The Audience Chamber — Part 1
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
“Shit… My friggin hand…” I cursed and grimaced as I grit my teeth and tried to bear with it. Oh god, the pain. Seriously, what the hell Yuki? You can’t just leave the guy you finished off with a fancy one-liner if you’re dripping in cold sweat!
The pervert’s sword was still stuck in my arm. I stared at it for a moment and hesitated, but soon made up my mind. Aw, what the hell. I might as well just get it over with. I pulled on the weapon and drew it from my flesh in one go.
“Arggghhhhhhh! Mother fucker!” Blood immediately started to pour from the wound as profanities and screams of agony poured from my throat. I immediately cast it aside by throwing it away. Aw man… This is awful. This hurts so bad I think I might cry.
My sword wound was obviously the worst of my injuries, but it wasn’t the only thing that hurt. Impaling my foe had caused the fingers in that hand to bend the wrong way. They definitely looked broken, and the pain I felt from them told roughly the same tale.
Of course, all my troubles had stemmed from the fact that my finishing blow wasn’t something that I had planned ahead of time. It was something instinctive, an attack that I had done on the spur of the moment. Thankfully, it actually finished him, or else I’d be in some real deep shit right about now.
I had thought to myself just a bit earlier in the day that amateurs like me shouldn’t attempt things that only professionals knew how to do. And yet, I had gone and done it again. The manga I had read in my previous life had often depicted characters performing barehanded attacks much like the one I had just carried out, so I’d thought that I would be fine. But now, I knew for a fact that the characters in question had only ever seemed fine because they were putting up a front. There was simply no way the act wouldn’t have caused their fingers to break. And now I know why they say not to try things you see on TV or whatever at home.
I opened up my item box and reached inside with the hand with the broken fingers. The other hand’s fingers simply didn’t want to respond to me at all, so I didn’t really have much of a choice. I then used the palm of my hand to retrieve a high-grade potion, or elixir as the king had called it, and popped the cork with my teeth. Without any further delay, I began pouring the liquid all over my sword wound.
I leaked an anguished groan the moment the liquid touched me, but the pain soon subsided as the wound promptly began to fix itself. The process was basically the exact opposite of the process that had led to its injury; I almost felt like I was watching a video of the wound getting opened up in reverse. Before long, the whole thing disappeared. There wasn’t a trace of it left. It was almost like it had never existed to begin with.
I used my now-fixed arm to grab ahold of the potion and poured it on my other hand’s fingers, which made an unpleasant cracking noise as they too went back to normal in a matter of moments. Wait, didn’t I literally just convince myself to be a bit more careful about using them outside the Wicked Forest? Yeah no. Why the hell would I do that when these things are so goddamn convenient? Just one of them fixed me up in no time flat. For fuck’s sake, what kind of idiot would even suggest being more prudent in the first place? Oh wait, it was me.
In the long run, I viewed the whole series of events as a learning experience, and I did, in fact, learn a lot about just how useful the potions could be. Hoarding them was way more of a waste than just straight up using them whenever I felt the need, especially if my reason for not using them was that I was too afraid of what others might think. Therefore, as illustrated in the proof above, not using them is simply not an option. QED.
I picked up my magical handgun and holstered it before pulling Zaien from the earth and propping it up on top of my shoulders. Only after checking to make sure my weapons were in place did I finally look back down at him.
“He really was a strong one though,” I muttered. Man, I seriously thought that last attack was going to kill me. My face would totally be on the end of a blade right now if I didn’t manage to twist my arm just a bit and throw his stab off course. I basically only won because my stats were higher than his.
The pervert’s blade was the fastest I’d ever seen. I was only able to track it because of the ridiculous kinetic vision granted to me by my demon lord tier body. Another interesting thing to note was that my stats trumped his despite the fact that his level was much higher than mine. The people I’d analyzed led me to believe that, as a race, humanity had great potential for growth. Yet, despite that, not even an orichalcum class adventurer, an individual that stood close to humanity’s apex, had stats that matched my own.
Humans were just quantitatively inferior. And it wasn’t something that they seemed to be able to ultimately overcome. That said, it wasn’t like I could just go ahead and fight a bunch of orichalcum adventurers all at once. That would be a recipe for disaster. I’d get stomped on and rekt. I should probably work on both the dungeon’s defences and getting stronger myself as soon as I get back. But that’s a thought for later. I’ve pretty much done everything I needed to do here, so I should go ahead and catch up with Nell and her buddies for the time being.
I happened to hear the sound of shattering glass right as the thought passed through my mind. Accompanying it was a great clamour, a mass of voices so loud I could hear it from outside the castle.
And it was all coming from up above.
“I wonder what’s happening up there?” As interested as I was, my current angle didn’t allow me to see much at all. Maybe the knights ended up getting into a big fight or something. I mean, we’re talking about a castle here, so up top is probably where all the important people are gathered, right? The knights were probably headed up too, so a fight seems pretty likely. Welp. No point sitting here twiddling my thumbs. Might as well head over.
While I did want to get up to where the knights were, I wasn’t interested in slowly making my way through the castle. That just sounded like a royal pain in the ass. I guess I’ll just fly.
I both scanned the area and checked the map to make sure there wasn’t anyone looking in my direction before activating stealth, sprouting both pairs of wings, and leaping into the air. I felt myself almost leave the bounds of gravity as a floaty sensation enveloped my entire being. The ground, which had been right before my face, suddenly shrank beneath me.
After getting a bit closer to the source, I peered through the broken window. There, I saw a fierce melee. The hero, Carlotta, and the rest of the rescue squad had taken up a defensive formation around the king in order to keep him safe from a group of soldiers that I assumed were most likely affiliated with the prince.
There was no comparing the two groups. The knights were so much stronger than the soldiers that they were taking them down with one or two blows each. Or at least that was what it had looked like out of the corner of my eye.
My focus was directed elsewhere. My gaze was centred on a single man standing on top of an elevated platform at the back of the room. He was dressed well, and his stance made him look like a cocky little shit. The way the soldiers were protecting him made it obvious that he was the prince I had been looking for.
I used Analyze just to make sure. And found something… interesting. Something I didn’t expect. I was so surprised that I started running my mouth in a way I typically didn’t. Now hol’ up a fuckin’ secon’! Dis muddafukka’s already dead!