Chapter 1 : Empire’s Soldiers
42 people + Rabbit-ear traveling along the canyon.
Naturally, a lot of demonic beasts tried to attack them but to no avail. Those who tried to attacked the RabbitMan tribe without any exception had their head blown with a flash.
That flash accompanied with gunshot, when looked around you can see a lot of demonic beasts’ corpse scattered around Raisen Grand Canyon that make the RabbitMan tribe dumbfounded and stare in awe at Hajime who did this.
Especially the child, they are looking at Hajime’s overwhelming strength and see him as their hero with sparkling eyes.
“Fufufu, Hajime-san. The little one are watching you know~ Why don’t you wave at them?”
Shia immediately tried to tease Hajime who’s already in bad mood because of those child’s innocent gaze.
With a vein popped on his head, Hajime silently fired his gun.
DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn!
With rubber bullet aimed at her foot, Shia tried to evade it which make her looks like tapdancing. To that spectacle, Shia’s father, Kam only reveal a wry smile meanwhile Yue look at her with amazement.
“Ha Ha Ha, so Shia and Hajime already that close. It’s looks like… Shia already reach that age huh. It’s make father a bit lonely. But if the other is Hajime-dono, then it is a relief…”
Even though her daughter is still shotted at, Kam saw her as if celebrating her departure (as in marriage) with tear forming in the corner of his eyes. The other’s tribe member also look at her with warm gaze although her screaming “Help me~” can be heard.
“Wait, all of you. Why is that you conclusion after looking at this situation?”
As Yue said, it seems the RabbitMan tribe rather lack of common sense and it’s already become something natural for this tribe. Though it wasn’t known whether it’s applied only to Haulia tribe or not.
After walking for a long time, their group finally arrive at the entrance of Raisen Grand Canyon. There are finely built staircase as far as Hajime’s “Far Sight” can see. The stairs was built by cutting along the wall and it was the type that make an u-turn every 50 meters. Sea of Trees can be reached after walking around half a day after exiting Raisen Grand Canyon.
While Hajime tried looking at the distance, Shia started to talk with uneasiness in her voice.
” Are there any of empire’s Soldiers?”
” N? What can I say about. Although there are the possibility of them getting annihilated already…”
” Th, that is, supposed that there are empire’s Soldiers around… Hajime-san… What will you do?”
“? What do you mean by that?”
Hajime tilt his head because he can’t understand the question asked by Shia. Rabbit-ear of the Rabbbitmen tribe hear perked because of her question.
“Unlike demonic beasts, the enemy are the empire’s Soldiers… human race. The same as Hajime-san. … are you sure you can fight them?”
“Failure rabbit, you, didn’t you already see the future?”
“Yes, I am. Hajime confronting the empire’s Soldiers…”
“Then… What is the problem?”
“I want to confirm it. To protect us, RabbitMan tribe from the empire’s Soldiers and confront the human race. Are you really okay, fighting against humans…”
Having heard Shia’s word, the surrounding RabbitMan tribe nervously looking at Hajime. The children can’t understand what happened but guessing the serious atmosphere started to alternately looking between the adult tribe members and Hajime restlessly.
However, inside such a serious atmosphere Hajime casually said.
“What is wrong with that?”
Hajime continue his talk ignoring Shia’s confusion.
“Like I said. There is no problem for me to fight against human.”
“Th,that’s, aren’t you come from the same race…”
“Didn’t your tribe also chased by the same race (demi-human)”
“That is, well, even if you put it that way…”
“Although, you’re wrong about the basic”
Shia was tilting her head and the surrounding RabbitMan tribe looked confused.
“Listen, I am employing your tribe to be my guide. So, I’ll be troubled if any of you died so I’ll protect it. It’s not like I was sympathizing you, or I have any kindness to do that. Moreover, I won’t protect you forever. Didn’t you remember that?”
“Ugh, yes… I remember…”
“If so, I’ll protect you until my business in Sea of Trees over. Everything are for my own benefit. Because of that it doesn’t matter if it demonic beasts or humans, if they are tried to obstruct my path, they are enemies and enemies must be killed. Simple as that.”‘
“I, I see…”
Shia consented with a wry smile to that Hajime-like answer. Even if she with “Foresight” saw Hajime confronting the empire, because the future wasn’t absolute she didn’t know if it’ll come true or not. There are others future with higher possibility that she seen, one of it was the future where they become slave under the empire while living a life more painful than death. Because Shia think “it was her fault” even though the others didn’t think so, she tried to do with all of her might to confirm which future they’d be in.
“Ha Ha Ha, It was good to understand that. Please leave it to us to guide you through Sea of Trees.”
Kam was laughing cheerfully. Rathen than some stupid sense of justice, if everything is under the condition of give and take then it’ll be more assuring. His face said it all.
Their party approached the stairs. Hajime gone ahead of them in alert. To escape from the empire’s Soldiers, the RabbitMan tribe haven’t had drink or eat anything, but their steps are light. It seems the rumour that demi-humans who unable to use magic have higher physical strength instead is true.
And finally, Hajime’s group escaped from Raisen Grand canyon.
What they see over the cliff…
“Oioi, seriously. They are survivor. Even though I was reluctantly stay here because of commander order~ If it was like this, I can bring back some good souvenir home.”
There are around 30 Soldiers of empire. Behind them there are a lot of wagons/carriages where marks of camp remained to be seen. All of the Soldiers who dressed in Khaki-like uniform and equipped with a sword or spear and a shield, look surprised at Hajime’s group.
However, that only last for a sec. Immediately they become delighted when they saw the RabbitMan tribe.
“Platoon leader! The gray haired RabbitMan also there! Isn’t she the one commander want?”
“Ooh, it’s look like we are lucky. Even though it’s ok to kill the others old one, that’s the only one you must keep alive.”
“Platoon leader~, there are some women in there, can we taste them a little? We have waited here for 3 days after all. Please overlook it~”
“Geez. Don’t take all of them. If it was only two, no three then it’s okay”
“Hyahho~, as expected of platoon leader! You really can understand us!”
For the empire’s Soldiers, RabbitMan tribe seen only as easy prey for them to catch, they approached while licking their lips looking at female RabbitMans. Seeing those Soldiers, the RabbitMan tribe can do nothing but tremble in fright.
Along those clamoring Soldiers, the man who called platoon leader who’s currently grinning at those RabbitMans finally notice Hajime’s existence.
“Aah? Who are you? It looks like… you’re not a RabbitMan.”
Hajime, who think it was impossible to just pass through those Soldiers, simply respond.
“Aa, I am human”
“Haa~? Why is a human together with RabbitMan? Even coming from the canyon. Aah, are you a slave merchant? Did you hear this information somewhere? What a great business spirit to come here yourself. Well, sorry but hand them over to the empire now”
Assumption come from the platoon leader, although it was natural if you looks at the situation. He also believe that then give order to Hajime.
Of course there is no need for Hajime to follow it.
“… Did you just say something?”
“Didn’t you hear “I refuse”. Those guy are mine now. I won’t give you even one. I recommend you to give up and go back to your empire now.”
He thought what he hear was a mistake, but he answer back while giving them order. Vein appeared on platoon leader’s head.
“… … boy, mind your word. Is something wrong with your head to not understand who we are?”
“I already know everything. Even you won’t like to be called something wrong with your head right.”
Platoon leader glaring at Hajime after heard his word. The other Soldiers also glared at Hajime creating a tense atmosphere. At that time, the platoon leader probably because of that tense atmosphere finally notice Yue who come from Hajime’s back. Inside the tense atmosphere come a young girl, maybe because of the gap, he was enchanted by her beauty for a moment while looking at her tightly holding Hajime’s clothes, finally smile reappear at his face.
“Aah~ I see, I finally~ understand now. You’re nothing but a naive shitty boy. Let me teach you the severity of this world. Ku ku ku, aren’t that young miss over beautiful. After I chop your limb of, I’ll violate her in front of your eyes then sell her to the slave merchant”
To that word Hajime frown his eyebrows and even from the expressionless Yue, disgust can be felt by everyone who look at her. Yue who can’t forgive that men existence hold out her right hand.
However, it was stopped by Hajime. To the dumbfounded Yue Hajime only say one thing.
“In conclusion you are my enemy, right?”
“Aah!? Did you still not understand the situation! You, bastard should be trembling while seeking forgive-!?”
The irritated platoon leader unable to finish his word. The reason is, when one gunshot can be heard, his head was shot. On his head a big hole in the middle of forehead can be seen and brain-matter scattered from the back of his head, then collapsed just like that.
Unable to comprehend what happened, the other soldier can only stare dumbfounded at the platoon leader.
One gunshot can be heard, and at the same time, six empire’s Soldiers’ head was shotted. Actually it was six shots, but Hajime’s speed was so fast that only one gunshot can be heard.
Naturally, after seen their leader and comrade’s head shotted the Soldiers become panicked then turned their weapon to Hajime. Though they don’t know how, they understood who the cause, what a precise judgement. Personality aside, as expected of empire’s Soldiers. Their ability is real.
The Soldiers immediately move forward while the rear started to chant. However, something immediately rolled over to their feet. A black, cylindrical object. What is this? though they puzzled but it they only looked without interrupting their chant and they turn into corpses in the next moment.
That’s because the black object, “grenade”, exploded. Moreover metal pieces burst from it just like a “fragmentation grenade”. Compared to the real one, it’s power was far stronger. It was only able to be created because of this world’s unique ore.
Only with one move, around 10 Soldiers immediately died, with their hands and feet blown off, their organs scattered, in addition seven more figures can be heard groaning in pain.
To the explosion in the back, seven Soldiers who act as vanguard immediately stopped their charge. Wondering what happened, six Soldiers who looked at their back, along with their other companions immediately crumbled because of a shot through their head. Blood sprayed around, however one of them remain alive, having lost his power, and remain at his spot. It was not wonder. Only in a moment, his companions was annihilated. It was not like their forces are weak. In fact, there are some elites who complained having received the orders. Therefore, with an expression asking if he was inside a nightmare, his glance wandering around.
And to his ear, an aloof voice can be heard from the cause of this tragedy.
“Un, as expected, if it was against human there is no need to use “Lightning-clad”. The usual bullet and mechanism was enough. Combusting stone is REALLY a convenient one.”
That soldier was surprised and start to turned to Hajime in fright. Hajime while tapping Donner to his shoulder, slowly approached that soldier. His figure who brought death along with his fluttering black coat, made him look like a grim reaper. At least it looks like that to the surviving soldier.
“Hii, do-don’t come! N-no, I don’t want to die. So-someone! Help me!”
That soldier tried plead for his life. His face distorted in fear and liquid leaking from his groin. Hajime look at him coldly and to the soldier who tried to flee, he slowly open fire in succession.
No impact can be coming to that soldier. What Hajime shot was the Soldiers who was severely injured by the grenades. When he notice it, the last surviving soldier timidly looks around, this time he finally see the disastrous scene of annihilation with his own eyes.
The gun’s muzzle finally aimed at the stiffened soldier. Again, his body shook, and with an unbecoming expression he started to plead for his life.
“I, I ask you! Please don’t kill me! I, I’ll do anything! Please!”
“Is that so? Then. tell me what happened to the other RabbitMans. Even though there should be a lot of them… …have they been transported to the empire?”
What Hajime tried to ask was, it takes time for hundred people along with RabbitMans to move around, so it’ll be okay to help them on the way if they are near. Well, if they are already arrived at the empire then there is no need to purposely help them.
“… Wi-will you spare me if I tell you?”
“You, did you think you’re in any position to ask me? Well, it’s not like I need those information. Should I kill you now?”
“Ple-please wait! I will say it! I will say it! … They are probably have been transported, because we already reach the quota…”
The “quota”, in other word those who won’t sell, such as elderly was killed. Hearing that word, bitter expression appear on RabbitMans’ faces. Hajime take a peek at their expression. Immediately he glance back at the soldier, in his eyes killing intent can be seen.
“Wait! Please wait! I will tell you anything! About the empire or anything you want! So please!”
Having noticed his killing intent, the soldier desperately plead for his life. And, answer his plead was…
At this all of RabbitMans hold their breath. Added that, Hajime’s completely unforgiving behaviour. Fear appear in some of them. Who know if Shia also feel the same, she timidly ask him.
“I-isn’t okay to just overlook that person…”
Haa? Hajime glance at her with amazed expression and Shia only can mutter “Ugh”. To the one that killed their family members, also tried to enslave them, looks like the RabbitMan tribe can forgive them. When Hajime tried to say something, Yue immediately told them.
“… Once, the weapon was pulled, the result, even if the opponent was strong they’ll be inconvenience sooner or later…”
“… In the first place, how can you look at Hajime with that kind of eyes even though he protected you…”
It seems Yue was angry. Even though they are protecting them, she won’t forgive those who harbor negative feeling toward Hajime. Even though it was natural, the RabbitMan tribe can feel their guilt.
“Fumu, Hajime-dono, I apologize. It’s not like we blame you. It just that, for us it was the first time we saw something like that… … that’s right, we are only surprised by it.”
“Hajime-san, I am sorry.”
Having heard Shia and Kam apologize to him representing their tribe, Hajime only waved his hands to tell them not to worry about it.
After that, Hajime go to where the horses and wagons/carriages are then told the RabbitMans to hop on. Even though it take half a day walking to Sea of Trees, since there are horses and wagons/carriages they should use it. He take out the magic-driven 2 wheeler(bike) from the “treasure warehouse” and link it to one of the wagon/carriage. The party continue their course to Sea of Trees.
Also, Yue use wind magic to drop the empire’s Soldiers’ corpse to the canyon. What lefts are nothing but pool of blood.