Chapter 53 : Slaughter Impulse
Inside the labyrinth’s first floor, a maniacal laugh could be heard.
「GWAHAHA! Fighting with weapons is so fun!! 」
After a long search, Stella had finally decided which weapon she wanted. To pair with the Back Iron Shield — or Mega Shield, as Vulcan called it — she chose a longsword.
It was a silvery black color, very similar to the Mega Shield she carried in her left hand.
Its name was 〝Buster Sword〟and it was the best type of Great Sword, with a wide and thick blade. The sword was longer than Stella was tall.
Instead of being a weapon for “cutting”, it was best described as a weapon for “smashing”.
Despite not being in her Dragonewt form, Stella carried both the Mega Shield and the Buster Sword with ease.
The group had come straight to the labyrinth after leaving the weapons shop, despite Aria’s protest. She had suggested they wait a few days before taking Stella to her first adventure.
However, the person in question was extremely against that idea.
「No no no! No way! Why do we have to wait? I finally got my equipment! I want to fight now!」
With Stella throwing a tantrum and demanding immediate bloodshed, Aria and Vulcan couldn’t object anymore. Since Aria still lacked her battle instinct, they didn’t take any commissions.
They also planned to use this opportunity to teach Stella how to use her weapons.
「Tama, let’s take a look at Stella-chan’s power first. Please do not use any buffs on her. 」
「Nyan! (Aye aye, Master!) 」
If Tama used the 《Divine Protection of Lion King》 skill, they wouldn’t have an accurate measure of Stella’s power, so Aria asked Tama to stand by.
But, on the same breath, she asked him to keep an eye out.
「If things getting dangerous, you’ll protect Stella-chan, right?」
(My former enemy now needs my protection… How ironic… It’s not like I’m seeing anything overly dangerous, anyway…)
Tama pondered about it as he nodded to Aria, accepting his “mission”. While he wasn’t very enthusiastic about his “assignment”, his target was ecstatic about it.
「Tama is going to protect me? OOH! How reassuring!」
For a girl who was in love for the first time, Stella’s reaction was typical.
Hearing that the male she fancied was going to defend her against any attacks, she could barely contain her happiness.
「Well then, let’s find some easy prey for Stella’s training!」
With Vulcan’s signal, the party then ventured further into the labyrinth.
The party made their way inside with Vulcan as their vanguard.
A few minutes later as they explored the area, a grotesque creature appeared in front of them, releasing a foul cry.
The creature was a goblin, a type of monster that populated the first floor of the labyrinth. There were only a few of them around, carrying very inferior equipment.
Once they noticed Aria and co’s presence, the goblins rushed towards them with a war cry.
Their focus was solely on the prey ahead of them. While the cat could be eaten, they had other plans for the three beauties that accompanied it.
Regrettably, goblins were incredibly foolish creatures.
Blinded by their greed and lust, they couldn’t assess the strength of their enemies properly. They charged ahead with no planning whatsoever.
Observing them rush at her, Stella laughed, a savage expression appearing on her face.
「GUHEHEHEHE! These low-leveled worms dare bare their fangs at me? YOU SHALL BECOME THE RUST OF MY SWORD!!! 」
From the side, Aria and Vulcan stared at the girl, feeling goosebumps running through their bodies. To think child-like Stella who, not so long ago, threw a tantrum to get what she wanted would display such a bloodthirsty expression…
Tama seemed to be the only one taking it in stride. After all, he was very much aware this unassuming girl was the Earth Dragon reincarnated.
「HERE I COME!! 」
Stella shouted at the goblins, taunting them. Next, her arms and buttocks were enveloped in a brilliant light, her partial draconic transformation being activated.
She had no intention of taking it easy even against weak enemies like the goblins.
Using her draconic arm, she raised her greatsword. Stella marveled at how light it felt.
「What a speed. 」
Though she normally carried it like it weighed nothing, now that she was transformed it felt like she was holding a twig. Stella gleefully brought the greatsword down with no mercy.
The noise from the impact of the sword connecting to the floor was near-deafening.
The goblins made a beeline towards Stella, aiming their swords at her exposed abdomen.
Once they were close enough, Stella swung down her greatsword many times faster than them. She only moved the sword, never budging from her original position.
That was enough to guarantee her victory.
Giving the goo-like goblin remains on the floor a long look, Stella released a maniacal laugh. There was a scratch on her abdomen, but she paid it no mind.
「GUHAHAHA! THIS SWORD IS AWESOME!! 」
Meanwhile, Vulcan and Aria watched her from the side. They were a bit shocked and somewhat concerned about Stella’s berserker-like combat.
「She’s powerful nya~, but… 」
「Yeah. She might have a psychological deviation. I mean… To enjoy killing so much…」
The reason Vulcan became an adventurer was to be able to collect the material she needed to forge weapons by herself.
For Aria, it was so she could follow the footsteps of the one she admired. She aimed to become a 〝Kindhearted Fighter〟like 〝Alisha〟, the Sword Saint who saved her life before.
Neither of them enjoyed killing monsters. To them, it was a means to an end.
That’s why they couldn’t understand the savage impulse that drove Stella to kill for the sake of killing.
(This killing frenzy… It’s fine as long as it’s kept under control. But if it goes wild… I may need to do something about it in the future…)
He knew Stella was a reincarnated monster, so Tama wasn’t very surprised by what he witnessed. That didn’t mean he wasn’t concerned about it. Tama decided to plan in advance, just in case that killing frenzy started affecting the other party members in the future.
And if she ever harmed his beloved master or her partner…
Naturally, he would do everything he could to help Stella gain control of herself. She was formerly his foe but, although she wasn’t quite a comrade yet, Stella was still under his protection.
The one in question heard his mental musings and let out a dissatisfied groan, capturing Aria’s attention.
「What’s wrong, Stella-chan? 」
「It’s fun fighting with this sword but the enemies are too weak! I can’t even use my shield against them! We should go deeper, I want to fight a powerful monster!」
「U~hn… Well, now that we know how powerful Stella is, I think it’s safe to advance to the next floor.」
「Nyaa~… This may sound harsh but I don’t think we’ve truly seen how powerful she truly is.」
Berserker trait aside, Aria and Vulcan were very glad Stella had become their comrade.
The plan was to expose Stella’s true power by letting her fight as their vanguard.
「It’s decided, then. Stella-chan, we know your power is terrifying. But, since this is your first dungeon incursion… Maybe you should be a bit more cautious. Don’t force yourself, okay?」
「GUHEHEHEHE! It’s okay! I know I’m not as powerful as Tama but I’m still very powerful. I won’t lose to the likes of these monsters!」
Stella just laughed joyfully, seeing Aria so worried about her was funny.
It seemed that she was still in a berserker state, the desire to run around swinging her weapon still fueling her.