May 9, 2017 4:46 pm 17 Comments
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Headless Dullahan 1-5: Different World Encounter
I was able to escape from the wyvern, and now we’re running at a consistent speed.
We meet some monsters such as wolves and goblins several times, but they’re outrun or trampled by Murasaki-En.
Of course, I cannot avoid all battles.
Like when we meet a bear-like monster with icicles growing on its back, standing menacingly and blocking the road.
Against such fellows, I manage to win by making good use of my power and defense as a Dullahan. I’m seriously helped by Murasaki-En when I’m riding it.
Like that time when we escaped from the wyvern. It covered for me, who doesn’t know anything about horseback riding, and ran using the best course. As long as I keep my balance, it can go even faster.
Indeed, Murasaki-En has helped me all this time. I should be more reliable.
The time we’ve spent together is less than half a day, but nevertheless, I can feel a deep bond with Murasaki-En.
While we continue our march and trample over the monsters around, the sun starts to set.
In the forest where there are many trees and shade, the day turns dark quickly.
The red sky from the sunset slowly falls away, and the dark sky approaches.
I’m Dullahan: I can see the scenery as if it were daytime even in the dark, so there’s no problem.
But we still can’t find any traces of humans or human settlements yet.
Only monsters and beast-like voices.
The nocturnal monsters also start to come out, claiming the place like it’s their own.
Perhaps there are no human beings in this world? Negative thoughts like that start appearing, but I endure them by telling myself that it’s still the first day.
While Murasaki-En is running, a goblin pops out from the side of the road.
Fortunately, it aims at me, so I just kick its face with my right foot.
The goblin flashily rolls about and throws out green liquid.
This kind of attack has been happening since some time ago.
If it’s just goblins or animals then I can fight just fine, but it’s dangerous to be surrounded by something like the bear from before.
If only I had a weapon, at the very least, even a battle amateur like me might be able to manage alone in battle by leaving everything to my physical ability, but……
There is no point asking for something that’s not there to begin with.
I don’t need food, water, or even sleep, and as an undead, I also don’t feel fatigue.
However, since there’re so many monsters, I decide that it’s too dangerous to proceed any further and to find a place to hide.
After kicking some herds of goblins, some bears, and armadillo-like monsters, I find an open hole that looks like a cave.
I’m tired of the careless fights I had with those monsters.
Although this body doesn’t feel fatigue, I’m not a machine without a heart.
My heart is of a human, it’s Kubinashi Munesuke’s.
I need to be mindful that my spirit doesn’t wear down, not to mention my mood that darkens whenever I see blood.
Even people who sit for too long will become tired of it, and wish to do something different.
Because my spirit and mind are that of a human, my feelings are stronger.
I go toward the cave to rest my mind.
I get off from the Murasaki-En’s back and enter the cave, which is surprisingly small. There’s a strangely shaped skull fallen at the edge of the cave. Obviously, it’s not a human skull.
I feel a mixed sense of disappointment and relief.
I feel glad because there’s no monster in the cave.
If there was a horde of goblins here, there’d be no doubt of a bloody battle.
Trampling over the goblins feels unpleasant.
It’s like popping a big water balloon and crushing branches simultaneously. I’ve gotten used to it, but it still feels bad.
The skull is also quite old. This doesn’t look like a monster nest, either.
I invite Murasaki-En over after I finish confirming the safety of this cave.
“You did your best today.”
I stroke its body and comb its mane as a reward for its efforts.
I also remove wood chips and twigs that got stuck in its mane.
I lie down where Murasaki-En is giving a satisfied neigh.
Light is provided by the purple flame on Murasaki-En’s legs and the moonlight that slightly shines in.
There is no sound in the cave. Since there is no need for even breathing, only metallic noises echo from my movements.
Sometimes we can hear the beast-like voices of monsters fighting each other, but I just consider it the same as neighboring cats fighting, and ignore it.
The cold feeling of the ground is transmitted only faintly.
Sensing this, I try to figure out the heat and cold tolerance of my body, but all I can understand is that both are easier to bear than as a human.
While thinking, I spend a night awake in a different world.
I went the night without sleeping, but as I was playing with Murasaki-En and watching the night sky, the sun rises before I know it.
I see the sunrise for the first time in a long while.
Even on Hatsuhinode (the first sunrise of the year), I was only relaxing at home, playing games or just watching anime.
This should be quite true, as I was reminded of that fact over and over again all night.
After somewhat moving my body, rotating my hands, and jumping around, I straddle Murasaki-En.
Now then, it will be great if I can depart from this forest.
I refuse to spend another night in here.
But if I, as a monster, enter a village, it will just scare people.
No, there might be demi-humans in this world where they accept a Dullahan who has no head.
“… What do I expect.”
In any case, what kinds of creatures live in this world, other than monsters and animals? Is there culture? Or any room for negotiation?
I guess I will confirm everything before judging.
The best way is probably to observe from a distance without making any sort of contact.
With that decided, I need to leave this monster-filled forest as soon as possible.
I will abuse my ability as an undead who can’t feel tired today. Full speed ahead!
Well, it’s not me who runs, though.
“Let’s go, Murasaki-En! Full speed ahead!”
Straddling Murasaki-En, I shout that aloud.
Murasaki-En neighs while raising its forelegs. That surprises me, but now that we have some spare time, I just let it be.
I think it’s something like yelling to raise one’s spirit or whatever.
I ride Murasaki-En and, together, we run off along with the sunrise.
After riding with Murasaki-En for quite a time:
The position of the sun is rising considerably high. Is it around noon now?
Unlike last night, the forest is wrapped in a peaceful atmosphere.
The fresh scent of soil and vegetation is drifting around, though I have no nose to smell it.
The encounter rate of monsters is also almost nonexistent. Instead, the number of herbivorous animals like deer and rabbits seems to have increased.
The surrounding atmosphere seems so different, it feels like I’m in another place altogether.
And the best thing is the ground.
What’s this! Finally! I find something that looks like a human footstep.
It’s also not only one or two footprints. It’s a footprint of human shoes and sandals.
If I follow this, I should be able to reach a settlement, village, or town.
And then I arrive, and it’s actually a human-like creature that has octopus legs. I will cry.
I really will.
I want to become a human soon … no, I mean, want to see humans.
And I want to see what this world is like.
While keeping my spirits high, I continue on with Murasaki-En.
An encounter with foreign-world people is near!
Then I slow Murasaki-En’s speed in order to follow the footprints.
I don’t want to be discovered if it really is humans. It’s risky to run with all my power.
Rather, I need to find them first and then be sure we don’t make any contact.
This is where I need to find the opponent, observe, and then judge.
While being shaken atop Murasaki-En, I observe the environment.
The density of surrounding trees has decreased and their height is also shorter.
The road is also becoming considerably wider. It’s as wide as three adults extending their arms side by side.
There might be someone pioneering in this place. I can see many fallen trees that have been cut down.
Looking down from Murasaki-En’s back gives me a broader range of sight, but there’s nothing like human figures, nor are there human voices that can be heard.
“Humans, where are the humans?”
I want to scream out loudly, but I endure it and just mutter instead.
As I track the footprints, they continue to the back of a building. It’s a building that resembles a wooden house, though I have no eyes to see it.
“Oo! House! That’s a wooden house!”
I raise my voice unintentionally, but because I’m excited, it can’t be helped.
For the first time in this world, I see a house. It’s proof there are people living in this world.
I make Murasaki-En stop and then look around.
There is no human figure in sight now. The house is the only one in the forest.
Even after observing the house, I still don’t see anyone. I also don’t hear any sounds.
Are there really humans living here?
Looking at it again, it’s a very old house, but that doesn’t mean it’s abandoned.
Incidentally, the footprints are not entering the house, but continue on toward the left.
It seems like this is where the two roads come together.
If I keep following the footprints, will I end up finding a village?
However, I’m also a little bit bothered by this house.
It might be easier to just observe it more closely instead of standing here and being doubtful.
If it’s a place with many people, the odds of me being discovered will increase.
“…… Hmm, I guess I’ll get closer to this house.”
Although a bit worried, I choose to approach the house.
I get off Murasaki-En and walk on my own feet.
I try to approach but I still don’t hear anything. It’s as if nobody lives here.
I keep Murasaki-En behind the house so I can escape anytime.
Then I go around the outside of the house and try to make sure I don’t miss anything.
Still, there’s not much to understand.
There are sickles and pots in the back; there are also some clothes. From that, I know there’s someone who lives here.
The structure is also quite old.
Then, when I get to the front of the house, I bang on the door and promptly hide next to the house.
It feels like a ding-dong dash.
As expected, no one seems to be there.
Nothing to be afraid of if that’s the case.
I walk up proudly and then open the door as if I’m the owner of this house.
The inside is dim. There’s nothing like a lamp.
All there is are daily items like cooking-ware and tableware.
However, it seems that nothing has been used for a long time, as it’s all covered in dust.
Checking if there is anything else or not, I inspect every item, even opening the chest drawers casually.
I feel like a burglar, but I remind myself that this is for the sake of understanding this world.
A certain thing catches my eye as I examine the shelf in the back.
I reflexively take it in my hand.
It’s a silver plate mail that looks more gray than silver. But still, it’s closer to silver than the color of my armor.
It’s probably because it was used quite a lot, so the color grew dull and peeled off. There are scratches here and there as well.
Under that shelf, there are elbow pads, greaves, and a protector respectively.
On the upper shelf, there is a helmet with a faceguard.
I grab it and start looking at it.
“Hey, that person there, what are you doing here?”