The Black Demon King 466
Chapter 24: The Battle of Holy Night
Episode 466 Element Masters VS Sariel (1)
“W-What’s going on!?”
The voice of a beautiful woman echoed through Purgatory.
In front of me was Lich, the king of the undead, who was anxiously wandering around because the place he found himself in no longer looked like the bottom of an underground tomb, but instead seemed to have suddenly been transformed into the pits of hell itself.
But he wasn’t the cause of my surprise.
“We did it, Kurono! [Exelia] was a success!”
Lily’s innocent and lively voice echoed close to my ears. As I looked sideways, surely enough, Lily’s familiar face was right there, but… she seemed oddly… transparent.
“I told you I had possessed you, haven’t I? Since my body is now composed only of magical power, right now I am not a pseudo-fairy, but a guardian spirit possessing you, Kurono.”
The now transparent Lily was standing beside me completely naked, just like the first time we met. Of course, her skin didn’t look like her usual fresh, white skin, but more like a fairy-like light veil.
Since she had changed into a completely magical life-form, it seemed that she was unable to wear even an Ancient Velvet dress.
“Ah, I see. Sure, I can feel your will inside me… But more importantly, what happened to my body!?”
“Huh? What do you mean? I think you look very beautiful.”
“I don’t care about that. What I’d like to hear from you is why do I look like a woman?”
That’s right, when I came to, I noticed that I had turned into a woman.
Whenever I spoke, I would hear this sexy lady voice coming out of my mouth, and when I tried looking downwards, a big cleavage got in the way. I couldn’t see my feet anymore.
“I think that’s because since you merged with me, your body changed to look more like that of a fairy, Kurono.”
Perhaps since fairies were beings that looked like cute girls, the fact that my body had changed into that of a woman when I merged with one in order to better assimilate the change sounded fairly reasonable.
It was a reason as ridiculous as my body’s change itself, but there was no point trying to argue with it, since it hadn’t happened as a result of magic, but of the blessing of a miracle of God. Regardless of how crazy this all seemed to be, it was too strange to try to understand.
According to what I’ve heard, a magic item that can change one’s gender has been found in some ancient ruins. I knew that it was possible to use magic to change one’s gender.
However, even if something could be understood, that didn’t mean that it would be easy to understand it. And Lily didn’t seem to be aware of the concept of informed consent.
“Ah, um, well…”
I involuntarily tried touching the big breasts that had sprouted from my chest. I felt a superb softness as my fingers seemed to sink into them. There was no doubt they were naturally big enough to be grasped with both hands.
However, they felt no different from what would have been when touching around the same area during a bath and saying “Oh, my pectoral muscles are pretty fine”. This is probably because the act of touching one’s chest is the same regardless of gender.
I may have squeezed my own breasts as any man who suddenly finds himself turned into a woman would, but I still couldn’t help but feel a bit empty. I just didn’t want to know what must have inevitably happened around my crotch area.
“No, but really, all flattery aside, you really are beautiful, Kurono. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
“I really don’t want those kinds of compliments, Lily…”
I felt as if I had lost something very important as a man without any chance to prepare myself for it. A prior explanation would’ve been nice.
Actually, if I had been told that I’d turn into a woman, I would have hesitated from doing this.
As with my body, I noticed that my outfit had naturally changed from my “Diabolos Embrace” to Lily’s Ancient Velvet dress.
It only made me feel more anxious about the cool breeze passing under my messed up crotch.
Fortunately, it felt like I was at least wearing panties. Still, the feeling of it biting into my crotch at a rather sharp angle didn’t give me the courage to see what kind of design they had. In the end, it seemed that my crotch was completely off limits.
Fortunately, everything seemed to be under the effects of the [Fit] spell, so little Lily’s clothes would be a perfect fit even for me, despite being larger than her.
Even so, I didn’t think I’d keep Lily’s clothes on even after ending the transformation and turning back into a man. It was more likely that they would automatically revert to my original equipment.
“Really now… I think you could even give me a run for my money in terms of seductiveness…”
Being concerned about my features, Lily made a big light lens by casting her translucent fingertips in front of my face. The vertically long oval shape she made performed the same function as a shiny polished mirror, and I could see my reflection on it.
“Whoa… I’ve really turned into a woman…”
I could see the face of a beautiful woman with long black hair and sharp eyes. The cool, beautiful look on that face was somewhat tarnished by the astonished expression I was making in reaction to the state of shock I was upon seeing that that face was actually my own.
“Even so, this face looks a bit familiar…”
That was the reason I was staring at my face in the mirror, closely inspecting its features, instead of trying to turn away from reality.
Certainly, if we were to omit the fact that this was my own face, then yes, I was definitely a beautiful woman. Tall, long legs, narrow waist, and above all, big breasts. I looked like an ideal woman for both men and women.
It soon rained on me that I could have only seen a woman like this on TV, like some kind of western supermodel. That must have been why it seemed so familiar to me.
“Hmm, you certainly look like your mother, Kurono.”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
Of course, even though I had been transformed, I was still 17 years old, so I looked a little younger than the real thing. Still, I was sure that if I were to see a woman who looked like this in the city, I would totally think “What’s my mother doing here, dressed like Lily?”.
“By the way, how come you know my mother, Lily?”
“Right now, you and I are one, Kurono. That’s why I know. I know what you’re thinking and I can see what you remember. So I ‘remember’ how your mother looks just as much as you do. Ehehe, you really look like her. Especially the area around your eyes.”
All of a sudden, I felt that I had to be careful about my thoughts.
Of course, having fused into a single being would make it possible for her to delve even deeper into my thoughts, but to actually experience it in the flesh made me feel terribly uneasy.
“But I’m really glad you accepted me, Kurono. Thank you. To tell you the truth, I was a little worried…”
“I’ll be okay with it as long as it’s you, Lily. I wouldn’t be able to do something like this with any other girl.”
“Hehe, same here, Kurono!”
Lily happily threw her arms around my neck and hugged me. However, I didn’t feel anything physically on my skin. But even though I had never seen anything like that, I knew how her transparent body worked. It was a very mysterious feeling.
But this too must have been a result of our fusion. Right now, Lily feels as if she’s part of my body too.
Incidentally, I also seemed to intuitively know that I could see Lily’s memories as well. The many clear and vivid memories that seemed to be my own made me feel as if I was starting to lose sight of myself whenever I tried to concentrate on remembering them accurately.
For the time being, I decided to focus only on the reality in front of me instead of trying to dig around Lily’s memories.
“But, I see… it doesn’t seem that this will last much longer.”
“Yes, since it’s the first time we’ve fused, this form is still unstable.”
“In that case, should we try out how much power we have before it’s over?”
After erasing the mirror created by Lily with my own will, I glared at the bored Lich in this vast Purgatory.
It was very strange. Light magic, which I thought I would never be able to use no matter how hard I tried, was something that came as second nature to me, just like black magic.
Because of that, I was able to dispel Lily’s mirror, and I was sure I could have even created one as well if I had wanted to.
And the same was true for Lily. Now that we were as one, she could command black magic at will. Perhaps she would be able to use it even better than I do.
“Well then, where should we start?”
“Let’s see, there’s something I’ve always wanted to try to do–”
My right arm was held up straight toward Purgatory’s red sky, which had been made thinner more than once. Immediately following my will, Lily did the same.
Feeling the magical power of light rapidly rising within my body, I shouted the name of the spell I’d been wanting to try.
“Sword Arts – Blade Storm!”
We unleashed the red-hot blackened sword that I had kept stored within Shadow Gate, which I hadn’t used even once in order to save it for when Sariel arrived.
That made me wonder if I shouldn’t try to hit Sariel with a hundred Blast Blades…
“After all, this is just like that time with the Lich, right?”
The blast of smoke was cleared by the wind that was blowing through Purgatory, and behind that, an intact Sariel appeared, letting loose an intense silvery aura.
“But she seemed to have given it her all to block it. It’s different from that time at Daedalus.”
Sure enough, she had received no damage, but Sariel seemed to have put up her spear in order to block it with all her might. Whenever she would deal with me, she would hold that spear with just one hand in a relaxed manner, but now she was holding that cross spear out in front of her body with both hands, which made her look like a knight that had fought in many battles.
Looking closely, I could see something like pieces of glass fluttering around mixed in her aura. Not only had she blocked my attack with her spear, but she must have also covered her blind spots with defensive magic.
“Alright, this time we’ll squeeze some answers out of her.”
Both Purgatory and our fusion were on the clock. We couldn’t afford to stand there just watching.
I called out my next Sword Art while Lily returned to her original light magic and made several light balls appear one after another and float like balloons.
Sariel, on the other hand, was also readying her stance to cast a spell just like I was. She was going to use her usual Sagitta, the same one used to prevent someone from escaping by throwing it at her target’s back or legs, or to pin someone’s robe on the wall like it happened during the fight at Daedalus.
She then deployed several white bullets around her body, just as if she had used Bullet Arts.
The moment I called out my second shot, an exchange of swords, light, and bullets began.
Her Sagitta rushed into the barrage of Blast Blades that flew forward like a flock of migratory birds. Dozens of blackened swords exploded without hitting their target, but I had to let them loose quickly in order to avoid being hit by Sariel’s bullets.
Furthermore, as if to weave their way through the gaps, Lily’s light balls flew with precise control, leaving behind a trail that shone like fireflies.
After all, it seemed that Sariel couldn’t handle the joint effort made by Lily and I. She started to run sideways in order to dodge our assault.
I wasn’t exactly trying to chase after her, but I was already hitting the ground running.
My second shot had been more of a diversion. The usual offensive magic wouldn’t have enough firepower to kill Sariel. Anything less than a [Meteo Strike] would not be fatal. And the bigger the skill, the harder it is to hit the target with it.
The only way to make sure we could hit her with something like that would be to keep her restrained like we had done with Ai before, or to tire her out so much that her movements are slowed down.
Challenging a spear user such as Sariel in close quarters was considerably risky, but… Even then, we wouldn’t have the slightest chance to defeat her unless I could slash at her head-on.
Realizing I was rushing over to her, Sariel changed the destination of her Sagitta, which she kept on firing continuously, from the coiling black swords and light balls photosphere towards me. A single spear was all it would take her to guard against our attacks.
Sariel then started moving forward while crushing the blades and light balls that were chasing after her with great precision, and while feeling reminded of a fraction of her ability, I also tried to move away.
The barrage of white bullets was already in front of me, and would soon crush this body.
“We need to fly, Lily!”
“Leave it to me!”
The shape of Lily completely disappeared from my neck. And, as if to replace her, two pairs of wings grew from my back.
They looked like thin, long leaves, much like Lily’s own wings.
However, contrary to her transparent, shining wings, mine were dark and with a texture similar to tar. Of course, a deep crimson light ran across these jet-black membranous wings, resembling pulsing blood vessels.
Though they were dark, heavy, and seemingly sluggish, which was completely different from Lily’s pale and beautiful wings, they seemed capable of showing the same ability to flight as hers.
I started running as if about to prepare for a long jump, and when my feet left the ground, my body started moving in the air, completely free from the yoke of gravity.
Since they weren’t meant to account for me flying in the air, the savage storm of Sagitta passed harmlessly under my feet.
Sariel’s red eyes looked upwards as if following my trajectory. Instead of shooting a new volley of anti-air Sagitta, her immediate reaction was to change her posture and hold her spear straight upwards.
She seemed to have quickly realized that it was about time to meet me directly with her spear in hand instead of trying to shoot me down from a distance.
In fact, I was already in the middle of slashing at her from above with my [Absolute Grudge Broadsword – Kubidan], using the highly mobile flying ability that Lily had given me.
The first Martial Art Sariel would show me only managed to repel my [Black Calm], which had been powered up by the momentum of gravity and the acceleration of me swooping down on her.
Though my body was shaken by the impact, I managed to keep my posture long enough to launch my next attack thanks to my own sense of balance and Lily’s floating ability. As soon as my feet touched the ground, I immediately launched my follow-up move.
“Double Black Calm”
As I flipped the blade’s edge to the opposite side, the [Kubidan] in my right hand drew a black line across Sariel’s torso as if trying to slice it in half.
To block my attack, she used a mowing technique, which was a basic Martial Art that had great synergy with her [Thrust].
With a flash of its white blade, the tip of her cross spear brilliantly met my cursed blade. It was as if her spear had drawn my blade towards it, and the force of impact was the only reason why it was actually repelled instead of remaining caught by it. It made me wonder exactly how much force was in her technique, to be able to pull off something like that.
At the same time as I realized the difference between her skill and my brute force approach, I forcibly followed up with my second strike.
In my left hand, tearing and biting through the aura of white magic, was a ravenous wolf of a longsword.
At the same time as I activated the Martial Art, Lily had opened the Shadow Gate and let me hold on to this [Gluttony Fang Sword – Evil Eater]. Her actions reminded me of Hitsugi, although it would be more accurate to say that she had reacted slightly faster than her.
With another twist of my wrist, the fanged blade let out a snarl as I attacked.
With a faint sigh, Sariel also managed to repel my [Evil Eater] with her spear.
She must have moved that spear at a tremendously insane speed to be able to repel my second attack mere instants away from having also blocked my [Kubidan]. After all, her attacking speed was out of this world.
Sariel had just completely slighted my [Double Black Calm] with ease. After that, her spear had just swung upwards, and it was in a prime position to hit my head directly with it by simply bringing it down on me.
I merely had to use it for a brief moment. I only needed enough time to dodge the spear that loomed over my head as if it were Death’s sickle.
…Though I couldn’t afford to simply dodge at the very last moment. Otherwise, Sariel’s attack would actually hit my chest.
After slightly extending its duration, I managed to dodge Sariel’s spear as if my body had unnaturally warped itself backwards. For a brief moment, I felt as if the tip of the spear had traced over my protruding chest, but I had actually managed to dodge it completely, without even allowing it to tear through my dress.
After cutting through nothing, her spear ended up being stuck in the ground at my feet, as if trying to slice my shadow in half.
However, with her immense skill, Sariel would be able to easily pull it off the ground and prepare herself for her next attack.
On the other hand, I was rendered in an unnatural posture facing upwards. I would be one beat too late to be prepared for Sariel’s follow-up. This would end with me getting stabbed on the chest –if I had been fighting alone.
At that moment, Lily appeared as if she had been leaning over my shoulder. She had a big jewel that sparkled in bright red in her right hand.
The crimson light that came out of the fairy queen’s treasure, “Queen Beryl”, focused in one direction like a beam, creating a Force Edge.
This Star Sword seemed to be a technique that the fairy queen Iris would use quite regularly back when she was still an ordinary fairy.
When used normally, it would create a blade with the strong magical power fairies possessed. Moreover, by strengthening this with artifact-class magic stones, the Star Sword would show its true value.
The blade would have a different color depending on the magic stone used, and its name would change. And Iris had named the crimson sword “Antares”.
I couldn’t help but wonder why she knew the name of Scorpio’s red supergiant… But knowing that Lily had inherited such a venerable technique was good enough for me.
The unfolded “Star Sword – Antares” approached Sariel with a dazzling crimson sparkle that would be familiar to those who knew about the constellation of Scorpio.
The red horizontal flash was blocked by Sariel’s white spear just as it was on the verge of cutting through her torso.
She was still holding her main weapon, the cross spear, in her right hand. What Sariel had used to block Lily’s attack was on her left hand.
This second, slender spear, which looked as if it would break easily, was exactly the same as the white magic spear that she had magically created to deal with me when we fought on the walls of Daedalus. Back then, I couldn’t even get a crack on it even after hitting it with my [Cursed Blade – Tsujizan]. This “Kris Sagitta,” which was made up of a tremendously strong “Materialize”, seemed to be just as strong as that one. Though since she had chanted its magic name this time, it could have been even sturdier than the one she had used back then.
Therefore, almost as if to further imply that it was stronger than its previous counterpart, it easily bit into Lily’s crimson sword of light.
With an unpleasant sound, Sariel’s [Kris Sagitta] completely shattered Lily’s [Star Sword – Antares].
But perhaps it would have been too much, even for Sariel. She had even given up on pulling out her cross spear that was still stuck in the ground and jumped backwards, leaving it behind. The hem of her fluttering white robe had been slightly torn by the red light.
“I’ll get some answers from you!”
Since she had let go of her main weapon, it was our chance.
With both [Kubidan] and [Evil Eater] repositioned, I was already prepared for my next attack. After watching her past battle against the “Iron Demon Brigade”, I knew that she could recall her weapon back into her hands even from a distance, but still, a momentary chance had been created.
As long as I wouldn’t miss this chance, I would be able to use my momentum to get real close to Sariel, and–
That had been Lily’s scream. Despite having an insubstantial body, she clung to my neck and desperately pulled me back.
Instead of being stupid and ask her “Why?”, I simply paid heed to her warning and changed course.
I quickly used my momentum to bounce back the moment my foot touched the floor.
Sariel was moving her tiny mouth with her palm straight toward me, as if she was about to unleash an offensive spell.
However, what she unleashed wasn’t actually an attack. And it wasn’t even aimed at me to begin with.
“تدمير غزو الفضاء الأبيض――[Breakthrough]”
It was a magical name that I had never heard before in Model Magic. However, the moment that spell was activated, it made me understand its otherwise not-so-evident effect, even if I didn’t like it.
First, Sariel’s cross spear, which was still stuck into the ground, began to emit a dazzling light as if its blade had been empowered with an intense Martial Art. That’s when I noticed.
That blade was still stuck into my shadow on the ground.
My shadow wasn’t even supposed to be cast there from where I was standing, and yet it remained there as if pinned by Sariel’s spear.
By the time I saw that strange phenomenon, the erosion had already started.
But where? Why, in my shadow. In other words, in my “Shadow Gate”. At the place where I kept hundreds of red-hot blackened swords, fairy remedies, high potions, and other items that I could rely on, cursed weapons, and much more. A versatile armory that kept everything within its boundaries safe.
That armory was about to be broken.
Sariel’s [Breakthrough] was a spell that could destroy spaces created by Dimension Magic.
“D… Damn it…”
Starting from the point where the spear pierced the ground, the white flash of Sariel’s magic and the red-black explosion that reflected my black magic caused a big explosion mixed with chaos.
No doubt, the red-hot blackened swords inside had exploded. It felt like a captain of a battleship who had just been hit directly in the ship’s gunpowder storage.
“This was your plan from the start, wasn’t it?”
I wondered if she had seen through my Shadow Gate during our battle at Daedalus… And then I remembered that the Basilisk Bone Stinger I used to pierce through her right hand, had been hidden in my shadow until the last minute.
If she was able to use Dimension Magic as well, I should have been more careful about that. Anyone who had any means to destroy my Shadow Gate would have targeted it before anything else.
As I watched the rising fumes coming out of my shadow while several red fragments were spat out from it and scattered around the area, a thought crossed my mind, one that couldn’t be taken as either regret or an analysis.
Ah, those big fragments must be the remains of The Greed… Nothing but a pile of rubble now.
“Be careful, Kurono! Now she’s definitely going to come after us with everything she’s got.”
However, hearing Lily say so, I couldn’t help but be saddened by the things I had lost. My body was that of a woman, but my heart was that of a man. I couldn’t afford to disgrace myself in front of her.
From the beginning, as long as we were dealing with Sariel, I had to be prepared to accept any loss. We would be fortunate to only lose a few weapons as a result of this battle.
“Ah, that’s fine. We’ll cross swords with her head-on… Let’s go!”
After that, I resumed my fight with Sariel with only the remaining two swords I had on each hand.