Chapter 60: Kotale
Kotale, the demon leader, was once a powerful night creature who outmatched most of the demons he had encountered. A long time ago, he was in charge of some creatures who would die for him, so he gets the last chance to defeat their foes. Many demonic beasts feared Kotale because of the raw strength and power he carried for himself. He would allow no one else to use it for themselves, and he would be given the command to execute any creature who disobeyed their laws. He was also one of the many demon leaders who would not allow his enemies to go away without a scar.
“Who do I have to thank for slaughtering nearly a quarter of my entire army? Surely a demon must be granted the title of being a worthy foe if you’re going to go that far. I must either congratulate you for being strong enough to face me or call you a fool for not crawling up the walls yourself,” Julius said.
“I confess, I have not expected to meet someone like you in such a violent time. What truth is there to be had for embracing a noble cause? If I know you, I would know that you don’t show any mercy to a creature such as I,” Kotale said.
“The truth I embrace, vile creature, is that mercy is wasted on those who defile the earth. To protect this earth from the likes of you, I will do what is necessary. I will either dominate you to become mine or cast you out. I only kill loyal warriors. I only kill those who push me to the breaking point. You may seem like a powerful demon, but even you have no idea of the power I wield.”
“Oh, I know your power. I know you, Julius of Romania. News about you spreads like wildfire. You broke the hold of one of the many demon kings and dominated him. You are a well-respected man, but a fearsome knight in the hearts of men. Of all the opponents I’ve ever met, you are the one who is known throughout the pits of Hell.”
“I have dominated a demon king. And I shall dominate hundreds more. The earth’s armies will be mine. I will chase you all down to the ends of the earth. I will take my place as king of the world and put all of my enemies to the sword. I will have my vengeance on the one who took the head of King Lancelot.”
“That man was a fool. He stood on the battlefield and awaited death. You think you know it. Then you should be more careful about your next moves. You should be twice as careful about your next plans. Everyone’s lives depend on it. You should be more vigilant, Julius.”
The knight stood there and had lots of hatred against Kotale, and he was not afraid to use his sword against him. He knew many demons had sharp tongues against the king of Midland; Julius had every reason to despise those who spitefully treated the earl’s lineage. Then Julius held his greatsword and pointed it at the demon leader’s head before he could strike back. Julius was not afraid to stab the demon in the chest before the duel even started, and he refused to back down. He refused to die before he could grant Harald’s one last wish to free Midland of its curse and go elsewhere.
“I can have your tongue ripped out for saying that. I will take pleasure in feeding you your beating heart. Your death will serve as a reminder to those who wish me dead,” Julius said.
“I’m not afraid of you, demon slayer. I have never been afraid of your kind. Humanity lives to serve us all. Who are you to take that mantle for yourself?” Kotale asked.
“Who am I? I’m your executioner. I am he who will raise his blade against all the night creatures. I will not let the wicked run through this land without punishment. God will applaud the screams of all of my victims. You will pay for everything that you’ve done against my people!”
“Then, I bring your death. The die is cast, and my blade shall taste the blood of a worthy opponent. I will not back away from a duel I have longed for. A fight to the death!”
And so, a duel between Julius against Kotale begins as Harald continues fighting back the night creatures. Both Harald and Julius despised the demons so much that they risked their entire lives for being in the front lines. They wanted to make sure they are the ones who get the most kills than any of the men as the night is upon them. Most of the demons were staring ahead at Julius and Kotale fighting against each other or crawling up the walls to kill any human in their direction. The night of an intense battle was enough to keep everyone awake and hear the noises of death and destruction.
Julius’s greatsword and Kotale’s double-edged ax clashed with each other and made the ground below them shake. They did not back down against each other and made sure that each of their weapons did not shatter into pieces. Both of them carried powerful weapons, which were enough to break an iron sword with just a single scratch. Julius and Kotale held onto the idea of only one of them leaving alive and dying with their dream of winning the battle. As they fought, some archers were firing their arrows at the humans and watched them fall.
Both the knight and the demon leader had lots of determination in themselves, and they both refused to accept defeat. In their hearts, getting beaten meant they had forsaken their law and order of being in an onslaught. The war of humans against demons raged on ever since the monsters were first spotted in front of the gates of Midland. Humanity was keen on keeping the night creatures away from their cities and villages; their mere presence caused a disturbance in human minds. Julius and Harald never accepted the ways and rules of demons; they would never pay tribute to their kings or gods.
Julius and Kotale continued to swing their weapons against each other and had lots of opportunities to end it all. From hindsight, Kotale swung his ax much more robustly and slower than Julius; he turned his greatsword much faster and quicker than Kotale. Both of them had a breaking point, but none of them could tell who is going to have the upper hand. They both fought against each other to the death, and it seemed like Mephiles’s power was going to overwhelm Julius. The knight had no choice but to push on and show every night creature his actual strength before midnight comes.
The power of the Demon Wolf was getting ready to take control of Julius’s body once again, and he had no choice but to accept the dark energy. Julius is still a human with the power of a dark creature, but he refused to admit that he will someday become a ruler of darkness. Sitting on the throne of darkness was never his sole desire nor purpose; he only wished to save his people and family. For that to happen, he needed to make sure every single enemy that he has ever made be put to the sword. The time came for Julius to use his dark power, whether he liked it or not, because he was losing his balance against the demon leader.
Without hesitation, Julius unleashed the power of Mephiles inside of his veins; he could not undo the transformation. The demons saw that Julius was not dead, and his forces were taking hold of his body. Kotale ran towards Julius and raised his double-edged ax to deliver a finishing blow to his body. A few seconds later, Julius blocked the attack with his greatsword and started fighting back against the demon leader. Julius uses all of his rage and strength to make Kotale’s ax fall from his hand, and he stabs the powerful creature with his greatsword.
“Think you can best me? Do you think you can win against the night? It will only lead you down a path you cannot possibly escape from,” Kotale said.
“There are fates worse than death. Abandon your master and serve me. Surrender and your death will be painless,” Julius said.
“Your magic will not work on me. You cannot see inside me. Nothing of my soul remains. I will not be turned and work for a cowardly man such as you.”
“Then you have chosen your fate. Find peace in death.”
And so, Julius raises his greatsword and decapitates Kotale as many of the demons run away from him. They were all profoundly shocked that a human of immense strength has easily defeated one of their leaders. Before he could do anything else, Julius looks up and sees a bunch of creatures in the sky, which seem like demons riding on top of dragons.