It was pouring rain. With almost no strength left, I walked through the forest.
When I just got rid of the pesky orangutan bastards, now it rains.
Would it kill to rain just the right amount… Instead, it had to rain the point where it was difficult to keep my eyes open to see properly.
I have recovered considerable amount of stamina using the Soul Steal. However, I spent more than what I recovered.
It is going to be too much to try move quickly through this rain in current condition.
I think it will take a while to get to the destination.
I worked on the orangutan’s leg that I was holding on my hand as I walked slowly.
I was not doing anything special.
I used my hand wrapped in mana to haphazardly cut away its hide, fur and skin. I was trying to slice off the flesh from the bone.
I thought I could do it cleanly like what I saw when I was young at a fish market where some old lady perfectly lifted just the flesh off of the fish while leaving the bones behind. However, I was mistaken.
The pieces of flesh that were cut from the leg were not even the size of a handful. They were full of bad cuts resulting in loose flesh hanging here and there. Also, they had squashed parts because I was holding them with my hands.
It looked like a clay monster that a young nephew of mine gave me as a present when he came back from kindergarten.
By the way, the clay monster was made with me as the model.
Still, I should eat this.
I washed the flesh in the rain, cut it little bit at a time, put it in my mouth and tried to chew.
It is the worst.
It reeks of fat and fishy smells.
It was slimy yet tough.
Blood came out of the flesh every time I chewed on it, and it was strangely sticky.
I fought the urge to spit out the meat and swallowed it.
Wow… The raw meat of orangutan had the destructive power beyond my wildest imagination.
I attempted eating the raw meat because I had been eating mostly meat jerkies since I entered the Tutorial. However…
This is total failure.
Still, I need to eat this.
I have been moving for the past four days without eating or sleeping.
I cannot afford to complain about the food.
I thought about Kiri Kiri who did not tell me that the inventory window will become inactive.
She said the result will be the same even if she gave me any advice, and she also said I’ll be able to get through this stage safely.
However, before saying all that, she also did say that I would have it a little easier if she did give me an advice.
A little? This is not a little!
If I knew I was going to suffer such huge inconvenience, I would have been better off if I received the information.
If you think I’m going to buy you cake next time, just wait and see.
I complained like that by myself and continued to walk.
Unlike how I was when I first arrived at the 12th Floor, I now had a destination to go to. That fact gave my legs some strength at least.
Before I came down from the cliff, I saw a monster moving just below a small hill in the distance.
It was going into a cave to hide when the rain started.
It was far, and it was a small cave hidden amongst the grass. However, I definitely saw the monster going inside the cave.
Thanks to all vision related skills I’ve acquired in addition to the improved vision, my vision was as strong as rapacious birds.
So, I was certain about what I saw and decided to go there.
After coming down from the cliff, I took care of taking a dump, which was the matter of the uttermost urgency, and I started to move immediately.
That was until the rain started to pour where I could not move fast anymore.
Ah, of course, I used leaves to wipe myself.
Although this is obvious now, but as for the idea of doing it with orangutan’s leg… Um… That never happened.
It was extremely unpleasant to poop while crunching under pouring rain, although the rainfall acted like natural videt, and that could be considered as convenient.
However, actually, I was super concerned the poo might get on the pants because of rain and resulting splashes.
Because my body and clothes all got soaked, it was very uncomfortable and inconvenient.
I suddenly feel nauseated.
The orangutan meat in my mouth right now feels even more disgusting.
I felt the urge to throw up.
I unconsciously spat out everything in my mouth.
I looked at half chewed up meat on the ground that I was chewing and the meat that was still on my hand.
I really cannot eat this.
A part of me said ‘how could I possibly complain about the type of food when I was at the brink of collapsing out of exhaustion or dying from hunger?’
The other part of me yelled ‘fuck, you call this edible for human consumption?’
The third part of me, who became the judge, raised the arm of the other part of me.
This is not something a human being should eat.
A human being has something to protect before just surviving.
I threw away the orangutan’s leg meat and just continued to walk.
A part of me said how about keeping the meat and roasting it when the rain stops. However, I ignored it.
I did not want to turn back just for that disgusting meat.
If I feel like I would really die from hunger, I’ll go peel off the tree barks and eat them.
I collected the rain to wash my mouth which reeked of meat fat and blood smell. Having done that, I felt like I could see things a little clearly.
I think I finally get what the theme is for the 12th Floor’s Stage.
Not only do I need to survive, I need to master various survival skills.
The difficulty in combat itself does not seem very high.
The two fake dragons that I ran into when I first entered the stage must be the unusually strong ones.
There were the orangutans, but other monsters I saw while I was being chased by the orangutans were not overwhelmingly strong.
Instead of the combat, this stage requires abilities to resolve the matter of shelter, gathering, hunting, butchery, and cooking and good decision making.
I really hate this place.
I prefer fights to the death.
* * *
I finally got there. In the end…
The rainy sky finally started to calm. I looked up the sky and sighed.
It was an incredibly difficult march.
No matter how long I waited, the rain did not stop, so I had to keep on walking through the rain storm.
I am glad I didn’t get lost on the way.
If it took longer, it might have gotten dangerous.
My wet hair kept on blocking my view. I brushed it up and looked around.
Front of the cave had a leveled ground. The top of the entrance of the cave was covered in vines. The entrance was also hidden behind grass.
If I did not see that monster going in here, I would not have noticed this place either.
As I could figure out from how the monster entered the cave when the rain started to fall, the cave was proofed against rain.
The cave was not leading downward. It was shaped such that it was dug upward from the bottom of the small hill, so there was no concern for water coming in.
As long as the water does not leak from the ceiling, this place is perfect.
There is actually a problem.
The cave’s owner, no, the cave’s old owner does not know how to greet the guest.
“Hey, come out.”
I couldn’t sense any presence, so I picked up a rock and threw it into the cave entrance.
There was still no response.
“Come out. This is now my home.”
Echoing sound could be heard from the cave. A monster came out while making crackling sound.
It looked like how a weasel or otter would look like if it was enlarged to the size of a crocodile.
It looked pretty cute.
Things unique about it were that it was standing up right in two feet even with its bent back.
Also, its front claws were wrapped in electricity.
I activated Soul Steal to weaken it and thought about it.
How should I attack an enemy who has electricity on its claws?
I don’t even have any weapon.
Moreover, there are lots of water around me at the moment.
I think I’ll get electrocuted if I got near it.
Wait, if it just touches the water with that claw, am I going to get electrocuted to death with it?
I never met anything that attacks with electricity, so I don’t know a way to deal with it.
The weasel roared and charged at me from the front.
Although it is wrapped in electricity, if it is going to charge at me thoughtlessly, then…
I swung the left wing and struck the weasel.
Not only do the wings have strong resistance to magic, they are also not directly connected to my body.
Each wing is about two meters in span. I just need to kill it before it gets near me.
Let’s kill it fast.
Although rain stopped, there are too much water everywhere.
There is danger of getting electrocuted just from having that bastard around me.
I am curious how powerful the electric attack from that thing would be, but I might go straight to the grave if I tried it out now on my body.
The weasel was thrown off after getting struck by the wing. It was struggling to get up. I set the direction as I looked at the weasel.
Along with that last word, the weasel was thrown off to the tree at a distance. It got stuck at the tree trunk.
It was the certain kill combo using the Talaria’s Wing and Blink that I started to use since the Fourth Floor.
Its power was still cheat-like even at the 12th Floor.
It seemed the weasel lost its life. My stamina was replenished a little from the Soul Steal’s effect.
It took me by a surprise because I ran into a monster that had a skill related to electricity in a situation like this.
I think I should learn something like a resistance to electricity when I get the chance.
I left the monster’s dead body be for now. I entered the cave to check out the inside.
Oh… It is nicer than I thought?
It is bigger than I expected.
Inside of the cave was filled with warm air. Other than the smell of the soil, it didn’t have any horrible stench.
The cave was about two meters in height, so it didn’t cause inconvenience in moving around inside.
Out of reflex, I used Battle Focus.
I heard something just now.
For now, I don’t see anything.
It is not to my front.
It could be my rear, side or ceiling.
However, those are also unlikely.
I entered the cave and had been moving further in while carefully looking around the area.
There is no way I would have moved past an enemy without noticing it.
Is it a monster with invisibility or stealth skill?
Damn it, I totally fell for it.
I felt the presence, but I could not figure out the direction.
I even used the Sensory Boost, a skill that enhanced all of my senses temporarily.
Even with my heightened senses, I still didn’t notice anything.
The presence just zapped past me during that one instant.
There are only two possible choices that the opponent could make. It could either attack or run.
I calmly waited for its next move.
Inside the world of accelerated consciousness and heightened senses, I quietly waited.
I turned around as soon as I felt a small movement and realized the location.
It came flying toward my face. I grabbed it with my left hand.
Damn it. I shouldn’t grab it. Out of reflex, I ended up grabbing it because it was small.
I grabbed on to it tighter with my left hand and swung my right hand after wrapping it in mana.
Along with a slicing sound, the enemy’s head was cut off.
I clicked my tongue and dropped the dead body of the small weasel monster.
It looks like it must be the offspring of the one I fought earlier.
Unlike its mother, which was the size of a crocodile, this baby weasel was the size of a person’s palm.
Considering the difference in size, it must have been born only recently, yet it was quite dangerous.
It seems all beings in this jungle have all sorts of skills, near max level skills on top of that. This is incredibly frustrating.
I checked the top of my hand.
Before the weasel monster’s baby died, it left a long wound on the top of my hand.
It was not deep, but…
Soon, the wound started to close slowly.
Actually, I guess I shouldn’t call this kind of healing speed as slow.
The wound was completely healed in about a minute.
[Natural Healing Power (Lv.11)]
[Super Regeneration (Lv.5)]
Along with the Soul Steal, they were the skills that enabled me to go through more party stages that came after the Sixth Floor.
They were incredibly useful because I now possessed methods of healing other than relying on expensive healing potions.
Of course, they improved my chance of survival. Also, they greatly increased my range of activities.
I also could save up on potions a little more.
However, the Super Regeneration Skill had one drawback that was hidden.
[Super Regeneration (Lv.5)]
Description: It dramatically increases the speed of wound healing. Stamina is spent in proportion to the healing speed.
It was the fact that it used stamina.
On top of that, it uses quite a lot of it.
My stamina points grew a lot since I started the Tutorial. Also, because I could use stamina potions when needed, I never thought of this as a big drawback.
Moreover, compared to the loss of stamina, the wound healing was highly effective.
However, I was almost at the bottom of my stamina, and I didn’t even have any stamina potion. In this situation, it felt like a huge drawback.
I felt the blood being drawn out of my face. My view looked like it was spinning in disarray.
Ah… I have not felt this in a while.
I thought about the orangutan monster’s meat that I threw away to the ground a while ago.
Maybe I should have just eaten it.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have over-exerted myself and walk through the rain.
I used a skill as I thought about all sorts of regrets that came up in my mind.
Like that, I lied on the floor as if I was collapsing on it.
Things I need to do are coming to my mind, but I think I’ll need to rest first.
* * *
I felt the presence of someone nearby. Out of reflex, I opened my eyes and lifted my head.
At a corner near the entrance, I could see the back of a lizardman who was keeping watch.
[Keruk. Are you awake already, Hubby? Get up. I prepared meals.]