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59. Ignavare

Salvos (Death of the Destroyer)

Species: [Greater Demon]

Subspecies: [Midday Changeling] - Lvl. 49

General Skills:

[Advanced Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 2

[Identification] - Lvl. 5

[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension] - Lvl. 1

[Racial Skill: Mortal Form] - Lvl. 1

[Rest] - Lvl. 2

[Title Skill: Zealous Call] - Lvl. 1

Stats:

[Available Stat Points: 0]

[Vitality]: 51 (+5)

[Strength]: 36 (+5)

[Endurance]: 63 (+5)

[Wisdom]: 67 (+5)

[Agility]: 100 (+5)

Skills:

[Available Skill Points: 3]

[Advanced Fire Creation] - Lvl. 13

[Charge of Embers] - Lvl. 3

[Fire Strike] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)

[Ignition] - Lvl. 3

[Scorching Wave] - Lvl. 5

[Self Haste] - Lvl. 6

[Passive - Blue Flames] - Lvl. 9

[Passive - Deadly Instincts] - Lvl. 6

[Passive - Weapon Mastery] - Lvl. 2

 

I stared down the Level 52 [Fiend] standing before me. Ignavare was his name— and he had a summoning collar wrapped around his hand. That’s what I want. He also had orange-green skin and black hair, with a single horn with a spiral design protruding from his head. He turned two uncaring green eyes towards me and snorted.

“Human, have you really summoned me to fight another one of my kind? Even if it is a [Changeling], it’s still one that’s lower leveled than me even. And I am not your ordinary [Fiend].”

“Well, I am not your ordinary [Changeling] either.”

I bared my teeth menacingly at him; he shook his head, facing the head [Cultist].

“I was under the impression that this summoning was for another reason. Otherwise, I never would have come here for such mere pittance of an offering.”

The [Cultists] paled.

“No— great Ignavare, we’ve gathered you a sacrifice of blood and bodies. Here lies a hundred dead people, all for your use!”

“A hundred Humans, all ranging from having no Classes to being low leveled. Only five of them were above Level 20. And one was above Level 30. Yet, I did not even gain the full experience from her. Hrmph, I stand by my words. A mere pittance.”

“I-I apologize, great Ignavare. Please forgive us. He did not tell us—”

“Then you have fallen for his tricks. Our King will not forgive you for such foolishness when he warned you of the dangers of working with him.”

“B-but our King sent him—”

“Hey!”

I called out, waving a hand to grab their attention. The [Fiend] gave me a sidelong glance and the [Cultists] readied their weapons.

“Are you going to keep talking, or are we going to fight?”

“Uh, Salvos, why didn’t we just attack them while they were talking?”

“Why didn’t you do that?”

“...point.”

I shrugged, looking away from Daniel as I stood upright and pointed a finger at the [Fiend].

“I am not a wild Demon, and I have no reason to attack you at this moment. However, I do want your summoning collar. Plus, that Human is asking you to fight us. So, that could change real quick.”

“Oh, she doesn’t have a summoning collar. How did she get here if not through the gifts of my King?”

Ignavare took a step forward, peering at me curiously; he was not too tall, unlike Haec, and he was shorter than me. But he was still taller than Daniel.

The [Fiend] glanced over at the head [Cultist], causing him to jump. He spoke out in a quivering voice, almost backing away from Ignavare.

“I-I’m not sure. But she has to be a traitor to our cause, right? All Demons who don’t obey our King are traitors!”

“No.”

The head [Cultist] blinked as Ignavare shook his head nonchalantly. He flicked his hand through his black hair, almost playing with it between his fingers.

“The wild Demons of the Netherworld bow to no one. And our King has no interest in raising those cattle. Even still— you’re not a wild Demon, huh?”

His gaze bore into me as I readied myself. My body burst into flames and Daniel’s sword gleamed with an iridescent light. The [Fiend] stepped forward and his collar suddenly started to shimmer.

“Very well, then I shall accept your contract and dispose of this [Changeling]. Now, show me what tricks you have. Will you transform into a [Hellbeast]— if you’ve seen one— or are you going to play tricks on me and turn into a [Fiend] too? I must warn you, none of it will work on me...”

“Do you want to take care of the [Fiend]? I’ll deal with the [Cultists] for you.”

I glanced back at my Human companion who was giving me an eye.

“Absolutely not. Help me if I’m struggling.”

“Ah. I thought you would want to fight him yourself.”

“What am I, stupid? I don’t want to die. Sure, getting more experience is fine but—”

Ignavare lashed out at us— I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from him, but I certainly didn’t expect his entire form to sink into his own shadow. Daniel rushed forward, charging at the [Cultists] as they braced for him, while I leapt in the air and clung onto the side of the cavern wall.

I watched as the shadow rushed up the wall after me before a dark arm poked out of it. I kicked off the rock wall just in time to avoid a black blade swinging for my neck. What kind of magic is this, shadow creation?

I landed back on the ground with a heavy thud as I faced the shadow, now on the side of the cavernous room. Ignavare slowly rose out from the shadow, standing perpendicular to the wall before pointing a finger at me.

“[Darkling Toll].”

Behind me, Daniel cringed, although I didn’t see it. I watched as the ground around me began to fade and a mist of shadow form around me. It happened so fast— but I was faster.

[Charge of Embers].

I was on the [Fiend] in an instant— I struck him across the chest and he recoiled back. The ground where I stood burst out into some physical darkness, however I was no longer there. I raised a clawed hand to land another hit on him— a [Fire Strike]— but he hopped off the side of the wall and landed on the ground. I jumped after him, only to find myself striking a dome of darkness.

“[Dome of Shadows].”

Daniel groaned loudly, and this time I heard him. I glanced up at my Human companion.

“Do you need help—”

“[Harrowing Dusk].”

A blast of orange black sent me flying back, extinguishing the flames around my body. I saw flicker— and felt my body curling up in pain as the Ring of Lesser Protection gave out to the attack.

“Salvos!”

“Hrmph. More durable than I thought.”

I picked myself up, looking over at Daniel who kicked a [Cultist] into the rock wall.

“I thought you needed help! Why did you make that sound!”

I growled at him while still keeping my focus on the [Fiend] ahead of me.

“I, uh—”

The head [Cultist] grappled him from behind and he stumbled forward; I ignored that, bounding forward at Ignavare as spikes made of darkness formed around him. He’s not fast, and he can use a lot of magic— so high [Wisdom] then. Maybe [Endurance] too. Probably low [Vitality]. I quickly surmised what I could as I dodged the hail of shadow projectiles.

I leapt up into the air and pounced on him. I lashed at him with [Fire Strikes], digging my claws into his body and tearing off his skin. He screamed and pushed my hands off— strong. I tried to nip at him, however he crossed his arms while holding me back. His forearms were held against my neck, keeping me from biting onto him.

I paused. Then I opened my mouth.

[Scorching Wave].

“Gahhhhhhh!”

He screamed and kicked me off. I stumbled back while the [Fiend] grasped at his face— he was only slightly burned. My Skill was not the strongest I had. But he still turned two hate-filled eyes towards me.

I dashed forward at him—

And he sunk back into the shadows. So, he has a cooldown for that Skill then? I just need to wait a little more for—

I watched as the shadow zipped through the ground away from me. I sent another [Scorching Wave] at him, however the fire just harmlessly splashed off the earth floor.

“Huh.”

I created a bow and nocked a Blazing Bolt onto it.

“How about this then?”

I panted, feeling exhaustion begin to set in. I loosed the arrow and it blast the ground open; Ignavare was tossed out of his shadow and out into the air, his body burnt and bloodied. However, he was still alive.

I charged at him as he held out a hand, creating an axe made of shadows. I brought a [Fire Strike] down at him. He parried the attack— and my eyes widened as I took a glimpse of the weapon. In that moment of distraction, dark spikes rained down on me from above.

“Urk—”

The dark spikes pierced my arms and shoulders as I shelled up, before Ignavare sliced his axe up at my head. I stepped back, barely dodging the first swing, and managed to create a fire sickle just in time to block the second.

“What’s wrong, [Changeling]? I heard your kind was strong. But I’m not impressed so far. Why not try changing into something more powerful!”

He grunted and swung hard hard, shattering my weapon. I stumbled back as he walked forward, swinging the axe wildly with one hand as he cast magical attacks with the other. I managed to dodge most of them, but some nicked me, drawing blood. I backed up even more while he continued his assault.

“Come on! Show me what you can do!”

I stepped back and paused as a wave of darkness came at me. I stared as the attack came—

Now— [Self Haste]!

I ran around the attack, using all four of my limbs to propel myself as quickly as possible. The [Fiend] screamed, redirecting his dark spikes at me, but they were too slow.

I reached him a moment later as fire came to life in one of my hands. He swung his axe down at me, but I caught it with what I created. It was not a sword, a sickle, a dagger, or a spear. I created something simple— chains.

I wrapped the fire chains around the axe handle and pulled it away from Ignavare. The weapon was ripped out of his palms, forcing him to stumble forward into my [Fire Strike] fist. His head snapped back and he spat out a tooth.

“Was that a punch? That barely hurt—”

I sliced his head off with a swing of his axe.

 

Defeated [Abaddon Shade Fiend - Lvl. 52]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

Subspecies [Midday Changeling] Level Up!

[Midday Changeling – Lvl. 49] -> [Midday Changeling – Lvl. 50]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

 

His head dropped to the ground as I dropped the shadow axe down to the ground, too tired to carry it any longer. I collapsed to the ground, panting and heaving.

I heard shouts— terrified screams— then the smashing and breaking of rocks with a few groans. Footsteps approached me and a voice called out for me.

“Salvos!”

“Daniel… that was difficult. Why didn’t you help me?”

“Why didn’t you help me?”

“I’m too tired. And in a lot of pain. I need to [Rest].”

“He barely cut you. Why are you overreacting like this.”

Daniel stopped just in front of me and crossed his arms. I scowled.

“His magic— it’s better than mine. He was able to create a Medium Grade Weapon. See?”

I pointed at the shadow axe and my Human companion squinted. It was already dissipating— unlike the Spear of Flames that didn’t need to be fed mana constantly to maintain its form, this weapon disappeared without a mana source.

“How did you know it was a Medium Grade Weapon? Did you identify it in the middle of fighting?”

“[Deadly Instincts] told me to check. It warned me the weapon was dangerous.”

“So, he was some kind of [Mage]?”

I shook my head.

“No. He was an [Abaddon Shade Fiend]. Probably specializes in magic, which was why he can create such a powerful weapon. But he was physically strong too. That meant he had a low [Vitality] though, kind of like me. And I almost died!”

Daniel sighed, shaking his head. He grabbed my bag and took out my second healing potion from it.

“Sorry I couldn’t help you, but I was preoccupied. Here.”

He splashed it on me and I gratefully accepted it, feeling the most of the wounds all over my body recover slowly.

“Thanks.”

“It was a tough fight. But now, you’ve got what you want.”

I glanced past the vanishing axe at the dead [Fiend]. I nodded.

“Can you help take it for me?”

“Ugh, fine.”

I watched as the Human man slowly walked over to grab the summoning collar as I relaxed. Finally, I can see Haec again. It was a nice thought— a happy thought. One which felt particularly cathartic, especially if I ignored how it would probably take me Mortal Realm years to even find him again in the Netherworld.

Daniel reached for the summoning collar on Ignavare’s wrist—

And it shone. His entire body glowed an ethereal gray; the ground around him lit up as a thin cloak of mist grew around the body. I shouted at Daniel.

“Stop it!”

“W-what?”

My companion panicked and grabbed hold of the body, but it didn’t matter. The body vanished, and the collar was gone along with it. Even the head of Ignavare had been whisked away.

“Why? Why?! Why did that happen?”

“Holy shit— I thought it would take me to the Netherworld.”

I got up and grabbed Daniel by the shoulders. He backed up, face turning white as I glared at him.

“But why didn’t it take you? It grabbed me— it brought me to the Mortal Realm!”

“I… I don’t know. I think some sort of failsafe mechanism was activated?”

I stared, aghast at where the body had been. I got up onto one knee, eyes wide open.

“Daniel…”

“Salvos— I don’t think I did anything! I swear!”

I turned my gaze to him— he had been pale, a bit scared. But his face softened once he saw the expression I had on.

“Are… you alright?”

“I was so close. I could’ve gone back— what went wrong?”

The two of us stood there, unmoving. My Human companion averted his gaze, slowly chewing his lips. There was a silence. He opened his mouth and took a step forward—

“I—”

And a small voice interrupted him.

“Uh…”

The two of us glanced over at the side. A figure stood there, looking at us curiously. The Human girl blinked.

“...who are you?”

 

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