The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 99

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐁𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝟐 

“『Hell Sword・Tyrant Path』!”

The Demon King swings his sword, releasing an incredible torrent of darkness.

Seeing that his dark slash was deflected, he switches to an area attack.

Even so, if it’s a Final Strike, I could repel it. . . . . .but I won’t use it now.

That technique requires immense concentration and is mentally draining.

Although I have somewhat recovered my injuries and stamina with Eltrait-san’s magic, I’m still fatigued from the fight against Fezard, so I can’t use it consecutively.

If I use it as a secret tactic that my comrades and I discussed before storming the Demon King’s Castle, then I can only use it once.

I will only use it when the time is absolutely right.

Then, the technique I’ll choose here is. . . . . .

“Third Strike──『Slashing Sweep』!”

Using a deadly sword technique that slices through the seams of magic and disperses them, I split the core of the torrent of darkness vertically, causing it to disperse into mist.

Truly befitting the Demon King in his prime, even such a standard attack possessed power and speed that rivaled Fezard’s final strike.

With my current body, having received treatment, I can somehow manage without relying on the Final Strike.

That said, I can’t say I’m handling it easily.

Although not as much as activating Final Strike, fending off a single blow still takes a significant toll.

If I were to fight this Demon King one-on-one, even in perfect condition, I’d be worn down and defeated.

It’s dubious whether I could even land a single hit.

Just thinking that Stella fought such a monster sends shivers down my spine.

The thought of Stella in the previous world facing such a monster alone nearly tears my heart apart.

However, there’s no need to fight alone anymore.

Neither for me nor Stella.

In the previous world, both of us fought this thing alone and were killed.

So this time, this time for sure, we will live and win.

We will win and have a happy ending for everyone!

“Let’s go!”

“Yeah!”

“Alright!”

“Yes!”

“Leave it to me!”

Following Stella’s rallying cry, the Hero’s Party springs into action.

Stella charges through the gap in the dark magic I’ve sliced open, and Blade follows her.

I also ready my two trusted swords and follow the two, while Rin and Auntie Elle focus on magical support from the rear.

“I’ll take command of the external members!

Imina, Garm, please follow Hero-sama! If you find an opening, land a hit and retreat—that will be enough!

I’ll be providing rear support while guarding my Mama, I mean Rin!

Doug, stay close to us! If someone gets injured, rush to retrieve them!”

“Got it!”

“Understood!”

“Grr! I hate that this is all I can do!”

Eltrait-san directs the three non-party members, adeptly coordinating the makeshift team that hasn’t trained together.

As expected from the man who commanded nine thousand Elves in the Dragburn battle.

He’s reliable.

He’ll probably even make good use of Doug-san, who isn’t at a level that could challenge the Demon King.

“Yaaaaaaaah!”

Stella takes the lead, lunging at the Demon King and striking him with all her might using her Holy Sword.

With the Demon King before her, the true power of Stella’s Holy Sword is unleashed, and her movements are astonishing.

But still, the Demon King is stronger in terms of power.

He parries Stella’s slash with a slash of his own, sending Stella flying back.

Just as the Demon King is about to follow up with another attack. . . . . .

“『Instant Slash』!”

“Tch!”

His feet halt to defend against the fast-approaching attack from Blade.

Now Blade’s greatsword collides with the Demon King’s blade, resulting in a clash.

Obviously, the difference in strength is clear.

The Demon King effortlessly deflects Blade’s sword and aims for Blade’s exposed torso with a lightning-fast counter-attack reminiscent of Fezard.

I step in to defend this time.

“Second Strike—『Distortion』!”

The Demon King’s sword swings down from above.

Before it can accelerate, I slip between Blade and the Demon King, slightly brushing the side of the Demon King’s blade with Onryomaru to alter its trajectory.

As a result, the Demon King’s sword misses Blade and slams into the ground.

“Tsk!”

However, the weight of the Demon King’s sword, belonging to a being of a different dimension, is far heavier than Fezard’s.

The shock from deflecting the attack reverberates through me.

This force causes Onryomaru to be knocked back.

“First Strike—『Flowing Blade』!”

Yet, I use this momentum to spin.

I link my moves and unleash the basic techniques of the Ultimate Killing Sword onto the Demon King!

“Hmph!”

The Demon King effortlessly defends against the Flowing Blade, which should be new to him in this world.

Well, that’s to be expected.

Even after honing my skills through my battle with Fezard, I wouldn’t claim I could win easily if my attacks landed.

However, I’ve accomplished my goal.

I defended against his attack with Distortion, and in doing so, forced the Demon King to block my attack, allowing Blade to disengage from the Demon King’s reach.

Additionally, I’ll get a little greedy.

I control the rotational force left over from using Flowing Blade with my footwork, converting the Demon King’s immense power into my own kinetic energy.

“First Strike Deformation—『Rapid Current・Endless』!”

By gaining enormous thrust, I attain the pseudo-heroic speed I used in my battle with Fezard.

No, because the Demon King’s power surpasses Fezard’s, I am even faster now.

Although I can’t match Stella, who has unleashed the true power of her Holy Sword, it’s still a formidable weapon.

“What the heck happened while I wasn’t looking? Now it’s even harder to catch up to you!”

“Shut up! Is this really the time for complaints?! If you’ve got a problem, then get stronger yourself!”

“I’ll do that even if you don’t tell me!”

Even while exchanging banter, Stella and I continue to attack the Demon King.

Stella takes the lead, and I provide support.

Stella pours her full strength into the attack without fear of retaliation, and I neutralize all of the Demon King’s counterattacks.

Although both of us have significantly improved, we’ve trained together for so long that we know each other’s movements and habits well. This allows us to quickly adapt to each other.

A coordinated attack between the two of us.

With Blade’s precise support and the occasional but reliably effective attacks from Imina-san and Garm, we were holding our own against the Demon King in his prime.

“Spirits that govern the laws of magic, the roaring flames, swirling currents, rumbling earth, howling winds, freezing cold, echoing thunder, destructive darkness, and the light that dispels evil. Unite under the name of the Sage, coalesce, and manifest as a single, formidable power. Incinerate, wash away, crush, rage, freeze, roar, break, shine.”

Then, at the signal of the chant heard from behind, everyone simultaneously leaps back.

“『Judgment of all Attributes』!”

Immediately after, a massive spell struck the Demon King.

It was not Auntie Elle but Eltrait-san’s most powerful magic that detonated on the Demon King.

Yet, the Demon King raised his Sword of Darkness overhead. . . . . .

“『Hell Sword・Zanga』!”

He effortlessly cleaved the most powerful spell in two.

Not only that, but the flying dark slash that couldn’t be stopped even by cutting the spell targeted Auntie Elle and the others.

“『Divine Shield Barrier』!”

However, the barrier magic Rin had completed while we were fighting protected us.

It seems that either the extended chant bolstered it, or the dark slash had weakened upon contact, as it only caused minor cracks.

Rin immediately added another chant and repaired the cracks.

Furthermore,

“━━Master the flame to become an explosion, master the current to become an ocean, master the earth to become hell, master the wind to become a storm.”

Auntie Elle was also chanting a spell.

Seeing that half-measures wouldn’t work on the Demon King, she added onto her original chant to boost the spell’s power.

“Master the cold to become permafrost, master the thunder to become lightning, master the darkness to become the abyss, master the light to become the aurora.

The supreme power, gather and strike down the enemy. ━━『Ultimate・Judgment of all Attributes』!”

And, after spending a total of countless minutes on incantation alone, the ultimate evolution of the most powerful magic is unleashed.

Surpassing the combined magic of the Holy Warriors who created the massive hole to enter the Demon King’s Castle individually.

The full-force strike of the Great Sage engulfed the Demon King.

Following that, we continue to press on.

“”HAAAAAA!””

Right after the Demon King took the magical hit, Stella and I charged at him from the front.

The Demon King was about to counterattack us when,

“『Tenkyokuken』!”

“『Thunder Hammer』!”

“『Oujugeki』!”

He was distracted by the assault from Blade, Imina-san, and Garm from the sides and rear.

He can’t ignore them.

Their attacks may not do much damage, but if he takes them without guarding, his stance will be greatly compromised.

Therefore, the Demon King has no choice but to deal with the three.

“『Dark Realm』!”

Centered on the Demon King, a circle-shaped dark magic spreads out.

It sent the three flying, but their guards were up, and Rin’s Healing Magic would soon follow, so they were fine.

Doug-san doesn’t even have to run.

So without worrying about them, we seize the momentary delay the three created and strike with all our might!

“Ha!”

I slash through the dark magic, shaped like a circle, with my Slashing Sweep, making a path for Stella and me to run through.

I’m in front, Stella is behind.

I’m the shield, Stella is the sword.

“『Hell Sword━━.”

The Demon King who confronts us.

Due to a slight delay, there’s no time to unleash any major attacks.

Therefore, the Demon King raises his sword high, opting for a straightforward strike without any tricks.

It’s neither a flying slash nor magic, but a pure swordsman’s duel.

“『Rakshasa』!!”

Did he train with someone? His sword strokes are as elegant as Fezard’s.

Fleeting glimpses of Fezard appear in the Demon King’s blade.

In other words, it’s a sword imbued with the emotions of both the Demon King and Fezard.

It’s incredibly heavy.

Perhaps that’s why.

My overused arm,

My right arm, which hasn’t fully recovered since Fezard sliced it off,

Cries out at this moment.

“Gaaaaaaah!!”

Even so, I won’t lose!

You’re not the only ones putting your feelings into your blade!

I deflect the Demon King’s blade with my Distortion technique, a special move developed to resist the strong.

The same unmanageable force that hit me when I saved Blade before hits me again,

But I somehow dodge it using the Rapid Current technique, transforming the impact into kinetic energy to jump sideways, avoiding injury.

I had no time to link it to my Flowing Blade, nor to execute the ideal move with Rapid Current, but I’ve fulfilled my role as the shield.

Then next is. . . . . .

“Go, Stella!”

“『Flash Sword』!!”

Stella’s light-infused slash bursts onto the Demon King.

The Demon King tries to deflect and catch the incoming blade, but he can’t manage to do so in his compromised position. . . . . .

━━Stella’s Holy Sword slices the Demon King’s blade in two, leaving a cut on his body.

It’s different from the damage I repelled back at the Demon King earlier.

It’s a wound that inhibits healing, caused by the Holy Sword.

A wound that even the Demon King from the previous world couldn’t heal in decades.

And it’s significantly deep!

We can make it.

We can reach him.

We can win.

All of us together can at least hold our own against the Demon King!

The moment I harbored such hope. . . . . .

“Aaaaaaaaaaaah!!”

The Demon King moves.

Without caring about his wounded body, as if everything is going as planned, he moves without any hesitation.

The Demon King unleashes a fist.

He releases his broken sword and aims a full-powered punch at Stella’s face.

I can’t defend in time!

“Aggh?!”

“Stella?!”

There must have been fatigue from fighting the Demon King one-on-one up to this point.

Stella couldn’t dodge the Demon King’s punch and was hit directly, sent flying like a bullet.

As Stella was sent flying, Doug-san intercepted her trajectory, catching her while shouting “Ugo?!” and immediately took her to Rin for healing. However, the injuries are far from light.

Stella, now on her feet, is clearly unsteady.

“This much. . . . . .is nothing!”

Nevertheless, understanding that we can’t fight the Demon King without the hero, Stella forcibly rejoins the battlefront.

However, her movements clearly lack finesse.

“Damn it!”

I’m filled with regret.

I feel pathetic as a man for causing such severe injuries to the woman I love and forcing her to do such reckless things.

However, if you have time to feel ashamed, think about how to support Stella who is weakened.

We’re partners, before being men or women.

Stella isn’t a princess that I have to unilaterally protect.

She’s someone strong I can rely on.

If she’s still standing while weakened, if she’s still fighting, then support her with all your might!

“Cough. . . . . .!”

On the other hand, the Demon King, while coughing up blood, conjures a sword of darkness and closes in on the weakened Stella, intending to launch a counterattack.

Despite taking a serious blow, and having no light injuries, the one who has suffered more damage, even when recovery is considered, would probably be Stella.

“This bastard. . . . . .!”

I’ve been hit.

The Demon King was aiming for a counter-attack that would risk mutual defeat.

Cutting through the flesh to break the bone.

Knowing that the flesh wouldn’t heal, the Demon King executed it without hesitation.

To defeat us.

Damn it.

He’s strong after all.

Fighting him on equal or greater terms?

That was just an illusion.

This is the worst Demon King in history.

You absolutely have to focus with all your might, with every fiber of your being, to have a chance at winning.

Concentrate more.

Further sharpen your already clear vision, the too-quiet world, your senses at their peak!

“Aaaahhhhh!!”

My blown-away body is precisely controlled by Rapid Current, I correct my trajectory and charge towards the Demon King who is running at Stella.

Stella is also closing the distance between her and the Demon King at an incredible speed, but at this rate, I’ll make contact with the Demon King just a bit sooner.

“『Heal』!”

Then, Rin from behind cast Healing Magic on us, who should be moving at ultra-high speed.

Thanks to this, my right arm receives emergency treatment, and Stella’s damage also becomes somewhat lighter.

I’m grateful!

“Raaaaaahh!!”

“Uryaaaah!!”

“Nuooohhh!!”

Furthermore, the other three also arrived.

Together with me and Stella, we attack from five directions, surrounding the Demon King just right.

“『Hell Sword━━.”

In response to us,

“『Samsara』!”

The Demon King, rotating on one foot as a pivot, countered by releasing a circular slash of darkness.

I thrust Onryomaru into the ring of darkness,

“『Slashing Sweep』!”

I dispersed the foggy barrier with a Slashing Sweep and closed in on the Demon King by piercing through the dispersed area.

However, Stella, who was behind me, was one thing, but the other three who charged almost simultaneously with me succeeded in destroying the dark ring, thanks to it being weakened from their attacks. Yet, they lost their timing due to the impact.

“Fourth Strike──『Dark Moon』!”

Still, there’s no stopping now.

I thrust Kurotenmaru forward, riding on the speed I’ve maintained through Rapid Current.

My target is the Demon King’s chest.

The area where Stella’s diagonal slash had been engraved.

Just like during the Dragburn, I aim to deepen and widen an incurable wound!

“Hmph!”

The Demon King easily parries my thrust with the flat of his sword.

Not yet.

As he parries, I drop my hips and change my movement from a thrust to a slash to the side.

First Strike Deformation『Stream Flow』!

Even more!

“Yaaaah!”

At this timing, Stella catches up and swings her sword at the Demon King’s neck from the side.

An attack to both the abdomen and the neck.

This is it!

“”Huh?!””

However, the Demon King smoothly sidesteps, avoiding our slashes.

He swings his sword sideways aiming to bisect me first.

Somehow, I blocked it with Onryomaru.

Sixth Strike──

“『Sky Rebellion』!”

“Nuh. . . . . .!”

A technique that channels the impact of the clash between the enemy’s attack and my own into the enemy’s weakest point, destroying it.

Due to this, the Demon King’s sword cracks and is repelled by the penetrating shock.

However, that sword is a product of the Demon King’s magic and is instantly repaired.

Yet, taking advantage of the moment when the sword was repelled, Stella delivers a slash.

The Demon King releases his sword with his left hand, and coats that hand with dark aura. . . . . .

“Eh?!”

Incredibly, he stops Stella’s Holy Sword strike with his palm.

Of course, he’s not unscathed.

Though not severed, his palm is deeply sliced, likely affecting his ability to wield a sword from here on.

Nevertheless, in exchange, the Demon King grabs the Holy Sword, immobilizing it.

Ignoring his bleeding left hand, he swings his dark sword with his remaining right hand, attempting to bisect Stella.

“Ooooh!”

Seeing this, I direct the remaining propulsive force in my body towards Stella with Rapid Current footwork and body-slam her.

Stella quickly releases the Holy Sword and accepts my body slam, flying away with me.

As a result, we successfully evade the Demon King’s attack.

However, Stella has temporarily lost her power by letting go of the Holy Sword.

She’s trying to summon it back just like when it was taken by Asgard, but she won’t make it in time for the Demon King’s next attack.

On the other hand, without thinking about the consequences, I, on my part, charged forward to protect Stella at all costs, causing my posture to crumble. Because of this, I couldn’t recover in the brief moment before the Demon King’s attack came.

It’s out of the question to counterattack in this state.

“『Destructive Sword』!!”

But, while we were keeping the Demon King occupied for just a moment, Blade caught up and delivered a powerful strike with his greatsword from behind.

Blade’s attack might not damage the Demon King, but if he ignored it and took a direct hit, it would break his posture.

And if his posture broke, it would buy us time to recover.

“Hmph!”

Perhaps understanding this, the Demon King halted his pursuit of us to prioritize dealing with Blade.

With his back still turned, he deflected Blade’s strike with his dark sword and countered in a fluid motion.

The timing was impeccable.

That was unavoidable.

If it were just Blade, he would definitely die from this.

“『Thunder Hammer』!”

“『Beast Claw』!”

However, at that moment, Imina-san and Garm lunged in, forcing the Demon King to change his actions to deal with their attacks.

This saved Blade’s life.

“『Hell Sword───.”

But the Demon King’s next move is dangerous!

He takes a step back from the three of us, jumping back while raising his sword.

From that position, he could aim at all three of them at once!

“Get out of there! . . . . . .”

“『Tyrant’s Path』!”

My words are too late, and even if they weren’t, they would be useless. A torrent of darkness erupts from the Demon King’s sword.

We can’t make it in time to assist the three, who were blown away and are adjusting their trajectory.

If it continues like this, all three will be. . . . . .?!

“『Light Beam』!”

However, just before the torrent of darkness is unleashed, a beam of light magic strikes the Demon King’s sword-holding hand.

Although the damage is negligible, the attack diverts the Demon King’s sword, causing his attack to go astray.

“『Shockwave』!”

Furthermore, a shockwave magic is released that blows the three in the opposite direction of where the Demon King’s attack was aimed, helping them escape the attack range.

“『Advanced Healing』!”

Additional healing magic comes flying at Stella and me.

Thanks to the other comrades who drew the Demon King’s attention, it seems there was time to use advance healing magic without chanting, even if it takes a few moments to prepare.

The severely overused right arm of mine is healed to a level that can’t be considered temporary.

As for Stella, her condition is probably better than just a placebo.

Looking over, I see Auntie Elle, Eltrait-san, and Rin are pointing their wands this way.

Until a moment ago, Auntie Elle was focusing on chanting for a powerful attack, but she must have switched to support, judging that Stella was too weakened to afford such a luxury.

I’m grateful, but now the only one who can effectively damage the Demon King is Stella.

This puts even more strain on Stella. . . . . .!

“”Haaaaaa!””

Even so, there’s no time to complain.

After correcting our course, Stella and I charge at the Demon King again.

Blade and the others quickly regain their posture, and support from Auntie Elle and the others comes flying in.

Don’t let the attack falter.

Keep pressing on.

If we get defensive, we’ll be overwhelmed in an instant.

To relieve even a bit of the burden on Stella, attack, attack, and keep attacking!

“『Holy Sword』!”

“『Dark Moon』!”

“『Instant Chain Slash』!”

“『Lightning Hammer』!”

“『Rampaging Beast Combo』!”

“『Judgment of all Attributes』!”

And so, we attacked.

We pressed on, never letting up.

Yet, the Demon King does not fall.

He does not waver.

He takes damage.

Injuries are piling up.

Still, his movements are far from sluggish.

As if impervious to pain and wounds, the Demon King continues to reign as a formidable foe.

He isn’t enjoying a deathmatch like Dragburn.

He isn’t emotionless like Asgard.

The Demon King, like Fezard, endures agony for those he values, sprinting through the thorny path with all his might.

Such foes are the strongest and the scariest.

“Haah!”

“Wha?!”

And finally, the balance began to tip.

Struck by a single blow from the Demon King’s sword, Imina-san was sent flying.

Although she tried to guard with her war hammer, she was in a position where she couldn’t divert the impact.

Imina-san was smashed against the walls of Demon King’s Castle and couldn’t get up.

Doug-san quickly retrieved her; she seems not to be dead, but her injuries are far worse than Stella’s.

Her return to the battle is likely hopeless.

“Ugh?!”

Once one falls, our strength diminishes, and the damage spirals out of control.

Next targeted was Garm.

In dodging the sword, he ended up in a precarious position and got kicked away.

Both arms he used to guard are shattered; he’s alive but incapacitated.

“Argh. . . . . .?!”

“Eltrait?!”

Next, Eltrait-san was defeated.

He was overwhelmed in a magical shootout.

With the vanguard reduced, it gave the Demon King a fair chance to unleash fairly powerful magic.

Breaking through the still-maintained barrier of Rin, it inflicted a fatal wound upon him.

In a moment of desperation, I used Healing Magic on myself to cling to life, but it reached its limit, and consciousness faded away.

“He’s too strong. . . . . .”

Imina-san, battered and unhealed, muttered in despair as she watched the rampaging Demon King.

Yes, I can only agree.

Strong.

Endlessly strong.

Truly fitting of the Demon King.

Truly the ultimate enemy.

He’s so strong it’s almost laughable.

But if we don’t defeat him, we can’t reach a happy ending.

So we fight.

So we struggle.

I don’t think there’s no chance of winning.

They over there must be going through a considerable amount of hardship as well.

The accumulated damage has reached a critical level.

He’s just forcing himself to move with incredible determination.

He is by no means invincible.

That is proven by me, who killed him in the previous world.

So, the opportunity will come.

He’ll keep moving no matter how much damage he takes, but that doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable.

There will be an opening.

“Agh?!”

However, before the chance could come, even Doug-san went down from a stray attack.

Now, all external members are out.

It’s a miracle they’re not dead, but if we, the remaining members of the Hero’s Party, fall, they’ll all die.

And then. . . . . .

“The time is right.”

The Demon King murmured softly.

“Let’s end this.”

The Demon King distanced himself from us and began to move his lips.

Not talking.

Neither a battle cry nor a roar.

It was— the chant of magic.

With fewer opponents left, the Demon King, now having the leisure to chant, was going for the kill.

The final battle.

The embodiment of a nightmare that will trigger its end is now being unleashed.

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