In the end, after the majority of the elves abandoned and left the forest, the remaining elves lost the ability to keep up the barrier.
Those with a high amount of mana decided altogether to depart from the village at an early stage following Zanga.
While watching the barrier growing gradually insubstantial, the remaining elves were in a situation of observing one another to check each other’s state.
Proclaiming their pet theory that upholding the barrier is an act of justice, those, who approved of it with a passionate attitude, are unable to state 「I will also leave」 just by themselves. While gauging the timing when they should comply once someone starts to talk about it in their minds, they passed their days loosely.
Even if the barrier vanished, the demons wouldn’t leave their own dwelling, would they? Won’t they choose to remain in their place as it’s peaceful location? Such wishful thinking, that lacked any basis, started to slowly spread.
However, that pipe dream didn’t last long.
“Oy, that is…”
At the place where the man who was collecting in the forest pointed was the direction of the demons’ settlement.
Ahead, where the opened up path leads to, a gloomy place with forest trees on either side can be seen.
“Those are… d-demons?”
Someone, who came walking down the path, was faintly visible.
With their walking pace being slow, the two elves lying in wait prepared to release their magic.
It didn’t take much time for the elves to notice that the one, whom they saw moving leisurely at the beginning, was close to being unable to walk and thus only moved slowly.
There was no mistake that the one who turned up was a male demon with a grey skin, but his condition could only be described as a misery.
With his left eye crushed, blood flows down his cheek similar to tears and he drags along his right leg which has a large wound on it. His flanks are soaked with blood as well and while sweating profoundly on his forehead, he desperately takes one step after the other.
The demon with his whole body covered in wounds finally noticed the elves.
He held out his right hand as if grabbing for something.
With not only his right eye being opened widely, but also his left eye, which was crushed missing even a visible shadow, the elves didn’t see him as anything but a strange monster and not a demon.
Although they heard his word, they hadn’t the composure to think about its meaning.
“The human is…”
“He seems weakened! Let’s get rid of him right away!”
The demon’s muttering was drowned out by the voice of the agitated elf.
Both elves cast wind and earth spells each.
As the demon, who was barely able to walk, shouldn’t have any leeway to avoid those, his body was cut up by the wind blades and his whole body was hit by pellets.
The demon, who was turned into an old rag, rolled back being blown away and stopped moving just like that.
“We did it…”
“But, why was he covered in so many wounds?”
“Rather than such a thing, we have to inform everybody! At last the barrier vanished! Since it seems that the demons are weaker than we thought, we might be able to hold out somehow if we face them together!”
One of them is inclining his head to the side, but the other one appears to be excited by having killed an enemy. He ran off towards the village.
Although the one who was left behind tried to call out to him, his friend was already too far away.
“… Something like the demons being weak, could it be such too convenient state of affairs?”
And something was the reason for the demon to be injured this much. He eagerly wrecked his brain over it, but the corpse in front of him couldn’t provide the answer he was looking for.
The one who created the origin by stirring up a chaos in the city of demons were visitors in the dead of the night.
There was a single building close to the business district where Hifumi lodged at in the demon’s city. With almost no people coming and going, it’s nothing but an inn.
As if having an inn in the outskirts, it’s a lodging used by some demons with high social standing in case work got late or such. It’s not a private but a state facility.
Having filled his stomach, Hifumi lied down on the bed after he had simply wiped his body.
“… They are unexpectedly fast.” (Hifumi)
In the dead of the night when everyone was asleep Hifumi abruptly opened his eyes and muttered this.
Hifumi sensed an intent to kill as if tingling on his skin approaching himself.
While pulling the katana to his side, he slightly breathes out with a “Fuu~.”
“I wondered whether I could use that woman, but this was out of my expectations.” (Hifumi)
Showing a wry smile, he sits up.
The presences of two people are on the other side of the door.
However, there’s no sign of them charging in.
Hifumi, who patiently watches the door, sat on the bed while wearing the katana at his waist.
The enemy is likely checking the situation inside the room. For a while they are beyond the door and silence drafts about.
Hearing a voice Hifumi recognised, the door flew open.
Since the door, which was split right in halves, came flying towards him, Hifumi evaded it by rolling off the bed.
“Hifumi, are you alright!?” (Vepar)
“Vepar, eh?” (Hifumi)
The one who called out to him from the opened, or rather vanished door was Vepar whose light blue hair was dripping with sweat and slightly disordered.
“Is your invocation of magic fast? I mostly know the invocation if it’s the magic from other folks, but I didn’t actually realize that your magic goes as far as blowing away a door, Vepar.” (Hifumi)
“That’s because of my special trait, but this isn’t a situation to have such carefree chat.” (Vepar)
Vepar, who grabbed Hifumi’s arm with an astonished face, left towards the hallway as is.
The pathway has become flooded with water. Two demons have lost their consciousness after getting hit by a wall of water.
“You haven’t killed them?” (Hifumi)
“… Forgive me. Even with this I’m crossing quite the risky bridge here.” (Vepar)
Vepar, who is running through the dark hallway, had a bitter expression.
“As I will explain later, follow me for now.” (Vepar)
Vepar’s subordinates seem to be waiting at the edge of the city.
“It looks like the king intends to create an opportunity for the demons to go on a foreign campaign by treating you as advance detachment sent by the humans.” (Vepar)
“Well, I think that’s a good idea. It’s not like the hostile opinion towards humans became weak, right? That being the case, this would likely be plenty to stimulate such situation.” (Hifumi)
“You know… aren’t you aware that he is aiming for your life here?” (Vepar)
“As of yet, no.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who runs while his hakama waves, stroke the mouth of the sheath gently with his fingers.
“It’s still not a battle that makes me tingling all over. Even though he is aiming for my life, there still hasn’t come anyone to wager their life. Aiming for my life with such an attitude, that’s a joke.” (Hifumi)
Vepar wasn’t able to say anything else to Hifumi, who leaked such complaints instead, anymore.
By chance, would it have been fine even if I didn’t rescue him? Such thought was swirling in her head, but it’s not like she wouldn’t go if that was the case.
“With having you killed, the demons certainly will join hands and set out to fight with the humans. However, you can’t say that this will be a battle necessary for us demons to survive. Going as far as expressly digging up hatred that has almost disappeared, in my humble opinion that’s exposure of many of my brethren to danger.” (Vepar)
The place they finally arrived at was one of the entrances of the city.
In front of the gate around 15 female demons waited.
“Captain, this way.” (Bennia)
The one guiding Vepar by raising her hands is Bennia.
“Bennia, how’s the situation?” (Vepar)
“There are no problems. Just as planned.” (Bennia)
Vepar was puzzled.
The movement this time was hurried. With Vepar having only moved the subordinates she could call out to, it’s unrelated to such words as planned or scheduled, it’s something unforeseen.
“Yes, just as planned. For you to move in order to protect the human is just as it was expected by the king and Phegor-sama, Captain.” (Bennia)
Vepar, who tried to interrogate her, was suddenly hit hard by a fist which came flying from her side and rolled on the ground while raising a cloud of dust.
“Good grief, for you to support the likes of a human. I don’t like that Phegor fellow, but I won’t approve such bad smelling acts.” (Beleth)
Beleth, who looked down on Vepar, says while swinging his tightly grasped fist.
It wasn’t like Vepar lost consciousness, but she wasn’t able to stand up as she had a cerebral concussion.
“B-Beleth, why are you here…?” (Vepar)
“You still don’t get it?” (Bennia)
The one who returned an answer was Bennia.
“Captain, you were chosen as victim who was killed by the human. Since you will be able to become the cornerstone to unify the demons, it will be a honour.” (Bennia)
“You have always thought about the people who don’t have any fighting strength, Captain, therefore even they will fight for your revenge”, Bennia declared with a serious look.
“Well, it will be us who kill you, Vepar, and the human though.” (Beleth)
Beleth, who drew his large sword, turned towards Hifumi.
Having listened to their talk, Hifumi is smiling all over his face.
“… What are you smiling for?” (Bennia)
Due to Bennia saying “this is the scene where you should beg for your life”, Hifumi returned “Foolish talk.”
“The situation is the best I could ask for. The demons are relatively powerful, thus I was thinking that I should adjust you in some respects.” (Hifumi)
“Adjust, you say?” (Beleth)
“Want me to rephrase it? It’s thinning out.” (Hifumi)
Due to Hifumi stating that frivolously without even drawing his katana, Beleth lost his cool in an instant.
“You will thin me out, you say!?” (Beleth)
“Oh, you got it properly. Let me praise you for that.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi plays with a silver coin he took out from his pocket.
Though the coin drew a parabola, it hit Beleth’s trained chest.
“I will kill you!” (Beleth)
“Go for it. Try to kill me.” (Hifumi)
The large sword, which was brandished heartily to cut open his waist, hit air without touching Hifumi.
The kick of Hifumi who jumped up caught Beleth’s face. Beleth, who shook and swayed only a small bit, braced his legs and hit with his sword.
“You are a sturdy fellow.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who smoothly jumped into Belth’s back, still hasn’t drawn the katana.
“I have seen your battle. You are strong.” (Hifumi)
“Of course! I’m here for the demons to become the winners. There’s no need to be acknowledged by someone like a human.” (Beleth)
Drawing back his foot, Beleth threw his large sword with all his strength.
In order to evade the large sword which came flying while rotating in circles, Hifumi largely leaps to the side.
Beleth’s fist, which swooped down there, hit Hifumi’s cheek.
Just like Vepar, Hifumi’s body flies away.
However, Hifumi made one revolution on the ground and stood up calmly.
Spitting out saliva with blood mixed in, Hifumi twisted his neck jerkily.
“… What did you do?” (Beleth)
“I was simply sent flying while taking your fist directly to the face.” (Hifumi)
Ignoring Hifumi’s mumbling “The reason for it to become like a whip is because the body stiffens” to explain the structure of the body and its mechanics, Beleth and Bennia were dumbfounded.
“Well then, I guess the lecture is done around this point. You won’t use it anymore anyway.” (Hifumi)
He drew the katana.
“Let’s start.” (Hifumi)
The instant Hifumi raised his voice, Beleth put himself on guard.
However, what Hifumi attacked with wasn’t a throw of the katana but the throw of a stone he took out from his pocket.
One of the female demons encircling him in the surroundings screamed.
“W-What have you done…?”
“I only hit her with a small piece of metal. She tried to use magic after all.” (Hifumi)
Due to those words, Bennia and the female demon unit step back.
“I pay attention to the surroundings in front of me. I have that leeway.” (Hifumi)
Beleth, who grasped his fist to the degree of blood seeping through, faces him with a stiff smile.
“At least make me loose that leeway. Come attacking desperately.” (Hifumi)
Without even returning any words towards that provocation anymore, Beleth unleashes a series of fist swings.
While it seems for others that he is hitting the katana, Hifumi warded them off and fell back in a circle.
“Can’t you get close at this speed!?” (Beleth)
The fists of Beleth, who increases the number of hits even more, reached the point of grazing Hifumi’s sides and shoulders.
They should be hitting the katana’s blade, but it’s at a level that Beleth’s muscles are injured only lightly.
“You are a truly sturdy fellow.” (Hifumi)
“You won’t be able to pierce through my muscles with such thin sword!” (Beleth)
The human in front of me is skilfully dodging, but I will be able to overcome his resistance soon, Beleth, who is convinced of that, stepped forward powerfully to raise the speed even more.
Hifumi, who placed his left hand on the backside of Beleth’s knee in order to catch him, drew the knee towards himself alongside a yell of 「Heave-ho」 in order to boost his spirit.
With a wobble, Beleth loses his balance and his left fist hits air.
In that moment the katana’s point was thrust from the defenceless side and pierced into the side of the neck.
“If the muscles are no good, it’s only natural to aim for places where there are no muscles… oops, he died, huh?” (Hifumi)
The body of Beleth, who collapses, sank into the pool of blood he had created himself while having his eyes open widely in surprise.
It seems that Beleth’s strength was something they put in that much of trust. The female demons can’t hide their surprise.
Among them only Bennia began to move calmly.
Understanding that she would have no chance to win in a direct confrontation, she inhaled her breath with all her might.
Noticing something, Vepar shouted.
“Close your ears!” (Vepar)
Immediately following, Bennia, who opened her mouth to a degree mismatching for her small face, triggered a scream accompanied by a vibration which hasn’t any sound wave or voice attached to it.
All the people in the surroundings have covered their ears. Some among those who closed the ears are in agony and there are also people who have fainted after shedding blood from their ears.
“This was intense…”
Hifumi, who discarded the katana and plugged his index fingers into the ears, leaks.
Although he avoided a direct hit, his vision is distorted due to the vibration as it looks like his brain has been affected.
Hifumi didn’t hear that voice well, but he saw Bennia rushing over and aiming her sharp claws at his throat.
Getting annoyed with the shaky field of vision, Hifumi closed his eyes and took a step forward by himself.
Due to him closing the distance unexpectedly, Bennia is unable to cope with it. Getting hit with Hifumi’s head-butt on her forehead as is, her knees trembled.
The body of Bennia which somehow doesn’t collapse was vigorously thrust away by a front kick of Hifumi.
After that he pierces her to the ground with the large sword which was thrown by Beleth.
As the dull blade bites into the bones of her waist, Bennia, whose body was folded in half, spurt out blood and groans from her mouth at the same time and died.
“Ah~… It’s troublesome if it’s sound. There’s no way to defend against it completely.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who shook his neck, picked up the katana.
“Well then, I have to clean up the rest.” (Hifumi)
Listening to the words muttered by Hifumi while he was confirming whether there’s a chip in his katana’s blade, though he knows there won’t be any, all of the women in the surroundings were frozen stiff and unable to move while being drenched in cold sweat.