TGL Volume 1, Chapter 12 (1)

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Aren’t I strong enough for Durandal to wake up yet? I remember him telling me the Godking was at the peak of high-ranked spirit warrior, and according to Puppers, I’ve just passed the boundary from mid-ranked spirit warrior to high-ranked. Aren’t I almost as strong as the Godking? In terms of qi at least. The Godking could use magic too, which automatically makes him stronger than me, but that was quick! It’s only been … two days since Durandal was poisoned. Totally. A day only passes when I fall asleep.

It’s so lonely when Puppers dies and reenters my socks. Ever since the day I became a high-ranked spirit warrior, Puppers hadn’t won a single fight against me. He used the excuse that he couldn’t show his full potential as a mere sock spirit, but I think he’s just a sore loser. After reaching high-ranked spirit warrior, I’ve gained the ability to…, I’m not sure actually. Puppers said I can shrug off normal wounds, and fatal wounds become non-fatal. I’ll only die if my head is cut off, but I’m not willing to test that! If someone told you you’d be fine if he cut your heart out, would you believe him and cut your heart out to test it? Hell no!

Other than that, my qi has become visible. It’s red and viscous and kind of sticky like blood. Puppers says I’ll be able to figure out what it can do if I play around with it, but I don’t have time for that! If I have spare time, it’ll be spent on sparring Puppers, carving bones, or hunting beasts. I also feel like I control the Path of Slaughter more than it controls me now. I can turn it on and off at will, but it’s a bit painful. Maybe when I reach the peak, I’ll be able to control it completely, but for now, I’ll just make do. Hey, what’s this strange green pattern on the ground?

Green means mana, right…? Maybe I should throw Puppers on top of it to check.

“Puppers?”

…Darn. I forgot he was dead at the moment. Let’s turn off the Path of Slaughter and poke around. Wow. There’s a massive chunk of meat sitting in the center of a glade. This isn’t suspicious at all. …But it does smell really tempting. How long has it been since I’ve last eaten? I’m not sure if I even have a stomach anymore. Why couldn’t bones of strength be tasty? Then I wouldn’t be so tempted. Maybe I should poke it…, no! Back to hunting!

Leaving the obvious trap behind, I reactivated my Path of Slaughter. I’ve finally absorbed enough cores of all the beasts around that none of them give me any more improvements. I have dozens of really high-ranked beast cores sitting around my interspacial ring. I should find a shop and sell them. Disregarding them, I’m pretty sure I reached the deepest point of the southern pass. Running north leads to weaker beasts as expected, but when I head south, the beasts become weaker again. Heading east and west bring about the same result. Clearly, I’m in the most dangerous spot, which isn’t really dangerous for me anymore. The deadliest creature I killed was a black and red lion with three heads. I almost died 73 times during that fight, but through perseverance and hard work, I managed to kill it.

Just kidding. I ran away, poisoned Puppers, and fed him to the beast. Then I killed it in a fair one-on-three fight—because each of its heads counted as one person. It dropped a suspiciously evil-looking beast core that I still haven’t absorbed yet because Puppers told me to save it. I’m not sure if he told me to save it because he was giving me bad advice out of bitterness for feeding him to the lion, or if he was actually serious. I’m planning on waiting for Durandal to wake up before I do anything with it.

Anyways, there really isn’t anything left for me in the southern pass. I won’t grow anymore by staying here. I could go to the desolate mountains in the north, but they’re really far away and I’d have to travel through civilization to do that. I’ll be interacting with actual people—how scary. I mean, I’m still a wanted criminal, I’m sure! I killed Bryant after all. I’m surprised no one’s been sent after me yet though. Then again, only two days have passed. And—, hey, look! It’s the green circle again.

After turning off the Path of Slaughter, I realized it was actually a different area. And sitting in the center of the circle—

“Miss. Can you hear me, miss? Please, help.”

—there was a spirit beast waiting to be slaughtered. Ignore the fact that it looks like a helpless child. After being fooled by those scavenger crows at the very start of my journey, I refuse to be fooled by anything else ever again! And Snow. I still hate that bastard.

“Miss, please. I lost my mommy.”

“Hey. Look here, spirit beast. There’s no way a child would be able to navigate to the center of the southern pass completely unharmed.”

The child shut his mouth and blinked. Large droplets formed in the corners of his eyes. His mouth opened and wails rang out of his mouth. He blubbered and sobbed as snot and tears ran down his face. What an ugly-looking child. Didn’t he know crying would make it worse? Anyways, there was no way I was going to approach a suspicious magic circle with such obvious bait.

“Bye.”

The child stopped crying and put on a neutral expression. “Bye.”

I nodded at him before leaving. Hmm. Should I head towards the north? If I can’t grow anymore in the south, then Durandal will never wake up. Yeah, I’ll head to the north. I’ll have to cross through the northern part of the southern pass, a few human towns, the border between the humans and the demons, and then the demons’ territory. …Should I slaughter my way across? That’d definitely improve my path, but I’m not an evil person. I wouldn’t kill people for no reason! That’s what crazy people do and I’m not crazy. Nope—

Hey, look, an acorn! Whoa, it’s a really big one too, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one this … large…. Damn. I just stepped into one of those magic circles, didn’t I? The ground is glowing, so yes. Yes I did. Shit.


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