Question, Determination, and Two Types of Demonic Beasts


 

「…Hmm」

 

As the bright sunlight shined on me, I crouched in the corner of the forest and gathered the herbs around me while I thought about some things.

 

The herb I’m currently gathering is a spice herb instead of a medicinal one, it makes food tastier when you mix it in your cooking.
It’s great in creamy soups along with some oil and salt.

 

Since the herb itself was pretty rare, the reward set by the guild for it is also pretty high.
And because the herb is gregarious, the depths of the Titis forest was a good place to look in as I expected.

 

I saw some other plants I knew about here and there as well.
The me from a month ago would have been so excited about it.

 

But since I no longer need to gather herbs for a living now, I had no reason to be obsessing over them.
However, due to my long years of gathering habits, I still gathered them silently in high spirits.

Wait, that won’t do.
I was trying to take a break and think for a bit, but I got absorbed in gathering these herbs before I realized it.

I was thinking about a question that had repeatedly appeared in my mind as I performed my “experiments” on Miroslav.

And that was…

 

「Isn’t there something wrong with my strength?」

 

Like frankly, aren’t I a bit too strong?

 

…I thought to myself, “What am I getting so cocky for?”, but the reality is I don’t know how else I could word it.

 

The first time I wondered about that was when I was bringing her to the nest.

 

At that time, I withstood her 『Flame Princess』 just by my kei’s defense.
Well, I didn’t just withstand it, there wasn’t even a scratch on me at all.

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 could be called a novice at using kei.
The amount of kei I possess has greatly increased since I learned how to soul equip, but that doesn’t mean my handling of kei has improved dramatically as well.

 

Should I be able to deal with Miroslav, who could somewhat be considered a famous adventurer and magician so easily? …My level was still only at six too.

 

Yeah, my level was a question as well.


 

I have not leveled since that day at the brothel.

In this past month, I have defeated many demonic beasts in the forest while I made my preparations, and I have been eating Miroslav’s soul every day for these last 7 days, but I still haven’t leveled up.

Her soul tasted richer than the prostitute’s probably because of their level differences.
If I got one level after a night in the brothel, it shouldn’t be strange for me to have gained a level or two over the course of these 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 souls provided an extraordinary amount of experience…but if that didn’t level me, just how do other people level up?」

 

If I convert the souls I’ve eaten in this last week 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 6 adventurers not leveling up after receiving this much experience.

 

It’s hard to just rub that off as “individual difference”

 

But if that’s the case, wouldn’t this mean that I need an abnormal amount of experience to level up compared to other people? I speculated.

If a normal person needs a few hundred, would I need more than a few thousand or something?

Suppose that I do, then instead of a human leveling, it’d be more like a dragon is trying to level.

 

「Don’t tell me…Nah…but…」

 

But when I recall the time I manifested my soul equipment, I don’t feel like I’m exactly wrong about this either.

My Anima(the being of the same origin) was a dragon.
If that’s the case, then I must also have something like a dragon gene in me.

On top of that, if my thinking is correct, 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 is 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 by killing monsters that rookie adventurers would kill to level.

 From that, I have derived another theory.

If the experience value needed to level up differs, then the rise in ability when I level up might differ as well.

Maybe my level and other people’s level were 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 actual experience and abilities values」

 

It would be nice to have a look at my own class job if possible as well.
If I was actually 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 Demon Island.
Given the strength of the monsters there, it would probably be worth it to go back there to eat them.

That father of mine, 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.

 

The Mitsurugi family that guard the Demon island has eight devoted squadrons.

 

Raising their flags of “Mekkihoushin” (To slay demons and seal gods), each member of the squadrons from the captains to the lower-ranking members were all users of the phantom blade style who guard the island.

 

They were called the Eight Flags of Green Woods.

 

The children of the island all wished to be enlisted in the Eight Flags without exception.
My peer disciples of the same age may have already gotten in and have become seniors by now.

They probably aren’t captains yet.
Raguna and Ayaka might have already been appointed as vice-captains though.

 

By the way, Green Woods Island was what Demon Island used to be called.
Rather, that’s still the official name of the island today.
Almost everyone calls the place Demon Island now, but the elders of the island still refer to it by its original name.

 

Before the demon gate 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 Eight Flags of Green Woods was the symbol of strength to me.
It was my dream to wear it someday.

 

If I want to make that come true now I could.

 

There was also the oath I swore when I left that island.

 

“I’ll be back some day.
I’ll obtain the power to fight on this island then I’ll definitely be back.”

 

I remember the regret I felt at that time as if it was just 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.


However, I strangely don’t really feel like going back there right now.

 

If I went back right now, even if they take me back, I would be a normal foot soldier at most in the squadrons.

 

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.

 

When I made that vow, I wanted to have them recognize me…but hmm, the me right now doesn’t really care about that any more.
I just want to prove them wrong.

I want to be stronger than all of them 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 still have to become stronger.

I will devour Miroslav, devour the Falcon Sword, devour the guild, and become stronger and stronger.

Like that, I will eat and eat…Then I will return to that island.
I will return and prove to them that I have surpassed them all.

 

That is going to be the path Sora Mitsurugi chooses.

 

I had started to walk down a path that is quite different from what I dreamed of in the past, but it is what it is, since right now I cannot identify with the ideology of saving the world and protecting the people at all.

 

However, that doesn’t mean that I have 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 a bit carried away!

 

I never thought that I would remember the spirit I had back then by gathering herbs again.
It might be a good idea to go herb gathering when I’m feeling lost from now on.
It will be a form of meditation.

 

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 what I have done.

 

Right 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 beasts.

 

I could tell that a fierce battle was taking place from what I could hear.
Judging from all the different sounds, there was probably a gathering of around ten demonic beasts.

 

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 the 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 of them by myself without knowing what I’m dealing with.
They might all attack me 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 head back to the nest.

 

However, a loud roar echoed as if it wanted to put a stop to what I was going to do.

 

The sound did not come from the “many” side.
In other words, it came from the “one” side that was being hunted.

 

With probably all of its remaining strength, the demonic beast jumped up in the sky with its two wings opened wide…before it fell back to the ground again.

Jumping up and falling down on the spot like that wasn’t really the problem, but since it tried to jump diagonally up on an angle, it’s fall was 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 an Indigo Wyvern.

 

Then, the other side that was chasing that wyvern came into sight.

 

「Hahahaha! Strange, how strange.
For a human to be in a place like this」

 

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.

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