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Chapter 13


“Stella? Stella!”

“No, I didn’t mean to do it!” I yelled hysterically.

“Stella, wake up! Wake up!”

“N-Nocturne?” I panted between my irregular breaths as tears streamed down my face. Nocturne had his arms wrapped tightly around me.

“Shh, it’s alright. It was just a nightmare.” Nocturne held me tightly in his arms for a while until I had calmed.

I looked around our surroundings. We were sitting down in a forest. The sunlight stone through the leaves in the trees, leaving speckles of light shine on the forest floor.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

I remained silent for a moment. “Everyone...I killed everyone. There was blood and they weren’t moving.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t let that happen, I promise.”

I took deep breaths and nodded slowly. “L-let’s get moving.” I spoke as I stood and looked at the morning sun. Please, don’t let what I saw happen. Please, let it all have just been a bad dream.

Nocturne nodded. “Hey, Wight, we’re leaving.”

“Of course.”

Our journey felt exceedingly slow, mostly because Nocturne insisted that we not pressure my stamina, even though I told him I felt fine, and I had grown accustomed to travelling by teleportation with Zelgius. But since Zelgius is currently recovering, we’re unable to do so.

“Hey, Wight,” Nocturne called Zelgius’ attention.

“What is it?” he asked, looking back at the knight.

“Do you kill when you feed?”

Zelgius raised an eyebrow in confusion. “I don’t have to. I just drain humans of their life force, which makes them weak as long as I don’t take too much of it.”

“Then take some of mine.”

“Why the sudden offer? You seemed quite reluctant yesterday.”

“I rather get the cleansing of the land completed sooner so we can focus at the main issue at hand.”

“Oh, what would that be?”

“A lich that has summoned something so dangerous should not be allowed to roam freely. We can’t keep wasting our days travelling on horseback.”

“Alright, then give me your arm.” Nocturne complied and held out his arm. Zelgius wrapped his pale fingers around Nocturne’s arm. “Don’t fall off the horse if you get dizzy,” Zelgius warned with a grin. A soft, green glow appeared around Zelgius’ hand. I watched them curiously in amazement as Zelgius seemed to be restored with more and more vitality.

Suddenly, Nocturne collapsed over the side of the horse. But Zelgius immediately caught him by his arm and pulled him back upright on to the horse. “I warned you,” he sneered.

Nocturne placed his hand to his head. “Urgh, damn it, you bastard. You did that on purpose.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

I looked at them in confusion. What did Zelgius do on purpose?

Zelgius then halted the horse and jumped down to the ground. “Ah, it feels so wonderful to be at full strength.”

Nocturne rolled his eyes as he steadied himself on the horse. “You’re at full strength now so quickly teleport us to Liberatum.”

“As you wish,” he smirked. Without delay, Zelgius teleported us to the outskirts of Liberatum. “Easy,” he taunted at Nocturne.

I rolled my eyes at the two males. I was about to say something immature to the both of them until I got distracted by the loud shouts nearby. “What’s going on in town?”

“Undead--lots of them,” Zelgius eyed the town.

“We have to hurry and help them!” I can’t let another civilization be destroyed by the undead.

“Stella, wait. It’s too dangerous. You stay here,” Nocturne spoke as he dismounted his horse.

“Humph, she’s a hundred times more capable than a weakened knight against the undead.”

Nocturne grabbed Zelgius by his robe collar. “I don’t appreciate you putting Stella’s life at risk.”

“She’s the Noble of Light who controls the magic which the undead are most vulnerable to. In addition to that, she’s the Demon King which has powers beyond any normal human’s belief.”

“Stop it, both of you!” I stood in between them. “Arguing isn’t going to get us anywhere when there are lives at risk. Nocturne, Zelgius is right. Stop treating me like I’m a weak girl that still needs protection. All these months I’ve been dealing with the undead using my powers. And you’re still weakened after giving some of your life force to Zelgius. Please, let me fight by your side.”

“You don’t have any weapons with you,” he countered.

“I can fix that.” Zelgius held his hand forward, causing shimmering dust to appear around his hand. Suddenly a black, sheathed blade appeared in his hand. “I thought you’d might like this back after dropping it.”

“My sword!” I exclaimed. Zelgius handed the black sword to me. “Thank you.”

Nocturne frowned slightly. “Alright, fine. But you do not leave my sight for one second.”

“Alright,” I agreed.

We rushed into Liberatum and found that the situation was somewhat not as bad as it could have been. Since Liberatum is an adventurer's town where adventurers stop by frequently, there were plenty of people who had skills in combat to help fend off the undead. However, this time, I noticed a much larger amount of undead with a much larger variety. In addition to the basic zombies, ghouls and skeletons, there were draugrs, revenants, wraiths, witches and banshees.

I analyzed the entire group of undead before me. “There’s so many more higher leveled undead creatures here. I guess we’re lucky that there are so many people here now that can fend for this town against them.”

Zelgius quickly scanned the area. “Be careful, there are many more undead than what we see currently. Right now it’s just the low and middle-class undead that are battling with the humans. There’s something more dangerous hiding among the chaos,” he warned.

“Something more dangerous? What is it?” Nocturne asked.

“I can’t tell. It’s hiding its presence very well.”

“Alright, let’s go help you the townsfolk first.” We all nodded in agreement and rushed forward. Nocturne and I drew our blades. I infused both our weapons with my light magic and buffed us with increased speed as we charged to battle.

We both began slashing our way through the crowd of undead. Their bodies fell one by one due to our light magic-infused weapons. As we fought in the town square, I noticed a skeleton trying to creep up behind Nocturne. Without hesitation, I darted towards him and struck my blade over Nocturne’s shoulder, skewering the skeleton in the face. “You have to take care of yourself, you’re still not at full strength yet.”

“Glad to know you’ve got my back,” he smiled.

I grinned back at him, happy that he was acknowledging me as a comrade that could fight by his side.

Once we were able to eliminate most of the undead and lead the townspeople to safety, I decided to search around the town once more. “I’m going to go make sure that no one else is in trouble”. Nocturne nodded and followed behind me.

In front of the inn, were two children surrounded by three zombies. They cowered with their hands over their heads as the zombies approached them. I immediately ran towards them and sliced the undead in two at their waists, leaving them to collapse to the ground and be consumed by my light magic. “Are you two alright?” They both nodded at me. “Quickly, get inside somewhere safe and hide.” They nodded once more and quickly ran from my sights. That should be the last of the people in this town.

“Stella, behind you!” Nocturne cried.

I turned around and saw a banshee screeching as it approached me.”If you’re screeching because someone’s about to die, then you’re right!” I yelled as I released an orb of light towards the banshee. The banshee was instantly consumed by the magic and turned to a pile of ashes at me feet. “Thanks for the warning,” I called out.

Nocturne nodded with a smile as he slashed away the ghouls which began to surround him. Suddenly an undead wearing heavy, metal armor approached Nocturne. In his hand was a large sword. I felt that it was emitting a large amount of shadow magic.

“Be careful, Nocturne, that’s a death knight! His sword is filled to the brim with shadow magic.”

Nocturne immediately raised his sword in a defensive stance. The two eyed each other for an extended period of time. However, the death knight became impatient and charged towards Nocturne with a loud roar. Their blades clashed heavily and quickly. I could even see sparks shoot out as their blades hit. Each time their blades connected, I could feel the light magic around Nocturne’s blade dissipate, little by little, as if the shadow magic was chipping it away. How is that death knight’s shadow magic so powerful? I have to quickly restore the light magic on Nocturne’s sword. I immediately focused my magic on Nocturne’s blade, wrapping it with multiple layers of light magic. While I was working on that, I decided to envelop Nocturne’s entire body with light magic. At least this will protect him from the shadow magics of that sword.

The death knight was relentless in his swings. He forcefully drove Nocturne into a more defensive position. However, in a single, powerful strike, the death knight was able to knock Nocturne off his feet. But luckily, Nocturne was highly skilled and landed steadily on the ground.

The death knight was powerful. It’s one of the stronger types of undead in regards to its physical strength. It would have more than double its strength compared to when it was alive. I thought it was amazing that Nocturne was able to keep up with the creature. Nocturne was able to swiftly dodge many of its fatal attacks. He dashed from side to side, evading the death knight’s strikes. As soon as he got close enough, he immediately pounced high into the air and began spinning his body. He slashed down at the undead with a spinning blade attack. Nocturne landed on the ground, stumbling slightly. His breathing became heavy. He’s too exhausted after Zelgius took some of his energy. He can’t keep up this pace.

The death knight now had a large, gaping gash over his entire chest. But because he was a higher class of undead, he wasn’t affected by the physical blow. However, he was now groaning at his injury as it began burning the surround area of the open wound. The shadow magic on its sword is preventing my magic from burning him to ashes.

As if it didn’t have an injury at all, the death knight made its way towards Nocturne, looming over him. It raised its blade high into the air, preparing a strike.

“Nocturne!” I cried out in a panic.

Suddenly. a large black, spear skewered the death knight through its wound, tearing its body wide open. Zelgius now stood directly behind the undead, firmly holding the death knight in place. “Hurry and finish it!” he yelled.

Nocturne immediately stood as firmly as he could, gripping his sword tightly. He ran towards the death knight and began slashing with all his might. The death knight’s armor began crumbling away as Nocturne’s magic-imbued blade burned every part of the undead. Zelgius tore his shadow spear, leaving the burned armor and corpse collapse to the ground.

“My, my, I never thought we’d be betrayed by our own kind.”

We all directed our attention to the sound of the voice. Standing on top of the inn was a man with horns that curved forward and large bat-like wings. He had a head of shoulder length, silver hair like Zelgius. His irises were a deep shade of crimson and his sclera were entirely black.

“You’re an incubus. What’s a high-class demon doing terrorizing human civilization?” Zelgius asked.

The incubus chuckled. “Demons are enveloped by the veil of chaos. Humans are weaklings for the strong to toy around with. The world is as simple as that. And to you Wight, the humans are nothing more than your food.”

“Shut up!” Zelgius roared as he threw his spear towards the incubus. But the incubus immediately grabbed the spear with ease and began twirling the long weapon in his hand.

“Haha, how cute that a mere Wight tries to challenge an incubus. But, I have no interest in you. I much rather spend my time with this beautiful Demon King.” He turned his gaze towards me. What does he want with me?

“Don’t look him in the eyes!” Zelgius cried.

But it was too late. I felt a large throb in my chest. I couldn’t avert my gaze from the incubus. My body wouldn’t move, no matter how much I told it to.

“Come to me,” the incubus beckoned as he jumped off the inn and stood in front of the entrance.

My body began to move towards the incubus. I couldn’t stop myself. I tried to resist whatever was compelling me but it was entirely useless. It was as if I watch watching myself move from within my husk of a body.

Nocturne immediately grabbed me by the arm, stopping me. “Stella, get a hold of yourself!”

I pulled my arm forcefully out of Nocturne’s grasp. “Don’t touch me, you pathetic dog.” No, I didn’t say that!

Nocturne displayed an expression of shock and disbelief. “Stella…” Then he suddenly turned his head towards the incubus, “what did you do to her?” he shouted.

“Hahaha, the Demon King belongs to me now,” he sneered. “Stella, be a good girl and rid yourself of these pests, will you?”

“As you desire,” I replied. I turned and faced Nocturne and readied my blade. “Don’t let me kill a man that won’t even hold his sword properly. It wouldn’t be just for a lady like myself.”

“Don’t kill her. She’s being controlled by the incubus,” Zelgius spoke.

“I figured that out already.” Nocturne gripped the handle of his blade. He immediately dashed forward. But instead of striking me, he darted right past me, towards the incubus, “Die, you bastard!”

I swiftly turned around and gathered the shadow magic around me. I began imagining large, snake-like ropes and shaped the magic to my will. I then shot my ropes forward, quickly wrapping them around Nocturne. Stop! I don’t want this! The shadow ropes wrapped around Nocturne’s legs and arms, holding him above ground. Nocturne struggled to escape but there was little he could do. He tried to use his light magic-infused blade to hack away at the ropes but I immediately removed any enhancements that I had provided him earlier. “Hehe, now all you can do is struggle like a fly caught in a web,” I taunted. I raised my blade and propped it against Nocturne’s neck. “Any last words?” I grinned triumphantly.

“Stella, you have to snap out of it,” Nocturne pleaded.

“Ahahaha!” the incubus laughed. “This is just marvelous. You’ve made constant errors by underestimating the capabilities of the Demon King. Now, you shall be slain by your beloved. Off with his head, Demon King!”

“As you command,” I replied. I raised my arm high in the air, preparing a fatal strike to Nocturne.

“Stella, don’t listen to him. You have to regain control. You’re stronger than he is!” Nocturne urged.

Stop! Don’t hurt Nocturne! Don’t do it! I yelled at my possessed body. My arm trembled with the blade. I can’t ever forgive myself if I hurt Nocturne. Please, stop! I pleaded to myself. I could feel tears trickle down my face. I need Nocturne. I can’t kill him! He’s my most precious person!

Suddenly, my blade was knocked from my hand and I felt my body become constricted. I looked down and noticed black tendrils wrapping around my body. I struggled but my arms could not be freed. “Zelgius, you--!”

“Don’t forget I taught you how to control the shadow magic, Stella.”

I looked down at the Wight angrily. “Don’t forget I’m also the Noble of Light.” I immediately let out a burst of light magic from my body, disintegrating the shadow binds. I picked up my sword from the ground and pointed it towards Zelgius. “You’re a follower of the Demon King, right? Don’t make me have to get rid of you.”

“Tch, I’m just going to ignore everything you say. I know that the incubus has a hold over you.”

“So then, what do you plan to do? Do you plan to fight me?”

“No, I won’t fight you,” Zelgius replied. He summoned another shadow spear and made his way over to Nocturne. He then directed the pointed end over Nocturne’s heart.

Nocturne struggled as he panicked. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“You think holding Nocturne hostage will stop me?” I asked.

“I know you don’t want him dead, Stella. Although your body is possessed to do so, your heart and mind refuses. You have to fight him. You’re stronger than him.”

“Hah, go ahead. You’ll just be saving me the trouble of having to clean my blade of Nocturne’s blood afterwards.” No, Zelgius!

“Are you certain, Stella? A single pierce through his heart and he’ll be gone. He won’t regenerate like an undead.” Zelgius pressed his spear into Nocturne’s chest, causing him to gasp and grimace at the pain.

My body flinched forward but then swiftly regained its composure. “What are you waiting for, Zelgius? Do it. Kill him.” Stop, don’t do it! Don’t kill him!

“Stella, please,” Nocturne begged.

I stood silently, eyeing the two. Please, no, please! Don't do this!

“Alright, Stella. Then this is goodbye for you and Nocturne,” Zelgius announced. With a single movement, Zelgius stabbed Nocturne through his chest, leaving the head of his spear protruding from Nocturne’s back. Nocturne cried out in agony.

Nocturne!!! I cried in my mind with panic. A burst of light magic erupted from the core of my body, surrounding us in brightness. I heard the sounds of something dropping on to the ground. I heard the cries of agony of the incubus. But I couldn't see anything. My vision was blinded by the brightness of my magic.

Soon enough, as the magic faded, I felt my body stumble to the ground. I had spent all my light magic and could feel the wave of dizziness wash over me. I held my hand to my head and realized that I was, finally, back in control of my own body. Please, let Nocturne be okay.

As soon as I was able to regain my full vision, I saw Nocturne, lying on the ground, the spear no longer protruding from his chest. I half dragged my body towards Nocturne. Zelgius was no longer at his side and the incubus was no longer in sight. Did I end up killing Zelgius, too? "No, Nocturne. This is all my fault," I cried as I held Nocturne in my arms. "I'm so, so sorry. If only I was stronger, then this wouldn't have happened. You and Zelgius would still be alive if it weren't for me."

"Y-you're squeezing too tight," Nocturne mumbled.

I quickly loosened my hold. "You're alive! But, how?"

Suddenly, Zelgius appeared at my side, relieving a long sigh. "Thank goodness I wasn't obliterated in that blast of light."

"Zelgius, you're alright," I spoke, relieved.

"Don't go killing me off, my dear. Luckily my plan worked. If not, that incubus could be taking over the world this very moment."

"But I saw you stab Nocturne through the heart. How is he still alive?"

"Well, luckily for Nocturne, I didn't even penetrate his skin with my spear. I just formed my shadow magic so it appeared to be going through him."

"Ugh yeah, but you really hit me hard when you were putting on your performance. I may be strong but I'm still human, you damn Wight." Nocturne rubbed his chest where he had been hit by Zelgius' spear.

Zelgius chuckled. "My commendations to you, my good knight, for your wonderful acting. Without that, our performance would have been seen through by Stella."

"But how did you know that I would react the way I did?" I asked.

"I could tell," Zelgius began, “even if your body was possessed, you hesitated when you were about to kill Nocturne. That was when I knew that that was my only window of opportunity."

I smiled. "Thank you, both of you, for not giving up on me."

Nocturne raised his hand and began caressing my cheek. "I told you; I will always stay by your side," he smiled.

After the ordeal with the incubus, we made sure that the town of Liberatum was back on its feet before we left. We helped the citizens with caring for the wounded and helped children find their parents and families. However, many citizens were quite skeptical of Zelgius and I. They knew he was an undead, and they saw me use shadow magic. Despite how much I tried to help, they kept eyeing me suspiciously.

At the end of the day, the town thanked us briefly as we set off. It seemed like they did not want to have too much contact with us. Well, They can’t help but be weary of me since I’m the Demon King and Zelgius is an undead Wight. At least the town is alright now.

Suddenly, two children ran up behind us. “Miss!” they called out.

I turned around and knelt down to look at the children. “You’re the kids from the inn.”

“Uh-uhm, thank you miss,” the taller one spoke, “for saving us.” In the child’s hand was a flower which she handed out towards me.

You’re welcome.” I took the flower in my hand and smiled back at them.

The children quickly ran back to town, waving at me. I waved back at them until they were out of sight.

Nocturne smiled at me. “That was kind of them.”

I nodded. “Even though I’m the Demon King, as long as I do the right things, everything should be alright.”

“Yes.” Nocturne placed his hand on my head.

“Alright, let’s keep going. We’ve still got a lot of shadow magic to take care of.”

“As you command,” Zelgius grinned.

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