The current year, based on the Taulia calendar, is 4030. At the western edge of the Taulia continent, in the Holy Kingdom Yuust Rukydous, lays the sacred city Wiltus. Deep within the royal palace of Wiltus – often called the Silver Palace,
“Damn it! Arkwright! Draw back!”
Two knights clad in silver plate armor dashed through the white palace garden that was dyed in the purple and orange colors of twilight. Dozens of demons were closing in behind them. As if they had come out of an abstract painting, the left and right sides of the demons were asymmetrical. Human body parts – parts like the eyes, mouths and limbs – were stuck onto the demons with the wrong size and in the wrong position. Their grotesque figures instinctively invoked feelings of disgust in the viewer.
No emotion of any kind could be seen in the eyes of the demons. Even though the eyes were emotionless, the same couldn’t be said for those who looked into the eyes. Anyone who looked at the vacant eyes were filled with a sense of despair.
The two knights had been able to escape only after losing countless comrades. As they attempted to drive back the demons close behind them, both were trying to reach a certain room.
“Arkwright, this is my last command. I’ll hold them back. You will go guard his Royal Highness and his family.”
The young knight who was called Arkwright stammered, “Sh-shouldn’t it be . . . Captain, who guards his Highness . . .” Cutting him off, the older knight said, “This isn’t the time for us to be arguing! Besides, you don’t even have the ability to hold these bastards back!”
Swinging his sword, he shouted, “Stop wasting our time! Hurry up and go!”
Ray Arkwright tried to object but held back his words after noticing the figures of the demons drawing closer behind them. He saluted the knight and then silently ran down the white corridor.
The older knight who was left behind smiled as he looked at Ray’s retreating figure. He then turned back around and cried, “You won’t pass through here! There’s no way I’m going to let you bastards come near his Highness!” Raising his sword, he plunged into the swarm of demons.
Ray did not look behind him. He felt that if he looked back, he would have hesitated to let the old knight face certain death alone. He would have decided to rush back and help him.
I can’t go against Captain’s last command . . . otherwise, I won’t be able to face all those guys who died in order for me to escape . . . in order to repay Captain, I will protect his Highness . . .
While desperately holding back his tears, he entered the room where the magic circle used for transferring had been drawn.
His Majesty should have already arrived at Jilsol – the kingdom on the eastern island. No one’s going to come here after me . . . I have to destroy the magic circle before I transfer . . .
A combustible substance had been placed inside the room in case of emergencies. It was a barrel filled with oil that was used to throw off pursuers. Arkwright fiercely dispelled the contents of the barrel onto the floor and ignited it with a magic tool. Fire quickly spread over the oil and by the time he reached the inside of the magic circle that was drawn at the center of the room, the stench of burning oil and smoke had begun to fill the room. However, the strength of the flame was stronger than he thought, illuminating the inside of the room with a brightness that made it seem like it was noon.
Arkwright casted a spell, causing the magic circle to begin shining white. The transfer magic was beginning to activate.
Immediately after that, at heavy impact struck his head.
An object that was about the size of a person had fallen from the ceiling. Because Ray had been concentrating on preparing for the transfer magic, he didn’t notice that object – a demon species that had been outside in the confusion a while ago. The demon had already arrived before Ray and anticipated him.
“W-what is this? Dammit! They had already come here!?”
He desperately tried to rip off the demon from his head but its length and thickness were unusual. Both of its arms were also much stronger than he thought. The demon extended things that looked like tentacles towards Ray’s head – they each attached to him, one by one.
The numerous tentacles pierced the areas that were exposed through his helmet – places like his forehead, his ears, the back of his head . . . Ray screamed from the intense pain.
“Aagh! S-stop! Don’t eat my memories! Don’t eat my soul! Stop!”
He pulls out his sword and stabs into the demon. However, the tentacles glowed ominously as they dig further inside his head.
This is the end . . . before I die I have to destroy the magic circle . . . if I don’t . . . his highness will . . . everyone will . . .
As his consciousness faded, he pulled out the spear he carried on his back and scraped off a part of the magic circle. The moment he destroyed a small part of the magic circle that was written in strange characters, the shining white circle quickly lost its power.
With this, the transfer magic won’t activate . . . I’m sorry Captain. I couldn’t follow your orders after all . . . at the very least, I’ll take this demon down with me . . .
He mustered the little bit of strength he had left and filled the spear in his right hand with magical power. The tip of his spear shines radiantly and then stretches towards the demon.
Pierced by the white light, the demon’s blood splattered everywhere. However, the demon’s tentacles remained unchanged as they stuck onto his head and glowed their ominous light. Having used up his last remaining strength, Ray collapsed onto the ground. After a while, his eyes finally turned dull and empty. The demon that had been attached to him was further pierced by the spear the moment he collapsed, and also perished.
In the room where the lives of one man and one demon met their end, flames continued to spread even further over the oil spilled upon the ground.
The flames burned Ray and the demon, trying to eat up everything, clean up everything.
At that moment, in the room that no longer had anything or anyone living within it, the magic circle that had lost its light began to shine once again. The silver light wrapped itself around the body of Ray Arkwright, immediately encasing his whole body in its shine. It was so bright, no one could have faced it directly. The light abruptly disappeared and then once again, only a red flame illuminated the room. However, only the dead carcass of the demon remained. The corpse of the young man named Ray Arkwright had disappeared.
Nobody would ever know.