“My hopes and dreams are really all dead.”
I was falling towards the surface of the ocean since I could no longer remain in the air due to my Status, which had been fine until a moment ago, completely changing.
Black-Box, which should have been listed in my Skills, had for some reason changed to my Job. Why was it though, I wondered, that it felt like it had only returned to its rightful place? Had I more time I would have handled this matter with greater depth, but I had lost my wits from the all too abrupt change.
All but the transcendental domain Skills I had obtained in Fantasia’s continents had disappeared and what had been a perpetually messy list had become empty. Even if they were present, however, things wouldn’t have been any better—the efficiency of my Skills had become the worst due to my Level falling to 1. It felt even worse than being Level 1 right after a regression, to the extent that it could be difficult to expect much from even those Z-rank Skill effects.
As for my Condition, only the Saintess whom I obtained in the Hero Festival remained, while the vanished Holy Sword 2 and Golem D couldn’t be summoned. I also couldn’t call up Black-Box’s details after it moved from Skills to Job. And then there was the new mosaic, which seemed to be the main cause behind all this.
Was this how it felt to have all four of your limbs chopped off?
“… Rice Cake.”
The silver lining amidst this misfortune would be that Saintess H could be normally summoned. She embraced my waist as I was falling towards the ocean and unfolded her three pairs of wings, rising into the sky again. With this, there was no worry of ending up a drifter in the waters below.
I got the feeling as if I had been missing something since a while now…
I tilted my head to the side as I sensed Saintess H’s soft breasts tightly pressed to my back and remembered what had slipped my mind.
“Where’s the princ…? Huh! Move!”
Just as I ordered Saintess H to get away, a youth fell from above my head like lightning, wielding a blue lightsaber in a reverse grip—it was the old prince who had disappeared from sight.
His Status had also changed in an odd way. However, while I wasn’t able to summon Holy Sword 2, which I had obtained in Fantasia’s continents, he on the other hand had a lightsaber for a weapon. In a situation where I couldn’t rely on Divinity(Z) and Dark Energy(Z) due to my weakened Level, it would be suicide to try blocking a product of science fiction with my bare hands. But of course…
“Don’t be looking down on me now!”
That didn’t mean I had the intention to back off. Just as the prince had confidently said, the “false power” I had obtained from that fantasy world was gone, but I still had the “power of science” I had learned from my home planet, and I even had the technique to utilize it.
Not even for a moment had I forgotten that esteemed slime’s teachings.
I first decided to buy time to think; I triggered the release of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, neurotransmitters which promoted brain function, like an active volcano. Fear, happiness, anxiety, agitation, lust… my inside was a chaos of emotions that made me feel like I was going mad.
The hormones’ effects were as great as their side effects, however.
The world slowed down.
It wasn’t that it had truly slowed down, but that the flow of time in my mind had slowed as I became able to think and calculate dozens of times faster than the ordinary man, and that was enough.
“Let’s go at it step by step~!”
The glycogen and calories stored as fat throughout my body were quickly consumed, but having embodied a complete decomposition system with a human body, I was no different from a “living power plant”. The amount of calories required for my body’s metabolism was tremendous, but I could handle it even without fantasy world resource-type Skills.
As my opponent’s blue lightsaber drew nearer, I boldly gave away my left arm.
Endorphines suppressed the searing pain of my left arm being severed. Even in this extremely dangerous situation, the natural pain-killers released from my pituitary gland and hypothalamus calmed me—no, excited me. They allowed me to enjoy this knife-edge situation. My fear of death turned from foolhardiness to madness.
The old prince was astonished at the sight of me laughing with delight despite losing an arm and uttered something, but I couldn’t understand; my ability to auto-translate had disappeared along with the Skill: Interpretation(A).
I had no intention of ending things at giving away an arm. The real game started from now.
Norepinephrine was secreted from my adrenal glands and the end of my sympathetic nerves stretching from the middle of my spinal cord. The release of energy from fat accelerated as my heartbeat and breathing sped up, and the secretion of adrenaline, which raised homeostasis and combative spirit, was stimulated as well.
The bleeding from my severed arm was no problem either; I increased the amount of thrombocytes produced from my bone marrows, which were key to how fast blood congealed near broken blood vessels to stop bleeding. I didn’t hold large expectations for that, however, as I planned on undergoing an intense workout starting now.
“One for you too!”
I was going to receive what was due for having taken my left arm, at a very high price at that.
We were at complete close contact. Although I wasn’t capable of dodging as I had no wings, that went the same for the old prince who was dropping down from the sky with me.
I stretched out my right hand.
The old prince became fiercely wide-eyed at having his neck grasped. I was aiming for the spot between the 6th and 7th cervical vertebraes, my favorite.
It would have been comfortable for the both of us if I were able to break it in one go, but my grip strength was somewhat lacking with my physique-type Skills gone. No, should it be said that the prince was holding up well? It seemed like his weakened Willpower(Z) was doing the least it was supposed to do.
Smack! Tap-tap! Smack!
His face turned a deep blue, the prince flailed his arms and legs about. As for the biggest threat, the lightsaber?
I dealt with it by sensually biting down on his thumb so as to prevent him from holding it, my teeth suffused with a feeble amount of Divinity.
Who would have known a day would’ve come where I’d take a coarse man’s thumb in my mouth! It truly was hard to get by in the world, wasn’t it?
The old prince let out a scream, frightened at the unfamiliar experience, and thus we shared in the fear and shock.
The biggest threat, the lightsaber, fell from the prince’s hand. He would no doubt have wanted to hold it until the end, but it was physically difficult to do so with him having lost his important thumb.
I sensually spat out the man’s thumb I’d been holding in my mouth like a candy and thought it wasn’t something I wanted to experience, ever again. The old prince seemed to be of the same thought regarding this—he even showed symptoms of respiratory arrest, his face became deathly pale from shame.
“Huhuhu! Why you little shy bo—Woah now!”
Smack! Smack! Smack!
The old prince attempted to thrash my face with both hands, so I responded in kind.
I lowered my right hand holding his thick neck and raised my left knee.
A clear sound of a skull being bashed reverberated.
I thought: that’s beautiful so let’s hear it again.
The old prince had lost all his front teeth like a scruffy snot-nosed kid and his eyes were slightly out of focus.
His arms frantically beat at my body, not having given up despite all this, but there wasn’t much strength behind them.
We continued to fall down in this state, and finally…
We dropped into the middle of the Pacific Ocean where violent waves crashed about. Even so, I didn’t let go of the prince’s neck.
“You and me, let’s end this!”
The prince regained his senses after gulping down a bellyful of Earth’s polluted ocean water, but the fact that I held the upper hand remained unchanged. But of course, the prince was no easy customer himself.
He retaliated by poking his fingers into the severed part of my left shoulder and widening the wound, making use of Infiltration(Z)’s effect! Vicious move though it was, it was significantly effective—no matter how superior my physical abilities, I wouldn’t be able to avoid symptoms of anemia if I lacked blood which was absolutely necessary for biological activity.
Science was weak against science.
This was because science was a study faithful to cause and effect. It couldn’t transcend limits with tenacity and passion like fantasy magic. Therefore…
“My victory is only a natural result.”
The reason being that we were in the ocean. Contained in the ocean water, which could be drunk by merely opening my mouth, were plenty of salt and minerals; I could quickly deal with the missing blood. As for the old prince, on the other hand?
Even the veins on his neck were bulging now as it was about to be snapped, while his breathing had been long cut off.
We were swept away by the ocean current and became submerged. Although the option of swimming to the surface of the waters was ever present, we didn’t allow it to each other.
Having belatedly realized that there wasn’t much hope of winning by digging at my shoulder wound, the prince aimed for my neck as well.
He squeezed down with both hands, yet even so his grip was weaker than that of one of my hands.
Our gazes meeting within the ocean showed mingled feelings of joy and sorrow. While conversing was impossible due to Interpretation(A) being lost, having communed to the extent of even sharing a thumb, we reached the realm of being able to understand the other’s thoughts. Going through this with another man… wasn’t exactly a good experience.
‘Old princey boy, giving up will make it easy.’
‘What in blazes is with this strength of yours!’
‘You probably won’t understand even if I tell?’
Have you ever heard of Master Mollang?
‘This sort of death, sort of defeat. I cannot accept it…’
‘So what if you can’t? Mm?’
Just when we had conversed up to that point with our eyes, I could instinctively tell that my stripped-bare Status was gradually returning to how it was before. Was it a temporary effect, not permanent? I got the thought that it was similar to an EMP, which disabled all electronic devices. But this meant that…
The prince, who was on the verge of death with his neck dangling, quickly regained his complexion, but still I held the upper hand.
‘I’ll end you here and now.’
At that moment, an attack shot down into the waters of the ocean we were submerged in. Although I wanted to ignore it, it posed a considerable threat to me as I was barely in the middle of recovering my Status. I couldn’t afford to lose even my right arm.
Before the incoming blue swordforce reached me, slicing through the ocean itself as if to split us apart, I kicked the prince’s belly with all my might.
And the swordforce grazed past my very nose. I turned narrowed eyes towards to sky where I guessed the culprit of the attack to be.
There was no need to even search.
“My Prince! We’ll help too!”
“I shall also aid you, Master.”
“My sword is yours.”
A noisy group of women came rushing over.
“Don’t come! This one’s the real deal!”
The old prince yelled towards them, but there was no strength in his voice due to his throat having been clutched all this while.
And he was too late.
“What? The real deal…?”
“Why hello there, miss?”
I leaped into the sky and re-summoned Holy Sword 2, which had returned along with my recovered Status. As for why I summoned it, well…
I made a pretty cut through the waist of the girl that was openly showing her belly button—perhaps it was because she always kept her figure maintained, but her severed torso was pretty as well—and kicked her lower half which was about to plunge into the ocean along with the pink intestines that had poured out…
“Here, a present.”
… towards one of the other young ladies.
“What a thing to say at a comrade’s lower half, you’re too much. This is punishment for that.”
The woman trembled violently, her throat impaled by Holy Sword 2. She was probably dead, but I still gave another blow.
I chopped at her vertically, from her dolled up head to her crotch that was covered with a crude piece of clothing. I had wanted to make a pretty symmetrical cut, but I failed due to my center of gravity unstable with my left arm lost.
‘Sorry! I’ll do better next time!’
“You, you bastard!”
The girls who were still alive and kicking were petrified. Ah! Were they a bunch of aunties, not young ladies? But that didn’t matter, I thought. Soon there wasn’t going to be a point in making distinctions.
The price for getting in my way is extremely high.
I heard the prince cry out as he fiercely approached me, though he was late to act. What came out of his mouth was almost incoherent.
“Retreat! Run away quick…! Everyone hurry! He’s the real deal! He’s nothing like a Hero drunk on fantasy…!”
Not a Hero?
He was being too harsh, even if we were enemies.
“I’m an A-rank Hero! I even have a graduation cert! You there, the miss that looks good at hula-hooping. Tell me. What do I look like?”
“A d-demon king…?”
“I’ll stab your butt if you lie to… Mm? Who stuck this here?”
On my back were a pair of wings I was seeing for the first time.