Back in the real world, Kazuki sat in his small cave and went over a few more things before he left. He had learned about Abura and the technique but he was still lacking many answers to many questions. One thing he needed to confirm was Danny’s theory about the black hole inside his soul world but to do so was asking for trouble.
When Kazuki covered it with aura to forcefully make it stop, there was a counter to his aura and small tears would appear around his barrier. Kazuki now knew how to patch those places but Danny theorized that every time the devouring power was activated, those problem spots could move or multiply, causing Kazuki to use more and more power. That in turn could be problematic. If Kazuki didn’t have enough aura or simply couldn’t contain all of the spots around the black hole, he could lose himself entirely to the technique.
Staring at the lizard bat corpses around him, Kazuki wondered.
(Should I risk it? Should I let the eating power take over and activate fully just to see if the spots around the black hole move around or multiply? If I allow it to take over and the case where the spots really do move and multiply, I may not be able to contain them, and then the technique will just run on its own. At that point, the possibility of me stopping it is considerably low and like Danny said I could be a puppet for the rest of my days.)
After thinking it over, Kazuki found it too risky to allow the devouring power to control him. From now on, he would have to suppress that voice in his head and contain the black hole with his aura before it activated fully, otherwise, he could lose himself permanently.
A problem that came with that though was Kazuki’s evolved hunger. He found that he would start to become incredibly hungry after only a few hours without something to eat. Going from before where he could last months without food to now having such an appetite was incredibly inconvenient all on its own but add to the fact that if he wasn’t careful he could be taken over by his hunger and become demon-like.
He had to suppress the Azirian blood resting somewhere in his brain and now he had to constantly suppress the black hole in his soul world whenever he got hungry. The burdens were accumulating. Still, Kazuki looked at his regenerated right arm and felt he had no right to complain.
(This devouring power has given me my right arm back. If it’s just suppressing that black hole and dealing with the hunger then the trade-off is worth it. Not only that, after eating flesh from that goat-headed bastard, I even get the added bonus in strength, speed, and more. My body has completely changed and improved by leaps and bounds.)
Kazuki looked down at his completely naked body and couldn’t help but smile foolishly. His muscles were not overly large but his frame looked incredible. He could feel an overabundance of power from every inch of his being.
Physically he wasn’t as strong as the goat-headed monster but he outmatched the thing in speed now as well as regeneratively. Even if he couldn’t fight the creepy-looking thing, he could be damn sure to outrun the dumb fuck.
A rumble from his gut, he felt hungry again. Sighing inwardly, Kazuki grabbed one of the lizard bats and began eating it right there and then. The taste like always was gross but Kazuki couldn’t hate it for some reason.
(Even though this tastes like garbage, It’s hard to not keep chewing and eating it. The nameless technique hasn’t changed my tastebuds but it’s definitely the reason why I can’t put this thing down.)
A few bites in and Kazuki could hear the voice in the back of his mind again. He had a bit of a difficult time pulling the food away from his face but with a bit of aura he quickly suppressed the calling and the black hole went dormant once more.
(This is going to be very annoying I can already tell.)
Kazuki left his little cave and dragged a whole lizard bat corpse along with him. That way he would have something to snack on later. He would have taken another corpse with him or even some of the fist-sized fruits but being nude and having no equipment, no rope or bag, carrying all that extra shit was hella inconvenient, so he opted not to.
Inhaling deeply he sniffed at the air around him and he easily picked up the smell of the Azirian blood marker he left behind on the smooth stone road. Kicking off the ground, Kazuki disappeared from sight and left afterimages as he casually headed off.
He had covered many miles within seconds and swiftly found the smooth flat stone pathway. He surprised even himself with his speed. He moved close to the speed he normally would whilst running on the surface outside of the trench. Due to being suppressed by the dense pure dark energy down here, Kazuki was impacted heavily. When he first crashed down here, his body felt as though it were under dozens of times the normal gravity but after eating from the goat-headed monster, he now felt super light. Just now he had just taken a step forward, not even running yet he was as fast as his normal self on the surface. Kazuki wondered…
(If I’m this fast now while being suppressed, just how much faster am I on the surface?)
Kazuki only dwelled on such thoughts for but a moment. He was now more confident in his ability to survive and thrive down here but that didn’t mean he wanted to waste too much time thinking about meaningless thoughts. It didn’t matter how fast he was on the surface if he wasn’t actually on the surface. That was something that would naturally be solved later so he threw it to the back of his head and once more followed the strange smooth path in front of him.
The oddness of this path became more and more obvious as he traveled. With Kazuki’s newfound strength and speed, usually when he kicked off the ground ad raced ahead, the ground would easily split beneath his feet as it was hard for normal surfaces to take such impact, yet this smooth ground held firm.
This indicated this stone path was not normal. On top of that, Kazuki still could find no carvings or cuts. he was still traveling on one long piece and had traveled hundreds of miles already.
(For this to be one whole piece, did someone literally shave off the side of a mountain in one clean cut?)
Racing along, Kazuki curiously stomped down with a bit of power to test how tough the path was.
Kazuki stopped for a moment and examined the floor. Rubbing his hand over it, he became even more curious.
There was nothing, no mark, no scratch, he left no impression behind whatsoever, which naturally surprised him.
(Not even a mark. I just used enough power to kick through a hill and shatter it, yet there’s nothing. What is this stone made from?)
Once again Kazuki stopped thinking about pointless things and ran ahead.
100 miles 1000, 10,000. He had come so far it was actually getting to be ridiculous.
(At this speed I would have already traveled over nearly the entire Feya continent. Just when will this path end? Does it end? No that’s a stupid question, of course, it ends. I’m not trapped in an endless dimension I’m simply deep underground. Still, how far am I going to go?)
That answer came faster than he expected as out in the distance he heard a loud guttural roar.
(Somethings up ahead.)
Usually, Kazuki would be a lot more cautious hearing a roar from an unknown creature, especially since he couldn’t identify what it was from the sound which meant it was new. At this time though, confidence and power were swimming through his veins like a rushing river.
Kazuki quickened his pace as the path led over through a mountain. As he ran through the mountain in no time, the roars around him increased from that of a single creature to that of hundreds if not thousands. The confidence he had waned a little and he came to his senses. It was foolish to become overconfident so easily.
Just as he was about to exit the mountain, he slowed his steps and moved slower. He circulated his ki and calmed down his beating heart to that of a crawl and silenced his breath. He began to blend in with his environment and made not a single sound. The stone path he walked began to narrow until it was only 10 feet wide.
Just as he exited the mountain, he discovered it. His ears perked up as he sensed everything. The roaring sounds didn’t decrease and only became louder giving Kazuki a continuous image of things around him. The path continued forward down the mountain and at the bottom was there was actually a large city. In the center of the city, there was a large oval-shaped arena and within that, a battle was taking place.