World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 42: Sometimes Cooling Off In A Hot Situation Is A Bad Idea
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April 13, 5:59 pm, Canberra, Australia
The rest of Tarik's swear was drowned out by another boar monster, flying straight at the boys. They both immediately dodged in separate directions. Gadiel almost fell off the bookcase.
"I got it!"
Tarik grit his teeth and threw a fireball at the boar monster, while Gadiel steadied himself, slowly getting up. Before he could completely get up, however, a monkey-like monster with claws for hands jumped over to him.
He reacted without thinking; he let the monster tackle him off the bookcase, and placed a hand on the monster's head, sending a spear of ice straight through it's skull.
"I'M FINE!" Gadiel shouted back, throwing the monster's body off him. "Coming back up!"
But before he could, another monster burst through the bookcase, demanding his attention. And another one from above him.
Gadiel wasted no time. He turned and ran.
He wasn't some trained fighter. Sure, he had muscles, but they were from going to the gym. He had a good body, but he had no idea how to use it in an actual fight.
That said, he was more than just a pretty face.
Gadiel turned the corner, the monsters just a little behind him. He stopped dead in his tracks just after turning, and put out a hand. As soon as the monster came roaring round the corner, he sent an ice spear through its head.
The monster dropped dead instantly. Before Gadiel could spiral into a whole thing about killing again, the other monster came right around the corner.
He managed to dodge as the monster swiped with his front paws, then turned and ran again.
Thankfully, Gadiel never skipped leg day. He managed to slide into another aisle and do the same trick. As soon as the body of the monster fell, Gadiel climbed the shelves once more. As soon as he reached the top, another monster jumped on him.
By this time, he was prepared for monsters jumping at him. Gadiel easily grabbed the monster's face and dealt with it, deftly sidestepping the body. He scanned the room, trying to find Tarik. He had run quite a bit; there were quite a few shelves between where he had been and where he was now.
It seems that Tarik had jumped a few shelves too. That said, it seemed that all the monsters had zeroed in on him and his fire. They were all jumping at him from the shelves, trying to get close.
The operative word being 'trying'. Tarik managed to keep the monsters at bay with his fire. Gadiel couldn't help but watch in amazement as Tarik's flamed scorching the monsters into corpses. He was at the epicenter of a flaming storm, a pillar of fire the monsters kept running into.
And he looked so sad.
Tarik yelled as another hoard of monsters rushed up to him. He managed to dodge the first two cleanly, but the third managed to graze his side.
"TARIK!" Gadiel yelled.
Immediately, he placed a hand on the shelf he was standing on, and created a bridge of ice over the next three bookcases. Before he could take a step on them, a hoard of monsters started using them to come towards him.
Unfortunately for them, ice is slippery. All but one managed to stay on until the end, and it was so off-balance that Gadiel had no trouble taking care of that.
"Okay, don't use the ice bridge to walk," Gadiel muttered. "Good to know."
He looked back up at Tarik, who seemed to have noticed Gadiel's yell. Their eyes met for a moment, and they nodded.
Tarik hopped one bookcase away, still acting as a raging inferno as monsters flung themselves at him. Meanwhile, the monsters that had all fallen off the ice bridge came back up, furious and rabid, attacking Gadiel. It was at this point Gadiel fully realized the advantages of the high ground; he could see all his enemies coming up at him, and could send shards of ice at them accordingly.
Once those were dealt with, he turned back to Tarik, and nodded again.
"COME AT ME YOU FILTHY MONSTERS!" Tarik roared in French, increasing his flames. The monsters balked, but only for a moment. Then, they started flinging themselves at him even faster.
All their attention was on Tarik, which gave Gadiel free reign to sneak up on the monsters from behind and stab them through the skull before they could even tell what was going on. They worked in tandem like that for a while, Tarik providing a burning distraction as Gadiel silently assassinated swathes of monsters.
Unfortunately, the monsters caught on.
Gadiel was about to shank a lion/bat monster when a boar monster suddenly rammed into him. After a few minutes of struggling, he managed to push it off, a spear of ice jutting out of its stomach. But as soon as he pushed it off, another monster leaped into place.
"GADIEL!" Tarik yelled, as Gadiel scurried back to avoid the monster. Gadiel was in trouble; monsters were starting to swarm him now. And his power wasn't as good as Tarik's in terms of fighting back against a horde of monsters.
For his part, Gadiel didn't have time to worry about Tarik. He needed to focus on not dying. For that, he needed to be cold.
He dropped to the aisle below, landed on his feet, and started running. Only a little to the end of the-
A monster dropped from above, blocking his way.
No time to think.
Gadiel reached a hand straight into the monster's open mouth and sent an ice spear straight through it.
The the ice speared through the monster's head, growing in length until it pinned the monster to the wall. Gadiel watched the light in the monster's eyes die as he stood there, calm. He closed his eyes, just for a moment, and took a deep breath.
That cold gaze.
Gadiel opened his eyes. He saw the monsters all coming at him, from all directions, as if in slow motion. He noted their dripping fang and sharp claws, all stretched out towards him. All these monsters, with their eyes burning with hatred for him.
He almost scoffed. Something petty like that could barely be called hatred.
"Freeze," he commanded.
A burst of cold exploded out from Gadiel's body, expanding in a hemisphere around him, freezing everything in place. The monsters all stopped dead in their tracks, unable to move. He watched them all slowly become immobile, their movements becoming sluggish before locking in place.
He turned to face the monster closest to him, its eyes still furious at him. Gadiel smirked, and placed a hand on its head.
He sent a shard of ice straight through its head. Slowly, he began walking, the hemisphere of cold moving with him. He went around, sending shards of ice through the heads of all the monsters around him.
Then he started moving to all the other monsters.
Some of them tried to attack, but after seeing the first few get frozen in place and slaughtered, the monsters quickly started running away. For some reason, Gadiel found this hilarious.
They were running from him? These monsters, that he had been so terrified of, were running from him? The monsters that had been brave, or maybe stupid, enough to take on Tarik's blazing attacks, were running away? From him?
He didn't know when he started, but he realized it when he doubled over, his stomach hurting. He was laughing, so hard that he couldn't move anymore. Not that it mattered; all the monsters were frozen, waiting for him to kill them. Why had he been so worried? It was all so funny to him now.
He was in control. He had forgotten. He was the one with the power. As long as he proved it to everyone, he could do anything. He could be anything.
He could even kill-
Suddenly, he felt something grab his shoulder. Gadiel immediately turned to shake it off, but it was holding him tight. He raised a hand and-
It was Tarik.
Gadiel blinked. Tarik was making a weird expression. It was something he'd seen before, an expression that he had seen on...those set of blue eyes…
Instantly, Gadiel calmed down. A deep sense of shame overcame him, manifesting like a ball in the pit of his stomach. He bent over, suddenly suddenly sick. He wanted to throw up.
He was in control? He could do anything?
How could he ever think such a thing again?
"Gadiel," said Tarik, voice soft. "Are you-"
Tarik flinched but didn't let go.
"Hey, hey, it's okay," he said. "You can't freeze me."
He pulled Gadiel into a hug. Gadiel froze for a moment; Tarik's body was warm and comforting.
"See?" he said. "I'm unfreezable."
That made Gadiel chuckle a little. He let himself be held by Tarik. Just for a little. It felt good to let someone take care of him. It felt good to let someone comfort him like this.
Not that he deserved it.
"I'm okay," said Gadiel, getting up. "I'm fine now, I'm okay."
Tarik looked doubtfully at Gadiel.
"We have monsters to kill," Gadiel interrupted, moving away.
"No we don't," said Tarik. Gadiel stopped, and turned back. Tarik had his arms crossed.
"You froze all of them," he said. "And the ones you didn't take care of afterwards, I did."
Gadiel blinked. Really? That was it?
They had...killed all the monsters?
That couldn't be true.
But as Gadiel looked around, he realized that Tarik was right. There were no more monsters coming after them, or even coming up. In fact, like Tarik had said, the majority of them were all frozen.
"Did I...do that?" Gadiel muttered. He didn't want to believe it. He couldn't.
He remembered what it felt like to use his powers like that.
No. No, no he couldn't go back to that, he couldn't be that person.
He wasn't that person.
"Gadiel," said Tarik, coming closer again. His expression had changed again, from annoyance, to concern.
"What exactly do you picture when you're using your power?"
Gadiel's mouth went dry. He didn't want to answer that. If he told Tarik the answer, he would definitely hate him.
Everyone who knew about 'That' hated him.
But Tarik was waiting. He needed an answer.
Gadiel opened his mouth.
Before he could say anything, a beam of light whizzed past his face, missing by inches. The beam burned a hole through the books, going straight through the entire library.
Instantly, he and Tarik were on guard. What sort of monster was this?
"Well well well, it looks like luck is on your side, heroes," said a silky, venomous voice. "But how long will your luck last?"
Tarik and Gadiel shared a look, their eyes wide. It couldn't be…
"Will you be able to find this one before you two die? Or will you fall to this Captain of the Monster Nest?"
...A Captain-Class monster.
"Merde," swore Gadiel.
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