I Encountered A Creature I Had Never Seen Before
“…Sorry, Leo. I wasn’t able to spend much time with you up until now.”
When I thought back on everything up until now, it wasn’t not being able to relax that I most regretted. It was that I hadn’t been able to give Leo enough attention.
After rescuing her, I put her in a room and fed her. But I only took her for a walk once every week.
So many times she had to wait until midnight for my return…
If we escaped this forest and returned home, I would quit my current job and search for something that would give me more free time.
As I had worked so hard, I didn’t have any time to spend my money, so I should have a decent amount saved up.
I would be able to live off of that, and spend plenty of time with Leo.
As I thought of such things and petted Leo’s silver fur, she suddenly raised her head and licked my cheek once.
“…Are you saying that I shouldn’t worry about it?”
It was because of you that I never felt that lonely.
Still feeling a little emotional, I relaxed and petted Leo, who rested her head on my lap again.
After some time had passed, I felt that it would be unwise if we didn’t get a move on. And then Leo suddenly stood up as if bouncing.
“What is it, Leo?”
Instead of answering me, Leo turned away from the river and began to howl in the direction that we had come from.
“What is it? Is there something in the forest?”
But she didn’t react when I talked to her. She just kept howling towards the tree.
Thinking that there must be something there, I turned to face it as well, but the trees were in the way and I couldn’t see anything.
However, I started to hear something from the forest that wasn’t Leo or the river.
The sounds of something stepping on grass and moving through bushes.
The sound of something coming towards us.
Just as Leo howled and bared her fangs, the thing that was making the noise stepped out from the trees.
What it was…was a creature that I had never seen before.
It was about as tall as a human and walked on two legs.
It held a spear in its hands, and it pointed it in our direction.
The creature was stout, with a round belly as well.
You almost thought it was human, until you saw its face.
It was the face of a pig.
“Huh? A pig? But it’s walking on two legs…and the spear? What?”
The sight of it just confused me.
I had awoken in an unfamiliar forest, and then when I started resting by a river, a pig human appeared.
I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.
…Uhh… But I did feel as if I had seen something like it before… Uh, but where…
…Ah! In a game! They were pig-like monsters known as orcs!
I didn’t know much about games, but I had played a few.
Just the famous ones.
“Uh, huh? So it’s an orc? Really!?”
While I didn’t know what forest this was, we were in Japan, right?
But I had never heard of such a creature being discovered in Japan…
There was a corner of my mind that thought of the light novels that a coworker had been reading recently, but I ignored it.
It was just too unrealistic.
As I looked at the creature in confusion, Leo, who had been growling up until now, suddenly jumped at the orc.
The claws on Leo’s front paws slashed through the orc, and then her fangs sunk into its throat.
Leo was so fast but I had somehow managed to follow her movements. But it was too fast for me to react.
…Leo sure was strong…
The creature that was likely an orc, let out a scream before falling to the ground. It stayed there, motionless.
Leo’s tail wagged and then she looked at me with a proud expression before dragging her prey by its arm towards me.
“Uh, you want me to eat it? This?”
Leo nodded at my words.
…Uh. I did not like the idea of eating something humanoid that walked on two legs.
Though, it did have the face of a pig, so maybe it was pork…
Leo looked at me with expectant eyes.
And I was hungry after all the walking in the forest.
“…If we could at least cook it.”
“Wou? Woou! Wuff!”
Leo looked like she was thinking. And then she started to pick up fallen branches and bring them to me.
“You think we should make a fire?”
That being said, I had never made a fire without any tools before.
But I didn’t want to eat raw meat… And that orc looked very filthy…
I had no choice then. I would have to try it.
While we were near a river, this was still a forest.
And there was no signs of recent rain, so dried fallen branches were easy to find.
And so Leo and I worked together to get as many branches we could get to make a fire.
“Now, the problem is whether or not I can light it…”
From what I had seen on tv, you were supposed to rotate a branch on a wooden board…I think?
As I tried to think of a way to start a fire, Leo moved her face close to the pile of branches.
She barked once, and a small flame shot out from her mouth, and the branches caught on fire.
“…Leo? What did you do?”
Leo looked a little smug.
Ever since I had woken up, everything that happened seemed to be so removed from reality. I didn’t even know where to start.
There were so many questions swimming in my head, but I ignored them for now.
The first thing to do was to eat.
“Leo. Could you cut it up with your claws or fangs?”
Leo used the claws on her front paws to lightly slash the orc into thin strips.
“…I’ll accept things as they are.”
Perhaps this was enlightenment…
That Leo had become bigger and was slicing up an orc. All these questions. I threw them into the endlessness of space.
“Thanks, Leo. I guess I’ll cook it then.”
I lightly washed some of the thin branches in the river, and then skewered the meat with them.
As they were dripping with blood, I washed them in the river as well before piercing them into the ground around the fire.
I wanted to cook them like in a barbecue, but had to be careful so that the branches didn’t burn.
Though, I had no idea if the meat would actually taste good…
I made several more of the meat skewers and placed them around the fire.
Leo looked quite happy as she watched the meat sizzle and cook.
It will be ready soon. Just wait a little longer!
A few minutes later, I thought that it must be cooked through, and so I moved the meat away from the fire.
It looked just like ordinary cooked pork to me.
I gave the first one to Leo, and then grabbed a different one and started to eat it.
…The moment that it entered my mouth, I thought of the creature that had been standing there only a moment ago, and hesitated. However, my appetite won, and I ate it.
It must have tasted good to her, as Leo tore into it greedily.
…It really did taste like normal pork.
In fact, I would even say that it was good enough to be expensive pork.
So in spite of appearances, it really did taste like a pig…
However, I wish we had salt and pepper or other condiments…