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

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Chapter 27: The Mountain of Zesteria

“Why must this concern me?” Julius asked.

“It’s easy. You want to protect your family, don’t you? You want them to survive, right?” Helvegen asked.

“Yes. I live by the sword and die by it. And it is by my sword that my wife and daughter shall always stay guarded!”

“And I am here to make sure you succeed in those regards. But, all I need to know is if you’re ready for what is ahead in your life. Draw your sword and fight me. Trial by combat.”

“I never knew such words would come out of your mouth. Truly, you differ from all the demons I’ve ever faced.”

“Perhaps. But, the carnage matters most in our lives. This is how we do it if we are to come to an understanding. Now, draw your weapon and do not hold back!”

Then Julius watches as Helvegen pulls out his greatsword and holds onto the handle with just one hand. Julius notices that the sword of Helvegen is black and has a large red line that runs from the top to the bottom of the blade. This hints out to all the outsiders he was not a creature to be fought so easily. Only a powerful knight such as Julius could be able to fight back against a powerful creature compared to the other demons. Usually, he doesn’t know that he was fighting the same demons as before until he gets even stronger.

Then Julius charges towards Helvegen, holds onto his greatsword, and starts a duel between him and the winged demon. He swings his weapon with so much force and rage that it makes other people wonder how he can still draw breath. Then, he attacks Helvegen with so much raw strength and anger that he could not think of anything else. All he ever thought about was making sure that he has done the honor of defeating the creature and all the other demons standing before him. Then, he sees a weak point to allow him to continue fighting Helvegen until he reaches that weak spot.

Then, Helvegen returns the favor to Julius and does the same thing his opponent was doing. Sometimes, copying the same move an enemy is doing could be easy to do if that person recognizes the pattern occurring when he is fighting against him. Then, he pushes his way towards the knight leader and ferociously swings his sword, but Julius dodged and parried every attack being thrown at him. Little did the demons know, Helvegen used to want the same thing Julius longed to seek ever since he took on the role of hunting demons. Then, Helvegen flies everywhere to see if Julius can catch him if he can as the night continues to begin.

Then Julius had the upper hand and attacked and throw so many swings at the powerful demon’s body. A man such as Julius always knew the many weak spots the demons had as they ruled over them and above the citizens. Then Julius did the same moves he was doing before because he believed the attacks worked last time. Some people were always told to never trust a demon and never put their faith in that type of person. He then uses his greatsword and slices Helvegen’s chest and watches as the blood is pouring out.

Julius sees that Helvegen was clearly not depending on his own life while fighting, and he saw something off when he continued this duel. His opponent gained a little strength and dodged and parried every blow thrown at him. Julius’s sword could stand to almost every sword made of iron and steel, but Helvegen’s sword was far greater and massive than nordic steel. Then, Julius proceeded this long duel by making sure that every strike to either the blade or the chest was working. His enemy took far more damage than he did; he refused to back down even when he was so close to defeating him.

It was at this moment when Julius had so much fury and strength when fighting back against the powerful creature. Helvegen did everything he could to land as many attacks on the knight leader as possible, but only a few seemed to work. Then Julius slices every single body part of the demon until he backs away from the knight and bleeds out. Helvegen noticed that he has taken twice as many attacks as before, and he was utterly shocked at how low his power was becoming. Then, both Julius and Helvegen stared at each other before any of them could land another blow onto one another.

“Enough, Helvegen! How do you expect me to fight if my life depends on it when you are clearly not?” Julius asked.

“Ha, you could tell. I knew it,” Helvegen said.

“With your power, you could’ve destroyed me in a heartbeat. But now, you’ve got something else in mind.”

“You have passed the test. Only a few people who are worthy and who are strong enough can defeat even the mightiest demon. Many have come before you, but they have all failed and I was forced to kill them. They would not leave without a fight, and so I gave it back to them. You are the first that I have faced who could defeat me in combat. Anyone could praise you for your valorous strength and skill, and they would be proud to have you in their services.”

“Now, you must answer my question. Why have you brought me to this mountain? And what purpose does it serve to me?”

“Do you want to know why the spirits keep haunting you? Do you want to know why, with each passing night, the virtue of darkness continues to cloud over your home?”

“You will meet my demand here and now. If I am forced to wait much longer, I’ll just kill you where you stand.”

Julius was done giving second chances to those who sought to kill him many times in the past. He would never escape his rage against the night creatures, and he despised anyone who would willingly abandon their humanity to serve the demons. He walked as close to Helvegen as possible and stood before him so he will get every detail from him. Not only was he overly exhausted from fighting the creature for so long, but he also did not have time to just sit around and wait for his enemy to say a word. Helvegen lost the duel, so he needed to tell everything he knows to the winner and have an explanation about the misty mountain.

Then, Helvegen answered and said to him, “I brought you here for a reason. A reason that is forbidden from anyone else to know about. I can tell by the way you fight that for many years, you and your brother have sought ambition. I can already tell you have slain more demons than your own brother. And I wonder, what kind of man abandons his own kin and makes him fight alone in the night? I can already taste the irony with the fact that you’ve got more of a fighting spirit than Harald.”

“Does this reasoning have a point? Are you quite certain that this small talk is getting us anywhere?” Julius asked.

“Everything I say has a point. This ‘small talk’ is one of the few reasons you’re even standing before me. What you’re seeing right now is the mountain of Zesteria. A place where the Demon Wolf lives and awaits the one who has bested every obstacle and stood up against mighty creatures and became victorious. The Demon Wolf has been sitting on that mountain ever since the last dragon fell, and he has sought the one who will take his mantle and be granted power over his enemies. And he seeks those who are born of royal blood and those whose lives have been shunned away from the hearts of the living.”

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get this over with. I’ll go in and you stay here.”

“You don’t get it, do you? It’s impossible for a mere human to venture inside. Only dark beings can survive there.”

“There is already darkness in me.”

This was explaining to Helvegen that he has lived in a world of death for way too long, and he lived long enough to see how powerful he has become. Julius has already come this far, and he already feels a greater power of darkness ready to revolve around his soul.

“But there is also love, compassion, and tenderness. You must leave it all behind. You must become a creature like me,” Helvegen said.

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