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A note from MelasD

Part 2 will be up in an hour or so. No more extra chapters until Saturday. I wrote some chapters because I had the time over the weekend, now I don't have any more free time. When my Finals are over, my real and regular schedule begins.


14.1. Wolves

Find a way back to the Netherworld.

I made the decision to return to Haec— somehow find my companion who was deep inside the Demon King’s Domain. I had to cross planes to this; somehow carry out the same ritual that the [Cultists] did to bring myself and Lucerna over here. But right now, I was chasing butterflies.

“Ooo!”

I watched as the insect with brightly colored wings flitted over to a flower and rested on it for a moment. It stuck its proboscis deep within the petals until it was satisfied, before flying off to another bush. I started after it but paused as I passed by a small tree and saw something moving on the leaves.

“Looks like mini Demons!”

I observed, peering at the squishy blobs crawling over the leaf surface. These larvae were not nearly as colorful as the [Demon Larvae] I had met in the Netherworld— they were mostly green, like the color of the leaves. Was it to disguise themselves from any wild Demons? Or rather, wild butterflies that would try and kill them to level?

I wasn’t entirely sure, but it was interesting to think about. After a while of staring at these larvae crawl along, I eventually got bored and walked away. I glanced up as a white cloud covered the sun in the sky, casting a brief shadow over me as the wind blew at my face.

“Why is the sky blue? Shouldn’t it be red?”

I wondered aloud, continuing through the forest bursting with life. I had hoped my voice would attract someone— anyone— to me; perhaps they would be able to tell me the way back to the Netherworld, as I had no idea where to even start.

And it was not like making a lot of noise was dangerous. I had been careful at first to be as quiet as possible— to not attract any wild Demons to me. I didn’t know the level of the Demons in the area, and it would be bad if they were all Greater Demons that wanted to capture or kill me like Lucerna had been. However, not only have I not encountered any Demons thus far, nothing here seemed interested in attacking me.

And on the flip side, nothing here seemed interested in answering my question.

I looked back down, staring ahead through the endless thicket of trees all around me; I had no directionality— I was more lost than I had been in the Netherworld. There, everything looked the same to me so there was nothing to be confused about. But here, everything kept changing— nothing seemed the same, which made me think I was at a different place, but I couldn’t even be sure of that.

Sighing, I collapsed to the floor and spread my arms open wide. I saw a bird soaring through the sky above me— but I had no interest in it anymore. I had already chased after one until the bright blue sky became a dark blue sky, before it became a bright blue sky again. Speaking of which…

“Why does the sky keep changing colors? First it’s blue, then it’s orange, then it's blue again but darker, then it’s orange again but more red, then it’s blue again— can’t it stick to one?!”

The sky of the Netherworld never once changed its hue, even though I had been there for a long time. I had been here for a short amount of time, but it had already changed a dozen different times!

I didn’t— I couldn’t— understand this Mortal Realm. It was a complete mystery to me. And while that would be enough to pique my curiosity most of the time— and it had for a bit— I was currently looking for a way to leave this place. Maybe once I found a way to do that, I could return with Haec and properly explore and try to understand everything here.

I exhaled deeply once again, an act I knew meant I was frustrated.

“Can’t somebody help me?!”

I called out, my voice echoing through the suddenly empty forest. I looked around and saw no one approach— no one answered my call. I waited for a moment before getting up.

“Maybe this place just has no intelligent people.”

I paused, remembering the Human [Cultists] that had brought me here.

“Or maybe no one likes me.”

I corrected myself with a click of my claws. I was just about to start in a random direction, hoping that it would lead me somewhere, when I heard a sound from behind me.

It was a light sound. A very soft sound. It was like the rustling of the leaves that came whenever a strong wind came pushing at me— except, the wind was gone. I narrowed my eyes and turned around.

“Who’s there?”

I saw a slight movement from a bush— an almost glowing eye sink back into the darkness— before the leaves fell to the ground and three figures stepped out from it.

[Dark Wolf - Lvl. 18]

[Dark Wolf - Lvl. 17]

[Dark Wolf - Lvl. 23]

These creatures— these wolves— looked almost like [Hellhounds]. But they were smaller, and they had a coat of fur dark colored covering their body. They growled at me and took a step forward closer to me.

I raised my hands up defensively and spoke out.

“I don’t want to fight you. If you can speak, just tell me where I can find the Netherworld and I’ll leave you alone.”

It was probably a stupid thing to say; I had already noted these [Dark Wolves] similarities to the wild Demons back in the Netherworld. And yet, they were still not completely the same, which was why I tried to talk— wild Demons had no… sex, but these creatures did.

Nevertheless, these creatures still didn’t back down. They approached me slowly, encroaching around me from all sides. They weren’t like the wild Demons that came at me without thought— these monsters could think and coordinate. And they were all around my level or higher. This would be a dangerous fight. I might have to run if they overwhelm me—

 

Defeated [Dark Wolf - Lvl. 18]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

Defeated [Dark Wolf - Lvl. 17]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

Defeated [Hunter Dark Wolf - Lvl. 23]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

“Huh.”

I blinked as I lowered my hands.

“That was easy.”

I remarked as the magical flames left my claws, leaving a searing cut across the wolves’ corpses. I looked down at the blood on my hands— red blood— and flicked it off. Why is the blood red? I mused to myself, but dismissed the thought. Blood is blood, doesn’t matter what color it is.

It still meant I had killed a thing— or hurt them, at least— although these [Dark Wolves] were almost certainly dead. I wondered why they were so weak— in fact, I was expecting those [Cultists] to be stronger when I fought them, but even the Level 45 [Cult Leader] was hurt from a single [Fire Strike]. He seemed like the type to neglect [Vitality] in favor of [Wisdom], but still— I did not expect to damage him as much as I did.

I shrugged and continued on my way, in search of… anything, really.

 

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MelasD

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