Monster Musume Chapter 32: The Night Before Investigation, The Investigation Day and The Second Day of Investigation
The night before the large-scale investigation, people who will participate in the investigation gathered inside the guild. I heard that they will hold a briefing about the details of tomorrow's investigation. Of course I was participating, too.
The pub inside the guild building was chosen as the meeting place, and adventurers and a considerable number of mercenaries had gathered. The coming investigation would be different from the previous ones: information on the monsters present and several of the geological features found in the area had been published in great detail. Because of this the number of people who were going to participate was also quite large.
Well, of course, the one who supplied all that information was me. After the initial expedition, because I wanted even more info, I became fascinated with observing all the monsters’ attack patterns. It was impossible to get to the center of the island in just one day, unexpectedly I was only able to make it halfway there. But, this time the plan will take several days to reach the center. It’ll be good if the information I provided is useful.
“I’m not sure if all the members have gathered yet, but we’ll be setting off early tomorrow. I will start explaining our plans, okay? I’ve been entrusted as the leader of this investigation, and my name is Hayes. Best regards!” (Hayes)
A blue-haired man who was standing at the front began to talk So this person’s the leader, eh? He must have pretty decent abilities to be entrusted by the guild, y’know?
"That guy’s Fast Attack Hayes." (Random Adventurer 1)
“As for the other adventurers, most of them are big guns with B or C ranks, man." (Random Adventurer 2)
“If that’s how it is, wouldn’t it have been better if they brought over more A rank guys? It’s not like there’s anyone unwilling to join, with this turnout.” (Random Adventurer 3)
“Well, that’s because there are really few rank A folks. Since there’s a lot more people now, this time I feel like we’re gonna be able to do it!” (Random Adventurer 2)
Somebody with a title, eh, that’s promising. Or rather, because of that A rank adventurer, they think it’s okay to just bring in a single one of them, right?? Do your job better, guild!
“Everyone, the summary of the mission is to enter the deepest part of the forest and assess and document what exists there. The aim is to eventually arrive at the center of the island. That’s expected to take several days. Respectively, please bring along sufficient food and water.” (Hayes)
“Which route are we taking’?” (Random mercenary)
“We will advance straight from the town to the area where the previous investigation ended. Avoid needless battles and repel only monsters that attack. Even though we are covering known ground, our aim doesn’t change. Based on how the situation plays out, there is a possibility of a detour and/or retreat.” (Hayes)
“Is it alright to assume that the giant tree that can be seen from the ocean is our goal?” (Random adventurer)
Well, we’ll be able to survey things even if it’s on the way back, y’know. First off, the point is to check out that big tree at the center of the island.
“With that, I feel all members are already aware of this, but I will repeat it just in case: This territory which hasn’t been exhaustively explored yet, and the monsters that populate it are different . Beyond a certain point they suddenly become stronger, which may obstruct our progress. However, information on them was received only a few days ago. Even though the guild itself hasn’t fully verified it yet, since their attacks and characteristics are reported in detail it can be judged that the authenticity is high. Although we can’t know if it’s true or not unless we’re actually fighting, commit it to memory anyway.” (Hayes)
For the time being, I asked Receptionist-san to provide the information anonymously. I didn’t do it because I expected they would become grateful towards me. There’s still my selfish desire that the more adventurers go, the deeper I will be able to go as well.
“Therefore, based on these monsters’ characteristics, let’s work out some tactics.” (Hayes)
In that way, night fell.
“Well then, let’s start the large-scale investigation! Let everyone return safely and alive!!” (Hayes)
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The next day, we, the investigating group, departed at sunrise. First of all, those who can use detection magic are in the lead and will confirm where the monsters are. From the report, the leader will decide the direction to avoid fighting with monsters as much as possible. That’s the gist of it. I belong to the rear guard on the end, it must be if there’s familiarity thus everything will be alright. Nevertheless, if the dragonfly or that horn monster, or snapping dragon comes to attack then at that time we will come out to the front. Really, it’s totally convenient. When that horn monster comes attacking even we will get in danger you know.
Although the speed is slow because there are a lot of people, without almost battling with monsters, we're advancing. And, after about 3-4 hours, we arrived at the borderline where monsters who live there change.
"From here, the enemy will become stronger quickly! All members brace yourself and advance!"
Well then, we finally arrived at the true entrance. Everything until now wasn't even a warm-up. Here is the true appearance of this forest.
After going over the boundary line, slightly further than the place where I advanced, the report from the detection team said that they detected that monsters are coming. Although I thought that the monsters wouldn’t come we until reached the rear, but there’s still monster living at other places. We must be careful, we may be killed without notice by that centipede....
The ones who are attacking us seems to be strengthened beetles. Even though they are strengthened, how to knock them down is just like ordinary beetles. For those guys who are always hunting at the outer part of the forest, it mustn’t become that much of threat. Right?
"Yosh, Just like what the information said! Group 1 and 2 defend the attack with shields, group 3 to 5 hit them from the side! Since it seems magic is not so effective against these fellows. Magicians preserve your magical power!" (Hayes)
As Hayes-san gave instructions, the adventurers are fighting the beetles just like he ordered them. Even though we didn't practice, to be able to reach this amount of cooperation without practicing, as expected it’s the difference between our experience right~. Well, it's absolutely impossible for me to do that. The judgment of Hayes-san about the putting me in the rear perhaps was right after all. As expected, without taking 10 minutes, they have been exterminated. Is it perhaps because fighting similar monsters are easy? After all, this side has more people. There’s no way for them to lose.
"Hehe, this wasn´t a big deal. If it’s like this then it’s gonna be easy." (Adventurer)
"You’re so right. what was the investigating group doing until now I wonder?" (Another adventurer)
"Hey, there! Don´t relax! These fellows are the weakest monster from here according to the information. Right? Other monsters are stronger than them you know!" (Yet another adventurer)
"As for the other monsters, maybe they’re not really that something right?" (Some adventurer)
"That’s true, it’s just the one who gave the information made something big out of it." (Adventurer with experience at raising death flags)
Yep, though the fearful thing of the beetles is not that but ... well let’s just leave it alone. They will understand it immediately.
From there, only beetles and the small dragon class came out for a while. Though there’s a person who became paralyzed by their breath, but they were able to defeat the monster without making any casualties. When everybody has begun to get carried away. Finally, the strongest one in this area appeared.
"Le, leader! One monster approaches us!" (Scout)
"What, only one!? Hey, all members take a stance! A powerful enemy comes!" (Hayes)
“Hehe, after all it's not something that amazing right. I'll knock it down!" (Death flag adventurer)
"Listen up, do it quickly! The fact that 1 body doesn't make a noise so much then ..." (Hayes)
I hear a roar from somewhere in front. For a monster who acts alone around here, each of them has their own characteristics. When a dragonfly approaches, you hear the buzzing sounds of its wings after all, and when the rhinoceros are coming, then we will be able to notice it even if we don’t want to. Since in the first place the centipede doesn’t bothered for searching an enemy. The only monster which comes alone and doesn’t particularly make any sounds. There’s no other possibility except the snapping dragon.
Although I call it as a snapping dragon because it bites a lot, if one needs to describe it in one word then the word “dinosaur” would fit perfectly. Long tail, thick and strong hind legs with short forelegs. Is it for the sake to travel around the forest but it’s spine growth is straight. Its sharp tusks and jaw which seems to be quite strong are its characteristics. At the time when I first saw this guy, I cried "Tyranno!?". Probably because of that I was found out. I had a hard fight. I tried to run away, but unexpectedly it was quick on its feet, and it can't be shaken off easily. It’s snarl is scary too .... Because it is simply attacking by force, I can´t use any tricks. In the end because of CQC, the magic that Rin fired, and with the stab in it’s neck by Lime we were able to defeat it. Since I had already inform them that it’s magic tolerance is low, we should be able to play safe and press it down with attacks from long range, right.
Holding the shields like a barricade, the snapping dragon gave a head butt. It's strong as expected, it made the front line become disordered and a hole opens. Over there the dragon thrusts out even more. Using its whole body, it has blown off the vanguard. In appearance of such a powerful opponent, some adventurers become flustered. However the leader's pep talk flies there.
"Do not be confused! If everyone attacks together, it’s not an enemy to be afraid of! Group 3, you attack it, and draw its attention! Meanwhile, Group 1 and 2 regroup and build a frontline once again! Magicians, rain magic on it! Don't be stingy!" (Hayes)
The attacking group draws the attention of the dragon and pulls it to their location. However, if it continues like this then it’ll be dangerous for them. Alright, let's go to help them.
"Excuse me, I have come here to give support." (Tsuchio)
"Okay, we will rely on you." (Hayes)
From the side of the dragon who’s chasing the adventurers who attacked it, received a low shoulder charge and was blown away. After that, the barrage of various magics that showered down on it like rain, onto the neck of dragon which is now screaming. Lime clings over there and became a fist with splinters, before Ruu´s punch pierces it deep. While bleeding at the throat, the snapping dragon falls down. Fuuh, when there is support it is easy after all. If I was fighting alone, then such a good chance like that will rarely come after all.
"Group 1, One person broke his bone! request heal!" (Group one leader)
"Group 2 has several slightly injured men, but treatment isn't necessary!" (Group 2 leader)
"OK, until treatment is completed, all members be cautious..." (Hayes)
"Th, There is a reaction of monster at 2 o’clock! The number is 10!" (Scout)
"Cheh, so they came after all .... Group 1 and 2, those who can move deal with the defense! We will knock them down with swift attacks!" (Hayes)
The beetles with lances are numerous though they aren´t really that strong. So, just after such a battle, they attack us just like that to take advantage of our weakness. This is really scary, perhaps this is the reason that the former investigation group was lost. Well, we have more than enough power this time and we are better and more experienced for a battle here. I don't want to lose someone even though it would be an utter stranger. So let's do our best.
Afterwards, the beetles which are coming to attack us several times are scattered around. A centipede which made a surprise attack from the tree top was teared apart. The rushing rhinoceroses are repeatedly stopped by many layers of earth walls .We defeated those guys who come to attack at night. We realized how terrible our situation is. Though we don’t have any big injuries, but the others are different. An arm is bitten by a dragonfly and the guys who were tossed around by the rhinoceroses have broken bones, so they form a party and withdrew. Even if they are here, they'll be just a drag and because they used concealment magic, I think that they will probably be all right, but I am still worried about them.
However, even if when we add the casualties and those who withdraw, they are only less than 10 percent of the whole. Yesterday night, the result of the meeting with everyone, like this what will happen with going into the center, the only conclusion which we reached was that if we didn’t check it then we will not return. That's why, we are now, close to the place called the center of the island.
“...Hey, aren't there awfully few monsters since a little while ago?" (Adventurer 1)
"Yes, certainly. We attacked them so as to avoid them, but to think that they stopped coming suddenly .... After all, is there something which is in fact here in the center of the island?" (Adventurer 2)
“It seems so. Well, don't be careless and don't drop your concentration" (Hayes)
"I understand something like that, you know." (Adventurer 1)
There are few attacks by monsters, exactly just like that. Even if I ask a person in charge of searching, since a little while ago monsters are nowhere to be seen. Yep, it feels like something like this has happened before .... What is it, I can’t remembered it eh. Ah, it really made me curious.
As I racked my brain thinking that I will remembered it eventually, but suddenly the forest is cut off. Oh, is it the end here? ...It is the goal!
"...Finally, the center of the island. It was considerably harsh, but we managed to endure it somehow. However everyone don't relax your guard. Beyond this, it's our work to examine what exists here after all." (Hayes)
After confirming that, all members nodded. Hayes-san leads us in the front and begins to walk. Ooh, he is like a typical leader. Let’s also follow him.
The thing beyond the forest, it’s just one absurdly gigantic tree standing over there . There was a baobab tree, but even that tree is not something that can be compared with this tree. How should I call it...world tree? Yup, though I don’t know if this was the world tree or not, image-wise it’s something like that.
On the ground which is covered by the shades of the leaves of this big tree only short weed grows. This space is the only one here, what was separated from the forest and this scene is appropriated for calling it another world.
"...This is amazing. For a big tree to become this big, it’s not something that you can see everyday you know" (Mercenary 1)
"I thought that it was huge, but this is...” (Adventurer 2)
Everybody looks up at the sky and opens their mouths absentmindedly. Meanwhile, Ruu and the other strangely can’t calm down, or rather their atmosphere tells me that they’re cautious of something.
"What happened, you guys seem restless since sometime ago, y’know..." (Tsuchio)
It is so. Since Ruu and family approached the center of the island, they were cautious of something even in the place where there’s nothing there. And now they’re almost in attack mode. Well that’s in this place that seems to be special after all then it’s not weird at all if there’s something here, but .... as I thought about it, why Ruu and the others are so cautious, so I tuned my senses with her and check what it is.
As soon as Ruu’s was tuned with mine, everywhere at this space, were I thought that there was nothing so far, some kind of traces were founded. A smell filled this vicinity...maybe it’s something that similar to how a dog marks their territory. This neighborhood, is claimed territory.
...Aa, I remembered it. I thought that I met with a similar situation somewhere before and that was at the training camp. At that time, because Rin was near us, no monster appeared right. Then that mean, not having met with a monster since a little while ago... at this place the master of the island, or so it should be called is exist right!
"Hayes-san, we are in danger here. Let's draw back quickly!" (Tsuchio)
"Danger, what's do you mean?" (Hayes)
"Here, is the territory of the master of this island. We must leave quickly, or I think we will be attacked." (Tsuchio)
“Hee, that’s why tamers are no good. If you rely too much on your familiar or such opinion, it the end for you you know.” (Hayes)
The harsh adventurer leader, takes one step forward. Wai, I already said that it is dangerous you know!
"Please withdraw! Something is here, It isn´t a thing which can be understand you know!" (Tsuchio)
"Words of a coward. I will examine that tree, If I bring even the leaf back, there are a lot of extra rewards available, after all." (Adventurer)
"I go, too! If we enter its territory, it should have already attacked us after all!" (Another adventurer)
"I, I’ll go too!" (Third Adventurer)
"Me too!" (Adventurer with death flag)
"That's it. Getting all scared by something as imaginary as a master of the island, just go home already” (Hayes)
After he says so, the adventurer leader walks with several people towards the large tree. We surely entered its territory, but the strange thing is, that we weren’t attacked. Why is it like that? Let’s put myself in the opponent’s side and think about it.
Because that monster always stayed inside the island, an existence like us is something that is totally strange. At the time when I have to fight an opponent which I don’t know it’s true color ... supposedly I will observe that thing, and then fight if I think that I can win. After we entered here, five minutes have already passed. To make it observe us, it is enough time!
"You shouldn't go! Come back!"(Tsuchio)
"Give me a rest, until when will it be talked about? There isn't such a monster." (Hayes)
The harshly spoken words of the leader, didn´t continue until the end. After a black shadow runs away from the root of the big tree, it makes a landing in front of the guys who walked at the front.
That fellow, has dark green scales with big arms and sharp claws, even from it’s hand there’s blades coming out. Its tail swings right and left, only at that place the scales become something like rasp (the author made a typo over here I think XD). Although it had quite a tight hind leg, it possessed a power that’s higher than the snapping dragon. On the top of its eyes, a horn that is shaped like it seems to be about to pop out from the skin grows from it’s big jaw *cling* a tusk peeked out.
The master of this island. This one doesn’t posses any wings, was a dragon which specialized in fighting on the ground.
Author note: The image of this dragon, this fellow is a mix of a tigrex and nargacuga from Monster Hunter. (Tl note: http://monsterhunter.wikia.com/wiki/Nargacuga http://monsterhunter.wikia.com/wiki/Tigrex )
The image of the island, it seems to look like the Jurassic period and the Cretaceous period.