“So, strange boy, where do you want to go?” The whitish-blue-haired girl looked at me and asked with a smile.
“Obviously to the core of the dungeon. I want to leave this place as soon as possible.”
The girl looked at me strangely and nodded.
“I thought so when I saw you, but I wanted to make sure. Let me ask you something else then. Do you think you alone can destroy the core with your Tier 2 strength? Even if the mana in this dungeon is very thin and the monsters are very weak, the monster guarding the core will be around Tier 5 at the very least. That is not something a Tier 2 can hope to defeat.”
Yeah, I know it.
But it’s not like I have another option.
Let’s explain a bit about how the tiers work.
Tiers are measure using something called Garcia’s Scale, in honor of its creator. They start from Tier 0, and every Tier higher is several times stronger than the previous Tier.
Tiers don’t represent just strength, but also how much the mana core has been developed, and the destructive power of an individual. They go like this:
Tiers 0 – 0.9: Can be killed by a normal human.
Tiers 1 – 1.9: Slightly stronger than a normal human.
Tiers 2 – 4.9: Guns start to be useless, and they can kill normal people easily.
Tiers 5 – 7.9: Only highly destructive weapons can damage them. If left alone, they can kill thousands of people by themselves.
Tiers 8 – 10: Monsters able to cause disasters of epic proportions. To kill one without relying on someone of similar strength, it’s necessary to use weapons of mass destruction.
Tiers 11 – +: No human besides the Protector Duke has reached this level, but there are records of creatures and powerhouses of other races at this Tier. Even nuclear weapons are useless against them.
In other words, a Tier 5 monster can kill several Tier 2 easily. You need to be at least Tier 3 to have hope facing this kind of monster unless you are a genius able to disregard Tiers.
And according to this girl, my current Tier is '2'. Even if I’m slightly stronger than my Tier thanks to the demon, my true strength should be around Tier 3 at most. Facing a Tier 5 monster with my strength is suicide.
But if I don’t absorb the core of the dungeon in the next eighteen hours, I’m going to die.
Thus, I need to take this risk.
Of course, I’m not going to tell her that.
“You don’t need to worry, I’m confident in my abilities,” I replied like that after thinking for a while.
The girl stared at me for several seconds and raised an eyebrow. But then, she nodded.
“Certainly, your fate is very strong right now. Perhaps you can succeed alone if you try it.”
… Again with this fate stuff.
“What do you mean by fate? Can you see, like, the future?” I could not help but ask.
The girl looked at me and chuckled.
“Unfortunately, I can’t. I’m not like my mom and my big sister, who can peer into the past, know the present, and calculate the future. My abilities over fate are more limited… Hmm, you can say that I can see your potential. Your ability to affect the world around you.”
“My ability to affect the world?”
Seeing my confusion, the girl smiled and explained.
“Yes, it includes various things. Your talent, your connections, your strength, your health, and even your money. As an example, someone powerful enough to destroy a city can change the world much easier than a normal person, so his fate is stronger. In the same way, someone with enough political power can easily pass a bill that affects millions of people, so his fate is stronger than someone whose only political connection is the politician uncle of the cousin of the husband of the mother of his girlfriend. Do you understand?”
“… I guess. In other words, fate represents how much my actions can affect my surroundings.”
“Something like that.” The girl smiled. “That is the reason I’m so surprised. When I saw you on the bus, your fate was very weak, like a candle that could be blown off by the wind easily. However, now that I met you again, your fate has become strong, very strong. Perhaps as strong as a Tier 8 Awakened… Plus, it’s filled with such a twisted feeling… Can you tell me what happened to you?” The girl asked curiously.
I frowned. Nobody likes others prying into their secrets.
… But I think it’s better to satisfy her curiosity a little bit. Otherwise, she could continue prying into my circumstances and find something she should not find.
“To be honest, I was close to dying. Fortunately, I awakened at the last second and managed to turn my luck around.” I explained while putting on a helpless smile.
But instead of nodding in understanding, the girl frowned.
“Awakening? No, perhaps it’s part of the reason, but not everything. With your former fate, you should have been unable to Awaken in the first place. Could it be that you found a strange object? No, this fate is unmistakably yours. Even if it was an object that fused with you, I should be able to see the difference… How strange.”
I felt cold sweat flowing through my back. God, this girl is so terrifying.
“… Well, the only thing I know is that I awakened. I know nothing about your so-called fate.” I could only say that to try to fool her.
The girl looked at me with an I-don’t-believe-you gaze before smiling again. “I guess I’ll stop prying for now then. Let’s go, we are already close to the core.” She then turned around and started walking in the direction of the core.
I sighed in relief inwardly.
To be honest, I was afraid that if we continued talking, I would reveal something unintentionally.
Sigh, such a shame… She is so beautiful, but I would never dare to make her my girlfriend. Just imagining the scene where she uses her strange power to know if I was looking at another girl terrifies me.
Although I’m not sure if she can do that.
The girl did not hurry towards the core. She walked at a leisure pace, as though she was in a stroll in her garden instead of inside a dangerous dungeon.
I said nothing and just followed after her. Just like the demon said, this girl is much stronger than me. It’s better if I don’t do anything that could anger her.
By the way, speaking about the demon, he has not said even one word in a while.
It looks like he is more afraid of this girl than I thought.
At that moment, I caught a glimpse of something from the corner of my eyes,
It was a snake-like monster. It was moving at great speed towards the girl's nape!
In an instant, it shot its body towards the girl's nape and opened its fangs to bite her!
“Careful!” It was everything I managed to say. The snake was so fast that I was unable to react in any other way.
But the next scene stunned me.
When the snake was about to bite the girl, its body froze.
The girl did not move. She did not even turn around to look at the snake. But despite that, the snake’s body split into pieces slowly, falling on the ground as sliced pieces of flesh.
The only thing I managed to see was several thin and almost transparent threads flashing briefly in the air before disappearing completely.
... What a terrifying girl.