Chapter 5 : The Only Way to Survive
“Well then, I think I’ll give you some combat training”
Hajime and his party who banished from Faea Belgaen were resting in their temporary base near the Great Tree when he suddenly said that. Even though it was called a base, it was only a barrier made of Faea Drain crystals that… Hajime nonchalantly stole. Inside it while sitting on stumps, those rabbit-ears floated dazed expressions.
“Th-that… Hajime-san. Combat training in other words…”
Shia asked him on behalf of her perplexed clan.
“Just like the words said. Anyway, we can’t reach the Great Tree before ten days passed, right? Then it’s better to effectively use those time, I am thinking to make you whom weak, fragile, and loser nature deeply ingrained in, into someone who excel in combat.”
“Wh-why did you think that…”
The rabbit-ears were trembling from the intimidating feeling that can be felt from Hajime’s eyes and whole body. Shia naturally doubt Hajime’s abrupt declaration.
“Why? Did you ask why? Shameless rabbit.”
“Au, you still not called me by name…”
Hajime with skeptical eyes explain to the depressed Shia.
“Listen well. The promise that I had with you guys was only to protect you until you done guiding me. Then, what will you do after guiding me, did you already think about it?”
Haulia tribe’s members look at each other then shake their heads. Kam also has a hard expression. Even though they vaguely felt the uneasiness, it seems because they were in upheaval after upheaval that thought was thrown into the corner of their minds. Or it was possible that they didn’t think about it at all.
“Well, it looks like you didn’t think about it at all. No one told me you’ve think about it after all. You’re weak, so you can only run and hide in front of malice and possibility of injury. To that kind of you, the place to retreat called Faea Belgaen was lost. In other words, when my protection is gone, you’ll once more fall into predicament.”
Because that was right, everyone of Haulia tribe look down with dark expression. Meanwhile, they can Hear Hajime said.
“You didn’t have any way out. There is no protection nor place to hide. However, demonic beasts and humans will aimed at the weak you without mercy. If this going on there will be only path of annihilation… are you okay with that? Are you okay with weakness as the reason of your ruin? Is it okay for the lives that you luckily got back uselessly gone? What do you think?”
No one utter any words and gloomy atmosphere filled their vicinity. Until someone suddenly said.
“There no way I can accept that.”
Haulia tribe began to look up having touched by those words. Shia was already look resolute.
“That’s right. That can’t be accepted. Then, what should you do. The answer is easy. Just become strong. Just attack all the trouble that come and destroy it, you only need to acquire your rights with your own hands.”
“… … but, we are RabbitMan tribe. We didn’t have strong body such as Tigerman tribe and Bearman tribe neither special skill like Wingedman tribe and Earthman tribe… … we are totally, that…”
Because it was a common sense that RabbitMan tribe is weak, Hajime’s words only give birth to negative feelings. Because they are weak, they can’t fight. No matter how much they struggle to get strong as Hajime said, that’s what they think.
Seeing this Haulia tribe Hajime laugh from his nose.
“Did you know I was called “incompetent” by my former companions?””
“”Incompetent” you hear, “incompetent”. My status and skill was as ordinary as average person. The weakest among my companions. Nothing more than a burden in combat. Therefore, I was called “incompetent” by my former companions. Indeed, that was the truth.”
All of Haulia tribe members were surprised by Hajime’s confession. They can’t believe that Hajime who was able to easily defeat Raisen Grand Canyon’s brutal demonic beasts and Elder of Bearman tribe who excel in combat was someone “incompetent” and “weakest”.
“However, I who was fallen into the bottom of the Abyss acted to become strong. I didn’t think if something was possible or impossible to do. If I didn’t do anything then I’d die, that’s why I fought with all my might in that crisis. … … when I noticed I was already became this.”
All of it was talked indifferently, however, all of Haulia tribe members can feel chill running through their whole body because of the sublime content. With status the same as average person means his specs is even lower than RabbitMan tribe. In that situation, he was able to defeat monsters that even stronger than demonic beasts in Raisen Grand Canyon that they can’t even match again. His abilities and the fact that he survived even though he was the weakest after challenging those monsters make the Haulia tribe tremble in fear imagining those bizarre situations. If it was them they’ll be crushed in despair and accept death in resignation. Just like how the accept the decision from the Elders Conference.
“Your situation now is similar to mine. Now promised to yourself, let’s break the despair into pieces. I don’t care even if you think it was impossible for you. You’ll only be annihilated next time. After all, I won’t help you after the promise is accomplished. It’s okay to spend the little time remained in your life to lick each other wound just like losers.”
Then, what will you do? is what Hajime asked with his eyes. There is no immediate answer from Haulia tribe members. Well, it can be said there is no other answers. They understood there is no other road to survive except to become strong. It’s not like Hajime protect their family out of justice. Therefore, he will surely abandon them after their promise is fulfilled. However, even if they understand that, their nature is peaceful and gentle, the RabbitMan tribe’s gentleness is stronger than anyone else, that’s why for them Hajime’s proposal is the same as stepping into an unknown territory. It was difficult for them to change their way of life unless they fall into the exact situation just like Hajime.
Haulia tribe fall into silent and look at each other. However, Shia who since a while ago floated a resolute expression look at them with a skeptical gaze then she stand up.
“I’ll do it. Please teach me how to fight! I don’t want to stay weak anymore!”
Her shout echoes all over the Sea of Trees. A declaration to say there is no need to think more than this. Shia hates fighting. It was scary and painful, above all it was sad to hurt and to be hurt. However, it was the truth that she was the cause in driving her tribe into current predicament, so she absolutely won’t let her tribe perish. For that certain purpose, Shia wanted to become stronger even if it was against the nature of RabbitMan tribe.
Shia with unyielding determination in her eyes look straight at Hajime. Kam and his tribe who are dumbfounded by that, gradually change their expression into resolute one, one by one they stand up. In the end, not just the male, female and children of Haulia tribe all stood up and Kam who represent them move a step forward.
“Hajime-dono… … please teach us.”
His words was few. However, there is a will inside of it. The will to fight against injustice that’ll come to attack them.
“Okay. Are you prepared? How much stronger you become will be up to your determination. I am only here to give a hand to it. Also, I won’t be gentle to those who decided to drop out on the way. We only have ten days in addition… … be accustomed to dying. What await you were only life or death after all.”
Having heard Hajime’s word, all of Haulia tribe members nodded with determination.
* * *
Before he start to train Haulia tribe, Hajime took out equipments that will be used to train from
“treasure box” and hand it to them. It was the single-edged knife that similar to a type of Japanese sword called kodachi that he passed to them before. Hajime made those blade with precision that even the sharpness is excellent because he practiced the method to manufacture the ultra thin blade. It was strong against impact because it made of Taur ore. It takes pride in its durability despite its thinness.
After he gave them those weapons, he taught them basic movements. Of course Hajime didn’t have any knowledge in martial arts. But it was not something he got from manga or game. The things he taught was only “logical movements” that he gain and polish by fighting the demonic beasts in the Abyss. While doing so, he pile up real combat experience against types of demonic beasts. Haulia tribe strong points was their search ability and stealth ability. In conclusion, he think it’s better for their group strategies that specialize in co-operation and surprise attacks.
By the way, Shia is exclusively trained by Yue about magic. That was because she can use magic even though she is a demi-human, Shia also able to use direct magic manipulation so she should be able to use magic without chant or magic circle as long as she has the knowledge for it. Occasionally, Shia’s scream can be heard from the other side of fog but it seems the training is going well.
However, something happen on the second day of training. Hajime looks irritated with veins appear on his head while supervising Haulia tribe’s training. Certainly, Haulia tribe members who go against their nature were taking the training seriously. Even they somewhat manage to defeat demonic beasts without receiving much wounds.
One of the demonic beasts were dead pierced by Hajime’s specialized kodachi.
“Aah, please forgive the sinful me~”
The one that said that while clinging to the demonic beast was a man of Haulia tribe. It’s as if he is killing his best friend who he know for a long time.
Another demonic beast was defeated with a slash.
“I am sorry! I am sorry! Even so I must do it~”
A kodachi which gripped by both hand cut off the neck, while the woman who did it tremble. It’s like the result of a mad love, a woman who killed her loved one.
To the dying demonic beast, it used the last of its power to attack. Kam who who blown off by the body blow was muttering in self-ridicule while falling.
“Huh, is this the punishment for me who brandish the sword… … it was the natural result after all…”
Having heard those words, the surrounding Haulia tribe were starting to tear up, then they shout to Kam in bitter expression.
“Chief! Please don’t say that! The sinful ones are all of us!”
“That’s right! Even if the time of judgment will come, but that’s not now! Please stand up! Chief!”
“We don’t have any road to return any more. That’s why Chief, let’s advance together until death.”
“Y-you guys… … that’s right. I can’t fall down in place like this. For the sake of his death (small demonic beast which look like a mouse), we will advance through the death!”
Good atmosphere surround Kam and his tribe. Hajime who can’t endure it anymore cut in.
“Aghhh—! It noisy, stupid! Why the heck are you exaggerating every time you kill one demonic beast! What for? Seriously what was that for? That cheap play! What was that dramatic feeling? Just kill it in silent! Just kill it instantly! Don’t call demonic beast “he”! That’s gross!”
That’s, even though he knew that Haulia tribe members are working hard, but because of their nature, every time they kill a demonic beast they make an unknown drama. This is the second day, having seen those spectacles for many times, Hajime already pointed this out many times, slowly, he run out of patience.
To Hajime who was angered, probably because he tried to contain his voice his body twitch and shake after “Even if you say that…” or “Even if they are demonic beasts, they are pitiful…” heard that mutter from the Haulia tribe members.
In addition a lot of vein appeared on his head.
One boy from Haulia tribe can’t stand it anymore then tried to approach and calm Hajime. This boy was the one who Hajime helped by the hair-breadth from the Hyveria in Raisen Grand Canyon, seems to especially attached to him.
However, while the boy who advance while trying to say something to Hajime, suddenly, he jumped back.
Hajime who was dumbfounded by it asked the boy.
“? What happen?”
The boy answered Hajime while quietly crawling using both his hands.
“Ah, yes. I almost step on Flower-san… thank goodness. If I didn’t noticed it, it’d be crushed. Because it was so beautiful, it’ll be too pitiful to step on it.”
Hajime’s cheeks were convulsing.
“Un! Hajime-niichan! I really like Flower-san! Because there are lot of Flower-san around here, it was terrible if we crushed it while training~”
Rabbit-eared boy smiled with a bright smile. The surrounding Haulia tribe members also look at this boy with smile.
Hajime slowly made his face look down. Hajime’s gray hair fall down and concealed his expression. Then, suddenly he answer with whisper-like voice.
“… … sometimes, while moving you jumped in strange timing… Is it because of that Flower-san?”
As Hajime said, during the training, Haulia tribe sometime change their pace according to strange timing, that kind of movement. Although it was in his mind, because it connected with their next action, it looked like they tried to find easier position for them to kill in his eyes.
“No no, that can’t be. There is no such a thing.”
“Haha, that’s right, right?”
Hajime start to loosen his said having heard what Kam said with a wry smile. However…
“Yes, not only just flowers, we also take notice of insects. When we have to move suddenly in hurry, we manage to avoid them somehow.”
Having heard Kam’s words, Hajime expression start to fall. Hajime began to sway as if he was a ghost, while Haulia tribe members thinking something bad was said looked at each other in uneasiness. Hajime slowly approach the boy, then he suddenly reveal a smile while the boy also keep his smile.
And then Hajime… … with a smile step and crushed the flower. Politely, after step on it, he grind it with his foot.
The boy who saw it was dumbfounded. Finally Hajime remove his foot, what left is the remains of “Flower-san” that lay tragically after such cruelty.
The boy’s sorrowful voice echoes inside the Sea of Trees. “What are you doing!” is what the Haulia tribe members’ surprised expression tell while looking at Hajime, then Hajime turn to look at them with a smile along with veins on his head.
“Aah, I finally understand. I finally fi~nally understand. I was too soft. It was my responsibility. It was my mistake to have hope for your tribe. Haha, I can’t believe even in life and death situation you still pay attention to “Flower-san” and “Insects”… … combat skills or real combat experiences is not your main problem. I should have noticed it faster. I am angry at my inexperience… … FUFUFU(HUHUHU)”
After Hajime began to ominously laugh, Kam timidly asked him. And his answer is…
Gunshot from Donner. Kam was blown off to the back face-up, after flailing a little in the air he fall into the ground. Next, the non-lethal rubber bullet that used to attack, dropped to the ground from Kam’s forehead.
In their vicinity wind blows “fooosh”, while silence rule the place. Hajime then approach Kam who was fainted with his eyes turned white, this time he aimed then shot the rubber bullet at Kam’s belly.
Kam who wake up with a scream along some fit of cough looked at Hajime with tearful eyes. Despite the surreal spectacle of seeing teary eyed bearded rabbit-eared old man sitting in woman-like, Hajime declared.
“You dirty “piip”. From this moment, you “piip” must kill those demonic beasts as if you’re going to die! In the future, don’t even notice the flowers or insects! Or else I am going to “piip” you up! If you understand, hunt those demonic beasts now! This “piip”!”
Haulia tribe was stiffen by Hajime’s vulgar speech. And to them, Hajime fired without mercy.
DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn! DOPANn!
Haulia tribe scattered into the Sea of Trees just like spider’s childrens while screaming. The boy desperately cling to Hajime while trembling.
“Hajime-niichan! What happened!? Why did you do this!?”
Hajime glared at the boy who stare at him with sparkling eyes, then look at the surrounding and confirmed flowers were blooming here and there. Until finally, he silently fire again.
One after another the flowers were scattered. The boy is screaming.
“Why~, just why~, please stop Hajime-niichan!”
“Shut up, shitty brat. Did you know? Everytime you talk uselessly I will dispersed the surrounding flowers. If you pay attention to the flowers, it’ll be dispersed. Even if you not doing anything, I’ll dispersed it. If you don’t want that, go kill a lot of demonic beasts!”
Having said so, Hajime start to shot the flowers again. The boy’s cried then disappeared into the Sea of Trees.
After that, inside the Sea of Trees “piip” can continue be heard in Haulia members’ scream and cry(roar).
It was the training method to alter the character of RabbitMan tribe who was not good in combat by nature. Even combat skills and spirit can be altered using this method, it can be said similar to He***man method from earth…