It’s been three days since we left Gimuru.
I spent most of time taking care of our food and learning how to handle horses from Miya-san and Mizelia-san.
When we left Gimuru, monsters like goblins attacked us many times, but Raypin-san immediately dealt with them with his magic. Even when there were a lot of them, they couldn’t reach us given that we had a carriage’s worth of first-rate adventurers.
There was little opportunity for me to fight, and with nothing to do, I had too much time on my hands. So having heard that being able to drive carriages would prove useful, I asked around and they happily taught me.
Because of that, for the first time in my life, both in this life and my previous life, I’m learning how to drive a carriage.
“You’ve got most of the basics down. All that’s left now is for you to familiarize yourself with it.” [Mizelia]
Nice. Mizelia-san, who was watching me from beside me, gave me her seal of approval.
“Thank you very much, Mizelia-san.” [Ryouma]
But I still can’t say that I’ve fully learned it just yet. If I don’t keep practicing after this job is over, I’ll forget it again for sure. Should I buy a carriage when I get back? …But I feel like I won’t have much opportunity to use it, so it feels like a waste. I’ll also be needing a horse. Hmm… I better think it through first.
4 hours after that, the forest finally came to view.
Another 20 minutes later, we could see the gate of a town.
There will be a lot of pedestrian traffic from here on, so I switched seats with Mizelia-san.
I leisurely watched the gate and the townscape, and as it turn out, this town is a lot smaller than Gimuru. But it was still fairly lively. All the buildings in town were built with wood and we often passed by carriages loaded with lumber. I wonder if this town is thriving with forestry.
…While I was thinking to myself, we arrived at our inn. We had 3 men and 4 women in our party, so we separated ourselves into two groups and checked in. After that we gathered intel on recent treant sightings at the guild and prepared for tomorrow.
The next day.
“Are you ready, de gozaru?” [Asagi]
At Asagi-san’s voice, we all nodded and stepped into the forest.
At the lead were Miya-san and Mizelia-san. Next were Syria-san and Wereanna-san. Then me and Raypin-san. And then at the rearmost was Asagi-san.
The forest was dimly lit and thick. If it were just that it would be no different from the Forest of Gana, but something felt different. Somehow, the air felt stagnant, making the place feel stuffy.
“Mu… There’s one already. Miya, there’s a tree a little thicker than the others 10 meters ahead, de aru.” [Raypin]
“Is that the one, nyaa?” [Miya]
“Yes, de aru.” [Raypin]
Miya-san pointed to a tree and asked. The tree she pointed at was a needle-leaved tree that had a trunk with a diameter of 30 to 40 centimetersand a height of about 4 meters. It really looked no different from the surrounding trees. It was a little bigger than the other trees just as Raypin-san said, and I feel like the branches are longer too, but unless you really pay attention to it, it’s not something you’d notice.
After Raypin-san confirmed the target and the others confirmed that there were no other treants nearby, Mizelia-san and Miya-san took out their axes and approached the tree. The enemy today is a treant, so the women have equipped themselves with a nata hatchet and a small axe.
When they approached the tree, its branches suddenly bent and whipped at them from above.
But they easily dodged them. It sure is surprising how those branches, which look so hard, are able to move about so easily. They even tried to wrap themselves around Mizelia-san after she dodged.
But Mizelia-san just cut them down with her axe. When the branches of the treant drooped a little, its trunk tilted slowly.
“It’s okay now, nyaa!” [Miya]
“It’s dead.” [Mizelia]
As we approached the two girls waving at us, I noticed that Miya-san’s axe was stuck to the treant.
I was standing at a shadow earlier, so I couldn’t see very well, but it seems she’d struck the face-like lump of the treant with her axe. Its forehead had been cleanly cut in two.
“If you dodge the branches and hit it like this, you can kill it, nyaa.” [Miya]
“It’s fairly easy to defeat when alone, so next time, why don’t you give it a try yourself, Ryouma-kun?” [Mizelia]
“Thank you very much. …?” [Ryouma]
While I said that, I noticed that Raypin-san, who was beside the two girls giving me advice, was making a difficult face.
“Raypin-san, what’s the matter?” [Ryouma]
“We found one too quickly, de aru. Treants are monsters that favor the darkness of the deeper areas of the forest. It’s rare to find one near the entrance of the forest like this, de aru.” [Raypin]
Now that he mentions it, there weren’t any reports of treants near the entrance of the forest from the information of the guild.
“There might be a lot of treants deep inside.” [Mizelia]
“It could also just be a stray treant, but we better be careful, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
At that, we all became alert. As we cut off the branches of the subjugated treant, we stored them in Raypin-san’s dimension home and we started walking again.
After walking for a while, we found another treant.
“Here’s one, de aru. Ryouma, give it a try, de aru.” [Raypin]
I stepped forward and drew my big iron slime katana. By the way, the sheathe is the big metal slime. Thanks to the harden skill, the big iron slime katana is plenty durable and sharp. They’ve already gotten used to transforming, themselves, so in the rare instance where the katana is broken, they can just remake it instantly.
…Using my mana perception, I once again confirmed the target treant. I clad my body and katana in ki and held my katana in the eight directions stance. This treant is thinner than the previous treant. When I entered its attack range, its branches came whipping at me from above.
As I dodged it, I got around to the right side, where I was able to see its lump that was its weakness. Immediately, I swung down my katanas and scraped off the face of the treant from the side.
The moment I cut out its face, the treant let out a groan, but it didn’t harm me in any way. The cut off lump fell and hit the root of the treants, then it rolled to the ground.
It seems I was able to kill it with one stroke. As mana quickly left the treant, its branches drooped and its trunk tilted just like the previous one did awhile ago.
“Doesn’t seem like there’s any problem, de aru.” [Raypin]
“We need a lot more, so let’s keep this up.” [Syria]
The dangerous part about treants is their ability to mimic other trees and attack by surprise. Which goes to say that as long as you can spot them before entering their attacking range, their threat level quickly plummets. For the mean time, it seems we won’t be having any problems with dealing with them in one-on-one scenarios. I don’t know how we’ll fare when fighting a forest of them, but we’re about to find out very soon.
After that we continued to hunt treants inside the forest until it was afternoon. Around the time when I had gotten the hang of fighting them, we found a forest of treants, so we killed them all and retrieved their lumber.
When we counted our kills, we found out that we’ve already managed to hunt 147 treants. Originally, this part of the forest was supposed to be open and be a place for people to rest at, but because there were so many treants, it looked like the forest was merely continuing. This wasn’t in the report yesterday either.
“We still have time, so there’s no need to rush securing the treant lumber. Right now I’m more concerned about the discrepancy between the report and the actual number of treants here, de gozaru. We should report this to the guild as soon as possible…” [Asagi]
There’s certainly a huge discrepancy. If you include everything we’ve hunted until now, we’ve alerady gathered nearly 200 treants. Our minimum quota was about 300 treants, but now that we’ve gathered more than half of that so quickly, we decided to go back to town for the time being.