Dark Knight Kuroki.
I’m standing on the central plaza in the rampart.
The dark park where only moonlight shines upon.
I’m wearing the complete set of armor which I made with special magic using magic tools.
This is the second time I am wearing this dark knight armor.
It might turn into a serious battle.
There’s an extremely thick line of defense in the temple, and Reiji’s also in there.
That’s why I wore the strongest equipments amongst the ones I received from Modes. I’ll appear in front of them in a similar dress like that time during our first encounter.
I shall go, then. I’ve decided.
My goal is to talk directly with Rena.
But, I have to confine her and prevent her from escaping, while I’m breaking through from the frontline.
That’s why I’ll use this.
Currently there are thirty small white gems inside the pouch that I held in my hand.
It was a magic item made with dragon fangs as the raw material.
Modes gave these to me when I left Nargol to use in case I needed them.
He said that not anyone can easily use these gems, but I might be able to use it.
I’m scattering these white gems at certain intervals.
And then I start reciting the aria.
「O SOLDIER MADE FROM THE FANG OF A DRAGON, ARISE FROM THY SLUMBER！ ！ 」
After reciting the aria, fully armed soldiers, wearing armors on their bodies, ocher helmets on their heads, round shield on their left arm, and sword in their right hand, crawling out from the ground. They numbered thirty.
They were the soldiers born from the magic called Dragon Fang Soldier,（Spartoi）.
One can’t feel any life in them from their eyes shining red from the little crevice of their helmets.
Spartois line up and stand in an arrangement in front of me.
Gazing at these spartois made me think that magic is truly wonderful since these soldiers were just born from those tiny gems.
I was half-convinced whether these soldiers would really arise when I received the explanation about the magic gems from Modes.
Now, I can feel the magical power-like link with the spartois that were born from the magic gems.
If that’s the case, it seems I can manipulate them with ease.
「Nut, Please wait outside of the temple」
I request Nut who is sitting on my shoulder. He’ll be in danger if it turns into a combat zone.
Nut quickly descends from my shoulder.
「And then, maybe I won’t be able to return. That’s why…」
I took a gem from my bosom pocket and gave it to Nut.
「NO WAY, DIEHART-SAMA！ ！ ！ 」
It’s a Metastasis gem. It was a magic item which can be used once even by someone who can’t use metastasis magic.
「I am just talking about the “worst” case. You must go back by using that gem in case I don’t return tomorrow morning」
「Nut, it’s not like I’m going to die, you know. I will definitely retreat if things became too dangerous」
On hearing those words, Nut’s tension comes down.
「If that’s what you mean…. Understood, may the fortunes of war be with you…」
Nut reluctantly agreed to my request.
「SPARTOI, MOVE！ ！ 」
The spartois are starting to move. Their nimble movements makes it feel like they are not wearing heavy armor.
These spartois jump on the rooftop of houses like me, while moving nimbly without any discomfort.
Our target is Rena temple.
The spartois would invade from all the sides as a distraction while I break in. My own raid is delayed by one beat.
According to Nut’s story, Rena is currently in the altar room located at the center of the temple, since she’s making preparations to send Shirone back to our world.
It seems they are going to do the reverse summoning tomorrow. So, this is the only chance left for me to make my move.
We start advancing toward the temple of Rena.
Comrade of The Hero, Chiyuki.
「WAIT A MINUTE, REIJI-KUN, ISN’T THIS LIQUOR！ ！ 」
I’m protesting in regards to the beverage served before us.
「Well, it’s alright, Chiyuki. I mean, this might be the last night you’ll be here」
Reiji is saidying so with a jesting tone.
「That’s right, Chiyuki-san, don’t-don’t say such serious words」
「She’s right, Chiyuki-senpai. Please do not mention such words」
Rino and Nao also chime in with a merry tone.
I’ll be returning with Shirone to our original world tomorrow.
That’s why Reiji and the rest held a simple farewell party.
Reiji asked the people fromof the temple to prepare a light meal and beverages.
This prepared beverage iswas a liquor.
The one in my hand right now iswas a liquor that was made by mixing honey, sea water, and liquor made from a grape-like fruit.
This liquor has a low alcohol content, and it i’sn’t supposed to not make you drunk. Except for Kyouka who got knocked out with only one sip of it.
That Kyouka is lying down on the nearby sofa while being nursed by Kaya.
But, no matter how low the alcohol content is, ALL OF US ARE BASICALLY MISEINEN[MINOR], WE’RE BANNED FROM DRINKING LIQUOR. [TL : I’ll left minor as it is in japanese, miseinen for the sake of act 2]
I might have failed to notice those facts if it’s not for the drunk Kyouka.
「But, this might be the last time you’ll be here Chiyuki, and we won’t be able to meet again for a while. So, let’s just enjoy your last moment in this world」
Reiji is saidying so.
「I won’t meet anyone for a while, isn’t it….」
Shirone is saidying so with a lonely tone.
Everyone become slightly gloomy due to her words.
「See that, Chiyuki. The mood became gloomy. So, you should enjoy this along with everyone else」
Rino and Nao approved his words.
「Geez, it can’t be helped then…」
I reluctantly agreed to drink the liquor.
I mean, I also hate the fact that the mood turned gloomy.
I remember the old times when I was always saved by Reiji.
I was raised with strict education by my parents.
Reiji was the one who took that kind of me to see the outside world.
I’m recalling the time when I skipped the school for the first time with just the two of us. We were playing in the city while everyone was studying. Though I kneow that I musn’tcan’t do that, I still enjoyed such a refreshing experience that I never felt until that time.
Even our adventure in this world, though I was angry at Reiji, I have no doubt that I’m actually enjoying it deep within, too.
Fighting against dragon, went to caves, seas, mountains, meeting with elves. These were things that were supposed to be part of fantasy.
Naturally, there was danger and some painful experiences, but everyone enjoyed it because Reiji was there. It might have been very painful if I were to come to this world by myselfalone.
That’s why everyone doesn’t want to go back.
But, this adventure of mine will end tomorrow.
I’ll be back to my normal everyday life. To be honest, I’m also reluctant to do so.
But we can’t act recklessly be like that without no one returnsing to our world.
I won’t let the mood turn even gloomier.
As a result, I drink the liquor. This slightly sweet liquor is delicious.
Normally, we can’t drink such liquor with so many impurities inside without a straw made from a plant with hollow stem.
But, this liquor that we took from the temple has all of its impurities carefully removed, so it’s easiery to drink.
We’re chatting happily with each other while drinking the liquor.
「Sorry, Reiji-kun. Our training stopped halfway through」
「Well, it can’t be helped. It was a sudden decision, after all」
Shirone is apologizeing to Reiji too.
Since Shirone suddenly decided to returngo back, it can’t be helped that the training to develop countermeasures against Diehart would be stopped. Moreover, Shirone hads also said that coaching Reiji is impossible. Therefore, we need different measures.
「Everyone, please take care of Reiji. You must not let him fight without a guarantee of victory, especially against Diehart！ ！ 」
Everyone is nodsding calmly.
Diehart is strong. But, he is not the kind of opponent that we should fight by betting our own life on the line.
I’ll ask Kaya to search for that pervert. Depending on the situation, we might have to find the other person who can do the summoning ritual aside from Rena.
We might have no choice but to ask for that person, since it seems we won’t be able to beat the demon king without defeating Diehart first.
After that, we continued to enjoying the liquor.
SuddenlyAnd then, when I was wondering whether we should end the party to prepare for tomorrow.
Several bell tolls are resounding throughout the entire temple.
「What sound is that！？ 」
Everyone is looking at each other’s face with curious expressions.
「INTRUDEーR！ ！ 」
「THEY ARE COMING FROM THE WEST ENTRANCE！ ！ ！ 」
「WE HAVE ALSO CAUGHT THE SIGHT OF STRANGE INTRUDESGUYS AT THE EAST ENTRANCE！ ！ 」
It was the panicked voice of the knights.
「Intruder！ ？ 」
The bell that resounded a while ago was a warning equipment.
「Intruder huh, do we need to welcome them？ 」
Reiji is pondering about it now.
The first thing that I want to know is about the identity of the intruder.
「Nao-san, Can I leave this to you？ 」
Nao is closeding her eyes and then enters a meditative state.
Nao has superior perception skills. It is one of the abilities that she learned after coming to this world.
Whether what or where, it’s the kind of ability that will let her know the enemy even if that guy can’t be seen with eyes.
Reiji, Shirone, and Kaya can also use this ability. But, other than Reiji, the two have their perception limited to the radius of 8-9 metres, while considering Nao whose perception almost reached a radius of 2 kilometres.
In the first place, generally, they would know nothing but the fact that something is there. When she focuses her mind, her perception will rise to another level, to the point that she can figure out the form of the enemy.
Naturally, even her perception ability has its own weak point. There are’s many things that she can’t feel, such as formless magical power, and she can’t sense the other party in case she is sealed inside a barrier.
Though there’s a barrier made of magic erected around this temple, she can sense the enemies since they’re also inside the barrier.
「It seems the number of the intruders surrounding the temple are just thirty」
I’m tilting my head after hearing Nao’s report. The goddess had also descended into this temple, so the defense is even tighter than usual.
There should be around 300 knights on the duty for today. So they might be able to arrest those thirty intruders immediately.
「….We meet these guys sometime ago. They are the ones called spartoi」
Everyone is surprised after hearing Nao’s report.
Spartoi was a demon that we met when we fought in Nargol.
If I’m not wrong, their strength depends on the capacity of the magical power of the one who summoned them.
「Does that mean the demon king is coming to attack us？ 」
Rino is saidying so with an anxious tone.
「Nao-san, if it’s spartoi, the one who summoned them should be around」
If it’s really spartoi, the summoner should be around.
The spartoi should vanish as long as that guy is defeated.
「Understood！ ！ 」
Nao is concentratesing even further.
「….I found someone who has a different appearance from the others」
Nao identified another intruder who is not a spartoi.
Maybe this guy is the one who summoned the spartois.
In that case, it’ll end as long as this guy is defeated.
「This figure is kni~… NO WAY, THE DARK KNIGHT？ 」
Everyone is thinking the same thing upon hearing Nao words.
「Could it be that Diehart is coming for us？ 」
Nao stops her meditation upon hearing Reiji’s word.
「Maybe… I think it’s possible」
「Could it be that his target is…. Rei-kun？ 」
Reiji hasn’t recovered yet. He’ll be defeated miserably if he fight in his current condition.
「No, he’s going for another person」
Reiji is stoodanding up with his weapon afterwhile saying so.
「WAIT, WHERE ARE YOU GOING！ ！ 」
「Maybe Rena is in danger！ 」
Reiji is saidying so while he’s preparingtrying to leave the room.
Certainly, Diehart came after receiving the news of Rena’s descent.
The probability of him aiming for Rena is higher than for Reiji.
He must have heard that Rena made the preparations to send us back tomorrow.
「NO, YOU WON’TCAN’T WIN AGAINST HIM！ ！ 」
Sahoko is embraceding Reiji while trying to stop him.
「Yeah, you can’t go！！ You’ll only get yourself killed by going there！ ！ 」
There’s no need to put his life on the line for Rena’s sake. He should just abandon her.
But, Reiji is shakesing his head in denial.
「My bad, I’ll go. If Rena is in danger, I’ll go to help her, and if everyone of you is in danger, I’ll come to save you guys too」
Reiji is about to leave. He’ll put his life on the line if it’s for the sake of a beautiful girl.
That’s why everyone is here by Reiji’s side.
「NO, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN’T GO THERE！ ！ 」
Sahoko’s putting more strength into her arms.
「Sorry, Sahoko. Please, aAllow me to go there…」
But, Reiji won’t even heed to her pleas. He couldn’t shake off Sahoko who is embracing on him.
「You should know yourself about your current condition, right！」
Sahoko was the weakest in term of powers amongst us. But the current Reiji can’t even shake her off.
Reiji isn’t ready for combat, yet. Going there is futile.
That’s why she absolutely has to stop Reiji.
「I’ll go！ ！ 」
Everyone is looking toward Shirone.
「I’ll protect Rena-san！ ！ That’s why, please calm yourself and stay right here with everyone, Reiji-kun！ ！ 」
「Shirone-san！ ！ ！ 」
Shirone left the room after saying those words before I could even stop her.
A Temple Knight.
「WHAT THE HELL IS THIS！ ！ WHAT THE HELL’S WRONG WITH THESE GUYS！ ！ 」
In spite of swinging my sword, my opponent stopped the blow with it’s round shield.
And just like that, the intruder in front of my eyes pushed me back with it’s shield.
Being pushed like that, I bumped against the guy behind me.
「KUHAA！ ！ 」
「GUHE~！ ！ 」
Two idiotic voices overlapped from behind.
I’m looking at the intruder who’s wearing armor in front of me.
It’s eyes are shining with scarlet light from the gap of the helmet.
「They are not humans…」
Maybe they’re demons.
The goddess-sama has descended, so I, who was supposed to be off-duty, was summoned back to guard the temple.
When I was cracking some jokes with my fellow knights about whether we can see the figure of goddess or not during our stand-by, intruder alarm reverberated.
The bells were ringing around the entire temple, thus we know that the intruders are raiding the temple from multiple directions.
And then, these guys appeared at our assigned post.
When I look around, six of my fellow knight lay sprawled on the ground.
Some were cut on their arms or legs. Some were hit by the shields of our enemies. But, strangely no one died.
I felt that our enemy isn’t even interested in taking our lifes.
Even though I think that they are going to take my life when I fell on the floor, nothing happened.
「W-What the…. Are they playing around with our lives…？ 」
I support myself and then stabilized my stance.
There’s three of my fellow comrades left at this place. Moreover, we arewere facing just a single enemy.
We outnumbered our opponent. But, none of us could even land an attack.
The nine of us arewere facing a single opponent and yet, six of us were beaten in the blink of an eye.
So, it can’t be helped but become extremely careful.
「Un ？ 」
One of my comrades is suddenly shrieking.
When I follow the line of sight of my comrade, there was one shadow looming behind the intruders.
LOn looking at the shadow, the first thing that come to me was a reinforcement. The one who wore jet black armor was coming toward our direction.
A shiver runs along my spine when I’m looking at that shadow.
The pressure released by this person is incomparable than the one released by theat other intruder.
「Ah, The dark knight…」
My other fellows started shrieking.
「Dark knight, don’t tell me he is the dark knight Diehart！！ So, the rumor was true！ ！ 」
Dark knight Diehart. Currently his name is echoing throughout the entire world. The man who defeated that invincible hero.
And then, it’s rumored that the dark knight Diehart would lead the army of demons to destroy human race inof the entire world. [TL : What a cruel rumor]
Could it be that he was aiming for goddess Rena from the very beginning？
「G-Goddess-sama is in danger….」
I can’t stop the trembling of my hand as I set my stance. Just standing in this place made me almost suffocate to death.
The dark knight came right before me and stretched his hand.
As I heard those words, I was assailed by an intense drowsiness. When I’m tried to looking at my surroundings, it seems that my comrades are also suffering from a similar fate.
When I noticed the origin of my drowsiness, it was too late.
「I’m sure that the altar room is just behind this door…」
Was the last thing I heard as i lost my consciousness departed.