A A ARookie Hunting (4)
It was hard to keep track of time inside a dungeon, but you could know if it was day or night. This was because dungeons also darkened at night.
Unless you had the [Night Vision] skill, it was difficult to move around at night.
During one of those dark nights. Mai and the other two had let down their guard and fell asleep in the tent Gesunoh prepared for them.
Holding no lighting, Gesunoh and Kiwami stood in front of their tent.
The two tents were a little ways away from each other. Their reason for standing there was, of course, in order to attack.
"Sorry for the intrusion…"
With that whisper, Kiwami stealthily entered the tent. Although the inside wasn't too large, it was large enough for three or four people. Mai and shina were asleep on their bedrolls, with the beastkin pet asleep in a sitting position in the corner.
She glances at the pet. She'd appeared to be asleep, but their eyes met.
"Ya know, I won't do anything if you keep quiet, yeah?"
Looking uninterested, the pet just kept staring at Kiwami.
"I knew it.
Smiling, she took a collar from the pouch at her waist—a slave collar. She then placed it around the neck of the sleeping shina.
"■■■…■■, ■■■■, ■■■■■■, ■■■—[Illegal Order: 5]."
The collar shined. It was a success. With that, this collar would force her to follow Gesunoh and Kiwami's orders.
They'd purchased this magic from a shady peddler a while back, it was a spell that made it possible for them to cause a slave's collar to tighten five times.
The slave collar would be unable to be taken off, as how it should be. However, it wouldn't stop strangling the slave on the fifth use. Because of that, it was a defective spell.
Now that the biggest hindrance was out of the way, it was time for them to have some fun.
"Darling, it's time for fun."
"Thanks, honey. Love ya."
When Kiwami called for Gesunoh, he entered the tent.
With that, Mai stirred.
"Mmm… huh—Kiwami-sama? Eh, wh-why is Gesunoh-sama here?"
"Finally awake, Ojou-sama?"
"I'm here so that I can escort you ladies, kukuku."
Gesunoh smiled. It wasn't the kind smile he'd displayed back at the guild, but a distorted smile, one that caused people to feel uncomfortable.
"No way… shina, wake up! Cut down these ruffians!"
"Mm—O-Ojou-sama! I-I'll do it right no—w! Guh!"
Her neck wrung, shina fell p.r.o.ne.
"Hah, what a meager elf. She's already out with just that teeny bit of strangling? She was seriously your escort?"
"What did you do to shina!?"
"We just disciplined her a bit with her collar. Come now, we still have the whole night ahead of us. As long as you stay quiet—well, maybe we won't do anything to this immature brat? I've wanted to play around with an elf for a while now."
Gesunoh looked through shina's luggage, felt around for her pouch, and took out her Guild Card.
"—What, you were a D-Rank? Man, I'd thought you were gonna be skilled with you being a guard and all, but I guess we didn't need to watch out so much for you. Here, honey. A present."
"Thanks, darling. Love you~"
Kiwami accepted shina's Guild Card from Gesunoh.
Kiwami took out an iron skewer from her [Storage] with several Guild Cards on it already. He then penetrated shina's Guild Card, adding it to the decorations.
"Ufufu, my D-Rank collection's grown a lot~"
Kiwami kept a collection of Guild Cards as trophies.
They couldn't be used for anything and just took up s.p.a.ce in her [Storage], but Kiwami herself just thought of it as a hobby and found it a reasonable thing to do.
Seeing that, the beastkin pet got up and fished around their luggage.
Just as Kiwami started to wonder what she was doing, the beastkin handed her another card.
It was Mai's F-Rank Guild Card.
"What're you doing! Stop this instant!"
"Oh hoh? Looks like she hates you, Ojou-sama, ufufufu."
Kiwami accepted the card from her, similarly adding it to her F-Rank collection.
Then, the moment she tried to put it back into her [Storage]—
With an incredibly alarming speed, the beastkin pet thrust her hand into the open [Storage]'s hole.
She then grabbed her E-Rank and C-Rank Guild Card collections.
"Any more? … None at B-Rank, none above. Mm, good."
She had many F-Rank and E-Ranks in her collections, but she didn't have too many D-Rank or C-Rank cards.
"What the f*ck are you—"
The moment Kiwami tried to say that, she was thrown down to the tent's floor. She fainted on impact. The beastkin pet then clenched her right hand and punched her forcibly in the face.
"Eh, shouldn't we question them for any other victims? I thought you'd enjoy what came after this, in a way?"
"It's fine. We've gathered the victims' cards. That is enough."
Gesunoh heard a voice come out of nowhere. The pet was responding to that voice.
What the f*ck is going on?
Gesunoh was incredibly confused, but he managed to come back to himself. Then—
"Don't move! You know what'll happen to this Ojou-sama if you move, yeah?"
Saying that, he'd picked Mai up in the crook of his elbow and pointed a knife at her.
Gesunoh's quick reaction was probably the best thing he could have done.
"What should we do? Meat-senpai."
"… Perhaps he could be useful for Goshujin-sama somehow?"
"No, no, he knows too much now that he's touched the body this money."
At least, it would have been the best thing if this situation was like anything Gesunoh could have expected.
He'd intended to buy enough time by taking a hostage to get Kiwami back up and escape the tent.
Moreover, once the beastkin pet's master died, it would have been freed. With that, he could have used magic on its collar to become her new master… At worst, he would have gained at least enough time to seriously think about his next move.
The slave, a beastkin that should have wanted to have control over its own life and death, was binding Kiwami's hands and feet of her own volition. She didn't seem to care about him at all.
"What the h.e.l.l, seriously what the f*ck! Release Kiwami! Are you fine with me killing this girl then!?"
"Feel free to do whatever you want with the toy."
"What did you just say…?"
With that, Gesunoh suddenly realized that something was off. The Ojou-sama hadn't been asleep, she'd already woken up. Even so, she hadn't said even a single word since he took her hostage. She hadn't even moved.
She didn't even appear to be breathing, nor did she seem to have a body temperature.
At long last, Gesunoh looked down at the [Ojou-sama] in his arm.
The person—no, the thing he saw there was a wooden doll. Her hair seemed strangely real, but her face was flat. There weren't even eye sockets or a mouth.
The doll slowly moved its head to stare at Gesunoh.
Gesunoh threw the doll girl at the slave and ran away at full speed, abandoning Kiwami.
Him throwing the doll at the slave gave him enough time to get out of the tent and run toward the pedestal. To escape from the room, he had to return the magic sword to its spot in the pedestal.
He'd have to get close to the tent again, but he wouldn't be able to escape without doing this first. Despite everything that had happened, Gesunoh was still confident that he could do this with his C-Rank skills.
"What the fck, what the fcking f*ck… it was going so well!"
He wondered if he'd done something wrong—well, he obviously had, but he didn't mean it that way.
… He felt sorry for Kiwami, but it was for the best for them to break up here.
They were monsters in human form. They'd be killed after being caught. They were just mimicking being human…
"… Monsters? Wait, this is a safety zone…"
Which means they were variants? Right, they were variants!
Reporting the existence of a variant was the obligation of all adventurers, they'd even be rewarded substantially for the information. Yeah, that's right! He wasn't running away right now, he was strategically withdrawing so that he could report their existence!
Gesunoh plunged the magic sword that had been at his waist back into the pedestal.
"Good, now I can—"
Gesunoh turned around to see his way out.
However, the passage remained blocked off by needles.
As if he'd been trapped within a monster's mouth.