Chapter 2: My Current Situation
Ten days had passed since I was born.
During those ten days, I had a rough understanding of the environment I was in by eavesdropping on conversations between the old man who was my trainer and the young master who visited to check on me.
To put it simply, it seemed that I was in grave danger, and ignorance would have been bliss.
Firstly, my situation was that I had to obey the orders of the young master and the old man, or I would face unbearable pain.
Although there was no problem with following their commands silently, I could not help but feel the lack of freedom.
I knew what I would be forced to do in the future, which made me feel depressed.
Next, as for my location, it seemed to be a facility located in the basement of a mansion owned by a marquis from an unknown kingdom.
I did not know the exact name or geography of the kingdom, as they never discussed such matters while tending to their insects.
The young master was the heir apparent to the marquis and had apparently been given this facility by his father.
The purpose of this facility was to raise battle beasts to participate in the popular entertainment of the kingdom, the “Battle Beast Tournament.”
Firstly, what was the “Battle Beast Tournament “? It was a spectacle where individuals or groups pitted living creatures against each other.
These beasts, known as “fighting beasts,” fought to the death in an arena surrounded by a large audience.
There were many ways to obtain fighting beasts.
One could hire people to capture wild creatures or raise them from scratch.
If the former, one had to hire individuals who could capture powerful creatures.
If the latter, one has to hire skilled trainers.
Regardless of the method, connections and money were necessary to obtain fighting beasts.
As a result, those who could obtain fighting beasts were limited to the upper class.
This included royalty, nobles, wealthy merchants, and other affluent organizations.
Owning fighting beasts was a given for these people, and having strong fighting beasts was a source of pride.
In other words, I was being raised by the young master for the sole purpose of showing off to others… Oh, how I longed to escape.
But it was impossible.
By the way, the “Battle Beast Tournament” allowed commoners to spectate and even gamble.
It was perhaps one of the few sources of entertainment for the common people.
The profits were enormous, and if one won, the profits exceeded the cost of the bet.
Some nobles even raised their status through the profits they gained there.
However, there were likely many who suffered great losses and ruin behind the scenes.
Although it may have seemed like a lengthy introduction, the fact was that they were breeding me to be a battle beast for the “Battle Beast Tournament” to fight and kill each other.
As someone who could not go against orders, there was no choice but to fight.
It was the worst possible environment for someone like me who had a mission to live for a hundred years.
Oh, I don’t want to die.
However, the box I was in at the time was not bad.
I was born in the same box, so to speak, as my siblings, who were all killed.
After that, I was placed in a different box.
I was transported with tweezers to a large box with sand on the ground and dried trees and large stones placed around.
It must have been a reproduction of the environment where I used to live.
The living conditions were very good.
Especially when I was buried in the sand under the shade of a rock, I felt very calm.
“I see, I see.
So the wounds heal through molting after all.
As expected of an assassin of the desert, the dark emperor scorpion.
What impressive recovery ability.”
Although I was in terrible shape, by the morning of today, I had made a complete recovery.
There was only one reason for that: I had molted.
My entire body had become itchy and tingly, and then the surface of my body cracked with a popping sound.
As I moved my body, the cracks grew larger, and I slipped out of my old skin without making a sound.
Surprisingly, my new body had also regenerated my lost pincers and broken venomous stinger.
I don’t know how many days it takes to molt, but the fact that every time I do, even my missing parts are regenerated… My species, the dark emperor scorpion, seems to be an incredible creature.
“In that case, let’s start full-scale training from today onward,” the old man declared.
“Kii!?” I exclaimed in surprise.
The old man who had been observing me after my molt picked me up again with his tweezers, just like the day I was born.
Although my body had grown slightly larger due to the molt, I was still no match for a full-grown member of the Furu race.
I struggled, flapping my jointed legs, but it was a complete waste of bone movements…although I did not have a spine.
The comfortable box I had been living in was replaced with a box inscribed with spiritual circuits, which was the worst possible scenario.
Remembering what had happened before, I tried to climb the walls to escape, but they were too slippery, and I couldn’t get a grip.
Moreover, with just a command from the old man, I found myself unable to move a muscle.
I could resist, but it would be pointless to waste my energy.
So, I watched the old man’s every move with fear and tried to figure out his true intentions.
The old man brought out a long, rugged staff.
At the top of the staff was a large crystal that my knowledge identified as a tool used for spiritual arts.
What was he going to do with that thing? I had an overwhelmingly bad feeling about this.
“Well then, let’s begin,” the old man said.
As the old man pointed the tip of his staff towards the box, a purple lightning bolt shot out from the crystal and pierced through my body.
I let out a soundless scream and writhed inside the box.
I thought I was going to die, but then the spiritual circuits inside the box shone brightly and healed my wounds.
My body was injured, healed, and injured again in a vicious cycle of pain.
I was left confused and unable to understand the purpose of this act.
“Spiritual power is the power of the soul, and fighting spirit is the power of the body.
Both spiritual power and fighting spirit are powers that every living being possesses without exception.
However, it takes a vast amount of time to recognize, manifest, and refine those powers,” The old man spoke to me as if he were teaching a student.
The old man often talked to me like this, and at first, I thought he realized that I could understand him.
However, it seems that he has a habit of speaking as if teaching what he is currently doing.
Even if I were a student, I would never show him any respect, only hatred.
“There is a trick to it, you know.
It involves forcefully stimulating the fighting spirit of the injured body with spiritual arts to heal it.
This technique is meaningless unless you push the body to the very edge of almost killing them…and the art of mastering the degree of its application is the true essence of my skills as a trainer.”
It seemed that his goal was to push me to the brink of death in order to make me stronger.
Does he think my life is some kind of toy or something? This mad scientist is ridiculous!
However, I have no vocal cords to shout with, and no time to yell in anger.
All I could do was move my limbs pathetically while praying for the electric shocks running through my body to stop.
“Hmm… You can still keep going.
As expected of the chosen one to have some leeway on the first day.
Shall I increase the output a bit more?”
“Stop! Please stop! Don’t make it any stronger!” I desperately pleaded, but the old man didn’t seem to hear me.
As if to carry out his words, the power of the flowing current increased, and my agony increased in proportion to it.
Why is it not allowed for me to pass out from this unbearable pain? Perhaps that’s the old man’s idea of “the right amount”.
While experiencing the intense pain, it seemed that the old man’s “training” was starting to show results.
I began to feel the power similar to the electric shock released from the old man’s staff and the forcefully extracted power by the ritual inside my body.
If I could control it, maybe I could escape from this suffering?
While I had heard the terms “spiritual power” and “fighting spirit” and had knowledge of them, I had no idea how to use them.
But if there was a chance to escape this pain, I knew I had to try tapping into unknown powers.
I forcefully pulled out a power from within me, similar to an electric shock.
Suddenly, my scissors and tail segments began to glow with a golden-red hue, and a wall of sand appeared to shield me from the electric shock.
“Ho! To think that you would awaken spiritual arts on your first day! Truly, you are a chosen being! And I am the one who saw through it! Kukukukuku!” exclaimed the old man.
His excitement was evident from his widened nostrils and flushed cheeks.
He continued to watch me without lessening the electrical shock.
And as for me, I had no joy in this situation, but I couldn’t do anything about it since I was barely able to defend against the shock using my newfound powers.
“It appears you have an affinity for earth….or was it sand? Well, it appears you have an affinity for both earth and wind, judging from the sand that appeared.
And from the shining spiritual arts, you may also have an affinity for fire.
To have three different aptitudes… Kukukuku, any ordinary mage would surely be envious,” the old man said.
The old man was closely observing my spiritual art, carefully discerning its nature.
Compared to me, who was desperately struggling, the old man seemed to have plenty of room to observe.
The difference between us was clear.
It was frustrating, but I suppose it’s more of a feat that I am even able to defend against him.
After all, it was impossible for a 10-day-old insect to win against a Furu race.
I was squeezing my spiritual power to maintain the wall, but the old man’s electric shock was gradually getting stronger.
He must be testing the limits of my power.
I was enduring it out of sheer willpower to defend to the very limit, not because I didn’t want to experience the pain.
“The output of your spiritual power is about the same as that of an apprentice mage… for a newborn, this is impressive enough to be called a genius.
You really are a promising one!”
However, even my willpower had its limits.
The old man suddenly increased the power of his electric shock and pierced through the sand wall in one breath.
The shock, unlike anything before, ran through my body, and I ended up convulsing.
It’s a miracle that I haven’t lost consciousness.
“I’m going to die if things continue like this!” I strained my last bit of strength and attempted to heal myself using the other power I felt earlier—fighting spirit.
Though the pain in my body seemed to ease a little, it was nothing compared to the pain I felt inside my exoskeleton.
“Hmm? You’ve learned fighting spirit too… then there’s no need for healing spirtual art.
From tomorrow on, we’ll focus on building up your body and various resistances.
Kukuku, it’s going to get busy!” muttered the old man to himself as he picked me up with a pair of tweezers and placed me back into the incubating box.
I tried to move my jointed legs to head under the stone, which served as my sleeping spot, but my body, injured by the electric shock, didn’t move well.
I moved my legs and pincers with all my strength, dragging my body towards the stone, and the old man placed something in front of me.
It was a meatball mixed with black powder.
The flesh, moist and red, looked fresh and delicious through my compound eyes.
Scorpions generally don’t eat much, but my instincts were whispering to me to eat this meatball, perhaps to heal my wounded body.
With trembling pincers, I shredded the surface of the meatball and brought it to my mouth to chew.
Although I could hardly taste anything, I felt a warm sensation spreading through my body as my stomach began to fill.
“How about it? What do you think of the meatball with powdered crystallized bloodstone from a sinner? Despite being a sinner, he was known as a skilled mage during his time on this earthly plane.
Therefore, the spiritual power that had dissolved in his blood was abundant.
Did your spiritual power start to recover?”
…Come to think of it, I did feel like my depleted spiritual power was gradually replenishing.
It must have been thanks to the bloodstone the old man mentioned.
It was a complicated feeling to be eating nutritious food prepared by the very person who had left me in tatters.
However, to survive, I needed to eat properly and heal my wounds.
With a determination not to die until I fulfilled my mission, I continued to devour the meatball in front of me.
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