Everything seems to indicate that, as I supposed, the growth of this body is not proportional to the time it has been alive or to the size it possesses. After all, if that were the case, the difference between me and the adults should not be so big, not if it is considered that, at present, I am almost the same height as they are.
Strength, speed, muscularity. There must be a turning point at which these values undergo an explosive increase, but until then, I must endure this without complaint.
”Pant; Pant; Pant…”
Running with all my might, I tried to keep pace with those ahead of me. However, no matter how hard I pushed myself, I could not succeed, as while they did it with relaxed postures, I did it with my body covered with sweat and my breathing agitated like a heated dog.
I couldn’t even take a break to catch my breath, for if I lost sight of them, it would be impossible for me to find my way back before the sun set.
‘What’s the problem with that? You say, uh. Well, the issue here is that, apparently, I’m not yet qualified to deal with even one of the beasts that reside in this place’
Like a frog at the bottom of the pond, I was unaware of the dangers around me, and although I was cautious not to stray from the safe zone, I underestimated them.
It was not until recently that I began to accompany the hunting party in their work. Although before that, I was in charge of bringing water for daily use from a spring not far from the cave, which apparently was not to the liking of the giant, who promptly changed my duties.
‘The bastard did not like the fact that I led a quiet life.’
Fortunately, he was not entirely inconsiderate, for on my first outing, he went along with us and allowed me to watch the fight from a safe distance. Also, despite that only happening once, there was no need for another because the adults, having seen their boss’s intent, did not require me to participate in the subsequent hunts.
‘Which is not to say that they guard me. They only allow me to accompany them from a distance, but my safety relies entirely on my caution’
Luck has been on my side, there is no doubt about that, since otherwise, due to how those bastards fight, joining them would not be possible without being seriously wounded or, worse, dead. That’s why, before doing so, I will need to learn the patterns of their movements, as well as the capabilities and attitudes of the beasts to kill.
In addition, thanks to my role as a spectator, I have created a list that classifies the degree of danger of each animal I have seen to date.
Among them, the one that undisputedly takes the first place is the hedgehog or the thing that, from a distance, seems to be one.
Despite not being the largest in the area, being only about two meters tall, this fearsome beast is not prey to be hunted since when the party encounters one, it prefers to take another path, diverting from any conflict.
A wise decision on the part of some brainless people. Understandable, considering the big white spikes with blackened tips, which cover his body and are at least equal in thickness to one of my arms.
Yes, these may be few compared to the specimens I saw in the documentaries on Earth. However, seeing the nuances of them, combined with the sizes and positions in which they are found, that is, on their foreheads, backs, tails, and legs, I would not be surprised if these were poisoned and, when someone approached them, they would throw them with enough force to pierce a person.
‘Of course, all this is only a hypothesis with little conclusive evidence’
But, as a precaution, until I have steel armor covering my body as the giant has, plus such high speed to dodge bullets, I will keep that information that way, guided only by the wary attitudes of others.
With that said, next on the list is one with whom I had already met when I was younger, although that encounter occurred from a distance and with a lifeless body.
That’s right. I’m referring to the rabbit, an animal that, by the way, has very tasty meat. Sweet, soft, and without excess fat, that when I eat, it reminds me of the taste of a good chicken soup, seasoned with a touch of salt and… nothing more.
Anyway, the difficulty of this hunt lies mainly in two factors, namely its speed and size.
As you would expect from its breed, it is fast, and not only that, it is also agile, as it can jump from side to side without my eyes being able to follow its movements. Not to mention that a kick with one of its hind legs can send whoever receives it flying for several meters, with severe internal injuries as a consequence of the impact.
‘I know that because I saw it with my own eyes, and although the beaten guy didn’t die, all the way back, he was vomiting blood and moving like a drunk, with staggering steps. Although after three days, he was as if nothing had happened, so in the end, it was nothing serious’
Now, don’t let its speed and agility confuse you because, after listening to my words, you might think that to move like that, such a beast should be tiny, but that’s not the case. That monster is not little at all.
The size of a car? Did I really say that? Nonsense, perhaps it is if the hunted is a hatchling or if its body is consumed due to blood loss. However, being alive and fully grown, standing on its two hind legs, it appears to be the size of a two-story house.
Not forgetting that not being the same herbivore of my memories, its fangs and claws are the same as those of any carnivore I’ve ever seen, only several times larger and deadlier.
I suppose this is why there are few times when there is rabbit meat for dinner, for even though this guy, unlike the hedgehog, can be hunted, the cost of doing so could be greater than the reward. Also, to do so requires a lot of care and coordination on the part of the hunters, something which is very hard for them to achieve.
‘To expect order from them is nothing more than an unrealistic fantasy. Therefore, for the sake of putting a better meal on the table every day, when my growth is over, I will take it upon myself to guide them in their work’
A somewhat distant goal. So, for now, let’s go back to the table of powers.
In third place is a beast I have only had one encounter with. Also, I was unaware of its existence until very recently, and with good reason, as the wretch loves to hide underground, so finding it was a stroke of luck rather than skill.
Evidently, I’m talking about the mouse, hamster, rat, or whatever the hell it is.
Again, the danger of this prey comes from two reasons, which are very different from the previous specimen.
The first would be their ability to create deep and wide burrows, as it is due to this that when trying to catch them, a collapse can occur that leads whoever is near the place several meters underground. Such is a fall that could hardly be categorized as fatal, but one that, with a misstep, would cause severe leg injuries to the victims.
Moreover, the second reason to be cautious when approaching them is that they do not live alone, and while they are not as large as the rest of the animals in the area, measuring barely one meter in height standing on all fours, they are still deadly when ten, twenty or thirty are gathered to defend their comrade.
‘These would undoubtedly be a step above, surpassing the rabbits if it were not for the fact that in landslides, they are the ones who are mainly damaged. Besides, their claws and teeth are not so dangerous in a battle’
Although, perhaps their danger could be greater if, just as on earth, contact with them causes the birth of deadly diseases such as plague or leptospirosis. However, that is something I will only be able to know in the future, to be specific, if those wounded during that fight are aggravated over time.
With that possibility in mind, it’s time to talk about the one who is our major food source, the one that looks like a cat, a tiger, or a puma. I’m not sure what it is, but it has the shape of a feline.
So, Its size? Quite large, about as big as the average human, give or take; Its speed? Greater than mine, that’s for sure; its strength? Well, considering its sleek, massive musculature, plus its ability to throw a stout man to the ground easily after tackling him, I’d say it’s a lot, enough to be able to bite off limbs in an unguarded moment.
Yes, from everything described, it seems to be very powerful, and it actually is, but on par with the other forest animals, this one is simply pitiful. After all, it lacks a unique feature that would allow it to stand out.
It is necessary to clarify that I do not say this simply for the sake of saying it but is something that nature itself has shown me, as it is common to find rabbits or hedgehogs eating them while we are looking for prey to hunt, besides that in the rat burrow there were also several bones of its kind piled inside.
At the end of the day, these felines have turned out to be like cockroaches, which can be found everywhere. So much so that, so far in today’s hunt, five have already been caught while the other creatures have not been seen at all.
Ultimately, they are the ones who are at the bottom of the food chain since, to top it all off, I have not forgotten that I saw the carcass of a lion the size of a dog some time ago…
‘As I have always said, this is a crazy world’
In any case, everything I’ve seen so far has been but a small percentage of the diversity that may or may not be here. After all, I haven’t encountered any birds or animals living in the branches of the trees.
Not to mention, in lakes, swamps, or similar areas, there might be completely different beasts, just like the bus-length snake whose dead body I once saw.
There are so many possible and certain dangers that staying behind the party is not an option, which is why I must endure the pain in my chest as I run after them.
‘Training? No, that’s already worth it. It would just be a waste of time’
No training I do would be of any use to me against this type of enemy, as what I watched on TV were battles between humans, not between giant monsters and dwarves. Besides, I don’t need to further improve my killing style over my kind.
‘Why would I do that if I am now the only one left of my generation?’
Still, that doesn’t mean I’m the youngest one left in this damned place, for a new batch of children has already been born. I know that because a few of them have already started to be taken away by the usual women.