11 Chapter 11 - Autarch Of Red

Chapter 11: Autarch Of Red

https://discord.gg/yFMYSWxaUY - Join the discord.

Sorry for the wait, I've barely got a week until I graduate high-school so life has been pretty hectic.


"Fuck" I couldn't help but curse as I winced in pain, the process of the wound closing was even more excruciating than the attack itself.

Fortunately - since my physique as a Devil is fairly advanced I've obtained a mild degree of regenerative prowess, but it's nothing in comparison to the Phenex Clan.

['You were overconfident, this could have been avoided had you prevented your ego from getting the better of you'.]

I don't need you to tell me that, how severe is my injury?

['Your bicep has torn and you've dislocated your shoulder, your wounds will mend eventually - but that arm's going to be out of commission for the time-being'.]

Great, just great.

The only up-side I'm seeing here is that I'm not left-handed, I'll have to either limit my fighting style or look for something 'out-of-the-box', whatever that means, the combo-attacks that Fujita taught me have been rendered useless - all because of that accursed [Knight].

I've committed her face to memory, should I ever meet her under different circumstances, I'll see to it that her death is a long and painful one.

But right now I have more pressing matters to attend too.

My senses encompassed the field, about thirty meters from where I stood Akeno was engaged in a dog-fight against Riser's [Queen], and although I couldn't see exactly what was happening further beyond - the domineering presences I picked up on lead me to believe Gremory-san and Riser himself had engaged in combat.

[Rias-sama's [Knight] has retired]

Don't tell me.

"Which one was it?" For the love of Maou, let it be the pervert that retired.

"It was Kiba!" Issei's panicked voice reached me through the transceiver.

Lovely, now I'm going to have an even tougher time against Riser, save for my decommissioned arm.

"I'm coming over" If Kiba can't help me then you'll have to do - but once this match's over the both of you will have hell to pay.

I manifested my wings and took to the skies, eventually coming across the gym that had its roof completely blown away.

A worn and torn Issei alongside seven other figures stood below, so that's what those unused pieces at the start were for, interesting - they collaboratively took hold of the center.

As individuals they're quite weak, but their chemistry must be phenomenal since they took out someone like Kiba.

Issei's opponents seemed unable to detect my presence, I guess they aren't the most of talented of individuals.

Might as well use this as a learning opportunity, he's survived this much - I'm sure he can do a little more.

I tapped the transceiver fastened to my ear.

"Pretend like you're out of stamina"

"Endo-san? Is that you?" His voice was weak and void of its usual vigor.

"Just do it, or have you already forgotten rule one?"

To my surprise, instead of continuing to question me he let his head hang and fell on one-knee, I guess that brief training-session wasn't for nothing.

They all seemed convinced he no longer had any gas in the tank, all of them came rushing towards Issei in an effort to finish him off, time to educate them on the price of overconfidence.

"Turn the surface around you into ice within a two meter radius, once they lose their footing, use your spikes and impale them - just like you showed me during the retreat"

I'm not expecting much here, I'm more than aware that someone like him doesn't have the capacity to kill.

What a shame, truly.

Despite our distance, I could feel the hesitation radiating off him - disappointing, he'll be of no use against Riser with such a weak resolve, I turned around and prepared to assist Akeno.

That is, until an announcement stopped me in my tracks.

[Three of Riser-sama's [Pawns] have retired]

Ah, I seem to have a habit of judging people incorrectly.

Looking back with a grin plastered on my face, three individuals slowly faded into a translucent light as their bodies were glued to spikes of ice, though there were still four remaining.

This wouldn't have worked if the battle had only just started, but since they had no reason to doubt that Issei was out of stamina, it did.

As a reward for your obedience, I suppose I can dispose of the rest for you.

I landed in front of the tattered [Knight], grasping the attention of his aggressors in an instant.

Though something was off about the terrain, there were burn marks all over the place yet I haven't seen a single one of these ants use any form of [Fire], it's not as if they have any reason to hold back considering Issei's using ice manipulation.

"What happened to Kiba?" Come to think of it, how did Issei last longer than the blondie?

"I'm not sure, Akeno-senpai was fighting Riser's [Queen] when all of a sudden the latter's injuries seemed to vanish, as a matter of fact she looked better than ever, Akeno-senpai was still battered so she couldn't stop her from sending one of her blasts towards Kiba"

She must have used a Phoenix Tear, hopefully she only had one of those up her sleeve.

I guess it makes sense that Kiba retired before Issei, obviously she would target the greater threat - but since she hasn't sent another attack to get rid of Issei, she's either placed too much faith in these wastes of flesh or Akeno's really going all out to hold her back.

Should the latter be true, she probably doesn't have a lot of time left before she falls.

All things considered, it's not looking good for us - but first things first.

"I assume the rest of you are [Pawns] as well? Lay down your arms and I'll permit you to retire painlessly" I'm giving them a pretty good deal, but they don't seem like the self-preserving types to me.

"Do people really think that line works? I didn't take the Sekiryūtei for a chuunibyou" Very well.

The four of them came rushing at me with what little strength they had left. I may only have fifty percent of my upper-body in working condition, but the same can't be said for my lower-half.


One kick, nothing fancy - just brute strength.

[Four of Riser-sama's [Pawns] have retired]

"As for you, stay here and heal, if I deem you useful against Riser I will call you, until then - you need to recover as much stamina as possible" I knew he wanted to retort, but he ultimately nodded his head and sat down.

"Oh, and by the way" I could tell he still felt conflicted over impaling those nobodies - made obvious by the single tear rolling down his cheek, I guess I should do something to ease his worries.

I tapped his forehead with two fingers and spoke with a soothing voice, like a parent trying to comfort their child.

"Remember Issei, they aren't really dead, though there will come a time where you have to kill your foe for real - today is not that day"

He slowly lifted his head and his eyes conveyed clear disbelief, which was warranted considering I'm not one for honey-glazed words.

"Hold your head high, you have proven to me that when that day comes you will be ready - and for that I am proud of you"

He didn't show it verbally, but his face was telling me that his resolve had hardened - teaching you might not have been a waste after all.

"Good lad" I took off in pursuit of Akeno and Riser's [Queen] - let's hope that this doesn't take too long.




The momentary silence in the air was suddenly interrupted by the trashing of thunderbolts reigning from above - though they didn't seem to resound with the intensity I had once witnessed.

That could only mean Akeno's strength is beginning to falter, I picked up my speed in hopes of arriving before she retired, her efforts would be requisite in order to put an end to Riser.

Eventually a voice with a mix of arrogance and haughtiness became audible.

"You fought valiantly for your master, but I'm afraid none of you were a match for Riser-sama to begin with, I pity you - truly" From what I could see, it was obvious who was winning.

In a desperate effort to hang on, Akeno wearily conjured another bolt of [Lightning] and prepared to meet Yubelluna's attack head-on.

"Don't bother" I got through to her via the transceiver, before their attacks clashed, I grabbed Akeno by the shoulders and dragged her aside out of harm's way.

['She's not looking good'.]

No kidding, her clothes were torn and sections of her skin were singed, fucking Phenex Clan and their accursed Tears.

Against Riser, I intended to have the others support my close-quarters proficiency with their ranged capabilities, but I guess that isn't happening.

Taking the state of our peerage into account, I could no longer see any path towards victory void of sacrifice - I should have taken that into account the minute this match started, inexperience truly is rather troublesome.

Oh well, if I lose a few limbs I'll just get the Gremory's to fix them for me, unless Argento can regrow them already.

"Go support Gremory-san, once I'm done here I'll rendezvous with the two of you and slay the Phoenix" In this case 'support' means act as a meat-shield and buy more time, if the [King] falls than all my efforts would have been for nothing.

Even though I do feel slightly guilty for sending her off like this, it's Gremory-san's job to be the caring one, not mine.

"Are you sure?" As if you're in any condition to be worrying about my safety.

"Now isn't the time for doubts, get going already" Unfortunately Riser's [Queen] didn't try to chase after Akeno in a mad-dash to finish her off, shame, I could have taken advantage of that.

"Hoh, I didn't take you for the prince-charming type, going out of your way to protect your woman like that" If only you knew.

"You have no idea how grave that misunderstanding is" The time for meaningless chatter had passed, an influx of flames came hauling towards me - they were rampant and burned with a glaring intensity.

But I wasn't worried in the slightest, [Fire] is meaningless in my pressence.

[Suirō-no-Hōkō] - her flames ended up being overpowered thanks to the elemental advantage, but my attack didn't end there.

I continued to use the force of the Dragon to send her spiraling towards the surface, in response she conjured some sort of barrier to cushion her fall.

Nevertheless - I had moved the fight onto the ground where I had solid footing, seizing the advantage via my superior melee capabilities.

"Hmph, I already know what you're planning - but you can't fight at full-strength with that arm of yours can you?" Unimportant, as long as I'm alive I can continue, that's all that matters.

She waved her staff and four concentrated spheres of [Demonic Power] came catapulting towards me.

['Careful Partner, you've been maintaining twelve [Boosts] for a while now, I'd advise against taking unnecessary damage'.]

I'm aware.

I rolled out of the way dodging one of the blasts - however there were still three more en route, I refused to halt my sprint as I couldn't allow her take to the skies once more, forcing her down again would cost [Demonic Power] I couldn't afford to lose before fighting Riser.

Two of the explosions occurred near me and even though they were not direct-hits, I could feel fragments of debris sink their way into my skin - but I had to continue regardless of how gut-wrenching the sensation was.

The final blast was coming from behind me, and though I was merely a few studs away from her - my instincts warned me that I'd be hit before I made it.

So I devised a plan, a very foolhardy, but very efficient plan - one that involved getting rid of some dead weight.

I expelled a chunk of draconic energy into my surroundings in order to pinpoint where exactly the blast would land, after doing so - I turned around and forcefully held out my left palm.


My arm plopped onto the ground, leaving only the sight of exposed flesh in its wake - regardless, it had served its purpose through absorbing all the damage from the brunt of the explosion.

However I was uncertain as to whether I'd be getting it back any time soon, I had just taken the concept of there being no victory without sacrifice to an extreme.

['You really are insane, I love it'.]

Stamina is more valuable to me than a good-for-nothing arm right now, and I've still got my other.

The adrenaline coursing through my veins allowed me to remain focused, the force of the explosion catapulted me forwards - to which I balled my fist and aimed it at her forehead.


I could feel the bone and cartilage of her skull shatter and tear, even if she's gifted in terms of magic, her physical parameters can't hold a candle to mine.

"...Lunatic…" She muttered before fading into nothingness.

[Riser-sama's [Queen] has retired]

Obviously my arm could not regrow on its own, but the exposed flesh managed to cauterize on its own and prevent further blood loss.


Ten days really wasn't enough, but I've made it this far - I don't intend to stop now.

I had no desire to waste time, I got up and was about to join the effort to finish off Riser until I was stopped in my tracks, without warning, a mind-numbing degree of pain had invaded my body.

I felt as if I had been frozen stiff, my muscles began to convulse and I fell to both knees, hurling a large volume of blood from my mouth, the damage I had endured since the beginning of the [Rating Game] had accumulated.

Fuck, why now of all times?

I had no choice but to buy more time, I tapped my transceiver and relayed my next set of orders.

"Issei, go help Gremory-san - I'll catch up with you eventually" Maybe fate will look upon me favorably and they'll deal with Riser by themselves.

Hah, who am I kidding? For all their potential neither Gremory-san or Akeno train nearly as much as they should.

I let out a self-deprecating chuckle, musing my current predicament.

What use is talent if you let it all be put to waste?

Rias POV

"Rias, I suggest you put at end to this meaningless farce - no matter how many more servants of yours come to your aid, it won't make a difference" His voice disgusts me, no matter how many times I strike him he simply revives and shrugs my attacks off like they're passing wind.

Asia was supporting me from the back, and thankfully Akeno had come to act as a guard for her, enabling me to focus solely on assaulting this scum of a man.

However her condition wasn't looking good - I'm unsure as to what exactly occurred between her and Risers' [Queen] but it certainly wasn't in her favor.

"I'd rather die here than have to spend even a moment in your grasp" He held his palm out seemingly preparing to launch an attack, truthfully I'm not sure how many more of these I can endure.

"Oh believe me, I'd be delighted to have you die here, this whole marriage was your family's idea in the first place after all" A wave of all-engulfing flames came hurling towards me, the sheer intensity of them gave me goosebumps, but I had to persevere.


Suddenly a wall of ice divided me and Riser, though it was quickly beginning to melt away.

"Your [Knight] in shining armor has arrived" The haughty voice of my precious Kouhai was like music to my ears, but having Endo-san here would be even better.

"You think this pathetic excuse for defense is enough to handle my flames? Rias, you really should have picked better subordinates" The wall that Issei had created was reduced to merely a puddle of cold liquid.

"Issei, where's Endo-san?" Where's a Heavenly Dragon when you need one?

"He said he would join us eventually, I'm pretty sure he sent me here in order to buy more time" He better hurry up then, as much as I hate to admit it there's no way to beat Riser without his strength.

"Alright, then we'll do just that - let's just keep it simple and continue keeping Riser's flames at bay, the more of his [Demonic Power] we drain the easier it will be for Endo" Talk about blind-faith.