This was the only thing Kazuki could come up with. Zetrazz seemed to be fearful of Glacious as well had disgust with himself. At the same time, he had immense pride. By putting these words in Glacious’s mouth, Kazuki thought he could press those buttons, and due to this prevent his own death by making it seem as if Zetrazz would play right into Glacious’s words were Zetrazz to kill Kazuki. Not only would he not kill him but due to his excessive pride, he would most likely see to it that Kazuki was not harmed. For if he did harm Kazuki again it would seemingly play into what Glacious supposedly said about Zetrazz killing weak things that have potential.
All of this was betting that the clues Zetrazz had presented were in fact little nuggets of truth about his personality.
The cave remained quiet for several minutes as Zetrazz seemed to be lost in thought.
At the same time, cold sweat was pouring down Kazuki’s face. At first, it wasn’t too hard for him to control such a function but the longer Zetrazz took to think, the more and more nervous Kazuki became as he continuously second-guessed whether his assumptions were correct or not.
(Come on, why is he thinking for so long? Was I wrong about his personality? No, it makes sense. It’s true that he hates Glacious and he wishes to kill him. At the same time, Satorus, the goat-headed monster disgusted Zetrazz with a mere act of what he called cowardice. He killed him without second thought or hesitation but Glacious who he loathes, he has never once tried to destroy him. From Glacious’s memories, this seems to be so. To kill the one who he feels nothing about and not kill the other who he detests, the answer must be because he is weaker or is doubtful of winning. All of these things coming together and on top of what I told him, he should no longer wish to kill me…I think. Still, he’s been quiet for far too long. Should I add something or should I let him continue to stew?)
Kazuki didn’t know whether to fan the flames or remain dead silent. He understood that Zetrazz was prideful but he didn’t know the threshold of it. Were he to open his mouth and pile on more, it could push such a prideful being over the edge and Zetrazz might then kill Kazuki just because he spoke too much.
In the end, Kazuki didn’t wish to push the limits and he kept his mouth shut. His reasoning was proven sound as Zetrazz finally broke the silence.
“So that’s what Glacious believes of me. He thinks I purposefully spread my power through this underground world to keep the lesser beings beneath my foot. With my energy clouding all, no one could ever rise up to face me. He thinks I kill creatures with potential as well. Hmph…I a titan need to suppress others just to ensure my future, hmph.”
(Yes, he’s taking the bait, now’s the time to keep him talking.)
“Um, can I say something?”
Kazuki wanted to make his voice shaky and add a level of fear to it to try and lower Zetrazz’s guard slightly but he found he didn’t need to fake anything as his voice naturally trembled in such a situation. It was a little embarrassing but it couldn’t be helped seeing the power before him.
Zetrazz turned his attention back to Kazuki. A thought flashed across his mind and his energy started to spread outward but just as quickly as it spread it retreated as Zetrazz recalled that this was exactly what Glacious was saying about him suppressing and killing those with potential.
Zetrazz restrained his power though his tone was as cold as ice.
“What is it ant?”
“I just wondered, if that ugly lizard’s words aren’t correct, then why is it that your energy soaks this underground world. It is true that nearly everything down here is suppressed by your powers, so is that lizard bastard right, or are you?”
“That tiny lizard, he doesn’t understand my powers in the least if that’s what he thinks. Listen up you little worm, I could destroy that batard anytime I so desire, I just need a little more time, that’s all.”
Kazuki didn’t say anything but from his expression, Zetrazz gathered that Kazuki didn’t believe a word. His pride began to come out and he grew angry.
“You small thing, you don’t believe the words of this mighty being because you too don’t understand. Fine, let me inform you of a few things then you’ll come to understand. First off It’s not like I am suppressing anyone on purpose. I am a few hundred thousand years old and guess what, it was I who made this underground world my territory. I was the first to arrive and claim it. After a long time of already being well established here, several dumb creatures began showing up one after another. By the time they arrived, my power had already covered all of this place. They are the ones who entered my lands. Some of them were capable of surviving within my energy and so I turned a blind eye to them and allowed them to live here. As long as they didn’t bother me, I decided to leave them be. If they don’t like my environment, then they can leave anytime they wish, I won’t stop them. What kind of dumb worms live in a place where they can’t grow properly, how can I be blamed for their irrationality. I would never live inside of a volcano nor in the clouds because it doesn’t suit me and if I found myself in such a place I would simply leave. Do you understand my thoughts?”
“What is that supposed to mean little ant?”
Kazuki shrugged his shoulders.
“The way you say it, you act like anyone can just simply get up and leave this place whenever they wish but for most beings down here that isn’t a possibility, you know. For example, the way I came about being in here, I fell from the surface all the way down here. The only way I found out of this place it up and guess what, I couldn’t fly when I first came down here so the only option for me was to climb but again that isn’t something I could do.”
“And why is that?”
“Simple, the cliff wall is covered in spikes. Each one of these spikes is harder and sharper than most metals. Just touching one is enough to pierce my flesh but to grab one and put a bit of weight on it and the spike will cleanly cut through my flesh and bone. For me, there was originally no way out. Not to mention the other thing.”
“The other thing.”
“Well the only other way out for me was if someone came down here and got me. That person would have been Glacious but we all know how that turned out. Someone wouldn’t let him in their territory. I guess you saying anyone is allowed to leave whenever they wish isn’t exactly…
Kazuki’s words froze in his throat as he felt the pressure around his body suddenly increase. Zetrazz glared at him with death. If he kept speaking he thought for sure it would be his end and so his mouth slammed shut and he didn’t dare utter another word.
A moment later, Zetrazz pulled his energy back, his soul burning with contempt for both Glacious as well as himself.
“True, because of my actions you were not allowed to leave but that wasn’t because of you but because of who wanted to enter my land to come to get you. At the same time, I’ll admit there’s a small amount of hypocrisy on my part. Circling back though, I can see the difficulty you small mortal beings have to go through in order to leave here. At the same time, you fell in here while the other many creatures have lived here their entire lives, they have no need to leave or rather…
This time it was Zetrazz who stop speaking as he could see his words were just sounding like excuses.
Kazuki gathered his courage and chimed back in.
“Even if you overlook the whole suppressing others with your power, what about killing weaker creatures that have the potential to grow and challenge you. I just saw you kill Satorus.”
Zetrazz shook his head.
“No, if we go by what Glacious said about killing those with potential then he was not such a being. He has already reached the limits of his abilities. His beast core was damaged more than a hundred years ago, his strength could grow no more.”
“Then what about me. Do you think I have the potential to face you one day?”
Zetrazz heard this and he couldn’t help but belt out with roaring laughter.
“You think you a tiny worm could someday challenge me an ancient being capable of crushing the very continent you stand upon?”
Zetrazz continued to laugh which in turn shook the entire cavern. After a while, though he looked over at Kazuki who had a serious expression that did not waver for even a moment. His laughter stopped and he eyed Kazuki up and down.
“The way you stare at me, I can see some of your fear has subsided and you now look at me with contempt. Tell me do you think you have the potential to stand on my level?”
Kazuki, without skipping a beat, answered with a confident.