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Chapter 121 – Unceasing Black Flame
When I woke up, I saw Aisha-sama and Shara waiting beside me anxiously.
But when they realized that I’ve woken up, relief washed over their faces.
[You’ve come around? Thank goodness…]
Shara jumped and hugged me while calling out my name. Apparently she was really worried.
Soon after, the girl was sobbing on my chest.
[I’m fine already, but the battle was still ongoing back there.]
I wished I could comfort Shara until she calmed down, but I had to return there immediately.
Getting up from the bed, I noticed that I’d been properly clothed, so I took some time to thank the two.
[You even prepared all my equipment.]
[Of course. A holy knight must be ready to go into battle at any time. I, as a wife of a holy knight, understand this the most. If there was a crisis near the capital, there was no way we could comfortably sleep in our pajamas.]
[Thank you very much.]
[It’s for you after all. You are going, am I right?]
Aisha-sama came closer to me while smiling. Somehow, I felt strangely relieved when I looked at her face.
As a holy knight’s wife, she understood the feeling the most. Having to send off her husband Mason…and watched as he never returned.
Even so, Aisha-sama still prepared and send me off all the same because she believed in me. I shouldn’t betray that expectation.
[Of course. I will bring back Roxy. For sure!]
[Such a fine expression. One belonging to a great Knight! Alright, here]
Aisha-sama handed to me the black sword that was standing on the bedside before. Last time I touched this sword was only yesterday, but it felt like a long time ago.
I again thanked them, and promptly dashed to the window and jumped out. It’s a bad manner, I know, but it’s an emergency.
[Fate-sama, be careful and do your best!]
[I leave Roxy in your hands!]
With those encouraging voices urging me on,.my power burst forth as I crossed the courtyard in a single bound.
I went past the holy knight residential area in a hurry, then heading out to the gate through the commercial district.
Placing my hand on the sword’s handle while activating 《Mind Reading》, I heard a voice that remained unchanged despite everything that happened recently.
『Looks like you’ve returned』
[Yeah, but it’s not…]
『Over yet, isn’t it?』
[Right. By the way, Greed! Tell me about this ‘Door to that Land’ thing]
『So you want to know…..but, it’s still too early for you』
[Again with that. Luna said that you’ll do exactly that.]
『That woman really can’t keep her lips tight, isn’t she? In any case, it’s the same reason why Myne choose to leave you…..』
I landed back on the ground just before the gate. There were only a few people passing by, just like before.
Perhaps it’ll return to its normal state tomorrow.
Sending a look towards the Hobgoblin forest, I could see smoke billowing up on several places. The battle against the ogres was still ongoing it seems.
I already knew where the battle is. So let’s take the shortest route!
Again, I put my utmost effort to kick the ground and jumped. Perhaps I put too much force, part of the cobblestone road leading to the gate actually broke down. I guess I’ll have to ask for repair after everything is over.
But the Capital may not be safe seeing how the battlefield is so close to it. How would I tell Eris when she returned later…?
『Are you that afraid of Eris？』
[Don’t read my mind]
『You are the one with Mind Reading skill. Anyways, what kind of monster is Roxy fighting？』
[It’s human turned monster called ogre. I have a feeling that it’s the same type that may cause repercussions if devoured by the gluttony skill, just like the nightwalker!]
They might proven to be a difficult enemy for me…Reminded of the pain when I ate a nightwalker, Greed laughed at me for being scared.
『Hahahaha! Rest assured, Fate! That monster was created through other means. Hence why it doesn’t have extraordinarily high stats』
[Aaron did said that they only have early Area E stats]
『And that’s the limit from turning into an ogre. Remember when Fate ate Tenryu, now that was a treat』
[It was indeed a treat. I should’ve let Mimir sucks more of my blood. I felt like the starvation returned just from remembering that.]
『Roxy’s soul was inside your body. It can’t be helped. Fortunately she didn’t get devoured by the Gluttony skill. You should thank that woman』
By that woman, I guess he’s referring to Luna. For some reason, Greed seemed to have a sweet spot for Luna
Anyways, he did still acted disciplined when he trained me every night on the spiritual world where Luna was residing. Apparently the act of fighting in the spiritual world had the effect of strengthening my spiritual power.
In other words, our goal was to slowly build up endurance against the gluttony skill step by step.
『Since they are just early Area E, they’d make a good material to test your training. Show me your growth』
[Yeah, I’m just happen to feel hungry too. It’ll be the first since a long while.]
Entering the hobgoblin forest, I maintained my speed as I passed by the trees. I could almost hear the sound of battle.
The sound gradually became louder as I approached.
Drawing the black sword from his sheath, using a large tree as springboard, I jumped and cut down the ogre attacking Roxy.
Hearing the familiar inorganic voice in my head, the fact that I’d truly returned to my own body finally sunk in.
《Gluttony skill activated》
《Durability+1.１E(+8), Strength+1.１E(+8), Magic+1.０E(+8), Spirit +1.０E(+8), Agility+1.０E(+8) will be applied to the status》
《Skill Stout Arm will be added to skill list》
Certainly, this status is that of an early Area E. The skill looked like a buff type.
It seemed to be similar to the Herculean Strength I obtained from the High Orc back at Gallia. Just in case, let’s 《Appraise》 it.
Stout Arm: For a duration, quadruple strength. After the duration, reduce muscle reaction to ⅕ for 1 day.
Un, the effect was twice as strong as Herculean Strength. The drawback was also half of it.
It’s definitely not an easy to use skill, but it has its worth. For example, this kind of skill was what allowed me to defeat the Tenryu.
Swiping away the ogre blood smearing the black sword, I walked toward Roxy.
Roxy also soon rushed to me.
[Are you alright…?]
And she hugged me just like that. Too bad, we were in the middle of battle.
Releasing the hug, we had a short exchange.
[I was worried]
[I know. I’ll finish this immediately]
The enemies belonged to Area E. Looking around, I found Mimir was injured, so I broke in between her and the ogre, creating a distance so that Roxy and Miria could treat her.
Looking back at the unconscious Mimir, I asked Roxy.
[How is she?]
[Her injuries don’t seem to be serious. She took the ogre attack to protect me…it was originally a very severe wound…but she’s getting better in a visible rate…what in the world is this?]
[I’ll explain later. I need to clear out the ogres first.]
The secret of Mimir’s body is not something I can divulge without her agreement. Her outer appearance might be that of a human, but her inside is something closer to me.
One can say that she has become part-monster. But it’s not a topic I could talk about.
Dust cloud soared from the direction where Roxy was pointing out. Following that was a loud roaring laugh.
It was Aaron’s. Apparently he was having fun.
I supposed he already knew that I’m already here via sensing the magic flow. He was stabbing his broken holy sword into one of the ogres’ mouth.
[You are late, Fate! At this rate I might end up killing all the ogres]
[How many are left?]
[There were seven. No, counting out the one that milord killed just now, and the one I have here, there are only five left.]
[As usual, doing things with your all]
When I was still within Roxy’s body, Aaron’s holy sword was already in a bad condition. And yet here he is, killing four ogres while defending Roxy and the others.
The more he fights, the stronger Aaron gets. I shouldn’t let myself got left behind.
[But thank goodness for your arrival. One managed to escape me and attacked Roxy. I heard Mimir’s cry, but I was surrounded by the ogres and could not free myself from them]
As he put an end to the ogre who was under his foot, Aaron muttered [Not done yet, huh].
Along with the ogre’s deathcry, the sword finally gave way and broke with a loud metal noise that echoed throughout the forest. That was its last moment.
[That is it for me. Can I leave the rest to you?]
Aaron said as he put the broken holy sword back to its scabbard.
Then he laughed,
[It has been a while, has it not? If the urge is not satisfied occasionally, it will just feel awkward.]
[I wonder about the prospect thought. They can’t be considered an opponent for me.]
[I am still milord’s adoptive father after all. I should know it if it’s just that much. Leave Roxy to me, go wild!]
He tapped my shoulder and fall back. Aaron then carried Mimir who was being treated by Miria.
[Roxy, Miria, leave the rest to Fate. We will return to the capital in advance.]
Roxy seemed to want to say something. However, she left without saying anything else.
The trace of magic I sensed told me that they’re moving at a fairly fast pace. They’ll be out of hobgoblin forest in just a few minutes.
Why the rush!? It’s not like I’m gonna level the entire hobgoblin forest.
As the remaining ogres started appearing from behind the trees, I could hear Greed laughing.
『See that, then you just have to go wild as Aaron told！』
[Don’t say something stupid. This forest is also the source of water for the capital. I’m still a Holy Knight. Shame on you for even suggesting that to me.]
『Kukuku, well……alright. So you’ll only kill the ogres?』
Whilst making fun of me, Greed changed form into the black staff. Oioi…by this, you mean you want me to use it!?
『It’ll be a problem if you don’t accustomed yourself in using the fourth form. Today you’ll only fight while using this form！』
[Oi, you little! Don’t act so selfish, turn back!]
『No can do』
The fourth form was too powerful. I couldn’t afford to use it while fighting Rafal as we were inside the capital.
Otherwise, the capital would most likely drowned in a sea of fire. The fourth form requires an extremely delicate control.
To me, its secret technique 《Twilight Healing》 was actually far more easier to control than its regular attack. Because the secret’s main function was to fully recover a target without destroying anything, going overboard with it is alright.
『You must kill those ogres, while keeping the hobgoblin forest intact…..let me see how you do that now』
[Fine. I’ll do just that!]
『Not only weathering the distraction caused by the starvation. You must also polish your control!』
I raised the black staff toward the incoming ogres. There were five of them, just like Aaron said.
The goblin shaman who had been commanding them was already gone, therefore their acts showed no sign of them being controlled by higher intelligence. In fact, seeing them looking at while drooling made me think if they have any intelligence at all.
They seemed to be moving purely out of instinct to kill human.
[They act more like a monster…moreover…]
No, at the moment I should focus on controlling the black staff. I could also see why Greed did this little prank.
Even though I have the lower ranked forms, I mustn’t be complacent by relying only on them.
If I find it difficult to control the fourth form, then how about the fifth form?
Let’s just experimenting for now. I let one of the ogres who were eager to eat me to come close to me.
Then, using the tip of the staff, I hit the ogre’s belly with a light tap.
Black flame burst forth from the point of impact, engulfing the ogre. It rolled around on the ground, but the flame refused to die down.
It’s curse taking the form of black fire.
Even as the ogre had already been burnt to nothingness, the flame still burned on the ground.
[The black flame…won’t stop?]
Apparently it’s still far from being controllable. I quietly listened to the inorganic voice as I turned my sight to the remaining four ogres.