Chapter 30: First hunt, first pressure and first reward
Ruu, the others and I entered the forest on Danze island. While paying attention to my surroundings, I stepped through the green woodland. I hadn't yet been to this area, so I made sure to be careful.
After we had advanced for a while, Rin showed a reaction. She had been looking for signs of monsters using wind magic. Basically, as long as a creature moved and had mass, it would displace air around it. Air movement detection was a major part of security type magic.
"Is something coming?" (Tsuchio)
"Yosh, be ready to strike anytime. Ruu, Lime prepare yourselves." (Tsuchio)
Fire engulfed Ruu´s fists and Lime melted down and became muddy. Since it would be difficult for Ruu to fight in this kind of a cramped environment, I wanted to stay close to her and help her out.
I jumped onto Ruu´s back and grasped a protrusion over her shoulder. There were wings to the right and left, so I gathered that I wouldn’t fall off even if she moved around violently, more or less.
After we took our stances and waited for a few seconds, a Bubububu! fluttering-like sound from something could be heard. I gradually saw the figures of the monsters.
"They’re… beetles?" (Tsuchio)
Large beetles from the scarab family sporting blackish brown bodies, with horns specific to only males on their heads, were flying towards us. These insects were a kind which Japanese people were quite familiar. I questioned why something so recognizable appeared... While flying, they held spears similar to the horns on their heads in their grasp.
Their bodies were big and if the horns were also included, they’d be a little under 2 meters tall. Because they could hold spears in their hands, they must also walk on two legs properly, right? Those guys formed a formation and flew toward us. In total there were six, but that’s not a number which we couldn’t beat.
"Lime, their shells are hard! Aim at their abdomen or joints! Because they look strong, be careful when you attack!" (Tsuchio)
Lime slowly spread out into a shadow on the grass. Rin produced a few thunder arrows and fired them off, but they stopped after only shallowly piercing the beetles’ shells.. Tch, their magic defense was high, too.
"Ruu, move forward! We’ll intercept them!" (Tsuchio)
The head beetle tried to stab us, but we evaded the attack and then smacked it from above. And then, the ones in formation behind it were blown away by Ruu’s tail. Eh, there were a total of seven opponents? That last one was ...a needle that suddenly stuck out from the ground, pierced through its abdomen and left it twitching. Nice, Lime!
After having been knocked away, the beetles fixed their positions in the air and charged again. With the differences in their timing, they came rushing at us from different angles. The good thing was, they had eyes only on Ruu and I……. You mustn’t forget to be careful with your surroundings, y’know.
Rin came hurtling from the sky above in a nose dive and threaded between the beetles. The unicorn’s sudden appearance disoriented the bugs, scattering them. An Opening!
We jumped over Rin, grasped a beetle and flung it against the ground. I manipulated magic, and used 【Fire Ball】 to pursue the remaining beetles who started to run away. The beetle which fell onto the ground was wrapped up by Lime after she pierced its abdomen and another one got crushed by Rin.
"Lime, don´t digest it." (Tsuchio)
“...” Purupuru (Lime)
Lime vomited out a beetle full of holes in its abdomen. Wow, she kept stabbing it after engulfing it, eh....
"Material material~ these fellows, we’ll take their shells and spears." (Tsuchio)
I gathered the beetles which were knocked down and stripped off their shells with a knife. The remainder of the beetles’ corpses were completely digested by Lime.
These shells were considerably light, eh.... It looked good to use as armor. I crammed it inside my backpack. Aa, I longed for that legendary 「Item Box」…... I prayed it didn’t have a current owner.
We advanced forward through the forest while continuing to beat monsters. Besides the beetles, we met stag beetles, blood-sucking mosquitoes, monkeys and a strangely big parakeet. Somehow, there were a lot of southern country-like monsters here. Mosquitoes were really disgusting, I was glad they couldn’t penetrate Ruu’s scales….
My backpack contained the monkeys’ fur and the wings from the parakeet and mosquitoes. The stag beetles didn’t have any weapons, they simply attacked using their kabuto-resembling jaws (TLC: kabuto = samurai helmet, have some kind of horn on the top of it). Since it looked like it’d be dangerous if we were caught by that attack, we beat them from a distance with my magic and Ruu’s 【Fire Breath】.
The monkeys threw stones or wood spears, or used stone axes to challenge us in contests of power. Though they were quite troublesome opponents because they made surprise attacks from the trees and also coordinated between themselves. Fortunately, on the subject of coordination we also trained at it, at lot. In situations where we lost at skill, we could overcome with trust and magic sharing!
The parakeet flew through the air and spat fire from its mouth. Moreover it became stronger by eating fire that Ruu breathed at it. The first time it I saw it swallowing Ruu’s flames, it surprised me, eh.
We had progressed really smoothly so far, even being able to fight while still maintaining much of our composure. There must’ve been a reason that adventurers couldn’t reach the center ...I hadn't learned what it was yet.
That reminded me, I saw that there was that big tree right at the center of the island, but I didn't know what was in its region, alright~ ... I forgot to ask for that information at the guild!!! That wasn’t good, right, information is important! Why didn't I ask for it, Aughh Tsuchio: such a dummy!!!
“Haaaa….I really should’ve asked about it when getting the inn’s location...." (Tsuchio)
"...?" Purupuru? (Lime)
“Aa No, there’s nothing. I was just thinking perhaps I should have asked for information on the monsters around here or something like that, at the guild, y’know." (Tsuchio)
Now that you mentioned it, Lime was nodding at what I said. Well, the kinds of monsters outside the island probably were just those chickens we encountered. The problem was, what was at the center of the island....
"Hmm, is there anything Rin?" (Tsuchio)
Rin who was walking ahead, halted because she found something. Looking further on a bit there was a slightly open region, with several adventurers on standby over there. Was this perhaps a rest area… I too felt a little tired after all, so let's take a break and eat our lunch.
As we entered the clearing, several of the adventurers glared towards me after seeing Ruu and company. They must have thought that we didn’t match at all, right! Really....
The backpack was lowered and I sat down on a random rock instead of a chair. When Ruu and Rin were hungry, they ate the monkeys and the parakeet as they pleased, so lunch wasn't quite necessary for them, right. It goes without saying for Lime too, though the only thing she had was that insect.
I took some portable rations out of my pouch and quickly placed them in my mouth, before washing it down with water. Aa, it tasted horrible.... It was dry and hard to swallow...really, it's just to fill you up, eh.
After quickly sending everything to my stomach, I drank water and declared lunch done. I wanted take a short break and then leave immediately. If we didn’t return to town before sunset, it would be dangerous after all. I wondered if we should perhaps advance just a little more for today. Even if I forced myself during the first day there’d be no point to it, right, so maybe I should continue to revisit this place during the first week?
The center of this island was on my mind. I guessed it was in the vicinity of that huge tree, and that place hadn't seemed to have been explored yet… and after all it might have been impossible to get there via the sky. Although I thought that it probably had been challenged by others already, but if there was still nobody that got to it, perhaps it was okay for me to challenge it. I should ask about it along with information on monsters at the guild.
We continued to rest for around thirty minutes before leaving the rest area. For now, it's wait-and-see today. Let's return to the town while taking a side trip, just like this.
Though we advanced without purposely creating any marks, we were able to properly come back by following Ruu and Rin’s footprints, thus there was no problem.
"Huu, there should be enough materials for now. From now on, unless the monsters attack us first, we will ignore them. There’s also a lot of things that I want to ask about once we’re back, considering, so let's call it a day and return. I also really want to check on the market prices of things and such, after all." (Tsuchio)
"I understand, but I don't know what lies ahead of us. It’s better if we have room to spare, right." (Tsuchio)
"I'll stop riding on you, because there is a possibility that a monster might still attack. I think that it might obstruct the battle." (Tsuchio)
I had to get the guild before it got crowded and ask for information on monsters after selling the materials!
As the sun began to set and the sunset illuminated the town, we returned. Although I gave priority to traveling, a lot of monsters attacked us on the way. With this it must be crowded, right~. I wondered if I could still ask those questions. Let's get to the guild quickly.
I deposited Ruu and the girls at the monster stable and then entered the guild. Not sure if it was because I arrived earlier than yesterday, but it was less crowded than before. I might be able to hear about what’s going on, possibly.
Since the receptionist who spoke with me yesterday was here, I lined up by her. As expected my turn came shortly after a few minutes.
"Ah, the tamer from yesterday. How was the inn I recommended?" (Receptionist)
"Although it was slightly expensive, it’s a good place. Thank you." (Tsuchio)
"Please don’t consider it. What business do you have today?" (Receptionist)
"Emm, I wanna know first about if there’s a map of this island and information on its monsters. Would you be able to tell me?" (Tsuchio)
"Maps are sold at the stand, but it only contains information on the outer regions of the island..." (Receptionist)
"Umm, today I tried out the outskirts of the forest, but the monsters there didn’t feel tough at all. Does it make sense that it’ll become harder the deeper I go?" (Tsuchio)
"Yes, sir. Aa, regarding information on monsters. Not much data of that sort is reported to the guild … but according to the stories of people who survived, a swarm of small dragon class monsters seemed to attack them. I think that there was also a huge bug-type besides that…” (Receptionist)
A huge insect and a small dragon class...if those appear midway, what kind of monster would appear deep inside?
"And that's why, adventurers seem to hunt monsters mainly around the outskirts, now." (Receptionist)
"Isn't there an ongoing large-scale investigation?" (Tsuchio)
"Emm, it is planned to start in two weeks, we haven’t only hired adventurers but a lot of different people, it is scheduled to be explored in one big go." (Receptionist)
"Okay, two weeks. Also, I want to make a request to sell raw monster material, y’know." (Tsuchio)
"The purchasing of the materials is on the second floor." (Receptionist)
"Thank you very much for answering all my random questions." (Tsuchio)
"Think nothing of it." (Receptionist)
The large-scale investigation will be in two weeks... Let's participate in it, since it seems it would be dangerous to go by ourselves, after all. I must save up lodging money until then! I wondered how much today's income came to~?
Iyaa~ to think that I was able to earn enough for two weeks of lodging expenses in just one day is a bit much~. Since we just checked out the hunting situation today, we’ll definitely be able to defeat even more monsters tomorrow. Somehow, it seemed that I would be able to manage about a month’s worth of inn fees before the large-scale investigation started. I wanted to remove all sources of anxiety from our lives, such was my wish.
After I exchanged materials, I had a meal, and then sat down to drink evening tea. Aah, that felt good. At that time, a man who had been staring at me for a little while approached. There was no mistake that he was a tamer, because not only was he a guest of the inn, but a gorilla-like monster was also following behind him.
"Yo, is that dragon your familiar?" (Gorilla tamer)
“Hee...I have never seen this kind. That unicorn also seems to be slightly different." (Gorilla tamer)
"Well the thing that made surprises me even more is that monster over there. What in the world kind of creature is that? Although I recognize the dragon and the unicorn, but that one I have no clue." (Gorilla tamer)
"It is a slime." (Tsuchio)
[PR: TLC notes that the tamer speaks in a rude fashion, doesn’t introduce himself, etc., so that’s why Tsuchio gives such short answers. Thank you TLC! Now, get back to checking. *cracks whip* ^-^]
"...What, so it’s a slime huh. Then it’s just a waste of my time to ask about it, bye." (Gorilla tamer)
As soon as he understood that his object of attention was a slime, the man’s attitude did a complete 180° (degrees) and he went back to his original seat. Same thing for all the other guys in a circle around me, they also seemed to lose interest when they heard the word 「Slime」. Well, judging by so-called general knowledge, slimes were the absolute weakest monster. Lime included, though most don’t realize she’s a slime of a different color. Such manners and treatment don’t ultimately matter, though. Regarding Lime, as long I understood her then that was enough, okay. I never held the intention to try changing this world’s common sense.
"Well, I have to exert myself tomorrow. Perhaps I should go to bed early today. Everybody, let's go." (Tsuchio)
After I lead Ruu and the others out from the dining room, I brought them to the monster stable attached to the inn. A magic barrier was erected around the monster stable here similar to the academy, which was unlike most other places. Because of it, familiars couldn’t leave without their masters. Knowing that made me feel really relieved. If it had been a different inn, surely Ruu, Rin, and Lime would have been up, worrying at night, and not be able to hunt properly the next day.
"Then let's sleep properly, you guys must be tired too, right? We will be busy tomorrow." (Tsuchio)
"..." Purupuru, gyu. (Lime)
"Aa, good night" (Tsuchio)
I patted Lime’s head after she embraced me then left the monster stable. Then, since I planned on exerting myself tomorrow as well, let’s quickly head to bed now.
We continued to hunt on the outskirts of the island, never venturing deeper. The process of gathering money was going well.
A few days later, in the inn’s dining room, I happened to listen in on the surrounding voices while having dinner.
"Hey, Is it true that the Fylde´s party went to scout for the investigation, but they were wiped out?!" (Tamer 1)
"No, one person seems to have survived. According to their story, it sounds like they were attacked by a very big centipede." (Tamer 2)
“Ue, following beetles, dragonflies and mosquitoes now it’s a centipede, eh.... It's a big ol’ bug type monster parade." (Tamer 3)
"Hey, that small dragon-kind that eats them is pretty much just as troublesome. They can spit poisonous gas; If you inhale it your body will become numb and won't move anymore." (Tamer 4)
"I’m thinking, perha~ps I should stop participating in the large-scale investigation.... that’s the monster that appeared in the mid-island zone. What kinds of monsters appear around there isn’t something we exactly understand." (Tamer 5)
"But, because of that the reward is quite high. However, you can’t buy life, friend." (Tamer 4)
“Emm, if the small dragon class feeds on insect type monsters, then it means that there are monsters which eat them too, yeah?” (Tamer 3)
“That’s why I said I won’t do it anymore, didn’t you hear?” (Tamer 5)
"Now, now, there is still time. Until then, let's think carefully about it." (Tamer 2)
Humu, there were a lot of big insect type monsters.... I made a mental note of it. But without seeing it for real, it was difficult to get a clear perspective on it, eh.... On that subject, I considered if I should go scout once. Although, because it looked really dangerous, I wasn’t entirely willing to do it...
How about I try scouting just once? It looks dangerous, so I'm not exactly willing to do it… Whether there's foreknowledge or not, the way to cope with a situation can change completely too, after all.
Okay, it’s decided, I don’t want to die from lack of information, after all, so how about I go on a little scouting trip tomorrow! Since I already decided such, I prepared at once. I’m going to be busy!