DCFM – Chapter 020: A sliver of hope and Affection of Spirits

“Damn it…! I won’t let myself be eaten!” (Hikaru)

I was found by a pack of wolves.

I used Darkness Fog successively so that it doesn’t run out, and would sometimes use Shadow Runner to distract them, and run again.

“It would be one thing if it were just one enemy, but…!” (Hikaru)

I don’t know if these guys are the same pack as the ones I met the first time or not, but what I can tell is that they are big, fast, and strong.

There’s around 15.

I have no leeway to properly count them.

The only thing I can tell for sure is that it is not a number that I can run away from.

“[Darkness Fog]…!” (Hikaru)

I am feeling my Spirit Energy running out. 

My whole body was beginning to get feverish, and my body was telling me any more uses will be dangerous.

The wolves aren’t so rash to just lunge into the darkness, so while the Darkness Fog is present, they are simply looking from afar.

But they are maintaining a distance not too close but not too far. 

Darkness Fog had once again imcreased over 100, and had gone all the way to Tier 4.

The darkness is dense and the effective range is big. There’s also around 4 minutes of effective time. 

But it is only 4 minutes each time.

“[Darkness Fog]…!” (Hikaru)

I am showing myself in that momentary end of the spell.

And they are shrewdly trying to attack me at those small intervals.

If it had been at night, I wouldn’t need to use them consecutively as much.

Also, I didn’t use Shadow Runner much at those times, so I had leeway in my Spirit Energy.

…No, that’s not it. 

Night is darkness.

There’s a clear difference in how much cost there is in Spirit Ability between times of the day.

Making darkness appear at night and making darkness appear in a morning with good weather has a burden difference of several times… That’s how I feel.

I don’t have the leeway to confirm my map, but I most likely still have 30km left. 

No, 30km is the distance before reaching the closest fortress. 

In that case, getting out of the forest is 20km or 10km.

I can’t tell with that much detail using a world map. 

“[Darkness………Fog…….]!” (Hikaru)

A dark fog that cuts away the light.

A pitch black darkness so deep it feels like it was tangible was making it hard for even the wolves running around restlessly to approach.

But I am close to my limit.

When I open my Status Board to confirm, I see that I had obtained 3 Crystals.

The log that was at the corner of my eyes had written [Reached 5,000,000,000 Total Viewers].

I exchange them for a spirit energy recovery potion, and drink it all up.

That feverish feeling from my body is receding.

“Alright…! With this…!” (Hikaru)

I run.

In the direction that leads me out of this forest.

A straight line.

Fortunately, the forest had changed once again into a state that’s slightly easier to run in.

There might have been the work of people here.

“[Darkness Fog]…!” (Hikaru)

I don’t know for how long I ran after that.

I was already drained to my limit a long time ago.

My clothes were tattered to a pitiful state from top to bottom because of the branches, and my whole body was covered in blood from cuts. 

Even so, I am still alive.

Adrenaline was pumping to my brain to a point that I didn’t care about the pain, and was simply struggling with my everything for the sake of the future.

In normal circumstances it would have been impossible for me to run this much.

My hidden human power must have come out with my life on the line here. 

…But I am already at my limit. 

The forest still continued on.

…No, that’s not it.

I can see light.

I could faintly see a plain stretching out at the very ends of the forest.

Just a bit. Just a bit more.

…No, it is the same. Even if I get out of the forest, that doesn’t mean I am instantly in a safe zone.

It might turn into an even more dangerous situation because it is an open space. 

The wolves are not giving up on me.

Several tens of wolves were approaching me with drool on their mouths.

I can’t move a single step more.

Once this last darkness fog is cleared up, I won’t be able to do anything.

“…Ha…haha, I am dealing with wolves, so maybe I should have climbed a tree somewhere.” (Hikaru)

I think about that at this late point in time, and I could feel a laugh coming out from me. 

Of course, I don’t have the energy to climb a tree anymore.

I am exhausted and my Spirit Energy is empty too.

My body is burning as if I was being grilled by flames here.

I was assaulted by a fever that made me feel as if I wasn’t myself anymore.

It is a miracle that I haven’t lost consciousness.

My belongings that were stored in the Shadow Bag came out from my shadow. I finally couldn’t maintain the ability because of my Spirit Energy running out. 

The 3 Spirit Stones, the shining flowers, the rope, the shirt sleeves, the empty ceramic cups that contained the potions before. 

I see. When my Spirit Energy runs out, the things stored in my shadow will get scattered out, huh. I was being weird here, thinking about this all calmly.

“…I will…die?” (Hikaru)

Once this darkness clears up, my life will end. 

Will my father and mother see this too?

Will both of my sisters see it?

Are they going to cry at that sight?

Will Nanami be living all alone in this world where she knows no one?

Even though I didn’t even imagine myself dying until now…

Will I be dying in this unpopulated forest?

Darkness Fog is still active.

The wolves at the other side of the darkness were looking over here while drooling, waiting impatiently for the moment when the darkness clears up.

“No.. I don’t want to die… I must not die…!” (Hikaru)

Those were my feelings that welled from the very depths of my soul.

If not for this situation where I am truly neck to neck with my own death, it would be an emotion that I wouldn’t have ever known in my life. 

It doesn’t have anything to do with this being a parallel world.

I just don’t want to die.

A primeval desire. An instinct.

The wolves must be perceiving that the end is near, they were surrounding me and closing my chances of slipping away. 

The darkness is going to clear up soon.

Hoping it will serve me as a weapon of sorts, I take in my hand the Spirit Stone of the Giant Monkey I obtained.

Drowning people grab onto even straws -and for me, that was the Spirit Stones that were scattered in front of me. 

The Spirit Stone is big and hard. You could say it is the best weapon I can have in my hand right now. If I can jam it into the mouth of a wolf, I might be able to defeat at least one.

It might not have much meaning, but I want to at least give them a piece of my mind too. 

As for any other thing that might serve as a weapon, it would be the Points and Crystals. There are times when they suddenly come in because of a special occasion. That’s currently what would increase my chances of survival the most. 

I opened the Status Board.

“1 Crystal!” (Hikaru)

When I looked at the log, it said [Top of the Daily Viewers].

I have obtained this 2 times before. 

I must be gathering a whole lot more attention now that I am finally in a dangerous situation. 

But 1 Crystal won’t be saving me from this situation.

I use Item Appraisal on the Giant Monkey’s Spirit Stone while in pain.

This is the only thing in my hands that has the chance of overturning this situation.

…Or maybe, I instinctively felt this. 

The power of this stone, and…its potential.

[Spirit Stone: Chaotic – This chaotic spirit crystallization is something that rarely shows up when collecting or killing a monster. Chaotic means that it couldn’t obtain the pure elements of the Spirits and is mixed. It has all elements mixed in it, and it is called a Demonic Stone. The drop rate of this is 100% from a Demon Lord. It is rare for normal monsters and monstrosities to drop this, and they are valuable. The big sized ones are traded at high prices as spirit energy sources for magic tools. The appraisal target is one that was dropped from a Wondrous Entity Flame Orangutan. LL size. Rare Material].

Stuff like Monstrosity and Demon Lord; there were many words that I didn’t know, but there’s one thing that bothered me. 

“Source of Spirit Energy? There’s Spirit Energy in this…?” (Hikaru)

Darkness Fog was beginning to run out. 

The dark fog was slowly dispersing. 

I don’t have the time to think.

“Please…!” (Hikaru)

I raised the Spirit Stone high up with both hands and held it tightly. 

I don’t know at what I am praying to, but I have been using Spirit Abilities this whole time, and I had the certain feeling that Spirits are alive. 

I am the one using the abilities, but I have borrowed the strength of a whole ton of Spirits to create this darkness.

If a Spirit Stone is a crystallization of Spirits…

“Please give me power…the power to survive…!” (Hikaru)

—Ufufu. Ahaha.

—Kyakkya.

I heard voices from somewhere.

They felt similar to that Great Dark Spirit, but the voices felt more innocent, more pure…

The next instant…

I felt the temperature in my body dropping. 

The Spirit Stone must have heard my wish. It began to grow hot as if the heat in my body was transferred to it. 

And then, it began pulsing as if the stone was alive. 

Spirit Energy was returning to my body. No, my body was brimming with energy as if it were being provided from somewhere.

But the energy that had finally returned to my body was for some reason being poured into the stone just like that. 

“W-What’s happening…? Spirit Energy is…” (Hikaru)

Not only the Darkness Fog, I am not in a state where I can use any other Spirit Abilities.

It was as if I was in the middle of activating an ability.

Spirit Energy began to overflow with light. 

The light began to shine in different colours, and the remaining darkness fog was cleared up from this. 

The radiance inside the stone as if it had stars inlaid in it became light, and felt like it was turning and mixing.

The wolves were hesitating from attacking in the face of this unknown phenomenon.

The colorful lights continued overflowing from the stone.

The stone grew hotter and hotter together with the mysterious pulsing. 

As if…it were alive.

“Hot! W-What…?” (Hikaru)

I thought I would be able to get Spirit Energy. I did indeed get Spirit Energy. 

But what’s happening right now is out of my imagination.

I couldn’t endure the scalding hot Spirit Stone and ended up letting go of it. 

The stone rolled on the ground, the overflowing light gathered, and then it began to swell thickly. Complex colors. 

It slowly turned red, redder, taking form…

“Grooaah!!” 

One wolf lunged at that…something that was born from the Spirit Stone.

The next instant…

*Pang!*

That wolf was knocked onto the trunk of a tree several meters away. 

“You gotta be kidding me…” (Hikaru)

The light that overflowed from the Spirit Stone had converged into red, a deep red, becoming bones, meat, blood, and…a gigantic body had been brought about. 

It was as if life had been played in reverse.

The Flame Orangutan that had been torn to pieces by the Great Dark Spirit had fire on its back, and was standing in front of me as if protecting me. 

“Gugyaaaaa!” 

The roar of the giant monkey made the wolves cower in fear for a moment there.

A difference in class on a fundamental level.

Size, power, and probably even spirit energy were like heaven and earth between the wolves and the giant monkey. 

Wolves are without doubt creatures that can feel this even in this parallel world. 

After that, it was one-sided.

Each movement of the giant monkey would bring the demise of 2 to 3 wolves.

One would get crushed by the swung down arm that was as big as the trunk of a tree, and another would die from the fire breath.

Complete domination.

The attacks of the wolves that only consist of biting and claws doesn’t seem to even tickle the giant monkey. 

I can’t even tell if that giant monkey is my ally. 

My Spirit Energy is mostly drained.

It had recovered completely for a moment, but almost all of it was sucked away by the Spirit Stone.

Did that stone grant my wish?

Was it a power that was originally in Spirit Stones, or something else? 

The answer came from a strange place. 

[Congratulations! You are the first Chosen to be enlightened with the ‘Sealed 8th Spirit Ability’. As a bonus for being first, you have been awarded 3 Points].

“Sealed…what…?” (Hikaru)

In the time I was taken aback by this, the fight ended. 

There was already no one moving in the surroundings.

The giant monkey had dominated the wolves, and was standing right in front of me as if waiting for orders. 

It is strange how I am not scared.

When I look closely, it wasn’t completely recreated, and there were places here and there that were missing meat, and there were parts where I could see bone.

…Like a zombie.

I opened my Status Board.

————————-

[Dark Spirit Ability]

Tier 1 Ability

・Falsehood of Darkness [Shade Shift] Proficiency 11

・Casket of Darkness [Shadow Bind] Proficiency 0

・Call of Darkness [Summon: Night Bug] Proficiency 0

Tier 2 Ability 

・View of Darkness [Dark Vision] Proficiency 9

・Transformation of Darkness [Shadow Runner] Proficiency 21

・Deposition of Darkness [Shadow Bag] Proficiency 6

Tier 4 Ability 

・Revelation of Darkness [Darkness Fog] Proficiency 1

Special Technique

・Return of Darkness [Create: Undead] Proficiency 1

———-

“Create…Undead…” (Hikaru)

A new Spirit Ability had appeared.

Looks like it is an ability that creates undead…in other words, zombies.

Does that mean the result of my wish being sent into the Spirit Stone was the awakening of that ability?

I tap the window and check the description.

[A special technique that each element has. For the Dark Spirit Ability, it is creating undead. The required items for use are a Dark Spirit Stone or a Chaotic Spirit Stone. The created undead will take the form of the previous life of that stone. It is a method that can even recreate Monstrosity and Demon Lord undeads, but the required Spirit Energy is high; caution is required when used. Increasing the Proficiency will shorten the recreation time and increase the retention time. No changes in Tier. The used Spirit Stone will be consumed].

I look at the giant monkey in front of me. 

It looks almost identical to when it was alive.

Its fighting power was high enough to wipe out that many wolves in an instant. It is most likely almost the same as when it was alive.

In that case, this ability is massive… No, way too big of a power. 

There’s the limitation of needing an item for use though…

My Spirit Energy has recovered a bit. 

—Kyakkya.

—Ahahaha.

The voices grow further away. 

These voices are most likely the voices of the Spirits. 

They are not Spirits with form like the Great Dark Spirit. They are small Spirits that are present everywhere in this world.

“…Thank you.” (Hikaru)

I mutter this to empty air. 

Create Undead has a time limit. It is not like the danger is completely gone. I must hurry. 

“Giant monkey, can you take out the Spirit Stones from the wolves?” (Hikaru)

“Gyawu.” 

The giant monkey performs my order obediently.

“Ugh…that’s gory.” (Hikaru)

The giant monkey takes out the Spirits Stones from the wolves’ corpses as if it were squeezing them out. 

It is skilled as expected of a monkey, but I am even pitying them here. 

They were targeting my life that much, but it is not like there’s any fault to them. If there’s easy prey, aim for it. That’s basically the law of nature.

The Spirit Stones were mostly transparent like those of the children monkeys, and there was only one shining blue. 

I see, the Chaotic Stones that have stars scattered are pretty rare. 

After the stones, I had it get any edible fruits. 

I felt that Create Undead was going to run out soon.

Once it finished gathering the fruits, the giant monkey let out a cry and disappeared in light particles. 

I put the fruits and the wolves Spirit Stone in the Shadow Bag and begin walking. 

Without forgetting to use 1 Point for a new Barrier Stone. 

…Dragging my exhausted body to the light at the end of this accursed forest.

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