I need to get back to Lily.
When I return to her, she’s already sitting up on her knees with a mostly-dazed expression, but she looks like she’s reading something.
I’m assuming that she’s reading the windows that I doubt she cared about during the past hour.
“What – what happened to the i-imp?” Lily asks. “It says he—”
“How’re you feeling?” I ask her.
“M-my throat is sore, but umm, what—”
“Let’s get you cleaned up. The plants around here have some pretty big leaves, so we can use those to wipe you up before you put your clothes back on. You should probably just put on your pants and hoodie so the rest don’t get dirty.”
She looks down.
I’m probably being too obvious about changing the subject, but I don’t think I can deal with telling her the truth right now. I can’t just tell her that I killed somebody. Who could? My dad used to want me to go out hunting with him when I was younger, and I’d yell at him all the time for being cruel and hurting animals. I can’t get behind hunting for sport and even hunting for food leaves a bad taste in my mouth if it’s not absolutely necessary, yet I just killed somebody.
The only light I can find in this situation is the somewhat amusing realization that every monster-slaying hero in video games has to be a sociopath to do this so easily. How many of those characters start off as young teens or even kids? After experiencing it myself, am I supposed to believe that a bunch of teens with no experience ever killing before can just easily go and kill monsters?
That’s just laughable.
“I – I saw it,” Lily says, her voice quieter than usual.
“What?” I ask.
“I turned and… saw you choking him.”
I can’t even begin to think of what to say in response to that.
She continues, “I’m – I’m sorry… I don’t like to confront people, but… we’re here together, so umm, I think we should – we should be honest with each other.” Her head hangs lower and her voice grows quieter with every word.
We’ve only been in this world for less than a couple of hours, yet here we are.
Here I thought I’d get to live a carefree life as a perverted monster.
“Yeah,” is all I can manage to say.
“Thank you,” Lily says. “I – I mean thank you for… catching me, and umm, de-defending me.”
“You’re thanking me for killing him?” I ask. I’m sure she can pick up on the disbelief in my voice.
“I know you didn’t mean to. I – I saw you trying to save him, and I saw how sad you looked.”
“Let’s get you cleaned up now. I won’t try hiding anything else from you, alright?” I know she’s just trying to comfort me, but I don’t need comforting. It isn’t her responsibility to comfort me, and what happened is entirely my fault. I should never have let anything happen in the first place. I just got too damn excited and wasn't thinking properly, and now I'm left with regrets.
Lily nods her head then watches me as I walk around to gather some leaves. They are as soft as silk, so I don’t have to worry about them being uncomfortable when she wipes them across her skin.
“Hopefully, we’ll find a river to take a bath in,” I tell Lily as she tries to wipe herself off.
She looks up at me with some of the saddest eyes I have ever seen.
“They – they never mentioned th-this part in the stuff I looked at,” she whines.
“Yeah, they never really showed the aftermath of this sort of stuff in hentai. Don’t worry, we’ll get you clean,” I explain.
While she struggled to look at me earlier, now she can actually look at my face. At least she’s feeling comfortable enough to look at my face even if she can’t look me in the eyes. Speaking of eyes, where’d her glasses go?
“What happened to your glasses?” I ask.
“A-ah! They – they must have fallen off… again…” Lily answers.
“Does that happen often?”
She looks down and nods.
“I’ll find them.”
There are only really two places they could be: below where she was hanging or where I caught her.
They aren’t at the latter, so I check the former.
Yep. There are her glasses underneath where she was hanging from before. After wiping them off, I hand them back to her and say, “Here.”
“Th-thanks,” she says and puts them on.
Looking around us, all I see is forest, forest, and more forest no matter what direction I look in. I could use Feral Form to turn into a forest imp again, but… I don’t know if I can ever use that form again.
“Was there any reason you chose to teleport us here, or did you just pick the first random spot on the map that you could reach?” I ask.
“Oh, umm, I-I saw a city kind of close to this forest, a-and I thought it might be better to start in the forest than the… city. D-did I make a mistake?” Lily asks.
“You did good. That was a smart choice. Just have to hope we travel toward it instead of away from it.”
“I-it was to the right, if that helps…”
“So, the east?” I ask, looking up at the sky through the forest’s canopy. The foliage is too dense to get a clear look at the sky, but I manage to see some of the sun poking out from behind some leaves.
Waiting to see which direction the sun sets would probably take too long, and it might not be the most accurate, so there’s really only one thing I can do to efficiently figure out where we are and which direction the city is in.
Putting aside my own apprehension about doing this, it’s the best, most logical choice to help both of us out.
“Stay put. I’ll be right back,” I tell her. “Feral Form: Forest Imp.”
I slowly fly upward until I’m near the top of the trees. Ascending takes an increasing amount of effort the higher I go, but I’m able to just barely clear the treetops to do a three-sixty and look around.
We are in the middle of a massive forest. It would probably take us several days to actually get anywhere, but the good news is that I think I see some towers in the distance. I’m guessing that’s the city.
If that city is to the east then those giant mountains I see are to the north… and west, and south, and east. I’m only just now realizing that we are in what looks like an utterly massive crater surrounded by mountains.
Only one thing left to look for.
Unfortunately, given how dense the canopy is, I can’t spot any nearby rivers.
I fly back down as quickly as I can and turn back into a human when I’m about seven feet above the ground. I’d rather potentially hurt myself from falling a bit than get knocked unconscious again from using all my mana.
Pain shoots through my feet and legs from the fall, but I stick the landing.
Seeing how low my health is getting worries me, though. If I just take ten more points of damage, then I’m dead. Permanently dead.
I don’t want to die.
I’m going to need to be more careful from now on. Not just for others, but myself.
At least Feral Form should level up the next time I use it.
“The city is that way,” I point to the east. “Let’s hope that we find some water on the way over.”
“Can – can I ask you something? It... might not be appropriate right now, b-but it's been bothering me,” Lily says.
“You just did.” I turn to look at her and see a bit of a pout. Cute.
I don’t know whether she’s handling this better than me because she’s not the one who actually killed Zrip, or if I’m just overreacting, but his death doesn’t seem to be bothering her that much.
Maybe she’s just stronger than me and better at hiding how she really feels.
“You’re, umm,” she looks me over, “really… really h-hot. Why weren’t you s-satisfied before? On Earth?”
I’d be more flattered if I didn’t just kill somebody.
I can admit that I’m more attractive than most men are, but that doesn’t matter to me. “No real friends, no family, boring job that I only did to pass the time, but most importantly, having a human’s body is boring. Make sense?”
Lily nods her head and then I bring her clothes over to her, Tenta included.
“Come on, let’s find shelter before it gets dark.”
“You poor, pitiful little thing,” Lust says, watching Damian and Lily on the widescreen in their room. Their other chosen are up on the screen as well and most of them are busy having fun with their partners or running away from monsters. “You may be one of the bravest I have chosen, darling, but that conscience of yours will be your downfall if you do not deal with it soon. You must learn to find the pleasure in taking out your sadistic desires in more ways than only with consensual partners. But, mmm, then again, I did choose you precisely because somebody so concerned about consent could be interesting.”
Lust maximizes the display of one of their other chosen. “As for you, I know that you will prove to be my most effective chosen. I cannot wait to see you become my champion, darling.”
“Hey! Lust! Whatcha doin’?” Envy asks, barging into Lust’s room.
“Need I demonstrate my point of taking out sadistic desires on unwilling participants, Envy?”
Envy shuts the door and finds somebody else to bother.
“Now, where was I… oh, this will bring me such great entertainment,” Lust moans.