Water dripped off my entire body and formed small puddles on the floor as I shuffled away. That Rinder...
My wind magic can dry some of it, but It's hard to maintain. Anyways, I waddle towards a place where I can make myself more presentable since I'm on a time crunch. These empty halls, I'm used to it.
I thrust ahead but suddenly feel a sluggish pull on my leg...I tried to ignore it, but then my other leg felt the same sensation. Then, came crackling sounds until I made a complete stop. The pain caught up to me and the soles of my feet were glued to the floor, locking me in place. Up to my knees, looking down, I see snakes of ice twirling around my flesh. This ice magic is...!
This pain is exactly what they want to hear. Out of the darkness comes a masked figure in black holding a bladed staff. There was no attempt to hide those devilish horns and tail of his. What is a demon doing at the [Academy]?
"Gyahaha! Looks like one is outside the net, lucky!"
Despite being petrified by shock and the ice beneath me, I tried to mouth words...but my teeth only clattered.
"Haha, you're a really unfortunate boy. Here, no one will save you. I get to do with you as I please~"
He fired an icy pierce that scraped my side. It wasn't fatal, but it still hurts like h*ll. He did that on purpose, this guy wants me to feel agony! Blood spurted from the fresh wound like a torn sack.
"You know, you humans are in the way. To think you'd put up this much resistance...an affront to the God of Destruction. We'll mutilate all the lousy idiots here and move on to the streets. Doesn't that sound wonderful? It's your fault, it's all your kind's fault!"
Unreasonable, unable, and shallow. My face twists in the face of brokenness.
"Y-you, what do you gain from attacking the school though?"
"Simple, it's a chance to get at the heroes. When students are held hostage, will they put their life on the line for them? Or will they abandon them and lose the trust of humanity? It's also great since we're cutting off filth at the source, and personally, I get to torture the ones who took everything away from me with a smile."
"You can't beat the heroes...you sick--"
"Sick? I'm sick? Tell that to my disfigured comrades on the battlefield by humans!"
"You started the war..."
A high-speed shot lodged itself in my shoulder.
Somebody, please...he can't go further...!
The demon covered his blade in a thin cold layer of mana. He then approached, with eery steps. The heaviness buckled my lungs like my legs. Finally, up to my face which was cramped, he pointed the tip to my eye. It was a centimeter away, such that my naked lid could feel the freezing pressure. His voice became low and cold,
"Scream for me, trash."
He began to insert--
The demon's body was flung across the hall, meters away from me.
What I heard next was a gentle and curly voice that tickled my heartstrings. Her black hair oozed with the incoming wind...from the broken window she slid through. Her presence breathed pristine power in every direction making me feel like being choked in an ocean.
"Are you okay?"
She turned back to the demon who was coughing out blood.
His bloodshot eyes told a fiery story.
"I won't kill you, but I'll put you out of commission and hand you in...(I can do that after all)!"
The black-haired girl pressed the demon's head through various angles with changed gravity, until swirls could be seen in his pupils. There must've been a reduced blood flow to his brain since he fell over the next moment, unable to stand. That mana manipulation prowess and absurd mana pool that allows her to casually use taxing magic...
"Who are you?"
I ask, though I already have a guess in my head. Black hair/eyes, the illusion of a human, insurmountable magic...to my question she just returned a smile and began blowing me over with mana to dry and melt the water. After a brief few seconds, I was dry and everything felt movable again. My side and shoulder still swelled with shallow cuts but it's tolerable and nothing she needed to concern herself with. They'll heal easily.
"T-The heroes and the others...!"
I began to regain my senses and explain the demon's plans to invade the school. There are likely more than just him. She took it all with a stern look and responded,
She bolted to the main hall area, leaving me behind. I staggered to find a safer place so that this saved life wouldn't be wasted. That and the only other thought on my mind after the encounter,
Like a dark princess, like a beckoning demon, she saves...?
That was a close one, a kid almost got tortured in front of me! I took out the bad guy though so no problems. The bigger problem here is...
"The [Academy] is under attack by demons...?"
I wonder how that happened. The [Demon Lord] has great authority, but maybe these people don't care. If they really plan to massacre the school, I should help the heroes stop it right? I see the flow of twisting mana,
"Hm? Oh, everyone! I'm back!"
Let's see, only Ryosuke, Saegusa-san, Ai, and Tatsumi?
"...eh? Aki? What are you doing here--wait..."
"Aki, no, Akito, I don't believe it you--"
"Did you call for this...?"
A big misunderstanding has erupted!
"No no no! I don't have anything to do with these demons! I just came here by myself!"
They eyed me for another moment and then breathed out in relief. I'm glad I'm easily read.
"I knew you wouldn't do something like this."
"Well, help us take out the ones hiding in the area. There are a few groups detected by Fila, but the [Focal] detectors are getting interfered with natural mana. Yui has been info checking as we go along but her detection is inferior to Rino. Oh, Rino had to stay behind to protect the students to maximize caution as well as the others."
"I see, well I can detect too, but only within sight range...I doubt it'll be useful to find people hiding."
"Huh, alright we'll split up here to take down the remaining invaders. Everyone, stay sharp."
"Saegusa-san, can you feel them?"
Yui and I boost towards the dark mana, the halls give a labyrinth-feel to this event. No running in the halls...this is the exception!
In front of us, about 60 ft (~18 m) ahead, are three demons on standby. Upon our entrance, they ready spells and stances.
I manifest a [Realizer] and dodge the blazing mass. The [Slow] spell is a debuff to make you slower, but I don't feel its effects at all. I tear through the air like a bullet and wrap the blunt end of my blade to the closest demon's torso.
He falls over with stars in his eyes clutching the blown spot.
Yui backs me up by,
A flash of thundering light ensued and a webby bolt ran down the remaining two bodies. With their nerves fried, their figures fell like puppets whose strings were cut.
"Isn't that a little...too much? I think they're dead."
"You have to do that or they'll just cause more trouble."
That's right, these guys are heroes. They've been through bloody wars and killed a lot of demons. I've only killed mindless monsters... the [Cursed One] was a special case since I had a good reason.
Anyways, I might not be as gung-ho about taking lives as my friends, but I'm not completely repulsed by it. It's a necessary thing to survive in this world (I see now). When it comes to it, I could probably kill for that good purpose without hesitation. But, I feel lukewarm about it. For now, I'll use my strength to run and win overpoweringly.
"Let's go, onto the next."
Yui doesn't talk to me much (though we can have normal interactions), as the cool beauty she is. Even when I made regular appearances and spoke with her friend group, she never really opened up. Well, I don't think that's a bad thing. In fact, it makes relationships (when they bloom) not superficial. I wonder about her as a person, she probably wonders about me. Or maybe she could care less...how do girls work. We continue on,
Pierced through the heart and explodes.
Disconnected at two ends with an invisible blast.
The smell of blood sucks, well, I'm unfortunately accustomed to it. I bash the demon I'm holding with the back of my cutlass and throw his body like a ragdoll at the wall. It's mercy!
"That should be it, Aki. I can't sense any more negative magical signatures. The other group did work...anyways, it's unbelievable, to think demons would attack the heroes and talented staff with just these numbers and skills. Amateurs, and clearly emotion ran further than logic for them. You're the [Demon Lord], did they just stray from their own? No, they were advocating all this demon supremacy stuff even as they fell..."
The hero's feelings for demons are...complicated. I myself don't hate them since I know a few, but right now, I'm willing to hurt these individuals since they're preying on innocent civilians. I don't have to think that much about my relationship with them anyways though, I'll be gone very soon.
I glance back at the weak noise, it's the demon I threw from earlier. How resilient, just sleep already! I go to activate [Gravity Magic] but,
"Y-you are the [Demon Lord Aki], I can sense...I know your face. The one who drove off the [Curses]...why? Why are you here and against us?"
"Why do you stay silent? If you're a proud demon then strike down the hero!"
"Don't tell me what to do."
"You...but the [Demon Lord], why? It's supposed to be your duty to bring us glory, yet you refuse to kill the obstruction!?"
"Shut it, you don't know anything."
"You...the responsibility...YOU CAN'T RUN."
"If I'm the [Demon Lord] then take my authoritative decision, and sleep until the guards lock you away."
"An enemy of demonkind, a traitor, a hindrance...you are, A--ki..."
His voice is trailing off as he fights the blood loss. Realizing he will fall at any moment, he repeats with undying eyes,
"You can't run."
"You can't run."
"You can't run."
"You can't r...u..."
I turn my back.
"What do you know?"
You can't run, Aki.