A week has passed since we arrived on the mainland.
Almost all the members of the research team were in the 600-700 level range, and could now operate alone in the forest.
The base was now more comfortable, the surroundings had been trimmed back a bit to make it easier to operate, and a road had been built to make it easier to get from the coast to the base.
"I think it's time we started our mission."
Kaede, Frau, the captain and the deputy chief nodded silently at my words as we gathered in the briefing room.
"I can't believe you're leaving us, Toru-dono! No, no, no, no, no!"
"Luvue-Sama, the Manyu Brigade has a more urgent job than escorting us. You must not be selfish."
"What a painful mission. Vice President, I want you to write down how sad I am in the mission log."
"That's something you should write in your diary."
"Okay, I'll do it."
Luvue left in tears.
I still don't know why she likes me so much.
When I asked the vice-captain why, all I got was, "I don't know."
She is such a strange person.
I decided not to think about it and continued talking.
"If possible, I want to be able to secure supplies on the mainland as well as in Lastoria. To do that, we need to get out of the forest. We have the strength to defend ourselves now, but our food is limited."
"You are right. It takes four weeks for the ship to make a round trip, and if supplies run out during that time, we will be in dire straits. It is imperative that we investigate the outside world."
Everyone nodded at the captain's words.
His words carried more weight than mine. There are many people who respect him, perhaps because of his mature adult appearance.
With those words spoken, we agreed on what they would do in my absence.
The day came to depart.
Everyone was waiting outside the base to say goodbye to us.
"Let me know if they need anything."
"I will never forget the beautiful moments I had with Toru-Dono."
"I'm not going away forever."
"I would appreciate it if you would come to visit us regularly, so we can be informed about how things are going here."
"Sure, I'll come back as soon as I can."
We said our goodbyes and left the base.
"It's a little sad, isn't it? We've been together for almost a month now, and it's strange to part like this."
Both Kaede and I were saddened by Frau's words.
They were all very kind people.
We survived together until now. We were almost like family.
If possible, I hope that nothing goes wrong and that we can complete this investigation without incident.
"Why does Toru-Sama still not want to accept my people's traditional way of saying thank you?"
Monica was walking behind us, muttering.
I'm not about to accept something like that, I'd be in big trouble.
I'm sure Kaede would punish me for that.
That girl is a little crazy.
"Monica-San, you're a very good girl, don't feel sad."
"But I still don't know how to show my appreciation to Toru-Sama."
We continued walking along the marked path in the forest.
I could really go for one of those transport beasts right about now.
If I ever find a monster I can ride, I'll tame it.
The continent is so vast that it will be inconvenient if I don't get one soon.
What kind of monster would be suitable for such cases?
A creature emerges from the bushes.
I waved my hand for all three girls to hide.
What appeared was a huge monster with the face of a tiger and horns of a cow, standing at about 10 meters in height.
Monica starts to tremble.
Behemoth... I've never heard of it.
Could it be a monster that only exists on this continent?
"It has a strange ability to enhance its stamina."
"So it's able to travel long distances?"
I want that animal as a pet.
At least two more, if possible.
"I'm going to tame it."
"Take care of Monica."
"Yes, my lord."
I approached the monster.
As soon as it sees me, it lets out a roar and stands up on its hind legs.
It was looking at me from its great height and baring its sharp fangs.
It's roar echoed through the air, rustling the trees.
Even standing on its two hind legs, It's not half as intimidating as it sounds.
But in a way, there is a hidden passion among men in wanting to tame such an animal.
The monster swings its sharp claws toward my head.
They were like sharp knives.
As I caught it with my hand, my feet sank slightly into the ground.
But the attack was lighter than I had assumed.
"You're coming with me."
The behemoth was clearly surprised.
Its eyes were wide and it had an expression similar to human shock on its face.
I pushed its paws back, and its face twisted in fear so clearly that even I could see it.
Then I slightly lifted the behemoth's huge body and threw it against the ground with great force.
I climbed on top of its chest and looked squarely into its face.
"From now on, you are my partner."
I climbed on his neck, and the big behemoth stood up.
The visibility was high and I could observe everything clearly.
"Well done, Master!"
"You have succeeded, my lord. Now we can make it through the forest faster."
"Heee, you just tamed an S-rank monster."
Immediately, Kaede, Frau and Monica got on top of the behemoth and we continued our journey.
With such a large body, it's easy to carry a lot of people.
"We'll have to give this kid a name."
"Yes. We have to give him a cool name."
He was very big. And he looked like an Ichiro.
Ichiro seemed to like the name and it resonated with his throat.
This guy is surprisingly cute.
Suddenly we encountered a second Behemoth.
I got off Ichiro and tried to coax the next monster.
"Yeah yeah, whatever you say, I'm not afraid of you."
The monster bit me, but I just petted it and it calmed down. It was a female, and we had already decided beforehand that it would be named Bechjiro.
Kaede and I will ride on Ichiro, while Monica and Frau will ride on Bechjiro.
"Hee, I'm on top of a Behemoth so casually, it's amazing.
"Master, Monica looks happy."
"Yeah, I guess she's crying from joy."
"That clearly isn't the case. Whichever way you look at it, I think she's crying from fear."
As soon as we resumed our walk, another female appeared.
I did the same process as with Bechjiro.
Three Behemoths move through the forest.
Me with Ichiro
Kaede for Bechjiro.
Monica and Frau for Bechisu.
The three monsters chased away all the other monsters that appeared in our path, making our journey easier.
By late afternoon, we had passed through the Forest of Death.
The next day we left the forest and crossed the mountain.
The other side of the Forest of Death is separated by mountain ranges, and we had to go up a steep mountain road.
However, the three monsters easily crossed the mountain.
Even a wyvern that was on the cliff ran away.
The skeleton it dropped was instantly crushed.
I was glad to have encountered a Behemoth. It definitely commands respect and awe.
"Monica, are you sure there's a village up ahead?"
"Yes. There's a town on the border called Stani."
We'll have to hide the three Behemoths in the mountains.
These guys are smart and friendly, but their massive faces strike fear.
Luckily I have my ring with me. If I can raise it to level 3, I will also be able to disguise the Behemoths' appearances.
Maybe I should use the ring as much as possible in the future.
The three monsters began to stray from the path, and started jumping down the cliffs.
We reached the forest at the foot of the mountain and came out into a meadow from where we could see the city.
"You guys will have to wait for us in the forest."
Ichirou, Bechjiro and Bechisu rub their faces against me before returning to the forest.
"I've found good beasts."
"Yes, after all, you are the master."
"They are strong and fast, what more can you ask for?"
Well, let's enjoy the city.
I'm looking forward to it.
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