Almost like country music…
The tiger beastmen’s boss plans to fight by himself after all.
The other beastmen are standing in a circle around Hifumi and their boss as if fencing them in.
“You will regret making fun of tiger beastmen. Even if you swing around such thin weapon, it won’t be able to defend against my claws.”
Hifumi doesn’t even feel intimidated by the boss, who laughs smugly baring his fangs, as he lowered his katana loosely.
“As it is a tedious talk, hurry up and come.” (Hifumi)
Calmly removing his look from the boss in front of him, Hifumi also called out to the beastmen surrounding them in the vicinity.
“Isn’t it boring to be just watching? If you have power and a will to fight, feel free to attack me without reservations. I will handle you all at once.” (Hifumi)
Due to his blatant provocation the air in the surrounding was tinged with a feeling of tension right away.
“That’s right, it’s this air. The determination to kill, to kill your opponent. If that’s also encompassed by action and ability, I won’t complain.” (Hifumi)
During the time Hifumi was talking, the boss came sending an attack brandishing the claws of both arms, but Hifumi isn’t as nice to receive an attack he has already seen once.
The hands of the boss, which came clawing at Hifumi’s side of the face, are slapped away upon touch.
Hifumi laughed with a “Kaka” at the boss, who has a look of disbelief as his palms swelled up straight away.
“Even if your bodies are those of a beastman, there’s almost no difference to a human body. I know that because I saw the fellows, who were sliced open yesterday.” (Hifumi)
The ones Hifumi is talking about are the three, who met and attacked him just to have the tables turned on them and then had their corpses being ripped apart by animals.
“No matter what kind of training you receive, in the end your bodies consist of meat and water being covered by skin. Thus it will become swollen, if it is beaten vigorously.” (Hifumi)
“What incomprehensible things are you talking about!? A swelling like this is of no concern and can’t even be called an injury at this level!”
The instant the roaring boss spread both his arms, Hifumi stepped into his bosom and this time hit the solar plexus with his palm using all his strength.
Without being able to suppress what’s rising from within, the boss scatters vomit from his mouth.
“I don’t need this”, Hifumi put his katana back on his waist and grabbed an arm of the tiger’s boss who’s miserably spilling tears. Pressing the claws into the swollen palm, he pulled the arm without stopping and tore it off.
Trying to hold the right hand, where blood spilled in an endless stream, the tiger boss raised a scream.
The tiger beastmen in the surroundings had their breath taken away seeing his appearance.
It was inconceivable for them to see their boss being toyed with this easily.
“Even a human can use his fingernails. Like this.” (Hifumi)
Cutting through the wind with his right hand, the fingertips grazed the boss’ throat. Without being able to raise his voice, the boss, who spurted blood from the nape of the neck, collapsed and died.
Hifumi, looking down on him from nearby, calmly mutters,
“Hmm. Even the location of veins is roughly the same as with humans, huh? With slightly stronger physical strength, it’s at the level of them having animal ears and tails?” (Hifumi)
“Well then”, Hifumi looks at the tiger beastman in his surrounding, who had completely stiffened.
“Look! Because you guys didn’t help, this guy died, no?” (Hifumi)
“H-How dare you!”
The tiger youth, who came rushing while weeping, was split in lower and upper half by the drawn katana* and at the same time the others raised their voices in anger, (T/N: battou … the art of using the drawing inertia to deliver a powerful strike), see Kenshin the Battousai)
“Bastard! We won’t let you return alive!”
“It’s the boss’ enemy! Everyone, kill him!”
Beastmen, leaping at him as they roared, come approaching Hifumi from all directions without any distinction whether they are male or female.
“Oh, did you finally decide to go for it!?” (Hifumi)
While decapitating two heads in one go, Hifumi exclaims delightfully.
Changing the direction of the katana by turning around, he stabs it towards his back cutting open the stomach of a woman in the back.
Slaying yet another in front with the katana using the momentum, he freely moves around between the enemies while cutting at throats and thighs. Meanwhile he watches the influence of blood and confirms in a composed manner that they have a different structure than humans.
At the time all of those, who were at that place, were turned into corpses, he fully finished the inspection regarding the tiger beastman’s body structure.
Wiping his katana with a paper, he sheaths it into its scabbard.
Feeling refreshed, he inhales his breath through the nose and exhales it from the mouth.
“… I want to see the contents of other beastmen as well.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi went to look for the spring, the sheep beastwoman, Reni, told him about.
Hifumi, who left the settlement dotted with plain huts made out of animal skins, leaves and wood, easily discovered the spring, which had a size of around a soccer field.
With water that is as transparent that one could see even into quite the depth, one can observe small fishes and living things similar to shrimps.
As he surveys his vicinity, there were the trees characteristically growing large ivy’s entangled with each other as told by Reni. A large amount of red fruits dangled on the grown branches.
“This, huh?” (Hifumi)
Plucking off a fist-sized fruit, Hifumi bites into it without hesitation.
With a crispy and chewy texture similar to a pear, a sweet fragrance like that of a juicy peach spreads through his nose and mouth. With an ample amount of moisture, the fruit even slides down the throat smoothly.
“Certainly, this is delicious.” (Hifumi)
He ate around two successively and dumped the large seed in their core.
“It was tasty. But, only this much is a little…” (Hifumi)
At the moment he finished to eat the fruits, both sides of Hifumi’s mouth are smeared with the bright red fruit juice. It completely looks as if he has eaten a person.
Hifumi, who looked at the spring, looked at both his hands and entered the spring with a splash while wearing his clothes saying “Well, it can’t be helped.”
At first he received a thrill from the clearly chilly water, but before long his body got used to it and he immersed himself in the coolness of the spring forgetting about the heat of the wastelands.
Leaving the spring before his body gets completely chilled, he takes off his hakama and wrings it out. As he was doing that, two tiger beastmen children came walking from the direction where the settlement is at.
Although he can’t grasp the age of a beastman, a boy, at the age of around elementary school to the upper grades of elementary school, is leading a girl, a head shorter than him, which can be considered his younger sister. The boy stared at Hifumi with his black eyes. The girl lowered her sight having a face filled with fright.
Plainly looking at the figure of Hifumi, the boy showed a surprised expression, but that changed right away into an expression of rage baring his fangs.
“Did you kill our fathers? Human!”
Seeing the face of the boy, who came dashing after separating his hand which was connected with his younger sister, Hifumi slaps the wet hakama at him while staying expressionless.
The boy, who had the side of his face hit with a power on the level of a whip, began to cry as he rolled on the ground in front of the girl, who couldn’t raise her voice due to her fright.
Hifumi, who has put on the hakama and quietly ignored them, arranged the fold of his hakama with his fingers while being impressed by the climate of the wastelands, which began to dry it right away.
“So, who are you guys?” (Hifumi)
The young boy, who finally got up, showed a mix of fear and anger in his expression.
Without an answer from the tiger boy, Hifumi sighed.
“Well, I don’t give a damn who you are anyway.” (Hifumi)
Bringing his face close in one go, Hifumi looked directly into the eyes of the boy.
“If you still hate me once you grow up a bit more, come at me any time.” (Hifumi)
Pointing in the direction where the corpses of the tiger beastmen are, Hifumi laughs broadly.
“You better make sure to be able to fight properly. If you are weaker than me at that time, you will suffer that kind of future.” (Hifumi)
The young boy, who burst into tears being overwhelmed by bitterness, was hugged by the girl.
Hifumi, who irresponsibly told him “Do your best”, neglected them, plucked off absolutely every fruit and tossed them into his darkness storage.
Passing a fruit each to the boy and girl with a throw, he quickly left.
The boy, wiping his tears, bites into the fruit after staring at it. Although the fruit should be delicious, he muttered “It’s not tasty at all” due to the steadily falling tears.
The girl looks at the fruit and bites into it while weeping likewise next to him.
We have no one to rely on anymore. I have to become strong, the boy, who threw away the seed, returns to the village. It won’t do to not bury the deceased adults in the ground.
After that, Hifumi, who annihilated a few settlements formed by wolf and lion beastmen, got thoroughly tired of fighting against beastman opponents.
And at the same time he got lost.
With the woods disappearing in front of him surprisingly, the wastelands literally continue as far as the eye can see.
“Won’t I dry up before reaching the Knight Country or such, if it’s like this?” (Hifumi)
He feels that even the horse’s steps are somewhat heavy.
Although Hifumi pondered for a while, he decided to return temporarily after gathering his thoughts. He thought that he would at least need a guide to lead him until a city becomes visible.
Since it isn’t a game, he doesn’t want to waste his time until he stumbles upon one by wandering around aimlessly either.
Changing his direction, he heads the way, where the forests were, and even the horse’s pacing took a turn towards the better.
As he is heading towards the woods, which faintly came in sight, Hifumi’s sense feels a presence after a long time.
“Yo, yo, it’s been a while.”
“You, eh?” (Hifumi)
What appeared in front of Hifumi is the figure of the shinigami, which is no more than a floating head.
“Why is it only your head?” (Hifumi)
“Oops. How impolite of me.”
The shinigami, who showed an exaggerated surprise although only on his face, revealed his full body from within a thick fog.
“At the time I appeared in front of Prime Minister-san, it has only been hair as ‘my power won’t recover since Hifumi-san isn’t using darkness magic’, you know.”
“In reality, if it is a world where killing people is this common, I will become happy in reverse.” Hifumi doesn’t even look at the shinigami, who sticks out his tongue, and advances on his horse.
“So, what business do you have with me that you even purposely come to such place?” (Hifumi)
“Something like distance has no influence on me. Though my power isn’t at the level to span over the whole world, as expected. Was it ancient magic? It was something great allowing gods and people to leap in one go.”
The shinigami, who keeps up with Hifumi staying at his side while floating in mid-air, displayed a large nod.
“I don’t particularly care about your interests. Rather than that, how’s the development in the capital?” (Hifumi)
“Good grief, what rude person to use a god as errand boy. Prime Minister-san became aware of the aforementioned magic. He hasn’t reported it to the lovely queen, but he will likely decide to use the magic in a not so far future.”
The shinigami says that in absolute satisfaction.
“At any rate, I didn’t believe I would risk getting killed once again meeting you again.”
“Besides, that the time will come that I have to earnestly apologize to a human opponent”, the shinigami showed a bitter smile.
Actually, the shinigami, intending to poke fun at Hifumi, who had become alone at some point, turned up on one occasion. At that time Hifumi slashed at him by suddenly drawing the katana and attacking in the same stroke. The shinigami had to completely surrender as its arm was sent flying.
The current shinigami is moving around as Hifumi’s underling.
“However, thanks to Hifumi-san causing a war and killing a lot, I became very lively as well. For the time being, I will report to you while en route. I will cooperate with you to my utmost ability for things to reach the climax you desire.”
“Therefore, please kill a lot more, okay?” Leaving those words, the shinigami vanished.
Without replying, Hifumi proceeds on his horse while quietly showing a thin smile.
“So, you are telling us to show you the way?” (Helen)
“Gimme a break!” Helen threw those words at Hifumi.
Reni, next to her, is all shook up.
“You might not know, however the beastmen, who were close to human countries, are all gone. There’s a rumour going around that they have been caught and went through a bitter experience.” (Helen)
“For weak types of beastmen it is impossible and dangerous to get close to humans”, Helen clearly refused him.
“B-But, Hifumi-san is troubled…” (Reni)
The excited Helen’s attack turns upon Reni.
“You, just because you received a little amount of sweets, you are trusting a human far too easily! Certainly, those were sweet and delicious, but… this and that are different!” (Helen)
It looks like even Helen was pleased with Caim’s handmade baked sweet.
“Will there be a proper reward?” (Reni)
“A human will probably use money or such to express their gratitude, right? Even if we received such thing…” (Helen)
What Hifumi took out under the nose of Helen, who was in the middle of talking, was that fruit, he had excessively harvested in the vicinity of the spring.
“This is the fruit I told you about!” (Reni)
Due to Reni getting excited and going “Amazing, amazing”, Helen folded her arms and snorted.
“Hu-Humph! Us risking our lives for a human just because one such fruit is…” (Helen)
Taking out one after the other, he piles up red, ripe fruits in front of Helen and Reni. They emitted a sweet aroma.
Reni gets excited. “Although there should have been plenty of tiger beastmen”, she is eagerly interested.
“So? What will you do?” (Hifumi)
Even Helen surrendered to the words of receiving more once they finish Hifumi’s job.
“Can you wait a bit? If I go slight far away together with Reni, we have to go tell that to our mothers.” (Helen)
Although the two carried fruits away, it didn’t take much time until they came back empty-handed.
“Since I told them that we will go harvesting slightly far away, it will be alright for a while. Apart from that, you will properly protect us, if other beastmen appear, right?” (Helen)
“It will be fine, Helen. Hifumi-san is strong after all.” (Reni)
For some reason, Helen, who saw the state of Reni having full trust in Hifumi, drooped her ears in worry.
Thus, Hifumi, who gained the two as guides, headed towards the Knight Country once again.