Re: Ankoku Kishi Monogatari - Act 1-3
Chapter 3 : The Reason to Fight
Numerous Gods lived in this world.
They were scattered around, watching over it from their place. Most of them lived in the Heavenly City, Elios, located on the peak of the highest mountain.
Both the beautiful Light Gods and the ugly Darkness Gods lived together in harmony. And yet, they were always at each other’s throats.
The Light Gods hated the sight of the ugly Darkness Gods, who in turn couldn’t stand the haughtiness of their beautiful counterparts.
Naturally, some of them got along, but that was an extreme minority.
One of the pillars of the Gods of Darkness was Modes.
When he was still single, he tried to propose to the beautiful Light Goddesses but, one by one, they all rejected him.
Modes’s ugliness was one of the greatest even among the Gods of Darkness.
But he wasn’t discouraged by that. Modes changed his methods and tried to get into the Goddesses’ good graces with gifts.
That tactic backfired tremendously, only managing to make the Light Goddesses hate him even more.
The Goddesses of Light hated the mere thought of Modes daring to propose to them, even though he wasn’t forcing them to marry him.
Until one day a certain incident occurred in Elios.
Some of the Gods of Light, who had received complaints about Modes, decided to expel him from Elios.
They sent an inspection team to his abode, and they found a large stash of underwear in Modes’s home. Of course, the underwear belonged to the Light Goddesses.
A trial was immediately held to judge Modes.
Despite his claims that he was innocent, the foundation for his exile had already been prepared by the one who orchestrated everything.
Modes was judged as guilty by a majority vote. Some of those votes were from other Gods of Darkness who had been persuaded by Light Goddesses.
Some Gods suspected that the events were too coincidental and asked for a retrial. That made the ones who conspired against Modes panic.
If there was a retrial and the evidence was re-evaluated, then they’d discover it was faked.
The Gods discussed which punishment would fit Modes’s sentence.
Although Modes was able to negotiate his sentence to an extent, he didn’t accept it. All he requested in exchange for peacefully accepting his punishment was some locks of Goddess Rena’s hair.
At first, she was unwilling. But Rena eventually surrendered her hair for the sake of kicking Modes out of Elios.
Thus, Modes left Elios along with his subordinates.
He returned to his birthplace, Nargol, where he decided to create a Goddess to become his wife. After numerous trials and errors, Mona was born.
Created with the Goddess Rena’s hair acting as the catalyst, Mona was a new pillar Goddess. She married Modes, and they lived happily in Nargol.
Unfortunately, those days couldn’t last.
Somehow, Rena discovered about Mona’s existence. She demanded that Modes hand his wife over.
Naturally, Modes refused. He even told her she’d have to climb over his dead body if she wanted to take his wife from him.
Thus, Rena asked the male Gods that vied for her hand to defeat Modes.
Many of them went to fight Modes, but they failed to defeat him. Modes was very unwilling to part with his wife, and he made sure to let them know who was the boss.
Despite his ugly appearance, Modes was very powerful. His strength was why he was hailed as the Demon King.
Since Rena couldn’t devise a way to defeat Modes she asked Casa, who had the power of precognition, for help.
She was told that the solution to her problems was summoning a Hero from another world. And that’s exactly what she did.
She brought over Reiji, the Hero of Light, and his party.
Meanwhile, Modes was unaware a prophecy existed. When the Hero, Reiji, broke through his defenses, one after another, with terrifying power, Modes ordered an investigation of his background, which unearthed Casa’s prophecy.
He was shocked by the discovery.
If he fought the Hero he’d die!
Using his spy network, he gathered more information. Then, he learned from Casa that the one who could save him and stop the Hero would be summoned from another world too.
Modes asked the few friends he still had among the Gods of Light for the summoning methods so he could bring over the one who would save his life.
And that person was Kuroki.
That was the most Kuroki could summarize the story he heard from the Demon King Modes.
He walked the courtyards of the Demon King’s Palace, racking his brain to try and understand his situation.
He felt a headache building up.
(It feels like I was summoned for a rather stupid reason.）
Modes had lived in a palace in Elios, so he built himself another one in Nargol.
The gardens which Kuroki strolled around weren’t gaudy. They were pleasantly balanced to calm anyone who visited them.
It was a special place for Modes and Mona.
Not many people could enter those gardens.
Kuroki sat on a round chair, clad in comfortable black wool clothing as he listened to Modes’s explanations.
In front of him were sweets made of raspberries and tea brewed by Mona. A peculiar fragrance drifted from the tea. The flavor was just right, with a hint of bitterness that matched very well with the raspberry sweets.
Kuroki endured the urge to ask for seconds.
As he stared at Mona, he couldn’t help but wonder how she was the main reason for the dispute between Modes and Rena.
It really couldn’t be helped that Modes married Mona. No other woman was willing to marry him because of his appearance.
He was rather puzzled by it. The standard of beauty in that world didn’t seem to differ compared to Japan’s.
Appearance-wise, Modes was extremely ugly.
It was simply impossible for a Goddess to love him.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t understand why the Goddesses wanted to banish him from Elios. No one would want to be proposed many times by someone they hated.
(He should just give up if he knew that the other party hated him. And prayed for their happiness from the shadows.)
Kuroki was reminded of the matter with Shirone, and he felt like crying inside. He could understand Modes’s pain.
(Nevertheless, what are Shirone and the others fighting for?）
Since the entire conflict was completely unrelated to Kuroki and the other summoned people, he felt that participating in it would be utterly foolish.
(Must be another of Reiji’s Save The Beauty antics. Shirone and the others were probably dragged along with him…)
Kuroki got a headache due to Reiji’s idiocy.
While he thought about all that, Modes cried in front of him again.
「If I lose this battle, they’ll kill Mona! She’s everything to me, Kuroki-dono! Don’t worry, I’ve prepared a reward for your efforts! That includes the method to safely send you back! 」
It seemed that the method to send him back wasn’t included in the stolen summoning arts Modes had written in his note.
Kuroki wondered if there really was no method to send him back to his world. Or perhaps the method simply hadn’t been discovered yet.
Reiji’s side was in the same situation as him.
Modes might as well have threatened Kuroki that he wouldn’t send him back if Kuroki refused his request.
But, Kuroki’s head couldn’t catch up with that extremely unrealistic development thus failing to realize that possibilities.
In regards to his reward, Modes promised to create a Goddess solely for Kuroki. Creating a Goddess wasn’t a simple task, but it shouldn’t be a problem if it was only one.
To Kuroki that was an extremely tempting reward. After all, he had never had a girlfriend. Or rather, girls avoided him with a look of disgust on their faces.
He vividly remembered how girls interacted normally with him but started to take some distance after a while.
He didn’t realize he looked at cute girls like he was ogling their bodies until Shirone pointed it out. It wasn’t something he could prevent. The way he stared at girls was almost instinctual.
Was he doomed to be alone forever?
Thinking about his future made Kuroki sad, so he forced himself to stop thinking about it.
Instead, he recalled the extremely beautiful Goddess Rena, whose image he saw in the images from before.
Although there were differences, he could see how Rena served as the inspiration for Mona’s creation. It convinced him that the next Goddess Modes created would be equally as beautiful.
There was no way Kuroki wouldn’t be interested in Modes’s offer. He’d have a Goddess all to himself and best of all, she would love him unconditionally.
She would love him, despite his appearance.
(I want to flirt with a beautiful girl too…）
Kuroki felt a rising tide of emotions trampling through his heart.
He didn’t need to be surrounded by women like Reiji. He was satisfied with having only one. If a cute girl loved him… then the world would become beautiful too.
(The problem is having to defeat Reiji to get her…)
Honestly, Kuroki didn’t think he would be able to win against Reiji.
They had fought before, back when Shirone brought Reiji to her family’s dojo. Reiji had been interested in swordsmanship then.
During the visit, Reiji and Kuroki had a mock battle.
The result of the mock battle was Kuroki’s crushing defeat. Even though it was Reiji’s first time wielding a sword, he managed to completely overwhelm Kuroki.
At first, Kuroki couldn’t believe it.
(We were of the same age and yet, how in the hell could he pull off that kind of movement? )
He still remembered what Shirone said to him back then.
「Are you alright, Kuroki? It really can’t be helped that you lost. Reiji is special, after all.」
Shirone’s attempt at comforting him only made him feel even more miserable.
He even considered abandoning the way of the sword altogether. But, for some reason, he continued his training.
He trained, failed, learned what caused him to fail, then trained again. As a result, he could feel he had become much stronger than before.
But Reiji had probably gotten stronger during that time, too.
Either way, he couldn’t refuse Modes’s request.
If they fought for real with actual swords, he might even die. The reward was fascinating but it would be meaningless if he died.
He didn’t have a reason to fight for Modes in the first place. He might as well abandon the Demon King to his fate.
But a little something stopped Kuroki from refusing to help. A very trivial matter.
(I know I’m no match for Reiji, but…)
Kuroki stared at Modes and Mona.
He sympathized with Modes’s tragic past, where he walked a long and arduous road before creating a wife for himself.
Modes held Kukoki’s hand while looking at him with teary eyes.
「Please, Kuroki-dono! You’re the only one who can protect me!」
Kuroki unintentionally flinched back when Modes brought his face closer to him. Then, he turned his gaze toward the jet black armor in front of him.
It was a magic armor given by Modes to Kuroki that belonged to the Dark Knights. Modes told him to wear it to fight.
The red eyes in the helmet stared back at Kuroki.
(Do I have to fight Reiji again? All of this feels like a dream to me… But I can’t abandon Modes to his fate.)
Kuroki felt that he couldn’t refuse Modes’s request.
Unbeknownst to him, helping others was his raison d’etre.
He stretched his hands toward the armor.
The dragon inside the timid young man was about to awaken from its slumber.
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