part his legs slightly. Yet he squinted his eyes and jumped backwards when a pillar of magma burst forth from the underground veins of molten metal and rock.
The magma took the shape a long sword and would have instantly incinerated anyone above or nearby by its heat. Arazra flicked his hands around and a barrier stopped the heat from cooking him to a crisp. Everyone nearby was not so lucky, resulting in several burnt corpses falling to the ground.
Several more "swords" appeared nearby. Teras chanted incantation after incantation, resulting in numerous elemental swords taking existence and attacking Arazra's position. An Igneous Sword came out from the cooling magma that appeared from the ground and slashed at Arazra twice, missing and melting the ground it slashed at. A new sword attacked Arazra soon after. A Cloud Sword struck the ground with a high velocity, a sword made of gas that condensed quickly after into water. It pierced the ground completely, forming a five-meter hole in the ground in the shape of a sword thrust into the ground. Then came a Sand Sword that continued to extend with every bit of sand added. Teras sent the sword spiraling after Arazra, who simply ducked and dashed forward.
Teras formed a cute frown on her face, angry at her failure to even force Arazra to break a sweat. "I'll just have to use even stronger spells..." Then Teras, while keeping Arazra busy with her swords, chanted four long incantations, incantations for [Dominion] spells.
"So we're going into that territory of magic now?" Arazra laughed as he saw the obvious strain Teras was under. "Yea, why don't we see who can control more dominions than the other... Let's see, you can do four? That is extremely impressive. I really wished that talent was fighting for me."
[Dominion] spells are literally at the top class of all magic. Each one allowed the user absolute control over the spell's affinity for as long as their energy persisted. Memorizing a single [Dominion] spell was quite a feat, and many tried to reach those heights. Many succeeded, though usually they could not keep the spell going for too long. Those who could cast two [Dominion] spells and keep them going were considered top class mages. Those that did three were considered prodigies. Those that did four, like Teras was doing... Well, not many existed. Beyond that was the realm of pagan gods, certain rare humans, Rulers of Sin, and Archangels (should they choose to wield anything other than light).
Teras raised one hand in the air, extending her four main fingers. From the pointer to the pinky, Teras had dominion over fire, cloud (a quick name for water vapor), lightning, and sand. She sent swirls of fire spiraling around a spear of sand towards Arazra while focusing some lightning into condensed cloud and sending that floating around in a curve.
Using four dominions at once put Teras under a strain, a strain she very rarely felt. Her magical stores were draining at a much quicker rate than usual. Still, out of every enemy she fought, none could stand before her combined attacks. At least, until now.
Arazra created a wall of magma in front of him, absorbing the fire and sand into its burning embrace. Then a second wall of, strangely enough, rubber formed and neutralized the lightning attack.
Teras stared solemnly as she saw the opponent before her, a wielder of five [Dominion] spells at once. "Oh my, is this the power of a Son of Lust?"
Arazra pulled back his head and laughed very loudly as he raised a hand, showing five fingers comprised of the entities he held dominion over. "YUP! Sadist bitch, you're nothing compared to me. I have dominion over magma and rubber as you have already seen. I also hold dominion over ice, bone, wind."
Though Teras normally never did this, she could not help but marvel and be impressed. "Five [Dominion] spells... I can't beat that." Teras admitted to herself quietly in the end.
Arazra must have heard, because he next said, "And since when did you ever think you could beat me? You're just a lowly pillar. I AM A RULER OF SIN! A Lord of Lust. You are reaching heights that you should never even think about breeching."
Just as Arazra was about to boast more, three arrows entered the scene. They each exploded into fire, a blinding flash, and smoke. Just because they were a powerful black demon, does not mean they can stand up to these time honored tricks without the right counter. Arazra instantly slashed through the smoke with an arc of wind while his eyes were closed, relying on his other senses. The winds hit nothing but smoke, clearing the scene back into a war scene.