Chapter 234: The Litōvear Tribe’s Village

After helping both Hibi and Barong get aboard my back, I ran through the forest while having Hibi show me the way with Telepathize.

Cross the river… and from there you should eventually see it if you keep going straight.

I cleared the river with ease—my landing causing an impact that heavily shook the area around it, which caused any monsters that had themselves revealed from within the brush and under the earth to quickly scurry away from me. The monsters themselves ranged from things like large, spherical rats to wolves. If this is the extent of these monsters, then even Wight might be able to hunt ‘em if I level them up a little.

En route, I picked up on something that didn’t feel quite right emanating from behind us. Since I didn’t want to slow down, I decided to have Partner keep an eye out ahead of us and just have myself look back.

Sitting on some tree branches far behind us were five small gnomes glowing dimly white, the same kind of monsters that Partner happened to notice from before—the larans—which she had been itching to take a bite of. On each of their bodies was a somewhat hollowed-out region that had an eye-like appearance, and it was those regions that were observing me intently. They uh… don’t have ill intent, right? They’re just watchin’ me, right? I’m kinda super anxious here…


Heeding Partner’s warning, I immediately turned my head back forward and avoided the obstacle.

The forest gnomes must be pleased about your return as well, Ryujin-sama, since they are very wary of any harm that could recklessly come to the forest.

Hibi, who by my guess sensed from my gaze that I was worrying myself over the larans, used Telepathize and gave me an explanation. Ah– I see… So those little guys hate seein’ the forest get destroyed? The explanation, at least when I heard it from Voice of God, went somethin’ like they suck up magic from the trees and live off of that… So this dragon god that was takin’ on this role of bein’ a forest guardian might’ve been a very welcomin’ presence to the larans.

I gotta be careful so that I don’t slip up horribly, because it’s lookin’ like if I go mass producin’ too many treants, I’m gonna be put in the spotlight, and in an extra bad way at that… Erm, could it be that I already am considered a target necessary to observe due to all the treants I’ve made? Wait, it wouldn’t be because of that, right? Wouldn’t it be because I was at the dragon god shrine?

The trip was going quite well, so long as Partner becoming more and more put off by Barong stroking my back in a creepy-handed manner wasn’t being taken into account.


C’mon, it’s fine, yeah? This is, without question, much, much better than bein’ hacked up by a sword. Hell, there was even this one time where I super excitedly went up to some humans and nearly died—just got absolutely thrashed!

Partner was looking back at Barong every now and again, looking down in the mouth. Even if it’s not her body to move, it still seems like it’s her body too, as far as she’s concerned.

Still, isn’t her speech, like, masculine? Since we were explained as being a hermaphroditic double-headed dragon, I was sooo sure that she was gonna be more female-oriented. Welp, I guess she’s gettin’ influenced by me, or somethin’ along those lines. I suppose next time I humanize myself I’ll try doin’ it with two heads. Mostly to figure that out, but also as an experiment. I’d certainly pass as a yokai before anythin’ else to any humans who’d happen to see me doin’ that.

After running for a while, my Presence Sense picked up on a bunch of presences. This feeling… the blips are human. It’s evident that we’re getting closer to the village. I dropped my speed, stopping once we neared a gate built out of timber.

The gate was of such a height and size that even I could pass through it if I stooped down low enough, albeit just barely. The Litōvear Tribe’s village looked to have its cover provided by a palisade constructed out of poles lined up in a row.

While the palisade is low enough that it would be possible for me to clear it with a light stride, let’s let ourselves in through the gate in order to curb any confusion. If I pass through the gate while holding myself in calm restraint, then I should be able to get away with not intimidating the tribespeople much better than if I were to have myself suddenly appear by crossing over the palisade. I’m a guardian god now, therefore it would probably be in my best interest to at least observe the etiquette of one. If we were to cause an uproar that makes the traveler situation untenable, then it could have knock-on effects toward us also defeating the manticore. If it comes to that, then all we’ll end up with is more victims.

Standing beside the gate was a man holding a spear—most likely a gatekeeper.

“Ryu– Ryujin-sama?! Hi- Hibi-sama! The hell is this—…”

The gatekeeper, while looking up at me, approached me unsteadily—letting his spear slip out of his hand and fall onto the ground.

“Ryujin-sama had some concerns regarding the traveling one, hence, we are accompanying Ryujin-sama.”

There’s less concern than there is animosity regardin’… I sure hope my fears are unfounded, but a traveler with abdominal injuries now of all times? No way I can think of it bein’ anythin’ other than that manticore. Humanization is supposed to consume vast amounts of MP, so wouldn’t I be mistaken…— is what I would have wondered, but the timing’s simply too convenient. There might be some kind of gap I don’t know about in my skill knowledge. I can’t rest easy until I confirm it for myself.

I bent my neck toward Hibi, who was sitting on my back, and looked her in the face. Hibi seemed to sense that I wanted to say something to her and proceeded to close her eyes.

Hibi. Where’s the traveler at? I want any humans that are near the traveler to be distanced from them in a way that alerts the traveler as little as possible… It’s possible that they might be a monster that’s taken the form of a human.

…I see. So that is why you were in a hurry. We will make the preparations accordingly, and at once. However, it may be somewhat difficult to evacuate everyone in a way that does not give rise to suspicion as the traveler is currently residing in the treatment hall.

Hibi replied, using Telepathize to respond to my inquiry. Upon saying as much, Hibi jumped down and off my back, sticking a clean landing while deadening the impact by bending her legs. After lightly tapping the tips of her toes against the ground, as if to test the condition of her feet, she moved in front of the gatekeeper and faced him.

“Gozu, please go to the treatment hall and call for the injured to be transported to the assembly hall. You are to come up with your own reason that does not involve mentioning Ryujin-sama and to make it in some way convincing. I will not pay it any mind if you put my name out there, but please convey everything such that it leaves the traveling one lying where she currently is. And please, if at any point the traveling one starts looking suspicious, you are to immediately return back here and report it.”

“Un– Understood!”

As I just heard, his name is Gozu. Without so much as picking the spear that he had let slip from his hands back up, Gozu made a mad dash for the center of the village.


Partner reached her head out and around to Barong, picked him up by his head with her mouth, and pulled him down to the ground. It seems that she decided that we didn’t need to have Barong on board anymore after seeing Hibi and Gozu’s back-and-forth just now.


Barong crashed to the ground, throwing up clouds of dust everywhere. Think ya, uh, went a little overboard there?


Partner cried out in a low voice as light enveloped Barong.
…Y’know, the way you use Rest technically does the job, but like…

As I lifted my head up, I could see rows of buildings going out into the distance. They all looked roughly the same—they were built out of bricks, not all that big, and shaped to look cylindrical.

Some children from the Litōvear Tribe were timidly watching us from behind one of the buildings. There were three of them, all lined up buddy-buddy with each other.

In the spur of the moment, I got down on my knees, elbows, and belly and stooped down on the spot in a loaf so that I wouldn’t give off an intimidating air. The looks on the three childrens’ faces completely lit up and they came running directly toward me.

“It’s Ryujin-sama! It’s Ryujin-sama!”

“You’re really back for real!”

…This guardian god path might really not be so bad, huh? What to do… Seein’ how I’m already here, I guess I may as well settle down.

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