Chapter 1 : Subjugation of an Arch-Nemesis
Campaign against the Bear.
Hajime is not how he was before!
* * *
“Chew, chew…Even the rabbit meat sucks.”
Hajime was the person currently eating the rabbit. That’s right, the rabbit demon. Once these kicking experts looked down on him but now they were just food to him. He had expected the meat to taste better since it was a rabbit, but it was still demon flesh. It was just bad like normal.
The rabbit’s whole body was consumed in one sitting. Once he acquired “Iron Stomach”, he proceeded to eat as much as he want and could. Hajime was especially hungry after he used his magic. In order to kill this rabbit, he had used quite a bit of power. He wouldn’t die since he had the sacred water, but he had to use his power carefully; the starvation sensation that could happen if he overused his power was not something he wanted.
The rabbit was defeated because he had trapped it. Drawing the rabbit to the river was the starting point. When it passed by the river, he sprinkled water onto the rabbit. He produced an overpowered lightning afterwards. Donner was fired upon it and just as expected the rabbit blew up in a cloud of smoke.
A bullet accelerated with electromagnetic force going at 3.2 km per second [Mach 9.3] was pretty hard to avoid; the rabbit’s head was blown to pieces when it collided with the bullet. Maybe it wasn’t necessary to use the electric shock. Donner’s firepower was tremendous.
“This is the first time I ate a rabbit…Status!”
17 Years Old
Transmutation Artist (Synergist)
It seems his status goes up when he eats a demon. He noticed that repeatedly eating the same type of demon has a severe diminishing return on the improvements, and eating new type of demons greatly increased his stats.
Hajime wanted to test out “Divine Step.” First, he had to picture an image of the skill, the steps the rabbit made. The focal point was speed; speed so fast that only a blur was seen. He had to guess what [Flicker] did. Hajime remembered that on earth it was known as a famous high-speed movement skill.
An image of the ground exploding from the force of his movement was what he pictured. Magic was gathered instantly to his feet. His step caused a depression on the ground and he vanished. The next time he knew he dived face first into a wall.
“Ouch! C-Controlling this is hard.”
Still, it was a success. If he kept practicing he should be able to move like the rabbit. With his firearm, this would make a powerful combination.
Next was [Air Walk]. This move wasn’t easily activated. Just knowing the name wasn’t enough to perform the skill. While trying stuff out, he remembered when the rabbit made a scaffold out of thin air. Immediately, Hajime started to imagine a transparent shield in the air. He leapt at it to test it.
His face dove straight into the ground.
Both his hands went up to hold his face as he trashed on the ground. Writhing in pain, he took a sip of the sacred water to reduce the pain.
“Well, at least I did it…”
The reason he dived into the ground was because when he jump his lower body met the scaffold. What is important is the reason for his stumble. It seems like [Air Walk] was a Special Magic that allowed him to make transparent platforms in the air.
It was great to get two Special Magic in one go; these skills that were derived from “Divine Step.” With this feeling he started to train. His goal was the bear. Hajime would probably be able to defeat it with long distance shooting but he trained just in case. There was the possibility that an even stronger demon could appear. An optimistic person is a dead person in this labyrinth. Once he defeated the bear, he had to search for a way out of here.
Hajime psyched himself up.
* * *
In the labyrinth passage, there was a shadow moving so fast that the only a blurry figure was seen.
The figure was Hajime. Hajime had mastered all of “Divine Step.” He quick stepped around the passage. Using his Air Walk he created platforms to traverse on and repeated his high speed movement; as he searched for his nemesis. Usually a person would prioritizes escaping this area but no matter what Hajime wanted to kill that bear. His heart broke once, he couldn’t help but want to fight the monster that caused it.
When he encountered a pack of wolves; one of them leapt at him. Using a wire he carefully fired off Donner, which was fixed to his right thigh, while he somersaulted in the air.
A bullet being propelled by the explosion of the powdered Combustion Stone and electromagnetic force struck true at its first target. The wolf’s head was crushed instantly. Using “Air Walk” he further in the air. He continuously discharged his firearm towards the jumping wolf. All the targets were not hit, but somehow all of his enemies perished before he emptied his chambers.
Hajime placed Donner between his left armpit, and quickly reloaded. He continued on his mission without glancing back at the wolves’ corpses.
After killing wolves and rabbits for a bit; he finally found his target.
The bear was currently enjoying a meal. Its meal looked like one of those rabbits. When he confirmed it was his arch-nemesis, Hajime laughed fearlessly and advanced towards it.
The bear was the strongest monster on this level; you can even call it a Lord. There were many wolves and rabbits on this level, but there was only one bear. On this level the bear was invincible. All of the demons here payed extra attention to avoid it. A full retreat was in order if they ever encountered him; not even one thought of resistance. No one would voluntarily face it.
However, that was exactly was happening in front of its face.
“Yo, Bear. Long time no see. Was my arm delicious?”
The beast narrowed its sharp eyes. What kind of creature was in front of it? Why is it not showing its back? Why did it not freeze in fear or had despair in its eyes? For the situation to not carry out like usually, all the bear could do was be perplexed.
“It’s a revenge match. I’ll make you understand that I am an enemy, not a prey.”
Hajime extracted Donner and pointed the muzzle at the bear. While in that pose, he questioned himself in his mind. Scared? No. His eyes do not fall into despair; his body did not shake in fear. There is only the earnest desire to survive and rid his adversary.
Hajime’s lips raise and change into a fearless smile.
“I’m going to kill you then devour you.”
At that declaration, he discharged Donner. Bang! An explosive noise echoed and a bullet made of Tauru ore sped towards the bear at over Mach 9.
The bear instantly threw its body on the ground to avoid the shot. It avoided the bullet it could not see; the evasive action was earlier than the discharge. Most likely it anticipated the shot from the bloodlust coming off Hajime. As expected of the Lord of this level. For something over 2 m tall, it had a startling reaction speed. It was not able to fully avoided injury, and a part of its shoulder was gouged out; spraying blood onto its white fur.
Anger dwelled in the bear’s eyes. He had finally acknowledged Hajime as an enemy.
Roaring, it rushed forward with tremendous speed. Seeing the figure of a 2 m tall beast with spread out stout arms, was a very imposing image.
“Haha! That’s it! I’m your enemy! Not some prey you can hunt!”
While taking in the frightful pressure from the bear, Hajime did not break his smile. Here was the turning point. Thoughts of his left arm and broken heart racked his brain. The cause of his apostasy was going down. A ceremony needed to move towards the future. If he didn’t, his heart would not compromise; this he believed in.
The bear comes rushing back. Donner is fired. A supersonic bullet drove towards the area in between the bear’s eyebrows, but somehow the charging bear was able to avoid it. How did he have such a reaction for such a massive figure?
When the bear had entered its strike range, it brandished its claws. The Special Magic it had was activated, and its three claws seemed to distort. In Hajime’s mind, the memory of the bisected rabbit that tried to dodge that move; played in his mind. Instead of dodging at the last moment, he choose to back step in full force.
In a grand style, the bear’s claws passed the area Hajime left. The claws did not touch the ground at all; three groves were engraved into the ground.
The bear gave an irritated roar at missing his target. Clang-clang, something rolled close to the bear. A dark green ball-shaped object about 5 cm in diameter caught the bears attention as it laid at its feet. The moment the bear was able to study it, the object emitted an intense light.
Hajime had made this flash grenade. The principle is simple. Fill a Green Light Stone’s magic to the brim. Coat the stone’s surface so the light does not escape. Powdered Combustion Stone is compressed into the center of the flash grenade. A line of Combustion Stone powder is used as a fuse; it leads to the hole into the center compartment. Using “Lightning Clad”, Hajime lights the outside powder that will fire up the compressed center. When the ignition reaches the center, we get the explosion. The moment it breaks, the stone will release all the light it had hoarded. Hajime had created the fuse to last 3 seconds. There were a lot of problems, but it was a gem of pride for Hajime.
The bear had never encountered such a weapon, so it was completely blinded for a moment when it stared right at it. While flourishing his arm in chaos, it struggled to roar. Not being able to see anything caused it to panic.
Hajime was not going to let this chance go. Donner was once again fired. The bullet that was electromagnetically accelerated hit the left shoulder of the bear, and blew it away from the base.
A terrified scream originated from the bear when it suffered a never known sensation in its pain free life. Abundant amount of blood started to flow from the wound. The left arm that was blown off was twirling in the arm, and fell on the ground with a thud.
“Wow, what a coincidence…”
That was not his intended aim. Hajime was still not an expert marksman. He had fought with many enemies that just rushed forward. Unless you had full knowledge of its movement, it was very difficult to fire a pinpoint shot. So the bullet taking the left arm was totally not planned.
Hajime continued to fire at the rampaging bear that had not recovered. Even though the bear was confused, it instinctively reacted to the bloodlust that came with the shot; it jumped to the side to avoid it. Using his “Flicker”, Hajime landed near the bear’s fallen arm. To the slightly recovered bear, he lifted the left arm to show it off.
A bit slowly, using his strengthened jaw from consuming demon flesh; he tore into the bear flesh. He was reproducing the nightmare that the bear showed him.
“Chew… Chew… As always, it sucks. How is it better than the other though?”
While he said it, Hajime crouches down while being vigilant of the bear. Bear did not move. There was no fear in its eyes. Still, it couldn’t move carelessly because of its recovering eyesight and the show he just saw.
At that intermission, he continued his meal. Then came the incident. The intense pain he felt the first time he ate demon flesh returned.
Hurriedly, Hajime tried to take the sacred water. Though it wasn’t as fierce as that time, he could not fully stand; he fell to one knee and his face distorted from the pain. Because the bear had so much more power than the wolf and rabbit; it was going to cause the pain.
The bear did not care about his situation. When it saw the chance, it started to charge again. Hajime did not move from his crouch. At this rate he would be trampled. When it seemed like it would be a reproduction of their first meeting; Hajime’s lips split into a grin.
He put Donner back in its holster, and pressed the ground with his right hand. His hand became clad with lightning. A maximum powered “Lightning Clad” traversed the liquid on the ground. When the bear stepped into the area, the power ruthlessly assaulted him.
The liquid on the ground was the bear’s blood. A sea of blood scattered like fountains. Hajime picked up the bear’s bleeding left arm, and scattered the blood to the winds. He connected the surrounding blood puddles with his. Eating in battle and showing off was not something he did. Although he did not factor in the possibility of pain from consuming the flesh. Hajime had already intended to lay a trap for it. He wanted to eat the arm to anger the bear enough to get it to rush straight at him. The plan went a little haywired, but the results were alright.
When the bear stepped into the sea of blood, the strong electric current and voltage violated its body. Nerve to nerve it ravished; grilled the muscles. Even at full power, Hajime’s Special Magic fall short of the original. He couldn’t launch his lightning and also his output was halved. At this moment, it was enough to temporarily paralyze. It wouldn’t be weird if this spell had enough power to vaporize a human.
The bear fell down with a thud into a puddle of its own blood. Its eyes were still bright and glaring at Hajime.
Hajime just returned the glare. Slowly he stood up while enduring the pain. Unholstering Donner, he placed the muzzle on the bear’s head.
“Become my chow.”
After he said his words, he pulled the trigger. The bullet faithfully executed its master’s will; it pulverized the bear’s head.
The gunshot ripped an echo through the labyrinth. Not for a moment did the bear takes its eyes off Hajime, not even till the end. Neither did Hajime.
There was no exhilarating feeling like he imagined, but he didn’t feel empty either. He just did what he had to. In order to live, in order to earn the right to survive in this area.
Hajime closed his eyes, and faced his own heart. He determined he would live this way. Fighting was not something he liked. Pain was not his ideal companion. Starving was on the last of his to do list. Live, was what he wanted to do. He crushed unreasonableness, like he would to his enemies. All in order to survive.
He will live that way…And…Return home.
“Yeah, I want to return. Other things did not matter. I’ll find my own way home. I will fulfill my wish. Anyone that gets in my way, no matter the being…”
Hajime opened his eyes and broke into a fearless laugh.
* * *
17 Years Old
Transmutation Artist (Synergist)