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Chapter: 13.2


Act 1 – 13.2 : Manticore

「It’s a manticore, truly a legendary beast. I happened to save this guy when it was heavily injured and about to be hunted down by the temple knights. It became my most trusted comrade ever since then. If you exclude its slightly gluttonous nature, it’s actually rather cute.」

Gendor responded with an eerie smile on his face.

At that moment, realization dawned on Dozumi. The rumor about Gendor was true. Granted he had many rumors surrounding him, but this one was one of the worst. All this time, Dozumi had wondered about what his leader did with those kidnapped people and why the majority of them weren’t sold; rather, had just suddenly disappeared. Now he had a despicable guess.

「Leader, can I… Ask one last thing? Could it be that the people you kidnapped all this time were…」

「Nice guess, Dozumi. Though, not all of them. I would say around ninety percent of them ended up in Negul’s stomach.」

Dozumi’s guess was confirmed with Gendor’s words. It wasn’t that Gendor was lecherous towards the kidnapped people or that he himself was a "Man-Eater"; rather, he was more of a pet sitter who would throw away human lives and treat them as fresh meat for the beast’s dinner.

「THaT PerSon GiVe Me MeaT In ExChanGe For Me To WorK For HIm. It’S MuTUaL BeNEfiT For US.」

Negul roared with laughter after his statement, his jubilance the result of his imminent hunt and feeding time. He relished the thought of hunting the prey in front of him.

Dozumi, on the other hand, was grinding his teeth in vexation upon hearing that. He had long accepted the fact that he was a villain, but his level was nothing compared to Gendor, who was basically beyond saving. He couldn’t believe that this was the leader he had served for years; it all made him nauseous.

「YOU FUCKING BASTARD! YOU SOLD YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL! DIE AND FALL INTO NARGOL, YOU FUCKING DICK HEAD SON OF ABITCH!」

Dozumi swore at Gendor with the foulest of obscenities he could muster. As a child, he was taught of a legend stating that when evil people died, their soul would be sent to Nargol, a land ruled by the Demon King, and that they would be tortured even after death; their afterlife would not be peaceful. That’s why he desperately wished for Gendor to fall into Nargol—he had to suffer the consequences of his heinous crimes. [TL: Basically equivalent to Hell in Human knowledge.]

「Heh! Do you think that Devil From Nargol is gonna come if you wish for it? Oh right, maybe that Dark Knight who defeated the Hero of Light might come save you! RIGHT GUYS?!」

After Gendor’s sarcastic remark, a wave of cackles echoed within the showroom. Above the wooden wall, countless disdainful eyes belonging to the upper-echelons of the party were looking below at Dozumi, sneering at his idiocy.

Dozumi knew that he was just making a fool out of himself and that he was grasping at straws, but when he heard Gendor mention the Dark Knight, he changed his tune.

Of course, like the rest of this world, Dozumi also knew about the Hero of Light, Reiji, who was favored by the Goddess. That’s why he also knew about the hero’s latest expedition to the north where he tried to subjugate the Demon King, but failed miserably due to his defeat by the hands of the Dark Knight, the Demon King’s subordinate.

Knowing all of this, Dozumi made one last attempt as he wished desperately for a miracle to happen.

(DAMN IT! DARK KNIGHT, IF YOU REALLY DO EXIST, PLEASE TAKE THIS SINNER’S SOUL TO NARGOL!)

「Now then, take your time to kill them, Negul! Teach everyone here the fate of anyone who dares to defy me!」

Gendor’s order woke Dozumi from his stupor. He realized yet another thing after hearing the end of that sentence: the main reason for the sudden disappearance of the warrior group who was hostile to Gendor in the past was this beast. All of Gendor’s secrets were unravelling at this very moment, too bad they would all be buried along with their corpses.

「KuHAhahA, It’S MEal Time!!」

Negul roared happily seeing his new prey.

「HIIIIIIIIII!」

Elnen screamed in fear as Nergul slowly approached him, smacking his tongue with gluttony. Elnen was completely paralized with fright, which made him unable to run away, and gave Negul an easy route to his dinner.

「GAAAAAAAAA!」

Negul arrived right in front of the screeching Elnen and opened his mouth wide, then, slowly enveloped, bit, and tore the entire upper half of Elnen’s body. Blood spurted out of the corpse’s lower half as it fell to the ground lifelessly.

「NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!」

Seeing the gory image in front of her, Rinea couldn’t help but scream in fear as well. The beast in front of her had given Elnen a quick death, but was endlessly torturing his remains. He was taking his time, chewing slowly on Elnen’s upper half, and then, proceeding to eat the lower half. It was like he was sitting in an elegant restaurant and savouring a luxurious and fancy meal. The whole thing was ghastly.

On Negul’s side, however, taking his time to enjoy the meal was a given since he knew that his prey couldn’t escape anyway.

As the monster ate, Dozumi racked his brains for a way to escape. He turned around only to see that the path used to lead him here was now blocked. He didn’t know when it had happened. He looked up and found Gendor’s subordinates waiting on top of the tall wooden wall with swords in their hands. They were guarding against anyone who tried to climb the wall to escape. But, it was impossible from the very beginning since manticores could fly.

It was all a despairing dead end.

Meanwhile, Negul had finally finished his first meal consisting of Elnen’s corpse and was now eyeing his remaining hunt. He was trying to choose his next target. His eyes first looked at Dozumi, then swept over to Rinea, which made her quiver with fear.

「NOOOOOOO! PLEASE FORGIVE MEEEEEE!」

Rinea immediately threw away her sword and ran towards Gendor’s spot. She looked up pleadingly while trying her hardest to climb the wall, puncturing her once beautiful hands with splinters, and bloodying her nails. Yet, it was all for naught as her meger strength didn’t allow her to reach her haven.

「Humph, I refuse to forgive you. Look Rinea, Negul is coming for you right now.」

When Rinea turned around, she saw that Negul was right behind her.

「Oi! RUN!」

Dozumi rushed at her and pulled her away from that place, trying to protect her from the oncoming slaughter.

Negul watched them frailily holding on to their dear life. The beast’s favorite part during its hunts was always this segment; toying with its prey that it could kill at any given moment made it shudder with ecstasy. It loved seeing their terror-stricken eyes and running around with flailing arms, its sadistic nature savored the torture. That was why it had chosen the woman as its next target, it was simply because she started running away first and that she showed more fear in her eyes than its other meal.

「WhAt’s MaTTer? Not RuNNing AwAY?」

Now that Dozumi was the one in front of it, the monster leaped at him with an eerie grin on its face, enjoying Dozumi’s fear.

Dozumi quickly raised his sword and blocked Negul’s approaching fangs.

「FUCK!」

Using all of his strength, Dozumi tried to push back Negul only to notice that fumes were coming from his sword’s blade, particularly the part that was bitten by Negul. When he looked closely, he noticed that his sword was starting to melt.

(No way! Its saliva can even melt metal!)

It was only a matter of time before his sword completely melted and the beast’s fangs reached him. Dozumi quickly backed away. He was starting to get impatient and was slowly and reluctantly accepting his imminent doom. He really hated the fact that Negul kept grinning. The beast was completely enjoying his fearful expression.

(Damn it! What should I do now?!)

Dozumi desperately wanted to shed tears, but the current conditions didn’t allow him to do so. He closed his eyes and urgently wished for someone to come and save him from this perilous situation, even if that said person was the Devil himself. His chaotic thoughts only repeated one sentence- "I don’t care, whoever it is, I’ll pledge my allegiance to anyone who saves me from this situation."

Suddenly, a thunderous shout echoed from above. Everyone watched as a shadow leapt out of nowhere and crossed the tall wooden wall, landing below. The person that suddenly appeared performed a roundhouse kick and sent Negul, who was just about to bite off Dozumi, flying away. Everyone in the room was speechless and couldn’t tear their eyes away from the arena.

Sensing the unusual quietness of the room, Dozumi slowly opened his eyes and looked in front of him—someone had stood between him and the monster.

「What? Who are you?」

「Are you okay, Dozumi-san?」

When that mysterious person turned around, Dozumi saw a familiar face.

「Is that you, Kuro?」

The one who came to save him was none other than Kuro, now gently smiling at him. Facing all of these near death experiences, Dozumi felt completely drained and felt his legs soften. Yet, that didn’t stop him from incredulously looking at Kuroki with a dumbfounded expression.

Once they arrived at the Black Fang’s base, Kuroki was guided to the execution room by Gendor’s lackey, who he had captured before. However, as soon as he entered the room, he was faced with the scene of a monster rushing towards Dozumi. Without even thinking, he leapt to the execution ground and kicked the strange beast that was about to eat Dozumi away.

「Kuroki-sama, the thing you kicked just now is a manticore. Its habitat should be in the western part of the continent. I wonder how it ended up in this kind of place? In addition, its smell is simply too horrid.」

Nut, who was perched on Kuroki’s shoulder, made a disgusted face as he gave Kuroki the necessary information. Kuroki also frowned due to the overwhelming stench attacking his nasal cavities. It was just as Nut said, the manticore’s stench was truly foul.

「Yeah, that manticore’s stench is… Horrible indeed. Nut, leave me for a minute, I’m going to settle this.」

""

「Yes, please be careful Kuroki-sama, a manticore can also use poison.」

After he gave his advice, Nut got off of Kuroki’s shoulder.

This was the first time Kuroki had ever met this kind of demon beast with a human face, bat wings, and a scorpion tail, but he wasn’t surprised after seeing such a bizarre appearance. Beasts in this land took all sorts of weird shapes and sizes; it was far from rare.

「YoU BAsTARd! HOw DaRe YoU LowLife To KicK ME!」

The manticore roared.

「Well my bad. I don’t know how you got separated from your habitat and found yourself in a far away place, but I promise that I won’t chase you if you decide to leave right now.」

Kuroki raised both his hands to show the manticore his peaceful bearing and that he won’t become its enemy. Kuroki didn’t want any more problems or troublesome fights, after all, the only reason he came to this place was to settle the matter with the person who attacked him.

「HumpH, WhAt Are You YaPPiNG AbOUt! ThE OnE WHo WoN’T Let YoU EsCapE Is Me! YOU JusT AnoTHEr One Of My DiNNer!」

The Manticore shouted in anger. How can a weak human dare to face it. Granted it was kicked by him, but it was just because it wasn’t prepared.

(Woops, it seems I angered this guy. If possible, I want to end this peacefully, but…)

Kuroki heaved a sigh, and drew the normal sword from the scabbard on his waist.

「Fool! You might be more talented than your average human, but normal humans can’t win against Negul!」

Kuroki looked up at the owner of that voice, he turned out to be the one Dozumi referred to as "Leader" and his main enemy, Gendor. But, what really occupied Kuroki’s mind was not the condescending words directed towards him; rather, the absurdity of the situation he was in.

(How in the world did that man manage to tame this manticore? This manticore is clearly stronger than him.)

As he pondered about that ludicrous matter, Kuroki felt a surge of killing intent.

「Kuro! FRONT! LOOK IN FRONT OF YOU!」

Dozumi shouted at Kuroki in panic. Kuroki looked at the panic-stricken man then leisurely turned around to look to the front, only to find that the manticore was charging towards him, ready to attack.

(Too slow.)

But, like in all of his previous fights, the beast’s movements felt like they were in slow motion to the overpowered Kuroki. He effortlessly dodged the manticore’s attack.

「Don’T ThiNK YoU CAn EsCApE! YOu WeAk HUmAN ShOUld UndErStAND ThaT YoUr FATe is To Be EaTen By The StRonG!」

The Manticore was now really irritated. Its hunt was taking too long and all the fun had vanished due to the lack of fear from its opponent.

「Even if you tell me that… I refuse to be eaten. But let me confirm for the last time, are you really not going to step back from this?」

Even at this moment, Kuroki still wished for the manticore to step back. He really wanted to avoid exerting any effort.

But, the manticore was completely ignoring Kuroki’s last bit of mercy.

「HumPh! I’Ve Told YoU BEFOre ThaT I WOn’T RuN! O CoME yE FLame!」

After the demon beast uttered its chant, several fireballs appeared around it. They amassed energy for a few seconds and gradually grew bigger, then rushed towards the manticore’s enemy, Kuroki.

As the events unfolded in front of him, Kuroki concluded that the manticore wielded Fireball magic. He then started conjuring an appropriate magic wall to protect himself.

「Magic Shield!」

A shining magic circle appeared in front of Kuroki and faced the oncoming firepower, protecting Kuroki in the process.

「GOtCHa!」

The manticore’s tail suddenly came from behind.

(Wow, that tail is really long, huh!)

Kuroki was not worried about this so-called sneak attack, he was more curious about the manticore’s unusual physique. He swung his sword, parrying the tip of the manticore’s scorpion-like tail.

Though the manticore was planning that sneak attack from the very beginning, it was painfully way too easy for Kuroki to see through that plan with his far superior dynamic vision.

「… EH!?」

Kuroki was flabbergasted when he retracted his arm wielding the weapon. The sword he used to parry that tail attack had now completely dissolved.

「AAH, MY HARD EARNED SWOORD!」

Kuroki was initially stunned by the events happening in front of him, but now he was really aggrieved at the loss of his sword. Even though he had bought that sword not long ago, he had grown fond of it, but now, it was completely tattered.

「HoW DARe YOu To RePEl My ATTack!」 [TL : That’s like the fucking most natural thing to do right!!]

The manticore seemed indignant about its sure kill strike being parried so easily.

「ThEn, It’S TImE TO USE THIs!!」

The beast decided to use its ultimate trump card. Its body gradually swelled up and its eyes shone a crimson red color. It now looked like a beast ready for rampage

「Is that some kind of power up?」

Kuroki examined the manticore’s expression. He knew after seeing its crimson red eyes that the beast had lost its sense of reason. It was now no different than a normal monster devoid of any intelligence.

「GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」

The manticore roared and then rushed toward Kuroki.

「Get away from me, Dozumi-san!」

Kuroki didn’t move from his place since Dozumi was still standing right behind him. He readied himself in a fighting pose and, as the fast approaching monster reached him, stopped its attack with his bare hands.

""

「HIIIII!」

Dozumi quickly took the screeching woman’s hand and ran away from the fighting premises. He didn’t want to slow down Kuroki when he was facing a life and death situation.

「Good job, Negul! KILL THEM ALL!」

Gendor bellowed in glee at the exhibit in front of him. All those who had crossed him would die today, eaten by his pet. The other people above all started vehemently cheering for the manticore.

Kuroki, on the other hand, was still holding the beast’s maw, stopping it from biting him. The manticore’s scattered saliva dissolved Kuroki’s clothes, which made him really start to get irritated.

This was truly such a bothersome experience.


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