The Real Monster
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90 A Hero No More
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The Real Monster
Author :vOnKreigerXXV
© Webnovel

90 A Hero No More

The day of the birthday celebration.

The city hall had arranged for the celebration to be broadcasted to the whole Empire via the Magic Image Broadcasting tool that they developed through the help of various magic societies and towers in the Human Realm. It was developed through the suggestion of Clay's apprentices who called themselves Elementalists to distinguish themselves from ordinary magic users. Where their ideas came from, no one knew but them.

The in-person participants who went to Claiomh themselves were the leaders of the Kingdoms under the Empire, and the big-name merchants that had influence in their field.

There were no less than a thousand leaders in the Human Realm, and they all, with no exception, came to celebrate Ryan's birthday to show their respect and to meet the future next Emperor.

Giselle had already come out to their large courtyard where the celebration was being held. Security was as tight as it could be, to protect against possible monster attacks and other terror attempts. The guards of Claiomh Solais were the cream of the crop so to say. They rivaled Rank AAA adventurers if they were ranked.

As they were also the ones charged with the protection of the whole Capital City, they were trained to the extreme by the retainers of Clay himself, his direct subordinates.

Giselle welcomed the guests with a gentle and warm voice and said, "We appreciate your response to our invitation to our Son, Ryan's, first birthday celebration in four years. We celebrated once when he turned 1 year old, however, his father, Lord Clay, had taken him away on an adventure to the Demon Realm four years ago and came back only recently.

"We thank you for blessing our son with your presence and hope that you would enjoy this grand celebration that we have prepared for you.

"As you know, Lord Clay is currently present however, he will show himself only later as he said he had something to take care of with his four subordinates. I hope you understand our Lord Emperor's absence for a bit.

"Without further ado, let me present to you the star of today's celebration; my son, Ryan vi Acadria et Solais!"

Thunderous clap reverberated over the place and this happening was broadcasted throughout the Empire. By now, the Empire had already installed Transfer Gates towards Claiomh and have continually improved it to cater to better transport for local traveling as well.

The broadcasting was quite a new thing that was introduced only last year in the Empire.

As the thunderous noise of the clapping of thousands of people slowly died down, Ryan was given the stage to give his thanks for the guests that came. Although he was yet old enough to address them, it was a special occasion after all.

"I and my Family, my mother and the Lord Emperor thank you all for coming. Please enjoy the festivities!" With that, Ryan bowed slightly and turned his back to go down the stage and mingle with the fellow youngsters of each of the kingdom's leaders.


Giselle also went down and started her own agenda. While Clay was with his four subordinates in the City Hall's Mayor's office: Isaac's office.

"Giselle had given me information about the movements of all the other Realms in Alleucanth and I have been reluctant to affect the world with my power, however without me knowing about it, I became Emperor this fast. And the other realms must be alarmed.

"The Demon Realm had already summoned their hero it seems. And the Dragonkin are still just watching. The Beast Prairie is silent as well. It seems your training, really must get to the next level already. After today, we will all train. All four of you from this moment on, take off your shackles and consolidate your strength for our upcoming training session.

"I set up the Hydra sometime ago so that you'd know how to battle something that has the ability to heal and regenerate at high speeds. I will tell you the reason for that now.

"I needed you to be strong enough to kill or at least restrain beings that have similar characteristics because I am one as well. That is why, I set it up so that you know how to fight me.

"Right now, your flesh and bones are still fragile and are unable to hurt me, even with weapons you won't scratch my skin. However, I will entrust to you a formula to hurt me in case I go out of control. That's why I need you to be strong!

"Since I came to this world, I have never taken a human life. In another incarnation of me, maybe I have taken lives, however, I have not… not yet. And therefore, I am reluctant in using my power to hurt normal human beings or people.

"However, to monsters, my strength I can muster and exert. This reluctance has made me indirectly hurt other people. You don't need to know the details; however, I have failed others. I may have a ridiculous amount of power and energy, but I am a coward who does not want to use this power. Whether its for good or bad. I only used it to entertain myself and pursue things that interested me until now.

"Why am I telling you all this?

"Because, sooner or later, there will come a time, when I will use this power to protect my family, my friends and my loved ones that I may lose control over it and become a monster instead of someone you knew.

"I need you four to be strong enough to put a stop to my rampage. And to do that, I need you four to become stronger than you are now. The way you are currently, I can snuff your lives out of you with a snap of my fingers. You need to ascend and step into the world closer to perfection.

"Here is you new training regimen. Do this and at the end of your struggle and suffering, you will become strong enough to bear inside your bodies, the power that makes me as I am.

The room was silent. They did not know how to answer, however, their answer was not needed. Only their effort was needed. What needed to be done, needs to be done. That was what Clay implied and what he intends for them.

Clay was about to speak again, however, he suddenly sat up and looked towards the north.

The same thing happened to Jon as he also sensed danger on a whole new level. It was paralyzing to him. He grew paler as each second came and passed. Isaac took his eyes away from the piece of parchment that Clay handed them that contained their training regimen and saw that something wrong with both.

He wanted to ask but as he saw Jon grow paler by the second, he knew something was up. In his suspicion, he spread his magic energy in the area of a few miles that almost covered the entire city. There was nothing he could sense.

Sensing Isaac's probe, Caltec and Mor also looked up and saw Clay and Jon's expressions. Clay's were more of curiosity, while Jon's was of utter terror.

Finally, Clay spoke to them very slowly and calmly, "You guys need to silently take away every citizen in this city away. I will open rifts and gates towards the distance. Don't come back here until Jon says so. Do not let them panic. Just make up excuses.

"This is gonna be a messy business. I can feel extreme malice from our visitor, I'm curious what he wants." From what Clay said last, they understood that they had an uninvited visitor.

"Go! Right now, he's still strolling around and climbing the mountain like it's a park, we have time. Just don't let the people panic and let them go peacefully."

Snap

Clay snapped his finger and immediately, the four of them were transferred to a specific area in the city to warn the citizens and to let them go.

Clay himself went to the courtyard of their home to greet the guests they had.

When Clay arrived silently, no one noticed him but when he stood on stage, he was finally noticed by the people who came.

Clay wore the aura of a higher being and made everyone feel his presence. It was exclusive to only this audience, however. Clay could control his presence form being felt and to dull the perception of lower beings by will, so it came easy to him now.

"Hello! I greet everyone. My name is Clay. No need to kneel. I was preparing something earlier and have come late because of it, I apologize. Now that it's ready, I wish to take you all there right now. And so, please, orderly enter the Rift I have opened at the gates. Just pass through it and you will find my surprise in there. Enjoy its view."

Clay had opened the Rift and connected it to the hills that overlooked Claiomh from a distance. This was part of one of the Empire's Kingdoms close to the Moribor mountain, where Agera was. The King of Igelias gasped in surprise and immediately exclaimed that this was part of his territory once he did a once over on the terrain and the familiar landmarks.

"This is part of my territory! To think that the Emperor would grace my territory with this honor. I see! We can clearly see the Imperial Capital from here. What a wonderful discovery. From now on, this spot will be developed to be one of the landmarks of Igelias." With a hearty laughter, the King of Igelias rejoiced and the other leaders' reaction varied from congratulatory, to envy, to ridicule. Even the former emperor also congratulated the King of Igelias.

Clay appeared last and closed the Rift behind him and simply snapped his finger to hide the presence of these leaders. He then simply told them some sort of excuse to disappear after telling Giselle to take care of them for the time being.

"Giselle, something's up. I had to evacuate the citizens and these leaders. I think the Demon Realm's Hero is visiting. Just in case there's a fight, I can't have them become casualties. Just give them some well placed excuses. You can also tell them the truth since they are leaders after all, but, keep them in line. I must go. You be careful.

"Son take care of your mother. She takes priority over others, understand? If you feel any threat, blast them." Clay told his son telepathically. Just to make sure that Giselle did not notice, he hugged him lightly and disappeared.

***

Before Clay came back from taking the leaders away, Caltec, Isaac, Jon and Mor were busy commanding the Town Guards to guide the citizens to the Rifts that Clay had made for them. Each Rift was connected to Acadria and were powered by Clay's magic energy so there were no worries about it closing soon.

"Proceed with caution and lead them! Town Guards! You are to keep the peace and quite of the place where you are going. Each squad will take care of the accommodation for our citizens. Talk to the overseer for the procedures. And citizens, do not panic. Lord Clay is handling the situation. It's only a minor problem that showed itself suddenly. So be calm and collected. Go in peace!"

This was also said by Caltec, Jon and Mor to their quadrants. The citizens followed the instructions without fail and by the end of 30 minutes, all the citizens had evacuated successfully. With the help of Clay's apprentices and the Town guards and the four of them, they did a great evacuation execution.

***

Claiomh Solais.

The streets were empty and even the wind howling could not be heard.

Clay appeared at the peak of Moribor waiting with crossed arms and leaning on one of the trees. Even the monsters that occupy this place were long purged by his subordinates however, the lesser monsters were not, which meant that they were spooked by something else. As Clay's presence can never be detected unless he wants it to be detected.

Not even the hero of the Demon Realm detected him. The demon from Hell, Azarael.

He was leisurely strolling and going for a visit to such a great party that he sensed a few hours ago, but then as he was nearing the mountain to climb it, he suddenly felt that they disappeared. He even doubted his senses for a second, but then confirmed that they really were gone.

He was slightly disturbed, but he did not mind it. He had all the time in the world to find more people to play with. There was no rush. Even as he did stroll around the Demon Realm, he also enjoyed killing and torturing some hybrids he found.

"I'm sure these things were not created by God. Am I not on Earth? How interesting."

As he reached the peak of Moribor, the mountain he was climbing without care, he passed by one tree that he found odd. There was nothing there, but he could feel some sort of apprehension towards that tree. Instead of being scared, he instead was curious and so he went closer to it.

At two feet apart from the tree, he eyed it carefully and even went around it to check thoroughly. What he did not know was that his face was already as close as can be with Clay's. Clay did not move and just stared at the Demon he was facing.

Clay had already known that it was a Demon… a real one from where he came from originally. And so, his belief in Demons and Angels was established. If this guy is real, then I'm sure that Angels are also real. Clay thought.

"And here I thought, the demons in the Demon Realm were just normal monsters. To think they were able to summon such a malicious being into this world. Pure evil. How dreadful are these gods in Alleucanth?" Clay thought further and then spoke to the Demon.

"Where are you going, friend?" Oddly, Clay did not feel threatened by the Demon Azarael. He was in fact only worried about the malice this demon directed towards the city when he felt it earlier.

At this sudden voice that appeared from the tree, Azarael immediately struck out and punched the tree. Unsurprisingly, the tree was felled, and the debris were scattered to the ground and dust flew in the air.

"No need to be so violent is there?" Clay continued to speak calmly.

"Where are you motherfucka!" Azarael cussed. He was agitated. He couldn't feel any pressure, yet he also could not feel the presence of this voice.

"Oof! Such a foul mouth we have here. Care to calm down first?"

Instead of calming down, Azarael was even more agitated when he was spoken to like this.

"Bastard! Show yourself! You think hiding will save you from me? I'll butcher you!"

"Fine, fine. Stop spitting in the air will you. I don't want any of your saliva on me." Saying so, Clay showed himself in front of Azarael. This time, Azarael felt the presence of Clay and immediately felt oppressed.

"W-What are you?! You look human, but why do I feel a primal fear towards you?!" Azarael realized immediately what he was feeling. The only times he ever felt this was of those times when he was in the presence of the Princes of Hell.

"You, you're no human!" He pointed his hand and said.

"Ouch! No, pointing of fingers please."

Snap

"Arggh!"

Azarael had his pointing finger bent backwards towards himself with Clay's snap.

"I know you're naturally malicious, but could you not spread your malice in my domain? I'd hate for my people to be infected by you." Clay said in a matter-of-fact way.

"The thing is, I'm stronger that you. You won't stand a chance against me if we fought. So, I want you to go back to where you came from and just stay there until I come for a visit. This way, we'll all live happily ever after. Right?"

"Hell no! I'll enjoy my freedom thank you! And you mother fucka won't be able to stop me!" Azarael said as he used his all to strike at Clay. His broken finger was healed in an instant as well.

His speed was great, and the impact was even greater. A sonic boom was created from his charging punch, blasting trees, boulders, and snow away. He arrived quickly and started a barrage on Clay.

Clay on the other hand just stood there and extended his hand to receive the punches.

Boom!

Boom!

Boom!

The scene looked much like how trainers received the punches of their trainees with a mitt. Even folding his left arm and resting it on his lower back.

"Hah!"

Each exertion Azarael gave made him certain… this man, he's not normal!

"Ah! Hah! Huuh!" Punch after punch after kicks and Azarael was yet to hit Clay squarely, he did not even more from the spot as if Azarael's punches were as light as mosquito bites. What he did not know, was that Clay's overall weight was not actually that heavy. If he received those punches normally, then normally he'd have been blown away from the very first punch.

However, Clay had made it his fighting habit or discipline to multiply his weight when fighting with monsters. Because normally, monsters exert so much force that a single punch would blow a tiny person away, regardless of the damage it does. And getting always blown away was not something ideal for battle.

This was what he taught his subordinates. So. in training from now on, they'll no longer wear the gravity bangles and instead wear them when battling.

if Azarael knew this, he'd have agreed wholeheartedly of this great idea.

Azarael continued his barrage for at least five seconds before he punched his last and retreated. Seeing as Clay was unaffected, he changed his tactics. He used his other abilities instead of physical prowess.

A Demon from Hell had one arsenal that was staple, it was psychokinesis.

Azarael extended his hand and had his palm pointing towards Clay. He was going to exert force on Clay with his mind. He dug deep within himself and even groaned in effort. In his mind, he saw Clay was being held by his power in the air and was slowly getting crushed.

Or so he imagined.

Clay found his ability rather interesting and commanded his skill to analyze and create a skill with similar features as Azarael was showing. It took no time at all to have the skill, heck, Clay's skill reported,

[Opponent's Skill is inferior to Host's. Dissolving Skill. Success]

"Huh. Whatever. I thought I could imitate Skywalker and use the "Force" oh well." Clay nonchalantly thought.

"How could this be?!" Azarael was getting even more certain that he went and swallowed more than he can chew. As he was exerting all of his efforts, footsteps arrived at the scene and four men arrived.

Obviously, they were Isaac, Caltec, Jon and Mor.

Clay was frowning a little and they all saw this. And then Jon immediately pointed to the others saying, "It was them! They were worried about the city, so they wanted to witness the fight. I told them not to go, since I can still feel the danger from this guy!" He was frantic. Maybe because of the malice from Azarael whom they just met or from the fright of receiving yet another scolding from Clay.

"Enough. This guy is boring, so I'll give them to you. He's a bit too strong for you guys in your current state, so let's do this instead." Clay snapped his finger and Azarael's energy dropped down to his base level from before he was transported to this world.

Clay knew that he had been absorbing the miasma that was a nourishment to a Demon like him to make himself stronger and his hard work for 2 years had all been drained by Clay instead.

Only Clay knew where all that energy went to, but Azarael looked miserable now that he was deflated by Clay. But even in this state, he was still stronger than the four of them combined.

"Hey, Azarael, yea, that's right I know your name. Anyway, if you can beat my guys, I'll let you go and return your energy to you. But if they beat you, you're gonna die, deal?"

Clay gave Azarael a deal, but before that, Azarael was surprised that Clay even knew his name. Just how profound is this man's power? Azarael thought.

"If I win, you'll let me go and have my power back, right?" Azarael sized the guys up and felt confident in ending them quickly. Once he did that, he was confident right away. He readily agreed to Clay's proposal.

"Deal!"

The four men's face paled as they could also feel that the opponent, they had was stronger than them by miles. If earlier, they were dreadful of the other guy because of the energy radiating from him, then now, it should have lessened. However, they found that even with him drained, he was still stronger than the four of them combined. However, at least now, they stood a chance compared to earlier.

"Hey you four troublemakers. Fight him with all you got, or you'll die. If he deals a killing blow to you, I may not be able to save you in time, so you must take note of that. I won't let you die easily, but you may still die regardless. Understood? Now go!"

With Clay's orders. The four of them entered their usual formation. The only difference is that they were fighting a human. Or at least that's how they looked at this guy called Azarael.

Each with a nod, they communicated their intentions and went off to fight Azarael.

Azarael who was trying to grasp his powers again received their attacks without problem.

Isaac attacked with an ice blade connected to his arm created using magic, while Caltec punched out with his Turtle Destruction Wave induced fist techniques. Jon and Mor were waiting for an opportunity to also land attacks.

Isaac's slash was defended well by Azarael using only his arm while his other hand clenched its fist and threw it towards Isaac's body. Before his fist could reach Isaac, Caltec had already launched his own punch towards Azarael's undefended temple. Without fear, Azarael continued his punch and it landed on Isaac's body which resulted in him being blown away into the snow-filled land. Isaac was unmoving for a few seconds before he coughed up blood dyeing the snow on the ground in front of him red.

Caltec's punch to Azarael's temple landed as well and Azarael skidded away while scraping the ground. His standing posture wasn't disturbed. Only that he was blown away by the force of Caltec's punch. After all, he was almost weightless, compared to that punch.

Waiting for him at the position he was blown into was Jon. Jon still felt danger from this man they were facing but he set that aside and faced his fears. He slashed with his all-cutting blade. His slash contained traces of magic energy in it which made it even more deadly.

The slash landed and sliced Azarael in half. There was no blood, only a black smoke that slowly spilled out of the cut halves.

Seeing this, Clay spoke to them, "Oh, I forgot to mention. This guy is a spiritual entity. He may have a physical body, but he is a pure spiritual entity. To make it fair, let me enhance your weapons." Clay snapped his finger and instantly, the weapons they had became dangerous even for Azarael. It may not kill him with just a slash, but it will wound even his spiritual body.

'Just what are you?!' Azarael was indignant. This is just wrong!

Azarael wanted to surprise these guys by letting them put their guards down, but Clay foiled his plan with that one sentence and even empowered his subordinates. How was this fair?!

"I see." Isaac was without weapon and instead relied on his ice magic, but this time, he switched to his other source of power. He summoned the Ice Spirit King saying, "O Spirit of the King of Frost heed my call and lend me your coat of arms."

It wasn't a full summoning as Isaac only borrowed the King's power to coat his own Ice Blade, now it became Spirit Ice Blade. It had the same effect as what Clay enhanced the others' weapons with.

"Good thinking!" Clay gave a thumbs up to Isaac and grinned. He knew that Isaac knew what to do with the information, so he did not provide him a weapon. What he did not know though was when Isaac finally made a contract with the Spirit King of Frost. He was curious but he'll ask about it later.

The rest now also had a chance to fight and damage Azarael as well.

Mor, who was chanting something earlier had now unleashed his attack on the unsuspecting Azarael after that single round earlier. He was feeling left out because everyone forgot about him. His attacks after all were big and needed charging time.

When he did attack, his weapon was already enhanced by Clay, so he did not need to worry about it not damaging if it hit.

Azarael was still cursing Clay inside his mind when he felt the fluctuation of energy above him. It was Mor who put his Turtle Destruction Wave – Slash to the extreme of both speed and magic energy output.

A time ago, he would have shouted out loud before hitting the enemy, alerting it and allowing it to dodge, but Mor seemed to have overcome this childish tendency after some time. Clay approved of it, but he still had to work on his magic energy being detected while he attacks. Surprise attacks lose their effectivity when detected after all.

Slash!

Mor's attack hit the ground and gouged a large portion of the earth. His target was nowhere to be found around the hole he made. Then,

"Watch out!" Jon was the one to warn Mor of the impending attack he was to receive. Hurriedly, he put his perception to the test and found Azarael speedily attacking him with a kick from his left side blind spot.

After all, it was Mor who was taught by Clay to use magic energy to detect other creatures around himself.

Swoosh!

Mor was barely able to dodge the attack and Azarael landed in front of him a few meters away. Without letting up, Azarael turned on his toes and delivered a roundhouse kick to Mor.

Mor certainly was not a training dummy. He circulated magic on his Magic Stick and formed a Tower Shield that covered even his flank, receiving Azarael's kick squarely.

Crash!

The sound of glass breaking resounded just as Azarael's kick contacted the shield Mor conjured resulting in him being blown away towards a few meters before crashing on a dozen of trees and stopping. From the looks of it, he was heavily injured just like how Isaac should have been when he received Azarael's attack.

While Mor was getting blown away, Jon had arrived next to Azarael to attack him. He was supposed to stop Azarael's kick with a counterattack, but he was too late and so his slash came late. When Azarael's kick collided with Mor's shield, he was already in the motion of slashing horizontally towards the neck of Azarael.

When Mor was blown away, Azarael had to defend from Jon's slash hastily with both his arms.

Clang!

The sound of heavy metal on heavy metal resounded as the slash hit and Azarael was also blown away at the opposite direction where Mor was. Azarael was damaged quite considerably owing to the enhancement that Clay gave their armament.

"Hiss!" Azarael could only hiss as the pain he could feel was immense. The searing of the soul is what particularly gave him that sensation of pain. He had never felt pain like this for millennia.

While he was in the air, blown away, Caltec had positioned himself to where Azarael was supposed to land and gathered a finishing blow. He utilized the energy gathering and compression ability of the Turtle Destruction Wave and wore it on his right arm as a giant fist. He can either blast it forward or use its enormous energy to deal internal damage to physical beings.

However, this was a mistake. Azarael was a spiritual entity who could not simply be damaged by physical attacks. Caltec's attack well thought off as a follow up attack, however, as an attack in general it was a failure on his part to remember that their quarry was not something he could hurt physically.

It was even a subject for debate at this point if they were the quarry or the other way around.

Caltec blasted Azarael with the ultimate move he charged. At first, Azarael was a bit apprehensive as to what would happen if that fist was to collide with his face, however, when he saw the magic energy that ballooned covering Caltec's fist, he was relieved.

After being blasted away from Caltec using the momentum of the blast, Azarael found himself in mid-air, he was flying. Supernaturally, it was a simple feat to fly. However, the four of them were unable to do this just yet. This was their disadvantage when facing foes who could take to the skies.

They could leap to great heights, however, as gravity dictates, they needed to fall.

"Dammit! We still can't fly. We won't be able to catch him in mid-air."

"Yeah, our attacks would only be evaded there."

At this point, they could only look towards Clay for guidance. They had gathered to regroup after Caltec's attack failed to finish the job. Even as the terrain was devastated because of that huge energy blast.

Clay seeing this action of theirs could only chuckle.

"What are you guys looking at me for? This is your fight. If you can't beat him, I'll allow him to go back to where he came from. But if you can finish him then that's it. Just say if you're unable and we'll finish up here. We still have a party to resume." Clay was not in the mood to play with Azarael. He was too weak for Clay and he was too strong for his current subordinates' strength.

"We are unable to fight hi when he is in the air, Sire. We are still greatly lacking."

"Exactly! That's why your training will be more intense when we get back. So, ready yourselves.

"As for you, Azarael, go back to the demon realm and maybe train or whatever. Don't even dare to visit other realms before you think you're strong enough, or I will personally end you. And tell the Demon Leaders there to visit me within a year. If they don't respond or if you don't tell them, it's you who I will visit for both accounts. You understand?

"Now, Go!" Clay was not forgiving nor lenient this time. There was a reason why he let the Demon Azarael go for now. One, he could use the bastard as training dummy for his subordinates, two, he could use his memories to extract the coordinates of Hell and make a visit there himself later.

Whatever else form of use he can serve; Clay would have to think about more later.

With a bit of hesitation, Azarael flew away into the direction of the Demon Realm and even tested Clay's influence by swerving towards the Dragonkin Territory, however, Clay had the entire planet under his watch the moment he found out that other races may have summoned heroes after Azarael showed up.

And that tiny movement of Azarael, netted him a light beam that came out of nowhere and struck his head. Fortunately, it was merely a warning shot, if not, he knew that he'd have died without knowing how. So, he continued his way to tell the demons of this world, what Clay had told him to do. His hatred and anger could easily be understood.

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