Chapter 35 “Flight”
I plunged my dirty clothes into the that was floating in the air and forcefully removed the mucus.
I had a change of clothes, but I didn't feel like changing considering that I was about to enter the forest.
When I looked back, Heidi was silently following me.
She seemed to have calmed down for the moment, but I wondered what she had been crying about.
I was drying my washed clothes with fire magic when Heidi finally opened her mouth.
Heidi continued talking with her head down.
”I told you to help the villagers, and you…”
…hmm? What is she talking about?
”I'm really sorry…
I was about to let you die instead of helping you.”
Oh, you think it's your fault that I got eaten by the Death Worm?
I don't know what you think you're doing wrong, but I was going to get eaten either way.
Now that I let it get so close to so many villagers, I had no choice but to take care of it there.
I couldn't eat it if I killed it in such a public place.
So I decided to eat him out of sight.
I came up with the idea of eating him from inside the body.
No matter what I did there, it would not be seen by the public.
I planned to lure it into a lunging attack when the time was right, and then jump into its mouth….
I didn't expect those tentacles.
…Well, I'm glad I got into its stomach as a result.
I blocked the digestive juices with wind system defensive magic, spread the roots as fast as I could, and ate the death worm backwards from inside its belly.
In addition, I also tasted the villagers who were about to be digested.
They were dissolved, but they added up.
I could have sucked it all up with the roots and dried it out, but it was too much trouble to cheat, so I kept it to the extent that its appearance would not change.
After making sure the Death Worm was dead, I had no use for such a dark and smelly place.
I tried to get out as quickly as possible, but it was difficult to push my way through the flesh.
While moving, I was able to find a spot where light was coming in and managed to escape from there.
I found out later that Heidi had ripped its belly open to try to pull me out.
…Thanks to Heidi, I was able to get out easily, and as far as Heidi is concerned, I am grateful to her.
I opened my mouth and Heidi closed her mouth and looked up fearfully.
”It was definitely your words that got me moving.”
I look Heidi in the eye and continue as slowly as possible.
“In the end, I got eaten, but that was my choice.
You don't need to worry about it.”
Heidi looks like she is about to cry again.
What is it this time?
”Why don't you blame me…
you just let me go along with my selfishness…”
What were you listening to?
I told her it was my responsibility and I didn't care, was that too hard?
I said again, “Don't worry about it,” and put on my clothes, which were now completely dry.
The Death Worm carcass was difficult to dismantle, and I myself had to bury it outside the village because it was too much trouble.
At times like this, I feel grateful for magic.
The villagers were watching from a distance, but didn't say anything in particular.
Heidi was talking to the villagers.
Thanks to that, the villagers didn't say anything in particular.
To be honest, I thought that since I had burned down their houses and indirectly caused some deaths, I should deserve a single stone thrown at me.
Well, they have reconstruction work to do, so maybe they just can't be bothered with me.
If I stay, they might say something to me later, so let's get out of the village.
Heidi was still talking with the villagers.
Then it occurred to me.
…This might be an opportunity.
If it's just about invading the ruins, it's more efficient for me to do it by myself.
The speed is different to begin with.
I look at Heidi one more time.
Okay, she hasn't noticed.
I left the village quickly.
I was making my way through the forest, feeling the landscape and wind that was flowing at a tremendous pace.
When no one was around, I tried to recreate the ability I wanted to use…
”This is fun.”
I was flying through the trees.
The demon had the ability to fly.
They had wings, but they didn't really need them to fly.
They are magical creatures.
They maintain their bodies with magic.
Wings are also a catalyst for the activation of flight magic.
I am not sure exactly what they are, since I did not have any knowledge of this area, but I think they are used to reinforce the image of flight and to adjust the balance in the air.
In fact, I myself can fly well without wings, so I don't think it's that far off.
I wanted to say “Devil weaving” like a certain devil man, but I decided not to, because if I grew wings, they would pierce through my clothes.
…it's about time.
It's time to get where I'm going.
Death Worm's memory provided no useful information.
Without eyesight, there was no visual information.
The only thing it could remember was its instinct for sensing magic power and the order to kill anyone who was releasing magic power except for those with a specific magic pattern.
In particular, the Death Worms were ordered to attack creatures that constantly emit more than a certain amount of magic with the highest priority, which is a very dangerous situation.
In the first place, their main specialty is surprise attacks from underground.
They are sensitive to magic and can use a special kind of magic.
It is a tricky ability that can detect them even if they are not using magic, because the accuracy is so different.
Using this ability, the range of search and detection increases several times.
Just by keeping your feet on the ground, your location will be revealed, and the rest will be swallowed up from the ground.
The reason they didn't do that this time is that the one I ate had been awakened from a very long sleep and was apparently very hungry.
That's why they couldn't dive underground.
…In short, it seems that they had no strength after waking up from hibernation and were weak, so they had no choice but to move on the ground.
It seems that it ate several people before coming to the village, so there is no doubt that the people who went ahead of us were eaten by this thing.
The idiot who was eaten by the Death Worm inadvertently woke up the hibernating Death Worm and died.
They really are a nuisance, aren't they?
I could see my destination.
I landed as close to the edge as I could get.
The old structure was buried in the trees, its mouth open.
The location was deep in the forest.
I was a little impressed that they had found it so well.
Now, let's take a look inside.
It was a straight road for a while after I entered.
There were no traps of any kind.
There might have been a trap, but it might have been disarmed by someone who had gone before me.
Just to be sure, I proceeded on foot with caution, but nothing in particular happened.
I came prepared to at least be attacked by a swarm of Death Worms, but no such thing.
Just when I was getting tired of the unchanging path, I saw a staircase.
Thanks to my night vision, I didn't need the light.
I went down the stairs.
Nothing special happened there either.
After descending and walking for a while, I came out into a wide space.
Blood was splattered on the floor.
Considering the amount, several people must have died here.
Moreover, the pool of blood is relatively new.
That's a definite sign.
The idiot must have been killed here by the Death Worm.
I don't see any kind of mechanism.
I imagined that they might have accidentally opened a treasure chest or something like that, or that they might have pressed a strange switch or pulled a lever, but there's no such thing.
…What happened here?
Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me.
Is it him?
I slowly turned around.
There it was, a small Death Worm.
Even though it was small, it was more than one meter long, large enough to attack a person.
The Death Worm did not move as if it was staring at me.
As I was thinking that this was strange, the Death Worm slowly opened its mouth.
I – Heidi – was running through the forest, out of breath.
He was gone.
I had noticed this only a short time before.
I was explaining the situation to the villagers, who had no idea what was going on.
If I didn't clear up the misunderstanding as soon as possible, he might get a bad reputation…
If things went badly, some people might say it was his fault.
To prevent this from happening, we needed to explain the situation as soon as possible.
Fortunately, the villagers did not seem to have a bad impression of him or me.
They thanked us for helping them.
To be honest, I had been a little prepared for them to say something more selfish, but their words made me feel a little better.
When I was about to tell him that, he was gone.
I looked around the village but could not find him.
Perhaps he went to the ruins alone.
I hurriedly followed him into the forest.
He had told me the general location of it before we came here, so I had no problem finding my way there.
Why did he go to the forest alone?
Was he disappointed in me?
If so, wouldn't he be annoyed if I chased after him?
I am not faking my desire to help him.
But I can't bear the thought of him becoming a person who has no regard for others.
He and I have become completely different people.
But I was originally him.
I don't want to see the person I used to be go astray.
This would be selfish of me.
It is wrong to impose it on him.
I know that.
But I can't help it.
If he can truly become a lord…if he can transcend my mistakes….
That's when I will….
Suddenly something passes near me.
I cut myself off from my thoughts and became alert.
This is a place where people don't set foot very often.
Anything could have come out.
There is a possibility that the monster from earlier may still be out there.
It is true that something passed near me…or rather above me, just now.
It was too big to be a bird.
It was only for a moment, but it was about the size of a human being.
A different kind of demon? Considering the direction, it could have been headed for the village.
Should I go back and deal with it, or should I go forward and help him?
I was unsure, but shook my head and shook it off.
I'm worried about the village, but I'm also worried about him who was ahead of me.
If he really is ahead of me, there is even a possibility that he is fighting that monster all by himself.
Either way, I had to cut off the source.
I quickened my pace.
I thought I rushed quite a bit, but in the end I could not catch up with him.
In front of me, the ruins were quietly but surely opening their mouths with a sense of presence.
I examined the surroundings just to be sure, and found one place where the soil had been heaped up significantly.
It looked as if something had come out of the ground rather than being dug up.
Considering its size, there was no doubt that this was where the monster had come out.
From the looks of it, it seemed that he had entered the ruins without taking a break.
I followed him into the ruins.
I did not bring any lighting with me, so I used a fireball as a light as I walked through the ruins.
It was surprisingly quiet inside the ruins.
Did he really come here?
The question raised in my mind, but it was replaced by impatience due to my imagination that he might be immobilized.
I hurry through the single track.
The sound of my footsteps echoed through the ruins.
I found a staircase and ran down it at once, and when I ran further, I found myself in a large space.
…What is this place?
I look around, but there is nothing…no, this place is….
I pour magic power into the and make it bigger.
I can now see the whole room clearly.
Looking closely at the floor, I see a puddle of dried blood.
For a moment, I thought it might be his, but I guess not.
Too much time has passed.
…He is not here.
He's probably gone to the back.
I can't just sit here and wait for him to leave.
I was about to head for the passageway to the back when I noticed something.
Something was there.
From the looks of it, it must have come out of the back passage.
At first glance, I recognized it as a monster.
It looked the same as the one that attacked the village, but it was smaller.
I slowly put my hand on the kukri.
The monster looks at me and slowly opens its mouth.
The monster spoke.
The language was unfamiliar, but it certainly sounded like a string of meaningful words.
From the impression I got, it sounded like it was doing something.
What should I do?
I let go of my hand from Kukuri, a little lost.
The monster keeps saying something, but I can't understand it.
Should I try talking to it? Maybe it will understand me.
I was about to open my mouth…
I heard his voice from behind me.
I turn around as if I've been shot.
Why is he coming up behind me?
Did I pass him without knowing it?
For some reason he is carrying something like a tub and a bouquet of flowers.
A bouquet of flowers? Why does he have that?
Ignoring my question, he walks up to the monster.
Without reacting to me, he stands in front of the monster, bends down, whispers something to the monster, and holds out the bouquet of flowers.
The monster gives a small nod and walks into the back aisle.
I tried to follow him, but he turned around and simply said, “It's okay, you can wait outside,” and went into the back aisle.
I stood there for a while, my mind filled with questions.
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