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It was the third time I thought that I was about to be done in by monsters.
The first time was when I first fought with Kobolds. At that time, I really thought I was about to die and was extremely desperate. Unlike killing rabbits which I didn’t feel anything, that was when I started considering battle as an exchange of lives. The fear of kill or be killed still occasionally haunt my dreams even now.
The second time was when I fought the Leviathan. That was when I felt my powerlessness. It shattered my confidence that I could do anything into pieces.
And now was the third time.
The octopus monster Gourmand.
I didn’t expect the monster that I thought I could defeat easily to retaliate. I was careless.
I didn’t think that a monster weaker than me could do anything to me.
Just like the proverb a cornered rat will bite a cat, you never know what a cornered monster will do.
”… That’s why I hate this monster.”
Miri said sulkily.
While having her whole body bathed in black ink.
That’s right, that Gourmand self-exploded the moment it sensed that it was about to be killed. Both Miri and I would be able to withstand a regular explosion. However, it wasn’t a regular explosion. I could say it was more of an ink bomb? The ink inside Gourmand’s body scattered throughout the entire room. There was almost no space to escape from it.
Furthermore, it self-destructed so I didn’t get any experience points. Like it was stepping on and kicking us while we were down.
“It stinks… just what exactly did it eat to become this smelly. Wait, it was the curry I made that it ate.”
“Onii, you can use Lifestyle Magic right? Please use Clean… I can’t even open my eyes.”
“I get it so stop hugging me when you’re all wet with ink!”
Even though she was a Demon Lord her previous life, doing such things really showed that she was just a girl.
I applied the Lifestyle Magic Clean on Miri and did the same on myself to clean us up.
The ink on not just our faces but also our clothes cleanly fell off.
“Onii, to be safe, apply Cure too. The Gourmand’s ink contains toxins too.”
“Really?… Ah, I heard that octopus ink has a type of strong toxin in it.”
Although squid ink could be used to make pasta.
“What now? Miri, do you want to challenge another Gourmand one more time? I can teach you how to cook this time?”
“It will take about three days for another Gourmand to appear once you defeat it. So we’ll have to give up.”
“I see, that’s a pity.”
“That is the pity here.”
Miri looked at the deep-fried cricket dish covered in ink and said.
“Even though I went through the trouble to make it.”
“No, that can probably still be eaten. Clean.”
I used Clean and removed the ink from the deep-fried cricket.
Then, I picked one and put it in my mouth.
The crunchy sensation spread throughout my mouth.
“Miri, although I understand that you want to bring out the ingredient’s taste, just deep-frying it can’t really be called cooking. If you devise a recipe to maybe deep-fry it with lemongrass or something, maybe the Gourmand will also recognize it as cooking?”
Well, even with that, I don’t think that it would actually want to eat it.
However, I can’t call myself an elder brother if I don’t eat the cooking my younger sister made wholeheartedly so I ate it but I crossed gazes with the cricket when I ate it.
Hah, Miri’s fondness for strange cooking has not changed at all.
“It’s just like Onii said. Although it’s appetizing enough just like this.”
Miri picked up two crickets and ate them just like that.
She chewed on the crickets and I could hear the crunchiness.
Then, Miri shoved the remaining crickets into my item bag as she pleased.
“Onii, you can eat them when you want to.”
“Ah… okay. Yup, thank you.”
I smiled bitterly as we exited the Gourmand room.
However, since there weren’t any monsters until this point, I was worried about the boss room.
“Miri, I want to exterminate some monsters so can we take a detour?”
“Of course. I shall see Onii’s true power.”
“Miri won’t be fighting with me?”
“But Onii’s 20 times experience would be meaningless if Miri defeats them right?”
Ah, that’s true.
I somehow felt like I was being used by my younger sister.
The room we arrived at under Miri’s guidance had huge seahorse-like monsters flying in the sky.
It seemed like the monsters had not noticed our presence.
“How are they able to fly?”
“Most fish-type monsters on land are capable of flight.”
”… It’s destroying my concept of fishes. Are there any points to take note of when attacking them?”
“Won’t Onii’s spell defeat them in a single shot? With Petit Thunder.”
“You’re right ― Petit Thunder!”
I took out the Asclepius staff and chanted my spell.
The lightning that flashed from the tip of the staff caught the seahorse-like monster.
【Ichinojo Leveled up】
【Light Magician skill: 「Light Magic II」has skilled up to「Light Magic III」】
【Dark Magician skill: 「Dark Magic II」has skilled up to「Dark Magic III」】
【Sword Saint skill: 「Sword Equip II」has skilled up to「Sword Equip III」】
【Sword Saint skill: 「Sword Afterimage」acquired】
“Onii, you leveled up?”
“Yeah. All my levels apart from Jobless leveled up. Light and Dark Magician reached level 6, Sword Saint to level 4 and Pugilist to level 61.”
”… Seriously amazing. Even Advanced Jobs can be leveled up that easily.”
“What about Miri?”
“Demon Lord didn’t level up but Commoner became level 4. Help me change job to Apprentice Mage after I level up a little more okay.”
“You’re fine with Apprentice Mage?”
“Yup. My magical power has mostly been sealed. Raising my MP a little more will widen the scope that I can transfer to so it’s convenient in various ways.”
I see. Apprentice Mage certainly has skills that raise maximum MP.
“Now that you mention it, I recall that Sheena entrusted me with a gem that is meant to seal the Demon Lord’s power but what should we do with that?”
I only thought of it now and asked Miri.
“Ah… Onii can hold onto that for now. It’s not like the seal can be undone even though we have the gem. We don’t know where the other three gems are anyway.”
“Another three huh.”
“Yup. And it seems like somebody took one of it away. Although it was located between Florence and Belasra. They left some mysterious message saying ‘Welcome to Centaur Labyrinth’ that didn’t serve as a clue but… what’s wrong, Onii?”
Even though I denied it, that manner of speech felt familiar.
Or rather, there’s no doubt about it?
It was probably Jofre and Elize who left that ‘Welcome to Centaur Labyrinth’ message behind.
Doesn’t that mean they are holding onto a gem that seals the Demon Lord’s power?
As I was thinking, I sensed presences approaching us.
“Miri ― there.”
Miri restrained me and looked towards the corner down the path that the presence was coming from.
A group dressed in silver armor ran pass.
It was a squad of about ten people. A person from that group turned towards us and called out.
“Squad Leader, I sense some presence in that direction.”
“Are they strong?”
“They are quite weak.”
“Then leave them be. Our goal has been achieved. We’ll head for the transfer circle.”
It seems like one of them had Presence Detection.
But, what did he mean by quite weak?
“(I used Status Forgery. The skill capable of altering status can even trick people with greater than Presence Detection II skill.)”
Miri said to me quietly.
I chanted and blocked the sound.
“Miri, who were those people?”
I asked in a normal tone.
“They seem to be a squad from the Church. I don’t know what they are doing here but we should let sleeping dogs lie.”
“A squad from the Church huh. They seem like an army.”
To me, they seemed like the Crusaders we had back on Earth.
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