Act 1 – 13.3 : Manticore
（SHIIIIIIT!! NOW MY OPTIONS ARE TO EITHER CALL MY ARMOR OR BECOME A FLASHER!!!）
Without much thought, Kuroki threw his tattered clothes and summoned his armor.The moment his armor appeared, he could hear a wave of astonished gasps from his surroundings.
Now, with the help of his demon armor, Kuroki put a bit more strength into his arms and flung the manticore.Seeing a huge beast being flung towards them, the people on top of the tall wooden wall scrambled around, trying to assess where the safest place lies and trying to get out of the danger zone. After fluttering in mid-air for a few moments, the huge mass that was several times Kuroki’s size dropped on top of the wall.
Being flung like that and thrown like a pile of trash, the manticore roared in anger. It spread its bat-like wings and flew to the air, its scorpion tail shooting a strange substance all around haphazardly.
Several spectators screamed in agony once touched by that eerie substance. Upon closer look, one could see that their skin had started to melt as if acid was thrown at them.
（Oh crap, it’s like Mega Crab! What should I do now? Should I just kill it?）
Kuroki really would’ve spareed that manticore’s life if he had chosen to back off and leave. But, he now realized that his kindness was taken for granted, only resulting in other people being killed by the cocky beast. He was now at a crossroads, he had to choose between sparing the beast or killing it to save the humans in this room.
He was now at a crossroads, he had to choose between sparing the beast or killing it to save the humans in this room.
He then heard a more conspicuous voice amongst the other agonizing screams in the room.Kuroki turned to look at the direction of that somewhat familiar voice and immediately recognised the people involved. There was a figure of a woman and Dozumi was standing by her side. Like Kuroki, the manticore also reacted to that scream, and headed towards the woman.
Kuroki’s body immediately moved as if it had a mind of its own. He had no time to hesitate since both Dozumi and the woman’s life were at stake. Kuroki summoned his demon sword which, once in his hand, lit up with a sinister crimson pattern. Kuroki followed by enveloping his blade with his black flames; a deathly aura quickly spread from his weapon.The manticore was now fast approaching his two initial preys, Kuroki acted fast and leapt to Dozumi’s position. He quickly stood in front of Dozumi and intercepted the beast’s attack, raising his powerful sword and ready to counterattack.
「HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」[TL : BLACK CALIBUUUUR!!!]
The demon blade diagonally slashed down from the upper right to the lower left, bisecting the beast’s body into two equal size sections. The manticore’s mamied body parts fell to the ground, thudding as if sacks of potatoes were being thrown. However, even in death the manticore brought destruction. Because of its poisonous nature, the ground where the beast’s body lay and where its blood was oozing started to be enveloped by rising white smoke, a sizzling sound accompanying it, melting the ground in the process.
However, even in death the manticore brought destruction. Because of its poisonous nature, the ground where the beast’s body lay and where its blood was oozing started to be enveloped by rising white smoke, a sizzling sound accompanying it, melting the ground in the process.
（Oh shit, my body moved on its own…. Maybe I overdid it.）
Kuroki heaved a sigh as he looked at the manticore’s corpse.
（Haah… Well, I still have unfinished business here.）
Reminded of his initial goal, Kuroki looked up and scanned his vicinity, only to be faced with several widened and fearful eyes.Due to his show of immense power and strength, all the spectators within the arena gazed at him in horror and were rendered speechless.
Gendor couldn’t believe the scene unfolding right in front of his eyes. His pet, Negul was cleaved right in half.
His pet, Negul was cleaved right in half.
Yes, it was split RIGHT-IN-HALF by that weak looking man named Kuro.
That man was just suddenly engulfed in black flames, and before anyone knew it, he was already clad in jet-black armor and holding a sinister crimson sword.
Everything happened in a flash.
Gendor recalled his first meeting with the man called Kuro.
When he first saw him, his first impression was that he was a scrawny and weak looking man. The only thing that had caught his eye was the rare animal he was carrying. That’s why he ordered his subordinates to kidnap him—he only wanted to snatch that rare creature.
It should’ve been an easy job, probably among the easiest he ever assigned to his lackeys; but his regret came too late.
The man was the Devil himself.
The Devil standing below in jet-black armor slowly started to rise. He approached Gendor as if he was the Grim Reaper coming to take his next soul. Granted Kuroki never had the intention to kill him, but his aura still terrified Gendor, who felt death looming over him.
「N-Nargol’s D-Dark Knight!」
Gendor’s subordinates shouted loudly and ran toward the exit.But right at that moment, the exit was blocked by a wall of black flames.
「My bad… But can you refrain from leaving this place? I just want to scare you after all.」 [TL : ….]After he uttered those words, The Dark Knight’s body soared a bit higher and headed toward the center of the arena. A moment later, Gendor suddenly felt that his body was as stiff as lead.
「What the… hell….」
Gendor shivered like a baby.
「No… NOOOO. SOMEONE SAVE MEEEEE!」
His teeth incessantly chattered, preventing him from speaking properly and asking for help again; all he could do in the end was scream. He turned around to signal his subordinates to help him, only to find them also trembling in fear. Then, the Dark Knight slowly approached Gendor. It felt like time ran slowly. What was supposed to be mere seconds felt like hours to Gendor—the Dark Knight finally appeared before him.
Then, the Dark Knight slowly approached Gendor. It felt like time ran slowly. What was supposed to be mere seconds felt like hours to Gendor—the Dark Knight finally appeared before him.
「No…. I-I don’t want to go to Nargol… Hic… Hic…」
Gendor was muttering something in between his sobs.His body refused to move no matter how much he wanted to escape from this place.
「Since you were trying to kidnap Nut, I’ll make sure that you experience more terror than the other guys.」
The Dark Knight touched Gendor’s cheeks.
「No! Please, stop it! Save me, Goddess-sama!」
In the midst of his cries, Gender, for the very first time, begged for the Goddess to save him. Up until this point, never once had Gendor prayed or even believed in the Goddess’s teachings. He was aware that his actions were going against her, but he did not care in the slightest at the time. Yet now, when he was faced with utter despair, he decided to pray for her to save him. Alas, it was useless—it was time for him to pay for his sins.
「SUFFER FROM ETERNAL NIGHTMARES!」
When the Dark Knight said those words, Gendor suddenly felt that he lost all hope in the world.
「W-What is happening…」
Gendor found himself in complete and utter darkness; it was like he was thrown into the abyss. He frantically started surveying his surroundings, trying to find a way out of this endless void. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he noticed a white gleaming light, floating in the middle of the endless darkness. Having a bit of hope, he quickly looked over. But what he saw made all the blood drain from his face. That white floating mirage was none other than a human face, a face all too familiar to him.
Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he noticed a white gleaming light, floating in the middle of the endless darkness. Having a bit of hope, he quickly looked over. But what he saw made all the blood drain from his face. That white floating mirage was none other than a human face, a face all too familiar to him.
It was the name of a man he killed in the past.
「W-What the heck is this, Calius? It’s your fault… It’s your fault for not giving me your wife.」
No matter how much he spoke, Calius just looked at Gendor with piercing cold eyes.Upon a closer look, Gendor saw another face beside Calius; it was the face of the man’s wife. The poor woman who was fed to Negul since she dared to reject Gendor.
「Hiii, you foolish woman… it’s your fault for rejecting me.」
Gendor quickly turned away from these ghostly illusions. But right behind him, his gaze fell upon other human faces. They were all his victims, faces all too familiar to him: the people he robbed, the warriors he had conflicts with, the subordinates who had made a blunder—they were all mercilessly killed by him at the end, whether friend or foe. What was even more haunting was that many childish faces could be seen; Gendor couldn’t even spare young and innocent children.
They were all his victims, faces all too familiar to him: the people he robbed, the warriors he had conflicts with, the subordinates who had made a blunder—they were all mercilessly killed by him at the end, whether friend or foe. What was even more haunting was that many childish faces could be seen; Gendor couldn’t even spare young and innocent children.
Though he had long since forgotten their names, he still remembered their faces deep in his heart. After all, he loved seeing those fearful faces when on the verge of death, relished them even.
「Why… Why are you people glaring at me….」
Gendor, wanting to avoid the countless eyes, closed his eyes shut, but even then, those faces still appeared in his blinded state.
Gendor raised an indescribable shriek and collapsed right there, froth coming out of his mouth.
（Oh shit! I overdid it again!）
Kuroki was looking at the unconscious man in front of him, the man who Dozumi referred to as "Leader".The man’s eyes had lost their focus.
Moreover, he kept mumbling those nonsensical words. Upon a closer look, Kuroki saw that some sort of liquid was leaking out from the man’s pants.In a hurry, Kuroki distanced himself from that man due to the liquid’s unpleasant ammonia stench.
（I never expected this magic to be this effectives.）
Eternal Nightmare magic was a black magic spell similar to Fear magic as it used people’s worst fears to incapacitate them. However, unlike the mild Fear magic or the usual Nightmare magic, the Eternal Nightmare spell was like a curse—it would never leave the affected people, they would see their worst nightmare whether they were asleep or awake. It would haunt them until the caster removed the spell. Kuroki had never used this magic before because it wasn’t the kind of magic that can be used on just anyone.
Kuroki had never used this magic before because it wasn’t the kind of magic that can be used on just anyone.
（Shall I undo the spell?）
Though he had also used Fear magic to inflict fear on Gendor prior to the Eternal Nightmare spell and on the people in this room a while ago, he found out that the effects of his Fear magic were stronger than the normal Fear magic, resulting in the people here to tremble non-stop like newborn foals. It was probably due to his immense power, he thought. Kuroki turned around to look at Dozumi, who was still looking dumbfoundedly at him from the arena below.
Kuroki turned around to look at Dozumi, who was still looking dumbfoundedly at him from the arena below.
His magic hadn’t targeted Dozumi or the woman beside him. But, after seeing their expression, Kuroki was well aware of the fact that they feared him.
「A-Are you, Kuro?」
Dozumi was currently sitting on the ground, looking up at Kuroki. He was obviously scared of him.
（Even though he wasn’t supposed to be amongst the targets of my Fear magic…）
Which means that Dozumi’s fear was real, not because of the effects of his magic.
「Yes, it’s Kuro, Dozumi-san.」
Kuroki replied to Dozumi, with his softest voice.
「A-Are you a Devil?」
Kuroki was puzzled when Dozumi suddenly asked him that question.
（Could it be that I look like a Devil in this armor? Though it’s correct if he referred the Devil as the subordinates of the Demon King, Modes.）
It seems that regardless of the Dark Knights’ personalities or ranks, they would always look like atrocious devils in this armor, even if it was a rookie Dark Knight like Gned. Kuroki then recalled the fact that Gned called him "Your Excellency" instead of using "-Sama".
Kuroki then recalled the fact that Gned called him "Your Excellency" instead of using "-Sama".
To tell the truth, even Kuroki had no answer to this question.
But, he had to answer that question; the fact that he wasn’t a "Human" of this world.
「You’re right. I might be what you call a… Devil.」 「I-I see now, come to think of it, could it be that the Dark Knight who defeated the Hero-sama is…」
「I-I see now, come to think of it, could it be that the Dark Knight who defeated the Hero-sama is…」
Kuroki told Dozumi the truth since there was no meaning in hiding it anyway. Dozumi was clearly shaken by that revelation, his body couldn’t stop trembling.
Dozumi was clearly shaken by that revelation, his body couldn’t stop trembling.
Kuroki felt rather sad seeing that reaction.
The rumor about the atrociousness of the Dark Knight had spread far and wide, reason being him the one who defeated the Hero of Light, humanity’s hope.
Goes to show how much hope was placed on Reiji’s shoulder.
「Are you going to take me to Nargol too?」
Kuroki was baffled, he couldn’t answer that question. He didn’t understand why Dozumi thought so because had no intention to take Dozumi, nor did he want to hurt him. But, he knew that Dozumi was looking at him as if looking at the Grim Reaper.Dozumi’s reaction was the normal reaction of any ordinary human when they stood in front of the Dark Knight.
「No, I’ve no intention to do so… Or should I say that doing so is rather troublesome.」
Kuroki’s reply ended up being rather messed up.
Kuroki nodded as a response to Dozumi’s question.Thereupon, Dozumi suddenly prostrated in front of Kuroki.
「Let me to pledge my allegiance to you, Master!」
Seeing that, the woman beside Dozumi did the same, prostrating in front of Kuroki. It was a peculiar sight to behold, Kuroki then heard some rustling from up above. He looked up and was faced with numerous individuals, all kowtowing to him one by one.
It was a peculiar sight to behold, Kuroki then heard some rustling from up above. He looked up and was faced with numerous individuals, all kowtowing to him one by one.
Every single one of them was trembling in fear.
（Eh, How did things turn out this way?）
And troubled Kuroki in return.