Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 2 – Glimpse
Nothing feels longer than the time you’re awake. Nothing feels shorter than the time you are asleep. There was a boy sleeping with his body wrapped up in a blanket and only his head exposed.
――It was Hiro.
“Cerberus. Don’t you think he sleeps very soundly?”
“I feel sorry for him, but I have to wake him up.”
Though his eyelids are heavy, Hiro’s consciousness is drawn out of the darkness as he hears such an exchange. But he still wants to surrender to this warmth and happiness. So he covered his head with the blanket.
At that moment――.
Hiro’s eyes popped out of his head with a shock that spread from his stomach to his entire body.
“That…is not the reaction I was expecting.”
His belly was in intense pain―but his body couldn’t move, even though he wanted to dissipate the pain. Hiro could only twitch his mouth like a fish being swept ashore.
Laughter comes down like a shaking bell.
“Hi-Hiro… Why are you making a face like that? Do you want to make me laugh in the morning?”
Hiro looked up with teary eyes and saw Liz holding her stomach in front of him.
“T-that’s my line… what are you doing?”
She stepped over Hiro’s stomach. The place where he could feel the throbbing pain. The source of the pain is definitely her. When he asked her why she did such a violent thing――.
“B-because I wanted to wake you up!”
“No, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a more gentle way to wake me―.”
Hiro couldn’t finish his sentence. That was because there was a demon standing at the entrance of the tent.
“…You little brat. What are you doing…”
It was a muscular, bear-like body, Tris.
“T-this is different from what you’re thinking!”
Depending on how one looks at it, it looks suspicious, but it’s not really such a sexual story. Liz looked at Hiro with a blank face.
“What’s the difference?”
“This is getting too complicated, can you not talk for a second?”
This was a matter of life and death for Hiro. Tris approached with thumping and bear-like footsteps.
“I didn’t know you were a beast with such a face… Princess, please step away from him. I must cut this bastard to pieces.”
The blade that slid out of Tris’s waist glowed dimly, and Liz, not being able to read the atmosphere, tilted her head.
“I don’t understand, but… are we ready to leave?”
“…Yes, we’re ready, but…”
“Then we’ll leave as soon as we finish our breakfast.”
The weight disappears from over Hiro.
“Hiro. We’re having bread and soup for breakfast, can you eat it?”
“Oh, yeah… I’m fine, but.”
“Then, let’s eat quickly, and we can move on to the small country of Baum! Tris, don’t just stand there, go get some breakfast!”
“B-but, guh――kid, I’ll let it pass for the Princess’ sake for now…”
With his momentum completely killed, Tris dropped his shoulders and walked out of the tent. After patting his chest in relief, Hiro grabbed the breakfast that Liz had brought him. While chewing a bit of hard bread, he took a sip of the soup, which had chicken in it and was well salted.
Cerberus was sitting in front of him looking hungry, and when he shifted his gaze, Liz was changing her clothes.
“Hmm? So you’re changing―buhoooh!”
The breakfast that was spat out was splashed on Cerberus’ face as much as possible. There is no time to apologize. Hiro immediately raised his voice to Liz in protest.
“Wha-, cough, what, cough cough, what are you doing?”
“What do you mean, I’m changing my clothes of course?”
“Why did you change your clothes?”
“I mean, I haven’t bathed yet, so I thought I would at least change my underwear, you know?”
“No, I guess you’re right, but I’m here, you know.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
Liz looked at Hiro curiously. As for the matter of last night, does she not know what a man is like? Doesn’t she have a sense of shame before that… Hiro felt the urge to question the person who raised this girl.
“You know… men are――.”
“Can we talk about it when I get dressed?”
Liz put her hand on her jacket, and Hiro rushed to stop her.
“W-wait, wait! Just wait for me to talk!
“Geez, why is that?”
“I’ll turn around, and you can change while I turn around, okay?”
“No problem… but why?”
“It’s okay; I don’t mean anything. I’m going to turn around! Okay?”
“I don’t know what it is, but it’s okay.”
As Hiro turned his back, only the sound of the rubbing skin and her underwear dominated the inside of the tent. Every second felt so long, and Hiro waited in silence for the torturous time to pass.
He was drenched in sweat. He felt exhausted as if he’d been running for a long time. Without knowing about the person in front of her, Liz is starting to get her hands on her breakfast with an unconcerned face.
“…Anyway, I have to eat too.”
When he looked down… he saw only an empty plate. Where did the contents of the plate disappear to――?
“Looks like Cerberus ate it.”
Liz responds to it. He searched for the thief, and he found it at the entrance to the tent―Cerberus was out, wagging his tail.
“…It seems so. He was wagging his tail happily.”
As Hiro sighed deeply, a silver spoon was held out in front of him.
Did I look so pitiful? Hiro wondered.
“No, but, as expected, this is…”
And when he tried to reject it, gulp―his stomach raised a white flag.
After an embarrassing breakfast, the white sunshine greeted him as he walked out of the tent. Hiro spread out his arms and took in the fresh air into his body. Then he looked around and noticed that the soldiers’ barracks had been cleaned out.
The only thing left is the tent that Hiro and Liz had been in until now―and seeing that Liz has started to clear the tent, the soldiers come running over. Among them was Tris. Hiro also joined in with them, and once the last tent was cleared away―the destination after this was the small country of Baum. After descending the mountain, they would head south along the mountain.
According to Liz, Margrave Grinda’s territory would take sixteen days on foot. Although he was prepared for this, he didn’t think it would be such a long journey. However, he didn’t regret it. His body was a little sore, but he just had to be patient.
As they start to descend steadily, halfway down the Himmel mountain, they encounter a new monster. It was neither an Ogle nor an Ogre, but something much bigger than that.
It must be three times the size of Hiro. It has a pale face with no signs of life, and its muscular body is covered with rusty armor. Looking at the upper half of its body alone, it could be considered human―but its lower half was undulating like a snake. The bloodshot eyes of the monster that was looking at them are narrowed like a snake.
Next, a roar―an unusual dominance was released, and Hiro couldn’t help but retreat in pressure.
“It’s a Gigas. It’s said that it was originally a spirit, but it was banished to this world due to its rebellion against the Spirit King.”
“So, is it as strong as it looks?”
“Even if it’s corrupted, it’s still a former spirit, so it’s strong. Compared to the Ogre, it’s more intelligent and――!?”
As Liz was explaining, the Gigas approached her with astonishing speed. In front of the astonished Hiro, a huge tail is swung down to where Liz was. With a loud bang, the ground was shattered, and dust rose up with the debris.
It was so sudden that Hiro couldn’t understand the situation, and he felt his throat tighten.
“Hiro, stay here!”
Along with the words, Liz came flying out of the dust with the Flame Emperor in her hand. It was a relief to see her safe and sound, but then she rushed towards Gigas with that momentum.
“Light infantry, follow the Princess! Archers! Cover the Princess! Heavily armed infantry, build up the formation in the meantime!”
The lightly armed infantry slashed at Gigas under Tris’s command. Meanwhile, the heavy infantry formed two lines of shield walls, while behind them, the archers pulled strings and set their target on the Gigas.
“I will distract it! In the meantime, prepare your spears!”
Liz instructed the light infantry and waved the Flame Emperor at Gigas. A mass of flame appeared and spread out in front of the Gigas’ eyes, and the monster was frightened, albeit for a moment.
“Now! Throw it!”
Spears were thrown from the light infantry toward the Gigas. Then Tris’s voice echoed out.
The arrows that cut through the air spread out like a parabola in the sky. In an instant, a scream came from the Gigas, which became like a needle in the ground. Its tail shattered the ground and rampaged around.
“Huh? Fall back!”
Simultaneously, as Liz, who sensed the danger, shouted, Gigas’s tail was swung down to the light infantry unit.
A few light-armed infantry who failed to escape disappeared into the dust.
“I’ll buy some time, so fall back!”
Liz slashes at it with the Flame Emperor―but the Gigas quickly turns its body around and avoids it. The Gigas begins to counterattack. It swung its huge arms, wrapping the wind around it, and slammed its fists down repeatedly towards Liz.
Liz saw through it, and continued to dodge in front of it, and raised the Flame Emperor. And then, the Gigas’s arm flew through the air while splattering blood, and the flames swallowed the arm.
As if to drown out the pain, the Gigas went out of control. The light infantry that surrounded it were caught up in it and blown away. The lightly armed infantry was rolled down the slope with tremendous force, possibly swallowed by the muddy stream.
Seeing the scene, Hiro’s face, which imagined the future of being devastated, was colored with despair.
And then―his feet took a step forward.
The action of stepping forward unconsciously and pain in his eyes rushed out at the same time.
(What is this…)
Hiro groaned, holding both of his eyes.
Information is sent to him that makes him feel like he’s going crazy. And his heart is beating loudly. Something unfathomable speaks to him, telling him to slaughter the enemy in front of him and that he is capable of doing it. An incomprehensible fighting spirit rises from the depths of his heart.
“Kid, don’t just stand in a place like that! The Gigas will get you!”
The heavy infantry led by Tris had finally made it in time and began to build a formation in the front line.
“Hurry! You are the ones we’re counting on right now!”
Under Tris’s direction, the heavily armed infantry thrust their shields into the ground to create an improvised steel wall.
“Princess! Over here!”
Liz responded to Tris’s voice and took shelter inside the steel wall.
“Put some pressure on your gut! Dig your feet into the ground! You can’t call yourself a heavy infantryman if you get blown up! Archers, cover the light infantry!”
The lightly armed infantry troops who were retreating were covered up by the arrows from the archers. After surviving the rain of arrows, the Gigas gave a terrifying chase, but only ended up slamming its tail against the steel wall.
“Take the injured to the rear at once!”
The injured soldier was taken to the rear in Liz’s direction. The shield walls of the heavily armed infantry were shaking wildly under the Gigas’ onslaught.
“We can’t hold out any longer!”
The heavily armed infantry shouted. The iron shield is beginning to deform due to the Gigas’ forceful attack. It would only be a matter of time before the shield wall crumbled.
“Princess! We have to do something about that attack first!”
Tris shouted in an impatient voice. Liz nodded and glanced at the Gigas through the gap in the shield.
“I’ll get its attention, and you can use the opportunity to slash its tail off!”
“Don’t be ridiculous! It would be wise to attack with heavy infantry first to create an opening!”
“But that would only cause more damage. It’d be better if I were the one who will distract it!”
“We can’t let anything happen to you, Princess. It would be the last――!?”
Tris couldn’t finish his sentence. Liz also has a surprised expression on her face. Out of their gaze―the shield wall on the corner had collapsed.
The Gigas didn’t miss the opportunity and swung its powerful arm into the gap and blew the heavy infantry away. Confident of its victory―the Gigas let out a furious cry and then grabbed one soldier who fell to the ground.
“Tris! Cover me, please!”
And before she got her answer, Liz was already running on the ground.
“Princess! Please wait!”
Tris’s voice should have sounded like a slap on her back, but Liz didn’t even turn around. She was only staring at one point, at the Gigas’s arm.
“Give me my subordinate back!”
Liz leaped with the Flame Emperor at the ready, but the blade never reached it. This was because the tail of the Gigas flew from the edge of her vision.
By the time she realized it, it was too late. Liz’s body, which was hit by the Gigas’ tail, was blown away with ease.
Unable to defend herself, her body slammed into the ground with great force, and she rolled over several times. Finally, it stopped―Liz immediately tried to get up, but collapsed on her knees.
She clenched her teeth in frustration as if her body wasn’t listening to her.
Liz stabbed the Flame Emperor into the ground and stood up to use it as a walking stick.
Pain rushed to her head, and as Liz held it in her hands, blood flowed down from the gaps in her beautiful red hair. Perhaps her head was bumped when her body slammed into the ground.
However, the sight of blood did not diminish her strong will in the slightest. In fact, her crimson eyes were blazing with fire.
“I have to go quickly!”
If anyone could defeat the Gigas, it would be Liz with her Flame Emperor. She looked at the Gigas, but suddenly, her vision was blocked.
It was the back of a boy. He has a kind face, but a strong core inside him. The unfamiliar mountain paths must have been difficult for him. He must have been afraid of the monsters that attacked them. And yet, the boy’s large back was in front of her as if he had never shown any weakness.