Chapter 10 – Haulia Tribe and Encounter
Screams echoed inside the [Raisen Great Canyon].
The figures of desperate Rabbitmen fleeing to hide behind rocks could be seen. Looking around, Hajime could see 20 Rabbitmen hiding behind rocks. If combined with those still fleeing, there would be around 40 people.
In the sky, flying demonic beasts, that were rare even inside that hell, were glaring at the frightened Rabbitman tribe. The flying demonic beast’s appearance was similar to what gamers would call a wyvern. Their wingspan was around 3-5 meters with sharp claws and fangs, equipped with a sharp thorn at the swelling end of their long tail, similar to mace.
Over Hajime’s shoulder, Shia’s trembling voice could be heard. It seemed that those Wyvern-like creatures were called “Hyveria”. There were six of them circling in the sky, waiting for a chance to catch the cowering Rabbitmen.
Finally, one Hyveria took action. After adjusting its position in the sky, the Hyveria dove towards one of the large rocks where some Rabbitmen were hiding and struck the rock with its swinging tail. A deafening sound resounded, and the remains of the pulverized rock flung the screaming Rabbitmen in all directions.
Looking upon its helpless prey, the Hyveria heavily landed where the rock was before and roared at the frightened Rabbitmen in its presence. A Rabbitman could be seen shielding a child from the fangs of the Hyveria that encroached upon them.
Seeing this scene, only despair could be seen on the other Rabbitmen’s faces. No one knew which of their family members would be the Hyveria’s next meal. But that concern was unnecessary.
Two flashes were seen, and the overlapping echoes of gunshots could be heard in the canyon. One of the shots was aimed at the back of the attacking Hyveria’s head. With a hole ripped through its brain, the Hyveria stopped mid-roar and fell on its side before the shielded child.
At the same time, the whistling sound of an object falling caused the Rabbitmen to look up. Without any time to be surprised, the Rabbitmen saw one of the Hyverias without its arm, blood bursting from its shoulder while it writhed in pain. The Hyveria tumbled to the ground, skidding across the earth, causing the Rabbitmen to collapse onto their knees from the collision.
“Wh-what is….” (Rabbitman 1)
The man who tried to cover the child could only mutter simple words in confusion while looking at the incomprehensible scene that took place before him.
When he heard the unfamiliar sound of a distinct explosion, he could only see a flash pass by. Suddenly, the Hyveria collapsed, causing the earth to tremor. When he finally came to after the miniature earthquake, it was dead already.
Seeing one comrade dead and the other collapsed on the ground, the other Hyveria roared in unparalleled rage. The cowering Rabbitmen covered their ears in response to the frightful roar. For comparison, the quality of sound resembled that of a jet engine. However, in the distance, a voice could be heard, and they turned their eyes to the source. What they saw was a black vehicle traveling in their direction, with 3 figures riding it at high speed.
Of the three, one of them was someone they knew all too well. In the morning, she had suddenly disappeared. She was the reason they were in this mess in the first place, as they went out to find her. The girl felt that it was her fault that the tribe is in the state they are now. She tried to conceal her feelings with outward cheerfulness, but her expression showed her inward anguish. Then, she suddenly disappears. So the Haulia tribe had no choice but to carefully search for the girl, even if the tribe would be annihilated before finding her.
That was the girl waving at them from the back of the black vehicle. Cheerfulness could be seen on her face. The Rabbitmen looked at her with disbelief.
“Everyone~, I have called for help~!” (Shia)
When they heard her voice, they had no choice but to believe it was real.
” ” “Shia?!” ” ” (Haulia Tribe)
Hajime made an irritated expression while driving the magic bike at high speed. When Shia saw her family in the distance, she immediately stood up and started waving her hands wildly. Even though standing on the bike was fine, Shia had leaned her body onto Hajime, and with her lethal weapons bouncing up and down, they continuously hit his head. Because of that, his aim shifted and the second Hyveria didn’t die.
Hajime gripped Shia’s arm in anger, who was still jumping up and down. Shia noticed his actions and tried to question him. Even if she couldn’t see Hajime’s face, she had an ominous premonition, so she timidly asked.
“Uummu, Hajime-san? What happened? Why are you grabbing my arm?” (Shia)
“… Because you’re so energetic, I thought I’d give you a job.” (Hajime)
“J-job…? W-what should I do?” (Shia)
“It’s easy. Just distract those starving demonic beasts. Easy, right?” (Hajime)
“!? Wha-what are you-! Ah, don’t lift me~! Don’t swiii-nnnn-gggg meeeeeeee~!!!” (Shia)
Shia, who’s smile was twitching, was easily lifted by Hajime, who had more than 10.000 in his strength stat.
Hajime, who was driving the Magic Powered 2-Wheeled Drive with one hand, started drifting to the side, threw Shia into the sky with a devilish grin.
“Go! Failure Rabbit!” (Hajime)
The rabbit-eared girl flew in the sky with high speed. Shia’s scream echoed in the canyon. The Rabbitmen screamed, “Shia!” while looking upon this unbelievable spectacle with their eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. The Hyveria also roared, trying to catch the prey that came right for them, but Shia just flew passed them, right before their eyes.
Because Shia had caused a distraction, Hajime wouldn’t miss this opening. Those flying Hyveria had become “sitting ducks”. Four gunshots could be heard simultaneously, penetrating through the four Hyverias’ jaws in the same instant.
Unable to react, the Hyveria carcasses fell to the ground. Even though the Hyveria are known to be dangerous and troublesome demonic beasts with hard to resist attacks and stronger than the Daihedoa that attacked Shia, they dropped to the ground like flies. Looking into the dead eyes of the Hyveria that fell before them, the Haulia tribe stiffened.
Gradually, they heard a girl’s scream becoming increasingly closer and clearer.
“A-aaaaah~! Help me~, Hajime-sa-~n!” (Shia)
Hajime, who drove through the Rabbitmen tribe that started to frantically run around in an attempt to catch her, and splendidly caught the falling Shia while drifting to a stop. After that, he dropped Shia onto the ground with a-
“Failure rabbit.” (Hajime)
“Uu~! Be gentle with me~! I want you to treat me like Yue-san~!” (Shia)
Shia protested while pouting. It wasn’t like Shia loved Hajime, though. It’s just that, when she was in a time of desperation and isolation, Hajime appeared like a beacon of hope to her, creating a mysterious sense of trust in him. Even though he was without mercy, he hadn’t betrayed his promise to her. She felt secure around Hajime, and seeing that Hajime cherished Yue, hoped that she too could be treated well.
Having been tossed around so much and harassed by Yue’s kicks on the way here, Shia’s miserable scraps for clothes made her appear very pitiful. When Hajime saw Shia’s appearance, he reluctantly pulled a coat out of his [Treasure Warehouse] and draped it over Shia’s head, not wanting to be held responsible for her appearance. After doing so, he felt absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for his treatment towards Shia.
However, Hajime’s sudden action made Shia happy. Something was suddenly placed over her head, and when she saw it was a coat, she started to laugh. She immediately put it on. It was a similar white coat that Yue wore; the coat that Yue had originally made for Hajime to form a pair-look.
“Mou~! Hajime-san is just not honest at all, huh~? You gave me clothes similar to Yue’s…! Could it be because of my “womanly appeal”? That’s bad, you know~? I’m not that~ cheap! Please treat me more affectionately~!” (Shia)
Shia teasingly said while looking at Hajime with a seductive gaze. Irritated once again, Hajime silently pulled out Donner, aimed at Shia, and fired.
The bullet that was fired was a non-lethal bullet covered with a rubber-like substance from a demonic beast. But because of the firepower behind the bullet, Shia was still shot back and fell to the ground rolling back and forth in pain. She complained, “My head~… My head~…”, but as expected, her unnatural endurance kicked in and she immediately got up. The Rabbitman tribe immediately started to gather around her in worry.
“Shia! Are you okay!?” (???)
The one who called out to her was a middle-aged, rabbit-eared man with short, dark blue hair. It was clear who the rabbit-eared man was. This spectacle gave him a surreal feeling, especially after seeing how the Hyverias were taken down. After calming down, Shia immediately began to explain to the Rabbitman tribe what happened while she was gone and the promise Hajime had made to her. Knowing that they had been saved, the entire tribe looked towards Hajime.
“Shall I call you Hajime-dono? I am Kam Haulia, Shia’s father and also the chief of the Haulia tribe. I cannot thank you enough for helping Shia and our tribe escape this precarious predicament. To even go as far as helping us flee from the empire, as a father and chief of my tribe, I wish to express my humble gratitude.” (Kam)
Kam, who introduced himself as the chief of the Haulia tribe, immediately bowed down to him. Behind him, the other Haulia tribe members mirrored his gesture.
“Please, raise your head. Don’t forget: after escaping the empire, you’ll be our guides into the [Haltina Sea of Trees]… Also, how can you trust us so easily? Demi-humans and humans don’t have good relations with each other, after all…” (Hajime)
Forget about Shia, in this world, demi-humans were discriminated against worldwide. In fact, it was a human empire that had cornered the Haulia tribe. Despite that, they had bowed down toward Hajime, who was clearly a human and even accepted Hajime’s help. Even though this was their only choice for survival, hadn’t they made this decision too quickly? Hajime started to doubt them whilst concealing his concerns.
In response, Kam answered with a wry smile.
“Shia trusts you, and so by extension, we trust you as well; because we are a family…” (Kam)
Hearing his answer, Hajime was astonished, admiring their naive solidarity. For a tribe to leave their nation for the sake of a single girl, then trust a human they knew nothing about, they must be a foolhardy group that threw caution to the wind; they were kind to a fault.
“Ehehe, it’s okay, father. Even though Hajime is unmerciful towards women, unconcerned with others, cruel enough to use others as bait, he will surely keep his promise! He is not like those scum that tramples over other’s hopes! He will protect us for sure!” (Shia)
“Hahaha, is that so? So he’s a shy one, isn’t he? If that’s so, I will believe in him.” (Kam)
Hearing Shia and Kam, the other tribe members murmured in agreement while looking at Hajime with warmth in their eyes.
Hajime, irritated enough to pop of blood vessel, started to pull out Donner when he was suddenly ambushed.
“… Nn, Hajime is a shy one… even in bed…” (Yue)
Their dialogue had given the demonic beasts enough time to begin gathering around their current camp, and so it would be troublesome if they continued to linger any longer.
Thus, they began their march towards the exit of the [Raisen Great Canyon].