It wasn't Goldhit's exclamation. She had gotten a shock when she lost the lightning god and was now in a stunned state. No, it was Grid who made the surprised sound after Noe absorbed the remnants of the lightning god. Grid had no choice but to be surprised.
[The memphis Noe has taken half the power of the magic weapon 'Lightning God.']
[Your intelligence will increase by 3,113 for 3 seconds!]
[The memphis Noe has taken half the power of the magic weapon 'Lightning God.']
[Your intelligence will increase by 3,113 for 3...]
[The memphis Noe has taken half the power of the magic weapon...]
It was due to the notification windows that kept rising up as Noe swallowed the lightning god. That's right. Noe was a predator. As the aggro of the lightning god was drawn by Grid and his magic, Noe had been hanging onto its leg and eating. Thanks to this, the durations of Soul Ingestion and Soul Transference were constantly updated, and Grid could maintain his transcendent power.
'This is the first time.'
[Soul Ingestion Lv. 1]
[Has the ability to take away half of the target's highest stats and transfer it to your master.
Skill Cooldown Time: Your own decision.]
[Scratch Lv. 1]
[Your paws will attack and poison the target.
Skill Cooldown Time: Whenever you like.]
These were the descriptions of Noe's skills. They were simple but fraudulent. Grid was the only one who knew that Noe had no cooldown for his active skills. This was why he was the best demonic beast of hell that even great demons loved. However, Grid had never been able to sense Noe's fraudulent ability. There had been rare times when Noe continuously used Scratch. However, there was never a single instance of continuously using Soul Ingestion. Therefore...
The fact that Noe had no cooldown on his skills had been completely erased from Grid's mind.
Noe was eating deliciously. His chubby butt moved from side to side as he chewed on the remnants of the lightning god with wet eyes. He was so pleased that he was even shedding tears. Grid made a hypothesis, 'The reason why Noe didn't continuously use Soul Ingestion...'
Was it because the targets Noe ate so far hadn't suited his taste?
'That's why he ate in moderation? Ah, it can't be.'
Grid was shaking when he heard Noe's voice.
"Master! Too delicious, nyong! I can keep going even if I'm full!"
The hypothesis seemed to fit. Grid sighed. He was very sad. When Grid was in danger, this selfish cat had acted less often because the food wasn't delicious?
"A beast is a beast..."
A beast was only faithful to their instincts!
Tsk tsk. Grid clicked his tongue and searched the area in case the lightning god had dropped any items. He was also faithful to the animal instinct of greed. Unfortunately, the lightning god hadn't dropped any items. The only thing left was the body. It was the same as the previous guardians.
"They should at least give me something."
Grid's gratitude for the intelligence he acquired every time he cleared a new floor was already being diluted. The greedy Grid was now hoping for more. Did he read his master's mind?
"Nyang...! Nyaaaaong!" Out of nowhere, Noe stood up on his hind feet. Then he moved his front paws from left to right like a bear, roaring in a threatening manner.
...Perhaps 100 out of 100 people would say that it was cute. However, something serious was happening to Noe.
"W-What? What happened?"
Was his stomach upset from eating like a pig? Grid rushed to Noe with worry and stroked Noe's protruding belly. "Do you think your stomach will burst? Do you want to puke?"
"Nyaaaaong!" Noe shook his head. It was a strong denial.
Grid saw the pink soles of Noe's feet and asked again, "Then what are you doing all of a sudden? Did you go crazy?"
"Kyaong! I am the best demonic beast of hell! Master is the crazy person, nyong!"
Was this a rebellion? Grid was confused by Noe's actions and retreated backward. There was a flash around Noe's body! It was a brilliant and intense light. It hurt Grid's eyes, and he was forced to turn his head away.
It didn't take long for the light to gradually lose its momentum. Grid confirmed it and looked at Noe. Then he got a shock. "N-Noe!!"
Like a pooing baby, Noe's legs were up, and he was screaming. He was changing. Noe's black fur began to brighten while the small horns on his forehead split into two.
"Nyaaaaong!" Noe let out a strong roar that was different from the past. His now longer and brighter fur turned golden, and his head became slightly more rounded. Noe's white horns had been split in two and were now smaller than before. The change was easily expressed.
"...Why have you become cuter?"
That's right. Noe's transformation made him even cuter and more lovable. It wasn't an exaggeration to call him beautiful. He was a perfect pet that anyone would want to have. Noe seemed to be a species that had improved over several generations to meet humanity's sense of beauty.
It was difficult to call him a 'demonic beast' of hell. Perhaps it was a deterioration? Was Noe's body worsened after overeating?
Grid was wrapped in anxiety. Then he noticed something strange. There were sparks flying around Noe's body. They were like the sparks that had wrapped around the lightning god. Then a notification window popped up.
[The memphis 'Noe' has succeeded in the evolution!]
Level: 1 (0/10,000)
Physical Attack Power: 160
Magic Attack Power: 160
Magic Resistance: 160
Attribute: Dark, Lightning
(I will further develop, nyang! I will make myself stronger like the best demonic beast of hell! Nyahahahat!!)
Skills: Fluidization (S), Scratch (S), Soul Ingestion (SSS), Lightning Discharge!! (SSS)]
[Discharge!! Lv. 1]
[The electricity will be turned on when something other than your master approaches. Attacks up to 10 enemies with 10 times the magic damage, and there is a very high chance of causing electrical shock.
Cooldown Time: None]
It was an enormous evolution. Noe's stats were now overwhelmingly high compared to when Grid first got him. They were three to six times higher. Yes, compared to when he first got Noe... Compared to level 1...
"Nyahahat! Master! Isn't this body cool, nyong? It is enough to be captivated!" Noe was filled with pride. He licked his chest fur with a short red tongue.
The temples of the silent Grid twitched. "...Is this a joke?"
"Why…? Why?! Why did you reset to level 1?"
This was an excuse, but he had gotten the Overgeared Skeletons so late that it was hard to level them up. The enemies that Grid faced were too strong for the Overgeared Skeletons. In order to train the Overgeared Skeletons, he would have to move to a novice hunting area, but Grid didn't have enough time for this.
However, Noe was different. Noe had been with Grid from early on, and they had grown together. Recently, Noe's level had reached as high as level 300. Now, it had been reset to level 1. The thousands in stat points had fallen to hundreds, making it an obvious deterioration.
Of course, Noe's potential was much higher now. However, Grid couldn't help thinking that the past few years had been in vain. Grid couldn't understand the terrible reality and mourned for the loss.
"It's okay, Master. Feed me a lot of delicious food like today, and I will quickly become stronger again. Cheer up, nyong. Treat me to delicious food!"
"...Delicious like today?"
Grid suddenly recalled the information of a mineral.
[A mineral that is produced only when the great demon, Astaroth, is present in the human world.
The lightning attribute can be given to an item, and it is also good for feeding to demonic beasts.
The demonic beast will be very pleased when fed.
A few years ago, Grid fought with Prince Ren of the Eternal Kingdom. Grid had defeated Eternal's first archer Ferrel and won the Thunder Bow. The Thunder Bow was a solid weapon passed down through Ferrel's family. However, it then met Grid, and Grid had disassembled it without caring. As a result, he obtained three thunder stones.
The description of the mineral said that 'demonic beasts' would like it, but Grid had never thought of feeding the thunder stones to Noe. That was natural. It wasn't a question of affection but an extremely normal attitude. Who in the world would throw away a precious mineral that was only produced when a great demon appeared in the world?
...Especially to an animal that was quick to die.
'...No, Nyangmong would do it. Ah?'
Something flashed in Grid's head. The thunder stone was a symbol of Astaroth's emergence, and it was here in the empire.
"Then Gyuratan is..."
...Astaroth. Grid had a poor mind and came to this conclusion late.
'Dispose of the thunder stone.'
Grid knew from his past experience with Hell Gao that destroying the thunder stone located at the top of the magic tower would weaken the Gyuratan's power, and weakening Gyuratan was a sure way to save Mercedes from her crisis.
"Noe! Come eat!"
There was no hesitation once his purpose was clear. Grid immediately ran to the staircase leading upstairs. There was someone waiting for him.
"I am pleased to see the Overgeared King."
It was a child, a young girl who looked four or five years old. Grid identified the name of the girl who greeted him politely and was shocked. "Goldhit...?"
Magician king… The identity of the strongest magician right now was a little girl? Grid felt something beyond confusion.
At this moment, there were people even more confused than Grid at the imperial palace...
"Demonkin...? How dare a mere demonkin break into the palace!"
'Kuk...! Why are those greedy magicians messing around with the thunder stone?' It was Gyuratan, the Great Demon Astaroth. As his identity was revealed, Mercedes accepted this moment as a chance, though she still didn't know that it was caused by Grid.
However, a big chance was accompanied by great danger. Mercedes wasn't wearing armor or holding a weapon, so she couldn't withstand Gyuratan's assault. Gyuratan blew away the knights and cut at Mercedes' chest.
"Mercedes?" The emperor uttered.
He had persecuted her, yet she was defending him? The emperor's eyes shook as blood filled his vision.