“… And then, I was completely worn out. I feel like at this rate I’ll really get an ulcer…”
“Don’t cry. Cheer up.”
Me and the God of Hunt (abbreviated: Hunt) were sitting next to each other in the stone chamber. When I tried talking to him, it turned out he was a great chap, who sat down hugging his knees to his chest and lent me his ear.
Anyhow, he might’ve looked eerie but he was a God, not an evil monster. When he understood that I wasn’t an adequate hunting prey — that is, I was too much of a shabby opponent — he has completely lowered his weapon. It also seemed that, the act of him killing the adventurers’ familiars was actually him disposing of animals let loose by robbers, who were causing a disturbance in the ruins.
“That before, above, amazing. That, Rēko?”
“Yep, you’ve got great intuition. She left for town just a while ago.”
“That, strong. Very strong. Not human. Dangerous.”
“Nah, she’s still a human. She just went a bit too far with her wrong assumptions.”
Despite his brief remark, I could feel Hunt was deeply impressed. It seemed like Rēko’s awakening was hard to believe, even for a God. What was she, that child. After I complained for a while and felt refreshed, I’ve wiped away tears with my forelimb and asked.
“By the way, are you living here?”
“It has to be hard. Adventurers wreak havoc, robbers make this place their headquarters, it has to be noisy.”
“Not, really. No more, treasure. No one, comes.”
Having no visible face Hunt obviously had no expression, but he still somehow looked lonely. And yet, he tried to ruthlessly kill the first visitor he had in quite a while, so his hunting pride must’ve been considerably high.
“Since no one’s coming maybe you should move somewhere else, where there’s more people?”
“I, this place’s god. I cannot go, anywhere else.”
“That’s just suffering. It’d be nice if there was something I could do to help…”
Hunt looked as if his non-existing eyes were shining.
“Of course. You kept me company for a long while. As long as it’s something I’m able to do, just tell me.”
“After a, long time, I want to, go outside.”
I quizzically tilted my head to the side.
“Are you not allowed to?”
“Usually, I cannot. But, when teaching hunting, special. Can go, grasslands.”
“Ah I see. Since you’re a God of Hunt, teaching is also a job of yours. Were you teaching humans long ago?
“Yes. Taught, a lot.”
I nodded in agreement and said.
“Then it’s decided. Please teach me hunting on the grasslands above. Honestly, lately I was thinking I need to temper my body a bit anyway. With a God’s guidance it might be a little easier. Having said that, I’ve never hunted before, so please go easy on me.”
“… It fine?”
“That’s obvious. I believe helping each other out when in trouble is the way to go.”
The huddled up Hunt stood up in an inhuman movement. After staring intently at the grotto’s ceiling, he said.
“… Thank you. Up, we go.”
Once he muttered that, before I noticed the surrounding scene has been painted anew. Grasslands were illuminated by the moonlight. It looked like we were sent to the surface by his hands without even crossing the robbers’ passage.
And then, looking at the night sky, I remembered.
“Oops, not good. Can I quickly go and get my medicine? The one I told you about, youthful rejuvenation elixir. If I don’t use that, I’ll return to my original form and just get hunted for bounty. It’s already this late, so the effect might run out any time now.”
Surprisingly, it turned out that Hunt thought ahead and held out a small barrel in his hands.
“Yes this, thanks. You really helped me out here.”
When I took a step forward to take it, for some reason Hunt took one step backwards. Taking another one, he stepped further away.
“Why are you drawing back? If I don’t take it I’ll be in trouble.”
“Hunting is done with utmost effort. Issuing a challenge and drinking weakening medicine is unforgivable.”
“You, didn’t your personality change too much?”
“No compromise permitted.”
Eeh, as soon as I thought I was blessed with a kindred-spirit, it turned out he was that kind of person (god). When I said “after all I’m not feeling good today” and tried to run, all the while feeling with my whole body an unpleasant premonition, Hunt, like a rider, got on top of my back.
“Now, let’s go. Was a while now, my blood boils. Don’t worry. From now on I’ll make you, into a splendid hound.”
“For God’s sake, can’t you return to your former gentle self? I don’t want to turn into a hound, above all I think I’ll piss myself.”
Hunt’s black arm changed shape, stretched and turned into a whip. Then, not tolerating any objections, he lashed my back relentlessly and made me single-mindedly dash through the grasslands.
I continued to run while letting out shrieks of terror and grief. Even when my body returned to my former size, the Spartan training continued till morning.
“Fool! Don’t run so loudly! Become one with nature!”
“Running quietly at full speed just isn’t possible! Besides, I’ve nothing to do with nature! I’m a dragon!”
“The food you are eating, is what?!”
“Grass and trees!”
“That’s nature! In other words, you are nature!”
“Hey, isn’t that too much of a leap in logic?!”
A lash for talking back. Since it was like that, I shouldn’t have asked for guidance and should’ve just abandoned him in the depths of the earth. As I’ve been receiving the God’s personal torture-like guidance, with loud thuds my steps echoed in the grasslands through the whole night.
“The Evil Dragon Lord is angry…!”
From what I heard later, the terrified bandits at the hideout were saying so in response to the earth tremors.