439 Part 1
The Black Demon King
Chapter 23: Holy Maiden of Helvetia
Episode 439: The Beginning of a Nightmare
“Haha! Give it up already, old elf!!”
With a vigorous thrust, Eliwood barely managed to stab an Armor Knight to death. After the iron-clad figure collapsed, a red-haired young man appeared, holding a spear aloft.
Knowing a powerful blow was sure to come his way, Eliwood somehow compelled his weary arm through his loss of blood to put up his shield.
An aura of red magical power illuminated the spear’s large tip, which was now twice as large as usual. It was long enough to reach the point where Eliwood stood behind his chipped shield.
The next moment, the spear turned into a red flash that was impossible to follow by the naked eye, and struck with a terrible shock.
Was the shield blown off as a result of a mistake, or was it going to happen regardless? Either way, the once beautiful shield that had been deformed as it protected him from countless halberd thrusts, “Golden Taurus”, had finally left his owner’s hand.
“There’s more– Wolf Sweep!”
Without a moment’s delay, Eliwood barely responded with a sweeping motion spear technique to match the man’s attack.
Although they are completely different spear techniques, both spears were burning with a red magical aura. However, there was a clear difference in power between the red-haired man, who had just begun to fight triumphantly, and Eliwood, who was exhausted by the long battle.
He managed to prevent his spear from being blown away at the last moment. If he were to lose his weapon right after his shield, he could consider himself as good as dead.
However, he almost could no longer feel the grasp of his weapon on his right hand, which he had grown so accustomed to.
It appeared that his right arm had been rendered completely numb by the sheer force of the impact received from the red-haired man’s frontal assault. In addition, the lacerations on his shoulders and upper arms began to bleed all over again.
The already precious little vitality that remained in his body had fallen a little once again.
“I’ve come this far…”
His target was merely a few tens of meters away. However, that short distance now seemed to be endlessly far away.
There seemed to be no end to the wall of Armor Knights, and the red-haired man standing in front of him was very skilled. He was a tough opponent to beat in his current state.
A fleeting glimpse of his surroundings revealed that it seemed that the Samurai man and the Golem were also struggling before their strong opponents. He couldn’t expect any help from them this time. And it was even less likely that external reinforcements could come right in the middle of such an enemy line.
It was a stalemate in all directions. It seemed that in the end their forces were overwhelmingly insufficient for a successful assault. Eliwood knew that they were putting their lives on the line with this strategy, but now that they faced total annihilation, he couldn’t help but feel a tinge of emptiness.
“I guess this is where we die, huh…?”
However, Eliwood had no intention of wasting the work of the knights and adventurers who had come so far, staking their lives. That had nothing to do with his duty as Subcommander, but as a man.
Filled with determination, Eliwood knew that this was the last attack and stared sharply in front of his fate.
“Hey, you’re running out of breath, old geezer. I’ve heard elves live a long life, but it seems age has finally caught up with you, huh?”
Had these been normal circumstances, he would have slugged the cocky smile out of this belligerent young man’s face, but now Eliwood couldn’t even move his eyebrows.
What was in his mind wasn’t anger at a brat that had gotten himself carried away, but rather, a mere simulation to make the next attack a success.
Then, at the next moment, it would be set into motion just as he had envisioned. He would start the last battle of his life.
With a shout, he delivered a blow — but a hollow one.
In other words, a feint. A sharp, fast, but unweighted blow was delivered to the tip of the red-head’s nose.
Perhaps he immediately knew it was a feint. He evaded it with a light movement of his body, and he didn’t seem to be particularly surprised about it.
But that was okay. If he could force him to step back even a little, even in the slightest, the first step would be complete.
The second stage came right after the first one. He quickly turned his spear after the feint, with its tip pointing at the ground.
He swept at the floor and used the spear’s momentum to fling snow and dirt at the red-haired man’s eyes. It was a tactic used by hooligans in the slum quarters. The Avalon Knights would regard it as a cheap trick, unworthy of a knight, but the Spada Knights use it as one of their finest techniques.
However, back in the day, the young Eliwood never dreamed that he would use this “cheap shot” in actual battles when he joined “Brave Heart”.
“Tsk, d’you really think I’d fall for that? Huh!?”
The red-haired man, who didn’t look like an actual knight because of the way he spoke and his bandit-like gear, reacted to this blinding tactic too without difficulty. He quickly turned to the side, avoiding getting hit with cold dirt and sand on his face.
However, this too was part of the plan. The second step had been a success.
Thanks to his evasive action against both the feint and the blinding technique, the red-haired man had moved away from the reach of the spear. Thanks to the second stage, no blade would reach Eliwood’s body.
It was but a step to the side, but it gave Eliwood the time that was absolutely necessary his final blow to succeed.
This was the final stage.
The roar that echoed from the bottom of his abdomen was a breath of spirit that compressed and kneaded his remaining magical power into a single attack. It filled his body with an explosive power without the need for any chanting or spellcasting.
Eliwood raised his “Vermilion Pilum” with both hands with this strength. Instead of his usual posture, he was raising the spear with both hands, lifting it higher than overhead.
He was getting ready to attack by throwing his spear.
The red-haired man opened his eyes astonishingly. Perhaps he immediately saw where Eliwood was aiming at.
The point of the red spear, which was being held aloft vigorously, was aimed at the pretty girl that was being protected by these generals.