Chapter 240 - Second (4)
The air was torn. Darkness couldn't be seen in this gap, while the 10-meter-long aura blade was hidden in it. This was a sword which cut through space.
If the world was like a watercolor painting, then Zest's blade was a streak of black on the paper. Physical strength and defense were meaningless in front of it, and it was more like destroying the space where the other person stood, rather than cutting.
Even the senior demon, Magnus, couldn't be careless against this attack!
[ No?! ] Before the astonished Magnus, the aura blade tore through the space.
Then it cut Magnus' head, heart, and neck. The blade took one step away from the material world and created a ridiculous tear. There was no way to survive in this life-threatening hell which covered 360 degrees. A body would be torn to pieces, disappearing without a trace.
This was Zest Speitem's special move, cutting a person to pieces. It was a technique where the aura blade literally shattered the space along with the target. Death was a certainty, even for the famous Orta.
Immediately afterward, countless blades of light surrounded Magnus.
Black blood emerged. The distinctive smell of sulfur was emitted from Magnus' body which didn't exist in the material world. It was evidence that Zest's attack was valid for the first time.
The space which was cut dozens of times shook unsteadily, and Theodore coughed up blood as he maintained the summoning spell.
'Damn, I can't last much longer...!'
The summoning circle had already been broken to an extent that the shape couldn't be recognized, and the connection with Magnus was on the verge of being severed. It wouldn't be strange if Magnus' summoning was canceled immediately.
Zest was exhausted after using all of his aura, but he was convinced of his own victory.
[―Good, now is it my turn? ]
The demon moved despite his shattered body.
Magnus' flaming sword, a greatsword which was larger than the pillar of a building, moved toward Zest at an amazing speed. The powerless Zest couldn't afford to go against it. However, he managed to avoid it desperately at the right timing.
As expected of Andras' strongest swordsman, the attack was blocked. A direct strike would've taken his life, but Zest reduced the damage as much as possible by moving far away.
Alas, that didn't mean his body wasn't injured. Magnus' destructive power was really great, and Zest paid the price. Despite offsetting most of the power, both of his arms were broken, four of his ribs had snapped, and some of his internal organs were damaged.
Zest would've been seriously injured if there had been a little more strength in the attack.
[ As expected, I'm sorry. In the end, I am lacking one step. ] Instead of chasing after him, Magnus turned to Theodore and grumbled. [ Summoner, prepare for the future. ]
"Is there a reason why I have to hurry?"
[ That human's skill has touched the dimensional gate. My flames and the boundaries of this material world are bound together, so this whole area will be blown away. ]
Theodore understood Magnus' words and his eyes widened. "Surely, it isn't dimensional shaking?"
[ As expected from a magician. ] Magnus' body gradually faded away. The connection which brought him to the material world was cut off, so it was natural for him to return to his original world. The demon, who enjoyed himself after thousands of years, disappeared, and the space around him distorted.
It was as he said. After Magnus disappeared, the entire space where the magic circle was drawn had distorted. A world which couldn't be understood by the human senses unfolded.
There was a dizzying array of sound and sights that couldn't be distinguished. Theodore tried to raise his body but panicked as he found that the ground had already disappeared. It wasn't a phenomenon which could be escaped with human legs.
He would die.
That's why he went with his first instinct. Theodore couldn't find the answer on his own and quickly called an advisor.
-I was already awake. You didn't have to call me so urgently, User, Gluttony talked as calmly as usual, despite Theodore standing at the crossroad of life and death. Its attitude calmed Theodore's impatience.
Gluttony was trustworthy as always as he delivered some instructions, -Protect your body before I give you a way to escape this place. If you take advantage of Umbra's strength, you can resolve some of the pressure of this distorted space.
'Use Dimensional Leave?'
-Umbra relies on mental power, not magic power. Even if your magic power is depleted, you can hold it for about 30 seconds.
Gluttony's advice was correct. Theodore felt his breathing ease as soon as he unleashed Umbra's strength. The distorted space had made it hard for him to breathe. Theodore became calm as his breathing was restored, and Gluttony moved onto the next step.
-You need something to get out of here.
'That something, do I already have it?'
-That's right. It is necessary to bring out 'Death's Worship' that is sealed in the inventory.
Theodore was lost for words. It was natural when thinking of Death's Worship.
It was the grimoire that had created thousands of undead a few years ago when Theodore returned home. The grimoire contained the soul of the ancient legendary warlock, Jerem. He was a specter of the 9th CIrcle that didn't remain in this age. Yet Gluttony wanted to release the grimoire that had turned an ordinary magician into a top-grade undead in just three months?
However, Gluttony's subsequent explanation convinced him.
'...I roughly understand your explanation. I'm to use the grimoire's space transfer to escape this place?'
Theodore lacked proficiency in space magic, and he couldn't escape from this distorted space with his circles' overload. In that case, he should grab the tail of an escaping item. The space transfer function of the grimoire was continent-wide. Gluttony anticipated that Death's Worship would try to escape and devised a method to grab onto it. The destination might be a bit random, but Theodore nodded.
"Okay, let's try it."
There was no time left to worry, and he had no other options. Theodore held out his left hand with a nervous expression and opened his mouth to shout. He hoped he wasn't making a mistake here.
"Come out, Death's Worship!"
Simultaneously, a grimoire wrapped in chains emerged.
Was it an expression of joy from its liberation, or an outburst of anger? The grimoire let out a terrible roar and exerted itself to escape from this space. Theodore could see that the grimoire wasn't affected by the distortion of space. Rather, space was bending around Death's Worship.
At that moment, Gluttony stretched out its tongue.
-Where are you going alone?
The grimoire struggled against the tongue that grabbed it. It didn't seem like much, but Gluttony and Death's Worship were fighting fiercely in this distorted space. Theodore watched them with a nervous face. Now, he could only maintain Dimensional Leave for 10 seconds. After that, he would be crushed by the pressure.
However, Death's Worship wasn't a grimoire that could beat Gluttony.
-Good! We are leaving here, User!
Death's Worship was caught by Gluttony's tongue and jumped forcefully. Theodore disappeared seconds before the distorted space was about to explode.
After that, there was a tremendous wave of heat.
* * *
The explosion was so large that even the inhabitants of Sipoto could see it from tens of kilometers away.
The flames burned the clouds, and the earth screamed. Rather than a mushroom-shaped dust cloud, it was more like the eruption of an active volcano. In fact, it caused the skies of Sipoto to turn dark.
To add one thing, it wasn't just the space distortion which had caused this explosion. The cause had been Ragnaros, the hell ruled by Fulito the demon king.
It was a catastrophe which occurred when the boundary between that dimension and this material world broke down. A world where thousands of hot winds always blew and lava overflowed instead of water... It could be said that Fulito's territory eroded this land for a while.
Fortunately, there were no casualties due to the heat. It wasn't a coincidence that Theodore and Zest had clashed in the wilderness. This had been thanks to Theodore's concern that innocent people might be affected.
A moderate amount of time passed by since the explosion, but the land didn't stop crying. The noise mixed with the sound of the wind created an eerie feeling. The same was true for someone covered in a black robe.
"...Finally, I found it."
No, that wasn't fear in the voice. Delight and unpleasant joy overflowed from the robed person. One of the four horsemen, the white knight spoke with trembling eyes. The eyes, exposed through the robe, were gently curved and moist, as if the person was crying.
"Apostle of Death. Our merciful master, who will lead us to the path of immortality...?!"
It was a voice that sounded like a bell. The loud, cheerful voice resonated in the wilderness. This passion seemed unfamiliar to the person, but they weren't surprised or panicked by it. They had been waiting centuries for the resurrection of the Apostle of Death and sought his relics.
He was the founder of the four horsemen. It had been an extraordinary honor. In the forgotten history, he was the king of hell. He was the notorious warlock whose four horsemen tried to cover this material world with death...
Even now, humans who learned black magic admired and feared him, and the high-ranking demons still remembered his name after thousands of years. Even so, the successors to the four horsemen couldn't recognize 'it.'
"Ah...! Please pardon our foolishness! The rudeness we have committed! We were stupid for not recognizing you!" The white knight, Hipatia, bowed before all traces disappeared. "Next time I will find you, Lord Jerim."
However, Theodore didn't know it yet. He never thought that another puzzle piece would be inserted due to the grimoire he had taken out as an escape method. Ash powder blew into the place where Hipatia once stood. Hipatia left as soon as possible to share the good news with the other horsemen.
It wasn't yet known that this would lead to another incident.
For now, it was enough to know that the land had become devastated due to the battle between Zest Speitem and Theodore MIller, who had summoned a demon that hadn't appeared in thousands of years.
It was a few days later that the news of the great battle in the Sipoto wilderness was transmitted to Meltor.