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Chapter: 4


Chapter 4 : The Mysterious Dark Knight Appears

The Hero of Light Reiji and his party advanced toward Nargol.Their aim was the Demon King’s castle.

The light of the stars shone upon the plain. They didn’t see sunlight at all after they had passed Akeron Mountain, the boundary between Nargol and human territories.

Since there was no sun shining overhead, Nargol was considered the world of eternal darkness. Seeing the completely different sky reminded Chiyuki, one of the Hero’s party members, about how they were not on Earth anymore.

In place of the sun, there was the white moon of Orgis shining under the Nargol sky.

The Moon God Orgis and the Sun Goddess Mina were the parents of the gods of light.

And the Demon King Modes who ruled over this region was the God of Darkness who had no blood relationship with the Sun Goddess.

That might be the reason for Nargol’s eternal night.

「Just a bit more, Chiyuki-senpai.」

Rino seemed to be enjoying herself. As she danced around the party, her twin tails moved along with her.As far as she knew, Rino had been a model back in Japan. She had aimed to become an idol who both sang and danced, hence why she was so skilled at dancing.

(Haven’t the people of this world started to call her the Goddess of Dancing nowadays?)

Wherever she went, Rino always became the center of attention. That was because she always strolled everywhere while dancing.The only problem was her affinity for miniskirts.

Because of it, many men stared at her with indecent looks on their faces.Chiyuki tried talking to her about it but Rino just shrugged it off. She told Chiyuki she was used to it, so she didn’t mind. After all, a model would have to get used to that kind of gaze if they wanted to work.

The ever serious Chiyuki would never be able to get used to such gazes.

「Yeah, it’s just a bit more, Rino-san.」

Just a bit more and they should arrive at the Demon King’s Palace.As long as they defeated the Demon King Modes, then their journey would end. They’d be able to return to their world.

「Yeah, this hard journey will end. Sorry girls, I’ve been dragging you along for so long.」

Reiji had been walking on the frontmost formation when he suddenly turned around and then apologized to the girls.The only one who was supposed to be summoned to this world as a Hero was Reiji. Chiyuki and the other girls just happened to be around him.

「Yeah, but it’s a memorable adventure.」

Reiji laughed at Chiyuki’s remark.

「That’s right. This adventure was truly memorable.」

Chiyuki was enjoying their experience in this world. It was all thanks to Reiji being summoned as the Hero of Light…To be exact, everyone who was summoned along with Reiji was enjoying their adventure in this world.

Chiyuki and the others were summoned around a year ago by the woman called Goddess Arlena. The very same goddess who requested Chiyuki and the others to defeat the Demon King.It was such a manga-like development and Chiyuki was dissatisfied with that.

Rena had practically kidnapped them. And she couldn’t forgive her for that. Their disappearance probably caused an uproar in Japan.

On top of it all, Rena told them that she couldn’t send them back to their original world.

But, since the one who made the request was a beauty, Reiji readily accepted Rena’s request to subjugate the Demon King.

As a result, the other girls were involved in Rena’s request, too.

But the one who was most disgruntled about the entire situation was Chiyuki. Reiji, Nao, and Rino rejoiced knowing they had been summoned into a game-like world.Sahoko and Shirone were bewildered at first but they also eventually accepted the situation.

Chiyuki only reluctantly accepted the situation after Rena said that it was possible to send them back to the same day they had been summoned to this world.Thus, she didn’t worry anymore about staying in this world for a while.

That was how their adventures began.

At first, she had been anxious. After all, there was a Demon King. His existence implied to her that they were in a dangerous world.But her anxiety turned out to be for nothing.

She discovered that after coming to this world, they all became extremely powerful.The first thing she noticed was how their physical strength raised to an alarming degree. It was as if they had turned into Superman.

The increase of their physical strength in this world was relative to their physical strength back in their world.

She knew that because Reiji’s and Nao’s physical strengths were the highest amongst them, and they became even higher after they came to this world.

Even Sahoko, the weakest amongst them, could easily send several adult males of this world flying.

Another thing bestowed upon them in this world was magic.According to Chiyuki’s investigation, it seemed that only a handful of humans in this world could use magic.

Chiyuki, on the other hand, could use ALL KINDS OF MAGIC. Moreover, she could use up to the highest level of magic, which was impossible for the humans of this world.

According to Rena, Chiyuki and co had the same amount of magic power as those of the Divine race, the most powerful race in this world.

Chiyuki and co were unaware of magic because there was no magic back on Earth. Even if it did exist, they simply weren’t aware of its existence.

There were different specializations in magic.

For example, Chiyuki. Her spirit magic wasn’t as powerful as Rino’s and her healing magic was less effective than Sahoko’s.

But both Sahoko and Rino couldn’t use teleportation magic like Chiyuki.

The reason for that was a mystery even for Chiyuki.

According to Nao, who was well versed in games, Rino was a Spirit type magician while Sahoko was a Healing type magician. And Chiyuki was a magician of the Magic Power type.She couldn’t understand the reason why they had such power after being summoned.

There was one thing she was sure about: they became one of the strongest people in the world.Especially Reiji. His combat ability was simply too terrifying. Even if the girls ganged up on him, they still wouldn’t win.

According to Rena, Reiji’s combat prowess could rival that of Oudis, the King of the Gods of Light.

They reached this far without a hitch mainly because of Reiji’s combat prowess. It saved the girls from many dire situations.

In the end, they enjoyed their adventure to the fullest. Before they noticed, it had already been one year since they were summoned to this world.

And their adventure was about to end.

Recalling the memories up until that moment made Chiyuki feel they should have been a bit greedier.

She wondered if they should as for some sort of compensation before they were sent back to their world. There was no reward waiting for them upon completing the Goddess’s request since Reiji agreed to it by himself.

But they might be able to ask for some reparations for kidnapping them.

Chiyuki sighed, resigned.

She already knew Reiji would veto that suggestion.

In her opinion, Reiji should divert some of his kindness toward the male population. But the person in question wasn’t very keen on doing that.

According to him, men should solve their problems by themselves.

But in Chiyuki’s eyes, the ones saved by Reiji were only cute girls.Though it might be just her imagination.

「Lo~ok, that’s the Demon King’s castle.」

Nao returned from scouting.

She had been the ace of the Track and Field club back in their high school. Her physical abilities were on par with Reiji.

Although she was famous as a feral child at the school, after getting along with her for a while Chiyuki knew she was, in fact, an adorable girl.

In a game, Nao’s job would have been either thief or ranger, since her best ability was scouting.

「How was the situation there, Nao-san?」

「U~hn… No traps or soldiers are waiting for us there. I think it’s safe to enter the castle.」

「That’s strange. Isn’t that castle supposedly the Demon King’s last stronghold? 」

「Are they staying inside since they’re too scared to fight us? 」

Rino had an optimistic tone.Shirone, unlike her, wasn’t so sure.

「Or maybe there’s no one left to protect the Demon King anymore? I mean, we just defeated the ones who called themselves the Chivalric Order of Dark Knights the other day. Maybe they were the last ones…」

Shirone’s family ran a dojo, and she was a swordswoman.

She was already one of the strongest swordswomen in this world and if the combat didn’t involve magic, she was the most powerful member after Reiji.

Chiyuki had seen Shirone fight before and she felt like Shirone’s ponytail danced along with its owner’s every movement.

As a swordswoman, Shirone wore light armor for ease of movement. Reiji had recommended her to wear bikini armor, but that idea was rejected by Shirone.

The Order of Dark Knights that Shirone mentioned was the opponent they fought four days ago.

Since Reiji wasn’t with them at that time, Chiyuki and co had been on the verge of being defeated by the Order.

The one called Runfeld, who announced himself as the leader of the Order of Dark Knights, had swordsmanship on par with Shirone and magic prowess on par with Chiyuki.

But Reiji noticed Chiyuki and co’s crisis and came running to save the day. He managed to turn the tables and Runfeld barely escaped with his life.

That was the event that killed almost all the members of the Order of Dark Knights. Only a few of them survived Reiji’s onslaught.

「I think it would be great if there was no one there but…」

Sahoko was the one who hated disputes the most out of everyone in the party. She excelled in healing magic and went around healing sick or injured people during her free time.Chiyuki even knew that people began to refer to her as a Saint nowadays.

「I agree. It’ll be for the best if no one is there since taking care of the small fries was rather tiresome.」

""

Chiyuki had the same opinion as Sahoko.

「Well, we’ll know when we arrive. Let’s get going.」「「OOH!」」

Rino and Nao yelled in unison.Thus, Chiyuki and co went toward the Demon King’s palace. It took them a few minutes to arrive, but they finally reached the giant palace.

「The heck? It’s huge.」

Rino stared at the giant structure in front of them.

Even Chiyuki had to agree that she was right. It was far bigger than any human city that Chiyuki had known so far.

The giant black palace floated in the middle of a giant lake that reflected the starry skies. It made the palace look like the embodiment of the night itself.

They advanced along the bridge towards a giant gate. The bridge was massive enough to support even the weight of Giants.

No one was stationed along the bridge.

Chiyuki was puzzled by the situation.

「There’s no one else… Maybe they’re hiding inside the palace? It’s simply too quiet. No one’s stationed here, not even on the lookout on top of the rampart. What’s the meaning of this? 」「No… Wait a minute, Chiyuki-san! I saw a person! 」

Nao had the best eyesight among the group.She pointed straight ahead, where a man stood. He wore completely black armor with a black mantle.

「Is he… A Dark Knight? 」

Chiyuki muttered to herself.

The armor the strange man wore was similar to the armor the Dark Knights they defeated had worn.

Reiji stared intently at the man’s helmet.

「I can’t see his face because of the helmet but I’m sure he isn’t Runfeld.」

Chiyuki agreed with Reiji.

The armor of the Dark Knight in front of them looked similar but was completely different from the armor the Dark Knights they fought before wore.

Thus, they concluded the Dark Knight in front of them wasn’t Runfeld.

Also, the armor of the Dark Knight in front of them was more sinister than the other Dark Knights, including Runfeld’s.

「Even so… He seems to be stronger than Runfeld. And terrifying, for some reason. My skin is tingling just by looking at him.」

Shirone glared at the Dark Knight, but he just stood there in silence.Chiyuki and co couldn’t see his expression because of his helmet. His eyes shone an ominous crimson color due to the gems that covered the eye parts of the helmet. It prevented the other party from uncovering his identity.

That crimson light was locked on Chiyuki and co.

「No need to fear, Shirone. We’re strong. Moreover, he’s alone.」

Chiyuki felt more at ease with Reiji’s words.As he said, the Dark Knight was by himself. No matter how powerful he was, he shouldn’t be a match for Reiji, the Hero of Light.

「That’s right. But then, why did he wait for us by himself? 」

Everyone including Chiyuki pondered about that.

(What in the world is that Demon King thinking?)

While Chiyuki thought about it, the Dark Knight raised his sword and pointed it at their group.

「Hero Reiji! I wish to have a one-on-one duel with you! 」

「Hero Reiji! I wish to have a one-on-one duel with you! 」

Kuroki, wearing the Dark Knight armor, declared a duel in front of Reiji and co with his sword pointing straight at Reiji.

It was a Demon Sword, with sinister crimson lines along the surface of the blade. The crimson-blood red patterns on the surface of its blade pulsed as if it was alive.

Modes gave it to Kuroki along with the armor he was wearing.

It was a greatsword meant to be used with both hands.When it was given to Kuroki, its length was close to two meters. But, in Kuroki’s hands, its size shrunk until its length became just a bit longer than a meter.

(Truly a mysterious sword. It changes its size according to its owner… It’s worlds apart from the bamboo sword I used to wield.)

He had wielded a katana before, but the sword in his hand was in a completely different league.

Reiji let out a ferocious smile after receiving that challenge. Kuroki felt cold sweat going down his spine just from seeing that smile.

(F-FUCK! WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW? I might lose in the most uncool possible way again.)

He didn’t even need to look in the mirror to see his unsightly expression.

Kuroki was truly grateful he wore his helmet to hide his face. The helmet was part of the Dark Knight armor set and it hid his entire face, preventing Shirone from recognizing Kuroki.It was even equipped with voice changer magic, preventing Shirone from recognizing Kuroki from his voice too.

Even though those functions seemed trivial, it wouldn’t be funny if Shirone recognized him.

Kuroki stared at the Hero and his party from under his helmet.

Reiji was surrounded by many beauties. Even Shirone stood by his side. If he had to be honest, he didn’t want to see her with Reiji.

Kuroki then focused his gaze on Reiji.

He wore a pure white armor inlaid with golden patterns and an expensive-looking mantle on his back.

An appearance befitting of his title as the Goddess’s Hero of Light.

Even Kuroki was in awe seeing Reiji’s appearance.Against that shining Hero was Kuroki, a Demon King’s subordinate. He didn’t even have comrades around him. He was alone against the entire hero’s party.

(What the heck is this difference between our situations… Honestly, I want to cry now.)

In his heart, Kuroki cried a loser dog’s cry even before the duel began.

「Everyone get back. I alone am enough to handle this guy.」

Kuroki was relieved that Reiji told his party to fall back.

He didn’t want to fight women, after all.

Reiji then drew his sword from its scabbard. It was a long sword with a long hilt made to be held with both hands. The sword’s blade released a pale golden light.

Kuroki could felt that Reiji’s sword was also a magic sword. He felt some sort of pressure as they faced each other.

(Why the hell did I not refuse Modes when I had the chance? If I lose, I’m going to die! What am I doing, asking for a duel but unwilling to die in it? The hell?! If only I could punch my stupid self from a few hours ago! Wait, maybe it’s not too late to surrender… NO, NO NO, ESCAPING MIGHT BE MY BEST CHOICE!!!)

Although Kuroki’s mind was being consumed by his fear, his body got into a stance by itself. Even Kuroki himself didn’t understand the reason.

「I’m gonna end this in one blow.」

Said Reiji with a refreshing smile on his face. It was the same confident smile that he showed when he never doubted his victory.It would be the second time they fought. Kuroki recalled that during the first time, Reiji had laughed in the same way.

They faced each other for a few seconds, but none of them made the first move.It was just a few seconds and yet, Kuroki felt like an eternity had passed.

「Too scared to move? Then here I come! 」

Reiji moved first, kicking the ground and closing in on Kuroki at once. His speed was even faster than Runfeld’s.

To Kuroki, Reiji moved in the same way as their first duel.Reiji suddenly vanished right in front of Kuroki.

(Right side, is it?)

Kuroki twisted his body and swung his sword to the right immediately. The shock from the two clashing swords was transmitted from the blade to his arms.

KIIN!

Without a moment’s delay, Kuroki parried Reiji’s strike by diverting its power with a combination of a circling motion and sliding footwork.

His parry would have managed to throw Reiji off balance…

… if Reiji was a normal person.

「Oops! 」

But Reiji wasn’t a Hero just for show. He didn’t go against the momentum. He just followed it with a flip to regain his balance.

(It’s as if he’s a monkey! Just what kind of motor nerves does he have to be able to pull such a stunt?)

Kuroki was surprised by Reiji’s reflex.

After regaining his balance, Reiji charged again toward Kuroki from the front.Kuroki didn’t commit the same mistake as before. He didn’t let their swords clash. Instead, he parried Reiji’s sword with a combination of sweeping motions and sliding footwork, throwing the strike to the side.

That sliding footwork was a technique he mastered a while before he was summoned to another world. It took long years of training.

Although Reiji’s balance crumbled again, he just flipped to the side to readjust his balance immediately.

And once again set his sword in Kuroki’s direction.

「GODDAMMIT! NOT BAD! HOW ABOUT THIS?!」

Reiji’s body was enveloped by light as he accelerated even faster than before. When Reiji swung his sword at that speed, several swords of light appeared and attacked Kuroki at once.

(EH? WOAH? WOOPSIE?)

Kuroki swung his sword and circled until he parried all the swords of light.

「You just keep running away from the very beginning! Is defense all you can do?!」

Reiji was starting to get irritated.But it couldn’t be helped. Kuroki didn’t see an opening for a counterattack. Reiji attacked relentlessly and Kuroki couldn’t do anything but defend himself from those attacks.

But Kuroki noticed that, as time passed, Reiji’s attack lost its sharpness. Every time Kuroki parried Reiji’s strike, the sound of his sword striking on Reiji’s sword caused the air to tremble.Light and darkness intersected under the dark and starry skies of Nargol.

It seemed that Reiji was losing patience with the pacing of the battle. He let out a big attack, wanting to end the fight as quickly as possible.

「TAKE THIS! 」

That attack was simply too sloppy against Kuroki, who had suffered through long years of training.

Kuroki didn’t parry the attack. He dodged it by a paper-thin margin, turned in a circle and used that momentum to do a diagonal slash from the lower left to the upper right.The feeling of his sword tearing through something was transmitted to his hands.

It felt like time had stopped.

Kuroki’s diagonal slash tore open Reiji’s abdomen from the right side of his waist to his left shoulder.Although that slash failed to completely sever Reiji’s body in two, he still mortally wounded Reiji. Blood kept spurting from that wound.

「EH…?」

Reiji was looking at his chest with an expression as if he couldn’t believe what he just saw. And then, he fell face up.

「No! Reiji-kun lost! 」

「Rei-kun! 」

「Reiji-senpai! 」

「Reiji-san! 」

「Reiji-kun! 」

Five girls screamed at the same time and all of them moved at once.Kuroki retreated as soon as he felt their killing intent. In the next moment, a flicker of flame exploded on the place where Kuroki stood a moment ago.

In a blink of the eyes, a fire Giant already stood right in front of Kuroki.A girl stood right next to that flame Giant.

「O Ferocious Flame Giant Living in the Fire Kingdom! Cross The Rainbow Bridge and Help Rino! GO! Flame Emperor! 」

As soon as the girl ordered it to attack, the flame Giant charged at Kuroki.The moment he recognized the danger, Kuroki stretched out his left hand which wasn’t holding his sword at the moment.

「O Black Flame! 」

The black flame that spewed from Kuroki’s left hand protected him from the Flame Giant’s attack.It was the only magic he learned before the duel.

「Rei-kun! O Healing Wind! Close His Wound! 」

Yoshino Sahoko rushed over toward the fallen Reiji’s side.

「Everyone! Gather around Reiji-kun! 」

The other girls gathered by Reiji’s side as soon as they heard Mizuouji Chiyuki’s flustered words.

「Teleport! 」

Dazzling light surged forth along with her yell and then, when the light and the Flame Giant vanished, the Hero party had also vanished from that place.

「Did I just… Win?」

As he muttered so, his body trembled due to excitement.

He then fell on his knees and heaved a long sigh.


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