Chapter 2: Gekokujou
I quenched my hunger by going after the small preys.
It was through this that I was able to pass the night.
The number of preys I had devoured total to four. 2 of which are rabbits, one is a frog, and another one is a lizard.
Having a meal like this, if I were still human, then I would have undoubtedly already thrown up. There's no question to it. With this meal, and last night's rest, there's no more doubt left within me.
I am a monster.
Seeing this hideous form of mine has already become somewhat normal. At the very least, I no longer quiver when I see myself.
Besides, it's not all that bad. I noticed it when I had first hunted. This body is considerably more formidable than that of humans.
Eyes that see in the dark, nails that can tear apart its preys, and fangs strong enough to crunch with. Such power could not even be compared to a human's puny strength.
Furthermore, there is no longer anything to fear when it comes to unclean water. This body's resistance is exceptional, unclean water won't graze it.
Humanity had shed many things through the course of evolution. And those things that humanity has lost, this body still possesses.
If I so desired, I could live the rest of my days like this, and I wouldn't have the slightest bit of trouble. Because this body is actually more convenient than my human body.
Of course, I'd like to be excused from having to be reduced to living here as a monster.
Slumping down beneath the shade of a tree, I began to think.
Now, what should I do?
I definitely don't want to become a monster.
I had once read something about a situation like this before. It was a story about a man who became a tiger. In that story, the man grew insane, and he became not only a tiger in body, but also in mind.
I don't wish to end up like that.
Chances are, I am in a different world. And most likely, I am no longer human. Then in that case, I must find a way to go back.
Now, what should I do?
I pondered my course of action to myself as I toyed with the rabbit I'd caught just before daybreak.
Thinking back on it, didn't that goblin talk?
"Get feeds", he said.
He said, he certainly did. If so, then he is capable of speech.
Since mutual understanding is possible, then wouldn't that imply that there are other goblins as well?
I may not know how to return, but if there's a community, then there should be a way for me to get information.
With that, I set my mind. I take the rabbit and begin to walk towards that den.
But as soon as I did, I felt a chill run up my spine, causing me to stop in my tracks. As I felt that sensation run up me, I immediately jumped into a bush.
The fear circulated throughout my whole body, causing my feet to quiver uncontrollably.
Curious and alert, I strain my ears. There, a painful whizzing sound entered my ears. At the same time, I spotted a giant spider around the size of two grown men, walking like a king.
My heart was calm like ice, but my limbs quivered with no signs of stopping.
Logic questioned the monster's identity, but my instinct roused some sort of primordial fear towards the beast.
My body couldn't help but shake to the power balance between the predator and the prey. The one eating and the one being eaten.
Six completely red, inhuman eyes, swam around as it looked for its prey. While six limbs, each comparable to a human's height, carried it.
The moment I thought that it had suddenly stopped moving, that monster spider abrutply jumped into a bush opposite the bush I was hiding in.
The creature hiding within the opposite bush was startled, and panic-stricken. That creature had the hideous head of a pig, and at the same time, it had two legs to walk on. In other words, an Orc.
Panicked, the orc tried to run away, but the monster spider chased after it. The orc tried to jump out of the bushes, but the monster spider skillfully moved its long limbs with a speed far too fast for the eyes see, driving it into a corner.
Driven into a corner, the orc was pushed down from behind with two of the spider's legs. Then, the monster spider brought its chilling jaws towards the orc's head. With a 'chomp', it bit into the head of the orc, crushing its cranium and releasing a plethora of spinal fluid, brain matter, and blood, into its mouth. As the pieces of that hideous pig head swam within that carnivorous aperture, the monster spider voraciously devoured every single bit of it as it took its time, enjoying mealtime.
Seeing the battle of the two monsters at the top of the food chain unfold right before my eyes. This monstrous body of mine, could not help but shake.
However, I gathered every sense of reason I had within my body, mustering whatever courage I could to leave without a sound. After I'd taken some distance, I immediately sprinted as fast as I could and I headed towards the den.
I, who have and should have lived amongst humans all my life, had just been awoken to the absurdity of nature, the law of the jungle.
Incomprehensible sounds escaped my mouth, as I screamed while I ran.
But upon reaching the den, I could not help but feel hesitant to enter that dark and narrow hole. However, I could spare no time dallying for that giant spider may come at any moment. Having no time left, I raised my voice, and called out towards the den. A short while passed, and the goblin from before came out.
The same, hideous face, accompanied by a gaze that couldn't be described as anything else but hate. However, there was one thing that startled me, the difference in our heights.
Though I had only passed a night outside, it would appear that I had already sprouted a fair bit.
I handed the rabbit to the goblin, and it glanced at it, without saying a word. Then it disappeared into the den. I didn't know whether I should chase after it or not, but after a while, it came back out. With a stern look, it roared at me.
"Come! Enemy, coming!"
The goblin strongly pulled on my arm, and brought me into the den.
I leaked a cry to that overbearing strength. Apparently, it never had any intentions of holding back in the first place.
The goblin then threw me into a room, and it quickly went over to pick up a club.
As I looked around me, I noticed something. The room may appear to be a little shoddy, but it is actually an armory.
In any case, it wants me to pick one, right?
As I felt fear towards the goblin, I searched the armory for a weapon. Unfortunately, they were all of poor quality.
It's not like I was expecting these monsters to have a Japanese Katana or a spear, but even then, I was hoping for something that at least resembled a weapon.
With that in mind, I labored to find something more fitting of fantasy, like something that resembles a long sword. Unfortunately, however, all I could find were a reasonably long club, a pointed picket, and a fork that's used for farming.
Well, better than nothing I suppose.
With that I convinced myself, and I took the club.
Said the goblin as we quickly left the room.
While I was half in thought, I followed after it.
The guy urged me to go faster, while I had to go reduce its unrestrained club. I had thought that it only wanted me to pick a weapon, but then it drove me to the surface, and then it even made me run. Finally, after being thoughtlessly hurried, we arrived at our supposed destination, a village that looks to be abandoned.
I couldn't really tell though, as to whether it was really an abandoned village or not, as I could spot some squirming shadows.
What are those?
It turns out that what had gathered there, was a large number of green goblins. And at the center of that was a boss-like existence that had red skin.
The goblin that came with me, took my arm by the hand, and brought me over to where that red boss was. As the goblin brought me, I couldn't help but open my eyes wide at that thing that couldn't be thought to have any trace of majesty.
The red goblin was of respectable stature, it big arms, a sharp glint in the eye, and more than anything, a hideous countenance. It was outfitted with a rusted armor, and a sword with a chip in the blade. Looking at it, I couldn't help but want to doubt that we were of the same race.
"King, come. This, pipsqueak."
Hearing those fragmented words, I had a fairly good guess at what these two's relationship was.
The red one is their king, and these goblins are his servants. And so, this guy is making me have an audience with the king as someone who is even lower than him.
Then abruptly, the king looked at me.
"You, last. Slow bastard, give punishment."
In other words, he wishes to punish me because I'm last?
Don't fuck with me... who do you think you are?
As I thought that, the goblin beside the red bastard already had me pinned down.
"Me, gentle. Will not kill you."
Looking up, my eyes intersected with the red goblin's eyes.
When I saw that monster's eyes, I thought to myself that I would never forget that sight.
Those eyes were muddied with a sense of superiority and contempt. The kind of condescending look that a parent, a teacher, or a shitty sibling would give you.
Then I felt my back get hit.
Feeling that pain, I couldn't help but let out a cry.
That red goblin was hitting me with a club, while showing signs of pleasure.
It felt like it enjoyed it, persecuting me, and hitting me several times. After a moment, it stopped, and then it stepped on my head and said this.
"Me, King. Do not... disobey."
I'll kill you.
I don't know where this is, but I'll definitely kill you!
In this nightmarish world, for the first time, I was able to take back a nostalgic emotion.
It was a world of difference from that desire to eat, that was leading me just a while ago.
I don't mind even if you say it's human.
Perhaps you could say that such an emotion shouldn't have been born in a world like this that is upheld by the law of the jungle. In such a world where the strong is always strong, and the weak is always weak.
As hate filled me, enough to the point where it could trickle, I replied.
I won't defy.
As blue blood bled from my body, I swore, I'm going to kill this fucker.
As I swore a curse while the goblin boss was stepping over me, I heard a voice that was close to a scream from somewhere distant.
All of the sudden, I was kicked aside, and the red boss' raised its voice.
While I was thrown away to the ground like trash, I absentmindedly stared at that scene.
Beside the red goblin were many goblins, and at the end of its sight were three orcs.
Those orcs mowed down several dozens of goblins as it drew near the red goblin.
But despite the overwhelming number of the goblins, the orcs that were 2 times their size, easily swept them with its club.
They aren't a match.
That was my honest impression. With that big of a difference in body, there's no way they could win an upfront fight.
With a swing, their heads were crushed, and their spinal fluids burst. The goblins attacked the orc one after another. But their bulky blades were stopped by the orc's fat, and were unable to deliver a fatal wound.
During all of this, the red goblin only stared at the goblins without going out to help.
That red boss only looked on at those orcs as they were surround by a wall of green goblins. As it looked on, it even made the goblins beside it join the fight.
But such a thing was meaningless. Something like that could not possibly hope to stop the ever pushing orcs. And using their bodies, the orcs were able to break through the wall of goblins.
One goblin falling was all that was needed. As long as one fell, the wall, too, would follow. But it's not like the orcs were without wounds. In fact, the orcs had wounds all over their body, so much so, that they were angered. You could see their eyes flicker with anger, with no trace of any reason left.
They must have been desperate to get out of that encirclement.
And then one of those orcs drew towards the red goblin, and it crashed with it.
Although it was the clashing of two monsters, it ended quickly.
All that was left was the expected result.
That orc ignored the deep cut from its shoulder, sent the red goblin flying, and they disappeared into the forest.
As for the red goblin, I think it's lost its consciousness.
It's not even twitching.
As I thought that, I noticed a sword from the edge of my eyes. The sword that was dropped, the sword with a chipped blade.
In that instant, I heard my heart's beat as it began to race..
I mustered whatever strength I could, ignoring the grumbling of the monster as I sit up.
Well, well. This is quite the fortuitous turn of events, isn't it?
Despite being lightheaded, I grab that thing that caught my attention.
The long sword with a chipped blade.
Then I drew near that motionless red goblin.
It shouldn't have died after just that.
I thrust the long sword into the red goblin's neck with all of my strength.
When the sword's tip had deeply pierced its throat, I swung the sword horizontally.
And as the red goblin's death throe echoed, it breathed its last, and then it ceased.
I killed it.
What is this?
I'm actually a lot more rattled than I'd expected.
As I thought that, I felt something burst from inside me, causing me to fall to my knees.
As I felt something strange from within me, I couldn't help but hold my head. Something was happening. Something inexplicable, a horrifying sensation of some sort, eating me from inside.
There, I heard a sword fall with a thud from a distance.
Only a second had passed, yet it felt like an hour of pain. As that pain receded, I looked around.
Looking around, I found to my surprise that the goblins were all looking at me.
Am I... am I in trouble?
Unfortunately though, I cannot muster even the slightest strength. Not even the strength to run away.
As I feared for the worst, a goblin stepped forward.
What did this goblin say just now? King?
Doubtingly, I stared back at those clumsy words, then I looked at my arms.
Red, hideous, and hard like steel.
How should I describe the emotions I felt at this time?
It wasn't the simple happiness of becoming strong. Nor was it repugnance from being tainted with ugliness. Rather, I was intoxicated.
To what I wonder.
But regardless, I am definitely intoxicated.