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Chapter 25 – Edim and Miscalculations
“Intruders! Don’t let them get away!”
“Disintegrate, you traaash!”
I continued onwards, using magic bullets to clear the way of mercenaries…
One after another, I slew them and slew them.
But by the time I reached the top floor the number of weaklings had doubled.
I was breathing hard, and there were still so many of them.
On any other day I could have managed without a thought…
Even though I was feeling a bit better after Jessica’s blood it was a far cry from being fully recovered.
After all, I couldn’t kill her, so I only took a little.
I needed so much more.
“W-What are you…?”
“I-, I know what she is. T-That strength can only mean a vampire. She’s a demon!”
So they realised.
If the Fiend realised that a demon was attacking then there was a chance that he would run.
I had to hurry.
But having realised my lack of humanity, the mercenaries were all keeping a distance and firing magical bullets from afar now.
Kuh, nothing could be worse.
My strength was being drained and having Jessica here wasn’t helping.
She was as good as useless after all.
Actually worse than useless since I had to protect her too.
“This is as far as we go, Jessica. You have to escape first.”
“No! How could I leave you when you’re so exhausted!”
“U-Umm, you know. That’s kind of why I want you to leave. It’s actually pretty hard fighting while protecting you.”
“S-Sorry for being useless…”
“It’s fine, just go!”
“Y-Yeah… Yeah! I should go call Tilea-san after all.”
I told you not to do anything unnecessary!
Anything but that!
I’m going to be executed by the leadership, you know.
“Jessica, you should leave Tilea-sa… n out of this.”
“I’ll be fine, Jessica. If it gets too dangerous I’ll leg it. You should… Ah, right. You need to look after the rest of the girls who escaped the prison. The guards will probably catch some of them.”
“T-There were some kids after all…”
“Okay. Got it. Leave everyone to me.”
“I’ll be counting on you.”
“Don’t die, Edim.”
With that, Jessica disappeared down the stairs.
That was one burden gone.
I sighed in relief.
Ordinarily I would have looked after her myself.
She belonged to Camilla-sama after all.
But a direct order from Tilea-sama took precedence, and I would have failed the mission at this rate.
Trying to achieve everything would have me failing both.
It wasn’t optimal but it was the best I could do.
There was another benefit to having Jessica gone.
I didn’t have to stick to humane methods any longer.
I let my instincts as a vampire take over.
A happy smile spread across my face as I pounced into the crowd of guards.
“Guahhh! S-Save mee!”
I was going to drink my fill.
On any other day I’d never touch blood like this.
It tasted disgusting of course, but for tonight I wouldn’t waste a drop.
If I managed to recover even half of my strength before reaching the Fiend it would be most satisfactory.
“Just dieeeeee!” somebody screamed.
I had been taken off guard, and magical bullets were flying towards me from a blind spot.
Because I had been in the middle of drinking blood I was slow to react.
I was trying to dodge them, but a few would probably hit.
I had to bite my lip and tried to endure as they hit me, but to my surpise…
…It was the small fry who were blown away.
Those were magic bullets!
Had Dalf come for me…?
Had he been worried about my health?
I hadn’t forgotten that Ortissio had injured him too.
It was impressive that he had come as reinforcements.
If I was being honest, I wasn’t confident in taking on both the Fiend and Nyger, depleted as I was.
As expected of my most trusted subordinate.
I turned a gaze of trust to him.
“Dalf, you did well in com――”
“It is I, Jayjay.”
“Is something the matter, Edim-sama? I have infiltrated this mansion alone on Dalf-sama’s orders.”
…Well, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but he was still a second-order vampire of my line.
“We break through in one go, Jayjay.”
We moved onwards as our enemies fell prey to his magic bullets.
It impressed upon me again the importance of support.
We were making great progress.
Before long we entered a much better decorated area.
This would be the Fiend’s room then.
It was a luxurious place.
All around, I could see signs of unnecessary spending.
Well, not that it compared to the Underground Empire, but still…
“Jayjay, your role is to hold Nyger back. I will use that chance to assassinate the Fiend.”
“As you wish. However…”
“Oh? Do you lack confidence in doing so?”
“No, milady, I simply wanted to ask what the consequences were if I failed to simply hold him back and defeated him by accident.”
“…That’s quite bold of you. Nyger has served many years as the Fiend’s right-hand-man.”
“Ha ha ha. Edim-sama, magical history is literally my speciality. You needn’t remind me.”
Kuh, he was like this as a teacher, and becoming a vampire hadn’t fixed that at all.
Always thinking he was more capable than he really was.
“As long as you understand. I only need a minute. Grab Nyger’s attention!”
“Understood. Today is the day that Nyger dies.”
I wasn’t exactly confident about this, but time was running short. And the bigger issue was that it would be a close call on my own.
Relying on Jayjay was my only real choice.
I entered Gordon’s room and looked around.
Four to the left, three to the right, five in the back…
And there were now people coming up the stairs behind us.
Worse, each of them seemed stronger than the rabble we’d seen previously.
It made the job a lot harder.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to kill them off first, but…
“So you’re the demon that’s invaded my estate,” smirked a man with the face of a scoundrel.
So this was Gordon the Fiend…
In that case, the old man standing there protectively was Nyger.
There was something about the way he held himself that separated Nyger from the rabble.
Jayjay was going to struggle.
The Fiend needed to be put down quickly so that I could help fight Nyger.
Otherwise things would end badly for Jayjay.
“Jayjay, buy me time. Hold out for one minute.”
With that, I closed in on the Fiend with lightning speed.
I intended to use my remaining mana in one attack.
A single stroke to slay the Fiend, and then Nyger.
Before he could even raise his sword, my hand was at his neck――
I had been attacked from behind.
I turned around only to find Nyger firing magical bullets.
Wha-, it hadn’t even been ten seconds!
What was Jayjay…?
“E-Edim-sama. M-, My sincere… Guhah!”
S-, So useless.
I asked him for just one minute.
For him to have fallen within ten seconds was…
Nyger had cut off all four of his limbs.
A human would be dead for sure, but as a vampire he was still alive.
Not that I would care if somebody this useless kicked the bucket.
Actually I’d prefer it that way!
“Don’t move, vampire! If you so much as twitch I’ll kill him,” Nyger aimed at the fallen Jayjay.
“Hah?” I scoffed, “Are you trying to take him as a hostage? By all means, kill the eyesore.”
“Huhu, it appears that he doesn’t have much worth as one.”
Nyger laughed fearlessly.
I considered him.
Jayjay might have been a second-degree kin of mine, but he was still a vampire. Nyger had taken him down instantly.
If I considered the strength of the earlier magical bullets as well, the conclusion was that it was Nyger that I should be wary of, not Gordon.
“Vampire girl, you’ll pay for stepping your dirty feet into my mansion!” Gordon spat.
Yes, he wasn’t the real threat here.
In fact, he acted just like a weakling.
I was beginning to think that he was the sort that couldn’t win without dirty tricks and ambushes.
“So the legendary Fiend was actually you,” I said to Nyger.
“What?” goggled Gordon. “It is I who is the legendary Fiend! I bring chaos and destruction to――”
“Silence, clown! You lack the power. Do not interrupt.”
“Clown!?” he screamed. “Nyger, don’t kill this vampire girl. Capture her and I’ll give her a living hell!”
“Gordon-sama, defeating her is one thing, but in my humble opinion she is too powerful to be captured safely,” Nyger argued.
“What!? Both of us are here! Even a demon is nothing to us!”
“This vampire girl is different from the false demons we have faced so far.”
“Mmngh… Is it really too difficult to capture her?”
“Yes. And I believe that now may be our only chance to do so. For whatever reason, she is exhausted. Were that not the case, I humbly believe that even killing her would be impossible.”
“Ngngn… I wanted to try having some fun with a demon girl.”
“Gordon-sama. This will only bring us future trouble if we do not kill her now.”
The two of them attacked in tandem; Gordon with a sword, and Nyger with magical bullets.
But an instant later, Nyger moved in for close-ranged combat.
His techniques were sudden and ever-changing.
Worse yet, Gordon’s subordinates began firing arrows and magical bullets en masse.
It was a struggle to focus on Nyger.
If only Jayjay could have bought me a few seconds…
“Get up, Jayjay! Get up and draw their attention!”
“Stop babbling and move! Be of some use before you die!”
“I-It’s impossible, E-Edim-sama…”
“Impossible? Impossible!? At the Academy you were the one who kept saying ‘It’s only impossible because you think it’s impossible.’ Get up. Get up and take the enemies to hell with you!”
“Edim-sama, m-may the… fortunes of war be with you…”
With those last words, he collapsed into unconsciousness.
So… So useless.
Just fucking die already!
While I was being assaulted from all sides, I suddenly felt Nyger’s mana gathering…
Something bad was coming.
I promptly took defensive manoeuvres.
“Nuoooh, Ghost Rider![Ghost Wave Magic Punch!]”
Nyger dashed forward with all his power concentrated into his fist.
T-This was bad…
I backpedalled to avoid it, and only managed by the skin of my teeth.
The sound of the air parting was audible by my ear.
It was unbelievable for a human.
And what power.
No vampire could have withstood a direct blow from that.
Before my eyes was a human who could have met me on my best day.
No wonder the Fiend was so famous.
“Hahaha! Take that! And that!”
And while I was busy paying attention to Nyger, Gordon always attacked with exquisite timing.
The years they spent together wasn’t for show.
I was left panting hard.
The situation was getting worse and worse for me.
And I couldn’t afford a protracted battle.
Haah, haah, damn it!
If only it had been Dalf, instead of that useless…
I considered contacting Dalf.
It would take a few seconds to start up the telepathy.
To buy myself some time, I waited for an opening and closed the distance between Gordon and I.
I tore off Gordon’s finger.
Now I just needed a few seconds to…
Just that instant was enough for Nyger to score a direct hit.
I was sent flying.
My right arm was destroyed past the ability of my body to regenerate.
Urgh, what force…
Thanks to my weariness and lapse in judgement, things were looking even grimmer.
Of course a veteran expert like Nyger would never miss an opening.
Gordon and his goons ended up routing me.
I was covered in blood from all the wounds now.
“Haah, haa, haa, you’ve caused us a lot of trouble, you bitch…”
“Gordon-sama, please do not approach her carelessly. We should finish her from afar.”
“Wait, Nyger. That whore tore my finger off. She needs to suffer, or I won’t be able to sleep at night.”
“I’ll keep your words in mind. Hey, you lot, she’s yours. Strip her, skewer her, whatever you want. Just don’t give her an easy death!”
“Whaooo! Can we really?”
Gordon’s underlings swarmed me with vulgar cheers.
“Kuhihihi, what happened to your attitude? Aren’t you an almighty vampire?”
“Oi, oi, is that shaking I see? A brat is just a brat, huh.”
“Haah, I’m done waiting. Let’s hurry up and jam it in already.”
The voices and smells were making me nauseous.
“Let go of me…”
“Oho? You’re bloodied and battered and you still wanna act tough?”
“Ku ku, hey, let’s strip her and do her already. The arrogant act is really starting to piss me off.”
The insolent mob began pulling at my clothes.
“D-, Don’t touch me, you filth… I belong to Camilla-sama…”
“What are you on about? You belong to us. And you had better believe that we have a lot in store for you.”
“Heh, what are you-”
“You fucking amoebaaa! Get your filthy hands off of meeee!”
With a roar I discharged the mana in my body and showered my surroundings with blood.
Bloody Mary[Demonic Bloodsucker].
My ultimate technique.
It involved manipulating the blood in your body with mana to create violent bursts of it.
The result was an unavoidable spray of blood that cut through everything in my surroundings.
Armour, helmets, none of it would help you.
The blade of blood could cut through steel like nothing.
I can’t believe I used my trump card on these guys.
It was my strong technique to be sure… but it came with the drawback of being helpless.
After using it I couldn’t move for a while.
The loss of blood made my body feel like lead each time.
I wouldn’t have minded collapsing right there, but I needed to confirm Gordon’s death.
Fighting off my intense desire to sleep, I forced my leaden limbs to move.
I was surrounded by body pieces
Limbs, entrails, and an ocean of blood all around.
These fools had probably passed away without knowing what happened.
But these were just his lackeys.
Haah, haah, haah…
Gordon had been at the back…
I struggled in that direction and found a blood-soaked Nyger.
But Gordon’s corpse was nowhere to be seen.
He was gone.
Panicked, I looked around the room but there was no trace of him.
Gordon had definitely been here.
It was in range of my attack.
Did he escape?
No, that should have been impossible.
My attack wasn’t so slow that you had a chance to run from it.
Did that mean he sensed it before I did it?
Kuh, I had to contact my kin…
『Haah, haah, haah, Dalf! Answer me!』
『Edim-sama, how is the mission…?』
『…He escaped. Have you seen any movement on your end?』
『No… But there was a report of a strange stagnation of mana.』
Gordon, you fucker. You used teleportation magic!
『Dalf, I trust that you dispatched soldiers to investigate?』
『O-Ortissio-sama was afraid of disrupting the encirclement, so he wouldn’t give us permission. Even sending Jayjay took a very long time.』
T-, That incompetent idiot!
Thanks to him…
『Dalf, immediately dispatch a unit to the location. This time, do it no matter what Ortissio-sama might say.』
『By your will.』
Haa, haa, it had already been a few minutes though.
Even if he sent a unit, Gordon wouldn’t be there.
“Damn it!” I cursed in Zenonese.
I let him escape…