The Demon Lord Aberis let out a roar and lunged forward. The pair of us leaped from our horses landing on either side of him and attacking in a pincer attack. He had to turn in an awkward direction to avoid getting hit. However, his speed could not be underestimated, and he was able to spin back and avoid the attack with ease. The two of us came at him again, using quick attacks and burning skills as we tried to catch him in a trap time and time again.
Neither of us was the same Deek that he had forced into a dead-end several weeks ago. We were both stronger now, but more than that, we were together. It wasn’t just like two people who were familiar with each other fighting together. We thought exactly alike and anticipated each other’s moves. Our attacks occurred in tandem without thought. Deedee made up for Deek’s weaknesses, and Deek filled Deedee’s shortcomings. The two moved fluidly like a single person, although it was a single person who could detach and reattach themselves, who had two minds, 4 arms, 4 legs, and so on. It made us much harder for the demon lord to deal with.
Of course, even with all of that, to win this fight, we had to take every advantage. That included stacking all of the best dungeon skills. We no longer concerned ourselves with experience, opting for fast thinking, explosive movement, and various other battle-enhancing traits. We had even consumed a few of Miki’s strength and speed enhancement potions, pushing our bodies to the limit.
“Fools!” Lord Aberis shouted, his body blurring suddenly as his speed increased.
Up until this point, he hadn’t used any skills. Using our skills and fighting together while taking every advantage, we had only been able to fight on par with him doing nothing. That was the gap between our abilities. He launched an attack, heading toward Deedee. He had picked a perfect moment where I was too far away to compensate. I let out a shout. We had both been prepared to die in this fight. That was why our final orders had been for the girls to follow the one who lived so there was no issue. That didn’t mean I wanted her dying so quickly.
“Back off!” A boom sounded as a woman attacked, forcing the Demon Lord to leap back. “Why don’t you fight someone your own size?”
Right in front of Deedee appeared Terra, staring at him defiantly. Of course, Demon Lord Aberis had grown when he reached his demon form, so he was a lot taller and more imposing, while Terra was a small girl in stature who only came up to my chest. Even at his normal size, she would have been short. He looked down on her like an ant, but she looked back just as fiercely.
“You think one more will change the outcome of this fight?” He sneered.
“How about all of us?” Lydia slashed with her sword, forcing him back again.
Two bangs sounded out, and he suddenly threw out a miasma shield blocking two bullets. At that moment, a dozen wind blades came from the other direction, which he also blocked with his spare hand.
“Got you!” Shao used that instant to try to stab him in the back.
She had activated her Demon Lord form, using all of her talents to try to get a stab at Aberis. Her strike wasn’t intended to kill him. Aberis definitely couldn’t be defeated by a single strike. Rather, it was intended to wound him in a way that would affect his combat potential. If we could wound him early, it’d be far easier to slowly weaken him.
“No! I got you!” He disappeared like smoke.
“Watch out!” Carmine leaped in front of Shao forcefully as an attack came seemingly from nowhere.
Carmine managed to block the attack, although it flung her back. She should have slammed into Shao, but Shao wasn’t behind her anymore. Shao had completely vanished, and so had Aberis. It seemed like the attack had been a feint.
“Well, look at that. Isn’t this a big reunion?” Lord Aberis was floating in the sky twenty feet away, looking down at all of us.
The group of us gasped because he had Shao’s throat in his claws. She was struggling, trying to pry at his claws helplessly as he choked her. Even though she had used her Demon Lord form, he was handling her like a child.
“Let her go?”
“Why should I?” Aberis asked cockily. “You’re the one who made her your slave. Why, freeing her from you could be called liberation. Would you like to be free?”
“Let me go… you… bastard!” She cursed desperately.
“Don’t be like that. If I’m a bastard, then you surely are too. Isn’t that right, little sister?”
“Sister?” Lydia asked out loud the word swirling in everyone’s heads.
“Oh, don’t tell me you don’t know.” Demon Lord Aberis spoke in a condescending voice.
“Sh-shut up! I d-don’t even know you!” Shao spoke in a strangled voice while still unsuccessfully trying to kick him.
“It’s true.” He nodded thoughtfully. “I was banished long before we could meet. However, my father could pop out a baby any time he wanted. I have many brothers and sisters. They just all choose to be pawns under father, running his empire in the north. I thought I had heard whispers of a demon princess being born not too long ago, but they went quiet shortly after starting. You must be her.”
“Th-that’s not true…” She gasped angrily.
“You can’t deny it now.” The demon lord shrugged. “I barely noticed you before, but now that you’ve called on your true demon bloodline, your identity is as clear as day. Don’t tell me that you didn’t know. Only the demon king and his children have the true demon bloodline. Only we can transform.”
Shao still glared at him, but she had stopped kicking, and it was clear she had been shocked by his words. We had seen through Shao’s eyes. We knew for a fact that she had appeared from our world. Then again, that world only contained humans, and Shao was a demon. Was the current Shao physically different from the Shao from Earth? We didn’t know, and neither did she. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that her entire history from my world was a bit clouded. Like, did she come from our time or a few decades before? We didn’t know.
Our memory of Earth was crystal clear, but her memory was foggy. We used to think this was because Shao had experienced all of that abuse. She had been kidnapped, enslaved, and forced to fight for her life. That was why Shao couldn’t remember well, right? What if… she was reincarnated? What if… she only remembered her past life later. The pair of us looked at each other with equally shocked expressions. What if we were the reason she remembered?”
When we absorbed her life force while giving her our own, perhaps our memories triggered the retrieval of her memories from her previous life. That would explain part of the reason her personality had suddenly changed so drastically after that event. Then again, maybe it was turning into a demon lord that triggered it. We just couldn’t confirm any of it, especially with her in the grasp of the demon lord.
“Come on, fight us!” We shouted together. “Let her go!”
“Oh? You want me to release her?” He asked, a smile growing on his face and a bad feeling growing within our hearts. “Then, I will happily oblige.”
He squeezed, and there was a sickening snap. He broke Shao’s neck. Her eyes popped, and she kicked a few more times, but these were closer to death spasms. Only then did he drop her, and her corpse flopped to the ground dead.
“No!” Celeste shouted.
“Shao!” Miki took a step forward, but then a dark blade shot out at her, forcing her to jump back.
“Hahahahaha…” Aberis laughed. “What? Are you surprised? I tried to kill my father, remember? Once you’re all dead, I might resurrect her. She can be my plaything. Hmmm?”
He stopped as he noticed everyone around him had gone silent. Terra pulled out her mech suit, newly repaired and improved, and jumped into it. Lydia’s body transformed, turning into her beast form. An eruption sounded out as Celeste shed her body, going into full attack mode.
“Deedee,” My male half spoke up.
“Mm?” I asked cooly.
“He dies.” My male half’s voice was filled with rage.
I threw back my hair. “Agreed.”
Everyone attacked at once.
Everyone had their own role in this battle. The Tibults were responsible for managing the army. Astria, Elaya, and Xin were managing the dungeon. Raissa had her own duties as well. Those involved in taking out the demon lord were Lydia, Celeste, Terra, Shao, Miki, Bernice, Salicia, Carmine, and the two of us. We had already lost one and we were just getting started.
The Demon Lord Aberis was extremely slippery. When we engaged him together, we were able to keep up, but that was because he had been focusing on us specifically. Now, he’d constantly move from person to person, effectively fighting everyone as he leaped around. He’d strike randomly and without warning, and his attacks were usually just as one of us let our guard slip slightly. The girls took strike after strike, but thankfully nothing was lethal. We were able to heal them.
We’d like to say that this meant the fight was even, but the truth was that we were slowly being beaten down. The girls were accumulating wounds and exhaustion, and the fight had been going on for nearly fifteen minutes. The battle in the background had reached the apex and now it was a matter of our army finishing off theirs, but none of that would mean much if Aberis survived.
He was powerful enough at the moment to single-handedly take over Chalm and declare himself king. Once I am defeated, nothing would stand in his way of conquering western Aberis. The army was more a formality and a means of hiding his existence rather than a source of power. To exude control, you needed loyal minions. Destroying his army would definitely set him back, but he could build more.
“Aren’t you the one who makes plans? Make a plan!” My female half cursed.
“Me? I stick to the plan.”
“The plan’s not working.”
“Aren’t you the impulsive one? Come up with something!”
“Why don’t you both put your heads together and do something!” Miki shot both of us a look.
Of all the girls, Miki had been the only one who hadn’t used her unique ability, the nine-tails, and launched her full attack at Demon Lord Aberis. There were several reasons for that. The primary one was that of everyone, she had the weakest defense. Shao’s defense was limited too, but it was higher in her Demon Lord form. That didn’t save her from being killed in a single hit. If Miki tried to show her true potential, she’d be killed just as quickly.
Thus, she had mostly remained back, keeping her attacks limited. I had considered sending her away entirely and having her resurrect Shao, but that had its complications. This was because we needed her present. One could say that she was the ace up our sleeve. Miki could control souls. This meant she could contain souls. She was our only assurance that Aberis’s death this time would be permanent.
Thus, the main combat was being taken care of by Lydia, Terra, Bernice, Celeste, Salicia, and Carmine. We’d also fight, but also provided support and healing.
“Master… Shao is already dead… it’s only a matter of time before someone else falls. At that point, will we even have a chance?” Miki asked.
The pair of us glanced at each other, and somehow, it all seemed to click at once. We weren’t going to be able to wear him down. We weren’t going to be able to weaken him. Our only chance… was to attack him with everything we had. A combined attack that would overwhelm and defeat him, whatever the cost.
“So, it’s come to this.” My female half sighed.
“It’s time we go for broke.” I nodded.