Naromivas reacted swiftly. While casting a sharp look with his blue eyes at me, he crossed the black swords in his hands and swung them in a calm manner. A great number of birds clad in black flames were born from the black blades.
Birds of darkness that looked like wildlife caricatures1. Flames of darkness or maybe ink? Anyway, they were shady birds releasing a mysterious material from their bodies.
Those weird birds swarmed around Naromivas while chirping eerily.
It was unclear whether it was a technique or a summoning, but he instructed those birds that combined crows and eagles, “I will have you experience the <Prison Flame Birds> of the spirit world――”
That’s a genuine ranged, darkness attack rather than birds? In that case, I think I’ll be alright even if I get hit by them.
However, I hate pain.
I stopped moving and confronted the birds, extending <Chain> from both wrists. I manipulated the chains like a snake charmer, who has his snakes slowly sway to the sides by playing a flute. The chains took up position to intercept.
Immediately following, the birds swooped down on me. Like moths flying to the light.
I operated my two chains, having them plunge through the air with undulating trajectories and bringing down several birds by stabbing them.
However, two birds that had escaped the chains in a right angle approached from the left and right. The one on the right side was faster, but I read its maneuver in an instant.
While moving my Magic Halberd in the figure of an 8 towards the right, I had the red spear’s head diagonally clash against the approaching bird.
The bird, which got stabbed and crushed as if being knocked aside from below, turned into red cinders, and crashed towards the ground.
Next up was the bird approaching from the opposite side. I rotated the halberd, letting it flow towards my back, where I shifted its hold toward my left hand.
While perceiving the approaching bird with my eyes, I scooped up my halberd after quickly moving the inner side of my left wrist as if snapping it. The red ax blade captured the abdomen of the bird closing in from above, bisecting it in one go.
I returned the Magic Halberd into a seigan stance with enough force to cause a gale while manipulating the chains again. I had the tear-drop-shaped chain tips head for Naromivas himself. The chains moved with a speed similar to a bullet.
He drew arcs with the black swords in both hands, easily repelling the chains. It was as if his swords had depicted a full moon in front of his eyes. It looked stylish exactly because he was a handsome demon.
“――Some kind of secret, darkness chains from the underground world? I cut at them with Darkness Blade Valoha with the intention to sever them, and yet they got only repelled…?” He said while glaring at the tips of <Chain>.
He has a sombre voice that would make a woman swoon, and his reaction speed isn’t half bad either. Additionally, those Darkness Blade Valoha… Seeing as they don’t have a single chip in their blades after repelling my <Chains>, they must be magic swords with extraordinary durability.
Well, he’s a handsome demon possessing such weapons, but in the end he’s a mad, cannibalistic fucker.
『…Mana has been accumulated in his eyes. Besides, the manipulation of mana inside his body is smooth as well. It looks as if flames of darkness are gathering on the surface of his dubious skin combining silver and red colors.』
『Flames of darkness? Is that his power? Well, mabye.』
After talking telepathically with Helme, I erased <Chain>, and charged at Naromivas in a forward-bent posture.
Immediately after entering the range of my halberd, I unleashed a <Thrust> in order to pierce his chest as if performing a right hand ippon after stepping in with the image of stamping out the magic crest’s symbols, which had stopped shining, with my left foot.
He swung the black sword in his left hand upwards as if imitating a propeller’s rotation, and repelled the red spear, lifting it towards the sky.
So he blocked it after all, huh?
At the same time as the weapons generated a hard metallic sound, he swung the black sword in his right hand horizontally, making use of the short distance between us.
I fell back without receiving the sword that had a trajectory as if warping sideways. While drawing back the halberd to my flank, I kicked the ground with my left foot, retreating.
Huh? No pursuing sword thrust?
I predicted a ranged attack using the birds from before, but Naromivas didn’t show any signs of following up. Instead, he poured mana into his black swords.
Was he buying time?
『It feels like he’s going to invoke magic from those magic swords, doesn’t it?』
『Probably. Is he going to make them grow, or extend…?』
The blades of the swords rapidly expanded as he poured mana into them. I decided to deliberately go along with his invitation.
“…You’re a being who hammered a wedge into this magic crest connected to Vaamina-sama. The violet magic spear, no, I guess magic halberd. The magnificent spear techniques with unmatched accuracy that steer that halberd…they are delicate and lively like the demonic puppets manipulated by the special mercenaries of the war doll users, who are said to be capable of fighting spirit world knights and surpass sorcery dolls. Aren’t you actually a sorcery puppet as they are handed down in the southwestern Ihzon Kingdom?”
I am a spear-wielding puppet? …Is he guessing while scorning me with sarcasm? I know of sorcery dolls, but demonic puppets? I never heard anything about the Ihzon Kingdom either.
“…Puppet? Just who would be moving me in that case?” I asked while laughing lightly.
“…For example the war maiden of the God of Justice Shafa who’s sleeping on the offering table and whom you rescued? Or Madam Kazane who leads the Ashura Group and is an apostle of Fate God Ashura, and whom I don’t let come near me. Or a part of the spirit world gods who possess darkness lances, making it the origin of your nickname as Spearmaster. Or an apostle of Tyrannical King Boshiado, or maybe the Dead Sea Knights…”
A dead sea knight under the rule of Boshiado? I heard about them from Rulizeze, too.
“…An apostle of Dark God Rivograph who has an influence on the surface…the seven demon generals of the dark god. The Religious Organization of Darkness Hades.”
He was continuing to charge mana into his black swords, but it seemed as though he wanted to chat.
I guess I will humor him on purpose.
“Dark God Rivograph?”
“Indeed…an independent being of darkness who’s the darkness of this world. He signifies the darkness of magic and mind. That darkness pollutes lives and souls. Dark magicians, mad master sorcerers of evil, and many believers even among the various monsters exist on the surface and in the underground world. They consider the dark god as their creator.”
The underground world came up here all of a sudden, but… Does he also possess connections to the Demonoid Empire? He might also be connected to the dark elf, dwarf, and gnome societies in a complicated manner.
“If you mention the underground world, you mean the Demonoid Empire?”
At that moment Naromivas reacted, his temples twitching.
“…You’re well-informed. Not only of us, the apostles of nightmares, but also other organizations. Or are you aware of the black prophets?”
The hell’s that…?
“You don’t know? In light of the eyes of night you possess, I guess I will make an exception and tell you.”
Eyes of night…my Demonic Eyes of Charming, huh? That means, my <Power of True Ancestor> seems to also work on Naromivas. Moreover, in his case, it’s the extreme of demonic. I think that he’s filled with negative emotions, the darkness attribute. Did he suffer the full influence?
I pray that he won’t start swinging the other way with his heart throbbing when he sees me.
“…I suppose I will have you tell me then.”
“The 【Black Prophets】 and the 【Pivot Council of Darkness】 are a handful of beings that have been leading countless organizations and associations. 【Apostles of the Blood Symbol】, 【Devil’s Fist】, 【Blood Court of the Great Tomb】, 【Religious Organization of Darkness Hades】, and 【Sebdola Faith】. Although they are called 【Dark Guilds】, they are included in the 【Pivot Council of Darkness】. All of them are on bad terms… By the way, there exist three 【Black Prophets】. One among them is me. Demonoid Bellahozuma Naromivas, the sole person who accomplished reincarnating into a demon.”
He had a face overflowing with confidence.
“…How is that connected to the underground’s Demonoid Empire?”
Are the Eight Lights a yet different organization?
“Export. They export a part of the captured sacrifices using certain, special routes to cities such as 【Desert City Gozald】 and 【Faith Capital Mestorazan】 in the north, 【Mine City Tandarl】 in the southeast, the western 【Green Dragon City Rulexand】 that had been conquered by the empire, and 【Trade City Denim】 as well as 【Labyrinth City Ysolgand】 in the southwest. In exchange, they borrow soldiers, and receive items as compensation.”
So they’re selling the captured people, including slaves…?
“The export to other cities…”
Is this guy a big shot?
As expected, religious groups can probably make big cash since they don’t pay taxes, huh?
“Correct. The monster called quezunarl is rare on the surface, so they can be used against mercenaries of war doll users. There’s only a small number of them, but it’s planned to throw them into the war against the empire. Ah, also, although it’s called underground, it’s not simply the underground world.”
I already know of quezunarl. There was one among the monsters I pulverized in the underground. However, I’m confused…in preparation for the empire’s movements means the likes of religionists are planning to support Oseberia?
Though, they might be just trying to remove those hindering their organization.
“…Isn’t it a normal underground world?”
“Indeed. The underground, the place is called 【Demonoid Empire】, but there are many cities in the demonoid empire that worship underground gods, which are in contact with the outer dimension world 【Prison Domain Godolon】 said to have come through the 【Black Rings】, and not the gods of the spirit world that worship nightmares.”
【Prison Domain Godolon】, I hear about that one for the first time. Another dimension, he says?
Come to think of it, even the Water Element Staff I stole from Eribol…seems to be a key wand to open the door of a dimension world.
“Given that the 【Demonoid Empire】 has connections with the gods of the spirit world and not just 【Prison Domain Godolon】, there are occasionally cases where they maintain a link through sorcery or evil spirit tools. Of course there are many people affiliated to the underground gods, so there aren’t only nauseating relationships similar to the gods of the divine domain, but also relationships such as using, crushing, betraying and deceiving each other, which delights the gods of the spirit world…”
However, there are countless dimension worlds.
Spirit World Sebdola, Divine Domain Seuros, and there seem to also be many Black Rings like the labyrinth cities. The Sea Light City, Neutral Violent Tower City Senapua, and the Prison Domain Godolon…
They are really all jumbled together. The very definition of chaos.
However, it looks like he doesn’t know about the evil god domain of this city.
“You don’t appear to be overly well-informed about evil gods.”
“That’s true. I’m tentatively living in this city, but as I was busy with rituals and negotiations, I don’t know that much about the city’s internal conditions…it’s an excuse, but the one in charge of this city’s public work is Kreuz. Having said that, I’m aware that there are several apostles of evil gods in Pelneet. After all, they are our enemies. Actually, we just received a surprise attack by one just now. However, Kreuz will definitely take her down.”
Naromivas looked at Kreuz’ situation for a bit.
Kreuz vs. Liliza.
Magic Dog Beast vs. Rollodeen.
There are fierce battles going on around me, but I’m going to focus on this guy.
“The apostle of an evil god, eh…?”
“It’s someone you know, no? So you were an apostle of that side as well, huh…?”
He glared in my direction.
“…You want to say that one of those gods is manipulating me?”
“Yes, indeed. It’s highly likely that the impudent Collector, an apostle of Queen of Twilight Lebra, is your comrade.”
“I do know her, but…you’re wrong.”
I recalled her boobs, demonic eyes, and forehead. She also had mysterious subordinates and a Goldiba servant…
Naromivas’ mouth still continued to move.
“…Is that so? Then, the wild gods of the ancient Abrahnam lineage, a divine domain knight under the direct control of Light God Lulodis, or the single digits of the curia’s section 8 anti-demon agency that secretly possesses an abundance of dark items of the Holy Church. Saint Optimas of the Goddess of Love Aria, Priest Mashurl of War God Vice’s 【War God Faith】, the 【Savage Skill Search Party】 of God of Employment Reford, Life God Arotosh’s 【Sickle of Life】, the 【Truth of Circle】 of Wisdom God Illias, the 【Sacred Guild Federation】 of God or Order Orimeel, Flame God Enphrit’s 【Flame Church Ra’E’al】, Water Goddess Akreshys’ 【Water Church Cyulele】, Wind God Syld, Earth God Gaia, or Goddess of Plants Sadeyula, etc. I think there’s plenty of other possibilities, apostle-like Spearmaster-san who feigns ignorance?”
Even if I’m told all those organization names, I got absolutely no clue. He seems to be cynical here after all. He’s a hunk, but he has an exceedingly irritating face.
But, “Gods, eh…?”
It might not necessarily be wrong. The words of Kazane crossed my mind.
『The Lancer of Chaos that walks the Path of an Inexplicable Bloodbath』
Including this time’s situation, it makes me wonder whether bloodbaths break out wherever the chaotic me passes…I said it to Rebecca as a joke, that I might be an existence dancing on the palm of Ashura, no, the palms of the gods, like Sun Wukong who danced on the palm of Siddhartha Gautama…
“…Oh my, did I hit bull’s-eye there?” Naromivas asked while smiling.
I reflexively narrowed my eyes, “No, I just felt once again how every person has their own mind.”
“Hoh…you seem to possess quite sophisticated thinking.”
He’s annoying, but let’s ask him something else.
“…That doesn’t matter. Rather than abstract stories about gods, I’m curious about something you mentioned earlier. What’s that Ihzon Kingdom? If it comes to the south, I have heard about Seven Pholia, and the Arzen Civilization.”
“Hah, you don’t seem to have much knowledge in regards to geopolitics.”
This guy goes on my nerves with each and every single thing he says. It’s settled that I’m going to stab him with my halberd’s red spear.
“Sorry. Different from a sect leader, who’s running a religious group, I’m an ignorant, ordinary guy after all.”
“…What’s ordinary about you, the likes of an apostle? Well, whatever. I was raised learning to become a good king.”
What cannibalistic sect founder studies how to be a good king!?
“…Yeah, yeah. Just hurry up and tell me.”
“What a cheeky apostle. Very well. Ihzon is one of the Florseil Allied Nations belonging to the western Seven Florseil Kingdoms. It’s a country located in the mountainous region of Mount Ihzon. A small country fighting against the adjoining Seven Pholia in the south and Radford Empire in the west. Ihzon has collapsed due to some kind of influence, be it internal or external, and the princess, who’s an excellent war doll user, has disappeared. Because of that, other countries reached the point of being able to employ the special mercenaries of the war doll users… In addition, it’s also famous for 【Labyrinth City Ysolgand】 considered to have been used by Demonoid Military Arts King Ganghis, I guess. It’s also a country that had cities such as 【Defense City Denim】.”
If it’s the Seven Florseil Kingdoms, I have heard about them. It looks like Ihzon collapsed or was destroyed, though. However, it’s worth asking. He appears to have received a higher education. It’s no wonder that he says himself that he had received a king’s education.
I think I will interrogate him a bit more about Ihzon.
“Was that famous Ihzon destroyed by the war doll users?”
“I have only heard about it having perished. The problem is a Magic Halberd that can be handled precisely like a demonic puppet. Is the technique to treat a halberd that seems quite heavy like a mere wooden stick a branch school of the King Spear School my father and the others liked so much? It seemed that Kreuz knew your name, but I’d like to formally ask for your name once more. Could you possibly tell me?”
Even while asking so, he didn’t show any openings. It appears that he’s preparing his black swords that have been filled with mana.
“…How about introducing yourself first?”
“Oh, my bad. My name is Naromivas Zephon Alosange.”
“Zephon? So a noble?”
“That’s right. Given that my current name, which I received from Vaamina-sama, is Bellahozuma Naromivas, I have no need for my name as eldest son of an Oseberian Duke House.”
Duke, he says?
So that’s why he talked about king education…?
The son of a Duke, who has money, deliberately reincarnated into a demonoid?
Well, something like that is like The Silence of the Lambs where gruesome sacrifice rituals are carried out that shocked even the police investigator with hyperthymesia. I’m sure he had the number 666 carved onto his head by birth. This place also has an atmosphere as if the phantom of the opera might live here.
However, since I have reincarnated without growing any horns, I can’t talk about others. I’m not Rollo, but a black beast lives in my heart.
While the words “if you peek into the abyss and so on”2 crossed my mind, I continued speaking.
“…A Duke House. So that’s why you could create a facility of such scope in the underground.”
I said while the underground facility around me filled my field of vision. An altar that seemed to be the sanctuary here, an offering table, and even if the magic crest engraved into the ground was something different, there were candlestands wrapped up in mana, a terrain in the vicinity that rose like a stage, some iron cages, shelves lining up like huge walls, many beds, silver-threaded curtains, tables with inlays, chairs…and even several book-like things. One of those books had the title Karamunian Maid. There were dirty clothes, which were no longer in use, rolled up into balls at the side.
It must have cost a lot of money.
“…In addition to misappropriating public funds, we have plenty of other sources for money, so there’s no lack of funds. I have allowed myself to make good use of the authority and power of a Duke House…By the way.” Naromivas said smartly, moved his eyes, staring at me.
Did he ask for my name there? I guess I will follow his wish then.
“My name is Shuuya Kagari.”
“I see. Shuuya Kagari-san, we have talked for a long time, but it’s about time to end it.”
I laughed, and answered his expectation, “Sure, let’s fight.”
“…In the first place, we are in the presence of the Goddess of Nightmares! It’s necessary for me to reform that cheeky attitude of yours――”
Even though you didn’t attack me until you heard my name. The unexpectedly courteous Naromivas raised his voice, and lifted his black swords overhead.
Is he going to come slashing at me? That’s what I thought, but…it was different from my anticipation.
A small, dark night came into existence above me. Is he going to surround me with darkness, and encroach my brain and intrude my mind or something?
『Your Excellency, countless black arms clad in black flames…』
Ah, she’s right. Is it a roundabout physical attack?
The bastard made countless black arms appear. However, that’s a “poor move,” isn’t it? Counter darkness with darkness.3 I invoked <Beginning of Dusk> while limiting its range. A heavy, cold, true darkness spread densely. My dusk turned into tidal waves of smoke, a new darkness. It eroded the small, squirming dark night above my head that had been created by Naromivas.
I isolated it from the place where Kreuz and Liliza were fighting. The true darkness filled the left space where the magic crest had been drawn in no time. It became completely quiet, as if being at the bottom of the sea.
Meanwhile the dark arms that had been extending from Naromivas’ night were swallowed by the true darkness, and withered away like pork wieners that dried out after getting burned.
At that point, I generated countless <Dusk’s Stakes>. The army of stakes that seemed to have manifested from Hades continued to pierce through one wilted arm after the other.
“…W-What the hell is this!? I have never heard of something like this!” Naromivas looked up while dark red blood vessels surfaced at his temples.
Watching the spectacle of his own dark night being eroded, he lost the presence of his mind, as if fanning himself with a burning fan.
<Beginning of Dusk> caused mental pollution. However, he was a demon as well. Since he was someone connected to a goddess of the spirit world, his mind wasn’t affected directly, but…guessing from his expression, it looked as if his spirit had been whittled down considerably.
Letting my rage ooze out, “…You haven’t heard? You’re someone related to a spirit world goddess, aren’t you? I will have you experience true darkness that’s far bigger than that tiny darkness of yours. I will create a genuine dark night that will make you sob and make your voice tremble, and show it to you…”
Slowly walking through the space wrapped up in darkness, I sidled up to him.
“Y-Yooouuu, a-are caaalling, m-my night t-t-tiny!?” Naromivas spoke with a voice that showed that the balance of his emotion had broken down.
The phrase ‘tiny’ had apparently hammered a wedge into his heart. Naromivas got excited, glaring at me with an amazingly threatening look and eyes fanatically burning with blue flames.
Since he came swinging his black swords with a lame, girly way of running, I hit him sideways with the butt end of my halberd instead.
“Guaah――” Naromivas was blown to the side.
However, given that I just struck him with the Magic Dragon Gem, the part of his dented face that got hit was immediately illuminated by dark flames, and after expanding with a plump, the wound healed in an instant.
“Kuuh, this darkness world, and those bloodshot, vampire-like eyes…you’re someone from the spirit world after all?”
“I am me――”
I mow down through the darkness with my Magic Halberd while denying his words, crushing his mouth. And then I charged.
“Kuuh, don’t come clooooser!”
Naromivas emitted the mana in both his hands. The dark night created from Darkness Blade Valoha stopped moving. While returning into normal black swords, he put himself on guard.
It’s not like I would stop just because he told me to not get closer, but I stopped moving in a hurry. And immediately after creating an unnatural pause, I shot 《Frozen Sword》 in order to cut Naromivas torso, and unleashed a chain of chantless 《Frozen Snake Arrow》 from next to my left hand, and 《Frozen Arrow》 from the upper right of my Magic Halberd. At the end I activated <Chain> from the Factor Mark on my left wrist.
The frozen sword and arrows, which went ahead, were offset by the two Darkness Blade Valoha which Naromivas brandished. However, the advanced spell Frozen Snake Arrow pierced Naromivas legs and his skin costume that seemed to be integrated with a dazzling, silver and rouge armor.
He twisted his face in anguish. I could see how the area around the stabbed parts continued to freeze.
He has a normal sense of pain? Next, the <Chain>, which headed towards him with the speed of a bullet, penetrated the abdomen of Naromivas whose stance crumbled after his legs got stabbed by the frozen arrows.
“Penetrating my body? However, this much is nothing.”
I guess he bluffed about being in pain. In order to destroy the chain in his abdomen, Naromivas held his two dark swords in a backhand grip, and struck them against the chain. He tried to cut the chain with his swords, but he couldn’t sever it.
Now then, I guess I will pull him over just like this, and deliver divine punishment.
While thinking so, I reeled in <Chain>, trying to draw it close to me alongside Naromivas’ body.
However, Naromivas did something unexpected. Apparently having gone mad, he quickly handled his black swords in the underhand grip and bisected his own body. And he even did that completely, without any hesitation…
Naromivas had been freed from the chain that had stabbed his torso. He was floating in the air with just his upper body. The amount of blood streaming out of the severed cut section was far too little. Only a bit of blood was dripping down. In exchange, snake-like, reddish-brown flames blazed up from the cut section, forming a vortex.
Moreover, the lower body, which had been stabbed by frozen arrows, didn’t fall down. Once dark flames that burst out of the wounds, where the arrows hit, got in contact with the arrows, the arrows vanished naturally. Furthermore, only that lower body unleashed kicks at me with quick movements.
I moved back while surprised, keeping the combat distance. My plan of using the Demonic Destruction Lance after drawing him close to me fell apart easily.
The upper-body-only Naromivas was floating in the air and seemed to manipulate his lower body. He responded to my powerful stare by looking back with eyes that were as sharp as a blade.
Once he stared back at me with a strong look that made me feel as if I’m looking at a drawn blade in the night, “…This is a monotone darkness world that doesn’t even cast any shadows, but it allows me to feel pure darkness. And then, there’s the ice magic, hard chain, magic halberd, and that unknown ability that you use.”
His face had completely shifted away from his previous confused and angry expression. Now it’s an expression befitting a calm apostle of darkness…
He reincarnated into a demon, but he might still be influenced by his human mind.
“I can’t judge…to whom you belong in the spirit world, but either way, it’s obvious that you’re the same kind as me――”
Immediately following, he made reddish-brown flames explosively blow out of the cut section at the bottom end of his upper body, like a jet engine. While leaving behind a fine, sawdust-like trail of black flames in the sky, he swooped down on me while swinging his black swords down on me with a speed that made his divine blessing obvious.
For a short while, I devoted myself to dodging. With moves that made me vividly recall a savage swordsmanship family, he continued chopping at me through the darkness from overhead, swept his sword sideways, swung them down from directly opposite, and slashed diagonally down from his shoulder. Seemingly acting in concert, his lower body closed in and resumed its kicking movements.
A soldier tricking and deceiving their enemy with questionable means was said to be indispensable, but for his lower body to come attacking as if having a different consciousness…
I activated <Magic Hand guided by Thought> while comparing his actions with strategies propagated by Sunzi. I coped with the kicks unleashed by Naromivas’s lower body half with the crooked mana hand.
On the other hand, I repelled the sword thrusts lunging for my chest by the black swords in the hands of Naromivas’ upper body by moving my Magic Halberd in a circle. Each time I blocked Naromivas’ black swords, shrill, metallic sounds reverberated, and many violet sparks were produced in front of my eyes.
I shot <Chain> from my left hand when spotting chances to do so, but I can’t say whether Naromivas got faster or became lighter after being split into two parts, however the upper and lower body halves avoided the chain splendidly and continued to dodge by moving around eccentrically like UFOs.
This guy is strong…
Prohibit military violence, put away the weapons, maintain a large country, defend the achievements of the ruler, stabilize the livelihood of the subjects, stay on good terms with the masses, and make the economy prosper. You might call it a sword dance of the seven evils, an antipode to a dance of the seven virtues.4 Before long, the flames released from the cut sections of the upper and lower body halves turned into a coiling vortex at one place in midair, joining together. Naromivas’ body halves, which had been avoiding the chain attacks with extreme agility, were pulled together, connected, and Naromivas returned to his former appearance.
“…It has become difficult for me to hear the goddess’ voice after this world of darkness came to be. Therefore, this special three-orbed jewel that was included in the spirit world’s 4-9-3 document! Using the seven cherished trees of the goddess, I will――”
I got in his way since it was an annoying speech. I shot countless <Dusk’s Stakes> through the darkness world.
But, the instant Naromivas quickly lifted the arm with the three-orbed jewel bracelet above his head, a magic crest, which was bordered by black flames, appeared from the three, magatama-like jewels. He stepped into the black flame magic crest floating in front of him while laughing, and vanished.
Once the released, dark stakes stabbed into the magic crest, it disappeared into thin air.
And then a black flame magic crest abruptly manifested in a different direction, and Naromivas appeared from there in a posture of hanging in midair like a bug that got caught in a spiderweb.
『He transferred! I don’t know whether it’s a magic tool, spell, or skill, but I guess he’s capable of such a thing as well.』
『…Yeah, I got quite startled. Splitting in upper and lower body parts, transferring…he’s full of deceptive methods.』
While continuing the conversation with Helme in my mind, I made the stakes head towards Naromivas. Moreover, I shot <Chain> at him as well.
He was hanging upside-down in midair, but still displayed magnificent movements. He’s properly moving while hanging there like that? He handled the attacks so skilfully that it made me wonder such a thing. It looks like his speed has increased in comparison to the time when his body was split in two.
He swung his black swords to the left and right, repelling the stakes. The stakes were cut down, creating dark gray light reflections. At the same time, he kept evading the chain.
The magic lines clad in black flames, which were connected to his dangling feet from the magic crest, were made to sway. It looked like he was just like a pendulum clock intensely swinging left and right.
While swinging around, Naromivas repelled and cut the stakes approaching his body, and continued to skilfully dodge all the <Chain> attacks and the swarm of stakes that reminded me of a storm with maneuvers that also added a sideways rotation to his body. And he repeatedly transferred.
Although the range was small and simple, a transfer was a transfer. Just like I had been telepathically discussing with Helme, I didn’t know whether it was a skill, spell, or acrobatics, but it was amazing. I couldn’t imitate that. It was an acrobatic, evasive magic swordsmanship impossible to steal for me.
However, gradually he had less and less leeway to talk. Continuing to avoid as if dancing within the world of darkness while hanging in midair lasted for a long time.
Guessing from the fact that he didn’t vanish after rushing again inside a magic crest, it was impossible to do it in succession as it needed a cooldown time? I think it’s a skill that has a similar usage limit like my chain spear of the ray system.
Either way, it’ll be a pain if I allow him to transfer again. I will use this chance to forcibly catch that Naromivas.
The instant I decided so, I activated <Tree of the Evil King>. I made a great number of trunks of thick, big trees appear ahead of my arms. I manipulated those brand new trunks, making them head towards Naromivas while having them extend straight ahead as if forcing them to grow5.
Naromivas, who was continuing to evade the stakes and chain, was slightly late in dealing with this tree attack. That delay became fatal――
The grown branches of a tree caught one of his legs, coiling themselves around it like snakes. The branches then succeeded in capturing Naromivas’ torso.
“――An ability that creates trees!? I’m surprised. However, I will escape it. It’s not like Vaamina-sama’s power doesn’t reach this darkness world. Shaysad Bloom――”
Naromivas revealed an expression that looked frenzied. He shouted something that sounded like a chant. And then the leg and the part of his torso, which were caught by trees, were sucked inside a magic crest generated by the three-orbed jewel alongside my trees.
Just as he mentioned, he escaped my trees in an instant, but…
Naromivas body was missing a leg and a part of his torso now, changing into a shriveled body.
Right afterwards I felt a faint electric-shock-like pain at my nape.
――I checked by touching my neck with my fingers.
Blood was flowing…from the scar-like tattoo at my nape. Did the tattoo of <Dark Dream Celebration> react? Was something provided by the Goddess of Nightmares Vaamina? I think it’s some kind of darkness attribute power as if having obtained a skill, though. This skill isn’t the type you understand right away. I might understand a certain extent of information if I touch the skill name, but right now I’m in the middle of battle.
――As I was feeling a faint pain at my nape, a huge, black rabbit with its body clad in black flames suddenly appeared from the magic crest that absorbed Naromivas’ body parts.
Did he possibly use himself getting captured as an opportunity to turn his own body into a catalyst?
The summoned rabbit was big…
Hmm? That form…
A gigantic black rabbit clad in dark flames, and the faint pain coming from the dark mark on my nape…is it influenced by Vaamina? Besides, that rabbit… I saw it in the world of Vaamina who basked in cloudy water.
…It’s just like the rabbit which floated in the vicinity of the golden, floating tree.
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- I think it’s a reference to Sai from Naruto who uses those drawn thingies in his jutsu Choujuu Giga
- A quote of Nietzsche: “If you peek long enough into the abyss, the abyss will also peek into you”
- The “poor move” consists of the kanji for bad/evil and hand. So it’s a kind of wordplay.
- The first seven rules stem from the Zuozhuan supposedly written by Zuo Qiuming. It’s one of the earliest Chinese books covering a wide range of matters, including governing a country. I’m no historian, so you’ll need to research more yourself.