I have to run away.
That´s what his instincts told him. A line of sweat ran down his forehead.
While keeping his eyes on Gortoberuk, he confirmed where his horse was at the edge of his sight. The horse was completely wrecked. It was probably due to the impact it received from the club. Those vigorous eyes of a few moments ago became blank and foam was surging from its mouth. No matter what, it was impossible for it to suddenly stand up or jump around.
There was a wide hole that behind Gortoberuk. At the other side of that hole was where the Demon Lord was sealed. Rook had been a few centimeters away from that hole. Fortunately, Gortoberuk wasn´t riding a horse. Although he could stand in the way of the hole this way, his mobility wasn´t the same if he was riding one.
Rook was greatly lacking the speed to be able to accomplish the feat of dodging Gortoberuk and slipping past him. It was a very hard blow that he ended up losing his horse.
“But… Do I have any other choice?”
The walkthrough guide on how to beat Gortoberuk faintly remained in his head.
Rook dragged out those memories that were all covered in dust. If his memory served him right, the way to kill Gortoberuk would be to avert his attention with the bow. Then, drawing the sword into that opening made, you would cut his head off. Of course, Gortoberuk was a demon experienced in warfare. He was a man that lived many times the lifespan of a human and devoted his life to war. It was hard to believe it was possible to distract him so easily.
Indeed, it was because Selestinna would be together with him that it would be possible to defeat Gortoberuk. It was because she was an archer that it would be possible to defeat him. Now, as for looking for someone that had the same amount of skill with the bow as her in this battlefield…
“There is… nobody but me.”
Rook moved his hand to his bow.
His bow was gifted to him by Selestinna herself. He wasn´t as good with it as he was with his sword, but he had confidence in his barely passable skills. If he is capable of using this bow well, he could create a gap in Gortoberuk´s defenses and perhaps be able to break through him.
Rather, he needed to break through him at all costs.
“Hou, an archer. Could it be you are that girl´s subordinate?”
There was a tinge of interest in Gortoberuk´s eyes.
“I´m not her subordinate.”
However, from this distance, there is no way he would be able to create a gap. Moving back the hand he had moved to his bow, Rook once again
“Selestinna is my…”
One of my harem members? Lover? Friend?
No, it wasn´t any of those. He liked her, but that was because he liked that girl that appeared at the game. The feelings he held for real Selestinna Bistolru weren´t as naive as something like. That feeling that surged up when Selestinna was killed at that time was…
“My precious childhood friend!”
Rook´s sword and Gortoberuk´s club crashed into each other.
Gortoberuk´s weight was carried into the club, overwhelming Rook. Rook clenched his teeth and tried to push forward with all his power. However, he narrowly was able to give up on the idea. Even if he was able to push him back, after that, it would be him that would be giving Gortoberuk an opening. He couldn´t imagine himself immediately making a follow-up after the attack.
“… To think you wouldn´t crumble before my attack. You hold a good sword.”
Gortoberuk muttered in praise. It seems that Gortoberuk had also put considerable power onto it. Sweat started to appear on his forehead. With a face full of sweat, Rook said “Thanks”.
“However, your body should soon be reaching its limits, young spiritualist. Do you wish to keep this on and get crushed?”
Rook tried to answer back brazenly, but in fact, it was already difficult for him to keep his stance. Of course, he didn´t have the spare time to put an arrow on his bow. Casting down his eyes, Rook set his resolve.
“I will end this here!”
At the moment Rook looked at Gortoberuk, without pushing forward, he released the sword. Whether Gortoberuk noticed or not was was going to happen, at that instant, he jumped back.
By the time Gortoberuk noticed it, it was already too late. The competition of strength suddenly ended and Gortoberuk fell forward while still holding his club. It seems he was putting too much strength onto it. The club, which had Gortoberuk´s weight and power concentrated at, violently sank into the ground. In result of that, the place Rook had been standing until now was smashed, making a circle-shaped hole. If Rook was late by one second at the timing to dodge, his head would have literally been smashed to pieces.
Taking the bow with his free hand, Rook put an arrow at the left side with natural movements. Pulling the bowstring about where his chin was, he aimed forward.
“…it is the end!”
And then, before Gortoberuk could regain his posture, Rook shot the arrow.
The arrow flew through the air. It was heading straight to Gortoberuk´s heart. It wasn´t from a distance Gortoberuk would have the time to move his club back or to dodge the arrow.
Bending his body, Gortoberuk barely avoided the trajectory of the arrow.
However, that arrow that was aimed at the middle of his chest still dug into the right part of his chest. A hole opened at his chest and blood came out of his mouth.
After giving a glance at Gortoberuk´s crouching figure, he ran forward.
However, Gortoberuk wouldn´t let things end there. The instant he heard the sound of Rook approaching him, he reflexively brought his club out, raising it overhead. Gortoberuk´s club was approaching Rook as it rotated at the air. He had thrown his club in his last attack. That was the obstinacy of the brave general that wouldn´t be taken down; that was even if he had to fall, and even with those heavy injuries that were more than enough to kill him.
It wasn´t as fast as the arrow had been. However, Rook was now running towards him. Because Rook had closed his distance with Gortoberuk, he wasn´t able to immediately stop running at that moment.
However, there was no way Rook would stop there.
Crouching down, he put his right leg forward, sliding at the ground. It was by a hair´s breadth.
The club grazed through Rook´s hair. It´s wind pressure made him close one of his eyes. Despite that, he picked up the sword that was fallen near Gortoberuk and successfully slipped into the cavern.
Continuing on without turning back to Gortoberuk, Rook ran through the dark cavern.
Everything was for the sake of saving the princess and stopping the resurrection of the Demon Lord.
Without stopping to move, Rook Barusak continued to run through the darkness.
Gortoberuk was still crouching in front of the opening of the cave.
He had let go of his weapon and also didn´t have any spare sword. As he was pressing onto the hole at his chest with his remaining hand, the brave general couldn´t hide his rough breathing.
“So the old generals, must depart….”
He was the anticipated star of the spiritualists who had the same bloodline as Riku Barusak, the upcoming major general of the Demon Lord army. Although he heard from Asty, his grandchild, that Rook had been driven away from the spiritualist army. However, just by looking at him was it possible to know that it was much more now that he had been driven out that people followed him, having the popularity to be able to lead the army. No matter where he was to look, there was nobody that had crossed blades with Gortoberuk in the battlefield before. All the spiritualist following Rook were filled with youth.
Both the old generals of the Demon Lord army and the spiritualist army would have derpart, and the young would rise and go on. In a certain meaning, for him to die here was perhaps inevitable. Gortoberuk was slightly casting down his eyes…
“… But I cannot let it end here.”
He once again opened his eyes.
The battle was still going on. By looking around, he could see the battle of his own subordinates against the spiritualists unfolding. However, it seemed that they were being overwhelmed by their lower numbers.
“Follow after Rook!”
“We also must quickly catch up to him and give him our support!”
Suddenly, some spiritualists broke through the encirclement and were now comming at Gortoberuk.
There was no way he could let them through. Even though they were the enemy, it was very regrettable to him to be crushing the new sprouts. However, the protection of this place had been entrusted to him. With that being said, there was no way he could allow anyone to get through any further.
“Don´t get over yourselves, spiritualists.”
He imposingly stood in front of the cave.
The spiritualists clicked their tongue, each readying their own weapon. Readying her bow, a spiritualist wearing a white robe fired many arrows. The arrows that were shot from someone mounting a horse dug into Gortoberuk´s right eye, arm, and also his legs. Although holes opened at him, and although he bled, Gortoberuk didn´t fall. After that, three spiritualists aimed at his chest with spears. All the spears were being aimed at his heart, being thrust from the right, the left, and the middle. A painful complexion spread on Gortoberuk´s face. However, he still didn´t fall. Perhaps because he kept clenching his teeth in order to endure the pain, his teeth shattered, and white fragments scattered in his mouth.
The spiritualists were surprised.
“This guy won´t fall!?”
“Don´t mind him! Forward!!”
While the spear-wielding spiritualists were surprised by Gortoberuk´s sturdiness, the spiritualist wearing the white robe went on, passing by him. Gortoberuk tried to raise his arm in other to stop her, but he couldn´t muster strength for that. It was as if he had lost the sense of touch on his arm.
“Tch, we also need to hurry up.”
“But this demon is still not dead.”
“Don´t mind it. After all, there is no way it can move anymo…”
There was no way it could move anymore.
The instant the spiritualist was about to finish his line, Gortoberuk raised his arm. His arm pierced through that spiritualist´s chest and he grasped the heart inside. The heart was beating in Gortoberuk´s rough hand.
“Who do you think is letting you go?”
His eyes were bloodshot. Blood flowed from his mouth unceasingly. He already lacked one of his arms, was pierced by sharp arrows throughout all his body, and there was a hole open at the right side of his chest. His whole body was filled with wounds. Despite that, Gortoberuk´s fighting spirit didn´t vanish.
“Tch, what a stubborn demon!!”
“We will follow after Rook-sama and Raku-sama after we have completely dealt with you!”
The face of the two remaining spiritualists were twisted in anger. The tempered body of a demon wasn´t something that could be easily cut through. However, the other party were also tempered spiritualists. With that spear infused with a demon banning technique, it was possible to cut the hard flesh like cutting fruit.
Wondering in his mind if that was his end, Gortoberuk prepared himself for his death.
However, hoping he could at least stop one of those two spiritualists, he moved his hand covered in blood.
It was at that time.
“I see, Rook and Raku, is it?”
A leisure voice came down from above.
A red flash jumped into the scene.
At that same time, the huge lump of steel sent the head of the two spiritualists flying. There was no doubt those two spiritualists didn´t know what happened to them. In fact, even Gortoberuk didn´t know what happened until a few seconds after.
“Aren´t you in a bad shape, general Gortoberuk?”
“Major general Riku… Barusak?”
Before one´s notice, the sound of the battle had already stopped.
All the spiritualists were cut down; there wasn´t anyone moving. Inside the red sea flowing from their bodies were Gortoberuk´s subordinates on the ground exhausted. Apparently, Riku had dealt with all of the spiritualists in those few moments.
Although everything was over, it seemed she had gone through the equivalent amount of adversity. Her cheeks and arm were filled with injuries, and let alone her armor and clothes, even her hair was dyed in red.
“It seems this will be our parting.”
“So it seems. However… it is fine like that.”
Gortoberuk´s eyes became warm. His clenched hand opened and his arm dropped hanging.
“You are important for the future of the Demon Lord army. I will be leaving the Demon Lord army… in your hands.”
“…I will only follow the path I´ve chosen for myself.”
Riku turned her back to Gortoberuk.
In front of her eyes lied a cave. There was the darkness that would engulf everyhing.
“But I will pay back the favor.”
Saying only that, Riku dashed out.
As she ran, her red hair swayed left and right. Her swaying hair then became just a dot, only to finally vanish into the darkness. When it became that Gortoberuk couldn´t see her anymore…
“Yes, it is… fine like this.”
The old general Rudogar Gortoberuk silently closed his eyes.