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 CHAPTER 1: PARTURITION

...Where?

When I opened my eyes it was darkness that greeted me first, followed by a stabbing pain in my gut.

It was hunger, I realized. A hunger so great it's pull was like that of lust.

"Gigi."

I'm hungry, I tried to say. But what came out instead was a cramped, blurred shriek.

I closed my eyes to run from that hunger, but it wouldn't leave.

I kept my eyes closed. I didn't want to open my eyes. It was too much effort.

"Gagururu!"

But then I heard... something. Some kind of noise... from somewhere nearby.

"Gi?"

That noise gradually drew nearer until it stopped before me. Then I felt something hit me. Something soft and tender with a disgusting smell... Meat. It was meat!

Delirious from the hunger, I didn't ask what kind of meat it was. Greedily, I put the meat into my mouth and sunk my teeth into it.

Delicious!

Hahahaha! It's delicious!

I don't know what kind of meat this is, but it's delicious! More than anything I've ever tasted!

"Gigi---gigigi!"

Before I knew it, I'd eaten everything.

---More! I want more!

It's not enough! I want more! More! More! More!

The craving within me, unsatisfied, grew fiercer within as it lusted for more.

Then all of the sudden, something grabbed at me. It took me from the back of my neck, and lifted me up.

"Gi?"

If I could look up now, then I would know that it was some creature's giant hand holding me up.

Not long after, I felt the wind caress me, and light filled my sight like fire, scorching my eyes in its brightness.

I had to close my eyes, it was simply too bright.

If I let them get used to it first, I should be able to open them though.

And then-

"Gigi?"

When I could finally open my eyes, what greeted me was a great, thick forest, followed by the realization that my field of vision was shaking.

I wonder how long it's been, since I last carried something like this. 20 years? No, even as a baby, I would've carried things in a more... normal way. I mean humans from the start are... As I wondered who it was that was treating me so roughly, I turned my head. But what I saw shook me to the core. What had been dangling me around like a club was something that I could not have thought to be anything but a joke. A creature with a wide, green frame.

"Gi?"

No... No matter how you look at this. This...

This isn't human.

In other words... it's that.

Maybe it's because of my lack of vocabulary, but I can't think of a word more fitting than...

Goblin. Yes, a goblin.

That hideous face. That bulky, wide, frame with green skin.

Yes. A goblin. It must be a goblin.

As I was muttering that to myself, that goblin turned and looked at me with a face I could only describe as repugnant.

I'm going to die, I thought with a gulp.

That green, bulky monster was so horrifying, its gaze, alone, could make ma brace for death.

However, to my relief, it only glanced at me, before walking again.

It continued to walk until eventually, we left that thick forest. After which, it threw me to the shore of a beautiful lake, a rare sight nowadays.

"Food. Catch. No good, then die."

After the goblin told me that, it turned its back on me and walked away. Seeing that green monster turn, I noticed that it had a lethal weapon that looked somewhat like a one-handed club on its back.

Food?

Is it talking about the meat from a while ago? But exactly what kind of meat was that?

In any case, I'm not in any mood to go against a monster. So for the meantime, I better refresh myself with some water from the lake.

By the way, this is safe to drink... right?

As I quenched my thirst, I noticed that I was able to distract myself from the hunger.

Now, what should I do? Should I try to run? But my biggest problem is that I have no idea what's going on. As I was thinking that, I calmly glanced at the surface of the water.

Then I saw it.

"Gi?"

Ah?

Why is it here?

That hideous, green monster was reflected on the surface of the water.

"Gigi?"

Ah?

I can see it. That same, ugly, green skin.

"Gigi?"

Aah?

Staring at the reflection, I turned my hand. Like a mirror, the reflected image imitated me, and it cheekily turned its hand. "Impossible," I thought. Unwilling to accept, I touched my face several times. In response, the reflection on the water moved exactly the same. I struck my hand into the water, shook it several times, causing ripples to crash into the reflection, finally dissipating it.

"Gigi? Gu?"

Me? A monster?

Still refusing to believe, I looked down on my hand.

That same, hideous, green color. Could anyone truly call this human? If so, then a dog's or a pig's hand should also be considered human.

I touched my face with that hand, and looked at my reflection on the water.

"Gigi."

---Monster.

No. I pinched my face. I tugged on it, twisted it, contorted it, anything... Just to prove that that monster was not me. But alas, nothing could.

"Gugugugu."

---Kukukuku

"Gya-gaggugugu!"

---Ahahahaha.

I could only laugh.

What kind of joke is this? Is there anyone who can explain?

Why?

I should have gone through life without any problems.

I should even be getting a job soon.

Yet... why?

A monster? How? Is this a dream?

As I continued to laugh that parched laugh, what erupted next within me was anger.

Why?

An anger that no one should have to answer to.

I turned my eyes away from the surface of the water and I struck at the ground.

The feeling of the earth. The sensation of the grass. And even the juice of that biting louse I'd just crushed. All of them were telling me, screaming at me, the truth of this shitty reality.

"Gigurua!!"

I wanted to scream. But what came out of my throat was nothing but a bitter sound that could not even be called a word.

Something like this could only be called the cry of a beast, or perhaps, the wails of a newborn.

But as reason screamed, so did instinct.

I'm hungry.

Why? I just ate, didn't I? Yet what is this... craving?

I submerged my face in the water, vigorously gulping as much of it as I could.

My throat beat as I drank until my belly was ful. Then I separated myself from the lake, and laid on the ground.

The bright light of the sun is irritating.

Fuck. I feel like idiot.

I am going to sleep.

I took cover beneath a tree's shade. It wasn't much, but it was at least able to lessen that vexing sunlight.

There, I closed my eyes. And with the hunger quelled by the water, I gradually fell asleep.

△▼△

It was already dark when I opened my eyes.

"Gi."

Shit.

I cursed when I opened my eyes.

Of course, the voice that came out was more than an incomprehensible groan.

I tried raising my hand. Of course, it was that ugly green hand. I'm sure no one would call it pretty with all those bumps on it.

"Gi---?"

---Hey?

Leaving the shade of the tree, I looked up the night sky, and it was as if lightning had struck me.

Up in the sky was the bright full moon.

Yet it hung there brighter and bigger than I last remember, and with another one just like it beside.

I've read about this once - from a light novel I once had... i

A different world.

In that story, people were transported from their world to another world, where they were granted special powers. Those people became heroes and they subjugated the demon king. Yes, it was one of those cliché happy endings.

I don't remember the story much, but...

Could it be?

But even so... why would you take my humanity away!? Is this one of god's pranks?

Ridiculous.

Absolutely ridiculous. It doesn't matter. None of it does. In the end, I'm still just an ugly monster.

I'm hungry.

In my pondering, a cry of instinct echoed, and that insatiable hunger once again lashed out from within.

Unconsciously, that hunger numbed my mind. So much so, that my eyes began to swim around as they looked for food.

...I should drink some water first.

After I drank my fill, I stood up.

This should be enough for now.

I don't know what's going on or whether I can go back or not, but I'll think about that later.

What matters now is meat. I need meat!

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat.

I want to eat!

Now that I think about it, I can see pretty well in the dark.

I guess this is one of the advantages of being a monster.

My eyes begin to swim around, searching for a prey.

The instant a moving shadow entered my field of vision, I sprinted for it.

"Guruaa!"

Moving in the bushes, it was a rabbit.

It tried to run away as soon as it noticed me. But, surprisingly, I was able to leap with great strength, allowing me to drive the rabbit into a corner. Then, without the slightest semblance of hesitation, I strangled it to death.

Opening my mouth wide, I brought that lifeless corpse's head into my jaw, and I sunk my fangs into its neck. As the blood dripped down its fur from where I'd sunk my fangs. I licked that line of blood lustfully and savored every part of the beast. Ah, delicious.

I crunched the cranium. The spinal fluids burst forth. And delightfully, I slurped it, sending gushes of pleasure surging throughout my body.

Like that I stave off my hunger.

Then I remembered something.

Wasn't there a story about a man who became a tiger?

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