Chapter 03: Beastification
They finally arrived at 【Buscador】. Hiiro used 《Word Magic》on the rock that was covering the facility. The character『Hole 穴』opened up a hole big enough for people to enter and Hiiro and co broke in. The place that Hiiro’s party arrived at was very bizarre and they frowned.
There were remains of monsters piled up inside of a big cage. The corpses had been left alone for a long time and they smelt incredibly rotten. Furthermore there was a Sky Wolf stretched out on something that looked like an operating table, its hands and feet were cut off and there were a number of surgical scars on its body. The stitches on the wounds were also sloppy, it was kept to a minimum so that the Sky Wolf’s organs wouldn’t leak out.
Muir saw this and covered her mouth with both hands while a look of despair came over her. Even Arnold was at a loss for words and stiffened. Only Hiiro had an acknowledged look on his face as his guess was correct.
(As I thought, it’s an experimental facility. They used monsters… Probably to examine its ecology but it’s still unpleasant to look at.)
Even Hiiro frowned at how the people in this facility treated the monsters. Hiiro didn’t think anything of examining monster ecologies and making use of it in the future since it was something that normally happened in Japan, no, on Earth. What he didn’t like was the way they treated the monsters without care.
Monsters were casually left in cages and there were flies gathering and worms appearing. If they had no use for them anymore wasn’t it proper to bury the monsters? This place was just like a garbage disposal site, it was a monster garbage dump. Hiiro didn’t know why he felt so irritated when he looked at the monsters that were treated like disposable garbage.
“Hey Hiiro, is this…?”
Arnold asked while blocking his nose, at that time they heard a terrible sound coming from somewhere. It sounded like something had struck the ground and the walls were collapsing. After a while they heard the sound of footsteps.
Since there was a door, they opened it slightly and saw the exterior. People in white-robes were quickly running through the passage trying to escape.
(Did something happen…?)
Hiiro wanted some information so when the person at the back reached the door, Hiiro quickly opened it and kidnapped that person.
“W-wwwho are you guys?!”
That person was a man and, of course, he was surprised to see people who weren’t meant to be here. Hiiro forcefully pushed the man against the wall and,
“Shut up, you only have to answer my question.”
The moment the man tried to speak, Hiiro pulled out his sword and pierced the wall, grazing the man’s right cheek.
“Decide right now whether you’ll answer my question or not. Nod if you understand.”
The man hastily nodded his head up and down many times.
“Is he really a brat…? If someone told me he was an assassin, I’d probably believe it…”
Arnold’s face stiffened seeing Hiiro act in a familiar way and whispered to Muir, who was next to him, to see if they had the same opinion. But Muir could do nothing but feign laughter. Hiiro ignored their muttering and asked the man.
“The Antenna Girl should have come here.”
“A wolf was also with her.”
“Wolf… Are you possibly talking about the Sky Wolf…?”
The man timidly asked.
“That’s right, she’s a little girl with blonde hair. Where is she?”
“Where…? What are you to her―――?”
This time Hiiro ran his sword at the man’s left cheek.
“I won’t say it again, you know? Now be good and answer my questions.”
“… Ye… Yesh…”
The man looked at Hiiro’s cold eyes which were looking down on him and he lost his will to oppose. He told Hiiro what had happened inside of the facility.
The Chief of this place created a creature and made it fight with Winka in order to gather data. He had thought that the experiment would go as predicted but Winka was more resilient than he thought. The Sky Wolf’s counterattack was also unexpected. But something more astonishing happened. Hiiro couldn’t grasp what he’d heard.
“We-well, she is half beastman…”
Arnold and Muir stiffened when they heard what the man had said. Arnold quickly approached the window and looked up at the sky.
“… I see, today’s a full moon…”
Hiiro frowned while listening to Arnold’s profound muttering. Arnold impatiently looked at Hiiro.
“Hiiro, hurry up! We have to stop Wi…!”
Hiiro was doubtful but he could see that Arnold was at his wit’s end and decided that he should go right away but before that ―――
“Hey, is there an archive in this facility? Where are the research materials stored?”
“Eh, hey Hiiro?”
Arnold questioned Hiiro, who had asked the man something unexpected but Hiiro didn’t care and continued his questioning.
“I’ll say it once again, if you lie or remain silent, you know what will happen…”
“I-it is in room 5!”
“Hoh, and where is that?”
“Eh, in building A!”
“Th-this is building A. Once you go out to the testing grounds between building A and B, it is in the far right corner of building A!”
“Is there no room like that in building B?”
“B-building B is where we develop new drugs and equipment… Sorry!”
The man told Hiiro everything he knew with a stiff face, trying to keep his life. Hiiro chuckled.
“Thanks for the information. Now go to sleep.”
Hiiro punched the man in the stomach and he lost consciousness.
Arnold looked at Hiiro in shock.
“Ah, haha… That is just like Hiiro-san…”
Muir was once again reminded that this was why Hiiro came here and unintentionally sighed. They opened the door and when they confirmed that no one was there, they headed to the place that the man told them about. But to make matters worse they encountered two people.
“Wh-who are you guys!”
Arnold asked and the fat one answered.
“I am the Chief of this facility, Nagnala!”
“My name is Pevin.”
The other person was slender and wore glasses. He looked smart and his most noticeable feature was his slit-eyes. He felt like someone who looked down on people. Arnold raised his eyebrows and spoke.
“I see, so you’re the inhuman researcher!”
Arnold said as he drew his sword. Nagnala was frightened and pulled himself back while,
“Hyah! Pe-pevin, do something! Eh…? Pevin? Pe… Vin?”
Pevin had hid himself behind the wall and only his face was seen.
“Do your best, Chief.”
“Heeeeeeeeeeeeey! I can’t fight, I can’t!”
“I won’t let you escape! Hey, ah!”
Arnold mercilessly pummelled Nagnala with the back of his broadsword and he sunk into the wall.
“Fool… Ish… Man…”
Nagnala sunk into the wall and his whole body convulsed.
“Wh-what’s with him…? He’s really weak?”
Arnold was surprised at the lack of resistance.
“Obviously. The Chief is just a research idiot.”
“Hoh, then how about you?!”
“Fuh, see for yourself!”
Arnold struck his sword in the same way and Pevin sunk into the wall.
“It… Doesn’t mean I am strong… Does it…?”
Pevin suddenly dropped his head. Hiiro and co were dumbfounded but now they could head towards Winka without any disturbances. They left the two idiots and proceeded forward.
The scene in front of them when they opened the door was breath-taking. There was a large amount of blood spattered around the place and something that looked like monster flesh was scattered everywhere.
The wire mesh was broken and there were several crates on the ground inside of it. Perhaps this was the testing site that the threatened researcher had mentioned earlier but it was incredibly worn-out.
There was a door on the other side of the testing site which Hiiro judged to be building B.
Hiiro was surprised that they created a testing site like this but the most astonishing sight was at the centre of the room. There was a pool of blood and someone stood there, alone.
There was blood dripping from that person’s mouth. It looked like a scene from a horror movie. The three stood still and didn’t say a word because the person who was standing there was Winka; the person Hiiro and co were searching for. However her appearance had completely changed and for a moment, they didn’t recognise her.
The long spear that she had when they met her 《Bone Maiden of Victory》was next to her and she was wearing the same clothes.
Her braided long blonde hair was now untied and looked as if it twined itself around her body. It looked like body hair and it also like tattoos. Animal ears had sprung up on her head and she had grown a tail. Moreover she had three tails instead of one. Her hair was purely blonde but now it was shining gold for some reason.
“… Three tails…? Wi… What the hell…? Don’t tell me… No, that can’t be…”
Arnold stared at her while muttering something. Hiiro asked what was on his mind.
“He-hey Old Man, is that really the Antenna Girl…?”
He was somewhat convinced that it was Winka, judging from the current situation but he asked anyway.
“Eh? Ah, yeah. You probably don’t know this Hiiro, during the full moon the beastman’s power gets stronger in half-breeds, who have beastman blood.”
Hiiro looked up at the sky and clearly saw the full moon.
“Today is the full moon… Do you get stronger?”
“Yeah, even for ordinary beastman, our blood boils when there’s a full moon and we have more power than usual.”
Hiiro was convinced that this was the first time he’d ever heard this.
“Beastman half-breeds aren’t accustomed to the power of the beastman so on nights with a full moon, they calm their minds and controls the beast within. Young children often rampage.”
“Like she’s doing right now?”
“Yes, that control gets stronger the older you get. After the age of 10, even on nights with a full moon it should end with them growing animal ears and tail.”
“Then why did she become like that?”
Winka said she was 14 years old despite looking like she was 10.
Hiiro looked at where Arnold was looking and there was the Sky Wolf. Just by looking at it, Hiiro could tell that it had died.
“I see, if she saw something like that then no wonder she can’t calm her mind.”
“Yeah, it was probably killed right in front of her eyes. There are also others that have died. Wi’s gentle so this would certainly make her lose her composure. Then she 《Beastified》.”
“The awakening of the beast within is called 《Beasification》. There are half-breeds out there who have mastered 《Beastification》and can use it freely.”
“Is that what happens when you fail?”
Winka was still slicing up the corpse of the monsters. She looked like a real beast.
“That’s a full rampage. Wi’s probably lost consciousness.”
“Wi-saaaaaan! We have come to help you!”
“Idiot, stop that Muir!”
Winka stopped moving when she heard Muir’s voice and quietly looked at them. Hiiro realised that she couldn’t recognise them when he saw her eyes.
Yes, just like Hiiro had seen, her eyes were black. The whites of her eyes were completely black and her iris was red. Moreover the red part was small and it made him feel dreadful. No matter how he looked at it, she was no longer conscious.
Her killing intent instantly exploded. She licked the blood on her hand, suddenly kicked off the ground and quickly ran towards Muir.
Muir couldn’t move, the speed at which Winka was running towards her was too fast. Arnold stood in front of her and took a defensive posture with his broadsword.
Winka stuck with the palm of her right hand which had grown sharp claws. Hiiro thought that Arnold would be able to withstand the attack using his strength but he was wrong.
Arnold was blown away along with Muir, who was behind him.
(Hey, hey, that’s a lot of power!)
Arnold was a beastman so he was also strong. Despite defending with all his might, he was blown away. Since he defended with a sword he didn’t receive direct damage. The two tumbled on the ground and light scratches appeared on their body.
Winka growled like a real beast and crawled on all fours. She glared at Arnold and Muir and moved around like she was hunting. At this rate Arnold would be in trouble so Hiiro thought about how to turn her back to her normal self.
At that time, however, Hiiro entered Winka’s view. Just when he had thought that she finally stopped moving, she jumped towards him. She intended to attack from above.
“Don’t underestimate me!”
Hiiro predicted where she would land and leaped backward. He waited for the right time and accumulated his power before kicking off the ground. He kicked the falling Winka but,
She easily caught the blow with one hand.
Hiiro obviously didn’t have strength like a beastman but he thought that she would receive damage if he kicked with all his might, but he was wrong. Hiiro’s kick was weak enough that Winka, in her current state, could easily stop it with one hand. Winka held onto Hiiro’s ankle and swung him around like a swing.
She roared. She suddenly let go off his ankle and he headed straight towards the wall. If he hit the wall with that much force he would receive a lot of damage. Luckily he was close to the ground so he pulled out his katana 《Piercer》and thrusted it at the ground.
He didn’t seem to be stopping but nevertheless he’d slowed down a bit. However his grip had loosen from hitting the ground and he let go of his katana. He fell to the ground 5 metres from the wall and avoided the worst case scenario which would have been dying upon impact with the wall.
Hiiro quickly stood up and thought about how twisted it was that Winka was laughing as if she was having fun.
(… This is a difficult job.)
He had received a request to save Winka from Arnold, no rather, from Muir. It wasn’t a difficult request and he had thought he could cut his way through using 《Word Magic》. But he never expected that he would be fighting Winka, herself and not the people from the facility.
Furthermore she was incredibly strong. She was the daughter of a beastman so she was blessed with high physical abilities. Hiiro never thought that there would be such an overwhelming difference in strength between them.
He thought about confirming her 《Status》now that he was far away from her. He used 『Peek 覗』. He was struck with terror when he read what had appeared in front of him.
Nagnala, the Chief of 【Buscador】had been embedded in the wall like a mural by Arnold. His subordinate, Pevin also remained buried in the wall.
“… Ah, I remember it now, I do!”
“What do you remember, Chief?”
“About that Chibi Spearwoman! I thought that I’d seen her somewhere before and it turns out that I have, yup!”
“Do you know each other?”
“No! A village I dropped by a while ago was bothered by a terribly ferocious monster, it was.”
The two looked strange since they were stuck in the wall and only their mouth were moving.
“The person that appeared there by chance was that Chibi Spearwoman. When she heard what the villagers had to say, she went off somewhere.”
“And then what happened?”
“The next day, that girl dragged the ferocious monster back to the village.”
In other words Winka saved the village.
“Hah, what a good-natured person.”
“It’s not only that! The monster was an Elephant Kong, over 5 metres tall, it was!”
“Eh?! If I am not mistaken, Elephant Kong’s are rank A monsters, right?”
“Yup. Moreover there were two of them…”
Pevin gulped. Challenging a rank C monster alone required one to be level 30 or over. Rank A monsters required an even higher level. Furthermore when there were two rank A monsters, fighting experience was just as important as level.
“I was surprised, I was. I didn’t think that a little girl around the age of 10 would be able to defeat a rank A monster, let alone two of them. Moreover…”
“Th-there is still more?”
“On the same day she finished eating both of them herself, she did…”
“I couldn’t believe it, nope… Where does she fit all that meat in that scrawny body of hers…? Wow ~, I really want to dissect the Chibi Spearwoman’s body, I do ~.”
Pevin lightly sighed at Nagnala’s never-ending curiosity.
“We-well leaving her appetite aside. If she is that strong then she must be famous, is she not?”
“Yup, her name was certainly…”