A man sat up on his mountain, watching the roads below. Every group of travellers was a tiny speck. They were so far that his ki senses could even come close to reaching them. Even so, he knew that what he was looking for was in the third caravan to set out today… and even which carriage. How did he know? Perhaps it was instinct. Perhaps his senses had focused to a point that even he didn’t understand. Perhaps he had gone mad. Regardless of the method, he had complete assurance in his knowledge.
He stood up. His old bones ached as they did every time he had to go find food or some other circumstance brought him to move. Even so, the aching of his bones was nothing compared to the ache in his soul. It was constant and all encompassing. The pain itself never dulled.
At any point he felt that if he just let it happen, he could give up his clutch on life and the pain would cease. He knew this, but he couldn’t surrender to the temptation yet. He had more to do… having come this far, he could not give up. At moments before now he had seriously considered it… but now his target was in sight.
Each step down the mountain took him closer to his goal. He wanted to run, but it was unnecessary. Haste could easily be his undoing. Thus, he continued one step at a time.
He remembered there was something he should do first. He just couldn’t remember what it was. Would it affect what he was going to do?
He didn’t think so. He should be able to accomplish his goal just fine.
He continued to walk forward. One step after the other, his stride growing longer as he went. Soon, his and his target’s paths would intersect.
As he came within sight, they soon noticed him. In these rocky foothills, there was nothing to hide behind once on the road. Not that he was hiding anyway.
They shouted something he did not understand. He wasn’t sure if it was a language he didn’t know, or if he had forgotten how to speak. He had not heard language in… he wasn’t sure how long it was. He tested it out for himself. “Shouting… killing… destruction…” The words came to him quite easily. He decided to ignore the language he didn’t know.
He saw one of them was using magic. So, they would fight back. That was expected. He did wonder if they expected a single fireball to be of any use, though. It was easy enough to move out of the way.
Then, there were more spells. It was somewhat surprising to see so many humans capable of magic, but in this context it made sense. Heat scorched his skin, but nothing vital was injured.
As the wizards spread out, it became more troublesome to deal with them. One was foolish enough not to run, and for that got a crushed skull.
The knights in the way were also troublesome. They would not die in a single hit, and would require a greater expenditure of energy. That would not do.
The man decided to ignore the knights. They could not move fast enough to catch him. All he needed was to reach his target. What happened after… didn’t matter. A few slashes were nothing to worry about.
He dodged around the shield side of one knight… only to find more directly where he needed to go. He leaped over their heads to land on a wagon behind them, surprising them.
Now, he was completely encircled… but his hand gripped his target. It was merely an old man, dark skinned, wrinkly… and fat. Killing him would be trivial… and in fact such a man was apt to die to their own body sooner rather than later. Killing him wasn’t the goal, though.
He would die, of course, but that was merely a side effect. From this distance, the man could tell his target was the right one. He could feel the signature he had trained to look for… as well as the sickness. His actions were almost unnecessary… but they had to be done.
It took some time to gather his energy. During that time, he was stabbed in the back. He felt the sword pierce through his heart and exit the front of his chest. A fatal wound… but inconsequential. He would not pass out from the pain, and had the moments he needed.
He looked into the eyes of the man, “Good riddance… Demon King.”
His ki swirled and stabbed itself into the man he held.
The resulting explosion washed over him. It did not push him back, as he held firm… but that only caused more damage to him. His target, however, was reduced to nothing.
The man looked down at his arms. He could see they were little more than bone. The pain was new, but no worse than what he had constantly dealt with for the past years.
All it signaled was that his body was about to cease functioning. However, that didn’t matter. A body was no good without a soul, and though his body appeared like a corpse… his soul was in a worse state.
He couldn’t hold it together anymore… and so he didn’t. He let go… and felt nothing.
A number of guards stared on in shock. Those that could still stand saw no sign of their charge. The demonic attacker, meanwhile, had been reduced to a standing skeleton… but one that still moved for a few brief moments. Then, even though it seemed to have form moments before, it crumpled to dust, leaving behind only a few ruined scraps of clothing and smouldering bits of paper.
None of the observers could grasp what exactly had just happened. One of them subconsciously sifted through the circle of rubble that was their wagons, while another looked at the pile of dust and ash that was the demon.
There was nothing useful to be found. While there had been a message never delivered, none of it was whole. They could not have read the message regardless. If they found someone who knew the language… it would have done them little good. It had merely been two words. “Goodbye, sister.”