Clutching Isabel to him, Diarmuid trod carefully through the city. Wrapped in their cloak with the hood up, they were hiding from the soldiers sent by an aristocrat after them.
Isabel was the King’s fiancé. Since her first encounter with Diarmund at her engagement banquet, the two could never forget each other. Isabel begged the King to retract the engagement, yet the King refused for that he would lose face if he did. Knowing what had happened, Diarmuid crept into the castle and took Isabel away. The couple therefore started their days as fugitives.
Diarmuid: When will they give up?
Isabel: This way, Diarmuid!
There was nowhere Diarmuid and Isabel could settle down or show their faces. They never expected to be traced by soldiers on patrol, as well as being outflanked... They were only a few steps from the exit of the town, a few steps from freedom. They were hiding in a corner, waiting for the right moment to dash off. Out of their expectations, a platoon came from their back...
Patrolling Soldier: Hey! Whatcha doin’?
Diarmuid: Crap! Isabel, we gotta go!
Patrolling Soldier: Stop right there!
Sergeant Major: Hem them in! Don’t let them get away this time!
Diarmuid: We don’t seem to have any choice but to force through them.
Diarmuid: I’m sorry, Isabel...
Isabel: It’s alright. I’m afraid of nothing as long as I’m with you.
Sergeant Major: Pl, please spare my life! I’m just ordered to take you to see the king!
Diarmuid: The King wants to see us? Aren’t you here to hunt us down?
Sergeant Major: I’m not sure. That’s what I was ordered to do.
Diarmuid and Isabel were staring at each other because they could not believe the King had changed his mind and decided not to hunt them down. Therefore they followed the sergeant major back to the palace to see the King...
Sergeant Major: Your Majesty, Diarmuid and Isabel are here.
The King: Bring them in.
Sergeant Major: Yes, Your Majesty.
Diarmuid: Your Majesty.
Isabel: Your Majesty.
The King waved his hand, telling the others to leave. The three were the only ones in the hall. The King sighed, for the man kneeling in front of him was a general he highly regarded, and the woman was once his fiancé... At first he was mad for their elopement, but as he calmed down, he knew he was petty. Why couldn’t he just grant them their wish?
The King: Diarmuid, do you love Isabel?
Diarmuid: I love her more than myself.
The King: What about you, Isabel?
Isabel: He’s the only one I’ll marry.
The King smiled in satisfaction. He announced the two’s betrothal as a reward for Diarmuid’s service for the country over the years. Diarmuid and Isabel were surprised by the beneficent decision. Since then, Diarmuid always thought he owed the King something. Therefore he would do whatever the King asked him to, even if the task was life-threatening...
The army of the country underwent a series of dreadful defeats. It was obvious that they were no match for the Demons. The King grew increasingly irritated as he knew that the army of Demons was coming. The King had no choice but to order Diarmuid and his brigade to combat the Demons. Diarmuid accepted the mission without question, despite knowing that it was a deadly mission.
Isabel: Do you really have to go?
Diarmuid: I’m sorry, but I think you understand why.
Diarmuid: We owe the King a debt we can hardly repay.
Isabel: But I’ve a bad feeling about this...
Diarmuid: Don’t worry. I’ll be back.
Leading his men, Diarmuid set off to the battlefield. No one uttered a word on the way. They were so distressed by the fact that their enemies were not human. When Diarmuid was trying to come up with a plan, someone tapped on his shoulder...
Nobleman: I never expect there would be a day when we fight alongside each other!
Diarmuid turned to his back to find the one speaking to him was the nobleman he set free years ago. Diarmuid nodded for he did not bother to talk to him.
Nobleman: I’m always thinking that I must repay you for your merciful deed.
Diarmuid: Then take care of yourself.
Diarmuid: Come with me!
Diarmuid: To protect our country and our beloved ones...
Diarmuid: ...we must snatch victory!
Charon the Soul Carrier: That guy’s strong! He doesn’t look like a soldier. Could he be a mercenary?
Hong Yue the Puppet: Interesting! Demon mercenary versus that of Human, huh?
No one had ever expected that the Demons were so powerful. Even Diarmuid, who had defeated thousands of warriors with a single lance, was doomed to defeat and could only run blindly... As his comrades fell down one by one, Diarmuid was the only left in the woods, and his clothes were dyed red. The only thing that kept the heavily injured Diarmuid on his feet was his promise to Isabel. Suddenly, someone ran out of the bush, and Diarmuid raised his sword right away to slash...
Nobleman: S, stop! Diarmuid, it’s me!
Diarmuid looked closely to see that it was the nobleman, whom he was surprised to find survived despite his poor fighting skills.
Diarmuid: It seems there’s only you and I. Follow me, the enemies will be here soon.
Nobleman: No, I’m the only one left.
Before Diarmuid could react to the murderous intentions suddenly revealed, a sword had already thrust into his chest. Diarmuid could see Isabel waiting for his return at home as he fell... Before losing consciousness, he could see the nobleman talking to a general of the Demons. From the respect the nobleman paid to the Demons, Diarmuid could tell that he had sold the brigade out for his own life and wealth. However, Diarmuid’s mind was fading away, and he could only witness his sworn enemy leaving no matter how furious he was...
Yatonokami: You can’t even fight back after being set up and betrayed!
Diarmuid: Who... are you...?
Yatonokami: It doesn’t matter. You’re dying anyway.
Diarmuid: I... am not... useless! It’s just, I’ve lost... my power...
Yatonokami: Then, how about a game? If you win, I’ll help you.
Along with the fading of the voice, Diarmuid’s lost his consciousness again. During the blackout, Diarmuid could see Isabel crying alone. He reached out his hands trying to wipe her tears away only to find he could not touch her. He was resentful of the nobleman. If the nobleman had not betrayed him, he might have returned to his beloved; if the nobleman had not set a trap, he would not have been separated with his lover by death. As a fire named “hatred” started to burn in his heart, a peculiar power that resonated with his hatred.
Diarmuid: Am I... still alive...?
Diarmuid opened his eyes and barely stood up.
The wounds were still stinging. Diarmuid found that his injuries never recovered, and the lethal wound was still bleeding. He could not get a grip on what had just happened. It was impossible to live after such severe injuries. At the moment, he could hear somebody in his mind...
Yatonokami: So your power resonates with mine. It is such a narrow escape.
Diarmuid: Who are you? Did you save me?
Yatonokami: Do you want to know the truth? Are you yearning for power?
Yatonokami: Come see me in the forest.
Yatonokami: My name is Yatonokami.
Yatonokami: I wonder if you can convince me to lend you my power.
Yatonokami gave Diarmuid the power he wanted as promised. With the power, Diarmuid could feel a warmth was spreading through his body, and his wound healed quickly, and not even a tiniest scar was left. Upon his recovery, Diarmuid only wanted to see Isabel. He ran back to his place, yet Isabel wasn’t there but a house in complete mess... He rushed to the room, only to find the bed in disorder, and the floor scattered with scraps of cloth. Diarmuid could see what had happened in the place in his mind’s eyes.
Diarmuid knelt on the ground and yelled at rage. The more hatred he had, the more he was integrated with the power of Yatonokami. As a strange pneuma diffused from him, two more arms grew from his shoulders.
Yatonokami: There’s no need of tolerance or mercy. An eye for an eye, that’s the way to live.
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: AUGHH! You must die!
Malice filled Diarumuid’s eyes and heart. Vengeance became the sole occupant of his mind. Yatonokami, watching aside, smiled creepily for she was amused by Human. Now that she not only had a tool, but also a show to watch...
After Diarmuid got his revenge, he wandered around working for Yatonokami. He was now a demon, which meant he would neither die nor age, as if time was frozen. After Yatonokami was once again sealed, he went on his endless journey. He went to a little village, where he took a break under a tree. Suddenly, a teenager came to him...
Shigeharu: I think this is it... I know this pneuma...
Diarmuid looked at the teenager standing in front of him, who was wearing the outfit of yamafushi, and he had a deja vu that he had met the teenager before...
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Have we ever met before?
Shigeharu: I think we did! But at that time, I was not who I am.
Diarmuid began to recall who the boy was as he refreshed his memory some time ago.
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: It’s happy to see you regaining your consciousness.
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: I’m glad for the girl who loves and adores you.
Shigeharu: Fu, Fubuki and I are just friends!
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Really...? So why are you here? Haven’t you sealed Yatonokami?
Shigeharu: She’s now my shikigami. I’m here to fulfill the promise she made with you.
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: The promise she made with me?
Diarmuid saw the light after pondering over the promise Shigeharu mentioned. He turned to the boy in delight...
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Will Isabel... come back to life...?
Shigeharu: It’s right to some extent, but not all.
Shigeharu: Both Yatonokami and I cannot revive someone dead. Besides...
Shigeharu: She’s not dead. But just like the way you are, she’s no longer human.
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: How come your girl isn’t here? You two had a fight?
Shigeharu: Fubuki has something else to deal with.
Shigeharu: It seems she has found the shikigami who killed Akikane...
Shigeharu: Wait! Fubuki isn’t mine!
Shigeharu: Whatever. Yatokami and I will help you. We want you to live happily ever after!
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Thank you.
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Isabel...
Isabel the Black Widow: Who dare intrude my domain?
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Isabel... Don’t you recognize me...?
Isabel the Black Widow: Everyone in my domain... is my prey!
As Diarmuid’s lance pierced through Isabel, but he also coughed out inky blood as Isabel’s poison had already run through his body.
The name of her lover rang a bell in her mind, and Isabel finally recognized Diarmuid, the lover she had been thinking about and waiting for all those years. She caressed Diarmuid’s face.
Isabel the Black Widow: Diarmuid... Finally, I can see you again...
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: Isabel, you’ve finally recognized me...
After all the years of hardship, the couple finally reunited. They had too much to say and did not know where to start. They burst into tears and cried out loud like infants. They were sad but also happy for the reunion. As Isabel rested her head on Diarmuid’s shoulder, he leaned against her. They knew they did not have much time left...
Isabel the Black Widow: I love you, Diarmuid... I’m lucky to have met you...
Diarmuid the Dual Lancer: So do I. I’m glad that I’ve met you, too...
The couple gradually became flecks of light and faded in the sky. Diarmuid and Isabel were no longer monsters, but what they used to be - a knight and a maiden. They smiled as they held each other in their arms, as if the prolonged sorrow had finally come to an end. As the two smiled at Shigeharu, they flew to the distant sky. Shigeharu, turning his grief into joy, prayed for their happiness from the bottom of his heart...
Shigeharu: ‘May there be true happiness in their afterlife,’
Shigeharu: ‘and they would never be separated anymore.’