“Iona is mine!”
The young count charged at Ridrian, his eyes bloodshot, a dagger in his hand. He tried to stab Ridrian, but his rage was greater than his skill. He was all brute force and no careful aim.
Ridrian knocked the dagger out of his hand with ease. It clattered to the floor. The young count doubled back in surprise, searching frantically for his weapon. Ridrian marched towards him, surrounded by a deadly atmosphere, and leveled Lotuburu at the young count’s bandaged neck. The young count blanched.
“I won’t kill you in one blow,” Ridrian said, “That would be too kind.”
He raised the sword a little higher.
“You dare hug Iona with those dirty hands?”
He slashed his sword sideways, and blood splattered onto the old wooden floor. The young count let out a deafening scream, and I spotted something flying into the corner. It suddenly dawned on me that it was the young count’s other hand.
“Your dirty cheek is next,” Ridrian snarled.
His dark hands went up, and the young count scrambled backward on his bottom. With each movement, blood spurted from his injuries. Soon, the room was filled with a putrid stench. The young count cast a fearful glance in Ridrian’s direction, then shifted his gaze to me. With a choked cry, he shot out dismembered arms.
“Ah, no,” he moaned. “I can’t leave Iona. Iona! Ahh!”
His voice was an unpleasant din in my ears.
“No!” he cried. “Don’t do it, Piett! Ah!”
And then the unbelievable happened.
Was this what it meant to be stripped? The scene before me was so terrifying I could hardly breathe.
His ribs went first, crackling as they ripped out of his clothes. Then his shoulders were next, followed by his elbows and knees. All his bones shot out from underneath his skin, twisting in odd directions. His skin blackened and began to melt.
“H-his body!” I screamed.
Ridrian flinched, then turned toward me. He came to a stop right in front of me, as though he was tying to protect me.
“Is it a demon?” he asked.
He sounded a few times more displeased than he had when witnessing Theres’ advent. I couldn’t see it, but I could tell he was frowning.
“Ahhhh!” The young count continued to scream for a while. Then he stopped. His bones began to melt, filling the room with an even more disgusting smell than his blood had.
Kuooooooo. The sound was coming from the liquid mass of molten bones, which had begun to move, transforming into the shape of a demon.
Ridrian clicked his tongue. “Just how much magic was he exposed to? Well, it’s better this time.” He faced the monster. “You have no right to Iona’s sympathy.”
He gripped his sword calmly. Lotuburu resonated its master’s cold fury and began to week. I took a step back as he waved at me.
The monster became fully formed and let out a scream.
“Ugh!” Compared to this scream, the young count’s voice was probably harmonious. The demon’s scream left feeling like my ears might explode. Ridrian’s hands shot up, covering his ears.
Quick as lightning, his body dripping, the demon attacked. Ridrian sidestepped him and slashed with his sword, but it was like cutting through water.
My heart pounded in my chest.
The sword doesn’t work?
The smell worsened with each movement the demon made. I undid the scarf to cover my nose and mouth. I feel like crying. I’d heard that the sense of smell paralyzed after 3 seconds, but it felt like it was getting worse.
The demon regenerated. Veins popped up on Ridrian’s hand.
“Some garbage is just pissing me off.” He took a deep breath. Then he slashed Lotuburu in the air, and the thick, dark air spread over the sword. It was like the sword was growing itself.
“I’ll erase you without a trace,” he snarled.
He waved his sword again. It felt less precise than before, but the result was completely different.
The second the dark air touched the demon’s body, it exploded like a water balloon, splattering the walls. Whatever it touched seemed to melt, as though the demon was made of acid. A scream of agony filled the air. The demon was scream.
“Being a demon suits you more.”
Ridrian swung his sword with his cold eyes. Each time the sword hit it, the demon exploded. The demon was shrinking. It was only a matter of time before it was vanquished.
The demons are strong, but not even close to the main character.
I felt relived. Demons were the leftovers of the demonic tribe in this world. Unless you were quite talented at swordsmanship or had divine power, it was hard to face them. Seeing Ridrian get rid of a demon with mere swordsmanship, I was minded that he was the main character of the novel.