— 4 —
“So, what’re you going to do now? The mass spawning time is almost up, are you still planning to stay here?”
Nekomimineko’s spoiler, Ryden, asked me.
Even after the mass spawning ended, the monsters that were part of the mass spawning wouldn’t disappear and they’d still count towards the events, but if you didn’t report to the guild within one hour after the end of the mass spawning, you couldn’t receive any of the rewards for the Fest.
“The next one will be the last one. Once we defeat it, we’ll call it a day.”
The next spawn was at 3:55. If we stayed until the very last second, it was possible that we could have defeated even the following Golden, but once the clock hit 4 the mass spawning would be over, and normal monsters would start appearing in this field.
While we shouldn’t have had any problems with level 50 monsters as we were now, I didn’t want to take on any unnecessary risk. I’d already spoken to Ringo about heading back without waiting for the final spawn.
What worried me was what Ryden was going to do, but…
“Hmm. Well, I might as well stay and watch. If you want, you can count on me for protection on the way back.”
Whether he wanted to scout out his enemies, or if he were just a caring person, he gave that suggestion.
Honestly, I didn’t really like the idea of showing our hand, but since it was the last one anyways, we could just finish it off with Ringo’s lightning rush.
I accepted his offer, and we waited for the next monster spawn together with Ryden.
However, I really should have used my brain better. To consider just why Ryden had shown up at this timing, at this location…
The one who first noticed the signs was Ringo.
It must have been time. Particles of light gathered, forming the shape of a monster, but for some reason, its shape seemed strange.
“Oi oi. This is a rather big Zlime…”
Ryden made a carefree comment, but I wasn’t in a state to listen to it.
The field, Deus Plains.
A spawn point forgotten by the game, hidden in a boulder.
And, the existence of the man beside me, Ryden, whose presence was said to always be accompanied by strong enemies.
From those three points, I had reached a certain hypothesis.
The particles arranged themselves into the form of a certain monster.
That shape was the ultimate proof that my dreadful hypothesis was correct.
“It’s still the mass spawning, right? Why is such a huge monster showing up?”
Ryden looked to me for confirmation, but I couldn’t give him a reply.
My body wouldn’t stop shaking.
Even if I tried to speak, my clattering teeth wouldn’t let me, and my jumbled thoughts couldn’t form words.
Somehow, Ringo had come beside me.
But I couldn’t respond, even to her.
I just stared as the particles of light formed a giant body, as the worst monster appeared.
What appeared, towering over three meters tall, was a grotesque giant.
–An armor of soft and flabby white meat covering its unimaginably large body.
–A ferocious and repulsive smile on the face buried within the meat.
–A giant kitchen knife that was so big it could only be called a blunt weapon instead of a blade.
There was, no doubt about it.
In the past, having killed the greatest number of players out of the many bugs in Nekomimineko, and having supposedly been fixed immediately with the first patch, was the bug, The Great Mincemeat Festival.
–It was now trying to reawaken its horror in this new world.