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Kuma – Chapter 38

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Bear-san Exterminates A Snake


Several hours after switching to Hugging Bear, we changed to Swaying Bear one last time.
As the sun began to set, the village came into sight.
Swaying Bear gradually reduced its pace as we carefully entered the village.
It was quiet inside.
There wasn’t a single sound, just like a ghost town.
Annihilation.
That unpleasant word crossed my mind.

「Guys, are you there!? It’s me, Kai! I’ve returned!」

Kai shouted at the village.
However, nobody came out.
No, the door for one house suddenly opened.

「Kai?」

A man came out of the house.

「Pops! What about mum and all the other villagers?!」

「Your mom is safe, but greatly weakened, since she has hardly eaten anything for the past few days.」

「What about the other villagers?」

「They just won’t come out.」

「Why?!」

「That monster reacts to sound. The Erumina family tried to run away and were eaten. Rondo went to draw water at the well and was also eaten. That’s why, nobody wants to leave their house, since they might be eaten.」

「Then, talking here is also…」

「Yes, it’s dangerous out here.」

「In that case, pops-」

「But, somebody needs to do something, for Domogoru’s sake.」

「Domogoru-san?」

「When I was helping you get on the horse to go call for help, Domogoru acted as a decoy and was killed.」

「Domogoru-san was…」

「That’s why, if you came back, I wanted to ask you about the situation in order to decide what to do from now on. That’s the only thing we can do in memory of Domogoru’s sacrifice.」

「Pops…」

「So, is that missy the only one who could help?」

Kai’s father looked in my direction.
As usual, I had the appearance of a bear.
His expression suggested disappointment.

「This big sis came first, for the sake of collecting information. The guild master will come later. They said that rank C adventurers will be dispatched after that.」

「I see, how long will it take them to arrive?」

「Thanks to this lady’s summoned beasts, we took half a day to get here from the city, but the guild master said that he would take two days. I don’t know when the other adventurers will come.」

「I see. Missy, what are you going to do?」

「I’ll gather information first, though, if it’s possible, I’ll defeat it.」

「That joke is neither funny nor appropriate. I don’t know if it’s even possible to defeat that thing, much less you being able to defeat it.」

The father vehemently spat out his words.

「That’s for me to decide, not you. Any information you have about the Black Viper would be useful, so tell me.」

「I don’t have much information. It came to the village to eat early in the morning. After it destroyed a house and ate all of the inhabitants, it left. Anyone who tried to escape from the village after that was eaten. Also, those who made a lot of noise were eaten first.」

Early in the morning, huh? Was it because it was asleep at night?

「For the time being, here’s some food. Please give it to your wife to eat.」

I passed over a large amount of bread and a small barrel containing juice from the Bear Box.

「If the other villagers will accept it, I’ll give some to them as well.」

「What are you going to do?」

「I’m going to go look at the viper.」

「This late?」

The sun was currently setting. In another hour, the sun would completely set and the sky would darken.

「It’s because it’s this late. I’m going since it might be asleep. If it finds me and we start fighting, feel free to leave me as bait and run away. If you have horses, you can run away, right?」

「No, nobody would try to escape, since everyone thinks that they’ll be eaten if they run. Also, there’s not enough horses in the village for everyone to use to run away.」

「In that case, please wait quietly until the Guild Master and the adventurers arrive.」

I got on Swaying Bear and used detection magic.
There was a reaction a short distance away from here.

「Then, I’ll be off.」

I made Swaying Bear head in the direction of the reaction.
We would probably arrive in a few minutes if Swaying Bear ran as fast as it could.
It ran quickly over the flat terrain.
The Black Viper should come into view soon.
As it became evening, I could see a big rock in the distance.
No, what I had thought was a rock was actually a massive, coiled viper.
It was huge.
If it was sleeping, I should ensure victory by making the first move.
I got off of Swaying Bear and desummoned it.
When I looked at the viper again, it had already risen up, and its long tongue slithered out as it looked in my direction.
It felt like a tall, narrow building had suddenly been built.
It was enormous!
The massive object started moving to attack me.
A huge mouth came rushing towards me.
The distance was closed in an instant.
Fast!
I immediately dodged by taking a step to the right.
The massive thing grazed past my left side. The moment I thought I had dodged it, the viper twisted its body and attacked me with it. I threw up a guard using my Bear Hands and was blown backward, but there was not much of an impact.
Was it thanks to the bear?
There wasn’t any time to think, as a second attack was on the way.
I couldn’t escape over it because of the size of its body. Instead, I ran away, dodging right and left. However, even if I avoided the attacks, its body and tail continued to attack me, one after the other, two, no, three times in a row.
Every time it moved its large body, it raised a cloud of dust and reduced visibility.
Furthermore, it was evening, and the monster’s body was black.
It seemed like it reacted to sounds, as the villager said.
Could it be that I made a mistake with my timing?

I blew away the clouds of dust with wind magic.
Every time it stopped, I drove in several magic attacks, but it seemed like I wasn’t hurting it at all.
Fire, wind, and even ice attacks were repelled by its black scales.
I couldn’t use pitfalls either, due to its size.
Hmm, so normal magic attacks were useless, huh?
Bear magic might be too much though.
I could probably defeat it if I used a fire bear, but that skin seemed like it could be used in many different ways, so I didn’t really want to burn it if possible.
In the game, you could still receive the item regardless of the subjugation method, but as expected, reality was different.
When a sword cut something, it would leave a wound behind, and in the case of magic attacks, that part of the material would be damaged.

I gave up on using fire magic and tried using Bear Wind Magic instead.
Even slashing was useless.
The moment I thought that it had started bleeding, the wound immediately closed.
Was it a Regeneration ability?

If attacking the outside was no good, how about attacking from the inside?
I jumped backwards and opened up a bit of distance.
The Black Viper slithered forward to shortened the distance.
I dodged while waiting for a chance.
However, it only used tackles, and bites never came.
It was pretty tight-lipped.
If I jumped up, would it open its jaw?
I kicked off of the ground and jumped high up.
The Black Viper then opened its big mouth and lunged towards me, who no longer had a place to escape to.
At that instant, I produced dozens of palm-sized fire bears.
The mini-fire bears assembled neatly into ranks in front of me.
The Black Viper’s mouth approached me carelessly.
It was almost as if it was saying, “Bears, please enter my mouth.”
I accepted its polite invitation and made the mini-fire bears rush into the Black Viper’s mouth.
The bears entered deep into the Black Viper’s body, grilling its tongue along the way.
The Black Viper began to behave like it was suffering, and its long body, which had been extended for the sake of eating me, began to curl up as it toppled to the ground.
It began to roll around on the surface and threw its body against the ground over and over, creating a loud boom each time.
Its movements gradually slowed before finally stopping.
Let’s keep the delicious smell of well-grilled meat coming from the Black Viper’s mouth a secret.

「Is it over?」

As expected, it was impossible to defeat a monster of this class with ordinary magic.
Was it necessary for me to think of easier to use Bear Magic?
I approached the Black Viper and put it away in the Bear Box.
Mission accomplished.
I summoned Hugging Bear and returned to the village.
When I neared the village, I saw Kai standing outside.

「What are you doing in this kind of place?」

「I was waiting for you, big sis.」

「For me?」

「Un, I thought that if you came back while running away, I would let myself be eaten to create time for you to run away.」

He said in a straightforward manner, with a strong gaze.
It probably wasn’t a joke.

「Why?」

「Big sis brought back information on how to defeat the Black Viper, right? If we have that information, won’t it be possible to defeat that thing? If that happens, the village will survive. If Big sis died, I wouldn’t be able to repay Domogoru-san, who sacrificed himself so that I could go to town.」

There sure were a lot of children with strong wills among the children in this world.
I gently stroked Kai’s head.

「Big sis?」

「It’s all right, because I defeated the Black Viper.」

「Eh?」

「Can you call everyone from the village over here? I’ll be showing the evidence.」

「Really?」

I laughed, and said,

「Step back a bit.」

After I made Kai step back, I took the Black Viper’s corpse out from the Bear Box, for the purpose of using it as evidence.
Kai was surprised when he saw the large Black Viper.

「Is it dead?」

He asked me with a voice full of doubt.
To prove the truth of my words, I punched and kicked the corpse. The Black Viper didn’t move, of course.

「So it’s really…」

Kai timidly touched the Black Viper.

「I’ll go call everyone!」

Kai went running into the village.
After a while, the villagers left their houses and slowly made their way over here.

「Was it really defeated?」

「It’s the Black Viper!」

「Is it dead?」

There were people who burst into tears upon seeing the Black Viper.

「T-Thank you.」

「Thank you very much.」

「Big sis, thank you!」

Everyone from the village expressed their thanks to me.
Kai’s father came out from the center.

「Miss, I’m sorry about earlier. Also, thank you. You saved the village.」

He came up to me and suddenly lowered his head.

「You don’t have to worry about it. Anyone who looked at me probably would have thought that it wasn’t possible for a young girl like me to defeat it.」

「If there’s anything you want, just tell me. If it’s something I can do, I’ll do it, since this is a life that you saved.」

「There’s nothing that I particularly want. Instead, please live properly, for your son’s sake.」

As Kai’s father was apologizing, an elderly person came up besides him.
One after another, who was it this time?

「I am Nagano Zun. Thank you very much for saving the village.」

He lowered his head.

「However, if I had only come earlier…」

「No, I asked Kai. When you met Kai in town and heard his story, you immediately rushed out. Considering when we expected to get help, it was more than fast enough. Even my earliest expectation of when help would arrive was after three more days. That’s why, it is not necessary for you to feel guilty about the people who have already died.」

Since he had said that, I had no choice but to swallow the rest of my words.
The elder turned around and looked at everyone from the village.

「Everyone hasn’t eaten well either, right? Although it’s late, let’s have a feast.」

The villagers replied to his proposal with delight.
There were people crying, people grieving, and people rejoicing.

「We can’t give you sufficiently extravagant hospitality, but please join us.」

The elder lowered his head and left to prepare for the feast.
The villagers brought many ingredients out of their respective houses, and they started a bonfire in the center of the village to begin cooking various types of food.
We danced, made noise, and ate.
That day, the villagers raised a great clamor.
For the sake of those who died.
For the sake of living from now on.
To give thanks for being alive.

As I leisurely observed the state of the village, villagers came to me one by one to express their gratitude while carrying food.
Maybe my childish appearance was unusual, because the children kept touching me.
The sight of their parents stopping them was repeated many times.
The feast continued late into the night, and it was decided that I would stay the night at the elder’s house.


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