Kuro no Maou 424 – Part 2

 

Formation: Dragon Killer

“All right! I’ll go take care of that giant thing now. No half-hearted attacks, I’ll go full power! Formation: ’Dragon Killer’!”

Nero draws his sword at the same time Kai readies his ‘Buster Sword’.

Then, Safi is the one to make the first move.

“Our target is… Let’s see… I suppose the closest one of them.”

Her muttered words aren’t directed at the other team members. Instead, they are orders for her servants.

With a wave of her Crystal Skull Staff, Safi creates two purple magic circles in mid-air. One of them is about one meter wide, while the other is about half its size.

Before long, something comes flying out from the smaller magic circle, leaving behind a trail of purple toxic fumes. That’s not a dark-attribute magic attack, but one of her servants, a dark-colored bird that lets out an ear-shattering cry as it emerges.

The bird looks very similar to a crow, but its body is as large as a falcon’s, and its beak and claws look exceptionally sharp, making it look more like some sort of Blackbird monster variant. Those monsters, much like crows, seem to be found almost everywhere, but they’re still regarded as a rare kind of large bird monsters. They are particularly famous for their feathers, which are a high-grade material for making magical robes.

That Blackbird soars through the sky over Galahad, serving under Safi’s command.

“Caw-Caw is already here, come out now, Paw-Paw!”

She issues her commands using those ridiculous nicknames, but Safi’s face is as calm and beautiful as ever, even under that ominous Skull Mask. She’s doing nothing more than diligently using her servant.

As commanded by her Mistress, the skeleton warrior Paw-Paw emerges from the larger magic circle. His role is that of a pawn, hence the name “Paw-Paw”.

The infantry skeleton, whose eyes shine with a bewitching light that hints a false life force granted by dark magical powers, silently jumps off the castle walls. Consistent with its bony appearance, it doesn’t have the ability to fly.

However, the infantry skeleton does fly through the air, its body clad in purple light. That’s because it had used its bony hand to grab one of the Blackbird’s –Caw-Caw’s– legs. Though it has been named “Caw-Caw” simply because it looks like a crow, this Blackbird’s wings are too strong to be compared with those of other average-sized birds, allowing it to carry the skeleton soldier with ease.

Thankfully, there were no Crusader spellcasters or archers on the field, so Caw-Caw and Paw-Paw reached their destination –the golem– without fear of getting shot down.

Caw-Caw returned to Safi right after dropping Paw-Paw on the ancient golem’s shoulder. The skeleton soldier stands up, opens its bony jaw –which is full of eyes–, and fluently speaks up.

「ستة عشر شخصا الذين يشار إليها باسم مشاة العظام」

No, that’s not the skeleton’s own voice, but Safi’s natural voice.

There is always some sort of relationship between servants used by summoners and necromancers and the masters who use them, such as providing magical power and shared perception. Depending on the servant’s role and the master’s own ability, the kind of relationship they have may greatly vary.

Having a monster servant listen to commands regardless of distance is an ability generally known by most veterans, but the ability to speak through a servant is something much more difficult to master.

What’s more, Safi is not just trying to make its servant speak. She’s trying to cast a spell through it.

If you’re not the same class as Safi, you probably wouldn’t understand just how skilled she is. Among her teammates, the only one who could probably understand her greatness is Nell, who has diligently studied magic that does not belong to her class.

“‘Pawn Platoon’!”

To no one’s surprise, Safi’s spell activates through the skeleton soldier.

Just as Paw-Paw unsheathes its sword, a magic circle similar to the one used to summon it spreads out under its feet. The next moment, several spear-wielding skeleton soldiers come forth, as if emerging from the depths of a swamp.

It’s a unit of sixteen skeleton soldiers. The role assigned to them by Safi is ‘Harbinger’.

They are faced by chimera-like soldiers with many arms, many heads, and possibly even wings. Several of these grotesque soldiers climb up the ancient golem as if it were a cliff in order to repel the intruders.

“I knew there were going to be guards.”

Defending a siege weapon until it reaches its destination is a natural course of action. No matter how powerful an ancient golem can be, you can bet that there will be guards ready to defend it in the event of it being attacked.

“There’s still quite a few of them.”

Just by looking roughly at their numbers, they probably match the skeletons’ sixteen, or maybe even outnumber them by a small margin.

“Thirty more seconds should be enough.”

Safi speaks with her usual composed tone of voice while watching the skeleton soldiers silently intercepting the oncoming swarm of roaring chimeras.

Is that because she has absolute confidence in her ability to conjure good servants?

“Nah, at this range, ten seconds will do.”

No, it is because she trusts her companions.

This is particularly true just by looking at Nero, who’s getting all worked up. His eyes are covered by a mask, but even it cannot hide the glint on those red pupils of his.

“Let’s go, Kai.”

“All right! You’re going down!”

Nero, cold and sharp like an icy sword, and Kai, heated up as if burst into flames, both jump off the castle walls.

Kai is one step ahead, but not because he’s being hot-headed. This is the right formation.

Using the passive skill ‘Air Walker’, both of them are able to demonstrate jumping abilities far exceeding human limits.

However, their jumping distance is approximately twenty meters. The golems are still advancing, and are about a hundred meters away from the castle walls, so they won’t make it in a single leap.

That’s right, they’re not jumping only once.

Just after they begin being pulled down by gravity’s yoke, a black shadow appears under their feet. Commanded by Safi, the Blackbird serves as a scaffolding which the two can use to bounce into their next leap.

Nero and Kai land on the Blackbird’s back and, like a stone skipping over a lake’s surface, leap back into the sky.

Charged with the power of martial arts, the stepping on its back would suppose a great shock to the Blackbird, but the servant conjured by the genius necromancer does not even flinch. In fact, it even seems as if the two were able to jump even higher than before.

The distance of their second jump is about thirty meters. Fifty more to reach the golem… no, since it has still been marching forward, it should be forty more meters to go.

But there will be no Blackbird scaffoldings for the next jump.

But having gotten that far is more than enough for them. Even if there’s nothing to use as a scaffolding, they’ll be okay. This is the last step.

“‘Sonic Walker’!”

The two of them use a master-level mobility martial art. To say that they are running through the air is not a figure of speech, they are really doing it.

Nero and Kai step on the nothingness of the sky and make their third leap.

With the boost to their jumping ability granted by ‘Air Walker’ combined with ‘Sonic Walker’, they are able to jump twice as farther than their first jump. That is just the forty meters that they need.

The two of them finally reach the ancient golem.

“…Whoa! We barely made it!”

“Let’s think about that later.”

It looked as if they had gracefully landed on the golem’s shoulder, but Kai’s confession goes to show that wasn’t the case. Still, that’s just how ‘Wing Road’ is, always reaching its target at the last second.

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