Chapter Review: Black Clover (266)

Black Clover Chapter 266 Review by Belserion

Chapter Title: Dark Garden Invitation

This week’s chapter begins with Julius, backed by Rill and Charlotte, explaining the Spade Kingdom Invasion plan to Gaja, who I’m quite relieved to see is still alive. Gaja assures Julius that the Heart Kingdom will join them in the fight, swearing to retake their queen, who’s been taken by Vanica of the Dark Triad. This vow is echoed by Charlotte who silently asks Yami to hold on.

Elsewhere, Nacht has introduced himself to the rest of the Black Bulls and explains the Spade Invasion Plan to them as well. The Black Bulls are a bit shocked considering this is the first time Nacht has seen fit to show himself at their base. When they ask why now of all times he’s chosen to show up, he tactlessly explains that he hates the Black Bulls but the position of Vice Captain allows him more freedom to operate as a Magic Knight. But he doesn’t stop there, he continues by telling them he hates people who don’t do things properly, which puts the Black Bulls at the top of the list because they’re a brigade of good for nothings who do more damage than good. He acknowledges their part in the war with the Elves, but says it doesn’t make up for all their other failures. You’d think he was done, but no. He goes on to list their individual faults, calling Vanessa a brazen witch who does nothing but drink, Finral, a womanizer who lets it interfere with his missions, Gauche, a disgraced noble and convict, Magna, an evil looking openly delinquent peasant, Zora, an evil looking, belligerent masked peasant, etc. Totally a group good for nothings Yami would put together. Before he can continue, Grey, bless her heart, tries to defend her friends by asking Nacht not to judge them by their looks. Nacht smiles and tells her if they don’t want to be judged by their looks then they shouldn’t look like that. He has a point. Nacht has zero tolerance for change. He tells them that when nasty looking people or those that are evil suddenly do something good, the twist tends to make others find them more likable and he hates that. He prefers people that are good from the start. Before he leaves, he tells them if they want to save Yami’s worthless hide then they should get stronger in two days.

Nacht is now with Asta who questions him about his magic. He explains he uses Shadow Magic, which allows him and whatever he’s touching to move from one shadow to another. Asta likens it to Spatial magic and asks after the other Black Bulls, but Nacht dismisses his questions because they arrive at their destination. The two enter a crumbling mansion which Nacht tells Asta belonged to a former noble. They enter what looks like the library, and Nacht uses the open space to cast Shadow Magic: Dark Garden Invitation. Darkness surrounds them and the shadows pull Asta underground. The place they end up in looks like a temple of some sort. For those of you who watched Game of Thrones, it resembles the Hall of Faces. Nacht promises to teach Asta everything he knows about Devil Magic, and as a result he would grow exponentially. Asta is excited to train while Nacht explains he’s not been making full use of the Devils power. In fact, Asta has only been using the power that trickles down from the devil, meaning he’s basically been using little drips of what the Devil has to offer.

Nacht takes off his cloak, and we know it’s about to get serious. He tells Asta they’re going to perform a Devil Binding Ritual, which is basically Asta making a formal contract with the Devil. It’s a forbidden ceremony with the end result being Asta having a Devil’s power at his command, being able to call on it when he needs to, similar to Nacht and the Dark Triad most likely. Usually a relic with a connection to the Devil being called is needed, but Asta’s arm and Grimoire makes him unique. He already has a connection to the Devil. Asta asks Nacht what he has to do, but Nacht just smiles as an ominous presence makes itself known by targeting Asta’s devil arm and his grimoire. It turns out to be Asta’s Devil, who is now free and amused that Asta voluntarily released him. Nacht finally answers Asta’s question by telling him he has to fight his Devil….and win.

Chapter Rating: 8/10.

I really like Nacht. He's not the nicest fellow, and his roasting of his fellow Black Bulls members wasn't well done of him, but at least he's honest. I'm surprised he told them the plan. During the Captain's meeting it seemed as if only the strongest would be allowed to go to Spade, meaning most, if not all of the captains. Fuegoleon didn't even want Yuno along because Magic Knights are needed to guard the Kingdom, but now we've got the Black Bulls, whose members are arguably weaker than Yuno, being allowed a chance to go. Anyway it will be interesting to see if they do get stronger in two days.

The mansion Asta and Nacht are currently training in seems to belong to Nacht's family. There was a photograph of the family that used to live there, the parents and two children. The child we saw looked like a younger version of Nacht, and given that he has access to the house and seems to operate from there hints at sentimental attachment of some sort. It should be noted that the other child's face in the photo was hidden. I think this will be significant in the future and Nacht might be around for a while.

Asta fighting his Devil will make for an entertaining read, especially now that he only has one arm. There's no way he should be able to win this so there might be a loophole somewhere. What I liked about Asta's reactions to what Nacht told him was that he didn't get preachy and have a moral dilemma. He needs power, the devil has it, so he'll contract with the devil and that's all there is to it. It's actually crazy that with everything we've seen Asta do with his Devil power/form, he hasn't even accessed a fraction of it. I'm almost afraid for the power scale when Asta is done training with Nacht and has access to the Devil's actual power.

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