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Chapter: 10.2


Act 2 – 10.2 : Date With Goddess

Kuroki had already noticed the appearance of many girls with extremely suggestive attires as he dove deeper down the alleyway. Their movements were alluring as they waved their hands at potential customers passing in front of their brothel.

Though Rena might reject his suggestion to leave, he had to at least ask for her consent before he took her away.

「Yeah, if you think so, then we should take a detour.」

But contrary to his expectations, Rena readily agreed.

(Is she not worried about Reiji?)

Kuroki held such doubts in his mind but, since the person herself agreed to leave, there was nothing else for him to ask. Letting the matter go, he looked around to find a road that would lead them to an exit, only to find right ahead the figure of knights.

Sewn on their uniform was a swan crest.

It was a crest he encountered many times back when he was staying in the Holy Republic of Lenaria.

The swan was Goddess Rena’s Holy Bird.

It was for this very reason that the Holy Republic of Lenaria’s Temple Knights were also called the Swan Knights.

(What are they doing in this kind of place? Are they perhaps Reiji’s bodyguards?)

There were five Temple Knights blocking their way.

「They’re your knights, right?」

Kuroki halted his step as he asked Rena.

「They’re not my knights, they’re Temple Knights. The likes of them aren’t worthy of becoming my knights.」

Rena replied with piercing cold words. Even though the Temple Knights swore to only love Rena, their love was apparently one-sided. Kuroki took pity on those pitifully loyal knights. Though, from the looks of it, it seemed that not all of them were always loyal to their "love".

「But I think you’re worthy of that title, far more worthy than Reiji. How about it? Want to become my knight?」

Rena asked as she gazed at Kuroki.

Hearing her offer, Kuroki couldn’t help but turn and look at Rena.

In fact, he was excited upon hearing such an offer from her. He felt immensely happy from receiving such an acknowledgment from a peerless beauty. It felt like a painful thorn that was always lodged in his heart was finally taken out by such words; his constant pain and shame subsiding for the first time.

To be acknowledged as someone more worthy than Reiji, Kuroki had almost fallen for this offer and accepted it on the spot.

(Really now, what a sore loser I am. This might also be the reason why I became so desperate in my training after that day, even paying attention to my appearance so that I can at least catch up to Reiji. But then, no matter how much I polished myself, I still didn’t have enough self-confidence, it was like putting the cart before the horse…)

That’s why, Kuroki was greatly shaken by Rena’s words of acknowledgement. It was quite ironic that the first acknowledgement he received was not from Shirone or Modes, but from none other than this Goddess before him, who was supposed to be his mortal enemy.

""

(But…)

Kuroki shook his head, disregarding such euphoria. He realized that he had almost fallen into his enemy’s trap. He forgot the fact that he couldn’t trust Rena, the black bellied Goddess.

No matter how beautiful this Goddess was, he mustn’t allow himself to be blinded by such empty words of praise.

Thus, Kuroki shook his head, rejecting Rena’s request.

「I’m really happy to hear such a nice offer, but I can’t become your knight. I’ve already pledged my allegiance to Modes-sama. You wouldn’t want someone who easily betrays others to become your knight, isn’t that right?」

「I see… That’s right, someone who easily betrays others isn’t suitable to become my knight.」

Rena was able to easily accept Kuroki’s rejection, which made him relieved.

Rena didn’t seem to be pouting either.

Loyalty was one thing, but what really hindered Kuroki from accepting Rena’s offer was that he didn’t think he had the qualification to become a knight. Yes he was strong and all, but he didn’t have the confidence to be someone’s shield, protecting them from all harm—it was too big of a burden for him. If something ever happened to the one he was protecting, he would never be able to live with himself and would most probably self-destruct in self-pity and shame. So, even if he had trusted Rena, he would’ve still refused her offer with one reason or another.

「What are you looking at?!」

Someone called out to them.

The person who called out to them was one of the Temple Knights who stood across from them, and he was now walking toward them.

As he saw him getting closer, Kuroki got the feeling that these knights were the ones he saw when he was above the rampart, the ones who were fighting each other to get the first turn with the harlot woman.

But, since he couldn’t see that woman nearby, he wondered whether that woman had managed to escape?

The Temple Knight who called out to them, on the other hand, was taking a closer look at Kuroki. He then turned his line of sight toward the figure beside Kuroki.

As if he finally noticed Rena’s figure.

Kuroki was really surprised upon finding out about this matter. That was because Rena was using an invisibility spell on herself, so it was impossible for anyone to see her. Being able to see through that meant that this knight had a high aptitude for magic.

「Taking a woman with you, huh. Is she your lover?」

The Temple Knight who approached them asked such a question.

Kuroki was rather irritated upon hearing the knight question him, it felt like he was cross-examining him for a crime.

「No, she is not, but…」

「Ho~, so does that mean you brought a woman who isn’t your lover to this kind of place?」

Kuroki wanted to retort: I didn’t bring her into this kind of place because I wanted to either.

In the first place, all he wanted to ask them about was their escort target, which they were clearly neglecting. He was desperately holding back what he wanted to say.

「Is something the matter with that?」

「Humph, you might have been able to lie to her to bring her to this place but, your luck ends here now that I found you.」

The Temple Knight was trying to pick a quarrel with Kuroki.

Kuroki couldn’t see Rena’s face since she was wearing her hood right now, but he guessed that she might use that Temple Knight as a lesson for the other Temple Knights.

Rena wanted to hide her identity when she came here, which was why she was using an invisibility spell on herself. It was also the reason why she hadn’t said anything since a while ago. However, once she was seen by the Temple Knight, her aura had completely changed. All she did now was watch the drama that was about to unfold from the side, as if ready to pounce at any moment.

「We are currently in the middle of duty, searching for Hero-sama’s enemies! Could it be that you’re one of them?」

「No, I’m not.」

「How suspicious, they said that one of the Hero’s enemies is a perverted looking man like you!!」

The Temple Knight was trying to drive Kuroki away with a wave of his hand, as if driving away a dog.

「This is a dangerous place, lady.」

The same Temple Knight was now also trying to touch Rena.

(Oh sh*t!!)

Kuroki grabbed the Temple Knight’s hand, that was about to touch Rena, and flung him away, making him land on his rear.

「YOU BAS*TARD, HOW DARE YOU?!」

The Temple Knight drew his sword as soon as he got back on his feet.

(I’m just trying to protect you, as*hole!)

Just a while ago, he felt Rena’s killing intent when the Temple Knight was about to touch her. She didn’t seem to have any hesitation in killing her own believer.

That Temple Knight most likely would have turned into cinder as soon as he touched Rena.

The other knights approached as soon as they heard the Temple Knight’s enraged roar.

They were also drawing their swords.

(Oh cr*ap, they’re clearly enraged right now…)

Though the normal Kuroki would flee from the scene to avoid unnecessary trouble, the current him couldn’t do that due to the fact that the one beside him was a woman who was literally Nargol’s mortal enemy. What if she decided to retaliate because he left her to deal with it on her own?

Moreover, he knew for a fact that if he left this problem in Rena’s hands, then she would most likely end up killing all of those Temple Knights.

「Rena, the likes of them aren’t even worthy to be killed by you, please step back for the time being.」

Kuroki stepped forward as he told Rena to fall back.

「I see.」

Though she only replied with two short words, Kuroki felt that there was a hint of happiness within her voice.

「Humph, what now? Are you going to bow down to us?」

The Temple Knights were pointing their swords at Kuroki.

Kuroki stepped forward as if protecting Rena, who stepped back behind him.

(Were they expecting me to get scared by pointing their swords at me? In addition, though this situation makes me look like Rena’s knight… the ones I’m facing are her "Official" knights.)

No matter how much she denied it, the other party was unmistakably her "Official Knights".

In addition, Kuroki, who was now protecting her, was in fact the Dark Knight himself, the one who was supposed to be her mortal enemy.

Their roles were completely reversed at this very moment.

But, seeing the situation had already escalated this far, he had no choice but to defeat them.

Kuroki observed the Temple Knights around him.

Despite their proper appearance, their inside was similar to that of thugs.

But, he couldn’t kill them since he didn’t wish to defile this festival with blood. At most, if they insisted on fighting him, he would stop after breaking one or two of their bones. Making his decision, Kuroki approached the Temple Knights. But, contrary to his expectations, the scenario didn’t go as planned, which chilled his heart.

「Y-You bast*rd! You’re going to oppose us?!!」

The Temple Knights were visibly surprised upon seeing Kuroki walking toward them with leisure.

Though Kuroki had yet to fully understand the international relations between countries in this world, normally speaking, outsiders—in this case the Temple Knights—weren’t supposed to cause problems in a foreign country. He thought that the reason they drew their swords was just to intimidate him.

「Uhm… can you just let it be water under the bridge?」

He thought that it was best for both sides to let this matter pass. But, contrary to his expectations, Kuroki’s offer only added fuel to the fire. The knight’s face flushed red in anger.

「DON’T JOKE WITH ME!」

The enraged knight swung his sword toward Kuroki, thinking that Kuroki was looking down on them.

But from Kuroki’s perspective, his movement was in slow motion. He quite naturally extended his hand and pinched the tip of the knight’s sword with his thumb and index fingers.

The knights couldn’t hide their surprise upon seeing such a superhuman feat.

「No way…」

""

「Im-…-possible」

Their faces, once flushed red with anger, slowly drained from color, turning pale as if all the blood had leaked out of their body.

(Oh whatever, let’s end this quickly.)

Kuroki heaved a sigh.

The Temple Knights might be considered powerful amongst humans but, despite being judged as part of the human race, Kuroki’s power was on a whole different level compared to those knights.

It was literally impossible for them to win against him.

「Here I come…」

After he muttered those words, he sneaked right past them, positioning himself right in the middle of their formation.

「GAHA!」

「GUH!」

「GEFUH?!」

And easily sent them flying, effectively immobilizing the entire team.

The knights, who were thrown to the ground, writhed in pain.

Kuroki had made sure to control his punches when he threw them to the ground so as to not kill them by mistake.

「You’re not killing them, huh.」

Only to hear the Goddess behind him, who was supposed to be their ally, speak such cruel words.

「Even if they’re like that, they’re still your Temple Knights… that’s why I’m sparing their life.」

「I see, should I say thank you for your consideration?」

Rena asked without a shred of gratitude in her tone.

From her tone, Kuroki felt that the lives of the knights and humans alike were equivalent to ants to Rena, completely worthless.

But, the current Kuroki could somehow understand her view. The humans of this world were just so pitifully weak. The fact that he only hurt them and controlled his strength so as to not kill them was purely an act of mercy.

Crushing them at once in a single attack was much better than having all of them killed for annoying a Goddess.

If he had gone any easier on them, they would have been killed by Rena.

And he guessed that the same could be said for the other Gods.

(Well, just like how a worm is to a human, I guess the same could be said about the humans of this world to the Gods. I wonder what her evaluation of me is? Am I placed higher than the humans in this world? I mean, I’m human yet different from humans in this world, then what’s my actual race?)

There was a time when all that Kuroki felt was loneliness after he came to this world. Unlike Reiji, he was all alone when he was summoned to this world. That was the reason behind him coming to this country. He wanted to get the main ingredient for the creation of his partner.

In the end, Kuroki kept his question to himself.

「Nope. Let’s go, Rena.」

Together, they left the red-light district.


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