The Black Demon King 500
Chapter 26: Storm of Gluttony
Kuroe, the Black Knight – Part 2
“…Hey, Priest, you up already?…Wait, have you stayed up all night?”
Before I realized, it was already dawn. The deep darkness of the night had already began to fade and brighten, and we would soon be able to greet the refreshing sunrise.
“Good morning, Ryan. I did take a nap.”
People in these lands would normally get up very early in the morning, but Ryan was even earlier than usual. He was already clad in a standard set of heavy armor and seemed ready for battle.
“Oops, Yuuri is still sleeping, isn’t she–”
“I’m already awake. Good morning.”
It might have looked like I have flumped into a bench in the middle of the square to nap while still wearing my black armor, but Sariel was still clinging to my back as usual.
She was a remodeled, enhanced being just like me, so even though she had lost her powers as an Apostle, she still possessed a great deal of physical strength and stamina. We had enough power in my body to run non-stop all the way to Alsace without needing to sleep on the way, so even if all we did was take a short nap, neither of us would be tired.
“Hey, it’s still a long way to go. Are you sure you shouldn’t be having a good night’s sleep?”
However, Ryan, who wasn’t aware of Sariel’s superhuman capabilities, had an understandable concern. As they say, ignorance is bliss.
“So what are you doing with all those weapons on you, Priest? Are you going to open a weapons store for soldiers?”
I had a large number of weapons spread out in front of me. They were separate from the ones I would be using, and included a sword, a spear, and a bunch of arrows. Now that Ryan mentioned it, it did look like I was setting up a shop.
“It’s a little experiment.”
“Yeah, I was wondering if I could enchant these weapons with the Fire attribute.”
We already knew that the Gluttony Octos were vulnerable to fire. So trying to add Fire properties to our weapons was only natural.
“Weren’t you able to make swords explode, Priest?”
“Well, I was thinking about making something you guys could use insted.”
As Ryan said, I could give a red hot blackening to my original blade, turning it into essentially as good as a powerful rocket launcher. And even without it, I could always use my Grenade Burst, and in the worst case scenario, I could always rely on unleashing black flames of the pseudo-Fire attribute.
But Ryan and the other vigilantes still needed to have a means to wield fire. Unfortunately, there were no sorcerers among the 202nd Colony’s vigilantes. Those with knowledge of magic would be given a warm welcome, and we would attempt to recruit them.
“I’ve just finished these prototypes. Please give them a try later.”
“Whoa, thanks! So, how do I make this black sword burst into flames?”
With a big smile, he was already picking up the prototype sword in front of me and swinging it lightly. It looked just like any other sword I had blackened in the past, but I had been doing a bit of fiddling with its internal structure.
“The blade will ignite after receiving a certain amount of impact. But don’t do it yet.”
Ryan, who was already just about to hit the cobblestone floor with the sword, successfully managed to bring himself to a full stop right before the blade made contact.
“Once it catches fire, it’ll stay lit until it burns out.”
I had applied the same red hot blackening as with the usual “Blast Blade”. However, I had made adjustments in both its maximum power and the amount of said power that was to be unleashed at a time.
The standard enchantment used for a “Blast Blade” creates a very powerful black flame that is contained within the blade, which is to be unleashed all at once, causing an explosion which allows for the enchantment’s maximum destructive power. Of course, this also causes the blade itself to shatter into pieces at the same time.
But these weapons I just enchanted would continuously and steadily emit the black flames instead of letting them all out at once by reducing the output of combustion. Once the blade was ignited, it would continue to burn until its fuel, that is, the pseudo-Fire attribute that I had applied to the blade, was completely consumed.
A real magic sword would probably be able to make fire just by swinging it, or could even be activated simply by its wielder’s will, but I didn’t know how such swords worked, and even if I could, I wasn’t sure I would be able to give them such level of control. My magical ability wasn’t enough to make them like that. The best I could do was to make these weapons catch fire when they detected an impact on the blade.
To put it simply, this sword was basically a match. That’s how simple its structure was.
But it was way too cool to be just called a “Match Sword” so I thought of a better name for it.
“I call it the ‘Ignited Sword’.”
“So it’s basically a single-use weapon, huh?”
“I’m sorry, this was the best I could do with the little time we had. Besides, I have zero skills as a blacksmith.”
If I could easily forge magical swords that could unleash flames, I would have established the “Kurono Magic Weapons Company” a long time ago.
“Though I have studied the ‘Eternity’ spell. I even managed to use it once.”
This was back when I was trying to enhance my blackening ability in the Adventurer’s Guild in Alsace Village. Back then, I didn’t fully master “Eternity”, so I had Mo write it down for me.
And now, I had the knowledge to be able to use “Eternity” thanks to Nell’s magic lessons. For both that and the “Force Boost”, I really don’t know how I could ever thank Nell.
“Really? I see. Ah, now that you mention it, I have this friend… He’s a dropout from the Magic Academy, but I remembered that he used to be into some shady business using that ‘Eternity’ spell, which was about the only thing he could do.”
It seemed that he would use that spell to make a living for himself.
However, not everyone is a first-class magic user, or perhaps should I say that there’s only a handful of them in the entire world. But those who can only master one or two spells, regardless of how weak they are, will find it useful in both their daily lives and work. And since there were so many of these kinds of magic users, magic is pervading in this world even at the level of daily routines.
“Well then, thanks for this sword. I’ll put it to good use.”
“If something goes wrong, tell me immediately. I’ll try to adjust it, but if it doesn’t work, I’ll just throw them all away.”
“Hehe, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Besides, it’s much cooler than fighting with a torch in one hand.”
Then, the sudden rattling noise of armored infantry running interrupted our conversation.
It was a metallic sound that repeated itself over and over again. This meant that the heavy knights had started marching in groups.
“Good morning, people of the 202nd Colony.”
A group of heavy knights crossed the central square and walked straight to us. Seeing that there were about ten of them, this seemed to be the platoon for base defense that Sariel was talking about earlier.
The knight at the very lead of the group greeted us. I wondered if he was the captain of this platoon.
However, rather than looking like that of a rugged gorilla, his face was rather fair, and he had the looks of an aristocratic young man. He wasn’t wearing his helmet yet, so I could clearly see his face, which was adorned by a beautifully arranged side-parted golden hair, and a pair of glassed that gave him an intellectual look.
He somehow reminded me of Will.
“Sorry for the sudden request, but… you over there, could I take a look at your face?”
My heart started racing all of a sudden. It seemed that the cat was out of the bag already.
Well, after all, they were going to get suspicious of me sooner or later.
The knight captain with the side-parted golden hair and smart glasses had already seen my true identity! Or at least that’s what I gathered by his confident looks and fearless smile.
Well, there was nothing I could do about it at this point. I reached for my face guard, but before I had actually opened it…
“Y-You… You’re Cliff!”
“I knew it, it’s really you, Ryan!”
Ryan had turned around to meet this aristocratic knight with a rather unpleasant expression on his face, which soon turned into an ironic smile after having recognized him.
So he wasn’t trying to take a look at my face after all.
“Whoa, it’s been quite a long time, hasn’t it, Ryan? I never thought I would meet you again in a place like this.”
“Hmph, what are you doing in a place like this?”
“Well, I’m officially a knight. So it’s only natural that I’d take part in this expedition, this holy war all over Pandora.”
More than a Crusader fanatic, he sounded like he was bragging about his own accomplishments. While the average Crusader would believe that the invasion of Pandora was a holy duty they had to fulfill for their God, many like Cliff here would see it as an opportunity to attain glory and profit.
“What about you, Ryan? You came from the 202nd Colony, right? Don’t tell me you’ve become a simple farmer! Because that’d mean you’ve really fallen from grace.”
“Shaddup, stop blabbering about things you know nothing about.”
“No way, for real? Haha, that’s a shame, a real shame. I pity you from the bottom of my heart —Are you wearing that armor to reminisce on the good old days? Hahahah!”
Cliff pointed at the Crusaders’ heavy knight armor that Ryan was wearing while forcing a laugh.
“Oh yeah? What about you, then? You probably bought that armor dirt cheap from some cowardly deserter. I’m sure that’s the only way you could have turned into a knight. Looks like the Crusaders will take any armored fool to fill their ranks.”
“Y-You, how dare you insult an honorable knight!”
“Haha, but your very existence is an insult to honorable knights.”
I have never seen a scene that called for the expression “like cats and dogs” more accurately than this one. The air between them had become extremely tense.
“Pull out your sword! I challenge you to a duel!!”
“You fool, you know that using our weapons for private stuff is off limits.”
“Ah, so you do feel intimidated when you have to face a real knight in battle, huh?”
“Come on, can’t you see I’m being considerate here? I’m just trying to help an old friend like you to save some face. Besides, I’d feel awfully bad if I ended up beating you with a single strike… again.”
“T-That was ages ago! Y-You keep running your mouth as usual, I see…! I can’t take this anymore, I’ll punish you for your impudence right here and right now!”
I thought about asking Ryan to consider not taunting him any further, as Cliff was already so heated up that he looked like he was about to pop, but I changed my mind.
“Stop it, Ryan.”
“Oh, come on, Priest, this is between this poor fool and me–”
The sentiment of wanting him to stop hadn’t changed. But the words I used were different. Rather than asking him to stop, it came out more like a warning of sorts.
After all, we had no time for silly disputes.
“Look over there. The fog is coming out.”
A thin, white mist started to drift in, as if crawling on the ground.
It was so thin, so close to the ground, that no one would have taken notice of it. But this was probably just a portent of what was to come. This now insidious fog would surely gain momentum and grow big enough to swallow all of this 203rd Colony under our very noses.
It seemed that those things were already reaching out towards this place.
“Hurry up, the enemy is coming.”