[…Phineas.]

(That’s right. It’s me. I apologize for the delay, but…) Phineas looks down at himself. (I’m all better, now. Every bit of damage has been fixed.)

Right…

His soul was injured.

I’m not quite sure what he’s so proud of, though.Continue reading

plick, plick, plick…

Water, dripping down onto stone, one drop at a time, coming from somewhere.

I don’t know how long I spend listening to this regular sound, as if it’s ticking down the elapsing seconds. Probably very long. Long enough for those drops of water to erode the stone on which they fall, it even seems.

I feel Sanae nearby. She was probably standing guard over me while I slept.Continue reading

Stay calm.

Calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm, calm.

Focus on the fight.

There is nothing else, right now. No pain. No anger. Just the fight. How to most efficiently decompose these two gods in front of me into their constituent parts. Making them suffer is not on the table. Only killing the two of them is important.

First step toward that went rather well.Continue reading

[…No.]

The answer comes instantly, without a shred of hesitation.

And for some reason, these idiots seem shocked by my decision.

I mean, there was really no way I would have agreed to such an unreasonable request, now, was there? That should have been obvious.Continue reading

The village of Dorn is tucked low between two tall mountains. Their bulk is enough that the sun only shines upon the village for a scant few hours every day.

Apparently, this has made it rather unpopular with humans, leading to a low – and still declining – population. And since this place does not exactly possess any sort of great strategic significance, Finram believes that soon, there likely won’t be any village here anymore.

After a little more than a day of travel – Finram flying and me running – what quickly becomes apparent is that the ‘soon’ in the previous prediction can be turned into a ‘now’.

The first vision of Dorn are the four corpses hanging from the rough stone arch marking the entrance to the village. All are human. The two corpses on each outer side are of a man and a woman, while the two in the center are much smaller, most likely those of children. The bodies are quite battered. They were probably treated rather roughly even prior to their deaths.Continue reading

They wanted me, but since I wasn’t there, they took Lilly instead?

How on earth does that make any sense?

What was their criteria for choosing the person they wanted? Gender? Apparent age? Body size? Did they just want to pick up a little girl, without caring who in particular?

And what ‘return’? Am I some sort of object that people pass around at will? That is very rude. No wonder devils have a poor reputation.Continue reading

Why do people insist on lighting fires, when spending the night in the wilderness?

Isn’t that dangerous? Wouldn’t it reveal one’s position to whatever threats might be out there? Wouldn’t it be much better to dig a hole between the roots of a tree and hide there silently, stealthily, until the sun comes up?

Also, it’s fire.

Which is hot. And thus, bad.Continue reading

As the red-haired man takes a step toward me, his fingers coil around the hilt of his sword, and a powerful qi fluctuation explodes out from within him. Gusts blow dust off the ground into eddies, and flags, hung atop poles at the corners of the stocky towers on each side of the city gates, snap in the wind.

I think I’m supposed to be intimidated.

It’s not working so well, though.

Probably because this idiot is vastly inferior to me, in sheer power if nothing else. But I doubt it would work any better even if I were the weaker one. This sort of thing never had the slightest effect on any demon I’ve ever fought in the Planar Tower. No matter how much I tried to threaten them or coerce them to keep their distance, they still always rushed at me fearlessly, jaws snapping at my face. And while I may not be as mindlessly aggressive as those beasts, I am, after all, still a demon. The only fear I remember experiencing is that of actually dying. If that memory hadn’t been carved indelibly into my mind, I probably would have already long forgotten what fear even is.Continue reading

[…First question. Where else can I find other elves?]

“Ma–Majin territory!” the manager says immediately.

[…Where else?]

“I… I don’t know!”Continue reading

The rude man, whose name I still don’t know, leads his two female companions through the streets of Kohln, and I follow a few steps behind them.

I’m not entirely certain he’s indeed heading for the Blackwood Chamber of Commerce, like he promised he would. I suspect he might be leading me into some sort of trap designed to kill me, or something of the sort.

Even if that’s the case, though, that will only result in his immediate death, along with that of anyone else involved in his plan. And then, it will also result in me asking for directions from someone else on the street. It’s not like he’s the only human in the world who knows where this Blackwood Chamber of Commerce is located, after all. His usefulness is limited enough that I wouldn’t hesitate to kill him for even an instant.

Fortunately enough, however, it looks like my fears are unfounded. Soon, we arrive in front of a rather large building, a wide sign hung above its gate. Written on this sign is the name ‘Blackwood’ bracketed by drawings of two black pine trees. Two majin stand on either side of the gate. They’re both male rakshasa, almost two and a half meters tall, with long and thick curling ram-like horns growing from their foreheads. Their entire bodies are covered in bulging, powerful muscles, their sheer size bringing an intimidating oppression down on anyone passing near them. Even the amount of qi sleeping inside them is on the high side of what I’ve seen of Caldera. The two are only wearing simple, white, tattered robes, along with a rough, metallic collar around their necks, countless small runes etched all over its surface.Continue reading