After that, we talked about what would happen from then on while walking around the floor to find the stairs.
“Eh… so you’re saying that we’re going to have to fight even stronger demons than the ones earlier?”
“No way… That’s impossible for us…”
“What makes you think that?”
“I mean, not even Samejima could beat those things! There’s no way we could.”
Didn’t I tell her about my specs far outstripping Samejima’s just a bit ago…?
Guess she doesn’t believe me about it.
I don’t really feel like correcting her either, she’ll see it for herself sooner or later.
“Don’t worry, Hamakaze. I’ll protect you.”
“Wha—! I-Idiot! Y-You’re just Katsuragi, the wimp!”
She suddenly started to blush and twiddle her fingers together.
What, was she always so simple?
Or maybe it’s that I’m not like how I usually am?
It looks like she’s misunderstanding me though, the reason I’ll protect her is that I want to have a lot of subordinates. To that end, she needs to live.
Judging by how I died five times in a row, it looks like there’s a time gap between my revival and me regaining consciousness. During that time gap, I want to be the one being protected.
I’m bringing her along for when I die.
I’m not doing it out of kindness at all.
I used some time after that to ask a few questions.
I found a few things out.
First off was that my appearance seems to have changed.
Although I’m told that my face looks better now, my height hasn’t changed. I’m not fat anymore either, though. My overall physique seems to have improved.
Hey, Body, was my fat delicious?
I don’t feel any incompatibility with my body at all though… I wonder if that’s another effect from Revenge of the Grudgebearer?
“My heart even started racing when I first saw you… but it was just you on the inside…”
“Shut up. The reason I’m like this is because of all you guys.”
Hamakaze stopped talking.
Come to think of it, I wonder how she feels about being abandoned by her classmates?
Betrayed. Forsaken. In those respects, she’s the same as me.
If she hates Samejima and the others as well, I’m not against the idea of us taking our revenge on them together.
I understand what the suffering she’s went through is like, after all.
Next, I had her teach me all of the magic she knew, including what she herself wasn’t able to use. Thanks to that, I have more ways to go about my offense now.
Around two hours passed with us talking about similar things.
We went back to the large room we started at.
Now, however, the doors were closed.
“Hm? Why are they shut?”
“I wonder… oh!”
After tilting her head, it looked like she remembered something.
It didn’t look like it was a good memory, either.
She paled as the color of blood left her face.
Come to think of it, this is the room she died in… is it a trauma for her?
“Hamakaze… tell me what happened here. I can’t counter it if you don’t.”
She shook her head back and forth weakly.
“As soon as we opened the doors and reached the middle, demons appeared all around us. It might happen again…”
“What kinds of demons were there?”
“Rigals and Ariants, there was a High Wulf too.”
… Aren’t those the things that were eating me? This is just getting more and more anticlimactic.
Time for a revenge match.
“That’s all? That works, thanks.”
“I think we should withdraw and check things out further…”
“Alright, let’s head in.”
Fighting demons in packs would make this more convenient. My strength should be easy for her to understand. Sometimes, numbers just aren’t enough to understand something.
Even if I die in the worst case scenario, I’ll be able to resurrect, I could probably even resurrect Hamakaze again too. I could do without the pain, though.
I pushed the doors open.
The room was empty. I walked to the center together with Hamakaze.
Suddenly, a light shone down from above. Hamakaze looked as though she were about to start crying, but it wasn’t time for me to worry about that.
“Hamakaze, wait here. If any demons head your way, try to not die.”
“Wh-What about you!?”
“I’ll be killing them all.”
“They’re coming! I’ll blast them with my magic! Grab onto me!”
“Eh? Wai—! Ahhh….!”
Seeing Hamakaze stay still due to shock, I took hold of her.
To be honest though, I wanted to test out how far I could go in groping her.
Concentrating mana into my right hand, I imagined it compressing into itself.
Wind picked up and started to whirl around with me at the center. Bending my legs somewhat to lower my center of gravity and avoid being knocked over by the wind, I gathered it all above my open palm into the shape of a sphere.
A large crowd of those three types of demons appeared, attacking from all directions.
I was ready for them.
“O’ Emperor of the Wind! Cut down those who would hinder my right to rule! Exert the might of your storms! Revert all to dust and return them to the earth! Berserk Tempest!!”
The ball of wind burst forward once I finished the incantation.
It sounded similar to metal forcibly snapping.
So much so that it drowned out the various demons’ howls.
A moment later, all fell quiet, the faint sound of dripping blood the only thing remaining.
“… You’ve got… to be kidding… me…”
Opening the eyes she’d shut tight in the confusion, Hamakaze was so astonished by what she saw that she was practically at a loss for words.
Even though I was the one to cause it, my thoughts were the same as hers.
The room was dyed in green and filled with particles of light.
All of the demons, every last one, had been annihilated by that sole attack.
Seeing the effects of a power so far from the norm, neither of us were able to so much as budge an inch.
We, stunned by what had happened, were pulled back to reality by the sound of something collapsing.
When we looked over to see what caused the sound, we saw that it was the wall that collapsed, revealing the stairs that lead downward.
I see. So the way to the fifty-second floor was concealed…?
I wonder if all of the floors from now on will be like this?
We were able to continue through the first fifty floors because the ways down had already been discovered.
That said, the following floors should be similar to this in that we won’t be able to continue down without meeting the requirements to do so.
Assuming that’s how it is… that’s pretty depressing…
When I glanced at the classmate clinging to me, she wasn’t able to express how she felt too well.
“… What’s wrong?”
“Don’t what’s wrong me…! What’s with that power!? It’s stupidly strong!”
The magic I used, Berserk Tempest, was an imperial rank magic.
The various kinds of magic all had six ranks. Starting from the strongest, they were: divine, imperial, ancient, royal, soul, and spirit rank.
A considerable amount of mana is necessary to use magic of the imperial rank, so it’s not something to be used so easily.
I’m realizing my greatness once more. It’d be troubling if just anyone could use magic like that whenever they wanted.
Usually, people have to practice starting with spirit rank magic and strengthen their foundation from there.
Samejima himself is still stuck on soul rank magic… wait, Hamakaze’s still talking?
She hadn’t stopped asking me questions and had sped up how fast she was talking.
“Katsuragi, how the heck did you get so strong?”
“Like I need to tell you?”
“Tell meeee, I want to know toooo!”
“Alright then, die five times.”
I’m not mean, I told you the answer. You just didn’t realize it.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be revived if you die, though.
She didn’t look like she was convinced though, but she withdrew in reluctance, probably thinking that she wouldn’t get an answer if she kept asking.
“That aside, check your stats. Checking whether or not your body has anything wrong with it is important.”
“What are you wanting to check?”
“Just do it already.”
“… Alright. Open.”
Job: Hero Lv. 28
- [Heart of Steel] Double resistance value during combat. Prevents poison, paralysis, hypnosis, and mental corruption 1/3 of the time.
- [Indomitable Mentality] Mana cannot go below 100.
- [Absolute Command] Appears upon those revived by the Lich King being lower leveled. Any order the slave receives will be followed through with until given authorization to stop.
- [Magus of Slaughter] Damage inflicted upon enemies will also damage others of the same species within a 10 meter radius.
- [Lich King] Able to form contracts with creatures that have died, reviving them and bending them to your will. Every other time the user dies, gain a slot.
- Current: 1 Open Slot
- [Revenge of the Grudgebearer] No matter how many times you die, gather strength from the abyss of death and resurrect.
- Current: 5 Deaths
Job: High-Grade Slave Lv. 23
- [Auto Heal] Restore 60 Stamina every 10 minutes.
- [High-Grade Slave] Master: Katsuragi Daichi. Any attack against your master, Katsuragi Daichi, is blocked. Forced obedience until released.
“Huh!? My stats improved too!?”
Hamakaze looked at her status in disbelief.
Looks like her level went up as well for some reason…
I wonder if it has to do with her being a Slave? Now that I think about it, it doesn’t say she’s a Slave, but a High-Grade Slave. It seems as though a High-Grade Slave gets the same experience as the one employing them, or at least a portion of the experience.
However, there is no concept of experience points in this world.
It is believed that a person’s level is a representation of their accumulated experience of fighting and winning. Experience itself is not shown in a person’s stats.
… I’ll set that aside for now, this isn’t the time to sit and think idly about that.
There’s a more serious problem.
Despite my level going up quite a lot, why did my stats barely improve?
Is it another effect from Revenge of the Grudgebearer?
Or is there another factor at play…?
I don’t know.
Dammit, I don’t have enough information!