After proclaiming to subjugate the snake to the Blue Grizzly cub, I passed the time on top of a tree by making a spear. It was currently night-time; I was using my knife to shave the tip of a thick branch.
I didn’t know if an improvised weapon such as this was going to be effective.
However, I didn’t know how to create any traps. My only other weapons were this knife and my own fists. Therefore, I wanted at least one more weapon.
“There, it’s finished.”
I had only tapered the branch’s end but it was quite sharp.
I leaned back on the tree trunk… this was also how I usually slept without falling off.
I had gotten used to sleeping on this hard bed, but as expected, I still yearned for a soft one.
“I wonder how Kazuki and Inukami-senpai are doing…”
“Haha, you ended up following me this entire time after all.”
I gently stroked the rabbit on its head as it looked towards me.
Such a strange rabbit. Its existence as a living creature was a mystery.
If I think about it, I was only able to survive because of this rabbit.
“Tomorrow you might get caught up in something dangerous but… Best regards.”
The rabbit nodded its head in agreement.
Feeling satisfied from its response, I entrusted my back to the tree and shut my eyelids.
It wouldn’t do if I didn’t properly rest my body for the fight ahead.
The next day, I used the rabbit’s radar to search for the snake.
I was carrying only the knife and improvised spear, I left everything else behind.
Of course I made sure to also wash my body so that I wouldn’t have to worry about my scent.
My preparations were complete so all that was left was to find that snake.
The rabbit’s body quivered with a start.
I pointed my spear at the indicated direction as I started perspirating. While being extremely cautious, I advanced towards the thicket.
“It sounds like a battle is going on?”
Sounds could be heard.
It was a very loud and violent sound, similar to the sound of mowing down a tree.
I slowly separated the thicket and peered in to look at the other side. My objective was there, the tsuchinoko-like figure.
I couldn’t help but suppress my breathing as I could recognize another creature close by to the snake. It was the Blue Grizzly cub from yesterday.
The cub was covered in wounds all over but it wasn’t dead. Maybe because it was only a cub but it seemed to have reached its limit for fatigue as it was remaining motionless.
What should I do? Should I just go in there? Or should I wait till the snake reveals an opening?
The best choice would probably be the latter, but that’s…
“That would look bad.”
“You should get down.”
I let the rabbit down on the ground and clutched the spear with both of my hands.
My resolution was already set but of course it wasn’t for accepting my death… It was the resolve to bring down the snake that was bullying the weak with my spear.
If it was just this much intimidation, compared to Rose, it was nothing much.
I knew the fear of that kichiku and cold-blooded woman…
“I’m not scared of something like this!”
The pair was surprised from my loud voice.
Leaving the cub aside, it seemed the snake was unsure of whether to aim for me or the bear first. This was a chance. However, those scales that acted as a suit of armor, my spear would definitely not pierce through.
If that was so, how should I proceed? It was obvious, I just had to aim for the part that was vulnerable.
Advancing forward with all its might, the snake came closer to me. Looking at it from a closer angle, its mouth was much larger than I initially thought. If it were to get a bite on me even once, it would be an immediate death for sure.
Nn? It was getting dark in front of me…
There was a slamming noise in front of me as I saw the closing of its enormous mouth.
If I didn’t step back, I would be dead by now hey…!
However, I was waiting for this timing. From there I held my spear in my right hand with an underhand grip and thrust it out while giving a cry.
“Eat this you stupid snake!!”
Making a remark that was unlike me, I pierced the spear deep into the snake’s right eye.
I’ll keep putting strength like this till I pierce through completely! As I was thinking that, my arm was pushed back—
In the next instant, my body received a tremendous impact and I was blown away.
As my consciousness was flying away, I used healing magic on reflex. The wound started to heal and I was able to stay conscious.
I got blown away to a tree and my body slid off to the ground. From there, I confirmed the snake’s figure. The spear was stuck in its right eye and it was shaking its tail.
“Gu……It was the tail huh…”
I was an idiot. This weird snake would obviously be able to think of using its tail.
But I was able to recover with healing magic.
Half of the snake’s vision should be lost now. The trade-off was I received an attack from it but a wound like this was trivial to me.
I got back up as my wound was completely healed and then immediately pulled out the knife from my waist.
“Is that all you got? It’s not effective at all!”
I’ll aim for its right side, where it was blind.
As I was running towards its right, it was also slithering towards me.
If the opponent is just relying on force, it’ll be easy to avoid them. As expected, it was approaching me from its left side.
However, it stopped abruptly and then turned towards my head.
For an instant, I could tell that it was sneering at me with its mouth slanted.
Seeing that smile, I realized I completely fell into the snake’s trap. It baited me with his injury.
It was intelligent.
I thought that it was just a snake that relied on its instincts and acted violently to resolve things. However, this guy was clearly different.
It was able to think carefully about its actions, its thinking was also very cruel and atrocious. It was just thinking of slaughter.
This guy…… it found enjoyment in tormenting others.
Opening its large mouth, this time, it caught my left shoulder.
My voice raised into a scream as it dug into my left shoulder.
At this moment, I pushed something out with my left hand. Furthermore, the strange part was the snake didn’t try and bite my arm off. The snake’s round eyes looked calm and seemed to know what happened.
Naturally, what I pushed out in my left hand was the knife. It was pierced in its upper jaw portion where its scales couldn’t protect it.
“Haa… Haa… Haa… Ku…”
My shoulder was aching… But I had gotten used to pain.
I forcefully inserted strength in my right arm and held down my left shoulder.
“Gi, there’s no way I’m going to lose like this…!”
The only difference that divides us was the amount of strength we both have.
Even I, after coming to this world, had been training in hell. I had confidence in my own strength at least.
…….Aaaaaaaah, it was impossible after all! Having two arms was better than having only a right arm. If this went on, my left arm really will be separated from me for eternity!!
I was starting to lose all sensation from my left arm. I was continuously using healing magic on it but there was nothing I could do about the blood that kept flowing out.
“Nn? …le….ft hand? I see now…!”
The knife that I stabbed inside the snake’s mouth was still punctured there and so I twisted it.
Sure enough, the pain made the snake loosen its grip on my left shoulder.
At that moment, I pried open its mouth and pulled out my left arm.
As my arm was painted with blood and the snake’s saliva, I stepped back. The snake was suffering in agony from the object in its mouth.
It would be a good chance to attack it but unfortunately my knife was still caught inside its mouth. With this, I had lost my weapon.
But there was still hope.
“…I should aim over there right?”
My aim was on a tall portion of the snake.
I couldn’t give any spare time for it to recover.
Thinking that, I tried to run swiftly but—
As I took a step forward, I couldn’t fill my legs with any strength.
“Ku, my vision is…”
My vision shook intensely and on top of that, my limbs were rapidly losing their strength.
I used healing magic immediately before. I couldn’t raise my left arm but it shouldn’t be long till it was completely restored.
If that was the case, I could only think of one other possibility.
Having such a large body and poison was really unfair.
But this was probably my last chance. I couldn’t afford to give in to something like poison.
For the sake of relieving the poison, I mustered up all my magical power and covered my entire body like a coating.
If the poison was damaging my body from the inside, I just had to keep on healing the damages. While feeling pain throughout my whole body, I kicked off the ground with my foot and ran towards the direction of the snake.
While giving a loud scream, the snake noticed my presence and swung its tail at me.
I couldn’t avoid it, but it didn’t matter. If I got hit, I’ll just heal myself back again.
At the instant I was about to take a direct hit, a blue clump forced its way through in front of me.
While catching the tail and raising a pained voice, the Blue Grizzly’s eyes looked at me for a moment.
Did you come to save me?
While I was looking directly at the Blue Grizzly’s eyes, it turned away in silence to face the snake.
The snake’s head was in a position where I couldn’t reach. Since I couldn’t reach it from the ground, I could only climb up from its body.
As I was climbing, the snake violently tried to shake me off but I clung on, I couldn’t let go no matter what.
And then finally reaching its head, I clutched my right hand onto the spear that was still pierced deep in its right eye.
“With this, it’s over!”
Putting power into my right hand, I pushed onto the spear.
In doing so, the snake shook its head even more to throw me off. Once again, I focused more strength into my right hand to pierce it and suddenly its movements stopped. With a thud, it collapsed onto the ground.
Thrown to the ground along with the snake, I glanced over at the snake while lying down.
“Ha, hahaha… I did it…”
The Blue Grizzly cub covered in injuries came towards my side.
I thought it was coming to eat me, but it looked alright as it wasn’t acting hostile.
It sat next to me and looked at my face. Then it gave a loud cry, similar to a bark.
“You are… happy that the enemy was removed right?”
What was going to happen to this cub from now on, would it be able to keep living in this forest?
No, that shouldn’t be a worry at all. It was able to directly face against this snake, if had this much guts, it had the qualifications to become the boss of this forest.
However, my relief was destroyed by the one cry which I definitely didn’t want to hear.
“!….. It’s a lie right?”
The snake slowly got up.
It was pitiful to look at but I was able to see a furious hatred inside its eye as it directed that towards me.
“……. Gu… Gururu…”
“Stop that and run, just escape.”
The cub bit onto my clothes and tried dragging me.
Even though it’d be fine to just cast me aside and run away yourself…!
While feeling worthless at being unable to move my own body, tears came out. Was it going to end like this here…!?
Kazuki, Inukami-senpai, King-sama, Seria-sama, Tong, and in addition… Rose.
That was right, it was all Rose’s fault. You’d forgive me if I voiced out my resentments in my last moments right?
“Dammit, you kichiku—! Middle-aged woman—! Violent woman—! Ogreee—!!”
“When I die, I’ll definitely haunt you as a ghost—!!”
The snake approached us with its large mouth opened.
I was already satisfied, I felt refreshed inside my heart. I had become free, I would continue to curse Rose in hell.
However I didn’t want the cub to be dragged into this.
If it was death, it’d be good if only I died.
“It’s fine, just separate from me already—“
As I was telling the cub to distance itself from me, ‘something’ dropped from the sky and crushed the snake as it was about to bite.
“Good grief. You good-for-nothing… Just obediently die like this…”
Squashing the snake’s head with their foot was a woman with green hair. On their shoulder was a familiar black rabbit.
From this situation, the cub and I were dumbfounded.
However, after a few seconds, I comprehended the situation and my whole body started quivering.
It wasn’t because I was overjoyed from being saved but rather it was fear due to the woman in front of me.
“Yoo, Usato. You did good.”
Without even thinking it, I added a sama to the reigning empress in front of me.
I couldn’t help it.
While I was shivering in fear because of Rose, the black rabbit was gently petted and was smiling.
“No no, if it wasn’t for this little guy, I wouldn’t have come and that would have been bad.”
“An, rabbit? What are you saying? This isn’t a rabbit, it’s my pet Kukuru. It’s a monster and was keeping watch over you.”
It was at that moment when the animal that helped me was replaced as a monster.
Rose kicked the snake with her foot as if she despised it and started talking,
“No, it was just precaution in the event you somehow got out of the forest you see. Although, even I didn’t expect that the monster from the last invasion that Sigris was supposed to kill fled to this forest. Well, I was observing and saw it was able to draw out your utmost abilities.”
“Invasion? The Maou army’s?”
This person, she was watching me as I was chasing after the snake huh….. I already have nothing more to say.
I’ve already become accustomed to this kichiku.
“That’s right, but I didn’t forsee that the Grand Grizzly would be killed. It really ate something good. After all, the Grand Grizzly is the boss of this forest.”
“Ha!? Then from the beginning, you were planning on having a war with the monsters of this forest!?”
What an Oni! No regard for people’s lives!
“No, that’s wrong. There would a successor to inherit it.”
“Normally the boss wouldn’t be killed and you would have to also challenge others and steadily raise your rank before you can fight the Grand Grizzly. I was planning on making you do it on the seventh day but…”
“You were planning that but…?”
“Surprisingly, what you were doing was interesting. Therefore, I let it continue as it was.”
Eeh… My conduct for my own survival was actually what was strangling me?
Rose approached me as I was feeling down. Nothing mattered anymore.
The Blue Grizzly cub broke between Rose and me.
“Nn? This little guy is the Blue Grizzly’s cub? You’ve become close with this little one?”
“Eh, is that so?”
At the very least, I felt I had formed a bond with this cub.
“Even so, you really do resemble me. Oi, you.”
The cub trembled as Rose called out to it.
As expected, even animals would be frightened of a strong person like Rose.
“Carry this successor with you.”
“Ha? What are you saying!? Is it okay to let a monster inside the kingdom!?”
“I will allow it, I will permit you. Besides, I was thinking it was about time for Kukuru to return to my side. As an extra, there shouldn’t be a problem to begin with.”
How unreasonable, it was doubtful that this cub would even follow me… Nn? Why are you lifting my body up, bear cub-san?
“Eh~~ it feels like you are showing interest? Is it fine to go away from the forest your parents gave birth to you?”
Probably being able to perceive the meaning behind my words, the cub gave its response by rocking its body. It felt as though it was doing it as a debt of gratitude.
I unintentionally sighed. There was one more thing that was bothering me and so I raised the question to Rose,
“That rabbit… Why was it injured before?”
“Aah? It was for the sake of dropping your guard, it was an act it sold to you for that purpose.”
The rabbit-san was full of confidence and puffed its chest out with pride.
My heart felt like it was being whittled from seeing the rabbit brimming with confidence. In addition, I also now know the reason it was able to understand my words. Everything was in Rose’s palm all along… I wanted to cry.
Suddenly, Rose lifted the cub along with me while I was still on top of it. I already didn’t want to deal with this anymore, this person was scary. As I was weeping, Rose faced me with a smile but I could also see a vein formed on her forehead—
“Which reminds me, you were saying something about me right? What was it again? Kichiku? Middle-aged woman? Violent woman? Ogre? I’m still 25 years old you know? When we get back, I hope you prepare yourself okay?”
Just now I came to an understanding, my largest threat and enemy was not that snake……
“I-If you round up, wouldn’t that make you 30 years old though?”
“…… I think you won’t be sleeping tonight.”
…It was this scary beyond belief leader.