Outside the tunnel, a cat girl, an elf, a demon, and three unconscious people were sprawled on the ground.
"… It was close." Elwha said with a relieved look.
Liu Ying and Aya nodded. Liu Ying then looked at Aya with a complicated expression and sighed.
"You are a good girl."
Aya blushed slightly, but nobody knew what she was thinking about.
Suddenly, she remembered the person that saved her life just now. Looking around, she searched for the figure of the rabbit girl.
And soon, she found her.
But then, her eyes opened wide.
Rana was not alone. She was together with Rhone, the batkin.
However, their conditions could not be considered good.
Both of then were riddled with injuries.
In fact, they seemed much worse than the girls that just escaped the tunnel.
"Rana!? What happened!?" Liu Ying asked in concern.
Rana smiled wryly and shook her head. "It's a long story. Anyway, I'm happy you are alright. But we need to leave, right now!" Rana's expression became dark in the latter part of her sentence.
"What happened?" Liu Ying frowned when she saw Rana's serious expression.
But suddenly, she saw Rhone's face changing.
"They are here." He said with an ashen look.
Rana paled when she heard that.
"Rana, what is happening!?" Liu Ying hurriedly asked.
Biting her lips, Rana was about to open her mouth when another voice came from behind them.
"Why don't you allow me to explain the situation?"
"Atai!" Rana gritted her teeth in rage. "Dirty traitor!"
"I don't consider myself a traitor, Miss Rana," Atai said indifferently, glancing at Rana, Liu Ying, and the others as though he could care less about them. "I never considered myself part of the Beastmen Countries in the first place. I was always a servant of Slaughter."
When Liu Ying, Aya, and Elwha heard these words, their expressions turned grave.
And at the same time, they realized Atai was not alone.
They had been surrounded.
Bloed found himself inside a white space.
The first thing he thought of when he opened his eyes was that he was still inside the soul world, however, he soon noticed this place was different.
This place felt a lot more… familiar.
As though it was something that had been with him since always.
Bloed furrowed his brows. He tried to look around the white space in an attempt to find clues about this place. And at that moment, something changed.
All around him, hundreds of screens appeared, each screen showing different scenes.
Like when Bloed first met Regina.
Or when his mother taught him about engineering.
Or when his mother's AI, Tito, guided him in assembling his first machine.
Many memories appeared in the white world. Memories of when he was happy, when he was sad, or when he was angry.
When he saw these memories, Bloed recognized where he was.
'My own consciousness?'
It was something he had heard from his mother, Camilla.
Some ESPers with special abilities could project themselves inside their consciousness, using it to navigate their memories or defend their minds in case of an accident.
And now, it seemed like he had this kind of ability.
It was probably a derivate ability of [Enhanced Brain Capacity] that Bloed himself did not know about. Most likely, it activated automatically to protect Bloed's mind after he overused [Overdrive] to defeat the purple crystal.
"This ESP skill is proving to be more useful than I thought," Bloed muttered to himself.
He had already noticed it, but [Enhanced Brain Capability] was incredibly useful.
Despite being just a C-Grade ESP ability completely lacking when it came to attacking power, it was practically perfect as a support-type ESP ability.
It even gave Bloed [Overdrive], a trump card he could use during a desperate situation.
After confirming he was inside his consciousness, Bloed started examining the place to find a way to wake up.
Unfortunately, he failed to find a way to leave this place. Instead, he noticed something interesting.
"My psychic energy grew?"
With a bit of disbelief, Bloed analyzed himself carefully only to confirm that his psychic energy had indeed grown.
In fact, he had gone from the beginner stages of B-Grade to almost the late stage of B-Grade. It was an incredibly fast growth for an ESPer.
Moreover, Bloed realized that his mind felt unusually fresh. He had just used [Overdrive], so normally he should be in a state where he could not use any psychic energy. But instead, his mind felt quicker than normal and his control over psychic energy was much smoother than before.
He even had the feeling that [Enhanced Brain Capacity] had become stronger.
And in fact, when he checked it up, he realized it had truly grown stronger.
It had gained a whole new derivate ability.
For some reason, [Enhanced Brain Capability] now allowed Bloed to split his mind to execute different tasks.
Of course, the past Bloed could already multitask. Multitasking was an ability he often used to control his machines.
But the new ability he gained went one step beyond that.
When he divided his mind, it was as though another 'Bloed' existed inside him, and even his psychic energy and calculation zone could be split.
When Bloed realized that, the first thing that appeared on his mind was [Overdrive].
If he could split his mind to use [Overdrive], then only a part of him would be exhausted after using it while the other part of him would retain his combat power.
Bloed did not hesitate. Now that he was trapped in his own consciousness, he thought it was a good idea to experiment with his new ability.
Quickly, though, he noticed several drawbacks.
Firstly, with his current grade, he could at most split his mind into three parts. Going beyond that was impossible.
Secondly, if he used [Overdrive] with just a split part of his mind, its efficiency would be much lesser than normal.
In fact, using [Overdrive] this way could allow Bloed to use [Molecular Disintegration] only once.
And even that use of [Molecular Disintegration] would be severely limited. Nothing close to how Bloed could use it when he was in the soul world.
When Bloed realized that, he was a bit disappointed.
But he soon shook his head and smiled wryly.
"This result is already pretty good."
It gave Bloed a new trump card. And this time, he did not need to lose consciousness and spend three days severely weakened after using it.
'Plus, if I combine it with the runes on Leto, perhaps I can achieve something amazing.'
As soon as that thought appeared on Bloed's mind, his eyes brightened.
Without thinking it twice, he tried to put it into practice.
Using his knowledge of magic runes, he started to construct a whole new rune that would allow him to release a powerful new attack.
It would be a trump card he could use to turn the tables around in a desperate situation!
Bloed could not measure time inside the white world, so he did not know how long he spent working in this new attack.
But eventually, he finished.
And coincidentally, he felt something at that moment.
Fear, unwillingness, despair, and hatred.
These feelings suddenly appeared on his mind.
Bloed did not know where these feelings were coming from, but for some reason, he felt as though they were calling out to him.
As though someone important to him was asking him for help.
Thus, he did not hesitate.
Following these feelings, he found his way out of the white world.
And he opened his eyes.