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Chapter: 13.1


Act 1-13.1 : Manticore

Kuroki slept in the lodging introduced to him by Dozumi.

Though he was advised to leave the country, Kuroki couldn’t do so as he had matters to attend to. That’s why leaving the country wasn’t an option for him.

The night was eerily quiet that even a pin-drop could be easily heard; everyone within the inn was sleeping. However, in the middle of the night, Kuroki’s tightly closed eyes suddenly opened—he was awakened by the killing intent directed to his room

When Kuroki was summoned to this world, along with his diabolical increase in power, all of his senses had sharpened, including his sense of perception. That’s why he could feel people’s intentions towards him, including tonight’s killing intent.

「Kuroki-sama, our room is surrounded.」

Nut, who had fallen asleep beside Kuroki, was awakened too. At the same time, Kuroki had started pondering about the assailants’ identities. He couldn’t figure out who he had offended in this country until he suddenly recalled the events during his dinner with Dozumi and the man he had been warned against, Gendor.

「You noticed them too? Maybe they’re that Gendor person’s lackeys.」

「Ah, that man, huh? What kind of business would they have with us at this time of the night?」

Nut muttered while tilting his head to the side.

From Nut perspective, those humans were nothing but trash. They were weak cowards who couldn’t even dream to defeat a mere goblin. How could they even compare to his Kuroki-sama or his people back in Nargol. That’s why he wondered why those dregs were surrounding their room and why that so-called leader had even dared to order them to do so. They were simply looking for death.

Nut sneered at their stupidity then looked over at Kuroki, who was now peeping at the perpetrators through the window. It was pitch-black outside, but that did not hinder Kuroki, who had night vision that could enable him to see in the darkest of places. This was also another power he had gained when summoned to this world. Kuroki scanned the area and concluded that the whole inn was surrounded by several thugs. At first, he thought that they were aiming for Nut, but then, he realized that their killing intent was aimed at him. He couldn’t help but sigh in annoyance at this bothersome situation.

「Annoying trouble came faster than I expected, huh.」

「How dare they point their killing intent towards you, Kuroki-sama. Let’s tear them limb from limb.」

Contrary to his adorable appearance, Nut—as well as his race—was a heartless creature, evident from the gory words he had just uttered. The only thing he wanted for his enemies was a torturous demise.

「No, killing them is going too far, but… let’s make them taste their own medicine. We’re heading out, Nut.」

Right after those words, Kuroki put on his overcoat, then quickly opened the windows and leaped out, heading towards the people surrounding the inn. His first target was the man stealthily hiding behind the building, waiting for his comrades’ signale to attack.With his speed, Kuroki instantly appeared in front of the man, who was surprisingly big and armed. The man couldn’t hide his shock from the sudden shadow looming over him. The man was dazed for a few seconds and then snapped out of it, quickly reaching for his weapon, but he didn’t know that it was all for naught. In this world, humans were no match for Kuroki. He could easily disarm them and even use their own weapon against them if he wanted to further humiliate them—it was like taking candy from a baby.

(My bad buddy, but you need to suffer the consequences of your own actions!)

After taking care of his first target, Kuroki went to hunt the others. On by one they fell, all knocked out by Kuroki in an instant, shock the last thing they could express before falling into darkness. Kuroki recognised several of them as they were among the lackeys that had followed Gendor to the diner. After knocking down the men who surrounded the inn, Kuroki stood in front of one of them whose face was all too familiar to him. He was the man that had wanted to lead the attack after Kuroki had offended Gendor at the diner.

「Impossible! W-Who the hell are you?」

The man was dumbfounded by the series of events that happened right in front of him, it seemed that he really couldn’t understand the situation he was in, and Kuroki had no intention to clarify either. The man’s bold question annoyed Kuroki, but he wasn’t going to do anything about it. He deliberately didn’t touch that man so that he could inquire about Gendor’s whereabouts.

「Let’s see, I want information, so you better spill everything you know, okay?」

Though the man might refuse to say anything, he had nothing to lose by asking.

「Hehehe. You think I’m gonna answer your question? Look at this.」

The man snickered and suddenly pulled out something from his pocket—a fist-sized crystal stone.

「A DEMONIC CRYSTAL STONE?!」

As soon as Kuroki saw the crystal he couldn’t help himself but exclaim and then be left speechless. It was rare to see that kind of stone.

A Demonic Crystal Stone was a stone loaded with mana. It was a medium used by powerful magicians to replenish their mana reserves during times of need, and for weaker magicians, to increase their power. These stones could be acquired through the Magician’s Association and could be replenished with the right price. Magicians could then absorb that power and use it as their own.

It seems that this man was a magician.

「I’m a magician, or so I was until the Magician’s Association kicked me out due to my crime. I might have no talent, but this thing will make me invincible. Now then, LEADONUS!」

When the man shouted the last part of his sentence, the air surrounding them got altered.

「Uh! Ugh?」Nut suddenly screamed in pain and fell from Kuroki’s shoulder.

「NUT!?」

Kuroki caught Nut in a hurry.

「Nut, Are you alright?」「I’m alright but, my body is… heavy.」

Nut replied to Kuroki while lying face down in his hands.It turns out that the spell that had been casted on them had the power to make people as heavy as lead and unable to move whatsoever, which would make it easier for the spell caster to escape, or worse, kill them.

「That can’t be good… Wait a second, I’ll try to do something about this situation.」

Kuroki turned around and looked at the man, intending to pressure him into cancelling the magic, only to be confronted with the man’s shocked expression and incredulous wide eyes.

「Im-Impossible. H-How can you still move? You’re supposed to be under the effects of my magic!」

The man screamed aloud in bafflement.

(Well, even if you say that… I can still move just fine.)

Though Kuroki was supposed to be put under the effects of the spell, it seems that magic didn’t affect Kuroki at all. To be fair, the outcome was quite normal since the user himself was originally a trash rate magician. There was no way his magic could affect someone whose power rivaled that of a Divine Being, even with the mana boost from the Demonic Crystal Stone. Unfortunately, the confused man did not know Kuroki’s origins and thus failed to see the danger he was trapped in; otherwise, he wouldn’t have accepted coming here at all.

「Now then, can you release the magic that’s binding Nut?」

Kuroki slightly approached the man and pressured him into erasing the magic. Nut was his closest comrade, he had no intention of sparing anyone who dared to hurt him or any of his future comrades for that matter.Seeing Kuroki approach him, the man started executing his escape plan.

「DAMN IT ALL!」「You think you can escape from me?!」

When the man realised that Kuroki had seen through his escape plan, he quivered with fear and started stepping back. His widened eyes filled with horror only focused on the mighty person approaching him, failing to avoid the uneven crevice on the unpaved road. The man stumbled and fell on his rear, dropping the Demonic Crystal Stone in the process. As his horror reached its peak he couldn’t help but scream.

「HIIIIIIII!!」

「Fuu~. That was one hell of a scary experience.」

After the man’s tomfoolery, the magic was immediately cancelled. It was now obvious that the way to cancel the magic was to separate the crystal from the caster, evident from the fact that the effects of the magic had ceased after the Demonic Crystal Stone had fallen out of the man’s hand. Nut stretched himself a bit then climbed up to Kuroki’s shoulder again.

「Well then, can you guide me to your base?」

He wouldn’t have gotten himself involved with them if they had just stayed away from him. But since they intended to harm him, Kuroki decided to fight back and make them swallow their own medicine.Even though the man was afraid right now, it wasn’t to the point that he would betray his comrades and his leader. Annoyed by the lack of answer, Kuroki decided to use fear magic. As soon as Kuroki’s spell hit the man, all color drained from his face and he felt terror he had never felt before.

「Y-Yes, right away! Please follow me this way!」

The man shakily stood up and led Kuroki toward the Black Fang’s base. In this way, he had abandoned his so-called loyalty to his comrades.

The Black Fang’s base was located on the outskirts of the Outer City. Their base could immediately be seen by any passerby due to its sheer size; it was big enough to house more than a hundred members. Though Dozumi usually lived somewhere inside that building, today he was forcefully taken to a different room.The room was situated on the first floor of the building and, weirdly, was the only room on the entire floor. Dozumi was not familiar with this part of the building as he was never allowed to come to that room, or even the floor for that matter.

(Shit, what a blunder.)

Because Dozumi was a member of the Black Fang, he was brought into a different room than the one appointed to Kuroki once he was kidnapped and brought to this place.

Dozumi was really irritated by the way things were handled. It’s not like he could resist, after all, he was far weaker than the others. If they had ordered him to go to this room, he would’ve gone without any resistance. However, it seemed that Dozumi had too much of a high expectation towards his so-called comrades; the Black Fang members treated him worse than trash and couldn’t even give him his dignity. Before being brought here, Dozumi was beaten black and blue while he was roaming the streets, he was then brought to the base barely alive. All the joints of his body were screaming in pain due to his kidnapper’s rough handling.Once him and his kidnapper reached the room’s entrance, his assailant swiftly opened the door and Dozumi was met with a huge and spacious room.

The room was like no other ordinary room. It was circular and auditorium-like. The center of the room was completely free of objects and was encircled by a tall wooden wall. Right behind the top of the wooden wall, several seats were placed and were used by countless spectators. The whole room was like a gladiator’s arena. It was also similar to the stage used in the circus shows Dozumi used to watch when he was a child—the room was perfectly made for people to enjoy a spectacular show.

「Dozumi, it seems like you didn’t understand when I said that you’ll be held responsible if something happens to the cargo. Now, I’ll make you, and everyone here, understand what it means to cross me with your own body. Oi, untie him!」

A man then untied the ropes that were binding Dozumi’s limbs.

And just like that, Dozumi was guided to walk to the center of the stage.

After he was released from his restraints, Dozumi looked up, and saw Gendor, the leader of the Black Fang, on top of the tall wooden wall.

「What are you going to do to me… Leader?」「You already know, right? IT’S AN EXECUTION SHOW. But don’t worry, you won’t die alone.」

Gendor signaled to his subordinates down in the arena, and with this, two other people were brought into the arena.

It was a plump man and a beautiful woman.

As he saw the approaching figures’ faces, Dozumi remembered who they were.

The plump man was the cargo’s driver, the one he was supposed to escort in his recent task to the neighboring country. As for the woman, she was Gendor’s lover.

(Why are the two of them here in this place?)

Dozumi was really confused about the situation.

「Leader, please forgive me! I just acted on a sudden impulse!」

The plump man cried and pleadingly looked at Gendor.

「That won’t do, Elnen. You pilfered the group’s money. Now you have to pay for your sin.」「HIIIIIIIIII」

The plump man, Elnen, cried even louder than before. It was only now that Dozumi understood why he and Elnen were here. From the bits and pieces of information he could gather, he figured that the caravan had been destroyed and that the driver, Elnen, had decided to steal the money and merchandise and flee with his loot. Unfortunately he was caught in the act, and so, was here to be punished. As for himself, well, as Gendor had emphasized various times, he was here to take responsibility for the fallen cargo.

「Please forgive me! You’re the only one for me, dear!」

「I refuse to forgive you, Rinea. You dare to ogle another man while you have me. The most befitting punishment for a slut like you is DEATH.」

「There’s really a misunderstanding! You’re the only one for me!」

The beautiful woman began to cry, her tearful face so charmingly frail that any other man would’ve already relented and doted on her. But, Gendor was different from other men, he had no intention of sparing Rinea’s life. Furthermore, his expression wasn’t grim like one would normally be when cheated; rather, a creepy grin adorned his face as he looked at the scene in front of him—it looked like he really enjoyed watching the sinners quiver with fear.Gendor wasn’t the only one smiling from ear to ear, other upper-echelons of the Black Fang were also grinning on top of the wooden wall. It was truly an eerie sight.

「Oi, are the folks who were tasked to capture that man with the rare rat back yet?」

""

Gendor asked with a slightly irritated voice.

「No, but they should be arriving soon. According to the last report, that chap called Kuro used the inn’s service instead of escaping the country.」

Dozumi was surprised when he heard the report. It seemed that Kuro had not taken his advice seriously.

(What the hell are you doing, Kuro? I even told you to escape from this country!)

But Dozumi couldn’t do anything about it anymore. No matter what he said, nobody would listen to him and nothing would change; he wouldn’t be able to convince the thugs to leave Kuro alone. His savior was definitely going to be captured now「I see. Well, let’s set him aside for now and start with the show here. Oi, give them what they need!」

With Gendor’s orders, the subordinates who led Dozumi and the other two threw something towards them.

「This is for?」

Dozumi picked up the thing thrown to him; it was a sword. He was really confused about why he would need a weapon. Elnen and Rinea were no different as they picked up the swords at their feet with puzzled expressions.

「Now, the three of you below, listen closely! Even someone like me still cares about his comrades, so I won’t immediately punish you for your sins. I’ll give you another chance. If you can defeat the opponent that’s about to come out, then I’ll cancel your punishment.」

Suddenly, a part of the wooden wall opened and something leaped out from inside. The three offenders stood there stunned as they looked at the creature before them with widened eyes.It was a huge, red beast. Despite standing on its four limbs, the position of its big face was about as tall as Dozumi’s entire body. The red beast had bat-like wings and a human face. And that horrifically spine-chilling, tall face was currently looking at Dozumi with a sinister grin.

「Oi GeNDor! CaN I EAt ThEsE HuMAnS? 」

The beast spoke with its eerie voice, countless fangs glaringly apparent as he opened and closed his beastly mouth to speak those ominous words.

""

「I-IT SPOOOOOOOOKE!」「L-Leader! What the hell is this monster!」

The three sinners were all currently sharing the same disposition. Overwhelmed with fear, Elnen fell on his rear. Rinea’s body trembled while holding onto her sword. And Dozumi, who had just screamed at Gendor, was desperately holding back his tears.

It was a disturbing scene right out of an eldritch play.


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