A/N: At the beginning, third-person view, then it turns into the MC’s point of view.
Around the time when Shuuya finished off Naromivas.
While a great number of women were trying to escape, another battle took place at the edge of the cave near the underground of the noble’s district.
Right now, intense sounds of weapons clashing resounded. Two people were fighting while allowing a special, mugwort-colored uniform to peek out from their torn robes. It was a battle between Noran and Camis, both leaders of 【Apostles of Nightmare】.
Camis tried to pierce Noran’s chest with her khukuri which possessed a beautiful blade that had mana waft around it.
“Go and catch the escaping women. You’re so annoyingly persistent――”
Noran lightly drew a circle with the mana-clad dagger he held in a backhand grip, diagonally repelling the longsword which had lunged at his chest. Immediately following, he moved to the side with skilled footwork.
That magnificent step work was a special, military one. It was a skill that could originally only be used by the military nobles owning a magic symbol on their forehead, a very small fraction of Seven Pholia’s special military law enforcement unit.
Why could he use that skill then?
“――Shut up! It was you who broke into the treasure chamber below Naromivas-sama’s mansion while taking advantage of this confusion, wasn’t it!?”
“Of course. I have――”
At that point Noran gave up on his disguise. He took off the jet-black robe and the mugwort-colored uniform, exposing an armor reminding one of ninja clothes. A thick, light brown leather cloth covered the area from his shoulders down to his solar plexus. The blade marks at the shoulder parts made it obvious that the armor had experienced plenty of combat. A silver belt was attached to the leather cloth’s lower chest part and was inserted through a button in the middle. Black belts surrounding his fully-trained abs covered his abdomen as if forming an X mark. A thick, bleached cloth sash using the colors red and black had been winded around his waist.
“Traitor…what’s with that equipment of yours…?”
Camis was shocked. It wasn’t odd for her to be surprised either.
After all, none of the items equipped by Noran were normal magic items. He was wearing Legendary and Mythological class items.
“…As you can see, it’s obviously magic items, no….?” Noran widened his torn mouth into a sneer.
Moreover, once he pressed the Legendary Kajique bracelet1 and charged mana into it, a katana appeared on his back. He extended his arm to its wrapped hilt and grabbed it, drawing the katana with a blade that was clad in golden light from the top of his shoulder, and pointing the golden blade’s edge towards Camis. A faint flame was burning at the katana’s tip.
“…Are you with the guys from 【Shadow Speed】 who belong to the 【Pivot Council of Darkness】? Or someone from the 【Sebdola Faith】?
Noran moved, quickened by the effect of his magic armor. While instantly closing the combat distance, he swung his katana diagonally down from the shoulder at Camis.
Camis was too late in reacting, and had her shoulder cut.
“Kuuh!” Having the tip of her shoulder wounded, Camis retreated.
“I won’t pursue you if you fall back. It doesn’t look as though you possess a magic symbol.” Noran said while his powdered face broke into a smile.
“Silence, huh? Why do you stay so loyal to such an organization? Is it because you want to reincarnate into a demonoid? You don’t seem like a foolish woman that would drown in power, though…”
“…Shut it, with that impudent talk of yours…”
The wound on Camis’ shoulder was gradually widening.
Indeed, Noran was deliberately talking to Camis. His Magic Katana Cuberas had the curse effect to widen a wound once it cut someone.
“…Well, I asked while being aware of it anyway, you know? Pukukukuku, what you desire isn’t power but you follow your lust as a woman, right? I wonder what you like about that cow-face, but…seeing as the cow-face got involved with the spearmaster, it’s easy to predict that it won’t end well for him. After all, that’s the reason why I’m running, okay? But I guess a woman indulging in love within a single organization…won’t understand what I mean by that.” Noran stated his true feelings while thinking of the spearmaster and the black cat.
Missions of the Shadow Wing Brigade were normally carried out in two-man cells. However, he was one of the rare men even within the brigade who could go on solo missions. If you were to compare him to an adventurer, he would be equal to an S rank. A person like him was scared of the spearmaster.
Even him being able to gather information about the spearmaster without being found out was proof of Noran’s ability, but…despite all that, he didn’t want to encounter the spearmaster and the black cat. Once he considered the case that his actions were to be found out, he could immediately guess that his life would be over. Right now he didn’t consider anything but to escape from this city.
“See ya――” He said while narrowing his eyes towards Camis, who was crouching on the ground, turned around, and began to flee. The laughter that escaped his torn lips resounded throughout the underground.
Without using <Chain>, I moved with a running jump, making use of Magic Combat Step while amassing mana in my legs. I arrived in the center kicking down the offering table with my left foot’s sole.
In the next instant, I activated <Tree of the Evil King>. Countless tree spears were created in front of my eyes, reminding me of Gungnir.
While having the tips of the tree spears stab into the ground that was covered by the magic crest, I gazed at the battle situation.
The silver-haired woman Liliza had been releasing ten black nails that grew out of her fingers on both hands towards Kreuz, but those nails pierced through empty air without hitting Kreuz.
“Cow-face, you’re fast!”
Even though the deviation of her attacks had become bigger than before, Liliza was apparently convinced that Kreuz himself was dodging them.
In order to narrow down Kreuz’ range who was unleashing such an illusion magic, I pulled out a tree spear that was stuck in the ground, and threw that spear at Kreuz with <Throwing>. However, the spiraling spear was quickly intercepted by one of the magic swords revolving around Kreuz. It had been bisected from the spearhead.
The movements of his magic swords were limited to a short range around him…
For an instant I recalled the longswords by the guidance sorcery’s light branch used by Master. Let alone the quality of his movements, Master’s swordsmanship was superior. Anyway, the magic swords and spears emitting a neon radiance floated around Kreuz.
Well, if I were to continue throwing these created spears, even Kreuz would likely become exhausted.
While adopting such an optimistic view, I lightly clad my arms and waist in Magic Combat Style, and pulled out two tree spears with my left and right hand. With the image of simply conveying my physical ability as Light Demon Lucival to the spears, I swung my arms ― using <Throwing>.
Kreuz splendidly avoided the spears while changing the combat distance with footwork similar to a dancer by crossing over with his long legs that were covered with lamé-styled long pants, making his black mantle flutter. In addition, he skillfully manipulated the many magic swords and spears created from the stacked magic crests of his magic book to offset my tree spears by cutting or making his weapons collide against my spears. The muscles at his thick legs, which were tightly covered by lamé leather, were visibly throbbing. His movements easily exceeded the level of a sorcerer. However, his expression gradually showed him getting flustered.
As if representing his panicking, the number of magic swords and spears, which repeatedly intercepted, decreased in number as they offset my spears. It looks like the number of tree spears thrown by me has exceeded his expectations.
And then, as if being promoted by cow-face’s impatience, the ranged black nail attacks started to graze Kreuz’ body.
Has she seen through his illusion? I’m unable to make a judgment, but Liliza is definitely adjusting her attacks.
“Fufu, onii-san over there, thankies~. I will eat you later.”
She’s going to eat me, she says?
“…It looks like a better idea to get rid of that fellow first.”
I changed my aim from Kreuz to Liliza, and threw.
The tree spear was easily knocked down by her silver hair that changed its shape into that of a fan.
“What’s wrong with you! Even though it’d be fine for you to keep throwing at the cow!”
Liliza shifted her attention from Kreuz to me.
I guess I will try to stab that monster woman with my magic spear. Amassing mana in my feet, I shortened the combat distance to Liliza with my Magic Combat Step.
She had been manipulating her wriggling, smooth-looking silver hair that changed its shape without shaking her head too much.
At that moment, Kreuz also advanced, closing the combat distance to us. Just for caution’s sake…I’m going to pass on stabbing Liliza.
And then it turned into an extreme 3-way battle. Liliza, Kreuz, and I walked sideways as if drawing a circle on the floor while turning our weapons in each other’s direction.
“…You have the smell of that tiger girl.”
“…Third Apostle Liliza, spearmaster…”
While all of us muttered so, we created an explosive situation in the shape of a ring like the ring of Ouroboros2. We weren’t Helme, but we kept a strangely deficient distance where any of us could bite the butt of another…3
The one who moved first, disrupting that deficient distance first was Kreuz. He held up the three orbs’ curving jewels decorating his bracelet in front of his eyes.
One breath later, something black oozed out of the magatama. That black stuff continuously rose up into the air in a single line like the smoke of an incense burner, and started to form a black fog.
At that moment, a faint electric shock-like pain ran through my nape again. Is blood running again, or is it reacting to the power of Goddess of Nightmares Vaamina?
The black fog expanded and lowered itself across the area around us. Going by the quality of the mana, it makes one think that it might be an attack on the whole, but…different from the small, dark night created by Naromivas’ black swords, it doesn’t appear to be an attack, but rather a simple dark fog.
I suppose, this fog is a smoke screen against Liliza and me. I can’t sense any mana from the Kreuz’ bracelet with the magatama anymore. Kreuz probably intended to distract us.
However, I can see what he’s doing with Magic Observation and <Night Vision>. But, is it also an effect of the <Dark Dream Celebration> at my neck? For some odd reason, the dark fog stays away from me.
Kreuz, who released the fog, tightened his expression as veins popped out on his forehead. Matching his expression, he amassed mana in the magic book he held on the palm of one hand. It looked as though he gathered his own mana in the magic book to the limit.
While the stacked magic crests changed into the shape of a pyramid, they folded and stretched, accomplishing a transformation in a single, huge, light blue, triangular pyramid-shaped magic spear. Kreuz sharpened the look of his clear, blue eyes as if changing them into a sharp blade.
While grossly distorting his round face that combined that of a cow and Humpty Dumpty into one, he pointed the newly-created, huge magic spearhead at Liliza, and charged, using Magic Combat Step.
Is it something similar to Destruction Spear Gladopalus in scale? It looks like he prioritizes Lilize over me.
Even the black fog had strangely thickened at the part surrounding Liliza. It might be that he simply judged that it wouldn’t work against me, though.
“Eat this! Gillmechara’s Magic Spear――” Kreuz’ words gave me the impression of a man having no choice but to carry on with what he started.
“Kyaaa――” Liliza raised a cute scream, unfitting for a monster.
What became visible once the black fog cleared up completely was the magic spear having pierced into Liliza’s torso.
Kreuz removed his hand from the magic spear, and got his breathing in order while retreating swiftly. His breathing had a peculiar sound.
“Kuh, a spear like this!”
The instant Liliza grabbed the spear with both her hands, trying to pull it out, the spear explosively produced such a bluish-white flash that it dazzled my eyes. Even an illusion in the appearance of a monster appeared for a second, but vanished right away. Alongside the instantly-burning flash, bluish-white sword blades protruded out of the magic spear’s surface, extending like the needles of a hedgehog.
Suddenly, Liliza’s entire body was shredded into pieces by those blades. An explosive spear attack that seemed to demolish the monster’s body from within, huh?
Being penetrated by the blades, the two arms holding onto the spear turned into finely chopped chunks of flesh, and fell to the ground. Without saying anything, Liliza collapsed into a clump of meat. Her beautiful silver hair also drifted towards the ground as if wilting and melting.
“You were way too persistent…that should deal with you.”
Kreuz’ forehead was drenched in cold sweat as he had apparently exhausted a great amount of mana, but he revealed a bitter smile on just one side of his face.
The black fog and explosion spear might have been his trump cards. The magic book in Kreuz’ hand had automatically closed once the magic spear vanished. He stored it away inside his mantle.
It’s pretty obvious that he’s quite exhausted.
The melted silver hair and scattered chunks of meat had formed a pile.
…A faint, blue mana is engulfing the flesh, so I don’t think that she’s finished with that. Is she going to metamorphose like that guardian on the 20th floor? At least that’s my prediction, but I will postpone those thoughts for now.
“Kreuz――” I shot <Chain> from my left hand while addressing him.
In an instant, something like defense magic automatically activated from the pointy hat worn by Kreuz. His movements abruptly sped up. He managed to avoid my <Chain> that flew at the speed of a bullet.
Amazing. But, manipulating the chain, I made it head for Kreuz once more.
“――You can’t call a surprise attack very gentlemanly, can you?” Kreuz rambled while splendidly dodging the chain’s tip which was moving like a coiling snake.
A skill or magic that quickens the bodily acceleration, eh? The blue eyes in his cow face shone as he spurted out a nihilistic laugh. The magic crests in the iris of his eyes that increased their brightness rapidly rotated like the dial of a lock.
Illusion magic against me even while being exhausted? I think it’s pointless, though.
On the contrary, the space in front of my eyes bent, creating a visual field as if a circle had been divided at several places which allowed me to see the optical illusion.
Kreuz’ face and eyes have split? It’s a mysterious view as if looking through many mirrors.
Whoa, it looks like I got caught in the illusion technique.
The instant I reflexively blinked several times like an owl, my sight suddenly returned to normal as if having regained a sense of distance. Huh? It got fixed?
It worked to some degree, but did I resist because of <Power of the Ancestor>? It’s great to be a Light Demon Lucival. Otherwise I would have been definitely out at this point.
He, who had attacked me through illusion magic, reached with one hand into his mantle while continuing to evade my chain’s attacks with swift movements. And then he retrieved a bloodstained eyeball from his mantle item box.
“Again with another weird item…”
The bloodstained eyeball in cow-face’s hand…reminded me of the vertically-slit eyeball of a snake or another beast. It was an eye with a light dwelling deeply within, making me sense a dense mana from it.
Is it possibly something similar to the Blue Eye of the Ancient Dragon in my possession?
“It’s not weird. It’s one of the gifts I received from the goddess. <Argulondo’s Eye>!”
At the moment Kreuz held up that eyeball while proudly stating its name, a hand tinged blood red came out of the eyeball?
A sealing sign of crushing evil4 manifested.
In that instant, the surface of the chain, which was in the middle of pursuing Kreuz, hardened with a blood red color. <Chain> had stopped in midair. It didn’t budge at all. So, such attack, no, interception methods exist as well, huh? Let’s have <Chain> disappear for the moment.
I pretended that <Chain> was done in by that eyeball.
“…That demonic eyeball seems to be special.”
“Of course! It’s an artifact like the spirit world’s 4-9-3 book.”
A treasure. The spirit world appears to have various of those, too.
Once Kreuz poured mana into that treasure, the eyeball, it started to sickeningly tremble. And then it split into countless smaller versions like frog eggs, transforming into feather-like items.
Ugh, that was surprising.
The compound eyes amassed, and the thin, feathered wings releasing an oily brilliance automatically moved to Kreuz’ back and mounted it.
A moth cow, eh? Kreuz furrowed his golden, bushy eyebrows.
“…Here I come.” Saying so, he accelerated – probably owed to the wings equipped to his back.
He charged at me with a speed similar to wind tearing through space. At the same time, he thrust his hands inside his black mantle.
That mantle is an item box. His hands completely entered into his mantle, looking as if his fingers had vanished within. Once he pulled out his arms, they were grasping a curved magic sword possessing a poisonous-looking blade.
It seems as though he can freely take out items from that mantle. I’m slightly jealous because I can’t equip items into my hands unless I configure my item box in advance…
I want it, if possible.
However, it’ll probably be difficult to finish him off without damaging his mantle that’s located on his back.
While pondering about such things, I counter speed with speed.
――<Blood Path – Open Third Gate>
I took out an ancient dragon dagger from my chest strap to restrain him. I threw the dagger with <Throwing> after extending my bent, left elbow as if snapping it in an instant.
At the same time, I invoked three instances of 《Frozen Arrow》.
Kreuz, who had accelerated, stopped moving. He nimbly moved the curved blade in his hands, repelling the dagger and the ice arrows. Those sword movements didn’t resemble the swordsmanship of Naromivas. It was a swordsmanship that seemed to have a forceful, special assistance added through magic to it. It was stiff like the movements of a robot with inflexible joints.
He must originally be a sorcerer after all.
The umbrella-like magic lines springing forth from his magic hat radially expanded around him, but do they have an effect of boosting Kreuz’ speed like the moth wings on his back, instead of just being of a defensive nature?
Once he repelled my ranged weapons I had released to check the situation, Kreuz came charging at me again.
However, he’s challenging me to close combat despite having accelerated? It’s a poor move…incomprehensible.
Did he judge that his illusion magic is working on me? No, he has a desperate look.
He might be close to running out of mana. So that’s why he bet on his illusion working?
While analyzing his state of mind, I quickly thrust out my Magic Halberd’s red spear towards Kreuz’ chest. Kreuz slashed his green sword from the left to the right with a mechanical motion similar to the one when he repelled my restraining dagger.
The red spear was repelled by the green blade, but I didn’t mind――
I quickly unleashed a chain of thrusts, thrusts, and thrusts aimed at Kreuz’ chest and abdomen. The barrage of thrusts stopped Kreuz’ charge that felt like the wind as he was using those eerie, feathered wings on his back.
“――The illusion magic isn’t working!?”
“Of course not――”
Cow-face’s gamble went amiss. The realization of that showed in his expression.
When Kreuz’ movements came to a complete halt, he was in the range of my spear kumite. Using my left leg, I unleashed a low kick with the image of breaking my opponents knee as the opening move.
Kreuz seems to still have something up his sleeves. While spitting out words that sounded like a skill, he flapped his wings, quickly floating up.
At the same time as he evaded my kick, his wings truly scattered dark green, eyeshadow-like scales. The scales fell on my face and arms, and disappeared as if being absorbed into my skin.
I didn’t receive any damage.
Using that timing, I rotated the Magic Halberd in my right hand towards my back while focusing on the muscles across my whole body, and especially my spinal muscles.
It was probably a darkness attribute-based attack, but it didn’t have any effect at all.
Seeing that it hadn’t worked on me, Kreuz revealed an expression full of despair, but it was too late.
I rotated backwards, and charged the power, which I had amassed so strongly that my waist was creaking, into my right arm. I thrust that right arm forward in one go at full power, activating <Powerful Slash>.
――One flash of an imprisoning whirlwind.
While leaving a crimson trace behind in midair, the red ax blade dug Kreuz’ left flank that was protected by his mantle. The ax blade cleaved Kreuz’ torso right in half alongside his mantle without any resistance.
As if mustering his last strength, the cow’s voice resounded as if ripping the stillness of night apart. His two parts rotated with a tailspin while scattering blood and intestines. After rolling across a part of the magic crest carved into the ground with a force that shaved some of it off, both parts stopped moving.
In the end, I ended up severing his mantle, huh?
The moth wings into which the bloodstained eyeball had transformed had been bisected as well.
I suppose the mantle’s item box has become unusable as well. Though I kind of wanted to have the magic book that created the explosive spear, and the magic books with contents of the spirit world.
The green magic sword fell to the ground, but…
The two chunks of meat that used to be Kreuz didn’t even twitch anymore. Going by the amount of blood and his internal organs, he seems to be close to a human. Since the blood and flesh are wriggling, it looks like he’s regenerating, but no black flames are emitted from the cut wounds as it was with Naromivas.
The vitality to show signs of recovering from such a state exceeded that of a human, and was obviously abnormal, but it didn’t seem that he completed a complete reincarnation into a demon.
I stopped <Blood Path – Open Third Gate> and <Blood Acceleration>.
At that moment, “――Nyao.”
Rollodeen came back while making her beautiful, velvet-like black fur sway. She stared at me with her red eyes as if greeting me.
Once I nodded, she approached Kreuz’ upper body while bobbing as if responding to my nod, and sniffed Kreuz’ odor while revealing red, sharp, beast eyes. Her nostrils widened and shrunk repeatedly as she obviously made use of her beastly sense of smell.
Seemingly having gotten her dose of cow scent…Rollodeen placed her forepaw on Kreuz’ chest, and brought her panther head close to Kreuz’ thick neck. And then she deeply dug her saber-like fangs into his neck.
I don’t know whether it’s her habit as a beast or her understanding that Kreuz’ flesh is regenerating.
She tightly held his neck in her mouth, pulled it up, and forcibly tore off the head as if to display her strength as a divine beast. She proudly lifted up cow-face’s head that had the spinal cord protrude out. She showed off that blood-smeared head to me as if saying, “I caught a mouse nya.”
Instinctively I shook my head, signaling her that I didn’t need something like the bloodstained head of a cow.
“Garuru.” Seemingly excited, Rollodeen released a low, beastly growl.
After crushing the head in her mouth with a crunching, she tossed the remains, which still retained the shape of a head, into the sky.
A divine beast’s shout of victory.
Kreuz’ crushed head fell to the ground after revolving through the cave’s air. After rolling around for a moment like a potato, it stopped.
My eyes met with Kreuz’ head as it laid on the ground. I felt like a part of his crushed eye socket squirmed and his mouth moved…just as Rollodeen had smelled, it was in the middle of regenerating.
This heretic cow fucker.
I sent <Chain> towards his head, which reminded me of his expression filled with despair, and made it explode into smithereens.
“Rollo, go ahead and burn the torso as well.”
She released an unusually throaty roar. Opening her panther mouth widely, she released a directional flame breath. The scorching hot fire crawled across the magic crest on the ground.
As if indicating the direction of the fire, a part of the magic crest was eradicated, and Kreuz’ two parts were instantly engulfed by those flames. The melted ground transformed into a warped, sticky mass. I felt like the oxygen in the vicinity decreased radically.
Well, this is a wide cave. No need to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning.
The body of Kreuz completely disappeared due to Rollodeen’s fire breath. The sound of oxidation was audible, and the rising heat similar to dust being burned looked as if the air boiled due to geothermal heat.
I felt like he would revive even after evaporating if he was a vampire lord, but…at that moment, flesh pieces wriggling on my left side, which were different from Kreuz, entered my sight. They had been outside the range of Rollodeen’s fire breath.
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- A bracelet like this one: http://img-cdn.jg.jugem.jp/9d4/1666134/20100323_724341.jpg Not sure of it’s proper term.
- The biting part refers to Ouroboros
- Something like this: https://pic.17qq.com/uploads/okpmmkdhlv.jpeg