8 – Mountain Descent
Years after I was reborn into this world.
The day had finally come.
“Clothes, check. Food, check. I haven’t forgotten anything.”
After some major house cleaning, which I had not done in a while, I slung the handmade monster bag onto my back, and walked out the door.
Just the creation of this single bag held a lot of memories for me. I had learned tanning from watching and copying the old man as best I could.
I kept my belongings to a minimum. In general, I would catch or gather food along the way.
Also, I took the black dragon scales with me, thinking that I might be able to sell them when I reached a town.
“Let’s go then, Kuro.”
I petted Kuro and we left the house.
After taking a few steps, I stopped and turned around.
Ever since I was reincarnated, I had lived here, up until today.
Me and the old man, and then Kuro. Then the old man disappeared and it was just two again. But I had lived in the house the whole time.
And so I couldn’t help but lower my head and bow to the house.
Then I raised my head and sighed, before running off.
…Today, I was going to descend the mountain for the first time.
◆ ◇ ◆
The lower you went, the weaker the monsters became.
So of course, the journey down was not very difficult.
Though, there was one problem. I did not know which direction I should head in.
I had given it a lot of thought ever since I first made the decision. But I still didn’t know where to go in order to find a human settlement.
So, I would start by going to the small river.
This was based on the rather flimsy assumption that towns tended to be made near rivers. However, if the river ended, then I would have to think of something else.
Well, that was the only thing I could do.
Also, if there was a river, then at least I would not have to worry about drinking water.
I dodged the charge of a monster bull and cut off its head.
These were monsters that lived in the forest at the base of the mountain, and their charges were powerful enough to knock down trees easily. However, compared to the monsters of the mountains, they were not going to put up much of a fight. And they were turned into dinner in no time at all.
“Kuro, we’ll be eating good today!”
Kuro was overjoyed as well.
I thought about how we would have to set up camp a little farther ahead today, as I began to drain the blood by the river and cut the meat into small pieces.
The reason I had to do this here was that the blood would lure in other monsters.
It would be very troublesome to be attacked while we are sleeping. Fighting in the forest at night puts you at a great disadvantage if you were human. It’s not that I couldn’t do it, but there was no reason to invite such a situation.
“Still, when will we get out of this forest?”
I couldn’t help but grumble, and Kuro barked in reply. Or maybe he was just showing his exasperation, as I had repeated it several times now.
It was now a full week since we descended the mountain and entered the forest.
And yet it showed no signs of ending.
Perhaps we had gone in the wrong direction? I started to wonder if this world was just nothing but forest.
(I really should have asked the old man about it…)
No matter how much we walked, it was forest, forest, forest.
This isn’t what traveling was about, was it?
What were towns like in this world?
Did they have Adventurers Guilds? Would there be a pretty receptionist? And a gruff Adventurer would harass me and…
I continued to work on the bull as I fantasized about such things. And then, I suddenly heard a sound coming from far in the distance.
Bang. It sounded like a series of small explosions.
A very familiar sound.
It was a lot like the sounds I had heard in movies and tv in my past life.
Could they really have guns in this world? I had not expected that at all.
And then I immediately had to wonder if I could win if someone suddenly attacked me with a gun.
They were the strongest weapons in my old world. If it was sword against gun, then guns would win. That was common sense.
However, through all of my training, I knew that I had gained strength that would have been unthinkable in my past life. I could survive being hit by wind magic that could crack boulders. Maybe I could survive being hit by a bullet as well.
(…I would like to see it.)
If there were guns, how powerful were they? I wanted to know the danger.
“Kuro, you wait here.”
It might be dangerous. And so I made Kuro stay behind.
And then I made my way between the trees, running towards the gunfire that continued to echo in the distance.