While a lone demon stood in the arena, from a dark doorway beneath the biggest balcony came forth contestants of various shapes and sizes. There were large men who looked like real demons, with massive horns and black wings behinds them, their bodies covered with flames. There were also human looking men with black eyes or vertical pupils. Some were adorned with capes, covering their features and not letting anybody see beneath them.
Overall, thirty five people came to participate. It would have been a long tournament, if everybody were to fight one on one, but Sel had different plans. He scanned each one, feeling whether there is any fel energy inside each one. Only six people were devoid of any scourge, making them non-demon in origin. Their looks obscured by the cloaks. The rest were applicable for the spectacle Sel was waiting to unleash.
“People, now, before you stand all the participants who will be fighting for the hand of the the demon lord’s daughter. Now, they will have to kill the sole survivor of the previous fights, the ’Elven Executor, an unknown demon who have been brought into the arena just two weeks prior. He showed great skills and great use of magic, but can he survive the fights with many nobles from around the world? Now, he will fight the first person on the roster, the demon from the north, Ivaner Icewing!”
From the crowd of thirty odd people came forth a menacing human-looking demon. He had pale skin and sky-blue eyes, which were ice cold and soul chilling. He had a blue and white armor on him, making him look very cool and ice-like. True cold personality and character.
Sel turned towards the balcony where the demon lord sat with his daughter. He shouted at him, making sure everybody hears them.
“I will do one better. Out of this crowd, there are six non-demons. The others will all die. Is there anybody who should be spared?”
“I am aware of only four non-demons. But regardless, everybody here is prepared to face the consequences. If death awaits them, they will meet it face to face.”
The group of people stirred slightly, unnerved by the words that the grey demon was spouting. Killing them all? What did he mean? And being ready to die? These fights were supposed to be until one opponent is knocked out. The men did not get a chance to voice their complains. Sel raised his hand and pointed it towards them.
He felt around and reached towards the scourge inside them. When he gripped his hands, he also gripped the energy inside the demons. They felt some pressure appear out of nowhere. Few of them laughed, thinking it was the greyskin’s attempt at magic. But few seconds later, their faces froze with whatever expressions they had.
Sel willed the scourge to consume its host. The demons were covered in black smoke like the grey man previously, only they were not unharmed like he was. Slowly, their bodies dissolved into puddles of blood and gore, falling apart as all the energy was ripped away. Twenty nine men all turned into mush in the matter of seconds, leaving giant cloud of black miasma floating around.
The six men that were left were in shock. Just in front of them, almost thirty people were killed, with no effort from their opponent. He still stood there, with a solemn face, pointing his hand towards them.
The next moment, the cloud moved towards them. Two men were too slow to move and were dissected on the spot, their flesh ripped to shreds by the black smoke. The other four activated their magic, two of them having blessings.
Usually blessings were sighs of the god’s champion. Sel was surprised to see two champions in the same place. Although if you counted Illiria, there were three. Too bad, none of the ones present were female.
Sel didn’t let them recover, immediately sending the black tendrils towards the four. Around each one was covered in slightly differently looking barrier, each one however repelling the scourge somewhat. They each drew their weapons, two of them having swords, one having a double edged axe and another one having a hammer.
Seeing how it would be inefficient to use the fel magic, greyskin pulled it towards him and drew his blades. The fel energy surround Sel, and he willed it inside him, strengthening himself greatly, the demons had plenty of energy for him to get stronger.
His looks changed. He his armor was now different, instead of simple leather it looked like dark grey chitin, smooth and shiny. He was covered in spikes and ridges, making him look like an insect, menacing and vile. Even his hands and feet were covered with a slick substance, even though it was soft and elastic, it looked like it could take a hit head on.
His weapons also changed somewhat, becoming slightly bigger and gaining serrated edges. His face was covered with a mask, making it looked like he had lost his vision, although with his grey eyes, nobody thought it changed anything.
He looked like a fortress, not a single bit of his flesh exposed. It was hard to believe that just before, there stood a grey elf. He turned toward the four people who were still alive. The lower part of the face opened up to the sides, revealing two mandibles as well as a chitinous jaw underneath, with sharp teeth.
The audience looking at the demon with awe. Transformation was rare, and one as powerful as this, it was out of ordinary. Not even the demon lord has such power over the scourge.
The remaining fel energy floated around Sel, turning into semi-gaseous tendrils. Sometimes they seemed to solidify into the same substance his armor was made of, other times it turned into black smoke and lost its form. It was an image of some dark God, the corrupting power changing the handsome man into a hideous monster.
The demon lord and his daughter looked at the man bewildered. They did not expect such a show. The power that man possessed was enormous, his control over scourge was ungodly.
Once he was changed completely, he charged at the one of the four remaining people. His black tendrils flew ahead of him, trying to pierce the defense of the barriers, the energy solidifying and turning into a real weapon. Each strike pushed the warrior back, making them flinch from the force of the attack.
Each of the remaining people was hidden behind the cloak, fluttering around but revealing the bare minimum information about the wearer. Deciding to retaliate, the three people went in for attack and one person stayed behind, chanting a spell.
With his tendrils striking at the men, they had hard time dodging and parrying, especially when he came close with the swords. Using the two weapons, he attack one of the warriors relentlessly, pushing him back and leaving a couple of cuts on his skin. The scourge that was within the weapon seemed to begin to attack the person, his face distorted with pain.
“Largos, your power infinite, your will eternal, please gaze upon your servant, grant me the strength to strike thy foes. Light in the darkness, fire in winter, living among dead, your power opposes and triumphs. Send your pulse through me, Barrier Absolute.”
With that, the man with a purple blessing shines with light, covering himself and the other three with it. Around them formed a barrier, extending a meter away from them. As soon as it is finished forming, the light begins pushing Sel away, making his weapons strike with less force. While he was strong, being repelled by such a power was detrimental to Sel’s success. The light also clears the fel energy floating around and stops it from devouring one of the men.
Seeing the new development, the greyskin changes his tactics. He throws away his two fel swords, catching them with tendrils. If they are no good for attacking, at least he can defend with them. Looks around and finds a different weapon. A shabby sword lying on the ground should do for attacking.
Picking it up, he charges at the man he was attacking until now. He swings his sword with tremendous force. Upon contact, his sword bends against a more superiors one, unable to withstand the hit. Immediately the man retaliates, striking Sel with his own sword, but is repelled by one of the tendrils.
Jumping away, the demon searches for a good weapon. Around him there are plenty of poor quality weapons, but none of them will suffice for the job. He needs something better. Close to the middle, there lies one weapon that Sel is sure of. He runs towards it and picks it up.
He stands up, with a large circular blade in his hand. Grabbing it on the inside as not to cut himself, he charges again. This time, his sword makes a large impact, throwing the opponent away. While it is a good sign, with his opponent far away, he can’t cut him.
When the enemy lands, he stumbles slightly, his arm looks odd. The impact dislocated it, making him useless in the near future. He tries healing himself beginning to chant a spell. The other three stand near him to protect him. Previously they tried slashing at the demon, but he was too fast and evaded their attacks. Now, they would be covering one another to have a chance against him.
Sel charges in to finish the job, dodging the strike from the hammer, but having to parry a strike from a sword. This slowed his advance, letting the injured man finish his chant.
“Nira, grant me your power, mend my wounds and save me from harm. Your power is beauty, Healing Light.”
The man then shines with pink shine, his arm is set in place and his wounds disappear. The light also extends to others, healing them as well.
Sel makes a twisted smile, getting angry at the futility of his attacks. The wounds they sustained all gone, the scourge is powerless and they have numeric advantage. He will have to make sure that a man can’t healed to get him out of the fight, meaning decapitation.
Once again, the grey demon charges forward, this time with a spinning attack. In his left hand is the chakram, his right hand now having a long claw. He is hoping to have an opening to jam that claw in the enemy’s eye.
This time he goes for the slower opponent, than who is most bulky of all, wielding a heavy hammer. His speed is lower than that of others, he should be an easier target.
Sel tries attacking the slower man, but he is stopped by the others. They all are covering each other, not letting Sel advance. Even if he can bypass the aura, he can’t get a powerful hit in. These four all are trying to kill him and survive.
Stepping back, Sel takes a look at the four again. After exchanging multiple hits, the cloaks on the men are all in tatters, no longer hiding the person underneath.
A man with a purple blessing and a man with a pink blessing both have swords, but their armors are different. The man with the purple blessing has the same armor as the two man with axe and hammer as well as another person that Sel killed at the start, a chain mail, silvr in color with a shoulder guard over the right shoulder. The men with the purple blessing is wearing a scale mail and his armor is purple with black. Another person who was killed at the start had leather armor.
The demon comes to the conclusion that three different powers came here from beyond the demon territories, one of whom might have been a simple noble wishing to participate. It seems that he and the men in purple armor were hiding their origin, pretending to be demons. Looking at the man with purple symbol above his head, it wasn’t hard seeing as he has ram horns and black eyes.
Whoever they are, Sel doesn’t care, he is going to kill them all. Seeing as the purple man is the one who gives them the biggest advantage, Sel turns to face him instead of others. He decides to use another little trick he gained, just to kill this one man.
He charges, running around them, trying to get next to the man without others helping him. He will only need a few moments. As the four realize his plan, they try to shield the man who created the barrier. They surround him, making him stand in the middle of the three others.
Deciding that it is useless to try and catch them in an unfavorable situation, Sel charges right at them. Once he gets close, he activates his trick, slowing the time around him. His perception of time slows down by almost three times, making him see things and move around at the speed three times faster. However, he can only use it for five seconds without serious consequences and still being able to continue fighting.
As everybody starts moving very slowly, Sel dashes forward, ducking under the weapons that were swung at him. At the moment, he has fifteen seconds of this slowed down time, during which he must get close and decapitate the man that is controlling the powerful barrier. While he moves faster than usual, it is not three times faster, it is closer to one and a half times faster. His body feels rather heavy if he tries moving it beyond that speed.
Dodging the incoming strikes, he moves closer to the man in the middle. They others are seeing him move by, but are unable to stop him, his moves are beyond their speed. He moves past the men and gets closer and closer to the man in the middle. Seconds flow by, the men try to change the direction of their strikes mid-swing, slowly turning their heads towards Sel. Seven seconds passed.
Sel gets closer to the purple man. His face is distorted with shock and disbelief. The purple aura around him pushes Sel away, but it is three times less powerful than usual due to time dilation. As he gets closer, he spins his body, swinging the chakram to kill the man. The target tries moving or blocking, but he is too slow, the metal blade coming closer and closer, he is powerless to change the outcome. It takes Sel six second to connect the attack, taking the head off the body.
Almost immediately the aura wanes and disappears. Sel watches as the head separates from the body, the look of horror on its face, understanding that it is already dead, but still thinking.
Having two more seconds of super speed to spare, the greyskin sends out his tendrils toward ps the other three men. As the time comes to the end, Sel sees world beginning to tear and rip apart, signaling the time to slow down.
As he returns to normal speed, two of the men, ones wielding the axe and the hammer and penetrated by multiple black tendrils, even the ones with the swords attached to them. The last man, the one with the pink blessing, he managed to quickly release some energy and deflect the black miasma. While it was as powerful as the purple barrier, it only lasted for a second, enough to let the man jump away, but not enough to provide much protection in the next few minutes.
Sel devours the two bodies he pierced, preventing them from being healed by the pink champion. Now, they are standing one on one, a vile demon and champion of goddess Nira. The world around Sel is distorted. The fight has been a long one, him not having rest for a few hours now, his limit was little less than five seconds. The after effect of the slow down is now showing itself, making Sel’s vision betray him and show him false images. His one eye begins to see nonsensical images, while the other shows a fuzzy image of the reality.
The demon is at his limit. His body is ready to give up, even though it can process the scourge directly, it is still simply flesh and blood. He is not a true master of the fel energy, only the demons in Infernal Hells know true power of the scourge.
Wanting to finish this now, Sel collects the power around him. The number of black tendrils increased, their length becoming much longer. The armor around Sel also fades turning into yet more tendrils. He needs to finish quickly, no need for more defense now. If he wins, his body can mend itself, but if he looses he will surely die.
With all the extra tendrils, he begins his final assault. The man dodges out of the way, slashing them but doing no damage. Sel chases after the man, feeling his body slowly shutting down, needing some rest. He is distracted by the images that his eye is showing him. They are of different things, a glowing woman, the people burning in fire, a giant metal armor fighting, the Girl…
Sel has hard time paying attention to the fight, mostly relying on his reflexes. The tendrils reach out after the man, trying to catch him, to strangle him. The demon is bleeding more and more, his wounds no longer closing. The blood sips over his weapon. Throwing a quick glance, Sel sees that over the serrated edges of the blade, there are thin lines that seem to take in his blood and carry it towards the sharp edge. Sel saw same trick used on hunter weapons, allowing them to apply poisons. This must have been another advantage that Illivia lacked during their fight.
With a new discovery, Sel realizes a simple thing. All he has to do, is cut the man with his chakram to win. A single scratch with the poisoned blade and victory is his.
Sel charges right at the last man, knowing he doesn’t have much time left. This is a race to victory, whoever falls first looses. The man uses whatever magic he has, trying to evade the attacks, seeing in what a terrible state the demon is. He also sees his chance of victory.
They play chase for a minute, the man evading attacks and not retaliating. Sel feels himself growing weaker. His body is no longer listening to him, moving around slower and slower. Not wishing to give up, Sel thinks of what he can do. He feels around and grasps the fel energy inside his body, no longer using the muscles but instead forcing the energy to move his body. With this, he literally throws himself at the enemy, his body barely kept upright.
The man sees the last pathetic attempt and chooses to meet the enemy head on. The tendrils slowing down, the scourge weakening, he believes himself to be the victor. The two charge at one another and meet halfway. The man almost evades the chakram, getting a shallow gash on his side, while he himself pierces the demon with his sword, missing the heart but surely piercing the lungs.
The demon slumps onto the man, unable to stand up. He gives up, weak and powerless. Seeing his apparent victory, the man grabs the demon by his neck and lifts him up. Pulling his sword out of the grey man’s chest, he stabs him again in the stomach.
“You killed my brother, now, I will avenge him.”
He stabs the demon on the stomach s couple of times, making the blade come out of the back. The champion is surprised to see the demon still alive. He doesn’t even show any pain, only radiating heat and smiling.
For a split second, his body is covered with an immense fire, burning the hand of the champion, making him drop the greyskin.
“Ha-ha, I’ve killed your brother and you will join him shortly.”
“What nonsense to you speak foul demon, you can’t even stand up!”
“A-ha-ha, thank your God, because in the second you won’t be able to either.”
The pink man deems the demon too insane and delirious, surely going mad from his defeat and his death nearing. He decides to finally put him to rest. Raising an arm up for a final swing, he comes closer, close enough to decapitate the demon. He swings down, but at the last moment, his arm spasms, making him miss the mark and hitting the shoulder of the demon instead.
Confused, the man looks at his arm, taking off his arm guard to look at a spamming muscle, but he finds that his veins turned black, his skin seemingly melting. He didn’t even understand that the demons blood entered his body. He is too late, now he won’t be able to cleanse himself. The blood has spread through his bloodstream.
Staring at his arm in disbelief, the man is then surprised as the mark above his head suddenly flashes, burning his eyes out, and turns into a mini sun. The blessing of the god tries ridding the body of the champion from the scourge, but it is incapable of doing so without hurting the blessed man. It tries burning the foul liquid out of him, but the demon body and blood is stronger than simple human body, so the blessing just kills the champion instead. Within seconds only charred remains are left, with a pink mark fading above it.
This process was way faster than when Highobrne would die, the amount of fel energy being beyond normal. The man had no chance, once his body was contaminated. Even a purifying spell would not help against such s powerful scourge.
Seeing his victory, Sel tries to stand up. His vision is blurry now, images in his one eye flashing faster and faster. For in the scourge inside him to move his body, he floats, making it look like he is standing. He turns his head towards the demon lord and his daughter.
With two simple words, he drops on the ground, surrendering to the sweet embrace of darkness.