Chapter 0004 Acquiring Monster Skills
Wary of the internal organs, I cut out the meat from the belly that looked like it could be eaten and found it to be a beautiful red color like red meat.
Naturally, eating it raw would be terrifying so I used fire magic to roast the meat.
My first attempt at roasting minotaur meat caused an ordinary fragrant scent to waft out.
“… It looks somewhat normal and delicious.”
Perhaps because I was extremely hungry?
No, even without that, the scent of the roasted minotaur meat was too tantalizing.
If it looks delicious, it probably tastes even better.
With faint anticipation, I bit into the roasted minotaur meat.
The quality of the meat resembled that of beef, and the more I chewed, the more the umami and fat of the meat came out.
It had a slightly gamey flavor, probably because it had hardly been processed, but that was also good since it combined to give a hearty taste of meat.
“In fact, this is the most delicious meat I’ve ever eaten!”
As I continued to eat as if to make up for the lack of flesh and blood, my heart suddenly started beating faster.
My blood vessels pulsated and blood rushed throughout my body. At the same time, a shock ran through my body, though it didn’t hurt.
I guess I really shouldn’t eat monster meat.
That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t attacked by nausea, stomachache, or drunkenness that I knew was supposed to happen.
Somehow I felt that the power inside me and the power that has been taken in were competing with each other.
I felt ill. I would have felt better if I could throw up, but I wasn’t in control of my body at the moment.
How much easier would it be on me if I was allowed to lose consciousness?
All I could do was endure patiently for the two storms swirling inside me to pass.
During what felt like an unbelievably long time, I could feel the two powers swirling inside my body blending together as I remained locked in place.
As soon as the discomfort subsided, I felt like the fundamental parts of my body were being remade.
I could feel the broken bones of my left arm reconnecting, and the torn muscle fibers and skin repairing.
“What!? My left arm!?”
When I turned my gaze, my left arm, which had been bent at an unnatural angle, had returned to its original form.
I could squeeze my hand, open it, and move it like before it broke.
Previously, pain wrecked my entire body every time I breathed, but now it didn’t. I could move my legs, which had felt heavy like lead, and could stand up normally.
“… What the hell is going on?”
The wound on my back from Bayer’s slash, the damage from the Minotaur’s tackle, and the impact from falling into the abyss all seemed to be gone.
Rather, it felt like my body was stronger than before.
Although I was attacked by a swirling discomfort, I didn’t fall into a state of vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, or numbness, nor did I turn into a monster.
I won the bet.
Let’s take a second to be honestly glad for that outcome.
However, it was unclear how was I safe after eating the minotaur’s meat and how my wounds all over my body healed.
Curious, I took out the guild card in my pocket and checked my status.
LV 17 (↑10)
Stamina: 66 (↑44)
Strength: 45 (↑27)
Tenacity: 38 (↑22)
Magic: 22 (↑13)
Spirit: 18 (↑11)
Agility: 37 (↑22)
Unique Skill: [Nullify status ailments]
Skills: [Swordsmanship] [Martial Arts] [Roar] [Battleaxe Technique] [Muscle Strengthening (Medium)]
Attribute magic: [Fire attribute]
“Wh-what is this!?”
I couldn’t believe my eyes. That status display couldn’t be mine.
I averted my gaze and checked again, but the status remained unchanged.
My eyes weren’t playing tricks on me.
I could reason that my level jumped from 7 to 17 at once because I gained a huge amount of experience from defeating the minotaur.
However, even if there was a blessing from leveling up, the increase in status was too large.
Even if my level went up by 10, my status would never rise that much.
What worried me the most was…
“Why did I gain three skills?”
In the first place, skills are things that a person is born with or gains through acquired effort.
My Unique Skill was something I was born with, and the remaining skills like Swordsmanship and Martial Arts were acquired through hard work.
However, I had no recollection of seeing [Roar], [Battleaxe Technique], and [Muscle Strengthening (Medium)] at all.
I had never even used a battleaxe before and I didn’t know how to get muscle-strengthening skills either.
In the first place, a skill like Roar is possessed innately by beastmen or monsters. I’ve never seen any human being have it.
Considering the possibility of how I got it, it would be the minotaur that turned into a corpse at my feet.
The minotaur wielded its battleaxe with ease.
It wouldn’t be strange for a minotaur to have skills such as Battleaxe Technique, Muscle Strengthening, and Roar.
“Is it possible that I acquired those skills by eating minotaur meat…?”
It would be crazy if that were true, but I couldn’t tell if it was.
To verify it, it would be necessary to defeat some kind of monster again and eat it.
Since there were no monsters around, I put it off for later, but I could check if the acquired skills were mine.
I picked up the battleaxe lying near the minotaur corpse.
The battleaxe was as tall as me. It took all my strength just to lift it, but when I consciously activated my Muscle Strengthening skill, I was able to lift it easily.
After I lifted the battleaxe, I tried swinging it.
It was a weapon I had never used before, but I quickly learned how to use my body to wield it.
I wasn’t a master, but I was proficient at a level where I could handle it comfortably.
Despite it being a weapon I’ve never used before. That should never happen.
What made that possible was definitely the skill acquired from the minotaur.
The skills added to the status were definitely mine.
I had mediocre status, but with the power of these skills, I might be able to survive somehow.
However, I was at the far bottom of the new labyrinth. I didn’t know what other monsters existed.
There might be a crowd of monsters that are of higher rank than the minotaur from earlier.
I couldn’t let my guard down yet, but I had hope.
In order to escape from the new labyrinth, I decided to set off from there with a small amount of minotaur meat and a battleaxe.
As I walked through the passage of the unknown floor of the new labyrinth, I noticed that the ceiling was shining bright red.
Looking closely, I saw bats hanging there.
My cry of shock was too loud and the bats all raised high-pitched shrieks and attacked.
I had a battleaxe in my hand and a sword on my waist, but I was not good enough with them to deal with that many bats.
Come to think of it, I heard that bats are weak against sound.
If I use [Roar] I got from Minotaur, I might be able to get rid of them in one go.
Using the skill [Roar], I yelled from the bottom of my stomach, and the attacking bats fell to the ground.
The closest bats were knocked unconscious, but some were still conscious.
I swung my battleaxe and struck them first.
Then, when I looked up, wary of the remaining bats, I saw that they had turned their backs and were flying away shakily.
It seemed that they recognized that I was an incompatible opponent and immediately decided to withdraw.
That skill unexpectedly came in handy.
Now, what about these bats?
If I ate them like I did the minotaur, could I steal their skills and increase my status?
I’ve eaten bats fried and in soup, so I didn’t feel repelled, but I didn’t want to be stuck stationary for a while like when I ate minotaur meat for the first time.
However, to be honest, I wanted to eat monsters to acquire skills and increase my status.
I was able to easily defeat the bats because I had good compatibility, but if I encountered a power-type monster like a minotaur, I wouldn’t be able to survive.
Either way, if I don’t get stronger, I’ll die.
I dissected one bat and used fire magic to roast the meat and ate it.
“This is also delicious!”
As for the specific taste, it had a light taste similar to rabbit meat. Also, it didn’t have any undesirable smell and was very delicious.
If I was to be greedy, I’d prefer some kind of seasoning, but it was delicious enough without that. Just by eating it, I felt strangely energized.
The bats I ate before weren’t this delicious, I wonder if these taste so different because they are monsters?
After eating one bat, I waited for a while but nothing changed.
I didn’t feel the swirling discomfort in my body like when I ate the minotaur for the first time.
Feeling dubious, I checked my status.
LV 20 (↑3)
Stamina: 80 (↑14)
Strength: 51 (↑6)
Tenacity: 41 (↑3)
Magic: 30 (↑8)
Spirit: 24 (↑6)
Agility: 40 (↑3)
Unique Skill: [Nullify status ailments]
Skills: [Swordsmanship] [Martial Arts] [Roar] [Battleaxe Technique] [Muscle Strengthening (Medium)] [Blood Sucking] [Sound Wave Perception]
Attribute magic: [Fire attribute]
“Oooh, my skills are increasing!”
When I checked my status, both my level and status increased, and two skills, [Blood Sucking] and [Sound Wave Perception], were added.
From that, it seemed true that I could acquire the skills possessed by monsters by eating them.
Even so, this time I didn’t feel like I was locked in place.
Perhaps the discomfort that struck me was caused by the conflict between my Unique Skill and my monsterification when I took monster flesh into my body for the first time.
It was like an adaptation period for consuming monster meat without turning into a monster.
With that in mind, I was able to convince myself that I didn’t feel any discomfort this time because I was able to adapt.
Assuming that guess was correct, there seemed to be no need to worry in the future about being unable to move after eating monsters.