Smash, smash, smash. Whack, whack, whack. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Whew, this is hard work. I didn’t think it’d take so much energy to break down this tomb. My hammer might be huge, but the tomb is even huger. Even though I break off a chunk bigger than a house every time I smack the wall, the tomb’s showing no sign of collapsing. It’s like I’m poking holes in a giant snake. It’s going to take a while before the tomb dies unless I figure out a way to split it in half in one go. Ilya says I can cover myself and reinforce my mind with slaughter aura before absorbing the tomb, but I’m not going to touch it again! Almost drowning in a barrel one time was enough. And the second time was overkill! I’m definitely not doing it a third time! Nope, nuh-uh, no way.
At least I can fly outside the tomb. Mm, something’s off though. When I’m in the air, my hits don’t damage the tomb wall as much. It’s like I’m slipping when I hit it with my hammer. Is it because there’s no ground beneath me? Right, I can’t use my Footsteps of the Giant in the air. That must be it. Is there a…, uh, footsteps of the bird technique or something along those lines? No, that’d be like wing flaps of the bird, and I don’t have wings. “Ilya! Find me a technique I can use to hit things with a satisfying thump while I’m in the air!”
“Have you tried accepting the will of slaughter inside the crown?”
Mm? The will of slaughter inside the crown…. “No. Its voice is annoying.”
Well, sorry for having an annoying voice.
You’re not forgiven. Anyways, hurry up, Ilya! I know you can read my mind, so I don’t even have to shout out loud. Back to smashing the tomb…. This might take several days actually. But that’s okay because I’m a patient person! Haven’t I waited like … a decade…? No, no, that’s not right. It was only a day. Mm, I only meditated for a day; everyone else just happened to grow ten years older in that day. I’m not thirty yet! And I’m not in denial! Anyways, what was I thinking? Right! I’m a patient person. I’ve already waited so long for Durandal to become not sterile. …And I’m still waiting. …How long do I have to wait for?
“If you accept the will of slaughter, you’ll learn a technique that the Slaughter God used to use all the time inside of the sky,” Ilya said.
A technique that he used all the time in the sky? “Did the Slaughter God use a hammer?” If not, I don’t want to learn it. I want a technique that’ll help me smack things harder! Even with Breaking Blade and Madness Strike combined, it’s just not satisfying if I use them in the air because I slide back, and it feels like all my strength is going to waste. It’s a little like punching a pillow that Durandal’s holding, but he suddenly disappears and the pillow just flops away.
“You can combine the technique with your hammer. Breaking Blade was originally a sword strike, wasn’t it?”
Ilya has a point…, and if I don’t listen to her, why am I keeping her around? Wasn’t she here to answer hard questions for me in the first place? But something doesn’t feel right…. How does Ilya know what the Slaughter God’s techniques were? Even I don’t know, and she gets her memories from me!
“That’s because I’m part of the crown, remember?”
I keep forgetting that. It’s because I want her to be the real one. Hah…. Now I know why this doesn’t feel right. This fake Ilya is trying to trick me into absorbing the will of slaughter from the crown! Durandal warned me about her; she’s definitely up to no good. My tail’s telling me so. …Or maybe it’s just sore from Puppers sticking a spear through it, one or the other. But I’m not taking the risk!
“Really? You’re going to trust your tail over me?”
“Yes!” If I don’t trust my tail, which has saved me hundreds of times, then I’d be dumb! And I’m not dumb, especially not after absorbing that bone of intelligence! Anyways…. “Breaking Madness Hammer Strike!” Mm, as I thought, swinging my hammer feels much better when I’m on the ground. I don’t have to break the upper bits; all I have to do is break all of the lower bits. Then the upper bits will fall down and become the lower bits—it’s simple.
“I really think you should try absorbing the will of slaughter,” Ilya said. She was standing just out of reach of my hammer. Not that I was going to hit her or anything because she wouldn’t shut up. Mhm, definitely not. “I promise you that you won’t regret it.”
The last time Ilya promised me something, she…, uh, actually, did she ever promise me anything before? I don’t remember…, but I have a feeling her promises aren’t trustworthy! Like she’ll slip something into her promise that requires me to give her my arms to turn into jelly. That’s the feeling I get from her promises; though, I’m not sure why.
Ilya sighed. I could barely her hear over the cracking sounds coming from the tomb.
“Oh! Hey, one of you spare statue people come out of the crown for a sec.” There’s a lot of those people, at least four. They’re the loved ones of the people that I don’t really know or care about too much, but they can still be useful! “Go gather the broken pieces of the tomb for me.” Mm, that’s right. Those broken pieces are bones too, and they’re of the highest quality! I’m actually not sure what kind of bones they’re made out of. A big animal’s? A giant’s?
What? This tomb’s huge though! “You mean large humans?”
“Those are called giants, Lucia.” Ilya shook her head. “The tomb’s made of normal-sized humans’ bones.”
…That’s a lot of humans. I’m not going to ask what the Slaughter God’s Tomb’s walls were made out of.
Damn it, Ilya! I didn’t want to know! Stop reading my mind!Previous Chapter Next Chapter