17 – Reinforcements
<Devils> don’t have a fixed level of power. There’s a difference between each <Devil> specimen (they don’t have a physical body so referring to them with specimen may be wrong however) and their power is further influenced by how much desire their host possesses.
Normally, Calcedonia’s <<Exorcise>> would have already purified and purged the <Devil> without fail. Despite that, she wasn’t able to purge the one that had possessed Baldeo. This was a first experience for Calcedonia who was famed as a <<Holy Maiden>> and had exorcised many <Devils> up until now.
Maybe the <Devil>’s original abilities were stronger than normal, or maybe Baldeo’s desires were too intense. Or, it may be both.
The reason was unclear, but the devil was still nesting inside of Baldeo.
It seems like Calcedonia’s solitary struggle would still have to continue.
Calcedonia immediately turned her body around after hearing Baldeo’s voice.
But she was slightly too late. Before she was able to move away, Baldeo’s hand reached out to her chest and grabbed onto the collar her priestess clothes.
Now then, exactly what would happen if she pulled her body when her collar was held onto?
With a tearing sound, the clothes covering her breasts tore open and the upper half of her abundant pair of breasts with her deep cleavage spilled out.
Just like any other normal woman, Calcedonia reflexively tried to hide her open breasts with her hands.
But in this situation, where there was an enemy in front of her eyes, this action would be nothing but an opening.
Baldeo’s other hand grabbed onto Calcedonia’s slender hands, and his unnaturally bending fingers dug into her wrist.
Because of the pain running through her wrist, Calcedonia’s movements stopped just for a moment.In that moment, Baldeo pulled Calcedonia towards himself in his chest embracing her tightly.
His red eyes which were proof of being possessed by a <Devil>. A sad expression surfaced on Calcedonia’s face upon once again seeing those red pupils from close proximity.
Baldeo was a person who always had a gentle smile. Ever since she was a child, she thought of him like an older brother, and he also looked after her troubles like she was his younger sister.
Of course even now she thought of him like a family, albeit a bit different than from Tatsumi or Giuseppe.
And currently, that Baldeo had a smile so vulgar that no one could even imagine the normal him smiling as such. Opposite to his normally kind and calm expression, the current him had a lustful expression as he peered into Calcedonia’s deep cleavage.
Even if he was like family, Calcedonia would still feel unpleasant if someone from the opposite sex peered into her cleavage so lustfully (well it would be a different matter altogether if it was Tatsumi) and frantically poured power into her arms to shake him off.
But in the end, women had slender arms. It was quite difficult for her to be able to shake off the hand of an adult man who had his strength multiply after being possessed by a <Devil>.
After realizing that, Calcedonia started to chant while deeply apologizing to Baldeo in her heart.
The spell she was chanting was <<Thunder Palm>> of the <Thunder> attribute. It was a magic where one would shock the opponent while in contact with a weak lightning, an elementary offensive spell of the <Thunder> attribute.
Because it was an elementary spell, it didn’t have enough of an impact to knock out the opponent in one hit. But still, if hit by the thunder shock, it had enough power to make one falter and numb their movements. And if she could utilise that to escape, then she won’t have to injure Baldeo more than necessary.
Calcedonia lightly touched Baldeo’s abdomen with her palm.
And from that place of contact, a vivid flash of violet light sparkled for a moment which caused Baldeo, who was tightly grasping Calcedonia to raise a groan as he released Calcedonia and took a few steps back.
And Calcedonia who was able to take some distance with that opening hid her exposed breasts with her right hand while chanting another spell.
It was the same <<Botanic Shackles>> she recited earlier. She was planning to entrap Baldeo once again and use her <<Exorcise>> spell.
But it seemed like Baldeo—no, the <Devil> that was nesting in Baldeo had already predicted that strategy.
He dashed at Calcedonia in an instant with a speed he didn’t reveal till now, and extended his hands towards Calcedonia with his unpleasantly wiggling fingers.
The aria won’t finish in time.
Calcedonia immediately judged that, so she stopped the chant and decided to focus on evasion.
Certainly for a magician of her caliber, it was possible for her to continue reciting while dodging. But dodging would naturally be easier when focusing solely on it.
After witnessing Baldeo’s speed, Calcedonia decided to give her full attention in order to raise her certainty.
But Baldeo’s speed rose once more and he soon surpassed Calcedonia.
Baldeo closed in against her with a speed that surpassed Calcedonia who is a battle hardened veteran. Baldeo’s hands swiftly launched towards the Calcedonia’s chest.
It seems like he was trying to fully tear up her priestess clothes and expose all of her abundant breasts under the sunlight.
With his eyes bloodshot, and mouth dripping with drool, the current Baldeo was completely running on his male bestial nature.
She was unable to dodge in time. But even so, there was an unyielding fighting spirit in her eyes as Calcedonia glared at the two hands coming closer to her breasts.
And at the end of Calcedonia’s gaze.
There was a silver streak like a meteorite which halted Baldeo’s hands’ advances.
The silver streak was the blade of a sword.
Calcedonia and Baldeo simultaneously looked towards the direction from which the blade came from. And just as Calcedonia expected, the one standing there with his sword drawn was the figure of the <<Freedom Knight>>
Morganeich’s face brightened up. After smiling at Calcedonia kindly, his face tensed up as he ascertained the demon morphed Baldeo.
“Lord Baldeo…. For even for a devout believer such as yourself was unable to resist the whispers of the <Devil>….”
Morganeich stood there with a bitter expression. He was also someone who knew Giuseppe’s aide Baldeo quite well, and was even helped by him.
Morganeich once again minded his sword which he retracted and told Calcedonia without taking his eyes off Baldeo.
“Get away, Calsey. I’ll keep lord Baldeo busy. Prepare <<Exorcise>> in the meanwhile.”
After silently nodding to Morganeich, Calcedonia quickly took distance from Baldeo at Morganeich’s back.
And it was at that point that Tatsumi who was out of breath finally reached them.
This place wasn’t really that far from where Tatsumi was talking to Morganeich with. But Tatsumi who had tended to shut himself up in his room after losing his family didn’t exactly have much stamina because of his lack of exercise.
“Ma-Master!? W-Why is Master here!?”
Calcedonia was surprised after Tatsumi suddenly appeared at that place. And her surprise doubled after seeing Tatsumi carrying a short spear which didn’t suit him at all.
“This place is dangerous!! Please get away from here immediately!!”
“B-Bu….t….! Chiiko…..Behind….Me….No way…..I’ll run…..!”
To the Tatsumi who was still trying to say something with his panting, broken speech, Calcedonia distinctly and strictly declared.
“Frankly speaking Master, all you can do by being here is be a burden! Please leave!”
Tatsumi was dumbfounded at Calcedonia after she suddenly said something so mean. And then, Morganeich suddenly interjected too.
“It’s as Calsey says, Lord Tatsumi. Even if you stay here, there is nothing you can do. At least, go stand somewhere you won’t get in our way.”
At least Morganeich didn’t tell Tatsumi to completely get lost like Calcedonia. But that was not out of kindness, but because he didn’t think Tatsumi would obediently listen.
“Calsey! Just forget about Lord Tatsumi for now! Saving Lord Baldeo comes first!”
As he was giving instructions to Calcedonia, Morganeich swung his sword in succession multiple times.
Currently he was using the back of his sword. The type of sword used most commonly in this country was a single-edged, wide straight sword.
However, not many used the sword as their main weapon in this country. The most favored weapon for the people of the Largofiely kingdom was the spear, or other pole shaped weapons.
This was because the coldness was severe in this locality.
In this country the season of the Evening Moon, in other words the winter, was very severe. If you used weapons made of metal outside in the winter for long hours, then the metal parts will become very cold and will stick to your skin on your palm if you touch them carelessly.
That’s why weapons or tools with more wooden portion than metal were tended to be used more.
For the same reason, leather armors were more in favor than metal ones. Among them, the ones made from monster hides and bones were the most favored.
Right now, the metal plated armor Morganeich was wearing was something sort of a uniform for Clerical knights, so within the temple compound, Clerical Knights were obliged to put on the armor engraved with the holy insignia.
Even Morganeich, when performing his activities outside the temple, usually wore leather armor made of monster hide properly reinforced with metal and switched between a sword and greatspear in accordance to the situation.
The reason why he was currently using a sword was because he didn’t have his favourite spear with him at the moment, but more so than that, because he could use the back of his sword to subdue Baldeo without injuring him more than necessary.
A person without experience in combats couldn’t possibly dodge a strike from him. But Baldeo who had been taken over by a <Devil> was dodging them while showing unbelievable fast reactions.
Of course, Morganeich himself was holding back. Because, even if he was hitting with the back of his sword, it was still a blunt weapon made of metal. If he swung it with all his might, then breaking a bone or two wasn’t a problem.
But even if Baldeo dodged, it wasn’t really a problem.
Because defeating him wasn’t Morganeich’s aim. He was restricting Baldeo’s movements in order to buy time so that Calcedonia could finish reciting the aria for the spell and purify Baldeo.
He was not at all inferior to the <Devil> possessed Baldeo. Rather, Morganeich swung his sword even faster than him.
He was covering the whole space with sword strikes and limiting the places Baldeo could retreat to.
And Tatsumi was dazedly looking at that strong yet elegant swordsmanship.
So this was the true power of the man known as the <<Freedom Knight>>!
Even Tatsumi, who was a complete amateur when it came to combat, could tell the Morganeich’s abilities were way above average level.
And the person standing behind the <<Freedom Knight>>, reciting the aria as if singing while watching over the battlefield was none other than the <<Holy Maiden>>.
The <<Holy Maiden>> was standing in a suitable position, while not losing sight of the two who were battling, all while reciting.
And the <<Freedom Knight>> himself, as if he had eyes on the back of his head was always positioning himself between the <<Holy Maiden>> and Baldeo. Just like that he was protecting the <<Holy Maiden>> by becoming her sword and shield as he restrained Baldeo.
Once again, Tatsumi was breath-taken at the two’s amazing coordination.
As Tatsumi subconsciously stood stock still while being dazed by the performance of the <<Freedom Knight>> and the <<Holy Maiden>>, Calcedonia’s <<Exorcise>> spell was finally completed.
Just as she finished her recitation, a vivid and purifying silver light gushed out from beneath Baldeo’s feet once again. Tatsumi wouldn’t know, but this time’s light was far more powerful than the previous.
Due to a ‘Barrier’ called Morganeich appearing, Calcedonia could concentrate more on her spell so she could pour more and more mana into it.
Just as the spell was invoked, Morganeich separated from Baldeo and came beside Calcedonia. And then, as if protecting her behind his back, he kept on pointing the tip of his sword towards Baldeo, who was bathing inside the light.
After a while, the dazzling light finally faded away. The figure of Baldeo lying on top of the ground was there.
“….How is it?”
“I poured quite a lot of mana into that <<Exorcise>>. I don’t think it could resist that but…”
Together they observed the collapsed Baldeo without separating their eyes from him.
Especially Calcedonia, whose magic was resisted once before, kept observing without letting her guard down whether or not there was any more oddness.
After a little while longer, having judged it to be safe, they started to approach Baldeo.
Tatsumi, who was observing from even further away, suddenly shouted with a shrill voice.
“Don’t go yet! There is something near that person!”
Reacting to that voice, Calcedonia and Morganeich abruptly stopped in their tracks.
“M-Master!? Can Master see something!?”
“I-Impossible…I-It couldn’t be! Is he a [Perceiver]!?”
It was impossible to see a <Devil> which had no body. That’s why <Devils> could stealthily approach a target to possess, and whisper in their ears to temp them.
But there exist people who could see <Devils> since birth and even hear their voices. This ability isn’t something that has to do with magic, but something one innately possesses because of bloodline, and the number of people with such abilities was even fewer than magicians. However, people with such abilities were exceedingly valuable existences in order to combat <Devils>.
And they were called [Perceivers].
In fact, whether or not Tatsumi was an Perceiver wasn’t definite yet, but in such a situation, he shouldn’t be lying.
Judging that, Morganeich once again took some distance from Baldeo. As for Calcedonia, she retreated faster than Morganeich without a shred of doubt.
As Morganeich and Calcedonia were vigilant in order to sense the presence around them, Tatsumi could clearly see it.
It was right above Baldeo who was lying on the ground. There was a black haze like substance floating there.
If one looked carefully, something like a living creature could be seen inside of it.
“……A hungry ghost….?”
Tatsumi muttered. And just like he said, it looked like a kid to Tatsumi.
A body like that of a kid who just entered primary school, but with a huge mismatched head. With eyes glaring radiating red, it’s limbs there thin like a wire but it’s abdomen was unusually swelled up.
And it had a single horn on it’s forehead just like an Oni. It was exactly like a hungry ghost he saw in an illustration.
Whether it noticed Tatsumi could see it was unsure. The hungry ghost—No the <Devil> smiled ominously as it glided through the air.
—Kukuku. There’s a guy here who’s concealing a huge desire!’
It spoke with a voice that didn’t sound like a voice. And Tatsumi could clearly hear it.
“Morga!! Get away!!”
The <Devil> which was reflected only in Tatsumi’s eyes was slowly but steadily drifting towards the <<Freedom Knight>>.
Morganeich himself was on extreme guard, but as he could not perceive <Devils> , he permitted the <Devil> to effortlessly get close to him.
The <Devil> who succeeded in getting close to the <<Freedom Knight>> entered his body as he was permeating in with a sinister laugh.