As Your Friend, As Your Older Brother「友として 兄として, Tomo toshite Ani Toshite」 is the 296th chapter of the manga, Nanatsu no Taizai.
The Original Demon declares it's time for the birth of a new Demon King. The five Commandments enter the cocoon and Escanor exclaims this is the worst possible thing. Gritting her teeth, Merlin says it's far too late to give up and begins chanting, which summons a giant clockface. Both Zeldris and the Original Demon recognise the magic as Chrono Coffin and when they figure out that Merlin is trying to suspend time within the cocoon, they charge at her. They both slash, only for King to use Chastiefol to block Zeldris and Escanor blocks the Original Demon. As they defend her, Merlin asks King and Escanor to buy her some time. Looking up at the cocoon, Ludociel says it's all over.
Hendrickson tells him not to give up and that Merlin should be able to do something. Ludociel admits he's surprised Merlin can do something as absurd as stopping time but it's clear she'll die before she completes her spell. Escanor barely has any energy to hold back the Original Demon and while the Fairy King is certainly strong, he won't be able to handle both Zeldris and the Original Demon at the same time. Besides, now that Meliodas has begin absorbing all ten Commandments, once he rises as Demon King, it'll all be over since the Supreme Deity is no longer around. Hendrickson questions how he can be such a fatalist and brings up the fact that he was taught about how the Goddess Clan led the Humans to victory in the Holy War 3,000 years ago.
Ludociel admits he liked to bask in the praise of Humans and ended up conceited, becoming arrogant and only thinking of others as pawns. Clenching his fist, Ludociel then states he only did that so they could win the Holy War, even if it meant his followers turned their backs on him. Hendrickson reveals to Ludociel how much he messed up the fates of Gilthunder and Margaret, which is why he had to save them, no matter what it took. Ludociel comments on how far he's fallen, saying his joy would be boundless if he knew there was still someone out there willing to worship him. Sitting down, Hendrickson admits he does respect and worship Ludociel. The Archangel tells him to stop lying but Hendrickson explains how Goddesses are like divinity to Druids and says that Ludociel merely gave all he had to lead the Humans to victory.
He then expresses that he was disappointed by Ludociel upon seeing how badly he mistreated Gilthunder and Margaret, even admitting that he wanted to laugh at Ludociel's hysteria about learning of Mael still being alive. Hendrickson admits that made him like Ludociel all the more, knowing he's also flawed. Hendrickson then offers his body to Ludociel again, asking not as a Druid, but as a friend. To Hendrickson's surprise, Ludociel instead casts Invigorate on him, healing his wounds. Hendrickson questions why and Ludociel says it's because he won't be able to draw out enough power if he used Hendrickson as a vessel. He reveals he once had a friend like Hendrickson: a trusting and foolish man who gave his life to protect another. He then asks Hendrickson not to die. Back at the battle, the Original Demon deals a number of more wounds on Escanor, forcing him to fall to his knees.
The Original Demon then conjures Death Drive, shooting a beam that blasts Escanor far away from Camelot. During the attack, Rhitta breaks further and Escanor lets go of it, forcing Escanor to return to his night form. The Original Demon then decides to go after Merlin and brings down his swords, only for his attacks to be blocked by multiple Arks. Ludociel tells Merlin to hurry with her spell and as he stands inbetween them, he explains how he doesn't know how much longer he'll be able to hold out in his astral form. Flying through the air, crying, Escanor inwardly admits that it was beyond conceited of him to think he could ever protect anyone. He then expresses his wish for someone to save Merlin and Meliodas, going as far to say he doesn't care if he has to give up Sunshine or even his life. Someone then catches Escanor and Mael admits he never thought he would reunite with someone he once fought like this, wondering if this is also due to the Grace of the Sun.
Q323. Hendi-Lover-san (From Miyagi Prefecture): What is something that Escanor doesn't have?
Nakaba: Merlin's panties.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Original Demon
- Gilthunder (fantasy)
- Margaret Liones (fantasy)