Act 1.7.3 : Setting Off, A Long Long Journey
「… I guess you really can’t trust that rumor. I heard that Kuroki-sama was an extremely terrifying person.」
Nut shook his head as he raised both of his hands while saying those words. Kuroki smiled wryly when he heard the bloated story about him.
Apparently, he was feared by Modes’s subordinates.
Save for the Daemon race, whose appearance closely resembled that of a human, the appearance of the rest of Modes’s subordinates were of monsters.
Kuroki felt it was strange that they were the ones afraid of him instead of the other way around. Nevertheless, since he had to stay in this world for quite a while, he thought he shouldn’t let this situation continue for a long term.
Kuroki remembered how, back in his original world, he had grown his forelocks to cover the scary look in his eyes. Thanks to that, his outward appearance softened a little bit.
But, it seemed that he had to prepare a different countermeasure this time, since the look in his eyes wasn’t the only scary thing about him in this world.
（What should I do?）
Kuroki’s brain was desperately looking for an answer.
（Should I dance while saying “I’m not sca~ry”?）
Modes and the others had curious looks on their faces while Kuroki was in the middle of thinking about such a foolish idea.
「No, it’s nothing. Thank you very much for giving me a guide.」
「Please check the other necessities that I prepared for you.」
Loughas’s subordinate explained the function of the tools given to Kuroki for his journey.
The world map. An enchanted gem with teleport magic sealed inside. Precious metals to trade with the currency of the human world.
「Anything you want to add? If there is, I’ll prepare it for you.」
「No, I think this much is enough for the whole journey. Thank you for preparing this for me.」
Kuroki expressed his gratitude to Loughas.
But he only said so because he had yet to understand the common sense of this world.
「Kuroki-dono, the moment you step out of Nargol’s boundaries, you’re not under my protection anymore. So please use your teleport stone as soon as you meet a dangerous situation.」
The teleport magic would teleport him to an assigned place. Teleportation gems were disposable magic tools which allowed anyone to use a teleport spell once.
「Thank you very much.」
Kuroki thanked Modes.
Modes was worried about Kuroki’s safety. Therefore, it was natural for Kuroki to show his courtesy to the one who was worrying about him. It was a universal common sense.
And then, Kuroki left the audience room.
「This place is?」
Kuroki was surveying his surroundings. The place he had teleported to was a desolate and dark place.
He was inside a small stone structure. There were magic circles carved on the floor, still faintly glowing because of the previous teleportation magic.
「This place is one of the lines of defense of Akeron Mountain. To be honest, many of the knights who were permanently stationed in this place were killed in the conflict against the Hero. At the moment we’re severely lacking in manpower, so… We have no leeway to send reinforcements to this place.」
Riding on Kuroki’s shoulder, Nut then explained the situation.
The Akeron Mountain Range was located southwest of the Demon King’s palace. It was a place that separated Nargol from the other regions. The Dark Knights who rode wyverns were the ones responsible for protecting this place from the air.
Kuroki’s current location was one of the defensive bases. After he completed all preparations, he had traveled from the Demon King’s palace to this place by using teleport magic.
He should be able to encounter a human settlement as long as he went down the mountain.
「That’s strange… Our wyverns should be standing by close to this place.」
Nut was also puzzled by this situation.
Although it would be faster if he descended from the mountain with flying magic, Kuroki was interested in the experience of riding a wyvern.
There was something waiting for us outside of the demon base.
The first thing I saw after leaving the structure was a lizard-like animal, with a giant pair of wings growing from its back. It was a demon beast called Wyvern. There was a Dark Knight riding on the back of that wyvern.
That Dark Knight descended from the wyvern’s back after landing close to the structure.
「It’s a pleasure to meet you, Your Excellency! My name is Gned!」
The Dark Knight took off his helmet and then greeted Kuroki.
He was a youth of the Daemon race. Compared to a human, his appearance resembled a man in his early twenties.
Kuroki recalled the knowledge about Demons taught to him by Loughas.
Demon was the general term of the Demon King’s dependents. They were more widely known as Demon Races. And the one who stood at the pinnacle of the Demons was the Daemon race.
Despite having the appearance that closely resembled a dark indigo skinned human, the Daemon race’s most notable traits were the two horns that grew from both sides of their heads. They were far superior than humans in all aspects, save for fertility.
Their sole weakness was their extremely low numbers, which were shockingly even less than a twentieth of the Orc race, the race with the highest numbers in Nargol.
But even with their extremely low numbers, the Order of Dark Knights, composed of only those from the Daemon Race, was the strongest force in Nargol.
Kuroki wondered what made the Dark Knight called Gned so nervous.
「It’s nice to meet you too, Lord Gned. Please don’t be so formal.」
Kuroki showed his gentlest smile to Gned.
（Honestly, being called “Your Excellency” like that made my back itchy… Even though our ages don’t seem to be that far apart, I hope he can speak to me with a more easygoing tone.）
But Kuroki soon noticed that Gned’s body was trembling.
（Is he scared of me for the same reason as Nut?）
Kuroki once again felt depressed when he pondered about that matter.
「N-No! Your Excellency’s status is just below His Majesty after all!」
Kuroki had no idea whether Gned expressed his honest opinion due to fear or his own nervousness. But he knew that asking for him to speak to him in informal speech was impossible.
「F-From here on! M-My duty is to escort Y-Your Excellency until the foot of the mountain!」
After saying so, Gned climbed back on the wyvern and then signaled to Kuroki to sit behind him.
「Best regards then, Lord Gned…」
After Kuroki sat, Gned ordered his wyvern to take off. Kuroki could feel the wind turbulence when the wyvern flapped its wings.
Kuroki exclaimed, surprised. He enjoyed the sensation when his body soared in the sky.
The wyvern soared high in the sky, turning the defensive point small in an instant. Kuroki made a mental note to look for his own wyvern later.
But after they reached a certain altitude, the wyvern suddenly lowered its altitude.
「What’s the matter, Lord Gned?」
The sudden change of altitude ruined the atmosphere of their air travel.
「D-Due to the strict inspection beyond this point, we’re going to fly in lower altitude from now on!」
「Inspection? What do you mean?」
「Kuroki-sama, we’re about to enter the observation area of the Holy Knights. We risk being discovered by them if we fly at a high altitude.」
Nut explained instead of Gned.
Holy Knights were the elite force whose members were handpicked from the Angel race and the Braves of the Human race. They swore their loyalty to Oudith.
After Reiji and co almost destroyed the Order of the Dark Knights, the members of the Holy Knights became bolder. They harassed the survivors of the Order of Dark Knights by repeatedly violating the Order of Dark Knights’ airspace territory.
This was why they couldn’t fly at high altitudes. They didn’t want to get caught by those Holy Knights.
Gned controlled his wyvern awkwardly. Even Kuroki felt insecure about Gned’s mastery in controlling the wyvern.
「It seems that it hasn’t been long time since Lord Gned started to ride your own wyvern…」
Nut explained that The Order of Dark Knights was currently short on manpower. Their situation was so grave that even a beginner like Gned was allowed to fly with his Wyvern.
「But, at this rate, we might be targeted by the goblins who live around this area…」