Death's Door Chapter 157: Volume 5: Chapter 32: Phenomenon Part 2
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'What a nightmare'
Meros Solros's day couldn't have gone any stranger.
First he ran into Livon, his former apprentice, and then… she showed up out of the blue.
Verita Welles, the Knight of Sword, and the very person who once inspired Meros to take up the sword, proceeded to ask Meros to spar with her.
Luckily, Verita did not recognize Meros, which was good, but she could see that he was strong, which was why she practically forced him to come along with her.
The maid in charge of Verita's recovery reluctantly followed after them; she knew well by now that there was no stopping Verita when she was in a mood for a training.
'Maybe it is a good thing; at least she can get rid of all that excess negative feelings…' Maid thought, but she still was worried about the wounded hero's health. Even if she was a quarter deity, she still was a mortal.
Due to Camilla's poison, Verita's skill and strength were reduced to the point an ordinary knight could beat her, but Meros felt as though he would have heart attack just by being near her.
She was the woman he once fell in love with…
But, he was also partially responsible for crippling her.
Now, the two of them were on opposing sides, one protected the human kingdom while the other sought to destroy it.
To say that Meros had mixed feelings about sparring with her would be an understatement.
"You are strong, that's good"
'You would be even stronger if it weren't for me' Meros thought silently. He tried to talk as little as possible in order to not give away his emotions.
He was afraid that if he started talking, he would end up confessing on the spot, and then it will be the end of the Shadow Lords.
Meros gulped. He could not do that. Not after all that Dark Lord had done for them. He may be the enemy of humanity and a megalomaniac, but to the Shadow Lords, he was no less than a saint.
'She is so much weaker'
Verita's movements were far slower and her swordsmanship had declined to the point Meros felt as though he was sparring with a child.
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'I do feel guilty about causing this…but seeing her like this is pouring salt over an open wound'
Maybe the price for becoming a Shadow Lord was this, to be the reason for the fall of the one he once admired.
After half an hour of sparring, Verita couldn't keep it up anymore, falling down on the ground while breathing heavily.
'Just as I thought, even with her power, she can only keep it up for so long…'
Bending down, Meros said in almost inaudible whisper.
"I am sorry" before picking her up and at the request of the maid who was in charge of Verita's care, he took her back to the Hospital section of the temple.
"Thank you very much, knight-sama" the maid bowed to Meros.
Apparently, Verita made this maid's duty far harder by keeping trying to regain her former power and skills, and this time, due to Meros's sparring session, she exhausted herself enough for the maid to take her back to rest.
"She needs a lot of rest to heal properly, but that idiot hero keeps pushing herself too far…If she keeps it up like this, she will cause so much more damage to herself!" the hospital maid's frustration was obvious.
After having such a misfortunate time with Verita, Meros couldn't even muster the desire to enjoy the hospital maid's clothing…which was rather alluring…
'At least that is over with…'
"Why does misfortune always favor me?" Meros said out loud, with his hand over his face.
"Well, aren't you a gloomy one, Solros-san?"
"Eh? That's pretty much a routine for me now… Aah! Knight of Wind!"
Meros ended up exclaiming. Knight of Wind, Yusa Nirai, ended up sneaking up to him without making a sound. Even though he was well aware of her abilities, having her sneak up on him was not a pleasant experience.
When Meros was a Holy Knight, the heroes were the ones in charge of him, and Knight of Wind just happened to be one of his former direct superiors.
"Long time no see, Meros"
"S-s-same to you, Miss Nirai"
"There is no need to be so formal, Mero-kun" Knight of Wind, Yusa Nirai put her hand over Meros's shoulder, before saying.
"We have a lot of catching up to do, so how about we grab a drink?"
Her face was as always covered with a visor that concealed her eyes, but her smile was a little scary.
'Oh no, why do things like this keep happening to me?'
Meros was so scared that he resorted to using one of the functions of his Teleportation Ring, which allowed the user to communicate with the other people who wore such rings.
He immediately contacted his boss.
'Dark Lord! Emergency! Help! It's the Knight of Wind! She wants to have a drink with me! I can't escape her without arousing suspicion!'
'Meros…I am in the middle of a somewhat similar situation…'
'How similar? Surely it can't be worse than mine'
'Well, same situation, actually, just a different hero… Knight of Light' Dark Lord's tone made it obvious that he was in a dire peril as well.
'Oh… good luck, Master' Meros couldn't help but think that Dark Lord was even more unlucky than him.
'Both of us are going to need it. Just to make sure, she can't read minds, correct?'
'No, only a select few mages and Knight of Mind can do that'
'But she can tell if someone is lying or not'
'Not so good. Try making sure to say things that are technically true and avoid topics that might expose you. We can't have a hero ruin everything we have worked so hard to accomplish.'
'Will do…What about master? Is it really fine to leave you alone with Knight of Light? Do you want me to contact others?'
'No, I might be able to handle it…I hope'
Just like that, a conversation between two unlucky men was cut off.
Meros may have to deal with this nuisance of a hero obsessed with cleansing the world from demons, but Dark Lord had the most powerful hero to go up against.
It was the exactly the same problem for both of them, but the scale was completely different.
Knight of Wind can take on at least a hundred demons with her power, but Knight of Light can easily take on a thousand and emerge victorious.
To each his own enemy.
'And I thought my luck was bad…'
* * *
'Seems like Meros is not having much fortune either'
Dark Lord thought while sipping on tea.
He may not need to eat, but he did order a lot of food and drinks.
Leona apparently cannot get drunk due to her blessing, but the reason for ordering so much food and beverages was for a simple reason, to have a chance to mentally communicate with his subordinates and think through his strategy, without arousing Leona's suspicion.
In fact, Leona seemed to be happy to have so much food to eat.
'What a bottomless pit she is…at least it gives me some time to think everything through…'
Then, Runfar ended up knocking over a glass of wine, but instead of falling down on the ground, it ended up freezing still, mid-motion in the air.
"Runfar! Something strange is happening!"
Leona sounded alarmed and Dark Lord soon saw why.
Everyone inside the pub was frozen still, what was even more disturbing was the fact that they looked like living statues.
'This looks familiar…Master Olim? Perhaps Mrakus again? Or could it be….finally, Chronos?'
If it was the first two, then they were sort of allies, but if it was Chronos, he was prepared to deal with her.
Dark Lord had both the ring of Death and the crystal dagger on him, so even if the Goddess of Time showed up, he would be able to kill her.
But sadly, none like that showed up.
As Leona and Runfar looked around, it seemed like the entire city was frozen still. At least as far as they could see, within a town square.
"Why are we the only two that were not affected?" Leona asked, to which Runfar simply shrugged.
"Your guess is as good as mine"
But then, everyone started to move again.
The time only remained still for about a single minute.
'Ok, that is a little weird. The duration was so short and it didn't seem to be targeting me…What is going on?'
Nothing happened afterwards.
Leona and Runfar were not so certain what the cause of that phenomenon was.
'I really hope nothing else happens…'
Then, Leona heard a telepathic message in her mind from the Knight of Mind, addressing all the heroes nearby.
"Runfar! This is bad! The Second princess…She got kidnapped!"
Without a word of warning, Leona, still wearing a dress, lifted Runfar off his feet, and jumped into the air.
She was now using her magic to fly while carrying Runfar in a bridal carry.
Lord of Darkness, the enemy of humanity, was currently being carried in such an embarrassing fashion by the human kingdom's greatest hero.
'After all this idiot put me through… I need therapy…'
Even he could tell just how fundamentally wrong this was.
'What is wrong with my life?'
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