An Unpleasant Presence
2 hours after falling asleep.
I sensed an unpleasant presence and quickly jumped awake.
Looking around, I saw nothing around me and everyone else was sleeping peacefully so I for a second I wondered if it was all just my imagination but——-
No, this feeling like something was grabbing on to my heart was real further confirming this unpleasant presence I was feeling.
Making sure I don’t wake others up, I quickly got out of my sleeping bag, and quietly left my tent…….
Only to see Fecilia standing outside awake, looking towards the interior of the cave, the place from where I felt the unpleasant presence coming from.
“Fecilia, you sensed that presence and woke up as well?”
“No, I was awake from the start and was acting as the lookout. I can’t exactly go to sleep in a hurriedly put up tent with no one keeping watch anyway.”
She has a point but, I really hate her overly sarcastic way of talking.
I ignored my irritation towards her words, and instead focused on trying to figure out what the source of this presence was.
I could tell that whatever it was, was slowly making its way towards us, so I activated my detection skills to look for its exact location.
“Chris, did you wake up because you sensed this thing?”
“Yes. So you can sense it as well huh.”
“Of course I can. It’s releasing such a vile aura constantly, it’d be weird if I didn’t sense it.”
……….I tried locating it with my skills as we talked but the distance must be too far still, as I was unable to get a proper reaction.
Should I get a bit closer, or maybe I should leave it be?
I troubled my brain over what to do but, if it is coming towards us because it sensed our presence, then I can’t simply ignore it.
“I’ll go and check what it is. If something happens, wake everyone up and run away with them.”
“No, I will come along with you.”
Due to her unexpected reply, I ended up looking at her face with suspicion.
Her face twisted with annoyance from my reaction and she quickly explained herself.
“It is most certainly not because I am worried about your well being. I’m simply curious that’s all. The only monsters capable of releasing such a vile aura I’ve seen are the Floor Bosses of the dungeon, that’s all.”
“I see. Then do as you please but, just try not drag me down with you.”
“………..!??! I AM A SCARLETITE ADVENTURER YOU KNOW!? Why would I have to hear that from you of all people!! That should be my———-“
Ignoring her who started rattling away, I began walking deeper into the cave.
Since I couldn’t make a sound in this situation, I chose not to use [Sound Wave detection].
I want to get close enough until it was within the range of [Perception Range Enhancement] and [Life Presence Sense] without getting detected myself.
While also using stealth skills, I continued walking into the cave for a while when suddenly, I began hearing footsteps of a monster.
“Hey, don’t ignore me and say something……….”
“Be quiet. We are close to it. If you want to just chat, go back into the tent.”
Instead of getting a reply, I got my back kicked with all her strength but, at least Fecilia also became serious and fully entered battle mode afterwards.
Now, I can fully focus on the monster releasing this unpleasant presence.
From the footsteps that I could hear thanks to [Hearing Enhancement], I began to slowly form a full picture of what this monster was like.
It must have some sorts of suction pads on its limbs as I could hear a flat suction sound anytime its limbs touched the ground.
It was hard to tell what size of monster this was from just this but, taking into account that these kinds of limbs help absorbs impacts……….there’s a good chance this monster might actually be massive in size.
It was definitely an oddly shaped monster, so we’ll need to be extra careful of unexpected attacks.
There’s a good chance it also possess some weird skills as well, which was the most dangerous part of facing these atypical monsters.
Right around when I had figured all this out from the sound alone——-it finally got in the range of [Life Presence Sense] as well.
No wonder we could feel its unpleasant presence from so far off, it’s life presence was incredible. As you’d expect of an atypical monster.
It was about the same, no higher than even Carlo, I could feel it from so far away.
I quietly wiped the sweat dripping down from sensing it, and started pondering over what to do next.
The safest thing was to go back to the tents, wake up the remaining three and Snow and face it all together.
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Me and Fecilia alone could also defeat it together but, since it was unclear whether me and her could coordinate properly, it was a dangerous idea.
“It’s right around the corner now. Let’s go back for now and attack it all together.”
“I don’t think that’s possible anymore. That monster, it’s already sensed us.”
“Ha? It’s speed hasn’t changed at all, and its movements don’t seem to imply that it has sensed us. Why do you think that’s the case?”
Part of me wanted to punch her just for talking such complete bullshit in such a situation but……..
Judging by her expression, she wasn’t joking at all, and said that fully serious.
That said, should I fight purely depending on Fecilia’s intuition?
There was basically no basis for her conjecture, and it was extremely risky.
……..but, if she’s right and it has sensed us, it might attacks us while we have our backs turned to it and that would certainly kill our chances of winning even more.
The gears in my head turned rapidly as I hesitated over what to do, and honestly, it could take a day before I would come to a legitimate conclusion like this but, as the monster continues to approach us, I obviously don’t have that kind of time on me.
“………………I’ll trust the intuition of a scarletite adventurer. But I’ll never let you live it down if it hadn’t sensed us alright?”
“Even if it hasn’t, all we have to do is simply beat it, no? You can curl up and hide behind me if you want Chris.”
“As if I’d let you fight alone. If you ended up dying, I have no idea what the remaining members of [Moonlight Fang] might do to me. I have enough enemies in life as it is.”
“Then, try and not drag me down with you, okay?”
As payback for what I said a while ago, Fecilia spoke so, with a genuine smile, one she hadn’t shown ever since she had joined us for this expedition.
It did irritate me, but for some reason, seeing her act with such composure even in such a situation did fill me with confidence and a sense of security as well.
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