Demon-Limited Hunter Chapter 74

Chapter 74 - Back Story - Hunting Evaluation (2.5)

༺ Back Story – Hunting Evaluation (2.5) ༻



※ This takes place after the events of Part (2) and before Part (3) of the Hunting Evaluation.


  Elt Island.


  In the midst of the Hunting Evaluation, I was about halfway through after I defeated Rose Red Rivera.


  Before long, I found myself within the marshlands. Crossing it would be a daunting task due to the watery mire that formed a large lake.


  I could build a bridge with ice or rock magic.


  However, the marshlands were likely to harbor demonic illusions and enemy familiars. I could use elemental magic to get across somehow, but if these creatures were to ambush me mid-way through, I’d be at a significant disadvantage.


  ‘I might be better off turning back.’


  I shifted my foot to the side, contemplating an alternative route.


  And then it happened.






  Without warning, the swamp surged up!


  Sailing through the air amidst the splattering mud was a reptilian magic beast, its size akin to that of two grown men combined. Cloaked in water mana, it was the swamp-dwelling crocodile familiar, Dove.


Lv: 60
Race: Magic Beast
Elements: Water
Danger: Low
Psychology: [Wants to defeat you and earn praise from its master.]


  It opened its mouth, baring its menacingly sharp teeth.




  Deploying a blue magic circle, the crocodile magic beast tried to leap toward me. Perhaps hidden within the swamp, it had gone unnoticed by Hilde.


  I hastily clasped my fingers together and condensed ice mana. The magic circle of [Frost Explosion] conjured in front of my hands.


「Cascade (Water Element, ★3)」


  As the crocodile beast unleashed a large amount of water with its magic circle, I detonated the condensed ice mana toward him.


「Frost Explosion (Ice Element, ★5)」




  The powerful shock from the explosion of frost engulfed both the crocodile and his [Cascade] spell.


  In an instant, the spreading frost enveloped the crocodile magic beast, swallowing him and causing him to soar onto the trees.




  The elongated ice chunks that had frozen the crocodile familiar fell into the marshland and transformed into a robust bridge-like structure. The solid block of ice, condensed by mana, didn’t crack in the slightest.


  It was significantly longer compared to the one I had created during the first semester. Clearly, my mastery over [Frost Explosion] had greatly improved.


  I resisted the urge to cross immediately. As I said before, if enemies swooped down on me while I was crossing the ice bridge, I’d be doomed.


  [Master, another magic beast is approaching.]






  A magic beast covered in rock-like armor rolled toward me with a crouched posture. It was an armadillo familiar with a body that could easily measure around 2 meters when stretched out in its rolled form.


  It must have heard the sound of magic being cast and the sound of ice chunks falling into the marshland.


Lv: 56
Race: Magic Beast
Elements: Rock
Danger: Low
Psychology: [Wants to defeat you and be petted by its master.]


「Ice Spear (Ice Element, ★4)」


  Gently extending my arm upwards, I conjured an [Ice Spear] above my head.


  I aimed it at Arivori, the armadillo familiar that was rolling towards me. The moment I was about to fire the [Ice Spear] —


「Thunderbolt (Lightning Element, ★4)」






  A bolt of purple lightning pierced through the gaps in the foliage and struck Arivori. The powerful thunderbolt paralyzed its entire body, and its rock armor was lightly shattered.


  Arivori didn’t have time to scream before it lost consciousness, its four legs sprawled out. Only its feet twitch intermittently.


  Purple electricity began to crackle in the aftermath of the [Thunderbolt].


  ‘What is this, another…?’


  [Master, something dangerous is coming!]


  Upon Hilde’s urgent warning, I felt a sinking feeling spread through my chest.


  Why, why? What’s going on again?!


  ────── [Kiaaaaaah!]


  Suddenly, the familiar screech of a bird of prey echoed throughout the jungle.




  Through the trees, a black bird enveloped in purple lightning swooped down and landed in front of Arivori, the armadillo familiar. Electric currents and gusts of wind spread in all directions.


  Well, that certainly caught me off guard…




  Before me stood a black grouse, ‘Thunderbird Galia’. He was smaller than usual.


[Thunderbird Galia]
Lv: (100)
Race: Magic Beast
Elements: Lightning
Danger: X
Psychology: [Delighted to see you.]


  “Isaac, I found you.”


  A rose-golden-haired female student was perched on Galia’s back. She was Luce Eltania, the first year top seat of the Magic Department.




  Galia hunched his head down to the ground, and Luce slid down his nape and onto the ground.


  A gentle smile adorned her face. 


  Thank goodness… I was scared when that [Thunderbolt] struck.


  A sense of relief washed over me. If it was Luce, she would definitely be on my side.


  “Hey, how did you manage to find me? That’s amazing…!”


  I intended to approach Luce with a smiling face and greet her, but I stopped abruptly.


  Somehow, her condition seemed off.


  Flushed cheeks. Breath so hot and ragged that it produced visible puffs of air. A seductive smile.


  Almost as if… she was excited.


  A chill ran down my spine. It reminded me of the Luce from Extra Bad Ending N.13, 「The Birdcage」, in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱.


[Luce Eltania]
Lv: 151
Race: Human
Elements: Water, Lightning
Danger: ?
Psychology: [Wants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with youWants to be with you…]


  A shiver ran down my spine, and I quickly closed Luce’s status window.


  ‘What’s this? What’s…?’


  What’s with this sudden emotional outburst?


  When I saw her at the academy’s dock, she wasn’t any different from her usual self…?


  “I’ve been looking for you.”


  Luce steadied her breath and began to slowly approach me.


  “Whenever I saw someone use ice magic, I’d go and check it out. I finally found you.”


  Only when we were closer could I make out a faint emerald-green powder faintly drift from Luce’s head.


  ‘Oh my god…’


  How could I not recognize what that was?


  It was a substance that oozed from those who had been struck by the spores of the ‘Choro Mushroom’.


  From what I remembered, in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, the choro mushroom was primarily found in the highlands.


  When a creature approached, it released spores that amplified the emotions the person harbored.


  For example, if you hate someone, you wouldn’t be able to overcome the urge to harm them.


  And if you harbor even a slight crush towards another, it could turn into passionate love.


  I remember it being described in the community as ‘becoming an easy woman’.


  After a certain period of time, those affected by the spores would fall into a forced slumber. 


  In the process of completely detoxifying the effect, the person would sleep as if they were dead. They would become completely defenseless and would lose all memories associated with the effects of the choro mushroom.


  This meant that if you came across one, you had to run away as fast as possible.


  ‘How much of the spores did Luce inhale?’


  She had most likely inhaled a significant amount of the mushroom’s spores.


  For the record, the fumes wafting out were a natural part of the detoxification process and weren’t toxic.




  As I pondered over what Luce had said, I inferred how she had ended up in this state.


  She must have climbed to the highlands to find me. And with her keen eyesight, she must have searched for my whereabouts from the cliff.


  Even if the forest was filled with trees, Luce’s vision was monstrous enough to track my movements through the gaps in the leaves.


  During this time, the mushrooms clustered on the highlands would have begun releasing their spores, causing Luce to inhale a considerable amount of the spore.


  Gradually, her emotions intensified, turning her into an easy woman.


  Luce approached me as if she was about to embrace me and looked at me with a smile one would use for their lover.


  “I missed you, Isaac.”




  Her voice, as soft as moonlight, gently caressed my eardrums. Combined with her warm breath, it transformed into a bewitching melody that had the power to paralyze my senses.


  A sensation of intense pleasure.


  I froze like ice under its influence.


  “This place is dangerous…. I’ll protect you from getting hurt, so stay by my side, Isaac.” 


  No amount of ASMR could beat the sound of Luce’s voice. It felt as if all my clothes had been stripped away and feathers were lightly caressing my entire body—it was a shivering ecstasy.


  No, snap out of it.


  I barely managed to regain my composure and began to think.


  ‘If I had Luce, it’d feel like I’ve got an entire army on my side.’


  With Luce as an ally, the difficulty of 「Act 4, Chapter 2, Food Chain」would drastically drop. It would be a great advantage for me.


  I had originally planned to recruit an ally at this point, as I knew I’d be facing tougher enemies going forward.


  However, I was afraid of Luce’s habits as an easy woman.


  Perhaps due to the fact that I was lost in thought without offering her a response, Luce’s expression grew cold.


  “Do you… do you dislike being around me?”


  Luce discreetly moved her right hand behind her back.


  I don’t know what she’s reaching for, but a strong sense of unease is hitting me like a battering ram.


  In a panic, I hastily summoned my inner actor, the seasoned Isaac. I put on my best acting face, flashed a natural smile, and reassured Luce.


  “I was just overwhelmed with joy for a moment. Why would I, hate being around you, does that even make sense?”




  Luce stared at me with seemingly emotionless eyes, unable to brush off her suspicion.


  “Thank you for coming, Luce. You’re my anchor.”


  As soon as I added a warm comment, Luce’s expression began to soften.




  Luce discreetly slid something into her skirt’s waistband. Though she muffled the sound as much as she could, I could still hear it distinctly from being so close.


  I had a strong feeling that the ‘easy woman’ Luce was a double-edged sword due to her strong inclination to keep people she cherished by her side and protect them.


  She had been burdened by the guilt of being unable to protect the Great Witch of Heaven’s Wrath and Hansel, shaping her current self. 


  However, when wielded skillfully, a double-edged sword could cut through anything.


  “Isaac, where were you going?”


  “To the center. I heard it’s a sweet spot, so I wanted to check it out. Can you take me there on the Thunderbird?”


  Luce nodded with a smile.


  I tried to read Luce’s psychology again, out of habit, but quickly shut it down, feeling a shiver.


  ‘Well, that’s enough of that.’


  Preventing a bad ending is my top priority.


  I forced a smile and turned to walk with the double-edged easy woman.


  And then it happened.




  Luce suddenly embraced me.


  ‘What the heck!’


  I could feel the soft sensation and warmth of her chest against my own.


  The smell of Luce’s erotic body odor and the faint grassy smell of the fumes from the choro mushroom detoxification assaulted my sense of smell.


  I looked down at Luce in surprise.


  “Haah, haah…”


  She struggled to cling to my clothes. Her breath was labored, as if she was suffering from a severe flu.


  It seemed like the side effects of inhaling too many choro mushroom spores had kicked in.


  Her earlier moans and blushing were partly due to her deteriorated physical state.


  “Isaac… I’m having a bit of trouble maintaining my balance… I’m sorry. I couldn’t increase Galia’s size either… I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a ride…”


  “…What are you apologizing for? You should rest here for a bit.”


  Currently, it seemed impossible for Luce to increase Galia’s size with her current mana control. There wasn’t enough space on Galia for both me and Luce to ride…


  Anyway, the fact that I was trying to rely on someone like her for help made me feel guilty.


  I held onto Luce’s shoulders and guided her to sit against a nearby tree. Galia, even after being reduced to level 100 and shrunken, would be able to protect Luce, allowing me to leave her behind without concern.


  And the side effects of the choro mushroom would disappear after a good night’s sleep.




  But Luce pushed my arm away and shook her head.


  “Stay with me, Isaac… I want to be with you. If I just catch my breath for a moment, I’ll be fine again… And if I’m not, we can ride around on the Galia…”


  Luce gently stroked my sleeve, the same area that had been charred by Rose’s magic earlier.


  “I’ll protect you, Isaac… So please come see me more often. Don’t get hurt like this…”


  Luce clasped my wrist with the same slender hand that had been stroking my sleeve.


  “If you get hurt… It hurts me so much…” Her voice contained a hint of tears. 


  The effect of choro mushroom was to amplify the emotions harbored by the affected person.


  Seeing Luce openly express her inner feelings as well as her vulnerability, I froze in place. I felt as if a heavy iron weight was being pressed down on my heart.


  ‘Is this a friend or a lover?’


  Hidden beneath Luce’s usual language and bland remarks, there was something that unexpectedly ambushed me to stop me in my tracks, as if it were trying to freeze time.


  I sighed and gently let go of Luce, startling her. I turned my back and sat down, bending one knee and stretching my arms back.


  “Get on.”


  I said as I slightly turned my head.


  Luce looked puzzled, her face showing that she didn’t understand what I meant.


  “You said you were coming with me, right? I’ll carry you.”


  How can my heart not melt from all the concern she’s showing me?


  If anything, I wanted Luce to stay by my side. After all, I couldn’t hate her.


  Plus, with her by my side, Galia could fight more comfortably.




  Luce giggled playfully, and clung to my back without hesitation.


  She wrapped her arms around my shoulders, and I grabbed onto her legs and stood up.


  “It’s not uncomfortable, is it?”


  “No, it’s fine. Isaac. You won’t get tired, will you?”


  “Don’t worry, I’m strong.”


  Luce smirked.


  “Galia, I’m going to take a shortcut, so back me up.”


  [Leave it to me.]


  Galia’s deep masculine voice echoed in my mind.


  With that, I picked up Luce and set off. I trudged across the marshland, stepping over the icebergs I had created.


  I knew that since we had Galia, we would be safe.






  As soon as Luce’s voice rang in my ear, a shiver ran down my spine. Her tone was like a sweet and seductive tactical weapon.


  “What?” I replied emotionlessly.


  “Your hands… are quite lewd,” Luce said with a faint smile.


  She seemed to be referring to my hands that were supporting her legs.


  …Come to think of it, that was true. It had been so long since I had carried someone that I didn’t realize I didn’t need to grasp her thigh. Somehow, the sensation felt enchanting. It was making me blush.


  I slid my arms further under her knees. Luce giggled at the sight, finding it amusing.


  Thanks to Luce and Galia joining me, I didn’t have to do much. They would take care of any demonic illusions or hostile familiars that might attack.


  ‘Thank goodness, really.’


  If I were alone, this would have been a challenging section where I could be eliminated at any moment.


  “Sniff. By the way, you don’t smell like Isaac today…?”


  “That’s because I used an odor remover.”


  “That’s a shame.”


  There might be enemies who could track me by scent.


  I masked my body odor with an odor remover I had purchased at an unmanned shop.


  “But Isaac, there’s something I’m curious about…”




  “Can you give me some… relationship advice today as well?”


  Luce’s voice started to fade as she began to doze off.


  Relationship advice. I’d been giving her nothing but stereotypical advice.


  At first, when Luce first asked me to teach her how to be in a relationship, I was stumped, but now it didn’t seem like a big deal. Humans are adaptable creatures, after all.


  “What is it? Tell me.” I asked absentmindedly.


  “If I had a crush on someone, and they were carrying me… what should I say?”


  I stopped in my tracks. I involuntarily froze.


  My head started to spin at her words. 


  Am I supposed to interpret this as her confessing that she likes me? But that wouldn’t make sense, right?


  “You… you like Greung, don’t you?”






  I realized I had misspoken.


  Maybe it was just because of the situation where I was carrying her that such a question came to mind.


  Asking, ‘You like Greung, don’t you?’ here could easily be interpreted as, ‘Are you confessing your feelings to me right now?’ There was plenty of room for that interpretation.


  “I didn’t mean it that way…”


  “I misunderstood. I’m sorry.”


  I moved on again.


  “Is there something Isaac needs to apologize for…?”


  Luce buried her face in my shoulder. I could feel a feverish heat through the fabric.


  Even if the side effects of the choro mushroom would improve with some sleep, I was deeply concerned about Luce’s condition right now.


  I kept a close eye on Luce to make sure nothing was wrong with her.


  “Then, Isaac. I have a favor to ask… Can you please tell me something?”


  “What is it?”




  A demonic illusion popped out, but Galia killed it with a single thunderbolt.


  I quickened my pace along that path.


  Luce breathed heavily for a moment, then managed to calm herself and continued speaking.


  “Tell me that Isaac is Greung… Please just say that…”


  I expected it.


  Sorry, but that’s not going to work.


  To be honest, I don’t trust Luce. At least until I defeat the Evil God, I intend to keep her from obtaining as much confirmation as possible.


  If she found out, it would increase the potential for a bad ending. It was already hard enough to get stronger and focus on killing demons.


  So when I defeat the Evil God and no longer have to worry about preventing bad endings…


  …At that moment, I will reveal everything.


  Well, surely she won’t resort to torture by demanding, ‘Say you’re Greung.’


  …Huh? She actually didn’t?


  “You’re so stubborn, seriously. Of course, I’m not. For you to do all of this just means you must like me or something, right?”


  I intentionally used a casual tone to block Luce’s line of questioning.


  From Luce’s perspective, she couldn’t be fully certain unless she found definite proof that I was Greung.


  This psychological distance was just right.


  Luce wasn’t in a position to freely pour out her emotions.


  However, her next response was so unexpected, I found myself at a loss for words.


  “Maybe I do…”


  Luce flashed a faint smile.


  Her soft whisper resonated in my mind like a distant echo.






  After that, Luce didn’t utter another word. I called her name repeatedly, but to no avail.


  Her body went limp. Soft breaths followed one after another, gently seeping into my ear.


  “Are you asleep?”


  A bitter chuckle escaped my lips.


  In the end, it seemed like Luce’s body had fallen into a state of forced slumber to detoxify the effects of the choro mushroom.




  Luce’s bracelet signaled her elimination.


  The exam bracelet continuously monitored the wearer’s physical condition and signaled elimination when they became incapacitated. Luce’s was no different.


  I leaned Luce against a nearby tree. Galia, who had been providing support, settled down next to me.


  Luce was sound asleep. Her head was tilted to the side, and her silky rose-gold hair dripped with rainwater.


  When she wakes up, she’ll have lost her memory.


  “Galia, you’ve done well. The proctor will come to take her away soon. You’re eliminated along with your master, so just follow along.”


  [What are you going to do?]


  “I’ll go where I’m going. Thanks.”


  I stretched my stiff shoulders, which had become sore from carrying Luce.


  “I’m off.”


  [I have something to ask you, though.]


  Galia gazed at me with his eyes crackling with lightning.


  [When do you plan to reveal your secret to this child?]


  It was a natural question considering that Galia viewed Luce as if she were his own daughter.


  “…By the way, thank you for keeping the secret. I’ll reveal it when the time is right.”


  [Please don’t be late. This child, she really likes you a lot, you know.]




  [I also want to meet my grandchildren soon…]


  “I’m in a hurry, so I’ll go. See you next time.”


  I quickened my pace as if running away, interrupting Galia’s unfiltered words.


  As if to warn me to be careful, Galia spread one of his wings and waved at me. I waved my arm in return.


  ‘Cheer up.’


  I took a deep breath to compose myself. From now on, challenging moments awaited. I needed to avoid combat as much as possible to reach the center.


  Let’s do this. I’ll prevent a bad ending, just like I’ve done until now.


  I pushed through the dense forest toward the center.


  – [Back Story – Hunting Evaluation (2.5)] End.



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The Academy’s Weakest Became A Demon-Limited Hunter

The Academy’s Weakest Became A Demon-Limited Hunter

Status: Ongoing Author:
I possessed the weakest character in my favorite game's Hell Mode. I want to survive, but the way the main character is being controlled is atrocious. It can't be helped. I have to stop the bad ending myself.


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