「Nice, nice, it’s working properly.」(Kaito)
Seeing the princess wrapped in a faint green light on the screen made by the mysterious slime, I know that the spell formula I rewrote is working.
The only thing she can immediately experience is the『Perception Obstruction』spell formula that I adjusted so that she can’t hear any words that indicate people, but it seems that it’s having an interesting effect on her.
The four enchantments that the necklace had to begin with are『Automatic HP recovery』,『Slightly Increased Healing Effects』,『Illusion Record』and『Self-repair (Small).』
Among these, two of them have had their effects rewritten. I also deleted one and wrote something else to take its place.
The first thing I did was rewrite『Illusion Record』into『Perception Obstruction.』
And then I rewrote『Automatic HP recovery』into『Reverse Healing (Minute).』This causes wounds to heal by returning to their original state. So if there are any almost-healed wounds on the body, they slowly return to their most terrible state before starting to heal again.
But since neither of these would work if the necklace is removed, I deleted『Slightly Increased Healing Effects』and imbued the『Prevent Removal』spell. And then I applied a camouflage that would prevent these changes from being seen by anyone without specialist knowledge.
This is what I have done to the necklace.
The【Hook-Blade of Magical Repair*】has the ability to rewrite the spell formulas of enchantments that have been applied to magical equipment. Of course, its power isn’t unlimited; it consumes an incredible amount of MP.
TLN*: Previously translated as Magical Mending Hook Sword
It takes a considerable amount just to rewrite one enchantment to another of a similar type, and erasing one to replace it completely is impossible without something like a potion for recovery.
Because the MP cost of using it is calculated as a portion of one’s total MP, I can use it even at this low level. But looking at it another way, that means that I can’t avoid mana intoxication when using it even after I level up.
The rewriting work itself is difficult, using techniques based on hidden stats and requiring full use of my fast reaction time. It’s a very inflexible process, and I can’t make it progress any faster no matter how hard I try.
On top of that, the more I rewrite, the more the performance of the original magical equipment decreases; all of its enchantments become inferior. Because of this, I wasn’t able to make any further alterations to the necklace.
「Kuhah, look at that, she’s panicking so much that you’d never be able to tell that she was all composed just a moment ago. This is plenty of value for my sixty gold coins.」(Kaito)
「Watching this kind of reaction is quite enjoyable, isn’t it? It serves her right. Ah, I wonder if we can change the angle a little; she is hidden behind the pillar.」(Minnalis)
We spend the next little while laughing at the pieces of trash that are stressing over how to deal with the necklace.
「Ah, it seems that the Guardian has collapsed.」(Minnalis)
It seems that the Guardian has fallen, right around the time that the scene on the screen has stopped.
Minnalis removes her poison and we enter the Guardian’s chamber, we see the Goblin King’s rotten corpse and corroded equipment.
「We have to retrieve the Core quickly and escape the Dungeon. The monsters we thinned out have probably started respawning, so the『Poison Garm』packs have probably gathered up the other monsters as well. If we go back now, we might be able to see the residents and the soldiers looking for me being captured and taken into the forest by the monsters. Since we’re here, let’s go and watch.」(Kaito)
「Yes, let us enjoy some tea with the fruits we found in the forest while we watch the cockroaches that betrayed you cry and scream, Goshujin-sama~♪」(Minnalis)
Garms typically don’t venture far from the trees of the forest, so even if they enter the royal capital, they are likely to drag any prey they kill back to the forest before eating them.
Even average soldiers would be able to deal with normal Garms, but the ones attacking the royal capital would be a pack of mutated『Poison Garms』accompanied by other monsters. When they attacked in my first time through this world, there were around forty of them.
Poison Garms are intelligent. I showed off my battles with other monsters multiple times to the『Poison Garms』that were observing from a distance.
In my first run-through, they didn’t get a chance to do that. They will likely attack the city with even more monsters accompanying them than the first time, and the number of Poison Garms should be larger as well.
Ah, I have to see just how many of those pieces of trash will become food for them.
I enjoyed myself considerably while watching the princess, but she wasn’t really in pain, so I’m looking forward to this as well.
Because of the dream that I had at the perfect time, my hatred for the guys that sold me out has taken a distinct form again.
And so I feel quite happy as I cut out the Dungeon Core.
【System Message: You have acquired the『Dungeon Clearer』title.】
【System Message: The Sword of Demonic Beast Eggs has been unlocked.】
「Hmm, I’ve unlocked a new Soul Sword. Oh, ah, I see. This is the first time that I’ve directly destroyed a Dungeon Core myself.」(Kaito)
「Really? Congratulations, Goshujin-sama.」(Minnalis)
「I cleared so many Dungeons, but to think that I would only receive that title and unlock this Soul Sword at a time like this.」(Kaito)
In my first time through this world, I continued my adventures in a polite way. It went without saying for regulated Dungeons, but even when we found Dungeons in the wild, investigated them and defeated the Guardians, we simply reported it to the lords of the area or the Guild without breaking the Cores.
And so this is my first time cutting a living Dungeon Core. And I can feel that I’ve gained a lot of experience points in doing so.
I decide to check the effects of the new Soul Sword later and open my Status Board while gathering up what’s left of the Dungeon Core.
「... Hey, hey, 25,000 experience, are you serious?」(Kaito)
I didn’t think that I’d get that much experience for cutting a Dungeon Core that didn’t even move, let alone resist. What an easy gain.
While thinking of paying back just enough of my experience debt so that I still don’t level up, I finish collecting the important items and put the Guardian’s chamber and this Dungeon behind me.
「Nnh, the light of the sun feels really good, doesn’t it, Goshujin-sama?」(Minnalis)
It’s taken us five days to return outside from the Guardian’s chamber. The monsters didn’t suddenly disappear after the Dungeon Core was broken, so we took the shortest route possible while cleaning up the monsters along the way, but it took us longer than I thought.
「You’re right, humans need to live in the sun; it’s not good for our bodies to be without it.」(Kaito)
「We are told that the sunlight has always had the stimulating power of the spirit of light. In fact, regions that receive a lot of sunlight produce better crops than other places.」(Minnalis)
「That’s probably because plants need photosynthesis... Wait, do certain regions really possess the divine protection of the spirit of light? This is a fantasy world, after all.」(Kaito)
My first time through this world was mostly very tense because I wanted to return to my original world, so I didn’t have time to think about these things. But starting a farming life might not be so bad once I’ve finished my revenge.
Thought right now, I can only imagine that kind of future as an uncertain dream.
Before I came to this world, I could have imagined that kind of realistic dream easily, but I’m too much of a different person now and I find it difficult to think about.
I probably won’t be able to see such a distant dream properly until I’m finished with my vengeance.
That’s why, yes, I have to take everything from every single one of those guys until I’m satisfied.
I coincidentally re-confirm my need for revenge, and we make idle talk as we approach the side of the capital city’s outer wall.
As expected, the frequency with which we encounter monsters increases as we get closer to the wall.
Among them, we hear the howling of Garms and the strange voices of Goblins.
「I guess we’ve arrived just a little too late to see the beginning of the show.」(Kaito)
「Let us make haste, Goshujin-sama. At this rate, we may miss all the good parts.」(Minnalis)
「You’re right, I suppose we should hurry a little.」(Kaito)
We use the『Conceal Presence*』skill to ignore the monsters, and come to a spot where we can see the hole that we made in the wall.
TLN*: Previously translated as Hide Presence
We find an appropriate distance where we can observe while not being noticed by the people of the city, climb onto a thick tree branch and look upon the battle from afar.
「Ooh, they’re going at it, they really are. Or rather, haven’t we arrived at the perfect time?」(Kaito)
「It seems that things have only just begun; as far as I can see from here, only two or three people have been hunted down so far.」(Minnalis)
The hole that we made was big enough for two people to fit through side-by-side, but now it’s large enough for three large carriages to pass through at once. Considering it was about the size of a single carriage in my first run-though, it just shows how foolish these residents s are.
From what I can see from here, it seems that the attacking group of monsters is about twice as large as it was the first time. And just like that time, the Poison Garms have likely scattered paralyzing venom through the hole and begun hunting the immobilized residents.
Now the monsters are fighting with the soldiers who have heard the commotion. The Poison Garms’ paralyzing venom is their trump card; after they use it once they can’t use it again for a while. So the battle between them and the soldiers is quite even.
Even so, they’re being pushed back by the sheer number of monsters and one by one, the residents who have become immobilized by the paralyzing venom are being killed by the claws and fangs of the normal Garms or the wooden sticks wielded by the Goblins. And then they are dragged off into the forest.
If they gather a few capable adventurers, they should be able to repel the monsters easily, but let’s see how things turn out.
「Hahah, they’ve taken control, haven’t they? I wonder how many they’ll be able to kill before the adventurers come. Want to bet on it?」(Kaito)
「You mustn’t, Goshujin-sama. Alcohol, women and gambling will ruin you. Even without indulging in such things, this scene is a sufficient show to enjoy over a meal. Here you are, Goshujin-sama.」(Minnalis)
「Oh, thank you*.」(Kaito)
TLN*: In English.
I thank her and take the Ricoco fruits that we picked from the forest. They’re strange fruits that have the appearance and consistency of blue apples and the flavor of strawberries.
「It means “thank you.” Oh, another one got killed.」(Kaito)
I bite into the fruit with a loud crunch as I watch the battle.
It’s not like the soldiers are low in rank, but because of how large the hole in the wall is, they can’t keep up with the number of monsters.
「『Gyaah, stop, somebody, GYAAAAH!』」
I’m quite far away, but I can see the man who dragged me into the city and sold me out to the princess in the first time.
「『Help, no, someone help me! Help me, please, AAAAGH!』」
「Hahahah, who’s going to help you? As if I’d save you a second time. Just be eaten by monsters and die.」(Kaito)
The man screams as his leg is bitten to pieces by a Garm and his arm bends the wrong way after being punched by a Goblin. Those screams sound pleasant to my ears.
「Ah, Goshujin-sama, isn’t that the same for that woman over there? I remember seeing her in your memories.」(Minnalis)
「Hmm? Ah, that’s that man’s wife, oh, she’s surrounded by Goblins. She’ll become a seedbed for them rather than food. I feel sorry for her.」(Kaito)
「You are not very good at lying, Goshujin-sama. Your mouth is smiling, you know?」(Minnalis)
「Ah, I’ve been exposed.」(Kaito)
We mess around and ridicule the idiots struggling on the battlefield.
They’re too insignificant for me to kill them myself, but watching like this is enjoyable.
「Hmm... Hey, hey, what are you doing, mister?」(Kaito)
I say this as the old man who owns the weapon store appears. His store is close to the hole in the wall, but it’s in a place that’s pretty much in a safe zone. Why is he here?
「Hey! Hey, hey, stop it, you idiot!」(Kaito)
What is he playing at? As if trying to protect the other residents, he swings a sword that he’s never properly used before at the monsters and pours something from some bottles into the mouths of the residents that have been immobilized by the paralyzing venom.
The residents who receive the contents of those bottles start to become able to move. It’s probably antidote potion.
「There’s no value in saving those guys! And your store can’t afford to be doing this...!」(Kaito)
「Goshujin-sama, you mustn’t, we will be noticed if you go any further.」(Minnalis)
After Minnalis warns me, I calm my emotions that have gone too far and conceal my presence once more.
As I do that, the old man from the weapons store goes around distributing the antidote potion and helping people escape.
Healing tools like antidote potions are considerably expensive. I advised him to stock up on antidote potions because they would increase in value in these circumstances. Not for him to be using them like this.
「... Open your eyes... Those guys aren’t worth going so far to save.」(Kaito)
The amount of antidote potions that he has given out to the people, including the soldiers, is already more than ten bottles’ worth. He might be paid afterwards for the bottles that he has given to the soldiers, but that doesn’t go for the bottles he’s used on the residents.
Those guys are the kind of people that even if you saved them and asked them for gold, they would simply tell you that they never asked to be saved and simply forget about that debt.
The weapons store is barely scraping by; it wouldn’t be unexpected for this to cause the store to enter a crippling debt.
And above all, it’s dangerous to be here. As far as I can see, perhaps because of the non-human blood in him, the old man is using his superior stats to fight against the monsters.
I can see that he’s no trained soldier or adventurer with the experience of countless battles.
That’s why this moment was inevitable.
As the old man tries to help an immobilized girl, a Goblin attacks him from behind.
「Ugh, damn it!」(Kaito)
This is a mostly reflexive action.
I manipulate my mana to strengthen my legs and use my leveled-up Haste and Sky Walk skills to close the distance using the shortest path possible.
I kick up a cloud of dust as I charge in and perform a kick with no kind of technique or anything. It snaps the Goblin’s neck, sending it flying.
「L-lad, you’re...」(Old man)
「Why did you come out here? There’s no value in saving these guys.」(Kaito)
I attack the old man who owns the weapon store with my words.
「Antidote potions shouldn’t be cheap, considering the state of your shop. Why would you come all the way out here to throw them down the drain?」(Kaito)
The people who live in the city know the city well. That’s exactly why this old man, who lives close to these residents, should know that these people would think of the antidote potion as something that had been given to them for free.
「... I will thank you for saving me, but aren’t you going too far, saying that there’s no value in saving them?」(Old man)
「The guys who don’t say a single word of thanks to you after being saved, the guys who run away without trying to help those around them?」(Kaito)
「Not all of them are like that. You won’t know whether they’re good people or not if you don’t save them, right?」(Old man)
「I do know! In fact, what these people did to me...」(Kaito)
「So you’re fine with a child like this being killed by the monsters?! Huh?!」(Old man)
The next part of my sentence, that these people actually betrayed me, is drowned out by the old man’s harsh words.
As he says that to me, I see the girl that the old man was protecting for the first time, trembling.
... So what?
The residents here betrayed me.
They called me their savior and said their words of gratitude, and then they sold me out for money.
Yes, they betrayed me.
... They betrayed me? Is that really true?
The girl before my eyes, the one who is trembling as the old man protects her, did she really betray me?
「... No, I... don’t know this girl.」(Kaito)
As these whispered words spill from my mouth, other voices drown them out.
「Tch, the adventurers.」(Kaito)
The adventurers who were staying in the royal capital have gathered. They’ve come as one group, and unlike their soldiers, they are wearing mismatching, different kinds of equipment.
「... Oi, this is my way of apologizing and thanking you. It should be more than enough to make up for the antidote potion that you used.」(Kaito)
As I say that, I fling a single gold coin towards the old man who owns the weapon store.
「But this is the last time I’ll save you. The debt I owed you from my first run-through is done, we’re even now. I won’t save you next time.」(Kaito)
「Ah, hey, wait, lad!」(Old man)
And then I return to where Minnalis is waiting before people start to gather.
「Goshujin-sama, why did you go out?」(Minnalis)
「... That old man was definitely not one of my targets for revenge. And I owed him for what happened in my first run-through.」(Kaito)
「It was dangerous. I do not think that you will be killed so easily, Goshujin-sama, but it might cause difficulties for our upcoming revenge.」(Minnalis)
Minnalis’s gaze is cold.
Revenge is the one thing that binds us together, which is why Minnalis is anxious about difficulties arising in accomplishing that revenge.
「You are my accomplice in revenge. It is troubling for you to stumble in a place like this. Please stop exposing your own body to danger.」(Minnalis)
「... Sorry. But I realized something thanks to that old man. This method, the method we used this time, we can’t use it.」(Kaito)
There are other people in the royal capital that helped me other than that old man, even if they didn’t help me directly.
There are people who gave away my location. But there are also people who knew where I was didn’t do that.
Revealing my whereabouts would have earned a lot of money, some people told me to leave because they didn’t want to be involved.
A girl I don’t know that didn’t know anything about me gave me one of her own precious pieces of candy.
There are those in this country who didn’t become my enemies, so I can’t keep doing things this way. Those people being killed weren’t included in my calculations when I planned this event.
「For revenge, you can’t mistake who you’re taking revenge on. What we did today was no good. There were too many innocent people mixed up with who we were supposed to take revenge on. Too many died that weren’t the people we were supposed to take revenge on. And most importantly, I hadn’t noticed this fact.」(Kaito)
There is a line that I mustn’t forget to draw if I want to retain my sanity.
If it’s absolutely necessary for my revenge, I wouldn’t hesitate to kill some people that I would consider friendly.
But if I don’t even think about it and start killing people just because it’s easier, not a single piece of the person that Leti saved would be left, and I would become a true monster.
Vengeance is an emotion. It’s not an instinct; it’s a piece that someone carries in their heart.
I’m sure it’s impossible for a monster that has lost all sense of reason to achieve that.
I’ll kill the princess, I’ll kill the king, the queen too, the prime minister, the knights. I’ll definitely kill all of them without a single shred of mercy.
I’ll torture them and torture them and as they regret their actions, I’ll crush them with the irrational reality and the power I possess.
I won’t get anyone unnecessary involved; I must achieve vengeance, the greatest vengeance of all time.
That’s why I have to be selective. I have to think of a way to decide and filter those who I really need to take revenge on.
This revenge doesn’t need any impurities.
This revenge must be as pure as possible.
That old man who owns the weapon store, that girl who was trembling. If they’re not targets for my revenge themselves, I can’t cause suffering for those that I do want revenge on through their deaths.
They are definitely impurities that are unrelated to my revenge.
They aren’t people that I can’t absolutely avoid getting involved in my revenge. This inefficient method isn’t revenge. My objective and my method have gotten mixed up.
I paid it no deep thought and had no real determination. Relying on only my emotions, I acted in a way that only made things worse.
What I did today was definitely a failure.
If I mistake where the line is drawn and step over it, I’m sure I won’t live to see my revenge fulfilled.
「Let’s go, Minnalis. Let’s give things lots and lots of thought, so that we can accomplish a perfect revenge. We’re not murderers who take pleasure in killing; we can’t continue using these methods that produce so many casualties that aren’t related to our revenge. Let’s concentrate on planning things more precisely so that we can have high-quality revenge. We still have plenty of people we need to take revenge on.」(Kaito)
With these words, I turn my back on the walls of the royal capital.
As I do so –
「What are you deciding on your own? I have not finished lecturing you.」(Minnalis)
「It hyurts, it hyurts, what are hyu doing?!」(Kaito)
Minnalis pinches my cheeks with her fingers.
I took all this effort to collect my thoughts neatly, but the atmosphere is ruined.
「I am not particularly against you saving that man from the weapon store. What I am angry about is the fact that you exposed yourself to danger to do so, Goshujin-sama. Do you really understand? Goshujin-sama, you are the one who said that we should proceed with caution as we still lack power, am I wrong?」(Minnalis)
「S-sorrhyih, I’ll he cyareful from now on, so forhive me...」(Kaito)
「... Please be really, really careful. I cannot carry this desire for revenge on my own. We are going to achieve a perfect revenge, aren’t we? In that case, please do not neglect to keep yourself safe.」(Minnalis)
With those words, Minnalis lets out a sigh and finally releases my cheeks... I thought she’d tear me to pieces. I’m being quite serious.
「So from now, we will move as we discussed before?」(Minnalis)
「Yeah, I suppose we’ll head north. Our first destination is the college town,『Ermia.』」
I look at the walls of the royal capital that I likely won’t see for a while.
The monsters are already either being killed by the adventurers who have appeared or retreating to lick their wounds.
With the advantage of numbers turned against them, the monsters have no chance of winning. That district will become peaceful again before long.
「Just you wait, king, queen, princess, knights and all you other pieces of trash. I’m definitely going to drag you all to the depths of hell.」(Kaito)
This is my second life that I’ve been granted through some twist of fate.
You trampled all over me during my first life. So now it’s my turn.
Now, I’ll depart.
I’ll set out on this path of vengeance that nothing will be created from.
I’ll walk on while laughing at everything that happened to the me that already met his end.
Even if I can’t tell anyone.
So that even though this life is shitty, I haven’t lived it in a way that can be called『a life that I threw away halfway through.』
I laugh as I walk on this path of vengeance. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far