“So this is the Great Forest of Shurus.” [Ryouma]
After meeting up with Reinhart-san and the others at the Forest of Gana, I journeyed southeast. It has been ten days since then, and at along last, I’ve arrived at the entrance of the Great Forest. I’d gathered as much information as I could, but seeing the Great Forest for myself was another thing altogether. It was like seeing a whole new world.
I stood there right by the border of the forest. Trees surrounded me from all around, and every one of them was thick enough that I would need 10 of myself with arms stretched out to form a circle around one. I approached a tree and looked at it from up close, and really, it was more like a wall than a tree. It was probably about 40 meters tall.
That was plenty impressive on its own, but what was surprising was that it was actually but a young tree. Going deeper into the forest would reveal trees more ancient and bigger, their height reaching up to a hundred-and-fifty meters, while the diameter of their trunks could reach 40 meters. By then, it was doubtful if I could even see the top of these trees. At the very least, I thought my sense of distance had gone crazy from when I first saw the Great Forest from a distance.
The vines and leaves wound around the trees were unmistakably tropical. There was an abundance of moisture and heat on my skin, and I could feel the air clinging onto me with dampness. But when I looked behind me, what greeted me was a picturesque landscape of grasslands and mountains. There were no colossal trees, no tropical vegetation, and the air was that much less humid too.
Everything was so different just a few meters away – the climate, the flora, the smells, even the sounds of insect chirping. Every conceivable thing I could perceive with the five senses had completely changed. That rapid change in climate accompanied by the dense wall of trees truly made it seem as though there was a whole new world inside the Great Forest.
…Fernoberia-sama had described it as something akin to an experiment, so I guess it’s something like a greenhouse or a miniature garden.
“Anyway, I should be going.” [Ryouma]
I can’t be standing around forever. I stepped into the jungle while being mindful of my surroundings. Other adventurers pass through this area, so there was still a road here.
However, it was basically just a narrow animal trail with large leaves and hanging vines dangling from both sides, so I need to be careful… The trees here are gigantic, so the space between their trunks are much wider than you’d expect. Doesn’t seem like I’ll have any problem swinging weapons here. At least, not when compared to being inside caves, ruins, and buildings.
“! 『Detection 』” [Ryouma]
Not even five minutes after I started to walk, a quiet sound like that of something rustling through the grass reached my ears. I immediately used a wave of mana to scan my surroundings, and I learned that numerous creatures were swiftly moving through the grass in an attempt to surround me. There were 10 of them all in all.
“Well, that was fast.” [Ryouma]
From out of the left thicket leaped out a claw, but I dodged it, and as we passed each other, I struck it down with a single blow. The stench of fresh blood spread throughout the surrounding area, and a shadow somewhat smaller than a horse fell to the ground. It was none other than the monster beast that looked like a carnivorous dinosaur, Raptor.
“Gyah!” [Raptor 2]
“Gyaah!!” [Raptor 3]
I might have cut down one of them, but the next ones came right away.
The raptors were relatively small for a monster beast, but they were clever. The first one killed its own aura in hopes of taking me by surprise, but as soon as it failed, the rest of the pack knew that the jig was up, and they immediately changed their approach to take advantage of their numbers. Powerful jaws and claws came at me one after another. It was a simple approach, but it was problematic how effective it was.
“Gururururu…” [Raptor 4]
“Gyah! Gyah!” [Raptor 5]
“Gii!” [Raptor 6]
It was one man against a pack of hungry dinosaurs. Their green flesh blended well with the surroundings, making it difficult to spot them, but there was no reason to force an attack from my end. I could just calmly deal with the ones attacking. And indeed, attacks came at me from every direction, but I just dodged or parried or lopped off their head as my blade returned along its course.
Before anyone knew it, raptor corpses had begun to pile up. That appeared to have made them realize that they were in danger, and they immediately turned around and scattered away like baby spiders.
“It took five raptors before they retreated.” [Ryouma]
Is that fast or slow? Well, in any case, they seem to retreat after being beaten hard enough, but at this rate, I’ll run out of stamina. Raptors aren’t the only monsters here. I need to be careful… Anyway, I better collect my spoils.
“Dimension Home.” [Ryouma]
While remaining vigilant of my surroundings, I used Dimension Home to summon grave slimes and get them to collect the corpses.
It’s considered good etiquette among adventurers and hunters to bury or burn the unnecessary parts of their prey. After all, leaving corpses unattended would become a source of illness or attract other dangerous creatures.
Though from what I’ve learned beforehand, it appears that that’s not really a thing here in the Great Forest, and you can just leave the corpses you find on their own. The place is crawling with predators already, so there was no attracting them in the first place, and even if you don’t leave corpses behind, the place was bound to be littered with them from all the fighting between monsters. If people had to waste their time dealing with every corpse they found or made, they’d be out of time and stamina before they knew it. It was risky too, but… I just can’t bear to leave my kills behind.