156. Side Story: Adventurers
Pathetically Stupid Blue Catkin’s POV
This couldn’t be happening.
It simply couldn’t be real. It had to be a nightmare.
「T-Tarkas? Rawrs? Tordo? T-The hell are you guys doing?」
My three companions had collapsed right in front of me. They were missing all four of their limbs and bleeding themselves out as they cried in pain and despair.
「You bitch! The hell’d y-you do to them!?」
「You be hella open! Die asshole! Oraahhhh!」
「Shit! The hell!? That’s impossible! Let go damn it!」
That’s fuckin’ just not right! The brat just stopped my club with her bare hands!? How the hell!? There’s just no way! My strength matches the average D rankers, but I can’t budge even the slightest bit no matter how hard I try.
「W-What kind of cowardly trick are you tryin’ to pull!? There’s no way someone as great as me could lose to the likes of a god damned black catkin!」
I couldn’t tell what happened, but both my arms and legs started to burn with a sudden intense pain. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!
It hurt so bad that I couldn’t help but scream.
And then, I realized it. I’d fallen in much the same way as all my companions.
Just how did this happen? We were drinking and making merry just 10 minutes ago…
「Hey, you see that?」
「That, over there.」
「Her? Why the hell’s a brat like that in a place like this?」
Tarkas made a gesture with his chin and pointed in a brat’s direction. She was eating all by ‘erself, and you could tell at a glance that she was at too young an age to even drink booze.
This bar be a place where adventurers gather. Brats like her are supposed to get their asses turned away at the entrance.
「Guhehehe, why don’t we make like adults and give ‘er a bit of a warning?」
「Heh heh heh. Adult my ass, you’re getting all giddy about having the chance to make a brat bawl her eyes out.」
Rawrs’ had a huge smile plastered across his face. Looked like Tordo was spot on. He was probably planning to give the kid a “lesson” and then ask for some “tuition.”
He started walking towards the girl, his steps unsteady with drunkeness.
「Hey brat, this ain’t the type of place you should be hangin’ around」
「He’s right ya know? S’only a place for adventurers, not somewhere brats like you should be hanging around.」
「Oi! Say something goddammit!」
「Respond already ya damned brat.」
「What? So scared that a cat’s got yer tongue?」
「That’s why you shouldn’t be coming to places like this in the first place. Now scram! Won’t hit you too hard if you do.」
「Kehihihi, think of this as a lesson kid. Not all adults are as nice as us, y’know?」
「But it goes without saying that we’ll still be charging you just a bit of tuition. But don’t worry, we’re not all that bad. You can keep your clothes, but that’s it. Hand over everything else you got.」
「Gyahahahahah! Man, we’re so nice.」
「Tsk. She ain’t saying a word is she.」
「Hey Tarkas, ain’t she one of them black catkin?」
Oh man, I was so damned drunk I ain’t even noticed the black tail and ears she’s got. No doubt ’bout it, she be a black catkin.
「Geheheheh, you know what? You’re just a measly black catkin, so forget everything I just said. Give us everything you have, including everything you’re wearing.」
「Yeah, yeah, do what he says bitch. You’s just a lowly black, you’re nothing to us blues. Only reason you exist is so that we can prey on you. Black Catkin? More like wimp catkin.」
Man, we’re lucky. It’s like we happened across a wallet. It goes without saying that the blackies will always be inferior to us blues, and that to us, they’re nothing but prey.
「Annoying. Shut up.」
「Haaahh? What did you just say?」
「Shut up. Close mouth and disappear.」
Did this fucking wimp catkin just talk back to me? A Blue Catkin? The nerves of this bitch. She’s going to fucking pay for this!
「Y-You fucking brat! How dare a black cat like you defy us!?」
「Get on all fours and beg for your fucking life! I’ll only leave you half dead if you do! You ain’t fucking getting away with standing against us, you fucking wimp catkin!」
Kukuku, would you look at that. We intimidated her so badly that she can’t even speak no more. She’s fucking shaking in her boots, serves her right! Stupid bitch shouldn’t’ve ‘pposed us from the start! Bitch! That’s what you get for trying to be more than just a slave or wallet! Still though, I’m not going to be forgiving that bitch, not at all. It’s her own fault for disobeying us blue catkin!
Or so I thought, but we were never even given so much as a chance to draw our weapons.
「Blue trash cats. Live rest of lives in regret.」
And then it happened, just moments after the wimp catkin spoke.
First was Rawrs. Then Tordo, Tarkas, and finally, me.
She grabbed the club I swung with the intent to kill and severed all four of my limbs.
Damn it, what’s that noise? Oh, right, it’s come from my very own mouth.
How the hell did it come to this? All we did was mess with a black catkin brat.
The brat stood in front of me, her eyes filled not with the hatred or bloodlust I’d been expecting, but instead with disgust. She looked at me like she was looking at a filthy roach, or mere trash by the side of the road.
「You said wimp catkin twice.」
The brat swung her blade without even the slightest bit of hesitation.
This damned brat cut off my tail!! Argghhhh!!
Why did this have to happen!?
Rescued White Dogkin Man’s POV
I continued to gaze at the scene before me, unable to utter even the slightest sound.
It simply seemed unreal. I couldn’t believe it to be something based in reality.
I felt that even the act of recognizing it would lead to it distorting my common sense.
But I simply had to. The sounds that assaulted my eardrums and vibrations that resounded through my body informed me that it was all too real.
The young girl’s blade split the last remaining high ogre in half.
「Are… you serious…?」
I unconsciously let out an amazed groan. How was a girl so young completely decimating a whole hoard of D ranked magic beasts in what almost appeared to be a single strike each? I couldn’t help but feel that the phrase “One Hit One Kill” existed for the sole purpose of describing what I’d just bore witness to.
High Ogres were by no means weak. In fact, they were incredibly powerful. They were capable of smashing through a full suit of armour in a single hit. They regenerated ridiculously rapidly, and their skin was so hard that the average blade would find itself simply unable to pierce it.
I knew for a fact that they were strong, especially seeing as how they’d almost killed me just a few minutes back. In fact, I’d already long steeled myself for death, as my sword was unable to inflict them with any wounds whatsoever.
But then she showed up.
When she did, my heart fluttered from despair to hope, and back to despair. I’d realized that the person that came to help me was a mere little girl, a black catkin one at that.
Just think about it, one little girl against a swarm of High Ogres, this dungeon’s most powerful foe. A group of five high ogres was considered a C ranked threat. There was just no way a single girl could win against them. In fact, she was probably going to get totally demolished. I didn’t think she’d even be able to buy me enough time to escape.
But she did.
She killed all 5 High Ogres in just 3 minutes. It took her less time to wipe them out than it would’ve taken me to kill the same number of goblins.
「A black catkin kid…」
I remember hearing a rumour about her as of late.
They said that she was a D ranked adventurer that showed up in Ulmutt rather recently. That in itself was normal, Ulmutt was where all Kranzel’s intermediate-ranked adventurers gathered.
But that was the only normal part about her.
The first abnormal thing about her was that she was extremely young. She was also a member of the weakest beastkin tribe, the black cat tribe, and made it so that everyone that messed with her lost the ability to remain as an adventurer. That wasn’t it either. She was also diving solo as opposed to with a party, and coming out with incredible achievements regardless.
The rumours were totally absurd. I’d assumed that she’d spread them amongst the drunks herself in order to promote her name.
Besides, there was no way for Black Catkin to be anywhere even remotely close to strong in the first place. As a beastkin myself, I thought that to be common sense.
Beastkin were creatures that more or less valued strength over all else. Those that behaved poorly would be forgiven and their actions excused so long as they were strong. In other words, we were the type of creatures that would always lay blame on the weak. Such a trend was deeply rooted in our culture. Black Catkin were thought of as the weakest type of beastkin, and as a result, the ever so douchey Blue Catkin would often sell them into slavery. The fact that they were the lowest in the beastkin hierarchy was exactly that, a fact.
That’s why I simply couldn’t believe that a young, female black catkin could be that much stronger than me. Many other adventurers felt the same. That was why conversations about her were often centered on her tribe rather than her strength or appearance.
「I guess she must be The Black Cat that everyone’s been talking about.」
It looked like the rumours had been based in truth.
The girl that many had started referring to as The Black Cat didn’t bother turning around to face me. It seemed that her saving me had just happened to be a little bit of an extra bonus, and that she’d only been after the High Ogres to begin with.
I myself was also a D ranked adventurer, but seeing her in action had ripped my pride to shreds.
But still, I considered myself lucky. My pride was worth much less to me than my life.
I managed to stay free of injuries and live to see another day. And on top of that, I even managed to learn that The Black Cat’s strength was genuine. I’m glad I learned that here and now rather than at a bar or tavern somewhere. I surely would’ve messed with her had I not known that she was this powerful.
「I better make sure I tell everyone else about this. They’re all just as dumb as I am, so they’ll probably try messing with her if I don’t.」