- 11: Monster Invasion
It was only for a few minutes, but the terrifying speed of the flying machine was taking away my willpower and stamina.
“To think such a fearsome thing existed! The city is seriously scaryyy!!” (Haine)
I roll down from the flying machine that had already landed and enjoy the nostalgic feeling of the ground.
“Haine-san, please get a grip of yourself. We are already at the location, or more like, at enemy territory. It wouldn’t be strange for anything to happen.” (Karen)
Even though Karen-san was on the same ride, she didn’t show a single sign of being exhausted.
“The fastest the light knight corps’ main force can arrive is at best after 5 hours. In that time, we will scout out the place and investigate the monsters’ movements.” (Karen)
“…Uhm, Karen-san, wait for a bit!” (Haine)
“I want to avoid battle, but please be prepared for when it turns out as unavoidable. But at that moment, I will be taking the front, so I won’t let Haine-san face any life endangering situation.” (Karen)
“Karen-san!! Karen-san!!” (Haine)
“?!! Yes?” (Karen)
Because I suddenly raised my voice, Karen-san seems to have gotten surprised.
But if I didn’t do that, she wouldn’t listen to what I have to say, so it can’t be helped.
“…I still don’t know anything though.” (Haine)
“Things like: why I was brought here, where is this place, what is happening here, what should I be doing; Karen-san, you still haven’t explained a single thing.” (Haine)
“Eh?! …Ah, right!” (Karen)
So she finally noticed, Karen-san went: ‘Sorry, sorry!’ while prostrating, and then, she explained the details of what has transcurred till now.
“First of all, this place is one of the sections of the Trixia forest located at the southeast of Apollon City.” (Karen)
From what Karen-san says, it seems a report about the sighting of monsters was received from the Trixia forest.
“That’s right, monsters. Subjugating monsters is the main mission of the Light Knight Corps. And so, we came here in a big hurry.” (Karen)
“…Well, I understand that much but, why was I brought here as well?” (Haine)
“There’s a lot of knights at the knight corps, right? You could have brought someone there, and yet, why did you decide on a fresh recruit, moreover, one that failed the exam instantly?” (Haine)
It is not like I don’t like helping out here, but there’s way too many points that don’t make sense in the actions of Karen-san.
Karen-san made a bitter expression, and answers as if groaning.
“…The knight corps won’t come.” (Karen)
“Just like I said before, they will arrive here in 5 hours at best. Gathering will take 1 hour, preparing will take 1 hour, and to move all the way here, around 3 hours.” (Karen)
“But! If we were to wait that much, it will be way too late! It is true that monsters have appeared in this forest, and if we don’t take them out promptly, there’s no point in me being the light hero.” (Karen)
Once again, Karen-san lowers her head at me.
“I am plenty aware that it is strange for me to have Haine-san, who just joined the church, do something like this. But right now, please don’t ask anymore and just lend me your assistance!” (Karen)
“In this forest, there might still be people that came without knowing that monsters have appeared. Finding those people and having them take refuge, it would be impossible by myself!” (Karen)
The forest around us is still peaceful and there’s only the sound of wind making the leaves dance. However, there’s already danger inside this place.
I turn my heels.
“Let’s separate and begin moving. If we are going to search for people that didn’t manage to escape in time, that way is more efficient.” (Haine)
“B-But! If Haine-san were to encounter a monster while you are acting on your own!!” (Karen)
“Even if I look like this, I am the son of a hunter. This may be my first time in this place, but if it’s a forest, it is practically like a garden. Even against a monster, I will show you I can run away from it.” (Haine)
I end the conversation and run off.
“Now then, monsters huh.” (Haine)
There’s been a time in the past that I have fought against monsters.
Not as a Dark God, but in the time I was living as Kuromiya Haine.
In the village I was born and raised in, there’s been times when some would appear mixed with the beasts around, and in those cases, the ones to deal with it are the hunters of the village, father and I, but different from beasts, monsters vanish like mist the moment they are defeated, so there’s not a single profit from it.
‘It is an enemy that only brings losses’, is how father categorized them in terms of problematic ones. That’s what monsters are.
They were clearly different from people, beasts, and plants, that had been born by receiving the grace of the Gods.
Or more like, I don’t remember making monsters in the time I was the Dark God.
Things I didn’t create exist now. One more mystery has been added in this space of 1,600 years.
“Well, leaving that aside…” (Haine)
I stop my feet, and after confirming that there’s plenty enough distance from Karen-san, I stabilize my breathing and concentrate.
If there’s really people that were late in running away inside this forest, there’s no way we would find them by searching blindly.
I am a reincarnation of the Dark God.
Even if I am in the body of a human, I can still utilize the divine power of darkness, and am able to feel the ‘dark waves’ a person releases.
I touched the topic a bit with the talk about elements not that long ago but, humans were created by all six Gods at the genesis of the world.
Earth, wind, water, fire, light, and darkness; it is because all those elements are mixed in that they have all elements, and depending on the person, there’s also elements they are good at and elements they are not good at.
That’s why, the shadow element will always be present inside the humans. It is just that the people themselves don’t know.
As the reincarnation of the Dark God, I can feel that part of them.
…….I found a reaction.
“…So there really was someone who didn’t manage to escape in time?!” (Haine)
I run full speed to the location where the reaction came from.
And after not a long period of time, I find an old woman and a small girl leaning on the trunk of a tree. It is probably a grandmother and her daughter.
At any rate, I ran to the place.
“Are you okay?!” (Haine)
The old woman was rubbing her swollen leg in pain.I can tell at a glance that she sprained it.
“Ah, you, who are you? This place is dangerous. Monsters have appeared and—”
“I know. I am a person from the Light Church that has come here for that exact reason.” (Haine)
It is fine for me to say that, right?
“Ah, that’s great! I came to this forest with my grandchild to gather edible wild plants, but…to think we would be encountering something as terrifying as that! When we tried to hurriedly run away, I fell, and…!”
She is probably agitated.
After finishing emergency treatment, I shoulder her on my back.
“You come as well. We will be leaving the forest. If possible, it would be great if you were to guide the way.” (Haine)
It was at this moment… this forest, that only had the gentle rustling of leaves, had a thunderous sound reverberate in it, and while a lot of leaves were being scattered around, the figure of those guys appeared.
So it has finally come.
- 12: Fierce battle against monsters
It has appeared; a monster.
A bug-shaped monster that is around the size of a human, putting it more concretely, it is a dragonfly.
A big dragonfly the size of a human was flying in the air while staring right at the old woman, her grandchild, and I.
“…It is totally aiming at us.” (Haine)
Monsters only attack humans.
For example, even if a rabbit or a deer were to pass here, they wouldn’t even stutter one bit and attack only the humans. They are accursed beings that work in that way.
“Grandma, I am scared!”
A young girl, that probably doesn’t even reach 5 years old, was clinging to the old woman while trembling all over, accurately speaking, she was clinging at the old woman that I was carrying on my back.
“Person from the church, please just leave me behind and run away with my grandchild. This is my last will!”
“Can’t do that. After being told that, I end up wanting to save you two even more.” (Haine)
For now, I lower the old woman from my back, and face the giant dragonfly that’s alone.
The giant dragonfly continues flying in place as it keeps an eye on us. As if measuring the timing to jump at us.
Noticing that, I purposely turn my eyes away from the giant dragonfly for an instant.
It was baited splendidly, and the dragonfly charges towards us.
While avoiding it with a hair’s breadth, I place a hand on the head of the dragonfly that had come right where I am.
“[Dark Matter Set]” (Haine)
Dark particles surge out from my palm.
The giant dragonfly that came in contact with it had its head crushed, and it collapses.
This is the power I possess as the reincarnation of the Dark God.
What I did just now was Dark Matter, or so to speak, I have released darkness and created particles that normally don’t exist in the natural environment with the dark divine power.
Its special characteristic is that it is able to absorb all elements excluding darkness and make them disappear.
On top of that, it can do things like freely controlling the direction of the gravity and the strength of it.
What I released just now was in a small dose, so to the old woman and the little girl, it must have looked like I crushed the head of the dragonfly with crazy strength.
Since its head was crushed, the dragonfly died, and the remaining parts turned into small grains of dust and disappeared.
This is what monsters are; living beings that are outside the principles of nature.
“It is safe now. Let’s resume our return to the village.” (Haine)
The moment I was about to turn to the old woman.
“Church person, at your back!”
The shout of the old woman made me return my gaze, and at that place, there was another giant dragonfly.
“A second one?!” (Haine)
Even though I defeated one just now, a new monster appeared.
“It is not only 2… there’s 3…4…10…20!!!” (Haine)
There’s already too many dragonflies to even count, and they were covering the sky.
To think there were this many…
It is not an amount I can’t wipe out by increasing the density of Dark Matter, but the old woman and the little girl will definitely be witnessing it.
The other choice would be to carry both the old woman and the little girl and run away swiftly, but against these giant dragonflies that have wings, moreover, with these numbers, I don’t think I would be able to outrun them.
Thinking about the natural state of this world, my dark divine power is something I would like keeping secret, but…it seems it can’t be helped. I will just have to hope that the old woman can keep it secret and that the little girl will be taken as fantasizing.
“[Dark Matter S—” (Haine)
The sudden call made me hurriedly stop the dark matter that was about to come out from my palm.
An armoured girl is running here with ragged breath.
“I’m glad. You are okay, right?! Pythonflies were gathering at an alarming rate, so I thought there was definitely something going on!” (Karen)
“I am talking about those giant dragonflies there. A wind element monster, Pythonfly. As normal from a wind element, their body is fragile, but to compensate for that, they have wings and fast speed, and the most problematic part is that they act in swarms. The moment they find a human, they quickly gather like this.” (Karen)
Karen-san turns her gaze towards the old woman and the little girl.
“I understand the situation. Just leave the rest to me, Haine-san. Please protect the civilians.” (Karen)
“But fighting those numbers with just you alone would be—” (Haine)
“It is okay.” (Karen)
Karen-san unsheathes the sword that was hanging at her waist.
A beautiful white and shiny blade that doesn’t lose to her hair and armor. A very straightforward sword.
“I have the light divine power that the Light Goddess has honoured me with. I became a hero in order to stand at the front and protect the powerless.” (Karen)
The white blade shines. As if power was being gathered in it.
I remember seeing that before. At the time when I fought the knights at my homeland, captain Vesage had gathered light divine power inside a dagger when he shot the light arrow at me.
But the one that captain Vesage was using was only as big as a fruit knife, compared to the sword of Karen-san that is clearly a sharp sword that would be able to split a monster in two just as it is.
“Holy sword Saint-George that was given to me together with my title as the Light Hero, please release here the holy power that is gathered inside your body!” (Karen)
The light divine power that was released from the sword flew straight to the sky and bisects the Pythonflies that were at the edge of the swarm.
Something that I would call a light sword wave had been released from the sword of Karen-san. The light sword wave stretched widely from its sides, and perfectly sliced in two the swarm of Pythonflies that were a mass in the sky.
Several tens of giant dragonflies were falling, and before they reached the ground, they turned into dust.
With only one swing, she was able to defeat several monsters.
It is on a whole different level from the ‘Holy Light Bullet’ that captain Vesage used. So this is the power of the hero.
The swarm of Pythonflies were still occupying the sky.
It is true that the ‘Holy Light Blade’ is big and unparalleled, and can cut down everything it touches, but it can be called a line attack. It wasn’t enough to wipe the swarm that spreads around a whole side of the sky.
In other words, she did defeat a lot, but there’s still a lot more left.
“It is okay. Until the last one falls, I will use the ‘Holy Light Blade’ as many times as it takes…” (Karen)
Or so Karen-san says passionately, but I wonder if she can really release a big move like that continuously.
“Stop it, Karen-san. The best move would be to use that technique to provide cover while we run with the civilians.” (Haine)
“But if we don’t wipe them out here and now, they might attack other people. As a hero, there’s no way I can forgive tha—” (Karen)
At that moment, the voice of someone, that was not her or me, reverberated in the forest.
At the next instant, the sky, that was covered by grotesque Pythonflies, was now covered by something entirely different.
Deep crimson red flames.
Those Pythonflies were burnt by those flames and became ashes, and not a single one remained as they disappeared.
“Wa?!” “What’s this?!”
Karen-san and I were taken by surprise, and could only look at the crimson abnormality in the sky.
“Hmph, as I thought, the Light Hero is useless.”
And then, the shadow of a person appears. It was the same voice that resounded in the sky a few moments ago.
“In the end, you are not worthy of being called a hero. I am the only true hero. It is none other than the one that has received the divine power of the God, Nova-sama, the fire hero, Katack Mirack.”
- 13: Second Hero
“…Fire hero, Katack Mirack?”
I look at the girl that suddenly appeared with surprise.
Even if I say girl, she is tall and has a suntanned skin, and at a glance, you would even mistake her for a man. But being able to identify her as a woman even with that is because of her breast area that was widely open.
“Serves you right, Kourin Karen.” (Mirack)
The girl called Mirack approaches Karen-san with rude steps.
She was practically picking a fight.
“Being cornered by something as weak as a Pythonfly, you weakling. If I hadn’t come in, who knows what would have happened?” (Mirack)
“…Yeah, thanks, Mirack-chan.” (Karen)
The attitude of Karen-san towards her was cowering, and the behaviour she has shown until now was completely in hiding.
By the way, in that time, I judged that the monsters were now gone and the danger had disappeared, so I returned to helping the old woman and her grandchild.
“R-Right, Haine-san! I will introduce you!” (Karen)
And Karen-san called me back.
“She is Katack Mirack-san. The fire hero.” (Karen)
I don’t understand well.
“Wait, isn’t the hero Karen-san? Are there several heroes?” (Haine)
“No, I am the light hero. Haine-san also knows about the five Gods of creation, right?” (Karen)
“Yes, of course.” (Haine)
Remembering the times before I reincarnated, I end up feeling the urge to stab a fork inside the nose of each one of them.
“In this world, there’s churches that follow their respective God among the five. One of them is the Light Church that follows the Light Goddess, Inflation-sama. It refers to us.” (Karen)
“There’s also the churches that follow the Fire God, Nova; Water God, Coacervate; Wind God, Quasar; Mother Earth, Mantle. And each church has their own hero that represents them. Mirack-chan is the fire hero that was chosen for the Fire Church.” (Karen)
“In that case, there’s five heroes in total?” (Haine)
“That’s r—” “Don’t joke around.”
Karen-san was going to answer, but Mirack interjects.
“There’s only one hero, the others are all fakes. And the real hero is me. Because I am the strongest hero within all the others after all. At the very least, I am better than a hero that may have thinned the monster swarm but had gotten the better of her.” (Mirack)
The voice of Karen-san shrivels.
“Seriously, what a saddening way of fighting that was, light hero. Compared to that, I used ‘Flame Burst’ and wiped them all out. That proves the power that the Fire God, Nova-sama, has granted me is superior to that of the Light Goddess by leaps and bounds.” (Mirack)
“I don’t think that’s true.” (Haine)
Mirack turns to my direction, completely glaring at me. It was an anger that felt as if she would spit fire from her eyes, but I continued without caring.
“Karen-san’s ‘Holy Light Blade’ is a technique that sends a light sword wave of light divine power. Its power is high, but it can’t be considered a large area of effectivity. On the other hand, your ‘Flame Burst’, was it? That one is an attack that has large area of effectivity and is the type that spreads. Nova’s powers are mostly those types after all. The situation just now was coincidentally favorable for the fire element. Isn’t that all there’s to it?” (Haine)
“What’s with this weakling?! So conceited!!” (Mirack)
“Also, no matter how high-and-mighty you act, there’s a truth that’s unmoveable.” (Haine)
“The fact that Karen-san was the first one to arrive at the scene.” (Haine)
Being pointed out that, the loose tongue of Mirack-san had stopped.
She most likely didn’t have any words to refute it.
“If you are here, that means you came here promptly when you received the report of the monster sightings, but even so, Karen-san was faster. That’s why it was possible to save this old lady and her grandchild. That’s without doubt the achievement of Karen-san, not yours.” (Haine)
The old woman and her grandchild that had gotten back their composure gave their gratitude to Karen-san.
She was worried about the situation on this side, but right now she was responding to the two.
“Also, you were able to burn down the monsters in one swipe because Karen-san’s attack had gathered them into one location. If they were scattered here and there, even your fire wouldn’t have been able to wipe them out in one attack. It might even become a difficult fight with caution of not making a mountain fire.” (Haine)
“That’s stupid, something like that is just—!!” (Mirack)
“That’s the reality. In this time’s fight, the light hero that came here first was rescuing the people while luring the monsters, and then, the fire hero wiped them out. A victory through team play.” (Haine)
“That’s right.” (Haine)
I grab the wrist of Mirack-san with my right hand, and with my left hand, I grab the wrist of Karen-san. And then, I bring both close to each other, and had the hand of Mirack-san and Karen-san hold each other.
In the form of a handshake.
“As humans, as heroes; is there really any need to fight each other? Today’s victory was the victory of you both. Let’s all be happy together!” (Haine)
“Don’t joke around!!!” (Mirack)
With more strength than I expected, the hands that were linked had been shaken off.
And with glaring eyes that were strong enough to ignite someone, she says.
“You! I don’t know from what countryside you popped out from, but let me tell you this! For me, heroes are as much of an enemy as monsters! Only I am the true hero! I will also settle things up with the other ones in time! To prove who the true hero is!” (Mirack)
Saying what she wanted to say, she turned around and left.
We stood there.
In this forest where the monsters had been defeated and peace had returned, only the sad face of Karen-san remained.