Shadow Court Magician Chapter 120: Dueling Expana
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~3rd Person Perspective~
Sicily heads to the battlefield to kill her brother Maxis.
Victor talks to her along the way.
“Cecilia-sama was trembling, what happened?” (Victor)
“Maybe she was impressed by Reinhardt’s courageous command.” (Sicily)
“Oh, well, he certainly didn’t act like it was his first time on the battlefield.” (Victor)
Reinhardt, who was handed the command from Sicily, seriously thought of his role. He knew that he didn’t have any military knowledge, so he just tried to raise morale.
Just being in the command center with a firm stance raised the morale of the army.
Other than that, he just followed the strategy left by Sicily and Leon.
As they praised each other for Reinhardt’s resourcefulness, Sicily switched the subject.
“I will continue to head west to take on Maxis, but will you be responsible for cutting off my brother’s head?” (Sicily)
“Who else but I, could do such a big task.” (Victor)
“That’s where the Demon Lord Victor comes in.” (Sicily)
“The problem is that the princess will be stigmatized as her brother’s murderer. It pains me for you to be the one.” (Victor)
“That role is mine. I can’t leave it to my brother. He will be in charge of Ernia, so he must have clean hands.” (Sicily)
“A fine resolve.” (Victor)
Victor, who saw the resolve of Princess Sicily, was in awe, and so he touched the big sword on his back. Because he could already see the Maxis’ Guards.
“The Black Elite, I saw a battle the other day, but they aren’t such a big deal.” (Victor)
“If you defeat them, Maxis should also be there.” (Sicily)
Sicily also drew her sword from her waist and raised it high in the sky.
“We are the Libra Division. We will bring harmony to the world! Defeat Maxis, the usurper!” (Sicily)
The elite of the Libra Division responds to the words with a loud cry.
The elites of the Libra Division, organized by Sicily herself, swept away the Black Elite and rushed into Maxis’ main camp.
A moment later, the death squad led by Sicily successfully defeats the Crown Prince of Ernia, Maxis von Ernia.
Major Victor, the strongest warrior in the division, was the one that took Maxis’ head off.
Sicily was thus branded as her brother’s murderer, but she did not run away from it.
She accepted her sin and vowed to live with it.
From then on, Sicily wore mourning clothes on the anniversary of her brother’s death.
She protected her brother’s children well and did not let them starve for several generations.
The report that the princess had defeated her brother Maxis came in quickly, but there was no time to rejoice about it.
This was because I was battling the mage Expana.
I had my hands full just fending off and dodging the dark magic of Expana, which had continued uninterrupted since a moment ago.
I asked Volks and Chloe to stay back.
This is not because I wanted to have a one-on-one fight with Expana, but because the cult soldiers that Expana seems to have brought with him are unexpectedly strong.
I didn’t have a hair’s breadth of appreciation for Expana’s moral compass, so I was forced to ask a favor of my subordinates to hold them back.
Volks and Chloe were quietly holding back the cultists.
As I sent them a heartfelt thank you, Expana’s [Dark Dragon] ran right past me. After that, a huge hole was made in the ground.
“It’s a blow that can only kill. Do you have any feelings of affection, amicability, or mercy?”
“Maybe it was, but it was stolen when I was young.” (Expana)
“Oh, theft. Why don’t you report it to the Royal Guard?”
“I can’t do that. I’m an exiled nobleman of the Empire like you.” (Expana)
“Are you not interested?” (Expana)
“No, I’m afraid you’ll get what you want. I mean, you’ve done all the research on my background, haven’t you?”
“Yeah, from the apartment number you lived in when you first came to this country to the fish and chip store you went to as a student.” (Expana)
“I thought so. I didn’t know you were an exiled aristocrat.”
“Yeah, I’m in the exact same boat as you. You walked the sunny side, I walked the dark side.” (Expana)
“Why did you fall to the dark side?”
“I was too pretty.” (Expana)
“Then I’m the same too.”
Expana didn’t respond to my poorly made joke. Instead, he took off the hood covering him.
What emerged was an unexpectedly young man. He was about a year older than me, though.
“I guess you could say you are a pretty boy.”
He took off the hood, but he didn’t let go of the attacks.
“At that rate, you’ve probably got some kind of sexual deviant on your hands.”
“You’re right. The man is a pervert at heart. He likes beautiful fair-skinned boys. I was sold to him and used as a plaything.” (Expana)
“Did that distort your personality?”
“No, that’s not the reason. I was probably twisted from birth. They say that those born after killing their mother become demons. I’m one of them.” (Expana)
“I see. You’re just like me in that way. I lost my mother when I was very young.”
“We live in mirror image, don’t we? You’ve been through a lot, haven’t you?” (Expana)
“Well, yeah, but I wasn’t twisted like you. I didn’t run into any pedophiles with a taste for children, but my neighbor was a pedophile who wanted my sister. And I’ve seen some devilish adults, and I’ve given them double the pain.”
“Well, you’re the light, I’m the dark.” (Expana)
Expana smiles grinningly.
“You got away with double payback, but I didn’t. I caught the magician who humiliated me when I came of age. I sewed up his mouth with a sewing needle, shaved off his ears, and look forward to cutting off his fingers every six months. On his birthday. I still take good care of him so he doesn’t die. I make sure he suffers in a prison where the light cannot reach him.” (Expana)
“I am not sympathetic, that’s a bit of an overkill.”
“We have a difference of opinion. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t work with you.” (Expana)
“We really won’t make up. I will have to get rid of you.”
To end the dark conversation, I put all the magic I could into my right hand and unleashed a blast.
The blast was arranged to not diffuse, but Expana accepted it with his right hand without hesitation.
There was a burn, but there was no sign of damage.
“It was a powerful attack.—Maybe you’re doping?”
“No way, aside from the Demise Cult, a priest of my level does not use drugs.” (Expana)
“Why are you so strong? I’m a strategic class magician?”
“Then I would exceed strategic class.” (Expana)
He says it plainly, but I am quite sure.
“–Maxis’s brother, Kerich, was demonized using the Demise Cult’s sacred artifacts. You’re the one who gave it to him, aren’t you?”
“I will not deny that.” (Expana)
“And you also have that sacred treasure.”
“And you are using it to beat me, to kill me.”
“Killing you would give me a firm standing within the Cult.” (Expana)
“Is that a yes to all my questions?”
“I’ll leave the interpretation to you.” (Expana)
When he says this. Expana arm muscles bulged.
“There are eight guardian deities in the Demise Cult. They are meant to protect the gods who will bring about the demise of this world.” (Expana)
“Is one of them the devil that possessed Kerich?”
“Yes, I had two of them. I had two of them, sealed in an artifact I unearthed from ancient ruins.” (Expana)
“Did you use one of them?”
“That’s right.” (Expana)
As he said this, Expana’s face transformed into an ugly mess. His face grew disfigured: a poisonous green, canine teeth like a wolf, and ears like bat wings.
His body also triples in size. Just like Kerich.
As soon as Expana finished his transformation into a devil, he unleashed a powerful blow.
I barely avoided it, but a huge explosion and mushroom cloud formed behind me.
“—So it doesn’t just enhance the person’s physical ability but also their magical power?”
Did hundreds die in that blow?
This devil is not just “strategic” but “political”.
It was an existence that the leaders of each country needed to gather and discuss.
The thought of having to fight such a monster made me sigh.
“I just wanted to live peacefully as a librarian.”
“Then hope that there is a library in the afterlife.” (Expana)
“If there is, I’d go there in a heartbeat, but I don’t want to go there if it’s still uncertain. A world without books would be hell itself.”
“Don’t you worry, you’re still going to hell.” (Expana)
“I appreciate the devil’s approval.”
Returning the sarcasm, I chanted the forbidden spell and at the same time increased the power of the enhancement magic.
The other day, I was hit by a bullet and it hurt a lot, if I strengthen myself too much, it will definitely shorten my life span, but it won’t matter if I don’t survive now anyway.
Without thinking about tomorrow, I decided to use a lot of magic, but my attack didn’t go through.
“Damn, you monster, Kerich was weaker.”
“What I gave that thing was the weakest of the eight pillars. I have the Mystic Emperor Archon, the strongest of the eight pillars.” (Expana)
“That’s quite the name.”
“It’s a power that is will not shame its name.” (Expana)
When he said that, he delivered a blow, and the blow was as powerful as if a mountain itself had moved.
I activated barrier magic immediately once, and I would have died if I was a second late.
And as proof, my ribs were still damaged even with my barrier.
“-Damn, that hurt!”
Avoiding the second and third attacks, even as I am in agonizing pain. I knew that I have to do something.
Expana shows off his power as if playing he was only toying with an ant.
He can kill me at any time.
He may be a nasty b*stard, but at this moment, I am quite thankful for his sadism and cruelty. He is giving me time to find a way to reverse the situation,
I shift my gaze to my left hand.
It was my prosthetic hand made by a dwarven craftsman.
The prosthesis was equipped with a cannon and it was my trump card.
In fact, the cannon successfully killed the demonized Kerich and it also destroyed the mechanical shark. It seemed that a powerful blast would also be effective against Expana.
“But it won’t work for him.”
I came to a conclusion.
He’s already done his research on me. He probably knows that my left arm is my trump card. Considering this difference in ability and his own cautiousness, I didn’t think I could fire a shot.
I immediately gave up on the shooting.
If something is useless, I ignore it immediately. It’s a pragmatic way of thinking, but that doesn’t mean I have an alternative.
As I was avoiding his attacks, I noticed a change in the battlefield.
The soldiers of the cult began to crumble.
I wondered what they were up to when their boss was so strong and overpowered me, but then I saw a familiar face.
But then a familiar face arrived, a friend of the Bana Forest, the Dolls.
Lululucca, the acting chief of the Doll tribe, destroyed the cult soldiers with her blade in hand.
As expected of a mercenary clan, Lululucca was very active, but before I could thank her, she mentioned that she had something to deliver.
“My dear future husband, I picked up a present for you along the way, so I came to deliver it.” (Lululucca)
The present was the princess and her subordinates.
The princess who finished defeating Maxis came as my reinforcements.
I am thankful, however, I don’t want the princess to participate in this battle.
I know their strength wouldn’t work against that “devil”.
It seems that the princess also understood it, and she didn’t even think about participating in the battle. Instead, her “partner,” a warrior, came.
“Sir, the Demon Lord will fight the devil.” (Victor)
The Demon Lord Victor spoke invincibly. He bravely swung his sword up delivered a slash at Expana.
The devil’s body was slightly damaged.
“Thank you for the gift.”
“Well. Maxis has been defeated. His Royal Highness Reinhardt has also taken over command. Our victory is already all but concluded. Now I have to have Leon-sama survive.” (Sicily)
“Oh, I can’t die here then.”
It was clearly thanks to the princess’s presence that my energy and spirit were replenished. Hearing her dignified voice fills me with a mysterious strength.
Perhaps she is better than me the strategist of the Libra Division. With her charisma and commanding ability, she might be able to get by without me.
Thinking of that, I reversed my previous statement.
“Victor, I’m killing Expana. I’ll make him pay right here, right now.”
“Hey, whoa, got it. We will win.” (Victor)
“I want to make sure that we win. If we don’t kill Exepana, we will be eliminated from the battlefield. If we do, we won’t be able to control the whole of the army.”
“That’s true bu…” (Victor)
“I don’t have time to argue. Well, if I give you a signal, you should throw your great sword with all your might, aiming at his head.”
Without asking why Victor nods silently.
He knows that the only way to kill Expana is to obey my plan. He also seems to understand the reasoning behind what I said.
I’ve got a subordinate who understands what I’m talking about. I praised my eye for people again, and I showed through my actions.
I rushed to Expana.
I used the last of my magic power to strengthen my body and cast a [Fire Storm] spell.
“Fire doesn’t work on me!” (Expana)
A swing from his right arm extinguished the flames, but that’s what I was aiming for. I never dreamed of damaging him with flames. All I was thinking about was blinding my opponent with flames.
While signaling Victor, I sneaked into the opponent’s range and took a position at almost zero distance.
Then I aimed the cannon at the belly of Expana, I tried to release it, but Expana had read the plan.
“Fuhaha, stupid, I know about your little trick.” (Expana)
As the words left his mouth, he dodges my zero-range blast.
He completely avoided all the shots.
He smiles proudly, but that was my aim.
I already knew he could avoid a blast from the cannon.
What I was aiming for was his head.
The cannon shot missed, and I used the recoil from the cannon shot to spin above.
As I spun, I picked up Victor’s greatsword in midair and plunged it directly into Expana’s head.
Naturally, I put all of my remaining magic power into it.
A large amount of magic power poured into the sword explodes at the same time as the sword strikes him in the head.
I also poured in all the magic I had been using to strengthen and heal my body.
I don’t think I’ll even be able to stand after this blow, but that doesn’t matter.
I had put everything I had into this blow, this moment.
My gamble, a gamble of a lifetime…
However, it was rewarded.
The head of the priest Expana bursts open like a toad run over by a cart.
His head is blown off.
Even a devil can’t survive having its head destroyed.
His body collapses while spraying fresh black blood.
Yes, Expana the priest is truly dead.
My sworn enemy and the princess’s adversary, the one cultist, met his death like this.
At the same time, the cult soldiers began to withdraw, and Maxis’s private army surrendered as well.
This is how we survived the civil war that would later be known as the War of Succession.
The battlefield was filled with the sound of jubilant victory, but I heard it as if I was in a distant place.
It was because I had used the magic power I had been using to seal my wounds.
In my fading consciousness, I could only hear the Princess’s voice clearly.
“Leon-sama, Leon-sama.” (Sicily)
The voice calling out to me echoed through my mind.
As I looked into her sad eyes, I knew I was not ready to die yet.
I wanted to live healthily and well to keep her smiling, but I wasn’t sure if I could do that. I completely lost my consciousness after that thought.
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