Chapter 45~47 – Red tiger and『north』and the worst demon
This place was……a hilly area somewhat far from the『Flower City』.
In the cave, that was set up as the entrance in the shade of a rock.
It was dark and air was also bad, however based on appearance alone it wasn’t easy to discover it……and this was a cave with likeable environment to『them』from Hunting Tribe.
There ten-odd men were sitting encircling a dim bonfire and were talking in that place where it was difficult to see after some metres.
「What about those two idiots? Did they die after all? 」
「Who knows. But they haven’t returned. It is better to think it like that」
「Tch, this why hired hoodlums are shit……wouldn’t it have been better if we ourselves went? 」
「Don’t say it like that, they were quite familiar with the work of kidnapping, it was a great harvest the we got out the wiles from them……as for the rest, its better to do it by ourselves」
「Yeah, for hunters like us everything is easy as long as we know the know-how. We『North』are……different from『South』which lives a comfortable and relaxed life」
They were talking while satisfying their hunger by eating jerky. It was just like Minato and others had guessed……they were the current generation of people from Hunting Tribe, who parted ways with『Migration Faction』in the generation of their grandfathers or great-grandfathers.
They were employers of the two hoodlums Minato beat, but were killed cruelly by some unknown assailant……these people were who learned the wiles of kidnapping from the two people.
Their goal was the abduction of Dryads.
However, they neither were thinking of selling them, nor making them into their playthings.
The source of everything was……the current condition of『North』.
They had been living a stoic lifestyle, like hunting and swidden agriculture (it had different names though), since a long time before, and they were living in that difficult environment while being blessed with prey.
With that much, the people had been living vigorously and resolutely.
However, the answer Mother Nature gave out to them, who had lived a stoic lifestyle for several hundred of years, was something terrific.
The agriculture by burning the land would uselessly diminish the forest and destroy the environment, unless appropriate rotation means weren’t taken, this was something Minato, having previous world’s memories, knew about. Finally the limit came for the land because they had no such knowledge.
The forest kept on disappearing, land kept on becoming infertile and demons kept on leaving.
All things were serious matters for the hunting tribe people because it was related to their livelihood……and the negative effect of destruction of nature that had been going on for a long time span finally occurred and broke their livelihood foundation.
Even among that the most severed was the annihilation of forest which blessed them with fruits, mushrooms, and meat of prey etc. That had been rapidly increasing in the past ten-odd years.
And recently they finally understood that the reason it was happening wasn’t just because of their burning forests. The rapid speed was because of the other reason.
It was……the existence of『Dryad』.
Although being demons, they were a spirit race, and were called as the incarnation and guardian deity of forest. They were an existence born from the plants and magical energy of forest, but they weren’t an existence that were just born from forest and protected it.
Dryad and Alraune with power of sprites had the ability to purify the magical energy in the atmosphere of forest to benefit the forest. That ability worked even without their awareness, with them being there it would automatically function.
In simple words, the forest Dryads were born had clear and affluent nature and environment. ……and with the Dryad being there it would become more clean and affluent.
In the forest that once spread all the way to the『Green Canyon』had Dryads living in it, but because they weren’t as much in numbers as in South, that the habitants didn’t knew about them.
However there……the humans living in the northern grounds kept on burning down their forest, and the Dryads of『North』understood that this place was now gone. In the past few decades they all moved to『South』, where there were friendlier humans and affluent environment.
Because it was the same as a『forest』, and naturally the southern side was affluent that they were able to migrate without any problems of dying from the lack of life force.
On the other hand, in the northern forest, the birth of Dryad itself stopped.
And finally: ten-odd years ago.
Not even a single Dryad was present in the northern forest. No new ones were even born. With that as the turning point, the forest rapidly started decaying……nowadays the numbers of prey was only walking on the way of decline.
The wild animal species demons were only increasing that couldn’t be eaten even if boiled or grilled.
The people of『Reside Faction』realized that face, but it was already too late!
It was obvious that the damage dealt had reached a point of no return, and the forest would completely die if they kept on living the same way.
However, even for living after leaving this place was a thorny path for them, because compared to the『South』they had cut off any contact with outside.
Thinking that, a group of people from the nearly dead North colluded and commenced the solution strategy.
That was the abduction of Dryad living in the South.
They were trying to『regenerate the forest』with the power of Dryad they kidnapped from South and thrown in the northern forest.
They were trying to revert it into a forest that would give them blessings like before.
It was a plan relying on the legend that seemed like a fairy-tale, but concerning the results this method was correct.
And they had no other means, so they desperately cling on the straw of hope, and commenced the plan.
「It was having a humans figure? It should be a demon, no problem, hehe, right? 」
「Yeah, just the living place will change to a little north side. We will accomplish this」
「However, there is a problem. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the disappearance of the two hoodlums, but……there is an A-ranker adventurer in『South』as a hired escort. And there is a high possibility of that guy being in contact with the Dryads of South」
「Is that true? 」
「Yeah, I have conjectured his information before, but……the possibility is really high. In the bad case, he had sniffed out about us and would hinder in the abduction of Dryads」
「Is that authentic? Isn’t that information from that bastard of South? 」
「Don’t worry, he isn’t a guy who doesn’t know his situation……and there’s no profit for him to lie currently」
「But well, that is a problem in itself……it is a A-Rank Adventurer, a true monster」
「Don’t worry about that……I have thought out a plan for that」
A man among the men said that. Hearing those words, everyone’s stares gathered upon him.
「Mwhahaha, An eye for an eye and……An A-ranker for an A-ranker!」
Few Days from the day of assault.
These couple of days went by peacefully without any incident occurring.
The negotiations of traders from sis’ place had been advancing favourably.
Let it be kidnapping, let it be assault by demons, with all these dangerous estimations flying about, I thought that something dangerous would surely happened, but nothing happened.
We didn’t let down our guard……but because we didn’t know against what to be vigilant for that we were just having a contact with Neil-chan at periodic intervals while using Elk as intermediary. Elk had now truly completely mastered the『Telepathy』, and could, at will, send transmissions and receive them.
Zari being Zari, continued on his work as an information broker, and apparently was worrying about if there were any strange people.
Basically he was a person who put the saying ‘a wise man keeps away from danger’ into actual practice, but even that him wasn’t as cruel to keep quiet and see little girls being abducted.
Also, Sherry-san also thought that this situation was strange and……was on her guard, more or less, but just that much. It seemed like she would be first one to move out if something happened.
Well it was only natural, neither us nor her are police.
Incidentally, we haven’t told Sherry-san about…….either Dryad girls or the kidnappers.
No, it wasn’t like I doubted her, but I didn’t trust her enough to speak about everything completely. In the exchange of information, the discreet caution was needed. Conversely, she also wouldn’t have trusted us completely as comrades.
I decided this dealing method along with Elk.
Incidentally if that Zari hadn’t wiretapped, or noticed about the existence of Neil-chan and other Dryads (Neil-chan was an Alraune though), then this would’ve been a secret from him too.
……Ah also, later on, we had a strange story by the Eldest old woman.
The『Telepathy』used by Dryad and Alraune was a magic from a different system than the telepathy used by common people, apparently. Hence the talk between two Dryads’ couldn’t be heard by normal people.
The people who could talk with spirit species, even among the demi-humans, were like Elf, or other species that had power near to that of spirits.
As exceptions were, the extremely rare, humans with talent to catch and contact via that telepathy……so by chance Elk had a talent like that?
Zari had a Magic Item, but Elk didn’t have any item like that to use……I can’t think but feel that it was because of her inherent talent……
Like that, while maintaining the minimum wariness, and with the clever way of enjoying the city we patrolled here and there, like that, we headed to the last day of our stay in this valley.
According to the information from traders, in a couple of days, Trader Groups from other Trading Associations of other cities and villages would arrive here. And, we, having come here first, would be able to return first and deliver the fresh flowers.
This only meant the difference in the tact of information gather ability and gathering the escorts. Even for the flowers that come out in market during『season』, had dispersion during the time of harvest, so the moment sis got the information of well-selling『flowers』being harvested, she made a Trader Group and sent us out; like that we outwitted the others.
While being impressed by the information gathering ability of sis’ association, it felt like this quest would end without any problems other than our over-anxiety……
……There was also a time I thought that.
「It’s the demoooooooons!, the demons are comiiiiiinnnnnggg!!!!」
「Minato!! A transmission came from Neil-chan, it’s those kidnappers from before!!」
「Yeah, I had a bad feeling, but if possible, it should’ve been just one thing out of these two!!」
Today I truly thought that, what if these two incidents were related.
For the time being, I couldn’t leave the situation as it was……so I sent Elk to Dryads, and I went to take on the demons. Although, after quickly getting rid of demons, I intend to quickly meet up with Elk and others.
I sent Alva with Elk.
It, recently, had been able to put up a barrier, so it could fight on both sides of offence and defence.
On my side were demons of level C and B, if I didn’t give a damn about the eyes of people then I could’ve insta-killed them all. Well If Alva were with me then it would’ve been easier with its extra-long distance attacks.
Hence, thinking about the safety of Elk and the Dryads, I let it go with her.
But in truth, even the current Elk would be fine against bandits as opponents, I think.
Well, the point of worry……was that Alva made a mistake and it led to deforestation, just that much.
While thinking that, I reached the entrance of village……and sure enough the demons from before were attacking, like wolf, ox, winged-snake, scaled-gorilla, and various others.
The majority were E or F Ranked small fries, but among them there were some D and C Ranked demons here and there. If I let others handle it, it would be difficult.
Hence, it would idiotic to take my time, and after politely shaking off other adventurers and escorts, I got done with strong looking demons within 30 seconds using everything at my disposal, punches, kicks, stick and iron ball.
「H-hey brat! Don’t be reckless to take on that many demons alone! 」
「That’s right, don’t put on airs! We’re both adventurers, it’s better to fight by cooperat (*crack crack boom*)……Ah……um……」
After finishing, I felt other people looking at me as if, I were some adult who rammed in a teenager fighting completion and won decisively and was happy too. Just why look at me like that?
After going out a little bit seriously I finished half of the demons and said to others in a roundabout way: 『I finished about half of them, so leaving the rest to you♪』
It seemed like I was saying a fair reasoning, but it was just me pushing the other work to them, but to make up for that I was boosting up the pride of other adventurers and bodyguards, yeah, something like that……
It wasn’t funny for the seniors that a child like me defeated so many while they didn’t a thing, so after my proposal they all pleasantly agreed to it and started killing the remnants of demons.
The rest were mostly F and E……as for the some D and C ones left would be done in by that guy (Zari), without any causalities, right?.
I was thinking that……but I didn’t notice a certain thing.
The person, who was killing in front of everyone in the raid some days before, wasn’t present right now.
And that person appeared when……I almost entered the forest, where Elk and others might be fighting.
「Hey, young man……how about playing with me?」
Not in her usual battle dress……but while wearing steel armour covering her upper body, she took out the sword hanging on her waist, just by looking it could be understand that she was in her full armed state. And like that……Sherry-san stood in front of me, who was trying to enter the forest.
The plan of『North』was put in practice.
If they let go today, then from tomorrow and after that, new Trader Groups –the people who got information later and would simultaneously enter the Flower City for 『restocking』-, would come, along with strong adventurers.
If they were sensed by anyone of those adventurers and were hindered in their plans, then they would be in more disadvantages. If Compared to now. Hence, their decision was that it was current time best for putting their plan in practice.
And to them……other than meddling adventurers, one more obstacle existed.
Those were the demons living in the forest.
They were in a coexisting relationship with the Dryad……no, the forest itself, and hence wouldn’t attack the Dryads. Moreover there even some among them who would attack those that tried to harm the Dryads.
Even without doing that, the people from『North』, were an existence that would normally get attacked by demons. And it wasn’t just danger, but it would be problem if other Dryads heard their fighting sounds and escaped.
There the method they chose was……using a drug made from a certain flower found in northern forest, and temporarily making the demons submissive. In that time they would abduct the Dryads and finish everything before the adventurers in the city knew about it.
However, there was a side effect in that『drug』.
It was a type of incense type odourless colourless drug used by burning. In turn for calming down the demons temporarily……it would later make then in an extremely agitated state, so they start indiscriminately killing everything in the surroundings.
The assault of the other day and this time was……because they weren’t able to finish the abduction in fixed amount of time that the demons got back their brutal nature in a boosted state.
The blood on the fangs of demons the other day was not of city guards……but it was of people from『North』, who thought the drug was working perfectly and let down their guard.
And this time, using this method they incorrigibly started their work of kidnapping the Dryads……and for not having meddling adventurers affecting their tactics, they led the demons to the city and let those adventurer take their time in defending.
……And there was one more problem.
They had also put their plan in practice to hinder the『A-ranker』who wouldn’t be stopped with just demons.
……They took on the method to make two『A-rankers』fight each others, and not hinder their work.
The result their plan brought was told by the current scene.
「……I’m the, mastermind?」
「That’s right. I have heard from the town head? That night……when demons attacked the first time, you were meeting with some men in the darkness, right? They were the perpetrator who instigated demons to attack the city……and you are their co-operator, or so the town head is doubting」
「No, even if you say something crazy to me all of a sudden……I don’t have a memory like that at all」
Minato was trying to enter the forest.
However, he was put in the testimony of falsehood and doubt, and Sherry, standing in front of him, wouldn’t allow that.
She seemed to not show any considerable reaction to the words of Minato.
「Isn’t it some misjudgement by the town head? I was truly……no, well I surely didn’t participate in defending the city, but I indeed have not met with suspicious men like that」
Then……for a short amount of time, Sherry shut her mouth up.
Her facial expression and complexion didn’t change a bit. She was just staring at Minato.
As though……she were waiting to see his reactions for seeing through Minato’s lie.
Minato also, in this situation without a reply coming back for several seconds, squint his eyes.
There were some people in the forest……watching them in a way to be discovered by any of the two.
It went without saying that those were the people from『North』.
「……Hey, how is it, is it going well?」
「Yeah, from the looks of it……it is going fine for now. The woman seems to completely doubt the guy……it doesn’t feel like it will end so easily」
「I see, then fine. ……Looks like the town head of『South』did his work properly」
While talking like that, the several men from『North』kept on watching a pair of black and red, boy and girl standing in front of each other.
「Even so, that woman……sure has a sexy body, right」
「You’re right……there is not even a single one like that in our village. Even I can now understand the reason for starting the work of kidnapping」
「Hey, stop thinking anymore. A-rankers are called monsters. Even if we assaulted her, it would end up us being killed」
「I know. Isn’t that the reason we are making two A-rankers fight each other? 」
While they were chatting……the all noticed the change in the atmosphere between the two people standing.
「……Is it my imagination?」
After ten-odd seconds of silence, both of them opened their mouths.
「Sherry-san……you don’t seem to stop me because you suspect me and have a chivalrous spirit……it seems like you found stopping me as an excuse to fight against me and seem quite happy about it」
「……*chuckle*, you’re sharp」
In an instant,
The Sherry-san that seemed like a normal girl before……now seemed to have a brutal colour on her, maybe because she was emitting her belligerent presence without any stopping, and in her eyes was a fiendish light.
On the contrary the brow of Minato was slightly raised up.
「It isn’t like……you’re not suspicious, right? In that case I will『stop you』before you go inside the forest and call other demons……it is completely normal thing to do as an adventurer for controlling the causalities, there’s nothing strange in that」
「……Like I said, I don’t know anything」
「You want me to believe it? Just impossible, there’s no proof or anything」
At a glance, it looked like they were having a question and answer debate……but the atmosphere around them wasn’t something that would be flowing during a『chat』.
After all, no matter how one looked at it……Sherry seemed to have been『enduring』till now.
「If you don’t want to fight, then it’s simple. Just go back and participate in the defensive battle. I will also go there. If you don’t have a reason for not doing it……our fight is inevitable」
「……That is unreasonable. I have some work to do in this forest, though I can’t explain in details」
「It’s so sad that you wouldn’t say a thing. Do you not trust me enough to tell me about the problems……or do you have some shady business to do in here……well, whatever. The negotiations……have failed」
Sherry took stance with the sword『in her hand』and an obvious fighting spirit……as though she had been waiting to say those words since the start.
「If you tru~ly want to go in the forest……I will only have to hinder you, right? Just as an adventurer, my decision isn’t wrong……」
「……It’s fine now? I don’t care anymore, even if you speak out your mind」
「Oh, I see, then, accepting your offer」
One beat later,
「I’m happy……to finally fight with you in a serious battle, you’re the strongest among the ones I have met till now……!! In truth, I don’t care even a bit whether you are a friend or foe……well then……shan’t we fight with all our strength, for not having any regrets later! 」
Minato heaved a sigh seeing Sherry speak out her『mind』without any hesitation.
And on his face, an displeased, irritated expression appeared.
「……This is why I hate……battle maniacs……!」
He said as though to spit it out.
He let out his unpleasant feelings and glared at Sherry, if people who knew him saw this scene, they surely would be surprised.
And, he guessed that saying anymore wouldn’t help a bit that……Minato took his stance, putting his two fists in front of his chest……and kept on glaring at Sherry.
「Hehe, this……was unexpected, looks like we get a free side show, right?」
「Yeah……it isn’t seen easily, the battle to death of two monsters!」
While taking on the stares of people from『North』, who were given the job of observers……the two A-rankers kicked off the ground at the same time and with a *claannnnggg* ear-splitting metallic sound, they clashed.
At that time,
In the depths of forest……there was someone that tried to move as if it was provoked by the noisy sounds coming from here and there in the forest.
The sounds of fighting, bellows of warriors resounded inside and outside of the forest.
The smell of blood came while riding on the winds.
As thought it were woken up by those, it secretly raised up its green-coloured big lizard-like body.
And……maybe because it just woke up, or it was like that from before……that it started moving in a slow manner, towards the direction he could find prey for satisfying his hunger.
Without anyone knowing, the woken up monster, didn’t take much time before……reaching the battlefield filled with the ulterior motives of adventurers and demons, 『North』and『South』.
「You, bitch……don’t interfere! 」
「Unrelated people should just back off!」
「I will do it, do you slut!」
「Shut up, you scum assholes!!」
*creak creak boom!*
Holding the dagger in one hand, and using the recently improved Taijutsu along with Body Enhancing Magic, she had just recently started to dabble into……Elk was protecting the Dryads while beating the hunters of『North』.
Especially, she kicked couple of times more to the three men who said quite displeasing lines to her, at least to a woman it wouldn’t be good lines……like that she made then faint.
(……Their movements are slow……)
While protecting the Dryads and taking on several people head on, she still had the composure to judge her abilities.
To this feeling that the three-months-before her wouldn’t have even thought about, she felt the fresh novel feeling.
Compared to Minato she had always been sparring against……their movements were slow, had too many gaps and had too many useless movements. Reading the trajectory of their attacks, and predicting their next attacks were both easy. ……There was even time when she had enough composure to think that she hadn’t thought about the next attack following next attack.
While fighting, she remembered Minato always speaking that『The current Elk has the ability of a C-Ranker precisely』.
Elk had always thought it was just him flattering her, but……she was shocked at her power to overpower these men, who were『hunters』.
However, her shock didn’t remain for long and she didn’t show any gaps, while two people from the『North』were watching Elk as though they were seeing an annoying serpent and scorpion.
(……Minato and others (?) are also fighting right now……I will make it do somehow solely here!)
「You damn slut……why are you hindering us!」
「That’s right! Outsiders just fuck off! Why are you protecting them from before! They are demons, don’t ya know!? Yo don have any obligation to protect it!」
「Even if you ask, why……」
At the moment……Elk’s expression became strange because the words she was about to say were completely overlapping words that Minato would say.
However in the end,
「……Well, I got friendly with them, didn’t want to let them alone……just a whim, yeah whim」
She said those words that Minato, once said to her.
「……!? Don’t fuck around! Our future livelihood is at stake!」
Hearing Elk’s words one of the man lost his cool and spit out their goal of regenerating the『northern』forest.
“That, don’t hinder because we got an important reason for that.”
However naturally the Dryads behind Elk –Alraune wasn’t here, she was leading other Dryads for evacuation- raised their objections, as though saying, don’t kid around.
「Don’t go kidding around! We don’t want go to a place like that!」
「It’s you misters in wrong for burning the forest!」
「That’s right, that’s right!」
「Huuh!? you shitty likes of demons shut up forever!」
The hunter shouted with nerves appearing on his face, that was scary. That impact wasn’t something normal……the Dryads faltered screaming『Hiii!』.
「Tch, it won’t end like this……Hey, you go call for backup!」
「Yeah, got it. Damn it, just you wait green bitch! Just as my friends gather here, you will be……」
「……Did you just call me by a weird name……」
She couldn’t deny it……and an example of a『Black Man』flashbacked in her mind, and Elk’s warped strangely.
The moment……she tried to sink the man, who had an angry face, while intercepting his attack.
Abruptly the scream of the man, who just went to call for backup, resounded.
At the same time *swish* a sound of……something sharp cutting something, an ominous sound……reached the ears of everyone present at that place.
Right after Elk thought that,
The brushwood behind the last man present there shook, and from there that『something』appeared.
The man turned behind, shouted『W-what the fuck you are!』, got scared and tried to cut at it with the sword in his hand……
The moment he raised his sword, an attack from the『something』came and the man was split in two half, up and down.
He wasn’t even able to raise death agony……everything happened so fast that it seemed like he didn’t even realize that he was dead.
The Dryads unexpectedly……were made to watch that scene, and started trembling violently.
As for Elk,
(……2 legs, big……lizard……!?)
She at once spread out her hands to protect the Dryads behind her, and didn’t point her dagger towards the……demon (probably).
However she wasn’t able to do anything else.
The creature in front of her……had little differences from the traits she and Minato had heard from a group of Dryads……even so her eyes were nailed on the something strange creature.
Her eyes went on the fangs that had killed the hunter in a single attack. Seeing those her body stopped moving from fear.
Like that the glaring competition between Elk protecting the Dryads, and that『something』continued for a total of……some seconds.
Like that the『something』suddenly turned to a different direction, as though it lost interest in Elk……and like that it went away, without turning back.
It didn’t even take couple of seconds before it went away from her eyesight.
「……I, was, saved……?」
It was even couple of seconds later that Elk……squeezed out those words from her throat while losing all her power.
At the same time,
In the battlefield here……a scene on a level incomparable to that of war front with demons and hunters fighting was unfolded, while the hunters of『North』were watching that from the other side of the bushes covering the area.
Along with a war cry, Sherry charged at the speed of an arrow, and swung downward her sword from above her head.
Minato warded off it with his gauntlets, and tending to counter it let out a left straight punch.
Sherry twisted her body at once, but the attack grazed by the tip of her shoulder, and the armour she was wearing made a not-good dull sound. She perceived that the hit-part had been indented.
She should’ve evaded the attack with her rotating, but this power. If she had took it head, god knows what would’ve happened, even spectators could easily understand that.
However, Sherry wasn’t scared in the least……rather she go more happy and swung her sideways.
Moreover that sword……at one moment it seemed to be clad in red magical energy, the next moment it was clad in flames burning crazily. That sort of sword attack was deployed along with severe heat.
Minato was surely shocked at that fact, but with light and nimble movements he jumped back and evaded the attack, however he took the stance with his fists to restrain pursuing after the attack.
Sherry who was trying to step forward for another sword attack couldn’t find any gaps in Minato, and so stopped in her tracks.
However, the rumblingly burning flames were still coiling around the sword, and her face still had a ferocious smile on her face.
「……You sure are having a great sword. It’s my first time seeing something like that」
「Isn’t this great? It my family heirloom since long past. It is said that this was created by the fangs of a demon my ancestor defeated, I think it was『Soleil Tiger』. This is a demonic sword that could be clad in flames with a high temperature that it could easily cut down iron」
「……I know it’s late, but just why did you proposed to have a mock battle with that sword」
Minato gave a fed-up expression upon remembering Sherry, some days ago, demanding a mock battle with the real sword because of a boring reason like『metal fake sword breaks easily』.
However, there was timid expression on Sherry.
「But you see, even I am shocked. I’ve never seen an protector that wouldn’t deform or even have a scratch after taking this sword head on. What are those gauntlets and shin-guards made out of?」
「It is called as『Joker Metal』……well, even I don’t know the details. No matter how much I overuse it, it wouldn’t have any problems, so it helps a lot」
「Heh, I see. *chuckle* looks like the fight will get more and more enjoyable……right!」
Sherry kicked the ground while flaring up the flames even more.
The minute she rushed in the range sphere, the fierce fire blade rushed at him from down, above, right, right and every other place.
It was a rapid attack that couldn’t even be seen by a common person, who would probably burned to crisp just being near the attack.
If the opponent were hunters from『North』they would’ve been, in one second, torn from limb to limb while being grilled too.
However Minato, either evaded them all or took it on with his gauntlets and shin-guards.
That heat was something one would find difficulty breathing in but it didn’t seem the same for him, there was not even a speck of anguish on his face. He was handling the rapid attacks with an expressionless yet bored face.
That appearance of his, made the hunters shudder in fear.
「H-Hey what the hell is this fight……」
「Aren’t they truly fucking monsters……if we take on even one, it’s normal we would die……」
「So this is……A Rank……」
「Hey hey hey hey hey! What happened Black Lion? If you just defend and evade, you won’t be able to win against me!?」
「Why are you sighing? So rude, right in the middle of fight! I love strong people, but those who won’t concentrate in the fights are ones I hate! If you’re a man don’t disappoint a girl, right? Concentrate! More! To get a good fight……!?」
Right after evading a large swing attack, Minato’s fist cut through air……and attacked Sherry’s stomach from the middle-lower position.
The perfectness of timing was also a main factor in that perfect punch that any ordinary person wouldn’t even see……but Sherry reacted at the last moment, and forced herself to change the posture, then jumped back.
But, as expected she was too late in evading.
Minato’s black fist, as if getting sucked in, attacked the stomach……part of the armour covering it……
Along with a *Dong* tremendous sound, it was deformed as if it were a clump of clay.
This was an profound armour that could even stop an attack from a steel sword and arrow completely.
Maybe it passed through the armour and reached her stomach, that Sherry……and others opened their eyes wide, just to that power behind the fists.
Sherry landed and fell on her knees while coughing violently.
「Kah, ha……! Th-This was……above my expectations……. As expected of Black Lion……」
This scene looked like that just a single attack had changed the situation.
Although she didn’t vomit blood, but the surroundings understood that she took no small degree of damage.
「Geez, I knew you have a crazy power, but for it to be to this extent……. From the impact I understand that it would end for me if I took even one head-on……*sigh*, it made learn a lot」
「……That was great. Then, let me tell you one more thing」
In the eyes of Minato saying those words casually was the『bored』expression.
With that expression and attitude it was obvious that he wasn’t enjoying the current situation, unlike Sherry.
「You see I’m still a child, and I have my extreme preferences of other people……and among them, there some people whom I hate a lot, truly hate them」
「Heh, I see……are they Battle Maniacs?」
「No……they are people『who love to force sense of values on others』」
Minato said……and collided his two fists together, making a *cling* sound resound, and looked at Sherry with eyes that seemed even more colder.
「I don’t give a shit no matter how others perceive things, or have sense of values and doctrines, unless it cause me harm. But I hate people who keep on pushing that to others without minding any trouble caused to the surroundings.」
Right after adding『Like Battle Maniacs』,
Minato kicked the ground and attacked.
To that force, Sherry blanked out for a second. He aimed at the left shoulder of her armour and punched it.
It was later by the time she even tried to evade, the part that took the impact was crushed into pieces and blew away.
However the attack didn’t with just that, the rush seeming similar to Sherry’s attack from before attacked her. It was faster than the attack before, along with flexible attacks also assaulting.
She had the choice of evading or handling it well with just sword, however she couldn’t do any in time, like that every time the fist was fired the armour would break, indent, and the parts would be blown away.
She blocked some of the attacks with the sword……but the sword was perfectly fine without even a single nick on the blade.
There wasn’t any composure left in Sherry’s expression, but……even so, from the smile on her face, it could surmised that she was enjoying this situation also.
Rather, seeing the offense side of Minato, who had been on the defensive fight since before, her battle maniac blood was stimulated and she even seemed to be happy and elated.
The figure of Sherry, who saw the momentous gap during the rush and escaped, now completely different from some seconds before.
The armour that seemed to scream ‘I’m expensive stuff’ turned into a tragic stuff, there was not many places that seemed fine. Some places had even burst open.
Her appearance while breathing heavily was already filled with scars all over her body……in the first place, the difference between the ability between the two was made obvious in the exchange of offense and defence just now.
However from her appearance of taking stance with the sword, the intention of continuing the fight, no, enjoying the fight was easily transmitted to the surroundings.
「Good, you are indeed good……! Among the people I’ve met, you are without a doubt the strongest! To the point I can’t see my winning! This is……this is the fight I had always been wanting to do……!」
「……It isn’t just your armour that is worn out, right? The damage must’ve passed to the inside too……if you continue then you will surely die」
「Hahahahah! What are you saying? A fight this enjoyable……I can’t possibly stop it in between, right? Let me ask you, if there was the best dish in front of you, the naked body of a non-resistant girl, would you be able to hold back? As a man」
「……I do agree that is quite a fascinating opportunity, but because we could endure our desires that reason has its meaning, right. First of all, although I look like this, I’m devoted to just a single girl all the way」
「Oh is that so? Then as a man……you need to learn being more greedy!」
This fight had reached a point where it wouldn’t stop until one died. The fight between Ecstatic Sword and Displeased Fist, currently again were going to clash against each other……at that time.
「……Hm? You who are—–Guhahah!?」
The hunters of the『North』were observing……err, sightseeing the fight between the two while surrounding them.
One of them jumped out of the bushes.
No, he was kicked out was a certain person.
And, due to the abrupt incident the hunters were shocked, and while their stares concentrated, the certain person was……
「Good enough now, both of you Stop! Mission completed, Rescued safely. Now stop with you acting already」
Zari Tranter said, while his orange hair fluttered, just before Minato and Sherry collided.
Then the next moment,
「You’re too late Zari! I was already feeling chilly sometimes! Couldn’t you have been any faster!?」
「Eeh, is it done already? Tch, I wanted to fight a bit more」
「See! Because she is like this that it was quite difficult for me!」
The hunters were magnificently confused seeing Minato and Sherry talking in a friendly manner, while the dangerous atmosphere from before went away as if it were a lie.
Well, in short, it was all an act.
From the time Sherry-san appeared, and from the time that long silence appeared……it was completely acting start at that point. For the purpose of rescuing the『hostage』……during the time we deceived those hunters.
In the first place, the biggest out of place feeling was Sherry-san being heavily armed.
Her fighting style was to evade the attacks with her nimble movements and fight. Her normal equipment was also a light armour for not interfering with her movements. It was obvious from her fighting style after the couple of days of working as escorts.
It was quite plainly obvious that she wouldn’t be able to fight properly while wearing that heavy-looking armour, that armour was even suiting her in the first place……at first even I had though『Eh, costume?』.
When I was thinking that, in my head, came the『telepathic』transmission from Elk and Sherry-san……and then I learned about the information of behind the scenes.
The reason it came to light was because, the town head truly said to Sherry-san that『Minato-dono seems suspicious』.
At that time Sherry-san suspected the『town head』.
That was because he had said something crazy……and also because of an unusual line he said on『that night』.
On the night of the demon raid some days ago,
The town head, during the conversation……said『Just who』when there was no possibilities of the raid being an unnatural one, at that time. As if he knew that some human was the reason being the assault.
However, there was also a possibility of it just being a figure of speech, therefore, although I also noticed it……but didn’t pursue it any further.
Sherry-san told me that night, that there was another unusual place in town head’s words.
That night, the town head said something like this.
「However……『Wing Boa』,『Lizard Kong』and『Rhinosaurus』……these demons surely never appear in this area. Just who……」
The town head only reached the place after the corpses of every demons were tidied up.
Even so, he knew the demons that attacked, even their species, along with the fact that they all came from the『Northern Part』, it was all as though he knew about it from before.
After all he shouldn’t have seen the corpses, after we people tidied it up.
The destination the corpses were tidied up was in the completely different direction from town head’s place of work. Moreover it was dark in the night. So there was no possibility of seeing that by coincidence en route.
When Sherry-san asked about it in nonchalant manner, the town head stammered a bit and told that it was his subordinated, who came report about the raid of demons told him about their species.
Well certainly, that was also plausible.
But, it was still strange. Rather, with his that statement the fishiness only increased.
After all, among the species of the demon the town head was speaking in a calm manner, the one called『Wing Boa』……wasn’t existing among the horde of demons that raided the city that night.
I asked about it to Sherry-san. The snake with feathers and wings was from a species called as『Feather Snake』……their behaviour was like that of migratory birds, and were a type of demons which wouldn’t live in a fixed area.
Moreover maybe because of their high wariness, the route they crossed was different every year, it was even said that the route they used once would not be used for another couple of decades. Hence, it was an extremely rare demon that most of adventurers had not seen.
Although the『Wing Boa』living in『North』didn’t appear in this area, their appearance was quite known via various books and documents.
It was a snake with a part of its body in the shape of wings-spread out. However contrary to its name, the wings were there just for threatening and they weren’t able to truly fly. As an image it would be great to think of it as a King Cobra from my previous world, with its base of throat spread out in the shape of wings.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the subordinate didn’t know the name of『Feather Snake』, but he couldn’t have mistaken it as『Wing Boa』, now could he?
Although they both were snake-type demons, but they weren’t so similar to be mistaken for each other.
In short, the information about the species of demons didn’t reach to the town head via his subordinate.
Nevertheless, the town head told the species of most, if not all, of the demons that raided……and even concluded that they all lived in『more north』than here.
Why was he able to think up to there.
If thinking by combing the figure of speech from before, it was easy to think that he something from before. He knew that if there was an attack『someone』, then『what』would raid in, at least roughly he knew about that.
The suspicions were weak, but they were all without doubt certain doubts.
Sherry-san’s doubts only increased because of the added『secret information』, and was secretly asking the people in city all over the place, at that time, she head a certain truth.
The daughter of town head went to rest couple of days after getting infected by an endemic disease.
And from the day of going to rest, she never appeared in front of people.
After asking the person said to be her attending doctor, it came to light that it was all a lie……and Sherry-san was now even more convinced that,
『Yeah, she is kidnapped』.
The daughter of town head was taken to『North』as an hostage, and was being forced to cooperate in the work these people were trying to do. As a part of that, some false information reached Sherry-san’s ears, trying to instigate enmity between us two, at that time, Sherry-san completely noticed.
Sherry-san took everything into heed, told Zari about the information just some time before……and after a conversation like『Frankly it is too bad a talk, but can’t anything be done』『OK! I will look into it』, the next time I saw her was standing in front of me.
At that time, Sherry-san, being a dark Elf, used『Telepathy』and proposed this offer to me.
Or rather both me and Sherry-san already knew that there people hiding in the surroundings, watching us.
They were failures as covert observers. Learn something from Zari.
It might seem like self-boast, but although normal adventurers wouldn’t be able to find them……but to use both, it didn’t seem like they were hiding.
Like that I agreed to Sherry-san’s offer, left the protection of Dryads to Elk and Zari, along with searching for the hostage, like that I started battle with Sherry-san. To buy time.
Incidentally, the armour of Sherry-san, was a『prop』to increase the impact of battle……and not let them find out that this was an act.
I could pulverize steel with my bare hands.
Like that, it was an act……with schemes interweaved.
That’s right it was just an act……it was supposed to be.
Somewhere along the way, that’s right, from that point.
From the time Sherry-san clad her sword in flames……I thought『Huh?』……
『Her eyes, were serious at that time』.
And started the fierce attack that would kill anyone, if it weren’t me.
In fact, looks like this battle maniac girl acted while enduring a lot.
『Good, you are indeed good……! Among the people I’ve met, you are without a doubt the strongest! To the point I can’t see my winning! This is……this is the fight I had always been wanting to do……!』
『……It isn’t just your armour that is worn out, right? The damage must’ve passed to the inside too……if you continue then you will surely die』
『Hahahahah! What are you saying? A fight this enjoyable……I can’t possibly stop it in between, right? Let me ask you, if there was the best dish in front of you, the naked body of a non-resistant girl, would you be able to hold back? As a man』
『……I do agree that is quite a fascinating opportunity, but because we could endure our desires that reason has its meaning, right. First of all, although I look like this, I’m devoted to just a single girl all the way』
『Oh is that so? Then as a man……you need to learn being more greedy!』
We were having a crazy conversation in high spirits (of course I just broke the armour and dealt no damage to her), but in truth,
「Wait Sherry-san!? Dan-oi, that’s dangerous! Ow, hot!? No, this is an act, this is an act, right!? It seems to become more serious……hey your eye are serious!?」
『Eh, what? Well whatever, Minato-kun, if you don’t want to be injured concentrate on the battle』
『No, calm down you battle maniac! Hasn’t this surpassed the level of acting! It burns, you know!? If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t just end with injury!?』
『Isn’t it fine that you are unhurt! This much serious……no I mean bloodcurdling feeling will make it enjoyable……no I mean, realistic, right?』
『Wtf you say!? Hey you, you just said『serious』and『enjoyable』right, right!? Or rather, you’re killing intent is out, sword speed is already too serious, and it is hot even without burning』
……Only we both knew about the『Telepathic』transmission going behind the scenes.
And as if trying to support it, Sherry-san’s eyes were still sparking.
1. I learnt a good and important thing today. Never to fight with this person, even in an act.
W-Well ignoring that.
The fact Zari had already come here means the hostage are……
「Yeah, it’s all fine, now. I rescued the daughter of town head, and delivered her to him just before. That’s why, stop the act, OK?」
「Great, good job Zari. Well it’s like Sherry-san」
「It was fine if you have come a little la……」
「Yes useless talk also STOP! We need to get the sightseeing fees from the audience in the surroundings, right?」
Forcibly cutting the conversation, I glare at bushes, behind which they were hiding.
Geez, these bastards were talking as they wanted, like monsters, best shows and whatnot.
It would help me cool down, let’s start another riot!
It was over in several minutes.
All that was left was the heaps of corpses lying around.
There were some who came at me desperately, while some ran away. The ones that came at me showed strong killing intent, so I didn’t hold back.
We needed a person for testimony, so I quickly brought down some people that seemed to be leading figures.
They were still alive, more or less……but because there was no rope for tying them up, I dislocated their both hands and legs, and bone fracture and *mumble mumble*.
The reason I did it『quickly』was because if I left it Sherry-san, they would, without any doubt, die in a second.
Sherry-san normally has leniency against people who come at her with killing intent. She kills them in a single stroke, as if to say an eye for an eye. Because, I knew about that from the bandit subjugation we did while coming here.
But I, particularly, don’t have thought to say anything about that.
If other side came to kill one, they should be prepared to be killed. Cruel or going too far, were words that nobody had the right to say, and no one had the reason to tell. If one were to be aimed, then it didn’t matter if there was any danger or not based on their abilities, but it was up to the person to do whatever they wanted.
Even I try my upmost to not kill, but if needed I would also kill.
But if one asked what time it was『needed』, then sorry but I don’t think I could give out an immediate answer.
Of course, it wouldn’t be enough an excuse that they weren’t bandits but hunters, I also wouldn’t give a shit if they told me they had families in their hometown. I didn’t think that as pitiful. So I wouldn’t hesitate.
But just because it would’ve been problematic if people who would give out testimony, died, so I was in a hurry.
Moreover the people who ran away, Zari took care of them. I don’t think they were able to run away, but don’t the exact details of what happened to them.
And incidentally, after threatening a bit we squeezed information out of them, and apparently the daughter of town head was truly taken as hostage. To support in keeping adventurers at a distance for not hindering in their abduction plan.
At the time threatening, maybe because of terror one spoke out desperately『We can even raise demons, it’s fine for us to attack you peace idiot people’s village!』
They lined up demons for threatening including the one demon, that is politely known in『South』as……『Wing Boa』.
And the demons on that night’s attack were ones who got agitated because of a side effect of some sedative. The town head must’ve truly thought that for threatening the people of『North』would send some of their own demons. The coincidences overlapped.
Now that everything to was over, I ignored the frustrated gazes at me, and dragged them to their companions inside the forest, and arrest all of them, then finish them off. After that, the left demons were also killed, like this case closed……
……Or so I truly wanted……
Apparently, it had turned into a situation that wouldn’t end like this easily.
I heard something.
From the area where adventurers were fighting against the monsters, an unpleasant growl came.
It just felt like……one scene of carnage stopped, but now another truly terrifying stuff was waiting for us……!!
The guards of village came at the best time, we handed over the several people of『North』for the purpose of testimonies, and both Sherry-san and I dashed in the direction of that growl.
During that time,
「What what!? Minato-kun you’re so fast! Hmm, Elk-chan is always going here and there with such a comfortable transport vehicle!? Nooo, so envious!」
「No, the person herself feels bad, even nauseated. Or rather, if you keep on talking, you will bite your tongue, okay?」
For reducing the time taken, I casted『Another Person Enhancement』on Sherry-san and, just as I had done with Elk, gave her a piggyback ride, then dashed with a speed more than a car, but,
Err……the two big parts, that were even bigger than Elk’s, unintentionally hit my back……and from the feeling it could understood that they were deforming a lot.
Currently I thought rationally that it would be have been easier to carry her in my arms.
Well, we would reach the destination in less than several minutes, so persevere it endure it.
Moreover……it was truth that this situation wasn’t something I could be so relaxed.
When I reached the place, where adventurers and bodyguards were dealing with demons who had become ferocious due to the side effect of the drug used by people from『North』,
There was big panic there that made me think that the people weren’t veteran warriors.
There was a……big, green-coloured, lizard-like『something』.
Walking heavily on its two legs, it was moving down everyone in its direction of travel and pushed them into their mouths. Its height was more than 10 metres high, and it looked like a lizard, that『something』.
Seeing the scene of grasses being mashed under its legs meant that it probably came out from the forest.
「Something amazing came out, right……what is that? Lizard? Or a dragon?」
「No, that is probably……a plant」
Certainly, the scene of that big lizard walked on two legs, dragging a tail (seeming) along with it……made it look like a theropod dinosaur or maybe a monster from a monster film.
But looking carefully……although it was hard to see clearly from this far distance, aside from its appearance it was completely a『plant』.
Its hands and legs were clad in roots of trees. The tails was also the similar.
Its mouth (at least it looks like that) also had pointy roots inside in place of fangs. Are they not for biting off, but chewing and absorbing the nutrition? Or rather it seemed like it could absorb from places other than mouth also.
And the green-colour covering its body wasn’t scales but leaves. They were closely packed seeming like an armour, giving out a profound pressure. The leaves armour seemed more tough and thick than normal armours.
……No, in fact I couldn’t deny that possibility.
However its movements weren’t as dull as they looked like……the power hidden its every single attack wasn’t something sweet thing like『It’s fine if it doesn’t hit me』.
And its, in the end, a『plant』……is it truly that? The destruction god that Elder women told us the other day, that guardian deity of the forest? Was it woken up by the barbaric acts of North?
But well it was useless to think about things I can get any certain authenticity for, so I decided not to think.
Incidentally, among the people trying to run to escape were people with different clothing than the people of village. Are they spies of『North』?
Maybe they were attacked that among them were some injured people too……I felt that it wasn’t the time to worry about them, so I left them on their own. It was for making them pay for their mistakes.
Then, in the side of eyesight appeared Elk, Neil-chan, Zari and Alva, perching on Elk’s shoulder. They probably just came out of the forest.
Then noticing me and Sherry-san they ran up to us.
After confirming the safety of both sides, we all let out a sigh of relief.
「Minato, you done? 」
「Yeah, it’s good that you are fine. Well, I didn’t worry about the current Elk, though」
「Haha, you’re trusted a lot, Elk-chan. Well then, thank you for providing information Sherry-san, thanks to that I was also able to resolve all the problems」
「You’re welcome, information broker. And……that girl is, the Dryad? No, redhead means, is it Alraune?」
「Y-yes! E-err……are you a Dark Elf?」
「Nice to meet you. But well this atmosphere doesn’t seem good to be doing self-introductions, let’s talk with each other later」
Saying that, the conversation closed, and everyone again looked at the plant monster rampaging among the demon horde.
It was surely scary, but they couldn’t let it get near the city that the adventurers were using magic and arrows for long-distance attacks.
But……the effect wasn’t favourable.
Numerous arrows and fire magic that worked the best against plants were fired at it, but those scale-like leaves didn’t even had a scratch. The leaves were truly tough.
In contrast it made me worry that it would be angry and the attacks only stimulated it. Currently it was rampaging greatly and eating food.
Zari said while seeing that scene.
「I see. That is the『Green Lizard』. Well it certainly is a『Lizard』……well it certainly is great enough that even Minato-kun was vigilant against it」
「Eh, what, did you two know about it?」
「No, I’ve only heard about it. Only Minato-kun has seen it in truth. Minato-kun was vigilant against it saying『That is dangerous』, in truth I doubted if there was such a thing……but now seeing it myself I can agree to it. Isn’t that right, Minato-kun?」
「……Nope, it’s different」
Zari gave a blank expression to the unexpected answer from me. Including Sherry-san and Neil-chan.
But……unfortunately, that is the truth.
The『Green Lizard』I was talking about……wasn’t this one in front of me.
「Eh? It wasn’t that monster? The one Minato-kun was being vigilant of」
Yeah. It was different.
Certainly this one too looks like a『big green lizard』and gives out a dangerous feeling……but it is not the one I was talking about.
The two hoodlums that died in the forest.
Had a shape……as though they were sliced from limb from limb in a second by a sharp blade or claws with same sharpness.
This plant monster sure had overwhelming and fierce offensive ability……but I couldn’t see any sharp parts like that.
I would learn if that big body moved in the forest, first of all, moreover after it moved, it would only leave mess in its wake.
Certainly there were traces of rioting currently……but if that moved, it would even mow down the trees from root and branches and all. Unless it had an ability to change its size and shape to be able to move from the narrow places.
Neil-chan and Zari who had seen the scene, except Sherry-san, made an expression say “I see”. For inadvertently sharp Zari to not notice it would be unnatural.
To begin with, if the Dryads witnessed that『lizard』, it would mean that it had been in this forest for quite some time.
In that case, no matter what, even the city people would notice it. Even the forest would be messed up.
I realized that other than those three, Elk didn’t reply saying an『Eh?』.
Well she had seen that scene, so it must be natural to feel anxiety, but……what happened?
How to say it, her body seemed to have stiffened and her expression was also stiff……
But it wasn’t like she was scared of the monster in front of her……but it was like she remembered something even more dangerous.
「Minato, was the guy you were talking about……a『big green lizard』?」
「? That’s right, why?」
「Is its body as big as a human with large build, has long hands, a tail seeming like whip, has a scary face and has its body closely packed with scales?」
「Elk, don’t tell me……you saw it!? In the forest!?」
「……Yeah. While I was fighting with those from『North』, it just barged in. Like that it massacred the hunters……after I wasn’t able to move from fear, it seemed to have lost its interest in me and left」
……Now that is quite……
I was careless. I shouldn’t have Elk go by herself in the forest when that things was in the forest……although Alva was with her, but that guy’s danger level wasn’t anything normal.
Shit, I hate myself for not thinking it out thoroughly……!
But, although I don’t know the reason, but it seemed to have let her go……based on results, it was good.
While apologizing Elk for that point, I kept on thinking how to get through this situation when that thing was near us, we couldn’t let down our guar——…………
「Hey, Minato-kun? That……the monster you regard as dangerous is different from this one, right? Then does that mean, it has come near the forest?」
「……How to say it, near, err……」
I beat later.
「……It just seemed to reached there, just now」
I said while pointing my finger in a direction……opposite from the plant monster. That direction seemed normal without anything, and the other three looked over there.……
When I thought that from the other side of the grove of trees came out the sounds of someone stepping on branches……
It suddenly came out while splitting through the bushes.
Its body was covered with scales that seemed even more profound than armours.
Its body build was near to that of humans figure. However its body was bent in a forward-bent posture, it hands were quite long. They were divided in five fingers, just like humans, and in front of it were long sharp claws.
The tail of about 2 metre looked like a strong whip, and its end was pointed while being covered by even more hard and strong scales, making it a pointed spear.
That fiendish face was, seemed more like a dinosaur than lizard……and a snake-like tongue peeked out of it. On its forehead, a gold, no an amber coloured horn was sprouted out. Looking closely, the claws were of the same colour.
That human dinosaur was bigger than an adult with large build……and the intimidating air emitted from it wasn’t a joke.
That appearance was……certainly of『that demon』whose name I didn’t know, but surely was vigilant from.
However there was just one thing different from the one in my memories.
(It’s scales are……black?)
The one I saw once a time ago had, green-coloured scales. No doubt about that. And the horn and claws were, red like blood.
But the scales of this one before me……were black, albeit with some indigo blue added, while its horn and claws were amber-coloured.
……Well it didn’t change the fact it was a dangerous shit.
「……Minato, is that one?」
「Yeah, it is the『Lizard』I was talking about」
「Hmm, so that is the demon Minato-kun was saying……so is it strong after all?」
「Well it sure is strong. After all……」
……A little self-boasting here.
……It was the only demon I wasn’t able to win against while in my training period within those Woodlands.
It was probably 4 years before from now.
The me of that time was already at the level to take on the strongest in woodland, a giant snake, no a group of it and still deal with them. One day, as usual, I went in the forest to train and capture the food for evening meal, when……I met『it』.
It was a demon I had never seen, a dinosaur human……no, if I had to say it was more of a human dinosaur. That guy was fighting the demons of woodlands by itself.
It was torment, tearing, beating down the demons, which looked like a bear with a horn, completely one-sidedly. At that time it noticed me, and without any warning and hesitation, it attacked me.
I accepted the challenge immediately……but the moment I confronted it, I understood.
That this guy was the real shit.
And that intuition that couldn’t be called as a guess was proven as truth in a couple of seconds later.
That demon, which I had never seen or met, had a fighting strength that made the demons of Woodland seem like babies.
Its speed, power, technique……everything was terrifying, I had confronted it with my full power and full guard, but I still remember that I wasn’t able to do anything in front of it.
The numerous attacks that were sent out by that body with honed muscles, all had speed and power off the charts. Even with my enhanced eyesight, I wasn’t able to see the trajectory of its attacks.
Its defensive power was also high, even after I was punching and kicking with all my power, it didn’t falter a bit and sent out counterattacks. I was slapped by its arms and tail, scratched by its claws……it was truly terrible.
Fortunately, my defensive power was also high since that time, so there was no bone fracture, even my body wasn’t torn from limb to limb, even so the injuries that were all severe had spread all over my body, I wasn’t in a state that could be fine.
“I will die like this”, having that hunch, I dashed away in full speed.
En route an idea came to me and I crossed over my favourite hunting grounds, where the giant snakes territory was present. Like that, I made the lizard attack the sakes that were trying to annihilate the intruders.
As expected, the snakes were one-sidedly killed easily when confronted with that fighting strength. In that time, I gained distance and hid myself, and succeeded in escaping.
After that, I asked mom while she was treating me, according to her……surprisingly, even she hadn’t seen a demon like that in the woodland, and neither she had any idea of that demon’s identity.
In short it was an wandering demon without any particular territory, and it accidentally came to the Woodlands, and by chance met me and attacked me, or so was mom’s opinion.
After that, for a few days, mom was worried about me and kept my training with just a sparring match with her, she even took time off to search around the forest.
As expected I didn’t leave the house in that time, and there was surely one or two of mom’s pet guarding the house. Especially Stork.
In the end, after that incident……I never met with that human dinosaur, who species even mom didn’t know about, and so we called it『Unknown』. Like that I never met it again.
The moment it came out of the forest,
Everyone’s gazes were nailed on that Unknown……because of its excess sense of presence. There were even those who stopped in their tracks.
If more than half of the demons weren’t attacking that plant monster, currently one or two of the people would have surely died.
Of course even we weren’t able to avert our eyes from that dark big lizard, walking over with firm steps.
I understood that Zari had an expression of shock and bewilderment, Sherry-san had shock and arousal, as for Elk and Neil-chan it was only terror.
「……Err……what is that?」
「Who knows? I don’t know its name or any other information. But it is strong……to a freakish extent」
「It is obvious after seeing it, this much is……obvious」
While others were speaking those words to confirm its existence,
Some demons came out of the forest, noticed the unknown, and head towards it.
Maybe they thought it was more easier to attack than the plant monster, or maybe they didn’t give a damn about it in their agitated state. Like that, several wolf-type demon and two of the scaled gorilla attacked it. If I remember correctly it was called『Lizard Kong』, probably.
And the next instant,
Its tail moved at speed unperceivable by the eyes and mowed down the wolves attacking at it.
As a result,
The wolves, were blown away and crashed into ground and trees……well that didn’t happen.
In turn, the front half of their body that was attacked by the tail flew off in pieces, and those demons that had now turned into lumps of blood and meat, and fragments of bones, were scattered on the ground with a *pitter-patter* sound.
The wolves were exterminated in an instant, and the back half of their body jumped a little bit forward while abiding with the law of inertia……and with just that much, they dropped on the ground, and never moved again.
And, one of the Gorilla that didn’t even falter with the current scene, raised its fist one beat later, to hit the Unknown……
The next instant, with the claws that swung with a speed unperceivable by eyes, lopped off the raised hand of Gorilla.
In the next instant, another flash of Unknowns other hand hit the head of Gorilla.
Maybe it was because of being chopped by 5 claws, or maybe the arm strength was just too much, that the Gorilla now didn’t had any upper body.
As for the other Gorilla, it had its heart pierced the moment the first Gorilla head his head gone off.
It all happened in less than 3 seconds. The demons died without even knowing how they died.
Seeing the one-sided violence and killing……the people there, including us, weren’t able to let out even a single voice.
『Lizard Kong』was a C Ranked demon. Its scales had toughness like that of steel. It was a demon that could be defeated by an skilled adventurer that had completed hell training.
And the Unknown that defeated it with an attack that couldn’t be seen by eyes now became a target of wariness on the same level, or maybe a higher level than the plant monster.
The Unknown removed the blood on its claws and tail in a flash, and abruptly glared at us. However, it didn’t show any signs of coming at us.
We, including the adventurers and bodyguard group, took on that stare without speaking any word or anything.
However, they were silent……because they were scared. They were at a loss for words.
However, thinking about the situation that would happen the moment they return to their senses was obvious……
……It would become like this.
Panicked State. Well it could be called whatever. Either run away from fear……or desperately try to kill before being killed and attack the demon. They only had the two options.
Several chose the latter and came attacking at the Unknown with weapons in their hands.
The Unknown watching it, squint its eyes as if saying『new preys』, and poured the power in its tail that had just before turned those wolves into mincemeat……at that instant,
In the whole battlefield, the『Magic Pheromone Intimidation』I used before in『Crimson Forest』was released in full throttle power.
「……Oops, excuse me」
Because of the abrupt shock, the panicked adventurers, Elk and others and even the rampaging demons from before, even that Unknown stopped their movements for a moment.
And the Unknown……that was about to intercept the adventurers avert its eyes, and slowly looked at the origin of that『something』similar to intimidating air, in short, me!
That eyesight, made me remember of that time several years ago, it still had the usual severe intimidation in them.
Its body colour was different, so it wasn’t the same individual from that time……but how to say, it still made me feel nostalgic.
However this nostalgic feeling of having cold sweat perspiring out of me and having my breathing disordered, wasn’t something I felt good and or any shit about.
In the eyesight of the Unknown making groaning voice from deep in its throat, made me think it was trying to grasp me, as if observing me, and it made me even think it had an will inside of it, how strange.
It was like being asked『Are you the opponent?』.
……Alright, come at me you bastard, just bring it on!
「Elk, Zari and Neil-chan」
「I will take on that lizard by myself. So I plead to take care of that plant monster there with the help of Sherry-san and others. Elk and Zari need to provide cover and help in rescuing the injured people」
「……No problem, but are you fine? Can you win?」
「Well, I surely can’t lose here. I have only enjoyed 16 years of my life till now」
「Now this is unusually the meek Minato-kun, or what……how to say, isn’t this way of speaking by keeping his confidence in moderation, an impossible thing for Minato-kun? It won’t become into something like, these were our last words, right?」
「Don’t say any jinks. ……Even I know that this guy is the real deal」
「Hey Minato-kun, then what would you do if I said to fight that lizard?」
「……You wanna die?」
「……I’m just joking, yeah just joking……Although I’m interested, but taking that as my opponent, I can’t even imagine having a decent fight against that, with my current level. Hey, I leave it up to you this time」
「Thank you for understanding」
The talk ended with, to each their own way……and after leaving the other works to others, I neared the Unknown in way to not agitate it any further and also to emphasize on the fact that it would be fighting me.
While walking, I indeed felt……something like intelligence in that eyes of that Unknown.
At the same time I remembered the talk Elk said before.
Although they met with Unknown, it only killed the hunters from『North』, and left Elk and others on their own.
Even its attitude of not attacking even when it had so many preys in front of its eyes……does this guy only fight against those who attack it?
In that case, we would not be harmed if we ignored it……but confirming this idea was dangerous. There was also the possibility that it put『priority』on the person attacking it.
When I was walking near it thinking that,
The moment I heard a growl from my side, the plant monsters was coming near me, after having dealt with the demons attacking it.
As if to say “The next prey”, it extended the roots from its root-made hands, and attempted to capture me and the Unknown for eating us.
However, frankly speaking it was a hindrance, so the moment I thought to pulverize it by kicking,
An intense magical energy swelled up from behind me, and suddenly, an arrow clad in burning flames hit those tentacle-like roots.
Like that it burned them……no, it blasted all of the roots approaching, into small pieces.
Shocked, I turned back and saw Sherry-san holding an bow, and in a posture of just after firing an arrow. She was still on her guard, but where did she had that bow, or maybe she borrowed it from an adventurer near her.
Eh, Sherry-san could even use bow and arrow? Or rather it was an arrow made from magical energy, right?
「Well there are reasons for it. I will tell later. We will make do some way here……so I leave that way to you」
Saying that, magical energy knead in Sherry-san’s hand……and in a second, an arrow made out of magical energy was gripped.
It was the same magical energy arrow like Suura-san used. Although this wasn’t ice, but fire.
Sherry-san was strong in close combat too, with this it would be fine.
But for just in case,
「Alva! Go back up Sherry-san and others. Like seriously!」
Alva raised a sound as if agreeing and flew up above.
Alright, everything fine now. Alva was still a child (just one month old), but still strong, it could even use barrier-type magic, so it would be a help over there.
……Well then, pulling myself together……
「Well then……I made you wait. I don’t know how to call you……but let me finish this fight as soon as it started, now shouldn’t I?」
While I was talking with others, I had a part of awareness on it too……but unexpectedly it waited for me. And right now made a growling sound from its throat as if saying, finally eh?
My guess about it attacking people that attack it might be true, but what could this be called, this guy has some parts that made me feel that it had reasoning power and intelligence…….what a strange demon it is.
The thing that would start now was a dangerous battle that didn’t had any shit related to that……so there was no need to think about it.
My first formidable enemy ever since leaving the house.
This time……if I let down my guard, I will die. Bracing my spirit, I resolved to go all out.