710 A simple choice
Eisen and Satel continued to fight. Specifically, right now Eisen was fighting against the Monsters that Satel summoned by using another one of the 'Runes of the Nine Circles', the one for Violence.
These enemies were rather similar in nature to the first monster that Eisen fought in that circle. They were just rushing at Eisen without a moment's hesitation, not caring for their own well-being if it just meant that they were able to injure Eisen even a little bit.
Of course, enemies like that were easily dealt with, the only issue was the mass, together with the fact that they came jumping out of the styx-sludge. Eisen was unable to see them at all before they came out of that disgusting liquid of pure, rotting death, and due to the sheer number of them, they were able to actually get a few good hits on Eisen.
Not to mention that those really, really hurt because the monsters ended up pushing styx-sludge into the wound. They didn't do much damage though, at least, so Eisen would be fine at the end of the day.
But just like this, Satel was able to keep Eisen distracted for long enough until they were able to cast the next spell.
"Runes of the Nine Circles, Fraud!" The dark red, glowing runes that were written into the air dissipated just like they did before, just that Eisen this time felt something like a slight tingling in his nose as an unexpectedly pleasant scent entered his awareness. For a while now, everything smelled just horrible because of the styx-sludge, but probably due to the spell that Satel cast, something else happened to Eisen. The bad smell disappeared.
"You've got to be fucking with me..." Satel grumbled with a horrible, monstrous voice, "What a waste! Not money, not sex, not power, but a 'pleasant smell'?! Are you shitting me? How can you want nothing else, you complete-"
"I do want something else, but that's not something you can give me. That's probably why, instead, you got rid of this horrible smell for me. Thanks." The old man interrupted the Devil, with a broad grin on his face.
Satel looked back at the smug old man with a deep glare, "Fine! The next spell is going to be the last one anyway! There's no need for me to be careful anymore!"
The Devil jumped right toward Eisen after being angered like that, fighting together with the monsters that they summoned before. Of course, that was a rather idiotic decision. Eisen and Satel had already established that Eisen was stronger than Satel even now, while they were in this monstrous form, but for some reason they got cocky enough to attack Eisen anyway.
Something... was off. Satel wasn't dumb enough for something like that. Or maybe, the transformation made them a bit dumber as well. That was the only explanation that he had, at least.
The old man ground his teeth while staring Satel into their blood red eyes that just seemed to glow compared to their pure white skin that Eisen was cutting through more and more. And then, the cooldown was over.
Satel was able to cast the next spell. But for some reason, they didn't. They just kept on fighting Eisen, "What do you think you're doing?" Eisen asked with a growl-like voice, "Don't tell me you're not taking me seriously anymore." The old man grumbled, and Satel glared back with heavy breathing as they took a step back, letting the other monsters hold off Eisen for a while as they tried to get their thoughts together.
"Hah, I just wanted to have a little bit more fun before killing you. That's all, you know?" The Devil replied bluntly. At this point, Eisen realized something else. Maybe Satel didn't actually want to kill Eisen, but was just forced to do so because they were nothing but a Devil working under the Gods of the Underworld.
The old man looked back at Satel and stopped approaching them for a moment, even ignoring the monsters that were still attacking him, "Satel, cast the fucking spell so that we can get this over with. After I defend against this trump card of yours, I'll make it obvious that you have no chance to beat me." Eisen said bluntly, and Satel stared back at him for a few more moments.
"Fine... If that's what you really want." Satel muttered quietly, "I never even had to use this one... I was never allowed to. But it's an attack that rips apart your body from the inside, without you being able to do anything against it."
"Let's see about that." Eisen said bluntly. He doubted that it would be anything that he couldn't fight back at least a little bit, so he was preparing for anything that might happen at any point.
He continued fighting off the monsters as Satel started to cast the spell, writing the runes into the air. A few moments later, they tapped the center of the runes with shaking hands, before glaring back at Eisen, "Well, at least you can try again next time." They said with a nervous smile on their face, although now it was obvious that they really didn't want to kill Eisen after all. The concept of true immortality was seemingly hard for even a Devil to grasp fully.
And then, with one fell swoop, Eisen noticed a rumble. But it wasn't coming from within himself, it came from underground. He turned his head, seeing the styx-sludge slowly disappear as if being drained somewhere. The maze of ice slowly dropped down to become part of Cocytus again. Even the tower that Eisen and Satel were standing on lowered itself again as the flames around it faded away together with the monsters that Satel summoned.
And of course, Satel themselves also turned back into their normal form. In the distance, Eisen could see the rock-golem he created from the giant boulder crumble away into nothingness, making the golem core drop to the ground and shatter into unretrievable pieces that fell into the cracks in the ground as it closed back up.
"Wh-What is going on...?" The Guide-Devil muttered confusedly, and Eisen turned toward them to see their shock-filled expression as they fell to their knees, "Th-This wasn't supposed to happen."
Eisen looked back at Satel with a light frown, unsure what exactly was going on for a short while. But when finally chains of ice shot out from the frozen lake Cocytus just to end up enveloping Satel in them, there was little that Eisen had to guess anymore.
This time, the spell was of course that of the ninth circle, treachery. However, instead of being something that would inevitably kill Eisen, it was something that betrayed the user, Satel. It did make a bit of sense... Eisen had already been betrayed here in this realm.
And then, Eisen heard loud claps from behind him that seemed to echo through this infinitely open field of ice, "Well, well, well, you did amazingly until now. You got through all that with only a few scratches here and there. And clearly, you didn't fall for that little lie that I told to this Guide, which cannot be said for this one..."
Eisen turned his head around and looked at the figure that stood there. It was a man clothed in a large cloak covering his whole body, even the inside of the hood was something that Eisen couldn't see. It was as if there was a veil of black mist covering the face of the God of the ninth circle, Treachery.
"What's going on here?" Eisen asked confused, and the God replied with a laughing voice, "What else would be going on? I'm here to watch you complete this last trial of yours. Or do you want to chicken out last second?" They asked, and Eisen glared at him angrily.
"You still want me to kill Satel? Even though they're already incapacitated like that?" Eisen asked.
"Of course I do... That's the trial that I gave you, remember? You can't just pass without doing something like this. And come on, it's not the first time that you've killed others. You literally destroyed a handful of ancient kingdoms in the past. And I'm not even joking, we have some of those guys down here with us." Treachery explained, although Eisen wasn't sure if he should really trust this God's words. After all, they were literally the pure incarnation of Treachery. There was no way that they would only tell the truth and nothing else.
"B-But I did everything right, why are you doing this to me?!" Satel interrupted Eisen's thoughts, and Treachery bluntly nodded their heads, "Of course you did everything right. And now you have to die, like a good little Devil. This is what you were created for in the first place, child. It is what those before you have been created for, and it is what those after you will be created for. To die at the hands of the worthy ones here in this realm." The God explained.
"Although..." He muttered quietly, "It's not like I could just send you back, acting like normal after this even if he doesn't choose to kill you... So if Eisen doesn't, then I guess I will have to kill you. Or maybe I'll send you to Limbo for him to have a little fun before then, not that I really care.���
"Treachery." Eisen said in a calm tone of voice, before the God turned his head toward the old man, "Yes?"
"Be quiet." The old man said in a tone that would force most people into submission due to his 'Royal Authority' as well as the simple passive boosts of his charisma through his Demonic Title. Treachery, on the other hand, just seemed to have fun like this.
"Ah... I really love it when you speak to me like that... But let's stop flirting now, and get this over with. I would like to 'catch up', if you know what I mean." With a weirdly melodic voice, the God placed his hand onto Eisen's shoulder, and the old man realized that he really didn't have any proper choice at this point... If he wanted to proceed, he had to kill Satel.
Treachery was unaffected by his charisma, and he didn't seem like the kind of being to care for a Devil's life.
So now, Eisen had to make a different choice. Did he want to give up everything that he had done so far, and everything that he needed to do in the future that required his full Demonic Title just to get this Devil to keep living for a little longer? Or did he want to get it over with and sacrifice Satel for his own good?
The choice was a surprisingly easy one. Eisen wasn't even able to finish the second choice in his own mind before cutting through Satel's neck, causing their head to slide over the ground for a bit.
Sure, it made the old man feel hollow and disgusting to kill someone that he actually could see himself being friends with, but... He couldn't do anything but be selfish right now.