I broke the Barrier Stone I had prepared.
I can use them without worrying much since I got a lot of Points just now, but night has passed and I am in this situation.
I might be at my wit’s end already.
It seems like the Great Earth Spirit can’t break the barrier like the Great Water Spirit (Small) did, and simply groaned as he went ‘What is this~?’.
But he is not doing moves like the Great Fire Spirit who blindly charged onto the barrier and was repelled by it. He is a size bigger than the other Great Spirits, and just like the image of earth, he might be the type to stand ground.
(He doesn’t give me the impression that he has the skillfulness to break the barrier, but even the summoned Great Water Spirit managed to do it, so it is possible this guy can too.) (Hikaru)
Different from the Great Water Spirit (Small), this guy’s Spirit Energy is several levels denser.
Moreover, earth is an element with pretty high physical power. I doubt I will be able to fight him in a proper battle.
I would like to escape at once, but he is standing in the direction I want to go to -my escape path- with his big body. If he doesn’t have a warp ability like the Great Water Spirit, I might be able to escape, but…
I bring out a Stamina Potion with a Point and drink it.
I haven’t slept a wink since yesterday. Even if I can recover my stamina with potions, I can’t do anything about my mental fatigue.
That said, I don’t have the liberty to sleep.
If the barrier were to be broken while I am sleeping, I would be done for.
(Fortunately…the priests can’t see me, huh.) (Hikaru)
There’s several priests around the Great Spirit and they are desperately trying to convince him. The Great Spirits in the Dungeon City are all tied up by special chains and are apparently enshrined at the church (I have not seen it myself), but they can come out like this if something happens.
If he listens to the persuasion of the priests and returns to the church, that would be the best development for me, but it seems like the hopes of that are low.
“I can see you, yet I can’t approach… What a weird contraption.”
The Great Earth Spirit is pretty much ignoring the priests and focusing on me.
Loved Ones are the most favorite thing of Great Spirits.
I knew from information, but honestly speaking, I might have been underestimating just how much they liked them.
I didn’t expect them to be this attached to them.
I don’t have many cards left to play.
Waiting would only tighten the noose. Fighting would go beyond courageous and enter the realm of recklessness.
What’s left would be a gamble. By using Chaotic Ability and Spirit Abilities, I could escape from the territory of the Great Earth Spirit somehow, but it looks difficult to get through from the north.
Logically speaking, the Great Earth Spirit should be able to follow me as far as he wants. The reason why I managed to escape from the Great Water Spirit was because I managed to escape to the territory of the Great Earth Spirit.
In that case, would escaping to the fire or wind territory be the safest option? The territory of the Great Earth Spirit is mostly cultivation fields, and there’s no obstructions.
(But……I would need to run quite the distance.) (Hikaru)
The highway is made to go straight from the middle of the sphere of influence, so I would need to run the same distance for the fire or wind territory. Honestly speaking, I have no confidence in managing that escape without getting caught.
But that’s the only option I would be left with at worst.
I sat on the ground and stabilized my breathing.
The reality is that I should have died a long time ago.
I have been on the verge of death countless times since coming to this world.
It wouldn’t have been strange for me to have died in any of those instances.
Then why am I still alive? I have many reasons, but in the end, it all comes down to me going forward.
That’s the same even at this moment.
If I want to live, I have to move forward.
At this rate, I will eventually run out of points if I stay here.
No one knows whether a miraculous development will happen and the situation will turn around.
Only God knows.
God. Right. I forgot because of all that was happening until now.
I opened my Status and checked that entry after a while.
<<Will you hear a ‘Hint to Survive’ by spending 1 Crystal? YES – NO>>
I touched the YES and the hint showed up soon after.
<<Make preparations and wait.>>
That answer made me have an out-of-place thought like: ‘it is as if I pulled a fortune charm in a shrine’.
Is it because it is something that I can ask with just 1 Crystal? It is really abstract.
That said, it told me to wait.
Moreover, to make preparations. As in what kind of preparation?
Prepare to fight?
Prepare to run?
Whichever the case, it is preparation to act.
It is not simply to wait. God is telling me that just waiting is no good.
(Then, I should prepare.) (Hikaru)
The 6 Points I got just now and the remaining 1 Point I had.
I decided to use them all.
First, Physical Strength Up.
I had that at level 1 to begin with.
I need 2 in order to raise it to level 2.
I will raise this one first.
<<Physical Strength Level 2 obtained.>>
I got it up to level 2 without issues.
What’s shown in the screen is 5/7/10/15/20, but those are not the Points necessary at each juncture. You need 2 Points to raise from 1 to 2, 3 to raise it to 3, and the next is 5 Points… That’s probably how it was intended.
I decided to take Spirit Energy Up next.
Because of the effect of the Affection of Spirits, I have quite the high Spirit Energy and have leeway. But one shot of a Chaotic Ability makes my Spirit Energy fly away.
“Spirit Energy Up level 1 requires 5 Points… Should I go for it or not?” (Hikaru)
5 Points is pretty big, but that’s just how big the effect must be.
There was a great difference from having Physical Strength UP and not having it even if it was only level 1.
Spirit Energy Up should have as much worth as that.
I choose that from the Status Board and press YES.
<<Spirit Energy UP Level 1 obtained.>>
“Ooh… Wow…” (Hikaru)
I felt as if my own vessel had expanded greatly.
It feels as if it has grown twice as big. I doubt it is actually that much, but I should be able to use Chaotic Abilities with much more leeway now.
I have made preparations.
Now what’s left is to wait, but…what am I waiting for?
Rifreya should be coming back. Maybe it is that?
“Hmm~? What. It stinks.”
I was focusing on the movements of the Great Earth Spirit, but he suddenly said that.
I tried smelling the surroundings, but I didn’t smell anything different.
Is the barrier working here and blocking the stench? This barrier should even block poison, so it wouldn’t be strange for it to have such a feature too, but…
“Stinks, stinks. It is such an unbearable stench. Even rotten to the core vegetables have a better smell than this. Even the breath of a Demon Lord is a bit better than this.”
The Great Earth Spirit pinched his nose and waved his hand in a gesture of fanning away the smell.
The priests are also confused by this, so maybe only the Great Spirit feels it?
I searched for the source of the smell by looking around…and I found it.
We made eye-contact and reacted.
I don’t know since when she got this close, but Jeanne was hiding in the shade of a nearby tree.
“Ah…uhm…you see…what a coincidence, Kuro. Meeting you at a place like this.” (Jeanne)
“Y-Yeah… You as well, Jeanne. It has been uhm…a while. I am glad to see you are doing well.” (Hikaru)
“You seem to be…in trouble though, Kuro.” (Jeanne)
“That’s true, but I am managing somehow.” (Hikaru)
What’s with this conversation?
Jeanne must have thought the same. We both had our mouth half opened and were searching for the next words to say while frozen in place.
We separated in a weird way, so I don’t know how to gauge the distance I should be taking with her. That must be the same for Jeanne.
She is hiding behind the shadow of a tree and fidgeting a bit. It is not the usual aloof attitude she has.
“Jeanne…I have been searching for you, thinking I should apologize to you. But it has turned out like this for some reason.” (Hikaru)
“I-I see. I also…got a bit heated there… I have reflected. I didn’t think at all…about your own feelings, Kuro.” (Jeanne)
“I-I am the one who should apologize. Even though you thought about the whole picture, I got stubborn. Can you forgive me?” (Hikaru)
“I am sorry too. I threw a tantrum like a child… Can you forgive me?” (Jeanne)
“Of course. Then, friends?” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, friends. Fufufu.” (Jeanne)
“Smells~~~~~ It stinks so much, it is unbearable~~~~~!”
Jeanne smiled and I felt my heart grow a bit lighter too.
Humans can’t live alone.
I managed to learn deeply about this with this matter.
Now, if I can survive here, and if Jeanne and Rifreya are with me, I feel like I will be able to manage somehow.
By the way, even while we were talking, the Great Earth Spirit has been complaining about how stinky it is. His body is big, so his voice is also loud.
“And so, why are you here, Kuro? No, before that, I heard someone drew a Great Spirit to you.” (Jeanne)
“Yeah…the blonde Chosen of the 2nd Group, Ferdinand. He pulled it my way. It was just as you said, Jeanne. He was an enemy.” (Hikaru)
“Muh? What do you mean?” (Jeanne)
I explained to her what happened.
About how Ferdinand brought the Great Water Spirit, that he had clear killing intent towards me, how Grapefull was targeted, that Rifreya is safeguarding her, and that I am currently being targeted by the Great Earth Spirit…
“To think he would go that far. I did think there would be a possibility, but…” (Jeanne)
“Yeah. He is apparently the boyfriend of Celica. He said my little sister asked him to kill me.” (Hikaru)
“Celica’s? Are you going to believe him?” (Jeanne)
“…Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know anything about the world there. I don’t know what has happened after I was transferred, and what has changed now. Nothing.” (Hikaru)
“Well, it is not like I know your little sister, so I can’t say much here, but…thinking about it normally, it would be a lie. Though it is also true that there’s unknowns. Well, whichever the case, there’s no way for us to confirm. Just like I have said countless times, it would be better to forget about the other side.” (Jeanne)
“Right… I have felt that thoroughly with my body this time around.” (Hikaru)
Even while we were having that talk, the Great Earth Spirit was complaining about how it stunk.
But I can’t go away from here. The priests are flustered too.
If it stinks, he should just go somewhere else.
One of the priests approaches.
“The Failed One there. The Great Spirit-sama is suffering. Leave this city at once!”
A church official with a dignified posture.
I have never heard of the word Failed One, but those words are clearly directed at Jeanne.
“Even if you didn’t tell us, we would be leaving. Right, Kuro?” (Jeanne)
“Right… Wait, I am using a barrier, so that priest can’t see me.” (Hikaru)
“Say that sooner. Now it looks like I am a weirdo talking to myself.” (Jeanne)
Now then, it should be a lot easier to escape now that Jeanne is here. I don’t think this Great Earth Spirit complaining about it stinking the whole time can analyze the barrier, so I feel like buying time is a valid option.
Should I try opening the survival hint one more time?
“By the way, is the Great Spirit referring to you when he says it stinks?” (Hikaru)
“Are you saying that now? Didn’t I tell you? I am a Hated One.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne said in self-derision.
I certainly did hear about that, but I didn’t expect the Great Spirit to show such clear disgust.
Loved One and Hated One; I see, they are polar opposites, huh.
“…Could it be that I could escape without being attacked by the Great Spirit if I am with you, Jeanne?” (Hikaru)
“I wonder. I don’t know, but…if things come to that, we can just fight, right?” (Jeanne)
Jeanne said that without sounding like bravado. It seems like she seriously thinks that.
I decided to check the Survival Hint once more just in case.
Of course, I doubt this hint is failsafe. It is purely a hint, so I doubt it will always go well if I follow it.
But in a situation like this, I want to cling even to straws.
If it is just a straw worth 1 Crystal, it is cheap.
<<[Head to the dungeon]>>
An unexpected answer.
“It is telling me to go to the dungeon. What do you think?” (Hikaru)
“Fumu. Not a bad idea. That’s the only place the Great Spirits can’t put a hand on. It should be fine to kill time in the 1st Floor until things cool down. There would be no danger if it is there after all.” (Jeanne)
“True… Will the Great Spirits give up?” (Hikaru)
“The Great Water Spirit said her appetite had vanished just from me approaching her, and then she went back to the church.” (Jeanne)
Even though she was so persistent about it, she departed just because of the smell? That’s quite the impressive intensity.
The reality is that the Great Earth Spirit is complaining the whole time here, but I must look that tasty for him, I can tell he is incredibly conflicted.
“Jeanne, I will go out from the barrier and head to the dungeon. Can I ask you to hold him down in the meantime?” (Hikaru)
“Of course. I don’t think a Great Spirit will be able to fight me properly though.” (Jeanne)
“That would be better.” (Hikaru)
I prepared a spare Barrier Stone and exited the barrier.
The Great Spirit reacted immediately.
“You are fiiinally out. Uooooo, you look delicious! You look delicious…and yet, it really does smell! It is the sadness of a delicacy being smeared excrement all over!”
“You really are one rude guy; you Great Spirits.” (Jeanne)
The Great Spirit was slowly approaching.
But it really must smell, those movements of his were slow to a degree it is hard to believe are from a Great Spirit.
We might really be able to escape like this.
“Kuro, I will reconvene with you once I get Reya. Go!” (Jeanne)
“Sorry. Please do!” (Hikaru)
It is true that the Great Spirits can’t chase after us inside the dungeon.
Just as Jeanne said, the Great Spirits would eventually give up and return to the church.
“Now then, if you want to chase after him, you will have to defeat me first, Great Spirit. That said, it seems like Spirit Abilities don’t work on me though!” (Jeanne)
Jeanne faced the Great Earth Spirit with a sword and shield.
I observed her with a backward glance.
The effect of Physical Strength Up 2 is big. It is a speed that can’t be compared to before.
With this, I should be able to arrive at the dungeon in just a few minutes.
“Aaaah, the feast is running! Running! Uoooh…”
I only heard the thick voice of the Great Spirit from afar.
I ran with all my strength, showed just my golden tag to the gatekeeper, and jumped into the dungeon.