The pot is completely empty while the stomach is completely full.
As I breathed out satisfactorily, I looked towards the girl beside me.
「Is your stomach fulfilled?」
「I see, I see. 」
「Nn? What is it? 」
I wondered what it was but she kept silent. She was going to say something right? As I waited patiently for her to speak, I saw her grabbing the hem of the coat on her with both hands tightly.
「What is it? Wasn’t there something you wanted to say? 」
I tilted my head as I felt a little troubled because I still couldn’t quite grasp the method to converse with her properly.
(Ah!? Maybe it wasn’t good actually……!?)
「I’m sorry. Did it not suit your taste? Or was there something inside you didn’t like? 」
「N-no, that’s not it……. I’m sorry……. I just wanted to say it’s delicious…… But, I don’t know how to say it well……」
She said in a small voice.
「……! I, I see……」
I’m glad that she said it’s good. I was encouraged as she tried her best saying that, and thought that I should prepare more delicious meals in the future.
(What kind of food does she like I wonder)
I wanted to ask her. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard her name.
「We haven’t had self-introduction right. I’m Douglas, Douglas Ford. Can you tell me your name? 」
I wonder if it came from rabbit. Certainly, there was a few times her eyes resembled a rabbit to me.
When I had such a thought as I was cleaning the dirty pot, spoon and such using water magic――.
Suddenly, I heard a low growl that spread across the ground.
Ravi clung to me, seemingly anxious.
Inside the bush, many glowing eyes appeared. As soon as I saw that, I secured Ravi’s petite body above my shoulders.
It seems to have surrounded us. About ten I guess. I felt extreme hostility from the presences around us.
(Above all, Ravi must be protected at all cost……)
Even so, how did this happen when the fire was supposed to scare animals away. Even though I’ve been camping outside for many times, this is a first for me.
(Ten or so huh)
I should be able to defeat it without difficulty with my current ability. But I felt reluctant to injure living things pointlessly. If that’s the case, then we should probably retreat huh…….
No, that won’t do. What if Ravi got injured in the process of running around in the middle of the night in the forest while carrying her with me.
As I was hesitating, the dogs leaped out from the bush towards me.
While holding Ravi, I avoided with minimal movements. As if not giving me a time to take a breath, the second and third attack came consecutively. But, the problem remains even if I avoid them all night.
(Hurting animals stings my conscience a little but……)
《The goddess that defends the Holy Sanctuary of Absolute Zero, bid me a freezing kiss―― Ice Magic Hail! 》
The icicle that appeared sliced past the dog’s abdomen. I didn’t aim for a lethal spot as I intended to scare them and let them withdraw. But the dogs only hesitated for a moment, then immediately started assaulting us again.
Something is wrong. I felt something was definitely abnormal, but I don’t have time to figure it out. I chanted Ice Magic once again, this time aiming for the dog’s feet.
(If I can just restrict their movements with this)
I hoped to do so as I carried Ravi, but it didn’t hold them back for even a moment. On top of that, they showed no signs of pain. These dogs are abnormal after all. Retreating in such situation is unrealistic.
In any case, Ravi would be in potential danger if I drag the battle on any longer.
(There’s no choice……)
I was upset as I had no choice and aimed for the heart. At least I would like to end their life in an instant. My aim didn’t shake and pierced true.
The dogs had crimson blood spurting from their mouth like a fountain, even with that, they still rose up. There’s no way normal dogs can move while bleeding that much.
I had a bad feeling. Once again, I released my Ice Magic.
The icicle cut through the air like an arrow, piercing the heart again, and the dogs are forced to the ground.
But as I expected, a few seconds haven’t passed but they rose up again. A wide hole can be seen where the icicle went through. The mixture of blood and saliva that is flowing out of its mouth. It can’t possibly be alive in a state like that.
(As expected it’s like that. These guys are……)
An existence that kept looking for preys to satisfy their hunger even though they are in fact, corpses. A being that did not pass on to the afterlife, a sad creature that forever felt hunger. Undead does not feel the emotion of fear. That’s why it didn’t scare the fire I put up and attacked us.
(But, why is there such a huge number of wild dogs becoming undead……)
Several conditions are required for undead to be born. First, they’re forcefully deprived of their life, and was left to die in a place no one knows. Then, the undead are only born when the deceased held a strong will of「To Live」on top of that.
In other words, there’s someone out there who killed the dogs in the forest, and the possibility that it was an unreasonable death is high. I frowned as I thought about the possibility.
It’s not like I would ever understand their suffering of the insatiable hunger and the pain of their heart being pierced.
It would be my ego that I felt sad even if I didn’t know their sufferings. Even so, I felt like I should do something about it.
There is only one method of giving salvation to an undead. Destroying the brain and let it truly die, relieving it from its sufferings.
As I held the reluctance to do it, I hugged Ravi’s face against my shoulder more tightly.
「Ravi, shut your eyes for a while. Don’t open them until I said it’s fine. 」
She probably figured out my feelings just from my tone. Ravi remained strong and nodded.
「……Please let them pass on」
As I whispered to myself in monologue, I released the Ice Magic that was aiming for their head. Immediately after that――
Multiple icicles that was released at the same time hit their targets, and severed the head portion of the undead.
The headless undeads had their corpse bodies fell to the ground with a plop.
Suddenly, it became eerily quiet. I clenched my fist while taking in the smell of blood and mud.
「……――Please give these ones a peaceful rest. 」
I offered my prayer while having my eyes shut. Ravi who was beside me saw what I did and tried to copy me with a pose of prayer.
With this, it is all done. As I slowly rose up, my feet got heavier as I looked at the tombs lining in front of me.
Ravi looked up at me with a worrying face.
「Ah, sorry. What a face to show in front of a child……」
I lowered my head while laughing to try hide my emotions. But the blue eyes kept looking straight at me. I’m embarrassed that I tried to give such a lame excuse. It would seem that an adult can’t hide anything from the pure gaze of an innocent child. As I realized that fact in my heart, I confessed everything that I had in my mind.
「……I wanted to save those dogs, but I guess I was too high of myself. It’s not that they themselves wanted to hurt somebody else. Maybe we should’ve ran away and that would’ve been it……」
Ravi bit her lips with a troubling look. Of course. Because it was just me complaining about the past.
「No, never mind. Thank you for listening. 」
As I tried to end the conversation like that, the hem of my pants was pulled suddenly.
She still bit her lips, but I understood she wanted to say something.
「U, umm…… I think you saved them, I……. I mean…… being hungry is very painful. 」
She muttered out with a flimsy voice, while seemingly looking for better words to say.
(She’s probably trying to console me……)
As I felt an indescribable emotion that warmed my heart.
「Thanks a lot, Ravi.」
I returned a small smile as I thanked, Ravi once again pursed her lips and nodded.
(I didn’t think that I would be encouraged by such a small child)
It was somewhat surprising, but my mind felt a lot lighter after I told Ravi about everything.