Chapter 43: Stonethorn
Most of the knights stood there and watched their leader slaughter all the night creatures and showed no mercy. Mercy makes most of their enemies seem weak compared to others who fought until they drew their last breath. Julius was not only just cleaving the demons open and slicing them in half; he somehow ripped and tore them apart. The mighty power of the Demon Wolf made him six times more potent than most of the humans and demonic beasts on the battlefield. They noticed that he was opening a pathway for his knights to gain entry into the castle.
Midland’s knights began following Julius from behind as he continued slaughtering every single beast in front of him. He started leaving footprints, which had blood staining the floor and his greatsword. Even his hands were getting all bloodied up after laying them on the demons and ripping their spines out. Most of the men who were still alive saw the horrible image of so many dead creatures lying on the gory ground. Their heads, arms, legs, and even their upper and lower bodies were scattered across the trail leading to the castle’s entrance.
If they even tried to speak with him, they would most likely die by his power; Julius was so far gone from reality that he might not know if he killed his knights or not.
“Julius. Is that... you?” Balvu asked himself. He could not try going towards him to see if the knight leader can remember his friend underneath his dark soul.
Beneath the midnight moon was nothing but corpses and a dark castle that is being controlled by a demon king. Stonethorn still saw the battle take place, but he also saw the army of Midland run closer towards the castle. He then notices the fact that about a hundred demons were already dead and torn apart. Stonethorn walked towards his throne and picked up his greatsword, which stood next to it. His soul was unlike Julius’s soul; everything he did was in the king’s name of Hell.
Meanwhile, Julius stormed in towards the entrance and only saw a few demons run to him with their weapons. But they were defenseless against the way he moved and swung his sword against his enemies. Then Julius runs up to the demons and slices only half of that large group in a single slash. His greatsword ran to every night creature and penetrated them brutally and violently. A few seconds later, Julius made sure that his men were still with him and continued having a sword in their hands.
“Balvu, make sure these men are still with us! All of you must get it together and salvage what’s left. If there’s any left, we kill them!” Julius shouted. The knights were motivated to keep fighting for their lives against their opponents, and they were still willing to die for their leader.
Julius led them up the stairs and sliced down any beast that stood in his way as Stonethorn was waiting on his throne. He was waiting for at least one of them to enter his room and confront him as the night went on. Meanwhile, a few more creatures were preparing to defend themselves against the foes of their king. Julius continued throwing away his own life for the sake of his men against the demonic beasts. The knights were left with nobody else to kill and stood motionless while witnessing the dark power that Julius had.
He swung his sword against his enemies and did not care if they bled out because one knight would put the demon out of its misery. Julius did not give them enough time to parry and deflect his attacks as he was much quicker and faster than his men. Lots of blood started leaving their bodies, and so much of the castle’s defenses were now gone. And so, Julius found himself across the door of the throne room and made sure that everyone was still behind him. He felt much prouder by just thinking about his men and became certain they would not die thanks to his new power.
“Balvu, stay with the knights. I will go inside. I will be the one to put this demon king out of his misery,” Julius said.
“What do you mean? My sole purpose is to make sure you are out of harm’s way. What makes you think you can handle this beast alone?” Balvu asked.
“Only I am the one who has more experience than anyone else here. I am the one who shall take the head of this king of night creatures. I shall make him beg for his miserable life!”
“Not a chance. These men know how to take care of themselves. They know what it’s like to die for one’s people! Even though I have trained for this moment!”
“I know. That’s why you’re staying here with them and will not follow me. Any man who tries to stop me will be banished from being a knight. Any man who runs away from this castle will be labeled a fool and will have the world know their failure. By the way, what chance do you have against a demon king? He will cut you to pieces before you even lift your sword. Stay... here.”
Julius cared about his men more than anything in the time of fighting against the night creatures. He believed that he could do what is right to defend and protect them from the stronger demons. The demon king is ripe for the taking, and he will do everything in his power to fight against his opponent. Then Julius walks over to the massive door and slowly opens it as everyone watches him. He then goes inside the throne room and closes the door behind him; he turns around and glares at the demon king sitting on his throne.
Stonethorn held the handle of his greatsword with his left hand and held a cup of wine with his other hand. He sat there and looked at the gloomy man walking towards him with his blood-stained sword. Unlike his knights, Julius had the power and strength to take down a wild beast with no blade. Courage kept most of his men alive, but the creature he was about to face is beyond any ordinary human. The demon king could have gone to the field of battle and ended the surprise attack within a matter of seconds.
“I know why you’re here. I was planning to pay a brief visit to your brethren. But there is something else in you... something unusual that a mere human could have,” he said.
“I’m here to do what every man before me should’ve done. I shall wipe your face off the earth and have your soul kneel to me. They shall take your flesh, but I shall take your soul!” Julius said.
“They were all weak against me. I have cut them all down and made them bask in their blood as I killed them. What makes you think you’re so different from them?”
“The difference is that I have slain more of your kind than you can ever count. I made them all fear me and despair. I am blinded by the dark power which runs through my veins. I will end the demon race and take my place as the ruler of this world!”
“What you tell me here is nothing more but pride and prejudice. But I have heard of this person whom you speak. I’d wager he is standing here in front of me. Yes, I know you. You are Julius of Romania, and you are the slayer of our kind. I was wondering how this battle ended so quickly.”
“Every demon I put to the sword stays dead. The powers of Hell can not harm me. I will dominate you, and your armies will be mine! I will make sure this world is restored to light and not be left in darkness.”
Julius was talking as if he had enough pride to consider himself to be like a hero from a fairy tale. He had no time to waste his breath with some creature who sits on a throne and gazes upon his kind being put to the sword.
“You are more powerful than your species. You have shown your brute strength to nearly my entire legion. Half of me honors your courage,” Stonethorn said.
“If I die this night, it shall not be in vain. I will keep fighting until I draw my last breath. And I will put every demon king to the sword and make them bow down to me,” Julius said.
“You will not survive the last encounter on your quest. By killing me, you will have no choice but to have every king of the night go against you. Even Bael himself will be your enemy!”