The Blademaster Calimero?! What the hell did he mean, “leave this to me”?!
My head was still turned backward as I stayed seated on the back of the white dragon when the sight of a Hero wielding the holy sword, his back facing me, entered my eyes. Calimero made his sword dance, the blade so polished it looked like a mirror, and he turned toward me and winked.
“Mistress of Dark, let us go. Do not let his bravery be in vain!” The gold dragon flying to my side reprimanded me.
I turned forward.
He was buying time for me, not as a Hero of humanity, but as a Hero protecting the world.
But even with the power of a Hero… no, that wasn’t quite right. Rather, I should say that as long as he was human, he would never win against the Demon Lord Fiorfata. The gap between humans and the pinnacle of all demons was far too big.
I wouldn’t let his determination go to waste.
…yet on the other hand, for some reason, I felt a strange kind of sympathy, not for Calimero but for Fiorfata, the one who was going to have to fight him. I slowly closed my eyes, fingers pressing on my brow.
“Come on, Unseelie Lord or whatever your name is! For the sake of my 12,755 lovers all over the world, I, Calimero, fight as a champion of love!”
The Dark Lady Whitehare and the dragons were gone. Calimero, the Blademaster Hero, swept aside his front locks of golden hair while the fingertips of his other hand twirled the holy sword, the most powerful weapon of mankind that had been entrusted to him by the Holy City Ayune. He pointed the sword toward Fiorfata as the Unseelie Lord calmly approached him, and he struck a pose.
Fiorfata stopped moving. It stared at its fingertip, its head slowly tilting to the side.
It had been a moment’s fancy when Fiorfata, the Demon Lord, answered the summon. There hadn’t been any particular reason or emotion behind its decision to destroy this world — it was only thinking to ‘get some fresh air’ after staying in a closed room for years, so to speak.
If there had to be a reason, then perhaps it had been the Malice of Men, that which was so attractive to demons.
Sane people wouldn’t try to summon a demon. It was exactly that suicidal malice of humans that served as bait to lure in demons.
In that sense, the malice that had called up Fiorfata had been quite the amusing morsel. It had accepted the offering and had decided to destroy this world as payment in return, when it noticed something much, much more interesting.
A white demon that didn’t fear the superior Demon Lord.
She dared to stand against it even when she had no more power than an archdemon, provoking it, gaining more power even as she continued to scurry around. It hadn’t had this much fun in millennia. So much fun that it even decided to leave destroying the world for later.
Still, its chase of the white demon was nothing more than a game. It was cornering a running baby rabbit just for fun. There was no need to get serious.
It wasn’t serious, but Fiorfata’s attacks — with intentionally limited range, granted — were still enough to inflict near-fatal damage on an archdemon if they hit directly.
And a human had blocked it.
Fiorfata once more released a beam of light from its fingertip at Calimero, the sudden intruder who was pointing his weapon at it.
The light, as hot as modern laser weaponry of Earth, should have been enough to flash-vaporize the fragile human body. And yet…
Calimero shouted and swung the holy sword together with an explosive surge in his magic. The beam of light was deflected away from him to instead cut down a large area of forest to the left.
Fiorfata once more slowly tilted its head.
This was impossible. Yet the impossible was happening right in front of it.
Calimero hadn’t relied on any tricks or special skills.
Faced with an attack as fast as light, Calimero had observed Fiorfata’s head direction, the movements of its fingers, the minuscule changes in its magic flow, and he had immediately released the mana he had been focusing and compressing within him, at the same time establishing a magical barrier to restrict the scope of the laser. He wasn’t blocking, instead leveraging the reflective property of the material of the holy sword to deflect over ninety-eight percent of the energy away from him.
He did all these within a twentieth of a second. And afterward, to deal with the leftover radiant heat, he intentionally overcharged the mana that he had used to create the magical barrier into a blast to disperse the heat.
If he had been late for just a hundredth of a second, if his sword angle had been wrong, if he had overcharged his magical barrier at the wrong time… any of these mistakes would have been enough to kill him.
Yet the most astonishing thing about him was his ability to carry out his actions. The unbelievable courage to stand tall in front of an enemy over forty times more powerful than him had been the reason Calimero still lived.
Many would have been content to simply wave off what he did, saying it was just because he was a ‘freak’, but at the same time, one could say his achievements had only been possible purely due to his inborn gifts.
He was a true genius born of Yggdrasia, and the most powerful Hero of all history.
This was the truth of Calimero.
Still, it was true what they said. There was a fine line between genius and… whatever he was.
“Hahahah! Is that it, Unseelie Lord?! If so, then you will never be able to defeat Calimero, the guardian of love!” He loudly exclaimed, displaying a handsome smile while his fingers swept across his bangs.
For a moment, Fiorfata stilled.
No one could understand what it was thinking. A two-dimensional being could not ever hope to comprehend one living in the third.
But still, Fiorfata grinned. The miasma clinging to the Demon Lord turned pitch-black, and the obsidian egg it had for a head cracked apart in a grin no one had seen until now.
Fiorfata expelled beams of light from all of its left-hand fingers, tearing apart the whole area where Calimero was. The mushroom cloud reached as high as three hundred meters, and the dust was thick enough to block out the sun. A flash of sharp light pierced through the cloud, only to bounce off of Fiorfata’s head and vanish.
“Did you actually think that was enough to kill me, Calimero?!”
Calimero, the hero of light, danced in the air as he sliced apart the cloud of dust. His clothes and armor were grimy with dirt and mud, but there wasn’t a single speck of dust on his face and hair.
Out of the six lasers coming out of Fiorfata’s fingers, Calimero could only parry two. But the deflected beams had hit the others, changing their paths, and he had even utilized the explosion caused by the projectiles hitting the ground to jump and take refuge in the air.
Even Calimero himself wouldn’t have been able to explain how he had done it.
The man possessed the calculation ability to create intricate solutions in a blink of an eye, as well as the capability to carry it out without a moment’s hesitation. But he was also incorrigible.
“For the sake of my 12,756 lovers all over the world!”
At that moment, the cloying miasma surrounding Fiorfata abruptly turned a shade blacker.
A hail of comets rained down on Calimero as if the whole sky had fallen, turning the shoreline of the Eastern Continent unrecognizable. But even inside the localized apocalypse, Calimero still laughed, his cheerful voice unfaltering.
At first glance, he seemed to be on equal grounds with Fiorfata, a demon some would call an Evil God, yet this was not so.
Calimero was making hairline dodges of attacks that would kill him with only a scratch, while his own attacks couldn’t deal even the least damage to Fiorfata. While the Hero was still unharmed, the magic power that he needed to dodge wasn’t infinite. The magic stones and magitools he’d prepared were slowly but surely depleting, and Fiorfata’s attacks were grinding his life down.
Why was Calimero continuing with such recklessness, then?
“Come on! Don’t hold back now, Unseelie Lord!!”
It was to buy time, and it was to lower Fiorfata’s magic power as much as possible.
By instincts, Calimero had known that the Dark Lady Whitehare wasn’t his enemy. And by instincts, he’d known that taking her as his lover would bring peace to the world, which had been the reason why he had continued to pursue her until now.
Blows after blows struck him. As Calimero stood battered and bruised, Fiorfata released an enormous magical blast at him.
The Hero swept his pristine bangs aside with bloodied fingers. He smiled gently as he looked into the approaching mass of magic power.
“…my beautiful Dark Lady. The rest is up to you.”
As long as he succeeded in weakening Fiorfata’s magic and combat power, he was sure the white girl would win. So spoke his instincts of a Hero.
The massive magical projectile crushed into Calimero, his smile still unwavering until the very end. All that was left behind was an immense crater.
Upon the sight, Fiorfata faintly tilted its neck to the side… and then it left once more to resume the chase.
On a land now scoured of all moving creatures, the holy sword tumbled through the air to stab into the ground. It shone, catching the light as though a gravestone.
A/N:…did that kill him?