Chapter 239: Alone But Not Lonely
The players ended up being mere spectators . Meanwhile, Mamon let out a burst of laughter as he witnessed Clute’s foolish actions .
“Kiekkiekkiek . You truly are a stupid dimwit! Each golem can learn only three runes, and you have already shown me all of yours! The first is for acceleration, the second is for creating a domain, and the last one is for human transformation . That means you don’t have anything new in your bag of tricks anymore . ”
Through Asmodeus’ Hidden Gift, Mamon recognized the limitation of Rune Magic . His knowledge of Rune Magic even rivaled Sebastian’s . He was well aware that if he only put a tiny scratch on the rune on the ground, the magic domain surrounding them would collapse .
Clute’s mind didn’t waver from Mamon’s remarks . His sad and gloomy eyes focused on Mamon without blinking . He had waited a very long time for this moment, when he would avenge his friends . It had been so long that he had forgotten his past . Now that his eternal enemy—who he must kill at any cost—had appeared in front of him, Clute refused to lift his gaze from the source of his predicament .
He was well aware of Mamon’s fighting style: Insulting the opponent with words, stalling for time in order to secretly prepare tricks .
He was wholly aware of Mamon’s fighting style through the cruelest method—witnessing his friends dying one by one by Mamon’s hands . Even though he braced himself and used his body to protect his comrades, every attack passed through him as if he was non-existent . He couldn’t even hold his dying friends; such a simple right was robbed from him by the Demon of Greed .
It could be said that Clute was the only eyewitness who survived despite witnessing Mamon’s fight up close .
“Raidho (Ride) . ”
The rune of acceleration suddenly appeared on Clute’s leg and shone . He wouldn’t allow Mamon to stall for time . His body moved and vanished before reappearing instantly behind Mamon .
The rune Mannaz (Mankind) enabled Clute to use Rune Magic through voice command instead of having to write the letter down . It helped him use Rune Magic, which was supposed to be classified as a ritual-based magic, in an actual fight .
Rather than feeling panicked, Mamon grinned . The back of his clothing was ripped apart as four mechanical spider legs were deployed from his back . The final joint of each leg projected a laser, counterattacking without Mamon having to look .
A laser blade was a sharp and powerful weapon, especially when its lethality was sublimated by Mamon’s psychic power that could strengthen items . The four laser blades could become blades capable of cutting through almost anything .
The Mamon of today was different from his old self that had to rely on his underlings and tricks to win against his foes . He now possessed a strong constitution .
Clute poured his magic power into two Raidho (Ride) characters that he had prepared in advance by engraving them on his hands . Both of them moved at extreme speed and neatly parried Mamon’s counterattack .
Usually, to unleash spells, a spell user had to expend their magic power as they think about using a certain spell and the chants would emerge in their mind . Upon successfully completing the chants, the spell would show its result .
However, Rune Magic had a unique system, making it different from most magic spells . The process was performed in reverse . Instead of expending their magic power first, the user could write or engrave a letter in advance without activating the spell . Then, they just simply inject the required amount of magic power into the rune once they want to use the spell .
Thus, if the user prepared the letter in advance, they would be able to activate it instantly .
Clute’s kick—which was strengthened by magic power—fiercely hit Mamon’s back . As Clute was a magic-user who specialized in close combat through enhancing his speed and strength with his enormous magic power reinforcement, each of his attacks was absurdly powerful . Although Mamon generated psychic armor to protect himself, the kick still sent him flying several meters away .
Mamon rotated his body and plunged his Spider Blades into the snowfield to regain his footing . Four lines were added on the ground as Mamon’s stance was similar to a frog’s . His purple eyes looked out for Clute but he couldn’t find him .
In the next moment, Belphegor’s Hidden Gift, Secluded Space—which Mamon always relied on—showed its effect . Its ability rendered every attack useless as long as the user didn’t sense it coming .
Clute’s foot missed Mamon’s body by less than an inch . It stomped on the snowfield yet no crack nor footprint could be seen on the ground . Still, everyone standing could feel the earth shake . It seemed Clute could masterfully control his strength . His attack only affected his target without harming the surroundings .
It was natural . The first precaution that all users of Rune Magic kept in mind was to be careful, preventing their attack from damaging the rune . As a result, Clute could perfectly control his power not to damage anything aside from his target .
Sila started to know why Clute was feared as the White Giant .
Clute’s attack was so powerful that every one of his moves wasn’t inferior to Genesis Punch .
Mamon’s eyes expressed his rage . He couldn’t dump bad Hidden Gifts onto Clute during battle . Usually, he tended to spend time exchanging words with his opponents since that was the condition for him to transmit Hidden Gifts to others .
In any case, there was another way for him to force Hidden Gifts into his target . It was through direct contact .
Still, Mamon was concerned about whether Clute was aware of this fact . All of Clute’s attacks were so strong that Mamon would receive terrible damage if he was hit by just one of them .
It seemed he had to get serious for the first time after being freed from the card .
Mamon possessed numerous Hidden Gifts . However, the ultimate Hidden Gifts he held dearly were Hidden Gifts from Seven Deadly Sins . They were the symbols that boasted of his ability that could even steal the Hidden Gifts from the other Deadly Sins .
“You will regret making me get serious,” Mamon declared as his body sunk into his shadow and reappeared behind Clute .
Mamon shot several strings at Clute . After that, twenty or so grenades flew along the strings and tightly attached themselves to Clute .
“Kiekkiek . You can’t possibly remove them . And they will explode in . . . Y-You . . . !!” Mamon’s couldn’t finish his sentence as he saw Clute rushing at him instead of bothering with the grenades .
The flash of the explosions covered Clute’s body . The combined explosion was especially powerful since it came from Mamon’s special bombs that were enhanced by his psychic power . The force of the explosion couldn’t exit the domain, so it generated a chain reaction . The domineering power kept rebounding inside until the rune on the ground was damaged and the domain vanished .
A giant cloud of smoke emerged with Mamon standing inside it . He was completely uninjured as he had protected himself with Beelzebub’s Hidden Gift, Universe Boundary, which made the user receive no damage from their own attacks .
Mamon puffed his chest up as he let out a disgusting laugh .
“Kiekkiekkiek . He finally died . That was satisfying . Let’s head back . ” Mamon turned his back and headed to where Sila was . However, nobody aside from him made any move .
Without any warning, a certain left hand flew out from the cloud of smoke and grabbed onto Mamon’s neck . Soon, a snowy wind fluttered and blew the smoke away, revealing Clute who was lifting Mamon up from the ground .
Mamon’s weakness was that he underestimated his opponents too much . He wasn’t a direct combat type, so his ability to sense presences was lacking compared to other experts . On the other hand, everyone else had been aware that Clute was still alive .
Otherwise, the title White Giant wouldn’t be so fearful in Belacia City .
“Cough, cough . H-How can you still be alive . . . without a single injury at that?! There was no way you could protect yourself against that explosion . You should have been on the verge of death even if you spent all of your magic power reinforcing your body!” Mamon tightly grabbed onto Clute’s wrist .
“I’m not fighting alone . The power I got from my friends creates infinite possibilities,” replied Clute .
“The hell are you on about?! Fool! You have made a mistake by letting me touch you directly!” Mamon forcefully granted Clute some of the devastating Hidden Gifts in his possession .
However, he was one step too late . Clute had already prepared a countermeasure .
“Tiwaz (The God, Tyr) . ”
A letter, similar to an arrow pointing upward, appeared in the center of Clute’s back . This rune was a warrior rune named after the God Tyr, who is the Northern god of law and justice . Tiwaz brought about a correct balancing of the scales, preventing disruption of balance due to chaos in the environment . Mamon’s abilities couldn’t work on someone under the rune’s protection .
“What the heck . . . ?! A fourth rune? Aren't you supposed to have only three?” Mamon was shocked and confused .
Clute slowly pulled his fist back . On the back of his hand appeared yet another rune representing vigor and strength .
“Uruz (Aurochs) . ”
Clute’s punch, which originally couldn’t be taken lightly, doubled in strength .
Everyone jumped at the two but they were too late . A powerful punch bumped into Mamon’s body . The sounds of psychic armor and a metal body breaking and cracking was terrifyingly loud .
Mamon’s body was sent flying away . No one knew whether he was alive or dead . Nevertheless, Clute wouldn’t allow his eternal enemy to be free .
“Othala (Homeland) . ”
Again, everyone except Mamon was bounced off the manifested domain . Rune Magic was indeed fraudulent . Each of the runes possessed tyrannical might . That was exactly why the user could learn only three of them and was forbidden from learning other kinds of magic . Otherwise, they would be too strong .
With continuous usage of magic, Clute’s magic power was draining quickly . The rune Tiwaz (The God, Tyr) was disappearing from his back and was replaced by a rune with the appearance of a trident . It represented protection and spiritual force .
“Algiz (Elk) . ”
Clute’s magic power recovered at an astonishing rate . Sila swallowed his saliva . He finally came to understand why the White Giant was a monster that even the citizens of Belacia City could only manage to stall .
“Kiekkiekkiek!” Mamon laughed as he brought his tattered body up from the ground, limping . Many mechanical parts on his body fell off . Mamon knew his level and rank would fall down due to the missing parts as soon as he deactivated Lucifer’s Hidden Gift .
He emitted a fearsome aura using Satan’s Hidden Gift, causing the players to feel restless, yet Clute’s determination was firm as he looked straight into Mamon’s eyes which were filled with madness .
“What a pretentious bastard . . . You said you loved your comrades and blabbered on . However, the fact is you and I are alike . ”
“We have nothing in common,” replied Clute .
“Snort! The reason you can use more than three runes is because you stole them! From those who you said you loved dearly!”
“That’s not it . Everyone gave them to me . ”
In fact, Clute originally only had three runes . However, one of them was Gebo (Gift), which represented giving and taking .
In their dying moments, Clute’s friends gave their runes to him through this exact rune . As a result, Clute was the first, only, and last ancient golem to be capable of using every letter of Rune Magic .
“Gave them to you? What a funny remark! They are not something people give away for free! Snatching and robbing precious things from others is our true calling, Clute! Or you are going to tell me that the Bison King willingly gave its fur to you as well?”
Mamon pointed at Clute’s cape, which clearly showed signs of being ripped from the body of the original owner .
“N-N-No, that’s not it . I suddenly came to this world out of nowhere and that wild ox attacked me first . I had to protect myself . It was self-defense . . . ”
“Self-defense? Given your strength, you could easily spare its life . However, you still chose to kill it . Am I right? You chose to rob its life! You chose to fiendishly and ruthlessly rip its skin off its flesh!! Kiekkiekkiek . Respect . . . You have my respect! Maybe I should follow your example . Kiekkiekkiek!”
Tears welled up in Clute’s eyes . His body shrank and his appearance returned to a pitiful boy . He couldn’t win against Mamon’s argument at all . It was true that he could have chosen to spare the Bison King’s life given the difference in strength . However, at that time, everything had happened so fast . He came to the New World and appeared in some other monster’s territory . He was lonely and afraid . Suddenly, he was under attack, so he lost control of his strength and killed his opponent .
After everything had calmed down, he ripped the Bison King’s skin off and covered himself with it . It wasn’t there for protecting him from cold but for keeping him from experiencing loneliness .
Once the Bison King had died, its territory’s ownership got transferred to Clute, and he had been protecting it ever since . It was because of him that Belacia City—which existed in the middle of many monster dens—was under a few attacks per day . Without him, the frequency of monster raids would have been much higher . Sadly, his heroic actions had never been recognized or appreciated .
Mamon floated up from the ground . He grinned as he had successfully broken Clute’s fighting spirit . It wasn’t strange at all that the common strategy against Mamon was to avoid chatting with him . Even though his combat strength was lower than Clute’s, his verbal skills were above and beyond .
A purple crystal embedded in Mamon’s chest shone a dark light . A pair of devil horns protruded from his head . It showed that Mamon was exerting his full strength for the sake of taking down the dangerous foe in front of him .
Mamon activated Envious Shadow and teleported himself behind the depressed, small Clute . His laser blade in his hand emitted a mysterious purple glow . This blade was clad with the entirety of Mamon’s remaining psychic power . It would surely cleave Clute, who was losing himself, in half .
“Die!!” Mamon roared as his victorious grin surfaced .
Clute was shocked that he was under attack . However, he wasn’t using Mannaz (Mankind) right now, so he couldn’t use his Rune Magic fast enough to protect himself . All he could do was clad himself with magic power reinforcement . Unfortunately, it was a useless move since Mamon’s laser weapon could penetrate energy reinforcement .
Mamon was hit by an invisible force and rolled down on the ground . He lifted himself up but the same psychic power pinned him down on the snowfield . Both Clute and Mamon turned to look at the one who intervened .
Mamon roared, his eyes were filled with rage, “What are you doing, you stupid bird girl?!”
Lookhin nonchalantly tossed a snack into her mouth . “Your laugh . Ugly . ”
“Grrrr!! Die! Both of you . . . !” That was all Mamon could say before Sila finally sealed him inside his armor .
Sila sighed . “And here I thought his personality had gotten better . As it turns out, he is still the same as ever . ”
Clute stared at Sila . His eyes were gloomy . “Mammon has become a human’s pet? Are you Mammon’s master?”
“Yes, he is with me . I really apologize for Mamon’s behavior . Erm . . . Actually, saying sorry won’t be enough . He has done so much to hurt you . . . ”
“That’s what Mammon has to take responsibility for, not you . And . . . you are . . . ?” Clute turned to Lookhin .
Lookhin wiped her mouth using her sleeve as she curtly stated her name, “Lookhin . ”
“Thank you for your help . ”
The rune Raidho (Ride) and Mannaz (Mankind) shone as Clute suddenly appeared next to Lookhin . He lifted her right hand up and kissed it on the back .
“Kenaz (Torch) . ”
A small rune gently materialized on the back of Lookhin’s hand before she knew it .
“A favor exists to be returned . . . If you face any problem, just call, and I will come to help . . . ” Clute became a boy once again as he walked to the cape he had dropped before donning it . “ . . . Please tell Mammon that this time is my loss . I won’t let the same thing happen next time . ”
Sila took a liking to Clute’s character . In the previous battle, no one could bring themselves to wholeheartedly declare Mamon as the victor . Despite that, Clute didn’t mind Mamon’s cheap trick and willingly accepted his defeat . Suddenly, the small body seemed to have belonged to a great man in everyone’s eyes .
“Ten minutes have passed . A group of monsters up ahead has already gone by . . . I was here to prevent people from encountering them . . . I will have to go . There is someone inside the Ten-Thousand-Year-Old Castle . I have to help him . ”
The back of the small figure became fainter as Clute walked away by himself, heading into a snowstorm . Those who saw his back felt that there were far too many responsibilities resting on his shoulders .
Coming to know the White Giant’s hardships, Fallun and his colleagues were speechless . They had never tried talking to the White Giant before . Seeing him, people only engaged in battle or fled on sight . Unbeknownst to them, the White Giant’s only intention was to block their path and prevent them from needlessly encountering a group of monsters .
Sila made a silent promise to himself that he wouldn’t leave things as they were . He had to do something about it .