632 – Travelling with Miia
Having wrapped up our conversation, we begin to head towards the sky-piercing tower. Along the way, we’ve decided to focus on Aro and treant’s levelling, rather than mine.
“I’m sure you’ve seen, but my level is maxed out. Your level is 139, so you’re only 11 levels away too. Don’t you have that experience doubling skill too?”
As we walk, I have been talking with Miia, explaining some of my skills to her. I don’t want to fully reveal my hand, but I needed to at least tell her about my experience-related ones, since they affect our levelling plans.
Besides, I’ve looked at her skills with [Status Inspection], so it’s only fair if I tell her some of mine.
“Then you’ll reach your maximum soon enough anyway. There’s that ugly headless guardian, the hecatoncheir, to fight after all. Rather than raising your level, we should focus on raising Aro-kun and treant-kun’s levels. You understand what’s coming, don’t you? What happens once we get out?”
Right… Once we get out, we have to fight the [Spirit Servants] of God’s Voice. After that, we’ll probably have to fight God’s Voice directly.
I’m close to reaching my maximum level as a Legendary. It’s almost time for God’s Voice to dispose of me. God’s Voice probably prepared this Forest of Ngai for the last spurt of levelling for divine skill holders like me.
“We need to hurry… But we also need to be efficient. God’s Voice’s objective is to produce a monster with the highest level of [Laplace Interference Authority] in order to revive Foren and return the world to nothingness. But, the closer God’s Voice gets to their objective, the more they risk having the tables turned.”
That’s why God’s Voice is just acquiring the data gained from raising divine skill holders to the limit before disposing of them. When God’s Voice comes to dispose of me… I need to turn the tables somehow.
While speaking, Miia watches me closely.
『…Hey, do you think your [Naraka Realm] could somehow let us outwit God’s Voice?』
I try asking. If Miia’s idea to flee inside the origin matter really took God’s Voice by surprise, then she could be the key to reversing God’s Voice’s expectations. I don’t have any concrete ideas of how we could work together to do that though…
Miia blinks, then smiles meaningfully.
“Yeah, it will. Probably.”
S-scary… I might really be too on edge, because even when she does normal things, I can’t help but see her as scary.
Aro and treant are also nervously watching her. Treant is leaning against Aro’s back, hiding behind her. You’re meant to be the front liner, you know, treant…
Miia suddenly turns to look at them. They shudder and freeze in place. Miia smiles at them.
“Fufu, I won’t eat you. Irushia-kun, your subordinates really are cute.”
Miia says, apparently in a good mood, then turns back to the front to resume walking.
Th-that surprised me… I thought for a second she was about to suddenly flip out and attack. I’m sure now she did that to get a reaction out of Aro and treant, knowing that they’re scared of her. It’s bad for my heart, so I’d rather she didn’t suddenly play around like that.
As we walk, we spot a giant snake in the distance. It’s longer than me, and the creepy thing about it is that it has a huge number of eyeballs where its head should be. It’s not that its head is covered in eyes. No, its neck simply ends in a cluster of giant bare eyeballs, looking like a grotesque bunch of grapes. It also looks there are what looks like nerve clusters behind each of the eyeballs.
Noticing us, it wraps its body around one of the giant dark trees and climbs up, staring at us with its many eyes.
…Another ridiculous thing has shown up. I’d thought I was getting used to how peculiar all the monsters here seem to be, but what’s tough is still tough. Aro and treant similarly appear to be at a loss at the eyeball snake.
“Hmm, I’m a little curious about this one.”
Miia says cheerfully. I suppose I should have expected this, but she’s not all put off by its appearance. I guess it goes to show how long she spent here before God of Madness began to set in.
“You should have recovered from your wounds now. Aro-kun, treant-kun please show me what you can do.”
Treant grimaces in open revulsion. I check the eyeball snake’s status with [Status Inspection].
Condition: God of Madness
It’s far from maximum level, but it’s still a Legendary. This might be a bit much for Aro and treant.
『Do you mind if go too? If Aro and treant fight from my back, they can raise their levels in safety. It’s only level 83, but it’s still a Legendary. It’s apparently called an xiangliu.』
“Hrmm… Danger and contribution are closely linked. If you help too much, they won’t learn how to fight. We’ll be watching closely, so they’ll be safe enough. The experience gained by life-and-death struggles is vital. It teaches what’s important.”
『That’s no reason to take reckless risks though. One of them could die.』
“You have two. If something happens to one, you still have the other.”
I bare my teeth and glare at Miia.
『I-I-I don’t want to fight that thing either, Miia-dono!』
Treant says, leaning out from behind Aro. Miia turns to look at him, he slinks back behind Aro.
“To put it bluntly, you two are near your upper limit in strength. Once you level up, the most you can do is evolve to another species of the same rank to raise your stats a little, or hone your skills. That’s why you need to learn how to fight a more powerful opponent. What’s your choice? You can fight in relative safety now, or you can flail around and get overwhelmed by the real deal later. If that’s the extent of your resolve, then you might as well run as soon as we reach the surface. None of my subordinates made that choice though.”
Treant turns to me with a troubled look.
“…Dragon-god-sama. I’ll do it.”
Treant looks at Aro in astonishment, then declares『th-then, me too!』. Miia smiles broadly.
“Your subordinates really are cute.”
I can’t dispel my uneasiness about this though. It’s true that the xiangliu is relatively slow. It would be suicidal to try fighting a higher rank opponent that’s also much faster, so at least they have a chance… Most of its skills are familiar and straightforward, but a few sound concerning…
“It’s okay. I said they could die, but you and I are here. There’s no need to worry.”
 – A snake with nine human heads that poisons the land in Chinese mythology – wiki