When I got back to Gimuru from the labyrinth, I spent two weeks resting and preparing. When I finally left, the trip southeast to the Great Forest of Shurus took me 17 days all in all. As of now, it is the 2nd afternoon since I’ve began to move within the Great Forest of Shurus.
The path I’m following is an animal trail. There is also a road here as there are adventurers that go through here, but it’s narrow and isn’t being maintained.
Just as the name, the Great Forest of Shurus, implies, the area here is full of trees covered by vines, making it difficult to see. This is probably the most difficult I’ve had when it comes to spotting enemies. There are just too many trees and thickets, and the shadow they cast makes it difficult to distinguish things.
“I’m still better off than most other adventurers though… Although this certainly is the most difficult trip I’ve made.” [Ryouma]
I’ve passed many adventurers along the way, but because they don’t have the Eternal Darkness insect repellant, they were all greatly affected by the insects and leeches of the Great Forest of Shurus.
The Eternal Darkness insect repellant is something that my grandmother developed when she was confined here. It’s not something that just anyone can get their hands on. It’s thanks to Gayn’s group that I’m able to have such an easy time here in the Great Forest.
For normal adventurers, they have to buy an insect repellant from the market. But those ones can only work on insects and not leeches. Moreover, the repellant can be diluted by sweat, so overtime its effect will wear off. And the adventurer will have to rub it all over his body again.
“And with an environment like this, it’s impossible not to sweat.” [Ryouma]
This sort of environment is comparable to a jungle. There are leeches and the humidity is high, so naturally, being in such an environment, it’s only natural to sweat. And all the adventurers I’ve passed by are proof of that. They were all sweating. On top of that, they had a unique stench from the mixing of their sweat and the medicine they are using.
I hope I don’t meet any more adventurers along the way. As I thought that to myself, I continued along.
For the record, it’s not because they stink that I don’t want to meet them, ok? I mean they do stink, but that’s not something that they can help. The reason I don’t want to meet them is because I don’t like the way they look at me.
The Great Forest of Shurus is a dangerous area littered with magical beasts over the D Rank. And in such a dangerous area, a kid like me is loitering. Naturally, whenever those adventurers see me, they’ll call out to me, warning me to leave before I die. I don’t blame them for thinking of me as a lost or reckless young boy. I mean given the situation, it’s only normal to think so, right?
The Great Forest of Shurus isn’t blocked by any sort of fence, so even low ranked adventurers can enter it. There’s no guarantee that one will keep their life while in the forest, so other adventurers will always scold low-ranked adventurers whenever they spot one. It’s because of that that I raised my Rank to C first before attempting this quest.
But even then, when I stopped by a village last night… Actually, rather than a village, I guess it’s closer to a base camp; Anyway, I was still told by many adventurers to go back.
Of course, in a situation like that, I decided to show them my guild card to prove that I was already a C Rank adventurer. But although it’s true that being a C Rank meant I had some power, it’s also true that there are differences in power amongst those in the C Rank.
Moreover, being in C Rank at such a young age caused many to become jealous. They tried to hide it, sure, but it still showed in the way they talked. There were also those who didn’t show jealousy, but the fact that my being a C Rank at this young age being a cause for many adventurers’ jealousy is undeniable. In fact, I was even jeered at this morning.
The jeers I got where when I passed by some adventurers when I left the village. I don’t know how many times I had to explain to them that I was eligible to enter this forest, but while I was explaining to them, we were attacked by some raptors. I worked together with the six of them to subjugate the raptors, but I ended up killing way more than they did.
Of course, I didn’t do something boorish like call them weak or anything as I do think that they could have dealt with the raptors even without me, but their pride was still visibly hurt. I didn’t want to bother myself with them, but the people that were hurt and the people that were comforting them all felt the same. I felt bad, so I just gave a few words to the people jeering at me and the people that were comforting them, and then left.
Can’t say I’m a fan of situations like those, but it’s impossible to be liked by everyone. Sure it doesn’t feel good, but it’s not something I can’t handle. Besides I don’t think I’ll need to endure much while in the Great Forest, so I just let it slide.
It’s not the first for me anyway. In my previous life I’ve had many situations like these ones. And back then I was able to ignore them. Of course, the situation then was a bit different in that instead of jealousy, I was looked down on, but my response is the same. Only the details are different.
Speaking of which, I’m currently a bit sensitive to negative emotions. As for why it’s because of the influence of the demon king’s fragments.
A person would get stressed whenever hit by negative emotions. And depending on how he receives it, he could resist it, throw it away, or even worry about it. That’s normal. I doubt there are many people who could afford not to feel anything despite being the target of another’s ill will.
But for someone who holds the demon king’s fragments, it’s a bit different in that that person is much more sensitive to the negative emotions of the people around him. It’s that heightened sensitivity that I find so exhausting. More than likely it was purposely made that way to weaken the heart, and speed up the corrosion.
I’ve already heard of this from Gayn’s group back when I met with them, and according to them, they’ve already repressed it enough such that it won’t affect the way I look at people or the way I speak. If it wasn’t for their help, the demon king’s fragment would have already affected my day-to-day life.
“Anyway, there’s not much point in thinking about this. It’s not something I can do anything about after all. More than that…” [Ryouma]
I calmly reached for the katana by my waist. In the next instant, a magical beast leaned out of the thickets on the right, sweeping with the claws on its forelegs.
With a step back, I dodged the claws of the beast. Then as I turned toward my right, I drew my sword. And in a flash, I cut off its neck and subjugated it. But I can still feel the presence of many magical beasts in the area. They’ve been hiding their presence because they wanted to take me by surprise, but after that last magical beast, they gave up on the ambush and stopped hiding their presence. Now they’re coming at me at full force.
“Gurururu…” [Monster 1]
“Gya! Gya!” [Monster 2]
“Gii!” [Monster 3]
The magical beasts that are attacking me right now are known as Raptor. They are a little smaller than horses and are similar to dinosaurs in their appearance. They run with their two hind-legs. And being a little smart, they prefer to hunt with surprise tactics or as groups.
The raptors are magical beasts known for their numbers as well as their many various species. But the kind of raptors that can be seen in the Great Forest of Shurus could be said to be perfect for the area. Their bodies are smaller than the others and the color of their hide is even green, allowing them to blend themselves with the surrounding like a natural camouflage.
But although I am currently being surrounded by 30 raptors, I’m not in any danger. I’ll just lop their heads off according to the order of their attacks.
The herd of raptors surrounded me, and attacked me both from the front and behind. But I only dodged them as I leisurely lopped their heads off.
As their heads flew one after another, their corpses gradually littered the surrounding area, piling up atop one another. When they realized winning wasn’t possible, the herd of dinosaurs scattered in all directions like baby spiders.
“Nine raptors before they finally ran away, huh? I guess their heads really are good.” [Ryouma]
If those were goblins just now, they would have attacked regardless of how many of their comrades died. Compared to that, the raptors were certainly smarter. Anyway, I should retrieve these piled up corpses now. It’s not good to waste the corpses of beasts.
“’Dimension Home’” [Ryouma]
While keeping alert of my surroundings, I used Dimension Home, and brought out the grave slime to have it retrieve the corpses.
After investigating the grave slime’s abilities, I found out that its Enshrine Remains skill is able to retrieve not only the corpses of undead magical beasts but even the corpses of the living. Moreover, it also has the effect of keeping the bodies from rotting.
Of course, it’s not to the point where it can completely prevent the corpses from rotting, but according to my experiments, it can at least keep a corpse that would normally take 1 or 2 days to rot, and extend it until 10 days.
Because of this, I’ll be able to retrieve the hide and meat of magical beasts and animals better.
“Grave slimes are really convenient.” [Ryouma]
I could also feed the corpses to the slimes, but preserving the corpses is best. Especially since retrieving the hide is easiest this way.
Preserving is possible by stripping the skin off the meat, then scraping off the meat and the oil, and then using the tannin from the plants to treat it. But although I know this from the survival skills I received from Kufo – although it’s just the basics of basics – the process is long and will take a lot of effort.
Back in the Forest of Gana, I lived there so I created a workplace so I could work without any hassle. But when I got to Gimuru, I started either giving the corpses to the artisans in the town or fed it to the slimes.
But with the grave slimes, I can now put the corpses on hold for a much longer time, giving me time to hand it over to the artisans at its best condition. The grave slime is an extremely useful slime.
As I walked while thinking that to myself, the animal trail I have been following suddenly grew wider. And from the distance, I could make out a wall of rock.
“So that’s the next base camp… Well it’s just going to be a hassle anyway, so I guess I’ll just hurry on without stopping by.” [Ryouma]
I hurried my pace, and headed for the camp. This part isn’t really pleasant, so I want to get over it as soon as possible. I did also think of going around the wall, but the guards could mistake one for a magical beast, so there’s a tacit agreement between adventurers not to hide when near the base camp.
So in order to minimize my troubles, I decided to just go through the base camp as quick as I could.
Or at least that’s what I was planning when I headed for the base camp, but…
“Even if you are C Rank–––” [Adventurer 1]
“This isn’t a place for brats like you!” [Adventurer 2]
“–––Besides don’t you think it’s reckless for you to go by yourself–––“[Adventurer 3]
See? It’s such a hassle.
And so, when I got to the entrance of the base camp, I was stopped by three adventurers. No matter how much I tried to explain, they scolded me and tried to persuade me. Because of that we started gathering attention, and more and more adventurers came to take a look.
On top of their jealous and unhappy words, their gazes were painful. I wonder if I should just beat up these guys, and go my way…
As I was starting to think toward that direction, a loud voice suddenly resounded.
“Yer in the way! Quit blockin’ the entrance! And quit yer yapping! All of ya!” [Voice]
The owner of the voice was a big and brawny man nearly 2 meters tall.
“Glen-san…” [Adventurer 1]
“Get outta my way, and don’t block me.” [Glen]
“But this kid…” [Adventurer 1]
“Haah? Just leave him alone. Ain’t it common sense for adventurers to take care of ther own lives? Even if he dies it’s all on him. ‘Sides I’m no different from that lil’ brat there, I’m also on my own, ya know?” [Glen]
“But this kid can’t be comp–––“ [Adventurer 2]
“Look, I told you, whether that kid dies or not is on him! ‘Sides if ya actually opened yer eyes then maybe you’d have realized that he didn’t even have a single scratch on him. A brat that could get here without a scratch’s more than qualified.” [Glen]
At Glen’s words, the spectators suddenly seemed to have lost interest as they opened a path. Even the adventurers who kept pestering me kept their mouths shut. Great, it’s a chance! If I go now, I’ll be able to leave. Oh, wait, I have to go thank the guy.
“It was Glen-san, yes? Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
“Haah? Don’t sweat it. Ya just so happened to be in the way is all.” [Glen]
As Glen-san left, I bowed my head again. Then I went through the exit on the other side. When I finally took some distance from the camp, I muttered to myself.
“If everyone was like that guy, it would be great, but… sigh…” [Ryouma]
That man called Glen-san didn’t carry an ounce of malice toward me. There are also people like that. People that aren’t jealous of me.
I’m always thankful for those kind of people and their words. Although we may have only passed by each other or stumbled upon each other in the camp, I still make sure to keep their words in my heart. Although from time to time, there are also people that try to meddle in my business who don’t have any malice. I don’t know if it’s because they’re good or because of their sense of justice, but whatever the reason may be, it’s certainly troublesome.
After that, I continued on my way as I fought the magical beasts that attack me.