“So, it comes to just you and me.” Deedee said, pulling a sword from her inventory.
“You can’t be serious,” I responded dismissively. “What do you think you’re going to do with that?”
“What did you say?”
“I mean no offense, but when I cut my soul, I cut away my weaknesses. That’s you. You’re the weakest part of me. Even if we have the same stats, you can’t possibly hope to defeat me.”
“Your soul… so, you’ve come to accept that I am in fact Deek.”
I shook my head. “There is only one Deek. You may not be controlled by the demon lord, but you’re ultimately not me either. There is only a sliver of my soul that makes you who you are. You’re as much me as Salicia is the original girl, or Elaya is the hero queen. There might be similarities, but the fundamentals have changed.”
“One could say the same about you… Without me, you are not you.”
“I disagree… I’d say that without you, I’m more me than I have ever been before!” I responded.
“I see… well, I figured from the beginning you were too hot-headed to see any reason. My only choice will be to defeat you.” Deedee narrowed her eyes.
“That was my plan from the beginning.” I finally pulled out my own blade.
I could have pulled out the silvthril blade and attacked her with that, but I only wanted to use it in emergencies. If I attempted to attack her with it and I somehow lost it, I definitely wouldn’t be happy. I did have a plan for this just in case. If I used the silvthril blade, it should destroy all of her karma soul. Once she dies and the karma is removed, I’d absorb the rest of her soul into me. That would allow me to regain everything I lost. Well, that was just one of my plans. I hadn’t necessarily decided which to choose at this moment.
With the pair of us facing each other and the rest of the girls already engaging in their battles, there didn’t seem to be any need to continue to speak. I wanted to test her out and see exactly what I was dealing with here. Once I knew, I could more accurately deal with her. Thus, I made the first attack, coming at her with my blade. It was one of several I had acquired in the Twilight dungeon. It didn’t have any name or magical effect, but it was a solid and well-built sword.
As my sword struck hers, I could tell that her sword was made out of Orichalcum. It looked like Garnet had done a good job being able to form that metal. She was a full magic blacksmith now. Of course, if there was a kill switch in this weapon to cause it to weaken or self-destruct as I wanted, I wasn’t going to trigger it now and reveal everything. That would come later.
I was a bit surprised at the ferocity of Deedee’s attacks. As soon as our weapons met she attacked back. Her sword was ablaze, trying to depend on speed to fluster me. However, I had already prepared for these inevitabilities and was able to meet her strike after strike. If anything, her attacks were much more ferocious than mine, and she used that impulsive nature to overcome her weaknesses. Meanwhile, my attacks were much more reserved and cautious. This was part of the plan too. As she gave everything she could, I held back, waiting for an opportune time to take her down. It was only a matter of time.
Although Deek thought I was weaker, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There might have once been a time when I couldn’t keep up with Deek, but since I rebuilt my soul using a dungeon and absorbed all of that miasma, my strength was every bit as strong as his own. I attacked him outright. After all, he was someone who carried through with what he started. As long as I kept pushing him, his so-called plans would eventually run out, and when it came to thinking on the spot, I’d have the advantage.
I used quick attack, fireball, dark slash, spectral shadow, and still more skills, attempting to catch Deek off guard. He managed to catch every spell, blocking it or when he had to, taking it and then recovering. Although I caused damage, he’d just heal immediately after. When he caused damage, I’d heal immediately after. It became increasingly clear that he was a lot like the clone I had to fight in the Widow’s Dungeon, except where that thing didn’t know skills I didn’t have before, Deek had every skill that I had.
“You’re more formidable than I thought!” Deek said, panting.
“I still have more!” I responded, throwing my hair back.
The pair of us fought, and anyone watching would say it was like an elegant dance. In most fights, you had to predict what another person would do, and how you responded wouldn’t always fit with how they attacked. A lot of movies would make this mistake when they’d come up with fight choreography. The battle would be so completely scripted that it didn’t even really look like we were fighting, but dancing across the battlefield.
When you knew every action that you’d take and every action your opponent took, it looked just the same. No matter how fast or aggressive one of us acted, the other acted in kind, and it ended up in a smooth, yet strangely beautiful dance. The sounds of our swords colliding made a rhythmic clanging that filled the air and every move looked smooth like we had planned this fight and practiced it a hundred times. The spectators looking on could only stare at such a scene and say that it looked beautiful.
If things kept going this way, there would never be a resolution to our battle. Most of the girls had already fought, and the other side had either been defeated or stood down. Thankfully, there had been no deaths. Just because I had ordered the girls to kill if necessary didn’t mean I had wanted that outcome. It was best if they were just knocked out. The only fight that had lasted as long as our own was Lydia and Terra.
Both women were going all out. It seemed to be a fight that went beyond their desire to impress either of us. It was almost like a clash of ideology, Terra’s reserved personality versus Lydia’s sexual revolution. Neither side was willing to let up, and Terra’s golem had taken numerous bits of damage, as had Lydia. Although I hurt more for Lydia’s wounds, they’d heal a lot quicker than the time it’d take to repair the golem.
Thus, I made a spur of the moment decision. We had to end this fight now. If the other girls started fighting or Lydia and Terra continued, someone might end up hurt. If I wanted to defeat Deek, I realized I’d have to do something that Deek would never do. It was an attack he never would have accounted for.
“Self Destruct!” I cried out.
Since I couldn’t defeat Deek on my own, I’d take us both down!
“What do you think you’re doing?” I cried out in surprise.
Deedee had suddenly activated a skill I never would have expected her to use. It was a destructive spell that used herself to cause extreme damage. The worrisome thing about the self-destructive skill is that it actually was self-destructive. It was a Monster Tamer skill intended to be used on a monster as a last resort. Deedee was not a monster, but she was still going to use the ability on herself. There was no saying how much damage it would do.
It was nothing like the Final Blow. Final Blow used all of your life into a strike. It left you extremely weak, but you were still alive. Self-destruct was exploding your body to do massive damage, and that explosion was not contained. Furthermore, it’d do some damage to the soul as well. You could still be resurrected, but compared to other death spells like being crushed by a meteor, it’d be more damaging.
However, if she did do this, she’d give me a chance. If I leaned on Last Chance to survive it, I could wipe her out for good! As she launched self-destruct, I cast Protect and then summoned the silvthril sword.
My hit would land just as her self-destruct triggered. It’d be a hair’s breadth of time to decide who was the winner. We’d both die, but only one of us would be able to be resurrected after this. As she saw the glowing sword in my hand, her eyes widened as she realized her mistake. She had thought I wouldn’t account for a kamikaze attack, but she was wrong!
“Stop!” A voice boomed out just as we were about to hit each other.
A suppressive force slammed down on us, and the wind blew between us, shoving us apart. The skills were seemingly interrupted, causing us both to experience backlashes as we were tossed away, spitting out blood. The backlashes were less destructive than had the skills landed, so I was able to get back to my feet. I immediately cast heal, planning to attack again. Deedee was no different. She jumped back up as well.
“No!” As I took a step forward, Lydia Carmine, and Miki suddenly jumped in my way.
The group grabbed onto me, hugging me tightly and keeping me from taking another step forward. As Deedee tried to do the same, Terra, Celeste, and Shao did the same to her. The fight between the two had seemingly stopped as quickly as it started and they raced to stop us. I glared at Deedee, and she glared back, but the girls wouldn’t let us move.
“Just stop fighting!” Lydia cried into my chest as she hugged me tightly.
“We don’t want it anymore!” Terra cried at Deedee.
I lowered my head, and so did Deedee. The girls looked on hopefully. Perhaps, we’d finally unite.
“I’ve changed my mind.” Deedee spoke out loud enough I could hear. “Take Deeksville. It won’t be so easy claiming Chalm though.”
“This was never going to be settled with one-on-one fights. There is a reason kingdoms make decisions with wars, not duals.”
The expressions on the girls’ faces dropped when they realized nothing changed.
“Then… bring your army! I’ll take you on. The fate of Chalm will be decided on the battlefield. I won’t even hide in the city. I’ll come out to meet you!” Deedee declared.
“Heh, your arrogance will be your downfall. Very well. Then I will tell you when. One week from now. In one week, we will meet outside of Chalm, and we will have our final confrontation. In the end, the fate of Chalm will be decided.”
“I see… then, we’re in agreement? This ends there? There will only be one Deek.”
“You’re mistaken.” I shook my head. “There is only one Deek.”
She grinned. “We’ll see.”
She raised her hand and created a portal before turning to the citizens of Deeksville. “Let him into the city and do as he says for now.”
She stepped through the portal, and the girls on her side had no choice but to leave. As Astria started joining them, Elaya frowned.
“You’re switching sides?” Elaya demanded.
“Does it matter which side I’m on? I’ll be on my daughter’s side from now on.” She looked at me and then bowed. “I’m sorry, Master.”
“Just go.” Her loyalty had already been cut off earlier during the battle.
When their portal closed, everything was quiet. This skirmish was over, but in one week, the true battle would begin.