45: Decisive battle! Evil Squid of the Four Heavenly Kings!


The final day of the festival at the port town Doruas.
I was at the harbor. Inside the bay, I was confronting Evil Squid with his giant black body. He's a monster squid.

"Let's go! --Wind that obeys me, gather and let me fly! --'Swift Breeze'!"
My body got wrapped in wind and I fly towards the sky. My clothes are fluttering.
I fly like a bird, as swift as an arrow.

I fly through the incoming tentacles and dodge them.
Then I look at the status with "Truth Sight".
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[Status]
Name: Evil Squid
Race: Soft Demon Race
Job: Commander of the southern forces of the Demon Lord Army and the Frontier Continental Force, also Admiral of the Marine Corps and Marshal of the navy
Class: Demon Beast Lv 99 Commander Lv 80
Attributes: "Water" "Wind" "Flaming Darkness"

Attack strength: 6000 (tentacles * 10)
Defense strength: 1200 (tentacles * 10)
Vitality: 8000 (tentacles * 10)
Mental strength: 4800

[Skills]
Tentacle strike: Strikes with the tentacles, can also defend.
Armstorm: Activated when there are only 5 tentacles remaining. Simultaneous multistage attack.
Jet Slash: Tentacles are combined into a cannon that spews out hot water under high pressure.
Tidal Wave: Attack with huge waves. Range attack.
Ignis Tempestus: A large area magic that cuts, burns and steams. Has the power to eradicate a town in one shot. Also inflicts damage to the user.

World Nightmare: Breathes out a darkness that reduces visibility to zero.
Recovery: Regenerates all tentacles.
Maximum Barrier: Completely defends the user by putting tentacles around his body.

[Data]
The tentacles also have the same offensive strength, defense strength and vitality as the main body. The tentacles are recovering in order.
Water attacks, wind attacks, fire attacks and earth attacks against the tentacles are invalidated.

[Equipment]
Demon Lord's monocle (old type): Sees through sinners. Can also share the wearer's field of view with the Demon Lord.
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So this is a superior demon who's currently occupying a high rank?
He was capable of seeing through others, to the extent that he even solicits enemies if necessary.
I felt that he was pretty good as an officer.

He's of a complete different caliber compared to Greyhades of the Four Heavenly Kings.
So much, that he might even cause some trouble.


"World Nightmare" is troublesome. I should invoke "Clairvoyance".

But according to the data, only the tentacles are invincible while the main body can receive damage.
It is quite different from what I heard from Ieturia.
When I saw that earth attacks are invalidated, cold sweat came running, but he's still weaker than I thought.
I thought I could win against him as a hero, though...


"Demon Lord's monocle", huh...? So my existence is definitely known by the Demon Lord by now.
The monocle is glowing red. I feel a magic power that's different from Evil Squid.
It seems to say "I'm watching you right now".

I can neither run away nor hide as a hero anymore. But I don't want him to find out that I'm a god.
I just memorize the presence of the Demon Lord for now. That way, I can take the initiative if he approaches me.

All that's left is to take Evil Squid down without exposing my power as much as possible.
In that case--.


I used telepathy.
"Lapisia, are the preparations done?"
"Yup! Ready!"
"Be careful not to be seen and aim at the eyes. However, attacks against the tentacles are invalid. Leave the timing of the attacks to Minya."
"Understood!"

I keep flying and defend against the tentacles.
I try to cut into the body, but another tentacle comes stabbing at me.
I rise high and avoid it.


Evil Squid laughed heartily.
"What's wrong, Hero! Your attacks aren't reaching at all, come at me for real!"

I held my sword at my waist.
--Hmm, it looked like this when Celica did it I guess.
I quietly murmur.
"Wind, gather, become a mass and fly--ha!"

I thrust the sword forward.
A mass of wind is released and sent flying.

It hit Evil Squid's body and a large, black lump of meat is scraped off of his body. Blue blood is splattering around.
It only caused about 100 damage though.
"Oh! Was that a 'Gale Sting'? --That's a hero for you! Then, how about this?"


Evil Squid gave off a cheerful laugh and sent out some tentacles with amazing speed.
Just like shaking trees in a storm, violent attacks are continuously coming.
Is that "Armstorm"?

I repel the tentacles with my sword, slip in between them and sent another mass of wind out.
The body is gouged all over and blue blood is shedding.

"Ku! You're really fast to slip between my tentacles! Your 'Gale Sting' also got stronger!"
He unleashes his tentacles another time, but I easily dodge them.


You're wondering why I imitate "Gale Sting"?
"Gale Sting" isn't a hero skill, but is acquired by Holy Knights.
With this, the Demon Lord should be relieved that I'm not growing as a hero.
I was lucky that I've seen it when we were cleaning up the cove.

Then, I noticed something and agitated him.
"Your tentacles just move too slow. You'll never defeat me!"
"Ku! To say this to me... that's not even the beginning of my skills!"
Evil Squid is enraged.


The way the squid fights is fundamentally strange.
It seemed like there was a more effective way of fighting.
For example, he could submerge his body which is his weak point because it houses the internal organs, and only attack with the tentacles.

While I was pondering about this,-- it came to me.
The reflection of the monocle.

In order to show the fight to the Demon Lord, he has to keep his eyes at his lower body above the surface.
It's also unlikely that he'll use "World Nightmare".
I felt sorry for the subordinates who can't make use of their full power because of their incompetent boss's commands.
I want to end it soon.


Then Evil Squid submerged all his tentacles into the ocean.
He turns his eyes towards me.
"Don't think I only have my tentacles! Get this! --'Jet Slash'!"

Hot water is released from the surface with high pressure.
Given that it's only compressed water, the power is unbelievable. It could even drill holes into rocks and iron.
Of course, it won't work on me, but I don't want to ruin my clothes, so I desperately try to avoid it.

"Fuhaha, how's this! You can't do a thing!"

--It was at that time.
*Pashinnn!*
A bursting sound shaking the air comes from the east of the harbor, around the embankment.

"What's this!? --guaaaaa!"

*Doggoooooonnnn!*

Evil Squid was blown away without having the time to turn around.
A stone pierced the monocle and stuck into his eye.

"Guaaaaaaa!"
The huge body shakes from the pain and the tentacles are flying around violently. They produce large waves that are running towards the coast.


Lapisia threw a stone she had filled with earth magic.
Although we only lightly practiced some throwing and catching with the focus on control, her light throw decreased his vitality by nearly 5000. That's the earth goddess for you, or rather her proxy.
The first sound came from the shock-wave that was emitted when the stone crossed the sonic barrier.

Evil Squid couldn't guard because he put his tentacles underwater.
Or rather I provoked him into submerging his tentacles.

She threw another stone, but as the body fell into the water, a large water column like a cannon rose just before.
As soon as she noticed that the attack did not pass, Minya came out and pulled Lapisia behind the embankment.


Evil Squid's original vitality was at 8000, now it is below 1000.

The collapsed Evil Squid is gasping as he raises his body, protected by his tentacles.
But the remaining eyes are bursting with fighting spirit.

"You were just a diversion?...as expected, I'd like to say but...it won't go your way! I, one of the Demon Lord's Four Heavenly Kings, commander of the south and marshal of the navy, Evil Squid, will show you a secret technique that you can't dodge."

Along with a determined shout, the tentacles began to cover his body. There wasn't even a gap.
Was that "Maximum Barrier"?
This only seems to be the preparation for his next skill. To protect himself from damage.

Great magic power is swelling up from the tentacle-covered body.
He'll use "Ignis Tempestus"!
A power that can destroy a town in one blow.


"I can't let you use this!"
I rose into the sky and descended in one go.
I aim straight at the squid's body.

I pour some of the water from my gourd onto the blade.
"Abiding by the name Keika Hiko-no-Mikoto, o small streamlet flowing since the age of gods, gather to form a raging torrent --'Water Demon Slashing Destroyer'!"

The huge tentacle-covered body is approaching before my eyes.
"Receive my full power--!"
I set the target and swing the sword.

*--zuaaaaann!!*


The blow, that was increased by the falling speed, opened up a crevice between the tentacles and cut up the black body.
Blades of water are raging inside the tentacle-covered body.

This technique is possible precisely because I know the structure of his skill. It was also thanks to the Japanese sword which allows for paper-thin cuts.


"NuwaaaaaaaA!"

Evil Squid's death throes echo through the harbor.

Vitality: 0.


The tentacles open like a bud, are falling down and are feebly floating in the water.
The black torso was ruthlessly cut, blue blood is gushing out and the inside is visible.
A high concentration of magic power is leaking like smoke from the wounds.

While the blue blood is spilling from his eyes, Evil Squid looks up at me.
"How admirably, this secret technique...it's my complete defeat...but, I don't have any regrets..."
"Shall I save you? If you become my follower, that is"
"What nonsense...to change my master...do I look...like a fool?"

I shook my head. My black hair moves freely.
"No, --that's precisely because I made the offer"
"Fufu. That's the...greatest compliment...to receive......Farewell."


The next moment, his jet black body swelled up.
His magic power is running wild while he chants.

*Dooon--!*


A dull sound echoed as the squid's body explodes and scatters in all directions.
I unconsciously murmured.
"You were an admirable opponent. --Rest in peace."
Black lumps of meat are pouring down like rain.

"Kya-- Kya--"
Lapisia looked like she enjoyed herself as she dodged them.
At her side, Minya took out her kitchen knives and tore the falling meat to pieces.


Then, silence arrives. There is only the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.
I left the harbor.

Under the swinging of her blond hair, Celica approached. Her shapely face looked somewhat lonely.
"Thank you for your hard work, Keika-sama...but"
"Hm? What's wrong?"

"...This time, again, I couldn't become your strength"
"What are you saying? It's thanks to you that I wasn't found out. The 'Gale Sting' saved me. Thank you."

"Well, is that so?"
"Become even stronger and support me"
"Yes. Keika-sama"
Celica started to smile broadly. Then she clings to me.
I firmly hugged her delicate body and touch her cheeks that are covered with her blond hair.


At the same time, the town's people returned.
They gradually gather around me.

"Amazing!" "Killing such a huge demon!" "To defeat one of the Four Heavenly Kings!" "You're the supreme hero!" "Hero Keika, banzaaaai!"

Everyone is shouting, singing and chorusing my name.


Thus, the name of Hero Keika was the main topic in this town for a while.


[Level Ups / Acquired Skills]
Keika: Thunder Flame: Mixing magic of thunder and fire. Small range.
Silent: Seals magic.
No hero skills acquired.

Celica: Princess Knight Lv 28
Dignity: Passive skill. Put pressure on opponents and delays attacks.

Minya: Dance Warrior Lv15 Thief Lv7
Fascinating Sword Dance: Attack while fascinating the opponent. The enemy's evasion rate sharply decreases.
Mysterious Dance: "Blurred"-effect and mental strength absorption.
Earnest Service: Passive skill. Ability up. Doubles experience gain.

Trap Detection: Passive skill. Notice traps.
Hidden Detection: Passive skill: Find hidden doors.
Trap Cancellation: Defuse traps.

Lapisia: Nothing in particular.