VS . Holy Knights Part 1
The Demon let out an evil laugh .
With it’s deep crimson hair fluttering, it gently descended in front of the Holy Knights .
Spreading it’s bat-like wings wide, it was something that could truly be called the embodiment of evil .
「It’s a pleasure to meet you all . Now, let us begin the test without delay .
Whether or not you are worthy to be my opponents . . . 」
The Holy Knights, after witnessing its appearance, immediately scattered and took up a defensive stance .
They don’t have the leisure to erect a barrier . They need to make a split-second decision .
Their cautiousness was due to the arrival of the Arch Demon . Unfortunately there are no other teams that had the capability to erect a barrier .
However, this situation could be considered fortunate if you look at it from a different point of view .
The opponent that came before them was only one in number . And in this squad was Arnaud Baurman, the strongest Holy Knight that leads an undefeated party .
Arnaud sprouts a fearless smile and encourages his companions . . .
「Don’t be afraid! There enemy is only one . Even though it’s an Arch Demon, it’s not a threat to us!」
They already have battle experience against Arch Demons from the past .
When fighting the heretics, there were some who could summon Arch Demons using the High Demon Summoning . Until now they had never lost once against these people .
For Arnaud, he was confident he could come out victorious, even in a one on one battle .
「Everyone, spread out! Two sub leaders shall support me; the other members will set up a simple Holy Barrier . Begin!!」
The Holy Knights reacted immediately to Arnaud’s instructions .
They were the movements of well-trained first class warriors . Having lived through scenes of carnage many times, they were confident in their abilities as the fort that fights to protect the human race .
Without hesitation they dispersed . They moved into a pentagram formation and erected a Holy Barrier that confined the commander and the two sub leaders with their opponent, the red haired demon, inside the barrier .
But eerie as this was, during that time there was no movement from the demon .
Sprouting an evil smile, the demon looked on happily at the Holy Knights’ movement .
「Oi, What’s wrong? You’re not going to interrupt us?」
Arnaud asked, trying to provoke it .
「Why would I do such a thing? You are all working hard . I will not interrupt you . 」
A response that was clearly underestimating them .
Arnaud stood with composure facing his opponent, but inside he was truly boiling with anger .
As an expert-class knight, he’s trained himself to have control over his emotions in these situations, as not to lose his sight in anger . But the opponent’s response was humiliating .
How can an Arch Demon be so impudent! Arnaud thought this, and being extremely thorough, he made sure to keep it as just a thought .
There was no doubt that this was a threat to his troops .
He was trained as a Holy Knight, so he had a clear grasp of it’s true strength .
In their present condition, five people would be enough to take down an Arch Demon . Provided that the opponent was a common Arch Demon .
Arnaud calmly observed the demon in front of him to measure his opponent .
The opponent in front of him now was not just a common Arch Demon .
With an air of composure, it stood there elegantly . The cloth it wore was elaborate, as if it signified it was not just a lowly demon .
The purpose of these clothes were to show that it’s level was high .
Where it’s concerned, the possibility that this demon has been “named” is very likely .
A named demon in itself is a big threat . And yet, his opponent was a high ranking named demon .
He could not be careless .
Even if he’s angry at the opponent before him, he can’t afford to lose his composure and cloud his own judgment .
Arnaud unsheathed his sword .
「Oh? Are your preparations finished?」
「Yes, sorry to keep you waiting . Shall we begin? But before that there’s something I want to ask you . . . your name . 」
To the demon’s question, Arnaud answered .
And he took that opportunity to ask the Demon his name .
Although he might not get an answer, if he does, he could know whether the opponent was “named” or not .
The opposing demon,
「Oh! How rude of me . My name is Diablo .
Even though this name was granted to me by the His Highness  Rimuru, I forgot to introduce myself . . . . .
I’m still so inexperienced . 」
Happily, it introduced itself .
Arnaud felt a cold sweat drip down his back .
Dangerous . His instinctive alarm rang at it’s maximum .
Introducing itself without any hesitation . It means that the opponent was an existence that was already gifted with a name .
If the master dies, it’s “Named” status will disappear as well . Also, if it introduced itself with it’s real name, then that name can be used to manipulate it . Therefore, not introducing oneself was common sense among demon-kin .
So it was named by the Demon Lord Rimuru . It seems that the demon was telling the truth .
Was it even feasible for a Demon Lord to grant a name to the likes of an Arch Demon? But right now it was useless to harbour such doubt .
Arnaud prided himself as the one called the Strongest Holy Knight .
He was the right hand man of Hinata, the Leader of the Holy Knights . And he had confidence in his place as No . 2 .
Supported by such confidence, Arnaud smiles fearlessly .
「 My name is Arnaud Baurman, the strongest Holy Knight .
Engrave it into your soul, the name of the person who’s going to destroy you . Enjoy your trip to hell!」
At the same time he declared that, he performed a Spiritual Power Release and activated his Spirit Armament .
Instantly, five colors of light dazzlingly glistened and wrapped around Arnaud’s body . He was a Holy Knight who possessed the five attributes of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Space .
For a normal person, possessing two attributes was rare, but he was loved by five .
His title as the Strongest Holy Knight wasn’t just for show .
During this time, the other Holy Knights also performed a Spiritual Power Release . Each were clad in armour of their own attributes .
In the middle of the shining multicolored lights was a shining pentagram .
A simple-type Holy Field was cast .
It wasn’t full powered due to the short amount of time to perform the ceremony… but with five Holy Knights, it was effective enough .
Inside the barrier, besides the two skilled Holy Knights, was the strongest one, Arnaud .
Against an Arch Demon, there shouldn’t be anything to fear .
Fortunately, Arnaud held in his hand a new type of armament, the Demon Slayer: a supreme sword made by the Seven Celestial Sages solely to fight against demons .
Against the flesh, the sword was endowed with the ability to tear apart the magic power in the monster’s magic power configuration, so that it can’t reconfigure again .
In other words, it can suck out the opponent’s magic power .
This weapon was developed with the purpose to inflict damage against “Dragon Types” .
It was the only sword that had been developed to have the same power as Hinata’s sword . The decision to equip Arnaud with it was correct .
With this sword, any type of demon would surely be destroyed .
At that time, Arnaud had absolute confidence in his weapon, but . . .
「Well then, let us begin the test . 」
The demon casually said so .
And the meaning of those words were quickly understood .
「U, Uwaaaaaaaa!! Don’t come, stop it, don’t come!!」
「Hiiiiiiii! He- help!!」
Etc . The members stumble where they stand while unanimously shouting .
As Holy Knights, these members should have been accustomed with this kind of thing .
Just what happened?
Arnad couldn’t understand . This- this overwhelming fear was…
The coercion released by the demon before him .
It simply unleashed its suppressed Demonic Aura . That’s all .
「Oh my? Only three people were able to pass the test?
Well, I offer you my praises . To be able to endure my『Demon Lord’s Haki』 . . .
I will shall permit you to be my personal opponents!」
The Demon excitedly declared .
The Pentagram Barrier disappeared in an instant . The other Holy Knights, whose minds had snapped, didn’t have enough energy left to maintain the Holy Field .
Arnaud was sweating bullets . Trying to wipe it off, he couldn’t even keep up . He was desperately trying to comprehend the current situation .
Unbelievable . He didn’t want to accept it .
The demon before him, just now… what did it say? Certainly it had said『Demon Lord’s Haki』 . . .
He’d never heard of such an ability . With it’s aura release alone, it reduced the Holy Knights to this powerless state . Even for a Demon Lord, that shouldn’t be possible .
No . It might be possible for one legendary class of Demon Lord…
He didn’t previously think it was possible for a “named” to be of that class .
「You . . . . . . , The heck . . . . . are you?」
Trying to squeeze out the words, Arnaud asked in a hoarse voice .
Mustering all his willpower, he kept his fear from showing .
Calmly he drove away his negative thoughts . Somehow, he succeeded in maintaining his composure .
With Arnaud like that . . .
「Kufufufufufu, I am Diablo . The faithful servant of Rimuru-sama .
If I perform brilliantly this time, the one getting the seat of first rank will be me . 」
Such an answer came .
In addition, making him dumbfounded .
「While I’m at it, allow me give the answer to your next question .
I am not an Arch demon like you had previously said .
But a Demon Duke . Even though the difference is slight, please don’t make that mistake again . 」
It added that in, more words of despair…
「It’s over, everything is over . . . . . 」
The female aid Sofia bent down, and began to weep like a child .
Her mind has also snapped .
Demon Duke… that was the legendary existence .
It was ranked higher than a self-proclaimed Demon Lord .
Their previous appearances in this world were not documented, so it couldn’t be confirmed . But this legendary demon now certainly exists .
Just like a Common Spirit can’t be compared to a Great Spirit Class . And a Great Spirit Class can’t win a fight against a King Spirit Class, even if several of them banded together .
「Oh? What are you doing? You have passed my test but you don’t seem happy in the slightest!」
The demon called out to the female adjutant whose mind had snapped . This situation never crossed Arnaud’s mind .
While shedding tears she tried to run away, desperately .
To the demon who had called out to her, she was unwilling to make eye contact and shook her head in denial .
As a Holy Knight, she was a brave and dependable adjutant that survived situations of great peril before . But for the first time, she was showing signs of fear .
She had great knowledge in Demonology, as a countermeasure against the heretics . Because It’s best to know your enemy . Not only that, but she also studied Summoned Demons and Demon Summoning .
Because of that, she was very familiar with Demonology .
The fact that this woman was frightened stiff was proof enough that the existance before them was in fact, a Demon Duke .
Therefore, measures must be taken against that .
「Can you still fight, Bacchus?」
He asked his other adjutant .
His reliable partner and trusted right-hand man .
Bacchus nodded with a pale face . To overcome this crisis with just them two they must make a breakthrough .
After linking with Hinata, this demon would meet it’s end .
Arnaud gathered up the resolve and concentrated on stirring up his willpower .
「Oi! Do you have to torment my adjutant and subordinates? Leave them alone!
Your opponent is me!」
Arnaud shouted and conducted his attack with all of his might .
From Arnaud’s left palm, a mass of light was discharged .
That was the Holy Cannon .
Among the magic types that Holy Knights are fluent in, was〈Divine Magic〉 . It was a simple type of magic and the effects depend on the ability of the user .
The attack has holy attributes and was able to inflict damage to any type of monster .
The demon caught the ball of light and crushed it in its palm like it was nothing .
「Kufufufufufu . This is quite painful . My palm has gotten burnt . Then, next is that person’s turn?」
The demon said in a calm manner, like nothing happened .
However, Arnaud’s true aim wasn’t to damage it with the Holy Cannon .
While the opponent was taking the attack from the Holy Cannon, Bacchus took a roundabout path to get at it from behind and struck it in the back with his Great Axe .
The Great Axe was called a Demon Killer, a magic weapon used to cut down Devils .
Even a Demon Duke couldn’t avoid taking damage from that attack .
Moreover, the attack didn’t stop there .
At the same time Arnaud fired the Holy Cannon, he also prepared his own Demon Slayer .
〈Spirit Beheading〉was an ultimate technique using the basic technique of 〈Fighting Sprit〉 . By cladding the weapon in Fighting Spirit it can cut down anything .
Fighting Spirit and Magical power can be applied on various techniques, but…
Arnaud was the strongest Holy Knight . He clad his sword in his Fighting Spirit, and it glistened in fives colors .
So, converting his five attributes of Spirit Power into Fighting Spirit, he fused them together and with it, clad his sword .
The Genius Arnaud .
It was because of this special technique that Arnaud was called the Strongest Holy Knight .
「Shut up, monster! Eat this and die! Ether Break (Kanji: Five Colors Spirit Virtuous Sword)!!」
A flash from Arnaud’s sword runs along the ground in a line .
By using the Earth Spirit’s 『Weight Manipulation』, the user can decide on the swords desirable impact .
At a speed that transcended the speed of sound, the sword’s edge reached Diablo .
The strike was clad in Holy Attributes, an absolute killing power against monsters, along with the attribute to crush evil .
A deadly sword that should cut down an Arch Demon with a single strike .
It was impossible for even a Demon Duke to be uninjured .
Not to mention he dealt the blow at the same moment it was being attacked from behind . A perfect surprise attack .
Arnaud had no doubt it was the opponent’s certain death .
However, at the very moment Bacchus’ Great Axe would clash with Diablo’s head, Diablo lightly tapped his toe to the ground .
With just that, the ground was upheaved and Bacchus, who was approaching from behind, was blown away into the air .
Even so, Arnaud’s sword, exceeding the speed of sound with it’s imagined trajectory would still cut the nape of Diablo’s neck . It couldn’t be stopped .
He can do it! Arnaud was convinced of the victory he played out in his mind and put all of his strength into his hand that was grasping the sword .
At the same time, he lightens the weight of the sword and then reverses it, driving it towards his target with double the power .
Grasping the sword, he doubled its weight by several times by abrupting the generation inertia from gravity’s force .
This technique’s trait also doubled the sword’s momentum just before it collided with the enemy .
For someone seeing this technique for the first time, it was impossible to evade it . Arnaud had certain belief in his victory . You could say it was a matter of fact .
But, unfortunately… from the very beginning Diablo had no intention of evading it .
Arnaud’s sword cut through the barrier Diablo had erected, and cut Diablo’s body .
He felt the resistance . But…
Arnaud immediately ran to Bacchus’ side .
He confirmed Bacchus’ condition . It turned out that Bacchus was alright and was able to stand .
Feeling relief, he switched his focus back to Diablo .
「Kufufufufufu . I see . What a wonderful technique .
Especially the sudden acceleration the moment it makes impact . Even I had difficulty seeing it .
And above all else… that attack that incorporates various attributes . Few would be able to withstand that attack .
Splendid, truly splendid!」
He began praising Arnaud’s sword art .
But Arnaud doesn’t feel the least bit happy hearing it .
Obviously . Because clearly the demon wasn’t suffering any damage after taking his sword strike .
「Oi . . . . . . . . . You didn’t suffer any damage at all?」
Though he didn’t want to ask, the words unconsciously slipped from his mouth .
「Oh? Does it seem that way to you? That is just an overestimation .
I planned to offset only the Holy attributes with my magic barrier, but unfortunately I felt your strike .
It seems my magic power had been deprived, just a little though .
Thanks to . . . your sword; It seems to posses the ability to steal the opponent’s magic power .
I overlooked it . But even so, it is also wonderful!」
What it was not enough?
It’s like it didn’t receive any damage at all from the technique .
This wasn’t a joke . That ultimate move definitely hit it .
An attack that possess various attributes and can easily pierce through several layers of defense barriers .
And despite that . . .
That attack was supposed to be the decisive blow . Arnaud’s chance of victory was nonexistent .
And acting as the final blow to Arnaud were these merciless words from the demon:
「That’s right . With this level of damage, I need to receive about 4 . 000 hits before I will be annihilated .
But . . . a point of advice, I can recover about 40% of that damage in 1 hour .
How is that? There is still some hope for you .
Now then, shall we resume again?」
So it said, while spreading its hands .
Next to him, Bacchus gave up with a sigh .
「Hey, Arnaud, It’s impossible . We can’t hold out like this .
Though this might be better than doing nothing at all…
I’ll buy you some time, so please call Captain Hinata .
That’s a Captain’s class with inhumane power, it’s not an opponent we can fight . 」
He whispers to Arnaud .
「No, I will buy you time . You . . . . . 」
「You Fool . Your feet are quicker than mine!
Above all, there’s hope if you and Captain are together .
It is no good if it’s me!」
Bacchus shouted and pushed Arnaud away .
Arnaud, hearing those words, bit his lip and started to run .
But, the reality was cruel .
「Kufufufufufu . Oh my! Where do you think you going?
My mission is to hold you all off here . I will not allow any of you to get past me . 」
Forced to stay? For a moment he didn’t understand what it meant by that, but there in front of Arnaud, his companions who were previously on the ground, were now blocking his way .
「You guys, step aside!」
Arnaud shouted, but the demon pointed him to the harsh reality before him .
「Oh my! Your companions still seem intent to play .
I only asked them if they would be so grateful to betray their ally?」
So it said . Arnaud looked at his companions properly .
They each wore a blank expression, as if they were in some sort of trance .
「So- Sofia! Stop it! Come to your senses!」
Arnaud turned to face Bacchus who was vomiting blood while shouting to the other adjutant Sofia, who was sobbing in front of him .
She had the same trance-like look on her face as the others, standing across from Bacchus who was holding out his sword .
「You bastard . . ! What have you done to my companions!!」
Arnaud glares at Diablo and shouts .
The demon replies with a sneer .
「Kufufufufufu . What are you implying . . . . .
Nevertheless, I only tempted them .
Because they feared me, they seem to have accepted it easily . 『Temptation』, that is . 」
Arnaud suddenly realized .
There was a characteristic of monsters that were Demon-kin called the Temptation skill .
To mesmerize the target . An ability that can manipulate someone’s mind as it likes . But, he’d never heard of a Demon that had the ability to mesmerize a Holy Knight .
To save someone under this mesmerization you either have to defeat the demon who is manipulating them… or kill the person .
To sum it up, the only thing that can be done now is to evade his companions attacks and defeat Diablo . If not, the only option left was to kill his comrades .
He can’t go easy on the Holy Knights . Even subconscious, these guys were pragmatic . Someone who is mesmerized moves their body subconsciously .
This was too much… their awareness was cursed through temptation .
This opponent was . . . This Demon was . . . clearly a Disaster Class . A threat that stood on equal grounds with a Demon Lord .
Bacchus who was holding off Sofia, was strangled from behind by two Holy Knights .
And just like that he lost consciousness . He had remained fainted, but now that meant Arnaud remained alone .
To get through this situation alone… was not an impossible feat .
The red haired Demon’s gold oblong pupil glistened a bewitching hint of red as he held up Sofia with one hand .
Suddenly, Sofia’s beautiful blonde hair turned a deep crimson red, as if it were soaked in blood .
She showed an ecstatic look on her face .
Her hair turned back into blonde .
He looked at her suspiciously . Sofia lost consciousness and fainted .
No way! His worry suddenly turned frantic .
「Kufufufufu . whoops, that was dangerous . I unintentionally turned her into a Fallen .
If I do such things, there’s no way Rimuru-sama will give me the seat of first rank . 」
Leaving Arnaud with these uncertain words, Diablo turns his head in his direction .
What he’d just seen was the demon making the Holy Knight Sofia into its companion .
He didn’t want to imagine what would have happened if it succeeded . The demon was for some reason concerned about his actions and stopped halfway through . Thus, Sofia was saved .
But it was still too early to be relieved .
「Well then, Let’s resume . Launch whatever attack pleases you .
Until I get tired, I will be your opponent!」
Left alone without a single reinforcement and surrounded by five Holy Knights . It was impossible to escape this .
Even so, Arnaud refused to give up .
His last hope was held in Hinata defeating the enemy’s boss and coming to his adjutant .
Arnaud prepared himself .
The curtain on “Arnaud’s hopeless fight” has risen .