Side Story 25
What is the most important thing when going on adventures?
It is surviving.
No matter what happens, no matter what unexpected situations arise, you must respond flexibly and survive.
That is the most important thing when going on adventures.
Those who don’t understand that will die young.
No matter how talented you are, no matter how lofty your goals and aspirations, if you can’t survive, it’s meaningless.
So then, what do you need to survive?
This is my personal opinion, but there are three things necessary for survival:
“Strength,” “Judgement,” and “Luck.”
The first two can be acquired through experience and effort, but the last one cannot be controlled.
Yet this “Luck” is perhaps the most crucial element for survival.
Why do I say that?
It’s because the power of the monsters in this world far exceeds that of humans.
Monsters are categorized into eight ranks according to their strength and danger level: lower-class, intermediate-class, advanced-class, General-class, King-class, Disaster-class, Calamity-class, and Evil God-class.
Of those, humans can only hunt up to General-class at best.
And even that requires a party of A-Rank adventurers betting their lives to barely take down.
The strength of King-class and above jumps exponentially.
To face a King-class monster, you’d need to gather dozens of A-Rank adventurers, and even then victory isn’t assured.
That’s how different the league of King-class monsters is.
However, there are some exceptionally rare humans who can solo hunt King-class monsters.
They are the highest rank of adventurers, the S-Rank.
Other than the two legends from five hundred years ago, Hero Cadias, and the Sage Elibel from two hundred years ago, they represent the pinnacle of human strength.
Some famous examples are the Dragon Slayer and the World Piercer from the Borhelic Kingdom. The Silver Demon from Hà Giang Empire. Yasha and the Thunder Slash from Wano Country. And the ultra rookie newcomer, the Gale from the Holy Kingdom.
These solo King-class hunters are the ultimate fighting force of the human race.
But…that’s only in the context of humans.
They’re not even close to the true monsters beyond humanity.
That’s right, even the peak of human strength caps out at King-class.
Monsters still have higher levels above that.
Disaster, Calamity, and Evil God-class.
Their power and danger levels live up to the name.
If even one appears, the damage inflicted upon the human race would be unimaginable.
For example, the Disaster-class Imperial Ant known as the “Calamity Black Ant” that appeared four hundred years ago. Through sheer force of numbers, it caused the downfall of several countries and resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties before it was finally defeated. However, it’s said this feat wouldn’t have been possible if the Calamity Black Ant hadn’t been weakened from fighting the Accurate Crow swarm.
The most well known Calamity-class is probably the gigantic bovine monster called the “Abyss” that suddenly emerged in the great western ocean of the Borhelic Kingdom two hundred years ago. This monster attempted to sink the continent. But it was thwarted and defeated by the Sage Elibel.
It’s said that without her, this continent would have been annihilated.
The Evil God-class monsters are known to all.
The Divine Catastrophe Dragon King, the Emperor Beast, and the Dream Mist – the three of them.
To be honest, reaching this level, it’s a miracle humanity still exists at all.
After all, every time one of them appeared, humanity was driven to the brink of extinction.
The Divine Catastrophe Dragon King who split the once united continent into the world we know.
The Emperor Beast, said to be the first to organize monsters into “armies” and amplify the power of all monsters.
And the Dream Mist, rumored to have spread magic, curses and sorcery to humans, inciting bewildering wars.
Each one a bona fide monster.
Some scholars even argue that the Emperor Beast is the same monster as the Demon King Agil who appeared five hundred years ago, but the Guild’s official position is that this claim lacks evidence and is far-fetched.
Additionally, though unconfirmed, it’s rumored that dragon king species like the Celestial Dragon and Holy Dragon have individuals who reach Evil God-class.
The witch’s “Descriptions of the Dragon King Species” also contains writings that suggest this.
After reading through these documents, he looks up.
「Nufuu…the more I read, the more I’m reminded of the sheer difference in power between humans and monsters…」
With a heavy sigh, he places the parchment in his hand on the desk.
His name is Schwein Och O’Rahnland.
The feudal lord who rules over the Rahnland region of the Holy Kingdom.
With his bloated pig-like body, unique manner of speech, and grating voice that induces physiological disgust.
That grinning face of his is the very image of a corrupt noble.
I should clarify that his appearance is misleading, as his inner self is that of an exceedingly good person.
「Hehehe…well boss, it can’t be helped…」
「After all, THEY are on a whole other level…!」
The man who brought the report agrees with Sir Schwein.
With a mohawk and shoulder pads – the basic end-of-century outfit – he looks completely out of place in this fantasy world, as if he has a permanent “!?” floating above his head.
His name is Sub (married). Formerly the leader of the adventurer party “Black Fang Hyena.”
As you can tell from the “former,” they are now retired from adventuring and work as direct subordinates for Sir Schwein. After saving a pig at the Continental Congress, for some reason the pig took a liking to them and they accepted his offer.
A combination that should never have joined hands.
Incidentally, he was also the one who wrote the serious report Sir Schwein was reading earlier.
「Mr. Sub, are you aware of the incident that happened recently in the Ford Desert?」
Sir Schwein (unshipped) asks with a sleazy grin.
Sub nods back with a “!?” floating above his head.
「Hehe, of course I know, boss. It was a crazy fight. Glasses was monitoring from afar, and he said it’s a miracle they made it back alive…it was that intense.」
The legendary monster, the Emperor Beast, suddenly appeared in the Ford Desert.
News of its fierce battle with Earth and the others had already spread amongst the people.
The threat of the Demon King, the emergence of the Emperor Beast, and the gathering of other monsters rivaling it.
It would be unreasonable not to be disturbed by this.
Even in the territory ruled by Sir Schwein (Ham), public order has deteriorated, and riots could break out any day. He struggles daily to quell the people’s anxiety.
But the fundamental problem remains unresolved.
And that is because of what everyone felt after seeing the battle between the Demon King’s army and Earth’s group.
―――That humans cannot defeat monsters.
The overwhelming difference in power.
Compared to the top-ranking monsters, human strength is pathetically inferior.
And this isn’t limited to just the recent incident.
The “Eld Desert Large-Scale Subjugation Battle” that happened a year ago.
The strengthening of the Eight Great Dungeons of Fáfnir due to Pathless and the appearance of large teleportation dungeons.
The advent of Divine Catastrophe Dragon King Jibru, Dream Mist Joker, and the last dragon king Ouronus – the worst monster parade in human history – at the Hà Giang Empire where the Continental Congress was held. Also known as the “Catastrophe Incident.”
In all of these, humanity was defeated.
No, to be more precise, it wasn’t even a contest.
We were simply caught up in the disasters they brought about.
To Evil God-class monsters, humans are less than insects.
Just as no one pays attention to ants when walking, to them humans are insignificant specks unworthy of notice.
Pondering what can be done to save his precious people, Sir Schwein (Processed Meat) closes his eyes, immerses himself in contemplation, and arrives at a conclusion.
「It can’t be helped… It seems I have no choice but to execute that ‘plan’…」
Hearing those words from Sir Schwein (Human), Sub becomes agitated.
「Boss…are you serious about this?」
「Nufufu, I’m serious as can be.」
「You could die, you know? Are you still gonna do it?」
The “plan” he devised is by no means safe. Rather, the chances of him dying are quite high – it’s an extremely risky gamble.
「If you die, what’ll happen to your wife and the orphanage kids?」
Sir Schwein has a beautiful elven wife and over a hundred children living at the orphanage he runs. If he dies, how much sorrow would his bereaved family feel? Sub is questioning if he’s prepared to accept that outcome.
「Even so…someone has to do it. As things stand now, I cannot protect my beloved family anyway… So why not take a chance on hope?」
Sub stares intensely at Sir Schwein.
Overwhelming bloodlust. Overwhelming pressure.
Even faced with such intensity, Sir Schwein does not avert his eyes in the slightest.
Sub says and turns an “enthusiastic” “smile” towards him.
「I’ve seen your ‘resolve.’」
Gulping, Sub extends his hand.
Sir Schwein stares at it with a startled expression.
「I’ll follow you…even to ‘hell’… That’s how it is! You bastards!」
The moment Sub says that, the office door opens and in comes Tattooed Fatty (Married), Bucktoothed Shorty (Has Girlfriend), Eyepatch Buzzcut (Married), Rugged Glasses (Two Girlfriends) – the Black Hyena members!
They had been eavesdropping outside the whole time!
「「「「We’ve been ‘waiting’ for this ‘moment’!」」」」
Their excitement (voltage) already at maximum, knowing the circumstances.
But why do they keep getting “!” when taking any kind of action?
It’s a mystery.
「You were listening…?」
「We were there from the start, ya know…」
「We smelled something fishy, boss.」
「If you’re going, then we’ll–」
「–clear the path for you!」
Seeing that, the pig bursts into tears..
The mutually trusting lord-retainer relationship.
How beautiful it is. (Though visually it looks like the pig and the end-of-century group are hugging.)
「I understand. Please protect me, everyone. And let us protect the people with our strength!」
Sir Schwein stands up and begins walking with purposeful steps.
The Black Hyena members follow after him.
「Now then, let’s be on our way, everyone. Contact Orion!
We head to his land – the dungeon ruled by the Earth Dragon!」
On this day, humanity’s first policy of cooperation with monsters would be enacted.
By none other than Sir Schwein, the saintess Orion Karla, and the knight order sworn to protect them, the Black Fang Hyena.
Future historians would say this:
On that day, had he not taken action, humanity would have gone extinct.
Sub29: Hey there! If you enjoy the content and want to stay updated with all the latest, make sure to follow my channel on WhatsApp! Click here to follow
January 2024 Patron: GoatBeards