15.2. An Attack
I followed the dirt road all the way down, hoping that I would run into more people. And I did. But every single one of them reacted in the same way the first two [Traders] did, which left me even more irritated.
I folded my arms, fire daggers still in hand as it did not cost me anything to keep them there— mana was expended when they were created, so I might as well have had it on me until they dissipated. Is this some sort of Human thing? Do all Humans act like this when they meet a Demon?
That wasn’t true, of course— I knew it wasn’t true myself. I had met those [Cultists], and they showed no fear towards me or even Lucerna. In fact, they were so fearless that they still kept trying to order him around when he was killing them all. But perhaps that was just an isolated incident— an… outlier?
I didn’t entirely parse this concept, but I could see it somewhat. I saw myself as an outlier too— distinct from all the other Demons I had met so far. Even Haec was not the same as me, and this applied especially to the wild Demons. Maybe that was why Humans were so scared of me: they thought I was a wild Demon.
I shook my head, deciding that the first thing I would do when I saw the next Human was explain that I wasn’t a wild Demon. Then they wouldn’t run from me and would be able to tell me how I could go back to the Netherworld.
Determined to make myself heard by the next person I saw, I hurried down the road in search of someone. That was until I saw those tall structures in the distance.
Things made of stone and wood rose up from the ground above the trees. It was a monument— no, a wall. A large wall that encircled even more structures made of stone and wood within. Buildings.
This was… a city? Or was it a town? For some reason, I wasn’t entirely certain. My intuition told me it was one or the other as the definitions weren’t so concrete.
Either way, seeing a city for the first time distracted me long enough to not notice the group of Humans gathered around the front of it.
“...and are you sure what you saw was an [Imp]? Our reports indicate that a large Demon was the one responsible for destroying Fairdale.”
“Yes, yes! It was an [Imp]! It was swinging two bloody daggers wildly as it chased after me— look there it is!”
The Human in metal armor looked up and nearly dropped his spear. He reached for it in a panic and whirled around as he shouted at more armored Humans.
“Demon! A Demon is attacking Silvergrove! Sound the alarm! Call the guild to send adventurers!”
I tried running up to the group of Humans as the [Trader] I had spooked earlier screamed and ran into the city. I waved my hands in the air as I called out to them.
“Hi! Stop shouting— I’m Salvos, an [Imp] trying to find her way back to the Netherworld. I am not a wild Demon, so you don’t need to worry. I will not attack you… why are you still shouting?!”
I narrowed my eyes and halted in my step as the man with the spear pointed it at me.
“Stay away Demon!”
[Warrior - Lvl. 28]
I tried nodding at the man to defuse the situation. I walked slowly towards him, speaking slowly.
“I will not attack you unless you attack me. So if you will just help me—”
He jabbed the spear in my direction and I parried it.
I stepped forward and dipped down under his followup strike. He backed up as other armored Humans ran to his aid. I pointed at them, sending a [Fire Blast] to keep them back. I rushed up to the [Warrior] and raised a dagger.
[Fire Strike]. I swung the dagger down, slicing his spear in half. He recoiled as the wooden shaft splintered, before I jammed my claw through his stomach. He doubled over as I was about to finish him.
I glanced up as I saw a glinting projectile zip at me. I dodged my head out of the way just in time as the arrow whizzed past my face, only slightly grazing my cheek. I easily moved out of the way of three more slower arrows as the armored men on the walls loosed shots at me.
I eyed the Human who had managed to hit me.
[Archer - Lvl. 21]
He nocked another arrow on the strings of a curved piece of wood. He pulled the bowstrings back—
And screamed as a fire dagger stuck out of his shoulder. He collapsed to the floor, writhing in pain as I knocked another armored man charging at me away, before two more tried stabbing at me. I ducked under their spears, bending forward as I noticed a glow just ahead.
[Mage - Lvl. 18]
[Double Step]. I ran straight at the woman conjuring a sphere of sparks, striking her across the face and dispersing the magical attack. She let out a guttural scream as I kicked her away, flipping through the air and landing on the back of a spearman with a [Fire Strike] infused step.
The man groaned as I got off him, grinning at how easily it had been going. There was a dozen of them and I had barely taken any damage. And now I had already taken down five of them, leaving only—
I frowned as I counted the number of Humans I was now engaged with. There weren't this many before, was there? And then I saw more coming, pouring out of the walls and the gates of the city.
[Warrior - Lvl. 15]
[Warrior - Lvl. 17]
[Warrior - Lvl. 13]
[Warrior - Lvl. 10]
[Warrior - Lvl. 12]
[Archer - Lvl. 13]
[Archer - Lvl. 11]
[Archer - Lvl. 16]
[Archer - Lvl. 13]
[Mage - Lvl. 10]
[Mage - Lvl. 12]
And that wasn’t just it either. I looked past these uniformly dressed Humans, at the small but separate groups of Humans coming over wearing vibrant clothing and armor.
“Adventurers! It’s time to protect Silvergrove! The one who kills the Demon gets 50 gold coins!”
[Warrior - Lvl. 25]
[Warrior - Lvl. 16]
[Archer - Lvl. 23]
[Mage - Lvl. 17]
[Warrior - Lvl. 14]
[Rogue - Lvl. 12]
[Archer - Lvl. 14]
[Mage - Lvl. 16]
Wha— where did all these Humans come from? There are so many of them! I created a ball of fire as my gaze warily swept over all the new enemies coming at me. Can I even win—
My thoughts were interrupted as a blast of electricity knocked me back. I staggered away from the man I was standing over, feeling my body seize up momentarily. I quickly regained control over myself as I glared at the [Mage] who did that.
[Mage - Lvl. 18]
Huh? How is she standing? Didn’t I almost kill her—
I saw the glint coming once again, and this time parried the arrow as it came at me. My gaze snapped at the Level 21 [Archer] as he rubbed at his shoulder. Why isn’t he bleeding anymore? Where is my fire dagger?
I leapt back just in time to avoid most of the damage from the attack. The spearhead barely cut into my shoulder, but I felt more black blood pouring out of the wound than there should have been.
I looked up at the [Warrior]— the first man that I had left dying on the ground— as he drew his spear back. He held up a vial of red liquid and poured it over the back of the man I had been standing over. My eyes widened as the burn marks on the man’s skin disappeared.
“Take it easy, that’s all I can spare for now.”
I stared in horror as the man got up, almost completely uninjured, before picking up his spear and aiming at me again. I glanced around at all the Humans— at all the people I had nearly killed but were now somehow no longer injured— and had a thought.
“Hold back— it’s fast! Wait until captain Nathan gets here. He’s Level 50—”
I spun around and made a break for it.
“Don’t let it escape!”
I weaved around the arrows and spells that flew over my shoulder, grasping at the wounds I had taken. That was unfair! Why wasn’t I able to heal myself like that? And a Level 50 Human too? There was no way I would win that fight!
I scowled as I activated the speed Skill once again, easily putting more distance between me and my pursuers. I craned my neck around, watching as the last of them disappeared behind the trees, unable to keep up with me.
I only stopped running when I noticed the sky change color again; it was now orange, soon to be dark blue. I collapsed to the ground with a thud, scaring a small gray animal into some bushes away from me. I eyed the hare as it ran far away from me and sprawled myself on the dirt.
“At least you aren’t attacking me, right?”
I sighed as I felt [Rest] take over, slowly healing my injuries over time. I lay there for a moment, thinking back about the events of the day: I had been overpowered and forced to flee… again. I had to survive, so I did what I had to do. But it was annoying— having to run away from people stronger than me.
So I sat up and dug a claw into the earth.
“If they aren’t going to tell me where the Netherworld is and attack me instead— fine! I will just have to make them tell me.”
And all I had to do to achieve that was become stronger than them.
- Self-proclaimed most Successful Young Author on RoyalRoad based off the overly specific criteria he set. Hit 10,000 followers on the 21st of September, 2021, at the age of 21.
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