Victory was not easily determined. As Valac said, Paimon was a powerful demon. As soon as he saw Demian, he did not hide his ambition to defeat him.
A couple of pillars collapsed with a cracking noise, and the theater building began to give in to the side. The people who evacuated away from the building did not know what to do and could only get very anxious. The sounds of an earthquake and thunder were happening at the same time. The smoke soared so much that it was so hard to see ahead.
Lara gave in to Valac’s irritation and moved far away from the theater. She bit her lips gently as she watched the theater that collapsed like a sandcastle get swept away by the waves.
“The fire will spread to the next building.”
Ximena approached Lara and said anxiously. As the building collapsed, flames sparked around the streets, including the square in front of the theater.
It had been a long time since midnight passed, and it was still too early for the sun to rise. By the time the watchmen soldiers arrived, the fire would have already spread to nearby buildings. It would be irreversible. Lara eventually decided to respond to the heat that tickled her palm from before.
When Lara opened her palm and lifted it, the excited giant of fire popped out.
A sound fiercer than usual was let out. Unlike usual, when it burned crimson red like a brazier or fireplace, the body of the giant was close to a dark red.
The giant of fire looked only at Lara’s eyes, regardless of Eunice and Ximena, who were mesmerized by it, and Valac, who was stepping back quickly. Then, it pointed to the collapsed building with one hand. It was a gesture of asking for permission.
“Go and eat it. Don’t leave even a single spark.”
The hellfire, the giant of fire that had just begun to grow up, flew up to where Lara pointed.
“So, you’re not a human.”
Paimon burst into laughter. His white and beautiful porcelain-like face was full of wounds, his red hair was stained with ash and dust, and the cloth that was narrowly covering his torso had been totally torn off, leaving only his lower body part barely covered.
“I thought you were a human… but I was mistaken.”
Paimon smiled, distorting his eyes. It was unclear whether he was crying, smiling, or being angry.
Demian thought it to be Paimon’s real face. His facial expressions and emotions went wrong like a maniac.
“Tell me. Who gave birth to you? Was it subordinate to hell or are you a filthy half-breed? I have never heard of a non-human inhabiting a human body.”
Demian did not answer Paimon’s question. He shut his mouth without any expressions on his face and only focused on attack and defense.
Paimon was strong without even using his magic and attributed power. Demons’ martial arts were very different from that of humans, making them difficult to deal with.
No matter how much he pretended to be human now, Paimon’s body was a demon. Everything, including his skeleton, muscle strength, dynamic visual acuity, and reflective nerves was inevitably different from a human’s.
“Why aren’t you answering me? I guess I should only leave your heart and mouth behind”
Paimon lifted the wreckage of the tattered building with one hand and held it like a spear. Then, he threw it at where Demian was moving.
Demian leaned back to avoid Paimon’s attack and struck back the flying debris. He squinted his eyes and looked around him. The fire that started on one side of the audience’s seat had quickly engulfed the whole theater. The flames burned brightly in front of the stage where they fought.
Which will be faster—the collapse of this theater or the fire filling the interior?
Like Paimon, Demian was not in a very good condition. His velvet suit was torn in a mess and his neat hair was burnt and messy. To make matters worse, red blood was oozing from a long cut.
As if he was sure of his victory, Paimon smiled and asked.
“Are you looking for a way to run away?”
Hot fire soared above their heads. If they did not run out of the theater quickly, they could be hit by the remains of the building. But neither of them worried about that. Demian opened his mouth and said.
“I heard a demon becomes stronger by eating another demon.”
His voice was cynical.
“If I am indeed a demon, I’ll have to eat you up and get stronger.”
“I thought you were a pretty great demon, but after fighting with you, you’re not that all that much.”
Demian’s lips soared sky-high. Standing with his back against the chaotic flames burning red in the dark hall, his sensual face was even provocative in the eyes of the demon Paimon. Demian’s blood-drenched lips parted open, revealing his teeth slightly.
“Demons aren’t really envious of the Gods, yet you’re just jealous of humans.”
“Stop that nonsense.”
“Though something like that is hard to admit, but if it wasn’t for that, is there any reason for you to come all the way here and do this shit?”
That was an obvious act of mockery. Demian treated the demons in Hell, including Paimon, as petty beasts who were jealous of weak humans and kept trying to steal their lives.
Paimon was angry and growled back.
“For a saintess’ mere plaything, you’re good at talking. But how can your object of obedience be a saintess? Even a dog would laugh at that.”
“What’s wrong with being a plaything?”
“Why don’t you be a servant of this great demon instead?”
“Bullshit. Don’t you dare compare Lara to a low-down beast like you.”
“One more word…”
“My body, mind, and soul belong to Lara. if there’s an afterlife, all of my life after death is hers. So, no matter how envious you are, don’t covet me. You don’t even deserve to be her plaything.”
Demian grinned and shook his fist. Behind him, the stage ceiling collapsed with a rumble. Black ashes and dust rose up, making it difficult to see even an inch ahead. Still, the two could clearly feel each other’s existence. They could feel where their opponent was, what he was doing, and where he was moving.
Paimon had to win there. What had already happened could not be undone. He knew that the human mask he had been working hard to protect had been broken. So, he had to chew and swallow the heart of that being that was neither a human nor a demon to break even.
Demian saw through the heart of such a being.
They moved at the same time.
After Demian and Paimon fought a fierce battle, the giant of fire Lara sent ate up all the fires in the theater without leaving any embers.
The giant of fire came out of the theater that had turned into ruins with a satisfactory face. It went around Lara once and disappeared.
Demian was nowhere to be seen, so was Paimon. The watchmen who later rushed in had controlled the surroundings and began investigating. However, they could not find any traces of Demian and Paimon. The chief of the watchmen recognized Lara as she was about to climb the carriage and approached her to ask questions.
“Saintess, can you tell us…what in the world happened in the theater?”
“You’d better ask that to the Eastern Union delegation.”
“It was a party hosted by them. I’m just visiting because I heard there’s a recital… I’m also curious about what happened.”
“Is that true?”
The chief’s face hardened. Depending on how Lara’s sentence was interpreted, it could have meant that the Eastern Union delegation tried to harm the saintess.
“Oh, come to think of it…”
Before getting on the carriage and closing the door, Lara said.
“The slave with the red hair attacked my escort knight. When I came to my senses, Prince Nicholas had already fled and disappeared.
The chief clenched his fist and bit his lips. He had high self-esteem as a knight of the Tarragon Empire and could not dare to allow the Eastern Union to put the saintess who appeared in the Empire to be in danger.
“I will report this to His Imperial Majesty as soon as possible.”
“Thank you for your hard work.”
After politely bowing her head, Lara closed the carriage door and leaned against the chair. The carriage began to move slowly. The sound of the coachman whipping in the horses could be heard.
Lara was not worried about Demian, she knew that he would come back on his own. No matter how powerful Paimon was, he would not be able to knock Demian down. While she was massaging her tense shoulder with one hand, Valac spoke to her.
“You are really…incredible.”
“In what sense?”
“I can’t believe you even manage to put the blame on the Prince of Lafort.”
“Putting the blame on him? Let’s get things straight, Paimon being a slave to Prince Nicholas is a truthful fact. I just pointed that fact out.”
“That’s the same thing.”
Valac shivered as he looked at Lara with a frightened face.
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