Chapter 3: Real Battle
It has been forty days since I was born; in other words, one month has passed.
The old man, who was my trainer and went by the name Georg, no longer directly inflicted pain on me like he did thirty days ago.
In fact, those torture-like actions were merely intended to enable me to use my spiritual power and fighting spirit, not just to harm me physically.
He was not a sadist who enjoyed tormenting insects or anything like that.
However, on the other hand, he was a man who would mercilessly inflict suffering on me if he felt it necessary to make me stronger.
And even now, he was constantly putting a strain on my body, although not in a direct way.
All I felt towards Georg was anger and hatred.
Someday, I would definitely kill him.
By the way, I only learned Georg’s name once, when the young master called him that.
I didn’t learn the young master’s name though.
Georg only referred to him as “young master,” and even if I did learn his name, I wouldn’t feel any closeness to him.
“The temperature is good.
Hmm, you’re enduring it well,”
I was currently in a box that had been turned into an icy, snow-covered chamber by a spiritual circuit.
The inside of the box was coated with ice, and icicles hung from the lid on the ceiling.
I had to activate my body with fighting spirit and maintain my body temperature, or else I would have died in less than a minute.
According to Georg, being in an environment that was not particularly suitable helped increase resistance and boost the output of fighting spirit.
Today, it was extremely cold, but the conditions inside the box could change depending on the day.
Yesterday, the humidity was high enough to cause condensation on my exoskeleton, and the day before that, I felt sick from being smoked out.
It turned out that the smoke had toxins that could kill insects… no wonder I felt so dizzy.
I’ve also been subjected to artificially created harsh environments, but there hasn’t been one that replicated a desert.
For me, the desert was my homeland, and I knew that it was not a place where I would suffer but rather a place where I could find solace.
The desert climate was hot during the day and cold at night, and it was almost always dry throughout the year.
Perhaps to avoid repeating the same conditions, today’s environment has been set to be both cold and humid.
I was wrestling with a ball of frozen meat about the same size as myself while brushing off the frost that had accumulated on my creaky exoskeleton.
This was not knowledge I possessed but rather my instinct as a scorpion—apparently scorpions are naturally frugal eaters.
Being still small, I could survive for a month on just one ant, let alone a ball of meat this size, which would normally take me about a year to eat.
However, at present, I could easily devour it all in one sitting.
It was thanks to the new spiritual circuit that Georg had activated.
“If you’re eating your food properly, then that’s good news.
The hunger spiritual circuit seems to be working well, so don’t worry.
Here, have some more,” Georg said contentedly, as he tossed another meatball into the box.
Consumed by an insane hunger, I continued to mindlessly slice off pieces of meat with my pincers and carry them to my mouth.
As Georg had mentioned, it seemed that a hunger spiritual circuit had been added to the box.
The outcome of this spiritual circuit was not simply suppressing my hunger by affecting my nerves or something.
If that were the case, my stomach would have burst open long ago, given how full I felt.
It seemed that the true effect of this spiritual circuit was to increase the energy required for me to function.
It was to the point where I would die if I didn’t eat constantly.
I continue to eat single-mindedly.
It was good that I didn’t have a sense of taste for this.
Otherwise, if I had a keen sense of taste like the Furu race, I might have thrown up no matter how hungry I was.
That’s because the recent meatballs were so horrendous that they could be called poison balls.
The fresh meat that was initially used had turned into rotting flesh, and not only were there bloodstones mixed in, but also poisonous plants and powdered metals.
It was clearly not food, but according to Georg, eating it was also a form of training.
Ingesting poison increased the toxicity of the poisonous stinger, and incorporating metals apparently made the exoskeleton as hard as metal.
I didn’t think that consuming poison would constantly change the toxins that the body excretes, but….
as a mysterious creature that could regenerate even missing body parts through molting, it might be possible.
To make a long story short, I was only able to return to my comfortable living space once Georg had me finish eating a predetermined amount of meatballs.
Perhaps there was also a set amount of time, but as scorpions tend to be naturally light eaters, it took a long time for me to finish the amount required.
I assumed that this was because it took a long time to eat and satisfy the scorpion’s needs.
After struggling with dozens of meatballs from morning until night, I was finally released and returned to my comfortable living space.
Maintaining my fighting spirit while also eating was an extremely difficult task.
I burrowed into the sand and fell into a shallow sleep.
Every day I despaired at the thought of this life continuing indefinitely, but on the forty-first day, when dawn broke, something different happened.
I thought I would have to endure another day of hardship, eating meatballs relentlessly, but instead, I was brought a metal box without any spiritual circuits engraved on it.
Although the location was different from the day before, I did not expect it to be any easier than yesterday.
If anything, not knowing what I would be forced to do today made it even more frightening.
“You seem to possess remarkable potential beyond my imagination.
Therefore, starting from today, we may begin practical training.
Here you go,”
With those words, Georg threw something into the box where I was residing.
The moment it hit the floor, my feet shook so much that it felt like an earthquake was happening.
I reflexively moved backward to check what had fallen.
What Georg brought was a nondescript common sewer rat.
Its fur was patchy, it was skinny, and it looked quite dirty, so it was likely a wild animal.
Its hind legs were red and swollen, as if it had been caught in a trap.
Georg seemed to have brought it here while it was still alive.
Was this guy really an idiot? I evaluated Georg as if I were seeing him for the first time.
After all, I was a scorpion born on the forty-first day of my life.
Although I had shed my skin several times since birth and my body has grown double in size, I was still small enough for Georg to pick me up with a pair of tweezers.
On the other hand, what about the sewer rat scratching the wall in front of me? Sure, compared to the Furu race members, it was small, but its body length was at least several times bigger than mine.
And when it came to weight, it might even be tens or even hundreds of times heavier.
Does he really think I could beat such an opponent?
The sewer rat ignored me, just scratching the wall and looking up.
Or maybe it hadn’t even noticed me.
There was a chance of that, and if I stayed hidden in a distant place… Oh, it gave up and turned my way.
The sewer rat was staring at me intently from within the same box.
The moment our eyes met, I felt a primitive desire for food overtake the sewer rat, and it charged straight at me, baring its teeth.
I was scared.
Terrified, in fact! My survival instincts were ringing alarm bells much louder than the larger creature charging at me.
I moved my limbs frantically and managed to escape the rat’s teeth.
Although I succeeded in avoiding it the first time, there was no guarantee that I could avoid it a second time.
What should I do? How could I win? I thought hard while Georg looked down at me with a perplexed expression.
Even though it should be clear that I was at a disadvantage.
“Why don’t you use your spiritual arts or your fighting spirit?” Georg asked.
“If you did, you wouldn’t have such a hard time with the rat.”
Eh, oh yeah! That’s right! I realized that I had the ability to use spiritual arts and fighting spirit.
I had been so intimidated by the enormous enemy that I had forgotten to use my skills, which were originally simple to use.
I used my fighting spirit to increase my physical abilities and the hardness of my exoskeleton.
With this newfound strength, I easily dodged the charging sewer rat.
I could continue to run away from the rat until it got tired, but that would be pointless and unsatisfying.
Plus, Georg wouldn’t be impressed with such a weak victory.
When I invoked my spiritual art, my pincers and tail segment began to shine in golden light, and a sand sphere appeared at the tip of my poisonous stinger.
The sewer rat was surprised by the sand sphere hovering in midair, staring at it intently.
With a flick of my tail, the sand sphere was launched towards the rat, making a loud noise as it scattered upon impact.
However, there was not a single scratch on the sewer rat’s body, and it simply wiped the sand stuck to its fur and face with its paws, looking annoyed.
Huh? Wait, yesterday I was able to block Georg’s spiritual arts with a wall of sand, so why didn’t the sand ball do any damage to the sewer rat….What was different between yesterday and today?
“Hmm? The output of its spiritual technique is too low.
I thought that an insect would immediately attack by unleashing its instinctual, full-force killing intent, but…”
Georg muttered to himself as he observed the situation inside the box.
It seemed that one could not simply release the spiritual art without proper focus and intent.
If I wanted to defend myself like yesterday, I must have the will to live and avoid death.
And if I’m going to attack right now, I must channel all my killing intent.
Although I still didn’t fully comprehend the workings of spiritual power, it seemed that infusing it with emotions and willpower could enhance its strength.
Then I’ll do just that.
I’ll pour all my strong desire to live and survive into it.
I once again used my spiritual power to create a clump of sand.
Upon seeing it, the sewer rat didn’t hesitate to bare its teeth and charge.
Perhaps it thought that my previous display of power was nothing more than a trick to fool a child.
However, that judgment was wrong.
The intent behind my attack was different from before.
The second clump of sand that I launched was sent towards the rat with a speed that was incomparable to the first one.
The rat instinctively tried to dodge it, but the sand bullet was too fast to avoid and pierced through the rat’s right front leg to its right back leg.
The rat lost its balance and fell to the ground.
It had a look of fear on its face as it moved its left leg frantically.
The wound was deep, and it was clear that the rat wouldn’t survive.
I had put all my killing intent into that attack after all.
However, leaving the rat like this would be too pitiful.
Although it was my hated enemy that had tried to eat me, as someone who could use spiritual powers and Fighting spirit, I knew that this was a weak and feeble individual.
Georg had sent me here to kill it, but how could I not feel compassion for such a pitiful creature?
I gathered the sand spread on the floor using my spiritual art and shaped it into a large pair of scissors.
As I moved the scissors to the neck of the rat, I swiftly cut off its head in one stroke.
I believed that this was the least I could do to show some mercy by ensuring a swift death without any suffering.
“Wow! The first attack is a trap to lure in the prey, and the second one deals a fatal blow by cutting off its head! How cunning and cruel of you! That’s what makes you the dark emperor scorpion!”
Georg seemed to interpret my actions in a way that suited him.
He had not realized that I possessed an intelligence superior to that of an ordinary insect.
I felt a surge of killing intent toward Georg, who was now excited.
However, at that moment, I was seized by a pain that felt like my entire body was being squeezed.
It appeared that just considering rebellion was enough to torment me with pain.
Damn it, it seemed that my time in hiding was far from over.
As I was lifted up with a pair of tweezers, I daydreamed of various ways in which I could kill Georg with.
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