William felt like there was a brief pause in the action. At least, he didn’t see anything. As for hearing… he was pretty sure his eardrums had burst. At the very least, he couldn’t hear anything. However, it seemed like the next moment everyone was charging toward the demon lord, including William himself. William was the first to arrive, since he wasn’t in heavy armor. The demon lord wasn’t facing him, but still managed to block his staff with the shaft of his halberd. William felt like he was striking an iron wall. Chris was almost knocked out of his hands.
The next moment, before the demon lord could move to counterattack, the rest of the forces arrived. The demon lord swept out with his halberd, knocking back a few knights, but William had just enough time to dodge. William thought he saw two of the knight commanders engage in the melee, as well as Gerald, who was injured but had somehow made it back to the battle. Some attacks struck the demon lord’s armor, but had little effect. The demon lord swung his halberd impossibly fast, both defending and attacking against a dozen or so people all at once. However, he was obviously somewhat injured from Lila’s last attack.
Lila… William had seen her, briefly, as he had charged the demon lord. William wanted to be hopeful, but he didn’t really see much difference between her and the other bodies on the ground, besides the fact that she was in robes. William hadn’t had much time to look, but her front was covered in blood, and not just a little bit. However, William couldn’t afford to think about that.
The halberd came swinging toward him. He couldn’t completely dodge it, but he managed to deflect the attack just enough that it didn’t hit him as he moved. However, the bones in his arms felt like they were creaking, just from an indirect contest of strength with the demon lord. As the halberd struck the ground, William felt there was also something more than just the brute force behind it, and shards of stone came flying up, though the magic of William’s robe prevented them from causing any real injuries, just bruises.
William could barely keep up with the fight, even though he was just one of many opponents. He wished he was capable of powerful magic, but he didn’t have the ability. However, he had developed a few ways to use magic in close combat. The next time William attacked, he was again blocked by the demon lord’s halberd, but electricity flowed from Chris down though the halberd’s shaft. On a human, this would have at the very least incapacitated them, but the demon lord only looked as if his arms were slightly numb. However, it wasn’t enough to stop him from sweeping up at William, cutting a gash across his chest even as William dashed away. It even sliced cleanly through his robe, magical protection included. Still, it wasn’t too bad. William could still fight.
It became more obvious that the demon lord was getting tired. He was bombarded by attacks from all directions, and had taken some wounds from weapons, as well as magic. The human forces weren’t in an optimistic state either, though. Though there were enough knights to replace some of those who fell, everyone was looking haggard.
William hadn’t hesitated to call upon the inner energy that he still didn’t really understand, but his energy was running out. However, he felt like he could possibly use more… though he wasn’t sure what the effects would be afterwards. Not that he could afford to consider consequences at this point. William drew on whatever power he could get, and Chris did as well. Around him, William could see that the knights were pushing themselves beyond their limits.
The battle turned into a flurry of movement, with William trying to find an opening to attack, then dodging as well as parrying any counters that came his way. His entire body hurt. His arms and legs, not to mention his chest. His head had begun to ache, and his vision was getting blurry. Then, there was an opening. Even magical armor was not invulnerable. With so many attacks raining on it, pieces had been chipped away. William was now behind the demon lord, and could see that a chunk had fallen out, near the shoulderblade. “Chris, use everything you have on this next attack.” It was inconvenient that he had to communicate such things with words, but that was how it had to be done. William charged in. In front of the demon lord, the halberd came down, splitting one of the few remaining knights in half, even through his armor. However, William didn’t see that, but could only focus on the demon lord’s back, and controlling his energy to, hopefully, pierce into him. His staff struck out like a spear, hitting the shoulderblade… directly behind the heart. William felt his energy piercing into the demon lord.
Time seemed to slow down as the demon lord fell. More attacks rained down on his vulnerable form. All William could think about, however, was the future. Though he wouldn’t see it, the return of the Demon King would be much worse than this. He looked around, seeing the masses of dead bodies. Demons… humans… Lila. The war with the Demon King would be even worse. He had to make sure the future generations would be ready. He was even more determined to promote that goal, but he couldn’t do it until the battle was wrapped up. He looked around, but the demons seemed to have noticed their leader had fallen, and were retreating. William didn’t have the energy to go after them anyway. Everything hurt. Especially his chest. William looked down, but a trickle of blood flowed into his already blurry eyes. However, he could still see that his chest was rather red. He needed to get treated. Then, after he recovered from his wounds, he could use his authority as Archmage to do something to prepare the future generations.
William turned to look for a medic, but his legs went out from under him. It was hard to keep his eyes open, but he saw a healer he recognized standing over him as he passed out. However, William didn’t know he would never have the opportunity again to sit in his office, nor would the Archmage William open his eyes again, or become able to really use magic.
Authors notes: I hope everyone enjoyed book 1! Book 2 starts on Monday, I hope you’ll stick around for it. 🙂