179 . THE BLACK NUMBERS VS THE EMPIRE – LAST HALF –
In her fit of rage, Ultima summoned several of the Black Orbs .
With a sinister smile, she propelled the orbs towards each of the Royal Knights .
The uniformed man ―― First Lieutenant Kondo ―― sensed the danger from those orbs and,
「Brace yourselves! Those are Abyss Cores!」
Shouting out, he equipped his gun, and, destroyed one of the Abyss Cores using Dispel and Eraser bullets in rapid-fire .
He would have shot down the remaining Cores too but,
「Hello? Look, I’m your opponent!」
Carrera stopped Kondo’s barrage by herself shooting a full strength Energy Ball at him .
Kondo drew back his gun, and attempted to repel the Energy Ball while dodging .
A tremendous amount of Energy that was as if a manifestation of Carrera’s rage . But the real feat what that of Kondo’s, who had repelled it all while remaining stoic of face .
He was already analysing his opponent, planning to counter with a Dispel bullet, and if possible, Necrosis too .
But, now he had no room to look after anyone else, and as if being completely isolated with Carrera, their single combat had began . (TN: I ship ‘em already . :3 )
Abyss Cores .
These were lumps of mana which could be called the essential components of magic .
Pumping them with ridiculous amounts of mana, a genuine death ray, the “Death Streak” would be made .
Releasing them as is would manifest “Nuclear Flame” .
And last but not least, the best usage was to use Mana Manipulation to alter the lumps into a compressed state .
This would result in the strongest magic, “Gravity Collapse” .
It was the essence of Nuclear Magic .
On a similar note, “Nuclear Cannon” was made by exploding a few Abyss Core inside a tubular Magic Barrier, and pointing that energy in some arbitrary direction .
It was easy to do, and was the easiest to control .
Therefore, even at sizes as small as a fists, the Royal Knights clearly understood the power of a simple Abyss Core .
「I-impossible! How are there so many of these huge Abyss Cores!?」
「If those things blew up, this whole place will be gone!!」
「The Mages’ Barriers won’t hold, all hands, eliminate those Cores!!」
And all of them made their moves .
If left as is, and multiple “Nuclear Flames” were blasted, their Emperor, should still be safe .
But the majority of the Airships in the sky would undoubtedly be destroyed by the explosion .
Not to mention, they couldn’t allow such explosions near the Emperor even if he were to be safe .
「What monstrosity!? To summon so many large Abyss Cores without any problem… . . 」
That was the honest impression of the Royal Knights .
The strongest among them had used their Holy Magic to counter balance, and successfully suppress the Abyss Cores .
But 5 of them were still desperately trying to suppress the mana overflow .
「Bzzt! Sorry, ti~me’s up!!」
With an innocent delight .
Came Ultima’s sinister announcement .
And at the same time, the Abyss Cores began their transformation .
Squirming Tentacles of Black Fire coiled around the desperate 5 Royal Knights .
This was the Magic Alteration ability of the Ultimate Skill attained by Ultima, 『Poison King Samael』 .
The tentacles lined with poison would coil around and kill the target .
Meaning that, as they couldn’t eliminate the Abyss Cores with their Holy Magic, resistance was futile .
As a result, they met no end other than death .
The Squirming Tentacles of Black Fire gradually covered up its prey, and engulfed them .
Fearing her end,
「H-help me, lieutenant Kondo!! 」
Knight No . 6, Minaza, desperately seeked rescue from Kondo .
However, Kondo didn’t have that liberty .
He had his hands full with Carrera, and simply couldn’t spare the time to save his subordinates .
So without even facing her,
「I, can’t . 」
He spoke pragmatically .
「N-no way a――」
Before Minaza could even scream, it was over .
「”Limit End”! Ahahahaha!!
Now, we can go one-on-one!」
Ultima playfully laughed .
She held a Squirming Tentacle of Black Fire in her hand .
Like a Black Flame Whip .
And using that whip, she recovered the Energy from the Knights who just perished .
「Pretty tasty . You’re happy to be of some use aren’t you?」
She said while slurping up those short-lived feelings of fear and hopelessness .
While shuddering, Damrada analysed the current situation .
He couldn’t imagine that Kondo, their strongest, could have his hands full with a single Demon .
No, he should have been able to imagine it .
He knew about the peculiarity of Demon Lord Rimuru, so judging from the strength of Diablo who he had witnessed at the tournament, it wouldn’t completely be out of the question .
Except, that he had taken those factors into consideration and concluded that the Empire was stronger .
At that time, he had believed that that was their full strength, and trusted that the status hadn’t changed presently……
That strength at the tournament was on par with the lower ranked Royal Knights .
They were honestly impressive .
However, they, the Knights, themselves possessed the Ultimate Gift 『Alternative』 .
If one of the lower Knights weren’t enough, they could team up .
(Did they grow stronger……? No…… they weren’t going all out at the tournament . )
Thinking that the Knights No . 6 〜 10 would put up evenly with the ones called the Four Heavenly Kings was a complete mistake .
And now .
The cheerful female looking Demon in front of them seemed incomparably stronger than the Four Kings .
Even Arch Demons would be a laughing stock .
Surpassing even Demon Dukes, as if it was like a second coming of Guy ・ Crimson……
Minaza had screamed, and then disappeared .
It was sad, but Damrada couldn’t save her .
Of course the reason……
Was that the girl named Ultima was clearly, he noticed, eyeing him . (TN: another ship!)
The girl sneered,
「Heh, I guess this should be fun?」
Her sights set on the target, she began the assault .
And while confronting her, Damrada realized another truth .
(This Bitch…… did she just kill of the weaker one’s to even out the numbers……?)
As of now, the numbers were so that every one of the Demon Dukes could have a go .
You want to break our spirits with that power huh! Thought Damrada, forming his stance .
Very well, we’ll be bringing it .
The power of the strongest knights, the Royal Knights .
Ultima observed the Knights wearing a thin smile .
She felt the depth of their strength .
She wouldn’t be so sure of victory if she hadn’t ascended .
But, after attaining the Ultimate Skill 『Poison King Samael』, losing didn’t seem like a concept anymore .
(Dammit, that Diablo . Making us train with these battles……
If Testa realized this, she’d be flipping out .
Well, it’s a good chance…… I guess it’s fine to train the underlings . )
She understood Diablo’s intentions and decided to act accordingly .
Out of the 10 Royal Knights at the start, only half remained .
The Demons would all find a partner to test their mettle in battle .
To become so strong after gaining control over her power, Ultima never thought it possible .
She had hoped the Royal Knights would be stronger, but they almost weren’t utilising the Ultimate Skill granted to them at all .
Those weaklings couldn’t even handle her simple Abyss Cores .
They were individuals who had attained great Energy (life force), and wielded a shared Ultimate Skill .
She had expected more of them to survive .
She had playfully used her fire, aiming to kill at most a couple…… but as a result, finished off half .
Of course, the Demon Dukes, who didn’t have Ultimate Skills, wouldn’t have it so easy against the Royal Knights .
Nevertheless, their base stats being much higher, they shouldn’t have too much trouble .
Though, It’d be bad if they did .
If the underlings got killed, she wouldn’t have the gall to face their lord, Rimuru-sama .
But the experience gained from this fight would surely bolster their prospects .
Just like Ultima, who had personally experienced Guy’s might……
Only by tasting Guy’s fearsome attack overlapped with Ultimate Skills did she truly desire one such Skill for herself .
A simple attack .
Her pre-ascended self couldn’t even overcome such a playful, whimsical, non-serious magic .
Bearing a title of high Nobility among the strongest of Demons, she couldn’t even make use of her specialty of magic resistance .
But, she also considered it good luck .
She got to have such an experience only because she was Demon Lord Rimuru’s subordinate .
Not just that, she was also blessed with ascension .
Ultima felt that she couldn’t even hope for more .
Demons, as opposed to humans, were much higher beings .
Just releasing their intense mana was enough to be considered an attack .
As a result, perfecting their control raised them to even greater heights .
Seeing the way her playful Abyss Cores dominated the Royal Knights, Ultima confirmed exactly where the difference in power lied .
In the end, the base Spiritual (Holy) Power in humans wasn’t much .
In other words, they wouldn’t be able to increase their base power no matter how perfect the control was .
And then, I see, she thought .
Why Diablo absolutely loathed relying on raw power .
(It’s true that we Demons have high Energy potential . So we tend to rely on that power too much huh . )
She acknowledged .
Excluding Testarossa, Carrera and herself indeed indulged in that bad habit .
She also knew that she was the most inexperienced among the three .
Testarossa was elegant and flawless .
She had the bad habit of looking down on others though .
Carrera was haughty and aloof .
She could do anything if she only tried, but always opted for lazier options .
Evermore inexperienced .
She had neither Testarossa’s precision, nor Carrera’s abundance .
She, Ultima, was the weakest of the 4 pillars of Devil Lords .
(I want to be number 1!)
―― Don’t bask in the power you haven’t attained yourself ――
She reminded herself of those words from Diablo .
That was the reason why, except when in dire situations, Diablo never made use of the power granted to him by his Demon Lord .
Therefore, she too .
Using this opportunity, she would prove herself by mastering her own Ultimate Skill 『Poison King Samael』 .
Ultima swore in her heart .
Not the “power” she had never wished for, but the “Skill” she earnestly desired; she would perfect it .
And now .
She was impressed with Damrada who, utilizing Holy Energy to his utmost, the man had overcome the force of her overwhelming attack .
Ultima honestly found it interesting .
Although it seemed like she was in control, she had been actually simply brute-forcing her way with immense mana .
She already understood the fact, but now, had finally, truly recognized it .
So, being able to enjoy her fight, both took their best stance, and initiated fierce combat .
Carrera’s knees hit the earth .
The male human named Kondo was unbelievably strong .
A true master .
Carrera, boasting strength second only to Diablo among the 4 Devil Lords, couldn’t but be amazed at the reality of the man before her .
There was no anger .
She knew that underestimating him would only leave her on the floor……
He was not easy prey .
He would seal (curse) off her magic before it could be used .
Reading the flow of mana required to activate the magic, he would precisely cut off the current .
With the bizarre bullets from the gun in his hand .
Unbeknownst to Carrera, this gun was a God-tier weapon .
At the basest level, it was a gun shaped blunt weapon .
It was cylindrical in shape, and could withstand intensive explosions .
In short, there was no actual firing mechanism .
Kondo would use his Skills to first create a mana explosion, and further, materialize and eject a bullet .
That bullet was created by overlapping his Skills with the “Divine Edge” ability of Ultimate Skill 『Sandalphon the Executioner』 .
Kondo would mould the “Divine Edge” into the shape of a bullet, and then coat it with the effects of the Skill before firing .
In a pinch, he could load the gun with a blade, but he had yet to be in such a situation .
Finding the enemy’s weakness, or flow of mana, and precisely striking them down .
Just that .
With unyielding fealty, Kondo had secured his position among the highest in the Empire .
Carrera jittered in the humiliation called reality .
The reality that, she couldn’t win like this .
With that mindset,
She cried, then hit her face with the back of her hand .
Her face received Energy so massive, it was as if her head would blow right off .
But that was fine .
Enough looking down on the enemy .
This was, she acknowledged, a suitable foe . She was no longer the aloof Carrera, but took on an earnestly serious attitude .
After all, she was acting under Demon Lord Rimuru’s direct orders .
Unlike the past, she could not allow herself to be selfish……
「Was that too scary?
My apologies, I needed to cool off a little .
I was making light of you, or rather, humans in general, and ended up holding back you see .
Who knew .
Who could possibly know that I……
Would actually, truly, seriously face off against a human . 」
And she gently rose .
And at that, Kondo, for the first time, changed his expression .
「Oh, so you were hiding that much……
Very well .
I too shall face you in earnest . 」
After having spoken, for the first time, Kondo donned his “Armour” .
Materialized though will power, it was his Former Imperial Army Official Uniform .
It symbolized, for First Lieutenant Kondo, his battledress, and furthermore, this Uniform was a God-tiered armour .
Carrera stood, and released her rich mana .
「Loyal Servant of Demon Lord Rimuru-sama, I am Carrera, “Menace Lord” . In the name of the “Menace Lord”, I vow to kill you . 」
She declared .
「Former Imperial Army First Lieutenant, Kondo Tatsuya .
Presently acting as leader of the Emperor’s personal Knights .
I shall rise to that challenge . 」
Responded Kondo .
The two sized each other up, and released their power .
Carrera, at the precise moment, awakened to the power manifesting as a result of her determination ―― Ultimate Skill 『Extinction King Abaddon』 ―― and grasped for it .
Until now, she had been fighting solely with her seemingly absolute demonic power .
However, that was not enough .
She would never reach the ones called Ultimates .
Whether it be Diablo, or this Kondo fellow . To say nothing of Guy ・ Crimson, or the Demon Lord brass .
It was not enough to only think of increasing her strength .
If that was the case, just like her defeat against Guy’s magic, she would end up only as fodder for the strong no matter how much she struggled .
This, she would absolutely never allow .
She had always felt a raging power inside her, but finally, she decided to appreciate it .
She would not just control, but liberate it .
―― Mine “Power”, I shall name thee . Becometh mine “Skill (Abaddon)”, and be liberated from thine shackles!!――
And she attained it .
Leaving nothing behind, the absolute “Power” .
―― Ultimate Skill 『Extinction King Abaddon』――
This was the fearsome Skill, that, symbolizing Carrera’s strength, would bring nothing but annihilation unto any hostiles .
Meeting such a formidable foe sparked in her, for the first time, a deep desire for power .
Facing Kondo, one she desired to kill more than Guy, Carrera focused .
It was at that moment .
An intense flash followed by an immense surge assaulted the Imperial Aerial Fighter Legion .
Rimuru had fired his “Veldora Sword” .
The Airships’ crews were in a panic .
The Emperor, who was, until now . under the safety of “Castle Guard”, and was focusing on controlling Veldora,
「No way, why?
Why, did the effect of my Regalia Dominion… . my “Sovereign Rule” disappear?
Why, was Veldora defeated?!
Impossible, that’s just impossible!
It was just a lowly Demon Lord, a puny slime!
It should have become powerless, after the source of its powers, Veldora, was taken away… .
How, could it consume it’s master, and take that power for itself!!
I was this close to finally achieving victory against Guy!!
To get in the way of my plans… . Unforgivable, you lowly Demon Lord!!」(TN: Spaghetti status: Re: DROPPED)
Shouted out and stood up .
The situation thus further intensified, and shifted into gear . (TN: code for cliff-hanger!!)