Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 18: The Great Demon
Rutin Kingdom was an eastern kingdom whose territory consisted of a capital, 7 cities, 15 border towns, and about 100 villages.
It had a sea coast and several mountains within its border. These were the reasons for this kingdom’s riches in marine products and mountain vegetables, which were appealing to many travelers.
Usually, the royal capital would be crowded with lively people…but during that day, it felt different than normal.
Many of its citizens had carried as much luggage as they could, and raced to be the first one to escape.
The reason was that they feared the demon armies that were approaching quickly.
A decisive battle for the nation’s survival already began in a place that was a slight distance from the capital, where soldiers struggled desperately.
All soldiers within the castle were mobilized, the magic division was also moved, and reinforcements led by lords and nobles from surrounding cities came one after another.
Thugs gathered as a volunteer army, raising their brave voices.
Only at this time would these people, who were normally against each other, cooperated and inspired each other to keep fighting. Volunteers turned the death of fellow allies into the strength to hold on to their blade for their beloved motherland.
Royal family members also came down personally to the battlefield to raise army morale, and unite everyone together to fight against the threat that was looming.
“HoU… ThEY suRE TRYinG haRD fOr LowLY HuMAns” 1
The one who looked down at their resistance was a giant “Ogre”, who rode on a giant 3-headed dog.
It’s giant body, which was more than 3 meters tall, was covered with jet-black fur, and 2 hard horns extended out of its forehead.
If one looked closely, it may look like a monkey, yet the power it possessed was so strong that it was incomparable to the likes of a monkey.
It’s clear to everyone present that this monster was the one who led the army.
It’s unclear what exactly it was. At least there’s no way it’s a common demon.
Demons are wild animals that are twisted by the Witch power, but the ogre wasn’t a part of the category of wild animals.
There was a Monkey-based demon, but it neither grew that big, nor as strong as that.
This was a demon, yet unlike a demon. People called this kind of overpowered demon a “Great Demon”.
A Great Demon was created by Witch, and it was a demon that went beyond common demons.
The witch turned many animals into demons, and then locked all of them into a single place to make them kill each other.
The sole survivor of that will eat other demons, and gain power incomparable to conventional demons.
Most of those merely became a stronger demon, like the dragons that were trampled by Elrise previously.
There might be dragons like in fairy tales who understand human speech and possess great intelligence beyond humans, but no dragon was confirmed to be capable of human speech.
Obviously those strong demons like dragons are not considered Great Demons. While their power might be stronger and some might be near the level of a Great Demon, power was all they had.
A Great Demon was an anomaly that was created by such a process which allowed it to evolve and gain wisdom.
And animals which ended up as Great Demons are mostly animals that were similar to humans like monkeys and gorillas.
There were also Great Demons based on dogs, dolphins, and crows.
Anyway, only those which possessed high innate intelligence originally have the right to become a Great Demon.
Even so, obviously such a transformation couldn’t be done to humans. Humans were too frail to endure the Witch’s power, they would die before they could be transformed into demons.
The process for the birth of a Great Demon was simple, yet difficult.
If this was tried 100 times, 99 times would end up in failure.
As stated earlier, a demonized monkey was not that strong naturally.
In other words, it likely failed to overcome the battle of survival.
Only individuals who were lucky enough, ones that hid to avoid fighting and survived until the last moment to collect the benefit of the fisherman2, could become one.
And even if it managed to survive, there’s no guarantee it would be strong enough to survive the power intake.
Most would fail to endure before becoming a Great Demon, and die like a human.
The chance to produce one is horrendously low.
Yet those who managed to pass such a tiny probability were to become a commander of the demon army.
“Do not fear! Advance! Don’t lose heart!”
“We could win this! Don’t give up!”
“Were we to lose, our nation will be trampled! This is our time to make our stand!”
People didn’t abandon hope even with such a predicament.
Alas, they lacked strength. They lacked numbers.
Against this army, it’s turned into a fight of attrition, the only difference was whether they would be destroyed now or later.
“Don’t give up! At least buy some time for citizens to run for safety!”
The Great Demon — let’s call it Monkey Ogre. This monster couldn’t help but burst into laughter.
The words from the captain within the human army sounded funny to the demon.
Was he an idiot?
His sentences were contradicting.
Even as he said not to give up, immediately after he said to “at least buy time for citizens to run for safety”. Wasn’t that proof you had already given up now? Such a thought would make even the Monkey Ogre want to laugh.
Buy time — ah, such miserable words from a loser.
Their goals had already changed. They no longer thought of victory and protecting their nation, since they knew it’s impossible, so to at least decrease the number of victims, they abandoned the idea of victory.
It’s the words of those who had given up on victory. It’s pitiful encouragement for those who accepted their loss.
“oK… I shALL pLaY a LIttlE”
Monkey Ogre jumped down from the back of the 3-headed dog and reached the center of the soldiers’ locations.
It crushed a few soldiers upon landing, then it swung around a club in its hand.
Just with that, soldiers nearby got blown away like a bunch of dead trees, and the armor which was supposed to protect their bodies shattered like biscuits.
“Do not fear! That is the enemy leader! Slay it!”
“The enemy will collapse as long as it is defeated!”
The soldiers went to challenge the Monkey Ogre who had come alone.
But the monkey ogre ignored their do or die resistance, and once again blew away soldiers using its club.
Sounds of armor being crushed echoed, and some of those people lost their human shape and were flung to the sky.
The Great Demon’s powers were comparable to that of a dragon.
That power could easily destroy castle walls, its hard skin wouldn’t be pierced by sword and spears, and its absurd vitality allowed it endure magic head on without much problem.
The Elite amongst elites that were specially trained strictly to protect Saint, “Magic Knight”… one of them was known to be of equal power to a small group of normal knights, yet even they were not enough to kill this Demon alone.
They needed several groups of people in that level of strength to work together to properly fight against the Monkey Ogre.
It’s not something a normal soldier could win against, regardless of their number.
It’s like a barehanded baby in front of a hungry bear. It still wouldn’t be able to win even if there were hundreds of them.
With properly made strategy and traps, as well as well prepared weapons, there might be a chance for victory. It’s not exactly impossible to win.
But can one win by fighting it upfront? No, it’s impossible.
No matter how much a baby used its muscle power, along with their soft fist to punch the bear, it wouldn’t pierce through its thick skin and muscle.
In the same comparison, so was the soldiers’ attack toward Monkey Ogre. On top of that, the enemy kept increasing the human army’s death toll.
It’s only a matter of time before the soldiers got decimated, and the nation got overrun.
However, they gave the citizens time until more help arrived.
They had been using their lives as a shield, abandoning their victory… yet kept buying time without running away.
—their battle was finally rewarded.
“Fortune favors the bold”.
A bell-like voice echoed through everyone’s eardrums.
Immediately, thousands, no, tens of thousands of swords made of light rained from the sky.
The shining swords slashed nearby demons, and stayed in front of the soldiers.
Draw it — maybe the swords meant to tell them such a thing.
As the soldiers touched them, their wounds mysteriously healed, and power filled their bodies.
Their bodies felt light, as if they could beat anything right now.
We could win this! The morale of the brave people who drew the swords of light instantly increased, and they cut down the Demon army one after another.
And behind them, an aurora filled the sky, as a girl descended while covered in a golden curtain of light.
“Oo… that person, she is…”
“Ah, there’s no doubt about it. She is definitely…”
The sight of her made the soldiers feel warm inside. Some of them were so fascinated, forgetting they were in the middle of battle.
Yet, as if not distracted by such gazes, the girl looked down toward Monkey Ogre, and quietly said.
“I see… it was a Great Demon. I had a slight suspicion that the Witch would do something while hiding. To think there are this number, though.”
“You…I SeE, You Are tHE Saint…!”
Monkey Ogre recognized the girl to be the Saint, the hope of humanity, and thus, it swung its club.
If the Saint fell here, the Witch’s victory was guaranteed.
It’s unexpected for her to be here, but at the same time, it’s an opportunity.
The Monkey Ogre won’t miss this opportunity where she came out without bringing her knights.
“yoU hAvE ShowN YOurSElF, FooL. If I KiLl YoU aND CRUcify YouR CoRPse, The HUMan mORaLE WilL Also FaLl As WelL.”
“Well… I have never thought of that. But what I could say is that the people’s hearts won’t break with just my death. Even should I fall, human hope still remains, also…”
The Saint — Elrise created light in her hand.
She brought it to her chest, then spread it along her hands.
“At the very least, the time of my fall is not ‘now’… ‘Cut your coat according to your cloth.’“
The light turned into blades, and flew around.
Demons were slain one after another, and their numbers fell quickly.
The Monkey Ogre panicked and commanded its army.
“ShoOT HeR! DrOP heR Down!”
The 3-headed dog spewed fire, along with all other demons that were capable of attacking from that distance.
The fire melted the iron swords and shields on the ground, and was followed by the attack of the other demons.
Demons that were capable of flight also rushed in with barrage, but the fire that first reached Elrise’s hand turned around and destroyed the barrage along with the Demons that shot it.
It’s the multiple reflect barrier that she used on the Academy previously.
Elrise then brought her index finger toward the front of her mouth.
“Out of the mouth comes evil”
At the same time, the demons prepared themselves for whatever might come.
…yet, nothing happened.
Did the magic fail? One of the demons laughed at the thought of that.
—immediately after, lightning fell from the sky, struck the demon at pinpoint accuracy and killed it.
Another demon who got surprised, raised their voice and thunder fell upon them.
Demons panicked and made various noises. Confusion spread as well as the thunder that shot upon them.
“Wha, what the…? What is happening?”
Human soldiers were puzzled as to what happened and talked, yet they didn’t get struck by thunder.
It seemed that allies that were not included as targets of this magic.
From then on, as the demons still didn’t understand the condition to be struck by lightning, every demon which opened their mouth got struck and burned to their death.
The correct answer was “sound”. Any enemy who let out a sound from their mouth was mercilessly struck by lightning.
Lightning struck endlessly, screams were heard, and lightning struck those who screamed.
The vicious cycle that was unstoppable once it began, slowly turned demons into charred corpses.
Along with that, Elrise herself also jumped in, wielding a sword of light made by her magic, and swung it around.
Just with that, demons in the front were split into half, despite the sword not physically reaching them.
The second sweep, third sweep, fourth, and fifth came after. With a combination of sword and speed, the Monkey Ogre was finally the last one standing.
Since it couldn’t speak, Monkey Ogre gave a look toward Elrise that was full of hatred.
It didn’t let out any sound. If it had, the lightning would strike it.
It was still alive because it realized that.
But because it knew that, it was unable to do anything. It was unable to even give a command.
“Don’t let out a sound, or else lightning will strike you”. Even if it tried to say a command, the lightning would strike the moment the first sound escaped its mouth.
It was a frightening method to seal a commander.
Regardless of how capable a commander or tactician was, or how capable the strategy was, if they were slain the moment they let out sound, they couldn’t do anything.
All it could do was relay commands through writing, but the army hardly had any leisure to read during the heat of battle.
Monkey Ogre silently attacked Elrise.
But before it reached Elrise, soldiers who wielded the swords of light appeared and tried to stab it.
Elrise’s expression stayed calm even during such an event.
“…gh” [T/N: As it cannot make any audible noise, this was just the sound of it falling to the ground.]
Monkey Ogre fell to the ground… started to kneel in Elrise’s direction, while bowing its head.
It folded its hand as if it tried to pray. Its appearance was like it wanted to beg for mercy.
No, it actually was .
It was truly begging for its life right now.
Elrise walked slowly to the front of Monkey Ogre.
“Saint-sama, don’t approach it!”
“Yes! There’s no need for mercy!”
“It only waited for you to let your guard down! Stay away!”
Even as soldiers warned her, Elrise still came near the Monkey Ogre.
Then she slowly bent down, and reached out her hand.
She truly was the Saint, through and through.
Her merciful self would never abandon those who beg for mercy regardless of how sinful they may be.
But as expected, it was a mistake.
There are those who refused to be saved, regardless how much mercy you gave them.
They trampled on one’s emotion, thinking anything goes as long as they reached victory.
A helpless fool, a despicable one who was even more inferior than dog feces.
It stood up and caught the Saint, the one who gave her hand that was meant to save it.
“Wait, don’t shoot! Saint-sama will get caught in it!”
Monkey Ogre’s big hand clenched on Elrise’s petite body.
It meant to crush her.
As the sound of something crunching echoed, the Monkey Ogre gave a twisted look of victory.
Yet such an expression only lasted a moment. Afterward, its expression turned into that of pain, which transmitted from its hand.
What was broken, were the fingers of Monkey Ogre.
Elrise had already cast protection magic on herself.
It was a barrier that reflected the attack to the assailant with three times the amount of power.
The Monkey Ogre had crushed its own fingers, not Elrise.
As fierce pain assaulted it, it painfully released Elrise and vengefully said,
“You… PreTEnded… to BE FoOlED…”
Elrise put a troubled expression on silently… then put a slight smile one wouldn’t notice unless they put their full attention on it, and turned her back.
What was the meaning of her smile?
Was it a sneer toward Monkey Ogre who tried to deceive her, but got deceived instead?
No, that seemed wrong. Perhaps, she really tried to believe it, thus it is an expression of her sadness.
Or was it a sneer toward herself who was unable to fully believe it…
Whatever it was, surely the expression that came out was because she was too kind.
Behind Elrise, the Monkey Ogre got struck by lightning— the war for the nation’s survival, finally closed its curtain.