Hunting With Fluffrir
Editor(s): Sebas Tian, Joker, Speedphoenix
If I had the ability to make only a single comment about flight, then it would be that the sensations experienced during it felt nothing short of amazing. Taking to the sky made me feel as if I had become one with the wind, like I had been liberated from my limits and granted the ability to swim through the great sea of clouds above. And while I knew that it was more likely than not a result of my mind playing tricks on me, I even felt as if the sun had started shining upon me with an even greater degree of radiance, as if it had accepted me and chosen to share with me more of its warmth. It was almost as if its rays had me in a gentle embrace.
Both wyverns and massive birds had become a part of the natural scenery around me. And strangely, I related to them. They were just like me, creatures that could soar the skies and experience its glory. I felt an affinity for them. They were my kind, my people.
Alas, my sentiments were unreciprocated. All sorts of aerial monsters attacked me regardless of the fact that I had become one of their brethren.
“Hmmm….” I frowned as I wiped the blood of a freshly killed wyvern off my face. “I’m getting pretty good at this whole flying thing, but I’m still nowhere near good enough.”
Aerial movement no longer felt as foreign to me as it had when I first started out—I was finally used to it. But there was still a long way for me to go. Seeing Lefi fly had imprinted in my mind the reason she prided herself as the Supreme Overlord of the Sky, and why I was still nothing more than another fledgling.
Her arrogance was well deserved. I very vividly recalled the way Lefi looked when she first descended upon me in her dragon form. The act of landing had been a display of might, one that was only emphasized by the overwhelming aura radiating off of her body. There was nothing I could do but endure as she subjected me to her majesty. Likewise, her human form was also impossible to ignore, albeit for a different reason. Lefi’s entire flight sequence, as a humanoid, was a thing of beauty. The way the light sparkled as it reflected off her wings and the way in which she gracefully navigated through the sky was so breathtaking that it almost gave me the impression that the sky had been constructed solely to function as a stage to express her magnificence, that the world was a production and she was its star. So otherworldly and stunning was her descent that I could have sworn I was gazing upon an angel.
“Oh, there he is!” My thoughts wandered from the dragon girl as I spotted the wolf I had been looking for throughout my airborne expedition. “Hey, Rir!”
Shouting in Fluffrir’s direction immediately grabbed his attention. He turned towards me, sat down, and nodded as I landed right beside him. His expression was a calm one. I never would have realized that he was excited had his tail not been wagging back and forth. That’s adorable.
“Who’s a good boy? You are! Wait, is it just me, or have you grown a bit? I guess that must mean you’re eating well. Good for you!” A few lines reminiscent of a mother whose son was living away from home left my mouth as I started stroking the puppy’s fur.
It was entirely possible for Rir to sustain himself through the absorption of the dungeon’s mana, as with all dungeon monsters. He didn’t need to eat. That, however, didn’t mean that he couldn’t eat. He was able to consume the same things as every other member of his species. If he so wished, he could even remain outside the dungeon’s territory and live purely off the meat of whatever poor creatures he happened to come across.
However, staying away from the dungeon and not consuming its mana was bad for him. All dungeon monsters would gradually lose their strength if they avoided the dungeon for too long.
Rir’s orders were to kill monsters, with his primary focus being those that were within my territory. Having the dungeon consume corpses was second only to having things die in the dungeon as far as DP income went, but I told Rir that he didn’t have to bother dragging his kills back within the dungeon’s territory, and that he could eat whatever he wanted. It felt like it was a tad bit inefficient as far as min-maxing my DP income went, but I didn’t really mind it all that much. I wasn’t so cruel a master that I would order the poor woofers to live off of just the dungeon’s mana. I knew that such an experience would be nothing short of awful, as like all creatures, the wolf was sure to get sick of eating the same thing day in and day out. Not even someone that really likes curry can eat curry three times a day every day without going mad. Not unless they’ve got some sort of eating disorder. Or their taste buds just don’t work the way they should. But even then, they’d probably get sick of the texture and crave something else.
Of course, the reason I told him that it was specifically okay to eat his kills wasn’t because I was too lazy to make him anything better, but rather just because monster meat happened to be tasty as all hell.
Curiosity, being the beast it was, had gotten ahold of me and whispered into my ear over and over, and over again until I finally gave into the urge to try it. So, knife in hand, I went through the painstaking process of butchering one of my kills before finally roasting it above an open flame.
The result? It was so good that it immediately made me think of super high class marbled beef. It was one of the most delicious, if not the most delicious, things I had ever eaten despite the fact that I likely botched up the blood draining process on account of knowing jack shit.
Lefi later informed me that monster flesh being more delicious than the flesh of non-monsters was a part of this world’s common sense. Monsters were creatures whose bodies contained magical energy, and that same magical energy would continue to saturate their flesh even after death, enhancing its flavour.
Learning that bit of knowledge had led to a change in the state of my inventory. I started shoving countless corpses into the magical item box, one after another, in hopes of being able to consume them at my leisure. I had so many, in fact, pulling them all out would have created a stack large enough to be called a mountain. It was still inferior to the stack Lefi had made just the other day, however. Man, am I glad time doesn’t tick inside my inventory. I can store as much shit as I want without ever having to worry about it going bad.
“I’m not really all that familiar with the area we’re headed to, so you’re probably going to have to show me around. That okay, boy?”
Rir woofed to affirm before turning his side to me and crouching.
“What, you want me to ride you or something?”
While I couldn’t speak wolf, the happy bark I got as a response told me all I needed to know. “Alright boy, I’ll be glad to take up that offer of yours.”
Following Rir’s prompts, I got onto his back and straddled it to secure myself. He only got up once he was sure I was firmly on his back.
“Mmkay. I’m ready. LegggooooooOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!? HOOOOOLY SHIT!”
I was assaulted by an incredible amount of wind pressure as Rir burst into a sprint. He was so quick that I had to grab ahold of his fur and squeeze down even harder with my legs if I didn’t want to risk falling off.
“This is fucking awesome! You’re the man, Rir!” I cheered and enjoyed the ride as Rir carried me deeper into the forest.
Today was supposed to be a bit of a recreation day for Rir and I. I felt as if I hadn’t hung out with the wolf nearly as much as I should have, so I decided to spend the better part of the day playing with him.
Of course, playing didn’t necessitate hunting. Or at least it wouldn’t have had I not wasted most of my DP on Flight. My figurative wallet, which had been fat as a whale, was now as thin as a tightrope and I wanted to see it refilled. Hunting just so happened to be an activity that satisfied both the “hang out with Rir” and the “make bank” goals I had in mind. Its dual purpose led it to be my top choice.
The forest consisted of four major areas, which could each be conveniently attributed a cardinal direction based on its location relative to the cave that the throne room was in. North of the cave was what used to be Lefi’s domain. It was more or less devoid of monsters. Their fear of her had caused basically everything notable to vacate the area.
Opposite her former home lay the area in which I focused my dungeon’s expansions. Unlike the northern region, the southern one contained many monsters. That said, they were extremely weak, and even I found myself exterminating them en masse with ease, despite knowing little to nothing about martial arts.
The eastern region was the most average of the bunch. The monsters that showed up there weren’t particularly weak, but they weren’t particularly strong either. A few tougher ones did show up every now and again, but it wasn’t anything too far off the deep end. The eastern region was the best match for me given my current skills. If I were to train with the intention of growing stronger, then the eastern region would be the best possible choice.
Finally, there was the west. Unlike the other three regions, the western region was rather dangerous. Most of the monsters were too powerful for me to handle in my current state. It was so strikingly obvious that I could tell with just a glance. Even its weaker monsters were a good bit stronger than the ones in the eastern region. I only ever ventured west with Lefi in tow. It wasn’t safe otherwise.
Though with that said, the regions were only loosely defined. Their definitions weren’t strict by any means, and both the east and west contained monsters that could totally obliterate me without a second thought. Fortunately, I had to go fairly far in either direction in order to run into anything that powerful.
Lefi had warned me not to venture too far since I was still weak, and I did take her warning to heart, but it had also inspired in me a spark of curiosity. Half of me was extremely curious and wanted to go check it out, but the other half bitched and screamed about how awful and terrifying an idea it was.
Most of my DP had naturally come from monsters that lay to the dungeon’s south. Keyword: had. It seemed that Rir and I had accidentally hunted a few too many monsters and kinda sorta maybe damaged the whole region’s ecosystem. Just a bit.
As a result, all the monsters that lived in the area immediately south of the dungeon had migrated further south in an attempt to escape our hunting grounds. They, in turn, displaced the monsters that used to live within their new territory, and so on, and so forth. In other words, many of the monsters that lived in my domain ended up moving outside of it, thereby reducing the amount of DP I passively gained on a daily basis.
Venturing further south myself was of course an option, but I decided against it. I felt as if it made more sense to pull out of the south and hunt elsewhere until the southern ecosystem fixed itself, hence why Rir and I were headed east instead. I might as well use this as an opportunity to start expanding the dungeon eastwards while we’re at it.
“Horned tiger spotted.” A little bit of exploring and a few corpses later, Rir and I chanced upon a creature that basically looked like a tiger with a unicorn’s horn protruding from its forehead. The oversized cat promptly started to growl as it caught wind of Rir’s presence.
My wolf, however, was the only thing it had detected. The soon to be dead kitty had yet to spot me, in part because I was no longer on the Fenrir’s back.
Horned tigers appeared ferocious and deadly, but they were far from it. They were slow and their attacks contained next to no power. I wasn’t even the slightest bit afraid of them. In fact, I saw them as less of a threat than the massive bunnies that roamed the forest. Giftig rabbits and horned tigers were quite similar in the respect that they were roughly the same size and equally durable. However, unlike horned tigers, giftig rabbits were actually threatening. They were extremely quick on their feet. Their core strategy consisted of darting about until their foe lost sight of them before closing in and delivering a fatal blow with fangs coated in a deadly poison. Calling that shit deadly might even be an understatement.
I had once witnessed a giftig rabbit bite something ten times its size. Frankly, it was quite the terrifying sight to behold. The limb it bit had changed colours in less than ten seconds, and the whole creature had died in less than thirty. Yeah, at this point, I’d say I’m pretty confident in my assumption that specialized fighters are much more difficult to deal with than generalists. Anyway, enough about rabbits for now. Focus, Yuki. Focus. This next bombing run won’t be any fun if you let yourself get distracted.
Discarding my rabbit-related thoughts, I lifted my sword and dove. I let gravity take control as I plummeted straight towards the horned tiger in my sights. The moment I passed the orange ass son of a bitch by, I swung my blade and smashed its skull. R. I. P. Kitty cat.
There was a violent bloodsplosion of brain and flesh as the tiger, which remained unaware of me to the very end, fell over and died. Again, I had successfully executed the strategy that Rir and I had devised just a bit earlier. Not that it actually deserves to be called a strategy, but whatever.
All the “strategy” consisted of was having Rir bait out a target while I used Stealth to rise into the air and then suddenly descend and blow its head to bits. The wolf would ensure that everything went well by using Everchanging Chains to bind the target in place in the case that it noticed me prior to the completion of my descent.
Though I was now happily going along with gravity’s whims, diving headfirst into the ground was in fact not a part of the original plan. I was supposed to be slowly gliding down and sneaking up on my foes instead of showing them how it felt to be involved in a car accident, but experiencing Rir’s racecar-like speed had made me thirst for it. My mind, thrown off by adrenaline, had somehow managed to come up with the brilliant idea of diving into the ground and not slowing down until the moment before I landed.
While I was by no means as skilled a flier as Lefi, I felt as if I would still be able to pull it off, which somehow led to the conclusion that I should man up and give it a try. And so, I ended up descending as would a payload from a high flying bomber.
Naturally, my attempt at slowing down and landing totally failed. In fact, I wasn’t even able to alter my speed before I hit the ground. Rir panicked a bit upon the “technique’s” inception. The mix of shock and worry on his face at the time was quite the sight to behold. To be honest, I almost shat myself back then too. Totes thought I was gonna die.
Fortunately, my body was that of a demon lord’s. It was so resilient that the fall didn’t so much as drain a single point of my hp. I got off completely scot-free. And the moment I came to that realization was also the moment I completely chucked the concept of hitting the brakes out the window. I let gravity take control and became a single bullet, a tool constructed purely to inflict damage and cause destruction.
The “technique” was an embodiment of brute force, one made possible through my body’s specs and my body’s specs alone. That, however, wasn’t why I continued to reproduce it. I didn’t really care for showing off.
All I wanted to do was have fun.
I had always been the type to love amusement parks, specifically the rides designed to make you scream. Actually, now that I think about it, I could totally turn this into an attraction and spin a fuckton of profit. I’d probably need to find it something to give it critical acclaim for that, though. I wonder what that ad would sound like? “Spread your wings: a fun, family friendly free fall! Try it now and get your review featured in our limited edition pamphlet!” Heh.
“Oh god damn it… Not another one.” As I was patting the blood, dust, and gore off me with one hand, I looked at the other and realized that my sword was missing its blade. The sharpened part of the weapon had snapped right off its grip. Yeah, this is a problem. I really need to do something about my whole weapon situation.
I contemplated my options while adding the area I was in to the dungeon’s territory. I’ve still got that gun, but it takes a while to reload. I mean, it works for a good trump card, but I still need some sort of main weapon.
As much as I wanted to use them, swords were no good. They just didn’t cut it. I’m not sure if it’s me or them, but for some odd reason, swords and I just can’t work well together. They don’t really feel all that natural and I’ve already destroyed quite a few more than I’m willing to admit.
While I couldn’t deny that my lack of knowledge and skill had played into it, I felt as if swords were far too fragile for me. I couldn’t draw out all my power unless I made use of a sturdier weapon. They also weren’t as easy to handle as I had expected. But I dunno what else I’m supposed to be using… Actually, you know what? Fuck it.
I purchased a literal bar of iron from the catalogue and holstered it over my shoulder. I mean. It’s at least kinda weapon shaped, so it should work. Besides, it’s not like I was actually using the sword to cut stuff anyway, so why not, right? A metal rod is more of a blunt weapon than a sword is, so it might even be more effective, the way I’m using it.
And so, Rir and I went around looking for more prey. The poor wolf’s expression distorted each time I ended a creature’s life. It was clear that he was starting to pity our foes, or at least their butchered remains.
Editor’s note: Hey, guys! Joker here. Another prequel chapter of Jingai Musume down, and we’re one step closer to catching up and correcting the multitude of errors in the previous translation. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that he was translating it, but I personally prefer quality over quantity. Hence why I moved here. Looks like our Demon Lord is slowly learning his strengths and limitations in terms of weapons and fighting. Gotta say, sneaking up to a monster and crushing its head with a bar of iron just makes me a bit queasy. Speaking of queasy, obviously Yuki hasn’t met Fran, otherwise he’d retract his statement about curry right quick. Man, can you imagine Yuki and Fran teaming up with Sword-dad and Lefi? They could have two worlds under their control. All Yuki would have to do is buy tons of curry from the catalogue and he’d be golden. All right, I gotta split. My sister’s boyfriend, the one who’s trying to kill me by getting me Raisin’ Cane’s constantly, graduated today, so we’re having a party at the house. I hope there’s still pizza left. See y’all in the next chapter!