Perhaps drawn by the scent of blood, another pack came, but it was twice as big and numbered 20 raptors strong. Understandably, I couldn’t accomodate so many so soon.
“『Fear 』” [Ryouma]
“Oh, it worked. That’s good.” [Ryouma]
That’s the spell I used on the examiner from the adventurers guild that made him faint and pee himself. Apparently, it was effective on monsters too, as the pack pursuing me fled all at once. If it works, then I might as well just rely on it to get rid of any monster that finds me.
“Oh, but… They were the sort of monsters to group up together, weren’t they? In that case, I should’ve formed a contract with them.” [Ryouma]
If I’d done that, then I might have been able to make my way on raptor-back. Then again, they’re fast because they’re light for their size and not very strong, so I doubt a raptor could move quickly while carrying me. I also haven’t undergone training to be able to ride an unsaddled mount. The scale of a reptile seems slippier too. The advantage might not actually be able to outweigh the disadvantages.
“Oh, thank you for collecting them. You guys really are convenient.” [Ryouma]
I studied the grave slimes while I was preparing for this trip, and I found out that not only could the Enshrine Remains store the corpses of living creatures, it also had the effect of delaying decomposition.
The goblins are already waiting inside the Dimension Home, so they can work together with the slimes to handle everything from the dressing to the storing. It’s a lot of work for one person to do, so it’s really a load off my back to have their help.
“I’ll be counting on you in the future too, okay?” [Ryouma]
After thanking the grave slimes, I sent them back to the Dimension Home and went along my way. Suddenly, it started pouring as though someone had flipped over a bucket.
“Whoa! It was so abrupt that it completely took me by surprise. The environment might actually be a bigger problem here than the combat.” [Ryouma]
The Trelle Canyon was plenty problematic, but this place was on a different level, what with its tropical heat, humidity, and these squalls that came so abruptly. I’d already erected a barrier to deal with the rain beforehand, so I didn’t get wet, but visibility was poor, and I couldn’t hear well from all the rain either.
In other words, right now there’s no telling when an enemy might approach――
“Yeah, this is quite a bit more dangerous than my initial impression.” [Ryouma]
True enough, the raptors approached once again. It was under the cover of the rain this time, but I nonetheless sent them back as usual with dark magic. I’m not just relying on my five senses but my mana perception and my slimes too, so I was able to deal with them. I bet I’d be on pins and needles now were I still reliant on just my eyes and ears. Good thing Schieber-san and the others taught me a lot when we were at the Town of Departed Spirits.
In that short time where I felt gratitude for the adults, the rain stopped. The ground was all muddy from the rain, so it was hard to walk, and it took a lot of effort just to lift my feet. However, the situation still wasn’t that bad because I’d taken precautions against the rain and erected a barrier beforehand. If not for that, my clothes would be heavy by now, and the wetness of my clothes would take away my warmth too.
The grass around me were also inhabited by poisonous insects and leeches, so the use of insect repellent was recommended, but with how fierce that rain was just now, any insect repellent would have just been washed away if not for my barrier.
Injuries, exhaustion, heatstroke, low body temperature… This truly is a harsh environment befitting its reputation.
“Still… It’s amazing how they were able to change the environment to this extent.” [Ryouma]
These trees, which are large enough to fill your sight without having to face them, resemble the trees in Earth known as giant sequoias. They’re known here as Heat Emitting Trees, however. True to the name, these trees emit heat, oxygen, and carbon dioxide as part of their photosynthesis and growth. They are the culprit behind the creation of this environment.
Just one tree can’t produce that much heat, but when so many are clustered together, this is the result you get. Before long, that humid and sauna-like heat will attack again, transforming into an updraft to produce cumulonimbus clouds, leading to yet another squall. It’s an endless cycle.
Moreover, under certain conditions, these trees can grow beyond their habitat just like an invasive species of sort.
“『Fear 』” [Ryouma]
“They just keep on coming. No wonder the usual recommendation is to come as a small group. This would be tough for a normal person.” [Ryouma]
The monster beasts at the Great Shurus Forest are aggressive, so they will readily attack even if the group is big, so a bigger group is more at risk of being spotted by the monsters and attacked.
Of course, that’s plenty dangerous, but… To the people operating here in the Great Forest, there are two more risks. One is that the monsters of the Great Forest might come out of the forest, and the other is that the forest itself might expand and encroach into the surrounding areas.
It’s harsh, but anyone who dies here only has their lack of skills to blame. And that would be the case if it’s a problem that relates only to the adventurer that willfully entered this dangerous place. However, if an adventurer fails to defeat a monster beast and ends up leading them outside, there’s a chance that other people might get caught up with his mess.
The monster beasts of this forest prefer the weather here, so they normally won’t go outside, but it’s another story if there’s a prey that they’re chasing. What’s more is that these monster beasts have feces that contain the seeds of the Heat Emitting Trees, so if a large number of monster beasts were to leave the Great Forest, there’s a good chance that the forest will expand.
It is with the cooperation of both monster beasts and vegetation that this place has been kept free of human influence this whole time; which is why, the Great Shurus Forest is also known as the Forest of Retribution. The adventurer guild’s requirement of a C-Rank or higher to enter is a reflection of their concern – and by extension, the country’s – that the forest might expand. But that is just as Fernoberia-sama planned.
The fact that there’s no end to the humans that insist on entering might be a testament to humanity’s curiosity or greed… That includes me, of course.
“『Hide 』” [Ryouma]
I wonder if this will work. Using the spell I learned directly from Remilie-san, I concealed my presence and pushed forward without slowing down. My first destination is the base that adventurers independently established for their operations in the forest.
They have several bases, but the number decreases the deeper you go. The distance between each also increases. My final destination, Cormi Village, is actually way past the last base, but as the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first. The first base is supposed to be a few hours away if there are monster beasts in the way, but I say we go there all at once. I’ll take this opportunity to warm up too.
Step by step I traversed the roads into a world full of danger and the unknown. I could tell that much with my body and skills, but what I felt was not fear but anticipation. Not only was I not tense, my steps were incredibly light.
TL Note: The site had an issue recently and had to be fixed. For some reason, the old theme no longer works, so we’ve taken to using this new theme. The previous and next buttons don’t work correctly, and the dark mode is absent for now, but that’ll hopefully be fixed eventually. For now, the site is serviceable.