“Humans can be evil as any. And demons are not all bad.”
I thought of Eve as I said this.
“That may be. However, I am a Demon King who dreamed of becoming the Great Demon King. But now, I have lost the right to even be a Demon King…”
He laughed self-deprecatingly.
“…Still, I am a demon! And we demons have our pride!!”
He raised his sword.
He wanted to fight a duel, perhaps.
But Jeanne and Toshizou were not keen on this.
“Demon King. There is no need for such a thing now. We have already won.”
“The Saint is quite right. You cannot risk the destruction of your army here.”
That was true.
If it had been before the tide had turned in our favor, such a thing would have had some meaning. But not now. After all, he could surprise me and I would be defeated.
However, I intended to fight Eligos.
The reason was simple.
Demon King Eligos was evil, but great in his own right.
Even without the power of his core, he stood here as a warrior.
Well, perhaps a bit of the warrior had entered me now.
No, the romanticist.
Something about a worthy foe excited me.
I accepted a long sword from a goblin servant and cast magic over it.
The purple magic enveloped the dark grey metal.
The low buzz of an enchanted weapon echoed in the air.
Jeanne and Toshizou gave up trying to persuade me then.
They took a step back. They would watch things unfold.
And like that, the fight between Demon King Ashta and Demon King Eligos began.
As my subordinates and those that remained of his watched, the exchange of swings began.
Our blades hit against one another over thirty times.
And that was when it ended.
And it was me who made history.
It was the thirty-first strike.
Eligos had lost his magic and was not used to fighting like this, and he made a mistake.
I did not let him go unpunished, and my long sword pierced into him.
His armor was specially made, but an enchanted sword made it look like nothing as it tore into his organs.
And that was it. Eligos had lost.
He then said his last words.
“…I am the worst of villains. That was my pride as a Demon King. But I fought fairly in the end. I fought with my own flesh.”
“Aye. You had a crystal ball left that you could have used.”
“You could have also used your magic. But you only fought with your sword.”
“It was a duel. Magic is not used in duels.”
Besides, I was fighting against a Demon King who had lost his magic.
“…There was little reason in you accepting the duel in the first place.”
His voice was barely audible now.
“I had a reason. I wanted to fight a strong Demon King. That was it.”
“Perhaps you are not as callous as you seem then. That is what a king should be. If I happen to be reborn as a Demon King again, I shall try to be more like you.”
Blood poured from his mouth as he looked at my men.
“An army of humans and demons. But they seem to love you, and you care for them. I have never seen such a thing before.”
Eligos fell to his knees and said,
“Demon King Ashtaroth. It was a good fight. You defeated me. Maybe you should be the one to become the Great Demon King!”
Those were his final words.
Perhaps he had not been evil early in his life.
Maybe this was the result of only having men like Sharltar working under him.
It was possible.
I was blessed, in that department.
“Master Demon King. Well done.”
Toshizou had a rare smile on his face.
“That was brilliant, Demon King. You made him change at the very end. It was as if you were an angel.”
Saint Jeanne d’Arc said with a beautiful smile.
I had many subordinates, both human and demon. And their goodwill and joy had helped me many times.
I hoped to rely on their abilities in the future as well. And somehow survive in this brutal world.
With people like them supporting me, I can avoid turning into a fool like Demon King Sabnac, or a villain like Demon King Eligos.
I then declared that the battle was over. I offered words of appreciation to my troops. And then announced that we would be returning to Ashtaroth castle.