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L1M Chapter 7

Strengthen

I was beyond shocked when that disembodied voice reverberated through my mind.

Didn’t I just get a hell of a lot stronger?! Plus, I got some skills on top of that? For real?

Oh, and that thing was called Earth Dragon, huh? So, it was a dragon, not a serpent, then.

Whoa. This “Corpse Absorption” thing wasn’t your run-of-the-mill skill – it was actually pretty amazing and useful. That had to mean that Miem lady was just full of herself, running her mouth about things she didn’t really understand. Or, maybe I was just special? Or, maybe the people that got mixed up into the summoning are different, somehow. Based on how Miem said this was the first time something like this had happened, I’d have to put my bets on the latter, most likely.

Hm? Speaking of, my leg didn’t hurt anymore. Just a short while ago, my entire body had been thrumming with pain, but I didn’t feel a single thing now. It must’ve been from recovering all of my health back.

As I was in the midst of my thoughts, there had been just one goblin that had made it all the way down into the pit, which meant I was in this small hole in the ground with only that thing as company.

I started panicking inwardly, my heart pounding within my chest.

N-n-no, it’d be okay. I’d be fine. I… I should’ve been way stronger than before. It was just a goblin, so there was no way it was all that powerful.

The thoughts raced through my head, but outwardly, my body was trembling.

From the start, I was nothing short of a coward. Standing up against those hoodlums had been a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence, and definitely not par for the course.

The goblin raised up high its bludgeon and swung down at me as I shook in my boots.

W-whoa, hey now!

I raised my arms to protect my head. After the goblin attacked, I’d fight back and…

Huh? It didn’t hurt at all…

The bludgeon had been smashed into pieces. Wow, was this because my defensive stats rose earlier?

Seeing the state of its weapon, the goblin looked utterly dumbfounded and its gaze swung up towards me. Ahh, it was afraid now since its attack had failed completely. It seemed like the ball was in my court, now. I recalled gaining that “Meteorite” skill earlier, but using it in an enclosed space like this didn’t seem like the brightest idea, so I’d just rely on good, old-fashioned punching then.

I slammed my fist into its head and heard some kind of bursting sound. Looking down, the goblin’s face looked like it had been smashed in like a tomato, with blood painting the ground red around it.

“Ugh, gross…”

I unconsciously flinched back at the grotesque sight. First off, me and gross things did not make a good pair, and something about the idea of killing something didn’t settle right with me, even if it had tried to kill me first. Then again, this was proof that I had definitely gotten stronger. I didn’t know too much about the benchmarks used for stats in this world, but I couldn’t believe that one punch could smash through the head of something like that.

That serpent-dragon thing must have truly been strong for me to be like this after absorbing it. Well, that was that. I might as well try absorbing this goblin, too. I held my hand out towards it and used my skill.

The process began, and somehow, all the pieces of its body, and both its bloody and smashed bits were all absorbed in together. All the blood that had been splattered across my body and clothing was absorbed as well, leaving me right as rain.

HP +5, MP+1, Attack +1, Defense +1, Speed +1, Skill points gained: +1

Compared to the dragon, absorbing the goblin didn’t really do jack for me. I should’ve known absorbing something strong would yield me way more power. The goblin didn’t pass me over any skills, either.

Well, that was done and over with, so it was time to head back up. I wondered what to do with that goblin’s little buddies, though. I was pretty against the idea of killing them, but if I could gain more skills from doing so… That didn’t leave me many options.

I raised my head and looked up.

Hm. It was just an inkling, but with a height like that, I felt like I could probably jump all the way back up there. I mean, a normal human definitely wouldn’t have been able to make that kind of jump, but since I’d grown so much stronger, I probably could do it.

I readied myself and jumped up as high as I possibly could, and I didn’t just jump, I leapt. I leapt so high, it was ridiculous on my part.

Jumping power hadn’t been shown anywhere in the status window, but I was fairly certain that as my stats improved otherwise, so did the capabilities my body was able to utilize.

I came down on the ground and looked ahead of me. The goblins appeared shocked at my sudden arrival. There were only three of them. I hadn’t used “Identify” before, but it seemed like it was finally time for it. But, how was I supposed to use it? I wasn’t sure, but I stared straight the goblins and called out,

“Identify.”

Once I did, words appeared over a goblin’s head, saying, “Goblin (M), Lv 7/19”.

All that showed up was its name, sex, and level. It didn’t seem like I could see any of its stats. Well, at least there was no doubt now that it was a goblin.

Come to think of it, I used magic just now for the “Identify” skill to see that goblin’s level, didn’t I? While I was glad to be able to use the skill, I wondered why I could use magic at all. Well, who cared?

As I was identifying their stats, the goblins came at me all together with an attack, but it didn’t faze me in the slightest. It didn’t look like they were going to give up trying to beat me up, either. I guess that meant it was meteor time.

It seemed like a really explosive skill, to be completely honest. I’d absolutely be pulled into it and killed if I somehow screwed everything up.

I moved back away from the goblins to create some space, and since my speed had risen, it had been a simple affair to do so. Praying long and hard that my skill would hit its target, I called out,

“Meteorite!”

With that, a big rock came down upon the goblin’s head. It wasn’t anywhere near as big as I’d imagined it might be, and I could hardly even call it a meteorite at that. Truthfully, it was just just a fallen rock. If I raised my skill’s level any, would it become a tried and true meteorite at that point?

Even so, it was definitely big enough as it was. It smashed into the goblins, splattering them everywhere. The rock didn’t disappear or anything either – it just sat there, still and unmoving.

The goblins’ remains and blood had flown here and there, and this was just as gross a sight as the one earlier.

Forget the rock – there was nothing I could do about it. I’d just absorb the remains of the goblins in the meantime.

HP +15, MP +3, Attack +3, Defense +3, Speed +3, Skill points gained: +3

I’d gotten the same stats as with the previous goblin, and didn’t get a single skill out of it either. Hm.

I opened up my status window and checked out everything.

Name: Tetsuya Takahashi
Age: 25
Level: 1/1
HP: 140/140
MP: 47/57
Attack: 57
Defense: 107
Speed: 37
Skill Points: 14
Skill: Corpse Absorption, Lv1 Identify, Lv3 Meteorite
Resistance: None

Huh. My level was still one, but I’d gotten considerably powerful otherwise. My MP was down by ten, but I’d bet that was from using the meteorite skill. Yeah, “Corpse Absorption” could be my ace-in-the-hole. Putting it a different way: I wasn’t getting any stronger whatsoever if I didn’t kill my opponents.

I really didn’t like the idea of that, but if anything tried to attack me again like those goblins, I couldn’t hesitate for even a second. I’d have to kill them.

There wasn’t a single other person in this world I could rely on or trust, so this is what I’d have to do to get stronger. I’d have to kill, kill, and kill some more to gain the power I needed.

There was no other way.

I’d get stronger, survive what this world threw at me, and get back at the assholes who tried to kill me off in the first place.

That said, I pushed myself forward, holding that vow close to my heart.

 

 

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