I’m a D-Rank Adventurer Volume 2 Chapter 3 part 6

The overpowering stench of rotting flesh and blood assaulted my senses. I reflexively held my breath to avoid taking in any more of the air.

The space was wide enough to easily fit hundreds of people.

But…the dense stench of death lingered undiminished, permeating the air.

In that wide space, a lone figure stood with his back to us, holding some sort of red-black object in a large container, muttering to himself.

Perhaps because he was using concealment magic, he didn’t seem to notice us.

From this distance, I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I could tell that the man was terribly excited, breathing heavily.

I glanced at the students, who weren’t moving a muscle.

When I had sent out the summoned beast – the black rat – to investigate, they were already in this tragic state.

In other words, I was too late. So there’s no helping it.

Even knowing there’s no helping it…

“Damn…” I muttered.

There was nothing I could have done. I found this place as quickly as I possibly could have. …There was no helping it. Thinking “If only I had dealt with it sooner” is just hindsight.

So…I should deal with this situation calmly now.

“Okay…calm down.”

I took a deep breath and regained my composure. …Usually I’m calm and cool-headed, but this situation had disturbed my mind. From here on, I’ll be calm.

“Eve. Judging by the gruesome state of them, the students and guards are already dead. It’s not a problem that can be fixed by healing magic anymore.”

While glancing at the mangled corpses of the students, missing chunks here and there, I called out in a small voice to Eve, who still had her hand over her mouth and looked pale.

“Healing magic can’t do anything. So–I’ll use resurrection magic.”

“You can use it?”

“Yes. My resurrection magic can bring them back to life.”

“Then–“

“I can…but their souls need to still be in this world, and the targets themselves have to want to come back to life. Their souls are still here, but they’re cowering in fear from the cruel way they were killed. In this state…resurrection is impossible.”

“Then…what should we do?”

Eve looked at me anxiously, as if pleading for help.

To reassure Eve, I spoke in a slightly kind tone.

“If we eliminate what’s making them cower in fear, then resurrecting them should be possible. In other words, we just have to kill that guy over there.”

I pointed at the man in the distance, muttering to himself while holding up the large container with the red-black objects – hearts.

“But to kill him and resurrect the students, we need someone to anchor their wavering souls to this world while we’re dealing with the unknown strength of the enemy. So–“

“I’ll do it. What do I need to do?”

“Eve, please keep talking to their bodies. But…no matter what happens to me, please keep talking to the students.”

“Okay…got it.”

Eve nodded strongly and said that. …Good, she didn’t seem to doubt anything.

“Then–I’m counting on you.”

I sent Eve towards the corpses of the students and guards, collapsed on the ground.

“Imperial Barrier.”

And after confirming Eve had gone–I deployed an Imperial Barrier around Eve and the corpses.

Of course, I made it invisible with concealment magic so Eve wouldn’t notice.

…Now I can relax. With the Imperial Barrier, she can’t leave it and get caught up in the fight.

The truth is, it’s true their souls are cowering in fear, but the part about them fading away was a lie. Even killed cruelly, souls will surely linger in this world for three days after death.

I’m thankful the White Magic Association is keeping the details of resurrection magic hidden for times like this. Thanks to that, Eve didn’t doubt me at all.

With my concerns gone, I quietly walked over to the man in the black robe. He didn’t seem to notice me, as I was using concealment magic to hide my presence.

“Die.”

Once I got right in front of him, I raised my hand over his head, released a massive amount of magic power, and crushed him.

“Hmm…he wasn’t as tough as I thought. I was too cautious, maybe?”

I sighed as I looked at the crushed remains of the man. But–

“Hey, who the hell are you? Huh? What are you doing, ruining my fun like that? I’ll kill you, bastard.”

I immediately turned around when I heard a man’s voice coming from behind me.

“Damn, damn, damn! Don’t get in my way, trash. Who the hell are you, barging in here like that? It’s pissing me off, I want to kill you right now….Yeah, that’s decided. I’ll kill you in the most gruesome way.”

That person – a gaunt young man…no, boy – twisted his face hideously as he gnawed his thumb until it bled and scratched violently at his dull gray hair.

Because of the deep hood, I hadn’t noticed before, but he was young, looking about thirteen – just a child.

“How…are you alive? You should be dead right now, I definitely killed you just now. Your corpse is right here–“

“Huh? Of course not, dumbass. My beloved lord made it “so”, you know?”

“What…?”

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Not understanding what the boy was saying, I muttered in confusion. I definitely felt like I had killed him. There’s no way it could have been an illusion.

“Well, I wouldn’t expect a dim-witted human to understand. Looking down on me and bullying me just like those trash…Oh, now I’m remembering their faces as they died, it was so amusing…”

The boy twisted his face in delight and cackled maniacally.

Hearing those words, I understood who the boy was talking about.

“The ones you’re talking about are the serial murders that were rumored in the city, right? Where the children’s hearts were ripped out…a cruel thing to do.”

“Hmm? No, that wasn’t all…I made sure they didn’t die while I slowly ripped off their limbs so they could fully experience the agony. At first they acted all defiant, but by the end they were begging me to kill them, it was just so delightful…Ahh…so fun…”

The boy grinned happily at the memory.

Seeing him take such twisted delight, I frowned.

I have no idea why this boy committed such deranged acts. From his tone, it’s possible those children did something terrible to him that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

…Even so.

“Why…did you kill the students from the Magic Academy? They should have had nothing to do with this.”

I questioned him in a voice tinged with anger. Hearing my words, the boy answered as if it were no big deal.

“Well, they were wearing the Magic Academy uniforms so I attacked them, but I didn’t specifically target them or anything. It was just by chance, you know?…Although they were around the same age as that trash, and I had a lot of fun with it.”

“I see.”

I muttered tonelessly. It seems they were just unlucky. A freak accident of sorts, perhaps.

Silently, I raised my left arm and held my palm out towards the boy. I’ve heard enough.

“Just tell me one last thing. Why did you do all this?”

As I gathered immense magical power in my left hand, the boy twisted his face into a grin and said:

“I was asked to…summon an ‘evil god.'”

“An ‘evil god’…?”

Before I could ask what he meant,

“That’s right, isn’t it? My beloved lord – ‘Gluttony-sama!'”

the boy dramatically raised his hands to the sky and shouted.

In the next instant—

“Wha—?!”

A powerful impact and pain assaulted my outstretched arm.

I quickly looked to my left arm.

But—

“No—?!”

My left arm, which should have been there, was gone…vanished without a trace.

As if it had been ‘devoured’ by something.

“Tch–!”

Realizing the situation, I immediately ripped my remaining clothes to wrap a makeshift bandage around my left arm stump to stem the bleeding. …This should at least minimize the blood loss.

“Right now, I’ll use—?!”

“Don’t come! Stay right there!”

As Eve rushed over to me, I yelled for her to stop.

“But—”

“I told you to keep talking to the students no matter what happens to me, right? …Besides, recovery magic won’t work now anyway.”

“Oh…okay.”

Eve had looked like she wanted to run over and heal me immediately, but when I spoke in a tone that brooked no argument, she seemed to understand and gave a small nod.

[I see…you realized that once my Devouring bites you, you can’t heal it, huh? You really are strong.]

A cheerful girl’s voice sounded from somewhere.

I looked around for the source of the voice.

…But there was no one around who could have made it.

[Ah, sorry sorry. I was still in that form, wasn’t I? I’ll go back to my original form now.]

At the same time as that voice sounded, tremendous magical power leaked out from a nearby gray rat.

“Hah…this form really is the most comfortable. And I don’t like rats, you know? There’s just something creepy about them. Don’t you think so too?”

The small gray rat writhed, swelled up, and transformed into a human – a girl.

If I had to describe that girl in one word…she had an ominous air about her.


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