|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 954 words|
There was a creaking sound spreading through the highway at night, as if something was scraping the ground.
It eventually turned loud enough to spread through the surroundings, and eventually, a large hole opened up in the middle of the highway.
From there, one youth popped up his head.
“Phew. Thank god it went well. I thought I was a goner this time.”
The one who showed up—Kufar—sighed, and crawled out from the hole. Of course, he didn’t need breathing, so it was simply him mimicking human gestures.
After leaving certain machinations inside the World Tree Labyrinth, he absorbed the monster remains and once again returned to the World Tree’s vessels, and followed them beyond Berith, reaching the United Northern Alliance territory.
It was an escape he could only achieve because the roots of the World Tree were spread throughout the entire continent.
“…When I was preparing that hidden passway in the withered root, Bahamut didn’t appear at all. In other words, his monitoring is only effective in the trunk part of the World Tree. So if I traveled inside the World Tree and left Berith like that, I could escape from his monitoring.”
He was talking about the escape road he secured for assassinating the Pope. When he was investigating it, the Dragon God’s monitoring net didn’t detect him.
Remembering that, Kufar realized that if he traveled inside the World Tree, he would not get caught by the surveillance net and he won’t be detected once he is outside of the trunk part.
However, there was also a possibility that the reason he didn’t get spotted the first time was that he entered a withered root of the World Tree, which was not considered part of it.
Thus, this escape plan was quite a big gamble for him.
“But I did escape, Bahamut! You got careless for doing nothing but stereotypical monitoring. I won!”
He managed to outwit an enemy that drove him to death once. The sense of accomplishment he felt was too much and he started laughing out loud.
It wasn’t just that. By devouring many corpses in the labyrinth, Kufar increased his power by a lot.
His current power was clearly higher compared to when he escaped inside the labyrinth.
“But this is still not enough. And it would be bad if the other side notices me before the trick I left boots up…”
Kufar, who crawled out of the highway, laughed alone, and then slowly proceeded to the north. His destination was a town that he once used as his headquarters.
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He grumbled and thought even as he walked. At present, there was not a single combat personnel he had remaining.
The report he received after he left this town was that the surprise attack in the vicinity of where Lyell lived had failed, and most of the organization personnel were caught or executed.
Most likely, very few managed to escape King Elliot’s further pursuit.
Even the close associates that he took along to Berith were thoroughly defeated by Reid and the other Six Heroes. Or rather, he used them as sacrifices.
Even if Kufar’s own ability increased inside the labyrinth, his power as a military force was chipped off.
“So I have to gather war power again? Or maybe I should just go offer sacrifices instead to make the current plan succeed?”
He mumbled and walked while staring at his feet. Monsters would of course not leave him alone like that.
This Northern Alliance territory was still not safe. The danger of getting attacked by monsters and wild animals even near the highway was higher than in other countries.
A giant serpent hiding in the roadside bushes jumped at the defenseless Kufar, intending to devour him.
The size of its mouth was even bigger than Kufar’s height. However, the serpent’s vision suddenly went dark.
It was because half of Kufar’s body cracked and turned into an even larger mouth, devouring the serpent’s head.
The serpent writhed and coiled around Kufar to strangle him to death in an attempt to escape its dilemma. However, its struggle ended in vain.
Its body that was coiled around Kufar got absorbed inside as is and started to be digested. It seemed to be struggling inside his body for some time as his several-times-enlarged body was giving off ripples from the inside.
“Mm, there we go.”
But even that ended along with Kufar’s casual remark and a strange crack from inside his body.
He had directed pressure inside his body and pulverized the serpent’s body.
And then, his swelled-up body returned back to its normal size.
“It doesn’t taste bad, but it’s too inadequate as a power source. The labyrinth monsters are too good. Or perhaps, the owner of that corpse was simply extraordinary.”
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It was a corpse he discovered on the 700th floor. Kufar analyzed it the same way he did the jewel, and succeeded in absorbing it as it used to be when it was alive.
The power it had was incomparable to anything he had witnessed before, and it granted him power that far exceeded even the Twin-Bladed Devil’s.
“My personal power is good enough. So what I need now is the violence of numbers. But gathering half-demons anew would take too much time…”
As he walked, the northern town that he used as a stronghold appeared before his eyes. The light of life was coming from the gaps of the animal-warding fences.
“Oh, right. I have them right here, don’t I… The sacrifices, and so many…”
Kufar laughed loudly with a voice trembling in joy. However, his expression did not move even a bit.
Manipulating his expression was already something he found too bothersome.