Reaching a Conclusion
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
One of the first things I did as I strayed into a room that looked like a gaudy office was analyze the corpses I created on my way in.
Axe Arts I
Speed Reading I
The only conclusion I could possibly draw from my analysis was that humans were weak. Every single one of the men I had just slain was a veritable piece of human trash. They lived their lives as members of the underworld and actively engaged in the application of force. Yet, they remained completely useless in combat. Their stats were almost all in the one to two hundred range, which was a far cry from the six hundredish of everything that I had started with. Hell, their MP and magic stats are even worse than Illuna’s. And she’s literally a child. Like, holy shit. Now I see why the dungeon decided to just go ahead and make me a demon. Humans ain’t worth jack.
“So? You seen her?” I spoke in a malevolent tone as I kicked aside the corpses in my way and walked towards the only man I had left alive. The chair was already occupied by the morbidly obese, sorry excuse for a human being, so I sat down on the desk in front of him instead. I had already described Illuna’s appearance to the man, but he didn’t quite seem as cooperative as I had hoped.
“You won’t get away with this, you little shit! Don’t you know who I am!?”
“Sorry Porky, but as far as I can tell, you don’t look any different from the next pig. You’re all just livestock. If you want someone to be able to tell you apart, then you better call in a god damned farmer.”
I casually retrieved a dagger off one of the nearby corpses and used it to nail the pig’s arm to his chair as I insulted him.
“D-Do you really think you can get away with this!?” the pig stuttered. “The nobles aren’t going to keep their mouths sharrtjahgjkshdgkh!?”
“Stop that,” I glared at the pig as I drilled my foot into his face. “Stop spitting everywhere. It’s gross, and it’s making me really want to kill you.”
I was unable to immediately slit the man’s throat because I had to ask him for Illuna’s whereabouts. I scoured the manor, but I was never able to find her, regardless of how many scumbags I cut down. I had used a skill to search for any enemies remaining in the area. The results it produced were what led me to the office.
Likewise, Rir was also doing his best to find the little vampire. He too was wandering the manor, his nose as his guide.
“I guess all that fat you’ve got is stopping my words from getting through to you. I’m not repeating myself again, so listen carefully, Porky.” I raised my blade and pressed it against the oversized pig’s neck. Oh wait, this is the perfect chance to do the thing.
I had yet to test out my weapon’s ability to intoxify my foes. They’d all been far too weak for me to bother. But now, I had the perfect thing to test it on, and I saw no reason to discard the opportunity. A series of geometric patterns appeared on the blade as the magical circuits reacted to the mana I channeled through the weapon. The toxic liquid the blade secreted slowly dripped down its edge. Everything it touched would sizzle in the same way as something that had been exposed to sulfuric acid. Seeing the effect caused the man to twitch, almost like he’d been zapped by a sudden jolt of electricity.
“And if you can’t answer me, then I’m probably gonna get real sad. Sad enough to accidentally let my blade slip.” I purposefully made my hand tremble a bit to burn the threat into his mind. “Now, dig into those memories of yours, Porky. I’m looking for a 7-8 year old vampire. She’s got blonde hair and is about as tall as you’d expect anyone her age to be.”
“I-I don’t know!!” Porky answered me right away, but the answer he so desperately shouted wasn’t the one I’d wanted to hear.
“The fuck you just say…?”
“I-I’m not lying! I really don’t know! No one knows! She just upped and vanished!”
The pig realized that he grabbed my attention, so he immediately began babbling as fast as he possibly could. The words left his mouth so quickly that I almost found his actions entertaining. Long story short, Illuna had somehow managed to escape, all on her own. They knew that she was tenacious enough to escape into the Wicked Forest’s depths, so they’d given her a special set of magically enhanced shackles and even assigned a pair of guards to keep watch. In spite of all their efforts, Illuna had still managed to escape.
She had already been sold, and delivering her was all they needed to complete the transaction. They began frantically searching the area for the girl’s whereabouts the moment she disappeared, only to be interrupted by the incoming draconic horde; we had cut their search short.
And that was all the information they had. The only way I could learn anything else was by questioning the pair that was in charge of keeping an eye on her. But it was too late. Their heads were amongst the pile I’d created when I first barged into the office. Welp. There goes that lead. Guess this means I might’ve been a bit too trigger happy.
Thinking about it led me to recall that Illuna had been on the run when I first found her. Smart as she was, the young vampire had judged that there was no point in remaining in her cage, so she broke out and escaped.
I had no idea exactly how she managed it all, but I didn’t particularly care. All that mattered was the fact that she was okay.
“I’m back, boss! And I’ve brought reinforcements!”
Oh great. More scum. I rolled my eyes as I looked towards the man that had just entered the room.
“Excellent work!” Porky cackled triumphantly before pointing at me with a huge grin on his face. “You’re a moron! Did you really think that I was scared of you. I was just buying time so… my rein…forcements… could…”
He’d started off with an absurdly cocky tone, but soon began trailing off, eyes wide, for the man wasn’t the only thing to arrive. Rir had too. In fact, the wolf had casually knocked the newly arrived man aside by swatting him the same way he would have a mosquito. The man was unable to react to the sudden development; his head ended up smashing into the wall, spilling its contents all over.
“Looks like she’s not here,” I said to the wolf.
“I-It’s not over yet! M-my reinforcements will—” Porky started prattling again, but I was sick of it.
“Your reinforcements? You mean the guys with their entrails splattered all over the hallway?” I directed Porky’s eyes towards the hallway. It seemed to be filled with a bunch of fresh corpses—ones I didn’t remember creating. Evidently, Rir had happened to squish a scumbag or two on his way over.
“Damn it!” Porky grabbed a sword off a nearby corpse and swung it at me. Only now had he finally realized that waiting on his men was fruitless. “Take this, you bastard!”
“Oh come on, you seriously think that’s gonna hit? You need some serious exercise, Porky.” I avoided the attack with ease before retaliating by giving the pigman’s shoulder a light nick.
The amount of damage the cut inflicted was tiny, but Porky Pig began writhing in pain and screeching in agony, for the blade’s poison had entered his system through the wound. The colour of his flesh changed as the toxins slowly began invading his body, eating him from the inside out. Sweating profusely, Porky extended an arm towards me in an attempt to beg for salvation.
“Wow, Porky. You don’t look so good. It looks like I should probably excuse myself and let you get some much needed rest.” I gave the pig a casual sidelong glance as I excused myself and left the room.
Upon exiting the manor, Rir and I found ourselves surrounded. A group of humans had been waiting for me just outside the entrance, where they stood in a semi-circular formation. Every last man had their weapons drawn and pointed straight at us. Wow. Talk about being vigilant. All they’re up against is a dog and its owner.
Only then did I finally understand why we hadn’t encountered any of the city’s guards inside the manor. Unlike the ruffians, the guards were trained. They knew not to recklessly charge in without first uncovering their foes’ identity. Their equipment was in good order, their movements were agile, and their decisions were rational. It was clear that they were true warriors, men who earned their keep through the practice of war. Ugh… What a pain in the ass.
Though I could’ve dealt with the men, I decided not to. I flat out ignored them as I took a deep breath and shouted at the top of my lungs. “ILLUUUUUUNAAAAAAAA!!”
“Yuki! You came!”
I had raised my voice because I had expected the young vampire to take refuge a bit further away. But, much to my surprise, she’d actually been nearby. Turning towards its source, I found myself face to face with an empty alleyway, in which she suddenly appeared. The effect looked like one based in magic; she’d basically popped out of a random building’s shadow.
She pitter pattered towards me and leapt into my arms, so I gave her a tight squeeze and gently pat her over the head. “There you are! Good job getting out on your own! I’m really proud of you.”
“Mhm! I did my very very best!” She buried her face into my chest as her eyes began to water. But then, as if suddenly recalling something, she jerked her face back upwards. Her expression was one of pain. It looked like she was about to burst into tears. “I’m not the only one they caught. There are lots of others. Please, please help them!”
“…” I looked at her for a moment before nodding. “Got it. I’ll make sure I do something about it, so how about you and Rir go on ahead?”
“Okay! Thanks so much! Me and Rir will wait ‘till you’re done!” Illuna smiled cheerfully as she nodded.
“No problem,” I said, before turning to the wolf. “Take Illuna and get out of town. I’ll be there soon.”
Rir looked a bit worried for my safety, but he ended up acknowledging his orders with a nod. He placed Illuna on his back and kicked off the ground.
“The wolf’s making an escape!” One of the guards pointed towards Rir and shouted.
“That’s fine! Just ignore it!” shouted the commander. His subordinates once again demonstrated how well trained they were by following his orders to the letter. They immediately redirected their attention and turned their weapons back towards me.
But I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t have the liberty to be impressed.
“Accursed humans…“ My mind was so clouded with crimson that I forgot my own former identity and loosed a feral roar.. “I’ll kill you! I’ll kill every single last one of you!”
My magical energy mirrored my rage and overflowed from my body. It blew out all the windows in my vicinity. The air seemed to tremble in the same way it would if it had potent electrical currents coursing through it. As my mana leaked into my surroundings, the armed men began to collapse, one after another. They simply toppled over, unconscious.
The pure anger within me had stemmed all from a single source.
Someone had hit her. Someone had left a visible bruise on her face. And that someone had been human.
I saw no reason to allow a race that would brazenly beat young children to be allowed to continue existing without consequence or fear.
I grinded my teeth against each other and gripped my greatsword with such force that its handle began warping out of shape.
“Calm yourself, Yuki.” Something wrapped itself around my back right as my anger reached its peak. Its warmth comforted me and abated my rage, melting it away like snow in springtime.
“Lefi…” I spoke the name of the girl that had embraced me. She was standing on her tiptoes so she could rest her chin on my shoulders and whisper straight into my ears. Her ever familiar scent was, for reasons I failed to understand, soothing.
“Calm yourself,” she repeated. “You have already achieved your goal. You have retrieved Illuna and rewarded those that have hurt her with their well deserved retribution. You’ve not any more business here. It is time to return.”
“More importantly, I am rather famished. The work I have done today was significant. I take that you will provide me a meal befitting my efforts?” She spoke cheerfully as she flashed me a grin.
“Yeah, I guess it’s only fair.” I too couldn’t help but smile as I responded to her, albeit wryly. “I’ll go all out and feed you the best sweet I’ve got.”
“The best you have, you say!? That does sound rather appealing.” she said. “I trust that it will live up to my expectations?”
“Heh.” I smirked. “Don’t be silly. It’ll be so good it’ll totally blow your taste buds away and desensitize you to sweetness for days.”
“D-Days? Perhaps I may do best to proceed its consumption with caution…”
The way Lefi had spoken to me was no different from usual, so I too had reciprocated in kind. And before long, I found myself restored to my usual state of mind.
I had finally managed to calm down.
“I-I apologize for interrupting, but… are you a demon?” The sole conscious human approached us and timidly addressed us. Unlike the others, he had only fallen to his knees.
“What do you want, old man?”
“I-I am Raylow Lurubia, this city’s governor. Am I correct in assuming that you’ve only visited our humble town because you wished to pick up a relative?”
“Pretty much. Some asshole kidnapped my little sister, so we came to pick her up.”
“I-I’m terribly sorry,” stuttered the man. “I would like to extend you an invitation to my manor as an apology.”
The hell? I’m pretty sure he knows that I’m a demon, and that demons and humans don’t exactly get along. Why the hell would he invite us over? Only after a moment’s contemplating did I realize that man was nervously shooting glances in Lefi’s direction. Wait, is he analyzing her?
Double checking the man’s stats confirmed that, surely enough, he had the Analyze skill. In other words, he knew that Lefi was the Supreme Dragon. Well, turns out that Lefi wasn’t bullshitting about being a thing of legends after all. Yeah, I can kinda see how you’d start acting all subservient and shit with a literal legendary beast around.
“What say you, Yuki?” The dragon girl turned towards me. “I’ve not a preference towards either possibility.”
“I’ll accept,” I said. “There’s still one more unfinished item we’ve gotta check off before we leave.”
I had yet to fulfill Illuna’s request.
Editor’s note: Hey, guys! Joker here. Nice, Yuki finally managed to meet up with Illuna. Saw her bruise and now he’s going to go to town. Or so I thought… Oh well. At least Porky and his ilk got what they deserved, even if I wish Yuki stayed to watch him die. Bah, I can imagine it well enough, so it’s all good in the end. Yes, good. Drown on your own blood. Muhahaha. Next time, I hope we get to see him stick it to the governor about why the hell they sent people after Illuna, and to warn them exactly what will happen if they try and take her again. Also, I wanna try something. If you’ve got a question for me, leave it in the comments below with the hashtag #AskJoker and I’ll answer it in the next chapter’s editors notes.. Yeah, I know. Creative and all that. But it’s just something I wanna try out. If no one likes it, I’ll stop. *shrug* Just curious to see what kind of turn out I get. Who knows, it might blow up in my face, we get over 100 comments on the chapter, and boss’ll ask me what the hell I was thinking. At least then, senpai would notice me…. Uh, anyway, that’s all for now. See y’all in the next chapter!