Chapter 11: Too calm…
"What is HAPPENING!?" roared the DreadLord as he was feeling the life force of his minions disappearing one by one in the last ten minutes, "Will someone explain to me what on EARTH is happening in this catacomb?!"
An ax-wielding minion of the dread lord appeared before him, sweating profusely.
"M-My lord! It's an adventurer-"
"Adventurers?! Damnit… They found us too quickly. How many are they?"
"N-No sir! Only one!" the minion stammered.
"Only ONE?! Is this some sort of jo-..." the Dreadlord stopped talking abruptly as he stared at the door intensely, "He's here."
"WhaAAAAA-!" The Minion asked then screamed as the six inches thick stone door just flew out of its 'hinges' and crushed the poor soul.
The adventurer was a tall man in green full body armor in a strange metal design. He didn't say a word as he walked in the large ritual room where the Dreadlord was about to sacrifice a young woman.
"*Ahem*" the Dreadlord coughed, some sweat pearling down his forehead from the intimidating aura coming off the adventurer, "Congratulations are in order, Adventurer! Not only did you manage to reach this room quickly but without even a scratch! It's impressive! But you are too l- Did you just sigh?!" he yelled as he saw that helmet slightly lean forward in disappointment, "How dare you! You should know that as soon as this dagger pierces this young bitch's heart-" He raised his hand high, showing a small weapon with a twisted blade, "- a Great Demon will be summoned and-" he didn't finish his sentence as a sudden sharp and intense pain came from his hand holding the dagger, he looked at his arm and the dagger was gone… along with his hand.
"EEEAAAAAARRGH!" the Dreadlord screeched, "MY HAND!"
The Dreadlord saw the adventurer grab the ax of the dead minion from earlier… But he didn't expect him to throw the said axe in the middle of his speech to cut his hand!
"YOU INSOLENT WRETCH! YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS WITH YOUR LIFE! TASTE THE MIGHTY MAGIC OF A DREADLORD YOU-"
The monster didn't have the time to finish his sentence as a giant rock just pulverized his whole body, thrown by an annoyed adventurer.
The Doom Slayer grumbled as he approached the hostage, took her over his shoulder, ignoring the confused and scared screams and left.
"My lord, what is going on? Uh, who are you!? Die!" another minion appeared from around the corner, only to get kicked in half.
"HAHAHAHA! YOU THINK YOU CAN DEFEAT ME ON YOUR OWN?! YOU'RE JUST A LONE ADVENTURER! WHATEVER COULD Y- Hey, I'm still speaking so if you could at least wait before climbing my body to reach my head, it would be very nic- Where did you get that pillar? Why is it so sharp? Wait, wait waitWAITIDIDNTEVENFINISHEDMYSUPERSPEE-"
With a quick thrust through the neck, the 'Serpent God' died before even finishing its resurrection speech.
Doom Slayer sighed.
Doom Slayer ripped the giant spider in half with his bare hands.
"My creation… it's alive! It's moving! IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIIIIVE! In the name of the Gods, now I- Wait who are you? STOP! MY CREATION! IT'S DYING! IT'S DYIIIIIIING!"
Doom Slayer let out an annoyed groan after shooting the abomination in the head and chest a couple of times with his pistol.
One week has passed since the fight with the Revenant and Maccubus and ever since then the Doom Slayer has been taking any quests about 'unknown creatures' in search of more clues.
In one week many many quests were done but he was nowhere close to finding a single clue to the place 'where adventurers don't venture'.
He asked around and there was a chance it was either in another Kingdom where adventurers aren't allowed or some private place hidden by nobles or royalty.
In other words, not helpful at all for his search.
So he went back into doing quests but this was getting tiring.
Not physically tiring, all that was nothing compared to what he was used to in Hell, it was mentally exhausting to see more and more people 'bait him' with those quests so the job would be done quickly.
After a week of dozen of quests cleared he even got a new nickname in this world:
The Green Reaper
He honestly didn't know how to react to this.
Doom Slayer got called many times for a ranking promotion interview but he turned them all down as he knew that if the word spread out of yet another rank up, more and more people will just claim the danger to be 'unknown' to make him take the job.
He was a bit at an impasse here…
That evening, he had another class session with Priestess about learning how to write and read the Alphabet of this world.
He wasn't having that hard of a time to write it, but strangely enough, reading it was a pain as his brain would immediately translate the word in his head. But when speaking the word out loud it would make it sound… not right, and even the people from this world wouldn't understand it.
How many times did Priestess look at him in confusion when he tried to say 'Hello' in the right way from this world.
"Hm… Are you alright, Mr. Doom Slayer?" the blonde girl suddenly asked.
"Yes…? Why would… you ask?" He responded with a question.
"I don't know… You seem… A bit out of it today."
The Marine sighed and explained to his young teacher what has been going on for the past week, many quests that were getting more and more ridiculous with how any other adventurers could have accomplished them but people just wanted the job done fast.
Those quests were a waste of time.
"Oh, I'm sure they weren't lying to you, they probably never-" She started, trying to defend the clients.
"One of the targets… was a giant spider… Who… In a small farm village… never saw a spider?"
"W-Well… Hum… I'm sure not all of them were lying to you…" she coughed, not really sure on what to say, "Then what are you going to do?"
He didn't quite know, he guessed that next day he would look at the quests but this time will only take those with a description of the 'unknown creature' that could fit a demon from Hell. But if there wasn't any…
"Why don't you come goblin Slaying with us tomorrow afternoon then? Goblin Slayer promised his friend at the farm to help in the morning."
"Hmm… Why not? That could be relaxing…"
Priestess decided not to comment on how a goblin slaying quest could be considered "relaxing"...
"Alright let's get back to the lesson, okay?" she asked with a hint of authority in her voice, wanting to sound like a teacher to which the man in green armor grinned in amusement.
Doom Slayer was at the Quest Board, looking at the papers, searching for one that could lead him to a demon but again, most of them had no description of their 'unknown creature' that was troubling the client, clearly a bait for him. And none of the descriptive ones had a description that could match any race he knew.
He let out a silent sigh as he decided that joining Goblin Slayer's party for the rest of the day would be nice..
"Oh come on! Please?! Can't I buy another vial? It's our best weapon in case of danger!" A big adventurer asked the Guild Girl very loudly.
"You know the rules, only one per party. You know the risks of it." Guild Girl said with a smile.
The adventurer looked down, dejected and walked towards the exit, passing by the marine.
"Man… But what if we all need to go berserk to save our lives…" the adventurer groaned.
On hearing the word 'Berserk', Doom Slayer's curiosity turned into interest as he walked towards the now empty counter where Guild Girl was so he could ask her more about those items.
"Oh, Doom Slayer! Did you find any quests?" she asked with a smile.
"No… But I have a question…"
"Oh? What can I do for you?"
"What are those… 'Berserker potions'?" he asked.
" Oh well this is simple enough, you see…" she started explaining the effects of the small item that she materialized from under the desk, it was a dark red liquid in a small vial.
The effects were what anyone would expect from something named berserker : it increases the power and strength of the user but also its aggressivity. There have been many reports of users turning against their own party member due to the effects of the potion.
So it was pretty similar to the Berserk spheres he sometimes finds in his campaign against the hordes of Hell.
He asked how much it was and once he got an answer he pulled out the exact amount from his dimensional pocket (good thing it can pull out anything he wants that's in like his weapons, ammunitions, even for money) and bought the item.
"Alright here you go. You should use thi-"
"I'm going to try it now."
Before anyone could react to his words, the Doom Slayer drank the content of the vial and everyone around him screamed. He could almost immediately feel the power and rage coursing through his veins… But it was… Calmer than the Berserk Spheres…
"Hm… I'd say… it's at least one third… as powerful as a sphere…" He commented out loud.
"What?!" he heard the Dwarf Shaman exclaim.
The man in green armor looked around and saw that not only were every worker hiding behind their desks but all the strong adventurers were surrounding him, weapons ready for a fight.
"...What are you… doing?" The Doom Slayer asked, ready to get defensive.
"Y-You're still sane?! In control?!" Spearman asked, not believing his eyes.
"Yes…? This is nothing much… compared to the Berserk Spheres… from Hell."
Everyone was stunned into silence, absolutely no one had heard of anyone keeping their sanity on check after drinking a Berserk potion. And yet this guy, from another world, indeed, just drank a whole vial and is now acting like he drank apple juice.
"Seriously though… That's beyond impressive… Almost freaky." High Elf Archer sighed.
"That was very dangerous!" Guild Girl exclaimed, visibly frustrated by the marine's recklessness, "A stunt like that could get you banned from the guild!" she scolded the adventurer from another world.
Doom Slayer didn't know what to say besides apologize and order another potion.
Hesitantly, Guild Girl brought another potion and gave it to him cautiously. The Hellwalker pulled out the money once again and put it on the desk, cleanly cleaving the wooden furniture in half.
No one said a word nor moved after witnessing the scene.
Doom Slayer took mental note of the duration of the effects of the potion being much longer than a sphere before saying to Guild Girl:
"I'll pay for that too…"
As promised to Priestess, Doom Slayer joined her party for some goblin slaying. And as usual time seemed to pass so goddamn slow when walking with them to the objective, but this time, he decided to let it go and just enjoy the walk with his companions.
Night fell and everyone was regrouped around a bonfire to drink and eat.
Dwarf Shaman dared the Elf to drink two large sip of his drink, knowing exactly that it would make her drunk fast. And being a creature full of pride, the green haired archer took on the challenge, drunk the two sips with lots of trouble and after a 'See? I'm perfectly fine!' The good part of her brain went to sleep but the rest went: 'Eye of the Tiger' and started talking nonsense around the party.
"Well, at least we have our entertainment for the evening!" the dwarf laughed loudly, taking another sip of his drink.
"Indeed! But please refrain from doing such a thing in the future without consulting us, what if we're attacked?" Lizard Priest said, licking his lips at the cheese in his hands.
"No worries about that, Doomy did a round and confirmed that there wasn't a single goblin around, not even a beast! Right, Doomy?"
The Marine just nodded as he was sitting next to Goblin Slayer. While the Slayer in dirty armor was eating his dinner, the one in green armor was counting what little was remaining of his ammunition.
"Hey yoou, Slayeeer~!" Drunk High Elf Archer called out, not clarifying which slayer she was talking about.
So it was no surprise when the slayers pointed at themselves first (omitting the fact that she calls Goblin Slayer 'Orcbolg') to which the Elf said 'noooo'. So they then pointed at each other, heads tilted to the side in confusion.
"Noooo~ I meant you two… I dunno why I forgot to say 'two' before, hehehe~" she chuckled at her own silly mistake.
"I see." Was all that Goblin Slayer said.
"So… What do you need?"
"Exchange helmets." she ordered.
Doom Slayer let out a confused and startled grunt at the sudden order and didn't know what to reply until he heard Goblin Slayer talk.
"Are you… Sure?"
The younger slayer nodded and reached for his helmet but stopped just before taking off the straps to look around, action to which the older man reassured that there was nothing around and if they do it quickly, nothing will go wrong.
The two men took off their helmets and quickly exchanged their armement. Before trying to put on the dirty helmet, Doom Slayer took a look at Goblin Slayer's facial features as he doesn't remember ever seeing him without his helmet before. He looked pretty much like he imagined, young, not bad looking and with scars. What surprised him was the silver hair that somehow didn't feel very right but also logical for some reason.
He let out a chuckle from his throat as he saw his helmet pretty much slide itself on his head, a bit too big for his skull.
He looked down and got a bit worried that the dirty steel helmet might be too small or too tight for him. He put on the helmet and just as expected, it was very tight, he could barely move his neck muscles inside it and it was almost weird how the others only saw darkness through the visor.
Everyone laughed with big smiles at the scene before them, it looked so weird let's be honest.
The two slayers looked at each other and even them couldn't hold a silent, unseen by everyone, chuckle.
"Okay, stay like this until tomorrow." The Elf added before passing out.
"Why are you two like this?" High Elf Archer asked a few moments after waking up the next morning and seeing the two armored men having their helmets swapped.
"You did this to them after you got easily drunk, Elf. It was so embarrassing to see you like that." Dwarf Shaman explained with a smirk and in a fakely disappointed tone, clearly mocking her.
"Hey, shut it! It's not my fault you idiots drink such poison!" She countered, already angry and soldiering through her hangover, "And why didn't they swap back since then?"
"Milord Goblin Slayer said that they should get your authorization first."
"Seriously… How hard was that kick?" Doom Slayer asked, a hint of amusement in his voice.
"Hard." Goblin Slayer said.
"It wasn't that hard! You're just saying that to embarrass me, Orcbolg! When are you going to let it go?" the archer complained, now feeling very embarrassed.
"I think now you can exchange back helmets, right?" Priestess said with a smile.
"Yeah…" High elf Archer said, blushing from being embarrassed.
"Um… About that…" the Marine started, "I'm stuck…"
The Doom Slayer separated from the party for a few hours: he needed to get Goblin Slayer's spare helmet back at the farm, until then, he left his own to the younger man until he got the replacement.
He managed to get his head out by bending and spreading the metal so there was enough space for his skull to slip out of the dirty armor. He could tell that doing so put Goblin Slayer in an uncomfortable position, so he promised to be quick.
When he reached the Farm, Cow Girl greeted him with a big smile while her Uncle just decided to ignore the man in green armor. She was a bit surprised to see him without his helmet but when he explained the situation to her she just chuckled and guided him to where the spare helmet was.
He didn't waste time for small talk so he thanked her and left for the Frontier Town, she wished him good luck and asked him to say hi to the party when he'll see them later.
Doom Slayer allowed a small smile to appear on his face, a very small one.
This is nice.
When he reached the Town's entrance, he headed towards the Guild's Blacksmith.
Some people and adventurers greeted him, he greeted them back. Some walked away in murmurs, with terror or jealousy in their eyes, he ignored them.
He walked to the Smith's workshop and thankfully it didn't take long for the small and sturdy worker to understand what happened upon seeing Goblin Slayer's broken helmet and how the Doom Slayer wasn't wearing his at the moment. He let out a sigh and said that he'll have another one done by the time the rest of the party comes back from their present quest.
As he walked out of the workshop, he took a deep breath of fresh air…
This place is, for the most part, rather peaceful… A place he wouldn't mind settling in, adopting a couple of colorful rabbits and maybe…
But that was impossible, his personal 'quest' was nowhere near done.
"Doom Slayer! Thank goodness you're here!" He heard Guild Girl call out for him, and ran towards him. It was rare to see her outside the guild so whatever it is that was clearly making her distressed was very important.
His mission of razing Hell of all demons… Despite having spent thousands of years doing this, it was nowhere close to completion.
"We just received a very important message from the capital, from the King himself!"
Some could say it was… eternal.
"He requested you to come as soon as possible! There's a demon from your Hell captured at the castle!"
And it was finally time to resume the work.
Baka's notes: Not the best chapter, I agree but the ennemy is here, next up it's the Hero's meeting with demons.
But before that, a chapter of Despair in Lobotomy then Library!
See you next time