Chapter 5: Flay’s True Strength

The massive figure of the Pteranodon cast a huge shadow on the ground that it flew over. Yet despite its massive wings, Flay knew that this dinosaur couldn’t fly but only use its wings to glide over the land. But its size and its powerful strength allowed it to leap and glide over hills.

The shadow drew closer and closer, and both Flay and the gator both trembled in fear.

But the massive shadow of the Pteranodon flew over them. Flay could see the shadow zoom by. Unexpectedly, they were not its target!

BOOM!

The Pteranodon landed elsewhere, and Flay couldn’t see it from the jaws of the gator.

Flay sighed in relief.

“What happened? I thought we goners…!” Flay sighed in relief.

“It didn’t attack us? It’s probably this gator! The Death Mark can’t sense me as I am lodged in this gator's mouth. Its saliva is masking my presence to some degree!”

“So that’s why it didn’t leave! It might have sensed a bit of it, but I can’t tell where it is exactly!” Flay realized.

“Now that I think about it, this is actually a neat place to hide! It's funny how this beast becomes our refuge.” The slime sword laughed.

The gator continued to stay perfectly still. Flay could feel the gator's trembling body inside of the mouth.

“It seems that the Pteranodon really knows that I'm nearby. So your little guess of this gator's saliva hiding us is accurate. It's looking around this place for us. And now this gator is too scared to move!" Flay laughed.

"I guess this buys us more time. I can use Neptune's power on you to slowly heal you.” The Slime sword spoke, and faint water-based magic began to replenish Flay.

Unlike before when Flay was battling in the river, he now was able to sense the power surge in him!”

"Woah! You never told me you had this!"

"I couldn't tell you before. But I used it to heal you when we were in the river.”

“So that’s why I didn’t feel tired! And the wounds I got when I hit that tree also disappeared. I thought it was adrenaline masking my pain…”

“Please rest, and try to recover, master. When your strength recovers, we have to use your attack to kill this thing. I do have a question, Master! you said that you have a level of Rookie-6, right? But I noticed some inconsistencies.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all my life. The truth is, I don’t have the strength of a Rookie-6.”

“I noticed.” The slime answered. He had seen the attacks of Flay and knew that Flay had the power that those on the second realm of the Ranks of Power possessed.

“The truth is, I am a dud among tamers. And I am very weak compared to the rest. This is my first time joining the hunt, and while my village has some uses for my hearing ability, my physical strength isn’t much. I even failed the Strength Test before joining this hunt!”

The slime was confused at Flay’s declaration.

“Weak? What do you mean?” The slime asked.

“We’ll just as you’ve noticed. I may be at Rookie-6, but the Brute Power I can wield can’t even reach Rookie-4! The minimum strength requirement to join the hunt was to have Rookie-4. I’ve trained for many years, and even those who are younger than me have gone ahead and joined the hunt! So yes. I actually have a strength of a Rookie-3…” Flay sighed as he recalled even more painful memories.

“I don’t even know why Glum, the master of the Hunt, agreed to let me join. I failed this strength Test for three consecutive years. I thought I ranked up to Rookie-4, but my punches stayed at 3. And this happened again last year when I thought I reached Rookie-5. And a few days ago, I thought I reached Rookie-6.”

“Master… This strength test… How is it done?”

“We use Strength Measuring Stone was placed, and all who wanted to join would have to attack the stone with their strongest punch.”

“A Strength Measuring Stone? I know of that. Rookies use that. It gives off different colors depending on the strength of the punch, right?”

“Yes! Wow. You’re smart.”

“Strength Measuring Stones are among the most primitive ways to test the cultivation of a person. But… you said you’ve never showed strength that surpassed Rookie 3?”

“No.”

“And your last test whole thing happened three days ago?”

“Yes.”

“Then how did you survive the maw of this huge gator? Your strength is not a Rookie-3 or a Rookie-6 Master! It can only be greater than those!”

“What?” Flay was confused.

“Your strength! It’s not a Rookie-3! At least, not now!”

“Aren’t I alive now because of you? Your amazing slime form was sturdy enough not to break at such pressure. You’re the one nearly lodged at this gator’s brain! Sure it was me who aimed for that spot, but it was your sturdy structure that saved me!”

“But I couldn’t have done that if you didn’t reveal a might that resisted the force of the crunching jaw! If you were too weak to hold me up firmly, my sword form would not stab deeply, and we would get crushed!”

“How can a Slime like you know that we would have gotten crushed?”

“Look, I’m sure you noticed that I am a sentient being. I wasn’t always a Slime! I was only reborn as one! So I can roughly gauge the Brute power you have been showing!”

“Maybe it was adrenaline? I could show the power of Rookie 4 or 5 if that’s the case.”

“That’s the thing! Listen, master, you wielded strength which was a realm above! Not Rookie 4, 5, or even 9! That was the strength of an Apprentice! And your form and handling of the sword are that of an Apprentice Swordsman!”

“An Apprentice Swordsman?! You’re crazy! You do understand how strong those guys are, right?”

“Yes. I can tell that my knowledge in this isn’t so different from what you know!”

“Maybe you’ve been sealed too long!”

“No. At most, I’ve been sealed a few decades. I was asleep, but I could tell how much time had passed. But I’m sure that in worlds like this, cultivation should even be weaker than my world.”

“Then let’s review. The Apprentice stage is what they call the stage when someone surpasses the Rookie-9 level. No one in Monster’s Edge is stronger than Apprentice-5. Since our town only has Brute practitioners, the best that Monster's Edge has ever produced, apart from being Tamers, are Apprentice-5 Brute users. And that takes decades of training.”

“And yet you have the strength of someone like that! Your usage of Brute power is also amazing! You even used your Brute Power to envelop my sword form, making me sturdier and sharper! Master, listen. Either you didn’t know how to bring out this power, or something happened these past days that have caused your strength to soar!”

“Are you sure?” Flay asked again.

“I’m positive. I don’t know how I know it, but I’m sure. Your strength is definitely not a Rookie 5! It’s more than double that power! Think back, Master. What might have happened that could have done this?” The slime asked.

“Something that could have raised my strengths?” Flay thought back.

“Wait! That’s it! When I fell into the pool, I lost consciousness! I woke up, and the wounds I got from the mantis were gone! What about you? What was the first thing you remembered?” Flay asked the Slime.

“Nothing much. The moment I woke up, I was already in this small slime form. You were nearby. There were no bones or the slime pool you mentioned. I didn’t see anything else. I waited for you to wake up, and it took about two hours or so…”

Flay was confused and began to glance at his Taming Hand.

“That’s it! It might have to do with the awakening of my Taming arm! You were somehow slumbering in that strange pool form when My hand must have touched you. It could have been the corrosive nature of the pool, but somehow it helped my arm improve!”

“Can you tell me more about your Taming Hand?”

“All members of my Clan are born with this hand. This jewel at the back of our hands tells the strength of our power. Just like the colors used to identify the level of Brute power, this Taming Jewel also reflects our power. Red is the weakest. And then orange, then yellow and then yellow-green, and finally Green. That’s the highest. We haven’t seen a Teal or any shades of Blue-Green born among Tamers. I had a black jewel. It was the first time Tamers saw it. They believed that it was caused to an illness that the mother who gave birth to me suffered from when I was in her womb. But no matter how hard we tried and whatever medicines I tried to take, it was still black, and I can’t create a link to any monsters.”

“And now, it red… So it must have changed when you fell on that pool. Honestly, I still don’t understand how I was that slime pool you described. It doesn’t fit in any magical frameworks I’m familiar with. But we don’t have time to ponder in this mystery.”

“ROAR!” The Pteranodon flew by as his shadow passed through again. It was growing impatient and jumped to another hill.

But even though the Pteranodon was further away, the gator dared not move.

“Since this gator isn’t moving, The Pteranodon should still be nearby. I guess this buys us more time! If you are right, then is it possible for me to kill this beast?”

“Yes.” The slime answered.

Flay had hope for the first time since the gator tried to bite him.

“Then let’s try it. The healing thing you are doing is slow, but I should recover my Brute power again. If I concentrate and use all that force, we could kill it!”

“Yes! And killing this beast will allow me to use another one of my power!”

“You have more than one power?!” Flay was amazed.

“Yes. I haven’t formally introduced myself since the Pteranodon interrupted us. I am Kairo Majekon. A master Alchemist who died and was reborn as a Slime Monster. I was saved by the Eos who took pity on me.”

“The Eos? Aren’t they gods?”

“Yes. They are. And my benefactors and saviors weren’t just any Eos. They were the strongest ones. Master, I hold the power of the Eos Sol System! And that System is now yours!”

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