Re: Ankoku Kishi Monogatari - Act 1-14.1
Act 1-14.1 : Cygnus’s Knight
The sun had set when Kuroki returned to the Black Fang base.
The Black Fang was one of the larger warrior groups within the Holy Republic of Lenaria with over two hundred members. That was the main reason behind their large base; it was befitting of their large organisation.
When Kuroki stepped foot inside the building, the first thing to enter his line of sight was a gathering of a few members. Upon a closer look, Kuroki realized that they were gambling as they were using dice, made from animal bones similar to the ones Kuroki was familiar with, and were also constantly cheering and jeering loudly along with their gains and losses.
However, once they noticed the incoming Kuroki, they all fell silent and, after glancing at him for a mere second, their focus returned to their gambling as if he was of no interest to them at all.
Kuroki didn’t mind, it was normal for them to ignore him since these gambling members had yet to know his identity; rather, he was glad that they didn’t treat him any differently, reason being that he had specifically ordered the executives who managed to survive to keep his identity a secret.
Their knowledge was limited, they only knew that Kuroki was the Black Fang executives’ most favored newcomer and thanks to this status, no one dared to quarrel with him, they just looked at him from afar without doing anything. This was perfect for the trouble-avoiding Kuroki.
Since no interactions were needed, Kuroki passed by the group of gamblers and headed towards the inner part of the building.
「Welcome back, Your Excellency.」
Dozumi and the other executives bowed their heads as soon as Kuroki entered the room.
On the third day after Kuroki came to this country, the famous warrior group, the Black Fang, had completely converted itself into a splendid demon cult, using their reputation as a warrior group as a cover. This had, of course, only happened after they had seen Kuroki’s showdown with their previous leader and his pet.
Though the cult’s building lacked an altar dedicated to the worshipping of the Demon King, they were still true and loyal believers in every sense of the way. Note though that the only believers were the upper-echelons; the rest were still oblivious normal warriors.
However, even if their internal beliefs had changed, the Black Fang was not much different than before. They still used their reputation as a righteous warrior group as a front and followed and performed their “wicked” mantle in the shadows. The only difference was that, originally, the Black Fang was a criminal organisation and now they were the Demon King’s believers.
For the upper-echelons, it was all the same, that’s why they didn’t have any scruples about becoming a demon cult or having Kuroki as their leader, whom they had unilaterally chosen.
It was only natural for them to elect him, the Demon Priest and the Dark God’s apostle, as their leader.
However, Kuroki had no intention whatsoever in accepting this role since he wasn’t a Demon Priest to begin with.
「I’m back. I see nothing has changed.」
Kuroki scanned the expressions of the people who bowed to him. He noticed that, as usual, all of them, save for Dozumi, wore the expression of fear on their face. Some of them were even noticeably shaking from fear. Dozumi, on the other hand, seemed to be delighted.
Well, it was rather normal for him to be this elated. Not only was he saved from the clutches of death and had found a leader he believed in to follow in the process, but he had also won the heart of a beauty to boot.
The beauty was none other than the woman who was in the same execution arena as him, Rinea. She had fallen in love with Dozumi after he had risked his life to protect her from the beast.
（What a lucky guy.）
He wanted to congratulate Dozumi, but, at the same time, Kuroki who had never had a girlfriend even at his age, wished to tear the couple apart; he really couldn’t handle being tormented like that.
「Reporting to Your Excellency. Yes, nothing has changed aside from a few who were curious about the disappearance of the former leader, but it’s not that big of an issue.」
Dozumi was reporting to Kuroki with reverence.
The former leader he was referring to was Gendor. It seemed that common members still thought that Gendor was as healthy as ever; however, a few had started asking about his whereabouts. Gendor was still under the effects of Kuroki’s spell, a fact the upper-echelons were trying to keep under wraps, but it didn’t mean that they’d be able to keep the news hidden forever.
Gendor was an extremely evil and cruel person.
When Kuroki started investigating the base, he first looked into the basement, the manticore’s den, and what he found was gruesome—heaps of human remains could be found in every nook and cranny of the den. It was then he realized that Gendor had been feeding the manticore with humans.
He used the people who were hostile to him, the subordinates who made a blunder, and the people who displeased him as fodder.
Moreover, it seemed that the upper-echelons were just being his yes-men because they feared Gendor and his manticore pet; they never wanted to do these things in the first place. Nevertheless, that didn’t equal to erasing the sins they accumulated until now.
They were lucky that Kuroki wasn’t in the mood to punish them because in accordance with the human anecdote, followers of the Demon King were the biggest sinners; therefore, making Kuroki an even greater sinner.
Kuroki, who felt it strange for a sinner to judge another sinner, was aware that he had no right to judge them for their sins.
The same went for the people in this place towards him.
「I see. Well then, I shall go back to my room. And… Please bring me a meal too, honestly I’m starving.」
Kuroki then headed towards the former leader’s room after saying those words to Dozumi.
The room was located on the top floor of the building and was really wide. It was ornate with lavish furniture, befitting its previous owner’s greedy personality. It was also decorated with flowers that could be seen with every few steps. The size and the decorations of the room gave off an arabian atmosphere to the place.
Since the flowers’ purpose was to erase the manticore’s smell, Kuroki was comfortable with their presences, but Nut seemed to hate their smell. However, Kuroki thought otherwise, he really felt that this room was perfect for his comrade.
（This room matches quite nicely with a mascot-like character like Nut, huh.）
Kuroki was sitting on a one seater chair while pondering over such trivial matters. It was then that he recalled the pieces of information he had gathered from the bar during today’s investigation.
「It seems the matter about the Dark Knight has become a rumor, huh.」
The event of him defeating the seemingly unbeaten hero was circulating like wildfire in this country; it was quite a hot topic in the bar. Moreover, there seemed to be a continuation to that rumor—apparently, the very same Dark Knight was leading an army of monsters and attacking every country he could find.
（The rumor went as far as making such an exagerrated story… It’s really quite absurd.）
Kuroki heaved a sigh.
The rumor was such a blatant lie that anyone could figure it out if they had functioning brain cells or if they personally knew Modes. Firstly, Kuroki was obviously here, in this room, resting, so it was impossible for him to be currently leading an army of monsters and massacring humans—he didn’t even have the slightest intention in doing such a bothersome thing. Not even his master, Modes the Demon King, had any interest in doing so since he was a pacifist, or so he had heard before.
Hearing someone call him from below, Kuroki looked down and found Nut hiding himself in the chair’s shadow.
Nut had gone to Arlena Temple, which is located in the middle of the inner city of the Holy Republic of Lenaria, to gather information.
It seems that he had just gotten back.
「Kuroki-sama, I’ve gathered the information you wanted about the temple.」
Nut then continued on elaborating the things he had found.
The Arlena Temple was an ancient structure famous in the Holy Republic of Lenaria and had been constructed by dwarves, evident by the solid materials it used and the flawless construction. The temple was quite a sight to behold with elegant architecture and exorbitant decorations. Even though no one was allowed to enter it, many people would come to this country to see it. It was still one of the most popular sights in the Holy Republic of Lenaria.
Due to its importance, the temple also had an iron-tight defense, with Temple Knights taking turns to patrol. These Temple Knights directly took orders from the temple itself and were handpicked elites.
However, what made the temple’s defense ironclad was not its elite knights; rather, it was the magical warning equipment installed in several places. These posed a real threat to any intruder. The dwarves had made these to act as alarms that could see through any kind of half-hearted disguise with astonishing precision.
This fact proved to be Kuroki’s biggest problem. If even Nut, who had excellent spying skills, found it hard, then he would definitely activate the alarm if he entered that place.
（And yet, if the information I got is correct, Reiji and his company are supposed to be inside this temple.）
Sneaking into the heavily guarded Alrena Temple was proven to be an almost impossible task, Kuroki only managed to know the inside of the temple thanks to Nut.
「Thanks for the information, Nut…」
Kuroki expressed his gratitude to Nut.
Nut had extremely high spying and infiltration abilities. Not even Elios’s line of defense could stop him from sending Modes’s letters to his old friend in Elios.
Kuroki now realized that his journey toward the Holy Republic of Lenaria might have taken more time and had a whole lot of additional problems if Nut hadn’t guided him. He thanked Modes in his heart for appointing Nut as his guide.
「So, infiltration is almost impossible I take?」
「U~hm. Kuroki-sama. Is the information I gathered from eavesdropping not enough for you?」
Nut asked in worry after seeing Kuroki sigh.
「The information you brought back is really useful, Nut, but still…」
He hadn’t come to this country and faced such an arduous journey to gather information about the temple; rather, he was hoping to gather information about the hero and his company, not as their enemy though.
Of course, if he was really gathering information to defeat the hero and his company—as was the mission assigned to him—then it was only right for Nut to assume that he needed information about the temple’s defense mechanisms and its military forces. That’s why he had investigated the temple’s defense structure and battle formations.
However, unlike what Nut thought, that wasn’t the kind of information Kuroki was seeking. Instead, what he wanted to know was Reiji and the others’ conditions in this world. That’s why he wanted to infiltrate the temple himself.
「Sorry. It’s just that I want to see their condition with my own eyes.」
After pondering over this matter for a while, Kuroki apologized to Nut and told his wish.
Nut seemed to be disheartened seeing that Kuroki didn’t want to rely on him. Noticing his dispirited look, Kuroki chose to explain to him his meaning.
「The information you gathered saves me a lot, Nut. Infiltrating the temple is just my own selfishness.」
Kuroki gently patted Nut’s head to pacify him.
Nut looked so happy when Kuroki gently brushed his head.
At that exact moment, someone knocked on the door of his room.
「Who it it?」
「I brought you your meal.」
Rinea’s voice came from the other side of the door. She entered the room after Kuroki gave his permission.
In the beginning, she was also scared of him like the others, no wonder, he was none other than the infamous Dark Knight of Nargol. But nowadays, she seemed to be getting used to Kuroki’s presence.
Rinea wore tightly fitting clothes that emphasized all her voluptuous curves, especially her big breasts. Her clothes were the same as the ones she wore on the day Kuroki saved her and Dozumi from the beast.
（Ugh, I’m so jealous of Dozumi. Even though I can use my authority as the shadow leader of the Black Fang to touch her breasts, it’ll only reduce my status as a trash human. No, even lower than trash…）
Your donations will go towards site costs and management.
Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons. If you still cannot find it, then please specify to which translator and project you are donating the coffee to through the Foxaholic account.