To start off, I looked high and low and in every nook and cranny inside the shrine to see if there was something to eat. Inside the shrine, in addition to the legless spider—who I mercy killed… and the egg sac from the spider—that Partner has equipped onto her head… I also found some rotting carcasses with flies buzzing about them… After that, I found some human bones.
The bones were relatively small and appear to be that of a child’s. It looked like time had had its way with whoever this was after they died, as it always does.
I fear these bones are likely those of a child from the Lithuvar Tribe who was dragged back here by the manticore. It could be that the manticore is only going after children.
I couldn’t completely finish that monster off… I knew I’d regret this. That thing’s too fast on its feet. I shouldn’t have hesitated. I should’ve ended it in some way while my opponent had their guard down. That manticore could be going after, tormenting, and devouring more children and parent monsters with eggs again and I wouldn’t even know it. Just the thought makes my brain fog up with gloom.
…Partner, who had an egg sac stuck fast to her forehead and was ignorant to whatever was on my mind, squealed in oblivious delight. Well, whatever. I’m not really in the mood to pressure you to feel sorrowful. I mean, you’re a monster. Well I am too, to an extent… You’ll listen to what I have to say and use your recovery magic on humans… but that’s the extent of it, huh?
But, does it actually put you in a good mood? Y’know, all this? I’m getting the impression that perhaps the only reason for this is that it stuck fast to your forehead when you brought your head close to it in an attempt to eat it, didn’t you?
Once I thought so, it was about the only thing that could cross my mind. Man, how is it that I have this [[Mutual Understanding]] skill, and yet I still don’t understand you? Every once in a while you make me feel as if I’ve been slapped upside the head…
As I raised my forefoot, about to pluck the egg sac off of her, Partner quickly recoiled her head back and glared at me.
She cried out in a sharper voice than she did just moments before. She sounded threatening, even. It would seem that I was off the mark.
What is it? You wanna keep that?
Partner nodded her head up and down. Oh, now it gets through. As if! What the hell are you doin’ keepin’ flippin’ spiders?! Keeping a living creature is no fun ‘n’ games! Because, to begin with, that’s a monster, through and through! We can’t possibly know what’ll happen when it hatches!
Partner pulled her head and neck all the way back, refusing to hand it over. I swear, the nerve of this girl…
For now, I guess I should try checking up on what species the dead spider is. If it turns out these things are dangerous, then sorry, but I’m going to have them cremated.
[[[Araignée]]: C− ranked monster.]
[A large spider with hair growing on it.]
[Though docile in nature, they become ferocious during the period that their egg sac is attached to their body.]
[They excel at thread manipulation, even amongst other spiders.]
…So, they’re docile creatures? Well, either way, what can they even do when they’re around C minus? You know what? Whatever. I’ll let you keep them until you feel satisfied. Though you might not be able to take care of them after they’re born, I guess you’ll protect them until they hatch. That, and I feel like their parent spider had entrusted them to me at the very end… I knew it. I knew it would leave a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.
Now then, I guess I’ll bury these bones and rotting carcasses out… side… No, wait, I wonder… could it be better to bring these bones back to their home?
Hmm, I feel like that’s only gonna cause some kind of weird misunderstanding if I do… I have no doubts that even I’d be flipping out if a dragon came bringing me the bones of a fellow tribesman.
I guess I’ll be burying these bones right outside of this small shrine. …Hm, by some chance, I could use [[Fake Life (Soul Appendment)]] on those, couldn’t I? I’m pretty sure it said this grants fabricated life… or something to that effect, right? I can’t say anything for certain unless I try usin’ it, but I expect it to be a system of reanimation. It’s worth a shot. For all I know, it might even regenerate flesh or something along those lines.
[[Fake Life (Soul Appendment)]]! [[Fake Life (Soul Appendment)]]!
…What the-? Nothin’s comin’ out!
Don’t tell me… Partner took this one away from me. She did, didn’t she? Let me have at least one. Just something… Just when I think I’ve got my hands on a new skill, it turns out to be Partner’s? Or mayhaps I should say that all the skills I’ve obtained as Ouroboros have gone over yonder, haven’t they? God, I’m about to cry.
Hey, Partner, got a minute? Use [[Fake Life (Soul Appendment)]] for me. I’m not gonna try rippin’ off the egg sac again, okay?
As Partner cried out, a black light enveloped the rotting flesh.
[Level of normal skill [[Fake Life (Soul Appendment)]] has increased from level 1 to level 2.]
Hey-, wait a minute! Not those ones! Okay, so maybe it’s my fault that I didn’t specify, but those are not at all the right ones!
The rotting flesh squelched vulgarly and swampily, followed by it marginally expanding outward. Strange, tentacle-like things sprouted out from the rotting flesh.
By reflex, I squashed the rotting flesh with my claws, causing it to gib in all directions with black fluid splattering out.
[Experience points were not able to be acquired due to the difference in ranking being too great.]
Huff—, huff—, that was close. I was on the verge of alchemizing an abominable monster. I had completely and utterly forgotten about me being a wicked dragon and that part is why nothing but an actual monster came out of it.
Yeah, that’s right, there’s no reason that [[Fake Life (Soul Appendment)]] would be a well-posited skill for reanimation and the like. This is just a skill for producing monsters en masse.
Partner twisted her head to the side, seemingly in wonder. No, now this is a thing that we shouldn’t even consider letting roam freely.
However, if this is what it does, then reanimation is all but impossible, right? Though, if I raise my skill level or if I-… No, that’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it? It would appear that when it says it grants a fabricated life, that fabricated life is not a reanimation. Even if I were to bring this skill to max level, in all likelihood, it’ll just create monsters that’ll be complete monsters. Let’s stuff this skill away and lock it up.
Now then, to get these bones… buried… outside… I shouldn’t, but… I’ll try it just to be sure. It would be better to at least-… I really, really shouldn’t, but, if this fails, I’ll just be toying with a dead body, y’know? No biggie? If I bring them back and it doesn’t work out, I guess I’ll just immediately stomp them out again. …That won’t do, will it? And it doesn’t seem like there’s any chance at all of there being something close to a success.
…But, well, my skill level did go up, so it doesn’t mean my chances’ll be nil… I’m totally gonna regret it if I figure out after burying them that I was able to bring them back to life, won’t I?
Yo, Partner. I’d like you to use it one more time. Use it on those human bones over there.
As Partner cried out, black light enveloped the human bones. The human bones floated in midair and then started to coalesce, fitting themselves together. Right after, they suddenly started to move and rattle.
The human bones wobbled and wavered unsteadily and struck the wall, causing an arm to fall off. As the human bones knelt down to pick it up, its crouched leg became detached from its main body, causing it to collapse on the spot.
Uh, this thing isn’t returning back to flesh… I’m not too sure if this thing has any of its memories or reasoning capabilities from before it died or not. Great, now what should I do with this? I knew I was gonna end up doing something I shouldn’t have. Wouldn’t it be better to destroy it? I mean, yeah, but…
[Level of title skill [[Mean King]] has increased from level 7 to level 8.]
Oh geez, I’ve even accidentally made a nasty title skill go up. What should I call this emotion? Should I be callin’ it disgust? Regret? Should I be callin’ it a sacrilegious emotion? I guess I knew it in my gut that I shouldn’t have messed with the circle of life and such, even though it turned out I totally could…