Chapter 6 : Battle Rat《Mouse》
After resting for a while, I braced myself to leave《Den of the Battle Rat》.
Nevertheless, whether Beelzebub’s avatar which birthed 《Petit Dimordi》was enough to let me pass through these Battle Rats, was still a mystery.
Surely, Beelzebub might be considered a great devil but, the one who used that magic was me.
Moreover, even if, for instance Beelzebub’s avatar could defeat those Battle Rats, the problem was I have no way of knowing how much of those guys are on this floor.
I mean, I might be killed in the case of losing Beelzebub’s avatar before I run out of mana.
However, a more pressing issue is- if I ran out of food! Well, I think I hit the limit that a living being, at my current level, can stay inside of a demon labyrinth after checking my provisions – I am seriously running low on food and water.
Beelzebub did well as she endured hundreds of years in this dungeon.
I secretly admired her mental fortitude.
『Let’s go, Dean. You better not fail this one.』
「Y-Yeah. I can’t say it for sure but since I say that I must leave this place, I feel that I can do so.」
I gathered only the bare minimum luggage to carry with me.
Namely, Beelzebub’s magical core, 《Poor’s Blade Popo》, the water vessel made of demon sheep stomach, my money pouch, the magical core and battle bone I got after I smashed Gilbert’s spare magical vessel.
I left my spare flame stone, mana lamp, mining hammer, and dismantling knife behind.
Too much luggage would only become a burden in the middle of battle.
The current me was no longer a porter. I had to fight for myself.
Although I thought that it was a waste, I decided to abandon the mana lamp too.
I mean there was the light of Beelzebub’s magical core, thus it wasn’t that dark around me.
I could see at least one step in front of me.
In case I needed a longer field of view, I could use 《Torch》 to increase the amount of light surrounding me.
I hoisted Beelzebub’s magical core as a light source and walked along the rugged path.
My narrow field of view scared me. I mean I didn’t know what would come out next.
I stumbled with each step as Iwent along, it felt like I was meaninglessly wasting away my stamina with each step I took.
『Quite frightened if I have to say, aren’t you?』
「That’s natural, well it’s not like an archdevil can understand my feelings though. Nevertheless, it’s also a little exciting.」
「Up until now, I was always the gopher whenever I dived into the demon labyrinth. So this is my first time feeling this excited. I can finally walk in the front, and when it comes to battle, I’ll be the one who would get to fight. I’ve always yearned for this kind of adventure since a long time ago.」
『So this is why such a frail human being has such a strong emotions.』
Beelzebub’s magical core flickered as if she was teasing me.
「… Don’t make fun of me.」
『But We* don’t hate the kind of human with this kind of strong emotion. I have had enough of being buried in the earth. That’s why, do your best to survive since your opponent is only just the likes of Battle Rat.』 [ED: The ‘We’ in this context is the royal “We” – so she is referring to herself as the empress – denotes a higher rank.]
「I don’t think I can do that though.」
When I advanced in the darkness, I heard the sounds of the Battle Rats around me.
I stopped moving.
Battle Rats could use the skill “Fighting Spirit” to increase their sense of hearing.
Seeing that the other party was probing my position too, they had the advantage against a human.
I reckoned it would leave if I were to stay still.
But… the Battle Rat’s footsteps were drawing closer in my direction.
In the first place, there was a limited number of passages in this place.
It seems they’d guessed my approximate location.
I braced myself, tightly grasped《Poor’s Blade of Popo》 in my right hand and Beelzebub’s magical core in my left.
The footsteps of Battle Rats became even closer instantly.
From the sound of their footsteps, I knew that there were four of them.
I hoisted Beelzebub’s magical core to illuminate the way ahead of me.
There, as expected, were four Battle Rats in front of me.
My goal was to break through this situation without being crushed by them.
With my diminutive mana, I wouldn’t be able to materialize Beelzebub for a long time.
「《Petit Dimordi》! 」
The magical square floated, followed by a blue-skinned girl who materialized as if passing through the magical square.
「Though I have no idea about my current power, with such a low ranking as my opponent… Well it’s been a while since my last rampage.」
Beelzebub was licking her lips.
I also ran along behind her.
The front-most Battle Rat swung down its arm towards the girl.
Its claws shone in an ominous color. It was Battle Rat’s battle art, 《Tearing Claw》.
It was a skill they used to tear their prey to pieces by using their fighting spirit to increase the hardness of their claws for a moment.
「BEELZEBUB, WATCH OU—-! 」
Beelzebub stopped the Battle Rat 《Tearing Claw》 with her slender arm.
Though blue-colored blood was trickling down from the arm, Battle Rat couldn’t break through her stance.
「So brittle… well, maybe this is as expected for a temporary flesh made with such low-rank magic.」
She pulled back her arm that was raised for the sake of protecting herself and swung it toward the Battle Rat’s abdomen.
The Battle Rat’s large build was blown back by such a casual swing and its back collided with the wall behind.
Even the Battle Rat itself was dumbfounded, as if it couldn’t understand what had happened.
Blood gushed out from the large tear on its abdomen.
I ran past the side of the other Battle Rats who were still dumbfounded by their comrade’s instant defeat.
One of Battle Rats who’d noticed me swung its giant claws.
I stopped the blow with the blade of 《Poor’s Blade Popo》.
My hand went numb.
The blade was broken, so I threw away its handle.
But I changed the trajectory of the claw’s attack.
I ran forward despite my broken stance.
Though the Battle Rat raised its arm again, Beelzebub’s claws tore off that arm.
Beelzebub’s claws didn’t stop at just that and continued moving until it pierced the Battle Rat’s abdomen.
「You damn animal’s weak point is this place, no? 」
The Battle Rat’s body twitched.
Beelzebub was licking her lips as she took out her claws while she scrapped the Battle Rat’s meat.
The Battle Rat’s tongue stretched out and fell while the whites of its eyes exposed.
Every Demon Beast would have a hard time maintaining its life once it has lost its Battle Bone.
Naturally, it’ll be instant death for Battle Rats just by smashing their abdomen but, one needed a polished technique in case they were challenging a monster with tough skin.
And most of all… I’ve never had the chance to fight such a monster.
Warm light flew from the corpse of the Battle Rat, who’d just lost its life from losing its Battle Bone, and wrapped around me.
That was the light of Odo.
It seems that the Odo went towards me since I was the one who materialized Beelzebub with 《Petit Dimordi》.
I invoked 《Imu》 to check my own status as I escaped from those Battle Rat.
It seems my level had risen by five levels at once from【Lv:8】 to 【Lv:13】.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
【Lv:13】 was the minimum required level where one could fight instead of just being a gopher.
At this level, I could join the other adventurers challenging the Demon Labyrinth as a combat member.
I, who had nothing but 《Poor’s Blade Popo》 for my magic sword took more than one year to raise my level by one.
And that level was raised by five at once just now.
… I might be able to raise my level even higher as long as I have Beelzebub’s magical core.
The headache came again.
It seems I was almost at my limit.
But if I rejected Beelzebub’s summoning right now, those three Battle Rat might chase after me.
I continued to run while enduring that headache.
Though the current me couldn’t keep the duration for that long, I knew that the duration of my 《Petit Dimordi》 would rise as long as I raised my magic power.
And that’s why I could hunt even more Demon Beast from now on.
I might not have to worry about food anymore since I’d reached the minimum threshold to be living as an adventurer.
I no longer am someone who could be pushed around by someone like Gilbert whose end was to become a decoy for the Demon Beast.