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Chapter 107: The Sage Meets the Previous Demon Lord
Baruch’s words gave me quite a shock.
I was already aware of the identity of the owner of the magic reaction.
However, I couldn’t keep my calm when I heard about it directly.
That was how strong my connection with the previous Demon Lord had been.
“Hahaha, quite a nice reaction you have there. I’m really ecstatic right now, considering how much I wanted to show it to you.”
Baruch, who’d clapped his hands happily, gently raised that right arm.
Then, he stared at me with his green eyes.
“Dwight, you must be very curious right now. Why does this right arm still exist? You must be thinking something along those lines, right?”
“…Aah, you’re not wrong.”
I honestly nodded my head.
He was clearly aware of what I was thinking about.
In that case, it would be better to honestly admit that and extract information.
Sure enough, Baruch began to speak with a proud expression.
“This is what I managed to restore. By using the Demon Lord-sama’s horn as a catalyst and applying multiple layers of forbidden spells on it. That horn that was bestowed upon me when that person was still alive. It was something that person gave to me after I entreated for it for three days and nights.”
Baruch stared at the right arm and used it to caress his cheek.
Then he laughed sloppily with a creepily enamored expression.
“This overwhelming magic power and miasma… haah, I can’t take it. It’s already this amazing with just that person’s right arm! You should now be able to understand just how supreme a person they were!”
“That’s a bad hobby. You’re using the arm you worship as a replacement for a magic scepter?”
“It is not a substitute for a magic scepter. I’m just borrowing that person’s power. Do you not understand how much of an honor this is?”
Baruch wore a mocking expression as he moved the right arm away from his face.
On the other hand, I assured him.
“It is something I don’t even wish to understand.”
“Haha, it seems it is too early for your meager mind to comprehend. Well, you’re greatly mistaken if you think I’ll stop at just rebuilding the right arm. I will show you the greatness of what I have built.”
Baruch put that right arm to the side.
After he did that, the right arm wriggled and eerily rose up.
From there, shoulders and torso grew.
And in succession, the neck, lower body, and left arm area began to swell.
It started of as a big lump of flesh, but it gradually took the shape of a humanoid.
I shouldn’t let it finish taking its form.
I was about to rush in and cut it, but stopped before actually doing so.
I intuitively sensed danger.
That person’s combat sense was what had sensed it right at this moment1.
It warned me to not carelessly approach it.
Instead, I shot various kinds of magic.
All of them got absorbed into that lump of flesh.
It wasn’t damaged whatsoever.
That is an impossible conversion rate.
The magic that directly hit it was totally absorbed without any residual magic power and miasma.
If I had tried to attack it with a sword, the power absorption would have soon exhausted me.
That lump of flesh was extremely regenerative.
As Baruch saw my actions, he waved his finger and clicked his tongue.
“You shouldn’t try to do anything unnecessarily. Not even I can control it in that state. We can only wait for it to manifest.”
The thing that was only a right arm rapidly changed its shape.
It became closer to an appearance that I was familiar with.
The moment I recognized it, many scenes replayed in my mind.
Even as I felt a dull pain in my head, I kept watching it without losing focus.
If a gap in my defenses ever appeared, I would very likely be attacked at that very moment.
Contrary to my hopes, the growth of the lump of flesh didn’t decline at all.
Its whole body structure had already been completed, and it had begun to reconstruct detailed parts like the formation of blood droplets.
If I were to interfere with it at its current state, I would likely be fatally injured by the reformation process.
I guess it’ll be safer to just attack from a distance.
That was the conclusion I reached after observing it.
Nothing good would happen even if I tried to do something about it here.
Nothing was more dangerous than incomplete magic.
I had even heard of a case where someone had failed to cast basic magic, and the repercussions of this had resulted in the ruin of a whole city.
If I looked far enough, I could see the capital from here.
I would have to act cautiously for the moment.
On the other hand, Baruch suddenly changed the topic.
“By the way, you seem to be interested in knowing how I am still alive. I’ll grant this wish of yours as a little souvenir for your trip to the afterlife.”
He was convinced of his victory, so he then felt the need to speak about his own achievements.
I would just let him speak as he liked.
Pride always reached its peak before the fall.
While I didn’t feel like listening to his words, it proved to be relatively good information for me as well.
“Ten years ago, I was indeed killed by your magic back then. However, my ego managed to escape the destruction somehow. Perhaps my obsession made it so. It should be the same with you as well. I could fully grasp it after I got to confront you here.”
Baruch had pointed out the right thing.
The fact that I had still survived despite my execution was the result of my obsession.
As I had been immersed in various emotions, I had already turned into an immortal before I knew it.
I repeatedly reflected about many things, and managed to survive for ten years.
“It was simple after that. I waited years to repair my damaged soul, and hijacked a human body that was easy to adapt to. Once I destroyed that human’s mind, I just had to get used to the body and I could finally declare myself as reborn.”
For those who knew of Baruch’s circumstances, I was impressed by his tenacity.
He made it sound easy, but the actual actions were unimaginable feats.
It was practically impossible for someone who was already dead to restore their own soul by their own efforts.
Yet Baruch had managed to achieve such a feat purely out of his obsession.
It made me aware of how vengeful he could be.
At that time, a flame of miasma erupted from the lump of flesh which was mixed with scales.
As it made a burning noise, the figure finally shifted to a stable state.
Baruch raised his arms in excitement.
“There, they have finally been reborn. Open your eyes wide and witness this glorious moment!”
The flame, which had risen to its climax, gradually calmed down.
The person who stood within the traces of the flames was a demi-human.
Their whole body was covered in a mixture of scales and carapace.
None of their skin was exposed.
Their appearance reminded one of a heavily armored knight.
—How nostalgic. I can still remember it as if it had taken place just yesterday.
There was the nemesis of mankind who had plunged the world into chaos ten years ago.
They were the incarnation of evil against which both I and that person had fought.
The previous Demon Lord stood there.
“Hahahaha! This is what a true supreme entity feels like! This is truly the end! Demon Lord-sama has finally revived! I appreciate your effort, Dwight. It was something that could only be achieved thanks to you!”
“What do you mean?”
I heard something questionable in Baruch’s laughter-filled words.
I didn’t remember ever contributing to the Demon Lord’s revival.
If it was something I could prevent, I would have already dealt with it earlier.
“There was something other than the horn used as the catalyst for the Demon Lord-sama’s right arm. Are you even aware of what it was?”
“It was the ashes from the current generation of Hero and Saint. It was something you had foolishly cremated and buried.”
I finally understood Baruch’s explanation.
I had processed both of their corpses.
After I had cremated them into ashes, I had then buried them in the locations I had fought them in.
Baruch must have known that.
During the short time I was busy at the Republic’s capital, he must have gone and stolen both of their ashes.
He must have investigated the location in advance and acted once there was a chance.
“Those ashes had no strength remaining in them. However, they possessed great magical value. You, who was known as a Sage, should at least be able to guess what it is. What do those ashes represent?”
“—The one who defeated the Demon Lord, and the one who was killed by the Demon Lord.”
I answered based on what I thought.
That was all I could think about.
Then, Baruch pointed at me with tears flowing from his eyes.
“Wonderful! That’s right, Dwight. Those two are important. The former depicted the phenomenon of defeating the Demon Lord, while the latter depicted their existence. Both of those were necessary factors needed to revive the supreme one. It was only possible because you had killed the Hero and the Saint!”
He had interpreted “the one who defeats the Demon Lord” literally as an existence which would kill me.
Regarding “the one who was killed by the Demon Lord,” he twisted the interpretation so that he could point it to someone who was not killed by the Demon Lord.
He made use of the argument that since the dead were losers then it would be weird for the Demon Lord, who was supposed to be the winner, to stay dead.
It was madness, but it wasn’t like it was impossible to interpret it like that.
By using ashes which contained such meaning, Baruch’s spell could finally be used to its effects.
That’s amazing. I can only admit it.
There were various systems in magic.
Shamanic magic, which was Baruch’s specialty, made use of insane logic, deceiving the truth, and twisting it, piled on top of one another before it could finally be used at its full power.
It made use of something that looks useless at a glance to make sense out of nonsense.
As a result, it distorted the world.
This resurrection spell was something that was possible only because of Baruch’s unique perspective as a shaman.
If anyone else were to be given similar materials, they would be unable to achieve the same feat.
It was contradictory to make use of something to slay the Demon Lord in order to revive the Demon Lord.
Yet Baruch had managed to achieve that.
“Oh, fake Demon Lord. I plan to bury you here and restore the true Demon Lord’s Army.”
As he said that, he rolled up the sleeve of one of his arms.
There was a spell engraved on his arm.
Baruch made it come into contact with the Demon Lord.
The inscription turned into a snake, crawling out of his arms and penetrating into the Demon Lord.
Apparently, he tried to instill the spell into the soul instead of the flesh.
It was far more stable than when it was just a lump of flesh.
Baruch put his hand on the Demon Lord’s shoulder.
“I inscribed a subordination spell into the Demon Lord-sama’s soul. That person will have a sense of self, but that person won’t be able to defy me.”
“I thought you worshipped that person?”
“That’s exactly why! I want to keep Demon Lord-sama as perfect as I can. By inspiring it from what is in my mind, they would forever stay supreme. Ah, what an honor! I have long awaited this moment!”
Baruch cried out in joy.
His eyes were tainted with insanity.
While he did worship them, he also wanted to feel the pleasure of domination.
Baruch began to speak to the Demon Lord while crying.
“Demon Lord-sama, can you recognize the immortal in front of you? He is that lowly Sage Dwight. Let’s get rid of him.”
The Demon Lord raised their face slightly.
I could feel a gaze from beneath their carapace.
I couldn’t read their feelings.
The Demon Lord began to concentrate magic power on one of their hands.
Their scales and carapace overflowed from their fingertips, forming a spear.
It was the weapon that had once caused us much suffering.
It was the demonic spear with the might of ten-thousands.
“Fuhahahahaha! Dwight, this marks your end. Now, prepare to be the sacrifice for the dark age!”
An evil proclamation spewed from Baruch’s mouth.
Immediately afterwards, the Demon Lord’s arm moved and the spear became a blur.
I reflexively took a stance, but I was immediately stunned.
—Because the Demon Lord’s spear flashed and then pierced Baruch’s torso.
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