Chapter 19: My Daily Life Two Years Later

It has already been two years since I became the rookie king.
During these two years, my life has been filled with Georg’s rigorous training and occasional participation in the “Battle beast tournament” as a battle beast.

As the rookie king, I was treated like a star in the “Battle beast tournament”.
Perhaps because of the special treatment, the number of matches was relatively low, maybe once a month.
However, that meant that my opponents were all fierce beasts who were not easy to defeat.

I have almost died more than once or twice, in fact, I have always suffered major injuries in every battle.
It was common for my exoskeleton to be shattered, and I had even lost several limbs such as claws, joints, and tails.
I think I suffered more serious injuries during the first year when I was still immature.

Living each day in constant physical and mental pain, always facing the risk of injury and death, was a tough experience.
However, my struggles paid off as I became stronger.
In fact, I have only survived this far because of my newfound strength.

My exoskeleton had become even harder, and it could now deflect most attacks even without the reinforcement of fighting spirit.
The strength of my inner body had also increased, and the venom of my poisonous stinger had grown even more deadly.
My fighting spirit and spiritual power also continued to grow through fierce battles, and they had reached several times the level when I first participated in the “rookie’s battle” tournament.
I had even surpassed the juvenile rock dragon in strength and could now crush my opponents head-on.

Above all, the experience of fighting enemies who were at or above my level has drastically improved my skills.
Through actual combat, I have honed my skills in makeshift combat using pincers, defense utilizing curved surfaces, pinpoint strikes with my tail, efficiently handling spiritual power and fighting spirit, and mimicking techniques used by my opponents.
All of these skills, refined through battle, have supported my victories.

As I reflected on these experiences, the door to the room where my cage was located was knocked on.
The female slave from the Furu race, who has been taking care of me for over two years and had a connection to me second only to Georg, entered.
Carrying a bucket, the slave cleaned my cage before carefully wiping down my exoskeleton.
Today, I felt disgusting and sticky all over due to being thrown into a tank filled with strange chemicals by Georg, and my joints felt uncomfortable due to being covered in some kind of neutralizing substance.
I was truly grateful for the slave’s help in cleaning me up.

Scorpion, it sounds like you had quite a day today.”

Ever since I made it through the “Rookie’s Battle” this slave had been telling me about what happened while taking care of me.
Apparently, she felt like she needed to talk about it.
I didn’t really understand how children thought.

For me, her stories had become essential.
As I was chained in a cage, her tales were one of the few sources of entertainment I had.
While I could endure the harsh training, I could not imagine enduring the absence of her stories.
For my mental well-being, they had become necessary.

Her stories covered a wide range of topics, such as the structure of the mansion, the number of slaves, the rumors circulating among the servants, and the guests who visited today.
Though she may not have been the best storyteller, her content was enjoyable enough as entertainment.

Currently, the slave leader has changed, and she told me about the events happening in the mansion, such as the arrival of the young master’s fiancée.
Undoubtedly, she must be a noblewoman, and I would’ve loved to see her at least once.

Apart from her stories, I could obtain outside information through Georg’s muttering.
However, he had no intention of sharing the content, and I often struggled to hear him.
Nevertheless, I needed to listen carefully since most of the information he provided was significant.

Many of the conversations between my owner, the young master, and his father, the Duke, contained important topics such as complaints, current international affairs, and dissatisfaction with the kingdom’s government.
These topics were not suitable for entertainment, and I paid close attention to them, especially their discussions on the kingdom’s successor problem and invaders from other continents.

First, there was the issue of the kingdom’s successor problem, which seemed relevant to me.
Currently in the Shwetz dynasty’s Harlasia Kingdom, where I was located, there were two princes.
The eldest son, Prince Ludwig, seemed like an average person.
He had an ordinary appearance, average abilities, and a gentle personality.
His reputation among the people was not bad, but it was not particularly good either.

However, there was only one major flaw.
It was that he was a follower of a certain religion.
First of all, in this world, there were many gods.
Even within my knowledge, there were over twenty names of gods, and almost all intelligent beings, regardless of their race, believed in gods.

Some people prayed to only one god, while others offered prayers to multiple gods.
The latter case was more common.
When starting agriculture, people prayed to the “Goddess of Fertility”.
Before crafting, they prayed to the “God of Artifice”; before confessing their love to someone, they prayed to the “Goddess of Love”, and before going to war, they prayed to the “God of War” or the “Goddess of Victory”.
It was a matter of course for people.

The vast majority of gods tolerated such forms of worship.
Each god had something they presided over, and they understood that different gods were needed at different times.
Of course, insulting them was not permitted, as they were quite narrow-minded.

The teachings of the “God of Justice” are to illuminate the world with the light of justice.
In other words, the god proposes actively engaging in good deeds to create a better society and live a happy life.
This teaching seemed to be wonderful, but the problem lay in the intolerance of the believers of the “God of Justice”.

Those who worship this god have formed an organization called the Justice Church, and they boldly proclaim their existence while acknowledging the presence of other gods.
They believe that the teachings of the “God of Justice”, who presides over justice, are the only absolute truth and that all other teachings are wrong, and all gods should be subservient to the “God of Justice.”

They believe that they are messengers of justice and that everything they do is based on justice.
Preaching and forcibly converting others to their faith was a daily occurrence.
Some of them were even fanatics, willing to resort to violence to convert non-believers.

Due to this intolerance, followers of the “God of Justice” were not very well-liked by followers of other gods.
Responses varied from country to country, with some countries persecuting believers simply for being followers, while other countries had their entire population worshiping the god as the state’s religion.

In the Harlasia Kingdom, followers of the “God of Justice” were not persecuted, but they were constantly bothered by annoying people who urged them to convert.
Nevertheless, Prince Ludwig was a follower of the Justice Church, and this fact alone was enough to make him disliked, as it was considered the only flaw of an otherwise ordinary prince.

Perhaps due to his mild temperament, he was tolerated by the people because he did not seek to convert others.
However, it was undoubtedly the reason why he was not being appointed as the crown prince.
His father, the king, seemed to be persuading him, but his efforts did not seem to be effective.
It appeared that Ludwig had no intention of abandoning his faith.

On the other hand, the second son, Prince Carl, was said to be a talented and handsome young man, who was friendly and approachable to people regardless of their social status.
He was popular among the people, as he visited various temples to pray, and had gained support from many of them.
He was very different from his brother.

Although he claimed to have no interest in the throne, many had suggested that he was the one fit to be king.
However, some were concerned that he was too exceptional and too upright in character, which could make things difficult if he were to become king.
Being too outstanding could be a double-edged sword.

The current king, Otto III, has yet to designate a successor, which has caused a significant issue.
The nobles were debating whether the king should follow tradition and pass the crown to the eldest son or choose the more capable one to be the next king.

Which prince was better suited to sit on the throne and make the kingdom stronger? Or was it a matter of personal gain? The current palace had become a den of intrigue, with nobles vying for power based on their own criteria.

How did this succession issue relate to me? It was in the official statement from the Justice Church regarding the “Battle Beast Tournament.” They had claimed that it went against justice and had urged the kingdom to ban it immediately.

However, the citizens strongly protested, as the tournament was not just entertainment but also a competition dedicated to the gods.
In fact, statues of the “God of War” and the “Goddess of Victory” were said to have been placed all over the arena.
Even while knowing this, the Justice Church remained steadfast in their belief to ban it.

If the Battle Beast Tournament were to disappear, would I be liberated? I had hoped so at first, but I couldn’t be more mistaking.
The Justice Church claimed that battle beasts like me were distorted existences and that after banning the tournament, they must be disposed of.
It seemed that the Justice Church’s intolerance applied to me as well.
I refused to be killed simply because I had been forced to fight for the convenience of the nobles.
Furthermore, I had to live for a hundred years.

If Prince Ludwig were to become king, the “Battle Beast Tournament” would be banned as the church had said, and I would be killed without even being allowed to resist.
I didn’t want to die, so I really wanted Prince Carl to do his best.

As for the other topic that had been bothering Georg, the invaders, it had little to do with the inland kingdom of Harlasia.
That was because the invaders came from across the sea toward the north.

Georg didn’t seem to know much about it, but apparently, the invaders had been using a wide variety of weapons that no one had ever seen before to conquer the cities of northern countries with unstoppable force.
Their soldiers did not even constitute meat shields, and even those with some fighting spirit and spiritual power were easily killed.
Elite forces from various countries were currently dealing with them.

The invaders didn’t respond to any peace negotiations and were said to be massacring the inhabitants of the conquered cities and villages after looting them.
They had the momentum to destroy all the countries on the continent.
Inland countries also felt the danger and were sending reinforcements.

Harlasia was no exception.
On the contrary, they dispatched reinforcements faster than any other country as soon as they received a request from the northern countries.
It was clear that they were struggling since they had not been able to drive the invaders out, but they had been winning since the current commander had taken over.

Regarding that commander, it turned out he was Prince Carl.
Despite his young age, he seemed to be a skilled swordsman and a cunning strategist as a commander.

If one were to list his military achievements, it would have been certain that he would ascend to the throne.
But no, the battle against the fearsome invaders was surely going to be a brutal one.
Perhaps someone was scheming to use the pretext of war to assassinate Prince Carl.
Although I didn’t even know what Prince Carl looked like, I at least prayed for his success on the battlefield.

“The young master’s fiancée was wearing beautiful clothes,” the slave said.

“They wouldn’t have suited me,” the slave added.
Hmm, even though she said they wouldn’t have suited her, she probably wanted them.
This slave always wore plain, dirty linen clothes.
That’s all she was given.

Clothes… This was an item that I had no means of obtaining.
I couldn’t even spin thread, and I had no connections to get clothes.
It was distressing that I couldn’t be of help to my benefactor, the girl who always took care of me.
Although I had increased my fighting ability, I realized my powerlessness when it came to other things.

As the slave finished her work, she continued to tell me about the events of the day, and I listened quietly.
I had thought that this routine would continue indefinitely.

However, I learned that this was not the case ten days later.

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