Mab, Fae, Schwarz
44. Megane-kun, Heading out to Hunt
Fearing that she might be mauled if we leave her alone, we move a short distance away from Florentine who’s sculpting her cute Evil God doll (temp name) before I have Cherry read the book for me. Our rooms are also a bit dim anyway, so it’s better to read outside at this time of the day.
I ask her to focus on the pages that are easy to open and have hand marks all over. I have her repeat the words and such that I don’t understand to make sure I have the contents drilled into my head and I can read the letters to an okay degree.
For the time being, I memorized letters that said 「super delicious」 and 「you have to get these parts」 and 「its heart’s location」. In other words, whether it’s edible or not, parts that will sell for the highest amount, and its weak point as a living creature.
I can tell the weak points for mammal and humanoid types, which are their heads and the center of their body, but I’m not experienced dealing with insect or reptile types, and there’s a lot of things I don’t know about them. They don’t show up often near Albat village, after all.
I have her read it until the sun goes down and the book can’t be read, and that’s all I get for now.
「I think it’s time for dinner. I’ll be right back.」
I leave the village for a while and return right after. I killed a migratory bird called Blue Feather that was resting near the entrance to the mountain and bring it with me. The power of 「Megane」 is really astonishing. It never misses any prey, no matter how small.
Uwah, the cat just plodded right up to me. Or rather, it’s really been here since this morning, huh.
The cat-thing is looking at the bird in my hand with a curious look. This guy’s definitely not a cat. Its eyes are looking a bit downwards when it’s full up straight……which means it’s as tall as I am. This is its height when it’s on all four legs, so if it stood on its hind legs alone, it’d be twice as tall. Cats have long bodies, after all.
「I don’t have any for you.」
When I said that, implying shooing it, the cat gives me a somehow sad look. I don’t think it understands words, but……or rather, while it’s not a cat, I wonder whose pet cat it is? Go and have your meal in your own house.
「Aah, you poor thing. So cruel to an innocent kitten.」
Florentine, who’s watching the whole thing unfold, guilt trips me by hugging the cat’s neck. Wait, did she say kitten? That’s already even more impossible to consider than calling it a cat.
「Any sensible person woulda given you some meat. I feel sorry for you. Aah, do we humans have any decency or goodness in us at all? Truly a terrible age we live in.」
I don’t think the age we live in has anything to do with it.
「You should just give it your share of boar meat, then.」
Hmm. That’s a reply that came from her heart.
「But, I want to give this little one some meat. That’s what it means to be a parent.」
Yeah. You’re no parent. And, I’d say that this cat hardly passes to be called 「little one.」. Or rather, it’s not a cat, fundamentally speaking.
……Florentine’s grumbles and the cat’s gazes are getting tiresome to deal with, so I decided to hunt another in the end.
Or rather, I’m pretty sure this cat is capable of hunting on its own. It’s not a cat, after all.
After I finished dinner, I retreated to my room.
I lit my own resin candle and looked at the field guide under its illumination. While jogging up the information about the Demon Beasts in my head, I’m conjecturing the possible movements of these Demon Beasts based on their shape, and repeat it with mental rehearsal.
It’s never a good thing to do everything at the spur of the moment. It could lead to confusion in making snap judgements. While it’s not possible to actually gain experience, I can still imagine how the hunt may unfold.
The night passed as I deepened my understanding of the information I had been fortunate enough to obtain beforehand.
I woke up while it’s still dark outside.
It’s the second day since we arrived at this village. Our traveller’s exhaustion has naturally subsided as well.
While nobody else is awake……No, one of them is awake, huh. I leave the dorm while two of our group are still asleep, and prepare for this morning. I draw my bow and have some light practice before I get something for breakfast. It’s still early in the dawn. The village hasn’t awakened just yet. The cat isn’t here, either. It wasn’t a cat, though.
——The demon beast that I’m after is active day and night, though it’s basically nocturnal; it sleeps at sunrise and resumes its activity comes midday.
Well, it’s written that it’ll attack their prey even in the daytime if it’s hungry. So, its nocturnality is fundamentally just its habit. Or rather, it seems that it’s much stronger at night due to its physical characteristics. Which is why I’m going to hunt it just as it’s getting tired and going to rest.
When I looked up after sensing a gaze on me, I see the giant cat peeking its face out from the dorm’s roofs. No, it’s not a cat, though. It seems like it spent the night up there.
And down it goes. The thing’s aiming for my mealtime. Must be someone’s pet cat. It should’ve gone back to its owner’s house already. Well, it’s not a cat, though.
Having a meal by myself feels a bit wrong, so I reluctantly throw it some bird meats I hunted yesterday. While it eats, I kill some time by checking through my hunting gears.
……Nevertheless, seeing that I bothered to pick out the bones and put the meat on a leaf before I gave it to the cat, I can’t help but feeling like I’ve gotten soft. Now I’m not much different than Florentine who’s advocating for this cat. ……Oh well.
As the sun begins to peek out in the horizon and the world is illuminated, I stand on my feet.
After it’s finished the bird meat without reserve, the cat, who’s sitting next to me, sees me off as I head down to the mountain——then I stop midtrack and look back.
「You’re not a cat, aren’t you?」
The cat starts licking its paw as if to say 「Whaddaya mean?」……While its gesture is very cat-like, it can’t be a cat.
This hunt is a short and decisive battle.
It must be done while the paralyzing poison is still in effect.
If blood is spilled, more demon beasts will come.
If I make a ruckus, demon beasts will come also.
In some cases, wounded demon beasts may call for help as well.
For these reasons, I plan to finish the game, collect it, and bring it to the village as soon as possible. In addition, the last reason is not written in the field guide, as it is nothing but a guess from me. I am just hypothesizing that perhaps there’s a connection between demon beasts of the same species. Of course, I’m hoping that’s not the case.
There are many candidates that I consider, but there aren’t many demon beasts that I can retrieve safely by myself. I decided to go after this one by a process of elimination.
And, it’s also one that I completely rely on 「Megane」. As soon I entered the mountain, the demon beast is already in sight.
——I knew it, this is amazing.
I can feel the presence of other demon beasts, but I can’t feel this one at all. I didn’t expect that there’s a demon beast that breathes even quieter than an insect and is more concealed than a copper pheasant.
Aka, the Dark Night Hunter.
Sorry I didn’t post it last week. Incidentally, this is also our last chapter in the backlog, so I gotta stock up more.
Someone please remind me to translate more chapters every 12 hours. It’s okay, it won’t die on me.
On a completely different note, I want to have a pet tarantula.