WRITTEN BY THE MYSTERIOUS LION MASKSEPTEMBER 16, 2016
178 . THE BLACK NUMBERS VS THE EMPIRE ― FIRST HALF―
There existed within the Beast Corps, those that excelled in aerial combat .
However, that was only possible provided stable foothold .
For the Demonic Beasts who were inferior in continuous flight ability, combat in the skies put them at a disadvantage . After all, their landing spots were easily predictable, they would be sniped, and that would be the end of them .
In spite of that, the 7,700 Berserk Demonic Beast, and the 4,500 berserk Beastman all faced themselves towards the sky .
Up until now they weren’t able to recognize friend from foe, and simply attacked each other――
They had been ejected out at the surface deck of the 200 Airships, a spot you could hardly call spacious .
It wasn’t narrow, but nor was it wide enough to move freely around in .
That was why, they had followed their instincts and began to show off their strength .
――but, all turned towards the skies .
The reason was simple and clear .
Their instincts flared, something like the fundamental root of terror, a “Danger”, they noticed it coming closer .
Testarossa simply scowled at them with an uninterested look .
What she witnessed was a group of idiots thrashing about aboard the Airship she planned to present to Demon Lord Rimuru .
Then, she was fed up with the group of visibly insane beasts flying towards her .
(Ah? So gross . If I don’t clean this up soon, I’ll be covered in filth .
And……despite being beasts, to misjudge bravery for such suicidal stupidity, how foolish .
But then――If you’ve gone mad, I guess it can’t be helped .
At the very least, accept my merciful blessing!)
Thinking so, with neither hesitation nor inaccuracy she released “Death Streak” at a location where the Airships were densely packed .
All Airships within the range of a perfect sphere were stricken with death .
The “Death Ray” also affected the oceans, and all exposed sea life perished .
「Can’t you hold back a little!? We can’t get a turn this way can we? 」
Venom asked Testarossa bewildered,
「You’re still no good .
Please take a good look . There are some survivors see?」
She said, ridiculing the shallowness of Venom’s experience .
Testarossa’s 『Magic Perception』 had certainly grasped the presence of several survivors .
Demonic Beasts held the properties of both monster and beast, the flesh they were bound to was a big factor . In other words, they couldn’t endure “Death Streak” .
Even if they were to take on a demonic beast’s strength with a human base, in the end, the flesh it was bound to would be destroyed by the “Death Ray” .
In other words, those who survived under the effects of this spell were either Spirit Forms, or those who had perfect compatibility with demonic elements .
No, they could perhaps also be Sages who had acquired perfect control over their bodies .
In any case, only those who had surpassed a certain threshold could endure it .
「Survivors, is it? Interesting, it looks like we too can have some fun . 」
Venom’s eyes thinned as he grinned, and he transferred over to his subordinates who were poised for combat .
One could say that Beast King Gradim, on that very moment, had understood the true meaning of terror and danger .
In the middle of organizing his formation, his subordinates started spewing blood as they began to fall .
The survivors numbered less than 100 .
To begin with, Gradim’s subordinates were only composed of his countrymen who had been fighting alongside him for several decades .
This time, those who had successfully evolved into a Chimera Knight, due the shortage of Demonic Beasts to consume, had been terribly weakened .
They obtained the Unique skill 『Bodily Manipulation』, and without ever being to use it, had passed on .
Since it was at a level where even a Chimera knight would die, it was unnecessary to inquire what happened to the others .
Enraged, mortified, and terrified .
Those emotions stirred in Gradim’s heart .
With a single spell cast, and the majority of his forces had been lost .
It was an spell so almighty that Magic Barriers were pointless before it .
To begin with, the elite Mages had been transferred over to the Airships high above, and thus this blunder caused the defensive barriers of the 200 airships at sea level to weaken .
In other words, this was Gradim’s blunder .
If the enemy was a high-class Demon, it was necessary to assume they would use wide scale attack magic .
In any case, even though the use of such a powerful spell was beyond expectations, the number of survivors was above what was expected .
「You’ll pay, you Daemons!!」(TN: Small fry trait #1:They never stop and think who started the fight . )
The Beast King roared, and a God-tier armament wrapped around his body with the power of a Demonic Beast housed within .
Different from a beastman tribe, it was an ability that was uniformly enhanced to specialize in combat, and Gradim’s body began to change .
Roaring in synchronous, his subordinates the 100 Chimera Knights each released their powers .
Then, the upper hatch of the ship opened, and they leapt out onto the deck .
Thus, the Demon and the Beast king clashed .
Looking down from above was “Killer Lord” Testarossa, facing, confronting, and accepting the stare of “Beast King” Gradim who glared at her from the upper deck .
Behind Testarossa were 100 Demon Chevaliers, and similarly, Gradim had 100 of his subordinates, the Chimera Knights .
The (seemingly) rivalling forces, awaiting the final showdown .
「Rejoice, Venom! It’s your turn . I’ll be enjoying this meal .
As for your lackeys, it’s perfect, there’s one for each of you .
You will be killing those who attempt to escape from this airspace
After that, that’s right…
Abide to Rimuru-sama’s words, and make sure that not one of you gets killed .
「Who do you think my comrades are? We’re not that stupid……」
(Yeah, you tell ‘er boss!)
They wanted to agree with Venom’s words, but Testarossa was scary and the Demon Chevaliers only muttered in a low voice .
Shutting up the idiots with her glare, Testarossa narrowed her eyes .
「Silence you fools! If even one of us gets killed, we’re all done for . If you understand, then scram! 」
Eh, wasn’t I in charge? Ignoring Venom who wanted to say this, under Testarossa’s command the Demon Chevaliers began making their move .
Following them, Testarossa, as well as Gradim .
They changed location another ship deck, and began their confrontation .
「I am Imperial army Beast Corps General, “Beast King” Gradim! 」
「I am Demon Lord Rimuru-sama’s lowly and faithful servant, “Killer Lord” Testarossa」
(TN: Gradim used “Dearu(である)” whereas Testarossa used “Desu wa(ですわ)” . )
To Gradim’s battle cry, Testarossa replied gracefully .
And so, the match began, and then ended in an instant .
「Die, you filthy Demon!! Ultimate Gift 『Alternative』 Activate!
Take this, the Beast King’s Rage!!
「Shut it . Your attack name is too long . 」
Beast King Gradim’s body, clad in a shining god class armor, was unable to resist the Black Greatsword ‘Death Blade’ Testarossa wielded, and was sliced to ribbons .
It was a sword of death, formed by condensed black flames that became the key to activate “Death Streak” .
The annihilation effect of the Ultimate Skill Testarossa obtained as soon as she ascended『 Hell King Berial』granted an instant death . (EN: Hell king… tentative to change)
The『Hell King Berial』 was similar to Ruminas’s Skill, both governing “Life and Death” . However in contrast, it was more focused on the “Death” aspect . Based off of that, it could be considered inferior to Ruminas’s Ultimate Skill 『Lustful King Asmodeus』, but if one were to only consider combat potential, then there was no inferiority to point out――
Even if a fatal blow were avoided, Testarossa wasn’t serious at all .
she swung her sword merely with the intention to shut him up, and yet it ended up dealing a deadly blow……
In any case, as for Beast King Gradim, his opponent was simply too strong .
If this happened before her Demon Lord Ascension, it would definitely have been a slightly better fight, but the ascended Testarossa was one of the strongest in Tempest .
But against a certain red haired demon, she still had nothing .
「Gu, wa…… ri, ridiculous…… y-you’re too strong . But, my subordinates, t-they’ll…… 」
Gradim uttered with the last of his strength, however his hopes had already been shattered .
Not a single one of his men were able to triumph against the Demon Chevaliers, and had been defeated .
It was a reasonably well fought battle, but in the end they only ended up as experience points for the demons .
「……How,how could this . Y-your majesty, my apologi……」
And so, an elite, even by the Empire’s standards, Beast King Gradim faced a sorrowful end .
And thus, the Beast Corps was annihilated, and wiped off the face of the earth .
Making a quick glance with 『Magic Perception』 to make sure there were no signs of life, Testarossa took off from the vessel .
Even though she deemed it unnecessary, she headed off to assist the others .
The Demon Chevaliers followed behind her .
「A～a……As expected, I didn’t get a turn……」
Venom complained, but nobody was there anymore .
After Testarossa had gone, a single man walked out of the flagship .
He surveilled the sky, after confirming the Demons have left,
「Oh boy . Even someone as awesome as me can’t win against a monster like that ・・・yet .
But yeah, perfect timing .
I wanted to kill Gradim, but it looks like he’s been cooked already; I’ll dig in then . 」
And so, he greedily guzzled the cleanly halved corpse of Gradim .
Crunch, crunch, he ate .
Energy began pouring into his body, as great power amassed .
「Fumu . It was so-so . But that’s hardly enough .
I guess I can only stay silent for now……」
He murmured, holding the torn-up God-tier armor Gradim once wore in his hand, and poured energy in .
The armor flickered as if acknowledging the man as new master, and began repairing itself good as new .
The man clad the armor onto himself with a natural look on his face .
His body was completely covered, a helmet hid his face concealing his identity .
The man nodded and left the scene, heading towards the transfer magic formation within the ship .
Ultima and Carrera, as per Diablo’s instruction headed towards the Emperor .
Either way, there’s was a need to clean up some fussy garbage .
In order to vent out the frustration of being unable to witness their beloved master in action, they needed clear out the trash .
If you examined them, each Airship had a defensive barrier shrouding it .
Various barriers formed a multiple-layered defense system, and even Nuclear Magics proved mostly useless .
Just as Diablo had previously shown, if you concentrated the spell, it was possible to destroy a part of the barrier but……
That’s a hassle, was the common understanding that Ultima and Carrera had reached .
Well, the main battle forces seemed to be gathered on the flagship of the emperor .
That being the case, they would simply strike there first .
7 Demon Dukes in total .
Diablo’s lieutenant, Earl class Venom .
Testarossa’s lieutenants, Duke class Moss and Baron class Cien
Ultima’s lieutenants, Marquis class Veyron and Baron class Zonda
Carrera’s lieutenants, Viscount class Agera and Esprit .
Each of them held great strength, they were beings that could even be called Kings of the underworld .
However even so, the differences in class reflected the differences in strength .
In this military operation, the supreme command forbade even one death, thus they couldn’t afford to be careless .
「Zonda, you go eliminate everyone else other than the flagship .
If possible, join up with Moss and support him!
I don’t detect anyone that strong, but don’t be careless okay? 」
「Certainly, Ultima-sama! This Zonda will take swift action in accordance to your command . 」
Ultima handed down the extermination order to Zonda .
600 Greater Demons spread out into the surroundings, creating a barrier to stop any escapees .
As a result, it became difficult to escape from a battle in the skies .
Ultima also had the ulterior motive of quickly eliminating the enemy and go witness the splendor of her master alongside Diablo .
While she was worried about Zonda, her personal interests took priority .
That defined Ultima .
Thus they moved on to the cleaning up of small fry . In order to bring down their respective prey, they invaded the upper deck of the flagship where the Emperor was .
And so the two sides faced each other .
“Pain Lord” Ultima and “Menace Lord” Carrera .
As well as Veyron, Agera and Esperit .
Facing them on the Empire’s side, Emperor rudra .
The 10 strongest of the Royal Knights, the Imperial Guardian No . 1~10, led by First Lieutenant Kondo .
The decisive battle was about to unfold .
Emperor Rudra was protected in an Absolute Barrier .
Its defenses were absolute, nobody could possibly destroy it .
However, there are conditions .
Its energy for its use originated from the loyalty of those around the Emperor, a loyal subordinate had to be within the vicinity of the Emperor .
And then the other condition .
This defense was a continuously active perfect barrier, however during activation all forms of attacks and actions were forbidden .
This ability is the Ultimate Skill 『Justice King Michael』’s “Castle Guard” .
That It was the main reason why Guy didn’t directly aim for the Emperor was an established fact .
Of course, that’s also the reason he had turned into a husk after several millennia but……
Therefore, the Emperor didn’t move .
The moment he started taking aggressive action would also signify the disappearance of the absolute defense .
「You insects…… Do not you interfere with the realization of my ambitions!
Royal Knights, eliminate these miscreants! 」
The Emperor gave his imperial decree .
『By your will!!』
The Emperor’s loyal knights promptly began taking action to execute the command .
Oh the other hand,
「Hey, Carrera . By insects, is he referring to us perchance?」
「Ahaha . There’s no way right? But if he is……」
Carrera denied Ultima’s inquiry with a laugh .
However, her eyes weren’t laughing .
It glinted with a dangerous light, that looked as if it could blow at any moment .
「The Emperor has decreed . Make short work of those nuisances (worms) . 」
Those words were the trigger .
「You’re all fucking dead!!」
「worms? Did you just say worms!? Foolish human!! Kill you . I’ll shatter that your very soul!!」
Ultima raged . .
Carrera looked calm, but vowed never to forgive these enemies .
If mercy was to die a painless death, then unforgiveness was to waste away whilst suffering .
Either way, the fact they would be killed didn’t change, but for these girls there was probably a difference .
The demons who followed them were trembling in fear from their aura .
「H-hey Agera . Isn’t this getting dangerous for us too?」
「please give it up .
That aside, considering our master was insulted, I believe we should grant them a fitting punishment!」
「Urk! You’re losing it too . 」
Realizing she couldn’t stop the usually calm Agera from unleashing her fury, Esprit sighed .
At this point it was impossible to stop them .
Giving up was, in all seriousness, the right answer .
Veyron looked at the exchange between the two viscounts, he looked carefree at the outside, but in his mind he was at his wits end .
His superiors, the Devil Lords, were existences that must never be angered at all cost .
(Foolish humans . The price you pay for your stupidity, are your “deaths”!)
The terror of his superiors was something Veyron was very familiar with .
And then, just as Veyron had anticipated, the Devil Lord pair, unleashed their horror .