I look deep into the forest.
At first, I couldn’t tell because of the gloom of the night, but I could see a large black mass slowly approaching me.
I don’t know what it is yet.
But one thing I know is… Huge!
Its shadow is like a large boulder in the forest, and yet it is…… bipedal!?
“…… What is it?”
『Oi, child… cease your stupor… prepare to move with haste.』
『Do not be careless. Be ready to activate the breakthrough at any time.』
Even Tre’ainar warns me to stay vigilant.
As long as you enter the forest with the beast, you’re next to something dangerous.
A beast of that size…. a bear?
No….. What? The shape of the shadow has finally come to light. Hmm? You know, aren’t there two sharp corners that extend from the head?
“Are you… a human?”
“It’s late, what’re you doing here?”
No way, human? No, it’s not. But it can talk to people……
And the identity of the huge approaching mass was finally revealed.
Red-blackish skin over its whole body.
It has a furry waist wrap, but everything else is exposed.
The big mass is not obese, but composed of huge bulging steel muscles all over.
The two horns extending from the head are a sign of a deformity.
And, a bag which contains ‘Something’ is carried on its shoulder.
『This… it’s an Ogre.』
At Tre’ainar’s words, tension rose all over my body.
Among the demons, it is said that it is a ferocious race with high fighting ability.
Intelligence is not so high, but possessed enough supernatural power to make up for it. I heard that they always stood on the front line during the war of tens of years ago, plagued the Allied forces, and attacked a lot of towns and nations.
In a sense, for humanity, they are popular and scary demons.
“I see, where’s yer home… kid?”
Also, the other reason why they are most feared and hated.
Its merciless cruelty.
‘I’ve heard’ that non-combatants, such as women and children, are also brutally slaughtered and violated in the cities they have conquered.
“Could it be, you lost?”
It looked a little surprised at my appearance, but it was approaching.
What am I doing? Can’t lose my never here!
“D-Don’t come any closer!”
“I might be a kid, but… you’re not looking down on me, are you?”
I was stunned for a while, but when Tre’ainar told me to ‘move with haste’ I braced myself right away.
While taking a step, I assumed the stance of the Great Demon Flicker.
Even if I do, can the Flicker penetrate this guy’s bulging brawny muscles?
No, then I’ll lead it around with my speed.
Against those with pointless gargantuan bodies, it is best to take them on with speed……
“H-Hey, c-calm yer spewing! Oh, I won’t do nothing!”
“Really, don’t make such a scary face!”
What the hell? Suddenly, the Ogre with an impatient expression, is trying to calm me down?
This is no joke! Is it trying to get me off guard? Are you going to eat me?
Either way, not even a filthy ogre…. with my Breakthrough…
『Wait… child…… this is a tad peculiar.』
「Ah! What are you talking about?」
『This ogre… does it truly intend to fight? I feel no evil intent….』
「Huh? Hey, the opponent is an ogre, right? Can you believe it?」
『No… But this is…』
Tre’ainar is holding his mouth from beside me, but only at this point, I couldn’t trust it right away.
The existence of a ‘demon’ other than Tre’ainar that I’m meeting for the first time.
It’s the infamous Ogre tribe.
I don’t know why you’re in a place like this, but I don’t know if I can stay calm.
“Oh, that’s it. Well, yer hungry and frustrated, aren’t you? Then, I’ll let you stay in the house. Hmm, I’ll feed you even!”
“Oh? Are you taking me lightly? I won’t fall for such words? What? Are you going to fatten me up?”
“Eat. N-Not that! You, human, yer eating! Oh, I don’t do nothing bad ta humans!”
What do I do? Strike preemptively for a swift victory? If I get caught like that, it’s over.
Or escape with a breakthrough……
『Hey, child… listen when I talk.』
That was then.
The intense angry words from Tre’ainar, who was by my side, made me think he was scarier than the ogre in front of me.
Why did Tre’ainar get so angry? I didn’t know what was going on.
『I told you. This ogre is… it really has no will to fight. There are no evil intentions either. Child, you worry me, being so purely lost.』
『Or you… never having seen it before with your own eyes …do you judge the existence of this ogre purely on the prejudice of ‘People’ you have not seen with your own eyes?』
Don’t judge only by preconceptions.
Sure, I’m meeting an ogre for the first time and I’ve only heard about the dangers through rumors.
And now, for me to regard it like that, Tre’ainar…
『Hey, child. Do you not know?』
『Just a few hours ago… a man who can only see himself under the title of son of a hero…. was insulted as a disqualified warrior with regards to the circumstances only for using the technique of the Great Demon King…. do you not know that there was such a sad man?』
『And here… is a person who can only be seen as a member of the ‘Ogre’ race, though it shows concern for you and it is kind. Well…… what do you think?』
The moment I heard those words, my face became hot and I was ashamed of myself.
I was fed up with everyone seeing me only with the title ‘Son of the hero’ and now I’m dealing with the guy who has no ill will or evil spirit that appeared in front of me only by the race of ‘Ogre’.
It’s not just my father, my mom, or the people of the Imperial City.
Shamelessly, I had the same narrow heart as everyone….
“Oh, a-are you okay?”
I was so ashamed that I was hitting my head against a tree right next to me.
“Lame… I’m so naive…. absolutely lame…”
If Tre’ainar hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have noticed. I could not help feeling annoyed with myself.
「Sorry… for sure…… I was wrong…. Tre’ainar…」
『Oh, having apologized, I will not think too much of it….』
With that said, Tre’ainar smiled gently at my apology and waved to the ogre in front of me with his chin.
I got it.
To be honest, I don’t know what this guy is, why he’s here, or if he’s really worried about me.
But still, first of all, without a strange preconception…… no, it is the first demon I’m meeting for real. It might be impossible to connect with the other party on friendly terms so suddenly, and honestly it’s scary.
Maybe if I get careless, he can crush me in an instant just by grabbing my head. Break my neck bone. He looks that strong.
But first, I go towards the ogre who’s worried about me….
“I-I’m sorry… all of a sudden, I was yelling at you…. you’re right, I’m lost, I’m hungry, I’ve had a lot of things…. no….. I was simply a narrow-minded idiot, so I said all that…. My bad…… Forgive me.”
With my head bleeding a little, I bowed to the ogre in front of me.
I usually don’t bow to people very often, but at this point I knew that ‘no matter how anyone sees me, I’m in the wrong’.
Then, the ogre in front of me……
“Yeah, but I’m not like that. Well, I’m an ogre, so people can’t not be afraid. It happens.”
At first, the terrifying Ogre’s expression showed me a full smile, as if he was a daring neighbor.
With a smile that made me feel something, I was shaken and at the same time I felt more ashamed.
“It’s real late today. Come ta the house. I’ll show you how ta get ta town in the morning!”
“Really, hehehe. Human, I was inviting you ta the house anyways. Well, I just got some ‘meat’ a while ago, so let’s eat it.”
That said, the ogre not only forgave me, but he’ll try to help me.
Looking at Tre’ainar’s face next to me, he nodded without saying anything.
“Well, what’s yer name, human.”
“Name? I….. Earth.”
“Earth. Earth… yer a good guy.”
“…… What? Why?”
“Oh, people I’ve met so far, they’re all scared. But I believed in Earth. Ah, I’m glad ta be friendly with a human!”
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, stop … I was being extremely hostile, me.
This ogre…… a ridiculously nice guy…. eh? Is this really an ogre?
“Oh well, Aka. I’m called Aka Naiter. Nice to meet you, Earth.”
It doesn’t feel like I’m in contact with a different tribe.
No, it’s much better than those guys who know me only as ‘the son of a hero’. It was full of human kindness.
That was the encounter between me and the strange ogre, Aka.
I hope Aka’s dialogue wasn’t too distracting. Figure I’d throw some Hillbilly in there to make him different.