The fact that each of the four cardinal directions has a cathedral is a huge factor in my improvement. Without a building high enough to prevent someone from spying on my operation, I would have to pick off lone test subject in the cover of the night. But thanks to those buildings, I can continue my doing even in the middle of the day. As I approach my final hunting spot, I notice a slight increase in the number of the guards. I wonder if this area is normally more guarded, or that my actions have provoked a reaction. Unfortunately, as I stopped to listen to the conversation between 3 guards, I found that I was truly my fault. They are talking about a strange disease that is propagating across the bird. For the moment, the well that I have poisoned is not known. Or, not known by the guards.
They are conjecturing diverse and surprising theories about the death of those stupid pigeons. One even suggested, that it was the mages that have tried a new spell and it backfire in the sky, killing those that were flying. The horrible and deformed bodies were caused by that supposed spell. Thanks to him, I now understand that the strange tower is the Mage Tower. Where all the alchemists, sorcerers and magicians are located. I heard that they were separated from the common people because of some past experiments that have killed and injured a lot of commoners. After those problems, a lot of new laws were voted to prevent any other incident.
None of the guards could think that just by looking toward the corner of the roof where they currently are staying, they could spot the real perpetrator of the disease. I quickly flee toward my real objective. There I use my favorite and simplest hunting method, spread bread and be a statue. It works every time. After grabbing once again two birds, I reach the sewers for the final time today.
Since I have tested both spells to the full extent of their powers, I will now focus on both my melee skills. I wonder if what the symptoms will be for each. I begin with [Venomous Bite]. To actually cast it, it took me three tries. I have to both think of the spell and think of biting my prey. Because of this, I wasted ten minutes where I was waiting for the bird to die when he was perfectly fine. At the third try, I felt in my mouth a strange sensation, probably the poison was activated. I bite in the wing of the pigeon, to prevent an effect to powerful. If I was able to inject my venom directly into his heart, the poor subject will die instantly. This is not what I want right now.
I can see the flesh around the wound turn dark, like if it was necrosee. The blood that was slowly leaking from the wound turn black too and grow thicker. After a few seconds, it totally stops from leaking. The veins, instead of being blue like previously are clearly of the darkest black possible. I can begin to see the entire wing slowly decay but when the black tide of blood reaches the heart, he dies.
This is without contest the quickest death I have seen. If I had to time it, I would say in less than 20 seconds the bird was dead. For the record, the poison spell would take around 2 minutes and the disease one around 15 minutes. But unlike the bite, they can be spread and can contaminate at a much higher scale than just a bite.
It is now time to see my claws in action. The last test subject is not even fighting anymore. Maybe the aura of death surrounding me is so strong that he gives up his futile life. On the first try, my claws slightly penetrate the flesh of the wing. What will [Infected Claws] will bring me? If one doesn't look closely, the wound couldn't be seen. Waiting for the effect in front of a passive victim is less funny than in front of an active one. No more scream, no last moment fight. It makes me uncomfortable. But science and magic wait for no man or rat.
It happens so quickly that I nearly don't react. The moment before he was alive, the next moment he was dead. I can see foam leaking from his beak. I guess the disease attacked the brain, turning him into a vegetable. His eyes are not pointing in the same direction. Yes, it is totally a brain disease. Maybe if he was fighting I could have seen his different body parts move erratically. Since I don't understand the pigeon language, I cannot know if even his thoughts and his voice were affected.
It's all over for the moment. The scientific method that I employed has given me great results, like the real cost of my skills. Both [Create Disease] and [Create Poison] cost 10 MP. Then, the [Infected Claws] and the [Venomous Bite] cost 15MP, that is a clear warning toward melee fight. Now the conclusion of the tests. First, against weak enemies like the bird, I can slaughter them without even batting an eye. I could wipe out every single bird of this city in a few days. Next, my abilities improve with the number of killed not the number of time that I use it. That means I can't grind them. I need to have a lot of targets to level up. Finally, none of my different weapons overlap. Every single one of them is unique and target a different part of the body. Whether it is the blood, the brain, the body in general or a quick attack on the heart. Without a more resistant test subject, I can't know how much power have the four if they are regrouped inside a unique body.
Now, what should I do? Train my skills more on innocent pigeons? I already killed a lot of them, I am not sure how many birds are still alive. Try to poison the entire city? Not going to happen with only the basic level, the lack of rumors about an unknown plague on the East side is the proof. So I need more power. And by that, I need a lot of weak victims. Where can I find those? Birds are eliminated, rats are scared of me. Cats and dogs are too scarce for me to easily kill them in mass. Horses are stronger than human. But I can't kill humans right now, even if they are easy to target. The well was a bad choice; the water has probably diluted all my poisonous bodies. I should have thought about that.
But I have no choice, except leaving the city to reach the local farms and slaughter all those farm animals like pig, chicken, and stuff. That, or start targeting human. Between the two, the latter is probably the better in the experience department. But the most dangerous. When I wake the hornet nest, I will get chased. The backstabbing and greedy nature of human is strangely greatly reduced in extraordinary time. I can't be stupid like that lich, thinking that the humans are weaklings.
The good thing is, this world is named Astria. And I am 100% sure that this stupid and petty goddess called Aria is in charge. Therefore, if I kill someone, that will necessarily be someone believing in her. Praising her beauty, her mercy and stuff like that. While she sentenced me to die, she threw me into the body of a rat, into a cave where a lich was. Like, seriously, she lied about the reincarnation stuff, how can I not doubt that it was intentional? As for the fellow humans, first, I am no longer one. I don't know why, but if I am not personally slaughtering them, I think I can live with that. I just need to not see them dying for now. Yes, that would be enough.
Before saying this, of course, I double-checked that theory. I have infiltrated one of those cathedrals and they are talking about the Goddess blessing the Hero. She was called Aria. This kingdom, they called this kingdom the "Holy Kingdom of Aria". Bunch of arrogant fools and fanatics. Calling yourself a holy kingdom, why not a holy empire while you still can. When religion is mixed with the power, you can be sure that enemies will be legion. At least on Earth that was the case.
That was refreshing, this small hate internal conversation. But, I can't kill adult human yet. Too strong, too big. So I need either the old and weak or the small ones. This is a civilized city right; an orphan is a common thing during those type of time. And a church will never leave some weak and easily influenced child out of their reach. So an orphanage must be built. I just need to find where. But by doing so, I will turn into a bad guy. No, I am the good guy, she was the bad goddess, it is her people. Let's not think about them.
(An orphanage? I didn't think about it. But that is a solution, yes, yes … oh, hum hum, our very intelligent hero has found a way to break the evil ploy of the angry and brutal goddess. He will now begin his reign of terror, to pay back that ungrateful act during the reincarnation. I mean he saved her ass back there, she would have been fired. You have no idea how hard it is, to be fired by the Nine Heavens.)
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