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Kuro no Maou 345

by Hishi Kage Dairi


Yoshi (Translator), Tamamo (Editor)


Luis C.
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Reunion (2)


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In front of Iskia Fortress’s main gate, the adventurer party『Element Masters』meet again for the first time in about three weeks.

「Lily! Fiona –」

「Kurono!」

Lily uses her two shining wings to leap off the running horse and fly into Kurono’s chest.

Kurono is surprised by her unexpected behavior and the speed of her movement, but catches her small body in his arms.

「– Careful, Lily! I missed you!」

「Yeah! Lily missed you too, Kurono!」

「Uooh! Lily!」

「Kuronooo!」

With their arms around each other, they roll on the ground, rubbing their cheeks together.

They look like silly love birds – no, a silly parent and child reuniting, but it seems that Kurono and Lily find this to be an appropriate way to express their happiness at being reunited.

Lily is incredibly adorable with a smile that covers her whole face, but Kurono looks incredibly evil with the same smile on his face. Just like a demon who has captured a child to use as a sacrifice.

「Kurono-san, I missed you too, you know.」

Glaring at the pair with reproachful eyes and a completely exasperated look on her face, Fiona gets a firm hold on the sleeve of『Diablo’s Embrace』and steals the joyful Kurono’s attention.

Just outside of Kurono’s peripheral vision, Lily pouts a little.

「Yeah, I missed you too, Fiona. Welcome back.」

「Yes, I am back, Kurono-san.」

As Kurono makes no attempt to hide how happy he is to see her in his eyes or in his words, the smallest of smiles appears on Fiona’s expressionless, sleepy-looking face.

But the unusual thing is not her smile, but her next act.

Still holding onto his sleeve, Fiona brings her body closer to Kurono’s, as if attracted to him. It is as if she is jealous of Lily, who has her arms tightly wrapped around his neck.

It takes only a moment for her body to reach his. The witch’s robe and devil’s coat brush against each other.

Though these two pieces of clothing possess powerful defensive capabilities and elemental resistances, it seems that they can indeed feel each other’s body heat. Kurono makes a complicated expression, a mixture of surprise and embarrassment. Fiona’s white cheeks are hidden behind the wide brim of her trademark three-cornered hat so that nobody can see them, but they have definitely turned red.

「Muuh! Fiona, you’re not allowed to do that!」

「Isn’t it fine, Lily-san? I want to be spoiled from time to time as well.」

Lily thrashes her wings about as if denying Fiona’s words, but Fiona presses herself more firmly against Kurono’s body as if to say that she’ll never let go.

「Well then, I’ve been lonely, so can I have the two of you spoil me as well?」

Watching their playful fight from up close, Kurono simply hugs both of them.

Lily is holding onto his bare right arm, where his sleeve has been destroyed, with the entirety of her small body. Meanwhile, Fiona is embracing his left arm with her slender shoulder pressed up against it.

Kurono himself is half-joking as he hugs them both. But he’s also half-serious.

The two people clinging onto his arms make him happier than anything else; they are the ones he trusts the most, the ones who put his mind at ease.

It is only when one spends some time apart from friends that he is truly grateful to have them. This is a small lesson, but one that touches Kurono’s heart.

「Mhmm, I can, Kurono. Lily will spoil you lots!」

「Yes, I will spoil you plenty, Kurono-san.」

Such an unimaginably sweet* response. Kurono turns red at these words that are so sweet that he feels as if he is drinking maple syrup from the bottle. He feels relief from the bottom of his heart that the two of them are embracing him in a way that they can’t see his expression of embarrassment.

TLN*: 甘い/amai which means “sweet” uses the same kanji as 甘える/amaeru, the verb meaning “to spoil”. It’s... kind of a pun, but not really and I can’t explain it much better than this.

 

「Th-thanks, Lily, Fiona.」

But he ends up stuttering in a high-pitched voice, so his lack of composure is obvious anyway.

「Mufufufuu! Kurono, chuu~!*」

「Fufu, Kurono-san, gyuu~*」

TLN*: Chuu and gyuu are onomatopoeic sounds for a kiss and a hug respectively.

 

Experiencing the sensation of a childish pair of lips pressing against his cheek and the warmth of a soft body wrapped around his chest only makes Kurono turn redder.

But he regrets nothing.

「Ah, you two are really the number one for me.」

 

 

 

「Yeah, those are Fairy wings. Nell, I’ll introduce them to you later; they’re members of my party,『Element Masters.』」

I let out a foolish-sounding “Eh?”

But I cannot help responding this way, because I really cannot understand what Kurono-kun is saying.

Say, Kurono-kun, why are your party members females? Why does your face look so happy?

It’s strange, this is really strange. After all, Kurono-kun’s party members are the kind of people who selfishly act on their own, aren’t they?

Doing something horrible like leaving this worrisome Kurono-kun on his own is something I could never do. The fact that they are not with him is proof that the level of trust between them is low.

But even so, why, just why is Kurono-kun laughing like that? This is my first time seeing such a happy expression on Kurono-kun’s face.

I don’t understand, I don’t understand what is in Kurono-kun’s heart. Ah, I have a really, really terrible feeling about this...

「Well then, Nell, I’m going to go ahead and meet up with those two.」

Kurono-kun throws himself off the fortress walls, as if he cannot wait any longer. I immediately reach out, but my hand grasps the empty air in vain.

「Eh, ah, Kurono-kun?! Wait, Kurono-kun!」

Don’t go, please don’t go. Please don’t disappear from my sight – these feelings of anxiety suddenly stir within me.

But all I can do is call his name. My voice, my feelings, they do not reach him.

Kurono-kun uses those black tentacles that could even bind the Greed-Gore to safely land at the bottom of the fortress walls, and then runs along the top of the hill. Towards his cold-hearted party members.

「Y-you can’t... Kurono-kun...」

Even though my chest is burning with the urge to stop him, my body does not move, as if it has been frozen in ice. I can only watch from atop these walls as the distance between Kurono and those two gets smaller and smaller.

From far away, I could make out two silhouettes, one with wings of light and one with a black three-cornered hat. But now, I can see that they are an adorable Fairy and a beautiful witch.

Are those two really Kurono-kun’s party members? No, they aren’t, they are not. The only one who really knows Kurono-kun and can help him is me.

After all, Kurono-kun is always misunderstood, ostracized, hated – but I, only I can understand him.

I have not known Kurono-kun for long, but even so, I know a lot about him.

「Thank you. Because of you, Nell-san, I have gotten the hang of casting spells.」

Kurono-kun was so happy the first time he was able to cast『Force Boost.』If he is happy, I am happy as well.

「This sandwich is delicious.」

Kurono-kun said this earnestly, thinking of me as he spoke. Fufu, it is alright, because I will make him more delicious food from now on.

「I think of you as a normal friend, Nell-san.」

Kurono-kun called me his friend, as if he was stating the obvious. At that time, I thought about how I was able to make a friend on my own for the first time, and I was so happy that I almost cried.

「Thanks, Nell, I’ll be counting on you when the time comes.」

Kurono-kun believed in me as a Healer. I’m sorry; at that time I was so happy that you put your trust in me that I flew up into the air by myself, didn’t I?

「Sorry about this Nell, I hurt myself pretty badly...」

Sorry, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. The reason you sustained such a horrific injury is because I was late to the match. From now on, I will make Kurono-kun my number one priority. Even if I have to sacrifice someone else in the process.

If I don’t do that, I can’t help Kurono-kun as he faces danger. I cannot stop him.

「There are some guys that I need to kill, no matter what.」

I already found out about that.

「I couldn’t protect this village, I couldn’t protect my friends...」

「Shit! Damn it! Was I not able to protect anyone this time, either...?」

「I see, it’s my fault... that everyone is dead.」

I have already found out about the weight that Kurono-kun is shouldering.

I want to help him, I want to become his strength, I want to be of use to him. I want to heal that sadness, that pain.

No matter what difficulties Kurono-kun faces from now on, I will, I will –

「I-I will protect you, Kurono-kun... I will do my best. I will do anything, everything for you, Kurono-kun. So... It’s fine, isn’t it? Please make me your only partner –」

「– Careful, Lily! I missed you!」

Kurono-kun embraces the Fairy girl.

His face shows that he is truly happy from the bottom of his heart. He catches her small body mid-air against his broad, sturdy chest and wraps his strong arms around her as if he will never let her go.

「Yeah! Lily missed you too, Kurono!」

The Fairy called Lily, about the size of a human toddler, is clinging onto Kurono’s neck. Like a kitten being spoiled by its owner.

「Uooh! Lily!」

「Kuronooo!」

Kurono-kun’s excited voice reaches my ears.

I have only just noticed that I unconsciously started using a wind-element spell that gathers sound in order to eavesdrop.

If I stop this spell, I will not have to hear any more. I will not have to hear Kurono-kun and that child’s joyful voices.

If I close my eyes, I will not have to see any more. I will not have to see Kurono embracing that child.

「Ah, aah... Stop... Please... stop...」

But I cannot do that. I cannot cover my ears or avert my eyes. After all, if I do that, Kurono-kun will be even more –

「Yeah, I missed you too, Fiona. Welcome back.」

「Yes, I am back, Kurono-san.」

This time, the witch is next to Kurono-kun. Ah, you can’t, please stop, don’t get so close to Kurono-kun –

「STOP!」

As if it is only natural, the witch presses her body against Kurono-kun’s.

If it were only the small Fairy girl, then it would still be acceptable. But the witch is about the same age as me, and when she gets close to Kurono-kun, they look just like... l-lovers, don’t they...?

She can’t, she definitely can’t do that. I’m sure that Kurono-kun actually dislikes –

「Well then, I’ve been lonely, so can I have the two of you spoil me as well?」

I hear words so sweet that they could dissolve in water. I see an embrace so hot that his arms might melt.

「That is a... lie, isn’t it, Kurono-kun?」

Kurono is accepting these girls himself. I cannot believe this. I do not want to believe this.

「Mhmm, I can, Kurono. Lily will spoil you lots!」

「Yes, I will spoil you plenty, Kurono-san.」

I don’t want to see anything more, I don’t want to hear anything more.

「Th-thanks, Lily, Fiona.」

I don’t want to witness Kurono-kun having his heart stolen by other girls anymore –

「... Eh?」

Unable to bear it anymore, I try to look away. But before I can do so, I get the feeling that our eyes have met.

Kurono-kun is standing with his back facing the fortress, and the witch is being embraced against his chest. So only the Fairy girl clinging to his neck is facing in this direction.

It is a coincidence, I just happened to enter her field of vision – no, that shining emerald-colored gaze is definitely in my direction as I stand here on the fortress walls.

And then she smiles.

That is not the innocent smile of a young girl. It is nothing more than a twisted sneer.

That girl is definitely smiling at me with scorn.

Kurono-kun can’t see it; I am the only one she is showing this evil expression to.

And then she, no, that girl* shows off even more.

TLN*: This is possibly a sign of disrespect from Nell, or maybe reluctance to use the word “彼女/kanojo” meaning “she” because it can also mean “girlfriend”

 

「Mufufufuu! Kurono, chuu~!」

She delivers a kiss on Kurono’s cheek. I don’t need telepathy to understand the meaning behind it.

Kurono is mine – that is what she is telling me.

「N-no... That can’t... be... After all, I-I am... Kurono-kun’s number one –」

「Ah, you two are really the number one for me.」

These words finally force me to understand.

「... Kurono-kun, you love these two more than me, don’t you?」

Ah, I see, that is how it is.

From the very beginning, since the day we met, he already belonged to this Fairy and witch.

Huh? Then what am I, who wants to become Kurono’s number one, who wants to become his partner, supposed to do?

「K-Kurono-kun... I-I, I... Ah, uu, u, WAAAAAH –」

I cry. I find it hard to breathe. It hurts.

Vomit comes out of my mouth and splatters across the dirty stone floor. This sight only stimulates my nausea further, causing me to throw up even more.

Twice, three times, I stop breathing. My vomit scatters everywhere. My priest robe is dirtied; I am dirtied. My tears won’t stop. It hurts so much that I might die.

「Uu... waaaaah...」

But my heart is suffering the most. It’s unbearable, it’s painful, to the point that it feels like it will crumble to pieces at any moment.

My tears are overflowing and saliva is smeared around my mouth. My knees have lost their strength, leaving me squatting in this passageway. I cannot see Kurono-kun anymore. I cannot bear seeing Kurono-kun embracing other women any more.

But even as I close my eyes, Kurono-kun is holding those two in his arms right now –

「Kuh, uu... Don’t take... Kurono-kun away... Don’t take my Kurono-kun away...」

Say, Kurono-kun, is there a place for me by your side?

 

 

 

Note from the author:

The next chapter will conclude Volume 18.

To those of you who were expecting a... bloodbath this chapter, I sincerely apologize. It seemed that Nell's yandere level is insufficient to compete with Lily. She has been put into the state that you see now in an instant after having Kurono NTR'd. Please look forward to Nell leveling up.
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