For once I had to ignore the Carlisle forests as we headed east, and made our way across the highway further beyond.
The road slowly began becoming narrower and narrower , and the number of trees around us also grew.
“Man there’s so many more trees around us now! Are we already in the designated area?”
“We are but the sightings of the Red Kong are much further ahead still.”
“But still,……it’s nice to not have to stop to fight every little monster on the way. Snow really is so useful!”
“Well it’s killing them long before we could even sense them! That said, if its killing them so easily, is it even getting any stronger from this?”
“I think it is. It’s movements are clearly getting much better, and its range of detection seems to be also increasing. I have also ordered it only attack the monsters told beforehand so it won’t suddenly attack a stronger monster and become too strong either—–it will keep getting stronger little by little like this.
“Gah……..is even Snow going to surpass me!? Shit, I really can’t be slacking off!!”
Ralf also lined up alongside Snow, and began trying to sense monsters with Snow.
But no matter how much he tried, there was no way he’ll ever beat Snow whose detection abilities were better than even my own……
It’ll be a pain to stop him so I just let him do whatever though.
In the end, after two hours or so, Ralf tried his best to hunt scrubs alongside Snow but they were all killed by Snow and Ralf failed to get a single kill, and just wasted his energy for no reason.
Funnily enough, to not make Ralf worry, Snow, who was unaware of Ralf’s true intentions, worked even harder to kill everything by itself and then was nuzzling against Ralf asking to be praised for it.
“Ralf, Snow wants you to praise it you know! Don’t leave it hanging!”
“ugh, uuu……….You did a good job Snow! Good boy!”
While giving a side glance at Ralf who was praising Snow with a complicated mental state, I also finally raised my vigilance towards the surroundings and began looking for enemies.
It won’t be strange to run into the Red Kong from here onwards after all.
“Enough playing around, time to focus up. Snow, back into Esta’s bag. Ralf, stay behind me.”
“So we’re finally close to it eh. Got it!”
“Snow, c’mon, come here……….I will also be at full focus, for we could get attacked at anytime!”
We took our usual formation, and we continued walking through the area, ready for battle.
Since then, 20 minutes had passed.
I suddenly sensed a monster rushing towards us from our right.
From the pressure alone, I knew this was not a normal monster, so I began giving orders to the two, and took my stance with shield.
While crushing down any tree in its way, the monster that appeared with such great speed was——a gorilla-esque giant monster covered in red fur.
In some ways it looked similar to the Orc General but, its appearance was a lot more wild and animalistic, and it possessed no weapons either.
The amount of muscle mass on its body was also similar to the Orc General, and it had sharp fangs and claws on top.
It’s arms were big and strong enough to topple trees in its way, and it also had a tail a little more than half the size of its whole body.
That said, its movements looked light and nimble and it seemed like its heavy body didn’t affect it’s agility at all.
“I-is it just me or it looks stronger than we thought!?”
“Yeah, honestly, I didn’t think it would come straight at us all the way here.”
It slammed its chest like a drum and roared, as the Red Kong’s appearance alone made cold sweat run down my spine.
Compared to the Venom Python that was a similar platinum rank monster, its aura was on a whole different level.
Just like the vice chief had told, without the poison, the Venom Python really was a normal gold rank monster.
The red kong certainly looked stronger than we expected but……..I have also grown since I fought those Venom Pythons as well.
And so have Ralf and Esta, and we even have Snow with us this time around.
While keeping my eyes on the Red Kong that was still drumming its chest, I wordlessly activated [Flesh Enhancement].
First I’ll try and deal with it with this alone. If I can’t handle it, then I’ll further use [Skin Strengthen] and [Fortification].
I ran the simulations in my head, and focused on the movement of the Red Kong.
It still didn’t seem like it was going to attack——but the moment I thought that, it suddenly rushed at me on all 4 legs.
It rushed at me with the intention of slamming its giant body straight at me, and as it reached closer to hitting me, I took a step aside and completely dodge it.
It was definitely fast overall, but its acceleration was what really stood out. This is definitely going to be a pain to deal with.
It was the same with Venom Pythons as well but, sudden lunges were hard to deal with.
At least in case of Venom Pythons, they could only lunge at you in a straight line but, this Red Kong could literally attack from anywhere which made it a whole lot harder.
Not to mention, from what I can tell the strength behind each attack was in a whole different level as well, and I also know that it has elemental attacks in store for us as well.
……….this is a stronger monster than I had originally imagined.
Seeing me dodge its attacks, the Red Kong quickly fixed its posture and then rushed towards me again to launch a second attack.
But this time it didn’t just lunge at me again, it simply closed the distance between us to enter close quarters combat with me directly.
Well, from my perspective, I’d rather face this than the lunges as well though.
As the Red Kong approached me, setting up its own rhythm of attacks, I put up my shield to watch what it does next.
I wasn’t going to attack yet, I’ll focus all on simply deflecting its attacks for now.
As it launched a right upper from above—–I used my shield to divert it straight into the ground.
………the weight behind its attacks was lighter than I expected.
I was able to completely deflect the right upper, and while I was pondering on how light that attack felt—–it followed it up with full powered Left Straight punch.
Seeing its left arm come towards me with full speed, I instinctively knew that I won’t be able to block that like always.
I had to activate [Skin Strengthening] and [Fortification]——No, I won’t make it in time with two skills.
Then,……I choose just [Fortification].
I instantly activated [Fortification], and somehow managed to block the might of the left straight.
On top of [Flesh Enhancement], I also used [Fortification] yet I was unable to completely kill the blow and I got blown backwards as my feet slid across the ground a meter in distance.
The Red Kong looked shocked that someone had managed to block its hit head on, but quickly moved into launching its next attack.
That left straight was………not even a skill. It was just a normal punch.
——-It’s strong. This thing is bloody strong.
It was stronger than even the bear-like monster I fought in the Peixa forest, and now it was already number 2 on the strength ranking of things I have fought, right behind Klaus of course.
My brain was telling me to run but my instincts were shouting at me to devour this monster.
If I could eat the Ongneer born from this monster, I will get so much more stronger.
My sense of reason blew away and the corners of my lips rose as I looked at the Red Kong.
This was similar to what I felt when I faced that first Orc inside the Peixa forest.
Running away inside the forest with nothing at hand, eating nothing but grass for so many days, I saw that orc as only food and nothing more.
This was the same as then.
I craved more and more power. Even against a strong enemy like this Red Kong, all I saw was a prey for me to feed on.
My body ached for it, and the corners of my mouth rose involuntarily.
Perhaps if someone saw me from the side, it would look like the smile of a devil, but right now from the top of my head to the ends of my feet, every inch of my body was aroused, stimulated——-I was naturally in the ‘Zone’ once again.