|Author: Kashiwagi Masato||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2393 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1214 words|
「Say, doesn’t something seem a bit off?」
「Nn, strange that there are this many monsters in this forest.」
「It’s a forest where monsters reside, isn’t it? What’s so strange about that?」
Hearing Hermie’s words, I made an inaudible sigh. While it is true that we’ve already confirmed last week that the academy’s forest has an abundant variety of monsters; we didn’t encounter this many monsters last week, and the monsters back then weren’t this aggressive as well.
The ones we’ve encountered earlier are growleus, which are also commonly seen in the Abyssal Forest, but the ones here are a size smaller than those that appear in dungeons. While they are smaller, that doesn’t mean to say that they’re weak, though they didn’t provide much trouble either way. Even so, with 5 encounters within this past hour; it does become significantly exhausting and it’s inevitable we’d get tired of seeing them.
「While commonly misunderstood, monsters outside of dungeons are cowardly creatures. Being attacked by so many is unusual.」
「Adding on to what Urania said, monsters also have their own territories which even their own kind… no, which especially their own kind respect greatly. Because of that, there’s practically zero chance of encountering another monster near the places where you’ve already had an encounter.」
「Isn’t it possible that these are monsters of the same pack?」
「If that was the case, then it’s also strange that they didn’t attack all at once.」
The monsters outside of dungeons are highly territorial. It’s said that this is due to the fact that there isn’t as much mana as there are inside the dungeons. Considering this, there must be a suitable reason why these monsters would leave their own territory and enter the territory of a different monster.
「Urania, do you have any thoughts on the possible cause of this?」
「Two possibilities. A stronger monster took these monsters’ territory, or their territory was altered to the point that it’s no longer livable.」
Whichever it is, I suspect that for whatever reason these monsters are no longer able to stay at the territories they treat as their home. Group C is with Lily and the area they’re roaming at is the farthest from the depths of the forest, so they should be fine, but group B is somewhat worrying.
「Then what should we do?」
「Nm, shouldn’t be a problem for us. Let’s go on and assess the threat level.」
「True, it’ll be a bit uncool if we retreat here as well.」
「That’s exactly right! If there really is something wrong with the forest, then we should solve it ourselves!」
Hermie is being somewhat impulsive, but I’m sure that if something is happening in this forest, it would become a nuisance for Lily. If we resolve this, then Lily should be able to do what she wants to do without any worries. And supporting Lily is my duty as her lover.1
From there, we walked deeper into the depths of the forest. Monsters attack us about once every ten minutes, so it is a bit exhausting, but as I’ve started using my knife in combat as well—since there were too many monsters—we’ve been efficiently defeating the monsters.
「We’ve gotten pretty deep but-……」
「Shh, there’s something there.」
「……You can tell?」
「…… It’s a scent I’ve never encountered before. But…… it’s similar to a Chasseur Dragon’s……」
As we’re exploring the significantly deeper parts of the forest, there was a change of scent. It was a scent I have never encountered in any forest or dungeon ever before. If I had to describe it, it was a scent similar to the Chasseur Dragons that traveled together with us from Gateskeep to the Royal Capital, but this scent is that of a much larger creature.
We silenced our breaths and slowly advanced onward. If we, by any chance, encounter a real dragon, then there’s no chance that we can defeat it as we are. For what reason did something like a dragon ever appear in a place like this? By its nature, there’s no reason for one to be inside a forest.
「…… Look, isn’t there something there?」
「Is that…… an egg?」
As we continued on, we immediately discovered what that reason may be. There was a white object that was left among the thicket, as though to conceal it. I’ve never seen one before, but since it’s the same shape and size as it is in books and from the stories I heard from Motsi’s guildmaster, it’s practically confirmed.
「This… was the reason.」
「Don’t tell me…… A dragon’s egg?」
Normally, a dragon egg would be safeguarded in a special place, in a dragon nest. Dragons aren’t monsters, they’re highly intelligent magic beasts that raise their young in flocks of 7-15. Among them, there should have been a dragon with the role of egg watcher, who is there to make sure that the dragon eggs would not be stolen and eaten by other creatures.
Despite that, there’s a dragon egg here, which is clearly bizarre. I can’t help but feel that this is contrived, and I’m probably not overthinking it.
「This is bad, 」
「…… Too late…」
「What, what do yo-……」
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A dragon ended up finding us together with the dragon egg. There’s no doubt that this dragon is convinced that we’re the egg thief. As dragons are intelligent, there’s a chance that we can work out this misunderstanding; but seeing how enraged and bloodshot the dragon’s eyes are, that’s pretty much out of the question.
「Spread out! I’ll be the decoy! Tebby! The signal!」
I carried the large egg behind my back and clad my feet with the magic “Wind”. With how large the dragon is, it shouldn’t be capable of swiftly moving within this forest. As long as I can lead it away from the others, I can just leave it there and run away. Then we can decide on what to do from then after meeting back with Lily.
As these thoughts ran through my mind, a boy’s voice2 reached my ears. Why? The instant I thought so, my two feet were bound together by something, causing me to fall to the ground with considerable force.
I hear Tebby and Sola’s screams from a far distance. They should be distant enough from here to be able to run away. Right before my eyes, I see the dragon’s enormous jaw. It likely won’t use a breath on me as I’m carrying the egg, but there’s no way that I’ll be left in one piece if I’m ever bitten by those large teeth.
Ahh, I guess this is it for me. I wanted to see Lily one last time but…… As I silently closed my eyes, a familiar scent passed through my nose. Ahh, I’m saved. I just couldn’t help but break out into a smile.
A familiar voice, a familiar scent, and a familiar silhouette. My lover flying down from the sky seemed as if she was an angel to me.