Ghost here. If you ever come across a bear in real life…….you’re pretty much dead I guess. If you become a ghost as well, find me and I’ll teach you the ropes like a good senpai. If you’re not dead yet, don’t try to fight the bear. You’ll lose. No, really.
Taking survival tips from someone who is already dead is kinda stupid though.
Anyways, here’s a new grave. Enjoy.
Ghost – Second Grave: Someone switched the difficulty to insane mode, I’m sure of it.
The huge white bear swiped its paws downwards, attempting to crush my body with them. As I did not want to become a meat patty just yet, I tried my best to duck and roll to the side.
Having had its attack evaded, the bear seemed to get even angrier than it was before and started its pursuit of me, who was barely able to dodge its last attack.
I couldn’t help but curse inside my mind as my situation had gone from relatively sucky to flat out disastrous. Seeing as I had no other options, as soon as I was able to get back on my feet, I jumped behind the nearest tree, which was the one I had been kicking earlier, successfully evading the bear’s attack once more.
Having found a temporary shield, I took a second to think of the best course of action I could take in this situation. Playing dead would obviously get me killed for real. Escaping was not an option, since the thick layer of snow would hinder my progress and I was up against an animal native to the region, which would mean that it would be fast even in this unfavorable terrain. The last option would be to fight it head on, and, although I did not want to admit it, it seemed to be my best option to get out of this alive. If I was lucky, I’d get a hit in and create an opportunity to run away from the bear.
After deciding that I would fight the bear in a surprisingly short amount of time, I instinctively reached for the most useful weapon that was within my reach – the huge sword hanging on my back. Although I was worried I might not be able to swing the sword, or even carry it for that matter, I moved my hand towards my back and grabbed the sword’s handle, then took it out of its sheath. When I finished unsheathing the sword, I heard a loud sound right next to me.
It was the tree, the one I was hiding behind, cracking. It was a rather comical sight. A robust pine tree snapping in half near the base and falling towards me. I dived to the side as fast as I could, evading instant death for the third time in less than five minutes.
The giant bear was standing right next to where the tree used to be, with its paws thrust straight out front of it. It was obvious that the tree falling was because of it……..and maybe because I kicked it earlier too…….just a bit though.
I raised the sword over my shoulder and let it rest on top of it. Surprisingly enough, I was able to move it around with relative ease. As I prepared my body to move at the slightest sign of movement from the bear, it also adjusted its position while baring its fangs at me. I figured that it was trying to intimidate me.
We stood stock still for a few seconds, the cold wind blowing past, until the bear made the first move.
It dashed towards me with its paws raised up high. I also raised my sword up high and stood in the same spot, waiting for it to come to me. When I was within its reach, it swung its right paw downwards. I stepped to the side, avoiding its paw, and then swung my sword down as fast as I could, using my whole body to put more strength behind it.
I felt the sword collide against something, so I directed my attention to it, looking upwards from my now lower position.
The bear was blocking my sword using its left arm, and only its left arm. I wanted to give a tsukkomi, but I just couldn’t do it. I had passed the threshold of my tolerance just a few minutes ago, so at this point, I had already given up on logic.
The bear then vigorously swung its left arm, knocking my sword far away from my hand. Then, it promptly pulled back its right arm and delivered an uppercut right to my stomach.
Just like what would happen in an anime, I flew away, landing on the ground with a loud *thud*, and comically rolled into a tree. Of course, I had broken quite a few bones after receiving the blow, so I wasn’t amused in the slightest.
I shouted in pain. My back, chest, arms, legs and head. All of it in pain. A lot of pain. It was a wonder I hadn’t lost consciousness.
(This happened last time too. Is it a death flag? Will I really have to experience death for a second time?)
Oddly enough, my head was somewhat clear. At least clear enough to be aware of the slowly approaching bear.
It was walking slowly on four legs, as if it had already seized victory and was mocking its fallen prey.
(Shit, now it’s gloating. Why was he able to take on a sword so easily though?)
As my mind pondered such a thing, I remembered the skill I had previously seen in my status screen.
(That’s right! I have that <Perceive Soul> thingy!)
I focused my mind and tried to activate the skill with my will. Soon enough, numbers and letters appeared in front of me.
Great White Bear
(WHAT’S WITH THE DIFFERENCE IN LEVEL, OI?!)
As I imitated the special skill of a certain red haired imouto, I noticed that something else had appeared in the lower left hand corner of my view.
(Is that………a radar?)
There was a circular display with a white arrow in the middle, a red dot slowly closing in on the white arrow, and a grey dot a little distance away from both of them.
(Holy shit, is that an eye? Damn, that’s creepy. Well, I’m getting off track here.)
(The white arrow is me. The red dot is obviously Teddy over there. The grey one must be an animal or something.)
While my mind pondered on such useless things, the aforementioned “Teddy” was continuing its approach.
(Okay, I need to ascertain my situation if I want to have any chance of getting out of this alive……..or whatever state I’m in right now.)
I began to analyze the situation. I was lying down against a tree, with at least 4 of my ribs, both arms, my left leg and part of my head broken. I could feel a line of blood dripping down my face from the top of my head. Needless to say, I was in so much pain, I could barely keep my wits about me. I was being approached by a giant white bear that would undoubtedly turn me into its snack just a few seconds from now. I had no weapons, and even if I did, I’d most likely do only 1 point of damage to that thing once again.
(Isn’t this impossible? The level is too high from the start! I see no way out of this situation!)
My options this time were only to lay down on my back and die or to roll over so that I could lie on my side instead. Of course, I’d die either way.
There was no hero coming to save me from the monster. There was no beautiful princess with great powers coming to my aid. I was left alone to face death once more.
When I finished my evaluation and arrived at that conclusion, two words surfaced in my mind:
I moved my broken arms and tried to support myself with them. Every millimeter that I was able to move was accompanied by a grinding noise coming from my arms. I moved with them until I was able to put my weight on my one good leg. I then used that leg to stand up, my back leaning against the tree that I crashed into. My breathing was rough, my blood was dripping down my face onto the floor, my body was protesting against my every move. Even then….
[….I am not…..going to lay down……and quietly die a dog’s death…..]
I had already died once, and I was not fond of the idea of dying once more. Even then, if I had no choice but to die, I sure as hell wouldn’t go down without a fight.
I raised my eyes and glared at the white bear that was now right in front of me. I was conveying my will to it with that glare.
“I am not your prey, I will not die unless I take you with me.“
It was, of course, the emptiest of threats. With the state my body was in, it was no less than a miracle that I was standing up. Still, as I conveyed my message, I saw the bear flinch slightly. However, it recovered soon enough and seemed that it no longer had any intention of playing around with me. I could see the fierce glare in its eyes.
With the adrenaline in my body numbing the pain, I used my good leg to kick off the ground as hard as I could. We both let out battle cries once more, as we charged towards each other.
However, my body was unable to stand the strain, and I fell back to the ground as soon as I stepped with my broken leg.
I was now lying face up on the cold snow, defenseless. My body did not respond anymore. My enemy entered my sight soon enough. It had not stopped its relentless charge.
When it was finally right next to me, the bear stood on its two hind legs, ready to strike down and crush me with all its weight.
I glared at it until the last moment. Then, the snow was dyed red with blood.
The bear let out a bestial howl as it fell to the ground in pain. A large cut had somehow appeared on the left side of its neck, gurgling out large amounts of blood. The beast used its four legs to regain its standing and then, after looking at something beyond my line of sight, turned tail and ran away.
Dumbfounded, I just stopped thinking altogether and stared at the empty blue sky. The adrenaline was subsiding and the pain was returning. The surroundings became darker every second.
At the edge of my vision, the radar-like circle was still active. A small green dot was blinking a small distance away from the white arrow. That had to mean there was someone nearby, and that someone was probably the one who drove Teddy away.
I strained my neck and looked in the direction where the green dot appeared in my radar. I saw a white haired old man in that place.
He was covered by a mantle and carried a long sword. The white haired old man looked at me and asked-
[Hey there, young man. Are you okay?]
From the strange recesses of my mind, the only words that came to the surface were:
[….It would have been better if it had been a cute girl.]
Thinking about women right before death was probably a bad habit of mine.
Not that it really mattered though.
[Hahaha! If you can make comments like that you should be just fine. We should treat your wounds though.]
After hearing the old man’s careless laugh, I nodded my head weakly and let myself be enveloped by the comforting darkness of sleep.
[Wait, you probably shouldn’t sleep in this kind of-]
I was unable to hear his last words. It probably wasn’t that important. I could find out after my nap.
My consciousness returned as I found myself surrounded by warmth. It was the kind of warmth one could experience upon covering themselves with a thick blanket on a cold winter day. It appeared that was indeed the case, as I could feel some extra weight on top of my body, and felt a fuzzy surface when I moved my arms under the object covering my body. I also felt a soft sensation on my back, indicating that I was most likely lying down in a bed of some sort. I indulged in the comfort I was currently in and waited for the usual interruption of my alarm clock telling me to head to class already.
While waiting for said inevitable event with my eyes closed, I began to focus my senses on the noises that currently surrounded me. I could hear the rustling of the sheets as I moved around on the bed, the cold wind blowing just outside the window, the crackling of the lit fireplace that warmed my body even further.
(Weird. My place doesn’t have a fireplace.)
As the implications of this thought sunk in, I immediately opened my eyes to find myself in an unfamiliar room. It was a rather large room that looked like an apartment that had its partition walls taken out. There were various weapons decorating the room’s walls and a really large fireplace to the right of the bed on the far wall. I could see some sort of kitchen with a bunch of pans and pots hanging from little hooks attached to its cabinets. Even though there were pots and pans, there was nothing like a stove in sight. Put up against the same wall as the bed was a set of one table and two chairs of a rather………simple design. The floor was made of wood, and the walls of some sort of stone.
Honestly, it felt like I had entered some villager’s place in a fantasy RPG.
After this realization, I remembered the events that had transpired recently. My death, being summoned to the world, getting my ass handed to me on a platter by a white bear and having that same ass saved by someone that I don’t remember.
Laying around and doing nothing would get me nowhere, so I raised my body in a way that made it so that I would be sitting on the bed. After I did this, I noticed bandages covering several places on my body. Both of my arms, my left leg, my torso and finally, my head. All of it covered in bandages.
There were two possibilities.
The first. Whoever bandaged me was not aware of the proper way to treat a fractured or broken bone – immobilization – and thus only bandaged the parts of my body they knew were hurt. If this was the case, then I would be unable to move my limbs and any attempt to do so would be met with intense pain. Seeing as I was feeling just fine after raising my own body to a sitting position, I discarded this option.
The second. My wounds have already had enough time to heal, which would mean that I have been unconscious for a few months at the least. Not only would this mean I lost a lot of time, it would also mean that whoever saved me spent more than a few months looking after me. However, unless someone was a saint, there was no way they would look after a stranger for so long. Furthermore, my body should be showing signs of muscular deterioration after spending so much time without activity. Since my body looked exactly the same as I remembered it was during the day of my summoning (plus a few bandages), the result was that I was left with a headache-inducing contradiction. Hence, I discarded my second option.
In the end, I concluded I had gone completely mad after all and decided that the best course of action was to go back to sleep and hope that I would not be kidnapped by a man with a strange looking hat.
As I was about to go back to sleep after reaching this conclusion, the wooden door opened and a white haired man covered by a mantle carrying a large sack over his shoulder came in along with the chilly wind characteristic of cold weather.
In my mind, the following thought sequence ensued: a man just came in through the door without knocking > the man must be either familiar with the owner of this house or is the owner himself > this house is exactly like the house of a villager in an RPG.
And so, my next words were the conclusion I reached:
[That means you must be Villager A.]
My words were met with a large sack thrown at my face with significant force.
[Who are you calling Villager A, you ungrateful bastard?!]
The white haired old man yelled after throwing his rucksack at me. As I removed the sack from my face the old man closed the door.
[Seriously. What kind of manners do you have that you’re saying rude things to the guy who saved your life?]
Looking at him again, he seemed to be a rather muscular old man. Maybe it’s not Villager A, but Soldier A instead.
[You’re thinking something rude, aren’t you?]
How did he know?
Is this old man an esper?
Can he shoot laser beams and bring down giants of light?
Well, that was probably not the case.
As I was thinking such useless things, the white haired old man picked up one of the chairs resting next to the wall, brought it next to the bed, then sat down and stared at me.
[What is it?]
[Leaving how rude you are aside…..are you feeling alright?]
This old man…..was probably a good person. He not only saved my life, but it was also likely that he was the one who treated my wounds. This sort of behaviour could be explained by him being a good person, so I figured that he should be one.
[Yes, thank you.]
I said my thanks to the old man with these three words and went back to being silent.
[Don’t mention it. Still, for someone to charge like that at a Great White Bear and still be alive, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen something like that. Most common folks just up and die in one hit.]
I was reminded of my fight with the bear.
Rather, my one-sided beating event, generously sponsored by Teddy, the asshole bear. Well, even if I charged at him like I was ready to throw away my life….err…second life? My death? Anyways, I still wanted to keep whatever it was that I had at the moment. Spare me from experiencing death more than once, thank you very much.
[However tough you are though, you sure are a strange kid. What’s your name, boy?]
I replied without missing a single beat.
[What’s with the grandiose name?]
[Dunno. Ask my parents.]
[And where would I find them, if I were to ask?]
[Maybe buried somewhere along some country’s border, or perhaps in a ditch in some other far away place.]
[…….Is that so?]
[Who knows, really?]
[Where did you come from?]
[No clue. I woke up and was here already.]
[What about before you got here? No memories come up at all?]
[You are really not helping, kid.]
[Is that so? Not that it matters if it helps or not, it’s the truth.]
It actually wasn’t. Totally not. I spouted lies in quick succession in order to make up a credible story.
Well, a plausible story anyways.
Eh? Lying is bad you say? I should at least tell my name to the person who saved my life?
Indeed, I should.
But alas, I don’t wanna.
So shut up and deal with it, conscience. I ignored you quite a bit in the previous life, this new one won’t be any different.
Anyways, if someone told you that they were killed, then brought into another world by a loli god who then told them to conquer the world, would you trust them?
The answer is no. Unless you are an idiot, another god or a chuunibyou-ridden person.
As the old man didn’t look like any of those (well, maybe he did look a bit chunni), I opted to tell him a more believable tale. This way, it was not normal, but it wasn’t outright crazy.
Well, not like I was too sane to begin with.
[Well, leaving things like your identity aside, what are you going to do now?]
(What am I gonna do now? Well, with the current state of affairs, I need to gather information about the various things in this world. That will be pretty hard to do if I’m concentrating on ensuring my survival. At any rate, it’s not like I have a lot of choices. Maybe I can squeeze a bit of info from this old man before he sends me on my merry way out into the cold. He may have saved my life, but I doubt he wants to support a freeloader, especially someone he just met.)
[If you don’t have any plans, I was about to look for someone to help out with my job. With what I’ve seen you do, I’d say you’re perfect for the job. You could start as soon as your wounds are completely healed.]
The old man said that while looking as if he was sure that I’d say yes to his proposition. Wipe that grin off your face man, it looks weird.
While that offer did sound good, I did not know what this old man did for a living. I could guess he was a hunter, but something told me he wasn’t just a regular hunter. There was something different. Something about this old man’s aura told me he didn’t just trap rabbits and kill snow foxes for a living.
(Well, I could keep on pondering forever, or I could just ask. No harm in asking anyways.)
And so, I opened my mouth and asked.
[Old man, what exactly is that job?]
[Well, that’s easy!]
The old man suddenly stood up, opened up his arms wide and, with a huge smug grin on his face, declared-
[I’m a Monster Hunter!]
I feel like I flipped a weird switch.