Chapter 7: Secret Agreement

After I arrived, a dozen or so battle beasts were brought into the storage facility.
I wondered if that was all of them and if any additional ones would be arriving.
Do the people here and I have to fight to the death? Ugh, I don’t want to.
While I had confidence in my strength, I didn’t know what would happen in a real battle.
If possible, I wanted to run away, but that was impossible.

The silence that enveloped the battle beast storage facility was short-lived as the ceiling suddenly became noisy.
It seems like the “Battle Beast Tournament” has started.
Stirring music reverberated from the ceiling to here, and people’s cheers shook the room.
I was okay, but the other battle beasts looked restless, looking around and barking.

When someone began to speak loudly, the storage facility suddenly became busy.
Slaves, including those who brought me here, came in and carried cages according to the instructions of a pompous man dressed in fine clothing.
It seemed like they were selecting cages based on the wooden tags tied to them, which indicated which beast was inside.

Presumably, the battle beasts being carried now were the ones selected for the first round of preliminary matches.
There were thirteen of them.
I didn’t seem to be among them, and since I couldn’t see how many battle beasts were here, it was difficult to estimate how many rounds there will be.
For now, I would like to wish a hearty “good luck” from the bottom of my heart to those who were heading to the battlefield first.

After they were hurriedly taken away, more and more beasts were transported, albeit at a slower pace than before.
I kept watching them go until I was the only one left in the room.
There were twelve of us in total, including me.
Thirteen beasts had been taken away thirteen times, leaving twelve beasts remaining.
It seemed that a total of 250 beasts would be participating in the tournament.

I took the opportunity to observe the beasts that would be fighting me.
There were three beasts that were larger than me: a leopard with a long tail, a frog with a rocky exterior, and a red-haired bear with four front legs.
The bear, in particular, was the most imposing of those left in the room.

However, I wasn’t concerned.
Although these beasts were indeed large, their fighting spirit and spiritual power weren’t particularly strong.
Additionally, my instincts weren’t sounding any alarm bells, so as long as I didn’t let my guard down or encounter any unexpected situations, I could defeat them.

Georg’s torturous training had sharpened not only my physical and mental strength but also my sense of assessing an enemy’s strength and my survival instincts.
This was all because Georg had forced me to accumulate experiences that would have killed me if I hadn’t grown sensitive to life and death instances.
I would never thank him for it, though.

Putting aside idle chatter, if I was asked who could stimulate my instincts in turn, there were actually two.
One was a black dog with black horns, with bright red eyes, and black fur.
It exuded strong spiritual power and an even stronger fighting spirit.
Its spiritual power was stronger than that of other battle beasts, but its fighting spirit was trained to match even mine.
If I let my guard down, it may chew up my entire exoskeleton.

However, I still had confidence that I wouldn’t lose as long as I didn’t let my guard down.
The problem lay with the other one.
It was a divine looking golden-furred fox with three tails.
Despite being covered in mud and blood, its fur still shone brightly.
However, its emaciated body and the collar attached to its neck were painful to see.
It must have been forcibly collared after being mistreated.
How pitiful.

Despite feeling sorry for it, I could still see that it was hiding its strength, and I could tell that it possessed far more spiritual power than myself.
If it were to use its full power, I might not be able to win even if I fought with all my strength.
However, it appears to be weakened, so if I take advantage of that and turn the fight into a battle of endurance, I might have a chance.

“Hey, can you hear me?”


As I observed the young fox and dog using each of my compound eyes, I heard a voice speaking directly into my head.
My knowledge told me that this was a form of advanced spiritual art called telepathy.
The voice had the tone of a small child, so it must have been the young fox using it.
The other battle beasts didn’t seem intelligent enough to use such advanced spiritual art, so it had to be the young fox.

Although I could hear the voice, I didn’t know how to use telepathy myself.
So I didn’t know how to react and remained silent and still.

“Don’t ignore me! I know you can hear me! Unlike those other incompetents, I know my message is getting through! If you can hear me, wag your tail up and down!”

Oh, so they already knew I could hear them? I wasn’t that devilish to continue ignoring them at this point.
As requested, I wagged my tail up and down.
The young fox responded with delight, waving its three tails back and forth.
It seemed very pleased to get a response.

“Hey, you’re a smart insect.
I’m Woodsorrel, a proud member of the fox demon race.
And you?”

I remained silent and just wagged my tail.
Without the ability to use telepathy, I had no way to communicate, and moreover, I had never been given a name.
Plus, it wasn’t necessary, so I had never thought to have one.

“Oh, I see.
You can’t use telepathy.
But just having someone who listens is enough!”

Woodsorrel then began to talk excitedly about her life.
She was born in the territory of fox demons deep inside the forest, which she described as a beautiful place.
She went outside the territory to play once and was captured after being forced to inhale some strange substance.
She struggled after realizing what was happening, but the collar around her neck made it all pointless.
And now, she had been brought to this dimly lit place with no hope of rebellion.
This was her current situation.

Well, she just had bad luck.
I sympathized, but that was it.
After all, we would end up killing each other in a while, and I had no intention of losing and being killed.
So I just let her talk so she could release her stress.

“Haaa, if only this collar wasn’t here, I could escape.
Can’t you do something about it?”

If she was asking me whether or not I could do something about it, of course anything could be done.
If I just unleashed my fighting spirit and reinforced the collar, it could easily be broken.
The slave’s collar was sturdy, but it was only made of ordinary iron.
While it might be difficult for the person wearing it to break it, it was relatively easy for others to physically destroy it.

After hesitating, I wagged my tail up and down.
The young fox then perked up her ears and tail and stared at me intently.
Then she sent me a telepathic message, asking me to break it.

“You know what we’re going to be forced to do from now on, don’t you? Break it in the midst of all that chaos! If you do, I’ll help you escape too!”

—Run away together, right? If we can do that, we won’t have to suffer.
I wagged my tail to the sides and showed a slight increase in my spiritual power.
As a result, I felt intense pain running throughout my body as red-black patterns started appearing on my exoskeleton.

This was the penalty for attempting to use spiritual arts without permission, which was prohibited by “soul binding”.
When I reinstated my spiritual power, the little fox drooped its ears and tail sadly.

“I see… unlike me, you’re bound even to your soul.
That means it’s useless to try to escape…”

Woodsorrel was right.
With the “soul binding” in effect, I could not escape from Georg and the young master’s orders.
Their commands bound my soul itself.

Even if I were to escape, if I were ordered to “come back,” I would have to move to the one who gave the order, or I would suffer the same pain as before.
My instincts told me that if I continue to resist, it will endanger my life.
Therefore, as someone who must live, I cannot go against their orders.
In other words, no matter how far I ran, it was useless in my current situation.

“But but! I’m a demon fox! If I grow up a little more, I think I can release you from that spiritual art! So please help me escape! I promise I’ll definitely repay you!” the young fox pleaded.

Hmm… my knowledge was not omniscient when it came to living beings, and I didn’t know how powerful a demon fox actually was.
So I wasn’t sure whether she would truly grow to become skilled enough to release me from the “soul binding” spiritual art.
Even if I went along with her plan, I didn’t know if the day would ever come when she could help me.

With that in mind, I wagged my tail up and down.
Just because I was in a hopeless situation didn’t mean I’d drag someone who might be able to survive down with me.
I haven’t fallen so low that I would do something like that.

Woodsorrel wagged her tail happily, and I felt soothed watching her.
At the same time, I thought to myself that even if it was a mistake to try to help her, I wouldn’t regret it.

Oh, I heard many footsteps approaching again.
It seemed like it was our turn now.
Woodsorrel noticed a little later than I did and started glaring at the entrance with her fur standing on end.

“That’s it for the preliminary rounds.
Take them out in order of the lightest cages.
The faster we finish, the longer the break will be!”

Following the instructions of a pompous man, the male slaves picked up our cages and started carrying them away.
The first one chosen was Woodsorrel, the smallest of us all.
She didn’t make a sound, but her gaze was full of anxiety as she looked at me.
I’ll help you, don’t worry, I’ll help you without making it obvious.

As we were carried away, I realized that we were being taken through the same corridor as when we were brought here, but in a different direction.
I knew this because the noise and heat were gradually increasing as we moved forward.

After moving along the dim corridor for about a minute, we turned a corner, and suddenly the space became bright.
At the end of the light, we could see a space without obstacles and a solid stone floor.
There were several black stains on the floor that appeared to be blood, but most of them were new.
They must have been spilled by the beasts that fought before us.

It seemed that the space in front of us was the arena for the “Battle Beast Tournament”.
My cage was placed in front of one entrance with a loud bang, where several slaves were carrying what looked like the remains of some creature that had turned into a soggy lump of meat.
This must be the fate of the losers.

The arena was circular, surrounded by a high and intricately designed spiritual circuit wall.
There were sixteen entrances on the wall, including the one I was in, and the stands were packed with spectators.
The number of people was probably over ten thousand, including those standing.
It seemed to be a popular event.

Most of the seats were shabby, but one corner was a lavishly decorated room.
It was covered in glass, and the people who looked down from there were also dressed in clean and luxurious clothes.

That part of the stands was likely a place known as the VIP seats.
Among them was the young master, who was enjoying a lively conversation with boys and girls of the same age.
To me, it seemed like a privileged position to allow killing while watching from above… Oh, it really was a good position.

“Release… Come out.”

Georg, who was at my entrance, ordered me after removing the key to my cage and the chains that bound my body.
I didn’t need to resist, so I obediently left the cage.
I thought he would tell me to go straight to the arena, but Georg approached my face and whispered a small command.

“Don’t use spiritual arts in the preliminary rounds.
It’s more exciting that way.”

This guy… is he telling me to die?! That dog was a formidable enemy that couldn’t be taken lightly, and on top of that, Woodsorrel was a beast with slim chances of winning even if she fought with all her might.
Now that I was forbidden from using spiritual arts, does this old geezer even understand that it’s not just difficult to save her but even to survive?

Unaware that I was glaring at him with an unbelieving gaze, Georg juts his chin and orders me to go.
With no room for refusal, I opened and closed my pincers and headed towards the arena, trying to distract myself from my frustration.


TN: Wood sorrel or Woodsorrel is her name it is a yellow colored plant that is also known as the sleeping beauty.

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