In the next moment, countless cracks started appearing on the outer shell of the egg visage that was floating above our heads. It looked as if you were trapped in a cave, but suddenly the wall was breaking bit by bit, and countless streaks of light had shone through the gaps. Yes, it’s a scene from that kind of story.
As I stood there, raising my head towards the strange phenomenon happening right above me, I noticed that Edacitas had finally recovered enough, that he could stand.
Well, if you could call that standing…
In the corner of my eye, a little black-haired boy with eyes seething with rage, likened by his glowing red irises, that was barely trying to balance himself. It was like seeing a newborn deer coming into the world, and learning how to stand up by itself.
Of course, I do notice his awful glare directed at me, but if I looked closer, there was a trace of fear in his eyes now. His gaze swimming from me, to the dark fog egg, Lode-san, and the unconscious Marielle-san, I can tell that he’s trying to find a way out of this.
But, it won’t be that easy you know?
No, I’ll make sure of that myself.
Putting the escaping ‘Demon King’ aside for now, it seems that I had finally taken control of my own thoughts. Before, in the few times that I had experienced this release of immense strength, my mind was too chaotic, hence a different train of thought appeared in place of my usual ‘Daytime Form’ carefree idleness.
Now that I had gotten a little more used to this, my thought process had slowly merged together. I can think and calculate a lot of things in this form by many folds, even without using my <<Estimate>> skill, but that’s the only difference now.
Gone are the days where I appear like a major arrogant prick towards others with my sharp tongue. I would like to do something about my glare that looks down on others like ants, but it seems my eyes were always narrowed like this during the skill duration.
Well, let’s take it one step at a time.
Let’s try using this reborn tongue towards the little boy that was chanting an ominous-sounding spell over there. Honestly, did he think I wouldn’t pay attention?
Ah, I stand corrected.
Even when my thoughts were normal, it seemed that my mouth had a mind of its own.
Please give me a break.
“…! Burn into ashes in death, <<Endless Flames>>”
When I called out to him, he looked as frightened as a cat. What happened to your earlier bravado, O Gluttonous King of Demons? I only managed to show a wry smile when I looked at his visage now, compared to earlier.
Well, now wasn’t the time for that.
As I sigh seeing the demonic flames tinged with black and blood red coming towards my location, from a futile spell that was most probably used to buy time in order for the user to escape in the time frame of when I defended against it, I tried chanting the broken spell that rendered everything that comes in contact with it, powerless…
But right as I did, the egg-shaped fog above me suddenly issued an ear-shattering sound.
As I was about to start my chant, two small, blurry figures, one as blinding as a sudden light, and the other surrounded by dark-colored gales of wind, suddenly shot forward, passing through each side of my head.
At a speed that even surprised me, the bright blinding figure suddenly charged through the middle of the demonic flame spell that looked as if it was hotter than lava.
Thinking that the flames would devour the bright figure, I focused my senses on observing the enemy’s movements at this time. When I saw the little boy, Edacitas, sprinting at a speed unattainable by humans, towards the west side of the forest, filled with dense trees, I start to cast my movement skills on myself once more, and quickly move towards him.
But again, I was shown an even faster speed right before I managed to overtake the enemy, in that short amount of time. The other figure, that was adorned with black gales, went ahead of both of us, and quickly shot out sharp-looking wind blades towards Edacitas.
There was no resistance.
The blades were so sharp, that even the bones of a ‘Demon King’ didn’t make a sound when being decapitated limb from limb. It was like looking at a heated knife, cutting through butter. When I finally regained my bearings, I saw the little boy, who was arrogant just a little while ago, screaming in pain as his legs had flown through the air, drawing an arc of blood as it spilled into the night air.
“…Why!? Why!? Why can’t my ‘Inherent Skill’, <<Bottomless Hunger>> absorb your attacks!? This is impossible! One such as I, cannot possibly die in a place like this!!”
He was frantically screaming about something, but I was paying only the least amount of attention to his ramblings. Instead, I was looking at the figures out of the boundaries of common sense, that appeared on both of my shoulders with shock and amazement.
Now that they were not moving, and I finally took account of the situation, I immediately drew a conclusion as to what exactly were these figures, and where they came from.
Well, they were ‘birds’ though.
Perched on my right shoulder, while showing its carefree side of stretching both its dark-colored feathers, was the bird covered in darkness and gales, which decapitated the legs of a ‘Demon King’ in a split second. Now that I took a closer look at it, I recognize the breed of bird it belonged to.
With dark round eyes, and a silver lining at his back, and a glare that looked as if it was looking down on everything, calmly observing me and the surroundings…
A mysterious bird of prey, the Raven.
Meanwhile, the one that surprised me even more, was perched on my left shoulder.
With bright shining sky blue feathers, with white linings covering most of its wings, was the shining bird that fearlessly dove into a sea of burning hot flames, and came out unscathed. I didn’t know what exactly happened, but somehow, each of its wings were producing different temperatures.
Feeling the chilly winds close to my neck, it seems its right wing was producing cold air, while I felt that the edge of my shoulder was heating up considerably. It was a strange-looking bird. Don’t get me wrong, it looked beautiful, almost divine even.
But, I have not encountered anything that looked like this…Wait.
Somehow, this one looked familiar.
Ah, now it all fits together. These guys came out from the ‘Phoenix Egg’ that my first benefactor left me. No wonder they looked almost the same. These little guys were actually the twins that came out from that egg. Which meant that the one on my left shoulder was indeed, a fantasy creature.
The blinding divine bird clad in flames, the Phoenix.
“It seems you both, are the sons of my benefactor.”
The black-colored raven on my right only showed a slight nod. It seems my <<Automatic Language Translation>> skill is in top form today as well.
Eh? Why, why did the little phoenix peck at me? Did I do something to make it angry?
No, more importantly, how did it even wound me with my absurd stats?
Scary. Phoenixes are scary.
Well, the wound automatically regenerated quickly anyway, so no harm done.
Still, if this happened during the day, I’m sure it would be a one-hit game over for me.
Again, to reiterate, Phoenixes are scary.
I really hope I learn of what I should avoid doing in front of this guy in the future to avoid dying early. But, I had no way of knowing for now.
Now that that’s all well and good, it was about time to end this.
I look towards the pitiful sight of the crawling little boy that started to grow two large horns on his forehead, and was slowly crawling on the ground, away from here, using his hands. His chest heaving up and down, while ominous-looking energy was gathering into his leg stumps which was in fact, slowly regenerating his legs.
I take my time moving forward, towards the crawling trash that calls itself a king, I mean…the enemy that was greatly weakened, when suddenly the raven on my right side shot out two blades of wind from its wings, and quickly decapitated the slowly regenerating limbs that were about to be completed.
A slight grin was seen on its beak, or at least I think it was.
This is the first time that I had encountered one of the people that were truly fit to be called a ‘sadist’. Truly terrifying indeed.
It was a bird though.
A being that can make one of the highest-ranking demons scream like that, can only be someone to be feared whenever you look behind your shoulder at night.
But again, that someone was only a bird.
Thinking of the problems I would face in the near future, since these birds seemed to have no plan on leaving my side, fills me with endless anxiety and dread.
If these guys were just born a little while ago, and had this overly-problematic personalities, how much more would it expand when they grow up?
I shudder at the thought.
<<Fear Resistance>> even at Level 3, isn’t enough for me to be undaunted against that.
Finishing my idle thoughts, I arrived right in front of the ‘Demon King of Gluttony’, who was right now, screaming in pain. From its sheath, I draw the ‘Steel Iron Sword’ once more and raise it overhead. Preparing to activate one of the skills from the <<Sword Mastery>> skill tree, <<Overhead Ground Breaker>>, I gather magic power into the sword.
“…You Bastard! I swear it upon my name, Edacitas Von Beelzebub, that I will find you and your whole kin! I shall attain even greater power than your monstrous ability and devour everything important to you! I will relish seeing your expression as you watch every single one being eaten right in front of-”
As I brought down my sword unto the defenseless neck of Edacitas, who was blabbering nonstop about stupid things he will never have the chance to do, the little phoenix at my left also released a ball of fire towards his yammering mouth, and scorched it black.
I looked down upon the decapitated head of the ‘Demon King’ that rolled towards my feet with cold eyes. This time, I’m sure I had killed someone. But even when I was looking at the grief-stricken and angry glare of the stagnant separated head, I felt nothing.
Was this how it felt to wield too much strength?
If this was the case, it seems that the more I use this strength, my human emotions are slowly disappearing. Fear, Guilt, and Regret. These things were only the few I had noticed that I had not felt at this moment.
Even though this guy murdered countless innocent lives all for the sake of strength and consumed them for his measly bloated ego, a normal person would still feel sick when killing someone for the first time, right?
It seems the problems, both outside, and inside myself were still increasing.
After making sure that there was no sign of life from the corpse, I noticed that I had not leveled up nor gained any drops. But, I decided not to mind it, since sometimes these things happen in games. Is what I thought at this time.
Brandishing the sword once, to get rid of the blood sticking to it, then finally sheathing it into the ‘Leather Sheath’ strapped on my back, I released a tired sigh.
Checking my status for a bit, it still seemed to be rising. Which meant that midnight hadn’t even passed yet. It should be expected since I only left the village at sundown, but still it felt as if that battle dragged on for quite a while.
After gathering my thoughts, and putting them in order, I walk back towards the two who were resting under a large tree all this while. After waking up Lode-san, I let him help me put Marielle-san on my back and we slowly returned to the village.
In the deepest parts of the forest known as ‘Izajes Rainforest’, was a chaotic scene. The grass was dug, the earth and soil were gouged out, trees were felled, and countless puddles of blood were scattered about. Almost forming a sea of red.
In the center of all this, a lone, stump of a corpse was present.
A small stature of a boy, without any of his legs, and his separated head, only a meter away from his body was seen. A dreadful and gruesome sight to behold for a normal person.
The quiet silence of night overpowered even the noises of the various beasts in the forest.
Even though it was common knowledge that beasts were attracted to the smell of blood, there was a reason that not even one of them had come near.
The presence of their only primary instinct.
‘Fear of Danger’
Yes, this is what would be ringing inside of those even without intelligence when they even come within a distance away from this place. The source of this immense fear was not the stump of a corpse laying on the cold ground, but instead…
“….Hey, how long is he going to play dead?”
The first figure that looked like a beautiful girl with short bluish hair, and blood-red eyes asked the other two human-shaped figures that suddenly appeared with her.
“Don’t ask me, I was only forced to come here. This is annoying.”
The blonde man with a nasty look in his eyes said in annoyance towards the stupid question of the air-headed girl. He slowly looked towards the strangest one out of the group as if to shift the question towards him, with an angry glare.
“Now, now you two, no need to quarrel. He might be waking up any minute now.”
Said the strange human-shaped creature that had black wings and a creepy white mask covering his entire face. The strange floating shape on his head didn’t seem to match his appearance in the least, as he tried to calm the two impatient figures.
“Really? It sure doesn’t seem like it.”
“Even though he’s a one of the ‘Demon Kings’ who were given two ‘Demon Cores’ embedded inside their bodies, not even one of them was broken and he’s still sleeping.”
“Hmm, you might be right. If we look closer, the two cores seem to be in a dormant state. I wonder what sort of skill the enemy had that pushed him this far without breaking the cores themselves……It sure seems like someone I would like to dominate…”
“As always, you’re a creepy one, Kreis. It’s better to take that skill instead of controlling him under you, didn’t you think of that idea as well, Leasielle?”
“…Well, I’m not sure but I wish I could have at least seen the target before deciding…”
“Lovre, you still don’t understand the beauty of dominating others, even after all these years. It seems you’re still wet behind the ears.”
“Will you shut up, even though I’ve only just reached [Demon General] status in my own sin in the last 10 years, I still think that I’m stronger than you right now.”
“Hou, is that a challenge I hear?”
“Damn right it is. Come at me.”
“….You know, this isn’t the time for this. We have to get Beelzebub-sama’s cores back to the ‘Underworld Kingdom’ you know? If we fail an order from Umbra-sama, who knows what will happen?”
“….Alright, even I want to make Umbra-sama proud of us. Let us make haste.”
“Yes, let’s save this bout when we arrive. Indeed, we need to return quickly.”
The two dangerous beings with pale faces said while sweating profusely, as they immediately ripped apart the two ‘Demon Cores’ from the flesh body of the little human, and gestured towards the woman with blood-red eyes to do something.
As if responding to them, she immediately took out a shining red spear, and started spinning it rapidly until it grew more sharper and larger than before.
Stopping at the opportune moment, she raised the tip of the red spear, which had grew to a size larger than the three of them combined, and swung it down into empty air.
But almost immediately, a rip in the space itself appeared in front of her.
“No matter how many times I see it, [Envy] top-tier skills are really mind-blowing.”
“Indeed, now let us depart before the enemy senses us.”
“….I just want to go home and see Xanos-aniki.”
“Forget it, that deadbeat of a ‘Demon King’ won’t even come out of his room.”
“Wasn’t that what his sin pertained to though?”
“Well…you’re not wrong. I for one, have only seen him at the battlefield once.”
‘But, that was a scene of carnage I don’t want to remember’ is what the [Demon General of Pride] had inwardly thought to himself after recalling a dreadful memory.
With their idle talk disappearing into the distance of the ripped fabric of space itself, the three figures were gone, leaving the stump of a corpse laying in the center, but this time, it was slowly dissolving into thin air.