One thing to say for Kazuma, he can really bring it!
Writer/Artist: Kazunari Kakei
Translation: Nori Minami
Adaptation: Park Cooper
What They Say
Nora and Kazuma head to a location where the Resistance is collecting Soul Stones...but then the seal spell on Nora is broken! With Kazuma's commands no longer having any effect, will Nora go on a mad rampage as Cerberus? Or can Kazuma find another power source before it's too late?
With Nora and Kazuma running interference between the forces of the Demon Realm and the Demon Resistance, members of the "high command" of the Demon Liege Army are hitting the streets running some interference themselves. After some quality time at an all-night donut shop, Naval General Rivan, he of the quick flash temper and stupendous power, and General Leonard (goat guy) of the Land Corps become aware of an entity shedding lots of magic, obviously intending to force a confrontation. Of course, it's Knell and he wastes no time goading the Demon Army officers, his former fellow officers. It doesn't take much to set off the short-fused Riven. The subsequent battle between by Riven and Knell is halted by Leonard, a point of which Knell takes note. Kazunari Kakei's battles are brief, well developed and to the point. This one is a means to providing some background information on Knell - former Lieutenant General Knell of the Fire Brigade of the Demon Liege Army, and is a hint to the great power of General Leonard, who can simultaneously combat both demonic fire and demonic water magic.
Meanwhile, Kazuma follows up on the contents of a note passed on to him through Vice-President Hirisaka from cat-guy Keto-Keto's snitch. Collecting Nora and General Banjee of the Dark Liege Army - Wind Division, in the human world to visit and tease Nora, Kazuma arrives at the designated site. There is the beginning of a confrontation with Demon Resistance foot soldiers, but this is quickly overshadowed by the arrival of the "Boss" of the Demon Resistance, an imposing, masked figure whose power quickly overtakes Banjee, leaving him critically injured.
However, it's not the destruction of Nora that the "Boss" is after. He taunts Nora over his ignorance of what it means to grow within his demon power and how Nora is being used by the Demon Liege. He releases Nora from the limiter that Demon Liege placed on him and nullifies any control Kazuma has over Nora. What results is the situation that is most feared by the Demon Realm (and desired by Knell), an uncontrollable Cerberus with the capability of massive destruction. Nora, who has grown under the control of Kazuma, now faces his power, personified by a representation of a familar controlling, mean, almost evil individual, in a dialog about his existence and will to power.
Cerberus does manage to be sealed via means unspecified, and Generals Rivan, Leonard and Banjee make the decision that Nora is too dangerous to remain in the human world and must return to the demon world. It's Nora's passionate case for his right of self-determination that motivates Kazuma to consider the contents of the rest of the snitch's message, heretofore unknown, and the conditions to what Kazuma might agree frighten Hirisaka, who tries to stop Kazuma. But Kazuma analyzes everything with regard to self-interest and when Nora confronts Tyron, the Demon Resistance member who so roundly trounced Nora and Kazuma previously, he "pulls the switch" so to speak, thereby entering the contract with the snitch. He then slowly disappears. Nora easily defeats Tyron.
What happened to Kazuma? What were the conditions of the contract? Who is that horned skull creature on the last page? Why does Kazunari Kakei make Hirisaka's least favorite food "cough drops"?
This is one fast-paced volume and good example of how diverse plot elements can be manipulated into an exciting narrative. There's a lot of action here and quite a bit of background explanation as well. The humor that has characterized the series is still there along with more Kazuma-Keini snappy exchanges. The translation and adaptation uses language localizations that are smart, snarky and in keeping with the tone and characterizations. This nine volume series has delivered a lot so far. Recommended.