“Don’t worry. They were spirit beasts.”
Those were the words Lucia said to me before she proceeded to bash open the demons’ heads and dig around through their brains. Teacher, why have you left me with such a person? I’m not sure what’s worse: if she truly believes they were spirit beasts or if she was making up an excuse for murder. Granted, I did call out to her for help. I sensed someone trying to disable me with magic, and I couldn’t do anything about it on my own. I hadn’t considered how much of a target I was as a young demon traveling through the wilderness. People didn’t only hunt beasts. Sometimes it was easier to hunt the people hunting beasts. It may be a bit barbaric, but the imperial family allows it—if only in the wilderness. Perhaps because it’d be too hard to regulate; I don’t know.
But to be hunting in an area like this; they must’ve been fifth-circle magicians at the very least. One out of 500 people have the potential to reach that level. Magic isn’t like martial arts where anyone can improve so long as they try hard enough. Besides, there’s—wait. Wait, wait, wait! What is Lucia doing!? Lucia was humming while, while…! She cut it off! She cut all of them off!
“Most expensive parts, get! They’re kind of small though. Would anyone still buy them?” Lucia shrugged and the, the things disappeared into her interspacial ring. “Whew. My space is getting full. I wonder if there’ll be a town conveniently placed nearby like Wilderness Town was.”
Don’t be stupid! There’s no way anyone would establish a town inside of the desolate mountains. How would the town defend against beasts? You’d have to have seventh-circle demons guarding the walls day and night in case a divine beast attacks. Only one out of ten thousand people will ever reach the seventh-circle; it’s much more difficult than becoming a sixth-circle magician. That’s why people call the boundary between six circles and seven circles the second wall. Elaine, Rogath’s first pupil, is still stuck as a sixth-circle magician after thirty years. I wonder if her travels bore any fruit.
But now that I think about it, Lucia really … is leaving me behind! “Wind, encircle my feet! Earth, lighten my body! Fire, give me stamina! Water, maintain my temperature!” Wait for me, dammit! Let me monologue inside my head some more! Thankfully, those bones of strength that Lucia give me restore my mana; otherwise, I really won’t be able to keep up with her. And we already saw what happened when I lagged behind. Maybe it was my fault those demons died. If I hadn’t been targeted, Lucia wouldn’t have struck to kill them. Actually, she might have done that regardless if she sincerely believed they were spirit beasts.
“Oh sweet! It’s a person-faced lion with wings! And a pointy tail!”
A divine beast! I never thought I’d see a manticore before I was even an adult! We’re so dead. O lord, if you exist, please, let me die a quick and unmiserable death.
“Take this! Unrelenting Path of Slaughter: Breaking Blade!”
Lucia’s sword was tiny in comparison to the beast. In fact, she was only as large as its face, but she didn’t look scared at all. The manticore roared and blocked the strike with the tip of its tail. “Pitiful warrior.” It could speak!? “Trying to fight me without magic? Realize your folly and die.”
Wow, it sounds awfully snobby. Then again, it is a divine beast. I don’t imagine many things can even hurt it. If I tried to escape right now, could I make it? Why didn’t Teacher give me something life-saving like an instant teleportation button, or an instant-kill needle, or at least a three-week shield? I’m sure dying does not build character. Maybe negative character.
“Go! Puppers, use poison attack!”
Right! Lucia had a sock spirit that looked pretty fierce. He can definitely—he was eaten!? What the hell!?
What the hell was successful about that!?
“Y-you! Warrior! What did you do!?” The manticore looked like it was in a lot of pain. Don’t tell me Puppers was actually poisonous to eat. Was he meant to be used this way…? I wonder how he feels about it. I imagine not very good.
“Let’s try it again! Haste! Unrelenting Path of Slaughter: Repeated Breaking Blades!”
A red aura surrounded Lucia. The aura was so dense around her sword that it looked black. She turned into a red blur that repeatedly crashed against the manticore’s body. The manticore swiped at Lucia with its claws and tail, but Lucia didn’t stop. Blood flew into the air. I wasn’t sure if it was Lucia’s or the manticore’s, but there was a lot of it. A droplet landed near my feet and burned a hole in the grass. …Probably the manticore’s then. Will Lucia be alright if she’s covered in that stuff?
“Gah! Warrior! Cease your struggles!” The manticore spread its wings. It was about to leap into the air, but it let out a scream that caused my eardrums to burst. It hurt a lot, and I couldn’t hear anything, but the manticore was definitely hurting more. One of its wings had been severed and fallen to the ground.
My lord, Lucia was an absolute monster. “Light, please heal my injuries.” I wasn’t sure if I said it correctly because I couldn’t hear myself, but I think I did because there was a buzzing feeling in my ear afterwards.
The manticore’s massive body seemed like a detriment as Lucia darted around like a fly. The beast couldn’t hit Lucia at all. It even tried stopping, dropping, and rolling in the hopes of crushing her, but it didn’t work and the manticore lost an eye because of that action. Wasn’t it a divine beast? How could a manticore be so weak? Or was it that Lucia was just too strong? Literally too strong because she had picked the manticore up and thrown it after it tried rolling on her. It must’ve weighed at least 10 tons, but she…, she only used one hand….
“Wah! That was a tough fight.”
It was over!?
“Sweet! A beast core!”
You didn’t even hesitate to smash open a human-like face!
“No! Dammit, why!?”
What was she cursing about now? I still can’t believe she killed a divine beast so easily. The manticore’s corrosive blood didn’t even have any effects on her.
Lucia kicked the manticore, causing its corpse to fly off the ground and fall a few meters away. “This stupid thing was a woman! My money!”