The Demon Wolf (Book 1 of The Devil and the Huntsman)

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Chapter 100: The Demon Wolf

This is Lagertha’s first night being alone in the world without a mother and a father, and she is now on her own. She held onto her longsword in case some mysterious creature of the night stops her in her tracks. Lagertha has the blood of the wolf, and that alone could serve her well in the sleepless nights before her. She looked forward and felt where the red star was located; she had to follow the star and have answers waiting for her. Lagertha’s new purpose in life is to honor her mother’s people and bring her father out of the darkness and into the light.

Meanwhile, Lenora felt so much violence and horror be released in front of Midland’s gates and there was nothing she could do about it. She could not simply venture forth into the battlefield and kill as many of her enemies as possible. Julius no longer went by his correct name; he now goes by the name of the one who gave him unspeakable power. In front of the gates, both the demons and the humans stood in shock and surprise as Julius was about to do something he will never forget. They watch on as the huntsman opens his eyes and looks at the sky, and he raises his hands to present himself to all who bore witness.

“I AM MEPHILES! CONQUEROR OF WORLDS! YOU WILL TASTE NO VICTORY!!” He shouted. As he stood before the legion and the Midland army, Balvu got only a little strength back.

With all of his fury and strength, the knight leader dashes to Julius and holds onto his blade to cut Julius to pieces. Balvu swung his sword at the demon hunter, but Julius dodges every blow instead of crossing blades with his enemy. According to Julius, Balvu already lost the duel and he would only make the situation even worse. The slayer took less damage than the knight leader, but Julius could regenerate himself and heal his scars. In a split second, Julius uses his greatsword and swings it fast enough to make Balvu’s last blade crack open.

Before he knew it, Julius pushes his sword into the bottom of Balvu’s chin, and he makes the sword run-up to the man’s head. He pushes the sword deep into Balvu’s skull until lots of blood and gore gushes out and ends up falling from his face. Julius regretted nothing as he slowly ended the life of the leader of Midland’s knights; they all watched in fear of what would happen to them if they did not do something about it. Julius watched as Balvu’s head is nothing but a mass of blood and gore, and he keeps his greatsword pierced inside the man’s head. The night creatures were easily impressed by how quick the duel was and how easy it was for their king to kill the leader of the humans.

“In paradise, you will know me as a conqueror and the king of this world. You were never strong enough to defeat me. Even in death, I will tear you apart. Gain some freedom in death,” Julius said. Balvu said nothing because the demonic greatsword choked the life out of him, and he quickly drew his last breath as his last vision was of the man who succumbed to the dark embrace.

And so, Balvu died a violent death as Julius and his dominated army were very close to achieving their victory over the humans. Then Julius pulls his greatsword out from Balvu’s head and leaves the knight leader on the ground to die along with his army. The demon hunter watched as his sword was covered with the blood and gore of his strong opponent. He knew he could not waste breath on a person who was sent to kill him in the first place as the midnight moon still appeared in the sky. Then, he lifted his greatsword and held it in the air to persuade his dominated army to push forward into the kingdom.

They all lifted their weapons, and they held onto their swords while giving out war cries and roars under the moon. Julius and the demons charged forward, and all of them were prepared to take the castle for themselves. The huntsman’s aim was clear; he needed to go fulfill it while his army killed anything and anyone standing in their way. No matter how he did it, Julius needed to get inside the castle to settle things with King Harald and dethrone him. Then, a dozen knights corner him to kill him before he makes his way to the entrance doors.

Julius held onto his greatsword to kill anyone who would try to take his life before he wins over them. His new blade was enough to cut down six ordinary foes in a single slash, but it was not something the humans knew. One knight charged to Julius with his sword pointed to Julius’s face, yet he was not lucky enough to give the hunter a scar. Julius quickly swung his blade to make the knight’s sword crack open, and the unlucky man thought he could keep going in killing such a powerful slayer. Then Julius uses his greatsword and slices off the knight’s head, and he watches the head roll away from its body.

That knight would not be the last knight Julius would ever kill before he had enough of killing humans. He did not wish to slay the people of the earth for the sake of winning an earthly throne, but only those who are not worth the air they breathe. Another knight comes running towards him with a spear; little did that man know that Julius could swiftly dodge and parry every single weapon that comes before him. Then, Julius spins around with his sword and makes the spearman miss his target as even more knights and demons battle each other. He spun around and had his greatsword slice through the knight’s stomach, which caused him to have half his body fall.

Julius was on a killing spree against everyone who would try to lift their hand against him as he marches towards King Harald. Suddenly, one knight held a large ax and threw it at Julius, and that man thought his weapon would successfully land on the huntsman’s forehead. Once again, Julius’s greatsword did not fail in swinging other weapons away from his body and expecting himself to be victorious. Instead of stabbing this knight to death, Julius tried to kill him with his bare hands. Nobody ever said anything about a man going against his foes without swinging a sword to give him protection and help.

Julius ran up to the knight and had only one hand to go wherever he wished on the man’s body. He uses his right hand and lunges it into the knight’s throat, and the unfortunate man gasps at how much suffering it gave him. The knight realizes so much blood started falling from his throat and ended up not speaking a word. The slayer lunges forward and rips out the knight’s trachea from his throat, and he gazes upon it as so much blood and gore splattered out from the knight’s throat. Julius looked up at the castle and could feel Harald staring down at him and knew he would not surrender to a dark cause.

“King Harald, I come for you! A true king does not hide! Leave your throne and face me!” Julius shouted. For a moment, Harald ignored a word the slayer said.

He did not know if he had to go inside the castle to fight Midland’s king or if Harald ended it all outside the palace. A few seconds later, Harald walks out from the throne room and stands above the rampart. He wanted to inspect the man he used to love before one of them dies. A massive wave of emotion began revolving around the huntsman, but he could never forget the betrayal and defeat that Harald unleashed upon him. The king of Midland held onto the handle of his longsword and saw everything come full circle.

Then Julius looked up to the king and said, “I’ve had enough. You know me, King Harald. And you know that I will kill every knight in this kingdom in a single blow. This battle is pointless! Now get down here and we’ll end this! Come down or more blood shall be stained on these walls!”

“Spare me your merciless killing, Julius. I gave you one chance at redemption and you just wasted it. I wanted to give you a chance to forgive me and my family for lying to you, but it seems as if I’ll never receive it. For the honor of King Lancelot and the honor of my second in command...” Harald said.

“HE HAD NO HONOR! AND YOU WILL DIE AS HE DID!!”

Those words immediately triggered King Harald’s mind and knew the slayer deserved to die for saying Lancelot did not have any honor. Without hesitation, Julius charges to the castle’s entrance as Harald gets ready to leap off the rampart. Harald felt like he should thank the slayer for giving him such a rare gift that will make all of his enemies fear him. Then, the king of Midland does a leap of faith and lands behind the front doors before Julius could make his way inside. Both he and Julius wore black armor that steel swords could not penetrate, and they both prepared themselves for one last duel.

“Courageous for you to meet me here, hunter of the night. My people and previous kings have waited for the day when a demon slayer comes to await his most worthy opponent. A million souls have expected this day to come!” Harald said.

Julius spoke to him again, saying, “No. I am here for you and you alone. You betrayed me and took the throne for yourself. You took everything away from me and sent your powerful demon to kill my wife. You made my daughter turn against me and made your wife and son be lost to you. I will make you suffer and have your head on a silver platter!”

“Come claim your price, then. You already plan to take over this kingdom and you will have to kill me for that to happen. I am Lancelot’s heir, and I will defend this kingdom from all who serve the night.”

And so, a duel between Julius against Harald begins as the night pushes on and the demons fight against the humans. Julius dashes to Harald with his greatsword in the air, and Harald holds onto Lancelot’s blade with his life. Before he sacrificed himself for humanity, Lancelot wished for his son to carry his name with him into battle and remember him for the man he was. Julius swings his greatsword and makes it clash with Harald’s sword as they have fiery hate against each other. The blades were enough to make the ground shake, and none of them lit on fire to perform dark magic.

Harald deflected every blow Julius gave him; none of them relented to fight back against each other and only have one of them remain alive. It would be insecure if they both stayed alive during a time where the earth trembles before the reign of the demons. Julius swings his blade at Harald again to see if he can have the perfect reaction to parrying quick and strong attacks. For only a short while, they stopped swinging their swords and dueling each other to the death, and they both waited for whoever had anything to say. Harald was quite impressed with how powerful Julius became and how much his body can take.

Then he said to Julius, “What a man you are. You’ve trained your body beyond human limits to fight this long. My enemy! What a sight it would be if you killed me! Let’s see you drive that sword of yours into my heart! Just as it was on that night! That bloody, cursed night! Let’s see you end yet another interlude to my everlasting dream! My beloved nemesis!”

“Come and take me... like you did my wife,” Julius said. Julius held his blade to seem as if he should never give it up and never let it fall into the wrong hands.

Harald stood there and waited for the slayer to continue fighting him and put an end to every pain he has ever felt. Then Julius lights his sword on fire, and he makes Harald gaze upon the red flames that are made only for him. He then starts charging towards Harald to see if he can burn him alive, but even the most powerful slayers have their limits. For a millisecond, he sort of forgot that Harald had a portion of Mephiles’s power inside his veins. Harald and Julius were on and the same in terms of power and strength, but not in durability and endurance.

Julius swung his greatsword in such a way that would seem as if he was out for vengeance and blood. His mind and will were only in his sword, and he would only keep mercilessly killing his foes because they could not kill him. He uses his double edge blade against Harald because he wanted Midland’s king to taste the same suffering and fear inflicted upon him in his childhood. Julius and Harald have now sworn enemies, and they were hesitant on winning before the morning came. They then stopped fighting each other for a few seconds because they needed to catch their breath.

Julius stood there and spoke with Harald, saying, “You don’t know your limits, Harald. Unlike you, I live to fight the demons and end their reign on the earth. However, it is with this army that all they have wrought will be undone. I will take the throne and proclaim myself as the new king. You enslave your people and thrust your power among those who trusted you. I will dominate all the kings of Hell. Their armies will be mine.”

“We should destroy the demons and their lords! Have you forgotten your ways and respect you had for me and my father? Unfortunately, you will not live to see every demon take the rule of this world. This path you have chosen will only bring you death,” Harald said.

“There’s no escape from me! You cannot harm me! I will put an end to every man and demon who will threaten me and the lives of these people! Starting with you!”

Then Julius dashes to Harald to pierce him in the face and take his head from his body. But Mephiles’s power gave Harald enough time to react to all of Julius’s attacks and fight back. Watching two men who once loved each other fight to the death would have given their fathers so much grief and sorrow. Julius uses his greatsword and made Harald dodge every blow and forced him to lose a bit of strength. He then swings his blade onto the floor to make the king feel dizzy and lose stamina while fighting against his foe.

Julius would not breathe his last until he watched all of his enemies die and bask in their blood; all of them needed a taste of his power. Then, he started releasing his red flames and began shooting fireballs at Harald to make him burn to death. Harald had the perfect sword to dodge cannon fire and fireballs from demons who cast such immense spells. Julius shot flames at Harald until he could not take them anymore and until he realized Harald did not fear blocking such attacks. Julius goes for one last finishing blow to see if the king will truly die along with his men.

Harald dodges Julius’s vigorous attack and flies quickly into the air with the power of the Demon Wolf. The slayer looked up and knew the techniques and skills Harald was learning when he gained Mephiles’s power. Harald backflips onto the rampart and lands on his feet, and he vanishes back to his throne in the main hall as Julius could see the king’s presence. He understood that the king vanished to his throne to give him a taste of what he knew when he began ruling Midland.

Julius walks inside of the castle to find the throne room where Harald is awaiting him to end this duel.

Then Harald spoke to Julius in his mind, saying, “What now? What do you plan to do now? Your dragon is still alive, demon hunter! Isn’t it your duty to hunt down your opponents? You just need more chances. How about a thousand? Or ten thousand?”

“I am more than prepared to destroy you, King Harald. No matter what the odds are against me!” Julius said. He may have been right, but he started losing a tad bit of strength after killing so many knights and sending them to their graves.

He was breathing very heavily and needed to concentrate on getting his power back from King Harald. He could hear a thousand men crying out in so much terror and despair after being so easily defeated. He could feel the suffering of being defeated by someone they once called a leader and once led them in battle.

“What’s the matter, Julius?” Harald asked. Julius continued hearing the king’s voice inside his head and continued to get Harald out of his head.

Harald sat on his throne, and he went inside Julius’s mind again and said, “How’s your health? That body of yours is taking a lot of damage? Both your new sword and your old sword look like they’re going to crack open. How do you wish to die? Will you die like a wolf or on your feet like a man?”

“Why does it matter to you, Harald? You think breaking my swords is gonna scare me away? Guess again, because the night will not be over for me nor you! If I go down, I’m taking you with me!” Julius shouted. The intensity of his voice gave King Harald enough reason for him to stay away from his throne and fight the demon hunter.

He walked inside the castle and hurried to where the throne room is and has one last duel with him before the morning comes. As he walked, he noticed a lot of its foundations were altered and quite several paintings were taken from the walls. Those paintings were now replaced with updated versions of past art and no longer featured the appearance of King Lancelot. That king is no longer relevant, despite him playing an important role in trying to keep the night creatures away. Julius became filled with disgust and anguish after realizing so much of his past has been stolen and everything he knows about this castle is now gone.

Julius could feel Mephiles helping him gain some health and stamina back after fighting for so long in one night. No other person could endure such a task while killing monsters and sending them back to where they came from. With Mephiles’s help, Julius could finally have enough strength needed to get back the rest of his power from Harald. Julius looked up and noticed parts of the ceiling were getting ready to fall, and he assumed it was from how many knights were flung to the castle from the demons. The Demon Wolf could feel it inside Julius’s mind that when the night is over and the curse is lifted from Midland, he will make the world know him as a true ruler.

“The lands of the earth will sleep well with him silenced. Being an earthly ruler can bring an eternity of tragedy and suffering. But even in death, these people will fear you,” Mephiles said.

“I want nothing to do with your game. I’ve come only for Harald, nothing more. This kingdom is mine. Only I will lead these people out of bondage and death,” Julius said.

“Very well. A duel like this will end in either death or despair. Something like this will never go unchanged. This will now be a duel of kings and the fate of Midland rests on your shoulders.”

“This is my destiny, Mephiles. This is my ultimate desire in life. I will take these demons and send them back to Hell. These creatures and these people will know me as this world’s only protector. No other man can take on this goal other than me. I will not only defend this world. I will seek and destroy all who threaten it. There will be no mercy.”

Julius is done showing forgiveness for everyone and was finished showing mercy to those who threaten the earth. He walked into the main hall to defeat the king and get his dark magic back; without it, he was finished. Without the power of the Demon Wolf, Julius would slowly become less strong and would die before he fulfills his destiny. The castle started chanting and began releasing voices for Julius to feel intimidated that he came to the wrong place. Intimidation no longer worked on Julius because a sizeable chunk of people knew he would just push in.

He walked until he finally came face-to-face to the throne room as the intense battle continued outside the castle. The throne room was large enough for both of them to do a sword fight against each other. Julius walked over and made sure Harald kept his eyes on him because he wanted Harald to see the huntsman as the last person he sees before he dies. He wanted the new king to feel exactly what he is feeling so long as he lives; he will never forget the face that lied to him and betrayed him. He walked until he reached the steps leading to the massive blow where the king could gaze upon all of his subjects.

“Harald, king of Midland. I told you I would come back to you. You will pay for what you did… with your life!” Julius said.

“I have no regrets, demon slayer. A thousand souls cry out for help and freedom from the night creatures. A thousand souls beg for pardon and mercy to me and I will give it all to them,” Harald said.

“It is no giving matter. You dominate the souls of your people and make them your slaves. Every time I gaze upon them, it’s as if they lose the ability to gain their momentum back. What have you done to this kingdom other than banishing me and making me wanted for some crime? It was not a criminal act! I did what I had to do to save your men and make sure they all fight another day and live to tell about it.”

“You left me no choice, Julius. I had to bring you in because I needed to be persuaded about your demon being mind-controlled. If you told me before all the hosts of Midland, those people would rise against me. They would’ve had enough men and women to tear down Loftain’s gates and banish me forever. Then I would have never told you the truth about your past because I know it all too well. I set all of this in motion. I was the beginning of the end to the demonic plague!”

“And I will be the end. I wouldn’t talk down to me if I were you, Harald. I got enough power to dominate both the minds of your people and the night creatures. I got enough power to turn this world inside out. And you know... I’m getting kind of sick of looking at your face. You will know true terror when I fight you and you will know me as a man worthy to be feared by all who will raise their swords and turn their backs on me.”

“You’ve torn through my army. You have enough force and strength to defeat both the legions of Hell and my knights. Well done! I’m very impressed. Show me more, Julius! Let our last duel be a glorious one!”

Harald wanted nothing more than to see Julius grovel at his feet and wanted him to accept him as the man he is. Julius thought of it to be the perfect opportunity to show the king the crystal that serves as his strongest weapon. The shard itself was found in the catacombs of the greater darkness, and Julius would not have a second chance to show Harald the crystal.

“Beware, Harald. You are not the only one who carries a mighty weapon,” Julius said.

“So, is that your secret weapon? The weapon you’ve been hiding from me for all these years?” Harald asked. He could have answered him right away, but Julius was known for keeping most things suspenseful and quiet.

Harald looked upon it, and he knew only half of what other people know about the crystal and what it can do. He assumed it to be many things that were legends in older times. Everything he could see shined brightly in his vision, but he could not look away from it. He could not find the strength to turn away from such magnitude that plagued his eyes and forced them to be locked onto the shard. Even if he did not know the crystal’s true purpose, Julius would still use it only for himself.

Then Harald steps down from his throne to be more intrigued by the shard’s power and what Julius wants to do with it. There was not an obvious answer why the huntsman would have the crystal be by his side. Harald notices a very sharp end on the bottom of the magical item. And he was not expecting anything good to happen. Such an item would never wish to be used by mere humans and common night creatures who seek rare things. Harald became both interested and grossed out with Julius planning to use it.

“A crystal? The shroud. The holy grail. The spear of Longinus. Another of Rome’s forgotten relics,” Harald said.

“Yes,“ Julius said.

“The remnants of a long-past miracle. A soul of a shardbinder.”

“Right again!”

And as he said that, Julius pointed the sharp end of the crystal to the middle of his chest and kept it there. This alone angered Harald and made him both worried and furious about what will happen to the slayer.

Then Harald shouted at Julius, saying, “JULIUS! STOP IT!! Do you know what that thing will do for you? You’ll become a monster of God. Maintain your humanity. Don’t succumb to power! Either side, it’s always the same deal. Whether in the divine’s name or the name of the demonic, you’re still a monster. Do you even know what it would mean to use such a miracle? To become the same miracle you’ve sworn yourself to?

“You, I, and our battle has been drawn to the very edges of Hell. I took a quarter of your power because I know I won’t be able to save everyone, not even my wife and son. To give up your humanity shows that you are weak, you lost as a man, so you resign to become a monster. And it becomes your destiny to be bested by humanity. Don’t do it, Julius. Don’t become like them. Put that crystal away and I swear I will forgive you and pardon everything you’ve done. You’ve made it this far and you know I speak the truth. Your sword and your will, I will make sure you have everything you need to start all over. I beg you... honor my father’s name and abandon this path you have chosen.”

Julius answered and said to Harald, “I want nothing more than to be a hunter. A hunter who hunts the night and hunts all who are afflicted by evil. I wish to be reborn a fierce king, a god-king. A most powerful ruler who will lead the people of this world into a new era. Where no man nor beast inflicts harm on each other. A kingdom that will never perish. My descendants will take over for me one day and hunt the night. Only I can save them... only I will protect them like I couldn’t protect my wife and daughter. And if this crystal can grant me that wish, if this relic can transform me into such a thing, then I am happy to abandon my humanity.”

Then Julius kneels and has the shard point at his chest. And he will undergo everything. He regretted absolutely nothing and desired to do only that which nobody could have the strength to do during times like this. With that last moment, Julius held up the crystal to seem like he would pierce his beating heart and lay it before the king. He thought of his family and thought about all the good times he used to have with them. He now had no choice but to throw it all away and leave his humanity behind to conquer what is left of the earth.

And so, Julius used the shard and stabbed himself in the chest; Harald could do nothing to protect the huntsman from doing this. So much blood started dripping from Julius’s body and it began staining the ground and his black armor. But the blood started smoking on the floor because he had demon-blood inside of him. After stabbing himself, Julius could no longer feel the pain he used to feel while living like any normal man. At that moment, he was no longer the man everyone knew him as, and he could no longer feel as if he would die.

Harald stood in front of his throne and felt so much anger and fury enter his mind and soul after seeing Julius abandon his humanity.

“You... you fool,” he said. Harald hurried from his throne and began pulling his longsword out of his scabbard and holding onto it to protect himself.

He never thought the day would come when he would see a man he used to love and admire cast his human side to join the night. Harald stood behind Julius and noticed his entire body began smoking and making the black air fill up the throne room. Julius’s eye color is red, and his sclera is as black as the night; it was quite clear that he no longer felt like a human. Harald lifts his longsword with so much fiery anger, and his strength was given to him by both Julius and King Lancelot.

“YOU BLOODY FOOL!!” Harald shouted. Julius quickly swings his greatsword and slices Harald in the chest before the king could finish him.

The ruler watched as lots of his blood began soaking the ground and onto Julius’s blade. Then Julius ran to Harald’s back and give him a scar so big that it ran from the king’s back to his right thigh. Harald began losing a lot of blood as the demon-possessed man lays his hand onto the king’s back and takes his power from his body. The dark hunter would not leave the castle until he had back what was stolen from him after the fight with Balder. Harald swings his sword to slice Julius the way the huntsman sliced him and sees how it feels on him.

Julius could not have the same pain as other men feel when they get sliced open. Julius looked down at himself and noticed the blood run inside his hand and back into his veins. Mephiles now had half of what was stolen from him, but it was not enough to make him immensely powerful. The Demon Wolf was cast from Hell because he killed his kin after demanding a trial by combat. Because of that, the king of Hell gave him a curse, and that curse was to share his dark power with someone with the might and strength to survive the endless nights.

And that man was none other than Julius; the wolf needed a man who sacrificed everything for humanity and a man who was betrayed at birth from one family to the next. Then Harald swings his longsword to slice off the slayer’s head and watch him bleed out before he achieves victory. It would only be the king who abandons and sacrifices everything to defeat a man who became one with the night. Because of his demonic powers, Julius could heal any severed body parts and regenerate any type of strength that leaves him. Harald was very keen on destroying the huntsman and taking all of Julius’s powers to be inside his blood.

Julius and Harald stood in front of each other and had a never-ending rage that will eventually consume their souls. The souls of which have been linked to each other for about as long as they live and how long it will take for them to become less human. The humanity they once felt is slowly fading away; they could no longer see themselves as mere men bound to one another. By some luck, they still lived on and the battle between the knights and the night creatures continued. They hated each other ever since the curse was lifted from Midland’s castle, and all hope seemed to be restored in Midland.

The kingdom needed to be ruled by someone who not only cared for its people, but the people outside its border as well. Julius now considered himself to be a king of the night and ruled every region with his cursed power. Harald never felt such fiery anger in himself; he almost felt sorry that he never got to see his wife and son before it was too late. The new king points his longsword at his enemy’s chest to see if he can take out the entire shard pierced to his body. Harald saw himself as a hero who will sacrifice himself to save humanity and carry on his family’s reputation.

Then Harald spoke with the dark hunter, saying, “Even if we die and fall to pieces, you and I, we all have no choice but to end up tangled among the entrails of the heart. You are no longer that of a man. You have become something far stronger than my father. You are none other than death itself! I will not surrender to the likes of you. I’ll fight to the end. I’ll put up my sword and battle you until I draw my last breath. Come, Julius! It’s time for you and your family to be reunited!”

Julius agreed to Harald’s decision-making and had every reason to end his life before the morning sun vanquished the horrible night. And so, Julius and Harald prepared themselves to fight each other and end this miserable night. A night such as this will never be forgotten, and the fate of the world lies on the victor of this duel. If none of them sits on the throne, then Midland will be returned to the demons and all hope will be gone. Without a man to deliver his people from the night creatures, there will be nobody left to look up to.

Julius swings his greatsword at Harald very quickly, and he does not back down from anything. He swung his blade like leather, but the strength and durability of the blade were too much for an ordinary person. Harald tried his best to dodge and deflect every quick blow Julius was giving him and never relied on anything else. Despite himself being deputed as a man of honor, Harald had many hardships and challenges he needed to accomplish before taking on the role of a king. One of them needed to block, dodge, and parry every swing of a sword and know how to defend himself with his weapon.

Julius did not need as much training as he thought he would need because he was born from a nordic family. Because of them, he was raised by King Lancelot as a powerful knight leader and a man who hunts the night alone. But now, the darkness he swore to destroy will be the one thing he will need to save his people. Having these dark powers and magics by his side cost him his humanity and the two things he cherished the most: love and family. Julius raised his blade against the king and swung it faster than both men and demons.

A single touch of Julius’s blade would instantly kill a person, but Harald was not expecting himself to die before the battle was over. He refused to watch himself bathe in a sea of gore if Julius take the throne for himself. If Julius wants Midland’s throne, he will have to kill Harald and rid him of the madness that overtook him. Midland’s king desperately tries to give the slayer a scar on either his chest or his face, but mere plans always fail while trying to do it on the demon-possessed man. At that moment, Julius leaps forward and hovers up in the sky to deliver a powerful finishing move that only he could bring.

Julius was no longer that of a man; he was neither man nor demon, and he is not the dawn nor the dusk. Harald had no clue on how he should defeat the dark huntsman, but he somehow found a way. He quickly dodged the finishing move and crept behind Julius’s back without him noticing. He went behind Julius by teleporting into a puff of smoke and found a way to not have his opponent turn around. Without hesitation, Harald uses his longsword and pierces Julius in his chest before he turns his head.

The king drove the blade into the hunter’s body and made sure he started puking out blood like his other victims. It seemed like Harald won the battle and peace would be brought back to the regions of the earth. Harald keeps his sword in Julius’s body and waits for him to draw his last breath and end up in Hell. Mephiles made sure his master stayed alive and strong despite having a double-edged sword in his chest. Julius began looking forward and started having his early life flash before his eyes; he did not know Harald was getting ready to pull the sword out and make him bleed to death.

“It is over for you. This is the end for you and the end to all the night creatures. Hell has a special place for you,” Harald said. He told him this as soon as he was getting ready to take the sword out and make Julius bleed to death.

But Julius refused to die in a place like this, and he placed his hand where the blood was falling from his body under the sword. He was struggling to breathe and finding it difficult to stand up and fight back because of how deep the stab wound was. As he looked down at himself and became ready for his soul to be taken out of this life, he could see himself as a young boy. Harald may not notice it, but Julius could only see what is before him and nothing else.

“Who... who is that? Who’s there?” Julius whispered. He looked even closer in his vision and saw what looked like himself, but younger.

Instead of being a knight leader, he was just a young boy who lived a life unlike anyone else around him.

“Ah... of course. It’s me,” Julius said. He was a chilling reflection, and he remembered most of his earlier years better than his wife and the new king.

In this vision, a king with a red cloak and nordic armor walked into a dungeon with a few other men behind him. He had long brown hair and a short beard as some people would look at him, but he was a king who did not care what he looked like. He tells the guards to unlock the door and allow him to enter the dungeon with prisoners looking at the king. They all stayed silent and said nothing to the king, otherwise their punishment will be increased. The king went to the farthest room of the dungeon and ordered the guards to unlock that only cell.

As they unlocked the door, they could see a young ten-year-old boy who seemed to live in the dungeon with everyone else. His name is Julius of Romania and he lived his early childhood life locked up with prisoners. He was in there because his father committed a pagan crime that could not go unpunished. The king told the guards to stay behind him so he can speak with the boy and reason with him. It appeared as if the king wanted to set him free and allow him to be part of his family until he dies.

“I’m here to help you out. I want you to put your trust in me. From this day on, you will be a part of my family,” the king said.

“What... what’s your name?” Julius asked.

“I am your king. Lancelot, king of Midland. You will live in peace and harmony with my son and live in this kingdom,” he answered. The young boy was hesitant about going with the king, but with a man like Lancelot, he could not talk his way out of anything.

And so, Julius walked with King Lancelot back into the castle and spent the rest of his youth in the king’s family. The older version of him looked back at himself and remembered every good thing about his time before the demons took over. He knew everything that needed to be known about the kingdom and what it took to be a powerful knight. His new family would take care of him but not share their secrets with him until he was old enough to hear them. Julius looked at his younger self and could see the castle of Midland for himself before his life ends.

“What am I doing here? How... did it all come to this? I... will not give in nor surrender to anyone who will harm me,” his younger self said. A few seconds later, Julius looks into the future about ten years after he allowed King Lancelot to take him to his family and live with them.

In that new vision, Julius could see himself standing with Harald and watching King Lancelot charge into battle with Midland’s army. They watched as the king of Midland pushed onward against the army of Hell and tried to make them go back where they came from. Julius and Harald watched as King Lancelot mercilessly killed every night creature that stood in his path. Julius’s older self could see that the king’s army is slowly losing so many knights because of how powerful the demons were. He saw a powerful creature jump down from an elder dragon and land on its feet.

The demon carried an unholy greatsword that stole the souls of all the victims who got stabbed by the blade. King Lancelot tried to fight the powerful creature, but he was too weak to fight even the mightier demons. The demon’s name is Balder, and he was the one who took the throne of Midland and cursed the land until Julius received the power of the Demon Wolf. The younger Julius and Harald watched as the horrific battle was won by the demons and every knight was slain and put to death. They watched as Balder cut off the head of the king and presented it to all who bore witness.

Harald ran away and bitterly wept as Julius stood there and watched every kind of horror begin into the great kingdom. He stood on the rampart and had no idea what he could do, but before he could do something, one knight took him away from the battle and told him not to look back. He could not speak with Harald that day, and he did not know why Lancelot never told him the truth about what happened to him. He was only a baby when everything about his first parents happened the way it did, yet nobody explained why. His older self looked at himself about everything that he did and the consequences he faced while doing those actions.

“Is this all I am to you? Is this the price I must pay for this kingdom? No... I will not die. I will never allow it,” Julius said. As he said that, King Harald walked back to his throne and left his longsword attached to Julius’s chest; he believed the huntsman would die if he just left the blade piercing his body.

Then, Julius could see yet another vision staring before him as he was dying on his knees from Lancelot’s longsword. Unfortunately for Harald, the blade would have to do more than just pierce his chest as he no longer saw himself as a human. In this vision, the events jumped later on to ten years when Harald was proclaimed the earl of Loftain, and Julius was proclaimed the leader of Midland’s knights. It was during those days that Julius met Lucy and Harald met Erica; both women were exquisite in their eyes. But as the dark hunter saw his wife, he had tears stream down from his face.

He could never know genuine love again and could never find peace in himself after the horrific death his wife received. Julius could see himself and Lucy standing on a long road with wheat surrounding them as they stood with each other. They both held hands and had so much sympathy for one another as they felt love come into their hearts. Julius tries to get himself back up and brings death to his greatest enemy, but he needs to get the longsword out of his body. He continued watching himself and Lucy be with each other and know each other for what they are on this cursed earth.

He watched as Lucy wrapped her arms around him and wanted to be with him until the darkness that plagues the world is over. Julius hugged her back, knowing that he loved her and understanding that they should run away together. Now he will never get that chance because his wife is dead, and his darkened soul remains inside his body. The last thing he ever sees is himself getting ready to kiss Lucy on the lips to prove his love and affection to her. Unfortunately, the vision fades from Julius’s mind, and he is back in reality with Lancelot’s sword stuck to his back.

Harald did not even know Julius returned to reality because he was standing before a large window. The king stood there and watched so many knights be slaughtered and impaled by Helvegen and Stonethorn. The demonic legion showed no mercy to any of the humans, yet they did not know if they were winning or losing. Then Julius regained some blood from the ground as it automatically returned to his body from the floor. He then places his hand onto the handle of the longsword and begins pulling it out from the back.

Lancelot’s blade was very heavy even by Julius’s standards, and the sword’s only purpose was to take the lives of all who serve the night. The blade itself took only what was necessary from Julius’s demonic blood to bring him out of the darkness and back into the light. Then, Julius takes the sword out of his body and threw the blade away from his distance so he can make Harald look at him. Thanks to Mephiles’s power, Harald could hear Julius getting himself back up from the floor. The king believed Julius was ready for another fight as he regained all of his strength.

“So... even you cannot be slain by a weapon like this. The same weapon that tried piercing Balder’s heart as that used to be the blade’s first connection with him. You should thank me, Julius. Yet even fate itself has no control over you,” Harald said.

“The darkness will not take me, you will not take me, and you will know me as the one with a far greater purpose in this kingdom. Fate can wait for me. I told you you will pay for what you did,” Julius said.

“Even I don’t want your games to be played around me. My sword is ready like it has never been before!”

“Harald, I would have been satisfied even if you defeated me. You had your chance. Because of what happened that night, that cursed night when all hope seemed to have gone astray. The night when you got your revenge, I would have let you claim my heart. But now, it’s far too late for that. YOU CANNOT DEFEAT ME!! The ones to destroy monsters have always been humans. To die any other way would be unthinkable!”

Harald and Julius stared at each other and walked at different angles before the morning come. They looked at one another and regretted nothing as the battle outside ended. Harald picks up his longsword from the ground and became ready yet again to deliver a blow that will put Julius out of his misery. This time, they were both getting ready to inflict one finishing move on each other and none of them cared who will die first. They both hated each other and wished death on one another for different reasons that others would find a hard time believing.

Both of them held their swords with both hands and never backed away from what they were getting ready to do. They were more than prepared to destroy each other as they both held onto their weapons during the last hours of the night. Their eyes stared back at each other and they never relied on anything else until one of them lay dead on the floor. Both of their blades were stained with so much blood that it appeared as if all that mattered to them is who kills the most demons. Julius could see in Harald’s eyes the same anger and fury that he felt after his wife was killed by one of the night’s servants.

Then Julius and Harald ran towards each other and lifted their swords to strike each other down. They held their swords in a way where it seemed as if they were not trying to duel against one another. They have already done that twice over, but they still drew breath as the moon shone outside of the castle. And so, Julius and Harald swung their swords at each other for one last time and stopped running after swinging their blades. The impact made every window of the castle shatter into a hundred pieces, but none of the shattered pieces affected the two men’s bodies.

The huntsman and the king turn around and give one last look at each other before one of them feels their energy leaving them. It was Harald who could feel his arm getting ready to fall off and have whatever was left of his power to leave his body. A few seconds later, Harald began realizing the large impact made his right arm be chopped off. He felt the missing body part, and so much pain entered his mind and soul before Julius could do something else with his greatsword. Before he knew it, Harald sees his legs be removed from his body as well while struggling to find out what just happened.

He flew, and he fell on the floor as his legs were removed and chopped off as Julius’s arms and legs were still attached. The dark hunter’s mind and spirit were remaining with him as his humanity no longer existed. For a few quick seconds, he felt bad that he was getting ready to end the life of the king of Midland. Harald was crawling with one hand to reach his longsword as so much blood and gore were staining the floor. All that mattered to him was that his sword should remain with him as an emblem of Lancelot’s legacy.

In this life, death was the only way out and there would be no other way to resolve many things. Julius holds onto his greatsword and walks towards the unlucky king to finish him and allow the night to be over. Now Harald understands what it is like to lose that which one holds dear to himself and what cost must be paid. His blade was only a few steps forward, but it was too impossible for him to hold the handle with his one hand. As soon as his hand touches the handle of Lancelot’s sword, Julius already had his greatsword lifted in the air to kill Harald.

“Erica... forgive me. I never got the same to say goodbye. I’m now... going to my father in Heaven. The gates will open for me... and a grand feast shall be held. My wife... my son... my...” Harald said. But before he could utter his last word, Julius uses his greatsword and slices Harald’s head off.

The king’s head flew into the sky for a quick second and fell onto the ground as Julius’s greatsword slammed the ground. At that last moment, Harald was dead, and his lifeless body stained the blood-soaked floor. Julius kept his blade attached to the ground as the rest of Harald’s blood and gore left his body. The blow was so massive that the top of the sword was stuck to the hardened ground and even more blood was stained on his greatsword. Julius could feel the power of Mephiles leaving Harald’s body and entering his body as the source of his ultimate power.

Meanwhile, the battle between the humans and demons was over and the night creatures won the long battle. Because of how many dead humans there were, the demons have won control over the castle of Midland. Because of how many knights were left, they could not tell if their king was dead or alive. The remaining knights retreated, and none of them had the strength to enter the castle and see their king. The night was over, and the morning sun was taking its time to rise and cover the night sky.

During that time, Lenora walked on the long trail that led to the castle where she could see that the night creatures won their victory. She walked on the road and noticed many knights were impaled and placed on spears in front of the kingdom’s gates. Lenora could smell the smoke that came from the battle where so many creatures and humans are dead on the battleground. Thanks to the smoke, it was a kind of challenge to see the winners of the battle and all who bled to death. Her only priority was to look for Julius in the castle to see if he survived the duel against Harald.

Back in the castle, Mephiles’s power began leaving Harald’s body and went into the body of its true master before the sun overwhelms him. At first, it was painful to feel, but it took a short time to get used to because Julius was no longer a human. The Demon Wolf collided with the crystal inside of Julius’s body, and he remained inside his one and only master’s body. At that moment, Julius’s body began being covered with veins appearing all over his back and all over his chest. He was now as pale as the sun; the inside of his body is now dark and far too demented to be called pure.

Julius was now a being who transcended the mortal coil and made himself more powerful than the kings of Midland. Because he threw away his humanity, he now needed to go with a new name for all the people to know him and fear him. He now goes by the name of his greatest servant; the one who offered him his blood and allowed him to save his people. His new name is Mephiles, the king of Midland. His old name died along with his humanity, and he could no longer look back to his younger self who used to wander the night with fear.

Mephiles will never rule the earth in fear because he was not afraid of any man nor beast who would try to kill him. Only a fool would try to pierce the flesh of such a powerful entity to prove himself to the world. Thankfully, Mephiles still appeared to be a human; he was a demonic creature inside a man’s body and found it impossible to be slain by common mortals. With his mind, Mephiles redecorated all the paintings and sculptures of the castle, which took him about ten seconds. The dark king had no idea what to do with Harald’s corpse, but he could not simply cast it into the wilderness where it could rot.

For now, he needed to proclaim himself as king and have everyone in his legion bow down to him as the one true ruler. A few minutes later, Lenora entered the castle and understood that he defeated Harald and killed him. She did not hear any whispers in the shadows and could not hear the voices of souls crying out for mercy. She walked inside the castle to see Mephiles and be by his side until the very end; she now belonged to him as his new partner and as the one who will show him love in his darkest hours. Lenora could tell the walls and floors of the palace have been remade in Mephiles’s image, and she became astonished by all of them.

Then, she opens the doors of the throne room and walks inside as the night slowly fades away. She walked towards Mephiles as all the souls of the fallen enter the gates of heaven to be with their king and feast with him. Lenora looked up and saw a large painting that foretold the events of how Mephiles defeated his enemies. She wanted to know the story of how all of that happened, but the new king will tell her when he ever gets enough time to do it. Then, Lenora noticed Mephiles sitting on the throne and resting himself from all that has happened.

He held his sword next to him and moved nowhere as Lenora walked to him to be with him as his journey to become the ruler of the earth has already begun.

“Julius... I am here. What do you plan to do now? You’ve defeated that man and sent him back to his father. What will happen next?” Lenora asked. Mephiles looked up to her and knew she needed questions to be answered and plans to be given.

He had nothing else going on, and he had nothing more to fear as his reign began and a new day in Midland is dawning.

“My reign has begun. Julius of Romania is dead. I am Mephiles... the king of this world,” he said. Lenora stood there and felt the wind breeze in the throne room as her long hair shifted with the wind.

Mephiles simply looked at her straight in the eye, and he did nothing else as the demons returned to the shadows and knew that they won. They knew their ruler would push through to the end and defeat his greatest enemy before the new day begins. Nobody understood what will happen because King Harald is dead and what will come now that Mephiles is king. Lenora simply stood by his side and became ready for whatever shall come to her and her king in the future.

Meanwhile, a woman with a longsword with a decoration of a purple rose walked on the long road. Her long brown hair breezed with the cold wind easing by as the morning sun shines in the sky. She was a young woman, but she had the blood of an elder wolf and a strong hatred for the night creatures. Her will was strong and her mind was as sharp as her blade; her goal is to hunt all who serve the darkness. She walks on the long trail and begins her journey of hunting the night and sending all the demons back to their lords and masters.

Her name is Lagertha of Stockholm, the Wolf Queen.

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