[The God of Light is really moved by you.]
[The God of Light seems to be favoring you.]
[The God of the Sky acknowledges you.]
[The God of Harvest is flustered.]
I regained consciousness.
I don't know when I regained consciousness.
This is a problem that happens when your senses become dulled.
Everything was hazy, as if I was submerged in water.
First, I need to check if my senses have remained intact.
I rubbed my fingertips together.
My senses weren't all dead.
Plus, I could move my hands and arms.
Only the left side, however.
I had always had a high opinion of it; the inventory is definitely a great function.
It was comparable to a god's skill.
Because of its accessibility, even though my sight and my hearing were destroyed, I could pull out what I wanted.
I roughly popped off the top of the elixir bottle.
And I poured it about where I believed my mouth would be.
If my neck hasn't been twisted in a strange way, it should've gone down properly.
I poured down the entire bottle that way and waited.
I could feel all the senses in my body returning to normal.
Fortunately, the elixir had properly gone into my mouth.
About half of the elixir had spilled from the corners of my mouth, though.
I took out another elixir from my inventory and drank it.
This time, I drank it without spilling a single drop.
My ears, which hadn't been able to hear anything until now, started to pick up a ringing sound.
Beyond the ringing that sounded as if glass was being scratched, there followed a humming sound of something great.
My eyes, which had been blinded by the strong light, were also restored.
Beyond my closed eyelids, I saw a red light.
As I waited a little longer, I became fully aware of the state of my body.
I tried moving my arms and legs, and I probed every nook and cranny of my joints and muscles.
After I was certain that I was okay, now I opened my eyes.
I felt a slight pain in my eyes.
There wasn’t anything that I saw with my hazy eyes that would give me a clue to my circumstances.
I waited a little longer for my vision to clarify.
My surroundings were burning.
The flames lingered on the barren ground and blazed on.
I felt a strong heat coming from the ground.
Flames also lingered on my body and armor as well.
I roughly stubbed the fire out.
The Demon King's summoning altar had disappeared without a trace.
The entire surrounding mountain area had transformed into a flat plateau.
Also, the landscape’s changes only reached as far as his attack traveled.
It looked as if the landscape had been artificially erased over by an eraser.
The Light Sword had been so powerful that the aftermath managed to decimate the previous topography.
I had done it. There was a renewed sense of amazement.
I felt proud of my accomplishment.
The Demon King was definitely dead.
There were two reasons for that:
First, my attack had destroyed this entire area and the Demon King had been defenselessly exposed, so I don’t think he would've been able to withstand my attack.
I had definitely sensed a tremendous amount of strength coming from the Demon King, but he wasn't so strong that he would be able to survive the aftermath of the Light Sword.
The next reason was a little more clear-cut.
I received five levels at the same time.
Recently, it has been difficult to level up even once in a single round.
It was an amount of experience points that I wouldn't have been able to attain if I hadn't defeated the Demon King.
Ah, now that I think about it.
I should be over level 51 now.
I opened my status window and checked.
[Lee Ho Jae (Human)]
I had definitely surpassed level 51.
However, there was no visible growth in my stats or my skills.
It meant that I won’t be rewarded for my level ups, even though I had surpassed level 51.
As things are I won’t be able to receive level up rewards until at least level 101.
Looking at my current growth rate, it was highly likely that I wouldn't be able to get rewards even after level 101.
As Kiri Kiri said, it would be for the best to forget about level up rewards now.
After I finished checking my status, I analyzed my circumstances.
The Demon King was dead.
His ominous mana was drifting into the air, but it was just a vestige of the skill he had used.
The demons were… it seems like there was some sort of accident.
I don't know for sure, but as they urgently stampeded down the mountain slope, it seems that the group had tumbled down.
The aftermath of my technique might've created a landslide.
Lastly, I looked at Seregia.
She was dying.
That was surprising.
My back was facing her.
Also, I had aimed my technique in front of me and it thundered straight forward.
She, who had been in the rear, wasn't at a distance where she should be so seriously wounded.
I approached the girl that was collapsed on the ground.
I got close.
The woods that she had hid in had been so thoroughly incinerated that I hadn't noticed immediately.
She was at a much closer place than her original hiding place.
At last, I understood why she was hurt.
Before I had used my technique, that girl had been approaching me.
Since she had closed the distance by that much, she had become incredibly vulnerable to my technique.
She had moved hastily, so she couldn't even protect her body.
It was that kind of reason.
Seregia's whole body was speckled with burns.
The flames had even permeated through her body.
Because of that, the mana inside of her body was also a mess.
Her breathing was erratic and a part of her limbs twitched spasmodically. The other part was like a corpse or a block of wood; it didn't seem like there was any life in it.
To repeat, it was right before she would die.
I took out another elixir bottle from my inventory and poured it down her lips.
I'm using a lot of elixirs today, though I still have a lot left over.
While I waited for her to wake up, I took out a burn ointment and applied it to her face.
I didn't save any and used the entire container.
It was medicine that I wouldn't use any more and scars might form on her face from this experience; I wanted to prevent that.
As I finished the treatment, I felt pressed by hunger.
I took out beef jerky from my inventory and chewed on it.
It has been a really long time since I'd eaten something due to hunger.
I definitely couldn't use the 'Light Sword' technique freely yet.
I have the skill to use it, but I didn't have the strength to handle it.
It was the same for the Demon King who possessed a tremendous amount of strength, but it was a strong technique that had destroyed the mountain and the altar in an instant.
It had destroyed the mountain and the altar, as well as the Demon King who wielded tremendous strength just like that. It may have been a strong technique, but I'm also at its mercy as well.
If I didn't have a stupidly sturdy body and strong willpower, as well as a tolerance to fire, I wouldn't be able to call it a Light Sword attack; rather, it would be a suicidal attack.
Compared to the Demon King's strength, if it weren't for the likes of the skills Designate Opponent, Indomitable, and Talaria's Wings boosting my strength, I wouldn't have been able to endure it.
Rather than enduring the technique, I might've not even been able to successfully pull it off.
[The God of Dueling is proud.]
[The God of Adventure is happy.]
[The God of Slowness is disappointed.]
Ah, the skill that the God of Slowness gifted me, Time Confinement, also played a huge role in this fight.
[The God of Slowness snorted.]
The God of Slowness also sulks more than I had expected.
If there was something that differentiated her from the God of Adventure, it would be that the God of Adventure lets things go easily while the God of Slowness holds on to her feelings for awhile.
Is it because she's the God of Slowness?
In any case, I set aside my thoughts on the timid gods and continued to ruminate about my Light Sword technique.
The first time I had attempted the Light Sword was in the 24th floor waiting room.
At the time, I had failed at performing the Light Sword and my right arm, as well as my abdomen had ruptured violently.
If I hadn't been inside the waiting room, I may have just died right there.
This time too, it had been plenty dangerous.
When I had used the technique, I had an abundance of confidence and my mind had become feverish, so I had used it without any hesitation. However, when I think back on it, it had been an excessively dangerous course of action.
Let's reflect on it.
No matter how loosely in regards to how I hold my life, I can't afford to die.
That would also mean my defeat.
It seems that I had been overly excited from the Demon King's strength.
During that time, I moved at full speed beating down all I could that I encountered.
However, he was the first enemy that even if I gave everything I had, I didn't know if I could win.
Before I had used the Light Sword, the strength that I had sensed from the Demon King had been double that of the Great Mother that I met on the 19th floor.
[TL and PR Note: M (the previous translator) translated it as the “Great Mother” but it’s not the way I would interpret it. I would translate it as “godmother” and have confirmed it with other translators as well. It would make even more sense considering that it’s the literal translation of the word and she was also something like a deity. Pyrenose thinks its more towards English sensibilities, but we’re just going to go with the previous translation to avoid confusion.]
That's why I had been excited.
On the contrary, right now, I was more calm than usual.
It's as if… it was a wise man's time.
[PR Note: A “wise man’s time” is a Japanese and Korean saying referring to the period after an orgasm when a man is free from sexual desire and is able to think clearly. Sort of like having an epiphany after sex.
After a giant feeling of satisfaction, I felt a sense of calmness, mixed with a little bit of shame and regret.
I still have a long way to go.
Thinking that way, I felt a little bitter.
She looked completely recovered now, so I checked Seregia once again.
She's breathing evenly now.
Her pulse is also normal.
No abnormalities in her brain.
Her mana is circulating normally.
She seems to have just fallen asleep though.
I just sighed before lifting Seregia and carrying her on my back.
And I descended the now-deserted mountain.
* * * * * *
I returned slowly on purpose.
There wasn't really any reason to rush back.
I had already defeated the Demon King and it would be over once I return to the castle and acquire the holy sword.
There was still a lot of time left before the 33 days that Kiri Kiri had bet were up.
Also, if you were to ask if I really had a reason to return slowly, I did.
The Light Sword that I had used to defeat the Demon King.
It hadn't been very long since I'd successfully used that Light Sword, so I wanted to make it completely my own.
I couldn't withstand the technique yet, but I wanted to be able to freely use the technique.
I would continue to maintain my senses after using the Light Sword, and I would repeatedly recollect that memory to improve upon myself in order to use it a little more easily as well as more efficiently.
Occasionally, after I ate, I would sit down on the road and I would repeatedly meditate for a few hours at a time.
Since I had Time Confinement, if I gave up just five minutes I could calmly meditate for several hours.
Three days passed that way before Seregia woke up.
At that time, I was sitting in the middle of a field, eating beef jerky and chocolate.
In general, I don't eat this often, but since I had consumed so much stamina in the battle the other day, I had to ingest food periodically.
Because the stamina potions didn't properly treat my fatigue, I would stop walking once every few hours and eat and rest.
What's worse, I was still exhausted even after leveling up.
I might have ended up using that life force or whatever they call it in wuxia novels.
It felt something like that.
I decided to ask Kiri Kiri about it later.
While I had those thoughts, the laid down Seregia regained consciousness.
I told Seregia, who had regained consciousness, what had happened until now.
I had defeated the Demon King, descended the mountain, and was on my way back to the Empire's fort.
Seregia, who had listened to my explanation, abruptly kneeled down.
"Please take me as your disciple," Seregia expressionlessly requested with her peculiar confidence.
And I obviously rejected her.
"I don't want to."
"That's my line. Why?"
"I saw that sword, so it's obvious. I want to see that sword, even if it’s just once more in my lifetime."
"…So you can be caught in it again and almost die?"
"Once. No, if I can see it twice more, it's alright if I die."
Seregia spoke so confidently, as if it were obvious that she'd be alright with dying and I was getting a little tired of it.
The world is vast and crazy… well in any case, that's what she said.
"Rather than that, why did you not stay put in your place and approach so closely? Lady Seregia, do you know you were really close to death?"
"At the start, I noticed that the Demon King's strength was unusual, so I was going to take you with me and run, Warrior. It looked like you were going to continue fighting, so I tried to stop you."
"…Is that so? What about what happened next?"
"I judged that there was no reason to stop you when I saw the power that you had gathered in your sword. Instead, I stealthily got closer in order to see it from up close."
"And because of that, you almost died."
"As a result, I saw that sword up close and I also survived, so it paid off."
A payoff. What are you talking about?
If I think about the cost of the consumed elixir, it's definitely a loss.
I sighed and raised my head.
Seregia, who was by my side, peeked her head forward.
"Warrior, your reaction seems a bit strange."
"What about it?"
"Were you perhaps moved?"
"Were you moved by my words that I was worried about you so I had tried to go to you, Warrior?"
That's definitely not it.
I'm at the point where all of my feelings of empathy are dissolving.
"If you by any chance, were moved by that, please take me as your disciple."
"I really don't want to."
"Why? I don't want much, Warrior. You just need to give me a chance to see your sword within your vicinity, Warrior. In exchange, I'll do anything I can for you."
I had nothing to say in response to Seregia's shameless reason.
What do you mean by 'why'?
You obviously can't.
Since she can't leave this stage.
"I'm good at doing the laundry and cleaning, Warrior."
"What about cooking?"
"…If I try my best, won't I get better someday?"
It seems like she can't cook.
I stood up.
"It seems that your body's well again, so let's slowly depart. Lady Seregia."
"Is it truly impossible?"
"May I ask the reason why?"
"I'll leave this place shortly and it wouldn't be possible to bring you with me at that time, Lady Seregia."
I moved my legs and started to walk.
Soon, the sun went down and the stars glittered in the black sky.
Those countless worlds that are spread out through the cosmos.
The Tutorial System that uses the vestiges of those worlds as a stage.
My feelings were strange.
I knew there were new worlds beyond the cosmos and that those worlds are roaming around out there, so whenever I see the night sky on Earth, I would have a completely different feeling.
"Lady Seregia, so long as you don't die, it's impossible."
I muttered something unnecessarily and advanced forward.