PHA - Chapter 3 - A Great Life, A Shameful Death
Silence fell over the scene for a while as Alice stopped breathing and the five black wolves stopped growling. Of the six living beings present, all six were looking at the blinding light emanating from Alice's right hand. They didn't even blink even though the light hurt their eyes.
Despite having inferior thought processes to humans, the black wolves could still feel that something was amiss when they looked at this supernatural phenomenon. Hence, they chose to stop hunting their prey.
After a moment, Alice subconsciously loosened her right hand, allowing the soft, white fabric to slip out of her fingers. Simultaneously, the energy that gave Alice the feeling of invincibility vanished from her body, making it seem as if everything that had happened just now was nothing but an illusion. Upon sensing this change, Alice hurriedly reached out and grabbed the underwear that had yet to fall to the ground. Then, sure enough, the moment her hand held onto the holy fabric, a blinding light radiated from her hand, and the feeling of invincibility returned once more.
Alice sighed in exasperation. In the past few days, she had already verified that her ability's judgment toward the quality of "weapons" was unrelated to the object's actual value. However, she never expected that the system would recognize the panties that she had been wearing all this time to be an Artifact. To further prove this fact, she had actually gained the stated effects after holding the panties in her hand. Now, she felt like she could shatter a small mountain with her bare fist. Moreover, this probably wasn't a hallucination. Her mind that had been enhanced to an exaggerated extent was telling her that she really could smash a mountain into pieces.
However, along with the improvements, Alice also realized a very troublesome matter. So long as she picked up her underwear with her right hand, it would release a dazzling, white light that would cause even holy knights to kneel before her.
After putting more thought into the matter, Alice also quickly dismissed her thought of "I'll be invincible so long as I keep on holding my panties." After all, if she were to constantly hold onto her panties, she wouldn't be able to live a normal life with a blinding light constantly radiating from her right hand.
However, Alice didn't have much time to think about her future. Although the black wolves had initially flinched and shrank back because of the strange light coming from Alice's right hand, they began growing restless again after realizing that the light didn't pose any substantial threat to them.
Alice's boosted mental power also allowed her to perceive the five wolves' movements. Now, she could even discern and predict the wolves' movements with her eyes closed. This experience made Alice feel both happy and frustrated. After all, she was only capable of exerting this superhuman power if she was holding an underwear in her right hand.
It might be fine to do so out in the wilderness, but what if there was human civilization in this world? She couldn't possibly hold onto an underwear forever and live while radiating holy light from her right hand, right? While there was also the option of going to a church and pretending to be a holy being, what if, one day, other people found out that the sacred light originated from a pair of soft panties? If that happened, she would probably suffer a bona fide social death.
After being ignored for so long, the black wolf that was the first to attack Alice finally lost its patience and lunged at Alice once more. Although the strange light coming from Alice's right hand confused the wolf, seeing that the light had not caused them any harm until now, it quickly treated the light as something similar to the light from the sun. Adding on to the fact that Alice had shown no capability to fight back thus far, the black wolf did not take Alice seriously at all. Hence, it lunged at Alice and tried to take a bite out of her neck, just like how it would normally do when hunting other prey.
Alice was still in the midst of figuring out how she could live a normal life in human society while holding onto a pair of panties. When the wolf's growl interrupted her thoughts, she immediately grew angry and threw a punch at the lunging wolf. As this was the first time Alice had wielded such power, amidst her rage, she had tried to use as much power as possible. She even subconsciously activated the "Artifact"'s inherent skill "Purification Blade."
The next moment, the white panties transformed into innumerable particles of lights. Then, under Alice's horrified gaze, the particles of light gathered to form a gigantic blade that smashed down at the lunging wolf!
After losing her panties, Alice immediately reverted into the powerless little girl she had been before. Even so, "Purification Blade" did not disappear. The gigantic blade of light continued expanding until it dyed everything in front of Alice in white, sacred light.
Amidst the white light, Alice vaguely saw the remaining four wolves vanishing out of existence. They didn't even have time to let out a yelp before they got vaporized. Simultaneously, the holy light shattered the innumerable trees in front of Alice. However, probably because Alice mainly targeted the black wolves, the trees did not suffer as tragic of a fate as the wolves. They were merely shattered into countless wood chips.
The black wolves had truly died a tragic death. Fortunately, apart from Alice, nobody would ever know a pair of panties had killed them.
The holy light lingered for several minutes before it gradually faded away. Even though Alice had kept her eyes shut during this whole ordeal, she still felt as if she was close to going blind. The light had been so glaring that she couldn't keep it out completely even after covering her eyes with her hands. Alice felt that if there were humans living in this forest, then they would've definitely seen this light.
After sensing that the light in front of her had faded away, Alice gradually moved her hands away and opened her stinging eyes. Then, when Alice's eyes finally adjusted to the now-dim environment, she found that she could see the distant horizon.
If Alice were to describe her current situation, she felt akin to standing in a Sahara Desert made out of wood chips. As far as her eyes could see, there was nothing obstructing her line of sight.
"Sss… Is this an Artifact's power?"
Alice gasped. She couldn't help but get goosebumps looking at the sight before her. The aftermath of the attack was much more exaggerated than she had anticipated. She also couldn't help but worry that she might have accidentally razed a human village to the ground.
However, Alice currently didn't have the leeway to worry for others. After all, her previous attack had essentially vaporized the forest in front of her. In other words, if she continued heading forward, she would be entering a world of wood chips, and it was unlikely she would find any food in such a world. Hence, the only option she had now was to turn back.
Despite Purification Blade sounding like a holy skill, the destructive power it showed made it look more like a super-physical skill instead. Moreover, the skill had very accurately used Alice as a dividing line, leveling everything in front of her while leaving the forest behind her intact.
If there were indeed humans living outside this forest, they would've definitely seen the appearance of that miniature sun just now. In that case, they would most likely send someone to investigate. Hence, what Alice needed to do now was to stay in this area, foraging for food in the preserved portion of the forest while waiting for the human investigators.
Let's wait for a month. Alice mentally set a deadline for herself. If no humans come to investigate this place after a month, then…I am probably the only human in this world. Either that or human civilization is too far from this place, so far that I cannot reach it.
In reality, if Alice still had her panties, she might still have the possibility of finding a human settlement by relying on the 5,000 points of Speed and Constitution it provided. It was a pity, Alice did not expect that the active skill would destroy her panties upon activation. Had she known that the active skill was a one-off thing, she would've definitely restrained her strength. Unfortunately, it was too late for regrets. Now, she could only hope that someone would find her.
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