tiny wounds after coming into contact with its thick skin.

 

  However, unlike what it expected, the ogre could not find the prey on the first day.

  

  There were definitely a lot of traces and it was stubbornly chasing after them but for some reason, the ogre just couldn’t find its prey.
It felt like they were so close yet so far.

 

  Despite feeling discontent by it, the ogre decided to rest for the night, but it was that very night that something attacked it.

 

  [ᚺ] – Hagalaz

 

  It wouldn’t have been able to respond in time if not for one of the two heads being awake the whole time.
A hail fell from the sky as the sleeping head of the twin-headed ogre also woke up.

 

  The hail itself wasn’t much.
A few pieces of stones had fallen on the body of the ogre from the sky and the damage was very miniscule.

 

  However, it was still true that its sleep had been disturbed.
The ogre crushed all the trees nearby to express its fury.

 

  Similar things continued happening after that.
A hail fell from the sky whenever it was about to go to sleep.
If the ogre decided to ignore it after thinking that it would be the same thing again, the falling stones would then have flames surrounding it as they scorched the surrounding land.

 

  The ogre destroyed the surrounding forest in a midnight pursuit but the prey continued leaving vague traces without revealing itself.

 

  After that repeated for three days,

 

  The ogre realized that itself was the one that was being hunted.

 

  With countless wounds around its body that were caused by Rune Magic and natural traps, the ogre couldn’t even fall asleep for the past few days and was thus exhausted both physically and psychologically.

 

  All it could do in retaliation while limping with innumerable burns and scratches on its body was to crush everything in its sight.

 

  The role of the hunter and the prey had been reversed.
At last after realizing that it had fallen to becoming the prey, the ogre felt grief and fury.

 

  “Hi there.”

 

  On the afternoon of the third day, the hunter finally revealed himself.

 

  “Huaahm~.
Why do we all have to go through so much trouble just to kill you? Let’s hurry up and end this.”

 

  After harassing it on repeat, the hunter confronted the ogre while provoking it.

 

  “Kuwaaaaaaaaaah…!”

 

  The ogre let out a scream as Korin likewise lowered his body.

 

  Like sprinters waiting for the sound of the flare gun, the two of them gazed at each other in silence.

 

  1 second,

 

  The ogre ran.

 

  And so did Korin.

 


  Dashing towards the large ogre like a gust, the spear-bearer used the forward momentum to kick off the ground.

 

  His body soared into the air.
Noticing the huge mistake made by the hunter at the very last second, the ogre’s lips curled into a crescent.

 

  As soon as it landed, the ogre would use the 2-meter long birchwood club to strike his tiny body.
Even though that was its plan, the ogre couldn’t see it through.

 

  「Crumbling Mountain: Secret Arts」 

 

  「One Strike One Shot, Thunderous Strike」

 

  Jumping into the air, the spearman readied himself to throw the spear.

 

  This was the innate purpose and use of the spear.
It was the single most powerful strike that humans could pull off with a spear.

 

  – Gwaaaaaannngg!!

 

  The spear pounced at the ogre through the air.
When the ogre subconsciously raised its club, the two weapons collided and… A crack appeared on the club that used to break everything without fail during the past 3 days.

 

  – Kwang!

 

  The top half of the birchwood club was now nowhere to be seen.
In addition, the ogre’s right shoulder was also gone along with an incomprehensible tempest.

 

  “Kuwaaahh?!”

 

  Landing back on the ground after the abominable javelin toss, the spearman dashed forward without killing his momentum.
Even though the ogre was shrieking from the pain, its two heads were still able to perceive the world.

 

  It reached its arms forward at the dashing Korin but it was too late – he was already right in front of its chest.

 

  「Eight Trigrams, Mixed Origin」

 

  – Kajik!

 

  The palm strike landed directly on the ogre’s chest.
A compression of inner energy was sent from Korin’s dantian to the ogre’s body.
As expected of one of the three most powerful strikes of Eight Trigrams, the energy sent from Korin’s palm rooted up the innards of the ogre.

 

  – Kung!

 

  The twin-headed ogre soon fell on its knees.
Due to the explosion that occurred inside its body, the demonic beast was bleeding profusely through its two mouths. 

 

  “What the heck… Why did I bother filling up my Aura Core…? I didn’t even get a chance to use it.”

 

  This appeared to be the limit of a semi-Grade 1 demonic beast that couldn’t even reach Grade 1.

 

  Due to spending the past few days putting all of his aura into the Aura Core in preparation for a decisive battle, Korin had a dispirited look on his face after the underwhelming outcome of the fight.

 

  ****

 

  At the underground laboratory of Merkarva Academy, there were countless test subjects.
This was the biggest reason why the professors of the Magic Department rejected the offers of the Tower and stayed at the Academy.

 

  Golden Miss, Professor Deina, who had been working at the Academy for 15 years, put on a thicker layer of makeup and a stronger perfume than usual.
That meant that she had gained problems on her skin and a bad odor due to the repetitive late night research.

 

  “Professor Deina.”

 

  “Ohh.
Student Marie.
You’re here!”

 

  Marie, who had been helping her with the experiments as a volunteer for the past few days, assisted her with the same face as usual.

 

  ‘Wow… Look at how soft her skin is.
Is this youth…?’

 

  Professor Deina’s skin wasn’t bad by any means.
In fact, she looked younger than others of her age due to being a mage, but she obviously did not want to stand side-by-side next to someone with real baby-skin.

 

  Look at how white and moist her skin was, as well as its softness that could probably swallow a finger like a mochi!

 

  Marie had the youthful appearance of a girl her age but the reason Professor Deina couldn’t help but question the fairness of this world was because Marie had also been working late overnight just like herself.

 

  “Student Marie… You’ve been helping me a lot these past few days right?”

  

  “Nnn~.
I guess?”

 

  Professor Deina knew herself that even though Marie was the one who volunteered for the task, making a student work three days overnight had been questionable as an educator.

 

  But surprisingly, Marie was showing off her incredible stamina by doing more work than Professor Deina herself.

 

  It should be normal for her to gain some dark circles under her eyes and yet she was still lively like always. 

 

  ‘Is it because she’s a vampire?’

 

  After recently awakening into a vampire, Marie became the hot potato of the Magic Department.
How many professors had joined the fray just to prove that she was safe and rational enough?

 

  Normal vampires had pale skin and were weakened under sunlight, but Marie was proven to be at the level of an elder-rank vampire that was at least 100 years old.

 

  As for vampires, the elder was right beneath the lord rank, and yet Vampire Elders were already in the Unique Grade… in other words, Vampire Elders were already unmeasurably strong so how strong would the legendary Vampire Lords be?

 

  That question aroused her inquisitive mind as a scholar but that wasn’t the important matter at hand.

 

  “Student Marie.
What is the state with the demonic beasts that will be used for the experiment with ‘King of Iron Mountain’?”

 

  “Ah yes.
They’ve all been isolated.”

 

  “We will be able to carry out a more detailed experiment thanks to your help, Student Marie.
The demonic boar of Dingle Peninsula and a Unique Grade vampire… It will lead to a huge progression of the magic industry!”

 

  “Haha…”

 

  Marie gave an awkward smile which was a very rare sight.
Seeing that smile, Deina immediately noticed that she had made a mistake.

 

  “Ahh, that’s not what I meant.
Of course it’s a huge misfortune that you ended up awakening into a vampire.
My apologies.
I shouldn’t have said that.”

 

  “No, it’s okay.”

 

  “Are you sure?”

 

  “It probably doesn’t matter to him whether I’m a vampire or not.”

 

  “Nnn?”

 

  “Oh right! I forgot to give food to the demonic beasts! Sorry.
I’m a bit all over the place!”

 


  “Hmm… There’s no need for you to do that much though.”

 

  “I’m fine! And it’s safer for me to go as well!”

 

  “Mhmm…”

 

  Professor Deina couldn’t refute those words.

 

  It was just the day before yesterday when one of the staff members had been greatly hurt while feeding the demonic beasts.
She had to pay hospital fees and compensation for both physical and emotional distress.

 

  They were running low on budget due to buying Grade 1 demonic beasts like the King Tyrant and the Melting Dragon.
What would happen if there were to be another casualty?

 

  Let alone the screams of the budget team, their research might also be forced to a stop due to safety reasons.

 

  “C, could you please take care of that then?”

 

  “Sure~”

 

  By making use of their budget problem as an excuse, Marie organized the visit to the demonic beasts while carrying food.

 

  – Oink! Oink!

 

  – Oink oink!!

 

  Echoing all the way to the corridor from one of the rooms at a corner of the 2nd basement floor of the laboratory building were the disharmonious grunts of pigs.
They were the Grade 4 demonic beasts, Fang Boars, that were screaming due to the distressful experience of having to live in a small fenced-up area.

 

  There had been a huge increase in their numbers due to their recent breeding season and Professor Deina ended up buying a whole bunch of them out of greed.

 

  Although their individual prices had gone down, buying hundreds of Grade 4 demonic beasts in one go might make others question the financial senses of mages, but Marie found nothing wrong with that.

 

  – Oink oink!?

 

  – Oinkkk?

  

  – Oin…

 

  – O…

 

  – Kiii.

 

  The sudden howling voices of the beasts from the echoing sound of footsteps rapidly started to dwindle back down. 

 

  Clomp clomp.

 

  When Marie’s beautiful white boots stepped across the stone floor, their changes became all the more apparent.

 

  – Kung!

  

  Her tiny hand landed on the door of the iron fences that had at least hundreds of fang boars inside but what came back was a deathly silence.

 

  ……

 

  ……

 

  ……

 

  Even though the Fang Boars were extremely savage beasts, they became nervous after sensing Marie’s approach.
Some of them were even squeaking while driving their heads into the bums of their friends to hide themselves. 

 

  – Kung!

 

  Normal staff members would have thrown the food inside from outside the fence but Marie opened the gates and walked into the cage like a madman.

 

  Those Fang Boars that used to threaten every staff that threw the food from outside the doors by pouncing at them were silent and still as if the world stopped.

 

  “Time to have some food.”

 

  Overwhelmed by the demonic aura that was being emanated out of her voice, gaze, and scent.
The Fang Boars shivered heavily but still queued up in front of her in a line.

 

  Marie gave the trembling monsters a piece of chicken alongside some small pebbles.
Those pebbles that were mixed with the meat weren’t a part of the meal that she had received from the staff.

 

  – Munch munch!

 

  It was when the Fang Boar that was hurriedly trying to finish its food accidentally crunched on the pebble.

 

  – Crack!

 

  – Kki?!

 

  Like a fiend, Marie moved in an instant to grip on the beast’s fang.
While holding onto the fang that was several times bigger than her hands, Marie raised the animal up with her monstrous strength.

 

  The Fang Boar floundered in the air but it was unable to escape from her grip with its body that weighed only 400 kilograms.

 

  – Crack! Crackkk!

 

  Her otherworldly grip started causing cracks on the sharp fangs of the demonic beast.

 

  “That’s weird.”

 

  The golden eyes of the amicable girl with water-colored hair started being tainted in red.
With their instincts, the beasts sensed the demonic aura of the monster that was wearing the skin of a harmless girl. 

 

  – Quak…

 

  – Kiii…

 

  Only one of them was caught and yet all the Fang Boars froze stiff.
The one that was being held by Marie was in a worse state, and was even peeing itself.

 

  “Did I not tell you?”

 

  Yellow liquid was dripping down its shivering rear legs.
Despite the puddle of smelly liquid, the girl from a family of farmers, who was used to the smell of feces, did not even spare a glance.

 

  “Do not bite on the rock.
Swallow it.”

 

  Her eyes that were now tainted in a deep crimson color oppressed the beasts. 

 

  Soon, the hundreds of Fang Boars started hurriedly swallowing all the rocks and pebbles they saw as if it was a competition.

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