Ever since regaining control of his body, Damien had felt a slight disconnect between his thoughts and movements. Besides this problem, his sword mastery severely lagged behind the rest of his improvements.
He also had never created a real skill for his lightning, only subconsciously using it in his berserk state. Now it was time for him to digest his gains and further expand upon them.
Damien exited his hut and stretched his body. ‘If only I could have a training montage or something. I feel like time would pass easier that way. Sadly this isn’t anime so I have to work for my gains.’
Even as he sighed about his unfortunate fate as a real person, he took his sword off his back for the first time in what felt like months. ‘I should perfect my sword forms and maybe attempt to create an art since I’ll be stuck here for a while.’
‘I also don’t know if something like sword aura exists since it was never discovered on Earth. Maybe that’s something I can gain with enough practice. Since I have a spatial affinity it’s a basic requirement to have a dimensional slash of some form’
Thinking idle thoughts, Damien began swinging his sword. He especially had to focus on balance, since he did not possess a left arm.
Minutes turned into hours as hours became days and Damien was still practicing his sword without rest. If one could witness him, he would look like he was dancing, only his dance was deadly enough to cause fierce winds to howl throughout the area.
A few minutes later, Damien paused. ‘Sword aura definitely exists. I can feel something ethereal growing within me as I perfect my sword.’
Damien could feel a sharp aura growing around his body as he continued to practice, shifting his whole presence to become more sword-like.
His sword mastery had just reached level 6 for him to feel this sensation, so he mused that his sword aura would be complete after he reached level 10.
Feeling that he wouldn’t make any more progress in his sword skills, Damien switched to training his lightning. Although he had plenty of ideas for how to use his spatial affinity, most of them were supportive rather than offensive. He figured that many of his ideas could only be used at second or maybe even third class.
Summoning his lightning he began to ponder its usage.
‘My black lightning is more focused on power than speed. Although it can increase my speed, I’ve already figured out the method for that. Simply channeling it internally is enough for now. I can also infuse it into my weapon for added penetration and damage.’
What he needed now was attacks that used his lightning externally, so Damien began to ponder the various anime, light novels, and mythology he had seen on earth for ideas.
After all, even if they were fictional, the authors and creators tended to put a lot of time into working out the practicality of attacks so their readers wouldn’t complain about it being too unrealistic.
Damien’s eyes lit up as he had a thought. ‘Beam weapons! Everyone loves beam weapons! Let’s do that then.’
Damien put his arm out and began to charge his lightning into his palm. He concentrated on compressing the lightning as much as possible until he felt that it would just explode if he continued. Then, he released it forward.
Damien flew backward 10 meters before he managed to stabilize himself. It turns out, rather than a beam attack, he had just created a bomb.
After he released the lightning, it took the shape and size of a baseball and flew forward, impacting the cave wall and exploding.
The force of the explosion was great enough to push Damien back, even though he was relatively far from its center. He didn’t get what he wanted, but he got something useful.
‘Damn. It seems like I suck at controlling my lightning externally at the moment. I’ll need to practice more later, but I don’t want to take too much time here and delay. My main priority is to get to the surface and then find a way to Earth.’
Because of all intensity of his last many months’ worth of fighting, he had nearly forgotten his original goal. Survival had become one of the most important things to him.
Now that he had taken a breather, he once again remembered his mother that he left on earth and the revenge he had yet to complete.
Thinking about revenge, his mind began to turn red. ‘Kill. Kill. Kill.’ The word repeated in his head over and over again until he was forced to stab himself in the leg.
Blood ran down his leg from the wound he just created and his mind slowly regained clarity. Damien smiled wryly.
‘Although I’ve regained control, the bestial instinct isn’t something foreign. After I mutated it has become a part of me. If I don’t control my emotions there’s a good chance I’ll go berserk again.’
Damien sighed thinking about the future, but he was still resolved to continue. ‘Just like I learn to control my lightning and spatial affinities, just like I learn to control my body and refine my movements, I just need to learn to control my instincts and not run rampant.’
Once he had completely calmed down, Damien removed his sword from his leg and allowed it to heal.
‘It’s time to continue forward.’
And like that, Damien descended to the next floor. Just like he did when he was berserk, Damien chased down beasts to kill so he could level up, and when he sensed that a beast could help him strengthen his body, he’d devour it.
He continued this routine for the next 5 floors, however, unlike before, he was conscious of his movements and constantly working not only to improve his level and body but his techniques.
His sword mastery became level 8, his teleportation gained a level, and his telekineses could barely even be called that anymore.
As its level grew, it became more and more like ‘spatial control’ than simple telekinesis, allowing him to bend space to his will and manipulate it more freely.
Furthermore, Damien was no longer killing every beast on the floor to be satiated. He would only kill until he couldn’t benefit anymore and then leave. Now that he was conscious, he wanted to make sure he wouldn’t become more bestial than he already was.
After all, he doesn’t plan to surround himself with corpses forever. If he wants to properly integrate with society and return to Earth with his head held high, he needed to maintain the last bits of his humanity that he had left.
Now that Damien was on the lower floors, beasts were becoming much more intelligent as their average level rose. He could no longer rest or lower his guard at any moment.
The second he did, he’d be sneak attacked by various beasts who saw him as a treasure for getting stronger. He also couldn’t clear floors as fast as he could during his rampage.
Though it was completely up to him when he descended, he always made sure he was the strongest being on his current floor before he did so. He needed to be prepared for any eventuality.
And like this, Damien continued his routine. He would kill, he would devour, and he would level up and evolve. He never slept anymore, and removed his fatigue purely through the energy he gained from his devour skill.
As he kept going, a gut feeling began to rise. Usually, when he felt this gut feeling, it was ominous, like when he was stranded in the dungeon or when he had his near-death experience, but this time was different.
This time, his gut feeling was telling him that an opportunity was waiting for him.