Chapter 45 Part 2: That time when the enemy launched a surprise attack so I launched one myself too
AN: There are depictions of humans being torn to pieces in this chapter so please take caution if you're weak to that.
An hour has passed since the attack. Since there's still a chance for another surprise attack, it was decided to greatly reduce our speed. Everyone was starting to gossip about how we were was almost attacked.
「Yaoul-san, can I have a moment」
I ran to the very front of the caravan because I had something to tell Yaoul-san.
「There's a forest ahead and if I was the enemy, I would launch a surprise attack there. Since I'm not attached to the military, please let me go on ahead」
I don't want us to get attacked once we're already in the forest after all.
「Hmmー. It's true that you aren't a part of the military but you're tasked to guard the Transportation Corps. However, since we already have the guys from the Infantry Corps guarding the front and our backs, I wonder if it's alright. I'm not really sure but thinking about it from a different perspective, would you still be considered an escort if you're far away from us? Well, I guess I can just leave that to Keith-kun. Be careful okay? Run away if it gets dangerous」
After saying that, I picked up my shovel then went back to the carriage to change into my dark green clothes. I covered my self with mucus then rolled over some grass I cut using 【wind cutter】 to make my improvised ghillie suit.
I received some strange looks coming from the Infantry and Transportation Corps but I just ignored them and passed through some bushes as I head into the forest with only my machete in hand.
I don't want to kill but I don't want to be killed even more. That's why hopefully, there aren't any dangers there. It's way better than having to kill somebody.
The path is being maintained but this forest sure is deep. It seems like taking another route would take more time so we need to pass through this forest. I was informed about what dangers to expect and what monsters are lurking there so it seems like they have a map and other documents regarding this forest. It's just there's no way they're showing that to someone like me who was just hired from the guild.
Thinking of this as something like a game's event, I tried searching for places where enemies could possibly appear. I don't really feel like doing it but since this is a job, there's no choice but to do it. While saying that in my mind, I prepared myself.
Entering the forest ahead of everybody else, I crouched down and slowly walked away from the main path while trying not to make a sound. After traveling approximately 1 kilometer away from the entrance of the forest, I found exactly four infantry units.
If the Transportation Corps was surrounded on both sides by them, they won't be able to run away. At least, that's how I would attack if it was me.
I tried listening in for a while but I couldn't hear them so I slowly changed my position. After 15 minutes of moving closer and traveling another 700 meters, I was starting to hear their voices.
『It's about time, right?』
『Not yet, just a bit longer』
『I'll just go piss then』
I'm not sure what they're talking about since they aren't using this continent's common language but I'm sure these guys are the same as the ones earlier. After talking with each other, one of them went off on his own. ……I guess it's going to be that guy then.
I can hear my a heart pounding so I took deep breaths to calm it down as I got closer. It seems like they were still on standby in the forest until the attack so they didn't have armor on.
The human who got separated from the rest of his unit approached a tree then started untying the string of his pants. It seems like this person left his unit in order to urinate. Going off by himself like this, it seems like we're being underestimated.
I already have no choice but to do this. I decided on this myself so there's no way I can back out now. I've decided that I'm going to cut this human's throat using my 『obsidian knife』 but I was unsure which way I should hold it.
I can already hear the splashing sound of urine so I take one more deep breath as I got even closer. I eventually decided to use the overhand grip so I used my left hand to cover his mouth then pierced his throat from the side. I kept my hand on his mouth just in case he struggles after that but his body just convulsed for a bit then slowly dropped to the ground.
My heart started beating even faster but it's not over yet. I need to deal with the enemy while staying hidden. I once again crouched and slowly got closer while counting their numbers.
Fifteen people? With the one I defeated earlier, there would have been a total of sixteen people on this side. If I remember correctly, the group we encountered in the plains earlier had 14 people. It seems like the enemy really wants to make sure that the transportation corps doesn't reach the front lines. At least, that's what my intuition says. They decided that if they were to attack, it would be better to do it from both sides.
I noticed that my throat's getting dry and I'm panting like I just did some light exercises so I shut my mouth in panic. I don't think I'll be able to defeat all of them with my knife so, even though I don't really want to use it, it can't be helped. I'll lift the ban on the shot magic.
『I can create multiple stone bullets and fire it like a machine gun but it would be troublesome if those shots miss their vital spots. I don't need to use gunpowder to fire them so it doesn't make much noise. But since they aren't wearing any kind of armor, these things will hardly make any noise at all. I've tried this out with different kinds of animals before so I'm sure of that so my last choice would be…』
While thinking that, I resolved myself to kill all of them.
『Image ・ 10 bead-sized malachite balls ・ @400mph ・ all shot out within a 3cm diameter』
I aligned the red dot in the middle of my gaze to the humans' torsos then while trying to recall the shotguns in games. Then, I started launching malachite bullets one after the other.
I can hear the sound of the small pebbles piercing through flesh. My first shot took out two people. The second one completely tore through one person's torso. The remaining enemies have already noticed me but it's already too late.
Even when the humans saw their associates suddenly getting blown off, they weren't able to react immediately because they still couldn't understand what was happening. They couldn't even utter a word because of their confusion.
『This is just a super realistic game. This is just a super realistic game. It's just a game that lets you smell the scent of entrails and feel the warm blood spraying on your face』
I muttered to myself in Japanese while forcefully changing the scene in my brain as I mechanically deal with the enemies one by one.
『Hahaha, I don't need to reload with this, do I? Aside from the pump action part, I can just keep on shooting out bullets indefinitely. Is that all of them? Ah, there might be more along this path. Should I just take this path and take them all out from the front? Should I plunder? I might get shot in the back if I do that though. It's the enemy group's camp after all. Ahー, that's a nice duck. This will be of use to the team. Eat this! Emerald Spl*sh!』
While muttering those things, I continued dealing with the aftermath.
I'm not sure what I'm talking about but all of the 15 people stopped moving and turned into tattered carcasses.
Looking behind, vanguard unit of the infantry corps was starting to come into sight. Judging from their speed, I'll have just enough time to finish up before they get here.
I went off the path again and ran while crouching for around 30 meters before I spotted another group of enemy soldiers heading in our direction. Because of that, I started being careful so that my footsteps will not be heard.
I found a blondie. I'll keep my head down for now until he strays off the path a bit more. I wouldn't want to get found out by everyone in the forest after all.
While making sure that my allies will not be hit by stray bullets, I started shooting at the enemy group.
『Fuー. Thirty one kills, zero deaths huh. I'm in good form today, aren't I? ……Haa ……damn it. What the hell am I doing? Hahaa…… Damn itー』
I laughed as I looked at the remains in front of me.
『I don't really feel like it but let's try searching something useful from their drops』
As I was talking to myself, I found a leather pouch from the lower half of someone's body. I picked someone who was at a relatively safe spot and started rummaging through his things.
『Human currency and tobacco huh. Well, that's better than nothing. I've heard that I can convert this somewhere after all. Judging from the color, is this a silver coin? I now have 13 pieces of it……』
Taking the items, I push aside the grass stuck on my back and placed them inside one of my back pockets. After that, I started waving both hands while shouting at my allies.
I shouted as loud as I could to get the guys from the infantry corps to notice me. Then, a sheep beastkin who looks like a commanding officer riding a horse approached me.
「Identify yourself bastard!」
Ah, I was using Japanese just now. Furthermore, my whole body's covered in grass and blood right now so I would obviously look suspicious.
「I'm Caam who was hired from the guild to guard the Transportation Corps. I received permission from Commander Yaoul to enter the forest to locate and deal with the enemies first. Please be careful from here on since there might still be more of them」
「Understood. Wait, these defeated enemies are!?」
「They were hiding by the bushes on both sides of this path」
Saying that, I used my index finger on both hands to point.
「Understood. I'll have my subordinates confirm it」
After saying that, he went back and got the first four soldiers in the line and have them confirm it. A while later, the four of them came back with teary eyes and their mouths dirty.
「I have confirmed that there were more than 10 humans here」
「I agree. I don't think they're any less than 10 humans on this side」
「What's with that report! Say it clearly!」
The four were flustered as they replied.
「It is difficult to do a proper headcount because their injuries are so severe. There are some without a body but there are some with a body but without a head as well. Well, actually, there was only one who died because his head was cut off」
Ahー, was that the guy who was urinating?
「It's the same for my side too」
「Is that really true? Why were their bodies damaged to that extent」
He asked that while looking at me.
「Since I was employed to guard the Transportation Corps, after finding out that there were more than 15 of then, I thought that everyone would be in danger if I didn't hurry and eliminate them so I used magic to clear them out」
「I…… I understand. I'll put that in the report. You can now go back to your post」
I, who was covered in blood and grass, received glares from the members of the Transportation Corps as I passed by them.
「What's wrong Caam? You seem like a different person you know?」
「Yeah, just don't mind me」
「Your voice is also kinda low. Try and settle down a bit okay?」
「I know. Just leave me alone」
After I said that, both of us returned to our posts. Keith keeps on giving me this worried look. Is there something strange about me I wonder?
Once we got out of the forest, we stopped to rest so they started distributing our rations.
It was hard baked bread and dried meat as usual.
「Hey, how long are you going to stay in that?」
「You don't take off your armor while eating in the battlefield so I'm doing just that」
We continued eating silently after that but Keith was looking at me like I was pitiful for some reason. After we finished eating, I was silently gazing at the sky with vacant eyes when Keith started talking to me in a low menacing voice.
「It's fine already so take that off…… Wipe off your body as well since you reek of blood」
「But there might still be some enemies aheaー」
「Just shut up and do it! I can pretty much understand what's wrong so that's why you should listen to someone who's more experienced than you」
I wonder if Keith noticed that this was the first time I killed somebody. While I was talking, he said that while hitting me in my stomach. He then grabbed my collar and got closer to my ear as he said that in such a serious voice you wouldn't think would come from him considering his usual demeanor.
「If you get it then change your clothes」
I went inside the carriage after that. First, I produced a large ball of lukewarm water to wash away all the grass and blood from my body. After that, I wiped my body and dried the canopy of the carriage that got wet then I hanged my wet clothes to dry.
「Don't you have anything that you can use to distract yourself from such thoughts? If you do, then you should use it」
After saying that, he went away to some place.
「Something to distract myself huh……」
For some reason, I feel like smoking the tobacco that I obtained earlier even though I didn't really smoke that much in my previous life. I jammed the minced grass into the pipe then produced a fire in my fingertip using magic in order to light it.
I choked on the smoke when I first tried this in my previous life but that didn't happen this time. I wonder if that's because my Poison Resistance is showing its effects.
Whenever I breathe in the smoke, an indescribable taste fills my mouth. It feels weird. I'm not sure what this feeling is or if it's even good. I know that you don't really inhale the smoke from a cigar or a pipe and you just enjoy its taste but I think that the smell of the burning batter of baked sweets, caramelized sugar, and fresh fruits are better. However, since I already lit this, I can't just put it out. I also can't give it to somebody else since nobody else is around. The beastkin have a keen sense of smell so most of them probably won't like this.
Since it can't be helped, I'll just finish what's left. Wasn't this thing that I'm doing called retrohaling or something?
Ahー, this is terrible. I don't need nicotine, just give me sweets. While blankly staring at the sky and thinking about that, Keith came back and was staring at me at a short distance away.
「Hey, is this your first time smoking?」
「Yeah, this is my first time. I just…picked this up a while ago by chance. But I think that it would be better if this will be the last time. I might get discovered by the enemy just from the smoke and the scent after all. So? How do I deal with this?」
「How would I know! Just cast that aside and don't dwell on it」
After saying that, I threw away the ash left on the pipe then stepped on it to put it out. I placed my spoils of war inside my rucksack then took out a piece of candy to put in my mouth but because of the tobacco, it had a different taste than usual.
「This is bad」
I'm not going to smoke anymore but I think there's a serious possibility that I might get fat because food tastes so good.
Our break eventually ended and our caravan continued onwards. We didn't experience any surprise attacks this time. Once evening came, we started setting up camp. As for our meals, they just gave us a light soup and hard baked bread so I immediately consumed those then.
After that, I started heading to a certain place. I decided to visit the prostitutes. It's easy to figure out where someone with a bag full of money is going at in the middle of the night. Because of that, Keith was seriously making fun of me. I just wanted to be soothed you know?
「I think I'll go too」
Why did you make fun of me when you're going as well!
I lined up at a small tent in the corner of the camp then started looking for a suitable prostitute. Looking at the woman standing in front of that small tent receiving customers, it's easy to understand what this place is.
I walked while being beckoned by women wearing risqué clothing, looking for a girl that I want. I found one. A fox-eared beastkin woman.
「Is it okay?」I asked.
After that, the woman led me inside of the tent. Since I don't know how to move forward from here, I'll just be honest and ask.
「This is my first time so could you please tell me how this works?」
「Let's see…… To begin with, you need to pay first then I'll attend to you until time's up which is indicated by the water in this device running out. Since there are a lot of you in this camp, we aren't allowed to accompany you for the whole night. So? What will it be?」
「5 large copper coins for one round」
「I'm sorry if this is rude but that seems quite cheap, isn't it?」
「There are a lot of men here and we can just decide to finish up quickly if we feel like it as well. There are a lot of guys who leave once they let one out after all. Ah, because it would be troublesome to deal with it afterwards, you have to let it out outside, okay? Also, you can't be violent」
That's quite the frank explanation, isn't it? Also, catching some kind of disease pretty scary.
「I got the gist of it」
After I said that, the woman entered the room first. Once I paid, the woman started taking off her clothes but I stopped her.
「What's this? Do you prefer doing it with clothes on? Well, that's fine by me」
Fufu, she giggled as she started filling the device with water. Then, she rolled up her skirt after that exposing her bushy tail. She was about to take off her underwear next but I also asked her to stop that.
「You have pretty eccentric tastes, don't you?」
After saying that, the woman lied down so I immediately sat beside her and started caressing her tail.
「W-wait a minute, what are you doing!」
「I'm caressing your tail. I'm going to stroke it, hug it, fluff it and puff it」
「Didn't you come here to embrace me?」
「Since I already paid, I can do whatever I want as long I don't become violent」
I think the idea of the customer being able to do anything once they pay is horrible but I'm at my wits' end here. While we were discussing that, I made sure I was tightly fluffing her tail.
「……Well, I guess that's fine」
She deemed it acceptable so let me continue doing it. After caressing her tail for a while, she started talking to me again.
「We beastkin don't let people we don't really like to touch our tails you know?」
「Then why are you letting me touch it?」
「I'm working right now so that doesn't really apply」
「Is that so……? Even I didn't plan on doing something like this you know? However, I experienced something really unpleasant today so I wanted to do something that would cleanse my soul」
*Fluff fluff puff puff*
「What's with that? Is that why you're doing something like this?」
「Then, can't you just do this with men?」
「That wouldn't be cleansing at all」
「Moreover, do you think a man would be happy having another man touch his tail?」
「……I don't think so」
「Right? Even I don't want to cuddle with a man's tail」
While we were having that conversation, I made sure to properly caress her tail.
「If it's an animal, it doesn't matter if it's male or female but when it comes to demonkin, the appearance is extremely important you know?」
「Right, that's certainly true」
As I continued playing with her tail, I started wanting to touch her ears too.
「Can I touch the ears on your head?」
「I see…… I'll just give up on that then」
「However, if you tell me about what happened today, I can let you do it just for a bit」
She's probably just using that to get some information about the rumors that were floating around while we were moving earlier.
「I'm someone who usually only does day labor requests from the guild so I almost never accept any kind of subjugation requests. That's because I'm extremely cowardly, I don't want to be injured and I don't want to be killed. However, that changed because a friend invited me to do a subjugation request. Even killing a live pig or sheep was impossible for me but because of all the rumors of my achievements from that one subjugation request, I caught the attention of a noble leading me to be sent to the front lines. This afternoon, I experienced killing something that isn't a monster nor an animal for the first time. You could say that I just lost my virginity I guess」
「……I see. That's the same illness that new soldiers get, isn't it? What's important is that you don't dwell on it too much」
「Moreover, I killed 31 in one go. I can still recall the sight of warm blood scatted all around and the smell of entrails in the air. I can also remember the way the body of the human who I slashed the throat from behind convulsed as he fell down. It's making an already unappetizing meal even more unappetizing……」
Without noticing it, I start shedding tears.
「I see…… I'll let you touch my ears for a bit」
It seems like I gained her permission.
The fox-eared woman's face became slightly flushed as she trembled. I'm not sure if she's embarrassed or just ticklish but I'm sure she's just enduring it.
After she said that, she brushed away my hand so I went back to touching her tail. A while later, she said.
Because of that, I immediately stopped what I was doing and said.
「Thank you very much for hearing my complaints. It is as if I was splashed with water and my soul has been refreshed even if it's for just a bit」
After saying that, she unrolled the cloth covering the entrance and showed me out.
Once I got back, Keith said.
「That really took a while, didn't it? You look really refreshed. Don't get so into it that you forget about the time alright?」
I actually enjoyed it in a different way than what he was implying but I just didn't say anything to correct him.
I hope that tomorrow's breakfast is a lot better than today's lunch and dinner.
Inside the carriage the day after Caam mofumofu'd.
「You know, the rumored person who defeated the 30 humans who were about to attack us came to our shop yesterday」
「Eh? That weird person who stuck grass all over his body?」
「He didn't have grass in his body but from his complaints, I think that he was actually the one from the rumors」
『What's with that person with grass all over his body?』『I've heard about stories of that grass person defeating 30 humans who were about to attack us you know?』
That was all that the prostitutes were talking about yesterday afternoon.
「So, how was he? Was he good? Was he big?」2
「It ended with him just touching my tail. At first, he was saying things like 『It's alright if you don't take your clothes off』 and 『You don't need to take off your underwear as well』. Because of that, I was starting to think that he was a pervert but he was actually just a really weird person. I feel like he's just someone who deep down is really kind」
「Eh~. What's up with that~?」
「It was his first time killing anybody, moreover he killed 30 in one go. Because of that, it seems like he caught that condition that newly recruited soldiers experience」
「It's impossible to get just by killing 30 people you know? Are you sure that he's just kind?」34
「But if it wasn't for that grass person, don't you think that our carriage would have been attacked as well? Didn't he defeat them even though it was difficult for him? At least that's what I think」
「I guess that's true. I've heard that that person was just conscripted from the guild. I guess that's probably why he would need to force himself to do that」
「Then, let's just say that he's a weird but nice person」
The carriage was filled with laughter after that. Thus, a strange rumor started spreading around.
~Idle Talk 2~
「Caam-kun has gone to the front lines!」
「Is that all that you have to say!? How cold-hearted, Suzuran-chan!」
「I mean, I just can't imagine Caam getting so injured that he'd die」
(He can use recovery magic but it seems like that's supposed to be a secret)
-His parents' reaction-
「I see… I wonder if he'll get to play an active role there」
「Is that all? Aren't you worried about him?」
「「He's our son after all」」
(He can use recovery magic)
-Suzuran's parents' reaction-
「So he's finally going to a battlefield huh! He's finally going to a place where he can go all out」
「I'm sure he will」
「Aren't you worried!?」
(He has recovery magic so he'll be able to manage somehow)
(He has recovery magic so I'm sure he'd be alright)
-3 idiots' reaction-
「Frontlines huh… That's unusual for such a cowardly guy like him. It was an order though so I'm sure that it couldn't be helped」
「Aren't you worried?」
「「「I mean, it's Caam after all」」」
That evening while lying in the futon in Suzuran's room.
「Everyone's reaction to the news was so terrible. Why isn't anybody worried about him?」
Latte decided to go to sleep while grumbling.
ED: As the author mentions in a subnote, Caam just had his first blood(not the middle school girl way, but in a gruesome battlefield way), so he's a bit strange but going to be fine. Do excuse some abnormalities in the text(Caam's thoughts), it's supposed to be a mentally difficult time for our MC. Also the three idiots know about Caam fighting his father and winning without getting injured, so they realized he is very strong. And yes, the last part is from Latte's perspective.