I know that the last chapter of Ototsukai ended with a cliffhanger xD Sorry about that! ^^
But wait no longer since the new chapter is here…. Fully enjoy it! (Also, I am feeling much better today; thx for the get well messages ^.^)
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Chapter 23: Pure Pressure
On a large scale, magical beasts are separated into two types.
One is the ‘normal type’.
These are magical beasts that even normal humans can easily bring down, and for this reason many of them group up in order to move around.
The normal type magical beasts are further divided into species. This sea of trees is mostly inhabited by normal type magical beasts.
And the other one is the ‘dragon type’.
As the name suggests, these are magical beasts which embody a dragon.
Their danger level varies, but usually most of them are brutal and harmful.
The Buried Dragon and the Edged Dragon that Roll and I defeated previously were dragon type magical beasts.
…….And now, there are also exceptions which don’t fall into any of these categories.
These are ‘legendary type’ magical beasts.
Their power level varies as well.
There are many legendary type magical beasts which don’t inflict damage to people.
However, they’re all extremely dangerous magical beasts that went down in history with the name legendary. They don’t even begin to compare to the average normal type and dragon type magical beasts.
But naturally, their population is scarce.
I was quietly trembling in fear.
This overwhelmingly superior existence which suddenly appeared in front of me was a legendary type magical beast; I read about it once in a book.
The lower half of its body was that of a lion, the upper half was that of an eagle; its sharp eyeballs were seizing my entire being.
It had a pair of black wings on its back, almost indistinguishable in the darkness of the night.
Its body was five times bigger than mine.
It was a Griffon.
The Griffon waved its tail, looking into me from every possible angle.
It had an overwhelmingly intimidating aura.
I stood stock still.
From the moment it easily broke through Tameiki-san’s gravity barrier, I knew that I was no match for it.
My physical strength was close to the limit in the first place, so there’s nothing I can do against it.
The decision I came to in an instant was to seek help from Tameiki-san.
I realized it when I opened my mouth, that my words wouldn’t come out.
Was it because my physical strength was close to the limit?
It was the pressure.
I was completely overwhelmed just by the fact that a Griffon was standing right in front of me.
Before I could realize it, I was plunged into silence.
I’m sure that one of the causes was also the lack of physical strength I was experiencing now.
The intimidating aura was only the trigger.
I had no power left in my body.
The Griffon slowly walked towards me.
I must escape…….!
Contrary to my thoughts, my body wouldn’t move.
But this intimidating feeling was also the key to my problem.
I made a sharp sound and something popped inside me; the same instant I started to run.
However, before I realized it, I was already shooting through the gravity barrier and ended up pinned down on the trunk of a big tree.
I felt the shock on my back and my head slapped onto the tree trunk.
My back was hurting from the attack just now. My vision was swaying.
The Griffon let out a roar and I could see far back inside its throat through its opened beak. The huge eagle head was right I front of my eyes.
The Griffon’s claws were eating through the tree trunk, pressing my body harder.
During those ten days of fierce survival, I managed to evade all the critical situations I fell into.
However, this time was different.
It was impossible to escape.
I have no means to survive a legendary type magical beast, not even by accident.
…….Wait, don’t give up!
This time is the same.
There is no difference whatsoever between this and the critical situations I got over during those survival days.
I took out a knife from my holder with the only hand I had free and thrust it with all my strength into the Griffon’s arm.
However, the knife only pierced through it superficially.
The Griffon didn’t even quiver and kept pressing me down.
It hurts. I feel I’m being crushed.
I can just barely use my ability.
At most, I can produce a sound to drive this thing away.
Still, I was now outside the gravity barrier.
If I were to use up all my strength here I would definitely end up dead.
But I have nothing else to do but risk it and muster my strength…..!
As I was continuously crushed onto the tree trunk, I somehow sucked in the air…….and then I shouted, amplifying the sound.
“Sa-save me, Tameiki-san!!!”
My voice echoed through the sea of trees.
Apart from a little flinch, my sound attack just now didn’t have any effect on the Griffon.
That’s what I thought, but the Griffon let go of the hand which pinned me down and slowly turned around.
I fell down on the ground, stretching out my powerless body.
It happened the next instant.
First, I saw the Griffon being blown off outside of my field of vision.
Next, I saw Tameiki-san with her black hair fluttering, landing on the ground not too far from me.
She looked at my collapsed self and rushed over.
“Are you hurt?”
“…..Ta-Tameiki-san, you came……As expected from my master……”
“Answer me simply. Where do you feel pain?”
“I don’t have any major…..injury. I think…….”
“I see. That’s good to hear……”
She took a breath then stood up.
Then, she glared at the darkness which was the sea of trees.
“Wait here. I’ll come back soon.”
Tameiki-san only said this, then started to run towards the darkness.
No way! Does she plan to fight that thing?
After Tameiki-san slipped into the darkness of the night, chasing after the Griffon, thunderous roars resounded here and there in the sea of trees.
When I thought I heard sounds coming from the front, the next instant they came from somewhere behind, and the next from somewhere above.
I could not even imagine what kind of an intense fight was unfolding between Tameiki-san and that Griffon.
A few big trees collapsed with creaking sounds.
Soon the thunderous roars stopped echoing about, and Tameiki-san returned from the depth of the sea of trees, looking not even one bit disturbed.
“The Griffon’s meat has an awful taste so I haven’t left any of it behind.
However, its claws are a valuable raw material. I’ll go pick them up tomorrow.”
As I thought, she went to defeat it.
My master is amazing. I’m almost losing my heart to her.
“That Griffon played with you. I’m glad you survived.”
That thing played with me!? Such a troublesome being.
Tameiki-san lifted me up and started to walk slowly towards the camp house.
Completely exhausted, I placed my head on Tameiki-san’s shoulder and closed my eyes. Our bodies were glued together and it felt warm.
I opened my eyes just a tiny bit and saw her hair; I couldn’t stop the urge to sniff it.
Yeah, it smelled really good.
With wounds all over my body I was forced to continue my training.
All my injuries were covered with medicines, and after one night of rest my training restarted.
My body felt heavy as always, but as soon as I recovered a tiny bit of physical strength I continued with the training.
After two days have past, I became able to more or less switch my ability on and off; all that was left to do now was to get used to it, so we entered the next stage of my training.
“The third stage will forge your dynamic vision and your reflexes to their limit.”
Or so it appears.
It seems that the third stage will train my dynamic vision and my reflex to their limit.
“You can sense all the sounds around you, but you’re too slow to act after you sense them.
The power to think, judge and quickly act accordingly.
This is what’s you’re missing.
It has no meaning whatsoever if you can hear the sounds quicker than anybody but you can’t react in accordance to that.”
I thought that I fairly trained these reflexes during those ten days of survival, but it seems it was not sufficient.
But how does she plan to forge these reflexes?
In order to train someone’s dynamic vision, I heard that you’re usually asked to remember the number plate of passing cars in an instant.
Will she make me look at moving things?
“I’ll be very happy with training my dynamic vision by gazing at Tameiki-san’s movements.
If this is the case, since Tameiki-san is adorable, I’m also highly motivated to do it.”
“……We’re not gonna do that.”
She felt a little shy again. She’s too cute.
From the moment I realized this, I occasionally poked at Tameiki-san in this manner. Somehow, it looks that Tameiki-san is happier with being called cute or adorable than beautiful or pretty.
During this training, I’m always confronting with harsh situations, so doing this much should be forgivable, right?
“Then, how am I going to train?”
“You will go for another survival.”
“……..You’re joking, right?”
I felt hopelessness.
“However, this time I’m coming along.”
For real!? Awesome!
“The western region of the sea of trees you flew towards last time is inhabited by comparatively weak magical beasts.
This time we’ll go to the northern region where we can find many magical beasts with a backbone.”
Fifteen days until my training is over. There’s still a long time until then.