Question, Determination, and Two Types of Demonic Beasts
As the bright sunlight shined on me, I pondered as I picked out the herbs near me in the corner of the forest.
Currently, I am in the middle of gathering a spice herb instead of a medicinal one, the kind that makes food tastier when you mix them in. It’s recommended to mix them in rich soups along with some oil and salt.
The herb is pretty rare, and the reward set by the guild for it is pretty good. Since the herb is gregarious, the depths of the Thetis forest was a good place to look in as I expected.
I also saw some other plants that I knew about here and there. I would have been so excited to gather them all if this was a month ago.
The me now isn’t gathering herbs for a living anymore so there was no reason for me to be obsessing over them. But nevertheless, due to my long years of gathering habits, I was still feeling exhilarated as I silently gathered them.
Ahh, that won’t do. I was trying to calm down and think for a bit, but I got absorbed in gathering these herbs before I realized it.
What I was thinking about was a question that had repeatedly appeared in my mind as I performed my “experiments” on Miroslava.
「Isn’t there something wrong with my strength?」
Like frankly, aren’t I a bit too strong?
…For me to be the one saying this, it makes me want to ask myself “What am I getting so cocky for?”, but the reality is I don’t know how to put it other than that.
The first time I wondered about this was when I was on my way bringing Miroslava back to the nest.
At that time, I withstood her 『Fiery Princess』 just by my Kei’s defense. Well, I didn’t just withstand it, there wasn’t even a scratch on me.
While I did expect to be able to withstand her attack, I didn’t think that it was going to be that easy.
Since I have not been using Kei until recently, I would be considered a novice at it, so to say. Even though the amount of Kei I have greatly increased due to obtaining my soul equipment, it doesn’t mean my handling of Kei has improved dramatically as well.
Should I be able to deal with Miroslava, who could somewhat be considered a famous adventurer and magic caster so easily? …Even when my level was still at six.
Oh yeah, my level is also a question.
I have not leveled since the time at the brothel.
I have defeated demonic beasts from the forest during my preparation period for the past month, and I have been eating Miroslava’s soul every day for these last seven days, but I still haven’t leveled up.
The reason her soul tasted richer than the prostitute’s is probably because of their level differences. So if I got a level after one night in the brothel, it shouldn’t have been surprising for me to have gained a level or two over the course of the last seven days.
Of course, I know that leveling gets harder the higher your level is. If I were level 20 or 30, I wouldn’t be questioning this.
However, I was still level six.
「I thought richer souls would have more experience value to them…but if I didn’t level, just how did I manage to level the other time?」
If I convert the soul I’ve eaten into an experience value and add it together with the other experience I gained, it should be a tremendous amount. It’s hard to imagine other level six adventurers not leveling up after receiving this much experience.
This is hard to be explained by just “individual differences”.
Which means that in my case, I can make the assumption that the amount of experience I need to level up is more than others.
If a normal person needs a few hundred, would I need more than a few thousand or something?
If that’s true, then it’d no longer be like a human leveling, it’d be more like a dragon.
「Don’t tell me…I don’t think so, but…」
But when I think about the time I obtained my soul equipment, I don’t feel like I’m exactly wrong about this either.
I have the same origin as a dragon. If that’s the case, then I must also have something like a dragon gene.
On top of that, if my idea is right, then the question I had for many years would be solved.
The question of why I couldn’t get above level one.
The common opinion of how leveling works- that level could not be raised even if you kill hundreds or thousands of monsters that are weaker than you are.
…Compared to a dragon, other monsters would be considered small fries. I don’t think it’d be possible for a dragon to get much experience unless it defeats other mythical creatures.
If that’s the case, it’d only be natural that I couldn’t level with human practices like killing monsters as an adventurer.
I have another theory derived from there.
If the experience value needed to level up differs, then the rise in ability when you level up might differ as well.
Maybe my level and other people’s level are fundamentally different in the first place.
「Sheesh…If that’s how it is then it’s not about the number. I wish I could take a look at my experience and abilities’ value」
It would be nice to have a look at my own class job if possible as well. If I’m listed as a “Level 1 Dragon Warrior” or something in my status, my days back on the island would have been quite different.
Well, there’s no point in saying that now.
Besides, as long as those days put me on the path to becoming strong, then there was a meaning to them.
As I am now, I should be able to fight fairly well even If I returned to the island. Given the strength of the monsters there, it would probably be worth it to go back there to eat them.
If it’s about my father, he most likely won’t take me back as the heir, but if he saw me as a fighting force, he would for sure think about enlisting me as a low rank member-
-Under the eight squadrons that are devoted to the Mitsurugi family who guard the Demon island.
Raising their demon slaying flags, each member of the squadrons was a guardian of the island who uses the phantom blade style, from the captains to the lower ranking members.
They were called the Green Woods’ Eight Flags.
The children of the island all wished to be enlisted in the Green Woods’ Eight Flags without exception. My peer disciples of the same age may have already gotten in and hold senior seats by now.
They probably aren’t captains yet. Raguna and Ayaka might have been appointed as vice captains though.
By the way, Green Woods was what Demon Island used to be called. Rather, that’s still the official name of the island today. Most of the people call the place Demon Island, but the elders of the island still call it Green Woods Island.
Before the demon gates opened in the past, the island supposedly had a landscape full of lush greenery. Well, that was more than three hundred years ago, and not even the elders of the island have seen it with their own eyes.
The battle surcoat of the Green Woods’ Eight Flags was the symbol of strength to me. It was my dream to wear it someday.
The me now is reaching for a place where it might be possible to make that dream come true.
And, to also realize the oath I swore when I left that island.
“I’ll be back some day. I’ll get the power I need to fight on this island and I’ll definitely be back.
I remember the regret I felt at that time as if it was yesterday.
The island has all the accumulated knowledge of soul equipments. If I can get my hands on that knowledge, I would be able to use my soul equipment even better. That’s what I think.
However, I strangely don’t really feel like returning right now.
If I returned right now, even if they take me back, I will only be a normal foot soldier in the squads at most.
Although I’m no longer the weakling that I was before, I don’t want to live a life being ordered around by my father, Raguna, Ayaka, Gozu, Cecil, and all the other disciples of the same age.
I want to have them recognize me…but hmm, the me right now wouldn’t be able to get their recognition. I would only be able to make them simply look back at me.
I want to be strong and stand proudly before them.
I want to prove to them all that they were wrong about me in the end.
That’s why it’s still too early right now.
I have to become stronger still.
I will eat Miroslava, eat the Falcon Sword, eat the guild, and get stronger and stronger.
Like that, I will eat and eat–and when I return to that island, I will prove it to them, that I have surpassed them all.
That is going to be the way of Sora Mitsurugi.
My way had become quite different than what I dreamed of in the past, but it can’t be helped. The me now can’t really identify with the ideology of being a savior of the people anymore.
But I still haven’t forgotten about it. I will engrave it in my heart once more here.
Honestly, ever since I’ve obtained my soul equipment, I felt like I started to get carried away!
I never thought that I would be returning to herb gathering. It might be a good idea to go gather some herbs when I’m feeling lost from now on, in a meditative sense.
With that thought in my mind, I looked around me.
A pile of herbs that I’ve picked out were stacked in a tall pile before I realized it.
I smiled bitterly at that fact.
When I stood back up, the ground shook strongly.
At first, I thought it was an earthquake.
But, as the quakes repeated, I heard intense roars of what seemed to be demonic beasts. There was probably a battle going on between some large sized demonic beasts.
I could tell that a fierce battle was taking place from what I could hear. Judging from all the different sounds there were, there was probably close to around ten demonic beasts that have gathered.
However, most of the sounds seemed to be coming from the same type of monster. It might be a battle of many versus one.
Perhaps there was a herd of something going after one giant prey.
I thought that I’d leave them alone since I have nothing to do with the business that demonic beasts have with each other.
It’s not like I can’t wait around and reap the benefits when their fight is over, but it would be foolish of me to take on ten demonic beasts by myself without knowing what I’m dealing with. I might be attacked while they’re all worked up in their hunt as well.
I start to put the herbs I’ve gathered into a bag before I go back to the nest.
However, a loud roar echoed as if it wanted to put a stop to what I had in mind.
The sound did not come from the “many” side, but the “one” side. In other words, the side that was being hunted.
With probably all its remaining strength, a demonic beast jumped up in the sky with its two wings opened wide– but fell back to the ground again.
Jumping up and falling down on the spot like that wasn’t really the problem, but because it was trying to leap up diagonally on an angle that it made it’s fall a big one.
Basically, the winged beast fell down in front of my eyes as if it slipped.
It was a type of two-footed dragon with bright, blue-colored scales.
A demonic beast called a Indigo Wyvern.
Then, as the other side that was chasing the wyvern came into sight —
「Hahahaha! Strange, how strange. For a human to be in a place like this」
With a face of an old man, a lion’s body and a scorpion’s tail, it was a man-eating demonic beast called a Manticore.