Chapter 26 – I Feel Sorry For Those Who Were Offered as Sacrifices, But I Won’t Refuse Because It Makes My Stomach Full
I, for the first time in my lives, received a tribute.
From who? Don’t be surprised. It’s from the animals living in this forest.
A few days after defeating the lord of the forest — Daddy Bear, a herd of raccoons gathered in front of me for some reason.
Free food walks to me with their own feet. There seems to be more than one hundred of them. That being said, these raccoons are just ordinary animal, not monsters. They pose no threat to me at all.
What on earth are they coming here for? It doesn’t seem they come here to pick a fight with me. I wonder if they understand that coming all the way to my place in a large number like this is like asking to be eaten.
In any case, let’s observe the situation for now. Even if they try to escape, I can easily catch them with my vines later.
Then, after a while, one of the raccoon from the herd stepped forward and approached me fearfully.
This old racoon with a white beard must be the leader of this herd. He is one sized larger than the other raccoons. In addition, unlike the hundred raccoons lined up behind him, this one is a raccoon monster called Grosse Marderhund.
Although their fighting ability is not high, it’s said that the individuals who have lived for a long time would gain intelligence close to that of humans. One more thing, I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard that they have some kind of ability to show illusions to those who wander into their territory. In other words, they are a type of monster who prefer to run away or hide from their enemies without fighting.
Speaking of raccoons, I think they are cute animal. I often saw them in the hills behind my high school back in the days. That’s right, there was a wild racoon I named Poponko when I was a kid. This sure brings back a lot of memories
The Grosse Marderhund continued walking towards me, slowly, one step at a time.
He looks like a wise old man with his impressive long white beard. Let’s call him Elder Raccoon from now on.
When Elder Raccoon was just some distance away from me, he suddenly stopped walking and lowered his head to the ground. Followed his example, all the raccoons behind him also lowered their heads to the ground.
Eh, what is this!? Why are these raccoons suddenly prostrating to me?
I wonder if raccoons in this world are surprisingly smart. No, it’s Elder Raccoon who is smart. Maybe this means that he recognizes me as the lord of the forest?
I started calling myself the lord of the forest without permission after defeating Daddy Bear. However, it seems that I have really been recognized as the new lord by the denizens of this forest.
Oh well, it doesn’t feel bad at all. It’s rather nice to be revered like this. I wonder if the time has finally come for me to get promoted from a former duke’s daughter to a queen of the forest.
You there, raccoon, raise your head.
I grant you a permission to speak to me.
Oh, but I don’t want any trouble.
I just want to live quietly in this forest.
Even though I am the queen, I don’t want to be in charge if something dangerous is waiting for me, understand?
Elder Raccoon saw my expression and turned back to the herd of raccoon behind him. Then, as if breaking a wave, a plump raccoon with a glossy fur advanced forward.
Hmm? This one is just an ordinary raccoon animal like the rest.
The plump raccoon passed by Elder Raccoon and continued walking towards me. Then, when he was just a few steps away from me, he suddenly laid down on his back. Showing his stomach to me, he was pointing his hands and feet to the sky — a pose of absolute submission. The plump raccoon was telling me that he was ready to give me his body and soul.
Eh, what should I do with this?
When I was confused by a sudden turn of events, Elder Raccoon opened his mouth and made a gesture as if telling me to eat it.
Could it be that this raccoon is something I can eat?
Is it a tribute? No, it’s a sacrifice, isn’t it?
You are very thoughtful to go out of your way to provide me with such a tasty-looking raccoon, Elder.
Still, I wonder what is the meaning behind this sacrifice. Maybe it’s a proof that they recognize me as the lord of the forest. Or perhaps it’s their declaration of wanting to live under my protection from now on.
These raccoon don’t look very strong, do they? I have a feeling that they spent their time in hiding during the warring states period of the forest. Instead of fighting themselves, they come under the protection of the strong. The proof of that is the sacrifice. Yeah, it’s quite possible.
So, if I eat this plump raccoon, does this mean I have to protect them from now on? That sounds troublesome. I just want to eat it and run away, but that’s not possible. I’m a plant, after all.
Roots, don’t you feel like walking? I personally want to take a walk once on a while. I know it’s impossible, but I can’t help thinking about it.
While I was mulling over it, I felt all the gazes gathered on me, as if telling me to hurry up and be done with it.
If I eat the sacrifice, that means I agree with the contract….
These raccoons probably came here with the expectation that if something were to happen, I would be willing to help them. Or if there’s a dangerous enemy, I will defeat it for them.
There’s only one option for me. Because I can’t go anywhere, whether I accept the contract or not, if they lead the enemy to my place, I will have to fight it in the end.
The result will be the same either way. If that’s the case, let’s just enjoy the meal in front of me without extra thoughts. I will slowly think what to do when that time comes later. I still don’t like the idea of having dangerous enemies be sent to me every time, though.
Yeah, I know. I automatically became the new lord of the forest when I defeated Daddy Bear. I have no choice but to accept it. Besides, I hadn’t caught any preys recently. I’m not well nourished right now. Alright, without further ado, let’s dig in!
Yup, it’s not filling at all.
Seeing I ate the sacrifice, Elder Raccoon bowed his head deeply, turned around, and started to walk away.
No, wait, I’m done yet! Elder Raccoon is the leader of this herd, so I will let him off the hook this time. However, please leave some of those young raccoons to stay and play with me for a bit more.
I moved a large number of vines that I had hidden in the ground beforehand. The raccoons were surprised to see countless vines suddenly sprouting from the ground.
The young raccoons over there looks good. Let’s catch two…. no, three of them.
The raccoons were dancing in the sky as I scooped up them with my vines one after another. Sensing the danger, the other raccoons started to run away in panic.
Hey, let’s play a game!
What!? You are busy running away?
Okay, I understand. How about playing game of tag?
I will become “it”, so you guys can continue to run away from me. By the way, you will be eaten if you get caught. This is the beginning of a death game of tag.
Ignoring the trembling Elder Raccoon by my side, I threw the young raccoons I caught into my lower mouth.
I guess that’s enough for now. Because I’ve received my payment, I will accept the job. Don’t hesitate to tell me if you need my help or something.
Elder Raccoon retreated one step at a time while trembling in fear. Thus all the raccoons living in this forest officially came under my rule.
If you have free time, it’s okay for everyone to visit me once in a while, you know?
However, it didn’t end with just raccoons. Maybe it was a law of this forest, various animals would offer me their comrades after that. Foxes, forest dog, forest cat, squirrels, rabbits, and so on. Just like raccoons, there was a pattern where the herd was led by a monster of their kin.
It’s as if they are asking me to protect their kin with this. Even now, a herd of deer is coming to seek an audience with me to offer a sacrifice.
I mean, this makes no sense. I’m basically just a plant. I can’t do anything to them as long as they stay away from me. However, they went out of their way to come here to give me an offering.
After all, is it because I have been recognized as the lord of the forest? The job to maintain the balance of this forest falls to me now. The lord of the forest is the strongest. I’m expected to act like a bouncer against foreign enemies.
I’m sure this was previously Daddy Bear’s job. I wonder if he also felt what I’m feeling right now. It’s really a dilemma….
Even if I want they to go home, I don’t think they will go home until I accept the sacrifice. I can feel such a strong will from them which is quite intimidating. They want me to take over Daddy Bear’s role. For that purpose, they are offering their kin to me to get on my good side.
In any case, there are no monsters stronger than me in this forest right now. If adventurers or hunters from the nearby village were to come in a large number every day, it would disturb the balance of the forest. That kind of foreign enemies will be led to my place by the monsters and animals under my rule so I can take care of them. I guess that’s how it works.
Fine, I will do it. If someone has to protect the forest, it will have to be me. I’m the one who defeated Daddy Bear, after all. I have to take responsibility for that. Then, without further ado, let’s dig in!
Yeah, not enough. My body is still craving for more nutrition. Should I ask the leader to leave a couple more deer for me? I guess it’s time to activate the trap. Let’s catch about ten more deer with the vines I hid in the ground.
Looks like I’ve caught a little too many again. Oh well, I’m happy to be able to eat a lot.
No, wait, just one more!
If they want, they can also bring their whole family to live inside my stomach. No?
The other deer escaped. No, I let them escaped. If I eat them all at once, I won’t be able to eat them again later. Please come to visit me again when your number have increased.
I have received the lives of their comrades, so if anything happens, I will help them out. This is also for the sake of protecting this forest’s ecosystem.
I have graduated from being an unemployed flower now. From today, I will protect everyone living here as the lord of the forest. It’s my first job that I’m not used to, but I’ll do my best. If all goes well, I may spend my days quietly while photosynthesizing with the happy animals and monsters under my rule.
Oh, that sounds wonderful. Let’s make it my goal. My dream time may be coming soon. I can see myself living a peaceful life at last.
I’ve been through a lot since I was betrayed by that fvcking junior of saint apprentice and my fiancée — the hero, but I can finally settle down now. I will live my life with my roots firmly planted starting from today.
Thus began my new life as the lord of the forest.