The Barbarians were not stationed in the main unit. They had different jobs to do. With Lampion and Domino at the forefront, more than 2,000 Barbarians were divided into two groups. They penetrated into the mountains.
They moved strictly along the path that hunters used to use. They threw off their heavy armors and put on the clothes they had worn when they were hunters in Gorgon. They hid their scent by wearing demonic beast hide and smearing black soil on their faces.
A few days ago, Lara visited them deep in the night and said.
“Block the way so that demon worshippers cannot escape from the mountain ranges.”
“Gorgon is an endless mountain range. How do we stop them?”
“Set the mountain on fire.”
A small fire would not do. It had to be a very big fire to keep them from moving. When the Barbarians asked how they could set a big fire in the snowy winter mountains, Lara immediately gave them the giant of fire and left.
“I knew it. How could they call her the demon lord? There’s no way the saintess would do that. So she’s been fooling us all this time, hasn’t she? Haa, just wait until this war is over. I have to question everything.”
The Barbarians were a group separate from the Imperial Army, so Lara could confess to them that she was just pretending to be the demon lord on purpose. However, the Barbarians did not hide their disappointment with Lara. They kept on complaining because they felt it was unfair to be fooled.
The giant of fire had grown up a lot after being fed by Lara in the mountain range. It looked at the Barbarians and blew up sparks. Valentine was the one who brought the giant. Surprised at the giant’s sparks, he tried to soothe it.
“Please don’t burn me, okay?”
Valentine decided to set the mountain on fire with the Barbarians. Even though climbing the mountain was already too much for him, he even had to carry the giant of fire on his back and ended up climbing on all fours. Whenever Valentine slipped, the giant of fire would grab and shake his long hair as if they were reigns.
“Please. That’s the only part of me that Konny adores…”
Despite making a fuss about it, the giant of fire did not listen to Valentine’s pleading. Whenever he fell behind in the group, the giant of fire would freak Valentine out by burning his hair little by little.
“Oi, young wizard. Are you and Konny in that kind of relationship?”
Lampion had been acting as Valentine’s guard by walking next to him. Following his question, Oscar, who was walking side by side with Lampion, looked at Valentine with a pitiful face.
Valentine’s face flushed red.
“Konny is… cute. Well, yeah, cute… She’s small and cute, but, Konny and young wizard…”
Now even Domino joined and teased Valentine.
“That type of woman is the scariest in the world. She always says the right thing whenever she speaks so you can’t resist her at all. You’ll even wonder if you’re the shithead, if you’re the one in the wrong. Besides, she’s so small that, if you fight her, you’ll be the bad guy in the end.”
When Domino said so, the Barbarians lowered their voices and laughed. Most of them had left their wives in Memoria City.
Valentine said, flexing his shaky legs
“W, we are not like that. And how many times do I have to say that I’m an alchemist, not a young wizard…”
Valentine shouted in a fit of rage. He lost his balance and slipped on the slope. Fortunately, Lampion grabbed Valentine by the scruff of the neck with one hand. He lifted him up and put him down in front of him.
“T, thank you.”
“This won’t do. Just get on my back.”
“We’re pressed for time. I won’t tell Konny, so get on my back.”
Valentine was forced to move by clinging to Lampion’s back. He murmured helplessly
“Why am I born so weak?”
The giant of fire yawned with its round mouth open in Valentine’s arms.
“Here it is!”
The Barbarians that were in the lead shouted low, pointing to a valley. It was a valley frequently used by hunters because of its gentle slope and few rocks.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been here.”
“Hurry up. We don’t have time.”
The Barbarians, Valentine, and the giant of fire were busy. The Barbarians wandered around, and after finding a place where the fire could catch on well, Valentine poured large jewels into it.
The jewels’ shapes were rough since they were made in a hurry. Still, all the jewels Valentine threw away were painted with complicated patterns. It was only for single-use so there was no need to insist on diamonds. Valentine had been gathering a lot of cheap and easy-to-get jewelry, painting all night for the past few days.
A few days ago, Lara asked him.
“You can transmit sound and you can also send people away. Then, Valentine… don’t you think you can also move fire?”
I can do it.
If it was only to move fire, he could do it. Besides, the distance was not even that far. The fire caused by the giant of fire did not need firewood or fuel. It would not even die until the giant fell asleep.
“All right. Let’s go!”
After finishing his work, Valentine pointed to the next destination and jumped on Lampion’s back.
At the same time, a subtle heat flew from somewhere in the wind and tickled Lara’s ear. She wondered if it was the giant of fire. She looked up for a moment and looked into the valley inside the Gorgon Mountains.
Where would it be by now?
It would be impossible to set fire to just one or two places to stop this many Hell Corps from retreating. Although Lara asked them to prevent the Hell Corps or demon worshippers from running away, she did not specifically instruct them to do what and where. That was something that the Barbarians would know better than anyone else. Isadora and Valentine would have helped them on their own, too.
“Go and show some magic so the demon troops don’t doubt me.”
“You mean, while not harming the humans’ side, right?”
Vassago shrugged and smiled. He had betrayed his own kind and was fighting as a spy for the humans, yet he did not feel any guilt.
“There are so many low-borns in hell who are bothering me as they are… I’ll feel better if I use this chance to clean them all up.”
Vassago, muttering with a bloodless face like a corpse, floated in the air with his black robe flying. The black fog surrounding him squirmed. It was an ominous and horrifying fog.
“Why does he find it necessary to look so messy?”
Paimon shook his head. Valac seemed to agree with him, he was hiding behind Lara, at a distance far from Vassago.
“I’ll show them exactly what happens when a demon ascends on this land.”
Vassago was strong. He had occupied an entire area for a thousand years and reigned in the vast land of hell, a place where slaughter and conflict were constantly repeated. With his power, created the most powerful magic.
A black fog shrouded the sky, the fog became a cloud and obscured the sun, darkening the surroundings. The demon worshippers looked up at the sky and were awestruck by Vassago as if he were their god.
Lara whispered to Paimon.
“What are you doing? Divert their attention.”
Paimon lived as a slave-turned-genius musician. He assimilated into the human realm and played musical instruments. What he did best was not magic or battle, it was acting.
“Today, here, in the land of man, the era of the great demon lord will begin!”
Paimon’s loud voice beat the hearts of the demon worshippers like a drum.
“Don’t think! There’s no call for thoughts! Don’t look back! The past doesn’t exist for you! Be the aid of that great step only by the demon lord’s side!”
Way to go.
Lara mumbled. Valac, who was hiding behind her and watching the situation, tilted his head and murmured.
“Is he telling them to win or lose?”
“I’m telling them to die.”
Paimon returned and said. As his incitement worked, the eyes of the Hell Corps and the demon worshippers were half-opened.
Just in time, Vassago completed his magic. Black snakes wriggled in the dark sky. The lightning-like snakes occasionally fell to the ground, eating up Hell Corps and confusing the surroundings.
“Drop them in the middle.”
Vassago flew to the sky. He went down to the entrance of the mountain range where the Allied Forces and Hell Corps were keeping each other in check. After looking around, he raised his hands when he had found the right position.
Soon, his magic began. Hundreds of snakes made of black smoke poured out of the dark sky. It was a terrible sight. The demon worshippers cheered, while the Allied Forces were horrified. They cowered greatly.
“Don’t be scared!”
Acerus rushed out to the battlefield with his long sword. His loudly fluttering cloak caught the Allied Forces’ eyes.
“We have so many heroes. Everyone here is a hero. Look around you! Who are you fighting with now?”
“Go! Go and teach those beasts the rules of man!”
Demian was the first to move. He ran without a word from Acerus’ side and jumped into the middle of the battlefield. Demian went faster than any other even though he was riding the same warhorse.
Demian wore a white cloak. Considering his personality, it was a very unbecoming cloak. He thought such a cloak bothered him. But on a battlefield filled with snakes made of smoke, the white cloak fluttered every time he moved and was imprinted as a legend in the Allied Forces’ eyes.
Every time his white cloak fluttered, the black snakes were torn to shreds. The demon’s magic could not inflict a single scratch on Demian. The magic he was up against would terrify anyone just by looking at it, yet he destroyed that magic with his bare body.
Demian ran as a ray of light.
A white path formed between the black fog. It was a path Demian had passed by alone, and was also the hand in which he reached out to humans.
You can win if you go that way.
The Allied Forces began to move. The soldiers’ eyes sparkled. They could not back down now. The sound of weapons hitting each other and the encouragement pouring out to each other grew as if to explode.
Lara had been observing everything. Her heart was pounding hard. Watching Demian running through the battlefield, Lara managed to swallow her tears.
Demian was once desperate to deny Lara’s death that he led the world to its destruction in the same way as he did now. At that time, he was not the demon lord, but destruction itself. Revenge, blood, slaughter, and destruction were all he had left. Even grass could not survive where he passed by.
Now, Demian was a human hero. He was a warrior who fought for and saved the humans. He would be a legend. If someone wrote a hero epic with this war as the background, they would not be able to continue a line without including this scene.
‘I told you.’
Lara stroked her demonic beast’s mane. The demonic beast, which was lying down waiting for the signal, raised its huge body.
‘I will make you a hero.’
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