Chapter 82: Bael
Then Julius said to him, “I will make you taste the suffering of all the people you’ve tormented. Sending you to your maker will be an act of mercy. My blade has tasted the souls of every demon who stood in my way. My wife’s suffering will be your suffering, as well. I’ll feed your soul to the vilest filth in Hell!”
“Such courageous words, demon hunter. But where you’re going, that won’t be possible. The gates of Hell have never held me. I’ll come back a thousand times over,” Bael said.
“You had your chance. It’s time to die!”
Meanwhile, Lagertha led her mother to a different route where she can be away from the powerful demon who captured her mother and made her feel even worse. Lagertha could feel the weakness and frailty that her mother endured as she stayed in the dark forest. Eventually, Lagertha found herself back on the long road that led to the northern lands and away from her home. The only reason she was there is so they can find a new home and a new life to live. But her mother was slipping away. Lagertha quickly brings Lucy to a nearby tree to see if she can regain some strength before moving any further.
“Mother, I’m here. We have to keep going. We can’t stay here!” Lagertha said.
“Lagertha... that creature. He... poisoned me. He... dug into my veins and made me too weak,” Lucy said. Lagertha stood there and started being utterly shocked at her mother’s words, and she felt sorrowful for every bad thing she has ever done.
“No... mother, you can’t stay. I can’t leave... not without you. Not without my father,” she said.
“It’s too late for me, Lagertha. I’ve... pushed... all I can. I... wait... for your father... to come,” Lucy said.
“Mother, I... I’m sorry for what I did. Please... think about what he did, what he’s going to do. What about all the lives he saves? How many more people will suffer if he does nothing?”
“There’s still good inside him, Lagertha. There’s good inside all of us. In our minds, we all struggle to get back into the light. Some people are lost in the dark forever... and some find redemption. I know your father. I know he’ll come back... for me... and you.”
“I... I can’t. I... can’t leave you. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be a part of this! I don’t want this pain... this torment. I can’t... I want nothing to do with this.”
“I already told you... don’t lose hope. We’ll meet again. We will meet each other when the time comes. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in me.”
Lagertha stood there and began shedding many tears, and her face started being red as her mother lay dying next to the tree. She started whimpering, but she could not force herself to moan so loudly. Her mother was about to die alone and with nobody to cure her or bury her when she drew her last breath. Everything she has ever done will soon leave her sight, and all the things she did in life will now just be a library of memories. She sits up a little and wipes away a few tears from her daughter’s eyes and knows that her hour has come.
“Lagertha... I will not let you die here. Live your life. Leave this place. I love you, Lagertha,” Lucy said.
“Mother... I love you, too. Goodbye,” she whispered. She quickly hugs her mother while shedding a few more tears before midnight comes down upon her.
Then, Lagertha gets up from the floor, and she runs away into the night as her mother was left behind to either be healed by Julius or die a slow but painful death. She ran as quickly as possible and could not look backward to have the demons track her down. She could not stop thinking about everything she forgot to tell her mother before it is too late. Lagertha had far too many things to reveal to both her mother and father before she could never have the time to do so. She could not keep the promise she, herself, made to her family before she came across Brant during the last feast.
Meanwhile, Julius and Bael were still fighting against each other as they both had a reason to stay alive. They raised their swords against each other until the demon hunter parried the creature’s most vigorous blow. As he did this, Julius found a way into where he believed was the creature’s biggest weakness, which was in the middle of his chest. So much blood started spewing out from Bael’s body as the knight pulled his greatsword away from the demon. He then sticks his blade into the night creature’s left eye; he wanted Bael to suffer the way he made the hunter’s wife suffer.
“This forest and those mountains were where I became like you. This place is where you will pay!” Julius shouted. The demon hunter watched as his new enemy was bleeding out and not receiving his strength back.
His left eye was split open, and he lost the ability to see out of his sight after the demon hunter made him bleed. According to Julius, if a demon can bleed, then he can kill the creature and move on in his life. But watching his wife at the brink of death gave him more sorrow than he thought he could never have. With all of his strength and anger, Julius uses his greatsword and slices Bael in his chest; he watches as the demon pukes blood out of his mouth. He thought that the night creature would breathe his last and find his soul back at the gates of Hell.
Then Julius puts his blade back in his scabbard and runs onto the long trail to see where Lucy and Lagertha went. He did not know that his wife sent his daughter away into the world to find her path. No matter what she did to keep Lagertha safe from this nightmare, he had to find the one who meant so much to him. He had to find the woman he swore to protect on the day he married her and see if he can heal her. Thanks to his powers, he could sense any human imaginable and figure out what that person is up to.
“Lucy! LUCY!!” Julius shouted. He ran forward and left, checking all of his surroundings to find her and keep her under his protection.
“Lucy! Lagertha! WHERE ARE YOU?!” He shouted. A few seconds later, Julius sensed where Lucy was, and he quickly turned to see that she was lying down behind a tree.
He dashed to her and saw that she was slowly losing her breath from the poison inside her body. He helps her up and wraps his arms around Lucy as the midnight moon shined down above him. Lucy slowly lays her hands on Julius’s back but could not get the strength she needed to hold onto him. Many black veins were on Lucy’s hands, and they were all visible in Julius’s sight.
“Stay with me, darling. Stay with me. You’re going to be okay,” Julius whispered.
“Julius... Lagertha... I sent her away. She... is free now,” Lucy said.
“Then... I’m too late. I never got the chance to say goodbye. But I’m not too late in healing you,” he said.
“No one can heal me. I can’t... move. I can’t... breathe.”
“Hold still. I have enough power in me. I can heal anything and anyone. Now... hold my hand.”
Lucy slowly places her right hand on Julius’s hand; the demon hunter places his right hand on her back and starts bringing up a healing spell. This was one of many spells Julius taught himself as he had the blood of the Demon Wolf. The spell heated her back a little, but it took the poison away from her veins and out from her body. Of all the things Julius did, helping those out in need is something he will always do during these dark times. It was at that moment when Lucy was free of the poison and realized that Julius was more than a hunter of demons.
“Let’s get going, Lucy. We still have time to make it. We cannot stay here any longer,” Julius said. But as he spoke with her, Lucy’s eyes were open, and she started seeing someone creep up behind Julius.
He did not know that anyone or anything would be behind him, but Lucy knew that it was none other than Bael who snuck behind him. The mighty demon was still alive and powerful enough for another fight against the demon hunter before the sun rises.